from Yaphank As It Is and Was
Edward Livingston Gerard.
Edward L. Gerard was born in Port Jefferson, March 11th, 1836. He came to Yaphank in 1842- when but six years old- and entered the family of his uncle, Hawkins Gerard.
He early evinced decided executive ability, and soon became manager of his uncle's business, and is his probable successor. While the giddy and gay were whirling their leisure hours in the mazy dance, or frequenting places of amusement, young Edward was poring over his books and storing up the knowledge that has proved so indispensable in his after life. Mr. Gerard began life with nothing but an honest purpose, an invincible will, and a kind uncle and aunt; but by his untiring energy and his thorough comprehension of the details of business. He has gained for himself an unquestionable business reputation. He is an industrious, hard working, public-spirited man, and has done much to improve Yaphank.
In the autumn of 1871, he was elected a superintendent of our county poor, in which capacity he reflects credit upon himself and his constituents.
Honorable as his record in business relations, it is as a Christian and neighbor that his name is cherished. He has long been a member of the Yaphank Presbyterian Church, and at the present writing officiates in thee following capacities: elder, trustee, organist and secretary. In the infancy of that enterprise, its prosperity enlisted his uncle's sympathy, prayers, and beneficence; while Edward, in its success and firm establishment, in the beautiful little house of worship, and under able pastors, greatly rejoiced.
He married in 1873, and decided to settle in Old Yaphank- a place made doubly dear to him by business success and friendship's sacred ties. Yaphank could ill afford to lose so honorable and enterprising a citizen as E. L. Gerard has ever shown himself to be.
Mr. Gerard possesses two peculiarities that won General Grant national fame. What he knows he uses practically, and for a purpose. He had chosen his calling, and mastered it. Like our illustrious President, he is not loquacious. What he says and does- is intended in strict conformity to honesty and honor.
He is a trifle below the average stature; slender in build, with a wide- awake, Yankee look and action. His prosperity is due to personal exertions; luck is limited attached to his success.
Men, who envy Mr. Gerard his sunshine, could never be induced to follow his clouds to acquire it. No man in the town works harder, or labors more hours than he. He is invariably at his business. Agreeable and accommodating, he deserves success.
When Robert Smith was nominated a Superintendent of our county poor against Mr. Gerard, he was universally considered the strongest and most influential candidate. Mr. Gerard's election annihilated all party fears, and he was has since grown stronger in public favor, for none doubted his business qualifications and veracity.
Mr. Smith's defeat- while it won Gerard victory- reflects no discredit on his individual ability and qualification. The political sea ebbed and flowed against him. Majority won, he lost the day.
Mr. Gerard is sometimes amusing, but never alluring; sometimes pleasant, never fascinating; often spicy, never satirical. He would be successful in any mercantile or commercial department. He would be prominent as a merchant, banker, or broker; but never as an orator or minister. He might become a second Stewart, but never a Spurgeon.
By strangers, Mr.Gerard is seldom deemed prepossessing. He
Is too tired unassuming and unpretentious to please the fancy world. Steady, honorable, not supercilious, nor ostentatious, he must be known to be appreciated. In consummation, he is neat, but not gaudy.
He has what wealth or position cannot buy a contented mind.
Dame Jenkins says, "A man is contented while fortune smiles." Oh, you cruel proverbial!
Mr.Gerard early took to beneficial study, and is considered as well informed in the current lore as the prevailing privileges allow.
Within the classical walls of the Miller's academy, Edward mastered the rudiments of a common education. Even in his early life no great cables circumferenced the earth with bonds of electricity, and no iron horses thundered over the land as at the present day, snorting their civilization and steam enterprise into the trackless forests. Railroads were in operation, but not extensively. Galvanic batteries seldom shocked the skeptical nerves, and no Grecian bends frightened the superstitious. Science had made but little progress, and was crudely original. Now, steam plows uproot the sod, and golden grains wave over the land where the original Americans slew the bison and built their wigwams but a little while ago. Thus E. L. Gerard acquired his education in an age-not over a quarter of a century ago-when science had not reached culmination we now enjoy; and arithmetic, writing, geography and spelling comprised the principal academic course.
Mr. Gerard is somewhat of a musician, and is regarded as good musical authority. He is ingenious, withal, and has produced articles possessing mechanical excellence.