Oswego County's: Guide To Government

Thaddeus Sweet

Hon. Thaddeus C. Sweet. - In the death of Thaddeus C. Sweet, on May 1, 1928, as the result of an airplane crash at Whitney Point, N. Y., the State of New York lost one of its eminent citizens and public office holders. He was elected to the New York State Assembly, and served from 1910 until 1920 and as a speaker from 1914 to 1920 inclusive. He was elected as a Republican to the Sixty Eighth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Luther W. Mott, and reelected to the Sixty Ninth and Seventieth Congresses, and served from Nov. 6, 1923, until the time of his death.

Thaddeus C. Sweet was born at Phoenix, Oswego County, Nov. 16, 1872, the son of Anthony Wayne and Sarah Elizabeth (Campbell) Sweet. The father was a native of Clay, Onondaga County, N. Y.

After his graduation from Phoenix Academy and the high school, Thaddeus C. Sweet entered business and for two years was a traveling salesman. He was town clerk of Phoenix from 1896 until 1899. In 1895 he became interested in the manufacture of paper, and became head of the company which bears his name, being associated with his brother, the late K. N. Sweet. The business flourished and Mr. Sweet also gained other holdings in the paper industry. He was chairman of the board of directors of the Oswego County Trust Company.

In recent years, Mr. Sweet had become enthusiastic about aviation and his interest in flying had made him popular with army flyers in Washington. He had been a guest on a flight with Colonel Charles Lindbergh shorty before the colonel's flight into Mexico. Congressman Sweet had accepted an invitation to participate in a celebration which was to have marked the beginning of operations of the municipal hydro electric plant at Dam No. 6 in the Oswego River, and being detained in Washington, he decided the last minute to make the trip to Oswego by air. It was during the flight that the biplane crashed in a severe storm at Whitney Point, N. Y., and Congressman Sweet was killed instantly.

Mr. Sweet was also president of the Asphalt Products Company, Inc., of Syracuse, and at the time of his death was engaged in organizing a corporation for the operation of a plant in New York City for the finishing of paper, this plant to be used in converting the product of the Phoenix mill into tissue paper of various qualities. He was also a member of a large syndicate of New York men interested in Florida real estate.

Mr. Sweet is survived by his widow, Mrs. Lena McCarthy Sweet, whom he married in 1894; two sons, Richard W. Sweet, who is now at the head of the Sweet Bros. Paper Company, Inc.; and Berton W. Sweet. Two daughters are: Mrs. Vera Schultz; and Miss Ruth Sweet, both of Phoenix.

Fraternally, Mr. Sweet held membership in Callimachus Lodge F. & A. M. No. 369; Oswego River Chapter R. A. M. No. 270; Ontario Cornmandery; Media Temple, Watertown; and B. P. O. Elks. He was an ardent sportsman, and spent much of his leisure time in hunting and fishing. He had a fine hunting lodge in the Adirondacks and lived with his family in Phoenix.

The name of Thaddeus C. Sweet is perpetuated in his home village of Phoenix by a memorial building which is used for administrative purposes. The edifice is of early American design, with simple but strong lines, and was built at a cost of upwards of $100,000.

One of the most outstanding characteristics of Mr. Sweet was his devotion to duty. Coupled with this was modesty and personal charm. Another of his assets was his willingness to serve. No public man of his day served more zealously or more willingly for his constituents. He threw into all his affairs his vitality in endeavoring to serve those whom he represented. Hips rise in Congress was phenomenal, and at his death, after only five years of service he was a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee.