25 Facts About Ezra Cornell


Ezra Cornell was an American businessman, politician, and philanthropist.


Ezra Cornell was the founder of Western Union and a co-founder of Cornell University.


Ezra Cornell served as President of the New York Agriculture Society and as a New York State Senator.


Ezra Cornell was a cousin of Paul Cornell, the founder of Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood.


Ezra Cornell was related to Ezekiel Cornell, a Revolutionary War general who represented Rhode Island in the Second Continental Congress from 1780 to 1782, and was a distant relative of William Cornell, who was an early settler from Rhode Island.


Ezra Cornell initially pursued a career in carpentry and traveled extensively throughout New York state in the profession.


Ezra Cornell was hired as a mechanic by Otis Eddy to work at his cotton mill on Cascadilla Creek.

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In 1831, Ezra Cornell married Mary Ann Wood in Dryden, New York.


The young and growing family needed more income than he could earn as manager of Beebe's mills, so Ezra Cornell purchased rights in a patent for a new type of plow and began decades of traveling away from Ithaca.


Ezra Cornell sold in Maine in the summer and the milder Georgia in the winter.


Ezra Cornell made his fortune in the telegraph business as an associate of Samuel Morse.


The line was completed in 1849 and Ezra Cornell was made president of the company.


Ezra Cornell gave Wood a job constructing new lines and made Phoebe his telegraph operator, the first woman operator in the US Ezra Cornell earned a substantial fortune when the Erie and Michigan line was consolidated with Hiram Sibley and his New York and Mississippi Company formed the Western Union company.


Ezra Cornell was a Republican member of the New York State Assembly representing Tompkins County in 1862 and 1863 and a member of the New York State Senate from 1864 to 1867, where he served in the 87th, 88th, 89th, and 90th New York State Legislatures.


Ezra Cornell retired from Western Union and turned his attention to philanthropy.


Ezra Cornell endowed the Cornell Free Library, the first public library for the citizens of Ithaca.


Andrew Dickson White helped secure the new institution's status as New York's land-grant university, and Ezra Cornell University was founded and granted a charter through their efforts in 1865.


Ezra Cornell held most of the scrip, anticipating it would increase in price.


Ezra Cornell redeemed some scrip for promising land or for rights in timber, including pine forest in Wisconsin.


Ezra Cornell entered the railroad business, but fared poorly due to the Panic of 1873.


Ezra Cornell began construction of a palatial Ithaca mansion, Llenroc, whose name was Cornell spelled in reverse, to replace his farmhouse, but died before it was completed.


Ezra Cornell University has made the approximately 30,000 letters in the Ezra Cornell Correspondence available online.


On February 24,1832, Ezra Cornell wrote the following response to his expulsion from The Society of Friends due to his marriage:.


Ezra Cornell is interred in Sage Chapel on Ezra Cornell's campus along with Daniel Willard Fiske and Jennie McGraw.


Ezra Cornell was originally laid to rest in Ithaca City Cemetery in Ithaca and later then moved to Sage Chapel.

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