Fentonville native Reuben E. Fenton an NY Congressman and two-term Governor was known as the "Soldiers Friend". Fenton's first act as a US Congressman was to introduce a bill to grant relief to surviving invalids of the Revolution and War of 1812. His strong interest in the welfare of the American soldier would dominate his political career as the nation moved to the Civil War.
The New York Soldiers’ Aid Society, in recognition of his services, elected him its president. Within a few months after the election, the War ended and disbanded regiments began coming home. In a formal proclamation on the occasion of the presentation of the regimental flags to the Governor, Fenton welcomed the men home by saying, “Soldiers, your state thanks you and gives you pledge of her lasting gratitude. You have elevated her dignity, brightened her renown, and enriched her history. The people will regard with jealous pride your welfare and honor, not forgetting the widow, the fatherless, and those who were dependent upon the fallen hero.”
Courtesy of the Fenton History Center, Jamestown, NY, 2013.
For further information, consult the Fenton History Center and its website.