Numerous prominent citizens were born in the north country who have made a national, if not international, impact. Some of them have achieved considerable fame.
U.S. House of Representatives member Charles Edward Bennett was born December 1910 in Canton. He served in Congress as a Florida representative from 1949 to 1993.
Rep. Bennett, a Democrat, attended the University of Florida's college of law and served in the Army during World War II. In 1951, he proposed a code of ethics for government employees nicknamed "The Ten Commandments." In 1955, he sponsored the bill that added the words "In God We Trust" to both the nation's coins and currency.
Rep. Bennett helped create Jacksonville's Fort Caroline National Memorial and Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve. He wrote several books on Florida's early history and is the sole recipient of the Jacksonville Historical Society's Lifetime Achievement Award.
"If you can emulate a public servant, he's the one you want to emulate," Duval County Property Appraiser Jim Overton said of the representative. "He's an icon in our time."
Rep. Bennett died on September 6, 2003 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was reelected a total of 21 times and is the longest-serving member of either house of Congress in Florida's history. The Charles E. Bennett Federal Building was named after him.
Newton Martin Curtis, Civil War brigadier general and public official, was born in 1835 in De Peyster. After graduating from the Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary, Brig. Gen. Curtis worked as a teacher, lawyer, postmaster and farmer.
Before the war began, Brig. Gen. Curtis married Phoebe Davis, a distant relative of Jefferson Davis. He became a friend of Abraham Lincoln when, in 1856, his towering height served as an introduction to the then-orator in a railroad station. On that occasion Lincoln is reported to have said: "He's 10 feet taller than a rod, straight as an arrow, thin as a shingle and without a knothole."
In 1861, Brig. Gen. Curtis volunteered in the Union Army as a captain with the 16th New York Infantry. He fought in many engagements, including the first Battle of Bull Run, the Peninsular Campaign and the Bermuda Hundred Campaign.
In January 1865, Brig. Gen. Curtis' brigade played a key role in the Union victory at Fort Fisher, NC. His leadership and stubborn determination allowed Gen. Grant to capture the strong sea coast fortification and later resulted in his commissioning as brigadier general. He was wounded four times during the battle and believed dead; New York newspaper correspondents even wrote an obituary before realizing the mistake. For his bravery at Fort Fisher, Brig. Gen. Curtis was awarded the Medal of Honor.
When the war ended, he worked as a collector of customs, a special agent for the United States Treasury Department, Assistant Inspector General of the National Soldiers' Home, President of the State Agricultural Society, Secretary of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station and a member of the Department of Justice. From 1884 to 1890, the Republican served as a New York State Legislator. In 1891, he became a U.S. Congressman from New York's 22nd District.
The brigadier general's book, "From Bull Run to Chancellorsville," was published in 1906. He was working on a historical piece entitled "The Making and Welding of the Nation" when he died in New York City in 1910. Brig. Gen. Curtis is buried in Ogdensburg, where a statue still stands in his honor.
Eleanor Lansing Dulles was born on June 1, 1895 in Watertown, fourth of five children of the Rev. Allen Macy Dulles and Edith Foster Dulles. Her brothers include Allen and John Foster Dulles.
She received a bachelor's degree in 1917 and master's degree in 1920 from Bryn Mawr College. She received another master's degree and a doctorate at Radcliffe College in 1924 and 1926, respectively. She also studied at the University of Paris and the London School of Economics.
Eleanor Lansing Dulles married Dr. David Blondheim, a professor of philology at Johns Hopkins University, in 1932. Dr. Blondheim died in 1934.
In the aftermath of World War I in 1918-19, Mrs. Dulles performed relief work in France for the American Friends Service Committee. Her government service began in 1936 as chief of the Social Security Board's Division of Economic and Financial Research. She made pioneering studies of the financial relationships between the states and federal government and what the states could afford to contribute to public-assistance programs.
She signed on with the State Department in 1942 and studied British finances to help lay the groundwork for America's postwar loan to England. She investigated Germany's capacity to pay reparations and the country's living standards to help determine how much the defeated nation could safely become de-industrialized.
In 1944, she was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Bretton Woods Conference in New Hampshire that established the International Monetary Fund. After brief service in the Commerce Department in 1951, she was assigned as special assistant to the State Department's director of German affairs in 1952. She became prime morale booster for occupied Berlin from 1952 to 1959. She was senior to her brother John Foster in service at the State Department when he was appointed secretary of state in 1953.
Leonard James Farwell, born in Watertown in 1819, was an American politician and the second governor of Wisconsin.
Mr. Farwell moved to Milwaukee in the 1840s, prior to its statehood, before relocating to Madison. There, Mr. Farwell made considerabble city improvements by building mills, creating streets and draining lowlands. He published and distributed pamphlets to draw settlers to the area as well.
Mr. Farwell, an antislavery member of the Whig Party, served as governor of Wisconsin from 1852 to 1854. During his time in office, capital punishment was abolished in Wisconsin and the state geological survey was instituted. A founder of the Wisconsin Natural History Association, the governor played a key role in the reorganization of the State Historical Society. He was also active in various state and city business endeavors, such as the Madison Gas Light and the Coke Company, the Madison Hydraulic Company and the Beloit and Madison R.R. Company.
In 1857, he lost his land holdings because of the Panic of 1857 as well as an election for alderman in Madison. He then served one term in the state assembly as a member of the Republican party before obtaining a job as principal examiner in the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Farwell was at Ford's Theatre in a box opposite Abraham Lincoln's on the night the president was assassinated in 1865. He rushed to a nearby hotel to warn Andrew Johnson of the assassination by John Wilkes Booth and place a guard at the door. When it later became known that a member in Booth's ring of conspirators has acquired a hotel room on the same floor as Johnson's, Mr. Farwell was credited with saving the then-vice president's life.
After seven years in Washington, Mr. Farwell moved to Chicago and started a patent agency but later relocated to Grant City, Missouri, after suffering losses in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. He died and was buried in Grant City in 1889.
Roswell Pettibone Flower was born on Aug. 7, 1835, in Theresa. His father died when Roswell was eight years old, leaving his mother to run the family farm and Roswell to pick wool during the summer. In the winter he attended high school in Theresa until he was sixteen. He worked odd jobs to earn money, including sawing wood, working in a brickyard and school teaching.
Mr. Flower became Watertown's deputy postmaster in 1853 and joined the fire department in 1855. In 1869 he moved to New York to engage in various busines pursuits.
Mr. Flower served as chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee in 1870, a member of the Forty-Seventh Congress in 1881, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Committee in 1882 and a member of the Fifty-First Congress in 1889. He was the governor of New York between 1892 and 1894 and served as the president of Cornell University's board of trustees.
Mr. Flower was a philanthropist as well. He donated large sums to several churches and built a hospital in New York City. His sister-in-law was responsible for building the Henry Keep Home in Watertown. The city's Flower Memorial Library, begun in 1903, was built from donations by Mr. Flower's daughter, Emma Flower Taylor.
Mr. Flower died May 13, 1899 of heart failure in Eastport, Long Island, while on a fishing trip and was buried in Brookside Cemetery in Watertown.
Born October 1806 in Ogdensburg, Preston King served as senator and representative to the United States Congress.
Sen. King graduated from Union College, Schenectady, and worked as a lawyer and postmaster in St. Lawrence County. In 1830 he established the "St. Lawrence Republican," an area newspaper, and in 1834 he was elected to a term in the New York state assembly.
Sen. King then served as a Democrat in the Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth Congresses and was the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Invalid Pensions during the latter. He was elected to both the Thirty-first and Thirty-second Congresses as a Free Soiler. During his terms as a Republican in the Thirty-fifth, Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh Congresses, he was additionally chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Revolutionary Claims.
Sen. King was considered for the Republican vice-presidential nomination in 1860, was a presidential elector on the Republican ticket in 1864 and was appointed collector of the Port of New York by Andrew Johnson in 1865.
Navy Secretary Gideon Welles said of the senator: "Few men in Congress are his equal for sagacity, comprehensiveness, sound judgment, and fearlessness of purpose. Such statesmen do honor to their state and country. His loss to the Senate cannot be supplied."
Sen. King committed suicide by leaping from a ferryboat in 1865 and was buried in Ogdensburg.
Robert Lansing was the secretary of state under Woodrow Wilson and one of the major architects of the Versailles treaty.
He was born in Watertown on Oct. 17, 1864. He graduated from Watertown High School in 1882 and ranked fourth in academics. In 1886, he graduated from Amherst College.
In the early 1890s, he served on the Bering Sea Tribunal, which settled fur seal disputes in Alaska. For the next 20 years he served frequently as counsel or agent for the United States before international arbitration tribunals.
On April 1, 1914, Robert Lansing became counselor to the State Department. William Jennings Bryan resigned in the wake of the Lusitania crisis and Lansing became acting secretary of state. Shortly thereafter, on June 23, 1915, he was appointed secretary of state. Much has been written about the cause of the celebrated break between the president and Lansing.
Through the war the two men had worked in harmony, but with the peace conference they began to drift apart. To Woodrow Wilson, the creation of a League of Nations was paramount; to Robert Lansing, the writing of the treaties and the solving of individual European problems were more vital.
In February 1920, President Wilson, stricken with paralysis, seized upon Lansing's move to call cabinet meetings as reason for requesting his resignation. After undertaking the practice of international law in Washington, Lansing was plagued by ill health, forcing his retirement. He died Oct. 30, 1928.
William P. Rogers, who headed the Justice and State departments in two Republican administrations. Mr. Rogers's career began under New York City District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey. Mr. Rogers was a committee counsel in the Senate when then congressman Richard M. Nixon sought his advice in the pursuit of suspected Communists.
Mr. Rogers worked with Mr. Nixon as a vice presidential candidate in the 1952 campaign and joined President Dwight D. Eisenhower's administration as deputy attorney general. He later headed the Justice Department. In the 1960s, the Norfolk native and graduate of Canton High School returned to private practice but the respected statesman was called back into public service several times.
He was President Nixon's secretary of state from 1973 to 1989. In 1986, President Reagan turned to him to head the special investigation of the space Shuttle Challenger explosion.
Governor Silas Wright was born in Amherst, Mass., graduated from Middlebury College and began law practice in Canton in 1819.
From 1821 to 1824, Gov. Wright served as surrogate of St. Lawrence County from 1821 to 1824 and as a senator in the New York State senate from 1824 to 1827. In 1827 he was elected to the Twentieth U.S. Congress and appointed brigadier general of the state militia.
Gov. Wright then served as New York State Comptroller until 1833. He became a United States Senator in 1833 and served until 1844. While in the Senate, Gov. Wright also served as chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance for five years.
Although offered the Democrative vice presidential nomination in 1844, Gov. Wright declined to run in the New York state gubernatorial elections. He served as governor from 1845 to 1846.
Gov. Wright died in Canton in 1847 at the age of 52 and was buried in Old Canton Cemetery. His likeness appeared on the U.S. $50 gold certificate for thiry years.
Charles W. Yost is a Watertown native who became a professional diplomat and served as United States ambassador to the United Nations from 1969 to 1971.
Mr. Yost was born in Watertown Nov. 6, 1907, a son of Nicholas D. and Gertrude A. Cooper Yost. He grew up in Watertown and resided in a Victorian mansion on the site of the present Heritage Apartments.
He graduated from Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Conn. in 1924 and then wen to Princeton University and graduated in 1928. He did graduate work at the University of Paris from 1928 to 1929.
Mr. Yost was appointed to the foreign service in 1930 and served as vice-consul in Cairo, Egypt, in 1931 and later served in Warsaw, Poland. He married Irene Oldakowshka in 1934 then returned to the United States.
From 1935 to 1945 he was employed by the State Department, first as secretary to the State Department's Policy Committee and then in 1944 as assistant to the chairman at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference. Later that year he acted as secretary general of the United States Delegation at the Potsdam Conference.
He was recommissioned in the Foreign Service in May 1945. During that year he was also secretary general of the U.S. delegation to the Berlin Conference and later United States Political advisor to the commanding general in the India-Burma theater. He then served at Bangkok and at Praha. From the fall of 1946 to the fall of 1947 he was political advisor to the United States Delegate to the United Nations. He then became counselor of the legation at Vienna, Austria. He became minister-counselor and charge d'affairs in Greece in 1959 and was named U.S. High commissioner in Austria in 1954.
Named minister to Laos later in 1954, Mr. Yost became ambassador there in 1955 and minister to the French Embassy in 1956. He was named ambassador to Morocco in 1958 and was an aide in Agadir following an earthquake disaster. He served as an ambassador to Syria and as minister in Paris before becoming deputy representative of the United States to the United Nations in 1961. He served as deputy to UN ambassadors Arthur Goldberg and Adlai E. Stevenson in the 1960s. Mr. Yost retired for the first time in 1966 to become a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He came out of retirement in 1969 to take the post of U.S. ambassador to the UN at the request of President Nixon. He resigned from the UN post in 1971 after word leaked out that Nixon planned to replace him. Shortly after his resignation, Mr. Yost advocated ending the Vietnam War through the setting of a date for the withdrawal of U.S. forces conditioned on the return of U.S. prisoners. He was one of the few officers with the rank of career ambassador having been nominated to that rank by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1963.
St. Lawrence University awarded him an honorary doctor of laws degree in May 1962. He received the Rockefeller Public Service Award in 1964, an honorary degree from Princeton University in June 1969, an honorary doctor of laws degree from Hamilton College, Clinton, in Sept. 1969, and an honorary doctor of social science degree from the University of Louisville, Ky., in May 1971. Charles Woodruff Yost died at the age of 73 in 1981. He was buried in Brookside Cemetary.
Albert Bouchard was born in 1947 in Watertown. He was a founding member of Blue ÷yster Cult, the rock and heavy metal band.
Mr. Bouchard, a drummer, guitarist, singer and songwriter, attended Clayton Central School. He started his first band, the Regal tones, at the age of 12 with his brother Joe and three cousins in a Clayton barn. By his high school graduation, he had played over 500 shows. He later dropped out of college to found the band that would evolve into Blue ÷yster Cult. Mr. Bouchard was a drummer with the band for over a decade.
B÷C has sold over 14 million albums worldwide and has toured with artists such as Alice Cooper, the Byrds and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Hit songs include "Don't Fear the Reaper," "Burnin' for You" and "Godzilla."
After leaving the band in 1981, Mr. Bouchard went on to perform with The Mamas & The Papas, Herman's Hermits, Spencer Davis Group, Mike Watt, Ritchie Stotts, Gumball and Fabienne Shine. He has produced records for Maria Excommunikata, Heads Up! and David Roter.
More recently, Mr. Bouchard has released several CDs with the Brain Surgeons.
Joe Bouchard was born in Watertown in 1948. He was a founding member of Blue ÷yster Cult, the rock and heavy metal band.
Mr. Bouchard attended Ithaca College as a music student in the 1960s. He plays multiple instruments, including the bass, guitar, keyboard and trumpet. Mr. Bouchard joined B÷C in the summer of 1970 and played bass for them, although he was originally a guitarist. His songwriting credits with the band include "Nosferatu," "Hot Rails To Hell" and "Light Years of Love."
Since leaving Blue ÷yster Cult in 1986, Mr. Bouchard has worked with the Spencer Davis Group, Deadring, Camp Freddy, musicians from Gun 'n' Roses and the X Brothers. His band, BDS, includes Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith of Alice Cooper Group and Deadring. It has recently released a new CD.
Frederick Exley, an American novelist, was born March 28, 1929 in Watertown. Injuries sustained from an automobile accident during his high school years prevented him from graduating on time and later exempted him from a Selective Service draft. Mr. Exley graduated from the University of Southern California and became the managing editor of "The Rocket," a railroad employee magazine, shortly thereafter.
In 1958, he was admitted to the Stony Lodge mental institution after a period of alcoholism, sports obsession and mental instability. It was during his time at Stony Lodge and his subsequent stay at the Harlem Valley State Hospital that Mr. Exley began serious work on his first novel, "A Fan's Notes."
After being released from Harlem Valley, Mr. Exley was married and divorced twice in a span of a decade. He taught sporadically for several years in Clayton, Gouverneur and Indian River and vacationed on Singer Island in Florida while writing in his spare time.
Mr. Exley moved into his mother's house in Alexandria Bay in 1970, five years before his second novel, "Pages from a Cold Island," was published. In the late 1980s, Mr. Exley moved in with aunt Frances Knapp, also in Alexandria Bay, and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. His third semi-autobiographical novel, "Last Notes from Home," was published in 1988. He died on June 10, 1992 and is interred at Brookside Cemetery in Watertown.
"A Fan's Notes" earned Mr. Exley the William Faulkner Award for best first novel, the Rosenthal Award from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, a nomination for the National Book Award and a Rockefeller Foundation grant. He also received a Guggenheim Foundation grant and was published in Rolling Stone magazine during his lifetime.
This Brownville native was born on March 23, 1965 and graduated from Immaculate Heart Central High School in 1982.
He played football as middle linebacker and fullback for Central Connecticut State University. After college, he started working as a model and then as an actor. He played Rick Gardner on "One Life to Live" from 1985 to 1987. He played Detective Dennis Booker in "21 Jump Street" from 1988 to 1989.
Mr. Grieco's feature film debut was as Michael Corben in "If Looks Could Kill" (1991). He also played himself in "A Night at the Roxbury" (1998).
He began a singing career in 1994 with the Dunmore Band. He signed to a German label and released an album entitled "Waiting for the Sky to Fall."
Although he has earned a degree of celebrity in France, Robert Guinan is little known in his home country or his home town. The son of Dorothy M. and Harold J. Guinan, owner of the Overhead Door Co. in Watertown, Guinan entered the French art world with his urban portraits and streetscapes.
When he was about 13, his mother, Dorothy M. Guinan, signed him up for night classes with Mary Morley, an art teacher at Watertown High School. He was not yet 15 when his oil paintings were first exhibited at Flower Memorial Library. That show led to annual exhibits of his works at the Watertown library throughout his high school years.
Guinan graduated from Immaculate Heart Academy in 1951 and moved to Rochester to take a job in a dental lab. In 1953, Guinan enlisted in the Air Force. He served as a radio operator in North Africa and Turkey, continuing to draw and paint while exploring exotic cultures.
In 1959, Mr. Guinan enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to pursue a degree in art education. He worked nights taking ads and death notices at the city's tabloid newspaper, the Sun-Times.
In the spring of 1972, a dealer from Vienna brought three of Mr. Guinan's paintings to the prestigious international art fair in Basel, Switzerland. Mr. Guinan's portraits impressed Albert Loeb, a French art dealer and gallery owner in Paris. In his enthusiasm for Mr. Guinan's work, the Paris dealer paid $1,000 for two paintings.
A Guinan painting now hangs in actor Johnny Depp's home in southern France. Francois Mitterrand, late president of France, bought from the Galerie Albert Loeb a portrait of Emile Breda, an African-American, seated beside a heater in his den, with laundry hung to dry in a dark room behind him. Mr. Mitterrand had the Chicago portrait hung on a staircase wall in the Paris office of his Socialist Party.
Mary-Margaret Humes, a former Watertown resident and the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Neale C. Humes played television anchorwoman Gail Leery on the hit television series "Dawson's Creek" from 1998 to 2003. Her character was the mother of main character Dawson Leery, played by James Van Der Beek.
She was born in Florida in 1954. Ms. Humes won the title of Miss Florida in 1975 and was a third runner-up to Miss USA. Her first Hollywood role was Miriam on Mel Brooks's "History of the World: Part I" (1981)
Ms. Humes has worked in television since 1980, appearing in shows such as "Matlock", "Jake and the Fatman", "Night Court" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation". She also shot 18 Quaker Oats commercials in the early 1990s, in which she played the role of Wilford Brimley's daughter. Ms. Humes played Marilyn Teller, mother of central character Marshall Teller in the former NBC television series "Eerie, Indiana", which aired in the 1990s.
Ms. Humes appeared in a television movie titled "Gramps" in 1995, playing opposite Andy Griffith and John Ritter in the offbeat thriller. She also had a recurring role in the series "Murphy Brown" as a receptionist.
Since "Dawson's Creek", she has had roles on "Grey's Anatomy", "Ghost Whisperer" and "Criminal Minds".
Marcus Mastin, a 1993 graduate of Beaver River Central School, wrote three mystery novels set in Carthage where he grew up. His latest, "Revenge of the Reaper", published in November, is the finale to his first self-published trilogy, "The Carthage Chronicles". The trilogy also includes "Don't Pay the Ferryman" and "Don't Fear the Reaper". He is a stay-at-home dad for his children, Sebastian, 6, and Alana, 3, and is working on a parenting book and a second trilogy set in Carthage.
Viggo Mortensen was born in New York City and moved with his family to many other places, including Venezuela, Denmark and Argentina. After his parents' divorce, he moved to Watertown and eventually graduated from Watertown High School. He also attended St. Lawrence University, Canton, for a degree in Spanish.
The role that he is best known for is Aragorn in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy (Jackson 2001, 2002, 2003). He also played Frank T. Hopkins in "Hidalgo" (Johnston 2004), David Shaw in "A Perfect Murder" (Davis 1998), Tom Stall in "A History of Violence" (Cronenberg 2005) and Nikolai Luzhin in "Eastern Promises" (Cronenberg 2007). He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor and a Golden Globe Award for his performance in "Eastern Promises".
Some films he appeared in earlier in his career include "The Portrait of a Lady" (Campion 1996), "Young Guns II" (Murphy 1990), "Prison" (Harlin 1988), "Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III" (Burr 1990), "The Indian Runner" (Penn 1990), "Carlito's Way" (DePalma 1993), "Crimson Tide" (Tony Scott 1995), "G.I. Jane" (Ridley Scott 1997), "Daylight" (Cohen 1996), "A Walk on the Moon" (Goldwyn 1999), "American Yakuza" (Cappello 1993), "Vanishing Point" (Carner 1997), "The Reflecting Skin" (Ridley 1990), "The Passion of Darkly Noon" (Ridley 1995), "Psycho" (Van Sant 1998), "28 Days" (Thomas 2000) and "The Prophecy" (Widen 1995).
In addition to acting, Mr. Mortensen pursues other visual and literary arts. He is a painter and an author, with various books of painting, poetry and photography. His paintings have been featured in galleries worldwide. He founded the Perceval Press publishing house to help other artists by publishing avant-garde works that might not find a home in more traditional publishing venues.
Sean Paddock, son of Don and Claudia Paddock, all formerly of Watertown, is the music director and drummer for Kenny Chesney. He is also the nephew of the late local performer Tim Grant and cousin of two former Miss Italias, Cory and Jerre Grant. Mr. and Mrs. Paddock played in Watertown-area bands before moving to Phoenix, Ariz.
Canton is the birthplace of Frederic Remington, the artist who became famous for his work depicting the American West. Related to Indian portrait artist George Catlin and cowboy sculptor Earl W. Bascom, Remington's own art was naturalistic and focused heavily on the people and animals of the West.
The artist was born on October 4, 1861, and at the age of 11 attended Vermont Episcopal Institute military school. Quickly realizing that the life of a soldier was not for him, Remington enrolled in Yale University's art school. There he discovered a penchant for action drawings before dropping out to care for his ailing father. Remington journeyed West after the death of his parent and there began making the sketches of buffalo herds, cattle and Native American tribes that were published in Harper's Weekly.
After several business endeavors failed and his wife left, Remington began painting and sculpting seriously. Of his art, Harper's Weekly wrote: "He draws what he knows, and he knows what he draws." Remington traveled frequently throughout the United States and abroad to learn about his subject matter and was present during the aftermath of the battle at Wounded Knee. His important works include "Bronco Buster," "The Wicked Pony," "Comin' Through the Rye" and "The Cowboy."
Remington died in New Rochelle in 1909. The Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg is home to a collection of original Remington sketches, sculptures and paintings as well as varied personal effects and correspondences of the artist.
Supermodel Maggie Rizer, daughter of Maureen Breen and Kevin O'Dea Rizer graduated from Watertown High School in 1996. She has been one of the world's top models since 1997. The Watertown High School graduate has been nominated four times for the prestigious title of VH1/Vogue Model of the Year.
She has appeared on the catwalks for some of the world's top design houses, including Anna Sui, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, Oscar de la Renta and Prada.
Ms. Rizer also is recognized for her charity work, hosting the annual Viva Glam Casino, an event that benefits the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. Her biological father, Kevin O'Dea Rizer, died of complications associated with AIDS in 1992 at age 38. In 2005, she filed a collective $23.9 million lawsuit against her stepfather, John R. Breen Jr., bar owners Todd L. LaVere and Watertown Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham, investment adviser Michael J. Alteri, HSBC Bank and several investment firms in an effort to recoup the millions of dollars Mr. Breen stole from her and then gambled away.
John Henry Rushton designing boats in his native village of Canton in 1873. Forest and Stream magazine, a national publication, made mention of a Rushton canoe as early as 1876. By the 1880s, Mr. Rushton's boats, canoes and paddles were being displayed at world expositions and fairs.
"Rushton's designs were way ahead of their time," said Gene K. Newman, co-owner of a modern day canoe business based in Canton.
Mr. Rushton also established a boat shop in Canton that built canoes, rowboats, guideboats, skiffs, sailboats, steamboats and even early motor boats. The boat builder is best known for his canoe designs, though, including the small and lightweight Nessmuk model that made one-person portage easy. His Indian Girl canoe, introduced in 1902, was similarly popular. In Mr. Rushton's own words, "The Indian Girl is strong, light, safe though speedy, graceful yet seaworthy."
Mr. Rushton's company made 750 canoes in 1906, the year he died. Nearly a century after his death, the St. Lawrence County Historical Association of Canton honored the canoe builder in 2004 with a special exhibition featuring his boats, "J. Henry Rushton: The Stradivarius of the Canoe."
Mark Thomas Valley, a television actor known for role of Brad Chase on the ABC television show Boston Legal, was born in Ogdensburg in 1964.
Mr. Valley graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1987 and served in Operation Desert Storm.
In addition to Brad Chase, the put-upon attorney who served in the Gulf War, Mr. Valley has played in several other notable roles. These include Jack Deveraux (NBC soap opera "Days of our Lives," 1994 to 1997), Detective Eddie Arlette ("Keen Eddie," 2003) and Richard Lockhart ("ER," 2000 to 2003). He has also made appearances in "Swingtown," "Law and Order," "Shrek the Third," "I'm With Her," "Pasadena," "Spin City," "Once and Again" and "CSI."
In 2007 and 2008 Mr. Valley was nominated for the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series award; in 2006 he was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, and in 2003 he was nominated for the Teen Choice Awards' Choice TV Breakout Star.
Mr. Valley has been cast in Fox's new drama "Fringe."
Born March 1935 in Ogdensburg, Michael Emmet Walsh is an American character actor. Mr. Walsh graduated from the Clarkson University School of Business and has appeared in over 100 film and television productions.
Among Mr. Walsh's prominent roles are a sadistic parole officer in "Straight Time," Bryant in "Blade Runner," a detective in "Blood Simple," Tim Allen's father-in-law on "Home Improvement" and a neighbor in "Christmas with the Kranks."
Mr. Walsh has won an Independence Spirit Award for best male lead in 1986 and a Best Ensemble Cast award in 2007. He has been quoted as saying: "I'm being paid for what I'd do for nothing" and "I approach each job thinking I may die of a heart attack, so it had better be the best work possible."
Charles E. Boles, or "Black Bart," was raised in Jefferson County. By some accounts he was born there; by others he was born in England. By the end of the 19th century, he had become one of the most prolific stagecoach robbers in American history.
Black Bart, who took his sobriquet from a story in a magazine, robbed 28 Wells Fargo banking and express stagecoaches over the course of eight years. He stole a total of $18,000. An $800 reward once was offered jointly by Wells, Fargo & Co., the post office department and former California Governor William Irwin to anyone who could capture Black Bart and produce the evidence needed to arrest him.
Before he became infatuated with the life of a rambling outlaw, Mr. Boles came to California to seek his fortune during the Gold Rush in 1850. Years later, he traveled east and settled on a farm in Decatur, Ill., where he met his wife, Mary. By the time of the Civil War, Mr. and Mrs. Boles had three daughters. The Union cause lured Mr. Boles away from his family and into the 116th Illinois Infantry Volunteers, where he served three years as a sergeant.
When the war was over, Mr. Boles, then 35, moved his family to Oregon, Ill., where he abandoned them to go to Montana by himself. His family never saw him again. Though Mr. Boles sent money for a few years, he neglected to send any during the years of his stagecoach robberies. Mrs. Boles assumed her husband had been killed by Indians.
In 1875, Mr. Boles moved to San Francisco, where he became a respectable schoolteacher.
Bart robbed his first stagecoach in 1875 when he was 45 by using a particularly inventive strategy: before the stage approached, Bart gathered sticks and wedged them between rocks, giving the illusion of armed accomplices on the roadside. The driver handed over the gold-filled express box and led the stagecoach and its petrified passengers away from the scene.
From 1875 to 1883, Black Bart robbed stagecoaches at unpredictable intervals. He never harmed his victims, and often did not even load his gun. Instead of traveling on horseback like most road agents, Black Bart walked everywhere and escaped through the wilderness. He never stopped to sleep within 12 miles of the scene of a robbery. Bart would sometimes leave a taunting poem in the empty express box signed by the "Po8."
Black Bart's downfall came on his 29th attempt to loot a Wells Fargo stagecoach. The robbery did not go as planned, and a passenger shot Bart as he narrowly escaped into the woods. He dropped a few personal belongings on his way, including a handkerchief with the laundry mark "F.X.O.7."
James B. Hume, the Wells Fargo Chief of Detectives who had been attempting to track down Bart for years, learned the mark belonged to Charles E. Bolton, a wealthy miner who frequently visited San Francisco and stayed at the Webb House hotel. Though it was Mr. Hume who did the elaborate sleuthing, Wells Fargo detective Harry Morse made the arrest in November 1883. A laundryman who recognized the mark on the handkerchief accompanied Wells Fargo detective Harry Morse to the Webb House hotel to meet Mr. Bolton. Mr. Morse made the arrest when he saw that the rich man's features and body type fit Mr. Hume's extensive description of Black Bart.
Wells Fargo authorities later learned that Black Bart, Charles E. Boles and Charles E. Bolton were one and the same. He served only six years in the San Quentin state penitentiary because he returned a large portion of the stolen gold and had refrained from using violence in every attack.
Melvil Dewey, creator of the Dewey Decimal System that is named after him, was born on December 10, 1851 and grew up in Adams Center.
In 1876, he developed the Dewey Decimal Classification System, which is still used in libraries today. It has undergone 22 major revisions since its creation. The system organizes knowledge into ten major classes. Each class is organized into ten devisions, which are divided into ten sections.
He founded the Lake Placid Club, a social and recreational club that counted professors, teachers, clergy, writers and librarians among its first members. He decided to keep one small clubhouse open for winter in 1905. Guests flooded tennis courts to create skating rinks, cleaning and scraping them after horse-drawn plows cleared the snow.
The resort grew to include ski jumps, bobsled tracks, skating rinks and nearly 10,000 acres. Early in 1924, Dewey sailed to Lausanne, Switzerland, and presented Lake Placid's proposal - accompanied by $50,000 - to the International Olympic Committee, and on April 10, 1929, the IOC unanimously awarded Lake Placid the Games.
Lake Placid remains the only site in North America to have hosted the Olympic Winter Games twice. The only other cities in the world to share that distinction are St. Moritz and Innsbruck, Austria.
Dr. Samuel Guthrie, born in 1782 studied medicine and directed his research to practical chemistry. He was married and settled in Chenango County, N.Y., later moving to Sackets Harbor, N.Y. in 1817. He is the inventor of percussion pills, an appliance that superseded the flint lock in firearms and was the predecessor of the percussion cap.
Dr. Guthrie, being a 19th century physician and chemist, is recognized for the discovery of anesthetic chloroform (tri-chloromethane) in 1831. He discovered this by distilling chloride of lime with alcohol in a copper barrel, using it as a mild anesthetic in amputation surgeries. His product was exhibited to Professor Silliman of Yale, who repeated the process by which it was produced a year before it was made public by Soubeiran and three years before he published his results when he named the product chloroform.
He studied at College of Physicians and Surgeons which is now known as Columbia University. In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Guthrie was a successful businessman, best known in his time for manufacturing chloric ether, vinegar and an appliance that superseded the flint lock in firearms making the muskets obsolete. He also invented a process for rapidly converting potato starch into molasses.
Dr. Guthrie died in Sackets Harbor, N.Y. on October 19th 1848. The Guthrie Clinic on Fort Drum is named after him.
Born in 1796 on a farm near the hamlet of Martinsburg, Walter Hunt was the oldest of 14 children of Sherman and Rachel Hunt and raised as a Quaker. Some noted inventions include the safety pin, the spinning machine and, arguably, the sewing machine.
Although Mr. Hunt had an astonishing range of invention, he repeatedly failed to capitalize on it. During a dispute between his fellow workers and the owner of the Lowville flax mill where he worked, Mr. Hunt retreated to his workbench on his run-down farm and, over several months and after repeated experiments, developed a machine for spinning flax and hemp into linen.
In 1826, Mr. Hunt and the first of his many short-term, underfinanced business partners, Lowville mill owner Willis Hoskins, obtained a patent on the spinning machine. It revolutionized fabric manufacture and prompted Mr. Hunt to move to New York City to seek markets for his practical inventions and the financial backing by enterprising capitalists. Joining him was his pregnant wife, Polly, and their three children. In a 33-year career, he was awarded patents for 28 of his inventions and produced countless more. The inventor never bothered to obtain a patent for the food-warming steam table, medicated vapor baths, a "restorative cordial," pulp pill boxes and hat boxes, molded stone for buildings and printing-press rollers.
Often pressed for money, he would sell the rights to his inventions too cheaply. What he earned he largely spent on his latest experimental project. Among his patented inventions were a coach alarm that presaged the automobile horn; a nail machine; knife sharpener; globular coal stove, commonly known as a pot-bellied stove; tree-felling saw; ice boat; spill-proof inkstand; the forerunners of the modern fountain pen; repeating rifle and cartridge bullet; a paper shirt collar (his most immediately lucrative product); the stitched, hobnailed sole; a wear-defeating revolving shoe heel; and every mother's helper, the common safety pin.
Walter Hunt's greatest missed opportunity for fame and fortune was threaded into the contentious history of the sewing machine in America. In 1834, the Lewis County native developed a working wooden model, 12 years before the sewing machine's accredited inventor, Elias Howe Jr., was awarded his patent. Mr. Hunt, however, soon sold rights to the machine to his business partner, a New York blacksmith named George Arrowsmith. Unable to market the machine during a severe downturn in the national economy and social unrest, the inventor's partner failed to obtain a patent on it.
Despite initial financial setbacks, Mr. Howe pressed his claim as the exclusive, patented inventor of the sewing machine in the courts against several competitors and eventually won out. When Mr. Hunt finally took the legal offensive as the sewing machine's true inventor, he was too late. His patent claim, made two decades after he built his working model, was denied. Mr. Hunt succumbed to pneumonia and died in 1859 at the age of 63.
Watertown native Eugene Mosher developed a form of point-of-sale, or POS. POS is the all-inclusive term for the hardware and software used, among other examples, to check out at retail stores or to enter food orders at restaurants. Evolved from mechanical cash registers, POS systems now include credit card scanners, bar code readers and touch screens. On the management side, the systems can keep track of such information as inventories, payrolls and accounts.
Mr. Mosher was born in 1949 in Watertown and grew up in Philadelphia. His mother, Barbara M., and sister, Mary F. Dillenback, still live in Fishers Landing.
A graduate of Indian River High School, Philadelphia, Mr. Mosher received his bachelor's degree from SUNY Buffalo, where he studied anthropology and worked at a local pizza and sub shop. After graduation, he decided to open his own restaurants. By the 1980s, he had pairs of restaurants in Buffalo, Syracuse and Virginia Beach, Va. Among them was the lunch spot Gene Mosher's Old Canal Cafe, on Clinton Street, Syracuse.
As personal computers began to appear, Mr. Mosher bought an Apple II and began writing software in green or bright amber fonts, saving his work on cassette tapes, since the machines lacked floppy drives.
In 1977, he saw a practical application for his work when salesmen started offering him electronic cash registers, designed to replace the older, mechanical versions. He bought one and then asked how he could hook it up to his computer.
When he was told that there was no way to do that, Mr. Mosher wrote code for the computer and realized he had a tool that could record all of his transactions. That data then created an overview for the restaurants.
At Old Canal on Clinton Street, Mr. Mosher installed 65 feet of cable between the front door and back. Orders at the door would print in the kitchen. Mr. Mosher used feedback information to adjust his menu, discarding the least-popular items. Buying patterns improved, as did the speed of service, with the number of mistakes, steps and congestion all decreasing.
Since then, his company, ViewTouch, has built a customer base of several hundred, using forms of open source software, like Linux, to develop products.
Born in Gouverneur in 1882, Edward John Noble co-founded the Life Savers Corporation. He attended Syracuse University and graduated from Yale University before buying the rights to a certain peppermint candy for $2,900 in 1913.
The candy, manufactured by chocolate maker Clarence Crane of Cleveland, Ohio, was intended to be a "summer candy" that could withstand heat and was named after the life preserver that it resembled. The mints' shape was a result of malfunctioning machinery and a pressing process that worked better when the candy had a hole in the middle. After buying the rights to the recipe, Mr. Noble changed the packaging of the candy from the unpopular cardboard to the successful tinfoil wrappers that Life Savers are known for today.
Mr. Noble was not only a candy entrepreneur; he additionally founded the American Broadcasting Company in 1943. He also was the first chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Authority and served as Undersecretary of Commerce from 1939 to 1940 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In the north country, Mr. Noble was appointed to the advisory board of the St. Lawrence Seaway Project by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He owned the Thousand Island Club, Boldt Castle and a summer home on Wellesley Island.
Mr. Noble died in 1958. Among the early flavors of his Life Savers were Pep-O-Mint, the first, and Wint-O-Green, Cl-O-Ve, Lic-O-Rice, Cinn-O-Mon, Vi-O-Let, Choc-O-Late and Malt-O-Milk.
Great Bend native F.W. Woolworth founded the five-and-dime Woolworth chain. His idea for a store that would offer items at affordable prices - for five and 10 cents - changed American merchandising and society.
Born in the town of Rodman in 1852, Mr. Woolworth moved with his family to Great Bend, where he worked on his family's farm, in 1859.
The story goes that the idea arose from young Frank Woolworth's desire to buy a present for his mother, only to find during a trip to Watertown that his five cents would not purchase the coveted gift, which cost 50 cents.
Mr. Woolworth began working as an unpaid assistant for the Public Square store Augsbury & Moore in 1873. By 1875, Mr. Woolworth had risen to the rank of salesclerk and the same year went to work at Arthur Bushnell's dry goods store, also in Watertown. Ill health forced him to return home in 1876 to his family's farm. But in 1877, recently married to Jennie Picton, he got his old job back at Augsbury & Moore, where two of the cofounders of F.W. Woolworth Co., his brother Charles S. Woolworth and Fred M. Kirby, also worked.
The success of a "five-cent counter sale" he supervised in 1878 at the store (then Moore & Smith) fueled his idea of offering merchandise at affordable prices.
By 1879, he had opened The Great Five Cent Store in Utica. It failed quickly, but that did not stop him, as he promptly opened the first five-cent store in Lancaster, Pa., that same year. The success of the Lancaster store led Mr. Woolworth and his brother, Charles S. Woolworth, to open another store in Scranton, Pa. These were the first of thousands of stores in America and 11 other countries.
By 1900, there were 59 Woolworth stores with total sales of $5 million. A 1912 merger with five other retailers increased the number of stores to 596 and $52 million in annual sales. By 1913, when the grand Woolworth Building, then the world's tallest building, opened in Manhattan, the former farm boy was able to pay $13 million in cash for its construction.
Watertown, of course, figures prominently in this history. The six-story Woolworth building was completed in 1921, and Watertown was the site of the company's annual stockholders and directors meetings until 1966.
Some of the innovations Mr. Woolworth has been credited with introducing have become standard practice in many American businesses, like buying in large quantities directly from manufacturers, displaying goods for customers to see and touch rather than keeping them in storerooms, establishing a price range so patrons know the cost of items before they enter the store, making customers welcome and not pressuring them to buy.
He died in 1919 with a $65 million fortune. At its peak in 1954, 35 years after the founder's death, the company had 2,800 stores nationwide.
Theodore T. Woodruff is most famous for having invented the railway sleeping car, more commonly known as the Pullman. Mr. Woodruff, son of Simeon and Rosannah Adams, came to the area from Oneida County with his father and two brothers in the spring of 1800.
Mr. Woodruff is credited with several other inventions, including six patents on railroad cars and coaches. He also is credited with making improvements on the coffee huller, a surveying instrument, the folding bed, the locomotive, the screw propeller, and improvements of the steam plow that would permit the plowing of 14 furrows.
One of the first to become interested in Mr. Woodruff's sleeping car was Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Carnegie later credited his fortune in part to investments made in Woodruff stock. Mr. Woodruff died in a railroad yard while supervising the construction of one of his cars. He stepped off one car into the path of a moving car and was killed.
Mr. Woodruff is buried in Brookside Cemetery.
Richard Preston Carlisle, NBA basketball player and coach, was born in Ogdensburg and raised in Lisbon.
Mr. Carlisle played college basketball at the University of Maine and the University of Virginia. Between 1984 and 1990, he played for the Boston Celtics, the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets. During his time with the Celtics, he played alongside Larry Bird in the 1986 NBA championships. His career statistics include 422 points, 141 rebounds and 201 assists.
In 1990, Mr. Carlisle began his professional coaching career with a job as assistant coach for the Nets. After five seasons he became an assistant coach for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Three seasons later, Mr. Carlisle joined the Indiana Pacers as an assistant under his former Celtics teammate Mr. Bird. During this time, the Pacers experienced two of their best seasons ever and made the NBA finals for the first time.
By 2001, Mr. Carlisle had been recruited by the Detroit Pistons as head coach. He served with them for two years, leading the team to consecutive 50-32 records (.610) and playoff appearances. He was also named Coach of the Year in 2002.
Mr. Carlisle was then rehired for the Indiana Pacers, this time as head coach. He led the Pacers to the NBA's best regular-season record and brought them to the playoffs multiple times.
More recently, he has worked as a studio analyst for ESPN. In May 2008, Mr. Carlisle replaced Avery Johnson as the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks.
Born in Watertown in 1902, Victor A. Hanson, Syracuse University athletic star and coach, moved with his family to Glen Park and then to Syracuse. He is the only athlete to have been enshrined in both the Basketball Hall of Fame (1960) and the College Football Hall of Fame (1973).
Hanson attended Syracuse Central and Manlius School and then went to Syracuse University. From 1925 to 1927, he was All-America basketball player. He captained the 1926 national champion basketball team. In 1927, he was captain of the Syracuse University basketball, baseball and football teams. He was named to Grantland Rice's All-American collegiate basketball team. He was signed by the New York Yankees after graduating from college.
He also played football professionally before returning to Syracuse University as head football coach. From 1930 to 1936, Hanson continued as head coach and compiled a 33-21-5 record. Hanson created his own professional basketball team in Syracuse: Vic Hanson's All-Americans.
He later became an insurance executive in Syracuse. He died in 1982 at the age of 78.
James "Jimmy" Howard, professional ice hockey goaltender, was born in 1984 in Ogdensburg.
Early in his career, Mr. Howard set the University of Maine school record for shutouts, goals against average and save percentage. He also holds the National Collegiate Athletic Association records for a .956 save percentage and a 1.19 goals-against average in the 2003 season. In 2005, Mr. Howard was named to the AHL All-Rookie team.
Mr. Howard was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 2003 and since then has played a total of eight games in the National Hockey League. His record as of the end of the 2007 to 2008 season included a .915 save percentage, a 2.56 goals-against average and a total of 397 minutes on ice.
Dick May's racing career spanned 36 years (1950-86). He was inducted into the "Dirt Hall of Fame" in Weedsport.
He drove his first race car at the old Canton Speedway. Stationed at Fort Drum, May's first car owner was a sergeant in the motor pool at what was then Camp Drum. He later raced at the Edgewood Speedway in Alexandria Bay.
May won a couple of championships at the Watertown Fairgrounds Speedway before he headed south to North Carolina in the late 1960s. The former resident of the Brownville area competed on the NASCAR circuit beginning in 1969. He is credited with starting in 185 races on the Winston Cup circuit.
May is considered one of the top relief drivers of all time on the NASCAR circuit. His feat of driving five cars in one race (the 1975 Mason Dixon 500 at Dover Downs International Speedway) is a record that may never be broken.
He had a 17-year-long career as a NASCAR driver and held many odd jobs for the organization before retiring for good from racing in 1986.
Tim McCreadie is currently signed with the Richard Childress Racing driver development program. He won 2006 Chili Bowl and the 2006 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Championship. He was voted the 2006 Al Holbert Memorial National Driver of the Year by the Eastern Motorsport Press Association.
He is the son of Bob and Sandy McCreadie. His father is the legendary modified driver "Barefoot" Bob McCreadie, an inductee to the Lowe's Motor Speedway Walk of Fame, the Dirt Motorsports Northeasy Hall of Fame and the Eastern Motorsport Press Association Hall of Fame.
Tom Ryan, professional lacrosse player and coach, was born in Ogdensburg and graduated from Hugh C. Williams High School in Canton.
Mr. Ryan attended Bowdoin College and became the leading scorer in school history during his senior year, averaging 5.71 points per game that season. He earned Snively League All-Star recognition and was named as a U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association All-American at Bowdoin.
Mr. Ryan then went on to play in the National Lacrosse League. Known as "the Dude" because of his long dreadlocks, he scored 202 total career points during his time with the Boston Blazers, Baltimore Thunder and Philadelphia Wings. He continued his career by playing with the New Jersey Pride in the Major League Lacrosse's inaugural 2001 season and with Team USA in the 2002 Heritage Cup.
After Mr. Ryan suffered a series of concussions, he ended his playing career and turned to coaching. In 2007, Mr. Ryan coached the U.S. team for the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships. He has also been coach of the women's lacrosse teams at Towson University and Loyola College, and the men's lacrosse teams at Connecticut College and Mount Idea College. Most recently, Mr. Ryan has been named head coach of the Boston Blazers.