History of the Firm
Sayles & Evans traces its origins to the 1875 partnership of John A. Reynolds and Frederick Collin, soon joined by John B. Stanchfield in the firm of Reynolds, Stanchfield & Collin. Through the years, the firm's name has changed to Stanchfield, Lovell, Falck & Sayles; then Sayles, Collin, Flannery & Evans; and from 1958 through 2000, Sayles, Evans, Brayton, Palmer & Tifft. Its founding partners were active in the legal and political affairs of the state, with Frederick Collin having served on the New York Court of Appeals from 1910 to 1920 and John B. Stanchfield having been the Democratic candidate for governor in 1900. Stanchfield later became a partner of the New York City firm of Chadbourne, Stanchfield & Levy where he was recognized as one of the foremost trial lawyers in America.
Alexander Falck served with the firm from 1901 to 1918, when he left to become an officer of Corning Glass Works. He served as president of that company from 1920 to 1928 and chairman of the board from 1929 to 1941. Halsey Sayles was active in the firm from 1905 until his death in 1958. Perhaps the last of the general practitioners, he handled both litigation and corporate work and served as a director of Corning Glass Works, American LaFrance, Chemung Canal Trust Company, Arnot Ogden Memorial Hospital, and the Delaware Lackawana & Western Railroad Company. More recent partners such as Charles L. Brayton, William E. Palmer, Bela Tifft, Kenneth Tifft, and Edward B. Hoffman were instrumental in the affairs of Hardinge Incorporated, The Hilliard Corporation, Watkins Salt Company, Schweizer Aircraft Corporation, and Arnot Ogden Medical Center.
Over the 130-plus years of its existence, the firm has been deeply involved in the cultural and charitable affairs of the community, with its partners providing legal advice and leadership to such diverse organizations as the Arnot Art Museum, the Clemens Center, Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Tanglewood Nature Center, Steele Memorial Library, Elmira College, the Chemung County Historical Society, Southern Tier Economic Growth, and the Community Foundation of the Elmira Corning Area.