Wayne County Family Biographies

Profile of Hon. James Galloway of Palmyra

Contributed by Allyn Perry

Source: The Lyons Republican
Lyons, N. Y., Thursday, August 3, 1911
Page 1, Column 1



The Nestor of Western Wayne, Who, with The Republican, Has Attained His 90th Birthday Anniversary

By Fred E. Foster, Editor of the Lockport Journal

James Galloway

Born within a year of the birthday of The Lyons Republican and a few months its senior, the Hon. James Galloway of East Palmyra is today one of the most active farmers in Wayne county for his years and easily the best-informed of any living pioneers in this section of the country.The Galloway family is one of the best known in Western Wayne, Mr. Galloway being an uncle of the late D. W. Parshall, for so many years a banker in this village.The subject of this sketch passed his 90th milestone last October and appears good for another 90 years.

A recent visitor to the Galloway homestead farm found "Uncle James," as he is known to almost everyone within a five-mile radius of his home, busily engaged in repairing a fence in the northeast field which slopes down to Ganargua creek. Upon being hailed, the fence contract was dropped, together with a cane, and the nonegenarian half-vaulted over the upper rail without any assistance, climbed into the buggy and started the conversation.

As the above photograph (taken by none other than Dr. Elton himself) shows, Mr. Galloway by no means looks his years and his clear skin and bright eyes belie his age. He still reads his newspaper without spectacles, looks after his farm of upwards of 150 acres and enjoys life generally. The only difficulty that he feels in the least is his deafness, which is not an infirmity, he having contracted it a half-century ago during long years of operating a sawmill in what is now known as the old Galloway malthouse.

A phenomental memory adds interest to the anecdotes and reminiscences in which Mr. Galloway occasionally indulges and the accuracy of his recollection is wonderful.Going back to the early thirties and the almost primeval conditions then existent is no strain whatever upon the memory of this pioneer resident. In his dooryard today there is a large stone half-hallowed out on the surface and this a century ago was the wash-dish for the Galloway family. Another relic of the past is some well-seasoned cherry furniture which Uncle James has stored in his attic for a definite purpose but it is a purpose which his many friends hope will not be carried out for many, many years to come.

Uncle James well recollects when living was cheap in old Wayne county and whiskey sold for less than $20 a barrel and was drawn from distilleries in Sodus.But it must not be inferred from this that Mr. Galloway is anything other than temperance itself.He smokes daily but not continuously and is moderate in both eating and drinking.

In speaking of Mr. Galloway's latter-day activities mention should be made of the family mausoleum, which he has contructed on the brow of an eminence within a quarter-mile of his home on the site of the old family cemetery. A tall shaft of granite surmounts the knoll, the east half of which is cut away to form the front of the vault itself, which in turn is bordered with a high stone wall. The tomb proper is the resting place of Mr. Galloway's parents and immediate family and is a structure that is unique in Western New York, if not in the entire country. Much of the work on the mausoleum has been a labor of love, having been performed chiefly by Mr. Galloway himself, assisted by a few men to place the heavy stones in position.

Mr. Galloway's grandfather was an officer in the Revolutionary War and his own father, James Galloway, served as a personal servant for the head of the house, each officer being allowed one servant.The father of our subject settled in Palmyra a few years previous to 1790, practically where the farm now stands. Mr. Galloway has in his possession some of the original bits of timber that entered into the construction of the mill dam in the Ganargua at East Palmyra in 1797, this being the first water power developed between Oswego and the Niagara frontier. At this point hundreds of salmon used to be taken every spring, according to Mr. Galloway's information, as they ran up the creek to spawn. Another interesting relic he possesses is a lot of log from the Elder James Galloway's log house, built in 1790.

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Created: 3/26/07
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