#5 The Honorable Nathan D. Lapham

Nathan D. Lapham was born in Macedon, Wayne County, NY on November 14, 1871. His father was a prosperous farmer and local politician. He graduated from Macedon Academy and Cornell Law School, and was admitted to the bar on December 26, 1895. For two years he practiced law in Lyons, NY with Clyde Knapp, following which he practiced alone for seven years. In 1904 he moved to Geneva, NY where he practiced trail law in partnership until 1937.

Lapham was active in the Republican Party in both Wayne and Ontario County. His first political office was a two year appointment as clerk of the Wayne County Board of Supervisors. In Ontario County, he held office as Geneva city Attorney from 1912 to 1916, being appointed District Attorney in the latter year. He was elected seven times to his post, holding office from 1916 to 1930 and again from 1932 to he close of 1937. In his last year, he was elected to the supreme Court from the Seventh District, defeating interim incumbent, James P. B. Duffy. He presided until his mandatory retirement at the close of 1941, also serving on the Governor’s Crime Commission. Following his departure from the bench, he function as an Official Referee for sixteen years, eventually resigning due to health troubles. He died in Geneva on May 5, 1958.

Justice Nathan D. Lapham served as Council president for many years. Justice Lapham also served the Council as a member of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America in the capacity, of representative of the Finger Lakes Council. Justice Lapham also served as chairman of the committee on special contributions. which was instrumental in securing the necessary funds for the development of the new Scout Camp Babcock-Hovey

(Complied in Part by Rob Cunningham, a member the Seneca Waterways Historical Society )

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