Ansley Wilcox is still
a young man, having barely passed two score years; but a strong
personal force, displayed in all his dealings with his fellow-men,
has given him a place in the esteem of the community that few men
attain at his age. Endowed with an acute sense of right and wrong
in public affairs, and with a sturdy determination to do a lion’s
share toward the correction of the political and social abuses of
the times, Mr. Wilcox has closely identified himself with all the
reform movements of recent years, and has been a tower of strength
to the cause of good government. He is a type of the best citizenship
to be found in American life.
Born near Augusta, Ga., just before
the breaking out of the Civil War, young Wilcox spent his boyhood
amid some of the most stirring scenes of that great and fierce struggle.
In the last year of the war his family left the South, and finally
settled in Connecticut, which was his father’s native state. The
second ten years of his life were passed at New Haven, first in
attending a preparatory school, and afterward as a student at Yale
College. Then came a year of rest and travel, succeeded by a year
of post-graduate study at University College, Oxford, England.
Having moved to Buffalo in 1876, and
been admitted to the bar two years later, Mr. Wilcox began a brilliant
career, and soon attained a foremost rank among the lawyers of western
New York. For ten years the firm of Allen, Movius & Wilcox was one
of the strongest at the Buffalo bar. Mr. Wilcox, while a forcible
and brilliant speaker, has devoted most of his time and attention
professionally to office law rather than to the trial of cases in
the courts. He enjoys a large and lucrative practice.
Mr. Wilcox has never had any aspirations
in the direction of office holding, and many phases of political
life are particularly distasteful to him. Independence has been
his watchword from the start, and the independent movement in national
politics beginning in 1884, appealed most strongly to him, and had
his heartiest sympathy and support. He was a leader of the movement
in his part of the state.
Outside of politics, also, Mr. Wilcox
has labored energetically for the cause of reform. The Buffalo Charity
Organization Society—an association which has been the forerunner
of many similar societies in the country, and which is founded on
the principle that the best way to aid the poor is to help them
to  help themselves—counted
him among its first and most active members. The unqualified success
of this practical charity owes not a little to his energy and devotion
to its interests.
In the social life of Buffalo Mr.
Wilcox has been conspicuous. He is a prominent member of the Buffalo
Club, and was its president in 1893; and he has taken a more or
less active part in many societies, both social and charitable,
of his city. For ten years he has regularly delivered a course of
lectures at the University of Buffalo, where he has the professorship
of medical jurisprudence. While in college and in the early years
after graduation, Mr. Wilcox wrote several magazine articles; but
in recent times he has found little leisure for purely literary
PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY—Ansley Wilcox
was born at Summerville, Ga., January 27, 1856; prepared for college
at Hopkins Grammar School, New Haven, Conn., and graduated from
Yale College in 1874; studied at University College, Oxford, England,
1875-76; was admitted to the bar in 1878; married Cornelia C. Rumsey
of Buffalo January 17, 1878, and her sister, Mary Grace Rumsey,
November 20, 1883; was in the firm of Crowley, Movius & Wilcox,
1882-83, in that of Allen, Movius & Wilcox, 1883-92, and in that
of Movius & Wilcox, 1892-93, has been associated with Worthington
C. Miner since early in 1894.