Dexter P. Rumsey

Dexter P. Rumsey (1827-1906), a native of Westfield, NY, came to Buffalo in 1831. His father and family relocated to their new home in order to establish a tannery operation. Eventually, that establishment was operated by Rumsey along with his his older brother, Bronson C. Rumsey. He also invested considerably in real estate, with a particular focus in the northern areas of the city. Rumsey was involved in early Buffalo banking as a director of the Erie County Savings Bank. He was a significant figure in Buffalo’s social life, and not just in its financial and industrial aspects. He was a president of the exclusive Buffalo Club, and a member of the Buffalo Country Club. He was a significant supporter of the Buffalo Fresh Air Mission. He was also an original trustee of the Buffalo City Cemetery, formed in 1864, which established and still operates Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Rumsey was a principal in the organization of the residential developments which commissioned Frederick Law Olmsted to prepare the Parkside community designs. He also owned a significant tract of land on the south side of The Park. Mr. Rumsey died on 5 April, 1906. The month after to his death, his widow, Mrs. Susan Fiske Rumsey and his daughter, Mrs. Grace Rumsey Wilcox, made a gift to the city of seven acres of that land adjacent to Lincoln parkway and the main park entrance. The parcel encompassed a particularly fine stand of quality trees. It formed a welcome addition to Delaware Park and also provided the right of way for Rumsey Road, a new street which formed the new southern border for the park. The colloquial name of the that area of the park, Rumsey Woods, commemorates the gift and Mr. Rumsey’s service to the city of Buffalo.