Samuel Wilkeson (Samuel Wilkeson)

Samuel Wilkeson

Samuel Wilkeson (1781–1848) was mayor of Buffalo, New York, serving 1836–1837. He was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania on June 1, 1781, a child of immigrants from Northern Ireland. Around 1802 he married Jane Oram and moved to Mahoning County, Ohio where he built a farm and the first grist mill in the area. He later married Sarah St. John and after her death Mary Peters. During the War of 1812 Wilkeson was asked to build a fleet of ships for the U.S. Army at Buffalo, brought his family there, and opened a general store. In 1815, he became the village’s first Justice of the Peace and later chosen as a village trustee. He was a member of the Buffalo Harbor Company that brought the terminus of the Erie Canal to Buffalo, versus its rival Black Rock. In the early 1820s, he led the project to improve the harbor to make it suitable as the canal terminus. In February 1821, Wilkeson was appointed First Judge of the Court of Common Pleas and held this position until 1824. In the early 1820s he went into partnership with Ebenezer Johnson in shipping and real estate enterprises, and once owned the land on which the Buffalo City Hall now stands. His later ventures included building the first steam boiler in Buffalo and operating foundries or factories in several areas of the city.

In 1822, Samuel Wilkeson was elected to the New York State Assembly and in 1824 was elected to the New York State Senate. In 1836, he was elected mayor of Buffalo. During his term he focused on law enforcement issues and presided over a city in the depths of a nationwide financial depression. After his term, in 1838, he became general agent of the American Colonization Society, who wanted to colonize African-Americans in Liberia. He died on July 7, 1848, on his way to visit his daughter who was now living in Tellico Plains, Tennessee. His body was brought back to Buffalo and buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

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  • 45243899_132867228318 -


  • June, 01, 1781
  • USA
  • Carlisle, Pennsylvania


  • July, 07, 1848
  • USA
  • Tellico Plains, Tennessee


  • Forest Lawn Cemetery
  • Buffalo, New York
  • USA

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