Schoharie County NYGenWeb Site

Notes on George H. Durand

Submitted by Colleen Mysliwiec

HON. GEORGE H. DURAND. It is always interesting to trace the small things that have had their influence in changing the channel of a man's life course. Our subject, besides his high standing as a lawyer, has as a sequence to that standing, attained a political prominence that would not have come to him had he adhered to his original intention, which was to be a farmer. His course in life was changed by the influence of a lawyer, who directed his attention to a book entitled "Cowen's Treatises," which so pleased the young man that he recognized his logical tendencies and determined to adopt the law as his profession.

Although known in divers and agreeable ways, perhaps more widely so as Past Grand Master of the Free and Accepted Masons of Michigan, his reputation as an able lawyer and one to whom statescraft is familiar, is widely extended throughout this State. That he stands high in the estimation of the people in his locality is shown by the fact that they have honored him with the highest office within the gift of his district. In 1875-76 he was elected member of Congress from the Sixth District, and his constituents were fully satisfied with the ability and dignity with which he presented their claims before the general representatives of the people.

Mr. Durand is one whose face is a mirror wherein is reflected a most pleasing frankness, open-heartedness and liberality, and his honesty has become proverbial. By the people of his immediate locality he has been elected to various high positions and has served as Mayor of the city. Having struggled hard for his position, he has risen to the top of the ladder and enjoys the rare confidence of his fellow-men. Mr. Durand was born in Cobleskill, Schoharie County, N. Y., February 21, 1838.

When a boy our subject went to Moorehouse, Hamilton County, N. Y., and lived in the inspiring altitude of the Adirondack Mountains from six until fourteen years of age, and thence went with his family to Livingston County, N. Y., where he was brought up on a farm near Mt. Morris. He attended the common schools and finished at Lima College, where he spent two terms and then engaged in teaching for one winter. Thinking to better his condition, in the fall of 1856 George H. Durand came to Michigan and in the spring of 1858 located in Flint. He at once began the study of law under Col. Fenton, but made his headquarters at Goodrich.

Our subject was admitted to practice at the Genesee County bar in 1858, when he located permanently in this city, and although his practice has bee large here it has not been confined to this point alone, but has extended throughout the State. Aside from his regular law practice, Mr. Durand has held numerous local offices as well as more exalted positions. As a lawyer he is recognized as able and painstaking, having a broad grasp of the philosophy of the law. He has been interested in many important cases which have shed lustre on the jurisprudence of the State. He has been Alderman and School Director, and was Mayor during the term of 1873-74, and in the last-named year was nominated member of Congress on the Democratic ticket. He held this position during 1875-76, and then retired in order to give his attention exclusively to the law. While in Congress he served as Chairman of the Committee on Commerce.

1892 Portrait & Biographical Album of Genesee, Lapeer & Tuscola Counties, in Michigan. Chapman Bros.

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