William E. Scripture

Submitted by Nancy Hauser


WILLIAM E. SCRIPTURE, Justice of the Supremem Court, was born on the 2d of November, 1843, in the town of Westmoreland, Oneida County, N. Y., and is descended on his father's side from Welsh ancestry, whose first American representative emigrated to this country and settled in New Hampshire about 1700. His grandfather, Hiram Scripture, was a native of Tolland County, Conn and in 1797 came to Westmoreland, where he married, in March, 1798, Elizabeth Parker, a native of Boston, whose parents were born in Ireland. He died there, aged seventy-seven, as didalso his wife, at the age of ninety-three. Her family settled in Westmoreland about 1794. Parker A. Scripture, son of Hiram, was born in that town October 23, 1814. He spent his life on a farm there, and in 1874 moved to Rome, where he was  accidentally killed October 26, 1875. He married Harriet Standish Snow, daughter of Wilson Snow, who survives him. 
She was born in Plymouth, Mass., and is a lineal descendant of 
Captain Miles Standish, one of the Pilgrims of the 'Mayflower" 
and Captain of the Plymouth Colony, whom Longfellow 
immortalized in the celebrated poem, "The Courtship of Miles 
Standish." She is also descended from the Murdock family, whose ancestors came over soon after 1620.
    They had three children: Sarah E. (Mrs. C. H. Steele), William E., and Phebe P. Judge Scripture was reared on the paternal farm in Westmoreland and in early life attended the district schools of that town. He was graduated from Whitestown Seminary in 1865 and in the fall of that year entered Hamilton College in the class of 1869. Illness, however, compelled him to give up a cherished collegiate course and turn his attention to healthier exercise. By the autumn of 1866 his health was sufficiently restored to enable him to enter the Albany Law School, where he studied his profession and he was admitted to the bar in May, 1867. He then moved to Rome as managing clerk in the office of Beach & Barley, whence he left in January, 1868, to begin the active practice of his profession in Canastota, N. Y., under the firm name of Hutchins & Scripture. In the fall of that year he returned to Rome, where he has ever since resided. Here he first resumed practice under the name of Weld & Scripture, but one year later formed a copartnership with Homer T. Fowler as Scripture & Fowler. Subsequently he was associated with George H. Weaver, E. M. Pavey, and O. P. Backus, and after 1892 practiced alone.
    Judge Scripture is widely recognized as an able, conscientious, and reliable counselor, well versed in the principles of
the law, and qualified by nature for a successful and influential advocate. An unswerving Republican, he has for several
years taken an active part in politics, working for the good of his party as one of its popular leaders. For nearly four years he served as Postmaster at Rome under President Harrison. In November, 1895, he was elected a Justice of the Supreme Court by the largest majority given to any candidate in his district on the Republican ticket, and in that office has gained a high reputation as an able, upright and impartial judge.
    In August, 1867, Judge Scripture married Emma Caroline Goodwin, daughter of Israel F. Goodwin, of Westmoreland. They have had eight children: May Standish, Mina Emma, Ella Goodwin, Emma Harriet, Ruth, Vina, Parker Fairfield, and William.

Source: 'The Empire State in Three Centuries' Volume 3 Century History Company