People of Ontario County: Cora A. Wilder

Wilder as a young woman

Cora A. Wilder was born in Victor, NY on August 8th, 1858 to Jabez and Sarah M. Wilder. Cora was educated in Victor, and attended seminary school in Rochester. She lived with her parents on High St. in Victor until their deaths. 

Wilder’s office inside the Ontario County Courthouse

Under Ontario County Clerk Bolivar Ellis’s administration, Cora was hired in the county clerk’s office where she remained for several administrations. Twice she was candidate for county clerk on the Democratic ticket.

She later became an associate of W.G. Lightfoote’s abstract and title company where she worked until her death on March 2nd, 1922.

She was described as a prominent Victor resident, and devoted member of St. Paul’s Universalist church in Victor. She was superintendent of the church’s Sunday School, and president of the missionary society that was later named in her honor.

Wilder with her cat at home

Her obituary describes her as a “woman of sterling character, decided in her opinions, faithful and painstaking in the performance of any duty, and kind hearted and thoughtful in her relations to her fellows.” Attendance at St. Paul’s for her funeral was described as crowded with “those who were fortunate enough to count her as their friend.”

In 1928, St. Paul’s was sold to the local Masonic Lodge, and in 2008 to the Whitestone Christian Fellowship Church.

Wilder farmhouse on High St. in Victor