Niagara County

1897 Biography - Samuel Works

Works, Samuel, was born December 4, 1781, in Westmoreland, New Hampshire. He came to Rochester in 1816, removing from there to Lockport in 1831. During his residence in Rochester he was among its most enterprising and useful citizens, and was called to many places of trust in the growing community, and for Lockport he did what he had already done for her more ambitious neighbor. Every movement that had for its object the improvement and advancement of this locality, received the aid of his time, money and wise counsel. Mr. Works held a number of official positions. He was elected to the New Hampshire Legislature in 1810. After becoming a resident of Lockport he was elected to the New York State Senate in 1837, serving eight years, 1837-45. This election was the commencement of one of the most remarkable political careers in the history of the State. He was a leading Whig, being at one time connected with the Weed and Seward faction of the party, and on severing relations with them he became the leader of the Silver Gray or Fillmore wing of the party. It was through his great political influence that Henry Clay was nominated for president in 1844. He visited personally more than half of the States and was in correspondence with Mr. Clay's friends in every section of the country. He was a warm personal friend of Thurlow Weed, until estranged from him owing to political differences, and of Millard Fillmore, De Witt Clinton and Governor Hunt. It is said of the latter that he never took an important political step in his long career without first consulting Samuel Works. In later years Mr. Works was a friend of Rutherford B. Hayes. He was twice married, his second wife being a daughter of Otis Hathaway, an early settler of Lockport. Mr. Works died January 2, 1868.

Contributed 2017 by Lisa Slaski from Landmarks of Niagara County, New York, by William Pool, D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, NY, 1897

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