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Dexter Phelps Rumsey (1827-1906), a native of Westfield, NY, came to Buffalo in 1831 when his father and family relocated there to establish tannery operations. Eventually, that establishment was operated by Dexter and his older brother Bronson. He invested considerably in real estate, with a particular focus in the northern areas of the city, and was involved in early Buffalo banking. He was a significant figure in Buffalo social life, as well as in its financial and industrial aspects. He was a president of the exclusive Buffalo Club, a significant supporter of the Buffalo Fresh Air Mission, and an orginal trustee of the Buffalo City Cemetery, formed in 1864, which established and operates Forest Lawn cemetery.
He was a principal in the organization of the residential developments which commissioned Frederick Law Olmsted to prepare the Parkside community designs. He also owned a significant tract of land on the south side of The Park. Subsequent to his death, his widow made a gift to the city of seven acres of that land adjacent to Lincoln parkway as an addition to what was by then known as Delware Park and as Rumsey Road, forming a new southern border for the park. The colloquial name, Rumsey Woods, commemorates that gift.
Copyright 2010 Stanton M. Broderick
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