William Warner was known as the "Father of Canarsie" and even as the "Founder of Canarsie". He came to Canarsie in 1851. He worked as Conductor and Foreman of the East New York Railroad from 1859 until 1871. In 1870 he became Superintendent of that railroad. In 1867 he also became Superintendent of the Brooklyn, Flatbush and Coney Island Railroad Company. Warner invested his monies right into Canarsie. He had the foresight and believed that Canarsie shore could become a big resort town. His faith in this belief caused him to focus all of his power to forward Canarsies advancement. He helped to establish and build the Brooklyn and Rockaway beach Railroad, as superintendent, it later became known as the Canarsie line. He was bought out in 1890 by the Kings County Railway Company, continued to work for them and finally retired in 1898. He built 2 hotels and operated 2 steamboats including the Canarsie and Bergen Beach ferry in 1908. Warner always invested in Canarsie because he believed in Canarsie. In 1913 he was awarded a loving cup, 20 inches in height, by the entire Canarsie community as a thank you for all of his efforts. He died in December of 1920 at the age of 85. His home was located at 1496 East 95th St.
Dr. Curtis R. Estabrook had a long career of mercy and charity. Dr. Estabrook was known amongst the poor for his donations of coal and food. He even donated stoves. The Doctor moved from Wisconsin to New York where he studied at Bellevue hospital. He then practiced at Charity Hospital, located at Blackwell's Island, (now known as Roosevelt Island). He then went to practice his craft for 10 years in Mexico. He then returned and purchased his lot in Canarsie in 1891. Residents were so appreciative of him that many often wondered, "What would the people of Canarsie do if Dr. Estabrook were to leave us?" When he died in January of 1923, residents made plans to change the name of Canarsie to Estabrook in his honor. He lived at 9402 Flatlands Ave.
Adam Stahle wore many hats. he was president of the Canarsie Board of Trade, 3rd Vice President and Director of the Canarsie State Bank. He urged the commissioner for improvements to the BRT transit system, pushed the city to have sewers put in, improve sidewalks and school buildings. Stahle owned the Diamond Point hotel and Pier which appeared in many Canarsie tourism postcards, he also owned a restaurant in Canarsie. In 1918 Stahle was President of the Canarsie Shore Business Men's League, where he fought for improvement of the B.R.T. elevated service and operating conditions to Canarsie. He also lobbied for more trains. In 1909 Stahle held military memorial services at his recreation pier, where he honored unknown sailors from 1861 to 1869. In 1918 he fought in the courts to keep Jamaica Bay clean from the Beckers Aniline dye company. His home was the current Seddio Christmas house on Flatlands Ave. He is believed to have died in 1961.
Paul Goetz was not in Canarsie for a long time, (13 yrs.), but when he came, he hit the ground running. He arrived in 1926 from Manhattan and quickly began civic work. He organized and became president of the Canarsie Chamber of Commerce after joining the Business Men's League. He was the Executive secretary of the Canarsie Civic council, member of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and worked for the Civic council of Brooklyn. He fought for improvements of the baseball fields, added traffic lights and the chlorination of the waters in the vicinity of Canarsie. In 1927 Goetz was honored by the Canarsie Chamber of Commerce at the Arcadia Hall where 500 people attended. He was presented with a loving cup. He worked as a real estate appraiser for the Bureau of Street Openings, working under Major LaGuardia. He was also an executive member of the Amersfort Democratic club, (the precursor to the TJ club). He was also the director of the Canarsie Jewish Center. For many years, several residents wanted to change the name of Canarsie to "Lindport", in honor of Charles Lindbergh. Goetz opposed it and was able to keep the centuries old Canarsie name and retain it's historic value within the community. In 1933 Goetz welcomed guest of Honor, Hall of Famer: Babe Ruth to the American Legion. The visit was made in support of Canarsies Semi-Pro Baseball team. Goetz lived at 9502 Farragut road. He died on October 17, 1939 succumbing to injuries he suffered from an automobile accident on October 9th, a few weeks earlier.
Richard V. Remsen, Richard was the clerk for the Town of Flatlands. He also served as Postmaster. Remsen invested in the town, not only as a civil servant but by building the large Empire Hotel by the shore. He also served as the shore inspector. He served as a volunteer firemen for Flatlands, was active in local politics, working with Senator McCarren on several issues. He was active in the local 20th Assembly Democratic club and was a member of St. Albans church on Farragut Road. He was born in New lots Brooklyn in 1864 and died in June of 1919.
Honorable William R. Wilson was a lawyer, (Asst. Corp. Council), and Judge. He was known for his down to earth, good nature and willingness to participate in civic and social events. In 1909 , on behalf of the Canarsie Board of Trade, he demanded Brooklyn Union Gas to lay pipes for homes in Canarsie. He appealed to the Public Service Commission for an order directing the company to begin laying gas pipes. He was part of the Canarsie Wheelmen, a bicycle club that presented races which involved all residents. He also dressed as Santa Claus during the holidays for the local kids. He was also part of the local Canarsie baseball club, where he played versus other Brooklyn neighborhoods and represented community pride during each season. In 1914 Wilson represented the Canarsie Board of Trade in presenting a sewage disposal system to clean up Jamaica Bay. In 1915 he was part of the committee that successfully helped to establish the Civil war monument in Canarsie cemetery. During the war effort Wilson was selected as the Honorary Chairmanship of Draft Board 147, where besides fundraising he organized a house to house canvass representing many organizations and organized a parade to celebrate the funds raised. By 1938 he worked on expanding the highway and preserving partial land from Golden City Park into what would become Canarsie Beach Park. On November 7th, 1939, the democrats swept the Burroughs by all winning on the democratic ticket and Wilson won his Supreme Court Judicial seat. In 1943 Wilson was chosen as Chairman of the Canarsie district in charge of raising funds for the war effort. Wilson passed away in 1963 and lived at 1372 East 92nd street in Canarsie..
Judge John C. Matthews was a lifelong Canarsien, whose father was one of the original baymen in the 1840's. J.C. became a judge around 1888. He fought to keep unscrupulous businessmen from ripping off residents for land. He helped push for streets being paved. He also used the laws to keep the city from taking Canarsie Oyster beds that had already belonged to residents. He was chairmen of the local school board. He was a also a member of the Flatlands Volunteer Fire Department. He was an honorary member of the Canarsie Council. He died in July of 1918
Theresa Scalise was a living legend who first came to Canarsie in 1949. She was the vice president of the Holy Family school PTA, a former member of the Midget Yacht Squadron and Order of the Sons of Italy. She has been a pioneer in Canarsie civics who set in place many of the current standards that we take for granted today. Along with her husband; Dr. Salvatore Scalise, whom she freely assisted in helping hundreds of hurt and sick Canarsiens and Brooklynites, Scalise also assisted Italians in Corona, Queens by translating documents and serviced as a notary public. She was a friend and generous to many and gave so much of herself to the community. Scalise worked as a proofreader for The New York Journal-American newspaper, and was also a pinup girl for the same paper. Born in 1916 at 15 Morton Street in Manhattan and raised in Corona, Queens, N.Y., she passed away at her Canarsie home at 105 years of age on February 27th, 2022
Arthur G. Morris. Morris was for many years known as the "Mayor of Canarsie". For many years, he gave a party for the children of Canarsie and Barren Island at Golden city amusement park in Canarsie. The children of P.S 120, P.S. 114 and 115 as well as their parents were invited to a chartered boat and excursion. He was president of the Sands Bay Improvement Association and helped develop the Sands Bay section of Canarsie into a thriving community. He sat on many committees and fought for transportation improvements. By 1914, he was able to have Canarsie patrolled by policemen at night and in order to secure the Canarsie resorts, had 27 officers; who were scattered throughout the resort in the summertime and for the Spring Mardi Gras event he implemented. This event brought 90,000 people to enjoy Canarsie festivities when its population was only about 3,000. Regarding infrastructure, he had lights installed along the main streets and had streets repaired. He also had 50 trees planted through Canarsie park and had additional benches placed. He was secretary of the Business Men's league and Commodore of the Independent Yacht Club. He was also a member of the Euclid lodge F & A.M. and a former 13th and 47th regiment military member. He died at the age of 63 in May of 1932.
Honorable Frank R. Seddio, is a life long member of Canarsie. Frank's long resume is reminiscent of the old New Yorkers that made the City great through innovative ideas, making a difference in the community they grew up in and a passion for people. Seddio has done exactly that. The Seddio family first came to Canarsie in 1919. Seddio began his community work as a member of the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal organization dedicated to charitable works. He was elected as the youngest Grand Knight (President) of the organization at the age of 28. Seddio founded many organizations and groups that benefited the community including: (President of the) Canarsie Volunteer Ambulance Corps, (President of the) East 90's Community Association, (founder of the) Canarsie Brotherhood Service, the Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corps , the District Manager of Community Board 18, the Chairman of Community Board 18 and member of Community School Board 18 representing Canarsie Schools. Seddio also became a policeman in 1967, serving the city for 23 years. As District Manager, Seddio took on some of the most important projects in the communities the board served. He was responsible to the creation of the Salt Marsh Conservation site at Avenue U and East 37th Street. Working with the Marine Park Civic Association he put together the plans for the new Park House and Senior Center as well as the reconstruction of the Bocce Courts and Playgrounds in Marine Park. He worked on the plans for the Flatlands Pumping station at Ralph Avenue, the development of the Cricket fields in Canarsie and the reconstruction of Seaview Park. He has worked to improve the services of all the City Agencies in our community. On the political side, Frank Seddio was elected to the New York State Assembly in the 59th Assembly District in 1998. His efforts in Albany helped to enact pension reform for our City and State. Among his many accomplishments in the legislature Frank was credited with insuring that the necessary funds for the reconstruction of the Belt Parkway and for the Water Treatment Plant were made available. Seddio was elected as Surrogate Judge of Kings County in 2005. In 2010, Seddio was elected as the Democratic District Leader for the 59th AD. Frank Seddio was elected as the Chairman of the Kings County Democratic Party on September 19th, 2012. In 2016 Seddio was sworn in as the 101st President of the Brooklyn Bar Association. Each Christmas season, for 25 years, Frank's house on the corner of East 93rd Street and Flatlands Avenue has been the center of attention as he and his family members spread Christmas cheer with this Holiday tradition of animatronics and vintage decor. Although Seddio had been awarded countless, well deserved awards, plaques and commended for his above reproach community involvement and service, one award that is very significant was his prestigious Columbian Lawyers Association's Charles A. Rapollo and Justice Antonin Scalia Award. The Mayor of New York presented this award at the historic Waldorf Astoria in New York. For those that may not know, this award is considered the Academy Award for the New York legal profession.