These two streets have more in common than being in the same neighborhood. They were named after James S. Squires’ sons, James Duane and Earl Frank. You might remember when we learned about James Squires that he was married three times. James and Earl were children from his first marriage and his two oldest sons. Our files had more information on James, so we will start with him.
James Duane Squires was born in 1855. He went to school at the “old academy” (possibly Cortland Academy) and was one of the first Normal School pupils. He graduated from the Normal School at 17. After graduation, he taught school locally but then attended the University of Rochester. He was a natural orator and won prizes for public speaking. After graduation, he entered the law office of Waters and Knox in Cortland. He continued the study of law in New York City and was admitted to the bar in 1881. He entered the law firm of Deane and Chamberlain, and when it was dissolved, the new firm Thornall, Squires, and Constant was formed. He had great success in his chosen field.
On February 3, 1887, James Duane Squires married Alice Stewart MacIntosh but heartbreakingly, she died in December of that year. This marked the start of his travels all over the world and the United States. He visited countries in Europe and Asia and traveled all over both the United States and Canada. He collected photos, etchings, and curios and had excellent taste in art and architecture.
James Duane Squires died unexpectedly on the train coming home from Pasadena, California. He was just 38 years old. Two years before, he had contracted pneumonia and “the grip” (the flu) which had left his lungs weakened. It was said that it was due to overwork.
Earl Frank Squires was two years younger than James. We did not have much information on file for Earl at all, so I had to turn to online resources to get even a little bit. He lived in Cortland for many years before living in Binghamton, and eventually Buffalo. He died in 1925 and is buried in Buffalo. The 1912 city directory for Binghamton lists him as the vice president of the Craver-Dickinson Seed Company in Buffalo. I found many newspaper articles about him on www.fultonhistory.com, and it seems he had some bad luck over the course of his life that made it to the papers. While living in Cortland, he had a brush with death when he tried to cross train tracks with his team and wagon. He thought the coast was clear, but a moving train was hidden behind the stopped engine, and he narrowly escaped with his life. The horses bolted with the wagon and he was thrown to the ground. Luckily, his injuries were minor. A fire began in his home in Cortland, and thankfully it was caught and extinguished before the disaster. Earl was also in a train wreck! It seems he had both a lucky AND an unlucky streak!
There is likely more information out there to be found on the Squires brothers, but time does not permit a full investigation into their lives. Maybe someday someone else can pick up the story and write something up for our files! We love sharing Cortland County history with you all, but we also hope that many of you will become members of CCHS and help us continue to tell the stories of Cortland County for the generations to come! ~Tabitha
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