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Source: New-York Tribune
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “The President’s Host”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: New York, New York
Date of publication: 12 September 1901
Volume number: 61
Issue number: 20024
Pagination: 2

“The President’s Host.” New-York Tribune 12 Sept. 1901 v61n20024: p. 2.
full text
John G. Milburn; Milburn family.
Named persons
William Jennings Bryan; David Bennett Hill; William McKinley; Devereux Milburn; John G. Milburn; John G. Milburn, Jr.; Joseph A. Milburn; Mary Milburn; Ralph Milburn; Edward Oliver Wolcott.


The President’s Host



     Buffalo, Sept. 11 (Special).—The name of John George Milburn, in whose beautiful home the wounded President is lying, has within the last ten days become known in every quarter of the globe where there is sympathy or anxiety for William McKinley. It is something that Mr. Milburn would not have sought or desired under ordinary circumstances, for he has always disliked everything that approached parade and notoriety, and has never put himself in the way of public applause.
     For twenty years or more John G. Milburn has been known as one of the ablest lawyers in the Western part of the State. In Buffalo he has belonged to that class of men who do not intrude themselves into public matters, but whose opinions, when given, count for much—the sort of man whom the newspaper reporters fly to when the soundest judgment upon the gravest affairs is to be had. When the business men [sic] of Buffalo decided to build the Pan-American Exposition it was this sort of man they wanted at the head of the great undertaking, and they selected John G. Milburn because he was a giant intellectually, a gentleman always, and honest beyond the suspicion of any man’s doubt.
     By birth he is an Englishman. He was born in the North of England fifty years ago, and started in life as a mechanical engineer, a profession in which his father gained considerable prominence as the builder of the high level bridge at Berwick-on-Tweed, the Tyne docks at Newcastle, and other works. But young Milburn had made up his mind early in life that he wanted to be a lawyer, and, taking hasty [and?] unexpected leave of the draughting room, he [sailed?] for America in 1869, and soon found an opportunity to study law in the office of Wakeman & Watson, at Batavia, N. Y. In 1873, after four years of the most laborious preparation, he passed the bar examination, but was not permitted to practise because it was discovered that he had not been in the country long enough to gain citizenship. His case was taken up by a number of influential men in the State, and a bill was introduced in the legislature to waive his alienage and give him the privileges of full citizenship. The introduction of the bill aroused intense opposition, and, after a protracted storm of anti-British oratory in the Senate the measure was passed and became Chapter 7 of the Laws of 1874. Thus it is that this alien is to-day repaying the efforts of those who aided in making him a citizen by the tenderest care of the nation’s chief ruler that human hands could bestow.
     In appearance he is a type of the sturdiest manhood, both physically and intellectually. He is six feet tall, well proportioned, with broad, regular features and the impress of character and determination upon every line. His manner is pleasant and cordial always, with a style of candor and deliberation that adds much to his force as a speaker, whether in serious argument or in lighter vein. As a public speaker he has enjoyed great popularity for years, and is usually chosen for the most conspicuous duties of this character at all important affairs in Buffalo.
     As a lawyer he has for the last fifteen years been a member of the firm of Rogers, Locke & Milburn, the leading law firm in Buffalo, and has been retained in most of the important civil cases in the local courts in the last decade. He was within the last year retained by the defence to argue the appeal in the Molineux case, and he made a powerful argument for his client against David B. Hill, who appeared in the case for the District Attorney of New-York.
     In politics he is an old style Democrat and supported McKinley each time he was a candidate against William J. Bryan. But he has never sought or accepted political honors. There has never been a time in ten years past when John G. Milburn could not have had almost any honor of a political character that the city or county could have given, but he seems without ambition in that direction.
     Although a man capable of great achievement and a hard worker always, yet he has the sublime faculty of taking life easy, and no matter how many the burdens upon his shoulders, or how great the mountains of work before him, he never fails to find time for a pleasant, deliberate word with the man who drops in upon him. His beautiful home at No. 1,168 Delaware-ave., is a palace wherein there is ever good fellowship and a hearty welcome for him who enters. Often it is a workshop of the busiest sort, but always it is John G. Milburn’s home, and that means it is a place where whole souled hospitality belongs with the atmosphere.
     Nor is he alone the maker of the atmosphere of hospitality in the Delaware-ave. home. Mrs. Milburn is a woman of the kindliest disposition, and has much of her husband’s sturdiness of character. They have three sons, John George, jr. [sic], and Devereux, who are in Oxford University, England, and Ralph, who is much younger. The Milburn home is situated in one of the most delightful sections of Buffalo, on a broad avenue, where the morning sun and the fresh air from the park reach it unobstructed, and in all the land the unfortunate President could not have fallen in a spot where his every need would have been more carefully supplied.
     Never but once since his coming to America has Mr. Milburn had his residence outside of Western New-York. Shortly after being admitted to the bar he went to Denver, Col., where he formed a law partnership with United States Senator Edward Wolcott, but he did not like the West, and after a year’s residence in Denver returned to Buffalo, where he has since lived.
     Like their father, his sons are big, manly fellows, and in the last year the newspapers of the United States have told some gratifying things about the achievements of the Milburn boys in the athletic contests at old Oxford. The good work of his boys is a matter of considerable gratification to Mr. Milburn, and, added to his pride as a father is also the pride that his boys are Americans, and as such have won their laurels.
     John G. Milburn came to America a poor boy, and the success he has achieved has been due wholly to his own industry and strength of character. After he had begun to make some headway as a lawyer in Buffalo he sent for his younger brother, Joseph, in England, and started him on the road to the legal profession. But Joseph did not take easily to the law, and, turning his mind to more serious things, studied for the ministry and is now a successful pastor of a church in Chicago.



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