Francis Whiting Halsey (Cornell University Class of 1873) was born in Unadilla, New York on October 15, 1851, and was the son of Dr. Gaius L. Halsey, a prominent Civil War physician and surgeon. Francis Halsey held editorial positions with the
Binghamton Times, the New York Tribune, and, from 1880-1922, the New York Times, where he established the Times Review of Books in 1896. He wrote or edited a number of books, including The Old New York Frontier, The Pioneers of Unadilla Village, The World's Famous Orations (with William Jennings Bryan), and The Best of the World's Classics (with Senator Henry Cabot Lodge). He was a trustee of the New York State Historical Association and the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, and a member of the American Historical Association, New York State Library Association, and Cornell University Club, of which he was president in 1882. In 1883 he married Virginia Isabel Forbes, who died in 1900. Francis' brother, Frederick Arthur Halsey (Cornell University
M.E. 1878), was an engineer and author of a number of articles and books about engineering, particularly concerning the metric system. He was for a time the editor of the American Machinist. Marion S. Halsey and Olga S. Halsey were Frederick A. Halsey's daughters.