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Below is a family biography included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1898.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM J. BUCHANAN, the efficient superintendent of the A. P. McGraw Corset Co.’s works at McGrawville, was born in that village, September 13, 1857, and is a son of W. W. and Amelia (Hatfield) Buchanan. He attended the common schools of his native town, and the Union High School of McGrawville, N. Y. He then became an employee of the McGrawville Corset Co., and has continued to serve their interests since, the style of the firm having changed slightly, however. When he had attained efficiency, he was rewarded for his faithfulness and steadiness by being made superintendent of the company’s works at McGrawville, a position he holds at the present time. He has been with them eighteen years. Mr. Buchanan is active in local affairs, and as the nominee of the Republican party was elected president of the village in 1892. He filled out three terms and after an interval was elected again in 1897. He is public-spirited, and evinces considerable energy in advancing the interests of his native town, with whose prosperity his own is so closely knit. He owns a farm near McGrawville, and is interested in a store in the village.

His great-grandfather, John Buchanan, came from Scotland, his native country, and settled in Herkimer County, N. Y. He served in the Revolutionary War. His son James was born in Herkimer County, N. Y., and was educated in its common schools. He farmed in that county until 1814, when he removed to Cortland County, and was one of the first settlers in what is now known as McGrawville. He was a Democrat in politics, and was a member of the Congregational Church. There were eight children in his family, six of whom were boys and two girls. He served in the War of 1812.

Our subject’s father was born in McGrawville, and was indebted to its common schools for his preliminary education. He afterwards attended Homer Academy for a time, and then taught school in Cortland County, after which he engaged in farming in the town of Cortlandville, and followed that vocation the most of his life. He died September 25, 1886. His wife survives him, and lives with their only child, William J., the subject of this biography. He was a Republican so far as adherence to party went. He was an active worker in the church, and identified himself with the Presbyterian Church of McGrawville.

Our subject married Marcia Hollister, daughter of Henry D. Hollister, on October 21, 1883, and this happy union has been blessed with the birth of one son, William H. Mr. Buchanan is a member of the Presbyterian Church of McGrawville, and is an elder and pillar of the church. He is a thoroughly good man, and may be always found on the side of sound truth and morality.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published in 1898. 

View additional Cortland County, New York family biographies here: Cortland County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Cortland County, New York here: Cortland County, New York Map

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