Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dempster Nation Guinnip (1838-1931)

Dempster Nation Guinnip, from the Elmira Star Gazette, Dec. 11, 1929.

    A figure of distinction in the town of Spencer, New York, Dempster Nation Gunnip lived to the ripe old age of 92 and during his long life was active in a number of different areas in that town, serving as a member of the town Board of Education, township assessor and Overseer of the Poor. In 1896 he was elected as Village President of Spencer and would serve a one year term in that office.
   Born on December 1, 1838 in the Tompkins County, New York town of Dryden, Dempster Nation Guinnip was the son of George (1811-1891) and Laura Guinnip (1813-1887). Being the son of a successful cabinet maker and painter, young Dempster would study those trades under the tutelage of his father and after removing to Spencer with his family attended that village's "Old Red School House."
    In 1861 Guinnip married Mary A. Bell (184-1896) and later had one daughter, Helen. For over fifty years afterward Guinnip continued work as a house and carriage painter and maintained a fifty-plus year membership on the Evergreen Cemetery Board in Spencer. Gunnip would also occupy several important local political offices in Spencer, including that of Town Assessor, Inspector of Elections and was secretary of the Spencer Board of Education for over twenty years.
    Noted as being "one of the firmest republicans in the village", Dempster Gunnip was elected as Spencer's Village President in 1896 and served one term (1896-97). He continued to take an active role in Spencer civic affairs well into his nineties, serving as Town Overseer of the Poor and in February 1929 was elected as Secretary of the Evergreen Cemetery, having celebrated his 90th birthday the previous December. Widowed in 1896, Dempster Gunnip died at age 92 on March 20, 1931 and was interred alongside his wife at the Evergreen Cemetery.

From the Elmira Star Gazette, December 18, 1928.

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