He attended the district schools and worked in a woolen factory. In 1854, he began to study law with Hiram Gardner in Lockport, New York, and attended Albany Law School for a few months.
He was admitted to the bar in December 1855, and commenced practice in Lowville in 1856. He was District Attorney of Lewis County, New York from 1857 to 1859. And Judge of the Lewis County Court from 1860 to 1863.
In 1861, he helped to raise and organize, and became lieutenant colonel of, the 1st New York Light Artillery Regiment, and fought with the Army of the Potomac until 1862.
He was again District Attorney of Lewis County from 1871 to 1873. In 1881, he was elected a Regent of the University of the State of New New York
He died on February 6, 1911 in Lowville, New New York
He was a member of the New York State Senate (18th Doctorate) in 1878 and 1879.