Stranahan, James Samuel Thomas
- Edward L. Lach, Jr.
Stranahan, James Samuel Thomas (25 April 1808–03 September 1898), capitalist and civic leader, was born in Peterboro, Madison County, New York, the son of Samuel Stranahan and Lynda Josselyn, farmers. As a child he attended local district schools and worked on the family farm. Following the death of his father when James was eight, his mother remarried another farmer, John Downer, and James spent the final years of his youth on his stepfather’s farm. Although the details of his next few years are uncertain, it is known that he taught in local schools and spent a year in study at Cazenovia Seminary. After gaining some knowledge of land surveying, he worked in that occupation for a period of time. Following an abortive 1828 trip to Michigan, where he attempted to enter the fur-trading business, Stranahan returned to New York and entered the wool business in Albany....