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Westchester CounW^ New York : bioaraphi 

3 1924 028 835 234 
olln Overs 

Cornell University 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

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the United States on the use of the text. 







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Westchester County 











This volume is issued in connection with the " History of West- 
chester County, New York, from Its Earhest Settlement to the Year 
1900, by Frederic Shonnard and W. W. Spooner," as the biographical 
department of that work. The portraits are reproductions, engravings, 
or prints from photographs or plates furnished by the individuals 
concerned, or their families. 



|AEING, JOHN THOMAS, mamifacturer and old citizen of 
Yonkers, was born in the town of Southeast, Putnam 
County, N. Y., November 7, 1820. In the paternal line he is 
a descendant of Edmund Waring, who lived for a while on 
Long Island,and went from there to Norwalk,Oonn.,of which town he 
was one of the early settlers. He was a large landowner in Norwalk, 
and was among the first subscribers to Saint Paul's Episcopal Church 
of that place, and one of its vestrymen. About 1750 his descendant, 
John Waring, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, removed, with 
two of his brothers, from Norwalk to the Town of Southeast, in the 
then County of Dutchess (now Putnam), New York. He was twice 
married, and had nine children, of whom Peter, the father of John T., 
was the fourth. Peter Waring married Esther Crosby, daughter of 
Thomas Crosby and Hannah Snow. They had ten children — four sons 
and six daughters, John T. being their seventh child and third son. 
All the sons of this numerous family (Jarvis A., William C, John T., 
and Charles E.) became citizens ^f Yonkers, prominent and useful 
members of its business community. 

Through his mother, Esther Crosby, Mr. Waring traces his line to 
the Pilgrim fathers and to very early New England settlers. One 
of her forefathers was Stephen Hopkins, of the " Mayflower," the ninth 
signer of the " Compact," by virtue of which descent Mr. Waring 
was admitted to the Society of Mayflower Descendants as one of its 
first fifty members. The ancestor of the Crosby family in America 
was Simon Crosby, of Cambridge, Mass., who came to Boston in 1635, 
and was prominent as a religious teacher among the colonists at Ply- 
mouth. He was father of Rev. Thomas Crosby, one of the first grad- 
uates of Harvard College. 

The early boyhood of John T. Waring was spent at the home of his 
parents in Putnam County, under the loving influence and devoted 
care of a refined and conscientious mother. She died when he was 
only eleven years old; but her beautiful character left a strong impress 
upon his young life. 


In 1834, being then in Ms fourteenth year, he left home and came 
to Yonkers, entering the hat factory of his brother, William O. War- 
ing, which, under the name of Paddock & Waring, had been estab- 
lished in the spring of that year. William O. Waring had been m 
Yonkers for some six years, pursuing the hat manufacturing business 
with varying fortunes; and another brother, Jarvis A., had also pre-, 
ceded John to that village. With the firm of Paddock & Waring, and 
its successor, William O. Waring & Company, John continued until 
' 1849, during the last five years of the period as a partner. In 1849 he 
engaged in the manufacture of hats on his own account, buying the 
mills of his brother and enlarging them; and the career thus begun 
was continued with constantly increasing success until 1876. In that 
year the capital of his firm had grown to nearly a million dollars. But 
at this point he was overtaken by crushing reverses, and, in Septem- 
ber, 1876, he suffered business failure. Not daunted by these disasters,; 
however, he at once determined to rebuild his fortunes in a new field 
of enterprise, and, with his son Arthur, went to Massachusetts, and 
entered into a large contract with the State government for the em- 
ployment of its convict labor. Achieving marked success in this ven- 
ture, he returned to Yonkers in 1884, bought the property of the old 
" Starr Anns Works," on Vark Street, and resumed hat manufactur- 
ing on an extensive scale. The business has steadily prospered since,| 
and is now (1900) the largest in its line in the United States, some 
2,000 hands being employed in the works. 

Mr. Waring's business career has been characterized throughout 
by great energy, perfect mastery of all the details of hat manufacture 
and scrupulous attention to them, and alertness in foreseeing and 
adapting himself to the varying changes in th6 circumstances of this 
peculiar industry. He is himself the inventor of several important 
processes and improvements in hat-making. Much of the success that 
he has enjoyed, not only in his financial recuperation, but also in the 
revival of his manufacturing interests in Yonkers on a scale surpass- 
ing that attained during the former period, is due to the faithful and 
intelligent co-operation given him in all his undertakings by his son 

As a citizen of Yonkers he has always been one of the most con- 
spicuous, most earnest, and most generous in promoting its welfare 
and development both as a village and as a city. Alike in matters 
of financial, political, religious, charitable, and social concern or activ- 
ity, the influence of his moral encouragement and practical help has 
been felt for great good in many ways and upon many occasions. A 
striking instance of his public spirit was his action at the breaking 
out of the Eebellion in guaranteeing the support of the families of 


^'ly^lluA K.Rll'Me- 

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volunteers for the Union cause. At a public meeting to promote en- 
listments some misgi wrings were expressed as to whether the families 
of the enlisting men would be properly taken care of in their absence. 
Mr. Waring, being then president of the village, at once pledged his 
personal honor to that end, and Avith Mr. Ethan Flagg visited the 
families of the volunteers and arranged to pay them regular weekly 
allowances. This obligation he discharged out of his private means, 
being subsequently reimbursed by the village. 

The well-known " Greystone," where Samuel J. Tilden spent the 
last years of his life, was built by Mr. Waring in 1870. Upon this 
magnificent residence, with its grounds and improvements, he ex- 
pended nearly half a million of dollars. He occupied it with his fam- 
ily until forced by his reverses in business to dispose of it. In 1880 
he sold it to Mr. Tilden for |150,000. 

Ever since the formation of the Eepublican party Mr. Wearing has 
been an earnest supporter of the principles of that organization. His 
identification with it has always been strictly that of a private citizen, 
and he has never become a candidate for political oflEice. In the years 
1861 and 1862, however, he held the office of president of the village 
of Yonkers. 

He has at all times participated cordially and by liberal contribu- 
tions in the work of local organizations in Yonkers which exist for 
worthy charitable and similar objects. He is one of the leading sup- 
porters of the Club for Working Men, the Institute for Working 
Women, and Saint John's Hospital. He is also vice-president of the 
Young Men's Christian Association. For many years he has been a 
prominent member of Saint John's Episcopal Church; he was its senior 
warden for a long period, and treasurer of the vestry for five years. 

No Yonkers citizen of the last or the present generation will be re- 
membered with greater respect or higher appreciation than Mr. War- 
ing. His life of sixty-four years in that community has been wholly 
devoted to practical energies of eminent importance, usefulness, and 
success. The pre-eminence of the city as a center of the hat manufac- 
turing industry is more due to his efforts than to those of any other 
one man — which certainly is a moderate statement of the measure of 
his influence in this particular direction. And along all the lines of 
the city's better progress he has been for quite half a century the type 
of its most representative and valuable men. The lesson of his life is, 
moreover, an inspiration for honest endeavor and unfailing self-reli- 
ance and faith such as the examples of few careers afford. 

He was married, in 1850, to Jeanette Palmer Baldwin, daughter of 
Anson and Armenia (Palmer) Baldwin. Mr. Baldwin was a leading 
manufacturer and well-known citizen of Yonkers. Mrs. Waring dieid 


in April, 1899. The surviving children of Mr. and Mrs. Waring are 
Arthur (who married Maud Shaw) ; Grace (who married Louis Rob- 
erts, Jr.) ; John T., Jr.; Cornelia Baldwin (who married Jesse Hoyt) ; 
Pierre Crosby (whO' married Florence Cornelia Pell); Susan Baldwin; 
James Palmer (who married Margaret Hosea); and Janet. 

OFFIN, OWEN TEISTAM (born near the village of Mechanic, 
Town of Washington, Dutchess County, N. Y., July 17,1815; 
died at his residence in Peeliskill,this county, July 21,1899), 
was the son of Eobert and Magdalen (Bentley) Coffin. He 
was of the sixth generation in descent from Tristam Coffin, who emi- 
grated from Devonshire, England, about the middle of the seventeenth 
century and settled on the Island of Nantucket, of which he became 
one of the proprietors (owning one-tenth of it ) , and also the chief mag- 
istrate. Judge Coffin's mother was a daughter of Colonel Taber Bent- 
ley (a descendant of the family to which the famous Dr. Bentley be- 
longed), and a granddaughter of Colonel James Vanderburg, of the 
Eevolution. Eobert Coffin, the father of Judge Coffin, was a thrifty 
farmer, prominent in the affairs of his town, of which, he was a mag- 
istrate for many years, and represented the county in the Assembly. 
He had ten children, the subject of this sketch having been the seventh 
child and the fourth son. 

Owen T. Coffin attended the schools of his neighborhood and was pre- 
pared for college at the Sharon (Conn.) Academy and the Kinderhook 
Academy. In 1837 he was graduated at Union College in the same 
class with John K. Porter, after-U'ard the distinguished judge of the 
Court of Appeals, between whom and himself a friendship was formed 
which was never interrupted. He studied law in the office of Judge 
Eufus W. Peckham the elder, was admitted to the bar in 1840, and 
began practice at Carmel, Putnam County. In; 1842 he removed to 
Dutchess County, and in 1845 became a member of the law firm of 
Johnston, Coffin & Emott, of Poughkeepsie, in which Charles Johnston, 
ex-member of congress, and James Emott, afterward justice of the 
Supreme Court, were associated with him. Eetiring! from this firm, 
he formed a copartnership with General Leonard Maison, a well-known 
lawyer of Poughkeepsie, whose daughter he had married in 1842. 
During his residence in Poughkeepsie he held several positions of im- 
portance, including that of district attorney of the county. 

In 1851 he became a partner with Hon. W. Nelson and, his son 
W. E. Nelson, in the firm of Nelson & Coffin, at Peekskill. After nearly 


twenty years of successful practice at the Westchester County bar, in 
which he established a reputation as one of its leading and strongest 
members, he was elected, in 1870, surrogate of the county. In this 


office he continued for four successive terms, retiring on the 31st of 
December, 1894. His long service as surrogate of Westchester County 
was distinguished throughout by an exceptional capacity for the deli- 


eate duties of that responsible position. " Many of Ms judgments were 
carried to tlie highest court of the State and received its sanction, and 
many opinions in cases decided by him have been referred to as au- 
thority in other courts." 

Judge Coffin was one of the most prominent and respected citizens of 
Peelisldll. He took an especially warm interest in its educational mat- 
ters. For thirty years he was president of the board of trustees of 
the Peekskill Academy, and for a long period he was a member and 
warden of the Peekskill Episcopal Church. In 1889 he received frojT> 
Union College the degree of Doctor of Laws. 

He was twice married. His first wife, Belinda Emott Maison, whom 
he married in 1842, died in 1856. In 1858 he was married to Harriet 
Barlow, daughter of the late Dr. Samuel Barlow, and a sister of the 
late S. L. M. Barlow. 

^^^plOHNSON, ISAAC GALE, manufacturer, was bom in Troy, 
»;>ii^ffll:: -j^ Y.^ February 22, 1832, and died at his home in Spuyten 

Duyvil, June 3, 1899. Through both his parents, Elias J. 

and Laura (Gale) Johnson, he was descended from early 
New England families. His first American ancestor in the paternal line 
came from England, to Massachusetts, being one of three emigrant 
brothers, of whom one settled in the South and the other in the vicinity 
of the present City of Binghamton, N. Y., where that branch of the 
family has ever since continued. The paternal ancestors of Isaac G. 
Johnson were for a number of generations resident in Westfield, 
Mass. His grandfather, William Johnson, was one of the minute men 
of '76, and at the time of the battle of Bunker Hill started from West- 
field to join the patriot forces. On his mother's side also Mr. John- 
son comes from good Revolutionary stock. The Gales lived in Ben- 
nington, Vt., and were active and prominent throughout the struggle 
for American independence. 

Mr. Johnson's father, Elias Johnson (born in Westfield, Mass.), was 
for many years a citizen of Troy, N. Y., being the head of the large stove 
manufacturing firm of Johnson, Cox & Fuller. This was the first estab- 
lishment north of Philadelphia to manufacture the cupola furnace. 
During the Mexican War it was largely employed by the government 
on contracts for military supplies,, chiefiy shot and shell. In 1853 the 
firm removed to Spuyten Duyvil, where it acquired some 180 acres on 
the north side of Spuyten Duyvil Creek and built a foundry and stove 
factory. In 1856 (the firm style being at that time Johnson, Cox & Cam- 
eron) Elias J. Johnson sold out his interests, and the business was con- 


tinued by Oox, Eichardson & Boynton, who, however, failed in the finan- 
cial panic of 1857. Mr. Johnson, Sr., thereupon resumed the direction 
of its affairs under the firm name of Johnson & Cameron until the com- 
pletion of its liquidation. He died at Spuyten Duyvil in 1871. 

Isaac G. Johnson received a thorough educational training in civil 
engineering and the sciences, being graduated from the Eensselaer 
Polytechnic Institute (Troy, N. Y.), with the degree of Bachelor of 
Natural Sciences and Civil Engineer, in 1848. For a brief time after 
leaving school he was employed with his father's firm. He then went 
to Philadelphia and pursued studies in chemical analysis, also taking 
drawing lessons at the Franklin Institute. During this period he made 
various original experiments toward perfecting the processes for the 
manufacture of malleable iron. These were attended by highly satis- 
factory results, especially in the direction of devising means by which 
articles formerly made by the slow practice of forging could be pro- 
duced from cast iron. 

Deciding to engage in manufacturing enterprises on his own account, ' 
he came to Spuyten Duyvil in 1853, and with a Mr. Hutton, a pattern- 
maker, organized the firm of Johnson & Hutton and began to put into 
execution his new malleable iron processes. At the end of about a 
year Mr. Hutton retired. Thereafter Mr. Johnson pursued the busi- 
ness alone, under his individual name, until the present firm of Isaac G. 
Johnson & Company was organized. In this firm his five sons became 
associated with him. 

The Johnson F"oundry at Spuyten Duyvil is one of the particularly 
noted establishments of its kind in this country. It has long enjoyed a 
reputation for workmanship of an exceptionally superior order — ^the re- 
sults of great care in the selection of materials and skill in the prepara- 
tion of them by original secret processes. This reputation was estab- 
lished on a solid basis by the execution of important government work 
during the Civil War. A gun of a novel pattern having been designed 
by General Delafield, of the United States Army, a contract for its con-, 
struction was placed by the government with the Parrott Foundry, at 
Cold Springs; but the first piece turned out by that concern was a fail- 
ure, bursting after a few discharges. Meantime Mr. Johnson had offered 
to furnish the War Department four cannon of tliesame kind, war- 
ranting them to be serviceable for one thousand rounds each. This 
was accepted, and all the guns produced successfully performed the 
work required of them. Subsequently other guns were made by Mr. 
Johnson on government orders. He also manufactured shot and shell 
for the Parrott Company. 

About 1882 the Johnson Foundry began to turn its attention to the ' 
making of steel castings, a branch of manufacture which has since be^ 


come the most important department of its business. The general 
temdency in this line has always been to obtain a steel as nearly re- 
sembling wrought iron as possible, with the minimum amount of car- 
bon. On the other hand, the Johnson Foundry aims to get a casting 
with the maximum quantity of carbon, affording a greater elastic limit, 
increased strength, and sufficient elongation for all practical pur- 
poses. It thus furnishes a peculiar steel, markedly different from any 
made elsewhere. This very valuable product has entered extensively 
into breech mechanisms for guns. 

As the result of some exceedingly remarkable recent tests by the 
United States government, the Johnson Company has been shown to 
be at the head of all manufacturers of armor-piercing projectiles. Ever 
since the appearance of Harveyized armor there has been great rivalry 
among the makers of projectiles to produce a shot "which should com- 
bine the necessary toughness to enable it to split open the hardened 
face and hold together until it had wedged its way through the body 
of the plate itself." Mr. Johnson accomplished this, and "won the 
final victory in the long contest between shot and armor," by the simple, 
plan of placing a soft cap of steel over the point of the projectile to pro- 
tect it. The principle involved will be readily understood when it is 
explained that whereas a hard -pointed shell fired against a hard plate 
will naturally glance off, a soft-capped shot will at the moment of im- 
pact become fused by the heat of concussion, lubricating the point of 
the projectile as it enters, and thus cleave a way through, even though 
at an angle. The Johnson soft-capped shell (the shot proper being of 
peculiarly hard and tough composition, made by a secret process) has, 
indeed, penetrated every armor-plate against which it has been fired. 
In the notable tests, in the fall of 1896, of the turrets of the battleship 
"Massachusetts," an exact duplicate of the 15-inch turret was fired 
against. The first two shells (made by other manufacturers) indented 
the armor, but did not pass through it. 

The third shot was a Johnson fluid-compressed steel, armor-piercing shot, 12 inches in 
diameter. It carried a soft steel cap and weighed 851 pounds. It struck the plate at an 
angle of 21° from the normal, at a point about three feet from the top of the plate. It will 
be noticed that the angle of impact was very large, and when the shot struck the plate, in- 
stead of following the line of fire, it turned sharply to the right and passed entirely through 
the plate on a Ime nearly normal to its surface. The shot broke up in forcing its way 
through, the larger pieces going through the covering plate on the rear side of the turret, 
piercmg the backing, smashing off a large portion of the rear east-iron plate, and finally 
going mto the woods behind the target.l 

The latest armor-plate test with Johnson shot was even more impres- 
sive in its consequences. Eecently Herr Krupp, the German o-un- 
founder, succeeded in producing a plate superior to the Harveyized, 
granting to the Carnegies a license to manufacture it in the United 

^ Scientific American, July 9, 1898. 


States. In the summer of 1898, the Oarnegies having produced a plate 
which, according to the tests, was superior even to the original Krupp 
article, a Johnson steel capped projectile was fired upon it at a velocity 
reduced by 400 feet per second, going clear through it. This triumph 
attracted the special attention of the governments of England and Ger- 
many, and Mr. Johnson, upon invitations received from those govern- 
ments, sailed for Europe in the summer of 1898 to give them the bene- 
fit of similar exhibitions, which proved equally successful. 

During his business career of forty-five years Mr. Johnson weathered 
all financial storms and maintained his establishment on a thoroughly 
sound basis. The works at the time of his death gave employment to 
from 400 to 600 men. He always manifested a warm interest in the 
welfare of his employees, promoting their facilities for their own and 
their children's educational, moral, and religious culture. Connected 
with the foundry are a free reading room and a Sunday-school. 

He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce of New York and a 
director of the Merchants' Exchange National Bank, of that city. He 
was a member of the American Institute of Mining Engineers. In 
politics he was a Republican. He was an active Baptist in his religious 
affiliations, having long been a member and deacon of the Warburton 
Avenue Baptist Church of Yonkers. 

Mr. Johnson was married in 1855 to Jane E., daughter of Gilbert 
Bradley, of Sunderland, Vt. He had five children — Elias M., Isaac B., 
Gilbert H., Arthur G., and James W., all of whom survive. 

EPEW, CHAUNCEY MITCHELLS railroad president, law- 
yer, leader in the councils of the Eepublican party, orator, 
famous after-dinner speaker, and now United States 
Senator from the State of New York, is one of the most 
eminent of American citizens, and undoubtedly the most distinguished 
of Westchester County's sons now living. He was born on the 23d of 
April, 1834, at Peeksldll, on a farm which, for a century and a half, 
had been owned by his ancestors. The Depews, as an American family, 
indeed originated in this county, the first of the name having been 
a Huguenot of New Eochelle. Senator Depew's father, Isaac Depew, 
was a highly respected citizen of Peekskill. On his mother's side Mr. 
Depew is a descendant of Roger Sherman, signer of the Declaration of 

Graduating with high honors from Yale College in 1856 when 

• This sketch, for the most part, is reproduced from " Leslie's History of the Greater New York." 


twenty-one years of age, he identified himself with the Republican 
party, of which John C. Fremont was then the presidential candidate. 
He studied law with Hon. William Nelson, of Peekskill, was admitted 
to the bar in 1858, and the same year was elected a delegate from West- 
chester County to the Republican State Convention. He won renown 
as a political speaker throughout the 9th Congressional District during 
the Lincoln campaign of 1860, and being nominated for the Assembly 
the following year, received a handsome majority in the 3d District of 
this county, which had been previously overwhelmingly Democratic. 
Re-elected in 1862, he was mentioned for speaker of the House, became 
chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and acted as speaker a 
part of the session. In 1863 he received the Republican nomination 
for Secretary of State, made a brilliant canvass, and, despite the fact 
that Governor Horatio Seymour had swept the State at the head of 
the Democratic ticket the year before, was triumphantly elected. He 
declined a renomination in 1865, and, removing to New York City, 
served for some time as tax commissioner. In May, 1867, he was ap- 
pointed by Governor Fenton county clerk of Westchester County to fill 
a vacancy, but declined the office. The papers had been made out for 
his appointment as collector of the port of New York when a quarrel 
between United State Senator Morgan and President Johnson altered 
the programme. Appointed United States minister to Japan by Sec- 
retary Seward, he resigned after holding the commission four weeks, 
his connection with the Vanderbilt railroad interests having already 
become such as to justify this decision. 

In 1872 he permited his nomination as lieutenant-governor on the 
Horace Greeley ticket, suffering defeat with the great editor. In 1881, 
when Senators Conkling and Piatt endeavored to embarrass President 
Garfield by their resignations, Mr. Depew was the leading candidate; 
before the legislature for the United States Senate, lacking only ten^ 
votes of election on a joint ballot. At the end of eighty-two days, fol-^, 
lowing the fortieth ballot, in which he retained all his strength, he 
withdrew on account of the death of the president, declaring that "the 
senatorial contests should be brought to a close as decently and speedily 
as possible." In 1884, with a Republican majority of nearly two- 
thirds in the legislature, all factions united in offering him the vacant 
United States senatorship from New York. He declined it on account 
of his business engagements. One of the most formidable candidates 
for nomination to the presidency in the Republican National Conven-' 
tion of 1888, with a solid vote of the delegation of his own State, he 
withdrew in the interest of harmony, throwing his strength to Benja-' 
min Harrison, who received the nomination. It is believed that his vig- 
orous advocacy of the renomination of Harrison in 1892,. after Blaine" 


developed the sudden rivalry which he had declared he shoiild not do, 
together with his skillful leadership of the Harrison forces in the Ke- 
publican National Convention of that year, and his eloquent presenta- 
tion of the name of Harrison to the convention, turned the tide in favor 
of the.renominatibn of the president. When Mr. Blaine resigned as 
Secretary of State in the summer of 1892, President Harrison offered 
the post to Mr. Depew, but after, a week's consideration the latter de- 
clined it. In January, 1899, he was elected to the United States Sen- 
ate by the New York legislature. 

His connection with the Vanderbilt railroad system began in 1866, 
when he became attorney to the New York & Harlem Kailroad Com- 
'pany. He became general counsel to the consolidated New York Cen- 
tral & Hudson Eiver Railroad Company in 1869, and soon entered its 
directorate. In 1875 he became general counsel for the entire system, 
being also elected a director of each company composing it. In the 
reorganization of 1882 he was elected 1st vice-president of the New 
York Central, and June 14, 1884, succeeded the deceased James Rutter 
as president, both of that road and the West Shore. These positions 
he held until the system was still further compacted by the reorganiza- 
tion of the spring of 1898, when he resigned to accept the more respon- 
sible trust of presiding officer of all the boards of directors of the 
affiliated corporations. 

In addition to forty-seven railroad corporations of which he is direc- 
tor, he is trustee or director of the Union Trust Company, the Western 
Union Telegraph Company, the Equitable Life Insurance Society of the 
United States, the Mercantile Trust Company, the National Surety 
Company, the Western National Bank, the Schermerhorn Bauk of 
Brooklyn, the New York Mutual Gas- Light Company, the Brooklyn 
Warehouse and Storage Company, and several other corporations. 

He has been a trustee of Yale College since 1872, a regent of tlie 
State University since 1874, and is president of the New York Society 
of the Sons of the American Revolution, president of the Saint Nicholas 
Society, was for seven years president of the Union League Club, and 
for ten years was president of the Yale Alumni of New York. In 1887 
Yale University conferred upon him the degree of LL-D. His reputa- 
tion as an orator and an after-dinner speaker is national. A volume 
of his principal orations has been published. Mr. Depew is not now 
a resident of Westchester County, but the record of his distinguished 
career belongs essentially to the biographical annals of our county, 
where he was born and where he began and for many years prose- 
cuted his professional and political activities. One of the most rep- • 
resentative of his orations was delivered at the dedication of the new 
monument to the captors of Andre at Tarrytown in September, 1880. 


RAVIS, DAVID WILEY, lawyer and prominent old citizen 
of Peekskill,was born in the Town of Cortlandt,this county, 
January 15, 1824, being the son of David B. and Alchy 
Travis. He attended the district school until about the age 
of sixteen, completing his education at the Peekskill Academy. He 
then studied law in the office of William and Thomas Nelson, of Peeks- 
kill, was admitted to the bar in 1847, and soon afterward engaged in 
active practice. He has since pursued his profession uninterruptedly 
at Peekskill, and to-day ranks as one of the very oldest, as well as most 
notable and respected, members of the Westchester County bar, with a 
record of fifty-two years of consecutive practice. 

Mr. Travis has always taken an active part in politics, uniformly at- 
tending the caucuses and conventions of his party, and has exerted a 
large influence in connection with political affairs in his section. A 
Whig until the formation of the Eepublican party, he joined the lg,tter 
organization at its birth, and has ever since been identified with it. 

In 1854 he was elected police justice of Cortlandttown, an office in 
which he continued for five years. In 1866 he was chosen to the Assem- 
bly from the Third District of Westchester County. In 1878 and again 
in 1879 he was elected supervisor of the Town of Cortlandt; and in the 
same years he was chosen to serve for a second and third term in the 
Assembly. On several occasions he has been appointed as commis- 
sioner of appraisal in connection with the New York water supply, a 
position which he still holds. 

Upon the completion of his seventy-fifth year, January 15, 1899, 
Mr. Travis was tendered a reception by his fellow-citizens of Peekskill, 
which was in many ways a remarkable testimonial, evidencing the 
singular respect and affection in which he is held by all classes of the 

He was married, November 10, 1847, to Catherine M. Hunt, daughter 
of Stephanus and Phoebe Hunt, of the Town of Cortlandt. He has one 
child, Susie T., wife of William L. Ci-aig, of the Health Department of 
New York City. 

OPCUTT, JOHN, manufacturer and merchant, remembered as 
one of the oldest, most notable, and most respected citizens 
of Yonkers of his time, was born in Oxfordshire, England, 
in 1805, and died at his home in Yonkers, Februarj 5, 1895. 
Reared in rural England during the momentous period of the wars of 
Napoleon, he heard much talk as a boy of the grand events then trans- 
piring, of which, as well as of various episodes that impressed his yqung 

Atlantic Puhlishing & Engravmg Cn,N,X 


mind (running back to his fourth year), he retained keen recollections 
to his last days. He particularly well remembered the enthusiastic re- 
joicings in Beading, England (where he was living at the time with his 
parents) , after the battle of Waterloo. The following reminiscences of 
that occasion are in his own words, as taken down in writing by his 
daughter, Anna C. Copcutt, about two weeks before his death : 

There were three parish churches in Reading, with seven or eight bells in each church. 
These were kept ringing at a lively rate, then they would bang by each bell being rung at 
once, chum, chum, chum, for a while, and then ring in a regular succession again. I would 
give a good sum of money to hear the bells ring again as they did that day. The citizens of 
the town arranged public dinners in tents along the principai streets. My father took me to 
see all, and we tasted the roast beef and the plum pudding as we passed along. Coming 
with my parents to New York, we afterward met in that city one of the French prisounrs 
whom I remembered well in my native town, perhaps because he used to skip a rope back- 
wards to my childish delight. 

In 1817, when he was twelve years old, the family removed to this 
country, settling in New York City. His father, John B. Copcutt, was 
a dealer in and importer of mahogany, who, after a successful business 
career in New York City, purchased a handsome property at Tarrytown, 
this county, where he lived to an advanced age, dying in 1858. He 
was a genial old gentleman and his wife was a very worthy woman, 
whose death occurred only a few years previously to his own. The 
Tarrytown estate was inherited by their daughters, the last of whom 
died in 1892. There were only two sons, John and Francis. The latter 
(also now deceased) was a merchant in New York. 

John Copcutt was brought up by his father to the mahogany busi- 
ness and ultimately became the largest mahogany goods trader in 
America. He had a singular power of determining the precise quality 
of mahogany in the rough, and especially of selecting logs that would 
render the finest figured veneers. It was a common remark that "John 
Copcutt could see right through a mahogany log." 

Mr. Copcutt's knowledge of Yonkers antedated by many years his 
residence there. In 1824, at the age of nineteen, he went on a visit to 
that place (then an insignificant settlement) with his father, who 
wished to get mahogany sawed at the Yonkers mills. They came by 
sloop up the Hudson, leaving New York at half-past two one afternoon 
and reaching their destination at ten the next morning. The river was 
full of ice, and, landing in a small boat, the men had to rock it to get it 
through. Besides the saw mill, Yonkers then boasted a hat factory and 
a grist mill. There were but few houses. One of these was at the dock 
and was used as a hotel ; another was the Manor House of the Philipses, 
at that period the property of Mr. Lemuel Wells; and there were several 
dwellings in what is now Getty Square, but none between Saint John's 
(a little country stone church) and the old Methodist church (which 



stood at the present intersection of Broadway and Ashburton Avenue). 
These two were the only churclies. There was but one village block, 
from the Methodist church to the' Sawmill River Road. In later years 
a narrow road ran from the Manor House down hill to the Sawmill 
River Road, leading thence back to Broadway. 


For a number of years Mr. Copcutt operated a mill at West Farms, in 
this county. It was in this establishment that Halcyon Skinner, the 
well-known Yonkers inventor, obtained his first employment, coming 
there in. 1838 with his father, who for a time was Mr. Oopcutt's 


foreman. The West Farms mill was destroyed by fire in the spring of 
1845, and in the same year Mr. Oopcutt purchased a tract of land at 
Yonkers, including the first or lower water power, where the Nepper- 
han Eiver empties into the Hudson. He erected upon the property a 
number of mills and stores. About 1854 he added considerably to his 
landed holdings, acquiring also increased water power, which enabled 
him to largely extend his manufacturing facilities. The enterprise thus 
displayed, besides adding to the industries of the place, was instru- 
mental in furnishing employment to numerous operatives, for whom 
he constructed many cottages or small dwellings. At the same time he 
built his handsome stone residence on Nepperhan Avenue, and made 
Yonkers his permanent home. 

In his business relations Mr. Copcutt was the soul of honor, and, care- 
fully guarding his affairs against misadventure, he was able to weather 
every financial storm and at all times to pay dollar for dollar. In the 
later years of his life he was largely interested in the silk industry. He 
cherished strong free trade views, and although his individual fortunes 
were wrapped up in manufacturing enterprises, he always advocated 
his favorite economic ideas with vigor. He never was active in politics. 
He served for four years as village trustee, but, having a dislike for 
official position, declined to be further honored in that line. 

At his death (which resulted from an attack of acute pneumonia) he 
had almost completed his ninetieth year. Up to within five days of 
that event he was perfectly well and strong for his years, and exceed- 
singly active, able to walk a number of miles and to attend daily to his 
business concerns both in Yonkers and New York. Being an early 
riser, he accomplished much. He was very fond of travel, a great 
reader, and a most interesting talker, especially on the subject of his 
early recollections. As has already been indicated, he possessed a re- 
markable memory. This was stored with an inexhaustible fund of 
local reminiscences, going back considerably more than seventy years 
in the "history of Yonkers and some seventy-seven years in that of New 
York City. When he first knew New York the northernmost bounds 
of the city were some distance below the present Canal Street. In 
those ancient times there was a little hamlet called Spring Village, 
where Spring Street now is, and farther off in the country lay the more 
celebrated Greenwich Village. Although the natural shore of the 
North River was along West Street, the tide in many places came as 
far as Washington Street. At the present Union Square the two great 
roads from the city, Broadway and the Bowery, came together, forming 
a single highway, which was known as the Bloomingdale Eoad. On 
the spot where the Tribune Building stands was the frame store of a 
stationer named Jansen. Mr. Oopcutt often recalled with amusement 


the ingenious advertisements which this tradesman was accustomed^ 
to display in his window. One was: 

I have one cent and want no more 
To buy a book at Jansen's store. 

He vividly remembered the three earlier steamboats (after Fulton's 
in 1808) which plied the Hudson as far as Albany — ^the " Firefly," the 
" Chancellor Livingston," and the " Lady Eichmond." He once made 
the Albany trip on the " Lady Eichmond," paying $8 fare one way. 

When asked to what he ascribed his unusual age, health, and spright- 
liness, Mr. Copcutt was wont to reply that he thought much was due to 
the fact that he had always been in active employment. Throughout 
his life he never used tobacco ; and although he would not refuse a glass 
of wine or spirits when occasion or necessity required him to take one, 
he rarely drank anything of the kind, saying he did not like ardent 
liquors. He invariably declined to rent his stores for saloons. 

He was an earnest Calvanist in his religious persuasions, preserving 
to the last his connection with that sect in England, and contributing 
generously to its support. A Church of England magazine, until re- 
cently edited by the late Eev. D. A. Doudney, D.D., said at the time of 
his decease : 

We deeply regret to record the loss of the oldest and one of the most appreciative of our 
transatlantic subscribers. . . . Another of the fathers of the old school has been taken, 
and the Church of God on earth is the poorer. 

Another, a Baptist magazine, said : 

He was a remarkable man in committing his temporal concerns to the Lord. He was a 
man in good circumstances and was kind to the Lord's poor, who, we fear, will greatly miss 

Mr. Copcutt was happily married in 1833, to Eebecca Medwin Bod- 
dington, daughter of Eichard Boddington, of Manchester, England, 
who was then in her early teens. She died in February, 1899. Thir- 
teen children were born to them, of whom six died in infancy and one 
(the eldest son ) at the age of sixteen. The surviving children are : Mrs. 
A. E. Hyde, of Yonkers; Mrs. C. A. Leale and W. H. Copcutt, of New 
York; Mrs. James A. Wilcox, of Bloomington, HI.; and John B. Cop- 
cutt and Miss Anna C. Copcutt, of Yonkers. There are thirteen grand- 

OPOUTT, JOHN BODDINGTON, son of the late John Cop- 
cutt, was born in the homestead on Nepperhan Avenue, 
Yonkers, August 27, 1855. He has always resided in Yon- 
kers. He was educated in the private school of the Eev. M. 
E. Hooper, of Yonkers, later taking a thorough course in a business col- 
lege in New York City. He then engaged in mercantile pursuits, and 



until recently was a member of the firm of J. Copcutt, Son & Company, 
hardwood merchants and Importers, of New York. Since his father's 
death he has devoted his attention largely to the extensive interests of 

the family estate, being known as one of the representative business 
men and citiizens of Yonkers. 

Mr. Copcutt is a prominent member of the Yonkers Board of Trade 
and South Yonkers Improvement Company, and is a vestryman of Saint 
Andrew's Memorial Episcopal Church. 


He has traveled widely in Europe, Canada, and the West Indies, a_s 
well as in the United States, and has an excellent knowledge of several 
of the polite foreign languages. He was married, October 5, 1888, to 
Miss Mary A. Hill. 

LAGG, ETHAN, one of the founders of the municipality of 
Yonkers, and for many years a prominent, progi'essive, and 
highly respected citizen of that community, was born in 
West Hartford, Conn., July 20, 1820, and died in Yonkers, 
October 11; 1884. Through both his parents, Augustus and Lydia 
(Wells) Plagg, he was descended from old Connecticut families. The 
well-known Dr. Levi W. Flagg, of Yonkers, was his elder brother. 

At the age of twenty-one he engaged in business witli a mercantile 
firm in Boston, but, at the end of two years, he gave up that connec- 
tion and went to Yonkers to look after the interests of a considerable 
amount of property which his mother had inherited there uj)on the 
dea,th of her uncle, Lemuel Wells. 

This property was the sixteenth part of the valuable Wells estate, 
upon which the principal business portion of Yonkers has since been 
built. The estate, as purchased by Lemuel Wells in 1813, and as re-' 
tained intact by him until his decease, comprised some three hundred* 
and twenty acres of the choicest portion of the old Philipsburgh Manor 
lands, with the historic Manor House of the Philipses as its center. 
Lemuel Wells passed away without issue, and intestate, on February 
11, 1842, his only child, a son, having died in the Manor Hall, at about 
the age of twenty-one, a number of years previously. The heirs-at-law 
to the estate were Lemuel's widow and the fifteen surviving children 
of his three brothers. Mrs. Lydia (Wells) Plagg, the mother of Ethan 
Flagg, was the first child of Lemuel's brother Levi. 

Ethan Flagg became a resident of Yonkers in 1843, one year after 
the death of Lemuel Wells. That was twelve years before the incor- 
poration of the village of Yonkers, and the place was then a mere ham- 
let, or rather an aggregation of more or less settled localities. Through- 
out the lifetime of Mr. Wells, the Wells estate had been preserved sub- 
stantially in its original unimproved condition. At the time when he 
purchased it, in 1813, there were on the whole tract of three hundred 
and twenty acres only twenty-six buildings of all kinds. He did not 
buy the property with any intention of selling it either in large or small 
parcels, and his policy in the administration of it was uniformly very 
conservative. Although he did not especially object to settlers, and, 


^ng HyAJI.BUC?i^- 

fi'oin a i'tiufo fdMi ia 15 53- 


indeed, would at times build houses on the land for tenants, he was sel- 
dom induced to sell or even lease any portion of it. 

The active development of Yonkers as a place of residence and manu- 
facturing enterprise may be \said to date from the partition of the 
Wells estate among the heirs. " Eeleased from the hand that had so 
long kept it out of the market, and catching the spirit of enterprise, the 
land so long unused, or, where used, devoted to farm purposes only, was 
quickly laid out in streets and lots, became the scene of busy activity, 
and was soon dotted with beautiful residences." ^ Of this forward move- 
ment Ethan Flagg was one of the most energetic and intelligent pro- 
moters. From the beginning he had unbounded confidence in the fu- 
ture of Yonkers, and he was at all times a leading spirit in the steady 
progress which resulted in the laying out of the new community into 
streets and in the ultimate incorporation of the village. It was, in- 
deed, " largely under his direction that the plan of the prospective city 
was laid out substantially as we now see it." ^ 

He became by degrees an extensive owner of Yonkers real estate, 
both within and outside the original corporate limits of the village. 
He was also conspicuous in local industrial and financial concerns. He 
was associated with his father-in-law. Judge Anson Baldwin, and sub- 
sequently with his brother-in-law. Hall F. Baldwin, in the hat manu- 
facturing firm of Baldwin & Flagg. He was one of the organizers, 
and until his death a director, of the First National Bank of Yonkers, 
and he was the first president of the Yonkers Savings Bank, continuing 
in that position to the end of his life. 

Mr. Flagg held at various times some of the principal public offices 
of the village and city. He was a trustee of the village for three years, 
from 1857 to 1860, and again for two years, in 1867 and 1868. He was 
one of the first aldermen and president of the Common Council of the 
city; was a member and for five years president of the Board of Water 
Commissioners, and several times represented the town in the county 
Board of Supervisors. 

He took an especial interest in promoting the establishnient of 
churches in Yonkers, and contributed generously from his private 
means to this end. At an early period of his residence there he as- 
sisted materially in the founding of the Eeformed (then the Keformed 
Dutch) Church. He donated the land on which the First Presbyterian 
Church was erected, and with equal liberality aided in all the plans 
which led to the organization of that church and to the subsequent 
extension of its usefulness. 

The following view of Mr. Flagg's character, in its moral, public- 

1 Rev. David Cole's article on Yonkers in Scharf's " History of Westchester^County," Vol. ii., p. 23. 
" Ibid., p. 38. 


spirited, and sympathetic aspects, is from the appreciative pen of his 
relative and friend. Professor Henry M. Baird, of the University of the 
City of New York : 

He was liberal in his expenditure of his time and generous in contributions of his means 
for the support of every institution and movement that bade fair to elevate the tone of public 
manners and morals. In devotion to the public service he was untiring, albeit he cared 
less for the reputation than for the consciousness of advancing the common weal. ... 

While he was a decided Republican in sentiment, his patriotism was confined by no party 
limits, and during the War of the Rebellion he gave to the government and to the agencies' 
set on foot to mitigate the horrors of warfare his undivided and hearty support. ... 

In his business relations Ethan Flagg was distinguished both for the correctness of his 
judgment respecting the conduct of his affairs and for acuteness in the discernment of the 
character of the men with whom he had to deal. Honorable and upright in his own transac- 
tions, he looked for and appreciated in others the integrity which he himself displayed. To 
those who showed that they merited it he extended a confidence as rare as it is precious. He 
delighted in what is really the highest form of practical benevolence, for one of his ruling 
passions was a desire to help men who showed a readiness to help themselves, and it has 
justly been observed that many of the most prosperous citizens of Yonkers can trace the 
origin of their success to the timely support which they found in Ethan Flagg in their first 
efforts to advance in the world.' 

Mr. Flagg was twice married. His first wife was his cousin. Marietta 
Wells, who bore him a son, Wilbur Wells Flagg, now living in Salt 
Lake City. On March 7, 1854, he married Julia Baldwin, daughter of 
Anson and Armenia (Palmer) Baldwin, of Yonkers. Four children 
were born of this union — Susan W. (deceased) ; Marcia (who married 
Charles Henry Butler, a son of William Allen Butler) ; Janet W.; and 
Elizabeth Palmer (who married John Maynard Harlan, of Chicago, a 
son of Justice Harlan, of the Supreme Court of the United States). 

OOTE, WILLIAM OULLEN, educator, was born in North 
Haven, Conn., November 6, 1811, and died at his home in 
Yonkers, September 19, 1888. His father. Dr. Joseph 
Foote, was a graduate of Yale, and a prominent practicing 
physician of North Haven and vicinity. 

The son pursued the regular classical course at Yale College, and 
was graduated from that institution in the class of 1832. He then 
entered the Yale Divinity School, and upon the completion of his 
studies there was licensed to preach. He was engaged for a brief time 
in ministerial work, and received a call from the Congregational 
Church of Belchertown, Mass., but in consequence of failing health 
he was obliged to abandon his chosen profession and devote himself to 

After serving very acceptably for five years as principal of a young 

1 xT-ia oo on 



ladies' seminary in Newburgh, N. Y., lie accepted, in 1845, an urgent 
invitation to go to Yonkers and take charge of the Oak Grove Female 
Seminary of that place. In this position he continued for twenty 
years, with highly successful results. Of his labors and influence as a 
teacher it has been said that " hundreds of young ladies received from 

-^6. /^^=^ 

him not only a fine education, but invaluable aids for the formation 
of character," and that " not a few would place his faithful teachings 
chief among the influences that led them to Christ." 

From his college years Mr. Foote was always identified actively with 
church interests. " He aimed," said the New York Evangelist, in an 



appreciative review of his life, " to be everyvphere and alw^ays an out- 
spoken Christian. None doubted the sincerity of his convictions, and 
many owned the power of personal appeals to their reason and con- 
science." Another writer paid the following tribute to his Christian 
character : " Those who knew him intimately will bear testimony to 
the fact that his f aiith was manifested in his life through all the years 
of his prolonged earthly pilgrimage. His honesty, simplicity, integ- 
rity, and consistent adhesion to right principles secured confidence 
and gave due weight to his counsel, whether in the church or in the 
community. In a word, he lived his religion so as to be seen and known 
of all men." ^ 

For forty-three years a citizen of Yonkers, Mr. Foote at all times 
identified himself, heartily and usefully, with the best interests of the 
village and city, religious, political, and social. Upon coming to 
Yonkers he united with the Eeformed Church. He was one of the 
founders of the First Presbyterian Church, was one of its elders until 
his death, held the position of superintendent of its Sabbath-school, and 
often represented it at the presbytery. He was also at various times 
a delegate to the Presbyterian General Assembly. He was extremely 
conscientious in his political action as a citizen, forming his views with 
deliberation but positiveness, and rarely missed an opportunity to give 
them expression by his vote. 

In his early manhood, Mr. Foote was married to Hannah Williston 
Davis, eldest daughter of George Davis, of Sturbridge, Mass., for many 
years a member of tlie Worcester County bar. Mrs. Foote and an 
only daughter are still living in Yonkers. 

cian and author of mathematical and other scientific writ- 
ings, for forty years a professor in the United States Mili- 
tary Academy at West Point, and for nineteen years act- 
uary of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, was born 
in Lancaster, Pa., September 10, 1804, and died at his home in Yonkers, 
February 11, 1893. Little is ]<nown of his father's ancestry and early 
life, except that he was of New Hampshire parentage, went when 
quite young to Pennsylvania, married a Miss Holmes, of Winchester, 
Va., and removed with his family to St. Louis, Mo., soon after the birth 
of his son W^illiam. 
Owing to the meager pecuniary circumstances of his parents, young 

1 Yonkers Statesman^ September 18, 1888. 


Bartlett's early educational opportunities were quite limited, the pub- 
lic school system at the West at that period having been but little de- 
veloped. But the boy's native talents and alert and amiable qualities 
procured for him influential Mends w^ho, interesting themselves in his 
future, induced United States Senator Thomas H. Benton to recom- 
mend him for appointment as a cadet at West Point. Presenting him- 
self at the Military Academy, he passed a highly creditable examina- 
tion, and on July 1, 1822, was enrolled as a cadet, being then seventeen 
years and nine months old. His record during his four years' course 
of study is remarkable in the history of that famous school; he was 
uniformly at the head of his class, and never received a single demerit 
mark^. As a cadet his abilities received flattering recognition, the 
appointment of acting assistant professor of mathematics being con- 
ferred upon him, in which position he served for the last two years of 
his course. Among his roommates during his cadetship were Leonidas 
Polk and Albert Sidney Johnston. Being graduated on July 1, 1826, 
with the first honors of his class, he was appointed second lieutenant 
in the corps of engineers and assigned to duty in the Military Academy 
as an assistant professor in the department of engineering, later being 
promoted to the grade of principal assistant professor. In this posi- 
tion he continued until August 30, 1829. Meantime (1828) he had per- 
formed services as assistant engineer in the construction of Portress 
Monroe (Va.), the value of which caused the government to detach 
him. for a time from the Military Academy and assign him to engineer- 
ing duty on the permanent works at Fort Adams, Newport Harbor. 
In this important capacity he was employed from 1829 to 1832. He 
then served for two years as assistant to the chief of engineers of the 
army in Washington. 

In November, 1834, he was recalled to West Point as acting pro- 
fessor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, and on April 30, 1836, 
was appointed by President Jackson to the full professorship. He con- 
tinued at the head of this department until retired from active service, 
upon his own application, February 14, 1871. From that time until 
his death he held the rank of colonel on the retired list of the army. 

Entering the Military Academy in 1822, he was thus identified with 
it, first for a period of seven years as cadet and professor, and then. 

1 The following is an extract from a letter written by Mr. from Missouri. His class originally consisted of eighty, 

George Ticknor when he was one of the board of visitors at and he has been at the head of it for four years, never 

West Point in 1826 : failing to stand first in every branch at every examination, 

" yesterday was quite a hot day, and the examination and never having once been reported for any irregularity 

being confined to military engineermg was less interesting or neglect. It is a pleasure to look upon him, and listen to 

than usual. It was, however, extremely creditable to the the beauty and completeness of all his examinations, 

young men and the institution. Thayer says he has heard him at common recitations above 

" There is now before me a cadet of uncommon character an hundred times, and never Imew him to miss a smgle 

and qualifications. His name is Bartlett, and he comes question." 



after returning from his service on engineering duty, for more than' 
thirty-six years as professor — some forty-three years altogether. In 
the annals of that great institution of the government there is no name 
more distinguished, for the ability and value of services done, and no- 
personality more interesting for its associations, than Professor Bart- 
lett's. The greatest military commanders of the most eventful period 
of American history — both those who led the North and those vpho led 
the South — were his pupils, his admirers, and his loving friends; and 
to-day his memory is affectionately cherished by many of the eminent 
oflftcers of the army of the United States, who count it one of the fortu- 
nate things of their lives to have been in youth under his preceptor- 
ship and influence. It is greatly to beregretted that Professor Bartlett 
did not find time to reduce to some permanent form his personal recol- 
lections of his life at West Point, and of the famous soldiers whose 
education he so largely directed, and with whom he was on peculiarly 
cordial terms throughout their careers. His family preserves many 
private letters written to him at various times by those noted military 
characters and other celebrated men. 

During the forty-nine years from his entrance to the Military Acad- 
emy to his retirement, he was conspicuous by his practical services 
or by the results of his intellectual labors, in many connections inci- 
dental to his appointed duties and labors. While attached to the chief 
engineer's office at Washington he took a leading part in the engineer- 
ing work on the Cumberland National Eoad and on fortifications in 
different parts of the country. In 1840 he was sent abroad by the 
secretary of war to examine the European observatoiies with a view 
to promoting the efficiency of the system of astronomical instruction at 
West Point. On this commission he was absent for about five months. 
His report to the government contained a variety of valuable informa- 
tion and recommendations, including the suggestion of a plan for an 
observatory at Washington. As professor of Natural and Experi- 
mental Philosophy in the Military Academy, he was really the creator 
of that important department of the academy as now organized, hav- 
ing " in 1857, with distinguished ability," to quote the words of the 
official " Order " published on the occasion of his death, " established 
it on that high scientific basis which has ever since been its marked 
feature." One of the most profound and accomplished mathematicians 
that this country has produced, he was at the same time intensely prac- 
tical in the application of his learning. A very productive writer, all 
his contributions to scientific and technical literature were along this 
line of practical utility. He was the author of several standard text- 
books, including a " Treatise on Optics " (1839) , " Elements of Natural 
Philosophy" (1850), "Spherical Astronomy" (1855), "Synthetical 


Mechanics" (1858), "Acoustics and Optics" (1859), and "Analyti- 
cal Mechanics" (1853, 1859). A paper contributed by him to Silli- 
man's Journal during his early life upon " The Expansibility of Coping 
Stones" has been frequently referred to by foreign writers; and his 
paper on " Strains on Eifle Guns " (Memoirs of the National Academy of 
Sciences, Vol. I.), which he published shortly before leaving West 
Point, was accepted as an authority. He was also an occasional writer 
of important special articles for periodicals. His textbooks were long 
in general use in advanced institutions of learning, and still have an 
Honorable place in the literature of their class. Of his " Analytical 
Mechanics " nine editions were published. 

He possessed (says Prof. Michie) the rare faculty of perceiving essential and fundamental 
principles and of being able to formulate them by a mathematical expression of a single law 
frpm which the whole of analytical mechanics could be deduced. As early as 1853, in the 
preface to his work on Analytical Mechanics, he published this great generalization : 

" All physical phenomena are but the necessary results of a perpetual conflict of equal and 
opposing forces, and the mathematical formula expressive of the laws of this conflict must 
involve the whole doctrine of Mechanics. The study of Mechanics should, therefore, be 
made to consist simply in the discussion of this formula, and in it should be sought the ex- 
planation of all effects that arise from the action of forces." 

In 1874 he added : 

" From the single fundamental formula thus referred to the whole of Analytical Mechan- 
ics was then deduced." 

That formula was no other than the simple analytical expression of what is now generally 
called the law of the conservation of energy, which has since revolutionized physical science in 
nearly all its branches, and which at that time was but little developed or accepted. It is 
believed that this not only was the first, but that it even still is the only, treatise on Analyti- 
cal Mechanics in which all the phenomena are presented as mere consequences of that single 

In recognition of his eminent abilities the degrees of master of arts 
and doctor of laws were conferred on him while he was yet compara- 
tively young — the former by Princeton College in 1837, and the latter 
by Geneva College in 1847 (subsequently also by Columbia College). 
He was one of the organizers of the National Academy of Sciences 
under the act for its incorporation passed by Congress; and he was a 
member of the Philosophical Societies of Philadelphia and Boston. 

Upon his retirement from his professorship in West Point (early in 
1871), he was elected actuary of the Mutual Life Insurance Company, 
of which he had been a policy-holder since 1844, the second year of the 
existence of the company. In this office he continued until the close 
of 1888, when, on account of his increasing years and infirmities, he 
discontinued its active duties, his services being retained until his 
death, however, in the capacity of advisory actuary. In the responsi- 
ble position of actuary of the Mutual, Professor Bartlett had a high 
conception of the dignity and practical importance of the trust reposed 
in him. "I would rather," he said in his letter of resignation, " be the 

•Annual Report ol the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, 1896. 



actuary of a company like this than be president of the United States;!', 
His actuaiial labors were characterized by the same great ability and 
conscientious devotion which had marked his career in the service of 
the country. Among the special results of his administration of the 
actuary's ofl&ce were the compilation of very valuable expert tables 
and of an elaborate report on the workings of the company for thirty-, 
one years. 

The trustees of the Mutual Life Insurance Company thus expressed' 
their appreciation of him at the time of his retirement as actuary in 
December, 1888: 

Professor Bartlett brought to the service of this company ability of the very highest order, 
rendered more conspicuous by long-continned training and an experience as an instructor. in 
the higher branches of intellectual culture which very few have attained ; and after the con- 
clusion of a career as brilliant as it was useful in the service of the nation, he brought his. 
reputation and his learning to the service of this company as its actuary. His discharge of 
the duties of his new position was characterized by the same phenomenal intellectual capacity 
for which he had been distinguished as a teacher and author, and by the same conscientious! 
attention to every detail, which was a prominent trait in his character. * 

Eminent in the very highest degree as an actuary and mathematician, he combined with 
the attainments of the man of science the gentleness and courtesy of a true soldier and 

Immediately after leaving West Point, Prof essor Bartlett purchased 
a handsome residence in Yonkers,on Locust Hill Avenue, where hecon- 
tinued to live for the remainder of his days, and where his widow, two.' 
of his daughters, and one of his sons still reside. He was a member of 
Saint Paul's Episcopal Church of Yonkers, serving as warden and ves- 
tryman. His closing years were quiet and happy, and his end was 
tranquil. He was buried with military honors at West Point. An 
of&cial tribute to his memory was issued by order of the commandajit, 
in which the following was said : 

The scientific attainments of the graduates of West Point during his professorship, are the, 
legitimate fruits of his great analytical power, his capacity for investigation in the higher 
domain of science, and his undoubted ability as an instructor — the three salient elements of 
his mental characteristics. An accomplished scholar, an eminent scientist, a courteous 
geutleman, an earnest, faithful, loyal soldier and citizen, he has left behind him a record for 
integrity and devotion to duty of which his alma mater may 'well be proud. 

He was married, February 4, 1829, to Harriet, daughter of Samuel 
Whitehorne, a merchant of Newport, R. I. Mrs. Bartlett was born 
November 1, 1812. They had the following children : Charles G., who 
entered the army at the breaking out of the Rebellion, as an officer 
in the New York State militia, was at Big Bethel, the first battle of 
the war, was promoted for gallant conduct to the rank of captain in 
the regular army, was in command of the Ninth Regiment at Sackett's 
Harbor after the war until his retirement, and is now a colonel on the 
retired list, residing on Staten Island; William C, who was graduated 
from West Point in 1862, served through the. Civil War (rising to the 


grade of brigadier-general of volunteers), subsequently resumed ser- 
vice in the regular army, was retired as major, and is now living in New 
York City; Elizabeth W.; Harriet (deceased), wife of the late General 
Schofield; Neva B., widow of the late Colonel Elias B. Carling, a West 
Point graduate; and Fred E., an artist in New York Qty. 

EWIS, EDSON, ex-mayor of Mount Vernon, was born in 
Windham, Conn., December 12, 1837. He is descended 
through both his parents, Sheflfteld and Julia (Fitch) Lewis, 
from Connecticut families. His father was for many years 
a respected merchant in Windham, subsequently removing to New 
York City, where he died. 

From his eighth to his fifteenth year the son worked on a farm and 
in his father's store, mfeanwhile receiving such elementary educational 
training as the facilities of the neighboring district school afforded. 
In 1852, at the age of fifteen, he came to New York and entered the 
drygoods establishment of Hurlburt, Van Valkenburg & Company, at 
first on trial, which, proved satisfactory, and he was then placed upon 
a salary of |300 per annum, gradually advancing in the confidence and 
appreciation of his employers until, at the end of eleven years, when 
he left them to engage in business for himself, he held one of the most 
responsible positions in the house. In 1863 he organized the firm of 
Lewis, Titus & Cook. This partnership continued for three years. He 
has since been connected with Lesher, AVhitman & Company, the largest 
importers and manufacturers of tailors' trimmings in the United States. 
In addition, he is the proprietor of well-known clothing stores in Yonk- 
ers and Mount Vernon,- the former started in 1887, and the latter in 

Mr. Lewis has been a resident of Mount Vernon since 1875. He has 
always taken an active interest in the local concerns of that growing 
municipality, ranking as one of its most enterprising and honored citi- 

Soon after coming to Mount Vernon to live he joined the Volunteer 
Fire Department as a member of Clinton Hook and Ladder Company, 
No. 1. He served as its foreman for a period of four years, and was 
then elected chief engineer of the Mount Vernon Fire Department. 
Appointed a miember of the Board of Fire Commissioners ia 1892, he 
was elected president of the board, and continued as such for two years, 
resigning. upon being chosen mayor. 



The election of Mr. Lewis to the office of mayor of Mount Vernon i 
in tlie spring of 1894, to succeed the first mayor of the city, Hon. E. P. ; 
Brush, was the outcome of a very exciting struggle at the polls and 
contest in the courts. His two years' administration of the duties of 
the mayoralty was characterized by a high conception of his official re- 
sponsibility and by careful management of municipal affairs upon 
strictly business principles. When Mayor Lewis went into office com- 


paratively little had been done toward the introduction of modern 
systems of street paving in Mount Vernon. He took vigorously hold of 
this very important public improvement and pushed it forward so rap- 
idly that by the time he had completed his term a considerable portion 
of the city had been paved in the most substantial manner. He drew 
the bill under which the present Police Board of Mount Vernon was 
organized and the new police force inaugurated. It was during his 


service as mayor that the notable Bronx Valley Sewer Commission was 
created, composed of the mayors of New York, Mount Vernon, and 
Yonkers, with certain other members. He proved to be one of its most 
zealous and valuable members. 

Mr. Lewis was one of the founders, and, during its existence, one of 
the principal managers, of the original water system of Mount Vernon. 
This system, operated by a private corporation known as the Mount 
Vernon Water Company, in which Charles Hill Will son, Joseph S. 
Wood, Gerd Martens, M. C. Kellogg, and others were associated with 
him, consisted of an artesian well on Seventh Avenue near Third Street, 
with piping laid through the principal thoroughfares. The company 
continued some four years, finally selling out its rights and property. 

In politics, Mr. Lewis has always been an earnest and active Eepub- 
lican. He has frequently been a delegate to the conventions of his 
party, and is now (1900) president of the Third Ward Kepublican 
Association of Mount Vernon, and is a member of the Eepublican City 
Committee. As a well-known business man in New York he has at 
various times been conspicuous in great public demonstrations. He 
acted as aideto General Horace Porter upon the occasions of the Sound 
Money Parade in the metropolis and the McKinley Inaugural Parade in 
Washington, and he was chief of aides to General Grenville M. Dodge 
in the Grant Monument Parade at Eiverside Park. 

He has long been connected with the Masonic fraternity, always 
maintaining a hearty interest in the work of the order. His first active 
connection with the fraternity was as a member of Manhattan Lodge, 
and he afterward became a charter member of Kepublic Lodge, No. 
690, which he helped to organize and build up. He is now a member 
of Mount Vernon Chapter, No. 228, and is generalissimo of Bethlehem 
Commandery, No. 53. 

He was a director of the People's Bank of Mount Vernon until his 
election as mayor, is a trustee of the Home Building and Loan Asso- 
ciation, and has been a director of the Westchester Trust Company, of 
Yonkers, since its organization. For five years he has held the position 
of president of the Mount Vernon Musical Society, which, under his 
efficient administration, advanced to a prosperous condition. He is 
president of the associate members of Parnsworth Post, G. A. R. He 
is a communicant of the Plrst Methodist Episcopal Church of Mount 

Mr. Lewis has been twice married. His first wife was Hortense Wit- 
ter, of Connecticut, who bore him one child, Hortense Witter Lewis. 
He was married, second, to Louise Howland, of Mount Vernon. They 
have had three children — Ethel Louise Lewis, Edson H. Lewis (de-' 
ceased), and Grace Theodora Lewis. 



EWTON, GEORGE BEIGHAM (deceased), was a well- 
known resident of Tarrytown, and one of the substantial 
men of Westchester County. His ancestors came from Eng- 
land and settled in Connecticut in the early colonial 
days. His great-grandfather, Hezekiah Newton, removed from 
Connecticut in the early part of the last century, and located 
in Paxton, Mass., where he was one of the first settlers. He 
was born in 1719 and died in 1786. It was after his removal 
to Paxton that he met and married Eunice Brigham, a woman 
of noble character. To them were born eight sons and eight daugh- 
ters. Seven of the sons participated actively in the Eevolutionary 
war. The youngest son, Baxter, was born at Paxton in 1769 and died' 
at Norwich, Vt., in 1823. He was married in 1789 to Perses Howard, 
daughter of William and granddaughter of Benjamin Howard; her 
mother was a daughter of Oliver Witt. Of the four children, of Baxter 
Newton, the eldest son, Baxter Brigham Newton, settled in West 
Hartford, Vt., where his son, the subject of this sketch, was born, Sep- 
tember 12, 1833. In 1836 the family removed to Norwich, Vt., at that 
time the seat of the Norwich University, a military academy of much 
note, presided over by Captain Alden Partridge, an uncle of Mr, 
Newton. The boy at the age of eight entered the primary department 
of this institution, remaining four years, when he was transferred to 
the Kimball Union Academy at Meriden, N. H. At the early age of 
sixteen he had well-matured plans for the future, and in 1849 entered 
the office of a firm of anthracite coal operators at Beaver Meadows, Pa. 

Here he remained for several years, acquiring a thorough knowledge 
of the business and leading a life of valuable experience. By close 
application, strict integrity, and intelligent and energetic improvement 
of the opportunities which came within his reach, he in 1856 established 
in Philadelphia an extensive and profitable coal business. In the same 
year he was married to Sarah Amanda Knowl^, daughter of Lawrence 
D. Knowles, of Mauch Chunk, Pa. Later, in addition to his own inter- 
ests, he directed, as their president, for several years the affairs of the 
AUentown Boiling Mill Company and the Eoberts Iron Furnace. He 
was also for many years a director in the Commercial National Bank. 
At the first meeting of the stockholders of the Lehigh Valley Eailroad 
he was chosen one of the judges of election, and served in that capacity 
continuously for forty years. 

At the breaking out of the Civil War he was a member of the com- 
mittee appointed to organize three regiments to be known as the " Coal 
and Iron Eegiments." This was promptly accomplished and the regi- 
ments were sent to the front, fuUj' equipped. 

In 1876, at the request of his intimate and life-long friend, Hon. 


Asa Packer, president of the Lehigh Valley Eailroacl and founder of 
the Lehigh University, he removed to New York City and there es- 
tablished for the Lehigh Valley Coal Company its very important 
interests, at the same time managing his own business affairs in Phil- 

In January, 1889, upon the advice of his physicians, he relinquished 
all business cares and retired to his country home, " Breamar," at Tar- 
rytown-on-the- Hudson, finding diversion and occupation in many local 
interests. For some years he was a warden of Christ Church and one 
of the trustees of the Westchester Savings Bank. The Tarrytown Hos- 
pital was established and brought to a high state of efSciency largely 
through his interest and generosity. He died at his Tarrytown 
home February 11, 1898. 

ILKMAN, JAMES BAILY, journalist and lawyer, was born 
in the Town of Bedford, in this county, October 9, 1819, and 
died in JSTew York City, February 4, 1888. The Silkman 
family was of Dutch origin, and settled in the Town of 
Bedford early in the eighteenth century. All of Mr. Silkman's pater- 
nal ancestors, including his father, Daniel, were farmers of that im- 
mediate, locality. The mother of James B. Silkman, Sarah Baily, 
was a daughter of James Baily, of a prominent family of the neigh- 
boring)Town of Somers, and a granddaughter of Captain Hachaliah 
Brown', of the same place. Through her Mr. Silkman was descended 
from the earliest New England settlers, his original American ances- 
tor on his mother's side having been, according to the best genealog- 
ical authority, Peter Brown, of the " Mayflower."^ 

During the boyhood of James B. Silkman his father experienced 
serious reverses through the failure of others and a desti'uctive fire. 
The son became a clerk in a country store, but, being ambitious to 
acquire a thorough education, continued his studies while thus em- 
ployed. Later he began teaching, and at the age of nineteen had 
charge of a large district school in Greenwich, Conn. In 1843 he en- 
tered Yale College in the sophomore class. He was graduated from 
that institution in 1845. He then returned to his home in Westchester 
County, and for six months held the position of principal of the 
Somers Aca;demy, among his pupils being the late Calvin Frost, of 

'It was formerly supposed that the ancestor of this onation of Richard II.), who emigrated to Concord, Mass., 

Westchester County Brown family was Thomas Brown, about 1632. But later investigation appears to have es- 

-of Rye, Sussex County, England (a descendant of Sir tablished that the line of descent is from Peter Brown, of 

Anthony Browne, created a Knight of the Bath at the cor- the " Mayflower." 



In the fall of 1846 he commenced the study of law in the office of 
Theodore Sedgwick, a prominent member of the bar of New York City. 
Soon afterward, through Mr. Sedgwick's influence, he became con-; 
nected with the New York Evening Post as assistant editor. He was 
afterward employed for a time as night editor of the New York 


Courier and Enquirer. Meantime he had continued his law studies,;: 
and on December 7, 1850, he was admitted to the bai". Being of a 
very frail constitution, his health had been undermined by night work 
on the press; and having in consequence resigned his editorial posi- 
tion on the Courier and Enquirer, he devoted himself for some years 



mainly to the legal profession, pursuing a real estate and office prac- 
tice. Throughout his life, however, he retained his early taste for 
journalism, and, resuming his connection with the Evening Post, was 
one of its editors during the war. On the night of the New York 
riots, when the establishment of that newspaper was threatened with 
the torch, he was placed in charge of thirty men, provided with various 
weapons of defense. Associated on the Evening Post with the poet 
Bryant, he enjoyed the especial 
friendship and regard of that 
noted man. 

Mr. Silkman was a life-long 
citizen of Westchester County. 
He resided for most of his life in 
Lewisboro, but during its clos- 
ing years lived in Yonkers. In 
his early manhood, having in- 
herited the principles of " Jef- 
fersonian Democracy," he was 
an ardent Democrat, and he 
continued in affiliation with the 
Democratic organization, al- 
though with lessening zeal, 
until the great political up- 
heaval which followed the 
disruption of the Whig party. 
For ten years he was an active 
and conspicuous member of the 
Deinocratic party in the county 
— his name being identified 
chiefly, however, with the anti- 
slavery faction — and as such 
was one of the leading figures 
in county conventions and a 

delegate to State conventions. Soon after the formation of the Ee- 
publican party he joined its ranks, and for the rest of his life continued 
to support it. 

Cherishing very pronounced convictions on the slavery issue, Mr. 
Silkman did not hesitate to insist on the frankest treatment of that 
question in the religious denomination to which he belonged. " In 
the autumn before the war, as delegate to the New York Diocesan 
Convention of the Episcopal Church, his resolutions respecting slav- 
ery and the slave trade, as carried on from under the shadow of Trin- 
ity steeple, broke up that very large body, sine die, in the midst of 



their business, and under such circumstances that he received tn 
writing- the thanks of Charles Sumner. ... He was directly the 
means of ousting two Episcopal clergymen from their pulpits because 
of their refusal to read the bishop's special prayers for the soldiers.") 

During the war he was a member of the vigilance committee of 
Westchester County. He was warmly devoted to the cause of the 
Land League, delivering many public addresses in its behalf, took 
a cordial interest in the temperance and other reforms, and was 
active in advocating free scientific instruction to young men of the 
laboring classes. It has been said of him that " his earnest con- 
victions were the key to all his labors." 

He was married, in 1856, to Harriet, daughter of the Kev. Alex- 
ander H. Crosby, of Saint John's Episcopal Church, Yonkers. They 
had four children — Julia C. (died in 1892); Theodore H., present sur- 
rogate of Westchester County (whose biography follows); Emily C; 
and Elizabeth C. 

ILKMAN, THEODORE HANNIBAL, of Yonkers, surrogate 
of Westchester County since 1895, and a prominent mem- 
ber of the. New York City bar, was born March 25, 1858, 
being the only son of James Baily and Harriet Van Oort- 
landt (Crosby) Silkman. He has always been a resident of the county, 
although not a native of it, having been born iu the City of New York. 
In the maternal as in the paternal line he comes from old West- 
chester stock, the Crosby family having been settled in the county 
from a comparatively early colonial period. The celebrated Enoch 
Crosby, of the Eevolution, immortalized in Cooper's " Spy," was a 
member of this Crosby family ; and, as he married a Bailey, was like- 
wise of kin to Judge Silkman's collateral ancestors on the paternal 
side. The maternal grandfather of Judge Silkman was Rev. Alex- 
ander H. Crosby, rector of Saint John's Episcopal Church, of Yonkers, 
and his maternal great-grandfather was Darius Crosby, of Scarsdale, 
a lawyer, who held the position of master of chancery in Westchester 
County in 1812. 

The early boyhood of Theodore H. Silkman was spent in the Town 
of Lewisboro. In 1867 he removed with his parents to Yonkers, where 
he has since resided. He attended the academy of Rev. R. Mont- 
gomery Hooper ( Yonkers) until the age of fifteen. It had been the 
intention of his father to send him to Yale, but this was prevented 
by the limited financial means of the family. Leaving the academyf 
he entere d his father's law office in New York. After remaining 

I Kecord ol the Class of 1845 of T»le College, p. 181. 



there two years he became a clerk with his uncle's law firm, Lockwoorl 
& Crosby (Levi A. Lockwood and Darius G. Crosby), also located in 
New York. Here he applied himself with great determination and 

industry to the masterv of the details of legal proceedings, working 
early and late, and so familiarizing himself with every phase of the 
business of the office that he was soon considered indispensable to 
its transaction. Unlike the ordinary office student of law, his prepa- 


ration for entering upon the profession was very little in the line of 
reading or of elaborate study of the minutse of legal science; indeed, 
his active labors in the practical concerns of the office left him almost 
no time for formal study of any kind, and when he came to be 
examined for admission to the bar his preparation as to general 
principles was confined to such reading as he could do on the eve 
of the occa^on. He was able, however, to pass a satisfactory exami- 
nation in all the branches of the subject, and was admitted to prac- 
tice in May, 1879, having just completed his twenty-first year. He 
continued with Lockwood & Crosby until the death of Mr. Lockwood 
in 1883, when the firm was reorganized under the name of Silkman 
& Seybel (Daniel E. Seybel), Mr. Crosby being its senior member, 
although his name did not appear. The business of the new firm 
increased so rapidly that in 1885 it was again reorganized, Mr. Joseph 
Pettretch being admitted, and the style being changed to Fettretch, 
Milkman & Seybel, under which it still cor'=nues. Mr. Crosby re- 
mained with it, as senior partner, until his death in January, 1897. 
It is now one of the very well-known legal partnerships of New York 
City, conducting a large general practice, which is especially impor- 
tant in the department of the management of estates. 

Mr. Silkman has always been active and prominent as a citizen of 
Yonkers. From boyhood he has taken an interest in politics as a sup- 
porter of the principles of the Eepublican party, never failing to vote 
at any election or primary. He has frequently been a delegate to 
local, county, and State conventions. From 1884 to 1897 he held the 
position of United States commissioner for the City of Yonkers, by 
appointment from Circuit Judge Wallace. For six years (1891-97) 
he served as a police commissioner of the city, most of the time 
being the president of the board. In 1894 he was nominated by the 
Eepublican convention for surrogate of the county, to lead what was 
supposed to be a forlorn hope against the Hon. Owen T. Coffin, who 
had been the incumbent of the office for twenty-four consecutive years. 
He was elected by a majority of 4,000, leading all the candidates on 
his party ticket. 

In the County of Westchester the office of surrogate is of peculiar 
importance, owing to the unusually large relative wealth which cen- 
ters in it. As an instance of this, the county stands third in the 
amount of transfer (inheritance) taxes collected, being surpassed in 
that respect only by New Y^ork and Kings Counties, although several 
other counties (those containing the large cities of Buffalo, Syracuse, 
Rochester, Utica, and Albany) exceed it in population. In the ad- 
ministration of the very extensive and important legal business re- 
sulting from this condition. Judge Silkman has made a highly credit- 

^-^ (pt^ 

STj^ly RB. Balls Siks.NY 

bioghaphical 37 

able record. During his three and one-half years of service not one 
of the decisions rendered by him has been reversed on appeal. He 
has also remodeled the surrogate's office, introducing modern methods 
of keeping records and indices, through which the vs-^ork of reference 
has become very much simplified, and the risk of destruction has 
been greatly lessened. He has continued his connection with his New 
York firm, devoting to its affairs such time as he can spare from his 
official duties. Previously to becoming surrogate his services were 
frequently in request as referee, both by appointment and by the 
consent of counsel. Judge Silkman is at present (1899) president 
of the Westchester County Bar Association, having succeeded Hon. 
William H. Eobertson in that position in 1897. He has served as 
president of the City Club of Yonkers; is a member of the Palisade 
Boat Club; has been a vestryman of Saint John's Episcopal Church 
for a number of years; and is one of the managers of Saint John's 
Riverside Hospital. He is also a member of the Union League Club 
of New York, the New York Athletic Club, and the New York Biding 

He was married, October 4, 1882, to Mary Virginia, daughter of 
Frederic C. Oakley, of Yonkers. They have two children living — 
Eleanor, born July 7, 1883, a.nd Theodore Frederic, born March 30, 

TIS, ELISHA GRAVES, inventor of the modern passenger 
elevator and founder of the manufacturing establishment in 
Yonkers which, under its present name of Otis Brothers & 
Company, is the largest elevator works in the world, was 
born in Halifax, Vt., August 13, 1811, and died in Yonkers, April 8, 
1861. He was the youngest of the six children of Stephen Otis (born De- 
cember 20, 1773), who was a prominent citizen of Vermont, serving 
in the legislature. The original ancestor of the Otis family in 
America was John Otis, who, in June, 1635, came with his family 
from Hingham, in Norfolk, England, as a member of the company 
of Rev. Peter Hobart, and was a landowner in Hingham, Mass. 
James Otis, the celebrated orator and statesman of the Revolution, 
and his nephew, Harrison Gray Otis, an eminent lawyer and public 
man of the State of Massachusetts (which he represented in the United 
States Senate), were members of this family. 

The father of Elisha G. Otis was a farmer, and in that occupation 
the son spent the years of his youth to the age of nineteen, receiving 
only such educational training as the country schools of his neigh- 



borhood afforded. As a boy he developed an inventive turn of mind. 
Leaving home wlien nineteen, lie went to Troy, N. Y., where for a 
number of years he was occupied in the building trade. From 1838 
to 1845 he was engaged in the manufacture of wagons and carriages 
in A^ermont. In the fall of 1846 he came back to New York State, 
settling with his family at Albany. There he was for four years in 
charge of a large furniture manufacturing establishment, afterward 
opening a shop of his own. But in this venture he was unsuccessful 
and, abandoning it in 1851, removed to Hudson Gity (then Bergen), 
N. J., to become superintendent of works there. The next year, his 
firm having decided to change its location to Yonkers, he took up 
his residence in that place, then a village. The concern with which 
he was identified, known as the Bedstead Manufacturing Company, 
had its factory on the site afterward occupied by the New York Plow 
Company (foot of Vark Street) . There Mr. Otis made the first serious 
experiments from which have developed the remarkable mechanical: « 
contrivances that have so revolutionized the practical conditions of 
life, and the gigantic manufacturing interests that have made the 
name of Otis familiar throughout the world. 

At that period the passenger elevator was utterly undreamt of. 
Various forms of simple manual rope and lever hoists had of course 
been in use for ages; and with the advances in mechanical invention 
which for half a century had been one of the most characteristic fea- 
tures of American national life, these crude types had been improved 
upon by the substitution of steam motive power and other merely 
incidental modifications. But the idea of the elevator proper — that 
is, a construction rendered safe for human life, and in which the 
travel up and down is controlled from the car itself — was still quite 
beyond the thought of those times. 

Mr. Otis came upon this thought by degrees. The first step made 
by him toward it has been thus described : 

During the building and equipment of this factory (the Bedstead Company's, in Yonkers) '■ 
it became necessary to construct an elevator for use on the premises, during the erection of j 
which Mr. Otis developed some original devices, the most important of which was one for pre- 
venting the fall of the platform in case of the breaking of the lifting rope. 

The novelty and utility of this device soon brought it to the notice 
of manufacturers in New York, and he began to receive orders for the 
construction of elevators. Of course these early machines were con- 
fined exclusively to the purpose of freight carriage. But Mr. Otis 
had a perception of the ultimate significance of the progress which 
his safety device represented. At the World's Fair in the Crystal 
Palace in New York City, which was opened July 4, 1853, he placed 
a small elevator on exhibition, containing the improvements made 
by him up to that time. He attracted considerable attention by get- 


ting upon the platform, running it up some distance and then cutting 
the rope, thus demonstrating the safety of his invention against ac- 
cident and consequent loss of life. 

Meantime he had entered in earnest upon elevator making. Some 
time previously (1854) he had resigned his position with the Bedstead 
concern and gone into a general manufacturing business (devoted to 
the production of mechanical appliances of different kinds) on his 
own account. By degrees the building of elevators became the lead- 
ing feature of the works, although down to the time of his death 
(April 8, 1861) his establishment did not confine itself to elevators, 
but continued to do a somewhat promiscuous business. He was fertile 
in other lines of invention and improvement. Among the new de- 
vices connected with his name m.ay be mentioned " a machine for 
making blind staples, an automatic wood-turning machine, a railway 
bridge for carrying trains across a river without impeding naviga- 
tion and at the same time doing away with the danger of a draw, a 
very ingenious steam plow, and a rotary oven for use in the manu- 
facture of bread." 

Shortly before his death Mr. Otis made a decided innovation in the 
methods of elevator operation by designing, patenting, and construct- 
ing an independent engine capable of high speed (consisting of two 
connected reversible oscillating cylinders, very compactly arranged) 
to raise or lower the platform or car. Up to that time the elevator 
had been regarded and treated only as one of the incidental objects 
for attention and service in the general distribution of steam motive 
power in a manufacturing establishment, being operated by belting 
from some conveniently located power shaft. With the direct gear- 
ing of it to an independent steam engine the era of the elevator as a 
separate institution of the age was ushered in. 

During the seven years from the foundation of his business until 
his death, Mr. Otis had experienced fair success, but only on a quite 
modest scale. The number of hands employed by him did not reach 
a score. The works (located from the beginning in a portion of the 
original premises of the Bedstead Manufacturing Company, at the 
foot of Vark Street) were inherited by his two sons, Charles E. and 
Norton P., who from boyhood had assisted their father in all his un- 
dertakings and, like him, had prepared themselves for their business 
careers by many years of practical work in the manufactory. 

In his personal life and character Mr. Otis was the type of the reso- 
lute, earnest, enterprising, high-minded native American, self- 
schooled, self-trained, and self-made. He possessed untiring energy, 
which, with his native ingenuity and capacity for management, was 
the foundation of all the success he attained in life. He was a man of 



pronounced progressive views, especially on the subjects of temper- 
ance and slavery; and it is noteworthy that toward the end of his life 
he frequently prophesied that slavery as an institution would be swept 
out of existence within ten years. Slavery was in fact abolished 
within five years of the time when this prediction was made. He was 
a very public-spirited citizen of Yonkers, taking an active part in all 
matters related to the welfare of the community. He was a leading 
and much esteemed member of the First Methodist Ohurch of that city. 
He was twice married — first, June 2, 1834, to Miss Susan A. Hough- 
ton, of Halifax, Vt. (the mother of Charles K. and Norton P., who 
died February 25, 1842), and second, in August, 1846, to Mrs. Betsey 
A. Boyd, of Whitingham, Vt., who now resides with Mr. Charles K. 
Otis in Yonkers. 

TIS, CHARLES ROLLIN, of Yonkers, the first son of Elisha 
G. Otis, successor of his father as the head of the Otis 
elevator manufacturing interests, and for many years 
their leading spirit, was born in Troy, N. Y., April 29, 1835. 
As a boy he accompanied his father in all his changes of residence, 
living successively at Troy, Halifax (Vt.), Albany, Hudson City 
(N. J.), and Yonkers. In his "schooling" he was confined to the 
facilities provided by the public schools of Halifax and Albany. In- 
heriting his father's taste and aptitude for mechanical pursuits, he 
began at the age of thirteen to learn the trade of machinist, and when 
only fifteen had become sufficiently proficient to be entrusted with 
the duties of engineer in the manufacturing concern with which his 
father was connected in Hudson City and at Yonkers. 

At that time he cherished a boyish ambition to secure employment 
as principal engineer on one of the Hudson River steamboats, or, still 
better, if such a thing could be possible, some great ocean steamship. 
This became his fixed plan for a career, but after his father's removal 
to Yonkers and inauguration there of the enterprise of elevator build- 
ing, he soon acquired different views as to the best ultimate employ- 
ment of his activities. With a keen instinct for the eventualities of 
this novel business, he foresaw the great demand likely to arise for 
safety elevators with the progress of public knowledge of their merits, 
the proper improvement of them in their details, and the needful 
attention to the commercial side of the subject; and he not only co- 
operated actively in all his father's undertakings in these lines, but 
was very instrumental in concentrating the business of the factory 
upon elevator making. He early manifested, moreover, particularly 

Eng^hy ^B Ball's Sow., llsw^X^rli.. 


practical ideas for perfecting the elevator machinery in serviceable re- 
spects; and it was due to his inventive ingenuity that the notable hoist- 
ing engine which his father had constructed and patented was brought 
to a high degree of efficiency by the remedying of its chief defects. 

For some months before and after the death of his father (April, 
1861, the month of the breaking out of the" Qvil War) the business 
of the Otis works in Yonkers was seriously affected by the prevailing 
commercial prostration. The capital with which to revive and energize 
it consisted of only some fifteen hundred dollars, which Charles E. had 
saved, with a few; additional hundreds belonging to his brother, Norton 
P. The brothers were at this time, respectively, twenty-six and twenty- 
one years old. Reorganizing the establishment under the firm name of 
N. P. Otis & Brother, they eliminated from its operations everything of 
a miscellaneous nature, and, with an energy to which both of them con- 
tributed their full abilities and activities, proceeded with the build- 
ing of elevators exclusively. Prom the beginning of the new enterprise 
Charles B. Otis devoted himself with the greatest industry to its many 
details, planning improvements of all kinds, which, represented by 
valuable letters-patent issued to him (as also to his brother), caused 
the Otis elevator to advance steadily in working qualities and to be 
received with constantly increasing popular favor. In August, 1864, 
J. M. Alvord was admitted to the firm, whose name was now changed 
to Otis Brothers & Company. Mr. Alvord sold his interest to the Otis 
Brothers in 1867, whereupon the firm was cohverted into a stock com- 
pany, with Charles It. as president. By this time the business had 
greatly expanded, the amount done in 1868 aggregating |135,000. In 
that year the works were changed to their present location. Wells and 
Woodworth Avenues. Under the new corporate auspices the trans- 
actions of the company took rapid strides, progressing in volume dur- 
ing the next fourteen years to near the million mark. 

In consequence of serious ill-health, caused by the excessive work 
of years, Mr. Otis, in 1882, recognized the need of retiring from his 
active labors and interests. An acceptable offer to buy out the business 
having been made by a syndicate of capitalists, the brothers withdrew 
from it in June of that year. Later they returned to its control, Charles 
R. continuing to hold the office of president until his permanent retire- 
ment in 1890. He has since been leading a life of quiet in his home in 

In examining the various elements that have contributed to the vast 
development of the affairs of Otis Brothers & Company, and of the 
progress of the institution of the elevator with which that corporation 
has always been so intimately identified, it is largely impossible to sep- 
arately or relatively estimate the parts played by the two brothers in 


their strictly individual capacities. Closely associated in all their joint 
labors and interests, the unvarying financial success of the company, 
and the steady contributions made by it to the development of the 
elevator as vre have it to-day, are the results of common talents and 
work, which can hardly be considered otheiTvise than in the common 
relation. Each of them has personally adfled numerous important 
inventions to the general store; and of the le;t'ters-patent issued to the 
brothers by the government no fewer thah nine bear their names 

A resident of Yonkers for forty-six years, Charles K. Otis has wit- 
nessed all the striking changes which that beautiful community has 
experienced in its progress from its early rude conditions. His name 
is one of the few which occur instantly to everybody in recalling the 
men who in those now remote times laid the foundations of the Yonkers 
of to-day. As he has maintained his residence in Yonkers without 
change, he has also throughout his life been prominent in activity and 
usefulness as a citizen. He has taken much interest in local improve- 
ments of various kinds, and has become one of the large real estate 
holders of the city. 

Since March 3, 1859, he has been a member of the Westminster 
Church. From 1877 to 1894 he was superintendent of its Sunday- 
school, and since 1880 he has been one of its elders. He has always 
been one of the principal supporters of this church. At the time of 
the building of its new edifice he rendered valuable services as chair- 
man of the building committee. 

This sketch of Mr. Otis can not be more fittingly concluded than by 
■quoting from a published biography of him : 

He married, August 28, 1861, Miss Carrie F. Boyd, to .whose umform cheerfulness, and 
untiring care and helpfulness, he owes much of his past and present success. Though he has 
no children of his own, he has brought up and educated several, some of whom have been 
orphans and some children of relatives. He is a deep student, and delights in the perusal of 
classical and scientific works, of which he has been able to collect a large number. He has 
been an extensive traveler. 

TIS, NORTON PEBNTISS, ex-mayor of Yonkers, second son 
of Elisha G. Otis, and president since 1890 of Otis Broth- 
ers & Company, was born in Halifax, Vt., March 18, 1840. 
He attended school in that village and in Albany (N. Y.), 
Hudson City (N. J.), and Yonkers. When .'about eighteen years old 
he went to work in the machinery manufacturing establishment of 
his father in Yonkers, where in due time he became skilled in the arts 
of mechanical construction, giving special attention, like his brother 
Charles, to those incidental to elevator building. 

^ Nt^^^ 

SnjfJiy TUB Ball: i Sm.%. JTewZSrk. 


As has been stated in the preceding sketcli, Norton P. Otis, after 
the death of his father, united with his brother in reorganizing the 
business in Yonlfers, with exclusive reference to elevator making and 
improvement, participated in all the hard and systematic work which 
resulted in placing the Otis firm on a basis of assured prosperity, made 
at various times important contributions to the long list of the inven- 
tions entering into the gradual development of the Otis elevators, re- 
tired temporarily from active connection with the company upon its 
sale to a syndicate in 1882, but subsequently, with his brother, resumed 
its control. He has ever since participated vigorously in its affairs. 
Upon the retirement of his brother from the presidency of the company 
he succeeded to that position. On the 1st of January, 1899, the Otis 
Elevator Company was organized, taking over the property, patents, 
and business of Otis Brothers & Company, and of a number of other 
manufacturing concerns in the same line; and Mr. Otis, wishing to be 
relieved in a measure from the cares of active business, was made the 
chairman of the board of directors. He is also president of the new 
Otis Electric Company, which began business in July, 1893. The latter 
company also has its works in Yonkers, and constructs electric motors 
and dynamos of a type patented by Rudolf Eickemeyer, the eminent 
Yonkers inventor. 

During the first ten years following the beginning of energetic 
operations in elevator manufacture by the brothers in 1861, Norton 
P. Otis spent much of his time traveling through the country intro- 
ducing the new machines. In this work he was very successful. Upon 
the conversion of the concern into a stock company, in 1867, he was 
elected treasurer, continuing as such until June 1, 1882. Returning 
as vice-president after an interval of four years, he remained in that 
position until his election as president in 1890, to succeed his brother. 

The Otis elevator interest, in its present extensive development and 
high organization, is one of the most representative productive indus- 
tries of the United States. This is not only the largest elevator build- 
ing company in the world, but in its history, and by the peculiar na- 
ture of its association with the progress of the times presents aspects 
of exceptional interest. 

Its history has been briefly told in the preceding sketches. To an 
extent which can hardly be exaggerated, it has been, and continues, 
pre-eminent in the astonishing work of evolution in the circumstances 
of city life, architecture, and economy which this generation has wit- 
nessed. Ever since its founder, Elisha G. Otis, built the first safety 
elevator, and, by public exhibitions, demonstrated the entire practi- 
cability of carrying people up and down without danger to life and 
under conditions permitting measurable regulation of the movements 



of the vehicle, the devices and flnished products of the Otis Company 
have registered the exact state of advancement, scientifically and in 
respect of actual utility, of the elevator as one of the most distinctive 
and decisive features of nineteenth century development. 

It is a rather trite allusion to the ordinary business of the Otis 
Brothers to remark that their elevators are by far more numerous 
than those of all other companies in the towering office structures, 
many of them rising to more than twenty stories, which have been 
built in the last few years. The elevator that travels to any height, 
performing any required service with swiftness, smoothness, and per- 
fect safety, has ceased to be a wonder, and a mere reference to these 
familiar objects is sufficient. Of special interest, however, as appeal- 
ing to the imagination because of associations, are several of the strik- 
ing achievements! of the Otis Company in connection with public works 
or enterprises of great importance. Among the elevators of this class 
constructed by it in recent years may be mentioned the two in the 
Eiffel Tower at the Paris Exposition of 1889, which, on account of 
the curvature at varying inclines of the legs of that structure, whose 
course they followed, involved singular engineering difficulties; the 
twelve employed in the Glasgow Harbor Tunnel service (opened July 
8, 1895), which also are remarkable examples of elevating machinery 
of unusual types; the great elevators at Weehawken (finished in 
1891), which are among the sights of New York and its environs; the 
Otis Elevating Cable Railway in the Catskill Mountains (inaugurated 
in 1892), which ascends at a dizzy incline to a vertical height of 1,680 
feet, shortening the time of travel to the summit from two hours to 
ten minutes; and the similar Prospect Mountain Inclined Railway at 
Lake George. 

The Otis Company was the first to institute the system of regular 
inspection of elevators. This service, originated January 1, 1883, has 
become a recognized feature of modern precautionary measures for 
the protection of the public against accident. 

The works in Yonkers constitute one of the most important and in- 
teresting establishments in that city of extensive manufacturing 
plants. They are four stories in height and cover an area of two acres. 
They give employment to from four to five hundred hands, about two 
hundred additional hands being employed in New York and other cit- 
ies in the work of erecting elevators as they are completed and shipped 
from the factory. The general offices are in New York City. 

Mr. N. P. Otis has long been a prominent and popular citizen of 
Yonkers. In the spring of 1880 he was nominated for mayor on the 
Republican tieket, and elected by a good majority. His administra- 
tion as mayor is remembered for uncommonly valua.ble services ren- 


dered to the city, some of which were connected with quite delicate 
circumstajaces, requiring courage, tact, and a high degree of admin- 
istrative ability. Especially notable was his action in the reorgan- 
ization of the schools, under the act doing away with the old separate 
district system, and establishing a consolidated Board of Education. 
A most distasteful and demoralizing state of affairs had obtained for 
years in school management, owing to political, religious, and other 
distractions which characterized the transactions of the district 
boards. Mayor Otis, being empowered by the new statute to appoint 
a general board of fifteen members, scrupulously ignored all partisan 
and other ungermane considerations in its construction, and chose its 
members with sole reference to their special fitness for different 
branches of strictly legitimate school work. To him is due the credit 
for first placing the educational system of Yonkers on a basis of real 
solidity and efficiency. The course that he adopted proved to be a 
permanent cure for the old evils, and from it has developed the present 
admirable educational organization, making Yonkers in this regard 
conspicuous among the cities of the United States. During his mayor- 
alty term also the fire department was remodeled, the charter for a 
public dock was granted, and the city's debt was reduced by |75,000. 

In the fall of 1883 he was elected to represent the 1st district of 
Westchester County in the assembly at Albany, overcoming a heavy 
normal Democratic majority. His service in the legislature was 
characterized especially by successful activity in behalf of measures 
of importance to the county. He introduced, and procured the enact- 
ment of, a bill authorizing local officials to exercise the police power 
for preventing the landing within municipal limits of objectionable 
" excursion " parties; and also of a bill for reducing to reasonable rates 
the former excessive "short-ride" fares on railways. Another act 
framed by him, which provided that only practicing physicians should 
be eligible for the office of coroner, was found to be unconstitutional — 
a defect which the State Constitutional Convention of 1894 remedied 
by an amendment of the Constitution, subsequently ratified by the peo- 

In 1898 he was appointed by Governor Black a member of a Commis- 
sion of Sixteen to represent the State of New York at the Paris Expo- 
sition of 1900, and he was unanimously elected its president at its first 
meeting, held in Albany in December, 1898. 

He has been especially active and efficient in the management of 
Saint John's Riverside Hospital of Yonkers, of which he has been 
vice-president for the past ten years. 

Mr. Otis was married, December 25, 1877, to Miss Lizzie A. Fahs, of 
York, Pa. Their living children are : Charles Edwin, born September 



11, 1879; Sidney, bom January 28, 1881; Arthur Houghton, born 
August 21, 1882; Norton Prentiss, born May 14, 1886; Katherine Lois, 
born June 25, 1890; Ruth Adelaide, bom June 6, 1892; James Russell. 
Lowell, born March 24, 1894; and Carolyn Myrtle, born October 1, 

Mr. Otis is a member of the Engineers' and Fulton Clubs of New 
York City, and the Amackassin and Corinthian Yacht Clubs of Yon- 

OE, ROBERT, was born in New York City, July 19, 1815, 
and died on September 13, 1884, at his summer villa in Tar- 
rytown, this county, in his seventieth year. 

His father, also named Robert, was born in the hamlet 
of Hoes, Leicestershire, England, October 29, 1784, and crossed the 
ocean to America in 1803. Like all Englishmen who came to this 
countiy in the early days he was not an aristocrat, but emigrated for 
political and religious freedom. Although some of his ancestors held 
positions in the Established Church, he was a dissenter as well as a 
republican. As in the cases also of almost all immigrants to a new 
land, he brought with him not money, but a full equipment of sturdy 
purpose, intelligence, and industry. It is not surprising, therefore, 
to find him ehgaged early in the century in active business — not as 
a middleman, or vendor of the products of other people's brains, 
but in a calling requiring personal industry and intelligence. Before 
1820 he had become well knoAvn as a manufacturer of printing presses 
and successful introducer of improvements in the machinery destined 
to assume so important a place in the history of the art of printing. 
It was he who established the now widely known firm of R. Hoe & 
Company, his enterprise and able management of it continuing until 
failing health compelled his retirement in 1832. He died during the 
following year. His two sons, Robert, Jr., and Richard March Hoe, 
young as they were at the time, assumed the conduct of the business, 
which they carried on uninterruptedly during their lives, by means of 
inventions and improvements continuing to maintain the house in the 
leading position to which their father had advanced it. 

A continuous development of inventive enterprise has thus charac- 
terized the firm from its foundation to its present conduct by one of 
the third generation of the family bearing the same christian name. 

The elder Robert Hoe " is said to have been the first American 
engineer to employ steam as a motor for his machinery." The cylin- 
der press had begun to revolutionize the art of printing, but under 



the sons, Robert and Richard M., still more astonishing results were 
accomplished. In 1837 they brought out the double-cylinder press. 
In these machines the cylindei- carrying the paper passed over the 






type arranged in a flat form, which was inked by a roller passing 
ahead of the cylinder. In 1846 and 1847 the rotary press followed, 
the central cylinder carrying the type upon its surface as it revolved 
against four impression-cylinders and receiving the impression upon 



paper fed in to them by hand. These impression-cylinders were 
eventually increased to six, eight, and even ten in number, a man being 
required at each cylinder to feed in the separate sheets. With this 
machine, known as the Hoe "Lightning Press," twenty thousand 
impressions were made in an hour, but only on one side of the paper. 

Twenty years later the genius of the house produced the famous 
" Web Printing Machine," printing newspapers on both sides from 
a continuous roll of paper five miles long, and, at the same time cut- 
ting and folding them, turning off newspapers, ready for delivery by 
the newsboys or mails, faster than one could count with the eye. 
These machines came into use in almost every city of the world where 
newspapers were required in large numbers. But the wonderful 
progress in newspaper printing in recent years is evidenced by the 
fact that this press also, " a combination of the most delicate and in- 
tricate devices" as it was, is now entirely superseded by still more 
astonishing products of this house. The operations of the present Hoe 
" Octuple Perfecting Machine with Folders " almost tax credulity. 
This press prints, cuts, folds, counts, and delivers no fewer than 96,000 
four-page, six-page, or eight-page newspapers in an hour. Thus more 
than 1,500 completed newspapers every minute, or twenty-five every 
second, are delivered from one of these presses. For a ten-page news- 
paper the deliveries are 72,000 copies per hour; for a twelve-page paper, 
60,000; for fourteen-page, sixteen-page, and eighteen-page papers, 
48,000; for a twenty-page paper, 36,000; for a twenty-four-page paper, 

To the Hoes also belongs the distinction of producing a great variety 
of machinery ingeniously contrived for special purposes ; among other 
things, the first cast-steel saws made in the United States. 

Aside from his part in the development of this extraordinary busi- 
ness, Mr. Robert Hoe was a liberal-minded and public-spirited citizen, 
identifying himself with all that was for the best interests of the 
communities between which he divided his residence — New York City 
and Tarrytown. He was a liberal patron of the arts, took pleasure in 
aiding struggling young artists, and was one of the founders of the 
National Academy of Design. He was a member of numerous chari- 
table institutions, serving as trustee in several of them, and also gave 
much time to individual charities. He was a member of the Fifth 
Avenue Presbyterian Church, of New York City, a member of the 
Century Club, and a trustee of various business corporations. He 
was naturally of a modest and retiring disposition, and, while he 
always took a lively interest in politics, resolutely declined all public 
service which would bring him into prominence. He ably served the 
City of New York, however, on her Reform Committee of Seventy, 

ThallaurYork HiatariiCj 



appointed to rescue tile municipal government from the tender mercies 
of the Tweed ring. Mr. Hoe's life was happily set forth in the charac- 
terization which appeared in Harper's Weekly, September 27, 1884, 
soon after his death, from which we add a short extract to complete our 
article : 

The impression retained by the friends of the late Robert Hoe, who died at his beautiful 
summer home in Tarry town, New York, on the 13th of September, at the age of seventy, is 
of a kind to appeal with confldenoe to the admiration of fairer generations than ours. The 
civilized world knew him as a manufacturer of printing presses ; art students knew him as 
sensible to the romantic charm of works of the imagination ; business acquaintances knew 
him as responsive to the power of modern ideas ; but his friends knew Robert Hoe as a man 
who preferred to perfect himself rather than to build a reputation, and who was endowed 
with a siagularly happy moral balance. Like all such natures, he had a real love for living 
a life of his own, apart from the unsympathetic lives of others ; he might even have said 
with LStcordaire, " One can do nothing without solitude." i 

His funeral was attended by a concourse of neighbors and friends, and his body rests in the 
beautiful cemetery near Tarrytown which Washington Irving so tenderly described. The 
news of the decease called forth eulogies from all the leading journals of this country and in 
Europe. ' 

EBB, WILLIAM HENEY.— One branch of the Webb family 
in America was founded by Richard Webb, who came from 
the lowlands of Scotland to Cambridge, Mass., where he 
was made a freeman, or citizen, of the colony, on November 
6, 1632, twelve years after the landing of the Pilgrims. He removed 
with the company of Rev. Mr. Hooker and Governor Haynes to Hart- 
ford, Conn., where he is named as one of the grand jury in 1643. Sub- 
sequently he removed to Norwalk, Conn., where he died in 1665, having 
built the first mill in that place, and leaving a valuable estate. He 
had five sons— Joseph, Richard, Joshua, Caleb, and Samuel. 

Joseph, from whom the subject of this sketch is descended, settled 
at Stamford, Conn., and probably built the first mill there. Members 
of his family were conspicous in the French and Indian War and in 
the Revolution. Two of them, Benjamin and Charles, were with the 
English under General Wolfe at the taking of Quebec. Charles was 
selectman of his town nineteen times, and represented it in the State 
legislature twenty-three times. As colonel he commanded the 
19th Regiment at the Battle of Long Island. He distinguished him- 
self at White Plains, and at White Marsh his regiment received the 
attack of the Hessian force, losing eighty killed on the field, and hav- 
ing many more wounded. His son Charles, also in the service, was 
killed on a gunboat in Long Island Sound. 

Isaac Webb, father of William H. Webb, came to New York City 
in boyhood, and died there in the year 1840. He became an apprentice 



to Henry Eckford, the renowned shipbuilder, who made a national 
reputation during the War of 1812. At first, as sub-contractor, 
and after as partner with Mr. Eckford, he built many important ves- 
sels, among them the line-of-battle-ship " Ohio," the ships " Superior" 
and " Splendid " of the China trade, and four frigates of forty-four 
guns each for South American republics. Later he confined his busi- 
ness to the building of packet-ships, constructing some of the finest 
vessels of this class afloat. 

Mr. Webb intended his son William for a profession, and educated 
him under private tutors and in the Columbia College Grammar 
School. The boy succeeded finely in his studies, but was bewitched 
with his father's business. At the age of twelve he tried his hand 
at constructing a skiff; and before he was fifteen had put together 
other small craft, among them a paddle-boat. He became so much 
interested that, in spite of all persuasions to the contrary, he quietly 
determined to learn marine architecture. Prom the age of fifteen 
onward for six years he devoted himself with rare energy and persist- 
ence day and night to study and experiment. In this time he took 
only one week's vacation, and that he gave to a critical study of the 
new dry-dock at Boston — the first one of the sort in the United States. 
While still an apprentice with his father, with a fellow-apprentice 
named Townsend, he undertook the construction of five vessels by 
sub-contract, which were completed before he was twenty -three years 
of age. 

His health became impaired by the severe strain of such labors 
and responsibilities. He went abroad, but, after a short stay, upon 
the death of his father, he returned and took up his father's business, 
and entered upon a career which forms one of the most remarkable 
chapters in the history of shipbuilding. Within a period of about 
thirty years he built more than one hundred and fifty vessels of all 
sizes. Most of them were of the largest class and of much greater 
average tonnage than had ever been constructed by any shipbuilder 
in the world. Besides the numerous sailing vessels, the list includes 
steamships and vessels of war of the largest size. 

The warships were for the governments of the United States, Mex- 
ico, Russia, France, and Italy. One year from the laying of the keel 
he completed the seventy-two gun screw-frigate " General Admiral," 
7,000 tons displacement, named in honor of the Grand Duke Con- 
stantine of Eussia. This proved to be the fastest war vessel known 
at the time. 

The screw-frigates " Ee I'ltalia " and " Ee di Portogallo," for the 
Italian government, were the first ironclad ships that ever crossed 
the Atlantic Ocean. They were also found to possess extraordinary 


seagoing qualities and speed. They were constructed under difficul- 
ties, the contracts having been taken just before the beginning of 
the Civil War. Prices of material and labor rose rapidly, but they 
were completed according to contract, and proved so eminently sat- 
isfactory that Victor Emanuel by royal decree conferred upon Mr. 
Webb the order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus — the oldest order of 
knighthood in Italy, and one of the most prized in Europe. 

For the United States he built upon his own model and designs 
the steam-ram known as the " Dunderberg." This is one of the most 
remarkable warships ever constructed, and the largest ironclad built 
up to that time. The model is quite distinct from the turret or monitor 
system, embracing many novelties, among them a ram of peculiar 
build and great power. The war closing before the completion of the 
" Dunderberg," Mr. Webb sought permission to sell her to a foreign 
power. Many Americans were unwilling such a terrible engine of 
destruction should go out of our possession. But, by a special act, 
Congress released the contract, and she was sold to France and re- 
christened the " Eochambeau." A French admiral and crew were 
sent for her, but, as no such vessel had crossed the ocean, the 
admiralty hesitated to undertake her delivery upon the other side. 
Mr. Webb' promptly accepted a contract for her delivery at Cher- 
bourg, France, which, with an American crew, he accomplished 
against heavy weather in fourteen days. 

Previously Mr. Webb had built the steamship " United States " for 
the New Orleans trade, which, sold to Germany, was changed into a 
powerful warship. In 1 848 he had built the " California " for the 
Pacific Mail Steamship Company, the first steamer to enter the Golden 
Gate and harbor of San Francisco. 

Of a different style were the great floating palaces " Bristol " and 
" Providence," built in 1867 for the Fall River Line. The models 
were Mr. Webb's own, criticised by experts, but triumphantly vindi- 
cated by the vessels themselves, which on trial trips made twenty 
miles an hour, surpassing any steamers previously built. One of the 
largest, strongest, and fleetest of merchant vessels ever constructed 
in this country is the " China," built for the Pacific Mail Steamship 
Company for the trade between San Francisco and China. 

When we consider the number, variety, and magnitude of these con- 
structions, their achievements by virtue of the three prime excellen- 
cies of speed, capacity, and stanchness; when we understand that he 
originated and designed the plans and models by which this was 
accomplished, malting radical departures in many points from time- 
honored custom, practically revolutionizing our merchant and naval 
marine by many successful innovations, we must conclude that, as a 


master of naval architecture, William H. Webb has not been sur- 
passed in this or any other country. His influence has been widely 
felt, and his achievements are a permanent contribution to the mate- 
ria] progress of the age. 

Though so distinguished in this special field, Mr. Webb's activity 
has not been confined entirely to shipbuilding, but he has found time 
and heart for other large and useful enterprises. He established an 
independent line of steamers between New York and San Francisco, 
in addition to the assistance given in establishing the Pacific Mail 
Steamiship Company, of whose original board of directors he is the 
only surviving member. He contributed largely in funds for the 
construction of the Panama Railroad, and was one of the largest 
stockholders till 1872, when he sold out at a great advance. His 
capital and enterprise sustained a line of steamers for several years 
in the European trade, for a part of the'time the only American line 
so engaged. He sent the first American passenger steamer into the 
Baltic. He established, and sustained at a, loss for two years, a line 
of mail steamers between San Francisco and Australia via Honolulu 
and the Pacific islands, a distance of 6,500 miles — the longest con- 
tinuous mail route in the world. 

Twice (from the Democrats before the war, and from the Eepub- 
licans since) Mr. VS'^ebb declined the nomination for mayor of New 
York City. For fourteen years he was president of the Council of 
Political Eeform. One of the greatest achievements of his public life 
was the complete overthrow of the Aqueduct Commissioners, with 
their outrageous schemes for involving the city in enormous debt, and 
endangering its health by a great dam at the mouth of the Oroton 
River, instead of by small dams near its sources, which collect water 
comparatively free from impurities. 

Mr. Webb has been an officer or director for many years of various 
organizations, corporations, and benevolent institutions, and for more 
than a quarter of a century has been especially identified with hos- 
pital work. The crowning act of his eminently useful career has been 
the appropriation of the larger part of his fortune to the establish- 
ment and endowment of " Webb's Academy and Home for Ship- 
builders," where worthy young men from any part of the country may 
acquire an education in any branch of shipbuilding and marine engir 
neering, free of cost, being under no expense whatever, even for board, 
and where the aged and decrepit ship carpenter and engine builder, 
both single and married, may find a home for their remaining days in 
comfort and happiness. 

This home is at Fordham, in the Borough of the Bronx, standing on 
a bluff overlooking the Harlem River, and surrounded by a park of four- 


teen acres. The structure is of stone of Romanesque architecture, with 
arched windows and ornate corner towers. This magnificent institu- 
tion was duly presented to its board of trustees on the 5th of May, 1894. 
Among the spealcers at the dedicatory services were Bishop H. C. Pot- 
ter, Eev. Eobert Collyer, and the Hon. Joseph H. Choate. According 
to the first annual report (May 1, 1895) the aggregate cost of the Webb 
Academy aoid Home, including land, construction, and maintenance 
up to that date— wholly paid by Mr. Webb,— was $496,328.65. 

Mr. Webb's home is at " Waldheim," Tarrytown-on-the-Hudson, en- 
closed in a beautiful park of ninety-seven acres. 

UENS, JAMES IRVING, of Yonkers, lawyer, political leader, 
and ex-member of the State Assembly and Senate from 
Westchester County, was born in Biddeford, Maine, August 
10, 1841. He is descended from Scotch ancestors on his 
father's side and from English on his mother's. His forefathers were 
hardy and enterprising pioneers, devoted to republican institutions 
from their first settlement in the American colonies and stanch sup- 
porters of the patriot cause in the War of the Revolution. 

The father of Senator Burns, Jeremiah Burns, who was born in New 
Hampshire, although a private citizen, entirely unambitious for public 
honors, was a notable man and exercised a wide influence. His marked 
traits of character were great energy, strong and fearless convictions, 
and indomitable will. An ardent supporter of the Republican party, 
which he believed to be the party of right and justice, he sustained 
close relations of friendship with many of its great leaders, including 
President Lincoln and Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. During 
the Rebellion he was a member of the New Hampshire State Commit- 
tee on matters pertaining to the conduct of the war and the interests of 
soldiers, an organization in which he had for associates Admiral Farra- 
gut and other conspicuous men of the times. Removing to Yonkers, 
he was engaged there in manufacturing business, also editing and pub- 
lishing a newspaper called the Yonkers Clarion, which has since been 
merged in the Yonkers Statesman. He was zealous and active in the 
cause of education, and at the time of his death was secretary-treasurer 
and one ot the trustees of the Rutgers Female College, of New York. 
Jeremiah Burns is remembered as one of the most prominent and re- 
spected citizens of Yonkers of the last generation. 

The son received his education at Wisewell's Military Academy 
(Yonkers), Colgate University, and Union College, being graduated 



(1862) from the latter and also from the Columbia College Law School 
(1866). He has since received from Colgate University the honorary 

degree of Master of Arts. In early life he was for a time a clerk in the 
Treasury Department in Washington, resigning to accept an important 


position, in the New Yorlc Custom House. In 1881 he returned to 
Yonkers, his former home, where he has since resided. 

In his youth he began to talce a warm interest in political issues and 
party conflicts, and ever since he became of age and could vote he has 
been active politically, always as a Republican. While living in New 
York he was prominent in the party organization there, serving as a 
member of the county committee. Upon making Yonkers his per- 
manent home he at once took a leading place in the local affairs of that 
city and" the politics of Westchester County. He was a member of the 
Board of Aldermen in 1884 and 1885, declining a re-election, and also 
served on the Board of Education. In the autumn of 1886 he was 
unanimously nominated for Assemblyman, and was elected in a dis- 
trict largely Democratic. He was a member of the Assembly for the 
years 1887,"^ 1888, 1890, and 1895. At the election held in 1895 under 
the new State Constitution he was the Eepublican candidate for Sena- 
tor, defeating his Democratic opponent by a large majority and lead- 
ing his party ticket. He served as Senator for the years 1896, 1897, and 
1898. In both the Assembly and Senate he served on the most im- 
portant committees and was aggressive as a'legislator. In 1898, at the 
expiration of his three years' term as Senator, he received the Republi- 
can nomination for Representative in, Congress from his district, but, 
in common with most of his party's candidates in Democratic districts 
that year, was defeated. 

He has been a member of and held the position of Chairman of the 
Republican Central Committee of Yonkers for many years, and has 
generally been a delegate to all Republican conventions. 

The public life of Senator Burns has been characterized by ability 
and zeal in the discharge of the varied duties which he has been called 
upon to perform, and by prominence in connection with the advocacy 
of party principles and policies. An avowed and strong party man, 
he has, however, uniformly retained the respect and good opinion of 
his political adversaries, and his repeated successes at the polls in con- 
stituencies normally Democratic have been due to large personal pop- 
ularity and conspicuous leadership. 

He was formerly for a number of years Trustee and Treasurer of the 
Rutgers Female College, succeeding his father to the position. He is 
a member of the D. K. E. Club of New York, the City and Palisade 
Clubs, Board of Trade, and Historical Society of Yonkers, and Chair- 
man of the Executive Committee of the Republican Central Committee 
of Yonkers. 

He was married, September 29, 1869, to Mary C. Russell, of Hamil- 
ton, N. C. They have two children, Gertrude Louise and Irving Russell. 


NAPP, SANPOED REYNOLDS, is one of the most prominent 
and respected citizens of Peeksldll, where he was born on 
the 8th of December, 1832, and where hi^ entire life has 
been spent. A lawyer by profession, he is one of the oldest 
members of the local bar, having been in continuous practice in Peeks- 
kill since 1856. For more than a third of a century he has been con- 
spicuously identified with the Peekskill Sayings Bank, and in various 
other connections involving useful enterprise and public-spirited ac- 
tivity he has gained a position in the community which will always 
entitle him to remembrance among the representative promoters of its 
development and best interests. 

His father, Sanford E. Knapp, was a physician of high reputation 
and extensive practice in New York City. Dr. Knapp, in the line of 
his profession, conducted original scientific investigations and con- 
tributed a number of valuable remedies to the medical knowledge of 
his time. He was of English descent, and married Mary Brown, of 
Peekskill, whose ancestral line traces back to the French Huguenots. 

The son received his preparatory education in the Peeksldll Acad- 
emy, entered Princeton College, and was graduated from that institu- 
tion in 1854 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. The degree of Master 
of Arts was conferred upon him in due course by his alma mater. Upon 
leaving college he began the study of law at Peekskill in the ofla.ce of 
the late Edward Wells, and in 1856 he was admitted to the bar. En- 
gaging in the business of his chosen profession, he experienced an ex- 
cellent degree of success from the beginning, especially in connection 
with those branches of the law requiring prudent administration of 
financial and similar trusts. For some time he was a member of the 
executive committee of the Westchester County Bar Association. 
His professional career is thus described in a sketch of his life in the 
recent standard " History of the Bench and Bar of New York " : 

While giving attention to general litigation, he has devoted himself mainly to office business 
and all matters relating to real estate, the investment of money, and the settlement of estates. 
In connection with this, an extensive insurance business has also been established, and he is the 
agent for many of the largest insurance companies of the world. Mr. Knapp has won an 
enviable reputation for varied information, sound judgment, and disinterested devotion to the 
interests of his numerous clients, and his record has been such as to entitle him to the high 
degree of confidence which he enjoys among the leading men of Peekskill and vicinity. 

Mr. Knapp has held the position of secretary of the Peekskill 
Savings Bank since 1863, and he is also one of its trustees. He has been 
secretary and treasurer of the Cortlandt Cemetery Association; since 
its organization in 1884, and for many years past has been treasurer 
of the Peekskill Board of Trade. He has always taken a hearty in* 
terest in the educational concerns of the village, having served for 
thirty years (1860 to 1890) as secretary of the board of education of 


one of the school districts, and is now president. Since 1873 he has 
been- secretary of the Peekskill Military Academy, and in July, 1899, 
after the death of the Hon. Owen T. Coffin, was chosen its president. 

During the War of the Rebellion Mr. Knapp, being disqualified by 
physical incapacity from, enlisting in the army, furnished a substitute 
without being drafted, and at his own expense, and throughout that 
struggle he gave hearty support, both moral and financial, to the Union 

In his political affiliations he has been identified with the Republican 
party ever since that organization came into existence, but, preferring 
the pursuits of private life, he has uniformly declined to accept politi- 
cal of&ce. He is now treasurer of the Board of Water Commissioners 
of Peekskill. 

He is one of the leading Presbyterian laymen of Peekskill and that 
section of Westchester County. For more than thirty years he has 
been an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of that village, and 
he is also the secretary and treasurer of its board of trustees. He has 
many times been chosen a delegate to the courts of the Church, 
Presbytery, Synod, and General Assembly. 

Mr. Knapp was married in October, 18^, to Georgia Norris Knox, 
eldest daughter of the Rev. John Prey Knox, D.D., LL.D., of Newtown, 
L. I. He has one son living, William W., a graduate of Princeton 
University ('97) and now connected with the Elmira (N. Y.) Bridge 
Company, and a daughter, Aletta V. D., the wife of James B. Thom- 
son, of New Britain, Conn. 

|RCHER, HENRY BENJAMIN.— The Archers are among the 
' oldest, most important, and most numerous families of 
Westchester County. Their common ancestor, John Archer, 
came to the county about 1654-55, was the first lord of the 
Manor of Fordham (by royal patent issued by Governor Francis Love- 
lace, November 13, 1671) , and served as sheriff of the City of New York 
from 1679 to 1682. He was succeeded in the lordship of Fordham Man- 
or by his son, John, with whom the title expired. Descendants of John 
1st and John 2d are now. living in many parts of the county, and some 
of them are still to be found on the old ancestral lands. The following 
succinct account of the family has been prepared mainly from the ex- 
tended information about the Archers given in Bolton's " History of 
Westchester County." ^ 

' Rev. ed.jvol. ii.,.pp. 503, etseg., 707-8. have been corrected so far as the line of descent her* 

There are, however, various manifest discrepancies in considered is concerned. 
Bolton^s genealogical record of the Archer family, which 



John Archer, first lord of Pordham Manor, is supposed to have been 
a member of the prominent Archer family of Warwickshire,^ England, 

and a direct descendant of Fulbert L' Archer, who came to England 

^ The Archers for many centuries held large posses- 
sions in the County of Warwickshire. The representa- 
tiveof the senior branch in 1560 appears to have been 
Humphrey Archer of Warwickshire, who was , born in 
1527, and died October 24, 1562, eldest son and heir of 
Richard Archer, twelfth in descent from the above-men- 
tioned Fulbert. Humphrey married Elizabeth Town- 
send, and left among other sons, John, whose son John 
was the father of John Archer, first lord of. this (Ford- 
ham) manor. His (the latter's) branch of the family 

might have removed out of Warwickshire into Norfolk, 
from whence they came to New England Several of 
this name were early settlers of Massachusetts, viz., 
Henry of Ipswich, in 1641, and Samuel Archer, a carpen- 
ter, who requested freedom, lived in Salem, and died in 
1667. Hubbard, in his " Indian Wars," mentioiis a Lay- 
ton Archer and his son, of Rhode Island, who were killed 
by the Indians, S5th of June, 1676.— Bolton, vol. ii., pp. 


with William the Oonqueror.^ He probably accompaaiied the early set- 
tlers from Fairfield, Conn., to Westchester (town) about 16B4-o. Some 
years later he bought a large tract of land from the Indians, extend- 
ing as far north as the present Williams's Bridge. Oil March 1, 1666, 
he purchased fromElias Doughty, brother-in-law of the celebrated Adri- 
an van der Donck, " fourscore acres of land and thirty acres of meadow, 
lying and being betwixt Brothers Eiver and the watering place at the 
end of the Island of Manhatans," and by an instrument dated March 
4, 1669, he bought tiom the Indians a much larger tract for the con- 
sideration of " 13 coats of Duffells, one halfe anchor of Rume, 2 cans 
of Brandy, wine w*^ several other matters to ye value of 60 guilders 
wampum." Other purchases were subsequently added, giving him in 
all 1,253 acres. " Upon the 13th of November, 1671, Francis Love- 
lace, Esq., the governor, issued letters patent erecting the whole into 
an infranchised township or manor of itself, to be held by the feudal 
tenure of paying therefor yearly to the Duke of York and his successors 
upon the 1st day of March (Saint David's Day), when demanded, 
twenty bushels Of good peas." ^ This manor, called the Manor of 
Fordham, reached from the Harlem Eiver on thewest to the Bronx 
River on the east, with about an equal north and south extent, its 
northern line beginning at a point slightly below where that stream 
bends southward from the Spuyten Duyvil Creiek, 

The history of Fordham Manor has been traced elsewhere in this 
work, and it will be suflicient here to indicate how it passed out of the 
possession of the Archer family. The first lord executed various mort- 
gages of the lands embraced in the manor to Cornelius Steenwyck, a 
Dutch merchant of New York. The last of these mortgages was dated 
November 24, 1676, and was for 24,000 guilders, payable, with six 
per cent, interest, in seven years. Before the expiration of that time 
the first lord died, and his son John succeeded as second lord. The 
latter did not, however, reclaim the property, which, after the death 
of Steenwyck and his wife Margaretta, passed, by their bequest, into 
the possession of the " Nether Dutch Church within the City of New 
York." Nevertheless, a considerable portion of the lands of the manor 
continued to be held in fee in the Archer family. The principal repre- 
sentative of the Archers upon these lands in the eighteenth century- 
was Benjamin Archer, a great-grandson of John 1st. 

Henry B. Archer, Esq., of Yonkers, is a lineal descendant of 
John 1st and John 2d, lords of the manor, and Richard, a grandson of 

' i-^oltOH'fl- theory of thO' ■ nglish descent of John , those times, and as he early hecame a purchaser of lands 

Archer has been disputed According to Riker, the his- from the Indians in Dutch territory, he may hare adopted 

torian of Harlem, his original name-was Jan- Arber, and the Dutch spelling-aS a matter of expediency. .On the 

he came from Amsterdam, In the ancient records of the whole, we prefer to accept Bolton's theory. 
Town of Westchester his signature appears in the Dutch " Boltqn, vol ii.,, p. 505. 

style. But as the town was under Dutch dominion in ' ' 


John 2d. This Eichard had a son Anthony 1st, who, about 1748, set- 
tled in Yonkers. He died in 1792, and was the first person buried 
within the ground now known as Saint John's Cemetery.^ His son, 
Anthony 2d, born in 1746^ and died in 1838, spent ninety of the ninety- 
two years of his life in Yonkers, and at his death was one of the most 
noted of local characters. During the Kevolution he occupied a house 
at the southeast corner of the road to Bastchester (Ashburton Ave- 
nue) and Archer's Lane (Nepperhan Avenue). His son Anthony 3d 
(born in 1790), also a prominent man in Yonkers, was the grand- 
father of Henry B. Archer. He was a vestryman of Saint John's 

Charles Archer, son of Anthony 3d, and father of Henry B. 
Archer, was born in Yonkers. Early in life he went to New York 
and engaged in the grocery business, which he pursued for some forty 
years. Eetuming to Yonkers, he purchased the glebe farm (belonging 
to the Episcopalian parsonage). This property; he sold to William 
N. Seymour, of New York, and again took up his residence in that city, 
but after two years (about 1848) came back to make Yonkers his 
permanent home, buying the Gates homestead on Nepperhan Ave- 
nue, where he died. He married, fiist, Mary Hartell, by whom he had 
three children — Margaret, Catherine, and Henry; and second, Char- 
lotte Brower, who bore him five children — Charles D., Elijah M., 
Henry B., William S., and Eliza J. 

HENRY BENJAMIN ARCHEE was bom in the City of New York, 
September 4, 1833. He attended Public School No. 14, in Houston 
Street, in that city, of which Leonard M. Hazleton (then and after- 
ward a prominent man in the nietropolis) was principal. After the 
removal of his parents to Yonkers he was for a time a pupil in Public 
School No. 2 (Yonkers village). At the age of seventeen he began 
to learn the carpenter's trade with his brother-in-law, Sylvanus Fer- 
ris. He afterward worked at that trade in the employment of Ackert & 

At the age of twenty-six Mr. Archer entered the United States postal 
service, acting first as deputy postmaster in Yonkers, and then as 
clerk on the railway postal cars from Jersey City to Dunkirk — ^the 
first postal cars used on that line. Two days after the attack on the 
United States troops in Baltimore he started for Washington with 
two companions, and enlisted as a private in the Clay Battalion. He 
was a witness of the exciting events of that period in the national 
capital, being a guard at the White. House. After a service of thirty 
days he was honorably discharged and returned to Yonkers. 

* Scharf 's History of Weatchester County, vol. ii., p. 22; note. 


He held the offices of collector of taxes of the Town of Yonkers for 
one year and receiyer of taxes of the town for two years, both by 
election. He then became connected with the New York custom 
house, serving for two years as storekeeper and for eleven years as 
inspector. While in the custom house he ran for register of West- 
chester County on the Eepnblican ticket, but was defeated. His suc- 
cessful opponent, James Bard, died while in office, and Mr. Archer 
was appointed by Governor Dix to fill out the unexpired term. Mean- 
time he retained his position in the custom house. 

Resigning his custom house inspectorship in 1878, he was appointed 
by Mayor Masten and the board of aldermen receiver of taxes of the 
City of Yonkers. He has held that responsible position continuously 
since. As receiver of taxes for twenty consecutive years; Mr. Archer 
has made a conspicuous record for faithfulness and unimpeachable 
integrity, which entitles him to permanent remembrance among the 
public officials of Yonkers. Under his administration the business 
of the receiver's office has nearly quadrupled. When he first became 
receiver he had only one year's taxes to collect, with three assessments. 
At present there are three years' taxes to collect (the current year and 
two years of arrears), besides some one hundred and fifty different 
assessments. In 1878 the total tax list was about |200,000; in 1899 it 
was 1754,000. 

He was for twelve years a member of the Yonkers Volunteer Fire 
Department, being one of the organizers of Lady Washington Engine 
No. 2, and he represented Westchester County in the Fire Department 
Association. For a time he was connected with what was formerly 
the 17th Eegiment, N. G. S. N. Y. He participated in the organization, 
and is a member, of the Yonkers City Club; and he is a member of 
Rising Star Lodge, No. 450, F. and A. M. 

Mr, Archer married Mary M., daughter of Lawrence Post, of an 
old Yonkers family. Their children are Clara W., wife of John Har- 
riott, who for the past twelve years has been property clerk of the 
Police Department of New York City; and Fanny M., wife of Paul L. 
Thierry, a manufacturer of fine jewelry and leather goods in New- 
ark, N. J. 

TEPHBNS, GEORGE WASHINGTON, a well-known mem- 
ber of the New York bar and citizen of the historic section 
of Westchester County now comprising the Borough of the 
Bronx, the son of James and Elizabeth M. (Ballantyrie) 
Stephens, was born in Coeymans (on the Hudson), Albany Countj^, 
N. Y., February 22, 1844. His paternal ancestors settled in Connecticut 


in colonial times, and from there removed to this State, going first to 
Dutchess County and then to Albany County. His grandfather, Gideon 
Stephens, did more than any other man of his time to build up the 
village of Coeymans, and also the neighboring community of Stephens- 
ville. He was extensively interested in the general freighting business, 
the construction of docks, etc., at Coeymans, until about 1842j when 
he failed and went to New Orleans. There he recovered his fortunes, 
becoming prominent in the mercantile world. He died at Vermilion- 
ville. La., at a very advanced age. The father of Mr. George W. 
Stephens came to New York City, and in 1854 engaged in the blue- 
stone business in Harlem. Subsequently he conducted a retail coal 
establishment there and in Mott Haven, which has since been con- 
tinued by his son Olin J., and is to-day the largest concern of its kind 
in the upper part of the city. 

In the maternal line Mr. Stephens is of original Scotch ancestry. His 
maternal grandfather came from Scotland to this country in the early 
part of the present century, settling in Albany County, N. Y. 

George W. Stephens received his early education in the public 
schools of Brooklyn and New York City, and in 1863 was graduated 
from the College of the City of New York, ranking third in a class of 
thirty-eight. He attended lectures in the Columbia College Law 
School, completing the course there in 1865, and also was a law stu- 
dent in the office of Hon. William E. Curtis, afterward jtistice of the 
Supreme Court of the City of New York. He has always practiced his 
profession in New York City. For fifteen years (1877-92) he, was 
associated with William J. Foster in the firm of Foster & Stephens. 

In his career at the bar Mr. Stephens has pursued a general civil 
practice, his business being principally along the lines of commercial^; 
municipal, and real estate law. Of late years he has been occupied in 
the main with litigated causes, notably in connection with municipal 
affairs. Very much of his time has been employed in legal services in 
behalf of the officials of Long Island City. He has enjoyed remark- 
able success as appellant's counsel before the Court of Appeals. In 
the last twelve cases argued by him before that tribunal as counsel for 
the appellants he obtained reversals in nine instances; and in two of 
the remaining three appeals judgment was affirmed by a " divided 

From his youth he has been an active supporter of the principles of 
the Eepublican party. He has long been a leader of his party's organic 
zation in the 23d ward, frequently representing it as a delegate in con- 
ventions. At the Eepublican State Nominating Convention in 1896 
he was the first delegate from New York City to vote for Mr. Black 


for Governor. He is identified with the " anti-machine " wing of the 

He was appointed by Mayor Strong, in June, 1895, a member of the 
Change of Grade Commission of the 23d and 24th Wards, created for 
the purpose of assessing damages to property owners occasioned by 
the change of grade resulting from sinking the trades of the New Yorli 
and Harlem Eailroad. Prom that office he was removed for political 
reasons by the present mayor of the Greater New York. 

He lives at Kingsbridge, and is a large property owner in the 23d and 
24th Wards. 

He is a member of the Republican, Suburban, Progress, and Ford- 
ham Clubs, and of the Eoyal Arcanum. For the past ten years he has 
been regent of Kingsbridge Council, R. A. 

Mr. Stephens was married, in 1874, to Arline E. Lister, of New York 
City. They have two children— Elizabeth B. (a graduate of Bryn Mawr 
College and Miss Anne Brown's School) and William V: B. 

E ANGELIS, THOMAS JEFFERSON (better known as Jef- 
ferson De Angelis 1 , of Yonkers, actor, the son of John and 
Susan (Loudenslager) De Angelis, was born in the City of 
San Francisco, November 30, 1858. On his father's side he 
is of Corsican descent. His grandfather, Benedict De Angelis, with 
two brothers. Hyacinth and Joseph, emigrated to this country about 
1825, marrying a Miss Backhouse, of an English family. Benedict's 
brother, Joseph, became a prominent merchant of Philadelphia, and 
some of his descendants are still living in that city. The mother of 
Jefferson De Angelis was of original German descent, coming from 
good old " Pennsylvania Dutch '' stock. 

John De Angelis, Jefferson's father, left home in his boyhood, and 
went to California, as one of the gold-seeking pioneers of '48, making 
the voyage thither around the Horn in a ship belonging to his uncle 
Joseph. He was prosperous in his mining ventures, but subsequently 
engaged in unfortunate mercantile speculations, and lost all i he had 
acquired. He then gradually drifted into theatricals, and until his 
death (in 1878) followed the stage with- marked success and reputa- 
tion, becoming one of the most popular characters in the profession in 
his specialty Of minstrelsy. He' was a leading meniber of the famous 
San Fr^ancisco Minstrels, an aggregation never equalled in merit by the 
numerous imitators which have followed them. Later he organized 
companies of his own, and traveled with them throughout the country. 



A man of very sprightly temperament and lovable qualities, and a bril-! 
liant artist, he is remembered with equal, affection and respect. 

His family consisted of his mfe, his son Jefferson, and a talented 
daughter, Sarah Victoria De Angelis (now deceased), all actors bred. 


who followed his fortunes. Jefferson's earliest recollections are of the 
stage, upon which he began to appear when a very young child. He 
made his professional debut at the age of twelve in Philadelphia, and 
subsequently for several years continued to appear in sketches and 


short plays, chiefly of the variety order. As he grew to manhood he be- 
came ambitious for better things, and, having by economy and frugal- 
ity saved a considerable sum of money, conceived the idea of organizing 
a dramatic company for a tour of Australia. This was in 1880, and from 
that year until 1884 he not only toured Australia, but took his company 
to Ohina^ Japan, the Philippine Islands, Singapore, India, Mauritius,' 
Ceylon, and South Africa, producing most of the comic operas of the 
period, and realizing excellent financial results. Returning to Sau 
Francisco by way of the Hawaiian Islands, he entered upon a career 
oh the American stage, in which he has enjoyed uniform success, and 
advanced to a conspicuous position among tlie popular players of the 

During the summer season of 1886 he successfully conducted a the- 
ater in Philadelphia, the Casino. In the fall of that year he joined the 
McCaull Opera Company. During his connection with that organiza- 
tion, as second comedian to De Wolf Hopper, he was cast in important 
r61es in " Ruddigore," " Princess Ida," " lolanthe," and, indeed, all 
the current Gilbert and Sullivan successes, creating a variety of char- 
acters, such as Funk the Jew in " The Bellman," the Prophet in " The 
Lady or the Tiger," and the Italian in " Clover." In 1890 he went to 
the Casino in New York as its leading comedian. Here he enjoyed a 
striking success in creating the part of " Poor Jonathan " with Lil- 
lian Russell. Among his most brilliant characterizations at the Casino 
were the Dutch Professor in " The Tyroleans," and General Punto in 
" The Vice- Admiral." Other operas in which he appeared during this 
period were " Apollo," '' La Grand Duchess," " Girofl^-Girofla," and 
" Indigo." In 1893 he branched out into the dramatic field, joining 
the fine cast of " The Prodigal Daughter," in which he acted the part 
of Lord Banbery. The next two seasons he was the leading comedian 
of the Delia Fox Company, greatly adding to his reputation in " The 
Little Trooper" and " Fleur de Lis." In 1,896 he starred in "The 
CaJiph," and in 1897, with Lillian Russell and Delia Fox, in " The 
Wedding Day." In 1898 he formed a company of his own to produce 
" The Jolly Musketeer," which proved a highly successful venture. 

Aside from his stage connections, Mr. De Angelis is much esteemed 
by a wide circle of friends for an, exceedingly. amiable and attractive 
personality. He is a man of extensive and varied reading, and a con- 
versationalist and raconteur of delightful gifts. Possessing also the 
more solid traits of character, he has accumulated substantial means 
from the earnings of his professional career. Since 1890 his residence 
has been in that charming portion of Yonkers which has been carved 
out of the old Ludlow estate. To this beautiful home he is devotedly 


attached, spending there all the leisure that he can seize from his 

He is a member of the Lambs' and Players' Clubs, of New York, and 
the Corinthian Yacht Club, of Yonkers. He is connected with the Ma- 
sonic fraternity as ^ member of Saint Cecil Lodge, of New York. 

He was married, in 1877, to Florence Caundell, of Newcastle-on- 
Tyne, England, and has two sons— Thomas and Frederick. 

^^EUMB, LEVEEETT FINCH^ (born in Matawan, Monmouth 
^^M County, N. J., November 28, 1859 ) , is the son of Eev. John 
P^^ W. and Eoba Finch Crumb. When he was six years old his 
■ parents removed from New Jersey to Peekskill, this county, 

which has been his home ever since. He attended the old Howard Street 
School until his fifteenth year, and then entered the Peekskill post- 
office as a clerk. Later he pursued studies at the Westchester County 
Institute and the Peekskill Military Academy. In 1878 he began the 
study of law in the office of Edward Wells (since deceased), and in 
May, 1883, was admitted to the bar. 

Mr. Crumb from early youth took a hearty interest in politics, being 
ardently attached to the principles of the Eepublican party, and his 
political career began almost simultaneously with the practice of hih 
profession. In April, 1883, he was elected to the responsible poation 
of clerk of the village of Peekskill, and a year later was chosen corpo- 
ration counsel of the village. These two offices he held for sixteen 
years, being re-elected annually, although at one time the partisan 
complexion of the board from which he derived his appointment was 
Democratic. At the completion of sixteen years of service he re- 
signed, both as clerk and counsel. On March 14, 1900, Mr. Crumb was 
again prevailed upon to accept the position of corporation counsel, 
which he now holds. 

In 1895 he was nominated by the Eepublican party for the office of 
county clerk of Westchester County, and after a very difficult and ex- 
citing canvass he was elected by a large majority, becoming on January 
1, 1896, the first Eepublican clerk that the County of Westchester had 
had in its history. In 1898 he was re-elected county clerk by an in- 
creased majority, running a thousand votes ahead of others on the 
same ticket. As county clerk he is also clerk to the Supreme 
Court and the County Court. His administration of the office has been 
characterized by great conscientiousness and the introduction of many 

' This sketch is from the " History of the Bench and Bar of New York." 



improvements in its conduct, his knowledge and ability as a lawyer 
enabling him to promptly perceive in what particulars existing defects 

could be remedied. In 1896 the county clerk's oiSce was the center of 
a most bitter and persistent partisan struggle to prevent his printing 


of the official ballots. In the course of this contest thirty-two stays, 
mandamuses, and injunctions were served upon him, but he success- 
fully carried out his official duties, without violating any of the orders 
of the court, and placed the ballots in the hands of the electors for the 
whole county, without error, on election morning. 

In his profession Mr. Crumb has built up a large practice. To this he 
gives careful and assiduous attention in addition to his many public 
duties. He is recognized as one of the ablest practitioners of the 
county. His success, both professionally and in political life, is 
largely due also to unusual qualities of excessive ability, to which he 
adds uncommon energy and activity and a pleasing personality that 
has attracted to him many warm friends and a large personal fol- 

He is one of the leading and most popular citizens of Peeksldll, and 
takes much interest in all matters calculated to promote its interests 
and prosperity. He was instrumental in organizing the Board of 
Trade of Peekskill in 1890, and was chosen its first secretary, a posir 
tion which he still holds, having been continued in it from year to 

Mr.' Crumb has a number of fraternal connections. He is active in 
Freemasonry, being a member of Cortlandt Lodge, No. 34, F. and A. M., 
Mohegan Chapter, No. 221, K. A. M., and Westchester Commandery, 
No. 42, Knights Templar, of Sing Sing. He is also a member of Cryp- 
tic Lodge, No. 75, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Bald Eagle 
Tribe,' No. 264, I. O. E. M., of Harmony Lodge, No. 95, Knights of 
Pythiks, and of the City Club of Yonkers. He is a trustee in the First 
Baptist Church of Peekskill. 

On April 26, 1888, Mr. Crumb married Nellie M. Starr, youngest 
daughter of George S. Starr, of Peekskill. 

OULD, JAY.i — The just estimate of a great man's life is 
necessarily an evolution. It crystallizes gradually. Con- 
temporaneous history either magnifies or disparages. It 
is only with the final calm judgment which avoids the 
passions of the hour — sees the main facts in the clear light which 
time alone reveals — that abiding history is written. An intense in- 
dividuality that rises suddenly upon the world, wresting from it a 
victory, will suffer, for the time being, just in proportion to the activi- 
ties exhibited. But sooner or later a more just verdict must be ren- 

^'This sketch, originally written for the Histoey op courtesy of the editor of this work, in "Leslie's History 
"Westchester County, has already been published, by of the Gresater New York." 




Jay Gould, from 1860 to his death, was clearly t-he most striking fig- 
ure in the American monetary world. No man attracted more central 
attention and no man was more roundly criticised and misunderstood. 
Intensely individual, peerless as ^ far-seeing financier, carrying every- 
thing before him, reticent to an extreme, turning neither to the right 
nor to the left to- disarm hostile criticism, it could not logically have 
been otherwise. When he died, and even before (after thorough in- 
vestigation of his business transactions and methods), men began to 

Hon. Alonzo B. Cornell, speaking at the time of the great financier's 
death from an acquaintance of twenty- five years, said : " I regard him 
as one of the most remarkable men America has produced. As a busi- 
ness man he was the most far-sighted man I have ever known. He was 
the soul of honor in his personal integrity. His word passed in honof 
was as good as any bond he could make. He was the most misunder- 
stood man in this country." 

E. EUery Anderson, in his official capacity under appointment by 
President Cleveland as investigator of the affairs of the Union Pacific 
Kailroad, having an opportunity of observing the innermost operations 
of Mr. Gould's business methods, said : " One thing always impressed 
me, and it is interesting in connection with current statements and some 
popular impressions of the man. It is this : I have always found, even 
to the most trivial detail, that Mr. Gould lived up to the whole nature 
of his obligations." 

John T. Terry, of the firm of E. D. Morgan & Company, who more 
than any other man has been the confidential participant in the opera- 
tions of great financiers, having close and intimate knowledge of Mr. 
Gould and being peculiarly competent to give a verdict, declared : " Mr. 
Gould has been for years the subject of much misrepresentation and un- 
reasonable abuse, partly from misapprehension and partly from malice. 
Even those of his transactions which have been beneficent in their char- 
acter, and which have been prompted by the best motives, have been 
turned and twisted by attributing the worst possible motives to him." 

These views are sufficient to indicate the final place which Jay Gould 
will hold in the calm and sober estimate of the world, upon a deliberate 
and unimpassioned study of his life and character. 

The history of Mr. Gould's early life and public career, as well'as of 
his family antecedents, is full of interest. Major Nathan Gold, or 
Gould, emigrating about 1646 from Saint Edmondsbury, in the south of 
England, to Fairfield, Conn., became the founder of the Gould family 
in America, which, says Charles Burr Todd, early figured as " one of the 
most eminent and notable families of New England." He was one of 
nineteen petitioners for the charter of Connecticut, and from 1657 until 


Ms death in 1694 he was a member of the Connecticut Council. His 
son, Nathan, Jr., held the office of town clerk of Fairfield from 1684 to 
1726, was deputy-governor of Connecticut from 1706 until 1724, and 
became chief -justice of the Supreme Court of that province in 1710. He 
married a daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel John Talcott, of Hartfordf 
Their fourth son, Samuel, the next in the direct line, was born Decem- 
ber 27, 1692, and married to Esther Bradley, of Fairfield, in 1716. Two 
of their sons, Colonel Abraham and Captain Abel Gould, were Eevolu- 
tionary soldiers. The former of these, the great-grandfather of Jay 
Gould, was born May 10, 1732. His marriage to Elizabeth Burr, Janu- 
ary 1, 1754, brought another ancient and distinguished family into the 

The Burr family goes back to Baldwin de Bures, of Suffolk County, 
England, who is mentioned in 1193. From him was descended Sir 
Eobert de Bures, of Acton Hall, Knight Templar of Jerusalem, and one 
of the barons who deposed Sldward II. in 1^27. John Burr, founder of 
the family in America, came over with Governor Winthrop in 1630, set- 
tled first in Eoxbury, Mass., was one of the eight original planters of 
Springfield, Mass., in 1636, and finally remcgred to Fairfield, which he 
represented in the Connecticut General Court in 1645 and 1646. His 
son, Nathaniel, was also a prominent citizen and office-holder in Fair- 
field ; while Colonel John Burr, son of Nathaniel, was one of the most 
notable figures in the province. His son. Captain John Burr, was the 
father of Elizabeth, the great-grandmother of Jay Gould. 

Abraham Gould, commissioned colonel during the Revolution by 
Governor Trumbull, was killed in April, 1777, while attempting to 
check the advance of the British under General Tryon. His fourth 
child, Captain Abraham Gould, removed in 1789 to Delaware County, 
N. Y. Here John Burr Gould, father of Jay, was born, enjoying 
the distinction of being the first male white child born in Delaware 
County. He was a man of fine natural abilities and great force of char- 
acter. Self-educated, he was yet well read, and was dominated by 
broad and liberal ideas. He married Mary More, daughter of John 
More, who came from Ayreshire, Scotland, in 1772, and was one of the 
earliest settlers of Delaware County. 

Such were the distinguished families which, uniting in the direct 
line, constituted the ancestry of Jay (or Jason) Gould. He was born 
in Eoxbury, Delaware County, May 27, 1836, the eldest son, although 
the sixth child. There was nothing in his environments which either 
inspired or contributed to his brilliant future. His early home had 
been established by the struggles and depiivations incident to pioneer 
farm life. His educational advantages were necessarily crude and rudi- 
mentary, and, such as they were, were included within the brief period 


from five to sixteen years of age. He first attended the ordinary dis- 
trict schools, and afterward went to Beechwood Seminary. Later he 
spent two terms at Hobart Seminary, eight mUes from his home, walk- 
ing the distance at the beginning and end of each school week. While 
there he earned his board by keeping the books of the blacksmith with 
whom he stayed. He subsequently closed his school-days in Beech- 
wood at sixteen, having made the most of his opportunities, and keenly 
sensitive to the necessity that precluded a further academic course. In 
a letter, written soon after leaving school, he said : " But to speak of 
school seems to fire every feeling in my soul. It tells me that, while 
my schoolmates axe boldly advancing step by step up the ladder of 
learning, I have to hold fast to keep myself on the same ground." Later 
he wrote : " There is something in the idea of possessing a refined and 
cultivated mind; of its noble and mighty influence, controlling the 
human destiny, in yielding happiness and enjoyment to its possessor, 
in placing him where he is capable of speaking and acting for himself 
without being bargained away and deceived by his more enlightened 
brothers — something in the thought, I say, that is calculated to 
awaken and nourish resolutions that are worthy of a home in the 
human breast. ... I have determined, as soon as I have earned 
the means, to place within my reach a liberal education." 

In the winter of 1851 his father exchanged his farm for a hardware 
store in the village of Boxbury, in order to give Jay the advantage of 
a mercantile training. The boy mastered the business almost intui- 
tively, assuming the full management as his father's partner, and 
making all purchases from wholesale firms at Albany and New York. 
He not only brought to the business an incredible industry, giving it 
indefatigable attention from six o'clock in the morning until ten 
o'clock at night, but simultaneously carried on the study of survey- 
ing and civil engineering, rising at three o'clock' in the morning to 
pursue it. The severe strain of such unremitting application led to a 
nearly fatal illness, from the results of which he suffered, at inter- 
vals, for the remainder of his life. He mastered the subject of survey- 
ing in a single winter, and the following spring and summer was 
employed as a practical surveyor in Ulster County, at |20 a month. 
His employer failing, young Gould, with two fellow-surveyors, com- 
pleted the work on their own account. Following the profession of 
surveyor, on his own responsibility, between the years 1853 and 
1856, he made actual surveys of the ground and sketched and pub- 
lished maps of the Town of Oohoes and of the Counties of Albany, 
Sullivan, and Delaware. He also undertook expeditions for the survey 
of counties in Ohio and Michigan, and surveyed for the railroad be- 
tween Newburgh and Syracuse, and for the Albany and Niskayuna 


plank road. During the same time he had written his notable " His- 
tory of. Delaware County," and had sent the compiled manuscript to 
his Philadelphia publisher. About May 1, 1856, he was informed 
that the manuscript had been accidentally destroyed by fire. By the 
following September he had the entire work rewritten and issued from 
the press, working literally " day and night." Notwithstanding that 
it is the rapid work of an unpracticed author at the age of twenty, the 
volume displays signal ability, and is ,an invaluable and permanent 
record of Delaware County up to the date of its publication. 

By unparalleled industry, young Gould now had a working capital 
of |5,000, the net profits of his various ventures. He had, while pre- 
paring his history, become interested in the tannery business at Pratts- 
ville, N. Y. He saw the possibilities of an unlimited development of 
a similar enterprise in the backwoods of Pennsylvania. His next ven- 
ture was to execute this project. Going to the wilds of western 
Pennsylvania he located his enterprise, as he afterward expressed it, 
" right in the woods, fifteen miles from any place." He thus describes 
the first day's work on the ground : " I went in there and chopped down 
the first tree. We had a portable sawmill and we sawed the tree up, 
and that day we built a blacksmith's shop out of the timber. I slept 
in it that night on a bed made of hemlock boughs. We went on and 
built the tannery. It was a very large one — ^the largest in the country 
at that time." 

Here he founded and developed a new town, named after him, 
Gouldsboro, built a plank road, established a stage route, erected a 
schoolhouse, secured postal facilities, and was himself appointed the 
first postmaster. He also established mills and a store, instituting the 
nucleus of a thriving settlement. 

The new enterprise had its perils. The severe panic of 1857 follow- 
ing closely upon the inception of the venture threatened its success, 
but skillful management pulled the firm through. Two years later an 
unscrupulous partner, relying upon Gould's youth and inexperience, 
sought to wrest the business from him by high-handed methods. The 
attempt failed, Gould defeating the schemer in the courts at every 

Events now rapidly transpired to bring out the widest scope and 
fullest activity of Mr. Gould's abilities. His early aptitude and devo- 
tion to engineering had naturally turned his attention to railroads, 
and the result of the panic had reduced stocks to their lowest ebb. 
Describing his first efforts in connection with railroad enterprises be- 
fore the senate commission, he said : 

I still retained my early love of engineering, and I was watching the railroads. After the 
panic everything went down very low, and I found a road whose iirst mortgage bonds were 
selling at about ten cents — ^the Rutland & Washington Railroad, running from Troy to Rut- 


land. I went in and bought up ,a majority of theibouds at ten cents on the dollar,, and I left 
everything else and went into railroading. This was in 1860. I tpok entire charge of that, 
road. I learned the business, and I was president and treasurer and general superintendent,. ' 
and owned the controlling interest. 

He at once built up the material stock of the road, developed local 
traffic and resources along the line, effected a consolidation with sev- 
eral other smaller roads, and created the Eensselaer & Saratoga Eail- 
road. He then sold at 120 the stock he had bought at 10. This was the 
beginning, and disclos'es the foundation principle, of his success in his 
vast railroad enterprises. Precisely what he did in this case he repeated 
time and again. He built up the enterprises with which he allied him- 
self, and in doing so built up the great section of country, west and 
southwest, with which his enterprises were connected. 

His next railroad connections were with the Cleveland & Pittsburg, 
and with the Erie. In the case of the former, he duplicated the Eut- 
land & Washington undertaking. Buying the stock on an average] 
of 70, he built up the road by developing its local resources and estab 
lishing valuable alliances, and finally leased the line as a part of 
the Pennsylvania system, disposing of his stock at the same time at 
a very large profit. His connection with the Brie Eailway brought his 
name prominently before both the American and English publics. He 
found the Erie almost hopelessly involved, and on the verge of bank- 
ruptcy — utterly unable to cope with its powerful rival, the New York 
Central, under the masterful management of Commodore Vanderbilt. 
He accepted the presidency, and was prepared to build up this road on 
a solid basis of improvements, as he had done with the smaller roads 
which he had already handled.^ But he was confronted with peculiar 
disadvantages. The combination of Drew and Fisk, both large owners 
of Erie stock, and whose operations were of doubtful character, drew 
Upon him as their associate the public opprobrium which rested upon 
them. Hon. Alonzo B. Cornell has thoroughly cleared Mr. Gould 
from every imputation of participancy in the attempted steals of Fisk. 
In the contest with Commodore Vanderbilt, who sought to gain con- 
trol of the Erie, in order to destroy it as a rival of the New York 
Central, Mr. Gould's genius for meeting emergencies was conspicuous. 
He found a provision of the charter under which new stock could be 
issued. This he did quietly, placing it upon the market, until Van- 
derbilt got tired of buying and gave up the fight. Through the Eng- 
lish stockholders, however, under the lead of General Dix^ Mr. Gould 
was finally ousted from the presidency, a change now recognized as 
having been at that crisis disastrous to the stockholders. 

^ It is a remarkable fact that the purchase by Mr. Gould mained from that time to the present the one great item 

of extensive coal lands, in the line of his settled policy of in the assets of the Erie which has alone preserved any 

building up the resources of a road (but for which he was life or vitality through the vicissitudes of its corporate 

severely attacked by his adversaries' at the time), has re- existence. 


In connection with the Union Pacific, Mr. Gould accomplished a 
mammoth work on a magnificent scale. He found thiS' system also 
tottering on the edge of bankruptcy. He bought heavily of its securi- 
ties at 30 and under. The stock fell to 15. He continued buying 
until the tide turned. The road was burdened with an indebtedness 
of ten million dollars of bonds, due in a few months. The directors 
were about to select a receiver. But Mr. Gould at once inspired con- 
fidence. He met one-half of these bonds himself, the directors meet- 
ing the other half. He went out along the line, started coal mines 
and developed other resources, and soon had the road paying divi 
dends. The crisis once past, its securities rapidly rose until they 
reached a point between 75 and 80. In February, 1879, Mr. Gould 
sold one hundred thousand shares of the stock, at an average price 
of 70, to a syndicate of large investors, and within a few months dis- 
posed of nearly as much more at still better prices. The reason for 
this sale of a dividend-paying stock of a prosperous road Mr. Gould' 
stated before the senate commission, the explanation affording a fiood 
of light for a true estimate of the man : 

After it became a dividend-paying property and a demonstrated success, there seemed to 
arise all at once, on the part of the public, a great outcry that it was " Jay Gould's " road. 
However, I thought it was better to bow to public opinion, so I took an opportunity whenever 
I could to place the stock in investors' hands, and in the course of a very few months, instead 
of my owning the control of the road, I was entirely out and the stock was 20 per cent, higher 
than the price at which I sold it. 

He next laid the foundation of the great Missouri Pacific system by 
the purchase outright from Commodore Garrison of the original Mis- 
souri Pacific, running from St. Louis to Kansas City, about three 
hundred miles. In explanation of the Missouri Pacific enterprise, Mr. 
Gould said in 1883 : 

My object in taking the road (if you can appreciate it) was more to show that I could 
make a combination and make it a success. So I took this road and commenced developing 
it, bringing in other lines which would be tributary to it, extending branches into new country 
where I could develop coal mines, and so on. I continued to develop that road until, I think, 
we have now in the system controlled by it about ten thousand miles of railroad. 

Another of Mr. Gould's great enterprises was the final establishment 
of the Western Union Telegraph system. With his Union Pacific stock 
Mr. Gould had received an interest in the Atlantic and Pacific Tele- 
graph Company, a smaller rival of the Western Union. Seeing the 
advisability of a union of interests, he brought it about, but the con- 
solidation was perfected in a manner that resulted in a subsequent 
rivalry in which Mr. Gould outgeneraled the great railroad financier, 
William H. Vanderbilt, as in the Erie he had the elder Vanderbilt. 
Mr. Gould had stipulated that General Eckert, former manager of the 
Atlantic and Pacific, become manager under the consolidation. This 
agreement having been violated, he started a new company, the Ameri- 


can Union, carried it forward until the Western Union succumbed, 
bought a controlling interest in the latter, and put the two together, 
with General Ekert as general manager of the whole system. He now 
did with the Western Union what he had so often done with depressed 
railroad securities. Mr. Cornell says of Mr. Gould's subsequent mam- 
agement : " Looking back over the time during which Mr. Gould hai 
been in control, I have no hesitation in saying that his influence has 
been the most conservative and far-sighted of any ten consecutive 
years in the company's Mstory. He has desired to make the Western 
Union the great and only telegi'aph company of America. His policy, 
which has been a cordial and earnest support of the recommendations 
of the experienced officials who have had charge of the details of man- 
agement, has resulted in adding more to the value of the company 
during this time than was ever added in any twenty years of its preced- 
ing life. " 

One of Mr. Gould's later and far-reaching colossal achievements was 
his connection with the Manhattan Kailway Company, which gave 
rapid transit to the City of New York. He took hold of this road when 
it was in the hands of a receiver, and, associated with Mr. Cyrus W. 
Field, developed and improved the property until the stock rose froin 
almost nothing to 180. This value was clearly in a degree fictitious. 
Mr. Gould recognized this fact, and cautioned Mr. Field. The latter 
did not recognize it, and, against the advice of Gould, pledged his 
Manhattan securities and kept on buying, forcing up the price arti- 
ficially, and overloading to such an extent that the first falter in the 
strength of the securities left him helpless, in the face of imminent and 
complete financial ruin. The newspaper story was that Gould had 
depressed the stock to gain possession of Mr. Field's holdings. The fact 
was that Mr. Field plunged recklessly into disaster against Mr. Gould's 
advice, and was finally saved by Mr. Gould's generosity from utter 
and irremediable ruin. Mr. John T. Terry, who was the confidential 
negotiator between Mr. Gould and Mr. Field, but representing the lat- 
ter, and therefore speaking with authority, says : " In Mr. Field's 
strait, through his speculations, Mr. Gould was applied to for aid, and 
he generously loaned |1,000,000 of bonds, taking therefor no security 
whatever." Hearing that this was not sufficient to give relief, " he 
purchased most reluctantly and at much personal inconvenience five 
million dollars of the stock of the Manhattan Elevated Eoad at 120." 
He took later an additional block of |2,800,000, and after that advanced" 
a loan of $500,000 on insufficient securities. Mr. Gould paid |120 for 
each share of stock purchased, though the stock itself fell to |77. 
" This transaction," says Mr. Terry, " not only saved the parties, but, 
beyond question, saved a panic in New York. And yet there are thou?- 


san(is and tens of thousands of persons who believe that Mr. Field was 
wronged by Mr. Gould." It may be mentioned in this connection that 
at other times of financial distress, notably in the panic of 1884, Mr. 
Gould curtailed his own operations for the sole purpose of making his 
securities available for loans to imperiled houses that otherwise must 
have collapsed. 

Mr. Gould's reticence veiled while he lived the benevolent phase of 
his character. Mr. Morosini, who supervised Mr. Gould's accounts for 
eighteen years, states that his benefactions, kept very secretly under 
the comprehensive title of " Beneficence," sometimes aggregated |165,- 
000 in a single year. At the time of the yellow fever plague at Mem- 
phis in 1879, Mr. Gould telegraphed $5,000 to the sufferers, with a 
second equal amount later, accompanied with instructions to call on 
him for any additional sum necessary. To ha;ve his benefactions made 
the subject of newspaper comment was intensely annoying to him. 
For this reason his extensive gifts in charitable and religious direc- 
tions were made through his generous wife until her death, and 
through his daughter. Miss Helen M. Gould. He had planned an 
institution for New York City, on a magnificent scale, to give free ad- 
vantages in every department of industrial training and practical 
business education to young men of moderate means. Expecting to 
carry out this benefaction while living, he did not provide for it in 
his will. 

January 22, 1863, when in the midst of his first great successes, Mr. 
Gould was married to Helen Day Miller, daughter of the Hon. Daniel 
S. Miller, of Greenville, N. Y., and the descendant of an old English 
family which settled in Easthampton, L. I., during early colonial days. 
This lady, in conjunction with Mr. Gould, created a -beautiful 
home life, which exhibited, more than any public service could, the 
unusual character of the parents. The children of this union, all of 
whom have survived both parents, are : George Jay, Edwin, Helen 
Miller, Howard, Anna, and Frank Jay. In the home circle of the 
mansion in Fifth Avenue or of Lyndhurst, his country-seat at Irving- 
ton, surrounded by everything that cultured and discriminating taste 
could suggest; conservatories containing every treasure known to the 
horticulturist; picture galleries hung with the works of the old mas- 
ters; libraries replete with rare volumes— in this splendid home life, 
yet remarkable for its evenness and simplicity, Mr. Gould held the fer- 
vent love, respect, and veneration of his children. It was here that his 
true character was known to those whom he tenderly loved, and who 
honor and venerate his memory for what he was. In disposition Mr. 
Gould was gracious and gentle; in his instincts, gentlemanly and re- 
fined. No one questions his genius or his brilliant achievements in his 


chosen life work. His aggressiveness, Ms intense individuality, evoked 
criticism; but the closer his inner life and history are studied, the 
more willingly will the world pay, in its verdict, an abiding and 
grateful tribute to his memory. 

HEPAED, ELLIOTT FITCH, well known as the owner and 
editor of. the Mail and Express, whose death in the spring 
of 1893 brought to a sudden close a remarkably active and 
useful career, was born in Jamestown, N. Y., July 25, 1833. 
His father, Fitch Shepard, was, for a number of years, cashier of the 
Jamestown Chautauqua Bank (still a flourishing institution), and 
subsequently president of the National Bank Note Company of New 
York, which, after his death, was consolidated with the American and 
Continental Bank Note Companies, forming the present American 
Bank Note Company, of which Augustus D. Shepard, the only surviv- 
ing brother of Elliott F. Shepard, is vice-president. 

In America the founder of this branch of the Shepard family was 
Thomas Shepard, of Maiden, Mass., a relative of the distinguished 
Cambridge clergyman, the Eev. Thomas Shepard. The family origi- 
nally came from Bedfordshire, England. Fitch Shepard's mother was 
Irene Fitch, a direct descendant of the Fitch family who founded 
Fitchburg, Mass., and were among the first settlers of Norwich and 
Lebanon, Conh. The first representative of this family in America was 
the Eev. James Fitch, who was born in Borking, Essex, in 1622. His 
son Major .James Fitch, married Alice, granddaughter of William 
Bradford, second governor of Plymouth Colony, and daughter of Will- 
iam Bradford, Jr., deputy governor. Irene was their great-grand- 
daughter. Another ancestor on the same side was Dr. Theodore May, 
who was surgeon in the Eevolutionary army, and whose wife, Eliza- 
beth Ellis, and mother-in-law, Elizabeth Bedlow, belonged to the 
families after which are named Ellis and Bedlow Islands in New York 

In 1855 Elliott F. Shepard left the University of the City of New 
York to study law, and three years later was admitted to the bar. 
During the Civil War he served as aide-de-camp on the stalBf of Gov- 
ernor E. D. Morgan. In September, 1861, he presented the flag, " The 
Bride of the Eegiment," to the 51st Eegiment of the New 'York Volun- 
teer Infantry, named, in his honor, the " Shepard Eifles." This organi- 
zation is still in existence. When in charge of the military station at 
Elniira he was instrumental in securing 47,000 volunteers for the field. 
At the expiration of Governor Morgan's term of office and the resig- 
nation of his staff. President Lincoln offered Colonel Shepard a briga-, 
dier's commission, which he declined, from a sense of fairness to other 

Eng bij 


officers, who had seen, more field service than himself. He then de- 
voted his time to recruiting the 9th Army Corps, in which were the 
" Shepard Eifles," and to securing the passage of the laws for the sol- 
diers' allotment of pay to their families, and for their voting in the 
field; and he was active in aiding the success of the great Metropolitan 
Fair for the benefit of the sanitary commission of the army. This fair 
netted the large sum of |1,400,000 for the benefit of the sick and 
wounded soldiers. 

On February 18, 1868, Colonel Shepard married Margaret Louisa, 
eldest daughter of William H. Vanderbilt. From this union sprang 
six children, five of whom survive him. For twenty-five years he prac- 
ticed law vigorously and successfully, having been a member of the 
well-known firm of Strong & Shepard, and having done much toward 
settling the railroad law of the State. He procured the passage of the 
act creating the court of arbitration for the Chamber of Commerce. 
He organized and was counsel for banks, savings banks, insurance 
companies, churches, and commercial and other enterprises. 

In 1876 he was the founder of the New York State Bar Association, 
of which he became president in 1884. The same year, however, he 
relinquished his law practice and went to Europe for the fourth time. 
He visited the East, became especially interested in Tarsus, and sub- 
sequently founded " Saint Paul's Institute " at the apostle's birth- 
place. Three years later he made an extended trip through the West, 
including Alaska. His travels were the subject on which he some- 
times gave secular or religious lectures. 

The best known of his pamphlets, " Labor and Capital Are One,"' 
has been translated into various languages, with a circulation exceed- 
ing a quarter of a million copies. In it he declares the modern cor- 
poration to be " one of the greatest blessings of the nineteenth century, 
and a distinguishing mark of its civilization." He especially extols 
railroads, deprecating strikes and advocating arbitration in all dis- 
putes between employers and employees. 

In the spring of 1888 Colonel Shepard bought the Mail and Express 
from Mr. Cyrus W. Field, who, in 1879, had become chief owner of the 
Evening Mail, and in 1881 of the Express, when he consolidated the 
journals, forming the Mail and Express. Undei: Colonel Shepard's able 
management, this newspaper's power and influence greatly increased. 
He shaped its policy on every question, writing many of the editorials, 
and was not only the nominal but the real head of the paper, on which 
he worked five years with untiring zeal. His aim was, as he wrote 
shortly before his death, to introduce the Christian spirit into journal- 
In politics, from the commencement of the Civil War till the last day 


of his life, he was a stanch Eepublican, but higher than his party spirit 
was his patriotism, and, above all, his Christianity. Presbyterian by 
birth and conviction, he gave liberally of his means, and was person- 
ally interested in many good works. For five years he was president 
of the American Sabbath Union, believing that the fourth command- 
ment had never been repealed, but exhorts men as positively to-day 
to work six days in the week and rest the seventh as it ever did. He 
prevented the stages of the Fifth Avenue Line from running on Sun- 
day, and would have stopped all traffic on that day if it had been in his 
power. His personality — ^the dignified carriage, the pleasant, and cour- 
teous manner and genial expression — and his influence in the busy 
life of the city, as well as with those who knew him familiarly and 
loved him, will not soon be forgotten. 

LETCHEE, THOMAS ASA, dental surgeon, eminent in his 
profession in New York City, and one of the representative 
citizens of Mount Vernon, was bom on a farm in Moscow, 
^ Me., on the 1st of June, 1848. He is a descendant in the 
eighth generation of Robert Fletcher, who settled in Concord, Mass., in 
1630. The line of descent to Dr. Fletcher is as follows : 

I. Eobert, born in England in 1592; settled in Concord^ Mass., in 
1630, and died there April 3, 1677. 

II. Francis, bom in Concord in 1636; married (August 1, 1656) 
Elizabeth Wheeler; was a large landholder in Concord and was ad- 
mitted a freeman of the place. 

III. Hezekiah, bom April 6, 1672; married (May 11, 1703) Mary 

IV. William, born December 15, 1710; married (January 28, 1735) 
Dorcas Heald. 

V. William, bom in Concord, Mass., but removed in 1773 to Maine; 
married, 2d, Sarah Kemp. 

VI. Captain Asa, born in Bingham, Me., in 1782; married Lydia Me- 
Intyre; was a captain in the War of 1812; died June 6, 1862. 

VII. Asa, born January 22, 1813; married, in 1841, Elizabeth H. 
Whitney, daughter of Silas Whitney, of Gorham, Me.; went to Cali- 
fornia in 1852, and upon his return settled as a farmer at Solon,- Me.; 
was a member (1877-78) of the Maine legislature; died June 8, 1891. 
His wife, Elizabeth, died January 15, 1899. 

VIII. Dr. Thomas Asa Fletcher, of Mount Vernon. 

All of Dr. Fletcher's paternal ancestors were farmers, who lived and 



died in New England. From 1630 to 1773 the family continued at Con- 
cord, Mass-i the place of abode selected by Eobert, the emigrant an- 
cestor; (SUbsfequently for three generations living in farming communi- 


ties of Maine. He is a- descendant through his grandmother, Lydi a 
Mclntyre, of Levi Mclntyre, a soldier in the Revolutionary War;. and, 
as noted above, his paternal grandfather. Captain Asa Fletcher, fought 
in the War of 1812. 

82 westChesteK county 

As a farmer's son in a sparsely settled locality of Maine, Dr. Fletcher 
received no educational training beyond that afforded by the district 
and high schools of his neighborhood, and until his twentieth year he 
remained with his parents on the farm.. ..He then w.entto-Boston,.Mass., 
and obtained employment. Eesolving .to fit himself for a professional 
career, he saved money to that end, and, coming to ISew York City, 
entered the New York College of Dental Surgery, from which he was 
graduated in 1879 with the degree of D.D.S. Shortly afterward he 
engaged in the active practice of his profession, experiencing an ex- 
cellent degree of success from the start. Dr. Fletcher ranks among 
the foremost dental surgeons of the country, and in his practice enjoys 
an exceedingly select clientele. The high reputation that he has at- 
tained in his profession is the more noteworthy from the fact that from 
boyhood he was entirely without assistance in shaping his career. His 
name is honorably identified with the progress made during recent 
years in the use of scientific appliances in dentistry. He originated 
and put into operation the first suspeiision electric engine for dental 
work. For eighteen years he has conducted his profession at his 
present office, No. 51 West Fifty-four{h Street, New York. 

He is a member of the First District Dental Society of the State of 
New York, the New York State Dental Society, and, the Alumni 
Society -of the New York Dental College. He was a member of the 
International Medical Congress which met in Washington, D. C, in 
1887. For a number of years after his graduation he served on the 
clinical staff of the New York Dental College. He was dental surgeop ■ 
to the New York Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled for a period 
of eighteen years, and for two years had charge of the dental work in 
the New York Juvenile Asylum. i 

Dr. Fletcher came to Mount Vernon to live in 1888. , He is kuQwn as 
one of the leading citizens of that municipality, and as a public-spirited 
and valuable promoter of its progress and interests. In June; 1895, 
he became a member of the board of aldermen from the 5th Ward, 
continuing in the position for tvfo years. ' During the first year of his 
service he was chairman of the committee on street lighting, and during 
the second year was president of the board, al^o acting as chairman 
of the committee on streets and sidewalks. He took the lead, ^gainst 
much opposition, in procuring a large issue of highw.ay- -bonds for 
extending the system of modern paving in Mount Vernon; and to his 
aggressive course in that matter the credit for the present admirable 
condition of the principal thoroughfares,ot:Mount Vernon is in no 
small measure due. He retired from the. board of aldermen in the 
spring of 1897, declining a renomination;;but in May, 1899, at the 
earnest solicitations of his friends, was again a candidate for alderman,; 

biographtcaij 83 

and was elected, although at the election a year previous his ward had 
been carried by the opposing party. In his political afflliations Dr. 
Fletcher has always been a Eepublican. For the year 1898-99 he held 
the position of president of the Mount Vernon Republican Association, 
the well-known organization of Mount Vernon Eepublicans. 

He is one of the most conspicuous and active members of the Mount 
Vernon Board of Trade, of which he was president in 1897-98. He has 
for some years been president of the Mount Vernon branch of the Co- 
operative Building Bank Of New York. 

He is a life member of the New England Society of New York, a 
life member of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 
and for the past fifteen years has been secretary of the Fletcher Family 
Union of America. He was one of the organizers of the Chester Hill 
Methodist Church of Mount Vernon, and has been president of its 
board of trustees since that church Avas established. 

Dr. Fletcher was married November 14, 1889, ' to Elizabeth M. 
McLane, born in Mount Kisco, this county. They have one child' living, 
Austin Asa Fletcher (born January 28, 1895). 

RUSH, EDWARD FLETCHER, of Mount Vernon, was born 
in Dublin, Ireland, July 12, 1847. His father. Dr. Crane 
Brush, removed to Canada in 1850, became a surgeon in 
the United States army during the Rebellion, and later, 
continuing in the service, was detailed to the. surgeon-general's de- 
partment. He died at Key West, Fla., in 1867. 

As a young child, Edward was placed with a farmer in Canada, for 
whom he worked until his eighth year. He then left the farm, and, 
with a companion of about his own age, set out to seek a better lot 
Scantily clad, and having but one pair of boots between them, although 
it was in the winter time, the boys crossed the border into Maine and 
journeyed to Portland. After working for a year or two in a cotton 
, factory at Biddeford, Me., young Brush returned to Canada and ob- 
tained employment in the office of the Richmond County Guardian. 
Leaving this position about the time of the breaking out of the Ameri- 
can civil strife, he again went to Portland, and accompanied the 15th 
Maine Regiment to ti.e war, being too young, however, to be admitted 
to the ranks as an enlisted soldier. He was with that regiment at the 
bombardment of New Orleans. Later, having once more returned to 
Portland, he went out with the 7th Maine, and was present at the 
battles of Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and the First Wilderness. In 


1864 tie enlisted in the 16 th Maine Regiment, under Captain Charles 
H. Hildreth, with which he continued to the end of the war, partieis 
pating in many bloody engagements, including Hatcher's Eun, Mine 
Run, Dunwiddie Courthouse, and the running fights of Sheridan's pur- 
suit of Lee. 

Having received his honorable discharge from the army, he resumed 
the struggle for a livelihood and for the improvement of his condition 
in the world. He first clerked in a grocery store at Newton Center, 
Mass., and then entered the mowing-machine factory of Walter A. 
Woods, at Hoosic Falls, N. Y., where in due time he became a skilled 
mechanic and earned good wages. Notwithstanding the extreme dis- 
advantages of his boyhood and youth, he had always been of a studious 
disposition, and, by persevering private study and reading, had pro- 
vided himself with a good general education. While working in the 
machine shops he organized a night school, for the benefit mainly 
of his fellow-employees, which was well attended by them. Though 
successful at his adopted trade, he was not long content to^ 
life of a mechanical workman, and began to look forward to some 
kind of professional career. For a time he studied dentistry with a 
Dr. Alden, of Hoosic Falls, N. Y,, but he finally decided to prepare 
for the general practice of medicine, and to that end placed himself 
under the preceptorship of Dr. H. De C. Hanners, of the same place, 
a physician of local repute, ^\-hose friendship he had formed, and who 
extended to him kindly encouragement in his ambitions. It remained, 
however, to obtain the necessary medical college training and diploma, 
a very serious matter for a poor young workingman. But confidently 
relying upon his native pluck and abilities, he went to New York City 
and entered the Bellevue Hospital Medical College. While pursuing 
his studies at that institution he boarded himself for a dollar a week. 
At the end of the prescribed two years' lecture course he was qualified 
to engage in practice, but, being in arrears of |160 for tuition, his, 
diploma was witliheld until he could discharge the indebtedness. This 
he was able to do at the end of another year (1875) . ' , , 

He immediately embarked upon the regular business of his profes- 
sion, opening an office in Laight Street, New York City. From the be-; 
ginning he devoted his attention especially to the diseases of childre,n,i 
and in this connection he became one of the phvsicians to 'Saint John's 
Guild, and went out with the first floating hospitals. Later he wa«^ 
appointed assistant sanitary inspector to the city board, of health.. 
Under the strain of excessive work his health gave way, and he wag? 
compelled to discontinue his professional occupations and' go. to. the, 
country for a rest. It was during this enforced idleness that he. made 


the first investigations and experiments which resulted in the intro- 
^duction and widespread use of liumyss in this country. 

Upon the invitation of his old friend and commanding officer during 
the war, Colonel S. 0. Fletcher, who, after leaving the army, had en- 
tered the ministry of the Baptist Church, he went to the latter's home 
at New London, N. H., to recruit his exhausted strength. Here he 
was .struck by the alarming prevalence of consumption among the 
farming people, a seemingly anomalous thing, in view of the natural 
advantages of the place, lying at a high elevation and enjoying par- 
ticularly salubrious general conditions. Devoting much of his abun- 
daut leisure to speculations and inquiries upon this curious matter, he 
came across the literature of kumyss, and his attention was attracted 
by the persistent statement of writers on the subject that kumyss user? 
were quite exempt from tuberculosis. Wishing to put these claims to 
a practical test, he undertook to manufacture a quantity of kumyss 
for the use of his host's children, who were suffering from the malady; 
and, satisfied by his experiments of the virtuous properties of thf. 
article, his mind naturally turned to thoughts of the commercial pos- 
siMlitifes of itsjpirdduction upon a considerably scale. 
: Having recovered his health, he gave up his medical practice in New 
York, purchased a^ pharmacy in Paterson, N. J., and engaged in the 
mianufacture and introduction of kumyss in a small way, with decided- 
ly encouraging results. He then sold out- his Paterson establishment 
and embarked in the kumyss business in New York. This was in the 
spring of 1877. His product was received with great popular favor, 
and he immediately built up an extensive and lucrative trade. But 
with the coming of summer he was overtaken by a crushing disaster. 
The heat generated gases in the manufactured kumyss, causing the 
vessels in which it was stored to burst. His entire stock was thus 
destroyed, and in a few weeks he was reduced from a flourishing 
financial condition to complete poverty. Not daunted by his sudden 
misfortunes, however, he set patiently to work to improve upon his 
previous processes of manufacture. As the result of careful scientific 
investigations, including a thorough study of the art of brewing, he 
became convinced 1 that the trouble was not due to natural fermenta- 
tion, but to the inferior quality of the milk which he had been using. 
In March, 1878," he removed to Mount Vernon, rented a small house 
on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Fourth Street, and began his experi- 
ments anew. He gradually mastered the problem, although, being ut- 
terly without pecuniary resources, it was many months before he was 
able to re-establish his trade upon an assured foundation. During his 
first summer in Mount Vernon his entire income from the sale of 
kumyss was |15. From that insignificant beginning his business has 


steadily expanded, and his name, in connection with the product that 
he manufactures, has long been familiarly known to the public. To 
supply the demand for his kumyss he now owns and operates two 
farms — one of seventy, acres at Tuckahoe, and the other of eight hun- 
dred acres at Poundridge. 

As has already been noticed. Dr. Brush, upon inaugurating his busi- 
ness undertaking, discontinued the formal practice of medicine. But 
he has always given more or less of his time, as circumstances have 
permitted, to medical practice, and especially has retained and develr 
oped his interest in the scientific branches of his profession, and has 
maintained an active identification with its associated bodies. For 
two years he was in charge of the New York Infant Asylum at Mount 
Vernon. He has been professor of bovine pathology in the American 
Veterinary College and lecturer on the diseases of cattle in the New 
York Veterinary College. He has held the positions of president of 
the section on diseases of children of the American Medical Associa- 
tion, president of the Medical Society of the County of Westchester, 
president of the Jenkins Medical Society (formerly called the Yonkers 
Medical Society), and president of the New York Society of Medical 
Jurisprudence (with which organization he is still officially connected 
as chairman of its board of trustees ) ; and he is at present ( 1899 ) vice- 
president of the New York State Medical Society and treasurer of 
the Bellevue Alumni Association. In addition to his membership in 
these various societies, he is a fellow of the New- York Academy of 
Medicine, and a member of the New York County Medical- Society, 
the New York State Medical Association, and the Physicians' Mutual 
Aid Society of New York. He was a member of the Pan-American 
Medical Congress, which met at Washington. 

: -The medical writings of Dr. Brush, in the forms of papers read before 
societies, and of pamphlets and articles on varied topics, covering a 
period of twenty years, are extensive and notable. Especially as an 
investigator and writer concerning the relations of human and bovine 
tuberculosis, he sustains a reputation as one of the foremost authori- 
ties; and the originality and permanent value of his contributions to 
scientific knowledge in this department enjoy world-wide recognition. 
They have recently been collected and published in a volume, entitled 
" The Association of Human and Bovine Tuberculosis " ( New York 
and Albany, 1898). He has also written numerous papers and articles 
of conspicuous interest on infant feeding and related subjects, the 
more important of which are comprised in his book " Milk," published 

uniformly with the work on tuberculosis. He was the author of the 
first scientific account of the late Dr. Joseph O'Dwyer's new operation 

for overcoming obstructions in breathing in cases of diphtheria and 


other affections of the throat, and was the first to apply to this surgical 
process the name of " Intubation," by which it has becopie universally 

Dr. Brush has for many years been one of the leading citizens of 
Mount Vernon, prominent- and useful in its public affairs, and in nu- 
merous ways exerting his influence to promote its development. He 
was for six years health officer of the village, and served for one year 
as a member of the board of education, resigning that office in 1892, 
upon his election as the first mayor of the city. During his admin- 
istration of the office of mayor the various city departments were 
organized, the whole machinery of the new municipality was started 
and brought to an efficient condition,' and extensive local improve- 
ments were planned and inaugurated. By all classes of citizens it was 
recognized that Mayor Brush's executive services during this transition 
period were most conscientious, honest, and able. Upon his retirement 
from the mayoralty, the Mount Vernon Daily Argus^ a newspaper 
holding views the opposite of his politically, said: 

After an administration of two years and five months, Dr. Edward Fletcher Brush retires , 
as the executive liead of Mount Vernon, and takes his place as a private citizen, having made 
a record that any honest townsman might envy; He came to this trust at a transition period 
in oui history. What had previously been a .village was clothed with all the functions of a 
city, and placed as he was, as its head, to perform the exacting and responsible duties of 
chief executive was a task of no mean magnitude. 

True, he made mistakes — and who would not ? — and for them he was severely criticised. 
Indeed, the Argus did not withhold censure from many of. his public actions, but neverthe- 
less his honesty of purpose and public spirit were never questioned. . . . During the period 
covered by ex-Mayor Brush's administratioiT, Mount Vernon enjoyed a marvelous develop- 
ment in material growth and prosperity. Extensive public works were begun and com- 
pleted, and no public scandal has attached to any transaction in which the city was a party 
^-at least we do not recall one. 

Since completing- his term as mayor he has continued to display a 
hearty and practical interest" in the local concerns of Mount Vernon, 
freely expending his private means to that end. He established, and 
for two years conducted, a daily newspaper, the Mount Vernon Senti- 
nel, whose principal characteristic was the broadest discussion of ques- 
tions affecting the welfare of the city. In the spring of 1898 he was 
the relator in, and brought Jnto court, tKe celebrated suit which re- 
sulted in the decision that the use of the Myers automatic ballot 
machine (and consequently all like contrivances) at elections was 
unconstitutional and void. -This suit was brought to prevent the nse 
of the ballot machine at a city election in Mount Vernon. 

He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Koyal Arcanum, the 
Independent Order bf Foresters, the Grand Army of the Republic, the 
Sons of Veterans, the Authors' Guild, and Saint John's Guild. 

He was married, June' 21, 1876, to Marion E. Beers, of New York. 
They have nine children livillg^^four sons and five daughters. 


ISKE, SAMUEL, of Mount Vernon, was born in Koxburiy, 
Mass., March 23, 1833, being the youngest child of Samuel 
Fiske,born in Salem, Mass., September 30,1789, andArdelda 
Louisa ( Tufts ) Fiske, born in Charlestown, Mass;j January 
7, 1795. They had eight children— Mts. Joseph P. Hale^ Alfred "R 
Fiske, Mrs. Timothy W. Wellington, Mrs. William Hudson, ,Mrs. Lu- 
cius W. Pond, Mrs. William C. Pinkerton, Mrs. Henry L. Chandler, and 
Samuel Fiske. His father, after his marriage, engaged in' the tanning 
business, and afterward in agricultural pursuits in Lexington, Mass., 
where he served as justice of the peace for a number of years, laliso being 
twice chosen to represent the town in the State legislature. ' 

The son Samuel received a common school education in Lexington, 
assisting in the work of the farm until old enough to engage in business 
employment, and was then apprenticed to learn the steam-engine build- 
ing trade with a leading establishment in Providence, K. I. While 
serving his time at that occupation he attended night school, and took 
up studies in mechanical drawing and engineering, developing unusual 
aptitude and industry in mechanical pursuits. At the age of !twenty- 
one he became engineer and master mechanic of large cotton mills at 
Lancaster, Pa., continuing in that capacity for some four years. On 
March 19, 1858, he was appointed third assistant en^neer in the United, 
States Navy, as the result of a competitive examination at the Navy 
Yard in Philadelphia, in which he ranked fourth in a class of thirty- 
six. This position he resigned after a few months to superintend the 
building and operation of a large iron foundry in Central Pennsylvania. 
In the early part of 1861 he removed to Worcester, Mass., , and on 
September 1 of the same year he enlisted as a private in, Company^E, 
42d Massachusetts Volunteers, being promoted to the rank of. first ser- 
geant on November 12 following. Upon receiving his honorable dis- 
charge from the army, August 20, 1863, he engaged in the business of 
mining and shipping coal in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. 
From 1865 to 1870 his energies were devoted to rebuilding and operat- 
ing the cotton mills at Harrisburg, Pa. In the latter year he was ap- 
pointed general manager of -large iron works and coal mines in Mercer 
County, Pennsylvania. He returned to Harrisburg in 1872 as manager 
of the foundry and machine works located there, and subsequently had 
charge of the construction and erection of the waterworks supplying 
that city. 

In 1883 Mr. Fiske came to New York City, and entered upon the 
work of developing certain patented machinery relating to the manu^ 
facture of sugar. ' In 1886 he perfected and operated on the Magnolia 
Sugar I'lantation of Governor H- C. Warmoth, in Louisiana, the first 
successful machine for shredding or otherwise preparing sugar cane 





before mailing, and in the following year he designed q,nd erected on 
the same plantation a bagasse furnace for :utilizing the refuse cane as 
fuel, after milling, whereby the refuse cane or bagasse is made to fur- 
nish all the steam required to complete the manufacture of the sugar. 
T,hese inventions, secured by letters-patent, proved most successful and 
useful, and are extensively used in foreign countries where the manu- 
facture of sugar; from cane is an important industry. 

Mr. Fiske is a prominent and highly respected citizen of Mount Ver- 
non. In his party affiliations he is a Republican, but has never sought 
political office. He has, however, served two years as a member of the 
Board of Aldermen, and as president of the Board of Trade in Mount 
Vernon. He is one of the directors of the Bank of Mount Vernon, and 
is vice-president and a, member of the board of managers of the 
Mount Vernon Hospital. 

He was married, September 25, 1856, to Amanda Stoddart, of Phila- 
delphia (born March 4, 1834), daughter of Isaac Stoddart and Lydia 
(Butler) Stoddart, who was the granddaughter of Colonel Zebulon 
Butler, of "Wyoming Valley" fame. They have had six children- 
Mrs. Peter K. Boyd, of Philadelphia; Edwin W. Fiske, mayor of Mount 
Vernon (now filling his second term of office); Mrs. Guilford L. 
Spencer, of Washington, D. C. ; Miss Gertrude C. Fiske, of Mount 
Vernon; and Mai7 Grace and Helen Ashton Fiske (both deceased). 

I GULDEN, JOSEPH ALOYSIUS, was born near Gettysburg, 
Adams County, Pa., August 1, 1844. After completing his 
education he obtained employment as a teacher, and later 
studied law. He is now in the insurance business in New 
York City. His early life was spent in Pennsylvania and Maryland. 
In the former State he held the position of manager of the State Re- 
formatory at Morgahza, and was active in politics, serving as a mem- 
ber of the Democratic State Central Committee for the 44th senatorial 
district. From 1863 to 1866 he was an officer in the United States 
Navy.' ••' - ■ '■■ ■ ' ,' 

'.Since his removal to New York City in 1889 Colonel Goulden has 
been a resident of the- old Westchester' County section, ' now consti- 
tuting" the Borough of the' Bronx. He is one of the best known and 
most public spirited citizens of. that portion of the Greater Nctv York. 
He resides in Fordham. He has rendered acceptable services to the 
city as a' commissioner of education, and has been conspicuous in pro- 
moting the local interests of the Borough of the Bronx as founder and 


president of the Taxpayers' Alliance, with, its' thirty affiliated prop- 
erty owners' associations, having an aggregate membership of 5,000. 
He is also a charter member of the North Side Board of Trade, a 
member of the Pordham and Brownson Clubs, and has been at 
the head of the G. A. R. in New York Q-ty for many years. He 
is a prominent layman of the Catholic Church, being trustee of the 
Church of Our Lady of Mercy, of Fordham, and actively connected 
with Catholic societies. 

Colonel Goulden was married, in 1867, to Miss Isabelle AUwein, of 
Lebanon, Pa.; they have three children living, one son, Maurice E., 
being a member of the well known firm of J. A. Goulden & Son, a lead- 
ing insurance company at 171 Broadway. His younger daughter is 
Sister Regina Fidelis of the Sisters of Charity. 

I OBB, LYMAN, Jr., of Yonkers, the eldest son of Lyman and 
Hannah (Chambers) Cobb,^ was born in Caroline, Tomp- 
kins County, N. Y., September 18, 1826. His paternal 
ancestors lived in Massachusetts, intermarrying with 
prominent New England families.^ 

Mr. Cobb's father was a noted author of schoolbooks, a lexicographer, 
and a highly accomplished scholar. At thfe age of nineteen he wrote 
his first spelling-book, later selling the copyright privilege for Tomp- 
kins County to his publishers at Ithaca for |1,000. " Cobb's Spelling- 
Book " reached a circulation of millions of copies, being used for 
many years in nearly every school of the State of New York and in 
the schools of Pennsylvania and other States. He published also an 
" Expositor," two dictionaries,^ a series of five reading-books, a 
" Speaker," a " Primary Arithmetic," a " Higher Arithmetic," a nota- 
ble treatise on corporal punishment, and some sixty or seventy small 
juvenile works. He was one of the pioneers — probably more conspicu- 
ous than any other — in the cause of correcting the great abuses of 

' Lyman Cobb, the elder, was born in Stookbridge, " Hie grandfather, Elijah William Cobb, married Sally 

Mass., September 18, 1800, and died at Colesburg, Potter Whituey, sister of Asa Whitney, the projector of the famous 

County, Pa., October 20, 1864. His wife, Hannah Cham- "Whitney Pacific Railroad." His great-grandfather, 

bers, was born in Caroline, Tompkins County, N. .Y., j,,;.^^ (,„^^^ ^^^.^^ ^^y Lawrence, of the same family 

April 7, 1822, and died in Grand Kapids, Mich., December ^^ g .^ j,^^ Lawrence. 

11, 1880. Their children, besides Lyman, Jr., were: „ „ ., .... -!.„■. 

Sarah Jane (deceased), married the Eey. WiUiam C. Dun- ' ==" dictionarloe are among the curiosities of leaco- 

can, D.D., of New Orleans, La. ; Eleanor Mack (deceased), graphic literature. They are entitled : A New Diction- 

who married Eev. Joseph W. Pierson, of New York City j ''^y ">' *^^ ^°8"* Language, being Part I. of the Treas- 

Hannah Louisa (deceased), who married Prof. David H. "'y »' Knowledge. and Library of Reference" (New 

Cruttenden, A.M., of New York City ; George Whitney, York, 1839), and "The Ladies' Reticule Companion, or 

William Henry (deceased), Charles Frederick, and Eugene Little Lexicon of the English Language " (New York, 

Wheaton (deceased). 1844). 


'^^tyAJ£Jiitclw - 


corporal punishment, and his bools on this subject, " The Evil Ten- 
dencies of Corporal Punishment as a Means of Moral Discipline in 
Families and Schools " ( New York, 1847 ) , was issued officially by the 
New York board of education, with the recommendation that it be read 
at least once a year by every teacher. After the death of Noah Web- 
ster he was employed by the publishers of Webster's Dictionary to 
critically examine that work for inaccuracies and with a view to im- 
provements. He was an active member of the Prison Association, the 
Public School Society, and various reformatory organizations. He was 
a prodigious worker, for many years laboring regularly twenty hours 
every weekday, and on Sunday always visiting and addressing two 
or three Sabbath-schools, besides attending morning, afternoon, and 
eyehing church services. In his last years he was engaged in compil- 
ing a " National Dictionary " and a " Bible Dictionary and Concord- 
ance," both of which he left uncompleted. He was a man of remark- 
able personal beauty, charming address and conversation, and very 
pure and lofty moral character.^ 

During the last five years of his life Lyman Cobb, Sr., was a resident 
of Westchester County, living at the home of his eldest son in Yonkers. 

Lyman Cobb, Jr., was brought up in New York City. He was 
prepared for college at the New York Collegiate Institute and entered 
the University of the City of New York, but left at the end of his fresh- 
man year. As. a youth he assisted his father in his literary pursuits, , 
and later he was employed for two years as a bookkeeper by Mar- 
shall Lefferts, the head of a prominent business house in New York. 
In this position his labors were extremely arduous, involving the keep- 
ing of five separate sets of books. His health failing, he came to 
Yonkers in 1850, in the hope of deriving advantage from the country 
air, and, upon resigning his place in Mr. Leffert's establishment, he 
made that village his permanent home. He has ever since both lived 
in Yonkers and had all his interests and occupations there. 

He taught school for three years, served successively for several 
terms as town clerk, village clerk, and assessor, and for sixteen con- 
?«cutive years held the office of justice of the peace. During eight 
years of his service as justice he tried all the cases, both civil and 
criminal, arising in the village; and, although he had not enjoyed any 
professional training for the law, no decision rendered by him was ever 
reversed by the higher courts. As a result of his occupancy of the 
position of justice of the peace he built up a large business in con- 

' Fowler, in one of his phrenological works, thus de- his affections and attachments a purity, strength, and 

scribed his mor^l characteristics : ardor seldom equaled in the gentler sex. ... In a phren- 

" His domestic and social organs, except amatireness, ologioal view we might reasonably suppose that in making 

are all large or very large, which, combined with his very this head the Almighty designed to present to the world 

large benevolence, and small seliish facultiesi impart to a perfect specimen of an honest man." 


vs6^&]iiciligv<irawing numerous wills and other instruments. He: has 
bieea a police commissioner of the City of Yonkers for two years. In 
pblitifcaheihas always acted with the Kepublican party. 

In 1861. he was elected a trustee of the Yonkers Savings Bank, and 
in 1862 secretary of that institution. He has performed the duties of 
cashier without interruption since 1867. He was one of the incorpo- 
rators and original directors of the Citizens' National Bank (organized 
1872), and of the Westchester County Trust Company (organized 

Mr. Cobb has at all times taken an earnest interest in religious and 
similar work, devoting much of his time and energy to its promotion. 
A member 6'f the Protestant Ejpiscopal Church, he was ordained' a 
deacon in that denomination in 1869. He was the founder of the Misi- 
sion Church of Yonkers, and for twenty years was chaplain of Saint 
John^s Eiverside Hospital, for a. period of ten years personally con- 
ducting the niorning (services at that institution before going to"the 
bank. Since 1896 he has been president of the Young Men's Christian 
Association, and also of the board of trustees of the Young Women's 
Christian Association, of Yonkers. 

Mr. Cobb is a conspicuous member of the Masonic fraternity. He 
is past master of Nepperhan Lodge, F. and A. M.; past high priest 
of Terrace City Chapter, R. A. M.; past illustrious master of Nepper- 
han Council, E. and S. M. ; past commander of Yonkers Commandery, 
K. T., and at present serving his eleventh year as commander; a life 
member of the New York Lodge of Perfection, lith deg.; the ]!^eW 
York Council of Princes of Jerusalem, 16th deg. ; the New York Order 
of Rose Croix, 18th deg.; and the New York Consistory^ 32d deg.; and a 
DQBmber of the Masonic Veterans, the Order of A. H. P., the Knights 
Templar Commanders, the Grand Chapter, R. A.M., the Grand Coun- 
cil, R.» and S. M., and the Grand Commandery, K. T. , ' 

For twenty-seven years he has been connected with Saint John's 
Riverside Hospital as treasurer and director. He was for a long period 
one of the trustees of Rutgers Female College, resigning that position 
in 1878. He is treasurer and director of the Yonkers Clerical Asso- 
ciation; a member of the Westchester County Historical Society, the 
New York Prison Association, and Saint Andrew's Brotherhood; 'iP 
rector of the Clergymen's Mutual Insurance League; life member of 
the Protestant Episcopal Society for the Increase of the Ministry; 
counsel, member, and treasurer of the Yonkers Historical Society; 
director and treasurer of the Yonkers Society for Prevention of 
Cruelty to Children; corresponding member of the Oneida Historical 
Society and the Buffalo Historical Society; and curate of Saint Johii's 
Church, Archdeaconry of Westchester County, . . 

Y'V/^IOCIEAPHICAI.: ;•;; 1 7/ 93' 

He was married, NQYemUjer 4, 1845, to Cornelia S. Drake, of Little 
Palls, Herkimer Co\inty, N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. Cobb celebrated their 
golden wedding in 1895. Their surviving children are: Eaflaelle, 
-for the past thirty-three years connected with the Yonkers Savings 
Bank, and an active member of the militia (married Martha C. East, 
of Yonkers, and has two children living, Cornelia Willis and Martha 
Eebekah); Francis Eugene,' who holds a prominent position in 
the Greenwich Sa.vings Bank of New York City, and resides in East 
Orange, N. J.; and Frederic Lyman,^ a broker in New York, residing 
in Yonkers. Another child, Minnie Putnam, died in 1886. 

MITH, JOHN, Jr., one of Peekskill's prominent business 
men (bom- in North Salem, N. Y., January 14, 1846), 
is the son of John Smith and Lydia Ann Quick. His 
father was of English ancestry, and for years was a suc- 
cessful manufacturer in Peekskill. His mother was a descenda,nt of 
John Quick, a Revolutionary soldier in the regiment of Colonel 
Thaddeus Crane, and the first supervisor of North Salem. The direct 
line of descent from this aaicest'or is through Andrew Quick^, Thomas 
Quick^, and Lydia Ann Quick*. In the second generation, through 
the wife of Andrew Quick — who was Martha Mead, of Greenwich, 
Fairfield County, Conn., — the prominent family of the Meads come 
into the line of descent. 

Mr. Smith's parents removed from North Salem to Somerstown 
when he was but three years of age. Two years later they settled in 
Peekskill, where he has since resided. He was educated in the pub- 
lic schools and later at the Peekskill Military Academy, and was in 
attendance at that institution at the breaking out of the Civil War. 

Leaving his studies at the age of sixteen, he was among the first 
to enlist in the 135th New York Volunteer Infantry, as corporal. His 
military record shows that he was promoted to sergeant, June 1, 
1863; to 1st sergeant, February 11, 1865; to 2d lieutenant, February 
27, 1865, with rank from February 14, and was transferred as sucn 
to Company F. April 14, 1865. ,- He was detailed as adjutant of the 
3d Battalion, and served as such until transferred by consolidation 
to Company A, Consolidated Battalions 6th, 10th, and 16th, New 
York, June 27, 1865. He was present with his regiment in the fol- 

•, PranciB Eugene, Cobb married Ki),theri™ B.Mann-, of ., kars, an adopted daughter of Charles R. Otis. Their 

WatShii, Sf. T. They hire two children, Caroline Schuyler children are Carrie Otis, Bessie, Hazel, Frederic Ljman, 

and Margaret Louise. ' Jr., and Bvelyn Drake. 

^ 5'redeiaG Lyman »Cobb married J5va Boyd, of Ton- .* 1 



lowing engagements: Wapping's Heights, July, 23, 1863; Laurel 
Hill, Wilderness, May 6, 1864; Todd's Tavern (Virginia), May 7, 



1864; Po Eiver (Virginia), May 12, 1864; Harris iFarm (Virginia), 
May 19, 1864; North Anna (Virginia), May 24, 1864;' Bethesdk' 
Church (Virginia), May 30, 1864; Petersburg, June 18, 1864.; Peters- 


burg (blowing up of Burnside's mine), July 30, 1864; Cedar Creek, 
October 19, 1864; and Bermuda Hundred, April, 1865. He was dis- 
charged August 24, 1865. 

At the close of the war a company was organized, called the Union 
Veterans of Cortlandt, of which Mr. Smith was made captain. It 
was from this circumstance that he acquired the title of captain, by 
which he is popularly known. 

Returning to Peekskill after the war, Mr. Smith entered into part- 
nership with his father in the manufacture of roofing material. Buy- 
ing out his. father's interest, he from time to time added new features 
to the business until to-day he is one of the largest contractors in the 
Town of Cortlandt. He has always been among the foremost public- 
spirited citiizens of Peekskill. In 1876 he organized and was the fore- 
man of the Centennial Hose Company. He has been commander of 
Abraham Vosburgh Post, No. 95, G. A. R. Mr. Smith was the 
■ youngest commissioned officer in the 6th New York Heavy Artillery, 
promoted from the ranks. In 1890 the fraternity of the survivors 
of this regiment was organized, and in 1891 and 1894 Mr. Smith 
was the association's president. » 

He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and a member of the A. 
0. U. W.y and past master of his lodge. He served as member of the 
board of education of school district No. 7 for nine years, being 
elected in. 1885. In 1893 he succeeded the late General J. W. Husted 
as president of the board. 

He has always been an ardent Republican, and from July 1, 1890, 
to October 1, 1894, he held the office of postmaster of the village. He 
is a member of the Peekskill Board of Trade, and one of the stock- 
holders in the Depew Opera House. 

Mr. Smith married Mary H. Tate, daughter of David S. Tate, a 
pioneer in the brick manufacturing business of Verplanck's. He has 
two sons — Frederick A., who is engaged with his father in business, 
and John Archibald, a practitioner of medicine. 

'NEILL, FRANCIS, a noted merchant of New York, for the 
last twenty years of his life a prominent citizen of Yonkers, 
where his widow and family continue to reside, was born 
in County Cavan, in the North of Ireland, February 22, 
1840, and died in Yonkers, February 4, 1895. 

At the age of sixteen hP left home and came to this country, ar- 
riving in New York with very 'little money. Soon afterward he 


obtained employment ;with Robert, Irwin & Companj, one of the lead-i 
ing boot and shoe firms of New York in those days. Here he thai? 
oughly familiarized himself with the shoe business, and, at the end 
of four years, having accumulated some capital, he emba.rked in it on 
his own account, opening a store on the Bowery, opposite Cooper In- 
stitute. Some eight years later he started a branch establishment 
at the corner of Broadway and Twenty-eighth Street, then far up- 
town. In 1876 he transferred Ms headquarters to tlie opposite comer 
of Broadway and Twenty-eighth Street, continuing the Bowery store,- 
however, as a branch. Later he started three other branches in va- 
rious parts of the city. These he conducted for a number of years aS' 
departments of the main business, placing; them in the charge of 
employees, to . whom, after they had demonstrated their ability to, 
manage them successfully, he gradually disposed of them on. easy 
terms. He retained the personal, direction of the main store until his 
death. The business is still carried on there by his son Francis. • , 

Mr. O'Neill's career is a notable example of the rewg^rd to be secured 
by earnest and energetic endeavor. Beginning as a friendless and 
penniless emigrant boy, he was able to establish himself in bu^ness 
before attaining his majority, and by degrees built up one of the most 
conspicuous mercantile houses of its kind in the metropolis, whose; 
name is known throughout the country, and whose trade extends to 
distant parts of the world. To this, moreover, he added four branch 
concerns, and besides his business interests he acquired valuable real 
estate in New York and Yonkers. He was one of the pioneers in the 
opening of first-class stores above, Twenty- third Street. His business- 
concern was the pioneer in its line in exclusive first-class stock work, 
never carrying anything but the finest goods. 

He removed to Yonkers in 1876, having purchased the old 
Couzens property on Hawthorne Aven,ue. As a citizen of YonkerS' 
he took an active interest in the public affairs of the community,; 
uniformly contributing his influence to the; promotion of its best 
welfare. He was especially interested in public education, and 
for a number of years was connected with the board of education. 
He is remembered by his associates as one of the most valuable 
members of that body. During this service he took a leading part 
in the steps- which resulted in the inauguration , of the high |; school,- 
and he was also conspicuous in advocating perfect sanitary ar- 
rangements in the schools. At various times he was prominently 
mentioned as a candidate for mayor of Yonkers, but he invariably de-^ 
clined to accept political position. In his party affiliations he was a 

During the winter seasons Mr. O'Neill resided with his family in 


New York. In that city, as in Yonliers, he was one of the best- 
known laymen of the Roman Cfeitholic Ohurch, and throughout his life 
he was active in church affairs. He was one of the trustees of Saint 
Patrick's Cathedral, and enjoyed the cordial personal friendship and 
high respect of Archbishop Hughes, Cardinal McCloskey, and Arch- 
bishop Corrigan. In connection with his trusteeship of the cathe- 
dral he was identified with the work of enlarging the Calvary 
Cemetery (Long Island), and was very prominent in the selection 
of the Dunwoodie (Yonkers)^ site for the great Saint Joseph's, 
Seminary, and in all the affairs of the building enterprise. He 
was a member of Saint Mary's Church, in Yonkers, and was 
active in helping to create and organize the new parish of Saint 
Peter's, in South Yonkers. 

He was a charter member of the Catholic Club, of New York City, 
and a member of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick. His widow and 
family still reside in Yonkers. 

ISSE, LOUIS ALOYS, civil engineer, born in Saint Avoid, 
Department of Moselle (Lorraine), France, March 28, 1850, 
is the son of Nicholas Risse and Anna Hauck, a family — 
notably on the maternal side — of conspicuous ancestry. 
The Haucks came originally from Bavaria and were of noble blood. 
An ancestor was institutor to the Duke of Lorraine, and, at the con- 
quest of Lorraine by Louis XIV., the family settled in the latter coun- 
try. Jean Haiick, the maternal grandfather, was an officer in the 
French army under Napoleon, and participated in all the campaigns 
of the First Empire, serving with distinction and receiving several 
decorations, now in the possession of Mr. Risse. The residence of this 
distinguished soldier and officer in Saint Avoid was formerly a castle 
belonging to the Dukes of Lorraine, portions of which still exist. It 
was in this castle that Louis Aloys Risse was born; and, his father 
dyihg when he was but six months of age, it was there he was reared 
and educated by his grandfather. His early special tutor was his 
uncle. Rev. J. Risse, "Vicar of L'Hopital, near Saint Avoid, who urged 
his young pupil to prepare for the priesthood. " I may become a good 
soldier, but not a good priest," was young Risse's answer. He sub- 
sequently graduated with high honors, at the age of fourteen, from 
the School of Christian Brothers at Saint Avoid, and entered as a stu- 
dent the law oflace of A. Nouffert, of Saint Avoid. 
The year following he went to Paris, where he had relatives. 

K. ^H,\ 


and where he studied drawing and painting. Two years later he vis- 
ited the United States, intending, after a brief stay, to return to B^rance. 
He had already developed a pronounced taste for drawing and math- 
ematics in the schools both at Saint Avoid and Paris, and, finding in 
this country an attractive field for the practical pursuit of engineer- 
ing studies, in which he evinced a marked aptitude, he decided to make 
the United States his permanent home and civil engineering his chosen 
profession. He at once made rapid progress. 

In 1868 he was employed by the New York & Harlem Eailroad on 
the preliminary survey of the Philmont & Hudson City Eailroad, 
the Spuyten Duyvil & Port Morris Eailroad, the maps of which he 
made, and the planning of the Grand Central Depot, under I. C. Buck- 
hout, chief engineer of the New York Central & Hudson Eiver Eail- 
road. In 1869 he was engaged on a preliminary survey of the Port 
Chester & Eidgefield Eailroad under Chief Engineer S. N. Haight, 
and the same year surveyed and laid out Fleetwood Park. . 

In 1870-71 he was appointed to make the topographical map for a 
new street system in the Town of Morrisania, Westchester 'County, 
under a commission created by act of legisliature in 1868, and com- 
posed of Jordan L. Mott, Silas D. Gififord, William Caul dwell, Samuel 
E. Lyons, Gouverneur Morris, Eichard Teller, Michael Bergen, and 
Thomas B. Sutton. This map was filed in February of 1871, and be- 
came the official map of the town. In the following year he was 
engaged on the topographical survey and mapping of the Towns of 
West Farms and Kingsbridge, in anticipation of their annexation to 
the City of New York. Completing this work, he was employed on the 
topographical survey, laying out, and mapping of Long Island City, 
and the survey of the Mill Brook watershed. He also made plans 
for the proposed New York Underground Eailroad under Chief Engi- 
neer George S. Green, Jr., and was engaged with E. C. Morrison by 
the board of trustees of the Town of Morrisania on a number of im- 

At this juncture, 1874, the Towns of Morrisania, West Farms, and 
Kingsbridge were annexed to the City of New York, and placed under 
the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Parks. Mr. Eisse's close 
connection with the public improvements of these towns opened for 
him at once a wide field of service in the Park Department, where he 
held official position continuously from 1874 to '1890; his training, 
experience, familiar knowledge, and ready solution of problems which 
arose, giving him rapid and large influence in the management of its 
affairs. From 1874, for two years, he was draughtsman in the de- 
partment, succeeding, for the next two years, as city surveyor and 
assistant engineer. From 1878 to 1880 he was assistant engineer of 


construction, and the following six years was made superintendent 
of streets, roads, and bridges of the 23d and 24th wards, by the same 

Eesigning in 1886 from the Park Department, he started in private 
business as civil engineer and city surveyor. His business in the fol- 
lowing five years grew to large proportions, and included among other 
work the general inspection of the construction of the Suburban Ele- 
vated Eailroad, the topographical survey and laying out of Glen Is- 
land, the topographical survey and laying out of Bryn Mawr Park, 
the topographical survey and laying out of the Fox estate, Dater estate, 
Punnett estate, Travers estate, Ogden estate, J. L. Mott estate. Beck 
estate, and Augustus Kountze property; surveys for the German- Amer- 
ican Keal Estate Title Guarantee Company and the Port Morris Land 
and Improvement Company; surveys of the additional land required 
by the New York & Harlem Eailroad Company for the sinking df 
the tracks in the 23d and 24th wards; the survey of Valentine's Hill 
for Saint Joseph's Seminary, and numerous others. " 

In 1891 he was again called to public service, and was appointed 
chief engineer of the Department of Street Improvements, 28d and 
24th wards, under the late Commissioner Louis J. Heintz; and in 1895 
was appointed chief topographical engineer and engineer of concourse 
under Commissioner Louis F. Haffen, which position he held until 
January 1, 1898, the date when the new city charter consolidating 
Brooklyn, Queens, and Eichmond with Manhattan and the Bronx 
into one city went into effect, when he was made chief topographical 
engineer by the president of the Board of Public Improvements. On 
January 13, 1899, by a resolution of the board, he was placed in charge 
of all similar work in the various boroughs, and thus became chief 
topographical engineer of the Greater New York. 

It will thus be seen that, aside from the wider work which Mr. Eisse 
has accomplished, he has been connected with almost all the public 
and private improvements in the 23d and 24th wards for the past 
twenty-eight years. Probably among the, greatest of these achieve- 
ments was the laying out of the new street system for these wards, and 
the completion and filing of the final maps and profiles of that territory 
on December 31, 1895, in accordance with the legislative enactment of 
1890 creating the Department of Street Improvements. 

A work possibly Still more attractive to the public eye, and of excep- 
tional merit and brilliancy in achievement, is that of the Grand Boule- 
vard and Concourse, of which Mr. Eisse was the originator and 
designer. This is to be the grandest and most beautiful concourse 
drive in the world. Its conception was the logical outcome not only 
of topographical adaptations, but of a breadth of view which with 


clear vision foresaw the future metropolis and the connecting links 
between its vast systems of parks north and south of the Harlem River. 
The earlier surveys and street mappings of the beautiful country north 
of the Harlem had gradually evolved the picture of a new city involv- 
ing an influx of an immense population, for whom the ridge that 
stretched like a natural thoroughfare almost the whole length of the 
district was to be the great future boulevard, with its all-embracing 
outlook over the Hudson and the Sound. Mr. Eisse's broad views in 
improvements of every kind, his wide experience, and keenest judg- 
ment were utilized in the great work. It was in 1891 that, recognizing 
the importance of connecting the parks by a driveway, he submitted 
the same, since adopted, with the original plan of combining a speed- 
way and driveway adhered to. The plan provides for four driveways, 
throughout the entire length of the concourse, separated by plots, with 
trees planted, to form in later years shade for pleasure seekers, but 
not enough to shut out the view of the valleys on either side or to 
make the roads damp. From nine to fifteen viaducts are provided for 
as many transverse roads, so constructed as not to interfere with the 
driving on the concourse. There will be tunnels for those who merely 
want to cross the concourse, and for those who wish to enter or leave 
there will be inclines at the sides of the tunnel entrances. Lighting 
the concourse with gas or electricity will on summer nights throng 
the driveway with gay equipages and in winter with sleighing parties. 
A viaduct constructed over 125th Street, connecting Riverside Park 
with Eleventh Avenue and the 155th Street Viaduct, as has been pro- 
posed, would give a twenty- or thirty-mile drive over as fine a system 
of roads as can be found in the world. Van Cortlandt Park completed, 
with its drive and pleasure spots, added to those in Central and River- 
side Parks, will furnish to the future millions of the metropolis unpar- 
alleled open-air recreation. 

In addition to the great work already achieved, Mr. Risse is now 
completing the topographical survey of the territory east of the Bronx 
River in the Borough of the Bronx, which, in 1895, was added to the 
24th ward of the City of New York. The map or plan of this territory 
(comprising about 15,000 acres), showing a complete design for a sys- 
tem of "streets, avenues, public squares and places, parks, and bridges, 
was approved and concurred in by a resolution of the Board of Public 
Improvements on August 31, 1898. The work is now being extended 
over all the boroughs, and was made the subject of a preliminary re- 
port on December 31, 1898. The magnitude of the undertaking can 
best be illustrated when it is known that within this city there are 
about 108,000 acres, or 169 square miles, for which no topographical 
survey is in existence as yet; and this area is without a street or sewer 


system. In this new field of operation, covering the territory of all the 
boroughs, the great work before him will be the laying out and com- 
pletion of the new plan of the Greater City of New York, in accordance 
with modern ideas and commensurate with the present magnitude and 
future growth of the city. 

In the spring of 1899, conformably to a proposition made by Mr. 
Ri^se, the Board of Public Improvements and Boaxd of Estimate 
and Apportionment authorized an expenditure of |10,000 for the pur- 
pose of having a mammoth topographical map of the Greater New 
York prepared for exhibition at the Paris Exposition of 1900. The 
resulting map, drawn to a scale of 600 feet to one inch, and covering a 
space of 32 x 28 feet, was completed by Mr. Risse and his staff in 
January, 1900. It is probably the most striking map of a city ever 
produced, and as an exhibit at Paris has attracted marked attention. 

In 1894 Mr. Risse, with his family, made the tour of Europe, visiting 
many large cities, and making a special study of the improvements 
therein bearing upon his special vocation, remaining in Paris some six 

Aside from his busy public life, Mr. Risse has . given considerable 
attention to various matters, having collected historical medals and 
coins from all parts of the world for the past twenty-five years. He 
has a magnificent collection, as well as an excellent library. From 
1870 to 1876 he served as lieutenant in the " Gardes LaPayette," a mili- 
tary organization of New York. He is in politics a Democrat, and is a 
member of the following associations and clubs : The French Benevo- 
lent Society, American Museum of Arts, North Side Board of Trade, 
Schnorer Club of Morrisania, 23d Ward Property Owners' Association, 
North New York Arion Society, Citizens' Local Improvement Party, 
and The Bronx Borough Club. 

Mr. Risse has been twice married — in 1870, to Susanna Crowe, daugh- 
ter of Charles Crowe and Susanna Gill, and in 1889, to Marion D. Wal- 
rabe, daughter of Ferdinand Hopp and Catharine Reisenweber. He 
has three children, all by his first marriage — Aloyse,, Aimee Adeline 
(now Mrs. Floyd M. Lord), and Charles Edmund Risse. His son has 
been educated in Saint John's College, and is now studying civil engi- 
neering in the University of the City of New York. 

By his public and private worth, Mr. Risse has permanently stamped 
his individuality first upon the growth and development of Westches- 
ter County, and later, indelibly so, upon the present and future of the 
23d and 24th wards of New York City. He is yet in the prime of life, 
of pleasing and commanding presence, suave manner, modest, unas- 
suming, universally recognized as a kind and affectionate friend, a fair 


Eng fry Wliams J^BuPArK 


and manly foe, and indefatigable in Ms devotion to public duty. He 
resides in a beautiful home at 599 Mott Avenue. 

AFB'^EN, LOUIS FEANCIS, now serving as president of the 
Borough of the Bronx of the Greater New York, and for- 
merly for five years ( 1893-97) commissioner of the depart- 
ment of street improvements in the 23d and 24th wards of 
New York City, has been by far the most notable factor in the remark- 
able development of the important section of the City of New York 
north of the Harlem Kiver in the last few years. 

Born November 6, 1854, in Melrose, Westchester County, now a part 
of the 23d ward of the city, he was carefully educated. He attended a 
German school until twelve years of age; entered the Melrose public 
school ; subsequently attended Saint John's College at Fordham for two 
years and Niagara College for two years more, and, returning to Saint 
John's College for a final year, was graduated from the latter in 1875; 
and, entering the Columbia College School of Mines, was graduated 
from that institution as a civil engineer in 1879. After about three 
years spent in professional work in New York City, and in the practical 
study of mines and, metallurgy in Colorado, California, New Mexico, 
and Arizona, Mr. Haffen returned to enter upon the important work in 
the-'23d and 24th wards which has continued to the present time. His 
first work was the re-establishment of "the old landmarks," if one might 
so say. The villages of Melrose and South Melrose, Westchester 
County, had been originally laid out and mapped in 1850 ; while in 1868 
the whole Town of Morrisania, including them, had been resurveyed. 
But it became ijlain that there were serious discrepancies between the 
two surveys, and disputes respecting boundaries were frequent. Mr. 
Haffen set himself to re-establish the old lines and determine the actual 
legal boundaries. While having other interests under his care at the 
same time throughout the greater part of the period, he was engaged 
upon this problem for about twelve years, and has accurately completed 
much of work, to the satisfaction of property owners. It is certainly 
not too much to say that Mr. Haffen is undoubtedly the greatest living 
expert on questions connected with these boundaries. He is recognized 
as such. 

As already hinted, Mr. Haffen has prosecuted other important work 
alongside of that just described, and within the confines of the same 
wards, although not exclusively so. In 1883 he was appointed civil 
engineer in the Park Department of the City of New York, in complete 


charge of the field surveys. The opening of all new streets in the dis- 
trict north of the Harlem Eiver thus devolved upon him.. He remained 
in this capacity until the latter part of 1890, when he was promoted to 
the important position of superintendent and engineer in charge of the 
immense "New Parks" in the "Annexed District." Meantime a press- 
ing situation had arisen in that section of the city. 

It must be remembered that the annexation of a section of West- 
chester County to the City of New York, as consummated by act of the 
legislature of 1873, added a territory equal to Manhattan Island itself, 
and one greatly in need of being brought into harmony with the rest of 
the city, from the standpoint of public improvements. What prospect 
had the "Annexed District" of receiving the attention it deserved ? The 
answer to this question, with the historical development growing out 
of the situation, we cannot better give than in the words of a well- 
known authority, " The Memorial History of the City of New York " : 

In the matter of all public improvements it was placed by this act (the Annexation act of 
1873) directly under the control of the commissioners of the department of public parks. 
This involved, in addition to proper duties for which the park commission was created, the 
responsibility of building a new city, with many miles of streets and avenues ; the laying 
out and grading, paving, sewering, and maintaining of these miles upon miles of streets in 
accord with the interests and necessities of an enterprising and rapidly increasing popidation. 
The board of park commissioners, who, with the exception of their president, worked with- 
out compensation, failed to satisfy the desires of the people in the matter of street improve- 
ments for the district. During the seventeen years of this administration, notwithstanding 
that proportionally high taxes were regularly collected from the people of the district, still, 
their needs were neglected. Petitions and protests were of little avail. The board of es- 
timate and apportionment seemed indifferent ; and at length the citizens north of the Harlem, 
despairing of attention or relief under existing conditions, became thoroughly aroused, and 
set about securing a change. Prom these local causes this part of the city began to have a 
political individuality quite peculiar. Every man, woman, and child north of Harlem Kiver 
takes an interest in politics. Louis J. Heintz and Louis F. Haffen became leading spirits in 
this uprising. After a persistent agitation and pressure of two years, a law was secured from 
the State legislature providing for the election of a commissioner of street improvements 
for the 23d and 24th wards, to whom should be transferred the powers formerly lodged 
with the park department. For this position the Citizen's Movement put in nomination j 
Louis J. Heintz, formerly a member of Tammany Hall. On the other hand, Tammany, 
casting about for the strongest man to put in the field, selected Mr. Haffen, a personal friend 
of Mr. Heintz, and a man personally popular in the district as well as eminently qualified for 
the position. Heintz, however, was elected by a small majority. Mr. Heintz discharged the 
duties of the new office with ability for about two years and three months, when, to the sorrow 
and regret of the people, he was removed by death. 

On May 1, 1893, Mr. HaSen was appointed by Mayor Gilroy to complete the year. By 
his unpartisan, able, and eminently satisfactory administration during the months following 
was wrought that remarkable revolution in public sentiment to which allusion has already 
been made. Very rarely has an official received a more flattering indorsement of his ad- 
ministration, or a more complete expression of confidence from those who so short a time be- 
fore had opposed him. When the time of election approached for the office which Mr. 
Haffen had so ably filled, he was placed in nomination by the Citizens' Local Improvement 
party, by Tammany Hall, and the several Tax-payers' Associations of the 23d and 24th 
wards, who commended him " to the whole people regardless of politics." The nomination 
was enthusiastically indorsed by a great variety of organizations. A flood of complimentary 
resolutions poured in from every side. Although the regular Republican nominee was not 
withdrawn, yet he was so far deserted that his party polled for him but two-thirds of the or- 


dinary vote, while Commissioner Haffen became the choice of the district by a majority of 
5,650 votes. Of course, this was an evidence of implicit confidence in the integrity as well 
as the ability of the man, and of a firm belief that his pledge would be fully redeemed when 
he declared : " The offlce will continue to be conducted on business principles. Public im- 
provements will be carried on with a conscientious regard for the rights and interests of all 
the people ; and my highest aim will be to subserve the best interests of this district and 
promote the prosperity of the community regardless of all political or personal considerations." 

How well this pledge has been redeemed is evidenced by the re-elec- 
tion of Mr. Haffen to succeed himself, by the remarkable record of pub- 
lic improvements executed under his direction, and by his election in 
the fall of 1897 as the first president of the Borough of the Bronx in the 
municipal government created by the consolidation act forming the 
present "Greater" City of New York. Elected to this position by a 
majority of 5,611 over all in probably the most notable municipal strug- 
gle ever held in New York City, Mr. Haffen thus received the distin- 
guished honor of being the first to preside over the borough in which 
his great work had been done. In that office he has served with con- 
spicuous ability and fidelity. His term expires on January 1, 1902. 

psi|^aj| ILLI AMS, DAVID OWEN, lawyer and present postmaster of 
^^^p Mount Vernon, was born in New York City, May 5, 1860, 
11^^^ and is a son of John B. and Martha (Williams) Williams, 
both natives of Wales, where they were married. His 
father was in early life a sea captain, but was persuaded by his wife to 
abandon that vocation, and in 1851 emigrated to the United States. 
He was for many years in the wholesale drug ^)usiness in New York 
City. In 1872 he removed to Mount Vernon, where he continued to re- 
side, as a highly respected citizen, until his death in 1887. He left four 
sons — ^Eichard H., of Mount Vernon (assistant treasurer of the Chicago 
Northwestern Kailway); John T., electrician, of Brooklyn: William J., 
of Mount Vernon ( clerk of the local board of education) ; and David 
0., the subject of this sketch. His widow also survives him. 

David O. Williams attended school in New York and Mount Vernon 
until the age of fifteen, when lie was obliged to discontinue his studies 
on account of delicate health. As a pupil in the Mount Vernon schools 
he attracted the attention of Mr. Joseph S. Wood, at that time superin- 
tendent of the village educational system, and Mr. Wood, upon em- 
barking in the legal profession in June, 1876, sent for him and of- 
fered him employment in his law office. He remained with Mr. W^od, 
and the firm of Mills & Wood, until the dissolution of that firm in May, 
1882. He was admitted to the bar in June, 1884, upon examination 
before a General Term of the Supreme Coujt in Brooklyn, standing 



first in a class of some sixty members, with a percentage of 98, and 
then became associated with Judge Isaac N. Mills, conducting for 
several years a large amount of the important work of the oflce. In 
September, 1898, he terminated his association with Judge Mills to 


engage in practice for himself. Mr. Williams enjoys a recognized 
position among the able members of the bar. 

Aside from his profession, he is known as one of the prominent citi- 
zens of Mount Vernon in connection with municipal affairs, and as an 
active and influential Eepublican. Until 1893, however, he held aloof 
■ from political position, although living in a ward overwhelmingly Ee- 
publican, and repeatedly declining offers of nominations that were 
equivalent to election. In June, 1893, he accepted an appointment by 
the common council of the City of Mount Vernon as a member of the 


board of aldermen to fill an unexpired term. Upon the organization 
of the hew board, June 15, 1893, he was elected its president, and in 
that capacity he continued for the remainder of his period of service. 
While in the board of aldermen he was chairman of the committee on 
waters and sewers, a position of unusual importance at the time, as 
the active work of constructing the sewer system of the city, was then 
in progress. He was also chairman of the special committee which 
formulated the act for abolishing the old complex school system, and 
consolidating the several school districts, lying wholly or partly within 
the city limits. He retired from the board in June, 1894, having de- 
clined to be a candidate for re-election. 

In the spring of 1896 Mr. Williams was nominated by the Republi- 
cans of Mount Vernon for the city judgeship. In the ensuing election 
he was beaten by 180 votes, although running several hundred ahead 
of the Republican nominee for mayor and other party candidates. 

Since August 1, 1898, he has been postmaster of the City of Mount 
Vernon, under appointment from President McKinley. 

He has served for several years as a member of the Westchester 
County Republican Committee, for a portion of the time as its secre- 
tary. In January, 1898, he was chosen chairman of the Republican 
City Committee of Mount Vernon, after a very exciting contest. 

He is a member of the New York State and Westchester Bar Associa- 
tions, Mr. Williams was married, March 7, 1895, to Kathryn A. 

AWLEY,. DAVID, lawyer, an old and prominent citizen of 
Yonkers, was born in Arlington, Bennington County, Vt., 
April 14, 1820, being the fourth son of David Hawley and 
Bethiah, daughter of Lemuel Buck (also of Arlington). 
Mr. Hawley comes from one of the oldest New England families. He 
is a descendant in the seventh generation of Joseph Hawley, an early 
settler of Stratford, Conn. The direct ancestral line is as follows:^ 

I. Joseph Hawley (" the first ") was " yeoman " and town recorder 
at Stratford, Conn.; born 1603, died 1690; married (2d), in 1646, Kath- 
arine Birdsey. 

II. Samuel Hawley (Senior), farmer and tanner, of Stratford; born 
1647, died 1734; married (1st), May 20, 1673, Mary, daughter of 
Thomas Thompson, of Farmington, Conn.; (2d), Patience Hubbell 

, » Taken frqm " The Hawley Repo?d," by Elias Hawley (Buffalo, 1890). 


III. Ephraim Hawley, farmer, of New Mijlfurd, Conn.; born 1692, 
died 1771; married, October 5, 1711, Sarali Curtis. 

IV. Captain Jehiel Hawley, of Newton and New Milford, Conn., and 
Arlington, Vt.; born 1712, died 1777; married, March 30, 1731, Sarah 

V. Curtis Hawley, farmer, of Arlington, Vt.; born 1747, died 1825; 
married Hannah French. 

VI. David Hawley, farmer, of Arlington, Vt.; born 1773, died 1838; 
married, January 17, 1798, Bethiah, daughter of Lemuel Buck, of 
Arlington. ' 

VII. David Hawley, of Yonkers, the subject of this sketch; 

As will bei observed from this brief family record, all of Mr. Hawley's 
ancestors were farmers. Although resident for three generations in 
Vermont, they had emigrated to that State from Connecticut. The 
prominent Connecticut Hawley family of the present day, represented 
by ex-Governor and United States Senator Joseph E. Hawley, is of the 
same original stock. 

David Hawley was brought up on his father's farm. As a boy the 
only educational training he received was that afforded by the district 
schools of the neighborhood, and it was not Until his twentieth year 
that he enjoyed any opportunity for more advanced studies. He then 
entered the Burr Seminary at Manchester, Vt., and began to prepare 
for college under the instruction of the Eev. Joseph Wickham, D.D., 
who, at his death several years ago, was the oldest graduate of Yale 
College. He entered Yale in 1841, but, upon the completion of hi§ 
freshman year, was obliged, on account of delicate health, to discon- 
tinue temporarily his college course. He spent the following year 
at home, reading law a part of the time under the direction of Harmon ^ 
Canfield, of his native village. He returned to Yale in 1843, and was; 
graduated from that institution in the class of 1846. While at college' 
hfe was one of the editors of the Tale Literary Magazine, and was a' 
member of the Psi Upsilon and Skull and Bones societies. 

, In the spring before his graduation (the college seniors at thatperiod 
being released from their studies during their last half-term) he came 
to New York City and entered the law of&ce of Orsamus Bushnell. He 
was admitted to the bar in 1848, and in May, 1850, he formed, with 
one of his college classmates, John H. Glover, the legal copartnership 
of Hawley & Glover. This firm continued for twelve years, conducting 
a successful business, of which one of the principal features was the 
management of trust estates. 

Continuing his legal practice after dissolving his partnership with 
Mr. Glover, Mr. Hawley, about the year 1867, became general counsel 




'"^y-ffdSr.iisSevs.'rcu T'^'^ 



for Isaac M. Singer, the inventor of the sewing machine. From then 
until his final retirement from active life he was occupied largely — 
much of the time exclusively — with the affairs of Mr. Singer and his 

Going to Paris in 1870 upon business matters, he was in that city 
at the breaking out of the Franco-Prussian War, and was a witness 
of the exciting and memorable events which followed. In 1873 he 
definitely abandoned his general law practice to devote himself en- 
tirely to the management of Mr. Singer's business concerns in America, 
becoming in that connection a director in the Singer Manufacturing 
Company. Upon Mr. Singer's death, which occurred in England in 
July, 1875, he was made one of the trustees of the estate in England, 
an executor of the will as to the English property, and the sole sur- 
viving executor as to the American property, as well as testamentary 
guardian and trustee of the minor children. Under Mr. Hawley's 
direction the legal division of the American estate was effected in a 
period of about eighteen months. His duties as guardian were com- 
pleted in 1891, when the youngest child became of age. Under his 
able and conscientious management the properties of the minor chil- 
dren were more than doubled while he had them in charge. 

He has been a resident of Yonkers since June, 1863. For many years 
of his active life he took a hearty interest in the local affairs of that 
community. Politically he has been a supporter from youth of the 
principles of the Democratic party, but he has always declined to 
become a candidate for strictly political of&ce. He has, however, per- 
formed his share of public duty in the service of the community which 
has so long been his home. He was one of the original members of the 
board of water commissioners of Yonkers, but going to Europe soon 
afterward on a business trip, was obliged to resign that position. From 
1888 to February, 1892, he was a member of the board of education, 
resigning because of advancing years. His service on the board of 
education was characterized by a highly progressive spirit concerning 
all matters for the promotion of educational facilities and standards. 
He was especially active in the work of inaugurating and organizing 
the library in the high school building, contributing more than any 
other member of the board to the success of this important undertak- 
ing. , He is a member of the New York Bar Association, and was for 
many years one of the vice-presidents of the Westchester County His- 
torical Society. 

Mr. Hawley was married, first, August 7, 1851, to Louisa M. White- 
side, and second, October 8, 1861, to Catharine A. Brown, daughter of 



Samuel and Maria (Crosby) Brown, a " Mayflower " descendant.^ His 
children are Catherine S. Hawley (born 1859) and Samuel Browm 
Hawley (born 1862). 

Mr. Hawley's son, Samuel Brown Hawley, was graduated in 1884 
from the Yale Scientific School. He studied law in the Columbia Law 
School, and was admitted to the bar in 1886. He married, November 
14, 1889, Fermine du Buisson Baird, daughter of Professor Henry M. 
Baird, of Yonkers. He is a member of the Mayflower Society and the 
University Club of New York. He resides in Yonkers. 

E HAET, JOHN, was born at 3 Oliver Street, New Bruns- 
wick, N. J., May 16, 1862, being the son of James De Hart, 
and descended from an old Dutch family e.stablished in the 
Provinces of New York and New Jersey in early colonial 
days. His father was a currier in poor circumstances, and from an 
early age the son was compelled to shape his own career in life. He 
attended the public schools of New Brunswick until his parents re- 
moved to a farm at Dunham's Corner, seven miles distant. This 
occurred in April, 1876, and from that time it was long the practice 
of Mr. De Hart to take his father to and from business at New Bruns- 
wick every morning and evening, while himself working the farm. 
This he did until 1878, when, at the age of sixteen, he took his father's 
farm to work on shares. Two incidents at this period illustrate his 
character. He became the organizer of a debating society, and dis- 
tinguished himself as the most able debater in that section. He was 

^ Mrs. Hawley descends, in the ninth generation, from 
Stephen Hopkins, of the "Mayflower," the ninth signer 
of the "Compact." Her lineage to Stephen Hopkins is 
as follows : 

I. Stephen Hopkins, of the "Mayflower," died at Ply- 
mouth, 1644. 

II. Giles Hopkins (also of the "Mayflower"), born in 
England, died 1690 ; married, October, 1639, Catharine, 
daughter of Gabriel 'Whelden, of Yarmouth. 

HI. Stephen Hopkins, born 1642, died 1718; married 
1667, Mary, daughter of William Myrick. 

IV. Samuel Hopkins, born 1682, died ; married 

Lydia . 

V. Eeliance Hopkins, born 1709, died 1788; married 
June 19, 1735, David Crosby. 

VI. David Crosby (Jr.), born 1737, died 1816 ; married 
1st, Bethiah . 

VII. Peter Crosby, died 1831, at the age of sixty-eight ; 
married Kuth "Waring. 

VIII. Maria Crosby, born 1796, died 1841 ; married 
April 23, 1813, Samuel Brown. 

IX. Catharine Ann Brown, bom 1825, wife of David 

As the Crosby family of Putnam County (through 
which Mrs. Hawley's ancestry ascends to Stephen Hop- 
kins> has become connected by intermarriage with many 
of the prominent families of Westchester County, it is of 
interest also to trace the Crosby line from its flrst Ameri- 
can ancestor. It is as follows : 

I. Simon Crosby, born 1609, and his wife Anne, born 
1611, sailed from London, England, on the ship "Susan 
and EUyn," April 18, 1635, and landed in Cambridge or 
Boston, Mass. 

II. Thomas Crosby, born in England in 1634, died in 
Boston, 1702;' graduated at Harvard, 1653; parried 
Sarah . 

III. John Crosby, born 16^ died 1714; married Han- 
nah . 

iv. David Crosby, born 1700, died 1793 ; married June 
19, 1735, Reliance Hopkins ; his son was David, Jr. (see 
VI,, above, et. seq,). 



engaged in many important public debates in various cities. Again, 
greatly desiring to become tlie owner of a horse and carriage, and not 
having the means for their purchase, with characteristic energy he set 



JOHN De hart. 

himself to the task of the manufacture of the carriage and harness. 
Obtaining a side of leather from his father, and the necessary tools, 
he made a complete set of harness; and, similarly, he went into the 
woods, felled some choice hickory timber, and, after it was well sea- 


soHed, shaped a handsome carriage from it. Working at odd Tiours ia 
a blacksmith shop, he also made the ironwork, and then put the vehicle 
together. This carriage is still in use. 

Mr. De Hart worked the farm very successfully on a partnership 
basis for four years, but, through a drought the fifth year, lost all that 
he had made. IJe decided to abandon market gardening, and came to 
New York City in search of employment, October 15, 1883, with a 
capital of $7.20 to begin life upon. His persistency and adroitness se- 
cured for him employment upon his first application in answer to an 
advertisement. He thus entered the employ of the branch office of the 
Singer Manufacturing Company, on Third Avenue, between 125th and 
126th Streets, at a salarj' of |7 per week. Within six months' time he 
had proved himself one of the best agents and collectors in the employ 
of the office, and was given charge of the entire district north of 125tli 
Street, between Park Avenue and Kingsbridge. There being no cars 
at the time, the journey to 175th Street he had to make on foot three 
times a week. At the end of the year he was made assistant to the 
manager, at the close of the second year was made division manager 
of the district embracing the 23d and 24th wards north of 150th Street, 
and the following year was placed in charge of the entire collecting 
department north of 84th Street. At the end of another two years he 
was appointed manager of the territory north of the Harlem Eiver, and 
remained in charge until his resignation December 10, 1893, to enter 
business for himself as an architect, he having devoted his evenings to 
the study of architecture during the last five years of his employment 
with the Singer Company, and having passed a successful examina- 

In the line of his profession Mr. De Hart has been eminently success- 
ful, and is recognized as one of the best architects in the city, and one 
of the most prosperous north of the Harlem. He has planned some of 
the most notable buildings ou the North Side, and also has a large -, 
clientage on Manhattan Island. He was chosen the architect of the 
Fruit Trades Building, erected on the corner of Jay and Staple Streets, 
New York City. This is the largest building of its kind in America, the 
ground plan being 50 by 98 feet. The first floor is an auction room 
with an auditorium accommodating 300 people, the rest of the building 
being devoted to offices. Mr. De Hart also designed many of the 
buildings along West End Avenue and Riverside Drive, as well as 
some of the finest flats on the west side of the city. He is the architect 
of the first fireproof office building in the Borough of the Bronx, now 
(July, 1899) in process of construction at the junction of Willis and 
Third Avenues and 148th Street. 

Always a strong advocate of public improvements on the North 

' Ji^^£~Z^in-^i^&^^-^jS^^.-^ 

z7i^y\/Sai^>£^yiry^-&>^ij ^ij. 


Side, and always ready to render assistance, Mr. De Hart was elected 
secretary of the i'roperty Owners' Association, and held the position 
until his resignation four years later. During this period he organized 
a citizens' movement which resulted in the opening of Intervale Ave- 
nue and the construction of its sewer — the largest in the City of New 
York. He was one of the advocates of the People's Bill, making many 
addresses; was a warm advocate of the reform methods of the late 
Commissioner Louis J. Heintz; was one of the organizers of the Peo- 
ple's Benefit Order; helped organize two building and loan associa- 
tions in New York, and for several years was a director of one; was 
one of the founders of the North Side Board of Trade, being a member 
of the committee which drafted its constitution and by-laws; for two 
years was chairman of the Public Improvement Committee; is now 
chairman of the Railroad Extension. Committee; was one of the organ- 
izers of the Alliance of Taxpayers' Associations, comprising twenty- 
eight associations north of the Harlem, and for two years was its secre- 
tary, refusing to serve a third term ; and has been active in other public 
movements. In the advocacy of public measures he has made addresses 
before every local board in the City of New York, and he has also 
appeared before legislative committees at Albany. He represented 
the Board of Trade as a delegate to the National Convention on Good 
Eoads at Asbury Park, N. J., and delivered an address before that body 
which attracted attention. He was appointed on a committee with 
Governor Fuller, of Vermont, and General Roy Stone, of the Agricul- 
tural Department, Washington, D. C, to draft a constitution for a 
national association in advocacy of good roads. 

Mr. De Hart is a Democrat in national politics. He was twice ten- 
dered public office, but refused. In October, 1884, he was married to 
Chattie Petty, daughter of Jehiel Petty, of Dunham's Corner, N. J., 
one of the largest berry raisers in that section. 

ARPENTER, REESE, one of the prominent self-made men of 
Westchester County, was born in the Town of North 
Castle, near what was then known as Mile Square and is 
now called Armonk. The family cottage is still standing 
near Wampus Lake. His father was David Carpenter, his grandfather 
Rees Carpenter, and his great-grandfather William Carpenter, who 
owned a large estate in Byram Valley over one hundred years ago. His 
mother was Anna Bailey Owen, daughter of John Owen, of Somers, 
Westchester County, who was the first paper manufacturer in that 



part of the country and made the first bank-note paper used by the 
State of New York. Her grandfather, Joseph Owen, who married 
Euth Woolsey, a direct descendant from Cardinal "Woolsey, lived in, 
Bedford in the same county, and fought in the Kevolutionary War. 
This ancestral patriotic service made the great-grandson, Keese Car- 
penter, eligible to membership in the Sons of the Kevolution, to which 
he was admitted in 1888. 

Born amid rural surroundings, Keese Carpenter enjoyed only the 
scanty educational opportunities afforded by the typical country school 
of the mid-century. Finding little profit and less satisfaction on the 
farm, the young man at the age of seventeen embarked for himself in 
the meat and butchering business, and in three years had saved money 
enough to launch out in larger ventures. Going to New York at the 
age of twenty, he served a six months' clerkship in an iron store, and 
then started in the iron business for himself. The enterprise was suc- 
cessful from the start, and became increasingly important, until at the 
end of twenty-one years Mr. Carpentei? was recognized as a prominent 
manufacturer of appliances for railroads, with specialties in railroad 
signals and improved car trucks. 

In recent years Mr. Carpenter has been remarkably successful in 
promoting various cemetery enterprises. He has persistently main- 
tained that the beautiful and cheerful in art and nature should take 
the place of funeral gloom in the surroundings of the public memorials 
of the departed. In 1890 he successfully inaugurated Kensico Ceme- 
tery, destined to be one of the largest and most beautiful cemeteries 
accessible from New York City. Selecting the location with excellent 
judgment, recognizing its natural adaptation to fine landscape and 
architectural effects, he foresaw the ultimate physical beauty of the 
developed project, and bent his energies to the enterprise. He is now 
comptroller of the Cemetery Association; and the ideal which was to 
him a vivid reality at the start seven years ago is being rapidly actual- 
ized. He also organized the Forest Lake Cemetery of Washington, 
D. C, the Druid Eidge Cemetery of Baltimore, Md., the Somertou 
Hills Cemetery of Philadelphia, the Lake Side Cemetery of Buffalo; 
N. Y., the Lake Side Cemetery of Erie, Pa., the Forest Park Cemetery 
of Troy, N. Y., the Knollwood Cemetery of Boston, Mass., and the 
Greenlawn Cemetery of Syracuse, N. Y. All of these are organized 
under the same new system used in the successful development of the 
Kensico Cemetery. 

While Mr. Carpenter was carrying on the iron business in New York 
he lived in Brooklyn and was a member of Dr. Noah Hunt Schenck's 
Church, old St. Ann's on the Heights, and was for years an active and 
effective worker in promoting all the undertakings of the church. Mr. 


Carpenter now lives in New York during the winter, but spends his 
summers at his country residence near Kensico Cemetery, going to the 
city daily to attend to the details of his steadily enlarging business. 

Personal Chronology : Reese Carpenter was born at Mile Square (now Armonk), West- 
chester County, New York, December 22, 1847; was educated in district schools; engaged 
in business as a butcher, 1864-67; went to New York City in 1867 and established an iron 
business; married Caroline L. Townsend, of Armonk, N. Y., November 2, 1870; has been 
actively connected with the management of various cemeteries since 1890. 

PPEKL, G-EOEGE CHARLES, of Mount Vernon, ex-judge, 
and a leading member of the Westchester County bar, was 
born in New York City March 8, 1858. He is of pure Ger- 
man descent, both his parents, George and Barbara (Lung) 
Appell, having been born in the Grand Duchy of Baden, whence they 
emigrated, in 1849, to this country. Prom -them the son inherited a 
vigorous constitution, and the pluck, sagacity, and steadfastness of 
purpose native to the German race, adding to these qualities the enter- 
prise and self-reliance of the ambitious American youth. In 1861 his 
father removed with his family to Mount Vernon, where he continued 
to live until his death. 

George C. Appell attended the Mount Vernon public schools and 
later the Y. M. C. A. School of New York City, also receiving some 
assistance in his more advanced studies by private tutors, whose ser- 
vices he obtained partly in consideration of reciprocal instruction by 
him in phonography after he had become an adept in that art. In the 
main, however, he owes the excellent general education which he was 
able to acquire in youth to persevering private study.. In 1873, at the age 
of fifteen, he entered the law ofBce of the Hon. Lewis C. Piatt, of White 
Plains. After about a year with Judge Piatt he obtained employment 
with the law firm of Hatch & Van Allen, in New York, where he con- 
tinued until 1879. During this period he took up the study of short- 
hand, became highly proficient in it, and entered upon a career of pro- 
fessional stenographic work which, judged by the test of substantial 
business results, has probably never been rivalled by that of any other 
young stenographer in a similar length of time. Originally contem- 
plating the practice of law, he filed his certificate for admission to the 
>ar in 1876, and, continuing to read law for three years afterward, he 
was fully qualified to be admitted upon attaining his majority in 1879. 
But the opportunities which offered at this time in the stenographic 
profession were too attractive to justify his relinquishment of it. Leav- 
ing the office of Hatch & Van Allen in 1879, he became stenographer 



and law reporter to Francis N. Bangs, with whom, and his firm, he re- 
mained until 1888. Fro^m the latter year until 1891 he served as sten- 
ographer to the United States courts for the Southern District of New 
York. During his active career as a stenographer Mr. Appell reported 

many of the most important cases and proceedings of record in the 
courts, including the Broadway Railway proceedings, the Paran 
Stevens will case, the Southern Pennsylvania Railroad litigation, the 
New York Aqueduct proceedings, the Jacob Sharp trial, the Boodle 


Aldermen trials, the case of the Banque Franco-Egyptien against John 
Grosby Brown and others, and the di Oesnola-Feuerdant libel suit. 

Mr. Appell's retirement from stenography to enter the legal profes- 
sion ius^olved a very considerable temporary sacrifice, as he had de- 
veloped an exceedingly lucrative business. But regarding the law as 
the natural field for his energies and abilities, he did not hesitate to 
make the change. To prepare himself more thoroughly for the bar, he 
took a year's course of .lectures (1891-92)' in the Law School of the New 
York University. Meantime he had been admitted to practice, upon 
examination before the Supreme Court in Brooklyn, December 17, 1891. 
He has since been pursuing his profession, with marked success and 
reputation, in Mount Vernon. In 1894 he organized with Odell Dyk- 
man Tompkins the law partnership of Appell & Tompkins. 

As a citizen of Mount Vernon, where he has lived for nearly his 
entire life, he has been active in the public concerns of that community 
and as a contributor to its progress in various ways. For a period of 
eight years he served as a member of the board of trustees of the vil- 
lage. He was a member of the board of education of the 5th school 
district of the Town of Eastchester, and president of that body for two 
terms before Mount Vernon was incorporated as a city. At the first 
election held under the city charter he was elected city judge of Mount 
Vernon, and in that office he served a term of four years, from June 15, 
1892, to June 15, 1896. In his political affiliations he has always been 
a Democrat. 

He is connected with the Masonic fraternity, being a member of 
Mecca Shrine, and is a member of the New York Athletic Club, and 
various other social and similar organizations. He has traveled exten- 
sively throughout the United States, and recently made a prolonged 
tour, with his family, of the British Isles, and most of the countries of 
continental Europe. 

Judge Appell was married, in 1879, to Emma Drews,- of Mount Ver- 
non. They have three children, Edith May (born in 1881), George C, 
Jr. (born in 18.83) , and Alfred Hector (born in 1885) . 

UNTINGTON, COLLIS POTTER,^ whose name is familiar 
to all Americans in connection with the creation and de- 
velopment of colossal railway systems, for many years 
a resident of Westchester village on the Sound, own- 
ing one of the finest estates in that most ancient and historic section 
of the original County of Westchester. This property, purchased by 

'■ Mr. Huntington died on the 14th of August, 1900. Aa the necessary alterations in tliis sketch can not be made without 
delaying the presswork, it is retained in its original form. 


Mr. Huntington from the late Frederick C. Havemeyer in 1884, con-, 
sists of some thirty acres near Throgg's Neck, very elegantly im- 
proved, with all the accessories of an ideal country home. The 
grounds have a charming outlook over the Sound, to whose waters 
they descend, and a private wharf is one of their features. To his 
Westchester estate Mr. Huntington has always been affectionately 
attached, and here he lives for several months of each year. The 
village of Westchester is indebted to his generosity for a fine Free 
Library and Reading Rooms, erected with a permanent endow- 
ment. Although Mr. Huntington has never been active in public 
affairs as such, he has in various ways manifested a hearty interest 
in the welfare of the community which is his chosen place of resi- 
dence. To his neighbors at Westchester he is known as a gentleman 
of unostentatious tastes, quiet habits, amiable and optimistic per- 
sonality, and domestic life, with little suggestion of the notable man 
of affairs and still less of the purely successful individual as that 
character is commonly understood. 

The career of Mr. Huntington is one of the most remarkable of 
our times, whether judged by the test of aggregate results or by that 
of steadiness and continuity of achievement. Viewed in the aspect 
which perhaps is most engaging to the popular mind in estimating 
the relative successes of men — that of acquisitive rewards, — it be- 
longs to the very familiar examples of successful careers of the first 
order. But that would be a superficial view indeed of its charac- 
teristic importance and interest. Neither is it the mere magnitude 
of his undertakings, even conside'ring that these undertakings have 
without exception realized their grand purposes, which gives to Mr. 
Huntington's career its most distinctive interest — but it is the alto- 
gether unique influence he has exercised for promoting the develop- 
ment of the country by extending throughout the great West the 
facilities for growth and progress. Other men have organized gigan- 
tic railway properties and thus become instrumental in building up 
whole sections — but never on a scale corresponding to that of Mr. 
Huntington's performances when viewed in the aggregate, or rival- 
ing in a consecutive way his co-ordinated achievements of forty years. 
One of the active spirits in the conception and construction of the 
first transcontinental railway, he has with undiminished activity 
during the thirty years since the completion of that enterprise pro- 
ceeded to other constructive works of huge proportions and the great- 
est industrial consequence; and in the administration of the vast 
interests thus created and of others incidentally acquired he has 
wrought consolidations which cover the country from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific and the Gulf to Puget Sound, with lines reaching 


through Mexico and down into the Republic of Guatemala, and with 
a connecting steamship route across the Pacific Ocean. He can now 
ride in his private car, over his own lines, from Newport News on 
Chesapeake Bay to Portland, Ore.; and it is estimated that if the 
total railway mileage owned or largely controlled at one time by 
Mr. Huntington were put into a continuous track it would stretch 
over half the surface of the globe. His life since he became con- 
nected with railway enterprises has been devoted entirely to the 
building, operation, and development of railways — that is, to the 
creation of actual values; and he has uniformly avoided speculative 
transactions of all kinds. To form a just appreciation of the produc- 
tive value of Mr. Huntington's career, it should finally be taken into 
account that his activities have never undergone any remission 
through even temporary retirement, and still continue unabated, 
although he has reached the advanced age of seventy-nine. It has been 
well said of him that he is " a man of action whose deeds are monu- 
ments of a progressiveness which has advanced the material pros- 
perity of his country far more than it has benefited himself, and the 
innumerable wheels of industry which his genius and indomitable 
energy have set to rolling as the result of the labors of the active 
man are object-lessons to American citizens." 

He was born in the agricultural village of Harwinton, Litchfield 
County, Conn., October 22, 1821, being the fifth of a family of nine 
children. He sprang from the same stock as Samuel Huntington, one 
of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, president of the 
continental congress, and governor of Connecticut, although his 
immediate ancestors for a number of generations back were farmers. 
At the age of fourteen, having possessed himself of such book knowl- 
edge as could be got from the district school of the locality, and being 
prevented by the slender circumstances of his parents from enjoying 
further educational advantages, he obtained from his father per- 
mission to leave home and undertake his own support. In those days 
it was a New England custom for boys to serve their fathers until 
they became of age, and in return they were entitled to the parental 
support throughout their minority. This time-honored rural practice 
did not accord with young Huntington's ideas of the most advan- 
tageous employment of his youthful years. Starting out for himsel I: 
as a lad of fourteen, he obtained employment at |7 monthly wages, his 
board and clothing being included in the contract. He saved the 
entire amount of his first year's earnings, |84. " At the end of that 
year," said he, commenting on the circumstance many years after- 
ward, " I was as much a capitalist as I have ever been since. Start 
two young men on the road of life. If one earns |75 the first year 


and saves |50 of it, and the other, earning the same amount, saves 
nothing, it seems an easy problem to figure out tlie probable differ- 
ence at the end of twenty years. Nothing is more surprising than 
the result, for while in the second instance the twenty years will 
have produced no growth, in the other the habit of economy and of 
saving the pennies becomes the most finely tempered and useful tool 
in his possession, and the growing capital is a servant which from a 
child grows into a giant for its master's achievement." 

Before the completion of his sixteenth year, having resolved to 
embark in mercantile pursuits, he went to New York, -and, on the 
strength of letters of recommendation to business men which he 
brought with him, purchased a stock of merchandise on credit, which 
he sold at a profit. From this modest beginning he steadily added 
to his capital year by year, though with but small increments. 
For five years he traveled extensively through the South and West, 
selling goods. In 1842, at the age of twenty-one, he established with 
an elder brother a general country store at Oneonta, Otsego County, 
N. Y. Although the conditions of this venture did not admit of 
any considerable results, it proved successful, and by 1848 the Hunt- 
ington brothers were in the enjoyment of a large and profitable trade. 

The California gold fever now swept over the country, and Mr. 
Huntington was importuned to join an expeditionary company 
formed by some enterprising local spirits. He had already decided 
to try his fortunes in California, but it did not strike his fancy to do 
so as a member of any adventurous band. He first, in conjunction 
with his brother, shipped to San Francisco, around Cape Horn, a 
consignment of goods judiciously selected with a view to the needs 
of the miners, and early in 1849, transferring to his brother his in- 
terest in the Oneonta store, he set out with a cash capital of |1,200 
for the land of gold by way of the Isthmus of Panama. Arriving at 
the Isthmus, he was obliged to wait nearly three months before he 
could get passage to his destination. Meanwhile he employed his 
time to very profitable advantage in buying and selling merchandise, 
and in the pursuit of business walked twenty-four times back and 
forth across the Isthmus. By the time the ship arrived at Panama 
to take him and his companions to San Francisco, he had increased 
his capital to five thousand dollars. 

Mr. Huntington landed in San Francisco in the month of August, 
1849, but finding that the opportunities there were not what he de- 
sired, he proceeded without delay to Sacramento, paying his ex- 
penses thither by assisting in loading the vessel upon which he se- 
cured passage. From Sacramento he went to the nearest mining 
camp, more, however, with a view to observing the co'nditions of 


mining than with any intention of personally engaging in it. He 
was not long in satisfying himself that the work of gold-digging 
involved too much hazard beyond the control of the digger to be an 
inviting occupation, and as a. matter of fact he never attempted the 
actual business of hunting for gold. It is also worthy of remark 
that throughout his successful career in California he never owned 
a dollar of stock in a gold mine. After a few days he returned to 
Sacramento and opened a store in a small tent. Here he prospered 
exceedingly, gradually enlarging his facilities until his establish- 
ment consisted of five tents; and finally he built a permanent store 
at 54 K Street, devoting his attention almost exclusively to miners" 
supplies. He had for his next door neighbor a tradesman who, like 
himself, was of New England birth and antecedents, and had come 
to that distant country with serious mercantile intentions — Mark 
Hopkins by name. The two men, having many characteristics and 
sympathies in common, became warm friends, and by and by united 
their fortunes in the firm of Huntington & Hopkins. This house 
made money rapidly, and by 1856 both Mr. Huntington and Mr. Hop- 
kins had advanced to a substantial degree of personal wealth. 

The conception of a transcontinental railway, as a thing most de- 
sirable and eventually indispensable, can hardly be said to have been 
original with any one man. The crying need of railway communi- 
cation with the rest of the country was from the earliest days a matter 
of vivid personal realization to everybody in California. Finally ah 
attempt was made by an engineer named Judah to solve the problem 
practically. The great fundamental obstacle was the difficulty of 
passing the Sierra Nevada range — a difficulty which was esteemed 
by almost every one insurmountable. But Judah presented a plan 
to that end which had the appearance of reasonable feasibility, at 
all events justifying public spirited interest; and the outcome was 
the collection of a considerable amount in subscriptions, promis- 
cuously contributed by merchants, miners, and citizens generally, 
to defray the expenses of an engineering reconnoissance. But with 
the exciting political developments of 1860, in which the people of 
the Pacific Coast were peculiarly interested because of their uncer- 
tain outlook for the future in the event of a life and death struggle 
between North and South, the project of the enthusiastic Judah 
suffered eclipse. At this juncture Mr. Huntington took the step 
that proved decisive. 

He proposed the formation of an association of seven men, of whom 
he and his partner Hopkins would be two, to assume the expense 
of a complete and minute survey for the line and take whatever sub- 
sequent action might appear expedient. Prom this suggestion re- 



suited the organization of the Central Pacific Railroad Company, on 
a capital of |8,500,000, with Leland Stanford as president, C. P. 
Huntington as vice-president, and Mark Hojtkins as treasurer. Pro-; 
digious as was the undertaking thus planned, it was given an en- 
tirely serious character at the start and safeguarded from collapse 
by highly practical working provisions. The associates (whose num- 
ber was reduced to five) agreed that at every stage of the enterprise 
cash should be paid for all work performed, that no more men should 
be employed than they could pay every month, and that no contracts 
should be entered into unless terminable at the option of the com- 
pany. Mr. Huntington was selected to take the whole management 
of the most delicate and vital part of the project — the procurement 
of government aid in bonds and lands and the financing of the com- 
pany in the money markets of the East — and he was vested with 
absolute power to act in all matters at his individual discretion. 
The preliminary survey having been made, he bent all his energies 
toward securing the desired legislation from congress; and as a 
consequence the Pacific Railroad bill was passed, authorizing the 
issue of United States bonds in support of the scheme upon the com- 
pletion of a certain number of miles of road. Then came the critical 
business of soliciting capital from moneyed men. In this Mr. Hunt- 
ington was brilliantly successful; but as the investors desired some 
further security than the collateral of the company, he unhesitatingly 
pledged the private fortunes of himself and his four compatriots to 
the construction of the mileage requisite in order to realize on the 
government bonds. This involved the employment of eight hun- 
dred men on the work for a year. The necessary mileage was com- 
pleted on time, the government aid was forthcoming according to 
promise, and the great undertaking then went steadily, forward to 
its end, being finished on the 10th of May, 1869. But m,eantime Mr. 
Huntington's time continued to be wholly occupied in looking after 
the details of the enterprise in the East — attending not merely to 
its financial interests, but to the expenditure of vast sums of money 
for materials, all of which had to be shipped to San Francisco via 
Cape Horn or the Isthmus. From first to last he had to bear the 
heaviest burdens of responsibility — a labor of ten years, which, con- 
sidered in its relations to the novelty and difficulty of the problem, 
the magnitude of the interests at stake, and the importance of the 
results attained, stands without a parallel in the history of railway 

It would go far beyond the allotted limits of this article to attempt 
an explicit review of Mr. Huntington's varied achievements since 
the completion of the Central Pacific Railroad. He was the con- 


trolling spirit in the inception and construction of the Southern 
Pacific Eailroad from San Francisco and Los Angeles, through 
A.rizona, New Mexico, and Texas, with its extensions to Portland, 
Ore., and to New Orleans, and its connection in the republic of 
■Mexico — the Mexican International Railroad — and an important road 
in Guatemala — the whole now constituting a system which em- 
braces twenty-six distinct corporations, and has a total length of 
more than 9,000 miles. He next secured the control of the Chesa- 
peake and Ohio road, having its eastern terminus at Newport News, 
Va., near Norfolk (the finest natural harbor on the Atlantic Ocean), 
and extending that line through West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennes- 
see, Mississippi, and Louisiana, joined it to his western system. In 
connection with the railroad terminal at Newport News, he has con- 
structed a drydock and shipbuilding yard, the finest on this continent. 
He is at the head of a mail line of steamships plying between San Fran- 
cisco and China and Japan, is interested in the development of coal 
mines at Vancouver, B. C, owns extensive lands in West Virginia 
and elsewhere, and, in addition to his railroad presidencies, is an 
officer or director in many corporations. 

Mr. Huntington's business career extends over a period of some 
sixty-four years. In that time the country has been visited by four 
most disastrous panics — those of 1837, 1857, 1873, and 1893. His 
paper has invariably been worth dollar for dollar. Moreover, none 
of the railway companies for whose existence he is directly respon- 
sible has ever defaulted a single coupon; and in the cases of bank- 
rupted or much crippled roads which at various times have been 
absorbed into his systems, he has made it a matter of obligation as 
well as personal pride to place them as soon as possible on a footing 
where they can regularly pay the interest on their bonds. His finan- 
cial record is thus as singularly free from blemish as his transac- 
tions have been stupendous in their proportions, astonishing in their 
originality and boldness, and dazzling in their success. 

Mr. Huntington still continues the habits of active daily work 
which have characterized his life ever since he set forth at the age 
of fourteen to win his way in the world. Idleness has always been 
peculiarly repugnant to his temperament. He has old-fashioned New 
England notions about correctness of personal life and observance 
of a prudent regimen as not only good things in themselves but 
promotive of one's native capabilities; and it must be admitted that 
these notions have served him in excellent stead in his own person, 
which is that of a notably alert and vigorous man, bearing himself 
qnite unconsciously of any special burden of years. He has always 
had a zest for the cheerful things of life, and for the entertainment 


of friendships, boolis, and those forms of amusement which have the 
recommendation of good sense. " Life to liim," writes one who has 
been in daily association with him for years, " is a game full of ex- 
citing and agreeable complications, in which, strange as it may seem, 
the acquisition and the loss of money are of account mainly as the 
one represents success in combinations based upon his judgment, and 
as the other marks some miscalculation of the points or principles in- 
volved." " He has always," writes another, " been wise enough to 
redeem some part of his daily life from business cares and devote 
it to his family and to his library, where most of his evenings are 
spent. ' Neither cast down nor elated ' might very well be his motto; 
for neither has his great and fortunate career spoiled him or changed 
the simple habits of his life, nor have the vicissitudes of fortune been 
able to disturb his equanimity." 

DEE, FREDERIC WILLIAM, was born at Westchester, then 
in our county but now a part of New York City, on April 19, 
1853. His parents were George Townsend Adee, a well- 
known merchant and banker, and Ellen L. Adee fnee 
Henry). His grandparents were William Adee and Clarissa Adee 
(nee Townsend) — the former of Westchester and the latter of Port- 
chester, N. Y. The ancestor of the family in America was John 
Adee, an Englishman, who in the eighteenth century settled in the 
Providence Plantations (now Rhode Island). From there the family 
removed to Portehester, N. Y., and in 1823 their residence was es- 
tablished at Westchester. 

yiv. Adee was prepared for college at the private school and mili- 
tary academy of Brainerd T. Harrington, at Westchester. In Sep- 
tember, 1869, at the age of sixteen years, he entered Yale College as 
a freshman, and four years later was graduated from its academic 
department with honors, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts. 
In the autumn of 1873 he entered the Columbia College Law School 
and took, under Prof. Theodore W. Dwight, the usual two years' 
course, having been the spring of 1875 and receiving the 
degree of Bachelor of Laws. He was admitted to the bar by the 
Supreme Court in May, 1875. Prior to his graduation from the Law 
School Mr. Adee began a clerkship in the office of Lord, Day & Lord, 
the well-known and long-established law firm, in association with 
whom he continued in various capacities for over nine years. In 1883 
he established an office of his own in the Equitable Life Assurance So- 



ciety Building, 120 Broadway, New York, for tlie general practice of 
law. He has attained a recognized standing in the practice of com- 
mercial, corporate, trust, and real estate law and in matters pertain- 
ing to decedents' estates. Besides his office practice he has been 
principally engaged in the New York Supreme Court, Court of Ap- 
peals, Surrogates' Courts, United States Courts in the Southern Dis- 


trict of New York, and at Washington in the Court of Commissioners 
of Alabama Claims and the United States Court of Claims. While 
an undergraduate at Yale Mr. Adee rowed bow-oar of the university 
crew and became a member of the following college societies: Scroll 
and Key, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Delta Beta Xi, and Delta Kappa. 

He is a member of the following New York clubs and institutions : 
The Union Club, Knickerbocker Club, University Club, Metropolitan 
Club, Down Town Association, Country Club of Westchester County, 


Yale Club, Association of the Bar of the State of New York, New 
York Law Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New York 
Zoological Society. In politics he is a Republican, and in religion 
he is a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, being a pew- 
holder in Trinity Chapel, lYinity Parish, New York City. 

He resides at the family homestead on Throgg's Neck, Westchester, 
New York City, bordering on Long Island Sound. His present office 
address is No. 45 Pine Street, New York City. 

ECOR, GEORGE FISHER.— The Secors of Westchester 
County are descended from French Huguenot ancestors,} 
who emigrated to the Province of New York shortly after 
the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The family name 
has been variously spelled Secor, Secord, Seacord, Sicard, Sicart, 
Sycart, etc. According to tradition the family' fled from its home; 
in France on the night of the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew (August 
24, 1572). leaving the evening meal, untasted, on the table, and the 
candles burning. Be this as it may, the Secor name appears fre^ 
quently on the records of the P'rench Church in New York, Dieu Saint 
Esprit, between the years 1680 and 1770, and is one of the most an- 
cient and honorable in tlae list of the refugee settkrs of New Rochelle 
in our county. Ambroise Sicard, the emigrant ancestor, fled from 
France in 1681, and, coming to America, first settled in New York City. 
He married Jennie Perron; and according to a genealogical account of 
the family in Scharf's History of Westchester County, the first entry 
upon the records of the Huguenot Church in New York City is that 
of the baptism of a daughter of this couple. Ambroise, the exile, 
says the same writer, had five children, Ambroise, Daniel, Jacques or 
James, Marie, wife of Giiillaume Landrian, and Silvie, wife of Francis 
Coquiller. With his son he removed to New Rochelle, and "on the 3 
9th of February, 1692, purchased one hundred and nine acres of land 
in that place from one Guillaume Le Count, for which he paid thirty- 
eight pistoles and eight shillings, current money of New York, equal 
to about one hundred and fifty dollars in gold." The family at once 
took a prominent place in the famous Huguenot town. The name 
of Ambroise Sycart (probably a son of the refugee) appears as one 
of the twenty-three freeholders of New Rochelle in 1708; and in 
1710, in a " Lycence " issued by Governor Hunter, the same person 
is designated as one of the trustees " appoynted for the building of a 
church for the worship of God according to ye Liturgy of the Church 

^"y -fyWT B.„me-r,BT''y''f^ 


of England at New Eochelle." From this latter circumstance it is 
evident that the Si cards or Secors were among the earliest of the 
French CQlonists at New Rociielle- to abandon their peculiar alien 
character and identify themselves actively with the dominant Eng- 
lish-speaking race. 

The descendants of Ambroise Sicard, the refugee, continued to re- 
side in New Eochelle and its vicinity, and, in their several branches, 
became numerous. One branch of the family leased from Colonel 
Caleb Heatlicote, first lord of the Manor of Scarsdale, the manor 
farm of " The Hickories," which has been uninterruptedly in the 
possession of the Secors to the present time, being now the property 
of the well-known Ghauncey T. Secor, supervisor of the Town of Scars- 
dale. On this farm Oliver "Secor, the great-grandfather of Mr., 
George F. Secor, of Sing Sing (the subject of the present sketch), was 
born. Oliver Secor married Elinor Underbill, daughter of Nathaniel 
Underbill, lord mayor of the borough Town of Westchester, and great- 
granddaughter of the redoubtable Captain John Underbill, who bore 
so distinguished a part in the early colonial wars against the Indians. 
Oliver Secor's son Noah removed to a farm* in the present Town of 
New Castle, where he married Anne Brown, and where in 1815 Isaac 
Secor, the father of George F. Secor, was born. Isaac Secor at an 
early age went to New York City and obtained business employment. 
For many years he was successfuly engaged in the shipbuilding busi- 
ness. Eeturning to Westchester County to live, he made his home 
at Sing Sing, where he died in 1899. He married Anna Maria Eey- 
nolds, of New Castle. 

George Fisher Secor, son of Isaac and Anna Maria (Reynolds) 
Secor, was born in Sing Sing on the 26th of March, 1864. He re- 
ceived his education at the Mount Pleasant Military Academy of Sing 
Sing and the Packard Business College of New York, being graduated 
from the former institution in 1883 and from the latter in 1884. After 
completing his studies he entered Wall Street as a partner in the firm 
of Dickinson & Ailing, reorganized in 1892 as Ailing & Secor, under 
which style it still continues. Since J 892 Mr. Secor has been a mem- 
ber of the New York Stock Exchange. He is known as one of the 
representative young men of Wall Street. 

In 1893 Mr. Secor became a special partner in the tobacco inspec- 
tion and warehousing establishment of F. C. Linde, Hamilton & Com- 
pany, of New York. In 1897 he was chosen vice-president and treas- 
urer of the F. C. Linde Company. This company since its organi- 
zation has been the foremost concern in the warehousing business 
in New York, occupying the great building bounded by Beach and 
Varick, Laight, and Hudson Streets, together with seventeen other 


establishments. The ground covered by these different warehouses 
comprises some twenty-eight acres. 

In addition to his Wall Street operations and his identificq,tion with 
the great Linde interests, Mr. Secor is a partner in the firm of Gibson 
.& Secor, bankers, of New York, and one of the directors of the Kut- 
gers and Globe Fire Insurance Company. 

A resident of our Westchester village of Sing Sing, where he owns 
the fine old mansion of Lindenwold on Highland Avenue, Mr. Secor 
is a prominent citizen of that community, especially in connection 
with several of its leading institutions. He is a trustee of the Ossin- 
ing Hospital and the Mount Pleasant Academy, vice-president of the 
Young Men's Christian Association of Sing Sing, and trustee of the 
Highland Avenue Methodist Church a-nd the North Sing Sing Meth- 
odist Church. ■ He is also a member of the board of managers of the 
Missionary Society of the Methodist Church at large. 

He is a member of the Wool Club of New York, the Camera Club 
of New York, the Sing Sing' Yacht Club, and the Shattemuek Canoe 
Club.. In connection with his religious activities, he takes a cordial 
interest in the Itinerants' Club of the Methodist Church, being a mem- 
ber of its finance committee. 

Mr. Secor was married, January 6, 1892, to Margaret Linde, daugh- 
ter of Frederic C. Linde, of Brooklyn, the founder of the Linde ware- 
housing enterprises. Their children are George Jackson Fisher 
Secor, Anna Margaret Secor, and Frederic Linde Secor. 

'^^M cCLELLAN, CLAEBNCE STEWART, a prominent business 
^|Ejffl| man and fomier postmaster and city treasurer of Mount 
^1^^ Vernon, was born in that community on the 6th of May, 

"' "^ 1860, being a son of Pelham L. and Sarah A. (Ferdon) Mc- 
Clellan. He is descended from original Scotch ancestors, although 
the family has been resident in this country for several generations. 
His great-grandfather, Hugh McClellan, was a patriot soldier in the 
Revolutionary War, and his grandfather, William W. McClellan, a 
citizen of New Rochelle, this county, was an attorney and served as 
master of chancery. Mr. McClellan's father, who was born in New 
Rochelle and lived there and subsequently in Mount Vernon, prac- 
ticed law all his life, and held the offices of supervisor and district at- 
torney of Westchestel County. He died in October, 1892. 

Clarence S. McClellan was educated in the public schools of Mount 



Vernon. Upon ; completing Ms studies he entered his father's law 
office. In 1878, a^t the age of eighteen, he embarked in the real es- 
tate and insnran.ce business, in which he still continues. He has 
enjoyed a highly successful career, characterized by very energetic 
qualities, enterprise, sound judgment, and an etpert knowledge of 
real estate values. He has taken an especially prominent part in the 


development of Mount Vernon Heights, Pelham Heights, Dunham 
Park, and other choice residential localities. Since 1891 he has been 
associated in business with Mr. Thomas K. Hodge, the present county 
register. The firm name is McOlellan & Hodge. 

Mr. McClellan, in addition to his real estate business, has. been 
closely identified in the organization and, management of several 

large corporate interests in Westchester County. 




a number of prominent citizens of the then village of Mount 
Vernon, he organized the People's Bank of Mount Vernon (under 
the State banking laws), with a capital of |50,000, and ha was 
selected as its vice-president, which position he retained until he 
succeeded to its presidency in January, 1898, which office he still 
retains. On April 1, 1900, the People's Bank was converted from a 
State to a national bank, assuming the title of the " First National 
Bank of Mqunt Vernon, N". Y.," and its capital increased to |100,000 
and surplus |50,000, and Mr. McOlellan was selected as its president, 
he being the unanimous choice of the stockholders. The First Na- 
tional Bank of Mount Vernon (although one of the youngest) is recog- 
nized as one of the leading banks in the county. In the spring of 
1899 Mr. McClellan was solicited by Colonel Henneberger and a num- 
ber of citizens of the City of New Eochelle to co-operate with them in 
the organization of the City Bank, of New Eochelle, which was in- 
corporated under the State laws And commenced business on July 
10, 1899, with a capital of |50,000. and surplus of |5,000,,and he was 
chosen its vice-president, which position he still retains. Mr. Mc- 
Olellan is also president of the Westchester Gas and Ooke Company 
and vice-president of the Eastchester Electric Company, which com- 
panies, together with all the Westchester County gas and electric 
companies, are about to be consolida.ted into one company, in which 
he is closely identified. Mr. McClellan is also executor and admin- 
istrator of several large estates, and has been appointed on a number 
of commissions by the Supreme Court judges of his district. 

In politics Mr. McClellan has been identified since boyhood with 
the Democratic party, performing his share of public service as a 
citizen of Mount Vernon. At the age of twenty-one he was elected 
school trustee of District No. 4 of the old Town of Eastchester. Later 
he served as village trustee, representing the 3d ward. At the first 
election held for the choice of officers for the new City of Mount Ver- 
non (in May, 1892) he was chosen city treasurer, continuing in that 
office until June,. 1894. In April of. the latter, year he was appointed 
by President Cleveland postmaster of Mount Vernon, having re- 
ceived the unanimous indorsement of his party organization. Since 
his retirement from the postmastership in August, 1898, he has de- 
voted his time exclusively to his business interests. 

He is a member of the Eefcrm Club of New York, the City Club of 
Mount Vernon, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 

Mr. McClellan was married February 14, 1886, to Sarah C. Collins, 
daughter of Hon. W. J. Collins, a prominent citizen of Mount Ver- 
non. They have two children, Clarence S. and Vernon F. 

y^, -^^-z>^ 



KINNER, HALCYON,- the distinguished inventor, whose 
name is inseparablj^ identified with the history of the in- 
dustrial development of Yonkers, was born in Mantua, 
Ohio, March 6, 1824. He is descended from pure Yankee 
ancestry, both his parents, Joseph and Susan (Eggieston) Skinner, 
having been natives of Massachusetts, whence they removed early in 
life with their parents to the western wilds. In 1832, 'when Halcyon 
was eight years old, the family returned to Massachusetts, locating in 
Stockbridge. As a child in Ohio he attended a log cabin district 
school, and during the residence of his parents in Stockbridge he con- 
tinued to receive the " schooling " common to country lads, meantime 
working industriously in the summer seasons for farmers and at 
mechanical pursuits as an assistant to his father. He never enjoyed 
any higher educationa,! training. With the completion of his four- 
teenth year his school days were over. 

Joseph Skinner, the father of Halcyon, was brought up on a farm, 
but having a native taste for mechanics and invention, he finally 
abandoned agriculture for those more congenial avocations. A great 
lover of the violin, he applied himself to the work of devising and 
constructing machines for forming the various parts of that instru- 
ment. One of the resulting contrivances was an appliance for cutting 
thin slips of wood to form the sides of violins. Out of this was devel- 
oped a larger machine for cutting veneers for general pur];)oses, which 
the late John Copeutt adopted and introduced into his sawmill at 
West Farms, this county, at the same time taking the inventor into 
his employment. Joseph Skinner, with his family, came to West 
Farms in December, 1838. He was for several years Mr. Copcutt's 
foreman, devoting his attention chiefly to the veneer business, but 
later resumed his favorite occupation, manufacturing violins, guitars, 
and banjos in a room in the Gopcutt establishment. During all this 
time, a period of nearly seven years, Halcyon had. been actively em- 
ployed as his assistant. On the night of March 6, 1845, Halcyon's 
twenty-first birthday, the niill, and with it the Skinner shop and ma- 
chinery, was destroyed by fire. Soon afterward the father returned to 
Ohio, where he died. 

The son meantime remained at West Farms, working as a journey- 
man carpenter. At that trade he continued for some four and one- 
half years, when an incident occurred that changed the entire course 
of his life, and was destined to lead to mighty results in the industrial 

In the same year when Halcyon Skinner, then just twenty-one, com- 
pelled by the disaster which had overtaken his father to shift for him- 
self, went to work at the trade of carpenter, another young man. 


Alexander Smith, was embarking in a somewhat venturesome manu- 
facturing enterprise in the same village. Mr. Sinith had come to 
West Farms from New Jersey as a boy of sixteen, and for some years 
had conducted a country store there with tolerable success. In 1845 
he bought out the small carpet factory of James W. Mitchell (at that 
time operating some twenty hand looms), and entered hopefully upon 
the business of carpet manufacture. Failing to prosper in this under- 
taking, he was forced to suspend his activities for a time, and a,ccepted 
a position as superintendent in carpet mills at Schenectady. After 
several months he returned to West Farms and, with John G. McNair, 
applied himself to the working out of some original ideas in the carpet 
manufacturing line. These involved the devising and constructing 
of an apparatus for particoloring yarns for ingrain carpets so as to do 
away with the great existing defect in those fabrics — their striped 

Having some knowledge of the mechanical cleverness of Halcyon 
Skinner, Mr. Smith one day had a talk with him about the problem, 
and sought his assistance toward its solution. This was in the fall of 
1849. The young carpenter at once began experiments, which re- 
sulted in the invention and building of entirely satisfactory machinery. 
By the spring of the next year all was in readiness for active proceed- 
ings. A factory affording room for a hundred looms was erected, and 
the business soon began to return handsome profits. Mr. Skinner was 
given employment by the concern in the capacity of general mechanic. 
In that position he was retained by Mr. Smith and the Smith Company 
for exactly forty years, retiring in November, 1889. 

About five years after the successful inauguration of the ingrain 
carpet manufacture, Mr. Smith conceived the project of constructing 
a power loom for weaving Axminster carpets, which, up to that time, 
had been produced exclusively by hand. Mr. Skinner found this a 
much more diflftcult matter than his former undertaking, and, more- 
over, labored under the disadvantage of very limited mechanical 
knowledge of the special kind necessary for intelligent labor. His 
time had been almost entirely occupied with the routine affairs of the 
works, and, indeed, he knew practically nothing about power looms, 
and had not for many years even seen one in operation. But by 
patient study and effort he was able to design machinery from which 
a fabric, quite imperfect at first, but clearly demonstrating the prac- 
ticability of his plans, was woven. In 1856 a joint patent was pro- 
cured, and steps were then taken to perfect the invention, which were 
so far successful that in the spring of 1857 a complete Axminster 
loom was set up that turned out some very fine samples of goods. But 


this stilL required many improvements to render it what it ought to 
be in practical respects, and it was not until 1860 that any goods were 
produced for the market. The business troubles attending the burst- 
ing forth of the Oivil War delayed further progress in this direction. 
The Smith mills were shut down for many months and, when again 
started, were worked almost exclusively for maldng army blankets. 
Meantime, however, Mr. Skinner continued his experiments, building 
a new and still more complete Axminster loom, which, in 1862, he took 
to London, and exhibited at the International Exhibition. Later he 
disposed of it to a carpet manufacturer in Brussels, Belgiuni, who, 
however, soon failed, whereupon it was returned to Mr. Smith. 

From 1862 to 1869 was a period of many vicissitudes in the Smith 
establishment. It was twice visited by fire — in January, 1862, and 
April, 1864. On the first occasion the works were totally destroyed. 
They were rebuilt at West Farms upon plans prepared by Mr. Skin- 
ner. After that ( 1863 ) he invented a power loom for weaving tapes- 
try ingrains — a notable triumph of mechanical genius in a department 
where the successful introduction of automatic machinery had always 
been deemed impossible. He also in the same year obtained a patent 
for the improvements made in the Axminster loom since the first 
patent was granted in 1856. In the winter of 1863-64 he prepared 
plans for a new factory building, and the number of ingrain power 
looms was increased. Then came the second fire. In the fall of 1864 
new premises were purchased in Yonkers, and in the spring, of 1865 
manufacturing opei*ations there were commenced. Mr. Skinner now 
instituted decided improvements in the ingrain power loomsf Subse- 
, quently the original Axminster loom was put to work, and this impor- 
tant branch of the business was gradually extended, Mr. Skinner's 
Axminster machinery having been now brought by him to a high de- 
gree of efficiency. 

The firm of Alexander Smith & Sons was organized in the spring 
of 1869. In 1871 it entered upon the manufacture of tapestry Brus- 
sels carpets, at first using looms purchased in England. Mr. Skinner 
was prompt to see^;he defects in these machines, and invented a new 
loom to take their place, which at once developed an increased daily 
capacity of 50 per cent, (soon increased to 100 per cent.), the English 
looms being thereupon sold for half their cost and Mr. Skinner's sub- 
stituted for them. The English printing machines for tapestry yarns, 
which the firm had been using, were also discarded for other ones de- 
signed by Mr. Skinner. 

In October, 1874, the firm of A. T. Stewart & Oompany, of New 
York, made Mr. Skinner an offer of a much larger salary than he was 
receiving from the Smith Company, to take the general supervision of 


the mechanical department of several of their factories, but Mr. Smith 
extended to him inducements which persuaded him to decline it. 

At Mr. Smith's request he now devoted himself earnestly to the 
designing of a loom for weaving a carpet in the style of the French 
moquettes. He completed this invention in February, 1877. The 
Smith Company, besides building a sufBcient number of the moquette 
looms for their own purposes, licensed several firms in England and 
France to operate them, and Mr. Skinner spent a number of months in 
those countries attending to the necessary details. 

After his return he was continuously occupied during the remaining 
ten years of his connection with the company in inventive improve- 
ments of different kinds and in superintending the general mechanical 
work and the construction of the extensive new buildings planned at 
various times. 

In addition to the inventions and improvements already noticed — 
all of them utilized in the Smith business, and the patent rights to all 
having been assigned to Mr. Alexander Smith or to the A. Smith & 
Sons Carpet Company — Mr. Skinner, exercising a right reserved by 
him in the assignment of the tapestry loom patent, designed (1881) 
an important new loom for operating a Jacquard machine as used in 
Brussels weaving. This was sold to the Bigelow Carpet Company, of 
Clinton, Mass. 

Mr. Skinner's rights in the subjoined list of patents were assigned to Mr. Alexander 
Smith, or to the Alexander Smith & Sons Carpet Company : 

1, Axminster loom ; 2, Improvements on Axminster loom ; 3, Improvements on ingrain 
loom ; 4, Improved tapestry loom ; 5, Moquette loom ; 6, Improvements on moquette loom ; 
7, Moquette fabric (4 shot) ; 8, Moquette fabric (3 shot and 2 shot) ; 9, Improved chenille 
carpet loom ; 10, Chenille (or " fur ") loom. 

When Mr. Skinner began working for Mr. Alexander Smith, in 1849, the establishment 
consisted of one small wooden building containing nineteen hand looms for weaving ingraiii 
carpet. The looms were not then in operation, but when in full work would turn out about 
one hundred and seventy-flve yards per day, making about a wagon load to be sent to New 
York each week. The looms were all in use in the spring of 1850, when the new method of 
dyeing had proved a suooesg. When Mr. Skinner left iu 1889, after a service of forty 
years, there was a series of large brick buildings, with floor room to the extent of about 
twenty-three acres, all of which had been planned by Mr. Skinner and erected under his 
supervision. These buildings contained at that date nearly eight hundred power looms, the 
more important and valuable of which Mr. Skinner had invented and designed, and the 
remainder of which he had so greatly improved that the production of each one of them 
equaled that of two of those used previous to his improvements. About 3,500 operatives 
were employed in the various departments, and the actual production of all kinds reached 
9,217,000 yards per year. In 1892, three years later, the production had increased to 
40,000 yards per day, of which 15,000 yards were moquette, amounting to 4,500,000 yards 
per year of that kind of carpet. In 1895 the number of looms of all kinds had reached 930. 
To show more fully the importance and value of the invention of the moquette loom, it 
may be said that the production above mentioned (16,000 yards per day) would yield to the 
owner of the patents a royalty of 20 cents per yard, amounting to $900,000 for the year, 
besides a still larger amount in profits to the manufacturer. In addition to this, the Hart- 
ford Carpet Company in this country, and several companies in England and France, were 
paying large amounts in royalties. The most important results of the inventions of the 


moq^uette loom and auxiliary machinery for preparing the materials is the reduction in the 
price of this very desirable style of carpet from $3 or $3.50 per yard to considerably less 
than $1, thus bringing it within the reach of all who care to have a carpet of any kind. 
This difBerence in price, taking the quantity produced by the Smith Company alone (say 15,- 
000 yards per day), represents a saving to the consumer of nearly .1tl2,000,000 a year. The 
quantity produced by other companies would greatly increase this amount. Notwithstand- 
ing the small cost of manufacturing this fabric, which was never produced in this country 
before the invention of the loom, the daUy wages of the operatives are more than double 
those of the workers under former methods. 

These statements help to realize what Mr. Skinner has done for Yonkers, and for the 
country 1. 

Although now at the advanced age of seventy-six, Mr. Skinner 
continues active and fertile in inventive w^ork. 

Upon severing his relations with the Smith Company in November, 
1889, he made an arrangement with Prank H. Connolly (who also had 
for many years been in the employ of the Smiths) by which the two 
were to work together in designing and constructing improved de- 
vices for the weaving of moquette carpets. They first built a new 
loom which, though largely experimental, proved capable of yielding 
a considerable increase in production over that of the looms pre- 
viously in use, operating very steadily at the rate of from fifty-three 
and one-half to fifty-five yards per day of sfendard moquettes. This 
very decided improvement upon the then existing moquette loom ma- 
chinery was patented, and fifteen looms were erected upon the new 
model for a concern in Amsterdam, N. Y. Upon the expiration of the 
original moquette patent, however, the parties operating the new 
looms decided to adopt some of the main features of that invention, 
by which tlie payment of royalties on the new would be avoided. 
Meantime Messrs. Skinner & Connolly prosecuted further improve- 
ments and constructed a number of looms with a view to engaging in 
carpet manufacture on their own account; but owing to various com- 
plications this project was given up. 

During the last few years the popular taste has turned strongly 
toward the use of farge -rugs made in a single piece, instead of carp^ets 
manufactured in narrow breadths and joined together. Until quite 
recently these rugs were all produced by hand, and it was thought to 
be impossible to wgfave tufted pile fabrics of over a yard, or perhaps a 
yard and a half in breadth, -on a power loom. Some attempts, which 
had been only moderately successful, had been made to weave rugs 
two yards wide; but fabrics of greater width were still executed by 
hand or by joining breadths together. 

Mr. Skinner, turning his attention to this interesting subject, en-- 
tered upon a series of experiments that have been rewarded with a 
pronounced degree of success. In association with Mr. Connolly he 
has produced a machine which, though not entirely perfected, seems 

'History of Yonkers, pp. 183-4. 


to leave no doubt that a loom can be built to weave a tufted pile fabric 
ten yards in width, or even wider, if desired. 

The principal difficulty heretofore encountered in efforts to weave 
wide rug fabrics has been owing to the great increase required in the 
weight and bulk of the operating parts of the loom in order to give 
sufficient rigidity to insure the accurate movement of these parts in 
handling the immense number of threads of delicate material used — 
many hundreds of ends of variously colored yarns having to be drawn 
from the spools on which they are wound, cut off, and inserted between 
the warp threads, and woven in to form each row of tufts extending 
across the fabric. In a fabric of medium fineness, three yards wide, 
the number of parcels of yarn so cut off and woven at each operation 
to form a single row of tufts is 756. The pieces cut 9|f are only three- 
fourths of an inch long, and to weave a single inch of darpet the opera- 
tion must be rejjeated seven times, and in weaving a yard 252 times. 
These figures show that in wea,ving one yard in length tiy three yards 
in width the mechanism must handle, cut off, insert, and weave in 
190,512 parcels of yarn three-fourths of an inch long. The parcels of 
yarn forming a row of tufts are bent around one of thejweft threads 
so that both ends will project upward from the " back " 6r body of the 
fabrics, and all the ends must be, as nearly as possible, of the same 
height, because if they vary ever so slightly there must be consider- 
able loss by the operation of shearing, which is necessary in order to 
have a level and iiniform surface. ; 

It will readily be seen that in order to perform accurately all the 
foregoing operations, the moving parts of a machine th^t will weave 
a fabric three yards or more in width must be so bulky and heavy, or 
so well supported in all its parts, that there will be practically no vi- 
bration while operating. The spools aggregating three yards in 
length for each row of tufts, and in number equal to the number of 
rows in the design or pattern — often several hundred, and weighing, 
with their connections, a ton or more, — must each be brought to the 
position to be operated upon, and then moved. out of the way to make 
room for the next in succession. With the spools and their carriers 
and other parts constructed in the usual manner, the great weight 
that must be started and stopped at each operation necessitates a very 
slow movement, and the amount of production per day is very mod- 

A valuable feature of the new loom is the system of connecting the 
moving parts, especially of the spools and their connections, by which 
the excessive weight and bulk heretofore found necessary in weaving 
wide moquette fabrics are avoided, and a speed is made practicable 
that will yield a greatly increased production. 


It is believed tliat the introduction of the improved looms will tend 
to largely increase the use of high-grade rugs by reducing the co^t of 
manufacture. . \ 

Mr. Skinner has been twice married — to Eliza Pierce, who died in 
1869, and to Adelaide, daughter of Henry P. Cropsey, of Brooklyn. 
His children — all by his first niarriage — are: Charles E., Albert L., 
Herbert Y., Uretta B., and Aurelia L. 

ETTY, EGBERT PAEKHILL, was born in Newtown Lima- 
vaddy^ a village near Londonderry, Ireland, on May 1, 1^11, 
being the first son and fifth child of Samuel Getty and I^ary 
Parkhill. His father was a strict orthodox Presb3i;eriap of 
Scotch Covenanter descent. . His mother was of Welsh descent, and a 
member of the Church of Englgind. Samuel Getty was a merchfint, 
dealing in West India goods, flaxseed, and linen, the principal in|ius- 
try of the North of Ireland. Having met with financial reversesj he 
sailed with his family from Londonderry, and landed in New Yorjj in 
July, 1824, making his residence in Greenwich Village (comprising 
the presejit 9th ward and part of the 8th ward of the Borough of 

Eobert Parkhill Getty, a lad of thirteen, obtained employment as a 
clerk with a grocer in the village, living, as was the custom then, in 
his employer's family. He soon after secured a position with one of the 
prominent houses engaged in the inspection and storage of beef and 
pork, the leading business in the village, and under the immediate 
supervision and control of the State government. Acquiring a thor- 
ough knowledge of every detail of the business, he was clerk, foreman, 
and manager for and partner of successive appointees to the office of 
inspector of beef and pork till he was appoi:nted, in 1844, by Governor 
Bouck, an inspector, which business he conducted on his own account 
until 1858," when he associated with him his oldest son, Samuel Emmet, 
in the firm of R. P. Get'ty & Son. He rtetired upon the dissolution of the 
firm in 1868. , .. ' : 

He was elected assistant alderman of the 8th ward of New York 
City in 1848 on the Democratic ticket, having been, in 1846-47, a mem- 
ber of the board of education. 

Strong in his anti-slavery convictions, he was identified with the 
Free-soil wing of the Democratic party, and became one of the earliest 
and most zealous organizers of the Republican party, contributing 
liberally to its support, and for years being active in committee and 



club work. He has continued constant in his allegiance to the Eepub- 
lican party. In, this way brought into close contact with Horace 
Greeley, whom he had known from his ^rst coming to New York, 
they contracted a warm friendship, which terminated only with the 
death of Mr. Greeley. 

He was married, in June, 1834, to Rebecca Van Buren, a daughter 
of Dow Van Buren, of Schodack Landing, a village on the east bank 


of the Hudson River twelve miles below Albany, by whom he had 
twelve children. 
• In the autumn of 1848 he bought thirty acres of land on the east side 
of South Broadway, Yonkers, naming it Parkhill, and in May, 1849, 
took up his residence there, where he still resides. He was one of 
the promoters and original stockholders in the Hudson River Railroad, 
and for many years a director. He early saw the possibilities of the 
future growth of Yonkers, then a hamlet of six hundred inhabitants, 


and invested in lands in what are now Getty Square and Main Street, 
tlie present business center of the city. In 1852 he erected the Getty 
Eouse, the first brick building of any importance that had been built 
in the town since the erection of Manor Hall, one hundred and seventy 
years before. He was an incorporator of the Yonkers Savings Bank, 
of which he has continued a trustee and is now the president. He 
was one of the incorporators of the Bank of Yonkers, now the First 
National Bank, and has been continuously, and is still, one of its 
directors. He was also an incorporator of the Yonkers Gas Light 
Company, of which he is now and has been continuously a director. 
He organized . and was the president of the Yonkers & New York 
Railroad Company, which, in 1862, constructed a street horse-car rail- 
road through South Broadway and Main Street, from Van Cortlandt, 
and up Warburton Avenue. The road was discontinued after a iew 
years, it failing to pay. He was also an incorporator and director of 
the. Yonkers and New York Fire Insurance Company, which had a very 
successful career until the great fire in Chicago brought disaster to it. 

Public-spirited in a remarkable degree, with unshaken faith in the 
future of Yonkers, he has been identified with every movement that 
made for the advancement of the community, advocating, against 
violent opposition, its incorporation as a village, and afterward its 
incorporation as a city. Mr. Getty was a trustee of the village in 1857 
and 1858, and in 1867, 1868, 1869, and president in 1859 and I860, 
and in 1871 and 1872. He was appointed city treasurer in 1881, and 
served until 1885. He was again appointed in 1887, still continuing 
in the office. 

His brand of provisions having had for years the preference of the 
Commissary Department of the United States Army in all its purchases 
of provisions for the use of the army, at the beginning oJE the War of 
the Eebellion he was appointed Inspector of Provisions for the United 
States, a position which he held until honorably discharged at the end 
of the war, with strong commendation from the commissary-general 
for his zealous and faithful discharge of the duties of the position. 
He was the adviser and confidant of General A. B. Eaton, commissary- 
general, regarding the purchase of provisions, and the kind and qual- 
ity best adapted for the use of th6 army during the war. His accept- 
ance and continued performance of these duties were influenced by 
motives purely patriotic and unselfish, and were to his pecuniary dis- 
advantage, as he knew would be the case when he accepted the office. 
The compensation was small, and Mr. Getty could hot in honor, and 
did not, either directly or indirectly, have any interest in contracts 
for the supply of provisions for the use of the army;, on the contrary, 
his whole business experience, his expert knowledge of the cure and 


care of provisions, and his long and intimate acquaintance witli the 
character of the men engaged in the trade, were devoted solely to the 
interest of the United States; and the value of the services thus ren- 
dered to the country can not be estimated. 

He was interested in 1858 in the reorganization of the Cumberland 
Coal and Iron Company, and was for a time its president, afterward 
being a director, until it was merged in the Consolidation Coal Com- 
pany. He was also for a time president of the Corn Exchange Fire 
Insurance Company, a director in the Bank of North America (New 
York City), a member of the Merchants' Exchange and the Corn Ex- 
change, and vice-president of the Produce Exchange. He was an early 
member of the Union League Club, and an incorporator and president 
of the West Island Club, Newport, R. I. 

Interested from its inception in the elevated system of railroads for 
New York City, he was a stockholder and director of the West Side 
Elevated Railroad; and when the experimental section from the Bat- 
tery through Greenwich Street and Ninth Avenue was projected, the 
company being in bad credit from want of confidence in the under- 
taking, his firm made contracts direct with the rolling mills and others 
who furnished iron and other material required in the construction, 
and provided the credit and means necessary to complete the con- 
struction of the section which demonstrated the practicability and 
usefulness of the system that has since proved so eminently success- 

With only a common-school education when he began to earn his 
own living at the age of thirteen, he realized the advantages of a wider 
knowledge, and devoted his leisure hours to study. He has continued 
through life the habit then acquired, and has been a diligent reader. 
A close observer, with a receptive mind, aided by a remarkable mem- 
ory, he has accumulated a large fund of general information, while 
few men are better informed in history, geology, and kindred literature. 
Strong in his convictions, fearless and outspoken in advocacy of them, 
ready always with a reason for the faith ha him,, his opinions have 
commanded attention and consideration. Endowed with a strong mind 
in a sound body, he has been earnest and active in all. that he under- 
took, and, with his thoughtful judgment, a most useful man in his day 
and generation. His love of right, his hatred of wppng or injustice, and 
intuitive sense of equity, which have governed all his intercourse with 
others, have made him hosts of friends. Genial in his manners, with 
rare conversational powers, reinforced often with an apt story, he is 
in his old age a delightful companion for even the younger generation, 
and enjoys a reverence and respect vouchsafed to few. 


,£r-M A^ jE: -C-. i^47/,a'^a A- Bz^. AT^ 


>'^a' A^if X-r.'l L'-::'i;f. ."-,.; C iJ 


AIRCHILD, BEN LEWIS, lawyer, ex-member of congress. 
and a prominent resident of Pelham, was born in Sweden, 
Monroe County, N. Y., Januai-y 5, 1863, being a son of 
Benjamin F. and Calista (Schaeffer) Fairchild. On his 
father's side he comes from New England ancestry, and on his 
mother's from German stock. His father was a soldier in the Union 
Army during the Givil War, and was severely wounded in the Wilder- 
ness campaign. At the close of the war, much shattered in health 
and with but slender financial resources, he settled with his family in 
Washington, D. C, where the son was reared and educated. 

Leaving school at the age of thirteen, young Fairchild was for 
the nine succeeding years employed in the government departments. 
For two years he held a position in the draughtsman's division of the 
Interior Department, and subsequently he was a clerk in the Bureau 
of Engraving and Printing of the Treasury Department. While thus 
occupied he took the night course of the Spencerian Business College, 
being graduated from thkt institution, and in 1885 he was graduated 
from the Law Department of the Columbia University with the degree 
of Master of Laws, havitig already taken that of Bachelor of Laws. 
He was admitted to the bar in Washington, and thereupon resigned 
his clerkship in the Treasury Department and came to New York, 
where, after continuing his studies for a year in the office of Henry C. 
Andrews, he was admitted to practice in May, 1886. 

In 1887 he entered the New York law firm of Ewing & Southard, 
whose style was changed to Ewing, Southard & Fairchild. Upon 
the retirement of General Ewing in 1893, he formed with Mr. Southard 
the partnership of Southard & Fairchild, which still continues. He 
has enjoyed a successful professional career, pursuing a general civil 

Mr. Fairchild has beeh a resident of Pelham since 1887. In 1893 
he was nominated on thfe Eepublican ticket for delegate to the con- 
stitutional convention. At the resulting election he obtained a ma- 
jority in Westchester County, which, however, was overcome by the 
Democratic majority in the portion of the district belonging to New 
York City. In 1894 he was elected to congress from the 16th district, 
embracing Westchester ^County and the present Borough of the 
Bronx, his majority being 5,500 over an opponent who, at the last 
previous election, had carried the district by 6,500. As a member 
of the 54th congress, Mr. Fairchild served on the committees on pat- 
ents, and coinage, weights, and measures. 

In 1896 he was unanimously renominated for congress by the regu- 
lar Eepublican convention. A bolting couyention was held, however, 
which put up another candidate. The certificates of nomination being 


filed by the rival candidates, it was decided by the secretary of state 
that Mr. Fairchild was the legal Kepublican nominee,' and that his 
name should appear on the official ballot as such. His opponent then 
carried the matter before a judge in a distant section of the State,' and 
obtained an order directing the removal of Mr. Pairchild's name and 
the substitution of his own. This order was ultimately declared by 
the Court of Appeals to have been granted without warrant of juris- 
diction; but meantime the election had been held, with the result 
that, as Mr. Pairchild's name did not appear in the official Repub- 
lican column, he was deprived of the party votes which, according 
to the final decision of the courts, were rightfully his. Owing to these 
very peculiar circumstances his service in congress was limited to a 
single term. 

Mr. Fairchild is largely identified with real estate interests in Pel- 
ham and Mount Vernon. 

He was married, in February, 1893, to Anna, daughter of the late 
James Crumble, of an old New York family. " 

^^M ORRIS, JOHN ALBERT, one of the most widely known 
I ?|^^ Americans of his times, prominent in the communities of 
i ^^^ New York City and New Orleans, a noted promoter of fine 

'' '^^^^ breeds of horses, and the builder of the great Morris Park 
Race Track, was a life-long resident of Throgg's Neck-on-the-Sound, 
in our old Town of Westchester. Although the proprietor of sev- 
eral splendid estates in different parts of the country, Mr. Morris 
always regarded Throgg's Neck as his principal home, where, more- 
over, his father and grandfather had resided before him. The Morris 
estate on Throgg's Neck, known as Engelheim, comprises some one 
hundred and fifty acres, and was purchased by Mr. Morris in. 1865. 
It is now the property of his wife, Cora Morris. "- 

Mr. Morris was descended from an English family of prominence 
and refinement. His great-grandfather, the Rev. John Morris, was 
chaplain to the Duke of Bedford in the middle of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, holding the livings of Lilly, Milton, Bryant, and Woburn, in 
Herefordshire and Bedfordshire. The grandfather of John A. Morris, 
William Powell Morri!=>, came to the United States in 1820 and bought 
land on Throgg's Neck. Mr. Morris's father, Francis Morris, was a 
man of notable activity, enterprise, and success. He was connected 
with various mercantile interests in NeAV York City, at one time being 
identified with the line of steamers which carried the mails from 
New York to San Francisco by way of Colon and the Isthmus of 



Panama. Taking much interest in a gentleman's way in the breed- 
ing of blooded horses, he formed an association in 1856 with Mr. 
Ten Broeck, which is famous iu the history of the American turf, 
and became conspicuously instrumeutal in developing the charac- 
teristics of the finest American racing stocks. It was the firm of 
Morris & Ten Broeck that first took American racers to England, 

making the test between American and British racing horses on 
British soil. He was also one of the founders of Jerome Park. Fran- 
cis Morris resided on Throgg's Neck until his death in 1886. 

John A. Mb'rris was born in New Jersey, July, 1836. His early 
education was received under private tutors, and he was graduated 
from Harvard Scientific School summa cum- Icnide and at the head of the 
class of 1856, when but twenty years old. Accompanying his father to 


England in 1857, lie carried with him a letter of introduction to the 
distinguished Justice Alfred Hennen, of New Orleans, then on a visit 
to that country with his family. From this introduction resulted 
Mr. Morris's marriage, in the same year, with the Justice's daughter, 

The Hennen family was at that period one of the wealthiest, and, 
both politically and socially, one of the most prominent, in the State 
of Louisiana. Their country seat, in Saint Tammany, was an estate 
miles in area. Of this great plantation Mr. Morris became joint pro- 
prietor with his wife. Himself born to wealth, he lavished, says a 
New Orleans writer, " many thousands of dollars upon the houses 
and grounds, placed fine horses in the stables, imported pheasants 
for its forest growths, and had deer caught and turned loose in its 
woods, and then practically turned over the property to his relatives 
and friends for their pleasure." 

Although retaining his Northern home on Throgg's Neck, and in- 
deed largely increasing his landed interests there, Mr. Morris, after 
his marriage, spent much of his timie in New Orleans, and soon be- 
came a conspicuous figure in that cit3^ After the wai", when, as a 
matter of essential and indeed beneficent public policy, the State 
of Louisiana chartered the Louisiana State Lottery, he invested in 
that enterprise, and by the force of his character and ability event- 
ually became its controlling spirit. The obligations thus assumed 
were perhaps as great as any American private citizen has ever 
sustained. Possessed already of very great wealth and free from 
all desire of larger accumulation for its own sake, entirely simple 
in his life and tastes, and temperamentally disinclined to any special 
public prominence, Mr. Morris, had he consulted selfish or timid con- 
venience, might well have preferred to r-etire from this connection 
when the issues involving so much fanaticism, bitterness, and defa- 
mation arose. But his was not a nature to withdraw weakly under 
such stress from a trust undertaken in circumstances of complete 
public approbation, from whose conduct he had derived personal 
profit, and to whose continued exercise he deemed himself bound 
by considerations of loyalty to his associates and the State of Louis- 
iana. In this association, as in all the other enterprises and con- 
cerns of his life, Mr. Morris's career was marked throughout by a 
never-questioned integrity, entire conscientiousness, and great liber- 
ality. By the citizens of New Orleans, as well as by the public of 
that city generally, his name is held in honored and affectionate re- 

Mr. Morris was a firm believer in the future of New Orleans, and 
was actively connected with many of its local interests. He was 


the first to begin the erection of modern high buildings in that city" 
and was extensively interested in banks and corporate institutions. 
He was also a large owner of plantations and planting lands, which 
he worked successfully along the lines of scientific agriculture. 

Inheriting hi^ father's taste for fine horses and desire to bring the 
American breeds to the highest attainable perfection, Mr. Morris 
always devoted himself keenly to this gentlemanly pursuit. He 
established thr^e ^teat breeding farms, splendidly stocked with Eng- 
lish, American, and Australian animals. These farms are still main- 
tained by his sons. ; The principal one is in Texas, seventy-five miles 
north of San Antonio. It comprises 16,000 acreSj and is by far the 
largest and finest breeding farm in America. " In turf matters, as 
in all the other phases of his life," says a biographer of Mr. Morris, 
" his motto was progress and improvement. He loved horses and 
racing, and his object was to have the finest es.tablishments in the 
world for his self -imposed task of continuous improvement of Amer- 
ican racing stock, for the sake not of the gains but the pleasure ot 
j-acing. The apf)Oilitments of his breeding farms and trainin;^ stables 
were made what he thought they should be, with a princely disre 
gard of expense." 

It was pursuant to this spirit that he conceived and built Morris 
Park. Always opposed to the two short straight stretches and the 
two long turns bf the American track, he determined to combine the 
best features of both the American and the English tracks in an 
American park. He, therefore, devised the loop track, first con- 
structed at Motris Park, consisting of two long straight stretches 
of over half a ihile each, joined by a single turn of a quarter mile. 
In addition to this kite-shaped trade there is a straight course of 
three-quarters of a mile, over which the short races for young horses 
are run. The land consists of three hundred and fifteen acres. The 
grand stand has a capacity of 10,000, and there are stabling accom- 
modations for a thousand horses. Morris Park was completed in 
1889. The expense; about a million and a quarter of dollars, was 
entirely borne by Mi-. Morris. 

In his personality Mr. Morris was a. man of cultivated mind, amia- 
ble and generous disposition, and modest manners. Much given to 
the amenities Of life, he was prodigal in social entertainment, but 
avoided all osteiitation. He had an exceeding distaste for personal 
notoriety, especially that which attends calculating and published 
benevolence, anid he therefore abstained from acts of charitable dis- 
play. Yet his private distributions of money to worthy objects were 
at all times largip, and he delighted in such discreet gifts, as also in 
assisting deserving individuals to better their condition in life. 

146 westohestiSr county 

He died on the Texas ranch, May 26, 1895. He is survived by his 
sWidow and three children — Alfred Hennen, Dave Hennen, and 
Frances Isabel. 

ALFKED HENNEN MORRIS, eldest son of John A. Morris, ex- 
member of the Assembly from Westchester Ootinty, and at present 
one of the school commissioners of the City of New York, was born 
at Wilmington, Del., March 3, 1865. After pursuing preparatory 
studies for six years in Europe, he entjered Harvard College, where 
he was graduated in 1885. 

Mr. Morris has always been a resident of Throgg's Neck, in the 
former Township of Westchester, where he owns the beautiful estate 
of Avylon. Previously to the annexation of Westchester to the 
City of New York, he represented the town for two terms (1892 and 
1893) on the Westchester County board of supervisors. In 1893 he 
served as a member of the assembly from the 2d district of West- 
chester County. He was nominated for State senator in the fall ot 
1893 by the Democratic party of the 15th senatorial district, but was 
defeated in common with most other Democratic candidates in that 
year of disaster for his party. In January, 1900, he was appointed by 
the Mayor school commissioner of the City of New York. 

Mr. Morris has very successfully administered the impprtant pri- 
vate interests committed to his hands upon the death of his father. 
He is one of the representative and popular citizens of the Borougii 
of the Bronx. He is a member of the Westchester Country Club, thv> 
Manhattan Club of New York City, and the Boston Club of New 

He was married, in 1889, to Jessie Harding, da,ughter of William 
Harding, proprietor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has two chil- 
dren, a son and a daughter. 

DAVE HENNEN MORRIS, second son of John A. Morris, was 
born in the City of New Orleans, April 24, 1872. He is a graduate of 
Haiward (1896) and subsequently attended the New York Law School. 

Mr. Morris was married, in 1895, to Alice Vanderbilt Shepard, 
daughter of Colonel Elliott F. Shepard. He has one son. 

I AIRGHILD, JOHN FLETCHER, civil engineer, of Mount 
Vernon, a son of Benjamin and Calista (ScheafiEer) Fair- 
child, was born in the City of Washington, December 22, 
1867. He received his literary education in the public and 
high schools of the national capital. ' At the age of seventeen he 
entered the office of Henry H. Law, a Washington architect, and for 


the next five years lie diligently pursued architectural and engineer- 
ing studies. He remained :\¥ith Mr. Law for two and one-half years, 
becoming a skillful draughtsman, and then began seriously to pre- 
pare himself for the profession of civil engineering. To that end he 
obtained employment with Herman K. Viel(^, C.E., of Washington, 
and later (1889-90) took the second year's course in the Engineering 
Department of the Columbian University. While at the university he 
attended evening lectures only, meantime continuing his regular du- 
ties as an office assistant. 

In March, 1890, Mr. Fairchild became engineer to the Pelham 
Heights Company, and took charge of the work of laying out and 
improving the property of that corporation, comprising 177 acres at 
Pelham Station, this county. The work included the subdividing of 
the property, the designing and construction of sewerage, drainage, 
gas, and water systems, and the making of macadamized roads. In 
1891 he opened an oifice in Mount Vernon, and from that time to the 
present he has been actively and prominently identified with, public 
and private improvements in Westchester County, besides pursuing 
a general private practice as civil engineer,»in which he has enjoyed 
marked success and gained a high reputation. 

He served as engineer to the commission appointed by the West- 
chester County courts for draining the marsh lands near Elmsford, on 
both sides of the Sawmill Kiver. This work involved the draining of 
a tract about five miles in length. It was successfully finished in 1897. 
In the same year he completed a similar drainage undertaking . near 
Tuckahoe, also carried on under the auspices of the county courts. 

Upon the appointment by the governor of the important commission 
authorized by the laws of 1895 " to inquire into the expediency of con- 
structing a sewer along the valley and on the edge of the Bronx 
Kiver, through Westchester and New York Counties," Mr. Fairchild 
was selected as engineer to the commission. This body, was composed 
of the mayors of New York, Mount Vernon, and Yonkers, the commis- 
sioner of street improvements of the 23d. and 24th wards, the chair- 
man of the board of supervisors of Westchester County, and several 
other members. The object of the proposed improvement was to pro- 
vide a continuous sewer from Kensico, above White Plains, to tide 
water in Long Island Sound, and thus put a stop to the contaminatioi 
of the waters of the Bronx. Mr. Fairchild, in conjunction with J. J. E. 
Croes, the consulting engineer, made a careful study of the conditions, 
submitting his report to the commission in January,. 1896. In conse- 
quence of various complications— chiefiy political— nothing further 
has been accomplished. According to Mr. Fairchild's estimates,- the 
cost of this public work would be in the neighborhood of |3,600,000. 


He has also held the position of engineer to the Mount Vernon Water 
Commission, and is at present engineer for the Westchester County 
extension of the Union Kailroad Company. In addition, he continuen 
as engineer to the Pelham Heights Company and other landed enter- 

Since 1892 he has been connected witli the teaching staff of the Uni- 
versity of the City of New York, as lecturer on Architecture and Land 
scape Gardening to the senior class, and on Sewerage to the post-grad 
uate class. 

He is one of the leading members of the Board of Trade of Mount 
Vernon, and has for some time served as its treasurer. He is a director 
of the Mount Vernon Young Men's Christian Association, and is a 
member of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Mount Vernon. 
Since 1892 he has resided at Pelham, where also he is active and prom- 
inent, being a member of the Pelham Hook and Ladder Company and 
the Pelham Country Club. He is an associate member of the American 
Society of Civil Engineers, and a member of the Sons of Veterans. 

Mr. Fairchild was married, July 19, 1892, to Mamie E. Welch, of 
Washington, D. C. 

EREY, JOHN TAYLOE, prominent in banking and financial 
circles in New York City, is an old and highly, esteemed 
citizen of Tarrytown, where he owns the beautiful residence 
and estate of " Pinkstone,", adjacent to the late Jay Gould's 
" Lyndenhurst." Mr. Terry's grounds embrace thirty-four acres, 
and extend from Broadway to the Hudson Eiver. He built the man- 
sion in 1858-9, although he had previously for some years made Tarry- 
tow^n his home. For nearly half a century a daiij patron of the New 
York Central and Hudson Eiver Eailroad, he is now the oldest com- 
muter of that road — at least from Tarrytown^-and the only active 
survivor of the notable group of New l^ork business and professional ; 
men, residents of Tarrytown, whose mature careers have been con- 
temporary with his own. 

The " Pinkstone " estate of Mr. Terry possesses interesting and im- 
portant Eevolutionary associations. It formed a part of the old 
Requa fann, which in May, 1779, was the scene of a bloody encounter. 
The incident is tliUS described by Bolton: "A strong (British) de- 
tachment, under the command of Colonel Emmerick, advanced upon 
Tarrytown so rapidly that the continental guard, quartered at Ee- 
qua's house, were completely taken by surprise. Four of them were 
killed upon the spot, and the remainder, consistihg of ten or twelve, 



taken prisoners." It was upon this occasion that the one-armed 
patriot, Isaac Martlingh, as recorded on his tombstone, was " inhu- 
manly slain by Nathaniel Under hill," a notorious Tory of Yonkers, 
and Polly Buckhout was shot by a British rifleman while standing 
in the door of her cottage. The historic Eequa house is still stand- 
ing in a good state of preservation, being occupied by Mr. Terry's 

Mr. Terry descends from an old, honorable, and noted American 
family, and his line includes numerous men conspicuous in the early 
history of our country. Prom Mr. Henry Whittemore's valuable 
work on- the Heroes of the Revolution and Their Descendants we 
digest the following particulars of his ancestry : 

Both through his father, Roderick Terry, and his mother, Harriet 
(Taylor) Terry, he is a descendant of Samuel Terry, who was born 
at Barnet, near London, England, in 1632, came to America on the 
" Pynchon," and settled in Springfield, Mass., in 1650. His pa,ternal 
line is as follows : 

I. Samuel Terry, the ancestor, married Ann Lobdell, supposedly a 
sister of Simon Lobdell, one of the founders of Hartford. 

II. Samuel Terry, born in Springfield, Mass., July 18, 1661; died in 
Enfield, (Donn., January 2, 1730; was one of the patentees of Enfield, 
and held important positions. Married, 1st, Hannah, daughter of 
Miles Morgan. 

III. Ephraim Terry, born in Enfield, October 24, 1701; died there 
October 14, 1783;, was a lawyer and a man of some prominence. Mar- 
ried Ann, daughter of Rev. Nathaniel and Alice (Adams) Collins, 
who on her mother's side was a descendant of Governor William 
Bradford, of the " Mayfiower." 

IV. Eliphalet Terry,, ^born in Enfield, December 24, 1742; died in 
1812; was a lawyer, probate and county judge, a patriot in the Revo- 
lution, and for many years a member and speaker of the Connecticut 
legislature. Married Mary Dwight Hall, of Middletown. 

V. Roderick Terry, boirn in Enfield, March 12, 1788; died February 
8, 1849 ; was a successful merchant, president of the Exchange Bank 
of Hartford, member of the common council, alderman, etc. Married 
Harriet, daughter of Rev. John Taylor. 

VI. John Taylor Terry, the subject of this sketch. 

Mr. Taylor's mother, Harriet (Taylor) Terry, was a granddaughter 
on her mother's side of Colonel Nathaniel Terry of the Revolution, who 
was a descendant in the fourth generation of Samuel Terry (No. 1 
as above). Hence comes Mr. John T. Terry's double line to his im- 


migrant Terry ancestor. Colonel Nathaniel Terry was a Revolution- 
ary patriot of the first order. He was a member of one of the four- 
teen Connecticut regiments which were with Washington in the 
eventful campaign of August-November, 1776, and it is thus probable 
that he participated in the ever-memorable march of the American 
army through our county from Kingsbi'idge to White Plains and 
the Heights of North Castle. 

The Taylor ancestry of Mr. John Taylor Terry may be epitomized 
as follows: 

I. Eev. Edward Taylor, born at Sketchley, near Coventry, Leices- 
tershire, England; studied at Cambridge University (England); re- 
moved to America; was graduated at Harvard (1671), and in 1674 
became pastor of the First Church in Westfleld. Married, 2d,,Euth 
Wyllys, through whom Mr. Terry is descended from many historic 
persons, including the early kings of Eiigland and Scotland. Euth 
Wyllys was a granddaughter of Mabel Harlakenden, whose line 
traces back through Edward I. to William the Conqueror, and 
through Malcomb'Canmore to the Scottish kings of the earliest times. 
Mabel Harlakenden came to America aud married John Haynes, 
colonial governor of Massachusetts and afterward of Connecticut; 
and their daughter, Euth Haynes, married Samuel Wyllj-s, governor 
of ConnecticiTt and a very distinguished public man. Euth Wyllys, 
who married Eev. Edward Taylor, was the daughter of this Samuel 
AVyllys. .. v ' ,, , 

II. Eldad Taylor, born in 1708, lived in Westfleld, Mass.; rendered' 
important services as a member of the Massachusetts senate and gov- 
ernor's council during the Eevolution. Married Thankful Day, 
daughter of Major John and Mary (Smith) Day. 

III. Eev. John Taylor, born in Westfleld, Mass., December 23, 1762; 
died in Bruce, Mich., December 20, 1840. Married Elizabeth Terry, 
daughter of Colonel Nathaniel Terry. 

IV. Harri'et Tdylor, married Eoderick Terry and was the mother 
of John Taylor Terryjithe subject of this sketch. 

It will be seen that Mr. Terry is both a " Mayflower " descendant 
and a descendant of stanch Eevolutionary ancestors. His New Eng- 
land forefathers include many distinguished characters other than 
those mentioned in the preceding summary. Most of his ancestors, 
both paternal and maternal, have been men of professional or business 
pursuits, prominent and useful as citizens. 

John Taylor Terry was born in Hartford, Conn., September 9, 1822. 
He' received a thorough practical education, attending the Hartford 
schools and subsequently academic institutions at Westfleld, Mass., 


and Bllmgton, Conn. At tlie age of- fifteen hfe became a clerk in his 
father's business establishment. Later he made a txip to Europe, and 
ii,pon his return (December, 1841) he came to New York and ^ntered 
the house of E. D. Morgan, then conducting extensive corninerciaP 
enterprises. Flere his abilities secured for him rai)id progress,, and- 
in 181 1, when only twenty-one years old, he was admitted to partner- 
ship in the concern. In his identification with the great firm of E. I). 
Morgan & Company, which has continued uninterruptedly to the pres- 
ent t'ime, he has become known as one of the foremost figures in the 
New York financial and commercial world. The varied operations 
of that house in the fields of banking, the negotiation of railway se- 
curities, and the reorganization and promotion of important lines of 
transportation, as well as the importation of merchandise from every 
portion of the world, have owed their conspicuous success and wide ex- 
tension in an eminent degree to the active enterprise, sound judgment, 
and wise executive man8,gement of Mr. Terry. His career, devoted 
so peculiarly to the interests of transactions and undertakings of great 
public consequence, has thus been a highly useful one. It has been 
justly said of Mr. Terry that he " belongs to the old school of mer- 
chants — men who were more interested in the development of the 
country and the good of mankind than the mere accumulation of 

Mr. Terry is connected with numerous well-known corporate con- 
cerns. He is vice-president of the Mercantile Trust Company and a 
director, among other corporations and institutions, in the Western 
Union Telegraph Company, the American Exchange National Bank, 
the Metropolitan IVust Company, the Bank of New Amsterdam, the 
American Fire Insurance Company, the Texas Pacific Kailroad, the 
"VV^abash, St. Louis, and Pacific Eailroad, the International Ocean Tel- 
egraph Company, the Amerigan Telegraph and Cable Company, the 
St. Louis, Iron Mountain, and Southern Eailroad, and the Commer- 
cial Insurance Company of London. 

He takes a cordial a,nd practical interest in religious a.nd philan- 
thropic work. He is a trustee of ,,.the Presbyterian Hospital of New 
York City and the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. 

He is a member of the Union League Club and New England So- 
ciety of New York City and the Sons of the Kevolution, and is governor 
of the Society of Mayflower Descendants. 

He was married, in 1846, to Elizabeth Koe Peet, of Brooklyn, N. Y. 
He has had five children, two of whom survive: Eev. Eoderick Terry, 
D.D., pastor of the Madison Avenue (New York City) Eeformed 
Church, and John Taylor Terry, Jr. 


EAEBOKN, JOHN M., a prominent mercjiant and citizen of 
Mount Vernon, was born in Amesbury, Mass., November 
21, 1840. Through both his parents, D£|,yid Lowell and 
Hannah Dearborn, he is descended from ifsfew England an- 
cestry. He is a grandson of David Lowell, of Amesbury, who foughiti 
in the Kevolutionary war and died at the age of ninety-six. His 
father was a successful business man of Amesbury, Mass., being con- 
nected with the cotton industry of that place and serving as a di- 
rector in the local banks. 

John M. Dearborn, after attending the Amesbury schools, entered 
the Putnam School of Newburyport, Mass., an academic institution. 
In 1861, soon after the breaking out of the War of the Rebellion, he 
enlisted in the Fourteenth Massachusetts Infantry, which subse- 
quently became the First Massachusetts Heavy. Artillery. He con- 
tinued in the army for three years, beip.g honorably discharged upon 
the expiration of hi^ term of enlistment in July, 18|)4, He was present 
at the second battle of Bull Eun, the battles of the Wilderness, Spott- 
sylvania, Gold Harbor, and North Anna Eiver, and at the numerous 
bloody engagements of General Grant's campaign ip front of Peters- 
burg, Va. 

After returning from the war Mr. Dearborn engaged in the grocery 
business at Newmarket, N. H. Subsequently he was in the flour 
commission business in Boston, and for six years conducted a livery 
establishment in New York City. Eemoving to Mount Vernon in 1875, 
he established the present well-known Deaj-born grocery store, which 
has long been the most representative and attractive establishment 
of its kind in Mount Vernon. In 1888 he built the Dearborn Building 
on South Fourth Avenue, one of the most substantial and handsome 
business structures of the place. Mr. Dearborn's business career of a 
(juarter of a century^in Mount Vernon has been enaiuently successful. 
He enjoys a well-earned position among the leadiijg self-made men of 
that community, and will be remembered as one of the most active, 
enterprising, and valuable promoters of the development of Mount 
Vernon during the period Of its transition from fi small village to a 
thriving city. 

He is prominently identified with the Masonic fraternity, having 
taken all the degrees except the 33°. He is a member of Hiawatha 
Lodge, F. and A. M., Mount Vernon Chapter, E. A. M., Bethle- 
hem Commandery, and Mecca Temple, Mystic Shrine. 

Mr. Dearborn is also a member of Farnsworth Post, G. A. E., of 
the Mount Vernon City Club, of the Mount Vernon Board of Trade, 
and the Clinton Hook and Ladder Company of the Mount Vernon Fire 


AWKENCE, JAMES VALENTINE, merchant, of Yonkere, 
for many years one of ithe leading men in the public and 
general concerns of that community, is the eldest surviving 
son of William H. and Maria V. B. Lawrence. He was born 
in Yonkers on the 6th day of February, 1843. During his boyhood he 
never enjoyed vigorous health, and although sent to school, his attend- 
ance there was quite irregular. But by private study and reading, be- 
gun at an early age and subsequently persevered in, he obtained for 
himself a very good miscellaneous education. 

While yet a boy he shipped as a sailor before the mast, hoping 
that in the active life at sea his physical development would im- 
prove and his tendency to consumption would be checked. Before 
returning from a cruise around Cape Horn in the month of April, 1861, 
he enlisted in the military service of the United States as a private in 
the 2d New York Heavy Artillery, which was then forming and was 
soon afterward sent to the front. He was at that time only eighteen. 

For various meritorious services he was rapidly promoted through all the subordinate 
grades of non-commissioned officers, and in August, 1861, was made a 2d lieutenant, then 
a 1st lieutenant and adjutant of his regiment, which pos^ion he retained until the latter part 
of 1863, when he was transferred to the War Department as commissary of subsistence with 
the rank of captain. He was honorably mustered out of service by special orders of the War 
Department, in the latter part of 1865, having previously been brevetted a major for gallant 
and meritorious service. 

At the second battle of Bull Run he was by the exigencies of the situation forced to assume 
command of his regiment, and succeeded in extricating it from a perilous surprise at a com- 
paratively small loss. Although being wounded, he personally saved the regimental colors 
by taking them from the disabled color-sergeant, placing them across his saddle, and then 
carrying them from the field. 

A memorable episode of his military career was the price set upon his head by Mosby's 
command for the capture of two of the members of that band of infamous marauders. ^ 

For a period of seven years after leaving the army Mr. Lawrence was 
a resident of the City of Washington. Becoming connected with the 
postal service, he was employed by the governnient in several important 
capacities. He was sent in 1868 to Brazil as United States mail agent 
and special commissioner, to settle the basis of a postal treaty with 
that country. Keturning to the United States after successfully fulfill- 
ing that mission, he reported for the senate committee on foreign 
affairs, at the request of Senator Sumner, upon the advisability of 
ratifying the proposed treaty for the purchase and annexation of the 
Danish West Indies. As the representative of the United States he 
arranged with Mr. Anthony Trollope, representing Great Britain, the 
basis of the British- American postal treaty of 1868. With George 
F. Seward, then United States consul-general at Shanghai, he ad- 
justed the details of the mail service between this country and Japan 
and China. He was instrumental in outlining various postal treaties 

' TonkerB in the Bebellion, p. 120. 



and arrangements entered into by our government with other countries 
from- 1868 to, 1872. 

Having decided to prepare himself for the legal profession, Mi". Law- 
rence, in 1868, entered the Law Department of the Columbian Quiver- 

sity (Washington, D. C). He was graduated from that institution 
and adniitted to the bar in 1870. For the next two years he was en- 
gaged in professional business at the District of Columbia bar. 

In the latter part of 1872 he resigned from the government service, 
closed his law office, and returned to Yonkers, his boyhood" home, to 


enter into a business partnership with his brother, Williana F. Law- 
rence. He had previously received an offer of a position in the Japan- 
ese postal service, then in process of organization, but had declined it. 
The firm of Lawrence Brothers was established, succeeding the firm of 
Speedling & Lawrence, which had been discontinued on account of the 
death of Mr. Speedling. Since the death of William P. Lawrence he has 
conducted its affairs alone, although the former firm style ht^s been re- 
tained. This is one of the well-known mercantile firms of West^-h-ester 
County, carrying on an extensive business in coal, lumber, and similar 

Mr. Lawrence has always been a very public-spirited citizen of Yon- 
,kers, heartily interesting himself in its affairs and performing his share 
of useful though gratuitous public service. He was for a time super- 
visor of the town and the city. For a number of yegirs, under the old 
district system, he was a member of the board of education of District 
School No. 2. Subsequently he held the office of civil service commis- 
sioner, resigning to become a member of the consolidated board of 
education (by appointment from Mayor Bell). In this latter position 
he has continued ever since. t 

He has uniformly supported and warmly advocated the fundamental 
principles of the Democratic party. In the presidential campaign of 
1896, however, he was unable to accept the Chicago (Bryan) plat- 
form, but being equally disinclined to join the Kepublican party, he 
voted for General Palmer. In that exciting contest he was the nomi- 
nee of the " National Democracy " in the Yonkers -district for congress, 
polling 2,000 votes — about three times as many as were received by 
any of his colleagues on the ticket. 

He has large real estate interests in Yonkers, and owns considerable 
property also in Mount Vernon, New York City, and Delaware County. 
Although his energies have invariably been devoted mainly to the 
concerns of his business firm, he has from time to time given the influ- 
ence of his cooperation to a number of Yonkers enterprises. He is a 
third owner of the. Palisade Ferry Company, and is a considerable 
stockholder in the Hygeia Ice Company. 

Mr. Lawrence is a popular and effective public speaker, and his 
abilities in this line have been in frequent request at Grand Army re- 
unions and upon social and representative occasions. 

He is a member, and has been president, of the Yonkers dtj Club, 
and is a member of the Corinthian Yacht Club, of Nepperhan Lodge 
of Freemasons, the Turn Verein, the John. C. Fremont Post, G. A. E., 
and the New YdfkCommandery, Loyal Legion. He is a communicant 
and warden of ' Saint John's (Episcopal) Church; 

He was iharried in May, 1864, to Charlotte Elizabeth Southworth, 


a daughter of the well-known authoress, Mrs. B. D. E. N. Southworth. 
They have had ten children — three sons ^xnd seven daughters, — of 
whom two sons and five daughters are living. 

ETCHUM, EDGAR, a well-known resident of what is now the 
Borough of the IBronx, was born in ^ew York City, July 
15, 1840. He is descended, through both his parents, Edgar 
and Elizabeth (Phoenix) Ketchum, from distinguished old 
New York families. Through his grandparents on his father's side 
(John Jauncey Ketchum and Susanna Jauncey, who were cousins) 
a double line comes down from Guleyn Vigne and Adrianna Cavilge, 
as also from Cornelius Van Tienhoven, the noted secretary of New 
Netherland under Stuyvesant as well as his immediate predecessors. 
On his mother's side he is descended from Jacob Phcenix and Anna 
Van Vleck, who appear in Domine Selwynn's list of the Dutch Church 
in New Amsterdam in 1686. His great-grantifather was Daniel Phoenix, 
who, as chairman of the delegation of merchants in 1789, delivered the 
address of welcome on the occasion of Washington's inauguration, 
and was the first controller and treastirer of the City of New 
York, which office he held for nearly a quarter of a century, and a 
member of the first Chamber of Commerce of New York- Mr. Ketchum 
is a brother of Colonel Alexander Phoenix l^etchum, of New York City. 
He attended the public educational institutions of New York, being 
graduated in 1860 from the College of the City of New York, from 
which he subsequently received the degree of Master of Arts. In 1862 
he was graduated from the Columbia College Law School, and ad- 
mitted to the bar. 

He entered the Union army as second lieutenant, in the Signal 
Corps, U. S. A., March 3, 1863. In Aug;ust, 1864, he was stationed 
at the Signal Camp of Instruction at Georgetown, S. C, and soon 
after he was assigned to duty at Fort Signal Hill, about six miles 
from Eichmond. During the operations about the Confederate 
capital he so distinguished himself as to receive special mention 
in the report of Captain L. B. Norton, chief signal officer of the 
Department of Virginia and North Carolina. In January, 1865, 
he participated in the Fort Fisher expedition, serving on the 
staffs of General Charles J. Paine and Alfred H. Terry, and took 
an active part in the difficult manoeuvres, including the perilous 
night operations, which preceded the capture of that fortress. After 
the fall of Fort Fisher he was placed in command of the signal station 


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on the northeast parapet of the fort, and narrowly escaped death from 
the explosion of a neighboring magazine. A little later he was ap- 
pointed signal officer on the staff of General J. M. Schofleld, and sub- 
sequently he was assigned to duty as signal officer of the 23d Corps, 
commanded by General Jacob D. Cox, composing the left wing of Gen- 
eral Schofield's army in the operations against Wilmington, and in this 
capacity participated in the capture of E'ort Anderson, the battle of 
Town Creek, and the capture of Wilmington. He sailed up the Cape 
Fear River with a gunboat expedition to open communication with 
General Sherman; as signal officer on General Terry's staff, took part 
in the northward march through North Carolina, and in the battles of 
Bentonville and, Averysborough ; and subsequently operated with the 
Army of the Potomac in Virginia until the fall of Richmond, when he 
returned to the signal camp at Georgetown, and was honorably dis- 
charged August 12, 1865, with the, brevet of first lieutenant for gal- 
lant services at Fort Fisher, and with the brevet of captain for his gen- 
eral gallantry during the war. Upon his return to New York he was 
appointed by the governor engineer, with the rank of major, in the 
1st brigade, 1st division. New York National Guard, which position he 
held for three years, when he was honorably discharged. 

Engaging in the practice of the law after leaving the army, he en- 
joyed success in his profession, and gTadually took a prominent posi- 
tion at the metropolitan bar. He has argued cases in_all the State 
courts, including the Court of Appeals, as -v^ell as in the United States 
District Courts and the various Supreme Courts. His practice has 
been especially in the department of real estate law, in connection 
with the examination of titles and conveyancing. He has recently re- 
moved his office from the city proper to the Borough of the Bronx ( 87l 
Brook Avenue), where his large interests engage most of his attention. 

Mr. Ketchum has been a resident of that section since 1869, having 
at that time' married Angelica S. Anderson, a daughter of Smith W. 
Anderson, an old New 'York merchant, who, with his brother, erected 
houses beyond the Harlem some seventy years ago. These dwellings 
were on the high ground, west of the present Jerome Avenue, near 
165th Street, and still reinain. Mrs. Ketchum's gxandfather, James An- 
derson, owned in that ticinity about fifty or sixty acres of land. The 
Anderson property has for many years been known as " Woody Crest," 
so-called from the high ground and its thickly wooded character. Mr. 
Ketchum built a house On a portion of the Anderson land (two acres) 
in 1870, and has occupied it ever since. He has two children — Edith 
Schuyler, wife of Charles C. Willis, of Philadelphia, and Edgar Van 

He is a member of the War Veterans of the 7th Regiment, the So- 


ciety of the Army of the Potomac, the Veteran Organization of the 
Signal Corps, Lafayette Post, G. A. R., and the Military Order of the 
Loyal Legion, and is a trustee and was for a number of years treasurer 
of the Harlem Library: He is an active promoter of the Christian 
Endeavor movement and other religious works. 

OLLS, GEORGE CHARLES, clergyman, educator, and hu- 
manitarian, was born in Darmstadt, Germany, February 
26, 1824, and died in Mount Vernon> N. Y., August 12, 1886. 
He came from a highly respectable family, of Holland 
origin, most of his ancestors having for several generations been theo- 
logians or soldiers. His father fought with distinguished merit in the 
patriotic wars waged by the German people to free their country from 
the dominion of Napoleon, and afterward served as superintendent of 
governmental charities for the City of Darmstadt and Province of 
Starkenburg, dying in 1830. The mother of Dr. Holls, a woman of 
great virtues and graces of character and heart, was left with three 
little children to rear and educate. To her energy, devotion, and ten- 
der influence Dr. Holls was alwaj's accustomed to attribute his success 
in life. 

As a lad he received an excellent elementary education in the schools 
of Darmstadt, meantime assisting his mother by working in a printing 
establishment and bindery. In 1841, at the age of. seventeen, .' he 
entered the Ecole Polytechnique at Strasburg, having in view at. that 
time a strictly scientific training that would qualify him to teach in 
the Real Schule (scientific school) of Darmstadt. . But conceiving soon 
afterward a strong religious enthusiasm, which took the form of. an 
earnest desire to be useful to suffering humanity, he left school and 
became an assistant in the " Neuhof " House of Refuge near Strapburg. 
In •this institution he labored with zeal for upward of three years, 
being promoted, at the age of twenty, to the position of first assistant 
to the inspector, and also at times having entire charge of the home. 
From the Neuhof Refuge young Holls went to the celebrated insti- 
tution of Charles Henry Zeller, the eminent educator and pupil of 
Pestalozzi, at Beuggen, near Basle, upon the personal invitation of 
Zeller, whose attention had been attracted to him. After remaining 
there a number of months he decided, in 1846, to join Johann Hinrich 
Wichern in the work of the noted " Rauhe Haus,"i near Hamburg. 
This remarkable man, sometimes called the John Howard of Germany, 

' Literally "RcugU House," meaning an institution for the rough. 



had instituted the " Kauhe Haus " in 1833, as a home for destitute 
and unfortunate youth, and sometime subsequently inaugurated in it 
his novel method of organization for such institutions, known as ^the 
" family .system." "This consisted in dividing the inmates into so- 
called ' families ' of from twelve to twenty in number, each in ia sepa- 
rate building and under the care of one or more ' brothers,' and the 
latter constituted the ' Brotherhood of the Rauhe Haus.' Iij this way 





the influence of the teacher or educator was brought as closely to the 
child as possible, and the latter was taught to consider the institution 
not as a barracks or a house of detention but as a congregation of 
families of unfortunate children, bound together by natural affection 
and under one common head."^ Mr. Holls was connected' with the 
" Rauhe Haus " for three years, as one of the most devoted and efficient 

' Dr. Barnard's Memoir o£ Dr. Holls. 


memlBers of the brotherhood, sustaining throughout his service there 
close friendly relations with Dr. Wichern. 

In 1849, application having been made to Dr. Wichern by the Prus- 
sian government for workers to take charge of the charity organi- 
zations in the famine-afflicted districts: of Upper Silesia, he assigned 
a number of brothers to this duty, appointing Mr. HoUs as their chief. 
During the terrible winter which followed, Holls was most active and 
successful in his measures of relief, among which was the establish- 
ing of four orphanages, where more than 4,000 children were sheltered 
and fed. Owing to feeble health he was obliged to resign from this 
service in 1850, to the great regret of the authorities, who had highly 
commended his work. Eeturning to Darmstadt, he resumed the scien- 
tific studies of his youth, meantime supporting Mmgelf by teaching. 
He did not, however, discontinue his religious and charitable activities. 
Entering the home mission field, he delivered lectures in behalf of that 
cause, and assisted in the organization of societies devoted to it. 

Having decided that this country would afford him wider and better 
opportunities than Germany in his special labors, he sailed for New 
York in June, 1851. Settling in Pomeroy, O,, he taught languages 
in the academy there for a year, when he returned to Darmstadt and 
was married to Miss Louisa Burx, bringing her back with him to his 
home in Pomeroy. 

In 1855, having entered the Lutheran ministry, he was requested by 
Eev. William A. Passavant, the Lutheran philanthropist, to assume 
charge of the organization of an orphan asylum at Zelienople, Pa., 
the first orphanage of that denomination in America. He sought to 
reproduce the " family system " of the " Rauhe Haus," but, on account 
of the widely different conditions presented by American society and 
institutions, was unable to obtain a satisfactory degree of success in 
this direction.^ But while forced to abandon this experiment after a 
conscientious trial, his efforts toward giving the institution the char- 
acter of a home as distinguished from the ordinary corrective estab- 
lishment were well rewarded, and gained for him high reputation. He 
remained at the head of the Zelienople-Asylum for eleven years. 

In 1866 he resigned his position in Pennsylvania to undertake the 
organizatioh of the Wartburg Orphan Farm School, near Mount Ver- 
non, in this county. This institution also was a denominational Lu- 
theran enterprise, under the patronage of Dr. Passavant and Peter 
= Moller, of New York City. His connection with it, in the capacities of 

^ The main difBculties which he found tb operate petent persons for the peculiar work necessary to this 

against the success of the "family system" in this end. These obstacles have, indeed, been found insur- 

country were, first, the independent and intractable spirit mountable by all persons seeking to copy the German, 

of children in American houses of refuge, rendering it family method in American homes for th^ young, and 

impracticable to formally organize them upon any family endeavors in that line have long since been abandoned, 
model; and, second, the impossibility,' of obtaining com- 


superintendent and vice-president of tlie trustees, continued until Ms 
death. Under liis management 

It was in the true seuse of the word a home for the friendless and destitute, on the idea 
that small institutions of not more than seventy-flve to eighty-five inmates, and imbued with 
the familj^ spirit, are far more important in the general work of charity than large institu- 
tions with hundreds of children drilled as a house of det^tion or as a prison. Great stress 
was laid upon the cultivation of a taste for music and forlinnocent games and amusements on 
the part Of the children. Dr. Holls was himself a thorough master of vocal and chora,!- 
music, and never neglected an opportunity of impressing its importance as an educational 
agency upon his assistants. In the words of one of the greatest living authorities upon the 
subject, " Both the farm school at Zelienople and the one at Wartburg, hear Mount Vernon, 
were model institutions. Thoughtful men came from afar to study the workings of theSB 
charities ; the latter was the most admirable institution of its kind we have ever known." i 

The Wartburg school is still a prominent .instituion of the Lutheran 
Church, and in recent years the number of inmates has largely in- 
creased, being now in the neighborhood Of one hundred and sixty. 
Since the death of Dr. Holls, however, the " congregated system " has 
been substituted for the " family system," owing to the lack of proper 

During the twenty years of Dr. Holls's residence in this State and 
county he was indefatigable in good works of various kinds, exercis- 
ing an influence of large scope and high efflctiveness. He was one of 
the foremost men in the founding and administration of the Emigrant 
Mission of the Lutheran Church in New York City— ^one of the most 
valuable charities of the metropolis; and during the first eight years 
of its existence was president of the commission having it in charge. 
He collected the necessary endowment for the Lutheran Orphan Asy- 
lum near Boston, on the celebrated " Brook Farm," being one of its 
directors for several years; and he was equally prominent m the found- 
ing and direction of the Lutheran Hospital in New York. He ren- 
dered important assistance to the late Dr. E. C. Wines in organizing 
the International Prison Congresses. With Dr. Wines, ex-Governor 
Seymour, Francis Lieber, and Louis D. Pillsbury, he was active in 
prison reform work in New York State. He took a leading part in 
securing the constitutional amendment abolishing elective superin- 
tendents of State prisons. 

Dr. Holls was for many years one of the most eminent and influential 
men of the Lutheran Church in the United States, his work, however, 
being institutional and episcopal rather than pastoral. He was a 
frequent contributor to Lutheran journals, both American and foreign, 
chiefly upon subjects of practical religious ihterest. A published col- 
lection of his writings has for some time been in contemplation. For 
a number' of years he filled the office of secretary for foreign corre- 
spondence of the American Christian Commission. He was the founder 
of Saint Luke's Evangelical Lutheran ChurCh at New Eochelle, and, 

^ Dr. Barnard's Memoir of Dr. Holls. 


in co-operation with Kev. L. Koenig, of the Trinity (German Lutheran) 
Church at Yonkers. 

Although his life work in America was almost entirely devoted'to 
the enterprises or interests of the German population, his influence was 
uniformly and most earnestly in behalf of the complete Americaniza- 
tion, in all respects, of the German race. On this subject he frequently 
wrote and spoke with great force. 

We hear much, he said, of the so-called mission of the Grermans in America. In my 
opinion, the first mission of the Germans in this country is to become Americans, and by that 
I mean that it is their duty, as well as their privilege, to enter deeply, heartily, and with all the 
fervor and steadfastness of Teutonic manhood into the current of American religious, political, 
and social life. There is no room in this country for a German nation beside the American 
nation, and, if there were, neither this country nor the Germans would be the gainers by the 
establishment of one. It is the greatest possible mistake, and one which I regret to say is 
often made in the fatherland, to think that by. the emigration of so many of her sons, Ger- 
many is weakened and vast numbers are lost to German thought and feeling. That which is 
best in German thought and feeling is, on the contrary, rejuvenated and strengthened, and 
receives a new lease of life in a wider and greater sphere by being absorbed in and becoming 
a part of the thought and feeling of this nation, which is the people of the future as certainly 
as European nations may be called the people of the past. I would go further and maintain 
that the only ground upon which the establishment and spread of German charities and 
German schools in this country can be justified is that they accelerate, instead of retarding, 
the process of absorption, which is as useful as it is inevitable, whatever may be said to" the 

D]'. HoUs maintained his residence at the Wartburg Orphan Farm 
School until August, 1885, when the precarious state of his health com- 
pelled him to resign his position there. He then went to the home of 
his son, Hon. F. W. Holls, of the New York bar, in Mount Vernon," 
where he died August 12, 1886. His wife survived him less than five 
months, dying January 6, 1887. This most estimable lady, his com- 
panion for thirty years of his life, had been intimately identified with 
all his labors and successes; and no account of the career of Dr. Holls 
can be complete without mention of the gracious encouragement and 
assistance which her sympathy and co-operation afforded him. 

The memory of Dr. Holls is very affectionately cherished by a multi- 
tude of personal friends and co-workers, and especially by the Lutheran 
Church of America. A simple and genuine nature, deeply and reverent- 
ly religious, gentle in manner but firm in the pursuit of his objects, 
filled with the love of mankind, a man equipped alike with intellectual 
ability and practical energy, his efforts for good were equally extensive 
and potent in their relations to the alleviation of the practical con- 
ditions of life, the promotion of noble sentiment, thought, and purpose, 
and the benefiting of personal lives. 

A memoir of him has been published by Henry Barnard, LL.D., of 
Hartford (originally printed in the American Journal of Education for 
June, 1891), which has been largely drawn upon by the writer of this 


OLLS, FREDEEIOK WILLIAM, lawyer and diplomat, con- 
spicuous at the New York bar, is tlie only son of Dr. George 
0. HoUs, of the preceding sketch. He was born at Zelieno- 
ple,Pa., July 1, 1857. He received his early education under 
the direction of his father, to whose careful attention he is indebted 
for his proficiency in the German language equally with the English — 
a proficiency which gives him a somewhat unique position aniong 
lawyers of the more prominent rank. After being prepared for col- 
lege at the Columbia Grammar School in New York City, he entered 
Columbia College, from which he was graduated in the class of 1878. 
While at Columbia he founded the ColumUa Spectator, now the prin- 
cipal students' journal of that institution, and during his senior year 
was its editor-in-chief. Upon completing his literary course he began 
to attend lectures in the Columbia College Law School, receiving his 
diploma as Bachelor of Laws cum laude in 1880. 

Engaging in the practice of his profession in New York City, he 
rapidly advanced to success and reputation at the bar. His abilities 
attracted the attention especially of some of the leading German in- 
stitutions and organizations of the city, as Veil as of prominent Ger- 
man-American citizens generally; and to-day he stands at the head 
of the profession so far as special German legal business is concerned. 
He ranks, moreover, with the leading lawyers of New York in the 
management of delicate and difficult litigations. He has, especially, 
conducted numerous cases involving troublesome questions of pri- 
vate international law, attaining much success in this particular de- 

Since 1887 he has been one of the directors of the German Society 
of the City of New York, the oldest and most influential organiza- 
tion of Germans in, the country; and he ha« also been its counsel 
for a number of years. He is vice-president of the German Legal 
Aid Society; was one of the founders, and is at present vice-presi- 
dent, of the German-American Historical Society; is a councillor 
of the Charity Organization Society; was instrumental in the erection 
of the Carnegie Music Hall, acting as a trustee in connection with 
Mr.' Carnegie's benefactions; and is a director of the Symphony So- 

Mr. Holls, from an early period of his life, has taken an active 
interest in politics, as a supporter and platform advocate of the 
principles of the Eepublican party. In many national and State cam- 
paigns he has rendered valuable services to his party on the stump, 
being peculiarly effective in this work because of his perfect command 
of the German language. D.uring the McKinley campaign he deliv- 
ered speeches in many States of the West and South. He has ,at 


Various times (particularly after Mr. McKinley's inauguration) been 
offered attractive federal appointive olHices, but, preferring to devote 
himself strictly to his profession, has uniformly declined them. In 
the spring of 1899, however, being tendered by the President the posi- 
tion of secretary and counsel to the American delegation to the Inter- 
national Peace Conference held at The Hague, Holland, conformably 
to the proposals of the Ozar of Russia, he accepted that honorable 
function, performing its duties with marked ability and usefulness. 
He was the only American member of the sub-committee on arbitra- 
tion which elaborated the plan for the permanent International Court 
of Arbitration, afterward adopted by the conference. He is also the 
author of the ai'ticle on " Special Mediation," which introduces into 
international law the idea of " seconds " as in a duel, with the joint 
dnty of safeguarding and re-establishing peace in case of hostilities. 
He has on only one occasion consented to be a candidate for political 
office. In 1883 he accepted the Republican nomination for State sen- 
ator in the 12th district (then comprising the Counties of Westches- 
ter and Eockland), and succeeded in reducing a normal Democratic 
majority of 3,000 to less than 600. 

Although steadily declining the ordinary rewards of political activ- 
ity he has, however, taken hiuch interest in State legislation, and 
has contributed valuable suggestions for changes in the law when 
his advice has been sought. When the nominations for delegates to 
the State constitutional convention were made by his party in 1893 
he was among those presented for membership in that body as dele- 
gate-at -large. Being chosen to that place by a large popular majority, 
he participated actively in the deliberations of the convention 
throughout its sessions. He served as chairman of its committee on 
education, and also as a member of its committee on cities. In the 
former capacity he was the author of the so-called " Holls Amend- 
ment," prohibiting the use of public money for sectarian schools. He 
also took a prominent part in supj)ort of the civil-service amendment, 
the amendment separating State from municipal elections, the 
amendment prescribing a period of ninety instead of ten days for 
naturalization, and the amendment providing for the perpetuation 
of the board of regents of the State University; and he was one of 
the leading opponents of the woman suffrage amendment. He was 
the only member of the convention all of whose amendments were 

He was a member of the State Commission on the Preparation of 
Uniform Charters for Cities of the Third Class, having been appointed 
to that office in 1895 by Governor Morton, and in 1899 he served as 
chairman of the commission appointed by Governor Eoosevelt to de- 


vise a plan for the unification of the educational STstem of the State. 
Mr. Holls has taken much interest in the practical questions of the 
times, notably those bearing upon political reform, and has con- 
tributed to their discussion by articles in the newspapers and maga- 
zines, lectures, and papers read before societies. In 1880 he published 
in the Nation a series" of letters on civil-service reform, which were 
instrumental in leadin.g to the formation of the Civil Service Reform 
Association. He has written considerably on the subjects of pro- 
hibition and Sunday legislation, advocating a liberal policy; is the 
author of an interesting pamphlet on " Compulsory Voting " (orig- 
inally read before the American Academy of Political Science) ; and 
has read papers on " City Government " before the National Munici- 
pal League. A Grerman lecture delivered by him upon the life and 
works of Francis Lieber was published in 1885, and has since been 
republished abroad and translated into Italian. He has traveled 
extensively in foreign countries. As the result of observations made 
on a visit to Turkey and Russia he published, in 1888, " Sancta Sophia 
and Troitza: A Tourist's Notes on the Oriental Church," which was 
received with favor. 

He has been a resident of Westchester County continuously since 
1866, when, as a boy, he was brought here by his father. He lived 
in the Town of East Chester until 1889, at first with his father at the 
Wartburg Orphan Farm School, and afterward in his own home in 
Mount Vernon. Since 1889 he has been a citizen of Yonkers, where 
he resides in the handsome country seat known as " Algonak." He 
has at all times heartily identified himself with the best interests of 
the county, enjoying the great esteem of his fellow-citizens, whereof a 
highly practical demonstration was given by their cordial support of 
him, regardless of party lines, in his candidacy for State senator in 

Mr. Holls was married, in 1889, to Miss Carrie M. Sayles, eldest 
daughter of Hon. Frederick Clark Sayles, of Pawtucket, R. I. 

AWRENCE, JUSTUS, for the last seventeen years of his life 
a citizen of Yonkers, and one of the presidents of the village, 
was born in Roxbury, N. H., February 17, 1817, and died in 
Yonkers, December 21, 1872. Through both his parents, 
Asa and Lucy (Whitney) Lawrence, he was descended from excellent 
old English and New England stock. His father was a farmer in the 
New Hampshire town where he resided, and was one of its leading 
men in religious, educational, and political matters. 


The son, after receiving a common school education, upon which he 
enlarged by diligent private study and reading, left home at the age 
of twenty-one and went to Boston. There he was engaged in success- 
ful real estate and fire insurance business until 1855. He then removed 
to Yonkers, continuing his business activities in New York. He was 
prominent in the life insurance interests of that city, being the organ- 
izer and president of the Continental Life Insurance Company, of New 

As a citizen of Yonkers and Westchester County Mr. Lawrence was 
active and influential in all concerns related to the welfare and progress 
of the village and county. He held the ofl&ce of president of the village 
at a time when it was an honor to do so. He was a prominent member 
of the First Presbyterian Church, was one of its trustees and a teacher 
in its Sunday-school, and was a generous contributor to all its needs. 
He took an especially hearty interest in the Yonkers schools. In poli- 
tics he was an active and earnest Republican, although he was never 
directly connected with political affairs as such. 

In his personal life and influence he was one of the most esteemed 
and useful citizens of Yonkers, warm and faithful in friendship, strong 
in love of justice, exceedingly generous, and conspicuous for high 
moral character and powerful religious conviction. 

Mr. Lawrence was married, November 4, 1852, in Boston, Mass., to 
Caroline Elizabeth Frost, who survives him, living in Yonkers. Mrs. 
Lawrence's ancestors on both sides came to America in the first half 
of the seventeenth century, her paternal progenitors being of English 
stock and her maternal of Huguenot. One of her ancestors in the 
maternal line, Jedediah Tayntor, fought at Lexington and Bunker Hill. 
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence had one child, Carrie Frost Lawrence (bom 
November 27, 1860), who was married in Berlin, Germany, January 9, 
1884, to Baron Gebhard von Alvensleben, of the Prussian army. She 
died October 17, 1884. 

WITS, DAVID, of Mount Vernon, former corporation coun- 
sel of that city and a leading member of the Westchester 
County bar, was born in Schenectady, N. Y., February 18, 
1863. On his father's side he is descended from original 
Dutch ancestors, who emigrated to this country from Holland about 
the beginning of the eighteenth century and located in Schenectady, 
N. Y., being among the early settlers of that place. Members of the 
family fought ire the French and Indian War, and the great-grand- 
father of Mr. Swits was an officer in Gates's armv in the Revolution. 



Mr. Swits's father, who also was named David, was for more than 
twenty years at the head of the frescoing and striping department of 
the old Eaton & Gilbert Car Manufacturing Company of Troy, N. Y. 
He subsequently removed to Connecticut, where he died in 1888. 
Through Ms mother, whose maiden name was Harriet Hoyt, Mr. Swits 
descends from an old Westchester County family, which came from 


Connecticut soon after the Revolution, was long resident in the Town 
of Lewisboro, and is still represented throughout the county by numer- 
ous collateral branches. 

Mr. Swits received his general education in the public schools and 
seminary of New Canaan, Conn., being graduated from the seminaj'y 
in 1881. He then came to New York City and entered the Columbia 


CoUeg-e Law School, also serving as a law clerk in the office of Arm- 
strong & Briggs. He was graduated from Columbia, with the degree 
of Bachelor of Laws, in 1884, and at the next term of coprt was ad- 
mitted to the bar, having just completed liis twenty-first year. In the 
spring of 1885 he removed to Mount Vernon and formed with Honora- 
ble Norman A. Lawlor, ex-member of the assembly from Westchester 
County, the law co-partnership of Lawlor & Swits. Thig firm was 
dissolved in 1889, and Mr. Swits has since pursued his professional 
business alone. His practice has been.along the varied lines of general 
litigation, and he to-day enjoys an enviable; reputation for fibility and 
success at the Westchester bar. In the court calendars of the county 
the names of few lawyers appear with such frequency as that of Mr. 

In 1893 he was appointed by Mayor Brush to the respopisible office 
of corporation counsel of Mount Vernon, at that time just entering 
upon its career as a municipal community. As the head of the law 
department of the city he served with credit and efficiency for tbe 
period of five years, being removed in 1898 for political reasons. 

In his political affiliations he has always been a Republican, taking 
an active interest in the cause of the party, but xmiformly declining 
nominations for elective office. He has frequently been a delegate to 
party conventions, and has served as a member of the Mount Vernon 
Republican City Committee. 

Mr. Swits is a member and one of the board of governors of the 
Mount Vernon City Club, has held the position of chief ranger of the 
Independent Order of Foresters, and is a member of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, the Westchester County Bar Associfition, the 
New York League of Republican Clubs, and the Mount Vernon Cycle 
Club. He is a member of the Dutch Reformed Church. 

He was married to Hester A. Oakley, daughter of the late lliomas 
Oakley, of Mount Vernon. Mrs. Swits comes from one of the oldest 
families of the Town of Eastchester. 

|HODES, BRADFORD, was born in Beaver County, Pa., 
February 25, 1848, and is the son of William and 
Mary Maria (Baird) Rhodes. His father was of that stock 
of sturdy Pennsylavnia farmers whence have come many 
of the country's best brain and physical workers, and many of the 
parent's distinctive traits were transmitted to the son. Activity of 
mind and body was developed by the surroundings and circumstances 
of his early life, and lessons of self-reliance were learned that were to be 




of invaluable service in after years. His early education was obtained 
under difficulties not uncommon to many who are now occupying 
prominent places in tlie business and political life of the nation. After 
acquiring a good common school education, he added to his income 
by teaching school in winter, continuing to work on his father's farm 
in summer. This enabled him to improve his education still further 
by attending Beaver Academy, and soon after his graduation he be- 
came principal of Darlington Academy, an old-established educational 
institution of Western Pennsylvania. 

He was impelled by a strong patriotic desire to serve his country 
in the war for the preservation of the Union, and in 1864, though but 
sixteen years of age, he sought to put this purpose into effect by enlist- 
ing as a recruit in the 134th Pennsylvania Volunteers, then at the 
front. He passed the physical examination satisfactorily, and spent 
some time in camp at Camp Curtin, near Harrisburg. But when the 
squad of recruits came to be mustered into the service of the United 
States, the mustering officer refused to swear him in owing to his 
youthful appearance. Though very much disappointed, he did not 
relinquish his hopes of getting into the army. Returning home, he 
bought a drum, and, after learning how properly to manipulate this 
not melodious but inspiring instrument, he endeavored to get with the 
army as a drummer boy, but before these expectations could be realized 
the war came to an "end. 

In 1872 he went to New York and engaged in newspaper work, first 
as a reporter and later in the business department of the Daily Com- 
mercial Bulletin. Afterward he established the Safeguard, a publi- 
cation devoted to the interests of savings banks and their depositors. 
It was widely circulated, and in a short time achieved such success 
that Mr. Rhodes deternuned upon issuing a monthly magazine repre- 
sentative of general banking and financial interests. In pursuance 
of this purpose he brought out Rhodes^ Journal of Banking in 1877, 
and its steady growth in influence and circulation proved the sound- 
ness of his judgment. It soon became the leading bankers' periodical 
in the country, a position which it still maintains. In 1895 Mr. Riiodes 
purchased the Bankers' Magazine, the oldest financial publication in 
the country, and consolidated the two periodicals under the title of the 
Bankers' Magazine and Rhodes' Journal of Banking. It is now gener- 
ally acknowledged to be without a peer in the field of banking and 
financial literature. 

Though giving strict attention to the details of his business affairs, 
Mr. Rhodes takes a lively interest in all questions relating to the public 
welfare,, and has been honored on various occasions by the Repub- 
lican party, to which he has always given his adherence. He was 



.elected to the assembly of the New York legislature for three con- 
secutive terms--iTi 1888, 1889, and 1890. His personal popularity 
overcame a considerable majority usually given for the candidate of 
the opposing party; In the legislature he established a reputation 
as a conscientious and painstaking member, his work as the chairman 
of the committee on banks, which he held during each of his three 
terms, gaining for him especial distinction for the knowledge dis- 
played in regard to such institutions and their important relations to 
the business interests of the State. While chairman of this committee 
he was instrumental in effecting some desirable amendments to the 
banking laws, and also introduced and secured the passage of the 
law against bucket shops. His course in the legislature added to his 
popularity, and in 1892 he was considered the most available candi- 
date for congress, and received the unanimous nomination for the 
16th district, but he declined it owing to the fact that his large and 
Increasing business demanded all of his attention. 

Mr. Ehodes; in addition to being the editor of the Bankers' Magazine, 
is president of two banks — the Mamaroneck Bank and the Union Sav- 
ings Bank, of Mamaroneck, Westchester County. The former insti- 
tution was established in 1891. Its stock is now worth over 200, and 
the bank is regularly paying eight per cent, dividends and adding each 
year to its surplus account. The Savings Bank was established in 
1887, and now has over 1,400 accounts. It is regarded as one of the 
strongest savings banks in the State, and it is also managed with the 
least expense, in proportion to its deposits, of any similar institution 
in the State of New York. 

Mr. Rhodes has twice been chosen chairman of Group VI. of the 
New York State Bankers' Association, and is at the present time 
(1899-1900) serving a second term as a membei?of the executive council 
of the American Bankers' Association. In both these associations 
he is known as an influential worker, and has done much to increase 
their usefulness. Besides all the business connections mentioned, he is 
a director in several large corporations, and, although he divides his 
time with every enterprise with which he is connected, he yet gives 
his personal attention to the details of his private business. 

He is a tireless worker, or, as he himself expresses it, " keeps ever- 
lastingly at it," and to this one trait in his character he attributes 
all his success in life. He is in the broadest sense of the word, a 
self-made man. Besides enjoying an enviable reputation as a clean- 
handed journalist, he has an excellent standing in the banking and 
business world, and, although not regarded as wealthy in these days 
of great fortunes, he is the possessor of a considerable estate, secured 
solely by his own exertions. 


being a member, of the Union League Club, the Cliamber of Commerce 
of the State of New York, the Larchmont Yaclit Club, the Republican 
Club, the West Side Eepublican Club, and the Transportation Club. 
He was married, February 27, 1878, to Miss Caroline Augusta Fuller, 
eldest daughter of James M. and Jane A. Fuller, of Mamaroneck, 
Westchester County. Mr. Fuller was a well-known retired banker of 
New York. 

Mr. Ehodes resides at Quaker Eidge Farm, near Ma.maroneck, The 
location of the place is one of the most desirable in the historic County 
of Westchester, commanding a view of Long Island Sound. The farm 
is well stocked with Jersey cattle and fine horses. 

As an editor it has been the especial aim of Mr. Rhodes to present 
facts without the slightest exaggeration, and to be truthful and candid 
in the expression of opinion. Those who differ from him have been 
accorded fair and courteous treatment. In his business relations he 
is hot guided by prejudice or impulse, but bases his decisions upon a 
careful and painstaking consideration of every relevant fact. By stead- 
ily pursuing this course he has acquired a reputation for sound and 
impartial judgment that has been a leading factor in nis success 
Though of a naturally conservative temperament, he is progressive in 
his ideas, and willingly supports every judicious movement designed 
to promote the comfort and happiness of mankind. 

AN COURT, JAMES SEGUINE, an old citizen of Mount 
Vernon, and one of the few surviving members of the asso- 
ciation which founded that community, was bom in New 
Brunswick, N. J., June 9, 1819, being the son of John and 
Catherine (Seguine) Van Court. In the paternal line he comes from 
original Dutch stock. All the Van Courts in America are descended 
from two brothers, who emigrated from Holland early in the eigh- 
teenth century, one of them (James S. Van Court's great-grandfather) 
settling in New Jersey, and the other going west. On his mother's 
side Mr. Van Court is descended from French ancestors. 

His father was a sea captain, who, when James was but three years 
old, sailed away on a voyage from which he never returned — ^the ship 
undoubtedly being lost with all on board, as no tidings ever came of 
the fate of either vessel or crew. The widow was left in very slender 
circumstances, with five little children. In his boyhood and youth 
Mr. Van Court was thus deprived of even the most ordinary^ advan- 



tages. His entire school attendance did not exceed six montlis, and 
from the age of ten years he was obliged to take care of himself prac- 
tically without assistance. As a lad he worked at various employ- 
ments, finally learning the silversmith's trade. Later, having by 
economy saved enough money to engage in business, he opened a 

silversmithing establishment in New York City, which he conducted 
for a number of years with fairly successful results. 

Mr. Van Court was one of the most active and useful men in the 
movement which led to the organization' and complete success of the 
celebrated Industrial Home Association No. 1, which laid out and 


built up the village of Mount A-^ernon. He was a trustee of the asso- 
ciation from the beginning, and it was largely owing to his intelligent 
and earnest labors that the whole original program was carried out 
within the brief time of one year. In recognition of his valuable 
services a silver cup was presented to him, with the following in- 
scription : 

Presented to James Van Court by the Industrial Home Association No. 1, for the 
faithful performance of his duty as Trustee. New York, February 13, 1852. 

Throughout the early history of Mount Vernon Mr. Van Court 
was one of the most prominent and energetic contributors to its de- 
velopment. Having strong faith in the future of the village, he 
gradually increased his property interest (originally represented by 
a single quarter-acre lot, the total cost of which was |92) until he 
had acquired a considerable amount of real estate. He built and 
successively occupied three houses on Stevens Avenue. He took up 
his residence in the villa;ge in 1854, still continuing for a time, how"- 
ever, his silversmdthing business in New York. About 1858 he re- 
tired from trade in New York and opened a grocery and general store 
in Mount Vernon. After about ten years in this business he sold it 
out, and for the next ten years he conducted a real estate office in 
Mount Vernon. During the past twenty yeai's he has been living in 
retirement, always retaining his residence in Mount Vernon. 

In his early life Mr. Van Court served for some seven years in the 
militia as a member of the 9th Regiment, New York State Artillery, 
rising to the rank of sergeant. This was before the war. In 1861 
he was appointed by'President Lincoln postmaster of Mount Vernon, 
and he continued to hold that position until- dismissed for political 
reasons by President Johnson. He also served for a number of years 
as treasurer of the village and treasurer and member of the board of 
education. He was one of the organizers of the People's Bank of 
Mount Vernon, and its first vice-president, and is still one of its direc- 
tors. He has been a member of the board of directors of the East- 
chester Savings Bank for the past twenty years. 

Throughout his residence in Mount Vernon he has been a leading 
member of the Reformed Church, having acted as one of its elders for 
some thirty-five years. In politics originally a Clay Whig, he became 
a supporter of the Republican party upon its organization, and has 
always been a stanch believer in its principles. 

An entirely sel:^-educated and self-made man, Mr. Van Court is a 
representative of the strong and self-reliant type of citizens who by 
native intelligence and energy have been useful and prominent in 
their generation. Though now in his eighty-first year, he preserves all 
his faculties and activities. 



He has been three times married. His first wife was Sarah Linds- 
lay, of New York, who bore him four children: Lorena L. (deceased), 
who married Reverend Joseph Harper, of Scarsdale, N. Y.; Charles 
W., in business in New York; Wallace (deceased); and Emma (de- 
ceased). He married, second, in 1852, Catherine Phillips, of New 
York; and third, August 30, 1887, Sarah C. Groodwin, of New York. 
The present Mrs. Van Court is connected with prominent Westchester 
County families. The late Dr. Nordquist, of Tuckahoe, was her brother- 
in-law, and she was also related to the late Dr. Gregory, of Mount Ver- 
non. She is an aunt of Doctors Goodwin and Green, and a sister-in- 
law of Dr. Latimer (all of Mount Vernon) . 

fUTTON, GILBERT TRAVIS (born in Yorktown, West- 
chester County, N .Y., December 28, 1811; died in Peekskill, 
April 15, 1876 ) , was the son of John Sutton and Elizabeth 
Sackett. He was a direct descendant of the Suttons of Bur- 
ton and Washingborough, Lincolnshire, England, a family of wealth 
and prominent in the annals of that county. Their coat of arms bore 
the motto Fidelis usque ad nhortem. One of them, Thomas Sutton, 
founder of the Charier House, was owner of the ship " Sutton," one of 
the fleet that scattered and destroyed the Spanish Armada. During 
the civil wars, 1640 to 1660, Lincolnshire, a maritime county, sent to 
America a large proportion of the 20,000 emigrants who left England 
during that time. Among them was John Sutton, the progenitor of 
the Suttons of Westchester County, who came to Hingham, Mass., I 
about 1638. From Hingham the sons of John Sutton removed 
to Long Island, thence to Westchester County, intermarrying with the 
Sands and Pell families. Joseph Sutton settled in the Town of New 
Castle, being one of the original proprietors. Three brothers, An- 
drew, Pell, and Oliver, were members of the Grenadier Company, of 
the Third Westchester Regiment, during the Revolutionary War. 
Andrew was the grandfather of Gilbert lYavis Sutton. 

Gilbert Travis Sutton was educated in the district school of York- 
town, of which his father was the teacher. At fifteen years of age he 
went to New York, where he entered a mercantile house in preparation 
for a business career. He remained in the metropolis for nine years, 
from 1826 to 1834. Becoming deeply interested in the powerful preach- 
ing of the Rev. Charles E. Finney, the revivalist, then at the height of 
his influence and reputation, he connected himself with Dr. Lansing's 
Presbyterian Church, at the corner of Houston and Thompson Streets, 



where he was a member of the Bible class of Arthur Tappan. He also 
attended the night schools, acquiring a liberal education and forming 
literary tastes which throughout his life were sedulously cultivated. 
He received here his first tuition in music, for which he had an enthu- 
siastic love, entering the classes of Thomas Hastings and the musical 
associations under the leadership of U. C. Hill and others, who were 
then foremost in efforts to elevate the character of church music in 
New York Qty. 

In 1834 he removed to Peekskill and engaged in the hardware and 
stove business. Later he acquired the controlling interest in the Peeks- 
kill Gas Light Company, of which he had had charge for several years. 
In connection with his son, James T. Sutton, he built the gas works at 
Catskill, and the year after, in 1860, the gas works at Middletown, 
Orange County, N. Y. In 1863 he sold out his hardware business. 

When Mr. Sutton removed to Peekskill from New York he found the 
taste for music at a low ebb, and especially as regards refined taste for 
music forming a part of religious worship. He immediately devoted 
his talents and energies to improving the prevailing standards, and to 
him probably more than to any other person is it due' that this import- 
ant branch of religious worship has attained such a high state of per- 
fection in Peekskill. He taught gratuitously each year large classes of 
young people, privately as well as in the Peekskill Academy and the 
common schooli Through his enthusiasm he surrounded himself with 
a following of ardent young musicians who aided him in forming the 
Hudson River Musical Association, the Choral Union, the Handel and 
Haydn Society, and other musical organizations. 

In 1841, with eight others who adhered to the New School branch of 
the Presbyterian Church, he organized the Second Presbyterian 
Church of Peekskill, of which he was a ruling elder and chorister for 
thirty-five years. 

He.was a zealous promoter of the Washingtonian temperance move- 
ment of 1840. His abhorrence of human slavery was such that in the 
dark days of mob persecution he had the honor to be the citizen of his 
community most obnoxious to the pro-slavery element. He was among 
the founders of the Republican party, of which he was always a stead- 
fast adherent. 

In all things affecting the welfare of his village he was of a progres- 
sive disposition, and when the proposition was made to bring to Peeks- 
kill a supply of \pure water he aided the project in every way. He 
was one of the five commissioners named by the legislature to carry 
into effect the building of public waterworks, which he lived to see ac- 

While always energetic and successful in business, the accumulation 


of property was secondary with him to the advancement of religious, 
moral, and social interests. lie was a man of strong convictions, whicU 
he advocated at all times with perfect fearlessness. Industrious, stu- 
dious, thorough, sparing neither time nor labor in going to the bottom 
of any subject in which he was interested, he was inflexible in adhering 
to opinions when after mature investigation he had arrived at a deci- 
sion. The Peekskill Messenger, in a tribute to his character at the 
time of his death, said : 

To his decided and correct taste for sapred music, his love of it, and his persevering devo- 
tion to it of his time and attention for nearly forty years, our village is indebted for its 
acknowledged excellence in that part of religious worship, and in a great measure for many 
of its accomplished musicians. He was the principal originator of the Choral Union and the 
Handel and Haydn Society, that has dong itself so much credit, and has been a source of so 
much culture and enjoyment to the people. Public-spirited, yet cautious, he kept abreast of 
the most active in every improvement. Of great purity, simplicity, and transparency of 
character, he was implicitly trusted and respected. Kind and courteous in heart and manner, 
he descended not from a just self-^respectj nor gave to others occasion for offence. Possess- 
ing, perhaps, little of that audacity that makes the impetuous leader, he needed only to see 
the right to embrace it with heart and hand. 

In 1833 Mr. Sutton married Lititia Totten Pray, of New York, by 
whom he had four children : James Totten, Theodore Williams, Albert 
Myers, and Cornelia Letitia, of whom James Totten Sutton is the only 

UTTON, JAMES TOTTEN, son of the preceding, was born in 
New York City, December 9, 1833. He is of English and 
French ancestry-^English through his father and French 
Huguenot through his mother. He was educated at the 
Peekskill Academy, and early in life became associated with his 
father in business. While his father was living and since his death, 
Mr. Sutton has been prominently identified with the industrial in- 
terests and public improvements of Peekskill. 

Perhaps no single enterprise has given Peekskill a wider and more 
distinctive reputation, or, in many respects, has been more helpful to 
its business interests, than the establishment of the New York State 
Camp there in 1882. With the original suggestion and final consumma- 
tion of this project Mr. Sutton was conspicuously identified. In the last 
week of March, 1882, a military commission was appointed by Governor 
Cornell to investigate the adaptability of different sites for the National 
Guard of the State of New York. The subject of an annual encamp- 
ment for the purpose of instruction in field duty had been impressed 
upon tie attention of the authorities for several years, but decisive 
action had not been taken. In. the meantime, Mr. Sutton had given the 



matter active consideration and became enthusiastically confident that 
the environment of Peekskill, both from its material adaptation and its 
historic associations, could furnish the ideal location sought. While a 
lad, in 1848, he had carried a guide flag for the Peekskill Jefferson 
Guards, who escorted the Twenty-seventh (now the Seventh) Kegi- 
ment to the present site of the State Camp, and the availability of the 
location for the purpose of a camp of instruction remained indelibly 
impressed upon his mind. When the commission, consisting of Adju- 
tant-General Frederick Townsend, Inspector-General Kobert Shaw 
Oliver, Chief of Ordnance Daniel D. Wylie, Paymaster-General Jacob 
W. Hoysradt, and Inspector of Eifle Practice Alfred C. Barnes, was 
appointed, he at once communicated with them, setting forth the 
attractions of the locality and inviting them to visit and examine the 
ground. He had already secured an option of purchase for three years 
from the owners. On the 31st day of March, 1882, the commission 
arrived in Peekskill in response to his invitation. They had already 
visited and thoroughly examined all the localities that had been sug- 
gested to them, including sites in the Counties of Columbia, Greene, 
- Dutchess, and Orange. Each had some good features, but no one of 
them had entirely met the requirements; but when, reaching the con- 
templated site near Peekskill, they stood upon the immense plain 
beneath a bright and sunny sky, and saw its splendid advantages, its 
situation among the historic Highlands of the Hudson, within view of 
the scene of many stirring incidents in the early history of the nation, 
its proximity to the National Academy at West Point, and the sites of 
Forts Montgomery and Clinton, of Stony Point, Lafayette, and Inde- 
pendence, its easy accessibility and its desirability from any point of 
consideration, tlie board of ofl&cers unanimously voted for it, and the 
ground was leased the 30th day of May following, for three years, with 
the privilege of purchase. The grounds were prepared for occupation, 
tents were erected and a mess hall built with maiwelous celerity, and on 
the 1st day of July following the Twenty-third Regiment of Brooklyji 
(Colonel Eodney C. Ward) marched on the ground and inaugurated 
the camp. In April, 1885, the legislature appropriated |3Q,000 for the 
purchase and improvement of the site, and in the same month a board 
of officers, consisting of Major-General J. G. Farnsworth, adjutant- 
general; Brigadier-General Philip H. Briggs, inspector-general; and 
Brigadier-General Daniel D. Wylie, chief of ordnance, consummated 
the purchase of the land, comprising about one hundred acres,, The 
camp stands at the entrance of the Highlands, on the east bank, of the 
Hudson, about forty-six miles above New York, in the midst of scenery 
of surpassing loveliness. The site, is a plain situated sonie hundred or 
more feet above the Hudson River, and the New York Central and 


Hudson Eiver Kailroad passes along the foot of the blufE upon which 
the camp is situated, but well out in the river. The railroad has a sta- 
tion at Eoa Hook, at which trains stop during the camp season. The 
camp is .surrounded on the north, east, and west by hills aiid valleys, 
leaving its southern side open to the river, affording from the front of 
the camp a magnificent view scarcely surpassed by any on the Hudson. 
On the west the camp is bordered by a fine stream^ the source of which 
is one of the many small and picturesque lakes in which the mountains 
of this section abound. There is probably no other location! in the State 
so admirably adapted to the purpose of an encampment, and certainly 
none more worthy of the public spirit and enterprise that suggested and 
secured its adoption by the State.^ 

Mr. Sutton has been the natural successor of his father in business 
and in town affairs. He was principal owner and manager of the 
Peekskill Gas Light Company from 1876 to 1899. In the latter year he 
merged his interest in a new company and retired from its active man- 
agement. He constructed, as contractor, the admirable sewer system 
of Peekskill. He is president of the board of trustees of the Second 
Presbyterian Church, vice-president of the Cortlandt Cemetery As- 
sociation, a director of the Cortlandt Stock Protective Association, 
an associate member of the Cortlandt Hook and Ladder Company, and 
a member of the Dunderbergh Club. He is one of the board of water 
commissioners, of which body he was pi'esident from 1883 to. 1891. 
He was one of the committee that, organized the Peekskill Improve- 
ment Company, establishing the manufacture of hats in Peekskill. 

In 1851 Mr. Sutton married Mary E. Williams, of Peekskill, by whom 
he had four children : Allan Lincoln, Arthur Gilbert, Agnes MacKel- 
lar, and Minnie Letitia, of whom Allan Lincoln and Agnes MacKellar 

RETT, JOHN HAERINGTON, a representative business man 
and prominent city official of Mount Vernon, where he 
was born on the 4th of August, 1854, is the eldest son of 
James Brett (deceased), a native of Ireland, who emigrated 
to this country about 1848, and was one of the earliest settlers of the 
village of Mount Vernon, Notwithstanding the very meagre circum- 
stances of his parents, Mr. Brett received a good common school educa- 
tion, being graduated from Public School No. 4 of Mount Vernon. 
At a boyish age he obtained employment, contributing his earnings 
t o assist hi s parents, and he eventually became the principal support of 

1 Several views ol the State Camp at Peekskill appear in the volume devoted to the general history of WeBtohester 
Comity. -^ 



the family. After' working for Messrs. Davis & Waring, he was em- 
ployed in the coal and feed establishment of A. J, Gardner, which, after 
Mr. Ciardner'^ death, he snocessfnliy managed for his widow until it 
passed into other hands. He then, in 1892, embarked^ in the feed busi- 
ness for himselfj in which he has since been engaged with substantial 

A life-long resident of Mount Vernon, Mr. Brett has at all times 


taken an active' intereM in the public concerns of the community, and 
in this connection has attained position and influence of much promi- 
nence and recognized usefulness. For more than twenty years he has 
been a well-known man in local politics, being identified in his partisan 
affiliations with the Democratic party. In May, 1889, he was elected 
village receiver of taxes and assessments; and so high was his personal 
standing in the community that his bond of |10,000 was secured within 


twenty-four hours. At the first city election, in 1892, he was chosen 
receiver of taxes for the city, and he has since been renominated and re- 
elected with the expiration of each term of office. No other public 
official of Mount Vernon elected by the vote of the city at large has a 
record of such long-continued service; and this evidence of the ex- 
ceptional appreciation in which Mr. Brett is held for his administra- 
tion of his responsible trust is the more noteworthy, when it is re- 
membered that the City of Mount Vernon in its political complexion is 
extremely changeable, and that at two of the municipal contests wheii 
he has been a candidate for re-election the result on the head of the 
ticket has been unfavorable to his party. 

An entirely self-made man, highly successful in both his business 
and public career, despite early disadvantages, Mr. Brett is a specinien 
of the public-spirited and enterprising citizens of Mount Vernon to 
whom that city is so much indebted for its remarkable progress in 
recent years. Personally he is the most genial and sympathetic of 
men, and in, all his relations of life he enjoys a reputation for unblem- 
ished integrity. 

He is a member of the Catliolic Benevolent Legion, the Saint Vin- I 
cent de Paul Society, the Knights of Columbus, the Knights of Saint 
John and Malta, the Ancient Order of Foresters of America, the Mount 
Vernon Quartette Club, the Mount Vernon Turn Verein, the Mount 
Vernon City Club, and the Niagara Hose Company of Mount Vernou. 
He is one of the best known laymen of the Eoman Catholic Church in 
Mount Vernon. 

He was married, November 23, 1884, to Margaret Delaney, of Ford- 
ham, N. Y. 

HE FITCH FAMILY, of which the brothers Theodore Fitch 
and James Seely Fitch, of Yonkers, with their individual 
families, are representatives in Westchester County, comes 
from Connecticut, where it was established in early colonial 
times (about the middle of the seventeenth century) by Thomas Fitch, 
an emigrant from Bocking (near Braintree), Essex County, Eno;land, 
whose ancestors for centuries lived in that English county, their line 
being directly traceable there to the close of the thirteenth century, and 
very probably running back to the dawn of English history. 

The Fitches of Essex County, England, according to tradition, came 
originally from Saxony — from a place whose name signifies in English 
Fitchfields — with the invading host of Erkenwin, who, after driving 
out the native Britons, became king of the East Saxons or Essex. That 


was about A.D. 530 — the period of Hengist and Horsa, when the Saxon 
heptarchy was formed. It is certain that the Essex family of Fitch 
was of pure Anglo-Saxon origin ; and, having for centuries immemorial 
been resident in that part of England, the likelihood that it dates from 
an early period of the Saxon dominion, or even from, the Saxon con- 
quest itself, is strong. 

In 1294, the twenty-second yeai* of the reign of Edward I., as re- 
corded in the Heralds' Visitations of Essex County, a John Fitch was 
living at .Fitch Gastle in the Parish of Widdington, Northwestern 
Essex.^ The name was variously written in olden times Pytche, fEytche, 
Fytch, ffytch, ffitch, etc. 

The immediate English ancestor of the Fitch family of Connecticut, 
and its numerous progeny throughout the United States, was Thomas 
Fitch (ffltch), of Bocking, Essex, born in 1590, married Anna Pew on 
August 6, 1611, and died at Bocking about the end of 1632, or the 
beginning of 1633 ( his will being dated December 11, 1632, and proved 
February 12, 1632-33).^ He left real and personal property of con- 
siderable amount for those times, which, in his will, he distributed 
among his ten children, appointing their mother as his sole executrix. 
In that instrument he mentioned his " loving friend Mr. Hooker," 
" probably," it has been conjectured, " the eminent Eev. Thomas 
Hooker, who subsequently came to America, and who was the pioneer 
founder of Hartford " (Conn.) . 

Anna, his widow, and five of her sons, in 1638 emigrated to this coun- 
try, settling first (it is believed) in Saybrook, whence they removed to 
other Connecticut towns. 

I. Thomas Fitch, the eldest of these five emigrating sons ^ ( likewise 
the eldest of his father's family of ten children) , was the founder of the 
Fitch line to which Theodore and James S., of Yonkers, belong. It is 
supposed that he came to, this country at the same time as his younger 
brother, James, in 1638, but his residence has not been as yet ascer- 

' According to the Herald's Visitation^ of Essex, the part of his congregation to Norwich ; was chaplain in 

Fitches were entitled to two shields and two crests, one King Philip's Warj an assistant, a deputy, and very prom- 

-being the original Fitch and the other the Cornwallia, to inent in colonial affairs ; married, 1st, Abigail', daughter 

which the Mtches had become entitled through marriage. of Rev. Henry Whitfield ; 2d, Friscilla, daughter of 

^From MS data compiled by fheodm-e FUeh, Esq. Major John Mason ; had nine sons and five daughters ; 

' For the full text of this, will see the New England ^^ November 18, 1708, at Lebanon, Conn. 

Bismol and Genealogical Register ioT im {Vol. xlvi, g^^^^j^ ^^ Hartford as early as 1650; married, 1st, 

arpt * 1, IV j,mv V -i-v V J ^v • Susannah (Mary?), widow of William Whiting, by wliom 

■ » The four brothers of Thomas, who with him and their ' ' ^ ^i . v 

mother settled in Connecticut, were: "« ^'^ *''° ^""^ ""* ""^ daughter, one of his sons 

■John, settled at Windsor in 1643; married Mrs, Ann 1«»™K descendants; was a teacher and served as a 

Hillier ; was mortally wounded in the Great Swamp fight deputy, 1654-55. 

in the Narragansett Indian War, December 19, 1675 ; left Joseph, lived at Norwalk, Northampton (Mass.), Hart- 

'lio children, ford, and finally Windsor ; was a deputy, 1662-63 ; married 

•' Rev. James, born December 24, 1622 ; studied theology Mary, daughter of Bev. Samuel Stone, the successor of 

under Rev, Mr. Hooker ; was pastor at Saybrook, 1646-60 ; Rev. Thomas Hooker at Hartford ; was the great-grand- 

reinoved in 1660 with Major John Mason and the greater father of John Fitch, the inventor of steam navigation. 


tained prior to his settlement at Norwalk, Conn., where Ms name first 
appears upon the records as proprietor or planter in 1651-52. He pur- 
chased a permanent house lot in 1654, being described as " Mr." Thomas 
Fitch. " In the patent of 8 July, 1686, granted by the Governor and 
Company, etc., under order of the General Assembly, to the proprietors 
of the Town of Norwalk, ten of the principal settlers are mentioned, 
and the name of Mr. Thomas Fitch is first."^ He was a conspicuous 
man in Norwalk, serving as clerk of the Trained Band, recorder oi 
lands, selectman, commissioner for twenty-five consecutive years, and 
deputy for eleven years. He had five children— two sons and three 
daughter S.2 He was bom (probably) in 1612 or 1613, and died in 1704. 
IL John Fitch, second child and second son of '^homas (I.), was 
born and lived in Norwalk; married, December 3, 1674, Eebecca, daugh- 
ter of Deacon Henry and Kosomond Lindall, of New Haven, Conn.'^ 
They had two sons and two daughters. 

III. John Fitch, first child and first son of John (II.), was born in 
Norwalk, September 29, 1677, and removed to New Canaan (then a 
parish of Norwalk), where he and his descendants owned a large tract 
of land. He married Lydia, daughter of Francis apd Hannah (Sey- 
mour) Bushnell,* who lived to the great age of one hundred and tln-ee 
years, dying August 25, 1786. He was one of the original members of 
the church at New Canaan, founded June 20, 1733. He had four sons 
and two daughters.^ 

IV. Matthew Fitch, first child and first son of John (III.)> was born 
in ilay, 1708. He married, first, Jemima, daughter of Ebenezer St. 
John, and second, on December 7, 1738, Lydia (Ly(|die), daughter of 
Nathan Olmsted.^ By his first wife he had one daughter, and by his 

^ From the MSS. of Theodore Fitch, Esq. mour (at Hartford in 1639), who was the first American 

2 His eldest son Thomas was the grandfather of Gov- ancestor of Governor Horatip ^eymour, of New York, 

ernor Thomas Fitch, of Connecticut. Hannah Marvin was the granddaughter of Matthew Mar- 

His daughter Sarah married John Burr, and their vin, one of the original settlers of Hartford, afterward of 

daughter Sarah married Rev. Charles Chauncy, grand- Norwalk. 

son of President Charles Chauncy, of Harvard. ^ One of his sons was Deacon T^eophilus Fitch, of New 

His daughter Mary married as second wife Captain Canaan, who served for a n^imber of years as deputy. 

Matthew Sherwood, son of Thomas Sherwood, settler at ^ Lydia Olmsted descended from Captain Richard- 01m- 

Fairfield. Theodore Fitch descends :also from Thomas sted. He was born in 1|307; came from Braintree or 

Sherwood through his daughter Rose, who married, 2d, Olmsted Hall, England, to Cambridge, Mass., in 1632 ; 

Thomas Barlow, of Fairfield, whose daughter Phffibe removed to Hartford, Conn., in 1635, being one of its 

married Captain James Olmsted. founders; was a soldier in the PequotWar; removed to 

His daughter Ann married John Thompson, of Farm- Norwalk, Conn., in 1651, M)d was among the founders of 

"■S*""- that place ; was surveyor, deputy for fifteen sessions, 

' Deacon Henry Lindall was one of the «arly settlers of „„^f,^i„^e^^ selectman, and grand juror ; died about 

New Haven, and left seven daughters, four of whom mar- ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^ ^^^^^^ „,^^^^3 2, 

ried prominent Norwalk men and founded diBtrnguished ^ ^ ■. -^ ■, o 

families. Deacon Henry Lindall'a widow married, 2d, Captam James, married 1st, May, 1673, Phcebe Barlow ; 3, 

Nathaniel Richards, a noted citizen of Norwalk, but ap- Nathan, born April 27, 1678. married as his second wife 

pears to hatve had no children by him. Mercy Comstock. daughter of Christopher Comstock and 

* FrfmcisBushnell, born January 6, 1650-51, son of Lieu - Hannah Piatt ; 4, Lydia, born May. 1716, married Deeem- 

tenaat 'William Buahnell, the settler at Saybrook, came ber 7, 1738, Matthew Fitch. 

from Saybrook to Norwalk, and removed from there to Sergeant Christopher Comstock settled in Fairfield in 

Danbury, being one of the founders of that town (1685J. 1645 and in Norwalk in l'i60. Hannah Piatt was the 

He marrie<l Hannah, daughter of Thomas and Hannah daughter of Deacon Richard Piatt, of New Haven, 1638, 

(Marvin^ Seymour, and granddaughter of Richard Sey- and Milford, 1639. 


second wife three sons and six daughters. He died April IQ, 1779. 

V. Matthew Fitch, fifth child and second son of Matthew (IV.), wae 
born June 17, 1744, and baptized July 29, 1744. He married, December 
27, 1770, Sarah, daughter of Eliakim and Sarah (Eichards) Reed, of 
Norwalk.i He was a soldier in the Revolution (entering the army 
October 25, 1776, and being discharged January 11, 1777), serving in 
the 9th Regiment of Connecticut militia under General Wooster (Lieu- 
tenant Carter's company). He was probably at the battle of White 
Plains, and afterward performed duty with his regiment in West- 
chester County and on the Connecticut border. He had six sons and 
three daughters. He died probably about 1790. 

VI. Colonel Silas Fitch, second child and first son of Matthew (V.), 
was born at the Fitch homestead, on Clapboard Hill, New Canaan, 
Town of Norwalk, January 28, 1773 (baptized March 14, 1773). He 
married, September 7, 1795, Clarissa, daughter of Isaac and Abigail 
(Freeman) Howell,^ and immediately afterward went with her to 
Franklin, Delaware County, N. Y., being one of the first settlers there. 
About 1825 he removed with his family (all^pf his children having been 
born in Franklin) to Apulia (or Fabius), Onondaga County, N. Y., in 
the vicinity of Syracuse, where he lived until his death. He was a 
colonel in the New York State militia. He had three sons and seven 
daughters. He died February 15, 1857. His widow died August 4, 
1862. Both are buried at Apulia. 

VII. Rev. Silas Fitch, eighth child and third son of Colonel Silas (VI.), 
was born in Franklin, N. Y., March 15, 1813. He was graduated from 
the Wesleyan University in 1838 (A. M., 1841), was principal of the 
Delaware Literary Institute (Franklin, N. Y.) from 1838 to 1846, and 
froin the latter year until his death (with the exception of four years, 
1863-67, during which he was principal of the Delaware Academy, Del- 
hi, N. Y. ) was an active pastor of the New York Methodist Episcopal 
Conference. In 1849 he was appointed elder. He held eighteen pastoral 
charges in this State;, besides one in Massachusetts. In 1884-85 he was 
pastor of, the Methodist Church at Irvington, in this county, where he 
died suddenly of heart failure (October 26, 1885) . He married, March 
30, 1842, Mary Amanda, daughter of Nathaniel Smith and Anna 

' Sarah Reed descended from John Reed (born in Ooyn- Jolin Tuttle and Kattareen Lane, and granddaughter of 

waH, England, 1633), a subaltern in Cromwell's army. William Tuttle, one of the settlers of New Haven, 

who settled in 1684 at Norwalk, Conn. The line being : " The Howell family (descended from Richard Howell, 

1, John Reed, married Mrs. Ann Derby, widow; 2, John, of Southold. N. T.) had resided either at Southold or 

married Elizabeth Tuttle ; -S, Daniel ; 4, Eliakim, born Sep- Southampton, L. I., since the first settlement of those 

tember 18th, 1725, married June 16, 1748, Sarah Eichards, towns. Long Island being dominated by the British in 

daugh'er of Samuel Richards and Elizabeth Latham ; re- the Revolution, Isaac Howell, unwilling to take the oath 

moved in 1773 from Norvfalk to Aroenia, N. T.; 5, Sarah, of loyalty to the crown, i emoved with his wife and young 

born October 27, 1750, married Matthew Fitch December children to Norwalk, thence to the Green River country, 

27, ,1770. Columbia County, N. T., and thence in 1796 to Franklin, 

Elizabeth Tuttle, wife of 2 John Reed, wae daughter of Delaware County, N. T. 


(Seely) White^ (bom at Long Kidge, in the Town of Stamford, Conn., 
October 17, 1816; died at Yonkers, N. Y., August 19, 1896), who, at 
the time, was preceptress of the Delaware Literary Institute. Both 
Kev. Mr. Pitch and his wife are buried in the Fitch family plot in the 
Yonkers Cemetery. They had fiVe sons and two daughters, of whom'' 

VIII. Theodore Fitch and James Seely Fitch are, respectively, the 
first and second children. 

From this succinct but quite comprehensive record of the Fitch 
family it will be observed that in both their paternal and maternal 
lines Theodore and James S. Fitch are descended from strictly Ameri- 
can families, of considerably more than two centuries' standing. With 
few exceptions their Fitch and also their White ancestors and collater- 
als lived in that portion of Connecticut now adjacent to the West- 
chester County border, of which a section was in former times very 
strenuously claimed as Westchester territory, constituting the famous 
" Oblong." Both on their father's side and their mother's they are 
lineal descendants of Revolutionary patriots who fought on Westches- 
ter soil. 

THEODOEE FITCH, of Yonkers, prominent at the New York bar, 
is the eldest son of the Eev. Silas and Mary Amanda (White) Fitch, 
and was born in Franklin, Delaware County, N. Y., March 30, 1844. 
After being prepared for college at the Middletown, N. Y., Academy 
and the Dutchess Academy ( Poughkeepsie, N. Y.), he entered, in 1859, 
the Troy University. He remained in that institution, however, only 
until the end of his sophomore year. During the next year he taught 
in the Saugerties, N. Y., Academy, and he then entered Yale College 

.' She was a descendant o£ Richard White (bom in Haven, 1639, Stratford, 1663; Richard Loonsbury, Rye, 

1647), who lived at Huntington, L. I., whose grandson, 1672, Stamford, 1684; Prancis HohnCB, Stamford, 16^8: 

James White, also her ancestor, removed in 1717 to Long William Mead, Stamford, 1641; William Potter, Stamford, 

Ridge in the Town of Stamford. The farm, adjoining the 1650; Daniel Scofleld, Stamford, 1641. 

Westchester line, has been occupied by the Wliite family = The other fivp children ; 

ever since. Her paternal and maternal ancestors almost Arthur, born July 10, 1849, at Durham, Greene County, 

without exception were New England people, most of N. T. Resides in New York City. 

them residing in Connecticut. She was a great-grand- William Piatt, born December 12, 1851, in New York 

daughter of the noted Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Hoyt City ; graduated from Columbia CoUege Law School in 

(172B-1820), of the Revolution, who highly distinguished 1873; married (June 8, 1881) Idella Jane, daughter of 

himself in Washington's Westchester County campaign Benjamin and Jane (Nettleton) Lawton. He recently re- 

and other battles of the war, and served in the field until moved from New York City to Brattleboro, Vt., where he 

his retirement, January 1, 1781. He resided at S:am- died February 13, 1900. 

'ord. Mary Ann, born November 28, 1853, at Rondqut, N. Y.; 

Among her other colonial ancestors were Deputy Gov- died June 24, 1861, at Saugerties, N. Y. 

emor Matthew Gilbert, New Haven, 163^; William Tuttle, Silas Hedding, born December 8, 1855, at Poughkeepsie, 

Charlestown, Mass., 1635, New Haven, 1638; Simon Hoyt, N. Y.; graduated from Wesleyan University in 1877 ; mar- 

Salem, Mass., 1628, who settled in six other towns, finally ried (June 1. 1893) Huldah. daughter of Hon. Joseph L. 

in Stamford in 1650: Robert Lockwood, Watertown, 1630, and Elizabeth P. (Randall) Murin. Hesides now at East 

Fairfield, 1641 ; Robert Pennoyer, Boston, ll35, Stamford, Orange, N. J., formerly at Yonkers, and was the law part- 

1643; Nicholas Knapp, Watertown, 1630, Stamford, 1C41; ner of his brother Theodore from 1882 to 1900. 

Jeffrey Ferris, Watertown, before 1635, Norwalk, 1653, Isabella, born November 17, 1858, at Middletown, N. Y. ; 

Greenwich, 1656; John Holly, Stamford, 1642; Captain married (October 13, 1880) Wesley Ellis. Resides at 

Robert Seely, Watertown, 163 ', Wethersfield, 16S6, New Walton, Delaware County, N. T. 


riw f:£n3ronif/-£nij-Co -J^SL'a- 




as a member of the junior class. He was graduated from Yale in 1864. 
From 1864 to 1867 he was a teacher in the Delaware Academy at 
Delhi, N. Y., of which his fathefr was principal, meanwhile preparing for 
his chosen profession of the law under the preceptorship of Hon. Will- 
iam Murray, then county judge of Delaware County, and later justice 
of the New York State Supreme Cburt. In May, 1867, he was admitted 
to the bar at a general term held at Binghamton, and in October of the 
same year he commenced his professional practice at Yonkers, He 
has always continued to reside there. 

For three terms, from 1877 to 1884, he held the office of city attorney 
of Yonkers. 

During that time he won every case for the city, with a single exception, in which he 
also was virtually successful, greatly diminishing the claim against the city. Among his in- 
teresting oases were the People ex. rel. Manhattan Savings Institution vs. Otis, Mayor (90 New 
York, 48), in which it was held unconstitutional to reissue bonds in place of those stolen ; 
Hobbs vs. City of Yonkers, a peculiar suit for back fees which had been relinquished by the 
plaintiff while a candidate for office as an inducement to his election; Theall vs. the City of 
Yonkers, involving the historic boundary between the Townships of Yonkers and Eastohester; 
and the suit, several times in the Court of Appeals, of Levi P. Rose to regain title to the 
original grant through the encroachment of the Kadford building upon Getty Square.' 

From an early period of his career at the bar he has in his private 
practice been employed in Westchester County litigations of impor- 
tance. Among these may be mentioned the suits, of quite protracted 
duration, and involving large sums of money, over the Smith Moquette 
property, in which, in association with Joseph H. Choate and Francis 
N. Bangs, he successfully represented the Alexander Smith & Sons Car- 
pet Company and its principal stockholders. 

In 1882 he formed a legal copartnership with his younger brother, 
Silas Hedding Fitch, which, under the style of T. & S. H. Fitch, con- 
tinued until the spring of 1900, when it was dissolved by mutual con- 
sent, Theodore Fitch retaining his office at No. 120 Broadway, New 
York. From 1883 to 1900 this firm had its office in New York City. 
While conducting a general civil practice, Mr. Fitch has devoted his 
attention mainly to corporation and re^l estate law, and in these de- 
partments he ranks with the more conspicuous members of the metro- 
politan bar. He enjoys a reputation for ability and success equally as 
an advocate in the trial courts and as counsel before the appellate tri- 

In politics he is a Eepublican, taking an interest in the cause of his 
party and pronioting its principles as a citizen; but, decidedly prefer-, 
ring the work of his profession, he has never held political office. 
Lately he has interested himself considerably in genealogical re- 
search, and ,we are indebted to him for most of the family data 
contained in the foregoing sketch. He married, February 4, 1869, 

• " HUtory of the Bench wd Bar of New York," vol. ii., pp. 167-59. 


at New Haven, Conn., Catherine Hawlej Goe, daughter of Rev. Sam- 
uel Goodrich Coe and his wife, Grace Ingersoll Hawley. She was 
also the niec6 of the late Frederick A. Coe, the famous lawyer, who 
was for many years a distinguished citizen of Yonkers. Her ancestrj', 
both in the direct and allied lines, runs up to the original colonial 
settlers, who were almost without exceptiqn also of the Connecticut 
colony. Ttiree of her ancestors served in the Revolutionary War, viz. : 
her great-great-grandfather. Colonel John Ely, and her great-grand- 
fathers, Charles Coe and Lieutenant Joshua King. Lieutenant King 
was an officer in Sheldon's Dragoons, serving throughout the entire 
war, principally in Westchester County. He had personal charge of 
Ardr6 from the time of his capture to his execution. After the war 
he settled in Ridgefield, Conn., becoming its most prominent citizen. 
He was known as General King from his rank in the State militia. 

Mr, and Mrs. Fitch have had four children: Grace Hawley (born 
February 9, 1870; died August 17, 1870); Frederick Coe (born March 
7, 1871; died August 20, 1872); Mary Gooldrich, boTn November 19, 
1873; and Frances Hawley, born October 2, 1880. 

JAMES SEELY FITCH, of Yonkers, lawyer and real estate dealer, 
the second son of Rev. Silas Fitch, was born in Coeymans, Albany 
County, N. Y., December ,2, 1847. Accompanying his parents in their 
frequent changes of abode consequent upon his father's occupation as a 
Methodist minister, he attended academic institutions in this State at 
Poughkeepsie, Middletown, Saugerties, and Delhi. During his father's 
residence in the last-mentioned village he was, like his brother Theo- 
dore, a teacher in the Delaware Academy. In 1867-68 he was prin- 
cipal of a private school in Hudson, N. Y., and in 1868-69 was prin- 
cipal of the Hudson Academy. He came to Yonkers in 1869, and 
he has resided and led an active professional and business career 
there iininterruptedly since. 

Soon aftgr his removal to Yonkers he engaged in the real estate busi- 
ness, meantime continuing the pedagogic pursuits of his youth. He 
taught for six years in Public Schools Nos. 2 and 6. In 1875 he was 
graduated from the Columbia College Law School, and in May of the 
same ye°ar, upon examination before the general terra of the Supreme 
Court at Poughkeepsie, he-was admitted to the baKioiFrom that time 
he has combined the occupations of real estate brokerage and real 
estate law practice. 

Mr. Fitch is one of the representative active citizens of Yonkers. He 
has performed, excellent service as a trustee of the board of education. 
He served aterm of five years in that position, from July 10, 1892, to 
July 10, 1897, and at its expiration was appointed for a second term 



of like duration. He has long been prominent in Republican politics. 
He is a member of Nepperhan Lodge, F. and A. M.; of Terrace City 
Chapter, E. A. M.; of Yonkers Commandery, No. 47, K. T.; of the 
Yonkers City Club; and of the Park Hill Country Club. He is a 
member of Saint John's Protestant Episcopal Church. 



j^. -vtz^:^ 

He married, November 23, 1876, at Dedham, Mass., Martha Paul 
Munson, daughter of Major Thaddeus and Flavilla (Cushing) Munson. 
They have had three children — Edith Munson (born November 10, 
1878; died August 5, 1879); Edward Arthur (born August 20, 1880); 
and Florence Mary (born June 22, 1885). 


ASBEOUCK, JOSEPH D., a prominent physician of Dobbs 
Ferry, was born in Bergen County; New Jersey, March 20, 
1839. He is descended through both his parents, Augustus 
and Jane (Elting) Hasbroucl?;, from French Huguenot fore- 
fathers. His emigrant ancestor in the paternal line was Abraham 
Hasbroucq, a native of Calais, France, who removed with his father 
to the Palatinate, in Germany, and in 1675 came to America, settling 
first in Esopus, Ulster County, N. Y. Subsequently he obtained from 
the royal governor, Andros, a patent for a large tract of land in New 
Paltz, upon which he made his permanent home. He was a very 
prominent citizen of that section of the province, was one of the found- 
ers of the Walloon Protestant Church of New Paltz, and for many 
years was a member of the provincial assembly. Another, Abraham, 
of the third generation from this ancestor, was " one of the most promi- 
nent men in Ulster County, and was for thirty years a member of the 
legislature." He died in Kingston, November 10, 1791, and " was 
buried next day with the honors of war." His brother. Colonel Jona- 
than Hasbrouck, owned the homestead at Newburgh, which became 
Washington's headquarters, now the property of the State of New 
York. Dr. Hasbrouck's maternal grandfather, Wilhelmus Elting, was 
likewise of Huguenot extraction, his line tracing back to Henry IV. 
of France. He was pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church at Paramus 
for thirty years. 

Dr. Hasbrouck in his boyhood received the ordinary schooling of 
the country youth, and at about the age of fifteen, having completed 
this elementary training, engaged in teaching school. After spending 
two years in this employment he entered the New Jersey Normal 
School as one of the earliest students admitted to that institution 
upon its opening. Being graduated in due course*, he devoted himself 
for a number of years to teaching professionally, but discontinued his 
pedagogic pursuits to study medicine, taking the regular lecture course 
of the Medical Department of the University of the City of New York, 
from which he received his doctor's diploma in 1869. 

After completing his course at the medical college. Dr. Hasbrouck 
turned his attention seriously to the rival claims of the " old " and the 
" new " school of medical practice, and, after a thorough investigation, 
decided to adopt the system of homeopathy. He first engaged in prac- 
tice at Goshen, Orange County, N. Y., where he remained for a year. 
From there he went to Newton, Sussex County, N. J., being the 
earliest homeopathic practitioner in that county. In 1875 he removed 
to Dobbs Ferry, this county, where he has since resided, enjoying an 
extensive clientage and sustaping a very high reputation in his pro- 


fession. He is a member of the Westcliester County Homeopathic 
Medical Society, and for two years was its president. 

As a citizen Dr. Hasbrouck has always been an active and useful 
member of the community where he resides. He has for many years 
been a member of the Dobbs Ferry Board of Education and its presi- 
dent, has long served as health officer of the village, and is president 
of the Dobbs Ferry Savings Bank. In politics he is a Republican. 

He has been four times married. His surviving children are Edith S. 
and Mabel E., twin daughters, and David Marks. 

ISKE, EDWIN WILLIAMS, mayor of the City of Mount 
Vernon, is a son of Samuel Fiske and his wife, Amanda Stod- 
dard Fiske, and was born in Shamokin, Pa., July IT, 1861. 
He attended school in Harrisburg, Pa., until his eighteenth 
year, and then obtained employment with the Pennsylvania Steel 
Company, of Steelton, Pa., as an apprentice to learn the Bessemer 
steel manufacturing trade. Removing to New York in 1883, he em- 
barked in the steam and hot-water heating business in that city. 
Four years later he became a citizen of Mount Vernon, where he has 
since lived and pursued his business interests. 

Having thoroughly identified himself with the place from the be- 
ginning of his residence there, Mr. Fiske soon became one of the 
leading spirits in the public affairs of Mount Vernon. An enthusi- 
astic Democrat, he devoted his energies and influence actively to the 
promotion of the Democratic cause locally, and rapidly advanced to 
a recognized position among the foremost men of the party. 

In 1889 he was elected a member of the board of village trustees 
from the old second ward. At the election of 1893 he was chosen 
alderman from the present second ward over a strong Republican 
rival. In 1894 he was unanimously nominated by the Democrats for 
the mayoralty, to succeed Dr. Brush, the first mayor of the city, failing 
of success (according to the count as finally declared by the courts) by 
only a single vote. During the year 1894-95 he was president of the 
board of aldermen. His public services in the aldermanic board 
were marked especially by his able discharge of the duties of chair- 
man of the committee on streets and sidewalks, in which capacity he 
took the lead in bringing about the decided improvements in the 
Streets and avenues of the city. He was again the unanimous 
choice of the Democratic party for inayor in 1896, and was elected by 



a majority of 505. In the municipal contest of 1898 lie was for the 
third time unanimously nominated for mayor, and at the election 
which followed was continued in the position by a majority of 671, 
carrying every ward in the city. On May 15, 1900 he was again re- 
elected mayor of the city for the third consecutive term. 
The political popularity of Mayor B^'iske, as thus established in 



three successive municipal struggles, is of peculiarly unique interest. 
The Oity of Mount Vernon is nominally Republican by from four to 
six hundred, and, moreover, in each of the years 1894, 1896, and 1898 
the political conditions everywhere prevailing in the country were es- 
pecially unfavorable to the Democracy. In 1894 the party was ut- 
terly paralyzed as a consequence of the disastrous financial panic; 


1896 was the IMcKlnley war, the Eepublican presidential majority in 
the State being tremendous and in the City of Mount Vernon rising' 
to the phenomenal figure of 1,310; and in the spring of 1898 the 
special circumstance of popular enthusiasm for the Spanish war 
upon which the nation was then adventuring naturally operated 
strongly in favor of the Eepublican administration in power. 

In his management of the municipal affairs of Mount Vernon as 
mayor Mr. Fiske has made an exceptional record for ability, sound 
judgment, and progressiveness. The city's credit has steadily ad- 
vanced during his administration, the j)rices offered for its bonds by 
bankers and financiers showing uniform increases. Two new parks 
have been added to the city, the drainage of the swamp along North 
Third Avenue has been accomplished, handsome and creditable new 
municipal oflSces have b6en opened, additional bridges over the New 
York, New Haven and Sartford tracks, at the joint cost of the com- 
pany and city, have been built, and the new sewer system in the 
northwestern part of thfe city has become an established fact. The 
general progress made by the community as a place of residence and 
of lively business has been very marked. » 

In 1899 Mr. Piske was the Democratic candidate for treasurer of 
Westchester County, but suffei'ed defeat with the rest of the party 

For a number of years after coming to Mount Vernon Mr. Fiske 
was actively identified With the local fire department. Joining- 
Steamer Company No, 3j he soon became its foreman, continuing in 
that position for three years. He was then elected chief engineer 
of the fire department, an office which he resigned upon becoming 
mayor, being at that time in his fourth term of service "as chief. As 
the head of the fire department he was instrumental in giving that 
organization improved equipment and discipline. 

On his mother's side Mayor Fiske comes from old colonial and Kev- 
olutionary fighting stock, being a direct descendant of Colonel Zebu- 
Ion Butler, who was an ensign in the French war in 1761 and rendered 
important services to the patriot cause in the Kevolution, being in 
command of the Wyoming garrison at the time of the massacre and 
accompanying Sullivan's expedition in 1779. It is by virtue of this 
descent that he obtains his membership in the Sons of the American 

He has been vice-president and a member of the executive com- 
mittee of the International Fire Engineers of the World, and presi- 
dent and treasurer of the Firemen's Benevolent Association of Mount 
Vernon. In the Masonic order he is a member of Hiawatha Lodge, 
F. and A. M., Mount Vernon Chapter, E. A. M., Bethlehem Com- 


mandery, the 0. D. Q.'s, and the Mecca Shrine of New York City. He 
is also a member of tlie Order of B. P. O. Elks (Lodge No. i, of Neiv 
York City), the Koyal Arcanum ( Golden Rod Council), the Independ- 
ent Order of Eed Men ( Aque-a-Nonck Tribe 369), the I. O. H. (Vernon 
Conclave 510), the Old Guard Colonial Wars (Chicago), the Sons of 
Veterans (Charles J. Nordquist Camp 64, of Mount Vernon), the 
Mount Vernon Cycle Club, the Westchester County Wheelmen, the 
American Spaniel Club and American Kennel Club of New York 
City, the Firemen's Exempt Association, the Mount Vernon Turn 
Verein, the City Club of Mount Vernon, the Metropolitan Kennel 
Club of New York City, the Quartette Club of Mount Vernon, the 
Hoboken Turtle Club, the City Club of Ycnkers, the Democratic Club 
and Tammany Society of NeAv York City, and a sustaining member of 
the Y. M. C. A. 

NIGHT, CHAELES CALVIN, of Peekskill, physician, was 
born near Stafford Springs, Tolland County, Conn., 
April 16, 1833. His father, Calvin Knight, was a farmer, de- 
scending from a long line of Connecticut ancestors, the 
family having originally come from England. Dr. Knight's mother, 
Mary (Temple) Knight, daughter of Silas Temple, of Springfield, 
Mass., was of Scotch ancestry, although her family had been resident 
in that section of Massachusetts since the early part of the eighteenth 

The boyhood of Dr. Knight was spent on his father's farm. He re- 
ceived his primary education in the district school of his neighbor- 
hood, and then entered the Monson ( Mass. ) Academy, it being the in- 
tention of his parents to give him a college training. But on account 
of poor health he was obliged to discontinue his studies at the age of 
seventeen. Deciding to fit himself for the medical profession, he en- 
tered the office of Dr. William I-Iolbrook, of Palmer, Mass. After 
studying under the direction of another physician at Woodstock, Vt, 
he took the lecture course of the Medical Department of the University 
of the City of New York, from which he was graduated with the degree 
of M.D. in March, 1855. Having become greatly interested in the sub- 
ject of diseases of the eye, he next pursued a special course in the New 
York Ophthalmological Hospital, receiving from that institution a 
special diploma. In April, 1855, he was appointed assistant physician 
at the Eandall's Island Hospital (New York City), then in the charge 
of Dr. Henry Whittlesey, a noted specialist in the diseases of children. 

Bsn. L. B aaman S; Cn.BEurYork 


While connected, with the hospital he received offers of appointment 
as, surgeon of the Collins line steamer " Atlantic," and as surgeon of 
the Eeception Hospital at Aspinwall, Isthmus of Panama, both of 
which he declined. 

Having completed his term of service at Randall's Island, Dr. 
Knight, on the 1st of August, 1857, removed to Peekskill, where, estab- 
lishing himself in independent practice, he soon advanced to the front 
in his profession. He has been in uninterrupted practice in Peekskill 
ever since making that place his home, a period of forty-three years, 
and enjoys an eminent and widespread reputation for ability, success, 
and conscientious devotion to the higher ideals and duties of his pro- 
fession. He has always pursued a general practice, but has given par- 
ticular attention to the diseases of the eye and diseases of children, in 
which he is a recognized specialist. He is, and has been since 1876, phy- 
sician to the Franciscan Convent and Saint Joseph's Home, institutions 
giving accommodations to over Ave hundred children, and also physi- 
cian to the Peeliskill branch of the House of the Good Shepherd of New 
York City. He is now president of the medical board of the Peekskill 
Hospital. He has long served as medical examiner to several of the 
large life insurance companies. One of the oldest of the more conspic- 
uous citizens of Peekskill, he is also one of the most respected, and 
sustains with his family, a prominent position in the social life of the 
community. A Presbyterian in his religious faith, he is one of the 
leading laymen of that denomination in Peekskill. Since about 1876 
he has been one of the elders of the Second Presbyterian Church. 

Dr. Knight was married, in 1859, to Lucy W., daughter of the Eev. 
Daniel and Susan (Tompkins) Brown. Mrs. Knight's father was a 
native of New Hampshire, and died in Peekskill in 1847, having served 
as pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of the village for the last 
five years of his life. In her maternal line Mrs. Knight comes from 
original Huguenot stock. Dr. and Mrs. Knight have three children, a 
son and two daughters. The son, Dr. Charles A. Knight, is a graduate 
of Yale and a practicing physician in Peekskill. 

ORTON, EZRA JAMES, was the son of Cyrus Horton and 
Sarah Mead, and was born at Horton Hollow, Putnam 
County, July 20, 1826. His ancestry dates back to the times 
of the Pilgrims, and he was in direct line of descent fi*om 
Barnabus Horton, one of the founders of the Town of Southold, Long 
Island, in 1640. His father was the squire or county judge of his dis- 


trict. He was educated at the Peekskill Military Academy and the 
University of the City of New York. After leaving college he studied 
for the ministry, but owing to a slight impediment in speech left the 
theological seminary and became an instructor at West Point. After- 
ward he formed a partnership with William McOhain in the general 
store business at Peekskill village under the firm name of McChain 
& Horton. 

While at West Point he met his wife, Sarah Davenporte, the only 
daughter of William Davenporte, of Nelsonville in Phillipsetown, the 
squire or county judge of that section, and, after removing to Peeks- 
kill, on September 8, 1850, married her and made that village his 

Upon the death of his partner, Mr. McChain, he entered the news- 
paper field and established the Highland Eagle, one of the first papers 
in Westchester County. He sold the Eagle in 1851 on account of ill- 
he'alth and retired to a farm in Putnam County. About the time of 
the Kebellion he reassumed the editorship of the Eagle, changing the 
name of the paper to the Highland Democrat, and continued the owner- 
ship of the same until 1872, when he went to White Plains, the county 
seat, and founded the Westchester- News. He sold the ]S[cAt:s to become 
the private secretary of Francis Keman, United States senator at 
Washington, and later sustained a like relation to Congressmen Clark- 
son N. Potter and Waldo Hutchins. While at Washington he was 
on the editorial staff of the Washington Daily Post and was clerk of 
the Potter investigating committee at the time of the Tilden-Hayes 
contest for the presidency. 

He afterward formed a copartnership with William H. Doty, of 
Port Jervis, and with him edited the Port Jervis Gasette. He later 
purchased the Newburgh Daihj and Weekly Telegraph, and had asso- 
ciated with him in the conduct of the paper his son, Cyrus William 

In 1887 he became the editor and proprietor of the Eastern Rtate 
Journal at White Plains, and he continued to conduct that paper until 
his death. May 9, 1893. 

In politics Mr. Horton was an uncompromising and stanch Demo- 
crat of the Tilden-Seymour school, and did much to sh,ape the politics 
of the county in his time. He was a member of the New York Press 
Club, the National and State Democratic Editorial Associations, the 
Alumnse Association of the University of the City of New York, the 

Psi u fraternity, and a Koyal Arch Mason. Mr. Horton was 

also for years a vestryman of Saint Peter's Episcopal Church at Peek- 



yTi.?'-'hvWTB^i.hi-'i Bla^-Il ivi' 




OETON, CHAKLES DAVENPORTE, of White Plalins, was 

born in Peeliskill, N. Y., September 6, 1868, andis the 
son of Ezra James Horton. He received his early educa- 
tion under private tutors and at the Peekskill Military 
A,cademy, and then entered Columbia University. He was graduated 
from the School of Arts of that institution in 1887 with the degree of 
Bachelor of Arts, from the School of Law in 1889 with the degree of 
Bachelor of Laws, and from the School of Political Science in 1889. 
While attending the regular course of lectures at Columbia Univer- 
sity Law School he was calendar clerk in the office of Develin «& Miller 
in New York City. He was admitted to the bar at the general term of 
the Supreme Court held at Poughkeepsie in 1889, before his 
graduation from the law school and before he had completed his 
twenty-first year, his diploma being in consequence withheld until he 
had attained his majority. 

For about four years after his admission to the bar Mr. Horton 
practiced his profession at Peekskill in association with his brother, 
Cyrus William Horton. In 1893 he entered into a legal copartnership 
with John M. Digney, ex-county clerk, under the firm style of Digney 
& Horton, which still continues. 

Throughout his residence in White Plains Mr. Horton has been 
editor and proprietor of the Eastern ^tate Journal (formerly con- 
ducted by his father), the oldest and also the official newspaper of the 

He is a member of the State Bar Association, the Westchester 
County and New York City Bar Associations, the Reform and Demo- 
cratic Clubs of New York City, and the Tammany Society. He is a 
thirty-third degree Mason and a member of the Knights Templar, 
Mystic Shrine, Odd Fellows, Forester and Elk orders, and of the 
Royal Arcanum and the A. 0. U. W. 

He was married, in 1895, to Frances, only daughter of Hon. David 
Cromwell, of White Plains, formerly county treasurer of Westchesiter 

OX, WILLIAM WOOLLEY, one of the most conspicuous 
New York merchants and citizens of his time, was born m 
New York City September 26, 1783, and died at his resi- 
dence in West Farms (then a portion of this county) March 
1, 1861. By his marriage to Charlotte, daughter of Thomas Leggett, of 
West Farms, and by individual purchase, he became the owner of a 
portion of the Leggett estate. Mrs. Fox was a direct descend- 


ant of John Eichardson, one of the original patentees (1666) of 
West Farms; and the estate of her father wliich her husband, Mr. 
Fox, acquired, was a portion of the ancient Kichardson lands. More- 
over, a part of this Leggett and Fox estate still continues in the pos- 
session and occupancy of a descendant of John Kichardson — Mr. 
Henry D. Tiffany, grandson of William W. and Charlotte (Leggett) 
Fox. Thus, for nearly two and a half centuries, the descendants of 
the original West Farms patentee, Eichardson, have continued as pro- 
prietors and residents of the ancestral lands. As this is a circum- 
stance of interest in the local annals of a section where old associ- 
ations are rapidly passing away a brief history of the Leggett estate 
may appropriately preqede our biographical notice of William W. 

The West Farms patent was confirmed on the 25th of April, 1666, to 
Edward Jessup and John Eichardson, by Ei chard McoUs, the first 
English governor of the Province of New York. In the letters-patent 
it was stated that the two grantees had previously satisfied the origi- 
nal Indian owners by regular purchase, these documents being 
still in existence. Tlie West Farms lands, like the Eastchester 
patent and the borough Town of Westchester, were never erected 
into a hereditary manor, but were parceled out to the various heirs of 
the first proprietors, and gradually transmitted to numerous descend- 
ants or sold to strangers. The continued existence at the present 
day of a considerable landed ownership in the hands of a direct de- 
scendant of one of the patentees is on this account even more a mat- 
ter of interest. 

John Eichardson left two sons and three daughters. One of the 
daughters, Elizabeth, married Gabriel Leggett, who emigrated to this 
country from England, about 1661. By the right of his wife he be- 
came possessed of a large portion of what was then known as the 
Great Planting Neck, a part of which was subsequently called Leg- 
gett's Point, and is now called Oak Point. One section of this prop- 
erty (lot No. 11 of the original West Farms subdivision) passed unin- 
terruptedly to Charlotte Leggett, the wife of William W. Pox. • 

Thomas Leggett, of the fourth generation from Gabriel, was the 
father-in-law of Mr. Fox. He was a man of mark, both in West 
Farms and New York City. He added very largely to his individual 
inheritance by the purchase from Ebenezer Leggett Of the whole 
of lot No. 9 of the original subdivision, by purchases of adjacent por- 
tions- of the old Manor of Morrisania, and by other acquisitions. His 
estate in West Farms and Westchester ultimately comprised more 
than a thousand acres. He also had a city house, at No. 308 Pearl 
Street, and when he came up to his country place he used to make the 


trip by sloop to Ms own dock on Leggett's Creek. He was engaged in 
the wholesale drygoods and importing business in New York, and 
few New York merchants of his day were more successful or re- 
spected. He was noted for activity, energy, and fearlessness of char- 
acter. Soon after the breaking out of the Eevolution, his father be- 
ing known as an ardent supporter of the patriot cause, the family 
were driven from their home by the British. Thomas was at that 
time a youth. He went to Saratoga, where his father had lands, and 
there he was taken captive by the Imlian allies of Burgoyne, but es- 
caped with a companion, swam the Hudson Eiver, and after many 
hardships returned to his home. He died October 10, 1843. 

Charlotte Leggett, his eldest daughter, was married to William W. 
Fox on the 9th of June, 1808. He built, as his country place, the resi- 
dence now called Foxhurst, which is occupied by his grandson, Henry 
D. Tiffany, at the intersection of Westchester Avenue and the West 
Far-ms Eoad, the junction of these roads having been called Fox's 
Corners since the old hunting days of the de Lancey hounds. The 
Southern Boulevard afterward was cut through. The house was 
completed in 1840. * 

William W. Fox, although born in New York, was descended from 
Philadelphia ancestors who belonged to a collateral branch of the 
family of the founder of the Society of Friends. Mr. Fox inherited 
the principles of his forefathers, and throughout his life was a con- 
sistent member of the sect. He built for the use of the society a 
meeting-house in Westchester village. 

At an early age he engaged in business occupations. He bought 
a small sailboat, with which he used to meet incoming vessels, and, 
making purchases from their cargoes, sold the goods in the city be- 
fore the ships could be unloaded. Later he established with. John K. 
Townsend the drygoods -firm of Townsend & Fox; and after the death 
of Mr. Townsend he went into partnership with his father-in-law, 
Thomas Leggett, under the firm name of Leggett, Fox & Co. From 
his mercantile enterprises he built up a very ample fortune. 

Mr. Fox is perhaps best remembered from his connection with the 
early use of illuminating gas in New York City. To his brother-in- 
law, Samuel Leggett, belongs the credit of taking the first steps 
toward lighting the city with gas; but it was Mr. Fox who put the 
project on a practical basis and carried it to complete success. Sam- 
uel Leggett, conceiving a strong interest in the new English method 
of lighting, went to London and made a thorough study of the sub- 
ject. Eeturning to New York, he undertook to put the knowledge 
thus obtained to substantial use, and began the manufacture of gas 
in a small way. As an object lesson of its advantages he introduced 


it in liis own house, No. 3 Clierry Street, and tlie novel illumination 
was a naatter of much public curiosity. 

After the organization of the New York Gas Light Company, in 
1829, Mr. Fox took hold of the matter. -The enterprise was by no 
means a promising one, but by able and economical management 
Mr. Fox made it eventually so successful that at the time of his death 
in 1861 a surplus of more than a million dollars had been accumu- 
lated. He had a keen prevision of the enormous future growth of the 
city, and he practiced the greatest prudence in the direction of the 
company in order that it might be at all times able to follow the 
progress of population northward without calling on the capital. 

Mr. Fox was one of the five original commissioners appointed by 
Governor Marcy, in 1833, to solve the long-debated question of estab- 
lishing a water-supply system for the City of New York adequate to 
the needs of future generations. Previous to, that time various plans 
had been discussed, and although the best expert opinion fav- 
ored the selection of the Croton -River as the source of supply, the 
matter was far from settled even in its elementary phase. Mr. Fox 
was one ©f the most indefatigable members of the commission, on 
which he served throughout its whole period of existence, some seven 
years. Before consenting to sign the report of the commission, hand- 
ing over the Ototon Aqueduct to^ the city, he traversed the entire 
length of the aqueduct, over forty miles, making a careful inspection 
of every portion of it. His name is engraved on the High Bridge, as 
well as on the tablet at the entrance of the " distributing reservoir " at 
Fifth Avenue and Fortieth Street, now being torn down in the march 
of improvement, commemorating the men to whom the city is indebted 
for this immortal work. 

He was one of the foumders of the New York House of Kefuge, and 
was for many years one of the ten governors. of that institution. 

IFF ANY, HBNEY DYEK, youngest grandson of William W. 
Fox, of the preceding sketch, was born on the 13th of De- 
cember, 1841, in the Fox homestead, where he still resides. 
The children of Mr. Fox were George, who married Maria 
F. Clark and had an only son, William W., who died without issue; 
Thomas L., who died unmarried; and Mary L., who married Francis 
A. Tiffany. Thus the only surviving descendants of William W. Fox 
are the children of his daughter, Mary L. (Fox) Tiffany, and their chil- 
dren and grandchildren. Francis A. Tiffany and his wife had eight 
children, of whom Mr. Henry D. Tiffany, the subject of this sketch, 
was the fourth. It is noteworthy that of this large Tiffany family 

^ ^^ A/u^f^fC/ 


the latter is the only one now living on any portion of the West Farms 
estate of Mr. I^x and his father-in-law, Thomas Leggett; and, 
moreover, Mrs. Mary L. Tiffany's family are the only descendants of 
the patentee, John Eichardson, at this day retaining proprietary iden- 
tification with the West Farms land grant of 1666. 

Francis A. Tiffany, father of Henry D., was born in Boston, Mass., 
December 26, 1809. He was the only son of Lyman Tiffany, an old 
and wealthy Boston merchant, who was actively identified with the 
noted Samuel Slater in introducing cotton looms into this country, 
establishing mills throughout New England, and manufacturing 
cloth. Francis A. Tiffany came to New York City to represent the 
Slater interests, and in 1836 married Mary L. Fox. Their son, Henry 
D., was the first child born in the Fox homestead. Francis A. 
Tiffany died in 1873. 

Henry Dyer Tiffany was graduated from the Sheffield Scientific 
School of Yale University, with the degree of B.Ph., in 1864. As a 
student at Yale at the time of the brealiing out of the Civil War he 
took a zealous interest in the Union cause, and was one of the very 
first to volunteer, enlisting in the Seventh New York Eegiment, N. G., 
and went to Washington with the earliest enlisted troops. Twice 
afterward he left college to join the regiment, serving the full length 
of time for which he enlisted, and yet was graduated with his class. 
He was also drafted, and furnished a substitute. 

With the exception of a brief connection with mercantile business 
in New York, after completing his college course, Mr. Tiffany's entire 
active life has been devoted to the care of the large property interests 
of his family — especially in the development of the real estate in what 
was formerly the Town of West Farms and is now a portion of the 
Borough of the Bronx of New York City, generally known as the Fox 
estate. He has thus taken a conspicuous part in opening the real 
estate market above the Harlem Eiver and in promoting the progress 
of that section, incidentally erecting numerous houses and acting as 
trustee and executor of various estates. Aside from his business ac- 
tivities, he has been much interested in marine architecture along sci- 
entific lines of design and construction. In his yacht " Ventura," sev- 
enty-five feet over all, which he built on the Bronx Eiver, he intro- 
duced some original ideas, bearing a close similarity to principles of 
construction that now prevail in the most successful American yachts. 

He was married, October -11, 1864, to Caroline, daughter of Josiah 
Dow Chase, formerly of New York. Mrs. Tiffany comes from colonial 
New England stock. She is prominent in associated work for Chris- 
tian and benevolent purposes, being president of the Peabody Home 
for Aged Women at West Farms, treasurer of the ladies' board of the 


Home of Incurables at Fordham, and for twenty years was the secre- 
tary and vice-president of tke Ladies' Christian Union of New Yorli 
City, which was the first organized body of women in the world 
for Christian work among women. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Tif- 
fany are George Fox Tiffany, now carrying on the real estate business 
of the family, being located at Fox Corners, the intersection of West 
Farms Koad, Westchester Avenue, and the Southern Boulevard; 
Edith, wife of Frederick E. Lord; and Isabel Perry Tiffany; and they 
have one grandchild, Caroline Tiffany Lord, also born on this ances- 
tral ground, in the ninth generation. 

' Pf-# ^ 1 IFFANY, LYMAN, another son of Francis A. and Mary L. 
;^^pp (Fox) Tiffany, and grandson of William W. Fox, spent his 
ij^^i early life also at the Fox homestead. He was born May 
t=^:^^^^^^^J 21, 1838, and married on April 7, 1863, Sarah Stanton, 
daughter of George and Margaret (Chauncey) Stanton. He lived in 
Westchester and at Hunt's Point for sonie time after his marriage, 
and then removed to Flushing and later to New York City. He was 
an early member of the New York Yacht Club, and in 1859 he and 
his brother, Frank H. Tiffany, built the large sloop yacht " Charlotte " 
from designs of the latter. 

Lyman Tiffany entered the 7th Kegiment, N. G. S. N. Y., in 1856, 
and in 1858 was elected lieutenant on the colonel's staff of the 8th 
Eegiment, N. G., acting as quartermaster, and serving during the 
" Sepoy " ( quarantine) war on Staten Island, which is now only a 
memory to most of the National Guard. In 1861 he re-entered the 
7th Eegiment and remained in its continuous service for his full term, 
both in the field and in home duty, after which he was elected and 
served as lieutenant and captain of Company G of the Veteran Asso- 
ciation. He resigned in 18§5 in order to go abroad, and, in fact, has 
since spent much of his time in travel. He is an enthusiastic collector 
of curios from every part of the world, and his residence in Washing- 
ton, D. C, which he built in 1887 and which is now his home, is filled 
with rare and beautiful specimens of art. He is a member of Kane 
Lodge and of Lafayette Post, Grand Army of the Eepublic. 

His children are : William Chauncey, who died early; Charlotte 
Fox, who married T. Donaldson Parker; Helen Chauncey Stauton, 
who married Herbert V. Kent, major of Eoyal Engineers, British 
army; Margaret Stanton, who married Alexander J. Anderson, M.D.; 
and George Stanton Tiffany, 2d lieutenant, 12th Infantry, United 
States Army, now (1900) at the front in Manila. 


fNDREWS, GEOEGE CLINTON, of Tarrytown, lawyer, now 
serving his second term as district attorney, was bom in 
Eye, this county, December 3, 1858, being the son of George 
Andrews and Maria Clinton Wliiley. His great-great- 
grandfather, Andrews, was the seventh man to enter Port Ticonderoga 
in the famous assault of Colonel Ethan Allen in tiie Eevolutionary 
War, and his collateral lines include Governor Andrew, the famous 
" war governor " of Massachusetts. His mother is the daughter of 
Eichard Whiley and Anna Maria Beekman, daughter of Stephen D. 
Beekman and Maria Clinton, fifth daughter of Governor George Clin- 
ton, and Cornelia Tappan. Stephen D. Beekman was the son of Gerard 
G. Beekman and Cornelia Van Cortlandt, and through him a great- 
granddaughter of Frederick Philipse, the first lord of the Manor of 
Philipseburgh, who built the historic old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hol- 
low — the ancestral line thus including the distinguished families of the 
Philipses, Clintons, Van Cortlandts, and Beekmans. 

At an early age removing from the Town of Eye to Tarrytown, Mr. 
Andrews attended school there, subsequently graduating from the 
Delaware Literary Institute, Franklin, N. Y. "Perfecting himself in 
stenography, he was appointed official court stenographer of Eockland 
County, holding the position for ton years. While thus engaged he 
studied medicine to aid in reporting criminal cases, and acquired a 
proficiency that would have entitled him to be admitted to practice as 
a physician. He has since continued the study of medical science as a 
specialty. Having decided to adopt the profession of the law, he pur- 
sued studies to that end, Avas admitted to the bar in 1882, and began 
practice in Tarrytown, where he still continues. Mr. Andrews has had 
a highly successful career, both in the civil and criminal branches 
of his profession. In the trial of criminal actions he enjoys uncommon 
advantages because of his expert medical knowledge; and for skill in 
the presentation of his cases and brilliancy as an advocate he ranks 
with the ablest and most successful membei's of the county bar. 

During his early professional career he was for several years counsel 
for the villages of Tarrytown and Irvington. In the fall of 1894 he was 
offered the Eepublican nomination for assembly in his district, but 
declined it. In 1895 he was nominated for district attorney of West- 
chester County on the Eepublican ticket, and was elected by a plurality 
of nearly 2,000, running far ahead of his associates on the Eepublican 
ticket. Mr. AndreAvs was the first Eepublican chosen to the office of 
district attorney in this county for a period of twenty-one years; and 
his discharge of the duties of the position proA^ed so acceptable to the 
people that when nominated for a second term in 1898 he was again 

arr^s Sj^r-a J\/y^ 

^"^&'-AlSBfc' >a?T-t-.-^T& r^^-^ Z7;' 


He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, the Sons of the Kevolution, 
the League of American Wheelmen, the City Club of Yonkers, and 
other societies. 

He was married, in 1884, to Julia Biers, daughter of Charles and 
Charity Biers, of Tarrytown. They have three children, Florence B., 
George Clinton, Jr., and Charles B. 

Am, NATHANIEL (born in Lisbon, Me., August 9, 1819; 
died at his home in Peekskill, June 19, 1888), was the 
oldest son and fourth child of Samuel Dain and Margaret 
MacClellan. He came on his father's side of an old New 
England colonial family, his grandfather, John Dain, having fought 
in the Kevolutionary War. Through his mother he was of Scotch- 
Irish ancestry. He was reared on his father's farm, attending district 
school, and subsequently took an academic course at Monmouth, 
Me. Later, after teaching several years in the State of New York 
and at Saint Louis, Mo., he attended lectures in the Medical Depart- 
ment of Bowdoin College, although he never practiced the medical 
profession. Coming to Peekskill, he was engaged in the drug busi- 
ness for two or three years under the firm name of Fuller & Dain. 
Disposing of the pharmacy in 1841, he purchased, in conjunction with 
John Ombony, the lumber establishment of James Underhill, on 
Water Street, Peekskill, which he conducted until his death — a period 
of forty-seven years, — greatly enlarging its proportions and building 
up one of the most important industries of the village. During the last 
eight years of his life his two sons were associated with him in busi- 
ness, and the enterprise grew in dimensions and scope to include in a 
general way all the accessories that go with lumber in the building 

When still a young man Mr. Dain was chosen a lieutenant in a mili- 
tary company of the old State of Maine militia, and held a. commis- 
sion from the governor of Maine during his term of service. 

He was trustee and treasurer for many years of School District 
No. 8, of Peekskill; trustee and treasurer of the Peekskill Military 
Academy; trustee and treasurer of the Peekskill Savings Bank; and 
a trustee and member of the First Presbyterian Church. He was one 
of the foremost men of the town in social standing and influence, al- 
ways reluctant to hold municipal office, but ever ready to forward 
measures for the public good, taking especial interest in the educa- 
tional and financial institutions of his locality. 



Mr. Dain was married, October 22, 1851, to Eliza A. Briggs, by 
whom he had three children — Emily B., now the wife of John B. 



Reynolds, of Kingston, Pa., who was a candidate for congress in 1894; 
Frank McClelland; and Henry Paulding — his two sons being his suc- 
cessors in business. 

Snj tiyMEBalls Sons MwlSrk. 


|EAL, WILLIAM KEYNOLDS, president of the Central 
Union Gas Company, of New Yorlt City, and a prominent 
citizen of what is now tlie Borough of the Bronx, was born 
in Newarlf, N. J., May 13, 1838. His parents, Joseph Key- 
nolds and Elizabeth Austen, were born in England, coming to this 
country about 1830. The son, an orphan at the age of eight, began 
his business career when fourteen years old. While employed in the 
office of the. Newark Gas Light Company in 1855 he was selected as 
supeiintendent of the Yonkers Gas Light Company. He remained 
with that company eleven years, and built up for it a valuable prop- 
erty and lucrative business. During his residence in Yonkers he was 
also engaged in general contracting work. He started the organi- 
zation of Saint Paul's Episcopal Church, had to do with the erection 
of the church edifice, and was one of its vestrymen before he was of 
legal age. 

At this period of his life he served a term in the National Guard 
of the State of New York, and went with his regiment, the Seven- 
teenth, in 1863, to the seat of war. He is a member of Alexander 
Hamilton Post, G. A. E. 

Mr. Beal was made manager of the Westchester County Gas Light 
Company, now the " Central Union," in 1866. For more than a quar- 
ter of a century he has been president of this corporation, which, un- 
der his direction, has become one of the largest in its line in the State. 
Its plant, as well as that of the Northern Union Gas Company, of 
which he'is also president, was built conformably to plans and con- 
tains efficient apparatus of his invention. Mr. Beal is also a director 
of the American Gas Company and the New Yoi*k Suburban Gas Com- 
.pany, supplying Mount Vernon, New Kochelle, Portchester, etc. He 
is a vice-president of the American Gas Light Association, and a 
member of the Society of Gas Lighting. 

As a citizen for more than thirty years of the old Town of Mor- 
risania, Mr. Beal has at all times been active and influential in pro- 
moting the local interests of that section as well as of the entire dis- 
trict which, since the annexation of Westchester territory to New 
York City, has been known as the North Side. He has taken part 
in educational work, serving as trustee and chairman of the board of 
school trustees of the 23d ward. 

Largely interested in real estate, he has built a number of houses, 
and has organized, and is one of the directors, of the William E. 
Beal Land Improvement Company. He was also one of the original 
subscribers and directors of the Twenty-third Ward Bank. He was 
one of the originators of the North Side Board of Trade. 

An Episcopalian, he was active as chairman of the building com- 


mittee in building Saint Mary's Oliurch, Mott Haven, and the Chapel 
of Saint Ann's, Morrisania. He is now a member of the vestry, of 
Holy Trinity, New York. Mr. Beal assisted in the organization of 
the Young Men's Christian Union, of the North Side, and is its vice- 
president. He is also a trustee of the Harlem Y. W. C. A. He is 
president of the Quid Nunc Club, vice-president of the Harlem Club, 
and a member of the New York Athletic Club and of several other 
clubs. At one time he owned and sailed the Burgess 40-footer 
" Awa." 

Mr. Beal married Eleanor Louise, daughter of Thaddeus Bell, of 
Yonkers, in 1863. Their children are Keynolds, Alice E., Thaddeus 
K., Mary K., Albert E., and Gifford E. 

OOD, JOSEPH S., lawyer, and a prominent citizen of Mount 
Vernon, was born in New York City, June 13, 1843. For 
several generations his ancestors, who were of English 
origin, lived on Staten Island. His grandmother on his 
father's side was Gertrude Mersereau, whose ancestors were among 
the Huguenots who settled on Staten Island, in 1688, after the revoca- 
tion of the Edict of Nantes. His grandfather on his mother's side 
was Simeon Broadmeadow, an eminent civil and mecha,nical engineer, 
who came to this country from England in 1828, and was naturalized 
in the same year, by a special act of congress. Mr. Wood was edu- 
cated in the public schools of New York City and was graduated 
from the College of the City of New York in 1861 with High honors.' 
For a short time he was a tutor of the higher mathematics in the 
Cooper Union of New York City; and in December, 1862, when only 
nineteen years of age, he became the superintendent of that famous 
institution. This position he resigned on January 1, 1865, to become 
superintendent of the public schools of Mount Vernon. With this 
beautiful and prosperous suburb of the City of New York he has 
ever since been identified. 

In 1869 he purchased the Chronicle, a newspaper published in Mount 
Vernon, and for twenty-four years was its editor and proprietor. 
Through its advocacy of reforms and improvements and its exposure 
of corruption and rascality in public office, this newspaper exerted a 
very wide influence, and became a power for good government 
throughout Westchester County. 

In 1882 Mr. Wood and Mr. John Mullaly, who was one of the editors 
of the New York Herald, organized the movement for the creation of 



the magnificent system of parks in the northern part of the City of 
New York. Mr. Wood was, most of all, interested in the Pelham 
Bay Park, which would not have been made a part of the system but 


for his insistence and determination. TJie otlier members of the 
committee who drew up the original bill which was submitted to 
the legislature were afraid that an attempt to create a great park 
outside of the limits of New York City would cause the defeat of the 
whole project, especially as that park would be the largest of them 
all. They were, however, induced through Mr. Wood's urging to 
include it in the bill, and it is now an established fact. As it is 
twice as large as the Central Park and has many miles of water 
front on Long Island Sound, Pelham Bay, and the Hutchinson Kiver, 
it bids fair to become not only the grandest park of New York City, 
but of the world. 

In 1876 Mr. Wood resigned the superintendency of the public 
schools of Mount Vernon and was graduated from the Columbia Col- 
lege Law School. He immediately formed a partnership, which 
endured for six years, with one of his fellow-graduates, the Hon. 
Isaac N. Mills, who for twelve years thereafter was the county judge 
of Westchester County. 

In 1878 Mr. Wood was elected school commissioner of the 1st 
assembly district of Westchester County, and he held that office for 
thi?ee years. In 1893 he sold the Chronicle, and he has since devoted 
himself exclusively to his extensive law practice. 

In 1879 he was married to ]\Iiss Susy E. Mixsell. He has two sons 
and a daughter living. One of his sons is a graduate (1900) of Yale 

Mr. Wood is president of the W^estchester County Bar Association, 
the Board of Education of the City of Mount Vernon, and the Board 
of Trade of that city. He is also a member of the Keform Club, the 
New York Athletic Club, the Manhattan Chess Club, and a number 
of other social organizations. 

EOST, CYEUS, of Peekskill, was born at Croton-on-the-Hud- 
son. May 26, 1820, being tlie son of Hon. John W. and 
Phebe (Cocks) Frost. His father was a prominent mer- 
chant, served as supervisor of the Town of Cortlaudt, and 
represented Westchester County in the assembly in 1832; he died in 
September, 1882, in the ninety-flrst year of his age. His grandfather, 
Joel Frost, was a member of the convention to revise the constitution 
of the State in 1821, was three times surrogate of Putnam County, and 
served as a member of congress for the years 1823-2l» from the Fourth 
Congressional District, of which Putnam County was then a part. 


y^jr-.'^rfSv-f I:^T*>=>rf*^.-ay,ir^, 


Cyras Frost received his primary education in the district school of 
his neighborhood, subsequently attending a private school at Quaker 
Hill, Dutchess County, N. Y., and completing his education at the 
Mount Pleasant Academy, then under the charge of Albert Wells. In 
early life he engaged in business at Croton-on-the-Hudson, from which 
he retired in 1885 in the possession of a well-earned competency. For 
some forty-five years he has been a director in the Westchester <;)ounty 
National Bank of Peekskill, of which institution he is now president. 
He was at one time attached to the staff of Brigadier-General Munson 
I. Lockw^ood, of Westchester County, with the rank of major. 

Mr. Frost has never been actively identified with political pursuits 
as such, although, as a private citizen, he has always taken a warm in- 
terest in the public concerns of the times. Originally a Whig, he joined 
the Eepublican party upon its organization, and has ever since given 
it his hearty support. In his religious affiliations he is an Episcopa- 
lian, being a member and senior warden of the Church of Saint Augus- 
tine at Croton-on-the-Hudson. 

^miABTIN, EDWIN KOENIGMACHEB, a prominent citizen 
|™» of Yonkers, and president of the American Eeal Estate 
5^1^ Company of New York, which has built the beautiful Park 
'' '■■-'^^ Hill improvement of the former city, is the son of Barton 
B. and Catharine C. (Kohrer) Martin, and was born in Millersville, 
Lancaster County, Pa., October 1, 1844. In the paternal line he is 
descended from original Swiss stock, his first American ancestors 
having come to Eastern Pennsylvania with William Penn's immigra- 
tions. Pursued by the religious persecution of the times, they had 
been driven from their home in Switzerland down the Ehine valleys, 
finally finding refuge in Holland, whence they were sent as colonists 
to Eastern Pennsylvania by the Dutch "Committee on Foreign 
Needs," which played a very important part in assisting the Hugue- 
nots and other victims of religious oppression. The father of Mr, 
Martin was a lumberman and coal mine owner in Pennsylvania. 

Soon after the breaking out of the Kebellion young Martin, al- 
though he had not yet completed his seventeenth year, enlisted in the 
army, in the 79th Pennsylvania Eegiment. He remained in active 
serivce until the end of the war, participating in twenty-three battles 
and engagements, including Perryrille, Stone Eiver, Ohickamauga, 
Atlanta, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Eidge. He was with 
Sherman's army in the march to the sea. 
He was prepared for college at Phillips Academy, Andover, 



Mass., and then entered Princeton in the class of 1871. From there 
he went to Amherst College, being graduated at that institution in 
ISTl with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He has since received from 
Amherst the blaster of Arts degree. Deciding to prepare himself for 
the legal profession, he attended lectures at the Columbia College 
Law School (New York City). Upon being admitted to the bar he 
engaged in practice in Lancaster, Pa., where he soon attained success 
and reputation at the bar. He also took an active part in Pennsyl- 


vania politics, as a Eepublican, becoming one of the recognized 
leaders of the party and being called apon at various times to preside 
over county and State conventions. His interest in politics, how- 
ever, was conflnfrd to support of the party principles and organiza- 
tion; preferring to devote himself to his professiou, he never held or 
sought public oflice. 

In 1890 ^Ir. Martin removed from Lancaster to Yonkers. From the 
beginning of'his residence there he has been identified in a conspicu- 


ous and valuable manner with the enterprising development of the 
city. He is particularly well known in Yonkers, through his connec- 
tion with the improvements at Park Hill, which have converted that 
portion of the city into one of the handsoraesit residential suburbs of 
New York. The Park Hill property is owned by the American Real 
Estate Company, of New York City, of which Mr. Martin is president. 
This company also has large interests in the City of New York and 
California, and has been very successful in its real estate ventures. 

He is at present, and has been since 1895, president of the Board 
of Trade of Yonkers. He is also one of the trustees of Saint John's 
Riverside Hospital. He is prominent in the social life of Yonkers, 
and is a member of the City Club, the Park Hill Country Club, and 
other social organizations. 

Although a citizen of Yonkers for the past eight years, Mr. Martin 
retains some interest in Lancaster, Pa., his former home. He is the 
principal owner there of the Lancaster Morning News, a prosperous 
daily paper with a large circulation. He is a member of the Grand 
Army of the Republic. His club membership in New York City in- 
cludes the Larchmont Yacht Club, the Princeton and Amherst College 
Clubs, the Alumni Club of Phillips Academy, and the Alpha Delta 
Phi Club. Mr. Martin was likewise one of the founders of the Penn- 
sylvania Society of New York and of the Pennsylvania German So- 
ciety in Pennsylvania. 

He was married, June 2, 18S1, to Caroline A., daughter of Dr. Theo- 
dore R. Varick, a widely known and successful physician of Jersey 
City, N. J. Mrs. Martin belongs to the historic Varick family of New 
York City, one of whose members was Colonel Richard Varick of 
Revolutionary fame, who was an aide to General Washington and one 
of the early mayors of New York City after the peace with Great 
Britain. The surviving children of Mr. and Mrs. Martin are Adele 
Woolsey Ma;rtin and Anna Romeyn Varick Martin. One son, Theo- 
dore Romeyn Varick Martin, died in infancy. 

|ATES, EPHRAIM C. (born in Hubbardston, Mass., in 1817; 
died in New York City), was the son of Salmon Gates, 
who for many years was one of the leading citizens of 
Calais, Me., where he established himself in business in 
1807, although not making his family residence there until 1823. 
The removal of his father from Hubbardston to Calais thus occur- 
ring when Ephraim was five years of age, he received his early 


education in tlie public schools of the hitter place. He also* aittendSed 
the Washington Academy, at Machias, Me., but at^ an early age en- 
gaged in business employment in connection with his father's large 
lumber interests. 

In 1840 Mr. Gates began business for himself at Calais, as a manu- 
facturer of lumber, and maintained this bBsiness continuonsly, 
through various vicissitudes of partnership, or alone, until 1889 — a 
period of very nearly a half century. During the thirty-five years from 
1847 to 1882 the firm style was Gates & Wentworth, Mr. Gates's 
brother-in-law, G. M. Wentworth, being a partner. In 1889 he dis- 
posed of his large holdings of timber lands in Maine, together with his 
mills, to H. F. Eaton & Sons, the same year removing his residence to 
New York City, where he had long since established the well knowii 
lumber firm of Church E. Gates & Company. A historic interest at- 
taches to this firm. 

The original lumber business of which the extensive concern of 
Church E. Gates & Company is the continuation and development was 
established in the village of Mott Haven in 1848 by the late H. H. 
Robertson. It is thus a pioneer enterprise of what is now the Borougli 
of the Bronx. In 1865 Mr. Gates purchased the property from Mr. 
Eobertson, although such a connection with the business as the manu- 
facturer and seller of lumber to the dealer can claim he had enjoyed 
for some sixteen years prior to 1865. During these sixteen years Ms 
mills at Calais had turned out much of the lumber handled by Mr. 
Eobertson, and the distinction has justly been claimed for Mr. Gates of 
having " manufactured and sold the first cargo of spruce lumber that 
was ever landed on the east side of the Harlem Eiver at Mott Haven.'" 
Having made this purchase, including a considerable tract of land at 
Mott Haven, Mr. Gates reorganized and continued the business in 
partnership with his son, the late Church E. Gates, in honor of whom 
the firm style then adopted has been continued unchanged to the pres- 
ent time. The latter resided in New York City, in constant manage- 
ment of the business until his death ; after which Mr. Bphraim C. Gates 
continued the business alone until 1889, when the present partnership 
was formed. Of the three who entered into partnership at that date 
two, Bradley L. Eaton and Henry H. Barnard, are sons-in-law of Mr. 
Gates, and formerly resided at Calais, Me. The other, John F. Steeves, 
of iMott Haven, had been connected with the firm in important confi- 
dential relations for some seventeen years before becoming a partner- 
Mr. Gates retained his active interest in the affairs of the firm until 
shortly before his death. Thus as a manufacturer of lumber on an ex- 

^ New York Immbtr Trade Journal, August 15, 1896. 


tensive scale in Maiae from 1840 to 1865, and as a large dealer in lum- 
,iber la New York City from 1865 for the remainder of his life, he had a 
contiiiiiuous bttsimess ■career of nearly sixty years. 

CKEE, THOi¥AS JEFFEESON, M.D. (born in Sing Sing, 
this county, July 27, 1837), is the son of John Acker and 
Jane Maria Tompkins, and is of Holland and English ex- 
traction. The Ackers were among the early Dutch settlers 
of Long Island and New Amsterdam, this particular family going back 
seven generations to Wolfert Acker^, who may have been the ancestor 
who came originally from Holland. He was located first at " Mid- 
wout" (Flatbush), L. I., and afterward removed to the Philipse 
Manor, near Tarrytown, Westchester County, where he married! Maritje 
Sibouts (who was also living in the Frederick Philipse Manor), De- 
cember 21, 1692, and erected there and lived in the house now known 
as " Sunnyside " — the historic home of Washington Irving, which has 
been handed down to fame as " Wolfert's Eoost." 

The members of the Acker family were patriots, and during the War 
of the Eevolution rendered conspicuous service in Westchester County. 
The muster rolls of the period include Captain Sybout Acker and Cor- 
poral Sybout Acker, Jr., Sergeant Jacob Acker, and many privates by 
the name of Acker. " Eifle " Jake Acker was a great-uncle of the John 
Acker mentioned in note.^ On the maternal side the Westchester 
ancestor was Nathaniel Tompkins,^ who, five generations back, set- 
tled in Scarsdale, Westchester County. 

The Tompkins family ca,me originally from England at an early 
date and settled variously at Plymouth, Mass. ; Concord, Mass. ; Fair- 
field, Conn.; Eastchester, N. Y.; and at Scarsdale, Westchester 
County, N. Y.., the latter branch of the family being closely related 
to that of Governor Daniel D. Tompkins. 

Thomas Jefferson Acker was educated in the district and private 
schools of his native town, and later at Claverack College and the Hud- 
son Eiver Institute, Claverack, Columbia County, N. Y. He com- 
menced the study of medicine in the office and under tlie tutorship of 
Dr. <1. J. Fisher, of Siaag iSing, N. Y., in August, 1861, and further 
ipursmed Ms medicai studies at Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New 

'^ The line ia as follows : Wdlfert Acker^ ; Sybout ^ The maternffll line is as follows : Nathaniel ^, as above 

■er=; AbraJham Acker'3; Sybout Acker*; Isaac Acker"; -Biichard ^ (born March 27, 1745); Thomas', the grand- 

.John Aaker'^ ; Thomas Jefferson Acker '. John Acker*' father of Thomas Jefferson Acker, and for whom he was 

wasbomMayl3,'1812,andhia'wife, JaneMiTiaTompkina, named ; Jane Maria *, the another ; and Thomas Jefferson 

Apiffl 29, 1817 ; bothiare «tlll Hiwing (ISOO,) . Acker = . 



York City, from which he was graduated with the degree of M.D. in 
March, 1865. For nearly two years immediately after graduating he 
was located and practiced medicine at Pine's Bridge, this county, re- 
moving to Groton-on-Hudson in February, 1867, where, by close appli- 
cation to his professional duties, he soon built up a wide and success- 
ful practice, taking rank among the prominent physicians and sur- 
geons of Westchester County. Sis reputation is not based upon any 


one specialty, but covers the entire range of his school of practice, to 
which he has given tireless devotion, with a success that has not only 
extended his practice beyond local bounds, but has been widely recog- 
nized by his professional brethren. He is fellow of the 5th district 
branch of the New York State Medical Association; fellow of the New 
York State Medical Association; permanent member of the American 


Medical Association; and honorary member of the New York State 
Railway Surgeons' Association. 
"As a leading citizen and in social life he exerts a commanding 
influence. For forty years he has been a member of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. He was president of the board of trustees of the 
Asbury M. E. Church at Croton-on-Hudson during the years 1894, 
1895, and 1896 ; was a member of the building committee that con- 
structed the church, and is at present President of the Bpworth League 
connected with the churcla. Among social organizations he is a mem- 
ber of the Improved Order of Redmen. 

In May, 1866, Dr. Acker was married to Prederica Mason. They have 
one child, Ella May Acker, born November 24, 1883. 

HE JJOLTON FAMILY.— Speaking of Bronxdale, a writer 
in the Westchester Times says : " Just below the bridge over 
the Bronx, where such delightful prospects are obtained 
of the reflections in the artificial lake on the one hand, and 
of the old Bleach Mill Falls on the other, the ancient fording place is 
yet to be distinguished by the cluster of water lily pads that mark the 
shallows where the travelers of by-gone days waded their steeds 
through the rapid current of the stream." The Bleach Mill Falls 
mentioned here are the memorial of the old Bolton bleachery estab- 
lished nearly three-quarters of a century -ago — probably among the 
first enterprises of the kind. The site .of the originaF establishment 
is now within the limits of Bronx; Parlv. Its founder was James 

James Bolton, was born at Harwood, near Bolton, Lancashire, Eng- 
land, and died in his home in Bronxdale in 3869. He was mar- 
ried in England to Mary Pilling, and came to this country about 1820, 
engaging in the bleaching business at Frankfort, Pa., for a time. 
A little later he removed to Bronxdale, where he followed the same 
business. In 1825 Mr. Bolton reorganized the business as a stock com- 
pany, under " An Act to incorporate the Bronx Bleaching and Manu- 
facturing Company, in the Town and County of Westchester, passed 
April 20, 1825." , Mr. Peter H. Schenck and Mr. Bolton's brother-in- 
law, Mr. Samuel Pilling, were stockholders with him for many yeara. 
On April 12, 1836, Thomas Bolton, eldest son of the founder, became 
a stockholder. In 1842 or 1843 Mr. Pilling's interest was acquired 
by James and Thomas Bolton, and in 1853 they also acquired the 
stock of Mr. Schenck, and reorganized the form of the business as a 



partnership. Abo«t two years later Thomas Bolton obtained title to 
the entire establishment by purchase from his father. 

James Bolton was for nearly half a century a well-known figure in 
the Town of Westchester, and was long a member or attendant of the 
Presbyterian Church of West Farms. He had no children by his 
second marriage. By his first wife, Mary Pilling, he had five children 
who reached maturity: three sons, Thomas, Robert, and John, and 


'^ "%< 

. ■•;/'•- 



*' ' ■ ■ ■ 

' '/■'' 









■ , ■[ i i 



two daughters, Sarah, who married a Mr. -Williams, and Elizabeth, 
who married a Mr. Brooks. 

Thomas Bolton, Avho was associated with his father in the bleach- 
ing business and subsequently acquired the establishment, as stated 
above, was born in England, March 7, 1809, and died at the old Bolton 
homestead built by his father at Bronxdale, January 17, 1879. Apart 
from the bleaching establishment which he skillfully managed and 
developed, Mr. Thomas Bolton was for many years a justice of the 
peace in the Town of Westchester, and was active in church work, 


being the chief pillar of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Bronx- 
dale. He was largely instrumental in ei'ecting the cliureh building 
occupied by this society, the site of which was a part of the original 
Bolton homestead. The old Bolton house, a stone structure, built by 
James Bolton in 1826, and occupied by Thomas Bolton, in turn, until 
his own death, IkS still standing. It is now the property of the City 
of New York, and stands upon the original site, which is at present a 
part of Bronx Park. 

Thomas Bolton was married August 24, 1828, to Ann Birchall, 
daughter of Henry Birchall, of Bolton, England. She was born De- 
t:ember 11, 1805, and died September 29, 1882. Their children were : 

(1) James M., born July 7, 1829, died without issue, August 31, 1877; 

(2) Henry Birchall, born January 10, 1831, died without issue, De- 
cember 19, 1895; (3) John Wesley, still living, whom see below; (4) 
Mary, born November 21, 1834, died in infancy, February 13, 1835; 
(5) Mary Ann, bom March 10, 1836, still living, married to Thomas 
D. Littlewood, March 2, 1857; (6) Thomas, Jr., born May 27, 1838, still 
living; (7) Emily, born February 25,. 1840, died April 4, 1887, mar- 
ried October 2, 1878, to Thomas H. Norris; (8) Sarah Louise, born 
November 26, 1842, still living, married August 2, 1866, to John H. 
Myers; (9) Samuel Pilling, born April 8, 1845, died in infancy, 24, 1846; (10) Catherine E., still living, born September 17, 
1847. Of these, James M. and Henry B. Bolton having died without 
issue, the present head of the family, as well as the oldest living rep- 
resentative is John Wesley Bolton. 

John Wesley Bolton was born at the old Homestead in Bronxdale, 
March 9, 1833. Mr. Bolton received his early edu^cation in the public 
schools of the Town of Westchester, and at private schools in West 
Farms. He also attended the Hamilton College Institute, White 
Plains, finishing there when nineteen or twenty years of age. 

For several years he was engaged in business with his father, 
having the management of the coalyards owned by the latter at that 
time in West Farms. In 1857 this business was sold out, and Mr. 
Bolton became a partner of his father, together with his brothers, 
James and Henry, in the conduct of the old bleaching business. Later 
he ceased this connection, although for many years he has remained 
invoice clerk of the establishment. 

Mr. Bolton was married January 29, 1855, to Martha A. Denison, 
daughter of Captain John Denison, of West Farms, engaged in the 
coasting trade. They have had three children : Sarah A., who was 
married to Lemuel H. Pierce, Jr., and died leaving three children; 
Ella F., who is still living; and Frank D., who died in infancy. 


Tlie house on Main Street, West Farms, where Mr. Bolton lives, is 
the old Denison homestead, built by his wife's father. 

^rai YERS, JOHN KIRTLAND, the eldest son of Peter J. H. Myers 
^^^ and Lucy Fitch Kirtland, was born in Waterford, N. Y., 
1^1 November 25, 1815, and died September 1, 1877, at his beau- 
!^,/m^ ^^^^^ residence, " Amackassin," in Yonkers. For several 
years he lived in his birthplace and then removed to Whitehall, IST. Y., 
where he received all the education available in those days. His 
father was a large drygoods merchant of that town. 

His ancestors were of the second Palatinate emigration from the Val- 
ley of the Rhine, and arrived in this country in 1710. His grandfather, 
Joseph Myers, was bom May 15, 1759, died in Herkimer, N. Y., May 
15, 1804, and married Abigail (or Apalone) Herter in 1784. To this 
couple were born seven sons and two daughters. Abigail Herter was 
the daughter of Captain Henry Herter, of Revolutionary fame, and his 
Avife Catherine, and was born October 22, 1767, in a canoe in which her 
father and mother were being carried across the Saint La wrenceRiver 
as prisoners of the Indians. She died in Herkimer, N. Y., September 
17, 1829. Peter J. H. Myers, father of the subject of this sketch, was 
the third son of Joseph Myers. He was born February 1, 1790, died 
August 29, 1834, at Whitehall, and married Lucy Fitch Kirtland (a 
near relative of former Comptroller Fitch, of New York City ) , who was 
born April 3, 1793, at Granville, N. Y., and died April 14, 1867, at 
Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 

At the age of nineteen years John K. Myers came to New York City 
and obtained employment in the drygoods house of Halsted, Haines & 
Company. Soon afterward he became the confidential clerk of Mr. 
William M. Halsted, the senior member of the firm, and on January 1, 
1841, was admitted to membership in the firm. On the 20th day of 
the same month he married Mr. Halsted's daughter, Sarah L. Halsted. 
He continued with the firm until September, 1867, being then the senior 
member, when he retired from active business, retaining, however, a 
large interest in the house. Later, in 1868, he was elected president 
of the Pacific Mutual Insurance Company (of which he had been a di- 
rector for several years), and in that position he continued until his 

He was for many years a director of the Manhattan Banking Com- 
pany, of Wall Street, New York City. He was a director and member 
of the executive committee of the New York Orphan Asylum, and was 
instrumental in securing for that institution a valuable piece of land 



on the northern boundary of Yonkers, running from Broadway to the 
Hudson Eiver. During the three years that he lived in South Yonkers 
he was deeply interested in the old Dutch Keformed Church, and upon 
his removal to the northern part of the city he transferred his member- 
ship and interests to the Reformed Dutch Church of Hastings, of 
which he was for many years an elder, contributing very largely to 
the support of this church until his death. 


He was always a stanch Eepublican, and, though not accepting any 
office, was an earnest worker and supporter of the party. 

His family comprised eight sons and one daughter— William Hal- 
sted, David H., John K., Matthew E., William Mills, Perit C, Thad- 
deus Halsted, Louis P., and Mary. His sons John K. and Matthew E. 
were associated with their father in the firm of Halsted, Haines & Com- 
pany for many years, the former being a member of the firm. They 
lived in Yonkers about thirty-five years and were honored citizens. 


John K. died October 27, 1895, in Yonkei's. Mattbew E. was living in 
New York City at tke time of his decease, October 31, 189'2. Of this 
large family there remain only Perit C. and Dr. T. Halsted Myene. 
Perit Coit Myers married Lilian Putnam, a descendant of General Israel 
Putnam. They have two sons and are living in Yonkers. Dr. T. BLal- 
sted Myers married Sadie Hawley and is a prominent orthopedic sur- 
geon of New York City. The widow, Sarah L. Myers, still lives in Yon- 
kers, and is happy in the memories of her husband, a man of sterling 
character, esteemed and honored by all who knew him, a prominent and 
successful business man of extensive charities, quiet and unpretentious 
tastes, and one of the representative citizens of Yonkers. 

'HE DEAN FAMILY. — The Deans who figure in the colonial 
and Eevolutionary history of Westchester County trace 
their descent from Somersetshire, England, probably from 
the Town of Chard or its vicinity. There is evidence that 
their earliest progenitor in America, Samuel Dean, was connected 
with the Deans of Taunton, Mass. 

Samuel Dean (1611?-1703) was one of the early patentees of Ja- 
maica, Long Island ( 1656) ; he was a man of influence ajnd a Quaker. 
It was at his house that for many years the meetings were held. He 
appears also to have lived for a time in Stamford, Conn., where two 
sons, John and Joseph, were born (1659, 1661). His son Samuel,' 
of Jamaica (1636?-1708), married Anne Holmes and had Samuel^ 
(1660-1756), John (1659), Jonathan^ (1670-1718), and Daniel. The 
Deans of Westchester County are, with few exceptions, descended 
from the third son. 

Jonathan^ Dean, prominent in the early history of Jamaica and of 
Oyster Bay (Cohasset), married Margaret (Oakley?) and had twelve 
children, three of whom settled in Westchester County. Jonathan ^ 
(married 1773 Mary Causter of Westchester, daughter of Joseph) 
figures in the early history of Nine Partners. Nicholas^ settled in 
Eastchester and later in Yonkers, and Isaac in Oreeab^urgk. 

Nicholas^ (16977-1772), whose bra-nch of the family retains many 

members in the Society of Friends, married Deborah , and had 

Stephen,^ Solomon, Daniel, Phebe (married Joseph Peil), Charity 
(married John Valentine), Ma;ry (married William Underhill), Amey 
(married Sajnuel Thorn), Margaret (married Joshua. 'Gedney), Ajjaia 
(married Elias Doty), Sarah (married Samuel Barnes). Stephea,'' 
eldest son of Nicholas^ (1724-1796), married (1) Abigail Bowme, a^nd 


had Nicholas,^ of Yonkers, Mary (1752-1832), Lawrence (1755), 
Susannah (1756), Elizabeth ( 1759), . Stephen^ (1760). From Nich- 
olas^ (1751-1797) descend Nicholas,^ of New York, who was a pro- 
jector of the Croton Aquedvict and a well-known philanthropist (v. 
Memorial Biographies of the N. E. Gen. Soc, 1881, Vol. II), Eobert, 
Joseph, William R., and Stephen. Stephen^ married (II) Mary Flan- 
dreaii and had Joseph (1763-1825), Abigail (1764-1824), Daniel (176()- 
1811), Anne (1768-1845+), William (1770-1845+), Margaret (1772- 

1845-f), David (1774 ), Jonathan (1776-1845+), Israel (1777- 

1845 +), John (1781-1845 +), Hannah (1784-1840). 

Isaac (1699?-17M), son of Jonathan,^ settled in Greenburgh aboui; 
1750, removing from Oyster Bay and Matinocock, Long Island. He 
took up a farm of about 300 acres, northeast of Tarrytown, from Fred- 
erick Philipse, and was at one time a sheriff of Westchester County, 
long time a justice, and held several local offices. His wife was Amey 
Weeks (daughter of Samuel, of Oyster Bay); his children were 
Samuel (married Susannah), Isaac (married Mary), John (married 
Phoebe and removed to Oneida County, N. Y.), Thomas, Captain Gil- 
bert (1747-1817), Mary (married Jacob Stymets), Margaret (married 
David Conklin), Emey (married Gloade Requa). The son Thomas 
(1722-1810) was the first town clerk of Tarrytown (1766): he had 
served in Canada in the French and Indian War, and was in the battle 
of Stony Brook. At the outbreak of the Revolution he was known as 
an active patriot, was captured, and ^^'as imprisoned for upward of 
eighteen months in the Old Sugar House in New York. He was 
justice of the peace for many years and o«'ned a farm on the side of 
Buttermilk Hill, east of Tarrytown. He died in N(?w York while on a 
visit to his brother. Captain Gilbert Dean. 

William, just mentioned, (born 1754,) was a private in the cam- 
pkign against Canada in 1775. He took part in the night assault of 
Quebec, died a few days later on the Plains of Abraham, and was 
buried in a snowdrift. Serjeant Jolin Dean has ali-eady been noticed 
in connection with the capture of Andre. He left one son, Thomas 
(1794-1872), and seven daughters, viz.: Mary (1777; married Isaac 
Hammond), Susan (1779; married John Yerks), Elizabeth (1782; mar- 
ried John Acker), Nancy (1786), Armenia (1787; married Benjamin 
Roselle), Sarah (1789; married Oliver Westcott), and Charlotte (1797; 
married Daniel Odell). 

The son Thomas referred to is well known to the oldest residents 
of Tarrytown as one of the most influential of its citizens during the 
middle of this century. At the age of twenty-one he was the owner 
of a sloop, plying between Albany and New York; he was a lumber 
dealer, a merchant, a founder of the old Tarrytown Library, and of the 


first savings bank of that town; and was the first postmaster of 
Tarrytown, holding the office for twenty-one years. He was a Mason 
of the thirty-second degree in a day when but few in this country had 
attained that rank, and his services as a presiding officer in Masonic 
gatherings were sought throughout the State. He married Harriet, 
only daughter of Samuel and Auley (Archer) Martine, and had an 
only child, William. The last mentioned graduated at Columbia Col- 
lege in the class of 1855, and is a lawyer in New York. 

Captain Gilbert Dean has already been mentioned in our History of 
Westchester County in connection Avith his Eevolutionary services. 
It is stated that the equipment of his company was at his personal ex- 
pense. He was twice mairied, but leaves no male discendants. By 
his first wife, Effie Drake, he had Emma (married Daniel Delanoy), 
John (married Eleanor Rumsey, and had Mary, who married Andrew 
Nelson), Harriet (married John Carter), and Gilbert (married Mary 
Smith, and had Eebecca, Mary, and Adelia). 

OESE, WALDO GEANT, of Yonkers, a well-known member 
of the New York bar, and prominent through his connec- 
tion with the important public movement for the preserva- 
tion of the Palisades of the Hudson Eiver, was born in 
Eochester, N. Y., March 13, 1859. He is descended through both his 
parents, Adolphus and Mary Elizabeth (Grant) Morse, from old New 
England families. His earliest paternal ancestors in this country, 
Samuel Morse and his son Joseph^, emigrated to Massachusetts from 
Suffolk County, England, in 1635; and in the maternal line he is a 
descendant in the sixth generation of Christopher Grant^, who settled 
in Watertown, Mass., in the latter half of the seventeenth century. 
Mr. Morse's father was educated for the bar, practiced his profession 
in Worcester, Mass., and in 1850 removed to Eochester, N. Y., where he 

* Mr. Morse's line of descent on the paternal side is as 1800 ; Amos'*, bom in Douglas in 1783, married Mary Hale, 

follows: Samuel^, born in Suffolk County, England, in of that place, and died there in 1843; Adolphus', born in 

1587, emigrated to America in 1635, was one of the origi- Douglas in 1807, married Mary Elizabeth, daughter of 

nal proprietors of Watertown, Mass., and died in Dedham, Abraham and Margaret (Cheever) Grant, and died in 
Mass., June 20, 1654; Joseph^, bom in. Suffolk County, ^ Rochester, N. T., in 1871; Waldo Grant Morse', of Tonk- 

England, in 1615, came with his father to America, married ers. 

Hannah Phillips, and died in Dedham in 1676; Joseph^', * Mr. Morse's maternal (Grant) line of descent: Chris- 
bom in Dedham in 1655, was a captain in King Philip's topher^, of Watertown, Mass.; Joseph^, of Watertown, ■ 
War, represented Sherbom, Mass., in the general court at married Mary Graf ton ; Christopher^, of Watertown, mar- 
Boston, married Hamiah Badcock, and died in Sherbom in ried Mercy Coolidge; Abraham'^, of Cambridge, married 
16 — ; Joseph"*, bom in Dedham in 1683, married Prudence, Margaret, daughter of Joshua Cheever, of Chelsea; Mary 
daughter of Henry Adams, of Braintree, Mass., and died Elizabeth'', married (May 1, 1850) Adolphus Morse, of 
in Sherbom m 1770; Jacob', bom in Sherbom in 1717, Eochester, N. Y. ; Waldo Grant Morse'', of Tonkers. 
married Mary Merrifield, and died in Douglas, Mass., in 


engaged in various business pursuits and spent the remainder of his 

The son, after receiving a good preparatory education, entered the 
University of Kochester. Subsequently he studied law in the office of 
Martindale & Oliver, of Rochester, and in 1884 he was admitted to the 
bar upon examination before the Supreme Court at Buffalo. Since 
1888 he has been pursuing his profession, with success and reputation, 
in New York City, devoting himself largely to the care of corporate 
and financial interests. 

While preferring his professional occupations to other activities, Mr. 
Morse is known as a very acceptable and effective public speaker on 
various occasions, and, as we have indicated, has rendered particularly 
valuable services in the cause of governmental protection for the Pali- 
sades against the blasting and other destructive operations of private 
individuals and corporations. In 1895 he drafted and secured the 
enactment of the bill in the New York State legislature providing for 
a joint New York and NeAv Jersey Palisades commission, and was 
appointed by Governor Morton one of the three commissioners for this 
State, an office which he still holds. He was also the author of the 
Palisades national reservation bills which passed the New York and 
New Jersey legislature in 1896, and of the measure introduced into 
congress in conformity with the action of the two States, but un- 
fortunately not as yet enacted into law by that body. 

Mr. Morse is a member of the American Academy of Political and 
Social Science, the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar 
Association, the Association of the Bar of New York City, the West- 
chester County Bar Association, the Society of Colonial Wars, the Sons 
of the Eevolution, and of the Lawyers', Eeform, Quill, Amackassin, 
Seagkill Golf, and other clubs. 

He was married, June 22, 1896, to Miss Adelaide P. Cook, daughter 
of Albert Cook, of Seneca Falls, N. Y. 

ONES, ISRAEL CONE, who, since 1876, has been medical 
superintendent of the Home for Incurables, New York City, 
was bom at Colchester, Conn., July 19, 1851. He is the 
son of Henry Mason Jones, grandson of Edmund Jones, 
"and lineally descended from Reverend William Jones, a Presbyterian 
clergyman who came from Wales to Massachusetts in 1640, and sub- 
sequently located at Salem, Conn. Dr. Jones's grandmother was 
Sarah Holmes. His mother, Harriet Maria Latham, was the daughter 



of Deacon Amos S. Latham, of Colchester, New London County, Conn. 
His father, born in Salem, New London County, Coiin., was in early 
life a teacher in the public schools on Long Island; was principal of 
Public School No. 3, Morrisania, New York City, from September 1, 
1851, to July 1, 1856; and for nearly thirty years subsequently was 
superintendent of the Cincinnati Hospital, long distinguished as the 
largest institution of the kind in the West. 

Dr. Israel C. Jones received his early education in the public schools 


of New York City, later attended Chickering Academy, at Cincinnati, 
Ohio, and subseqiiently matriculated at Miami Medical College (Cin- 
cinnati), under the preceptorship of Dr. J. C. Mackehsie. He was 
graduated in March, 1874, upon the completion of the three years' 

After his graduation he took a special course in the Cincinnati Hos- 
pital, and, locating in the City of New York in 1875, spent the following, 
year in further post-graduate work at the Bellevue Hospital Medical 


College. In 1876 he was appointed to the important position of medi- 
cal superintendent of the Home for Incurables, and has remained in 
charge of this great institution — ^the largest, earliest, and most notable 
of its kind in the United States — ^to the present time. His direction 
of the Home. for nearly a quarter of a century past has been eminent- 
ly judicious. During this period the institution has assumed immense 
proportions. It has becbnie the model for all other homes of the kind 
in this country, and is frequently visited by medical men from abroad. 

Dr. Jones is a member of a number of societies connected with his 
profession or of a social nature. He is a member of the New York 
Academy of Medicine, of the Medical Society of the County of New 
York, of the New York Physicians' Mutual Aid Association, and of the 
Harlem Medical Association. He is a member of the Fortnightly Lit- 
erary Society of Tremont, New York City. 

On June 13, 1877, Dr. Jones was married to Miss Ettie Jones, of the 
City of New York. They have three sons — Arthur Cone Jones, Ralph 
Mason Jones, and Harry Brush Jones. 

EEEIAN, OHAELES ALBEET, has been engaged in the 
real estate business in New York City since 1870, and is 
especially an expert on realty values in the Twenty-third 
and Twenty-fourth wards, the Borough of the Bronx. He 
subdivided many of the old farms in that section and disposed of them 
as building lots. During the past seven years he has been almost ex- 
clusively engaged in making appraisals of property values either 
for the City of New York or for private OAvners. His services to the 
city include the condemnation of property valued at more than .|3,- 
000,000 for the Jerome Park Reservoir, as well as properties for the 
grand boulevard and concourse, the famous .avenue and driveway 
projected on a scale surpassing anything existing in any other city in 
the world. He has been a member of the Eepublican County Com- 
mittee of New York County, and frequently has been a delegate to 
county, city, and State conventions. He was a member of the State 
convention which nominated Governor Morton, and of the city con- 
vention which nominated Mavor Strong. " He held the office of United 
states custom house auctioneer under President Harrison, and now 
holds it again under appointment by President McKinley. He was 
for three years secretary of the Fordham Club, and is' now a member 
of its executive committee. He is also a member of the Suburban and 
Union Eepublican Clubs, the North Side Board of Trade, and the 
Auctioneers' Association of the City of New York. 



Mr. Eerrian was born in 'Nev,- Yorli City, January 30, 1845, the son 
of the late Philip H. Berrian and Phebe, daughter of Captain John 



Marshall. His father, who was long engaged in the real estate busi- 
ness iu New York City, was a resident of Fordham, as was his grand- 


father, Charles Rerrian. The first of his aiicestors to settle at Ford- 
ham, Nicholas Bcjrrian, was one of the sons of Cornelius Berrian, who, 
in 1727, bought Berrien Island. He was the son, in turn, of John Ber- 
rien and Buth Edsall, and grandson of Cornelius Jansen Berrien and 
Jannetie Stryker. The family is of French Huguenot antecedents, 
hailing from Berrien, Department of Finisterre, France. They were 
driven to, Holland by religious persecutions, and from the latter 
country Cornelius Jansen Berrien emigrated to New Amsterdam, 
settling in Flatbush, L. I., as early as 1669. He was deacon and town 
official, and in 1683 commissioner to levy a special tax by appointment 
of the New York colonial assembly. 

Charles A. Berrian was educated in the public schools and at Farn- 
ham Preparatory Institute, Beverly, N. J. He became clerk in a 
banking house in New York City, and for several years was secretary 
of the Ashburton Coal Company. During the next three years he held 
the office of deputy county clerk of Suffolk County, N. Y. He was 
married, January 30, 1867, to Susan Almy, daughter of Stephen C. 
Rogers, of Huntington, L. I., where the family had been seated for 
many generations. Mr. Eogers was for seventeen, years supervisor of 
his town, and for three years cotinty clerk of Suffolk County. Mr. and 
Mrs. Berrian have two daughters. 

AESHALL, STEPHEN SHERWOOD, a prominent lawyer 
and citizen of White Plains, formerly register of deeds of 
Westchester County, was born in the village of Sing Sing, 
this county, August 5, 1837. His parents, were Stephen 
Marshall, of Dutchess County parentage, and Margaret (Sherwood) 
Marshall, of the old Sherwood family of Sing Sing. Stephen Mar- 
shall, the father of Mr. S. S. Marshall, became a citizen of Sing Sing in 
early life. He was conspicuously and honorably identified with the 
beginnings of journalism in this county. From 1818 to 1828 he 
owned and' edited the Wpntchester Herald, of Sing Sing. Stephen 
Marshall's Herald, although not the earliest newspaper published in 
Westchester County— being antedated by the Somers Museum and the 
Peekskill Repiihlican,—w SiS, the first of any substantial importance. 
After his retirement from its management it was conducted for some 
thirty years by Caleb Roscoe. A complete set of the files of the WeM- 
chester Eer aid from 1818 to 1828 is now in the possession of Mr. S. S. 
Mr. Marshall was admitted to the bar upon examination before a 



general term of the Supreme Court held in Brooklyn in 1860. Be- 
fore attaining Jiis majority he had begun to take an active interest 
in politics, and in 1856, when but nineteen years old, had been ap- 
pointed, deputy county clerk. This office he held until 1859, when he 
resigned it to a.ccept the position of deputy county register. An 

ardent Democrat from his boyhood, his devotion to the party of his 
choice was not disturbed by the factional differences of those ex- 
citing times. In 1861 he received the nomination on the straight 
party ticket for county register, and was elected. He was twice re- 
elected, retiring from the office with a highly honorable record in 

^ziyTi/7M/jdJ^74^m4>/^ t 


Since terminating his service in the register's office Mr. Marshall 
has confined himself to the practice of his profession, although at 
times serving the public of White Plains (where he has resided since 
1855) in local offices. He was supervisor of the town in 1877 and 
1878, and also has filled the position of school trustee in his district. 
He has always continued as an active supporter of the Democratic 
party, and in the present schism in its ranks remains a steadfast sup- 
porter of its policies as determined by the majority of the party. 

For forty years a member of the Westchester County bar, Mr. Mar- 
shall has enjoyed success and reputation in his profession. He has 
law offices both in White Plains and New York City. He is a mem- 
ber of the Westchester County Bar Association and the Westchester 
County Historical Society. 

Mr. Marshall was married, September 24, 1862, to Hannah Jane 
Anderson, daughter of Major Isaac Anderson, of NeAv York City. 
They have one son, Eobert Cochran Marshall, born June 11, 1863. 

CHMID, HENRY ERNEST, one of the most prominent medi- 
cal practitioners of Westchester County and a representa- 
tive and public spirited citizen of White Plains, was born 
in the village of Auerfurt, Thuringia, Germany, on the 1st 
1834. His parents were Heinrich August and Sophia 
(Berger) Schmid, both of whom belonged to respectable middle-class 
Thuringian families. Dr. Schmid's paternal grandfather was a 
Lutheran clergyman, and one of his uncles was an officer in the 
German armies during the wars of Napoleon, being killed at the bat- 
tle of Leipzig. The noted German publishers, Bernliard and Karl 
Tauchnitz, were own cousins of Dr. Schmid's father. Bernhard 
Tauchnitz was created baron by, Queen Victoria in recognition of his 
services in promoting the spread of English literature upon the conti- 

Dr. Schmid received his early education at the Latin College of 
Halle, Prussia. Removing to the United States in 1853, he entered 
the Medical School of Winchester, Va. (now defunct), and subse- 
quently attended the University of Virginia and the University of 
Pennsylvania. After completing his studies and obtaining bis pro- 
fessional degree, he was sent as a medical missionary to Japan. This 
was soon after the opening of that empire to the influences of Western 
civilization by Perry. While in Japan Dr. Schmid organized a hos- 
pital at Nagasaki, and also a school for physicians. Owing to failing 


health he was obliged to discontinue the labors so successfully be- 
gun, and returned to America, by way of the Indian and Atlantic 
Oceans, on an English man-of-war. 

Dr. Schmid engaged in medical practice in ^^'hite Plains in 1862. 
He soon advanced to success in his profession, and for many years he 
has enjoyed an eminent reputation. Aside from his professional ac- 
complishments, he is known especially for his high conception of phy- 
sician's responsibilities and for the conscientious spirit which he car- 
ries into all his work. He is at present medical chief of the White 
Plains Hospital and chief of Saint Vincent's Eetreat for the Insane. 
He is an active member of the Westchester County Medical Society, 
and has served for two terms as president of that organization. At 
the centennial celebration held by the Society in 1898, he had the 
honor of delivering the historical address. He is also a member of 
the State Medical Association, the American Medical Association, the 
American Psychological Association, and the Medical Jurisprudence 
Society of New York. 

As a citizen of White Plains Dr. Schmid has always taken a hearty 
interest in the affairs of the community and has served with efficiency 
in various positions of local importance. He has held the office of 
president of the Board of Health and president of the Board of Edu- 
cation, and he is now president of the board of trustees of the Free 
Public Library, an institution whose establishment is largely due to 
his efforts. He was elected president of the village of White Plains, 
but declined the office. He is a leading member, and senior warden, 
of Grace Episcopal Church of White Plains. 

Dr. Schmid has recently been appointed by Governor Roosevelt one 
of the commissioners of the Bedford State Reformatory for Women. 
He is also president of the State Association of School Boards. 

His club membership embraces the Nineteenth Century Club, the 
Arts Club, the New York Athletic Club, the Liederkranz, and the 
KnoUwood Country Club. He is a member of the Westchester County 
Historical Society. ' 

ODGE, THOMAS ROBINSON, registrar of deeds and one of 
the most prominent citizens of Mount Vernon, was born 
May 25, 1843, in England, and is the son of John and Mary 
(Robinson) Hodge. He received his education in his na- 
tive country. In 1868 he lived for a short time in Halifax, Nova 
Scotia, and in 1869 he moved to Eastchester, now a portion of Mount 
Vernon, where he has ever since resided, being successfully engaged 



in the grocery and general mercantile business. He purchased the 
business in 1879, and for a few years conducted it under the firm name 
of Currett & Hodge. 

His excellent habits, sterling integrity, and other evidences of firm- 
ness of character soon made him popular with his fellow-citizens, and 
singled him out as a person well adapted to hold positions of public 


trust. The first public office to which he was elected was that of 
treasurer of School District No. 1, which he held from 1879 to 1882. 
He was school trustee and secretary of the boai'd of education of 
Eastchester from 1882 to 1891, deputy county treasurer of West- 
chester County from 1882 to 1891, and treasurer of School District No. 
4 in 1891 and 1892. In 1891 he became a member of the general in- 


surance and real estate firm of McOlellan & Hodge, of Mount Vernon. 
Mr. Hodge was an alderman of the City of Mount Vernon, serving 
from 1893 to 1895, and on January 1, 1896, lie entered upon the duties 
of the office of registrar of deeds, which he has since discharged with 
ability and satisfaction. In this capacity, as in all other positions 
held by him, Mr. Hodge has been most faithful and always at his post 
of duty. No official has ever given the county better service. Dur- 
ing his administration many needed reforms were effected in the 
office, among them being the new system, introduced by him, of in- 
dexing records filed in the registrar's office, which greatly simplifies 
the work of searchers and saves time to the amount of fifty per cent., 
considering the former mode of procedure. He is an earnest Repub- 
lican, one of the ablest local leaders of the party, and a man of great 
popularity and force of character. 

Mr. Hodge is a director of the I'eople's Bank of Mount Vernon and 
of the City Bank of New Kochelle, a trustee of the Bastchester Sav- 
ings Bank, treasurer and a vestryman of Saint Paul's Episcopal 
Church, a past master of Hiawatha Lodge, No. 434, P. and A. M., a 
member and former high priest of Mount Vernon Chapter, No 228, E. 
A. M., and a member of Bethlehem Commandery, No. 53, K. T., of 
Nepperhan Council, No. 70, K. and S. M., of Mecca Temple, Nobles of 
the Mystic Shrine, and of the City Clubs of Mount Vernon and 
Yonkers. He is also one of the active members of Steamer Engine 
Company No. 3, of Mount Vernon. 

YKMAN, JACKSON O. (bom in Patterson, Putnam County, 
New York, in or about 1826), is the great-grandson .of 
Captain Joseph Dykman, an early settler of Putnam 
County, and a captain in the Continental army during the 
Revolution. He was educated in the public schools, taught school, 
and studied law with the Honorable William Nelson, of Peekskill. 
After his admission to the bar he commenced practice at Cold Spring, 
Putnam County, where he was elected school commissioner and dis- 
trict attorney of Putnam County. 

In 1866 he removed to White Plains, Avhere he has since resided. 
He was elected district attorney of Westchester County in the fall 
of 1868, and in this office " particularly distinguished himself by the 
energy, skill, and success with which he prosecuted the famous 
Buckhout murder trial, one of the celebrated cases in the history 
of the country." Although a Democrat in politics, Judge Dykman 


received the nomination of the Eepublican party in 1875 for justice 
of the Supreme Court for the second judicial district, and receiving 
the support of the- best elements of both parties was electt^d by a 
large majority. At the end of his term of fourteen years he was re- 
elected, and has served on this bench continuously to the present 
time; although now soon to retire on account of the constitutional 
limitation as to age. As a judge he has been thus characterized : 

" In the performance of his judicial duties. Judge Dykman is ever 
patient, affable, and courteous. He is kind and obliging to the mem- 
bers of the bar, and especially so to the younger members. He has 
been a member of the General Term of the Supreme Court from the 
time he took his seat on the bench, and his opinions in that court, 
in the numerous cases on appeal, evince laborious research, sound 
judgment and discretion, and absolute fairness and impartiality, and 
demonstrate the propriety of his elevation to the high judicial posi- 
tion which he occupies. At the circuit for the trial of cases he is a 
favorite with both lawyers and suitors for his patience and impar- 
tiality. He manifests great love for justice and right, and deep ab- 
horrence for wrong and oppression." * 

Judge Dykman takes a zealous interest in historical studies, es- 
pecially in relation to the Eevolutionary period. He has delivered 
many public historical addresses. Upon various important subjects 
to which he has devoted personal investigation he is an authority. 
Probably no other person now living is so familiar as Judge Dykman 
with the details of the capture and death of Major Andre. 

Judge Dykman was married to Emily L. Trowbridge, of Peekskill, 
of the old family of that name of New Haven, Conn. Their two sons, 
William N. Dykman and Henry T. Dykman, are both practicing law- 
yers, the former in Brooklyn and the latter in White Plains. 

RIGGS, JOSIAH ACKEEMAN.— The connection of Mr. 
Briggs with street improvement and public works in West- 
chester County and the Borough of the Bronx is note- 
worthy for the many years he has been engaged in this 
important service, as well as for the efficiency of his work. After pre- 
liminary study and work in the line of his profession as a civil engi- 
neer, from 1869 to 1873 he was engaged in the highway improvements 
executed under a legislative commission at Yonkers, Scargdale, East 
Chester, White Plains, and Greenburgh. Colonel M. O. Davidson was 
at the head of this work as chief engineer. Under his successor, Mr. 

' Scharf'a History of 'Westchester County, vol. i., p. 533. 



W. W. Wilson, Mr. Briggs was connected with the construction of 
public works at Yonkers, including the present Yonkers Water Works 
and the improvement of streets and construction of sewers. During 
these periods he resided at Yonkers, which was the headquarters for 


all the operations. The improvements were discontinued under the 
stress of the financial depression which occurred at that time. 

In 1877 he received an appointment in the Park Department of 
New York City, which he held until 1881. In the latter year he was 


assigned as assistant engineer in charge of all street improvements 
and work of construction in the 23d and 24th wards under the 
auspices of the Park Department, and he continued as principal 
assistant engineer in charge of the construction bureau of this de- 
partment until January 1, 1891, when the Department of Street Im- 
provements of the 23d and 24th wards was created. 

On January 1, 1891, Mr. Briggs opened a private office, and entered 
upon a very successful business career. His operations included the 
surveying of extensive properties in the upper portion of New York 
City and lower Westchester County, as well as engineering projects 
of other kinds. He was justly considered an authority in his profession 
in this section, with which his services for the city of New York, and 
previously in Westchester County, had made him perfectly familiar. 

In June, 1895, when he accepted the appointment of chief engineer 
of construction of the Department of Street Improvements for the 
23d and 24th wards. New York City, uiider Commissioner Louis F. 
Haffen. This was practically a resumption of his previous position 
under the Park Department. During the time that he held this po- 
sition a vast amount of construction work was either completed or 
placed under contract. About twenty miles of streets were regulated' 
and graded, some fifteen miles paved, while no less than twenty-eight 
miles of sewers were constructed, several of them ranging from ten 
to fifteen feet in diameter-. Under the provisions of the Greater New 
York charter, Mr. Briggs was assigned by choice to the office of chief 
engineer of highways of the Borough of the Bronx, and has filled that 
office to the present time. Many of the works instituted under the old 
department have been completed in the meantime. 

Not merely is Mr. Briggs a native of the Borough of the Bronx, 
where his important services have largely been rendered, but his is 
one of the old historic families of the district. He was born in West 
Farms, December 6, 1852; and his -father, John Valentine Briggs, was 
born in Fordham, upon the old Briggs homestead, afterward calleo 
" Park View House," opposite Jerome Park. His father lived most 
of his life in Fordham, and was connected with the Reformed Church 
of that village as clerk and a member of the consistory. It is of interest 
that the son has for seventeen years held the same office in this church. 
The grandfather of Mr. Josiah A. Briggs, Captain Josiah Briggs, was 
a soldier in the War of 1812; was appointed captain of militia in 1816; 
and for many years filled local offices in West Farms, being treasurer 
of the village for an extended period. He owned all the tract of 
land south of Travers Street and between the old Williamsbridge 
Road and the Kingsbridge Road, extending nearly to the old Croton 
Aqueduct. A portion of this tract was incorporated into the Jerome 


Park race course, and upon it soon will stand the new reservoir. A 
still larger tract was owned by Mr. Briggs's great-grandfather, Walter 
Briggs. On his father's side Mr. Briggs is also descended from the 
old families of. Bussing and Valentine, which, with that of Briggs and 
a few others, made up the old-time aristocracy of Fordham.^ His 
mother, Sarah Jane, daughter of Garret Ackerman and Susanna Gar- 
rison, was of the famous old families of these names along the Hudson. 
The Ackerman homestead was at Eiverdale, on the Hudson Eiver, 
immediately adjoining the present railroad station, and running back 
to the old Albany Post Koad. 

Mr. Briggs attended the public schools of Fordham and Tremont 
until about fifteen years of age, when he began the study of civil 
engineering. His studies were prosecuted under Colonel M. O. David 
son, prominent in the profession, and famous for his connection with 
many large engineering enterprises, and also with the first elevated 
roads and other important enterprises in .New York City. Mr. Briggs's 
first work of importance, in Westchester County, has been already 

Mr. Briggs is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, 
the North Side Board of Trade, and the Fordham and Schnorer Oubs. 
He was married, March 15, 1876, to Julia, daughter of Charles Wheat- 
ly, " the great American racing secretary," who was secretary of 
Jerome Park, Saratoga, Monmouth Park, and Pimlico, Baltimore. 
Mrs. Briggs is a Kentuckian by birth, and a descendant of the illus- 
trious Charles Carroll, of Carrollton. Mr. and Mrs. Briggs have had 
six children — Malcolm Hutchinson, Josiah A., Ernest Wheatly, Ruth 
Edna, Julia Wheatly, and Gladys Regina. Of these, four survive, 
Malcolm and Ernest having died in infancy. Josiah A. Briggs, Jr., is 
now (1900) preparing for college. 

^A very mteresting account of the Briggs and related Briggs,^ of the above line, was married to Hannah, daugh- 
families will be found in the now rare pamphlet, "A Par- ter of Edward Fisher, of Portsmouth, R. I. "Walter 
tial Record of the Descendants of Walter Briggs, of West- Briggs,* the first of the family in Westchester County, 
Chester, N. Y.," compiled by Samuel Briggs ; Cleveland. was a wealthy and prominent slaveholder and extensive 
O., privately printed. 1878. The line of descent to Mr. property owner in East and West Chester, Tonkers, and 
Briggs is as follows : John Briggs,^ of Newport and Fordham. He married Lidiah, daughter of Josiah Hunt, 
Portsmouth, R.I. ; John Briggs,'^ of Portsmouth and Little Jr., and Abigail Huestis, of Throgg's Neck. Josiah 
Compton, R. I.; Edward Briggs,^ of Tiverton, R. I.; Briggs^ married Bathsheba, daughter of Isaac Williams, of 
Walter Briggs.* of Tiverton, B I., and East and West Westchester County. Walter Briggs"* married Mary Bus- 
Chester and Fordham, N.Y.; JosiahBriggs," of Fordham, sing. Josiah Briggs' married Maria Valentine, of West- 
N. T.; Walter Briggs." of Fordham, N.Y ; Josiah Briggs,' Chester. 

of Fordham. N. Y.; John Valentine Briggs,"^ of Fordham, The Briggs family was seated at Salle, Norfolk, England, 

N. Y. ; Josiah Ackerman Briggs," subject of this sketch. in the time of Edward T., 1272 A. D. Williamatte Brigge, 

John Briggs, founder of the family m America, was of Salle, was living 1334 A. D. Sir Jolm Brigge, rector of 

admitted a freeman at Newport. R I., October 1, 16.38, Saint Lawrence, Norwich (1438 A. D.), and later of Dickle- 

and was subsetiuently made a freeman i f Aqueedneck and burg and Berford, and Sir Thomas Bryggs, rector of Bris- 

Portsmouth, R. I., respectively. He was a wealthy land ingham (1539 A. D.), and chaplain to Lady Mary, sister 

owner and assistant (senator) of the Rhode Island General and successor of Edward VI., were both of this family, as 

Court. He was a commissioner for uniting the four was also Professor Henry Briggs, the distinguished profes- 

towns of Providence Plantations in 1G54. and was com- sor of geometry at Oxford (b. 1556, d. 1630). 
missioner for building a prison at Portsmouth. John 



'GORMAN, WILLIAM, builder and architect, who, since 
1878, has erected manjf hundreds of buildings in what is 
now the Borough of the Bronx, was born in County Cork, 
Ireland, June 25, 1848. He is the son of William O'Gor- 
man, Sr., and grandson of Daniel O'Gorman, his father being a builder 
and his grandfather an architect and builder. The family was orig- 
inally of County Clare, later removing to County Cork. Mr. William 


O'Gorman was educated in the public schools of Cork, and at the same 
time was apprenticed to the building trade. In 1863 he came to the 
United States and found employment in connection with the building 
business. , He presently took up the study of architecture, and later 
devoted himself exclusively to drawing plans, following this line of 
work for five or six years. But finding that building was more profita- 
ble, he devoted his energies to that occupation and rapidly became 


prosperens. He began to build for himself as early as 1867, on 74th 
Street. In 1878 he removed north of the Harlem Ei'ver, to the vicinity 
of 140th Street and Willis Avenue, a locality which at that time was 
almost exclusively farm land, with a few streets newly opened through 
it. Buying the series of lots on the east side of Willis Avenue, between 
138th and 139th Streets, he broke the ground April 24, 1878, and 
erected the handsome row of residences, with brown-stone fronts, that 
still occupy the site, one of which is his own residence. Houses in still 
larger groups were subsequently erected by him in the same neighbor- 
hood, until the number now has passed into many hundreds. In truth 
the building up of this section is largely his work. 

Over the majority of builders Mr. O'Gorman has the advantage of 
being his own architect. He has never erected a house which was not 
wholly planned by himself. To this thorough mastery of every detail 
of his business, and his habit of personally directing every feature and 
entering iipon all contracts in the consti^ction with the advantage of 
technical knowledge, he attributes his success. 

He was married, in 1867, to Julia O'Brien. They have four sons and 
four daughters living. 

ALTBE, MARTIN, born in New York City, November 2, 
1856, is the son of Martin Walter and Elizabeth Rich, 
daughter of Martin Rich, of Wiirtemburg, Germany. His, 
father and grandfather were bom in Guetzenbrigk, Alsace, 
of an old family of soldiers. Mr. Walter was brought to this country 
by his mother when two years of age, and resided in New York City 
until his death. The son passed through Grammar School No. 63, of 
the 12th ward, and then entered the grocery business in the Harlem 
store of Paulsen & Bamman. This was in 1874. After remaining in 
this store as a clerk for six years lie entered into an equal partnership 
with Mr. Paulsen in a branch store which was established at Tremont. 
The firm name was originally Jacob F. Paulsen & Company, but was 
subsequently changed to Paulsen & Walter. 

The entire business connected with this store was under the exclu- 
sive management of Mr. Walter. The firm also speculated heavily 
in real estate on the North Side, and were very successful. They were 
the first to lay out lots at Mount Hope, .taking as their first piece some 
sixteen acres of farm land, on which vegetables had been raised for 
market within a year. In' twelve months' time this entire tract had 
been disposed of. Other pieces of land were bought, attended by the 
same' success. 



Mr. Walter subsequently sold out his interest in the grocery busi- 
ness, and he has since been engaged exclusively in real estate 
enterprises. He has been very successful. He is exceedingly popular, 


and is known for his enthusiastic advocacy of measures look- 
ing to public imi>roTements. He is a member of the executive com- 
mittee of the North Side Board of Trade, and takes great interest in its 
affairs. He is also a member of the Taxpayers' Alliance as well as of 
several fraternal organizations, and a director of the Bronx Borough 
Bank. A Kepublican in national politics, he is known as an advocate 
of home rule in local affairs. He has long maintained that Port Mor- 
ris must eventually become the shipping center of Manhattan Island, 
basing this opinion upon the gradual movement of these interests 
northward and the- lack of proper facilities at any point farther south, 
as well as upon the advantages afforded by the short connection be- 
tween the Hudson Kiver and the Sound. 

On June 18, 1891, Mr. Walter was married to Elizabeth, daughter 
of John Negnah, a large stock raiser of Chapin, 111. They have one 

AYS, DANIEL PBIXOTTO, a prominent member of the 
metropolitan bar, is a resident of the Village of Pleasant- 
ville, where he owns a beautiful country seat, " Hillcrest," 
situated on land which has been in the possession of the 
Hays family for four generations. The original American ancestors 
of Mr. Hays emigrated from Holland to New York City in the latter 
part of the seventeenth century, and settled near New Rochelle, in 
our county. The Hayses have always since been landowners and re- 
spected citizens of Westchester County.* 

Da^id Hays, the great-grandfather of Daniel P. Hays, was born on 
the New Rochelle farm in March, 1732. He was a volunteer in the 
British colonial forces in the French and Indian War, and was present 
at Braddock's defeat (July .9, 1755).. Subsequently he became the 
owner of a farm in the Town of Bedford, this county, where he was 
living at the breaking o-ut of the Eevolution. He had an elder brother, 
Michael, who at the same period was engaged in farming and trading 
pursuits in the neighboring Township of North Castle. Both brothers 
were stanch patriots, and as a consequence of their devotion to the 
American cause suffered severely in their property interests. Michael 
Hays, according to a fragment of a memorandum in his handwriting, 
was driven from his farm about 1776, and on the same occasion the 
enemy took possession of seventy-four head of cattle and various 
stores belonging to him. The house of David Hays at Bedford was 
burned in the month of July, 1779, when Tarleton made his celebrated 
raid on Poundridge and Bedford. David and his eldest son, Jacob 



(afterward high constable of New York), were absent in the American 
army at the time, and Mrs. Hays was lying on a sioli bed, w^ith an 
infant at her breast. This lady, whose name before her marriage was 
Bsither Elting, was a member of a patriotic family of Baltimore. At 
the close of the Eevolution Michael and David Hays resumed their 
farming pursuits in Westchester County. In 1785 Michael purchased 
a farm in the present Town of Mount Pleasant, where he died at an 
advgjiced age in 1799. He left all his possessions to his brother David. 


The latter removed from Bedford to the Mount Pleasant estate, where 
in 1800 he erected the Hays homestead, which is still standing. He 
died on the 17th of October, 1812, leaving three sons and four daugh- 

Benjamin Elting Hays, the youngest son of David Hays and grand- 
father of Daniel P. Hays, was born in Bedford in 1776. He inherited 
the Mount Pleasant farm and homestead, where he always resided. 


leading the simple life of a farmer. He died August 13, 1858. He 
had six children. 

His eldest son, David Hays, was bom on the Hays homestead in 
Mount Pleasant. At an early age he became a drug clerk in a phar- 
macy in New York City conducted by M. L. M. Peixotto, whose sister 
he married. He was for many years prominent in the drug business, 
was one of the founders of the New York College of Pharmacy, and 
took an active interest in public education. He retired from busi- 
ness in 1890, and from that time until his death lived on the home- 
stead near Pleasantville. He married Judith Peixotto, daughter of 
Dr. Daniel L. Peixotto (son of the famous rabbi), who was one of the 
most conspicuous New York physicians of his time. They had eight 

Daniel Peixotto Hays, son of David and Judith (Peixotto) Hays, 
was born at the ancestral home at Pleasantville, March 28, 1854. He 
received his early education in the public schools of New York City, 
and then entered the College of the City of New York, from which he 
was graduated in 1873. Deciding to engage in the legal profession, 
he pursued studies to that end in the Columbia College Law School, 
also serving as a clerk with the firm of Carpentier & Beach. He re- 
ceived his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1875, and was admitted to the 
bar in the same year. In 1877 he formed a legal copartnership with 
ex-Judge Beach, under the style of Beach & Hays, and subsequently 
he was the partner of James S. Carpentier in the firm of Carpentier 
& Hays, which was maintained until Mr. Carpentier's death in 1885. 
He then became associated with Mr. Samuel Greenbaum in the firm 
of Hays & Greenbaum, which in 1898 became Hays, Greenbaum & 
Hershfield by the admission of Abraham Hershfield. Mr. Hays enjoys 
a recognized position as one of the ablest and most successful mem- 
bers of his profession in New York City. 

In his political affiliations he has always been identified with the 
Democratic party. For several years he was a resident of Kockland 
County, and during the presidential campaign of 1892 he purchased 
the Nyack City and Country and conducted it successfully as a Cleve- 
land organ. In 1893 he was appointed a commissioner of appraisal 
to award damages resulting from the change of grade of the Harlem 
Eailroad in the 23d and 24th wards; and in the same year he was 
appointed civil service commissioner of New York City by Mayor 
Gilroy. During a portion of his term in the latter position he served 
as chairman of the board. 

For several years Mr. Hays has had his country home at Pleasant- 
ville. He has at all times taken a public-spirited interest in the 
affairs of the village, and in recognition of his valuable services in 


procuring its incorporation he was chosen president of Pleasantville 
Tillage at the first charter election, held in March, 1898, and has 
been twice re-^elected to the ofiice since that date. 

He is a member of the Democratic, Lawyers', Keform, Sagamore, 
and other clubs.. He is actively identified with various organizations 
for benevolent and religious work, and is a generous contributor to 
useful societies and institutions. 

Mr. Hays was married, April 10, 1880, to Miss Rachel Hershfield, 
daughter of Aaron and Betsy R. Hershfield, of New York City. They 
have five daughters and one son. 

EOGH, MARTIN JEROME ^ (born in Ireland in 1853), like 
most young men of Catholic parents in the south of Ire- 
land in his time, had his higher education broken off by 
the failure of the Catholic University, which had been 
established at Dublin under the management of Cardinal Newman. 
The branches of this institution established throughout the country 
were attended by the flower of Ireland's youth, but the failure of 
the university at Dublin involved the closing of the branches, and 
many of the students came to the United States. 

Judge Keogh was one of these, coming to this country while 
yet a minor,- his only capital being an academic education. He sup- 
ported himself by work for the press while studying law, and in 
1876 was graduated from the Law School of the New York University 
as valedictorian of his class. 

He began practice in Westchester County, where he speedily won 
distinction in competition with such veterans as Isaac T. Williams, 
Edward Wells, Calvin Frost, Judge J. O. Dykman, and W. Bourke 
Oockran. One of his interesting cases was the defense of a poor 
negro on trial for murder. . The contention that the man's brain was 
diseased attracted the- attention of alienists everywhere, and an 
autopsy proved his theory correct. He defended prisoners in no less 
than twelve capital cases, and had the remarkable record of having 
acquitted every- one of them. He acted upon -the tradition of not 
hesitating to defend the most lowly criminal, while at the same time 
being counsel for wealthy men and great estates in and around New 
York City. In less than ten years after his admission to the bar 
he had accumulated a fortune and purchased a charming estate at 
New Rochelle. , ;. 

« From the History of the Bench and Bar of New Tork. 



Judge Keogli has adhered strictly to his profession, never taking 
part in public affairs, except that in 1892 he was one of the Demo- 
cratic presidential electors. At the meeting of the electoral college 


he distinguished himself by his fearless opposition to the passage 
of a resolution recommending the election by the New York legis- 
lature of the machine candidate to the United States Senate, the 
proposed resolution being intended as an insult to President Cleve- 


land, whose opposition to the candidate in question was well known. 
Judge Keogh's effective protest attracted wide attention, and he 
was warned that it would be hopeless ever to aspire to public office. 
This threat did not, however, deter him from accepting the Demo- 
cratic nomination for justice of the Supreme Court for the 2d judicial 
district of New York, made at the suggestion of judges of that court;, 
and although the State went Eepublicau by 90,000 majority in No- 
vember, 1895, he was elected, being the only successful candidate 
on the Democratic State ticket. His election was a personal tribute, 
the bar, irrespective of paxty, and the Republican press supporting 

judge Keogh was married in 1893 to Katharine Temple Emmet, 
great-granddaughter of the patriot and lawyer, Thomas Addis 
Emmet. He is a member of the Bar Association and the Vaudeville, 
Metropolitan, New York Yacht, Westchester Country, and Turf and 
Field Clubs, 

ROMWELL, DAVID, of White Plains, former county treas- 
urer of Westchester County, and now president of the 
White Plains Bank, was born in New York City, May 25, 
1838. He traces his descent from Eichard Cromwell,^ 
brother of the renowned Protector, and his family has been iden- 
tified with What is now the State of New York for nearly two hun- 
dred and fifty years, and first became resident in Westchester County 
in 1686. 

When he was eight years old his parents removed from New York 
City to New Windsor, Orange County, N. Y., where he received his 
early education. Later he attended the Cornwall Collegiate School, 
from which he was graduated as a civil engineer and surveyor. But 
after following his profession for about a year he decided to en- 
gage in mercantile pursuits. He first embarked in the grain trade 
in New York City. Prom 1862 until 1879 he conducted a general 

' Mr. Cromwell's line of deBcent is as follows : 1828 ; married Charlotte, daughter of Aaron Hunt, of 

I. Richard, brother of Oliver, the Protector. Greenwich, Conn. He spent his early life on Morrisania 

II. Colonel John, third son of Bichard. Manor, and from him Cromwell's Creek took its name 
m. John, emigrated from Holland to New Netherland, Later he removed to Orange County. 

and in 1686 was a resident at Long Neck, in Westchester VII. John, born July 21, 1803 ; died in 1888 ; married Le- 

Oounty, afterward known as Cromwell's Neck. titia, daughter of Abijah and Patience Haviland. of White 

IV. James, born in 1696 and died in 17T0. Plains. He was tor a time engaged in business in New 

V. John, born in 1737 and died in 1605 He married York City, but spent most of his lite on a farm at New 
Anna Hopkins, of Long Island, and had eight children, Windsor, Orange County. He was a member of the Soci- 
several of whom have descendants now living in Westohes- ety of Friends. He had four children, of whom the young 
ter County. He lived in the Preoinct'(now the Town) of est was 

Harrison, and was an active patriot in the Kevolution. , Vin. David, of White Plains, the subject of the above. 

VI. James, born November 6, 1762; died December 23, sketch. 


store at Eastchester, this county. In the latter year he removed 
to White Plains, where he has since continued. 

During his residence in Eastchester, Mr. Cromwell served for two 
years (1877 and 1878) as supervisor of the town. In the fall of 1878 
he was elected county treasurer, an office in which he was continued, 
by successive re-elections, for twelve years. In his political affilia- 
tions Mr. Cromwell has always been a Eepublican. On the other 
hand, throughout the entire period of his incumbency of the treas- 
urer's office, Westchester County was regarded as normally Demo- 
cratic. The peculiar acceptability of his services to the public is 
well indicated by these facts. 

Mr. Cromwell is one of the representative citizens of White Plains, 
and has been identified in an exceptional manner with the local 
interests of that community. In 1888 he was instrumental in or- 
ganizing the White Plains Building and Loan Association, and was 
elected its president, a position in which he still continues. He 
was president of the Citizens' Association of White Plains through- 
out its active existence. He has served for two terms (1894-95) as 
president of White Plains village. 

Since 1893 he has been president of the White Plains Bank, an 
institution established mainly by his efforts. This bank, under his 
conduct, has always enjoyed a high reputation, and is now one of 
the principal financial institutions of Westchester County. In addi- 
tion to his connection with it, he is president of the Home Savings 
Bank of White, Plains and director of the People's Bank of Mount 
Vernon. He is a member of the New York State Bankers' Associa- 
tion, and in 1897-98 served as chairman of Group VI of that organi- 
zation. He is a leading member of the Presbyterian Church of White 
Plains, and. chairman of its board of trustees. 

Mr. Cromwell was married, December 3, 1873, to Fannie Deuel, 
daughter of Thomas W. and Julia Deuel, of New York City. 

^m ACE, LEVI HAMILTON, founder and until his death at the 
Wm head of the large manufacturing and importing establish- 
||^P ment of L. H. Mace & Company, Houston Street, New York, 
■ ' was born at Eye, near Northampton, N. H., January 26, 

1825, and died at his residence at Williams's Bridge, N. Y., October 20, 
1896. He was the third of a family of ten, six sons and four daugh- 
ters, his father, Henry Mace, being a farmer in quite poor circum- 
stances. At the age of seven he left home to work for a neighbor for his 
board, with the privilege of attending school. Kemoving at the age 



of fifteen to Salem, Mass., he was for the next five years engaged in the 
, grocery business at that place, and afterward for about two years he 
conducted a restaurant at Salem. He then removed to New York 
City and started in the refrigerator manufacturing business with 
John M. Smith. In 1850 he began for himself in the same line of busi- 
ness, and thus laid the foundation of the large establishment which 
bears his name. 

At the time of his death Mr. Mace had been a resident of Williams's 


Bridge for more than thirty-two years. He was always one of the most 
public-spirited citizens of that locality. For twenty-six years he was 
president of the board of education of district No. 2. He was a large 
and successful operator in Williams's Bridge real estate. He built 
the Union Church, dedicated October 21, 1865, which was sold to the 
Methodist Episcopal denomination and afterward to the Baptists. He 
was a director of the Bowery Bank, New York City, from its organiza- 
tion until a short time before his death. 


lAVIDS— STEPHENS— HAWES, and the old house.— One 
of the landmarks of the vicinity of Tarrytown, around 
which interesting Revolutionary associations cluster, is 
the old Davids house, which stands on the ridge over- 
looking the village of North Tarrytown from the south side of the 
Bedford road. This dwelling was erected about one hundred' and 
sixty years ago by William Davids, has been continuously occiipied 
by his descendants to the present time, and is still in substantially 
its original condition. 

William Davids, the builder of the house and the first of his name 
in Westchester County, was born November 6, 1707, and died Sep- 
tember 11, 1787. He was a Hollander, presumably being a son of 
(or otherwise related to) William Davids, of Flatlands, Long Island, 
who was a large taxpayer of that locality as early as 1683. At what 
date our William Davids came to Westchester County is unknown; 
but long before the Eevolution he was a, very prominent and respected 
citizen of Philipseburgh Manor, holding, among other offices, those 
of justice of the peace and supervisor. He was a man of wealth for 
those times, owning several hundred acres near Tarrytown and sev- 
eral hundred also in what was then the White Plains precinct. He 
was a member, and one of the elders, of the old Dutch Church of 
Sleepy Hollow. 

Immediately before the battle of White Plains (fought October 28, 
1776) General Washington, who then had his headquarters at the 
Miller house near White Plains, rode to the Davids house and in its 
large west room held a consultation with Lieutenant-Colonel Ham- 
mond and other officers regarding the military situation in the 
vicinity of Tarrytown and the measures that should be adopted for 
offensive and defensive warfare. The table around which the dis- 
tinguished party sat is still to be seen in the old house. As a result 
of the conference breastworks were thrown up on the Davids prop- 
erty. Subsequent visits to the place were unquestionably made by 
Washington during his various reconnoissances, etc., while encamped 
in Westchester County.^ 

The doorpost of the house bears the marks of a number of deep 
saber slashes— hewn into it in a spirit of wanton rage by several 
British horsemen, who one day galloped up to the house in the ex- 
pectation of finding Washington there, but learned that he had left 
a short time previously. 

It was at the Davids house that Paulding, David Williams, Van 
Wart, Dean, Eomer, Yerks, See, and Abraham Williams separated 
on the morning of the capture of Andre, the first three proceeding 
to the spot where they were destined to win immortal renown, while 



the remainder, less favored by circumstances but equally zealous and 
faithful, remained on the watch on Davids' Hill. 


William Davids, the settler, who built and first occupied the house, 
married (November 10, 1733) Nellie Storms, who died in 1794. They 


had a son William, who suffered a tragical and melancholy fate. He 
was one of the celebrated Westchester guides of the Kevolution, 
thoroughly devoted to the patriot cause, and pre-eminently faithful 
and efficient in the performance of his duties. On the 19th of July, 
1779, he was in an engagement with the enemy near Oroton Eiver, 
and, as testified by Ebenezer White, surgeon, was '■' wounded in a 
most shocking manner in both body and limbs, with both baul [ball] 
and bayonet, to the number of eighteen or nineteen wounds." ^ 
Strange to say, he survived for some years, although in a crippled 
condition, eventually dying of his wounds. 

The house and the farm belonging to it were- owned after the 
Revolution by John Davids, a grandson of William Davids, Sr. Upon 
the death of John Davids the property was sold, but the house and 
some of the land was purchased by Mr. John R. Stephens, who mar- 
ried Sarah, daughter of John Davids, and from this union five chil- 
dren were born, the only daughter, Annie Stephens, being now the 
wife of Mr. James B. Hawes. Mr. and Mrs. Hawes have long resided 
in the ancient dwelling, and take much pride in its historic associa- 
tions. The property is a part of the Stephens estate. 

JAMES B. HAWES is a well known citizen of North Tarrytown. 
He was born on the 25th of December, 1842, in New York City. Mr. 
Hawes descends from an old colonial and Revolutionary family, one 
of whose members was Captain Solomon Hawes, of the Revolutionary 
army. The father of J. B. Hawes, William Hawes, was for fifty-one 
years connected with the Greenwich Bank, of New York City. 

Mr. J. B. Hawes at an early age engaged in mercantile employ- 
ment in New York City, subsequently becoming connected with rail- 
road interests. Since his i itirement from business he has been living 
quietly at the North Tarrj'town home. 

ORTON, STEPHEN D., former sheriff of Westchester 
County and a prominent manufacturer and citizen of 
Peekskill, was born in that village on the 17th of Feb- 
ruary, 1837. He descends from one of the very oldest 
New York State families, being of the eighth generation from Bar- 
nabas Horton, a founder of the Town of Southold, Long Island, in 

' Tor particulars of this occurrence, and other matters of the Revolutionary Soldiers' Mo; ument Dedication," 
relating to the Davids family, see Raymond's " Souvenir p. 172. 


1640.^ His father, Hon. Frost Horton (born September 15, 180G; 
died November 11, 1880), was one of the best known and most useful 
Westcliester County citizens of his times. He represented lais assem- 
bly district in the legislature in 1858, and held many local offices in 
Peekskill, where he was extensively engaged in business. He mar- 
ried Phebe Tompkins, a connection of the famous Governor Daniel 
D. Tompkins, and had three children — Stephen D., the subject of 
this sketch; Cornelia, his twin sister (who died at the age of fifteen); 
and William James, a leading citizen of the Town of Yorktown, 
this county. 

Mrs. Phebe Horton died in 1894, having passed her ninetieth year. 
She had lived for sixty-four years in the house where she died. One 
of her sisters, Mrs. Katie Purdy, died at the age of ninety-five. 

Stephen D. Horton was educated at the Peekskill Academy. At 
the age of fifteen he entered the foundry of the plow manufactory 
in which his father was a partner, and when only nineteen years 
old was admitted to partnership in the business. The firm was at 
first Horton & Depew, but was subsequently changed to Horton, 
Depew & Sons. A large part of its trade was in the South, and when 
the war came on it consequently suffered severely. In 1864 Mr. 
Horton sold out his interest in the business. He next engaged in the 
manufacture of mowing machines as a member of the firm of Horton 
& Mabie, the firm style subsequently being changed to the " Peekskill 
Manufacturing Company." The business of this company was 
bought out by David L. Seymour, whereupon Mr. Horton, in asso- 
ciation with Mr. Mabie, purchased the stove-lining aoad firebrick 
manufactory of A. E. Free. In September, 1898, he bought Mr. 
Mabie's interest in the establishment, and since that date he has 
been its sole proprietor. 

Mr. Horton from an early age took an active interest in the local 
affairs of Peekskill, also participating in politics. At various times 
he has held the offices of trustee and president of Peekskill village; 
in the latter position he has served altogether for fourteen years, 
a record not equaled by that, of any other incumbent of the place. 
Prominent for very many years in the councils of the Democratic 
party of the county, he was nominated by that organization in -1882 
for sheriff, and was elected by 4,427 majority, the largest ever given 
up to that time for a candidate for county office running on a straight 
party ticket. He served as sheriff for one term. Recently — especially 

' The line of descent is as follows : 1. Barnabas ; 2. Joseph | 3. David ; 4. Daniel : 6. Stephen ; 6. Wright ; 
7. Frost i 8. Stephen D. 



since the year 1896 — ^Mr. Horton has had but little to do' with politics. 
Mr. Horton is a director of the Westchester County National Bank, 
of which his father was one of the founders, and also is a trustee 
of the Cortlandt Cemetery Association. He belongs to the Masonic 
fraternity (Westchester Commandery). He is a member of Saint 


Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church, of Peeksldll, and one of the 
trustees of the society. He is a member of the Empire State Society 
of the Sons of the American Revolution. 

He married Emily C, daughter of Joshua Horton, of Cortlandt. 
Their son. Dr. Stephen F. Horton, of Peekskill, is one of the most 
successful and popular physicians of Westchester County. 



ARTENS, GBED, a prominent citizen of Mount Vernon of 
the last generation, was born in Ehade, near Bremen, Ger- 
many, January 5, 1822, and died at his residence in Mount 
Vernon, May 3, 1893. After receiving a practical, educa- 
tion, he was apprenticed to learn the sugar-refining business, in which, 
by native intelligence and industrious work, he made himself an expert 


at an early age. About 1840 he emigrated to the United States and 
Qbtained employment in a sugar refinery in New York City. Beginning 
in a humble way and on a small salary, he gradually improved his 
condition until, in 1860, he became a partner in the famous firm of 
Moller, Hogg & Martens. This firm, after being changed to Moller & 
Martens, was finally reorganized into a joint stock concern, under the 
name of the North Eiver Sugar Refinery Company, continuing as such 


until its interests were purchased by the Sugar Trust, when Mr. Mar-' 
tens retired from active business life. 

He became a permanent resident of Mount Vernon in 1866, having 
previously for some years had a country home there. Although of a 
quiet and modest nature, very much disinclined to individual con- 
nection with public affairs, he always manifested a cordial interest in 
the substantial development of Mount Vernon, and at the time of his 
death was one of its most esteemed old citizens. To the progress of the 
community he contributed notably in various ways, especially by his 
enterprise in real estate investments and improvements, having com- 
plete faith in the future of the place. As one of the organizers, and 
president, of the Chester Hill Land Company, he was probably more 
influential than any other citizen in laying the foundations of the fine 
residential quarter that has grown up so rapidly in recent years. He 
was reputed to be the largest individual owner of Mount Vernon prop- 
erty, a distinction that still belongs to his estate. 

Aside from his real estate interests, Mr. Martens was active and 
prominent in varied connections as a public-spirited citizen of Mount 
Vernon. He was one of the founders of the original water company 
of the village, which drew its supply from the old artesian well, now 
long since abandoned. He was vice-president of the East Chester 
Savings Bank, a trustee of the Westchester Fire Insurance Company, 
and treasurer of the Wartburg Orphan Farm School, an institution of 
the Lutheran denomination near Mount Vernon. A communicant of 
the Lutheran Church both in New York City and Mount Vernon, he 
was one of its most generous supporters. He donated the land for the 
German Lutheran Church of Mount Vernon, on Seventh Avenue, and 
contributed largely to its building fund. Unostentatious in all the 
relations of life, he was yet a constant and liberal private giver to chari- 
ties and many worthy causes. 

He was married, September 22, 1852, to Mary Clara Lohman (also 
now deceased). Their surviving children are — Mrs. M. J. L. Hempy, 
William H. Martens, and Edward Martens, all of Mount Vernon. 

ENFIELD, GEOEGE J.,1 a former member of the assembly, 
was born March 24, 1826, at Camden, N. Y.j the youngest 
son of Fowler Penfield, of English descent, who took part 
in the War of 1812. On the maternal side Mr. Penfield 
was of French and Holland descent, of the families bearing the names 
of De Milt and Wormsley, that fled from the persecutions instituted 

^ This sketch is from Smith's *' Manual of Westchester County," 



against tlje Protestants, leaving their property to be confiscated, 
and landed on Manhattan Island when New York was but a small 
Mr. Penfleld had few advantages for acquiring learning. From 

boyhood to the age of twenty-five he was employed in farming pur- 
suits. Before he was twenty-one he removed with his father and 
family to Westchester County. For many years he was a resident 


of New Eochelle and took an active interest in all public affairs. 
On the breaking out of tlie War of the Eebellion he aided in fitting 
out the first regiment of volunteers vi^hich went from Westchester 

In 1862 Mr. Penfield was elected secretary of the Westchester Fire 
Insurance Company, and was subsequently chosen president of it. 
He was elected to various oflSces in the town and village of New 
Eochelle. He was one of the first elected trustees of the village of 
New Eochelle, in 1858; was supervisor in 1865 and 1866; later served 
several years as a member of the board of education; and represented 
the 2d assembly district in the legislature of 1867 and 1868. In the 
legislature he made an honorable record and gained the high esteem 
of his fellow-members. 

For many years Mr. Penfield was a member of Huguenot Lodge, 
F. and A. M., of New Eochelle, a prominent member of the First Pres- 
byterian Church, New Eochelle, and later a member and trustee of 
Grace Methodist Church. He died August 6, 1896, at his Wakefield 

ENFIELD, WILLIAM WAENEE, son of the preceding, is 
a leading citizen, successful lawyer, and popular judge 
of that portion of the old Town of Eastchester which has 
recently been annexed to New York City. He was born 
in New Eochelle, July 5, 1858. Through both his parents, George J. 
and Louisa A. (Disbrow) Penfield, he comes from fine old Westchester 
County stock. On his father's side he is a descendant of the noted 
De Milt family, and on his mother's of the Pells and Disbrows. He 
resides in the old De Milt homestead (Wakefield), on the White 
Plains road. 

Inheriting the sterling and energetic qualities of both his parents, 
Mr. Penfield at an early age displayed marked native abilities and 
a lively ambition for a successful career. He received a thorough 
education, being graduated from Yale, with high honors, in the class 
of 1879. After leaving college he was for a time employed in the 
insurance business in New York, which he left to accept political 
appointment. He studied law, and upon his admission to the bar 
engaged in practice in New York City, but, deciding to pursue his 
professional business mainly in Wakefield and vicinity, he opened 
a law office in that locality, where he has since continued. In addi- 
tion he has been associated in legal practice with Henry W. Smith, 
ex-district attorney of Sullivan County, at 115 Broadway, New York 
City, and still maintains an office there. 



From the beginniiig of his practice at Wakefield he enjoyed success 
and reputation at the bar, and took a conspicuous part in the local 
affairs of the community. He was one of the incorporators of the 
village, and for three terms was its president, meantime acting also 
as corporation counsel, entirely without remuneration. In the latter 
capacity his legal abilities and characteristic zeal and determination 
in the conduct of serious transactions were demonstrated by the per- 
formance of signally valuable services. He was successful in every 
case that he managed in behalf of the village. A number of these 
cases were of delicate and vital character, against wealthy corpora- 
tions, whose able and experienced legal representatives he met and 
defeated in the courts. 

Perhaps the most notable of the village suits thus won by Mr. 
Penfleld was that against the New York & New Haven Eailroad 
Company, to compel it to build bridges across the tracks at Becker 
and De Milt Avenues. This litigation, which was bitterly contested 
• by the company, resulted in the court's directing that the bridges 
in question be constructed at a cost of ijpt less than |29,000. Upon 
the occasion of the granting of the franchise to the Westchester Water 
Company Mr. Penfleld was instrumental in obtaining concessions 
from the company advantageous to the village. He was successful 
in a contest with the electric light company, which, seeking to com- 
pass its aims by stealth, had strung its wires on a Sunday. The next 
morning Mr. Penfleld, as president of the village, ordered the wires 
cut, aad then procured an injunction restraining the company from 
stringing its wires without the consent of the proper village officials. 
Subsequently, on condition that the village be allowed a number of 
free lights, the company was granted a permit to put up its wires. 

In the fall of 1897 he was nominated by the Democratic party for 
the office of justice of the 1st Municipal District Court of the Borough 
of the Bronx, and was elected by a plurality of 677 over his Repub- 
lican opponent, Hon. Eichard N. Arnow. This election was a striking 
proof of his personal popularity, Judge Arnow being recognized as 
the strongest candidate whom the Republicans could have named, 
and having unusual claims to continuance in the judgeship of this 
court, in which he had already made an excellent record. Judge 
Penfield's term is for ten years. His jurisdiction comprises the 
localities of Westchester, Unionport, City Island, Throgg's Neck, 
Williams's Bridge, Wakefield, and part of Eastchester. 

He has always been an earnest and active supporter of the prin- 
ciples of the Democratic party. On several occasions he has been 
offered the Democratic nomination for the assembly, but has uni- 
formly declined the honor. 


In early life he took much interest, as a citizen of Wakefield, in 
the creation and development of the fire department of the village; 
He was one of the organizers of the Nereid Fire Company, was its 
president from the beginning, and later was chief of the entire local 
fire department of four companies, continuing as such until the 
annexation of Wakefield to New York City. He was instrumental 
in securing to the members of the old Wakefield volunteer companies 
the privilege of admission to the New York City force on the basis 
of non-competitive examination. He was a member of the board of 
education of Wakefield village. 

He is prominent in the Masonic fraternity, and is a member of 
the Democratic Club of New York City, the Delta Kappa Epsilon 
fraternity, the Westchester Exempt Firemen's Association, and the 
Nereid Fire Association. 

IGNEY, JOHN McGEATH, of White Plains, former county 
clerk of Westchester County and a well-known member 
of the bar, was born on a farm near Saratoga, N. Y., 
July 22, 1853. His parents were Patrick and Ann 
(McGrath) Digney. He received his early education in the public 
schools, and then entered Charlton Academy, where he completed 
the preparatory course for Union College; but he was prevented from 
obtaining a collegiate education by the death of his elder brother, 
which placed upon him the responsibility of providing for his mother, 
sister, and younger brothers. 

In 1872 he became a resident of Yonkers, where he was engaged 
as a clerk in the hardware business and at the same time began to 
study law. The first political position which he held was that of 
clerk of the City Court of Yonkers, by appointment from- Judge Ellis 
(1880). On January 1, 1883, he was appointed deputy county clerk 
by County Clerk James F. D. Crane. The ofiice of county clerk be- 
coming vacant in November, 1885, he was appointed by Governor 
Hill to fill the vacancy. In 1886 he was nominated by the Democratic 
party for a full term as county clerk, and was elected by 3,800 
majority. He was re-elected in 1889 and again in 1892, receiving 
upon the latter occasion the largest majority ever given up to that 
time in Westchester County to a candidate for public oflftce. He 
retired from the clerkship in 1895, declining his party nomination 
for another term. 

Mr. Digney was admitted to the bar in 1880, having completed his 
law studies in the office of the Hon. Matthew H. Ellis, of Yonkers. 



He became a permanent resident of White Plains in 1895, and is 
known as one of tHe successful legal practitioners of that village 





\M "»™ 

and of Westchester County. His law firm is Digney & Horton. 
Under the act creating a water board for White Plains village 


he was appointed • a water commissioner, and subseqiiently was 
elected president of the board. 

Since the completion of his twelve years' service as county clerk 
Mr. Digney has devoted himself exclusively to the practice of his 
profession. In 1896 he received the Democratic nomination for rep- 
resentative in congress, but declined it. He has, however, retained 
his interest in politics, and is to-day one of the leaders of the Demo- 
cratic party in Westchester County. He represented the 16th con- 
gressional district of the State of New York as delegate in the Demo- 
cratic national convention held at Kaiisas Gity in July, 1900. The 
only question about which the members of that body were at variance 
was whether the celebrated financial plank of the Chicago platform 
of 1896, known as the sixteen to one plank, should be reafllrmed. 
To those capa,ble of judging it was known before the convention 
met that the New York delegation would turn the scale one way 
or the other. In the caucus of the delegation held on that issue 
Mr. Digney took a strong position against the proposed reaffirmation, 
and was one of the leaders in the notable fight made by David B. 
Hill against the policy of indorsement favored by Mr. Oroker. 

He is a member of the New York Bar Association, the Westchester 
County Bar Association, and the New York Press Club. He was 
a friend of Charles Stewart Parnell in the latter's time, and has 
actively co-operated with Michael Davitt and other prominent Irish 
statesmen and politicians when the agitation has been carried to 
this country for the purpose of getting moral support for the benefit 
of the United States. He is a member of many patriotic Irish 
societies, and has always taken a zealous interest in the struggles 
of the Emerald Isle. 

Mr. Digney was married, February 20, 1879, to Sarah M. Shannon, 
of Yonkers, daughter of John Murphy, of Maiden, Mass. He has 
two children, Eobert E. Digney and Sadie E. Digney. 

OSHAY, NELSON GEAY, editor and proprietor of the 
Highland Democrat of Peekskill, was born in the Town of 
Oarmel, Putnam County, N. Y., July 16, 1850. He is 
the tenth child and seventh son of John and Susan (Bus- 
sell) Foshay, two old and well-known families in Putnam County. 
He was educated in the public schools, and at an early age entered 
upon his business career by beginning an apprenticeship in the office 
of the Putnam County Courier at Oarmel. Having mastered the trade. 



he removed to Peekskill in 1871, and on September 2, 1871, in com- 
pany with his brother, John Thomas Poshay, purchased the plant 
of the Highland Democrat, and has continued in possession ever since, 
since April, 1892, conducting the business alone, his brother having 
died at that time. 


Mr. P"'oshay has been active in politics ever since arriving at man-' 
hood's estate, and has been a delegate to various national, State, 
congressional, and other conventions. He has always been identified 
with the Democratic party, and in 1875 was nominated and elected 
one of the coroners of Westchester Gounty and served one term. In 


1886 he was appointed postmaster at Peekskill by President Cleve- 
land and filled the office for four years with distinguished credit to 
himself and to the best interests of the public service. During his 
term of office he established the free delivery system of mail matter 
in Peekskill. He has also been a candidate for various local offices. 

In religions affiliations Mr. Foshay is a member of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and has been secretary of the joint official board 
of Saint Paul's Church, Peekskill, for many years, and a member of 
many important committees. In social life Mr. Foshay is a member 
of Cortlandt Lodge, No. 34, F. and A. M., and held the office of trustee 
for a number of terms, which position he still holds. He is also a 
member of Cryptic Lodge, No. 75, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 
and of Harmony Lodge, No. 138, Knights of Pythias. For over twenty 
years he has been an active fireman of the Peekskill Fire Department, 
as a member of Cortlandt Hook and Ladder Company, No. 1, of which 
company he is an ex-president. 

Mr. Foshay was married to Amanda Wright Wessells on May 2, 
1878, and the result of this union is two sons, John Russell Foshay 
and Nelson Douglass Foshay, the elder of whom is a student at the 
College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. 

OOLBY, ALFORD WARRINER, lawyer, and member of 
the assembly from the 2d district of Westchester ^County, 
is a- resident of the former Town of Westchester ( now a 
part of New York City), where he was born on the 9th of 
April, 1873. He descends from an old New England family, which 
dates back to about 1640. His paternal ancestors for a number of 
generations were residents of Longmeadow, Mass. His grandfather, 
Alford Cooley, was a member of the Massachusetts legislature. His 
great-uncle, James Cooley, was at one time minister to Peru. The 
father of Mr. Alford W. Cooley, James C. Cooley, is a successful mer- 
chant in New Yoi*k City, and a prominent citizen of Westchester. 
He is known as Major Cooley, having served with gallantry in the 
War of the Rebellion; he was brevet major in the regular service, 
was on General Emory's staff, 19th Army Corps, -and after the war 
was for a time connected with the regular army, being 1st lieutenant 
in the 5th Cavalry. Major Cooley married Agnes Medlicott, of Long- 
meadow, Mass., the daughter of William G. Medlicott (born in Eng- 
land), a scholarly gentleman, who possessed one of the finest private 
libraries in the United States. 

Alford W. Cooley, after pursuing preparatory studies at Harring- 
ton's School, of Westchester, and Saint Paul's School, of Concord, 



N. H., entered Hai'vard College, from which he was graduated in 
1895 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He then began the study 
of the law, taking a two years' course of lectures at the Colum- 
bia College Law School, and in 1898 was admitted to the bar. Since 
January 1, 1899, he has been practicing his profession at Westchester. 
Mr. Oooley is one of the active and popular young Republicans of 
the Borough of the Bronx and that portion of Westchester County 
which is associated with Westchester Town in the 2d assembly dis- 


trict. In the fall of 1896, at the age of twenty-three, he was appointed 
by Mayor Strong to the position of school inspector for the 35th 
district. In 1897 he was a warm supporter of Seth Low for the 
mayoralty of the Greater New York, and in that connection organ- 
ized a Citizens' Union at Westchester which did effective work in 
Mr. Low's behalf. In 1899 he received the nomination of his party 
for representative in the assembly from the 2d district of West- 
chester County, and was elected. He made a creditable record in 



the legislature of 1900, being known as one of the cordial supporters 
of Governor Roosevelt in that body. 

Aside from his political activities, Mr. Cooley takes an interest in 
various progressive movements and organizations. He has been 
prominently identified with work on the East Side in New York 
City incidental to " The University Settlement." He is one of the 
members of the Taxpayers' Alliance of the Borough of the Bronx, 
and a member of the executive committee of the New York organiza- 
tion of the Civil Service Reform Association. 

His club membership embraces the Westchester Country Club, 
the City Club of New York, the Harvard Club of New York, and the 
Port Orange Club of Albany. He is a member of the Masonic fra- 

BENCH, ALVAH PURDY, editor and proprietor of the 
Mount Vernon Daily Argus, was born in Armonk, this 
county, February 4, 1867. His father, Samuel French 
(son of Edmund French, who came to the United States 
in 1840 from Kent, England), was a shoe manufacturer, mechanic, 
and farmer. Through his mother, Armenia A. (Sarles) French, he 

descends from old American fam- 
ilies. One of his maternal ancestors, 
William Arnold, was a soldier in 
Washington's Westchester' County 
campaign, and was wounded on the 
White Plains battlefield, October 
28, 1776. 

The youthful years of Mr. French 
were spent in active employments 
of miscellaneous kinds. He worked 
on his father's farm, carried the 
United States mail, was an assist- 
ant in a general country store, was 
a peripatetic book agent, and in 
that and other connections visited 
almost every country house in the 
northwestern section of Westches- 
ter County, clerked in a justice's 
court and in a law office, and, learn- 
ing the printer's trade, was succes- 
sively a printer's devil, journeyman printer, and composing-room 
foreman preliminarily to his active idehtiflcation with newspaper 



management. He obtained a good general education, partly in the 
public schools and partly under private tuition, and, while he never 
enjoyed the advantage of a collegiate course, received a certificate 
of scholarship from the New York University (State Board of 
Regents). Although his energies, since he became old enough to 
engage in professional work, have been wholly devoted to journalism, 
Mr. French has found time to pursue private studies in the principles 
of the, law, and has qualified himself for admission to the bar. 

From his seventeenth to his twentieth year he was connected with 
the: Mount Kisco Weekly, looking after the mechanical department 
of the paper and also serving as reporter. In 1887 he established 
for Mr. Charles S. Patteson, at White Plains, the Westchester County 
Reporter, and after acting for a time as associate editor of that news- 
paper he accepted a similar position under Ezra James Horton on the 
Eastern State Journal, also of White Plains. From October, 1889, to 
January, 1890, he was connected with a newspaper at Haverstraw, 
N. Y. He then purchased a half interest in the Mount Vernon Argus, 
with which he has continued uninterruptedly to the present time. 

Under Mr. French's editorial management the Mount Vernon Argus 
has gained a recognized position as one of the ablest, most influential, 
and most enterprising journals of Westchester County. In 1892 he 
converted it into a daily — a quite experimental enterprise, as up to 
that time no daily print had been attempted successfully in Mount 
Vei'non. The Daily Argus, was, however, successful from the start; 
and notwithstanding the large groAvth of the City of Mount Vernon in 
receut years, no competitive publication has ever rivaled it in the 
popular favor. In its editorial conduct it has been distinguished for 
lively, pungent, and practical opinion, with particular attention to the 
promotion of local public improvements; and in these regards, as 
well as in the essentials of a medium of information, the Daily Argus 
is to-day as potent and creditable a newspaper as there is in our 

Mr. French is a Democrat in his political convictions, and has 
always maintained the Argus as a stanch party paper. He has been 
a member of the Democratic City Committee of Mount Vernon since 
1893, and is at present captain of the 3d ward organization. 

From boyhood he has taken a keen interest in gathering materials 
relating to the history of Westchester County, both along the broader 
lines of research and respecting matters of curious and minute in- 
terest, local concern, family antecedents, and the like. He has thus 
become an expert on these subjects, and possesses probably the largest 
and best private collection in the county. He has recently estab- 


lished French's Westchester County Historical Bureau, tlirough 
which he furnishes information to professional and other inquirers. 

He has delivered occasional lectures on phases of Westchester 
County history. He is a member of the Westchester County His- 
torical Society, the State Democratic Editorial Association, the State 
Press Association, the New York Press Club, and Golden Rod Coun- 
cil of the Royal Arcanum. 

He was married, April 7, 1892, to Alice Martin Snow. They have 
one child, Romer Martin French. 

ILLS, ISAAC ]Sr., of Mount Vernon, former county judge 
of Westchester County, and one of the leaders of the 
county bar, was born in Thompson, Windham County, 
Conn., September 10, 1851. His paternal ancestors were 
farmers in the Town of Thompson from colonial times, and on his 
mother's side he descends from a family of Rhode Island Quakers, 
to a branch of Which General Nathaniel Greene, of the Revolution, 

He received his preparatory education at the Providence General 
Conference Seminary, of Greenwich, Conn., from which he was grad- 
uated, at the head of his class, in 1870. He then entered Amherst 
College, and in 1874 was graduated from that institution with the 
honors of the valedictory. In the fall of the same year he began his 
law studies in the Columbia College Law School of New York City, 
where he was graduated in 1876. Being admitted to the bar, he 
commenced the practice of his profession at Mount Vernon, organ- 
izing with Mr. Joseph S. Wood the law firm of Mills & Wood. This 
partnership continued until 1882. His law firm has since undergone 
several changes. Its present style is Mills & Johnson. 

In his profession he enjoyed from the first a high degree of suc- 
cess and reputation, being equally distinguished as a practitioner 
for signal abilities, thorough knowledge of the law, forceful qualities 
as an advocate, and great industry. In the fall of 1883 he was 
elected county judge of Westchester County, to succeed Judge Silas 
D. GifEord, and in 1889 was re-elected to that office by an increased 
majority. In his career on the bench Judge Mills sustained the best 
traditions of the Westchester County Court, over which so many men 
of distinction and pre-eminent character have presided. He retired 
from the judgeship at the end of 1895, having declined a nomination 
for a third term. 

Since leaving the bench Judge Mills has devoted himself exclusivelv 


to Ms profession, having law offices both in Mount Vernon and New 
Yorli City. 

Judge Mills has always been a Eepubliean, and for twenty years 
has been one of the recognized leaders of his party in Westchester 
County. When a candidate for judge in 1883 and 1889 this county, 
in its normal political tendencies, was regarded as strongly Demo- 
cratic, and, moreover, the general political conditions prevailing in 
both those years were rather unfavorable to the Eepubliean party. 
His election on each occasion was attributable largely to his per- 
sonal popularity. 

In the summer of 1900 he was nominated by the Eepubliean con- 
vention for State senator from the 22d senatorial district. 

Judge Mills is an accomplished public speaker, and has frequently 
delivered formal addresses on commemorative and other representa- 
tive occasions. He is also a forcible writer. He takes an especial 
interest in Jiistorical subjects, and in several connections has pub- 
lished the results of his investigations. He contributed to Scharfs 
" History of Westchester County " the chapter devoted to the Bench 
and Bar. * 

He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the Asso- 
ciation of the Bar of New York City, the Westchester County Bar 
Association, the Union League Club of New York City, the New 
England Society, the Sons of the Eevolutioh, the Society of Medical 
Jurisprudence, the Delta Kappa Bpsilon Club, the New York Eepub- 
liean Club, and the Masonic fraternity. 

ELJLS, JAMES LEE, is a native and life-long resident of that 
historic portion of the old County of Westchester which, 
since its incorporation in the City of New York, has been 
variously known as the " Annexed District," the " 23d 
and 24th wards," the " Great North Side," and, finally, as an integral 
part of the Greater New York — " The Borough of The Bronx." He 
was born in the village of West Farms on December 16, 1843. His 
parents were natives of England, his father, James Wells, emigrat- 
ing to this country in 1817 and settling in New York City. 

James L. Wells received his early education in the public school 
of his native village. In 1860 he entered Kenyon College, Ohio, where 
he remained one year. He continued his studies in Columbia College, 
New York City, and was graduated from that institution in 1865. 
While Mr. Wells was still a student his father died, leaving a widow 



and four uiinor children. He, was therefore forced to abandon 
his expectations of a professional career, and before the comple- 

tion of his .college course became engaged in business in West Farms. 
He soon became interested in public affairs, and in 1869 he was 


elected a member of the board of education of West Farms. He 
continued to serve in that position until the annexation of the town 
to the City of New York in 1874. He also became active in political 
matters, giving his support to the Eepublican party, with which he 
has since been closely identified. He served for a number of years 
as president of the organization in the, 24th ward and as a repre- 
sentative in the county committee. He was frequently elected a dele- 
gate to the State conventions of his party. He was elected a member 
of the State assembly of 1879 and represented the first district of 
Westchester County, which then consisted of the 23d and 24th wards 
of the City of New York, the City of Yonkers,.and the Town of West- 
chester. He was re-elected a member of the State assembly of 1880, 
and represented in that year the 24th district Of the City and County 
of New York, which then consisted of the 23d and 24th wards. He 
was unanimously renomiuated for the assembly of 1881, but de- 
clined the honor. 

He was not allowed, however, to retire from public service. In 
obedience to a popular demand in Which leading citizens, irrespective 
of party, united, he accepted a nomination as alderman for the 23d 
and 24th wards and was duly elected. By subsequent re-elections 
he served as alderman for the years 1881,. 1882, and 188,3. Through- 
out his three years of service in. the board of aldermen Mr. Wells 
was a member of the conimittee on public works, serving as its Chair- 
man for one year — an unusual compliment to his ability and fair- 
ness, considering the overwhelming Democratic majority in the board 
and the time-honored rule in legislative bodies to reserve the chair- 
nianships of all committees for members of the majority. He also 
served with General John ' Cochrane and Hugh J.^ Grant as a mem- 
ber 'of the special committee of the board of aldermen which inves- 
tigated the celebrated coupon frauds. In 1884 Mr. Wells declined 
the unanimous nomination of his party for member of the assembly. 
In 1885 he, was appointed by Judge Lacombe,- then corporation coun- 
sel, offtcial appraiser in connection with the acquisition of about 
4,000 acres' of land in the 23d and 24th wards and adjacent parts 
of Westchester County for the purpose of new parks and parkways. 
He served in the position for three years, having been re-appointed 
by the succeeding counsels to the corporation, now Judges Beekman 
and O'Brien. 

Mr. Wells was a leader in the movement which resulted in the 
creation of the Department of Street Improvements for the 23d and 
24th wards by the legislature of 1890. This measure conferred prac- 
tical home rule in connection witJi local improvements upon the 
section of the city above the Harlem River, and has done more for 


its development than any other act. At a non-partisan mass-con- 
vention held for the purpose of selecting a candidate for the head 
of this important department, Mr. Wells was unanimously nomi- 
nated for the position. Although deeply appreciating the popular 
confidence thus expressed, the pressure of his private business com- 
pelled him to decline the honor. 

In 1891 it became evident that further legislation was needed to 
perfect the newly-created department, and Mr. Wells was prevailed 
upon to accept the nomination for the assembly by the Eepublican 
and Citizens' conventions. He was elected by a handsome majority 
to the legislature of 1892, notwithstanding the fact that the district 
as usual wa.s overwhelmingly opposed to him politically, and gave 
Roswell P. Flower, the Democratic candidate for Governor in the 
same election, a majority of over 3,000 votes. In 1892 Mr. Wells was 
renominated for the assembly, and in 1893 he ij^as again nominated 
for commissioner of the Department of Street Improvements. In 
each instance he declined. 

In June, 1895, he was appointed by Mayor William L. Strong one 
of the commissioners of the Department of Taxes and Assessments 
of the City of New York. As stated by the mayor at the time, he 
was selected on account of his extensive and thorough knowledge 
of real estate values. The appointment was received with universal 
satisfaction and was recog-nized as one of the most popular acts of 
a memorable administration. Mr. Wells served as a tax commis- 
sioner with distinguished ability and fidelity until January 1, 1898, 
when the office terminated by reason of the enactment of the charter 
of the Greater New York. 

In the spring of 1897 Mr. Wells was chosen by the united action 
of the North Side Board of Trade, the Taxpayers' Alliance, and all 
kindred associations in the 23d and 24th wards to represent the in- 
terests of the people before the Greater New York Charter Commis- 
sion and the committees of the legislature having in charge the 
organization of the government of the new city. In this capacity 
his knowledge of public men and measures and his ripened experience 
and wisdom proved of the highest vakie in shaping those portions 
of the charter relating to the Borough of the Bronx. In the fall 
of the same year, when the first election under the new charter was 
to be held, he was tendered the Republican nomination for president 
of the borough, but on account of public and private duties he was 
compelled to decline. In November of the same year he was ap- 
pointed by the Rapid Transit Commission of the City of New York the 
real estate expert of the board to estimate the amount of damage 
which would be done to the fee value of all the lands and buildings 


under which the commission proposed to construct and operate their 
several rapid transit lines. In 1900 Mr. Wells was appointed by 
Governor Eoosevelt a member of the commission for the revision of 
the charter of the C5ity of New York. 

Mr. Wells's career in the assembly will long be remembered for 
the zeal and ability displayed by him in securing needed legislation 
for his district and for the fruitful results of his labors. Among the 
more notable local measures introduced by him and which became 
laws were bills for facilitating the improvement of the Harlem Eiver 
and the construction of the new bridges across that stream, for extend- 
ing the city water supply/ reducing expenses and correcting abuses 
in street opening proceedings, securing proper drainage for the 23d 
and 24th wards, reducing the rate of interest on unpaid taxes and 
assessments, and reducing the fare to five cents and securing through 
trains on the elevated railroads. His labors in the board of aldermen 
were quite as earnest and efficient as were his services in the assem- 
bly, and in a detailed way proved even more beneficial to his con- 
stituents, because of the greater opportunities afforded him in the 
city than in the State legislature to promote purely local measures 
of manifold kinds. These included hundreds of ordinances incidental 
to and necessary for the development and growth of a new section 
of a great city, the legislation which provided for the construction of 
the railroad bridge across the Harlem Eiver at Second Avenue, ajid 
the char-ters under which the elevated railroad system has been ex- 
tended north of 129th Street into the Borough of the Bronx. 

While this brief outline of the public services rendered by Mr. 
Wells shows that the popular confidence in him was not misplaced, 
it indicates but a tithe of the labor performed by him as a private 
citizen for the furtherance of the people's interests. For more 
than a quarter of a century he has been foremost in the advocacy 
of every movement for the advancement of the material interests 
of the trans-Harlem section of the city. Whether calmly present- 
ing facts before the city departments or legislative committees, 
or eloquently pleading the rights of the people from the platform, 
he never fails to impress his hearers with the fact that he is 
niaster of his subject and sincere in its presentation. Among the 
many important improvements which he has thus advocated and 
aided as a public-spirited citizen are the extension of the present 
and the building of new rapid transit lines and surface railroads, 
the erection of new public schoolhouses, the acquisition of the new 
parks and parkways, ' the construction of the grand boulevard and 
concourse, the establishment and development of the Botanical and 


Zoological Gardens, the building of the Bronx Kiver sewer, and the 
completion of the Harlem River ship canal. 

Mr. Wells is equally well known as a business man. He has been 
continuously engaged for the past thirty years in the real estate 
business, and his operations have been among the largest and most 
successful in the City of New York. His transactions have been 
chiefly in connection with the development, subdivision, and sale of 
large tracts in the upper parts of the city and in Westchester County.' 
These have required the exercise of good judgment and close atten- 
tion to detail. He is a hard worker, earnest in everything he under- 
talfes, and scrupulously honest in his public and private transac- 
tions. He is a man of positive character. With him language is not 
to conceal but to express his thoughts. His convictions are not 
momentary impulses, but conclusions based on patient and impartial 
investigation. These are some of the qualities which have made him 
successful as an official and have brought him substantial returns 
as a private citizen. Reliability is the keynote of his extensive busi- 
ness. It has inspired confidence in his sales, given value to his ap- 
praisements, weight to his conclusions before courts and commis- 
sions, and made him a safe advisor in the purchase and sale of 
realty. He is a director in the Twenty-third, Ward Bank and one 
of the trustees of the Dollar Savings Bank, and was instrumental in 
organizing both of these successful institutions. He was one of the 
original organizers of the North Side Board of Trade and has been 
its president for a number of years. By imparting to this body of 
representative citizens something of his own energy and public spirit 
it has become a distinct factor in the growth and prosperity of the 
Borough of the Bronx. He is a member of the Taxpayers' Alliance 
and president of the Bronx League. He has served as a director of 
the Real Estate Exchange, as president of the Real Estate Auction- 
eers' Association of the City of New York, and has been for years 
an active member of the leading social and political clubs of the 

Mr. Wells is still in the prime of his active life. Much as he has 
done, he is capable of doing more. He has proved equal to every 
demand made upon his time and duty and has won for himself an 
enviable reputation for public usefulness second to none in the dis- 
mct he has so faithfully served. That other and higher honors are 
in store for him is but a natural conclusion, A career which has 
proved so eminently useful to the people has no limitations. It is 
bounded only by the exigencies of the times, and when these are 
urgent the man and the occasion are brought together. It is fortu- 
nate for the cause of good government that men of the type of Mr. 


Bito'GKApHiiOAL 278 

Wells, men witliout political aspirations, ate alwdys i'eady to respond 
to the call of duty and to labor unselfishly for the betterment of the 

OBEETSON, GEORiGE W., of Peekskill, is one of the repre- 
sentative men of that village and of the northern section 
of Westchester County. Fbr rhore than thirty years he haS 
been engaged in manufacturing business in JPeekskill as a 
inember of the very widely-known firm of Southard, Robertson & Com- 
pany. He has at all times been actively and usefully identified with the 
interests of his community, which he has served in the important posi- 
tion of supervisor and village president. He has also had an honorable 
career in the service of the people of thfe State, having sat in both thfe 
assembly and senate at Albany as a representative from Westchester 

He was born in Nfew York City, October iS, 183^. His father, janiies 
Robertson, was a native of Tarrytown, this county. JBEe was a practical 
machinist, and invented the stop-cock for hydraiits, which caine into 
ii^e upon the introduction of the Croton water in New York. Later hfe 
built and operated a marble sawmill in the city, at the cbrner of Riv- 
iiigton and Attorney streets. He was a member.of the New York board 
of aldermen in 1847 and 1848. George W. Robertson's maternal grand- 
father, John Hilliker, was a Westchester Couilty minute man during 
the Revolution, performing! service iii Colonel Dinck's command, which 
was called Out to guard the Hudson River (October, 1777). The 
mother of Mr. George W. RobertsOn was Mary Aim Canfleld, born in 
South Salem, this county. Her fathei", Gold Canfield, was a soldier in 
the War of 1812, dying from the effects of exposure in the service; and 
her grandfather, James Canfield, was a private in Colonel Samuel 
Drake's Westchester County Minute Men (1775-76). Thus through 
both his parents Mr. Robertson is descended from old and patriotic 
Westchester County families. 

He received a good general edUCatiOUj attehding the public scKoolg 
of New York City, the Peekskill Military Academy, and the Charlottes- 
ville University. After completing his studies he leagued the car- 
penter's trade. UpDn the breaking out Of the War Of the Rebellion he 
enlisted in the 71st New York Regiment, an act to which he was 
prompted by strong fervor for the cause of the Union. He was V^ith 
his regiment in all its engagements-. He was wounded at Bull Run, 
where he personally saved from capture the flag of the Newburgh 
Howitzer Company. In 1862 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant,' 


and he continued in active service until the end of his term of enlist- 

Returning from the war, he accepted a position as manager of the 
Cincinnati Elevator Company. In 1868 he became a member of the 
firm of Southard, Eobertson & Company, stove manufacturers, of 
Peekskill and New York. The death of William D. Southard on May 
17, 1899, and of his son, William D. Southard, Jr., on November 17, 
1899, led to the organization and incorporation on February 1, 1900, 
of a stock .company under the style of the Southard Robertson Com- 
pany, of which George W. Robertson is president; Alfred S. Hughes, 
treasurer; George W. Butcher, secretary; and Martin Moses, super- 
intendent and manager. 

In politics Mr. Robertson has always been identified with the Repub- 
lican party, having cast his first Republicanvote while a soldier in the 
army. In 1881 he was elected a member of the assembly from the 3d 
district of Westchester County, and in 1890 he was chosen to represent 
his town on the board of supervisors of Westchester County. In 1893 
he was elected State senator from the 15th district, embracing this 
county, and he served in the Senate during the legislative sessions of 
1894 and 1895. In 1897 and 1898 he held the ofllce of president of the 
village of Peekskill. In that position he was instrumental inprojecting 
and organizing the trolley road of Peekskill and in securing for the 
village its new municipal building. IVIr. Robertson's public: services 
have been characterized by a conscientious, never-questioned integrity, 
and marked usefulness. 

He is prominent in the Masonic fraternity, having for six years 
been district deputy grand master in that order. He also takes an 
active interest in the Grand Army of the Republic, being a member of 
Vosburg Post, of Peekskill, in which he has held the office of com- 
mander. He is a member of Saint Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church,* 
of Peekskill. 

OCKWOOD, JAMES BETTS,,of White Plains, was born in 
Poundridge, this county, July 18, 1849, being the son of 
Alsop Hunt Lockwood, of Poundridge, and Mary (Rey- 
nolds) Lockwood, daughter of Gideon Reynolds, of Lewis- 
boro, this county. 

The LOckwoods^ were among the earliest settlers of Poundridge, 
and for many years were the most conspicuous family of that town. 

1 For an extended account of the Lockwood lamily, see " Genealogy and Colonial and Revolutionary History of the 
Lockwood Family in America " (Philadelphia, 1889). 



Their first American ancestor was Eobert Lockwoocl, who came from 
England to Watertown, Mass., in 1630. (Mr. James B. Lockwood is 
of the ninth generation from the ancestor.) The family subsequently 
removed to Stamford, Conn., whence Joseph Lockwood came to what 
is now Poundridge, as one of its original settlers, in the year 1740. 
One of his sons was the noted Major Ebenezer Lockwood, a conspic- 
uous patriot of the Eevolution, who was major of the 2d Westchester 
County regiment of militia, member of the provincial congress and 


'— ^ . .,. _ 


'" ^^^H|r 



the committee of safety, and first judge of the county court. Horatio 
Lockwood, son of Major Ebenezer, served as supervisor of his town 
and member of the legislature; and Horatio's son, Alsop Hunt Lock- 
wood (the father of James B.), was also prominent in public life, 
filling the oflaces of sheriff of the county and representative in the 

On his mother's side Mr. Lockwood also comes from good Kevo- 
lutionary stock. He is a great-grandson of Lieutenant Nathaniel 


Reynolds, who served in the patriot army and was taken prisoner by 
the British. His grandfather, Gideon Reynolds, was a well-known 
citizen of the Town of Lewisboro, and was proprietor of the stage line 
from Danbury to New York City. 

James Betts Lockwood received his preparatory education in the 
Betts Military Academy, of Stamford, Oonn., and the Bedford Acad- 
emy, and was graduated from Union College (Schenectady, N. Y.), 
with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, in the class of 1870. The Master 
of Arts degree has since been conferred on him by his alma mater. 
After leaving college he studied law in the offices of Clarkson IS". 
Potter (member of congress from Westchester County) and Peltons 
& Hill, of New York City. He was admitted to the bar in 1873, 
and since then has been pursuing his profession, with success and 
reputation, both in New York City and in Westchester County. 

Mr. Lockwood is a prominent citizen of White Plains, and has 
always taken an active interest in the public affairs of that com- 
munity. In 1884 he waS elected school commissioner, a position 
to which he was twice re-elected, serving altogether for nine years. 
He has also served one term as president of White Plains village 
(1888-89). At present he is a member of the White Plains board 
of education. 

He is a Democrat in his political affiliations, and although he has 
never been a candidate for purely political office has uniformly taken 
an active interest in the promotion of his party's cause. He has 
frequently been a delegate to conventions. 

He is a member of the Society of Colonial Wars, the Sons of the 
Revolution, the Patriots and Founders of America, the Columbian 
Order or Tammany Society, the Westchester County Revolutionary 
Monument Association, the Westchester County Historical Society, 
the F. and A' M., the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Demo- 
cratic and Transportation Clubs of New York City, and the Alpha 
Delta Phi and Phi Beta, Kappa Societies. 

He was married, October 29, 1877, to Cora Hamilton Martin, of 
New York City. Their children are Horatio, Mary E., Clara L., and 
Cora H. 

HE PRIME FAMILY was established in Westchester County 
in the first half of the present century by the well-remem- 
bered Dr. Alanson Jermain Prime, of White Plains, father 
of the present Ralph E. Prime and Alanson J. Prime, of 
Yonkers. The family name (variously spelled in olden times Priem, 
Prime, Pryme, and de la Pryme) is of Flemish origin, no fewer than 


sixteen of the name having been chief magistrates of the City of 
Ypres, in Flanders, from the year 1179 to the year 1680. From the 
Low Countries the ancestors of the American Primes fled to Eng- 
land to escape the religious persecutions of the Duke of Alva. The 
connection between the at present existing English and American 
Prime families has not yet been exactly ascertained. 

The family whose history is here briefly traced was founded in this 
country by James Prime, who was in New Haven in 1638 and in Mil- 
ford (Conn.) in 1644. About the same period another person of the 
name, Mark Prime, settled in Massachusetts. From him a not numer- 
ous progeny has descended. " Mark Prime and James Prime^ be- 
lieved to have been bi'others, both came to America together, or nearly 
together, and each consorted with the same kind of people — (settlers) 
who apparently came from Yorkshire, England; and there is reason to 
think that another member of the same family settled in North Caro- 
lina about the same time." ^ The line of descent from James Prime 
is as follows : 

I. James Prime, born in England ; was in New Haven in 1638 and in 
Milford, Conn., in 1644;, was a lotowner and a freeman (1669); died in 
1685, leaving considerable property; had three children, of whom there 
is record. 

II. James Prime, first child of James ( I. ) ; was a large landowner in 
New Milford, being made a freeman of that town in 1713 ; died July 18, 
1736, at the age (it is said) of one hundred and three years; had ten 

" cMidren. 

III. Eev. Ebenezer Prime, fifth child and third son of James ( II. )' ; 
born July 21,1700; graduated from YaleCoUege in 1718; was pastor of 
the church at Huntington, L. I., from 1723 to 1779, and was a student 
and scholar, collecting a library remarkable for his times, rich in the 
classics and theology. " He was a Kevolutionary patriot of the most 
pronounced type, and so well known that when the British troops came 
to Huntington and encamped in the graveyard, his grave was dese- 
crated as of a well ascertained and much hated rebel." He was the 
first moderator of the presbytery of Suffolk. He died October 2, 1779. 
He married, 1st, Margaret Sylvester, by whom he had two children; 
2d,, Experience Youngs,, by whom he had three children ; and 3d, Han- 
nah Carll (widow), by whom he had two children. 

IV. Dr. Benjamin Youngs- Prime, fifth child and second son of Rev. 
Ebenezer Prime and his wife. Experience Youngs; born December 20, 
1733; at Huntington, L. I. ; graduated from the College of New Jersey 
(now Princeton University) in 1751, having for a classmate Nathaniel 
StudUer, afterward a noted' general in the War of the Revolution; was 

' The Descendimts of James Prime, by Ralph E. Prime (1895). 


a tutor in Princeton in 1756; traveled and studied medicine abroad, 
receiving his doctor's degree from Leyden University in Holland in 
1764, after which he traveled east as far as Moscow. Like his father 
he was an ardent patriot in the Revolution, suffering persecution for 
his political opinions. He practiced medicine in New York City. He 
assisted at the pulling down of the statue of George III. He was 
driven from New York City by the British for too openly advocating 
colonial liberty, and went to Huntington, L. I. He was a man of 
varied accomplishments, being the author of many songs of freedom, 
and one of the best American classical scholars of his times. He 
freely used Greek and Latin, and spoke fluently in French, German, 
Italian, and Spanish, and, of course, in his own English. He was one 
of the " Sons of Liberty." He died October 31, 1731. He married 
Mary Wheelright, widow of Rev. James Greaton, and had five children. 

Y. Rev. Nathaniel Scudder Prime, fifth child and second son of Dr, 
Benjamin Youngs; born at Huntington, L. I., April 21, 1785; grad- 
uated from the College of New Jersey in 1804; was a prominent 
Presbyterian clergyman, filling several pastoral charges in New York 
State; was a voluminous writer on religious and other subjects, and, 
like his father, a classical scholar of high reputation. He received 
the degree of S.T.D. from his alina mater. He was a man of positive 
character and strong convictions. He died at Mamaroneck, this coun- 
ty, March 27, 1856. He married Julia Ann Jermain, of Sag Harbor, 
L. I. They had seven children.^ 

The Prime family has always been particularly noted for the vigor- 
ous characteristics of its members. For a number of generations, as 
we have seen, representatives of this family have been prominent in 
scholarship, literature, art, and science, and in the professions, and 
open and unflinching patriots. 

ALANSON JERMAIN PRIME, second child and flrst son of Rev. 
Dr. Nathaniel Scudder Prime and Julia Ann (Jermain) Prime, was 
born in Smithtown, Suffolk County, N. Y., March 12, 1811, and died 
in White Plains, this county, April 3, 1864. He entered Williams 
College in 1826, and was graduated from that institution in the class 
of 1829. After leaving college he continued the study of sciences at 
the Rensselaer (now the Polytechnic) Institute at Troy, N. Y., and 
then studied medicine, successively, at Cambridge, N. Y., Sing Sing, 

» Three of these children (younger brothers of the late Kev. Dr. Edward Dorr Griffin Prime, who also was an 

Dr. Alanson Jermain Prune and uncles of the present extensive contributor to current literature, being the 

Ralph B. and Alanson J. Prime) were: author of several books of travel, history, and biography. 

Eev. Dr. Samuel Irenaeus Prime, for many years editor William Cowper Prime, a well-known author and poet, 

of the New York Observer, and one of the most prolific and and an authority on questions of art and the history of art. 
esteemed authors of the last generation. 



N. Y., and in New York City. He received liis degree of M.D. from the 
OoUege of Physicians and Surgeons (Medical Department of Columbia 
College) in 1832. 

Dr. Prime began the work of his profession at Sing Sing, in this 
county, and later practiced at Schenectady, N. Y., Grand Haven, 

Mich., Plattekill, and White Plains, N. Y. He removed to White Plains 
in 1848, and continued to reside and pursue his profession there until 
his death, enjoying a very ^prominent position and reputation among 
the medical men of Westchester County. 
He possessed cultivated tastes and abilities as a scholar, a man of 


science, a poet, and a writer. For a, number of yea,rs lie edited and; 
Pflblislied a magazine of science. During the War pf the Rebellion 
he was one of the most prominent, fearless, and positive of the patrio,tic 
men pf- that day. 

He. married, September, 1, 1836., Ruth Havens Higbie (born May 23, 
1818). They had six children — a child who died in infancy, Ralph 
Earl, Mary, Kate, Margaretta (married Henry 0. Bissell), and Alan- 
son Jermain. 

RALPH EARL PRIME, of Yonkers, first son of Dr. Alanson J. 
Prime, was born in Matteawan, Dutchess County, N. Y., March 29, 1840. 
Through the family of his mother, Ruth Havens Higbie, and its, allied 
families, the Havenses, Earls, and others, he is descended, as in the 
paternal line, from the earliest New England settlers, and he has the 
blood of the Wheelwrights, the Howells, and the Pearsons. 

He received a preparatory education at the White Plains Academy, 
supplemented by private tuition, and, taking up the study of the law, 
was admitted to the bar in May, 1861, soon after the completion of his 
twenty-first year. Meantime (April 20, 1861) he had enlisted as a 
private in the volunteer army upon President Lincoln's call for troops 
to suppress the Rebellion. Being soon afterward sent to the front with 
his regiment (the 5th New York Volunteer Infantry), he was present 
in the battle of Big Bethel, the first battle of the war. He remained 
in the field for two years, participating in the siege of Yorktown, the 
battles of Hanover Court House, Mechanicsville, Gaines Mills or the 
Chickahominy (where he was desperately wounded, also being carried 
wounded through the actual conflict at White Oak Swamp), Peach 
Orchard, and Malvern Hill. Scarce well of his wounds, he was again 
in service, and participated in the battles of South Mountain, Antie- 
tam, and Blackford's Ford. In September, 1861, he was made 2d 
lieutenant. For gallantry on the battlefield of Gaines Mills he re- 
ceived two promotions, recognized and gazetted in orders of corps 
headquarters, first as Ist lieutenant (July, 1862), and afterward as 
captain (September, 1862) . In January, 1863, he was promoted to the 
rank of lieutenant-colonel, of the 6th N^ew York Volunteer Heavj 
Artillery. On March 6, 1863, he was nominated By President Lincoln 
to be a brigadier-general. 

Returning home in May, 1863, he resided for a brief time in White 
Plains, aiijd then, removed to Yonkers, where he hjas ever since lived 
a^d practi,ced his profession. For thirty-five years an actiye member 
of l^he Westchester^ bar, he i^, one of the best-known representatives of 
the legal fraternity of the county, sustaining, a. reputation, especially 
fo]? unflagging determina,;fciQn in tbe conducli of litigations. During the 


fopt ten yf ars of his professional career ke practiced alone. Since then 
his brother, Alanson J. Prime, ha,s ^eni associated with him, and for 
the past four years liis son, Ealph Earl Prime, Jr., has been a member 
of the firm. In addition to his Westchester County business he has 
for some y^^:?s been much occupied with litigation in adjoining coun- 
tijes,. a,nd he also has a; branch office in New York City, 

In 1869-70 Mr. Prinae served as trustee of the village of Yonkers, 
^nd from 1875 to 1877, inclusive, he held the position of city attorney 
of Yonkers. In 1895-96 he acted as a deputy attorney-general, under 
Attorney-General Haricock, for the specia,]i purpose of the prosecution 
of election fraud cases in Mount Vernon. 

During hOiS occupancy of the position of city attorney of Yonkers he 
conducted the first litigation brought by- the city against the county. 
This involved the relative assessed valuation of city real estate. After 
carrying the fight to a successful issue before the State Board of As- 
sessors, he suffered defeat in the Supreme Court at special and general 
Ijerm; but,, taking the case up to the Court of Appeals, he obtained a 
favorable decision, which resulted in removing taxes on Yonkers 
property to the extent of some two millions of dollars in taxable 

Among the nunjerous cases of special interest to the people of "West- 
chester County which he has successfully conducted have been a num- 
ber in behalf of private riparian owners against the New York Central 
and Hudson River Eailroad, growing out of the claim of that corpora- 
tijOn to lands one hundred feet wide on each side of its line, which 
Qlaisin was in effect the destruction or extinction of all the rights of 
riparian, owners. 

In, politics, he has always been an eaJ?nest Democrat, actively con- 
IjribJitiug his influence to the cause of his party, although, preferring 
the pursujita of his profession, he has never been a candidate for purely 
pplitical office. In the campaign of 1896, however, he was opposed to 
Mr. Bryau on the sound money issue, believing that course to be a 
Pi^triotic duty, but without any purpose or thought of any change of 
his party affiliations. 

Mr. Prime is one of the leading Presbyterian laymen of the county. 
Since 1883 he has. been an elder iij^one or the other of the Presbyterian 
churches of Yonkers. He enjoys the distinction of having been elected, 
iftjpderator of the presbytery of Westchester, and also of having been; 
the only ruling elder ever chosen moderator of the synod of New Yorl?. 
— ^the largest synod but one in the world, embracing the State of New 
Xork and all of New England, witli some nioe hundi^ed ministers and 
Chu;cches. He has been a delegate, siijccessively, fcom the Presbyteriajn 
Chftrch, North, to, the Pan-Presbyterian Councils held in, Belfast,, Ire 
land, in, 1884,; in Lonjd.on, England, in 1888; in Glasgow, Scotland,, in. 
1896; and in Washington, D. G, in 1899. 


Inheriting the scholarly and literary tastes of his family, Mr. Prime 
has devoted his leisure to their cultivation. He possesses probably the 
largest private library in Westchester County, comprising some 7,000 
volumes of general literature, besides 1,000 volumes of law books. He 
has made occasional contributions to the periodical press of a literary 
and miscellaneous character, and has written quite extensively on re- 
ligious subjects. He has taken an active interest in the genealogy of 
the Prime family, being the author of a memoir of the descendants of 
James Prime. The degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him by the 
University of Wooster (Ohio), and that of D.O.L. by the University of 

He is a member of the Society of American Authors, the New York 
Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, the Empire 
State Society of the Sons of the American Eevolution, the New York 
Society of Colonial Wars, the New York Society of the Order of the 
Founders and Patriots of America, and the Society of the War of 1812, 
and is a life fellow of the Huguenot Society of London. He is one of 
the oldest members of the American Bar Association^ and is a mem- 
ber and was one of the organizers of the Westchester County Bar 
Association. He is one of the leading Free Masons of Yonkers, being 
a member of Nepperhan Lodge, No. 736, F. and A. M., and having 
served as district deputy grand master and commissioner of appeals 
in the Grand Lodge, F. and A. M., in the State of New, York. He is 
at present grand representative of the Grand Lodge of Oregon near 
the Grand Lodge of New York. He has made extensive travels in 
Europe, Asia, and Africa, and has crossed the ocean ten times. ' 

On August 9^ 1866, he was married to Miss Annie Richards- Wolcott, 
daughter of Jacob Eichards, M.D., late of Weymouth, Mass., and 
foster-daughter of her maternal grandfather, Eev. Calvin Wolcott, late 
of New York City. They have had eight children — Kate, Ralph Earl, 
Jr., William Cowper, Gardner Wolcott ( deceased), Euth Havens, Julia 
Anna, Arabella Duncan, and Edward Dorr Griffin (deceased). The 
two surviving sons of Mr. Prime graduated from Princeton University, 
with honor, respectively, in 1888 and 1890, and each took a post-grad- 
uate course in the same institution, the one as a prize scholar, and the 
other as a fellow. Each chose the law as his profession. The oldest 
is the law partner of his father, in Yonkers, and the other is practicing 
his profession in the City of New York. 

ALANSON JEEMAIN PEIME (2), also of Yonkers, N. Y., the 
second son of Dr. Alanson J. Prime, late of White Plains, was born in 
White Plains, N. Y., September 13, 1852. He is also a lawyer, and 
was admitted to practice in December, 1872, and has ever since been 


practicing his profession in Yonkers, where he has for twenty-seven 
years past been the partner in business of his brother, Kalph Earl 
Prime. His tastes have been different from his brother's. He has 
been an enthusiastic hunter and an equally enthusiastic yachtsman, 
and is, and has been for a long time, the commodore of the Yonkers 
Corinthian Yacht Club and president of the New York Yacht Racing 
Association. He has had little, if any, ambition for political place. 

He married, in June, 1875, Irene F. Packard, and they have one 
child, Edith Louise. 

^raiHE WELLS FAMILY OF PEEKSKILL, now represented 
I^H in Peekskill by Edward, Charles Nassau, and Anna Hamill 
^Pil Wells, children of the late noted lawyer, Edward Wells, 
"" descends from Hugh Wells, or Welles, who was born in 

Essex County, England, in the year 1590, and who emigrated to 
America in 1635, landing at Salem, or Boston, whence he removed 
to Connecticut. The children of the late Edward Wells are of the 
eighth generation of the family in this country. Before tracing their 
American ancestry in detail we shall present a brief summary of the 
antecedent history of the Wells family in England, which is traceable 
to the Norman Conquest. 

When it became known in 1066 that William, Duke of Normandy, 
was about to invade England, he received large accessions from 
Flanders of warriors whose ancestors had been driven out of Britain 
some centuries previously by the Saxons, and who had since been 
residing in Flanders. One of these was Jocelyn de Welles. He 
was a knight in the conquering Norman army, and received from 
King William lands in Cukeney, Nottinghamshire, which he held 
in " knight's fee." He had a son Eicardus, or Eichard de Welles 
(born in Flanders about 1060), who was lord of Welbec or Welles 
Manor in Nottinghamshire. One of the latter's descendants (in the 
fourth generation from Jocelyn) was Thomas de Welles, lord of 
Welbec, who was born in Nottinghamshire about 1130, and " was a 
great warrior in all the wars, which subsiding in the reign of Henry 
II. (1154 to 1189), he founded the Abbey of Welbec." From him the 
line descends through Galfridus de Welles (fifth generation) and 
Hugo de Welles (sixth generation). Hugo de Welles " became one 
of the most important men in England. Advanced to the see of 
Lincoln as Archdeacon and Lord Chancellor of England, his power 
became very great. He was chief of the barons, and was instru- 
mental in obtaining from King John, in 1215, the Magna Charta, 


prepared by Ms gwb haHdL"^ His g:ramd;soii,^ Hugo de Welles 
(eighth generation), was born in the County of Lincoln about the 
year 1200; he was the successor of his grandfather, the chancellor, 
in office. From him the Welles or Wells family in America is de- 
scended' in a line coming down through four centuries to William 
Welles, prebendary of Norwich CathedraP and rector of Saint Peter's, 
Mancroft,. Norwich, whose seven sons all emigrated to this country 
early ia the seYenteenth century, one of them' being Hugh, the an- 
cestor of the Peekskill Wellses. 

The seven sons of Prebendary William Welles were Hugh, Joseph, 
Nathaniel, George, Thomas, William, and Eichard. Most of them 
were born at Colchester, an ancient market town on the west bank 
of the Eiver Colne and a stronghold of the partisans of Charles I. 
in the civil wars. The first to emigrate was Nathaniel, a Colchester 
citizen of very substantial character,, who diiring the religious perse- 
cutions of 1629 expressed strong Puritan sentiments, and was accord- 
ingly complained of to the ministers of the crown. He took ship 
for Boston in the same year, was the founder of Salem, Mass.,, and 
subsequently lived in Hopkinton, K. I. All his six brothers were men 
of like religious opinions,, and followed him to New England between 
the years 1630 and 1635., Hugh was the eldest. He came over with 
his youngest brother,^ Eichard, on the ship " Globe," and, as already 
stated, landed at Salem or Boston in 1635. 

The line of descent from. Hugh to the present generation is as fol- 
loAvs : 

I. Hugh, eldest son of Prebendary William Welles; bom in Col- 
chester, Essex County, England,, in 1590; came to Salem or Boston 
on the ship " Globe " in, 1635; removed to Connecticut and was one 
of the first settlers at Hartford (1636); later removed to. Wethers- 
field, Conn., being, also one of the first settlers of that place, and lived 
there- until his death, in 1645; by his wife, Frances (whom ke mar- 
ried in England 1619), he had four children, of whom, the eldest 

II., Thomas, born in Colchester, England, in 1620, and came to New 
England with his parents in 1635; became a resident of Hadley, 
Mass., in 1659,, and died there between September 30 and December 
14,, 1676;, had much land in Hadley and Wethersfield (Conn.), and- 

I'He app,earB tO'have b,een in very cloBealliancewit)i, ^-The-blshops were secular and ecclesiastical 15aronSf.and 

and in the confidence of, King John; and, being Loid married and sat in parliament. 

Chancellor- of- England, was doubtless the most confiden- ' The tombstoneof . Prebendary- "Welles is in the church, 

tiatadyiser of the. king,- His very numerous and impor- and near the altarj of, Saint Feter, Miuicroft at Norwich, 

tantofficialactsapdlustory,asgiyeninRymer's"Fo3dera,|' England, and bears the coat armor of the Barons Welles 

"Parliamentary Rolls," Hume's - and- other English his- of Lincolnahirej with a-bordure for difference.' Hewasfor 

tories, have been searohedi and' examined: and. make the- thirty years », priest, ofi great holiness, of life and un- 

reoord whjcj\ is given iniuU in the " History, of the Welles wearied diligence inpastoral work in Norwich. ' He died 

:5amily.,"p, 77; et-seg.- HIASi.2B,MWi aged.fiftyptoun 


also land m England valued at £100; married, in 1651, Mary, daughter 
of William Beardsley, of England. The ninth child and sixth son 
of Thomas was 

III. Noah, born in Hadley, Mass., July 26, 1666, and died in Col- 
chester, Conn., in 1712; his first child was 

IV. Lieutenant Noah, born in Hatfield, .Mass., August 5, 1686; was 
an officer in the army and a prominent man of his times; died in Col- 
chester, Conn., August 19, 1753; married Sarah and had 

ten children, of whom the seventh son and youngest child was 

V. Amos, born in Colchester, Conn., February 28, 1735, and died 
there August 24, 1801; married, first, Lydia Treadway, and, second, 

Eebecca , and had thirteen children by his first wife and 

two by his second; his eighth child (sixth son) by his first wife was 

VI. Noah, born in Colchester, Conn., September 8, 1773, and died 
in Liberty, Sullivan County, N. Y., June 3, 1829; he was a man of 
much refinement and education and great firmness — strongly at- 
tached to the Puritan faith which his ancestors had held for nearly 
two hundred years before him, served with distinction as an oflflcer 
in the War of 1812; removed from Connecticut first to Greene County, 
N. Y., and afterward to Sullivan County, N. Y.; was possessed of 
considerable property; married Dimmis Kilbourne, daughter of David 
Kilbourne, Esq. (she was born in Colchester, Conn., May 26, 1777, 
and died in Peekskill, N. Y., February 10, 1846); their children were 
Noah Hobart, Albert, Mary Elizabeth, Francis Henry,^ and (young- 

VII. Edward, born in Durham, Greene County, N. Y., December 2, 
1818, and died in Peekskill, this county, October 9, 1896; for partic- 
ulars of his life, see his; sketch, which follows; married, October 21, 
1856, Hannah Hamill (born November 3, 1833; died April 2, 1898), 
daughter of Eev. Charles W. Nassau, D.D., of Lawrenceville, N. J. 
(formerly president of Lafayette College), and had three children : 

* The following are brief notices of the four elder chil- stitutions, under the regents of the State of New York, 

dren of Noah and Bimmis Wells : for f orty-oue years, a longer period than any other person 

Rev. Noah Hobart Wells, D.B., born in Colchester, has held a like position He married Emma Louisa Has- 

Gomi., Augusts, 1804, and died m Peekskill, N T., April sert, Of New Brunswick, N. J., and had six children, his 

24, 1S72 He was a Presbyterian clergyman of much third child and only son being Henry Albert, born May 23, 

learning and elevated character; at various times princi- 1838, and died, unmarried, May 37, IS"*!, 

pal of Important academies; married Laura Elizabeth Mary Elizabeth Wells, bom January 7, 1811, and died in 

Stewart, of Danbury, Conn., who died at Peekskill, N. T., February, 1897. She married Rev. Hiram Bell, of Antrim, 

November 25, 1874; they had no children. N. H., and had six children. 

Albert Wells, bom in Colchester, Conn., March 31, 1807, Francis Henry Wells, bom in Saugerties, N. T., June 3, 

and died in Eeokuk, Iowa, March 1, 1*^97 He was gradu- 1814, and died in San Francisco, Cal., September 21 , 1881. 

ated from Rutgers College and admitted to the bar, but He was graduated from Rutgers College, lived for a time 

did not practice. After serving as principal of Newburgh in Illinois, was for four years principal of the academy at 

Academy he became principal of the Mount Pleasant Acad- Kingston, Ulster County, N. Y , was admitted to the bar 

emy at Sing Sing (this co^unty), and in 1843 was elected in this State, removed to California, and resided in San 

principal of the Peekskill Academy, wher% he remained for Francisco untii his death, Septetnber 21, 1881. He never 

thirty years. He was principal of these incorporated in- married. 


VIII. Edward, born November 25, 1862 (noticed below); Charles 
Nassau, born December 22, 1864 (noticed below); and Anna Hamill, 
born March 11, 1873. 

EDWAKD WELLS, of the seventh generation from Hugh Wells, 
the American ancestor of the family, removed at an early age with 
his parents from Durham, Greene County, N. Y. — his birthplace, — 
to Liberty, Sullivan County, N. Y. He attended the district school 
until his twelfth year, and from 1830 to 1837 was a student in the 
academies conducted by his brother Albert. His preparatory educa- 
tion was completed at the Mount Pleasant Academy, of Sing Sing, 
this county. In 1837 he entered the junior class of Yale College, 
where he was graduated in 1839 with honors and the degree of 
Bachelor of Arts. Three years later he received from his alma mater 
the Master of Arts degree. 

After leaving college Mr. Wells became a member of the faculty 
of the Mount Pleasant Academy, at the same time beginning the 
study of law at Sing Sing, in the office of General Aaron Ward, mem- 
ber of congress, and Albert Lockwood, afterward county judge. Just 
at that period the celebrated Washingtonian temperance movement 
was reaching its height and Mr. Wells, taking a conscientious interest 
in the cause, became actively identified with it and made numerous 
addresses in its behalf in different parts of the country. He remained 
throughout his life a consistent advocate of temperance. 

In 1841 he was appointed assistant to Hon. Alexander Wells, sur- 
rogate of Westchester County, and removed to White Plains, where 
he continued his professional studies under the preceptorship of 
Minot Mitchell, then the recognized leader of the Westchester bar. 
He was admitted as an attorney at the Supreme Court of the State 
in October, 1842, and as a solicitor in chancery in November of the 
same year. 

In the month of December, 1842, he embarked upon the practice 
of his profession at Peekskill in partnership with John Ctirry ( of the 
well-known Curry family of this county), who later removed to California 
and became Supreme Court judge of that State. He continued 
an active practitioner until his death in 1896 — a period of fifty-four 
years. In 1846, four years after his admission to the bar, he was 
licensed as a counselor in the Supreme Court of the United States. 
From the outset of his career his abilities and also his great con- 
scientiousness in his profession were generally recognized, and before 
he had reached middle life he was in the enjgyment of a pre-eminent 
reputation at the county bar. The advantage of his preceptorship 



in the principles of the law was continually sought by young men, 
and the list of those who were trained for the bar in his office in- 
cludes the names of several of the most eminent lawyers and public 

j^^m^ ■*<«B»V-: 


men of recent and present times. During the last nine years of. his 
life — 1887-96 — he was a member of the law firm of Barney & Wells, 
of New York City, also continuing his practice in Peekskill. 


In politics Mr. Wells was a "Whig until the formation of the Etepub- 
lican party, and then joined the latter organization, with which he 
always subsequently affiliated. Se was twice elected district at- 
torney of Westchester County on the Whig ticket, serving from 
January, 1851, to January, 1857. His conduct of that office was dis- 
tinguished by zealous devotion to its duties. 

He was an honored citizen of Peekskill, always identified with the 
promotion of its best interests. For many years he was president 
of the board of education of school district No. 8. He was one of the 
organizers and the vice-president of the Peekskill Savings Bank, a 
trustee of the Temporary Home at White Plains and the Westchester 
County Bible Society, a member of the American Board of Foreign 
Missions and of its financial committee, and judicial adviser and 
counselor of the board. He was a member of the First Presbyterian 
Church, and for forty years previously to his death had been a ruling 
elder, trustee of the presbytery, and eight or ten times a commis- 
sioner to the general assembly. In 1884 he was appointed a delegate 
to the Presbyterian Alliance, which met in London, but was unable 
to attend. 

We extract the following from a recent appreciative biographical 
notice of Mr. Wells: 

The high estimation in which his abilities as a lawyer were uniformly held might have secured 
for him an elevation to the bench of the Supreme Court, for which he was eminently fitted, had 
not his lot been" oast in a district so thoroughly Democratic as to afEord no such opportunity to 
one of opposite political views. In his knowledge of the law he was accurate and profound. 
While his learning was based upon an exhaustive knowledge of principles, he was yet able to 
store in an exceedingly retentive memory leading cases and precedents which he could cite in 
argument with extraordinary readiness and eSectiveness. With this wide learning he com- 
bined an unusually judicial cast of mind, while his convincing manner and elegant diction 
made him no less successful with juries than with the court. To these qualities he added an 
untiring industry which held no case mastered until he had searched out the principles in- 
volved to the very " bed-rock." 

A man of thorough knowledge, who, like Bacon, " took all learning for his field," he tilled 
it thoroughly. He read and spoke eight languages, was widely known as an authority on 
Roman law, and was one of the best Greek scholars in the State. As an authority and a con- 
noisseur of books Mr. Wells was well known, and during his life collected a large library of 
rare and valuable works, which was his constant delight as a source of pleasure and recrea- 
tion. His library contained little fiction, but was rich in elegant editions of the classics, in 
JEuglish literature, and in works on Roman and international law. .- , . 

In all the progress of the county, socially and religiously, he was a prime factor, a zealous 
and wise worker for all the interests of the people, and in educsttional, beneficent, and political 
afEairs he was an unselfish and tireless watchman. InoorruptiMe, steadfast, strong for tbe 
right, and true, his life was a living testimony to the value of honesty and fair dealing in all 
public matters, and a rebuke to treason to principle for the sake of party gain. He was a 
man whom men of all parties revered and whom corrupt men of any party feared like the 
disclosures of an adverse majority. He -was a man who' sought sifieertely to have "God in his 

As already noted, he was married (October 21, 1856) to Hannah 


Hamill, daughter of Rev. Charles W. Nassau, D.D./ of Lawrenceville, 
N. J., formerly president of . Lafayette College, and had three chil- 
dren : Edward, Charles Nassau, and Anna Hamill. 

BDWAED WELLS, Jr., eldest son of the preceding, was born in 
Peekskilli November 25, 1862, and has always resided in that village. 
He was educated at the Peekskill Military Academy and Yale College, 
being graduated from the latter institution in 1884, with the degree 
of Bachelor of Arts, being class poet. He has since had the degree 
of Master of Arts conferred upon him by the Columbia College School 
of Political Science. After leaving college he taught rhetoric and 
English literature in the Peekskill Military Academy (1884-85) and 
Greek and Latin in Dr. Oallisen's School, New York City (1885-86). 
He studied law at the Columbia College Law School and in the office 
of the Hon. Koscoe Conkling, and w-as admitted to the bar in May, 
1887. In June of that year he began the practice of law in New York 
City as a member of the firm of Barney & Wells, and in October, 1891, 
he became the partner of Avery D. Andrews (late police commis- 
sioner of New York City and adjutant-general of the State of New 
York) in the firm of Wells & Andrews. The latter firm was dissolved 
January 1, 1900, and since then Mr. Wells has been practicing alone. 
His practice has been varied, but has been chiefly in corporation 
law and the surrogates' courts. 

He has published a small volume of poems, and has contributed 
verse to current periodicals. He has also written and delivered nu- 
merous occasional poems, lectures, and addresses on literary subjects. 

He married, April 24, 1889, Bertha, eldest daughter of Aaron B. 
Reid, late of Rockland County. He has one son, Edward Bertrand, 
born February 3, 1890. Mr. Wells is an independent in politics and 
has never held public office. 

^ The family of Nassau takes its name from the GeTwaa They had ten children, of whom the eldest was Charles 

- ProTduce of Nassau (formerly a duchy), which now cousti- William Nassau, bom in Philadelphia, April 12, 1804, and 

tutes the southwestern part of the Prussian Province of died August 6, 1878; he was graduated in 1821, at the 

Hesse Nassau. Early in the eighteenth century Charles head of his class, from the University of Pennsylvania, 

Henry von Nassau, of the Duchy of Nassau, was "chief studied at the Princeton Theological Seminary, was licensed 

yagermeister " to Frederick August I., King of Saxony. to preach; after holding a pastorate at Norristown, Pa., he 

The son of Charles Henry von Nassau was Charles John traveled extensively for the benefit of his health, and upon 

von Nassau, who left. Saxony, went to Holland, and came to his return from abroad settled on an estate at Montgomery 

A merica about 1745 (as appears from the Pennsylvania Ar- Square, Pa. ; was professor in Lafayette College (Baston, 

chives). His son was Charles William Nassau, a prosperous Pa.) from 1841 to 1849, and was then chosen president of 

merchant of Philadelphia previously to the Revolution the college, a position which he resigned to establish a 

(who married Hester Cleimer). Their son was William female seminary at Lawxpnceville, N. J.; he was a man of 

Nassau, bom in Philadelphia. June 22, 1781, and died March eminent abilities and virtues; received the degree of Doctor 

17,1861; he .was an importer and became very wealthy; of Divinity; married Hannah, daughter of Robert and Isa- 

was prominent in the Presbyterian Church, a strong Demo- beUa Hamill. They had eleven children, of whom the fifth 

orat' in politics, and "in social life was the most exclusive was Hannah Hamill Nassau, wife of Edward Wells. She 

of men"; married Ann Parkinson, of a prominent old was born in Montgomery Square, Pa., November 3,1833, 

ipiladelphia family, which had removed ' to Baltimore. and died at Peekskill, N. T., April 2, 1898. 



CHARLES NASSAU WELLS, second son of the first Edward 
Wells, was born on the 22d of December, 1864, in Peekskill, where 
he is a prominent member of the bar, a justice of the peace, and a 
representative citizen of the yonnger generation. He received his 
preparatory education at the Peekskill- Academy and the Williston 

Seminary (Easthampton, Mass.), and in 1888 was graduated with 
the degree of Bachelor of Arts from Lafayette College. He then took 
a post-graduate course of two years at Harvard University. After 
the completion of his general education he entered his father's law 
ofiBce, also attending lectures at the Columbia College Law School. 
He was admitted to the bar September. 15, 1892, and thereupon en- 


gaged in professional practice with his father, which continued 
until the latter's death. Since 1896 he has been pursuing his pro- 
fession idone in Peekskill. He is in the enjoyment of a good practice. 

Mr, ^V ells has been active in politics since he became of age, and 
is one of the leading young Eepublicans of Peeksldli. He is now 
serving a term of four years as justice of the peace of the Town of 
Oortlandt, to which he was elected in 1898, running far ahead of his 
party's ticket. 

He is a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Club of New York, 
Oourtlandt Lodge, No. 34, P. and A. M., of Peekskill, the White 
Plains Lodge (No. 535) of the Benevolent and Protective Order of 
Elks, and the Society of Colonial Wars. 

UGSLEY, COENBLIUS AMORY, banker, of Peekskill, 
descends from one of the oldest colonial families of West- 
chester County. His earliest American ancestor was 
James Pugsley, who about 1680 came to this country from 
England, and with his brother Matthew ^ settled on the north side of 
the Harlem River, probably on the lands whi^ch in 1666 were patented 
to Thomas Pell as the Manor of Pelham. One of James Pugsley's 
children was John Pugsley, described in his will as " John Pugsley, 
gentleman, of the Manor of Pelham, Westchester County, New York." 
He had eleven children (nine sons and two daughters), of whom 
three removed to Nova Scotia ^ and two to Dutchess County, N. Y., 
the remainder — or at least those of them who left descendants — con- 
tinuing in Westchester County. Among the grandchildren of John 
Piigsiey was Samuel Pugsley, who was the gTeat-grandfather of the 
-subject of this sketch. Samuel was a patriot soldier in the Revolu- 
tion. He resided near Sing Sing, was a farmer and property-owner, 
and married a daughter of Jeremiah Drake. Their son, Jeremiah 
Pugsley, the grandfather of Mr. Cornelius A. Pugsley, served his 
country in the War of 18l2, rising to the rank of captain. He married 
Hannah Underbill Taylor, daughter of Gilbert Taylor, of the lower 
portion of Westchester County, and had three children — Samuel, still 
liviiig, who resides on a farm near Peekskill; Gilbert T. (noticed 
below); and Jane (deceased), wife of Cornelius Roe. 

Gilbert Taylor Pugsley, the second child of Jeremiah and Hannah 
Pugsley, received a common school education, and at a youthful age 
went to New York City and obtained employment in a dry goods es- 

1 MaUhew Pugsley left no descendants in the male line. one. Several of its members have figured prominently in 

' The Pugsley family in Nova Scotia is a large and notable public life. 



tablisliment. He was for many years successfully engaged in mer- 
cantile business. Since his retirement from active life he has been 
residing on the old homestead near Peekskill. He has always been 
known as a public spirited citizen, and, although never particularly 

active in politics, has performed useful public services in local office. 
Mr. Pugsley is one of the most respected old residents of the Town 
of Cortlandt. He married Miss Julia B. Meeker, daughter of Cor- 
nelius and Nancy (Eedding) Meeker, of the well known Meeker family 


of New Jersey. Mrs. Pugsley died October 19, 1886. Three children 
were born of this union — Samuel Irving Pugsley, a merchant of 
Peekskill; Sarah Amelia Pugsley, who also lives in Peekskill; and 
Cornelius Amory Pugsley. 

From the foregoing it will be observed that Mr. Cornelius A. 
Pugsley is of the seventh generation from James, who with his 
brother Matthew settled in Westchester County some two hundred 
and twenty years ago, and that he descends from an unbroken line 
of Westchester County ancestors. 

He was born on the Pugsley homestead near Peekskill, July 17, 
1850. He received his early education in the public schools, and later 
enjoyed private instruction. At the age of seventeen he became a 
clerk in the Peekskill jjostoffice, and from that position he W"as soon 
promoted to be a;ssistant postmaster. In 1870 he entered the West- 
chester County National Bank, of Peekskill, in a clerical capacity. 
With that old and noted institution he has ever since been identified, 
devoting to it his best energies, and for many years he has been its 
leading spirit. During his clerkship he was appointed to the posi- 
tion of teller of the bank; in 1879 he became its cashier, in the spring 
of 1897 its vice-president, and in the fall of 1897 its president. The 
Bankers' Mac/dzine, the well-known financial authority, in an appre- 
ciative article on Mr. Pugsley's services to the Westchester County 
National Bank, says: 

During the past ten years of his administration the bank has risen from the bottom round 
of the ladder until to-day it is one of the strongest and stanchest national banks in the State 
of New York. Within the decade a surplus considerably over the amount of the bank's capi- 
tal stock has been accumulated, and at the same time an annual dividend of six per cent, has 
been paid the stockholders. 

The marvelous success and grojyth of the bank is almost entirely due to Mr. Pugsley's 
indefatigable efforts in behalf of the institution, and to his remarkable business acumen, un- 
erring judgment, and extensive knowledge of men and methods of banking. 

By the abilities thus displayed he has become widely known in 
banking and financial circles. He is one of the most prominent mem- 
bers of the New York State Bankers' Association and also of the 
American Bankers' Association. In 1894 he was elected chairman of 
Group VII of the New York State Bankers' Association, and in that 
office he served one year. At the annual convention of the American 
Bankers' Association, held at Saint Louis in 1896, he was one of three 
men chosen by the State Bankers' Association of the United States 
as a member, for three years, of the executive council of the American 
Bankers' Association. 

As a public speaker Mr. Pugsley enjoys a high reputation, which 
in the last few years especially has been steadily extending. His 
addresses delivered on commemorative and other important occa- 
sions are of the oratorical order — marked by wide information, strong 


sympathy and sensibility, and great felicity of expression and ar- 
rangement. In politics lie is a Democrat, — one of the most prominent 
and respected leaders of his party in this county. 

Mr. Pugsley is a member and treasurer-general for the United 
States of the Sons of the American Kevolution, and is. also one of the 
leading members and officers of the Empire State Chapter of that 
organization. He is a member of the New England Society, the 
Chamber of Commerce of New York City, and the Harlem, Patria, 
and Twilight Clubs of that city. He is president of the board of 
trustees of the Field Library of. Peekskill, trustee and treasurer of 
the Field Home of Yorktown, trustee and treasurer of the board of 
the Peekskill Military Academy, a,nd an elder of the First Presby- 
terian Church of Peekskill. 

He was married, April 7, 1880, to Miss Emma C. Gregory, daughter 
of John H. and Catherine (BlakelyJ Gregory, of New York City. 
They have one child, Chester De Witt Pugsley. 

KIGGS, EDWIN, one of the prominent Peekskill citizens and 
merchants of the last generation, was born in that vil- 
lage on the 22d of March, 1821, and died in Fordham, New 
York City, June 14, 1897. He was the son of James Briggs, 
an early merchant of Peekskill (who died in 1866),and Hannali (Lent) 
Briggs (who died in 1890). After attending the district school of his 
neighborhood he began to clerk in the country store conducted by 
his father, which stood on South Street, very near where the Savings 
Bank Building now is. At about the age of seventeen he procured 
employment in the large mercantile establishment of Kufus B. Skiel 
in New York City, where he obtained a thorough familiarity with 
business methods. He then returned to Peekskill and formed with 
his father the copartnership of J. & E. Briggs, whose style, after the 
retirement of the latter, was changed to E. & F. Briggs. Subse- 
quently he purchased the entire interest and became sole proprietor 
of the business, which he conducted until 1881 under his own name. 
He retired from active mercantile life on the 1st of May, 1881, having 
disposed of his interests to an employee who for many years had 
been his head clerk. 

During his business career Mr. Briggs, save while in New York City, 
made but one change in location, and that by reason of the building 
being destroyed by fire. He was a man of sterling principles and 
practices in life, attaching essential importance to honorable dealing. 
Tliough of conservative character in his b.usiness affjtirs — a merchant 



of the " old school " — he was thoroughly identified with the spirit of 
intelligent enterprise to which the rise of Peekskill as a business com- 
munity was due, enjoying a degree of respect and exercising a. meas- 
ure of influence not surpassed by that of any other citizen of his times. 


He was one of the founders and charter trustees of the Peekskill 
Savings Bank (established in 1859), and was continuously-identified 
with that institution to the close of his life, being at his death its 


wbstohestek county 


first vice-president. Of his original associates on the board of trus- 
tees, only one siirvived him — Mr. Uriah Hill, Jr. 

In politics, as in all other matters, Mr. Briggs was unobtrusive. Pos- 
vsessed of the esteem and confidence of his fellow-citizens, he was often 
urged to accept political office, but uniformly .declined.: The only 
public position in which he served was that of treasurer of Union 
Free School No. 8 (Drum Hill). He very conscientiously administered 
the duties of that office for nearly a score of years, finally declining 
a re-election. In his partisan afliliations he was originally a Whig, 
but after the Avar joined the Democratic party, with which he con- 
tinued to be identified until his death. 

He was one of the most prominent members of the First Presby- 
terian Church of Peekskill (with which he united February 1, 1850), 
and served for a. number of years as one of its trustees. He was one 
of those who in conjunction with Chauncey M. Depew established tbe 
first Young Men's Christian Association in Peekskill. 

He was an active and enthusiastic Odd Fellow, being one of the 
oldest members of Cryptic Lodge, No. 75, of that order, which he 
joined on the 29th of May, 1846. 

About 1860 Mv. Briggs purchased the property' at the corner of 
Smith and Grove Streets, and erected upon it the Briggs homestead 
(shoAvn in the illustration), where he resided for the last thirty-six 
years of his life. 

He married, December 21, 1845, Sarah M. Starr. They had five 
children: Emma (who died in 1869), Tillie (married Ward Hunt- 
ington, of Eoehester, N. Y., and died in 1884, leaving-three children), 
James (who died in 1899), Annie, and George E. Mrs. Briggs died 
June 20, 1878. 

^^OUCH, FKANKLIN, of Peekskill, a well-known member of 
I the Westchester County bar, was born at Vail's Gate, in the 
Town of New Windsor, Orange County, N. Y., December 
11, 1852. His parents, Samuel W. and Susan J. (Miller) 
Couch, were residents of Cold Spring, Putnam County, N. Y., where 
his father was engaged in business, and in that village Franklin spent 
the first seventeen years of his life. 

He was educated in the common schools and the private school of 
theKev. Mytton Maury, rector of Saint Mary's Episcopal Church, Cold 
Spring. In February, 1871, he commenced the study of the law in the 
office of John C. Noe, of Newburgh, continuing with him until Oc- 
tober of the same year, when he c&me to Peekskill and entered the law 



office of Calvin Frost (now deceased). From the fall of 1874 until the 
spring of 1875 he attended lectures at the Albany Law School, from 
which institution he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of 
Laws. He was admitted to the bar on the 19th of May, 1875, and im- 
mediately afterward he returned to Peekskill and embarked upon 









"' ^^V^^H 





his profession. His practice has been pursued mostly in the courts 
of Westchester and Putnam Counties, and he enjoys a high reputation 
equally for ability and thoroughness as a lawyer and for conscien- 
tious devotion to the interests of his clients. 


Mr Couch has always been a Democrat in politics, and for many 
years he has been one of the conspicuous men of his party in this 
county. He has frequently been a delegate to conventions, and he 
usually takes an active part in political campaigns. 

He is one of the best knovrn authorities and writers on various 
pliases of local history, and in the departments of family history, bi- 
ography, and genealogy in the County of Westchester. For many 
years he has made a special study of the history of the Manor of 
Cortlandt, and he has also given much attention to Indian and E evo- 
lutionary history along particular lines of investigation. He has con- 
tributed many articles on historical and miscellaneous subjects to the 
.press, and has also delivered numerous lectures. For a while he was 
the editor of the Highland Democrat, the leading newspaper in North- 
ern Westchester. As a historical student and writer Mr. Couch is 
distinguished especially for exactness, and the published results of 
his researches are marked bv great clearness of statement and in- 
telligence of arrangement. Chapter XXII of this History was con- 
tributed by him. 

He has held several public offices, among them clerk and corpora- 
tion counsel of the village of Peekskill, clerk of the board of water 
commissioners, justice of the peace, and supervisor of the Town of 
Cortlandt and deputy coimty clerk of Westchester County. 

He is a member of the New York State and Westchester County 
Historical Societies, the New York Genealogical and Biographical 
Society, the New York State and Westchester County Bar Associa- 
tions, Cortlandt Lodge, No. 34, F. and A.M., Cryptic Lodge, I. O. O. F., 
the Knights of Pythias, and the Improved Order of Bed Men, Chosen 
Friei'ds, and United Order of American Workmen. 

He was married, December 28, 1875, to Leonora, daughter of John 
B. and Lavinia (Seaman) Du Val. Mrs. Couch died in December, 
1894. The children of this marriage are Clifford (associated with his 
father in his law practice), Calvin F., Clara L., Franklin, Jr., Lilian, 
Waltei", and Leonora. 

|UDSON, JOSEPH, of Peekskill, is a son of Obadiah Hudson, 
of Mattituck, Long Island, and Sarah A. (Craft) Hudson, of 
Hempstead Harbor, and was born at Commack, Suffolk 
County, N. Y., February 20, 1837. In both his paternal and 
maternal lines. he comes from original English stock. The Hudsons 
have been residents of Long Island for two centuries. 

The iirst of the family in this countrj^ was Jonalthan Hudson, who 
was born in England, May 8, 1,658, sfettled in Lyme, Conn., and in 1700 



established himself and family at the eastern end of Long Island. One 
of his sons, Samuel Hudson, was one of the first twenty freeholders 
of Shelter Island. He was county clerk of Suffolk County from 1722 


to 1730, and with his brother joined Captain Fanning's volunteers 
and served in the expedition against Canada. His wife, Grissel, ^as 
the daughter of the French Huguenot, Benjamin L'Hommedieu. In 


Mr. Malm aim's History of Shelter Island two hundred and seventy- 
four families are recorded which are descendants of Samuel and 
Grrissel Hudson. Richard Hudson, a brother of Samuel and the sec- 
ond son of Jonathan, was twice married. He and his first wife, Han- 
nah Booth, were the parents of Mr. Joseph Hudson's great-grand- 
father, Obadiah Hudson. Obadiah Hudson married Bethiah Hub- 
bard, daughter of Isaac Hubbard; they resided at Southold, and were 
the pa,rents of eight children: Obadiah, Leverett, William, Joseph, 
Isaac, Bethiah, Anna, and Hannah. When the British invaded Long 
Island, at the beginning of the Eevolution, the family was driven from 
its homestead and found an asylum on the opposite shore at Norwich 
Landing, Gonn., subsequently returning to Long Island. Their oldest 
child, Obadiah Hudson, was a patriot soldier under Washington. He 
married Chloe Pike, of Ma.ttituck, and they had four children, the 
youngest of whom — their only son — was Obadiah, the father of Jo- 
seph Hudson; the daughters were Mary, Bethiah, and Harriet. Mr. 
Hudson's father was born in Mattituck, April 4, 1797, and in 1826 mar- 
ried Sarah A. Craft, a native of Hempstead Harbor. They had nine 
children: Phebe, William Henry, Joseph, Emeline, Mary, Oscar, 
Caroline, George Otis, and Edwin. Obadiah Hudson removed to 
Parmingdale, Queens County, in 1847, and the family homestead has 
been there ever since — a period of fifty-three years — and it is still the 
home of Mr. Hudson's sisters. The father of Mr. Hudson was a man 
highly esteemed in the community, and lived to the advanced age of 
eighty-three years, dying in 1880. His Avife outlived him eighteen 
years, dying in December, 1898, in the ninety-second year of her age. 

Joseph Hudson was -educated in the public schools of New York 
City, where he spent his boyhood years. In 1851 he entered the serv- 
ice of the Hudson Eiver Railroad Company (now the New York Cen- 
tral and Hudson Eiver Company), and he continued in its employ for 
thirty-tAvo years. 

He has be^n a resident of Peekskill since 1855, and has always 
identified himself with its local interests and has been active in pro- 
moting its growth and improvement. 

He has long been one of the leaders of the Republican party in 
Westchester County. His first vote was cast for Lincoln in 1860, since 
which time he has always been a stanch Republican, an ardent ad- 
vocate of the principles "^of that party, and a successful leader. He 
has been a delegate to most of the State, county, congressional, sena- 
torial, assembly, and town conventions of the party in which his dis- 
trict has been entitled to representation during the past thirty-nine 
years. He has been a member of the Republican county committee 
find the Republican congressional committee of his district, and is 


now a member of the senatorial committee. He has been a member 
of the Eepublican town committee for Oortlandt Town during the 
thirty-nine years past. For thirty years he has been chairman of the 
Eepublican district committee for the Bd assembly district of West- 
chester County, and this position he continues to hold. 

He was appointed postmaster of Peekskill by President Grant in 
1809, and again in 3.873, and was appointed a third time, to succeed 
himself, by President Hayes, in 1877. In 1899 he was appointed dep- 
uty commissioner of Westchester County. 

For many years he has been a member of Saint Paul's Methodist 
Episcopal Church, of Peekskill. He is a member of Cortlandt Lodge, 
No. 34, Free and Accepted Masons, the Knights of Pythias, and the 
Ancient Order of United Workmen. 

He married, E'ebruary 16, ,1858, Caroline M. Ward, daughter of 
Caleb Ward, of Peekskill, and has one daughter. Miss Emma I. 

ANKS, CHARLES G., has for a score of years been a 
leading professional and business man of New Eochelle 
and lower Westchester County. He was born in' Middle 
Patent, in the Town of North Castle, this county. May 26, 
1847, and is a son of the late Captain James P. Banks and a grandson 
of James Banks and Sarah Banks, nee Sarah Lane. His mother, 
Thurza A. Banks, nee Thurza A. Palmer, was a daughter of Allen 
Palmer and Sarah Palmer, nee Smith. Mr. Banks has one brother, 
William L. Banks, of White Plains, this county, and two sisters, 
Clarissa A. Banks and Lizetta P. Hegeman, of Brooklyn, N. Y. The 
father of Mr. Banlis and his forefathers upon both sides were in- 
dustrious, hard-working farmers of the Town of North Castle and the 
central part of the county. 

At the age of seventeen years Mr. Banks left the farm to make his 
way in the world. In 1865 we find him a clerk for his uncle, the late 
George W. Banks, of the Le Eoy Place Hotel, at New Eochelle, and 
subsequently manager and then proprietor of this once well-known 
summer resort (destroyed by fire many years after). Hotel life was 
not entirely to his liking, and in 1872 he commenced the study of la,v/ 
in the office of Charles H. Itoosevelt, of New Eochelle. In 1874 he en- 
tered the'New York University and was graduated from the Law De- 
partment of that institution in the class of 1875. He was admitted 
to the bar at a special term of the Supreme Court, at Poughkeepsie, 
the same year. In July, 1875, Mr. Banks became the senior member 
of the well-known law firm of Banks & Keogh (now Judge Martin 
J. Keogh of the Second Department). 


A short time before Mr. Banks graduated, from the New York Uni- 
versity lie was elected upon the Eepublican ticket police justice of 
New Kochelle, for a term of four years. He was subsequently chosen 
corporation counsel of New Eochelle, which office he held for several 

In 1877 Mr. Banks became the Eepublican nominee for register of 
Westchester County. The election was a very closely contested one, 
and resulted in Mr. Banks's success by a majority of 1,777 votes, al- 
though the county went Democratic by over a thousand majority. 
Mr. Banks was again candidate upon the Eepublican ticket during 
the Garfield-Hancock presidential campaign, but was defeated with 
all the rest of his ticket in the county, although by but a few votes. 

Mr. Banks was elected president of New Eochelle village for three 
successive terms, a period of six years. He is known as a citizen 
devoted to the best interests of general and public affairs, is a large 
operator in and owner of real estate in New Eochelle and that section 
of Westchester County, and has erected numerous buildings in the 
neighborhood where he resides, among the most important being the 
New Eochelle postoffice building, of brick, three stories, one hundred 
and ten feet long, situated upon the corner of Huguenot and Bridge 
Streets, in which he has his law offices. He is a hard worker and 
thinks for himself. He is practically a self-made man, having grad- 
ually reached his present position . by his own efforts and staying- 

Mr. Banks married Fannie E. ftlorgan, only daughter of Charles V. 
Morgan and Susan M. Morgan, nee Badeau, of the Town of East- 

Mr. Banks, while attending closely to business, finds time to indulge 
in much that is a pleasure to him. He is a lover of a good horse, and 
has the reputation of knowing a good one when he sees it. He has 
owned a dozen or more with records of 2.20 or better, and is known as 
a gentlemanly breeder. He is the owner and proprietor of Fashion 
Stock E'arm. He is also a lover, of tarpon fishing and other sports in 
Florida, and for the past fifteen years has, with his wife, regularly, 
visited Florida during the winter months. He has a large and 
lucrative clientage, and is recognized as an authority upon matters 
pertaining to real estate. Millions of dollars pass through his hands 
in the settlement of festates and investment of trust funds. - He is a 
member of the State Bar Association, the Bar Association of West- 
chester County, and the Westchester County Historical Society. In 
the City of New Eochelle, where he h^s resided since 1865, he is a 
member of the Eepublican Club, the Board of Trade, the Eetired 
Firemen's Association, and numerous other organizations. 


EIGGS, JAMES, eldest son and third child of Edwin Briggs, 
was born in Peekskill, this county, December 14, . 1855, 
and died in Eochester, N. Y., August 11, 1899. He received 
his early and preparatory education in the Drum Hill 
School, of Peekskill, and the Peekskill Military School, meantime 
performing clerical work in his father's store. Subsequently he at- 
tended Amherst College for two years (where he was prominent in 
athletic sports and a member of the Varsity crew), and then entered 
the University of Eochester, completing his college course in the 
latter institution. Having decided to prepare himself for the pro- 
fession of the law, he pursued studies to that end with' Martin W. 
Cook, of Eochester. Being admitted to the bar January 6, 1880, he 
engaged in legal practice in Eochester, and soon became known as 
one of the able and very promising attorneys of that city. He en- 
joyed a reputation especially for painstiaking and methodical manage- 
ment of his clients' interests and for thoroughness in the preparation 
of his cases. 

From an early period of his residence in Eochester he was active 
and prominent in politics, casting his lot with the Democratic party, 
of which he was one of the most popular leaders, most efPective ad- 
vocates, and most energetic organizers. He was frequently a dele- 
gate to city, county, and State conventions, served on the county 
committee, was a member of the board of education from the 5th 
ward in 1892-94, and was twice elected (1895 and 1897) a member 
of the board of supervisors. In the summer session of 1899 he was 
elected chairman of the board, although his party was in the minority. 
He presided at the meetings of the board until within thirty-six hours 
of his death. Of a genial and most sympathetic nature, he was the 
object of many ardent friendships; and although a strong party man 
he enjoyed the personal regard of his political opponents. It is related 
that during his service on the school board, " if a poor girl seeking 
a place as teacher lacked a friend, she found one in James Briggs. 
Many a teacher in the schools to-day owes her appointment to his 

In the fall of 1898 he was the Democratic candidate for assembly 
in the 3d district of Monroe County, and by Ms great popularity polled 
a vote much in excess of the average given for his party ticket. 

He was a member of the New York State Society of the Sons of the 
Eevolution, and among other organizations, of the ilonroe County 
Bar Association and the Ord^r of Foresters of America. He was one 
of the most conspicuous members and officers of the last-named or- 
ganization in the City of Eochester. 



During Ms youtli lie united with the First Presbyterian Church of 
Peeksldll. Although his active life was spent in another county 
of this State, he was a representative son of Westchester County and 


is remembered with affection by many early friends in Peekskill 
and vicinity. His career is an inspiration, and in every way worthy 
of the race from which he sprung, and of which he was an honored 
member. ■ 


ueys are a very old Westchester County family, dating from the latter 
part, of the seventeenth century, when their first ancestor in this 
county, Eleazer Gedney — who came from Massachusetts, — settled in 
Mamaroneck. His descendants in successive generations have been 
identified with various localities of our county — notably Mamar- 
oneclq Eye, the " Sawpits " (Port Chester), Scarsdale, Crompond, and 
White Plains, — and from him also the very well known Gedney family 
of Orange County, N. Y., descends. The principal representative of 
the family in Westchester- County during recent times was the late 
Bf Etholomew Gedney, of White Plains, who died in 1897, at the age 
of ninety-six. He was the owner of the magnificent Gedney Farm, 
now the property of Mr. Howard Willets — without doubt the finest 
country home in the county. 

The present article is written Avith special reference to the White 
Plains branch of the Gedney family. But the numerous antecedents 
of the family require attention ; and from various sources of pub- 
lished and private information we are able to digest a tolerably com- 
prehensive account of it. « . 

The etymology of the name Gedney — in ancient orthography Ged- 
danejf— is derived from the old Norsk gedda, a pike or jack, and ey, 
an island; hence Geddaney — from which the present name is con- 
tracted, — ^signifying Pike Island. This estymon explains the heraldic 
bearing of the family, which it appears to have borne for several 
centuries :^ — -argent, two geds or pikes, in sattire, azure; crest, a bird 
perched on oak plant, proper. (In several of the northeastern coun- 
tim. of England the pike is still popularly termed the " ged.") 

It is probable that the Gedney family is of Norse origin. Accord- 
ing to a scholarly writer, the founder of the family presumably came 
from Norway to what is now Lincolnshire, England, early in the 
tenth century — probably about the year 920. "It was about this 
time that Harold Haarjfager, then the most powerful of the Norse 
villlngs:, or sea kings, conceived the bold design of expelling the wea.ker 
, but not less fierce sea kings from Norway, and uniting their petty 
sovereignties in his own person. After many years of sanguinary 
warfare he succeeded, and the effect of this enterprise was the settle- 
ment of hordes of these fierj^ and warlike spirits of the north through- 
out the northeastern part of England." 

'.Phe Gedney name goes back to the earliest period of recorded 
history in Lincolnshire, where there is a Gedney Parish, having 
venerable associations. The Parish of Gedney is very extensive. The 
church is disproportionately large and fine in comparison to the 
present village— a circumstance indicating that in former times the 

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place must have possessed considerable importance. "The archi- 
tecture is in the early Norman style. The building was erected by 
Scandinavian abbots of the' celebrated abbey of Oroyland, from 
whose time-honored remains it is distant about a mile and a half. 
These abbots appear to have regarded it with especial favor in its 
endowments and privileges. It is lighted by fifty-three windows, 
many of which are ornamented with stained glass and rich tracery 
of the early Norman period. In the early records of Oroyland Abbey 
there are instances of benefactions and endowments by ancestors 
of the Gedneys." Several of the family still continue to reside on 
their ancestral estates in Lincolnshire. The Gedney family in Amer- 
ica descends from 

I. John Gedney, of Norwich, Norfolk County, England, born in 
1603, who came to Salem, Mass., in May, 1637, on the ship "Mary 
Ann." He brougljt with him his wife, three children — Lydia, Han- 
nah, and John, — and two servants. He was admitted an inhabit- 
ant of Salem at a town meeting held June 7, 1637, and in the same 
year was granted eighty acres in that settlement. Subsequently he 
acquired much more»land, and he was always one of the most sub- 
stantial and well-to-do citizens of the place. For many years he kept 
the Ship Tavern, " famous as a good inn," and he served as selectman 
and was otherwise prominent as a citizen of Salem. He died (it is 
supposed) on the 5th of August, 1688, aged eighty-five. He was twice 
married, and had eight children, all by his first wife, Mary; his second 
wife was Catherine, widow of Lieutenant William Clark, of Salem. 
He had three sons, John, Bartholomew, and Eleazer, all of whom 
lived and died in Salem.^ 

II. Eleazer Gedney, third son and seventh child of the preceding, 
was born in Salem, where he was baptized on the 15th of March, 
1642, and died April 29, 1683. He was a successful shipbuilder, and 
left a considerable estate for those times. He married, 1st, Elizabeth 
Turner, probably a daughter of John Turner, a merchant, formerly 
of Salem and later of Barbadoes, and certainly a sister of the eminent . 
merchant. Colonel John Turner, Esq.; and 2d, Mary Pateshall. He 
had eight children, of whom the eldest was 

III. Eleazer Gedney, of Mamaroneck, the first of the name in West- 

L Of th'ese sons Bartholomew was the most noted^ serv- He ultimately took up his'resldence on a beautiful planta- 

ing as judge of probate for;.EB8ex Gountyf member of the tion of nearly two thousand acres on the Potomac, called 

court, of, >8aiatTnts for the ' colony and province, and Belvoir. Here George Washington was a frequent visitor ; 

' colonel.and commanider-in-chief of the military forces of in his boyhood years. (Indeed, the Washingtons were 

the Couilty. One, of his daughters, Deborah, married closely allied to the Fairfaxes, George's brother. Law- 

Prancis'Cl'arke ; and their child,- Deborah Clarke, became' renoe Washington, marrying a daughter of William 

the second wife of William Fairfax, Esq., a grandson of Fairfax by hie first wife.) Mrs. Deborah Fairfax was a 

the, fourth Baron Fairfax of Cameron- in the Peerage of woman of very lovable and noble character, and exer- | 

Scotland. William Fairfax was made manager of the Vir- cised much infiuence in forming the character of ihe 

ginian estates of his cousin, Thomas, sixth Lord Fairfax. future father of his country. 


Chester County. He was bom in Salem on the 18th of March, 1666, 
and removed to Mamaroneck, then an infant settlement inhabited 
by a tew farmers who acquired their lands from the Richbell estate 
and subsequently Enjoyed the friendly encouragement of Colonel 
Caleb Heathcote, th!e patentee of Scarsdale Manor. Eleazer probably 
came to the place in 1697, for on the 17th of March of that year he 
conveyed to Deacon John Marston the Salem shipyard which he had 
inherited from his fkther, and it is not likely that he continued in his 
native village after disposing of his property interests there. Eleazer 
Gedney was one of the foremost citizens of Mamaroneck. He served 
as town clerk from 1708 to 1715, and was a man of enterprise and 
thrift. He sailed his own vessel to New York City over the course 
which still bears the name of Gedney Channel. His tombstone is 
standing in the Gedney Cemetery near Mamaroneck. It bears the 
following inscription : " 1722. Here lies Eleazer Gedney, deceased 
Oct. 27, born in Boston Government." Beside it is the tombstone of 
his wife Ann. He had (it is supposed) two sons, John and James,^ 
of whom the elder was 

IV. John Gedney^ born in 1695 and died October 3, 1766. There 
agists a record of the purchase, in 1740, of one hundred and sixteen 
acres of land in Wliite Plains by John Gediney, of Scarsdale, who 
it i® supposed was! this John Gedney. He had three sons, Bartholo- 
mew, John, and Eleazer. Bartholomew is buried in the Gedney Ceme- 
tery near Mamaroheck; Eleazer bought land in Ulster County, and 
from him the Gedneys of Orange County are descended; the other 

V. John (jredney, was the ancestor of the Gedneys of White Plains. 
He lived at Crompond, in the present Town of Yorktown, this county, 
and had two sons, Bartholomew and John, and four daughters, 
Martha, Sarah, Sibby, and Mary. 

VI. John Gedney, younger son of the preceding, bought land in 
White Plains jointly with his brother Bartholomew. The latter died 
Unmarried two years before the beginning of the Revolution, and 
thus the whole White Plains property came into the possession of 

^4ajrtiAB (bom 1702, died 1766) was the ancestor of most of Mamaroneck to the Revolutionary powers. On the other 

the'Maftnaroneck Gedneys. He purchased lands in "White hand, these loyalist Gedneys, while earnest in their politi- 

Flains '(1733) and on Budd's Neck (1739 and 1T60), and cal convictions, were entirely estimable citizens, and re- 

presented .^joining farms on Budd's Neck to four of his ceived the protection of both the military and civil author- 

' ::.S0ns, James, Isaac, Caleb, and Jonathan, all of whom left ities against evil-disposed persons who assumed the cloak 

- descendants. Isaac was a loyalist during the Revolution of patriotism to pilfer friend and foe alike. The condign 

(as ^in^eed were several other of the Mamaroneck Ged- punishment visited by Colonel Aaron Burr upon some 

4eys). He was disciplined by the committee of safety, marauding soldiers of the American army who had plun- 

'b.eipg confined at White Plains during an early stage of dered the house of one of the Gedneys at Mamaroneck is 

the war, although he was subsequently released on parole. memorable in the annals of the Neutral Ground. (See our 

1 ;Mea|me of Gedney (or Gidney, as it was often spelled) History of Westchester County, p. 447.) 

^j^^res frequently in the lists of suspects reported from 


Jolin. The original Gedney homestead in White Plains stood where 
the house 6t George Vandreas now is, on the Mamaroneck Road; it 
was built before the Revolution by Bartholomew, and was not torn 
down until 1897. John Gedney was a stanch patriot during the 
Revolution. It is related that he was tretrayed by a Tory neighbor, 
who gave information to the British that he had buried two thousand 
pounds sterling of gold on his place. This resulted in bringing to his 
house a force of redcoats, who tied him to a tree and lashed him until 
he revealed the hiding place. At the end of the war he had nothing 
but his bare land. But the years which followed were prosperous 
ones for the farmers of Westchester County, and at his death in 1826 
he was the owner of six huiidred and fifty acres. He married Mary, 
daughter of Samuel Lyon, and had children Bartholomew, Elijah, 
John Benj'amin, Margaret, Esther, Abigail, Elizabeth Ann, Charlotte, 
Dorothy, and Mary. To each of his sons he left a farm. Elijah was 
a bachelor, who sold his place and went to New York, where he was 
engaged in business. John lived on his land until his death; he was 
a merchant, and held the office of State prison inspector. 

VII. BARTHOLOMEW GEDNEY, eldest son of John and Mary 
(Lyon) Gedney, was the proprietor of the celebrated Gedney Farm 
at White Plains, where he lived until his death, at the age of ninety- 
six, in May, 1897. He received some one hundred and twenty acres 
of his father's estate, lying on the east side of the Mamaroneck Road, 
and built a new house where the Gedney farm house now stands. He 
was known throughout Westchester County as a most progressive 
farmer, a reputation fully sustained by the splendid condition , in 
which he left his property. 

Mr. Gedney's life almost spanned the nineteenth century, He was 
a man of very companionable disposition, and his mind was stored 
with many historical reminiscences, which he related entertainingly. 
When a young boy he witnessed the passage of the first steamboat 
up the Hudson River, and, in 1813, from the top of a haystack on his 
father's farm, he saw an engagement in the Sound, off Rye, between 
three British men-of-war and several American gunboats. 

His reputation as one of the most scientific and successful farmers 
of the United States was such that, about fifteen years ago, when the 
Russian government sent a commission to this country to study 
American methods of farming, his place was one of those selected 
for the official inspection of the commissiqners. He was a competitor 
for a prize of |1,000, offered by the American Agriculturist, for the 
best crops grown in the United States, and the results produced on 
his farm in that connection, as determined by a representative of 



the newspaper, who measured his land and competing crops, were as 
follows: corn, 2431 bushels to the acre; oats, 89f bushels; rye, 54^ 
bushels; wheat, 56^ bushels; potatoes, 480 bushels; carrots, 1,060 
bushels; beets, 1,230 bushels; onions, 430 bushels; hay, 5^ tons. 
He was not active in politics, but took a zealous interest in public 

BARTHOLOMEW GEDNEY (7th)-Aqed Ninety-six Years. 

affairs as a citizen, being a strong Kepublican in his political prefer- 
ences. He was one of the leading Methodists of White Plains. 

Mr. Gedney married Ann Eliza, daughter of William Hunt, of 
Tarrytown, and had seven children: Ann Augusta,, John, William 
H., Mary, Jane, Bartholomew, and Telazael. John, his eldest son, en- 


listed as a private in the 6th New York Heavy Artillery, was wounded 
at Spottsylvania, and rose to the rank of captain; he is now living in 
Tremont, New, York Oity. William H., the second son, is married 
and lives in New York. Bartholomew still resides on the farm, which 
he superintends for its present owner, Mr. Howard Willets. 

HOWARD WILLETS, proprietor of the Gedney Farm at White 
Plains, is the son of John T. and Amelia (Underhill) Willets, and was 
born in New York City, April 6, 1861. His paternal ancestors were 
long residents of Long Island (near Hempstead), the first of the 
name having come to this country from England about 1660. On his 
mother's side he descends from the famous Captain John Underhill, 
and also from Coddington, the first governor of Rhode Island. 

The Willets family has been prominent for many years in mercantile 
affairs in New York City. The firm of Willets & Company was organ- 
ized in 1815 by A. and S. Willets, and has always been conducted 
exclusively by members of the Willets family. It was started as a 
hardware establishment, and subsequently became largely interested 
in the whaling industry and then in commission transactions, doing 
a large trade with California and Texas in hides, wool, and similar 

Mr. Willets was educated at the Friends' Seminary, of New York 
City. He was for a time connected with the ^yillets firm. In 1898 he 
purchased the Gedney Farm from the heirs of the late Bartholomew 
Gedney, and he has since made it his country home, improving it in a 
magnificent manner. It occupies the highest ground in that portion 
of the county, and commands views of the Hudson River, the Pali- 
sades, and the Sound. The grounds contain two and one-half miles of 
macadamized roads, and are most tastefully laid out. The stables, 
which Mr. Willets' has built upon the premises, are regarded as the 
finest in the State of New York, and his horses, some twenty-five in 
number, are of the most exquisite breeds. 

He is a member of the Union League, Players', Metropolitan, Calu- 
met, New York Athletic, Down Town, New York Yacht, American 
Yacht, Larchmont Yacht, and Knoll wood Country Clubs. 

GRAAF, HENRY P., a prominent business man and 
banker, was born in Herkimer, N. Y., November 24, 1825, 
and died at his residence at Oscawana-on-the-Hudson, 
July 11, 1896. Reared amid frugal surroundings, with 
but very limited educational opportunities, he realized at a boyish age 
the necessity of relying upon his own exertions to make headway in 


life. At the age of fourteen he left home and obtained employment 
at the cabinetmaking trade with G. B. Young & Company, in Little 
Palls, N. Y. Here he served a thorough apprenticeship, becoming a 
highly proficient craftsman. In 1843 he took a position as a journey- 
man cabinetmaker at Albany, N. Y., and in the same year he married 

Amanda M. tloyd, of Canajoharie, N. Y. In 1844 he einbarked in the 
furniture business on his own account in Cherry Valley, N. Y., and 
from 1845 to 1849 was engaged in the same business in Fort Plain and 

In March, 1849, having caught the gold fever, which then raged 
throughout the country, he sailed for California, making the voyage 
around Cape Horn. Arriving at the Golden Gate in the following Sep- 


tember, lie went at once to the mines at Wood's Creek, but after three 
months' experience of the rigors of the mining camp he decided to 
abandon jthat life and returned to San Francisco. Here he bought a 
ship, took out the masts, housed in the deck, and in this novel structure 
opened a grocery and provision store, furnishing supplies to the small 
rowboats bound for the mines, there being at that early period no steam- 
boat traffic on the Sacramento Elver. Later in the same year (1850) 
he left the business in the care of his partners and, coming to New York, 
purchased a stock of goods for the San Francisco market and returned. 

In 1852, having sold out his interests in California, he entered upon 
his successful career as a manufacturer and dealer in furniture in New 
York City, commencing in an establishment of moderate pretensions 
at 460 Pearl Street.. In 1857 he removed to 87 Bowery, where in 1859 
he organized with Eobert M. Taylor the firm of De Graaf & Taylor. In 
1862 branch establishments were added at 89 Bowery and 65 Chrystie 
Street, with two stores in Hester Street, the business assuming large 
proportions and the firm taking a leading position in the furniture in- 
dustry. In 1867 the principal store of De Graaf & Taylor was removed 
to 47 and 49 West Fourteenth Street, where the business was continued" 
until after the death of Mr. De Graaf's son in 1893. Meantime, in 1864, 
Mr. De Graaf transferred his personal business operations to San Fran- 
cisco, opening a large furniture establishment in that city, to which he 
shipped stock from his New York factory. This venture proved emi- 
nently successful. Later he returned to New York, where he continued 
until his death to give personal attention to his extensive interests. 

For twenty-eight years, from 1868 to 1896, Mr. De Graaf was presi- 
dent of the. Bowery Bank, of New York City. To the duties of this 
position he devoted himself most conscientiously, and his management 
of the affairs of the bank was marked by the same executive ability and 
dauntless energy which characterized his own prosperous career. The 
following resolutions were adopted by the directors of the Bowery Bank 
at the time of his death : 

Resolved, That the directors of the Bowery Bank received the intelligence of the death 
of Henry P. De Graaf with feelings of profound sadness and sorrow. By his long and hon- 
orable service as president of this bank, distinguished by uniform courtesy and kindness of 
demeanor, as well as by his ability, he endeared himself to his associates ; and now, at the 
close of his earthly career, they find a melancholy pleasure in giving to his memory this 
public expression of their respect and regard. 

Resolved, That the recent death of Henry P. De Graaf, in the midst of an honorable and 
useful career, is deeply lamented by his associates now here assembled, and is regarded by 
them not only as a loss irreparable to his family and to his many personal friends, but also 
as a public calamity ; that, while his friends and associates cherish, in their grief, the re- 
jnembrance of his virtues, which won for him their esteem and commanded their respect, the 
public is called on to deplore the loss of one eminently distinguished in mercantile life; and 
for unremitting diligence and stainless integrity in the various trusts which were reposed 
with him. 



ILL, URIAH, Jr., president of the Union Stove Works of 
Peekskill and of the Peekskill Savings Bank, was born Au- 
gust 13, .1817, at Red Mills, Town of Oarmel, Putnam 
County, N. Y. He is the son of Uriah Hill, grandson of 
Noah Hill, great-grandson of William Hill, all of the Town of Oarmel, 
and great-great-grandson of Anthony Hill, a native of England, v/ho 


came to America from Holland in 1725 and settled at Fox Meadows, 
now Scarsdale, Westchester County, N. Y. His mother was Anna 
Dean, daughter of Richard Dean, of Red Mills, and granddaughter of 
Richard Dean, a Revolutionary soldier who was killed at the storming, 
of Stony Point. Mr. Hill's early education was at the common schools 
in his native town, and in his father's home, his father being a scliool 
teacher for over half a century in the district schools of Putnam 


County. When he left school it may well be said that his education 
was then just fairly beg-un. 

At the age of sixteen he left home and became a clerk in the coun- 
try store of John Strang & Company, Jefferson Valley, Westchester 
County, N. Y., where he remained three years, when in April, 1837, 
he removed to Peekskill and entered the employ of C A. G. & M. De- 
pew, merchants. He remained with them five years and then engaged 
in the foundry and. stove business with his father-in-law, Reuben R. 
Finch, as head of- the sales department in New York City. Owing 
to impaired health, in 1853, he retired from the stove and re- 
moved to Monroe County, N. Y., and engaged in farming, remaining 
until 1855, when he returned to Peekskill and resumed his connec- 
tion with the foundry business with Reuben R. Finch and Reuben R. 
Finch, Jr., under the firm name of R. R. Finch & Company. The 
business was continued under that title and that of R. R. Finch's Sons 
until 1867, when it was incorporated by Mr. Hill, Reilben R. Finch, 
Jr., and Nathan Finch, as the Union Stove Works. Mr. Hill was 
elected president and has ever since continued as such. 

During the whole of his life Mr. Hill has been connected with the 
church of his fathers, the Presbyterian; in 1858 he was received into 
full membership, in 1860 he was elected ruling elder, and for many 
years he was superintendent of the First Presbyterian Sunday School 
of Peekskill. His active church work covers a period of over a half 
century, and during the whole of that time he has been a regular 
attendant upon divine services. 

In politics he has been a Democrat, although during the War of 
the Rebellion, believing in the active prosecution of the war, he voted 
the Republican State and national ticket. At the organization of the 
Peekskill Savings Bank, in 1857, he became one of its first trustees, 
and he has continued, ever since as such, and is now the only one of 
the first board in office. At the death of Oscar V. Crane he succeed- 
ed him as vice-president, and in 1881 was elected president. 

He was one of the organizers of the National Association of Stove 
Manufacturers, in which he has held the offices of member of the 
board of managers, vice-president, and treasurer. 

At the age of eighteen he received from Governor Marcy a com- 
mission as lieutenant in the 61st Regiment, New York State militia. 
At the outbreak of the War of the Rebellion he was beyond the age 
limit for military service, but furnished a substitute to battle for the 

For more than twenty years he has been a trustee of the Peekskill 
Military Academy. He has always talcen a deep interest in educa- 
tional matters, and especially in the public schools, always favoring 


the most liberal appropriations for them. Among the political oMces 
held by him are those of trustee and president of the Village of 
Peekskill, town auditor of the Town of Cortlandt, and in 1865-6-7 
supervisor of Cortlandt Town. 

April 10, 1842, he was married, by Rev. William Marshall, to 
Alethea, daughter of Eeuben E. and Deborah (Brush) Finch, of 
Peekskill. He has two children now living, Edward P. Hill and 
Sarah V. Hill, both of Peekskill. 

AND WATTS ORPHAN HOUSE.— The families of de 
Peyster and Watts, now represented by the distinguished 
General John Watts de Peyster, formerly of New York City 
and now of Tivoli, Duchess County, N. Y., are, for the purposes of this 
article, to be considered jointly. T'hus considered they have varied 
connections of historical interest and importance with Westchester 
County; and moreover they sustain most intimate relations, through 
lines of direct descent or throug'h ties of near consanguinity, 
to nearly all the principal original families of the county. In his 
paternal line General de Peyster is a direct descendant of Jacobiis 
Van Cortlandt, the founder of the Van Cortlandt estate of the " Little 
Yonkers " ( which now constitutes Van Cortlandt Park), and of Eva 
Philipse, his wife, who was a step-daughter of Frederick Philipse, 
the first lord of Philipseburgh Manor; and through these ancestors 
he is of kin to the Jays, another early Westchester stock of the pre- 
eminent order. In his maternal (Watts) line he descends both from 
Stephanus Van Cortlandt, the founder and first lord of Cortlandt 
Manor, and from the truly great de Lancey family, which first be- 
came identified with Westchester County by the marriage of James 
de Lancey (afterward royal chief justice and lieutenant governor) 
with Ann Heathcote, daughter of Colonel Caleb Heathcote, the 
first lord of Scarsdale Manor. ( General de Peyster is not, however;, 
a lineal descendant of Caleb Heathcote and Governor de Lancey, 
but of Ann de Lancey, the latter's sister, as also of Peter de Lancey 
— of " the Mills " or West Farms, — ^his younger brother.) It is thus 
seen that General de Peyster's ancestral lines go back, either di- 
rectly or collaterally, to three of the six original manorial families 
of Westchester County. These and other antecedents of the de 
Peyster-Watts families will receive due notice — in their iexact con- 
nections — in the progress of this article. 



Before proceeding to our detailed narrative we shall briefly sum- 
marize the more essential aspects of the connection of the de Peysters 
and Wattses, individually, with our county. 

The first appearance of the de Peyster name in the county was 
in the year 1701, when Cornelius de Peyster was associated with 
Caleb Heathcote and others in the land grants (conferred by Gov- 
ernor Nanfan) of the West, Middle, and East Patents, known his- 
torically as the " Three Great Patents of Central Westchester." ^ 
Later Abraham de Peyster (son of the famous Mayor and Governor 
Abraham de Peyster) became coheir with his wife Margaret to 1,110 
acres in the presentTown of Bedford — an in- 
herjltance which he received from his father- 
in-law. Jacobus Van Cortlandt. Abraham 
was an ancestor of General J. Watts de 
Peyster. He eventually disposed of his Bed- 
ford lands. Thus the de Peysters were 
among the very early landed proprietors in 
Westchester County. Their interest in their 
Westchester holdings was that of wealthy 
citizens of New York — an interest the same 
in kind, though not in degree or subsequent 
development, as that of the early Philipses, 
Van Cortlandts, and de Lanceys. 

On the other hand, on the Watts side. 
General J. Watts de Peyster is descended 
from an ancestor of the greatest West- 
chester County prominence. The Gen- 
eral's father was Frederic de Peyster, 
who married Mary Justina, Watts, daughter 

of the eminent John Watts, Jr. John Watts, Jr., had his country 
house in Westchester County, was one of our foremost citizens, and 
was for a number of years judge of our county court. It is his name 
which is perpetuated by the Leake and Watts Orphan House, of Yon- 
kers — the greatest philanthropic institution of this county, — founded 
by liim on an endowment of approximately a million dollars. The 
Orphan House is also indebted to his grandson. General de Peyster, 
for large benefactions. An account of it will follow our detailed no- 
tice of the de Peyster-Watts families and the formal biographical 
sketches of John Watts, Jr., and General J. Watts de Peyster. 


^ Cornelius de Peyster was a prominent member of the 
49 Peyster family of New York City. (He was not, how- 
ever, in the ancestral line of General J. Watts de Peyster.) 
It is of incidental interest in a general account of the 
Westchester County associations of the de Peysters that a 
member of the family was one of the original grantees of 

its virgin lands ; but aside from this the fact has no special 
importance, as it does not appear that either Cornelius de 
Peyster or any of his descendants or family connections 
became ultimately identiiied with the county as a conse- 
quence of the participation of Cornelius in the grants of 
the Three Patents. 


I. The ancestor of the de Peysters in America was Johannes de 
Peystpr, born in Haarlem, Holland, Avho about 1645 settled perma- 
nently in New Amsterdam (now New York City). He was a wealthy 
and conspicuous citizen of New Amsterdam under both the Dutch 
and the English regimes; he was burgomaster during the Dutch 
period and deputy-mayor (1677) after the English came into posses- 
sion! He was offered the mayoralty, but declined from his imperfect 
acquaintance with the English, and yet he could deliver as good a 
speech. Governor Dongan said, as any man out of parliament. He 
married Cornelia Lubberts and had eight children,^ of whom the eld- 
est was 

II. Abraham de Peyster, who was born in New Amsterdam, July 8, 
1657, and died in New York City, August 2, 1728. He was an opulent 
merchant and one of the most noted public men of his times. Among 
the important offices held by him were those of member and presi- 
dent of the council, associate-justice and afterward chief-justice of 
the supreme court, acting-governor of the Province of New York, 
treasurer of the Provinces of New York and New Jersey, colonel 
commanding .the militia companies (Schuttery) of New York City, 
and mayor and controller of the city. Although a man of the highest 
social position, he was thoroughly democratic in his principles and 
practices, and disdained to affiliate with the aristocratic faction which 
pursued the unfortunate Leisler- — that benefactor of our county — 
to his death. He was mayor of New York City after Leisler was con- 
demned, and refused to sign an address aspersing the character of 
Leisler which had been submitted for the sighatures of the luayor 
and common council. According to Dunlap's History of New York 

(i., p. 215) "The manuscript record in the coinmon council's office 
City Hall, New York, says that the common council and recorder were 
willing to sign; but de Peyster was too honest." A bronze statue of 
Abraham de Peyster stands in Bowling Green, New York City; it 
was presented to the city by General J. Watts de Peyster. He mar- 
ried Katherina de Peyster (a kinswoman), of Amsterdam, Holland, 
and had (>leven children,^ of whom the eldest was 

^ Two of these died in infancy, and another hadnoisaue. thes^ children deserve our notice: Catherine, married 

The others were Abraham Csee TI. above ; Maria, who was Philip "Van Cortlandt - a son of Stephanus Van Cortlandt 

the grandmother of the American General Lord Stirling of Cortlandt Manor,' — who ultimately b9came the head of 

of the Revolution ; Isaac, a successful merchant ; Johannes, the Van Cortlandt Manor family and was the ancestor of 

a merchant, and at one time mayor of New Torlc (lie is the Enjflish or so-atyled " eldest " branch of the Van 

said to have been the handsomest New Torjier of his pe- Corblandts and also of General and Lieutenant-Governor 

riod). and Cornelius, the co-patentee with Caleb Heathcote Pierre Van Cortlandt of the Revolution (see our "History 

and others of the three Westchester patents. Cornelius of Westchester County," p. 271); Elizabeth, married Gov- 

was a New York merchant, was captain in one of the city ernor John Hamilton, of Jfew Jersey; and Pierre Guil- 

militia companfes. and served as assistant-alderman and laume de Peyster, who married Catherine Schuyler and 

chamberlain of New York. had distinguished descendants. 

'^ In-addition to Abraham (III. above\ the following' of 



III. Abraham de Peyster, who was a merchant of New York and 
succeeded his father as treasurer of the Provinces of New York 
and New Jersey. He married Margaret, daughter of Jacobus Van 
Cortlandt — the 
younger son of OlofE 
Stevense Van Cort- 
landt and brother of 
Stephanus Van Cort- 
landt of Cortlandt 
Manor. Jacobus Van 
Cortlandt's wife was 
Eva Philipse, step- 
daughter of the first 
Frederick Philipse, 
of Philipseburgh 

Manor, this county. 
Jacobus owned two 
fine estates in West- 
chester County — one 
above Kingsbridge, 
where his son Fred- 
erick built the Van 
Cortlandt Mansion, 
which is now in the 
custody of the Colo- 
nial Dames of the 
State of New Yorli; 
the other, consisting 
of 5,115 acres, in the 
present Town of Bed- 
ford, . this county. 
The Bedford estate 
was divided in ap- 
proximately equal 
parts among his chil- 
dren, Frederick, Mar- 
g-aret (wife of Abra- 
ham de Peyster), 
Anne (wife of John 
Chambers), and Mary 

(wife of Peter Jay). The share of Margaret de Peyster and 
her husband was, as already stated, 1,110 acres.- (It was from the 
share of Mary Jay that the historic Jay estate- of Bedford, where 







Ohief-Justice John Jay spent the last twenty-eight years of his life, 
was created.) — Abraham and Margaret (Van Oortlandt) de Peyster 
had eleven children, of whom the eldest was 

IV. James de Peyster, who enjoyed high social position in New 
York City, also having a country residence in Dnchess County, N. Y. 
He married Sarah, daughter of the Hon. Joseph Reade, a member of 
the king's council, and had three sons and a daughter. All the sons 
were British officers during the Revolution, and the daughter mar- 
ried an officer in the same service. The third son was ' 

V. Frederic de Peyster, who at the age of eighteen was commisr 
sioned a captain in the British forces in America, and fought with 
gallantry and distinction for the king's cause. He married Helen, 
only daughter of Commissary-General Samuel Hake, of the British 
army. A recent biographer of General de Peyster says : " Through 
the latter's [Samuel Hake's] wife, Helen,i eldest daughter, of Robert 
Gilbert Livingston, General de Peyster also, descends from the first 
lord of Livingston Manor; through his second son, the founder of 
the orifjinal Duchess County (N. Y.) unassuming branch of the fam- 
ily whose descendants were loyalists in the Revolution; from John 
MacPheadris, who introduced the mining and smelting of iron in 
Duchess County, and from the founder of the well-known Beekman 
family in America." The son of Frederic and Helen (Hake)' de 
Peyster was 

VI. Frederic de Peyster, father of General J. Watts de Peyster, who 
was born in New York City, November 11, 1796, and died at Tivoli, 
Duchess County, N. Y., August 17, 1882. He wa^ a man of fine 
accomplishments and gifts, high character, and great public spirit; 
and at the tihie of his death it was said of him that he had been " con- 
nected as an active officer with more social, literary, and benevolent 
societies than any other New Yorker who ever lived." He was a 
graduate of Columbia College (from which he received the degrees 
of M.A. and LL.D.), a member of the bar and master in chancery, a 
militia officer (rising to the rank of colonel, and was military secre- 
tary to Governor De Witt Clinton), and an officer in various institu- 
tions, societies, and corporations. For many years he was president 
of the New York Historical Society, and he was equally prominent 
in other connections of similar importance.^ He published various 
writings — mostly on historical subjects, — ^the results of scholarly 
studies and reflections. He married Mary Justina, youngest daugh- 
ter of John Watts, Jr., by whom he had a.n only child, 

^ For a particular account of his career, and more family than we are able to Include in this article, see 
detailed sketches of other members of the de Peyster " The Empire State in Three Centuries," vol, iii. 



VII. General John Watts cle Peyster, to whom we devote a formal 
biographical sketch below. 

The Watts ancestral line of General de Peyster is, briefly, as fol- 

I. Kobert Watts (or Watt, as the name was originally spelled) was 
the first of the family in America. He belonged to the old Scotch 
family of Watt, whose prominent members were long seated at Eose 
Hill, then in the suburbs of Edinburgh. He was bom in Edinbtirgh in 
1680 and became a citizen of New York at about the beginning of 
the eighteenth century. In 1706 he married Mary, daughter of Will- 
iam Mcoll, lord of Nicoll Manor, of Islip, Long Island. Mary NicoU's 
mother was Anne, daughter of Jeremiah Van Eensselaer and Maria 

Van Oortlandt, and through her General de 
Peyster descends both from the first lord 
of Eensselaerswyck and the first lord of 
Cortlandt Manor. The son of Eobert and 
Mary (Nicoll) Watts was 

II. John Watts, Sr., was born in New 
York qty, April 5 (O. S.) 1715, and died 
in Wales, January 22, 1777. He held 
several of the most important offices under 
the crown in the Province of New York — 
among others, those of member of the 
king's council and the provincial assembly, 
commissioner to adjust the New York and 
New Hampshire boundary, and attorney- 
general of the Province of New York; and 
he was one of the most wealthy, conspicu- 
ous, and honored citizens of New York. 
In consequence of his firm adherence to the 
British government, he was forced to flee 
from his home, his magnificent estates were confiscated, and he died 
an impoverished exile in Wales. He married the beautiful Anne de 
Lancey, a daughter of Stephen de Lancey, the founder of the de Lan- 
cey family in this country; she was a sister of the illustrious Chief- 
Justice and Governor James de Lancey, who married Ann Heathcote, 
daughter of Colonel Caleb Hc^athcote, of Scarsdale Mandr, Westchester 
.County. The children of John Watts, Sr., and Anne de Lancey were 
six in number,^ the eldest being 

''John Watts, Jr. (Ill, above); Robert Watts, who mar. Archibald Kennedy and became Countess^ of CaBsilie ; 
,ried the eldest daughter of Maior-Gen«ral William Alex- Susan, who married Philip Kearny, and was the mother 
ander, titular Earl of Stirling; Ann, who married Hon. of Major-General Stephen Watts Kearny, the conqueror 



III. John Watts, Jr., noticed at length below; he married Jane de 
Lancey, a niece of his mother and claughter of Peter de Lancey of 
'.'the Mills" (West Farms), this county, and had ten children,^ of 
whom the youngest was 

IV. Mary Justina Watts, who married Frederic de Peyster and had 
an only child, 

V. Geiieral John Watts de Peyster. 

JOHN WATTS, Jr., son of John Watts, Sr., and Anne de Lancey, 
and maternal grandfatJier of General de Peyster, was born in New 
Yorli City, August 27 (O. S.), 1749, and died there September 3, 1836. 
He studied law in the office of the noted James Duane (afterward 
mayor of New York City), and was admitted to the bar. One of his 
fellow-students in Mr. Duane's office was John George Leake, with 
whom he contracted an intimate friendship, which endured until the' 
la+ter's death (in 1827). This friendship led to the ultimate inherit- 
ance by Mr. Watts of the larger part of Mr. Leake's fortune, which 
he devoted entire tQ the foundation of the noble Leake and Watts 
Orphan House, formerly located at Bloomingdale, New York City, 
and now in the Ludlow section of the City of Yonkers. The circum- 
stances leading to the founding of the Orphan House will be narrated 
in our account of the Institution, at the end of this article. 

Inheriting the fine abilities and also the lofty character of his 
father, he entered at an early age upon a public career in which he 
seemed destined to rise to great distinction. In 1774, at the age of 
twenty-five, he was appointed recorder of New York City, being the 
last to hold that office under the government of Great Britain. He 
continued in it until 1777, when in consequence of the Eevolutionary 
War its existence was suspended through the substitution of military 
jurisdiction. Meantime his father, as one of the most pronounced 
and influential of the loyalists, had been obliged to flee froin his 
native land, his estates having become forfeit one year before the 
Declaration of Independence, a wicked perversion of justice, yielding 
to the pernicious influence of public opinion. The son remained in 
this country to care for such possessions of his English relatives as 

of New Mexico and California, and the grandmother of iasue. One of these, George Watts, distinguished himself , 

Major-General Philip Kearny, one of the loyal notabilities as an officer in the United States army during the War of 

of the Slaveholders' Rebellion; 'Mary, who married Sir 1812, and as aide-de-camp on the staff of General Winfield 

Jolm Johnson, baronet ; and MajOr Stephen Watts, one of Scott, whose life he saved from, a treacherous attack of 

the loyal heroes of the battle of Oriskany, where his Indians just before the battle of Chippewa. The other 

brother-in-law commanded, — Thu Empire State in Three son, Robert Watts, was a captain in the TInited States in- 

Centuries^ fantry durin the same w^ar, and likewise served as a staff 

^ Through the wife of Peter de. Lancey, Elizabeth, officer. A daughter of John Watts, Jr., became tlie 

daughter of Governor Cadwallader' Golden, Genfral de mother of the late Major-General Philip Kearny, vfho 

Peyster descends from another of New York's provincial was the first cousin of General de Peyster. — Ihid. 
governors. Neither of the sons of John Watts, Jr., left 

■^1?. by Wtlliama Neu/Ycrh' 

Tl}£ tieuffaftiHts'bnj Co 



had not undergone confiscation, and owing to his able management 
and the general respect in which he was held was very successful in 
the discharge of the trust. His own fortunes prospered, he became 
wealthy, and eventually he recoA'-ered by purchase' a portion of the 
confiscated " Eose Hill " property of his father on Manhattan. Island. 
He had a beautiful country residence at New Kochelle, this county, 
which stood on a slope overlooking 
Hunter's Island. 

The persecutions to which the loyal- 
ists, and all ijersons regarded as in 
sympathy with them, were subjected 
during the Revolution, did not, in gen- 
eral, undergo much modification after 
the war. Thousands of these unhappy 
individuals preferred emigration to 
continued residence in the land. It is 
well known that the" long delay of Sir 
Guy Carleton in evacuating New York 
City was mainly due to the diificultj *' 
he had in collecting, shipping sufficient 
for the transportation of the refugees. 
John Watts had not been an active 
loyalist, but his antecedents identified 
him peculiarly with the loyalist ele- 
ment. It is therefore a remarkable 
testimony to his virtues as a citizen 
and his especial fitness for public po- 
sition that in a community perjneated 
with prejudice against the former so- 
called Tories he was repeatedly called 
to elective office during the first dec- 

ade following the close of the Eevolu- 


tion. He served for several terms as a 
member of the New York assembly, 
was its spealfer from January, 1791, 

to January, 1794, and was a member of congress from 1793 to 1795. 
It is noteworthy, says one of his biographers, that in his candidature 
for re-election to congress he was defeated " by Edward Livingstt)n 
(one of a family always standing upon their aristocratic pretensions) 
under the plea that the aristocratic connections and relatives of John 
Watts unfitted him to represent an American constituency." Doubt- 
less the political career of John Watts under the republic — a distin- 
guished one in view of the circumstances to Avhich we have referred, 


arid certainly a much more notable one than that of any other Ameri- 
can of like connections in those times of bitter memories — was pre- 
vented by such antagonisms from attaining its proper development. 
He was a man of refined pride, and it must have been distasteful to 
him to continue to occupy a prominence which subjected him to per- 
sonal recriinination. 

The last public position held by Mr. Watts was that of judge of 
the county court of Westchester County, over which he presided 
from 1802 to 1807. A manuscript record of the transactions of the 
court during Ms judgeship is in the possession of the New York 
Historical Society! 

The closing years of his life were devoted to the work of establish- 
ing the magnificent charitable institution which will always perpetu- 
ate his name — the Leake and Watts Orphan House; and he had the 
satisfaction of seeing its successful inauguration well assured before 
his death. 

A bronze statue of Judge Watts, the gift of his grandson, General 
de Peyster, stands in TWnity Churchyard, New York City. 

GENEEAL JOHN WATTS db PEYSTER,^ son of Frederic and 
Mary Justina (Watts) de Peyster, and grandson of Judge John 
Watts, was born March 9, 1821, at No. 3 Broadway, New York City — 
the Watts mansion. He inherited an ample fortune from his grand- 
father Watts, and subsequently a smaller one from his father. From 
the foriner he received a portion of the historic Watts estate of Rose 
Hill, New York City, and on these ancestral lands he still has his 
city residence (East Twenty-first Street, near P^ourth Avenue). His 
principal home, however, is in Duchess County, N. Y., where his an- 
cestors and relatives had proprietary interests for seven generations. 
General de Peyster's Duchess County home — ^which he calls Rose Hill, 
the name given by all his ancestors in the maternal line to their coun- 
try places— together with his other lands in that county still com- 
prehends more than a thousand acres. Rose Hill is magnificently 
situated on the bank of the Hudson River, and for the most part 
is preserved in its natural condition; such improvements as have 
been made having been executed with, the strictest taste. Gen- 
eral de Peyster's various inheritances from his grandfather Watts 
embraced extensive tracts in thirteen counties of New York, and 
among the rights which he acquired were those of last patroon, or 
lord of the soil (as the old deeds expressed it), of Lower Claverack 
Manor, which he retained until the legislation consequent upon the 

• This biography is, lor the most part, a reproduction of a sketch of General de Peyster by Prank Allaben in The 

Bmpi/re State in Three CeniuHes. 




" anti-rent " agitation virtually extinguished and confiscated them — 
in fact, deprived him of both title to much and virtual ownership of all. 

He was largely self-educated, for, while he had as his preceptor 
Professor Lutz, subsequently president of Transylvania University, 
it was mainly through his own efforts that he acquired his kno^vi- 
edge of books, languages, and learning. Throughout his life he has 
been an eager student — like Bacon, regarding " all learning as his 
field." His knowledge of languages comprises a familiarity with 
Greek, Latin, French, and German, and an acquaintance with Italian 
and Spanish. In his two residences is distributed one of the most 
remarkable private libraries in America, 
once embracing some 35,000 volumes, but 
now considerably depleted through generous 
gifts of valuable books to public and colle- 
giate libraries. It enjoys a peculiar distinc- 
tion: probably there has never been a pri- 
vate library of anything like the same pro- 
portions all the contents of which have been 
so remarkably familiar to the owner. 

When a young man he entered one of the 
volunteer fire companies of New York Oity, 
and at the age of eighteen was made its fore- 
man. In this seiwice he induced a nervous 
affection of the heart, which has been a most 
serious handicap throughout his life. Upon 
the basis of his experiences and observations 
in connection with the volunteer fire depart- 
ment, he later (1851-53) made certain recom- 
mendations in a militaxy report to the >State of New York, which, re- 
enforced by the practical co-operation of others — notably Alderman 
Orison Blunt— resulted in establishing in New York City a paid fire 
department with steam fire engines — the first in America — with the 
first Purser's fire-escape. 

In 1845 he entered the New York militia, becoming a staff officer 
— ^judge advocate with the ranlf of major — in an infantry brigade of 
the northern districts of Duchess County. The same year he was 
commissioned colonel of the One Hundred and Eleventh Kegiment 
of infantry, recruited in the towns of Bed Hook, Milan, and Ehine- 
beck; and upon the reorganization of the State militia, by the act of 
1845, he was placed in command of the Twenty-second Eegimental 
District of New York, embracing the northern towns of Dutchess 
County and the southern half of Columbia County. This latter ap- 
pointment was conferred upon him by Governor Hamilton Pish for 

TER. Forti non Deficit 
Telum — A WEAPON is never 



previous meritorious services, agreeably to the petition of the officers 
in the district — altliough he was at the time the youngest colonel 
eligible. The wisdom of the designation was immediately mani- 
fested. ITie situation was critical for two reasons : in the first place, 
the district was still leavened by the ill-feeling growing out of the 
" anti-rent " troubles, and the sympathy of a large portion of the 
militia was with the law-breakers, while Colonel de Peyster's com- 
mand was in the midst of one of the worst storm-centers; and, in the 
second place, there was a, general spirit of mutiny and rebellion on 
account of such a re-organization of the militia. His district was con- 
sidered one of two which were the most unruly in the State; yet 
within a year's time he and Colonel Willard, of Troy, an old army 
officer, were commended by the adjutant-general as being the only 
district commanders in the State who had their districts in perfect 
control. Colonel de Peyster was a natural disciplinarian. On one oc- 
casion, when incipient mutiny was brewing, he issued ball cartridges 
to the one company whose allegiance was beyond question. He thus 
soon won the respect of his men, who always admire a commander 
whom tJiey know to be a real soldier. 

In 1849 Colonel de Peyster was assigned to his command for 
" meritorious conduct." In 1850 Governor Washington Hunt wrote 
that if he had an army of thirty thousand regulars he knew no officer 
to whom he would intrust their command Avith such perfect confi- 
dence as Jie would to Colonel de Pevster, but that from his habits 
of mind and stern ideas of discipline, he was unfitted to coaw volun- 
teers to do their duty. In 1851 Governor Hunt commissioned him 
brigadier-general of New York State troops for " important service." 
This appointment was " the first ever made by a governor independ- 
ently in New York State to that rank, theretofore appointed by a 
State board or elective." While a colonel he had established in the 
interest of the militia a monthly called the Eclaireur, in conjunction 
. with Colonel Cowman. Colonel de Peyster was principally responsi- 
ble for its financial support, and when Cowman died this burden and 
the editorship devolved upon him alone. Here he published the first 
translations in America of the " Bersaglieri Eifle Drill " and " Bay- 
onet Exercise," with von Hardegg's " Treatise on the Science of the 
General Staff " and von Hardegg's " Chronological Tables of Military 
Science and History." General de Peyster's success as a brigade com- 
mander AA'as attested by the gift of a gold medal from his officers. 

But he had been reduced by aciite and dangerous bronchitis, bor- 
dering on consumption, and was ordered to Europe by his physicians, 
who had little faith that even this expedient would suffice to do more 
than prolong his life for a short period. But the General had no 


thought of resigning himself to the inactivity of an invalid, and rather 
accepted the project of a visit to Europe because it would afford the 
opportunity of study and investigation in the interest of the New 
York mrlJtia. He made known that he would gladly undertake this 
work entirely at his own expense, and in 1851 was accordingly ap- 
pointed by the Governor of New York " military agent of the State of 
New York, to examine and report on such of the military systems and 
fire organizations of Europe as could be advantageously adapted to 
the use of the State of New York." This commission received the 
official approval of President Fillmore, whose secretaries of State and 
War issued letters of recommendation to General de Peyster. The 
latter spent the next two years in a careful study of the militia 
system of each of the European powers, embodying the fruits in 
remarkable reports which he presented upon his return in 1853. The 
first report was published with the annual report of the adjutant- 
general of New York, as a senate document, and also in a volume 
privately issued by General de Peyster, while it was likewise' at- 
tached as a serial to his Eclaireur. It won for him the recognition — 
equivalent to the expression of thanks^^of the New York legislature, 
together with a gold medal of honor from Governor Hunt. 

General de Peyster demonstrated that the Prussian Landwehr and 
the citizen-militia of Switzerland were constituted on a basis con- 
sistent with our republican traditions, while he recommended a 
practical plan calculated to make real soldiers of our militia. -This 
simply involved their regular discipline in camps of instruction under 
the direction of graduates of West Point, while their superior officers 
might be such graduates. The competency of such militia for im- 
mediate service in crises (such as that in the recent war with Spain), 
is fully set forth in this report. Through this document he was also 
the first in the United States to advocate the use of the brass Napo- 
leon twelve-pounder, which was used to such advantage during the 
OiVil War. He advocated the gray uniform, used by the Seventh 
Regiment and subsequently by the Confederates. Here he also advo- 
cated the establishment in cities of paid fire departments, with steam- 
engines and fire-escapes (one of which he had prepared and presented 
to the police authorities of New York City), the introduction of both 
improvements soon following. Other suggestions may be summa- 
rized in the statement of the late'^Captain Whittaker that they " have 
been the foundation of every improvement that our State troops have 
undergone since that time." 

On January 1, 1855, General de Peyster was appointed adjutant- 
general of the State of New York by Governor Myron H. Clark. In 
: this office, in the words of a recent writer. General de Peyster " at 


once inaugurated reforms of greatest moment. He required honesty 
in the collection and the disbursement of the military revenue; re- 
organized the adjutant's department; prepared revised regulations 
for the government of the militia; insisted upon one armament, and 
urged one uniform for each regiment throughout the State, the 
muskets thus being of one caliber, multiplying the practical efficiency 
of the troops at the same time that he inaugurated a great economy; 
introduced proper artillery, and prepared every department of the 
service for emergencies. All this, and more, occurred within two 
months; for, finding that Governor Clark was intimidated by the 
politicians, who opposed General de Peyster's insistence upon honest 
administration in respect to his own department, the latter resigned, 
on condition of being allow'ed to appoint his successor. Good au- 
thorities have not hesitated to assert that General de Peyster actually 
accomplished more, in these two months, toward preparing the way 
for maliing real soldiers of the State militia than had been accom- 
plished during almost the entire antecedent history of this service." 
Our review of General de Peyster's work as an author will follow 
our account of his military career; but it seems imperative that wecon- 
sider as a part of his public service his military writings preceding and 
during the Civil War. No comment is required upon the opportune- 
ness of his report as military agent of New York, in view of the Ke- 
bellion which was so soon to burst forth. How far-reaching its effect 
in this connection, no one may presume to say. But, finding that the 
political conditions precluded him from any further advance in the 
elevation of the militia of his native State, while his precarious 
physical condition prohibited him from active military service in 
any part of the world, he had begun to wield his pen in a more general 
and energetic way, thus discovering, perhaps, the truest expression 
of his genius. The Eclaireur was continued as a medium until about 
1857. In 1855, however, he had published his famous " Life of Tor- 
stenson," an historical and critical study of military strategy, which 
won for him three medals from Oscar I. of Sweden, with a recognition 
of his ability among military authorities at home and even abroad. 
In a series of studies he also drew military lessons from Dutch his- 
tory and the Belgian-Holland War of 1830. These included " The 
Dutch B'attle of the Baltic " (1858), " Oarausius, the Dutch Augustus 
and Emperor of Britain and the Menapii " (1858), " The Ancient, 
Medieval, and Modem Netherlanders " (1859), the "Life of Lieu- 
tenant-General Oohorne, the Dutch Prince of Engineers " (1860), and 
"The JDutch Admirals" (1860). H« also published an "Address to 
the Officers of the New York State Troops" (1858), and "Incidents 
Connected with the War in Italy " (1859). 

biogkaphicaij 333 

When the Rebellion began, this work of military criticism as- 
sumed a deep earnestness and definiteness of purpose, for the entire 
North contained no supporter of the Union more earnest or more 
bold than General de Peyster. He had been a Whig with deep- 
roOted antipathy to the institution of slavery, and was one of the 
leaders who abandoned that party to become the founders of the 
Republican party in this State, while he voted for Fremont for presi- 
dent of the United States in 1856, and for Lincoln in 1860. He had 
the boldness to speak out in vindication of John Brown at the time 
of the Harper's Perry raid, as a reference to the New York Evening 
Post of that date discloses. At the beginning of the strife, when no 
one besides had ventured the suggestion, he published an article 
setting forth the military wisdom of utilizing negro troops to con- 
tribute toward winning their own freedom, declaring that with white 
officers they would be efficient soldiers. It was long before this 
advice was acted upon, for such wars are too often prolonged because 
military wisdom is so frequently forced to give way to alleged politi- 
cal expediency. 

General de Peyster now became a teacher of the art of war. It 
was not that he had the practical experience of an old campaigner, 
nor that he was a graduate from West Point, which constituted his 
fitness for this work; but it resided in the fact that he had been 
going to school to the great military geniuses of all time, and himself 
possessed the military genius to draw the lessons from their successes 
and their failures, and to correctly apply these lessons to the changed 
conditions and methods of modern warfare. Long after this period 
he received a fine tribute from the British general and military 
author. Sir Edward Cust, who published " Annals of the Wars " 
(nine volumes) and " Lives of the Warriors " (six volumes). The last 
volume of this second series General Cust dedicated to General de 
Peyster, in acknowledgment of his " deep obligations " to one whom 
he had never seen, and in the course of the twenty-eight pages of this 
dedicatory he says : " The United States were on the eve of a melan- 
choly internecine conflict, when you naturally wished, and you very 
reasonably desired to show, by the introduction of a better system 
of war, how to stay the waste of blood among your countrymen in a 
strife which made every brother on either side a soldier. ... My 
works were written by me for the use of youths . . . whose pro- 
fession has yet to be learned.' . . . You address the higher ranks 
of the army, and appear to seek to philosophize the Art of War, by 
showing it to be capable, under its most scientific phases, of being 
less lavish of human blood. . . . To both our grievances the remedy 
is the same— Practical Strategy. I readily accept from you this ex- 


pression. It comprises all that can be said or written upon skill ifl 

Amon<2,- the important works published by General de Peyster dur- 
ing the war period, which contributed materially to shape its his- 
tory, were the following: " Notions on Strategy and Tactics" (1861- 
62), "Military Lessons" (1861-63), "Winter Camipaigns" (1862), "Facts 
or Ideas Indispensable to the Comprehension of War,^' " Practical 
Strategy — Field-Marshal Traun " (1863), and "Secession in Switzer- 
land and the United States Compared" (1863). The concluding re- 
marks of the last-mentioned work were as perfect a prophecy of the 
collapse of the Kebellion in 1865 as if the prediction were but an 
historical statement of the facts after the event. Besides this he con- 
tributed articles almost daily — ^a running critical commentary upon 
the, engagements, movements, and policies throughout the war— to 
the Army and Navi/ Journal and other periodicals and newspapers. 
General VVainwright declared that the appearance of General de 
Peyster's " Winter Campaigns '" was " followed by a sudden change 
in the operations of our armies." Fie adds that General de Peyster 
"predicted the result of the Peninsula campaign of 1862, immedi- 
ately after the battle of Williamsburg; and pointed out how Gettys- 
burg could be njade the grave of Lee as soon as news arrived of his 
northward march." He gives these as " only tAvo of many instances " 
which could be cited. 

It must be borne in mind that throughout this period General de 
Peyster was suffering from malignant and persistent hemorrhages, 
Avhile his physical appearance was that of one in the last stages of 
consumption. Q^his may have influenced Lincoln's declination of his 
services in the field, when General de Peyster offered him three regi- 
ments in the early spring of 1861, and again two regiments in the 
fall of that year. An account has been published of the interview 
which General de Peyster had with President Lincoln in April, 1861, 
just after the firing upon Fort Sumter. This interview, by no means 
a hurried one, had been arranged by the late Hon. Ira M. Hari'is, then 
United States Senator from New York, who was present during the 
conversation. General de Peyster offered the President three regi- 
ments of troops. The latter replied, " I have more troops than I know 
what to do with! " The General then offered the services of the regi- 
mental officers, who were unusually competent to fill their several 
grades. " I also have more officers than I know what to do with," 
replied Lincoln. " Mr. President, I offer you, then, my own. services," 
said the General. " I have had military experience, education, and 
opportunities sufficient to enable me to know that I can be of great 
service to you in organizing troops, and can save two millions of 


dollars a year." Lincoln was impressed. " That requires considera- 
tion," he said. At the same time lie expliained his reluctance to com- 
mit himself further. " I once promised a frigate for two expeditions, 
but when the time came I found I could not cut the vessel in two, 
and so found myself in a hobble." General de Peyster four years 
subsequently understood the historical allusiion in this story. The 
vessel was the " Powhatan," a steam frigate, at first designated to 
relieve Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, but afterward diverted 
to the relief of Fort Pickens, near Pensacola, Gulf of Mexico. 

As they left the White House after the interview with Lincoln 
just described, Seoator Harris said : " I will give you the command, 
as Colonel, of one of the two cavalry regiments named, or to be named, 
after me." General de Peyster replied : " My cousin, General Phil. 
Kearny, always said, ' John, never seek command of a regiment of 
cavalry, for you will then have the care of two regiments instead 
of one — ^a regiment of men, and one of horses.' What is more. Sen- 
ator, on account of my physical condition I can not take the field with 
any rank short of that of brigadier-general. I hfive never forgotten 
the remark of the celebrated General Wolfe, conqueror of Montcalm, 
' I rejoiced when I was made a general, because it enabled me to 
command comforts, without which, in my frail condition of health, I 
would be unable to keep the field.' " Lincoln recognized his capacity. 
At one time General de Peyster was invited by his cousin. General 
Philip Kearny, to come on to Washington and draw up a plan for the 
ensuing campaign; but with his accustomed judgment General de 
Peyster replied that a fixed plan of campaign would be impracticable, 
as it would ineAdtably be betrayed to the enemy and defeated. Mr. 
" Pet " Halstead, of New Jersey, whose intimacy at the White House 
during the Civil War was well known, wrote under date June 4, 1869, 
as follows : " I ses? the question agitated by the English press, who is 
General de Peyster. to whom General Cust dedicated his last military 
work? As one who knows, I can answer from several standpoints. 
. . . I do know that President Lincoln at one time contemplated 
giving General de Peyster the high military position of chief of his 
personal staff, an independent organization contemplated and war- 
ranted by the demands and necessities of the occasion — which ap- 
pointment was overruled by interested parties who were unwilling 
the General should occupy a position so important and independent." 

Enough has been said to explain the singular honor received by 

General de Peyster at the close of the Civil War, when, by special 

act of the New York legislature, April 9-20, 1866, for him was created 

: the special rank of brevet major-general of the State of New York. 

iBy the terms of the act this honor was conferred " for meritorious 


services rendered to tlie National Guard and to the United States 
prior to and during the Eebellion." Never has such rank been more 
worthily earned. 

During the Civil War General de Peyster came to the conclusion 
that a radical change in the methods of infantry fighting must nec- 
essarily follow" the improvements in arms. He was the first to give 
expression to these views. Immediately after the Civil War he pub- 
lished in the Army and Navy Journal a series of articles on the " New 
American Tactics," in which he maintained that the scientific line of 
battle must henceforth become lines of skirmishers, supported by 
artillery, and fed by reserves in denser formations behind the ad- 
vanced dispersed line of battle. These articles were republished in 
Europe, and were folloM-ed by the adoption of the idea and its adapta- 
tion as the actual basis of the new art of war by the militaxy authori- 
ties of both Prance and Germany. 

In turning to General de Peyster's literary work we must be more 
brief. A simple list of the titles of his more important works occupies 
about sixteen pages of the Bibliography of the American Historical 
Association. Besides this, there have been catalogued seventy-two 
articles, or series, which appeared in the Army and Navy Jburnul 
from 1863 to 1866; twenty-six on the Austro-Franco-Italian war of 
1859, which appeared in the New York Ea-press for that year; fifty- 
five, many of them series of articles, which appeared in the New York 
Eveninij Mall between 1870 and 1875; and more than one hundred 
which appeared in the New York Mail and Esopress from 1877 to 1883. 
Similar series, which have never been catalogued, appeared in the 
Eclaireur, the New York Times, the Monmouth Enquirer, the Gitisen, 
the Citisen and Rmind Table, Foley's Volunteer, Mayne Eeid's Onward, 
Chaplain Bourne's Soldiers' Friend, the " Soldiers' and Sailors' Half- 
Dime Tales of the Late Eebellion," and other periodicals. 

The greater part of General de Peyster's military studies may be 
roughly grouped under the following general themes : Dutch mili- 
tary history, the Thirty Years' War, the wars of Frederick the Great, 
the Eussian and Waterloo campaigns, and the personal and military 
character of Napoleon, the American Eevolution, and the American 
Civil War. His extensive " Personal and Military History of Philip 
Kearny" (1869) attracted wide attention. So also did his "Third 
Corps at Gettyburg : General Sicltles Vindicated " (1875). As a mili- 
tary critic General de Peyster is without a peer in the United States. 
Nor is it believed that any has ever lived who so appropriately em- 
bellishes his philosophy of the Art of War with so wide a range of 
examples, culled from the military history of the world in all ages. 

Yet his literary work has not been altogether confined to this 


chosen field. He has published five or six monographs, or volumes, 
on the relations of Bothwell and Mary Queen of Scots, which are 
models of exhaustive treatment. He has also published a drama on 
" Bothwell," which has been highly commended in the Livrc of Paris, 
the acknowledged highest literary epitome of criticism. He has sev- 
eral times turned his hand to historical romance, publishing " A Tale 
of Leipsic " and " Duke Christian of Brunswick and Elizabeth Stu- 
art," historical novels. He is the author of " Aculco, Oriskany, and 
Miscellaneous Poems," as well as of much other poetry. The follow- 
ing titles are a few samples of his miscellaneous work : " Was the 
Shakespeare a Myth? " " Massacres of Saint Bartholomew," " Did Our 
Saviour Speak Greek? " " Michael Angelo," " Buddhism and Koman- 
ism Compared," " Dante," " Destruction of Pharaoh and His Host," 
" Gypsies," " Variations of the Fathers," "Sabellianism," "The Dutch 
at the North Pole, and the Dutch in Maine," " Parlor Dramas," " Dis- 
course on the Tendency of High Church Doctrines," " Joshua and the 
Battle of Beth-horon," etc., etc. In 1900 he published a remarkable 
monograph, entitled " The Earth Stands Fast; Proofs that the Earth 
Eevolves Neither upon Its Own Axis nor yet about the Sun " ( com- 
prehending a translation of a lecture by the distinguished Professor 
Schoeppfer, of Berlin, and an appendix by Frank Allaben), in which 
the Copernican theory of the universe is combated and the system 
of Tycho Brahe, based upon the hypothesis that the earth is the fixed 
center of the universe, is advocated. This monograph has attracted 
great public and scientific attention. 

He has received from colleges the degrees of master of arts, doctor 
of literature, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of laws, the last having 
been conferred by two colleges. In 1894 he received from the London 
Society of Science, Letters, and Art their gold medal for " scientific 
and literary attainments." In 1898 he was appointed associate mem- 
ber of the United States delegation, to attend the coronation of 
Queen Wilhelmina, of Holland. He is a life member of the Royal 
Historical Society of Great Britain, is an honorary member of the 
Clarendon Historical Society of Edinburgh, Scotland, is a member 
of the Maatschappji Nederlandsche Letterkunde, of Leyden, Hol- 
land, and is honorary vice-president of the Numismatic and Antiqua- 
rian Society, of Philadelphia. He is, in fact, an active, honorary, or 
corresponding member of nearly fifty literary, historical, and scien- 
tific societies of the United States, Canada, and Europe. 

General de Peyster's benefactions include numerous gifts to mu- 
nicipalities and to public, charitable, religious, and learned institu- 
tions iand societies — some of which have been most munificent. He 
has erected churches, statues, and useful institlltions of various kinds 



in many cities and villages, and has donated costly paintings and 
splendid collections of books and papers to libraries and colleges. 

General de Peyster had four children, two sons and two daughters, 
to whom he was deeply attached, and who fully deserved their par- 
ent's admiration and affection. 

His eldest son and namesake, born December 2, 1841, served with 
distinction during the Slaveholders' Rebellion, first as volunteer aide- 
de-camp to his cousin, Major-General Philip Kearny, then as major, 
1st New York Artillery. He received the highest attests for his 

ability and gallantry from Generals Kear- 
ny, Hooker, Peck, Owen, and Howe (to 
whom he was chief of division artillery), 
Shaler, Mindil, and others. With his ar- 
tillery he covered in splendid style the 
withdrawal of the Sixth Corps at Bank's 
Ford during the series of engagements 
known as the battle of Chancellorsville, 
where he received an injury in the head 
through concussion which soon after the 
Gettysburg campaign ended his military 
career. From that time forward until he 
died, April 12, 1873, he suffered torments 
more terrible than any form of death. He 
received one of the few brevets given for 
Chancellorsville, that of lieutenant-col- 
onel, U. S. v., and afterward that of 
colonel, TJ. S. V. and N. Y. V., for general 
gallant and meritorious conduct. He died 

His younger brother, Frederic, born 
December 13, 1812, was also an officer 
during the Slaveholders' Rebellion. For his fine conduct during 
the first Bull Run campaign and battle, 1861, he with a State rank 
equivalent to lieutenant, U. S. A., was at once brevetted major, 
U. S. v., which is sufficient attest of the estimate placed upon his 
services by his superiors. He afterward received the New York 
State brevet of colonel. He suffered severely from the James River 
fever in 1862, w;hich afterward induced consumption from which he 
died, October 30, 1874. He was maiTied and had two children, both 
of whom are deceased, as is also his wife. 

To the General's eldest daughter, Estelle Elizabeth, Halleck's 
words might aptly be addressed, " None knew thee but to love thee, 
nor named thee but to praise." She was born the 7th June, 1844, 




and died, the 12th of December, 1889, succumbing to an attack of la 
grippe after many years of intense suiJering, which she bore with 
extraordinary courage, patience, and fortitude. 

Her second naane, Elizabeth, was that of her great-aunt, Elizabeth 
Watts, who was one of the best women and one of the noblest ex- 
amplers of self-denial and benevolence. Blessed with means, she 
employed them almost entirely in doing good and giving pleasure, 
not through a blind and indiscriminate charitj^, but by dividing 
among the needy and " God's poor," be- 
stowing over six-sevenths of her in- 
come. Such examples of unostenta- 
tious generosity are very rare; but her 
gifts were inherited, for she was the 
daughter of Hon. John Watts, of New 
York, the founder and endower of the 
Leake and Watts Orphan House. 

Her younger sister Maria ["BeataJ 
was born on the 7th of July, 1852, and 
died on the 24th of September, 1857. 
She was one of the most remarkable 
children that ever gladdened the hearts 
of parents, realizing the hackneyed tru- 
ism of Shakespeare, so often quoted 
and so often misapplied, " So wise, 
so young, they say, did ne'er live 
long." As a memorial of this youngest 
daughter, General de Peyster furnished 
nearly all the money to build Trinity 

Church, Natchitoches, T<ouisiana, in 1857, of which church his par- 
ticular friend Eev. T. S. Bacon, D.D., was rector. This' was just before 
the Slaveholders' Kebellion. The bell, cast especially for the church, 
is of a metal amalgam fully one-third of 'n^iich is silver. The church 
was elegantly restored and completed by General de Peyster in 1900. 
As a memorial of both his daughters the General afterward built, in 
1892, at a cost — including, the grounds and a magnificent organ — of 
upward of §30,000, an admirable church building in the Village Of 
Madalin, about a mile from his residence, " Rose Hill," near Tivoli, 
Duchess Oountv, N. Y. 


John Watts, Jr., the grandfather of General de Peyster, on the 
foundation of the personal estate left by his friend John George 
Leake (of which Mr. W'atts ultimately became the exclusive heir at 


law), belongs partly to JSIew Yorji Qity and partly to the City of 
Yonkers — its grounds lying on the divisional line between the two 
cities, although the main buildings are in Yonkers. It was originally 
and until recently located at Bloomingdale, New York City, where 
it was formally opened on the 15th of November, 1843. Its removal 
to the present site was effected in 1891, the children being received 
in the new buildings on the 27th of October of that year. This is by 
far the most important institution of pure philanthropy in West- 
chester County. 

John George Leake and John Watts, Jr., were life-long friends. As 
we have noted in our sketch of the latter, they studied law together 
in the office of James Duane; and ever afterward the closest inti- 
macy subsisted between them. Mr. Leake was a son of Eobert Leake, 
a wealthy citizen of New York, whose family consisted of four chil- 
dren, all of whom, however — including John G. — died without issue. 
Indeed, John G. Leake was the last of his race, and despite the most 
diligent inquiries which he instituted in the latter years of his life, 
was unable to discover a single blood relative existing in the world. 
This fact gave him great sorrow, and, having an intense desire to 
perpetuate his name, he secretly resolved upon a judicious expedient 
to that end. In his will, after making some minor legacies, he desig- 
nated as the sole heir to his residuary estate Eobert J. Watts, son of 
his friend John Watts — with the proviso, however, that Eobert should 
assume and ever afterward bear the name of Leake; and in the case 
that Eobert Watts should decline to comply with this condition, he 
directed that the property be devoted to the creation of a home for 
orphan children, to be named in his (the testator's) honor. Mr. Leake 
died on the 2d of June, 1827. Some two years later Eobert Watts 
died suddenly, without having formally signified either acceptance or 
non-acceptance of the terms of the Leake will.^ He left no wife or 
child, and no will; and accordingly all his rights in the matter re- 
verted to his father, the Hon. John Watts. 

The latter immediately took steps to carry into effect Mr. Leake's 
secondary purpose. Eelinquishing all his individual claims, he ap- 
plied to the legislature for authority to compass the beneficent ends 
he had in view; and on the 7th of March, i831, an act was passed to 
incorporate " the Leake and Watts Orphan House in the City of New 
York." In 1835— before the death of Mr. Watts— a site "of about 
twenty acres was purchased in the portion of New York City lying 
between the present One Hundred and Tenth and One Hundred and 
Thirteenth Streets and Morningside and Tenth Avenues (or rather the 

• He had, however, decided to accept the offer, and be- General de Peyster, recollects baving seen, on which he 
fore his death had prepared cards, one which his nephew, described himeelt as Robert J. Watts Leake, 


Boulevard). The corner-stone was laid on the 28th of April, 1838, 
and the Orphan House was opened for the reception of children on 
the 15th of November, 1843. Upon the occasion of the laying of the 
corner-stone, the dedicatory address was made by the Eev. Dr. John 
Knox, of the Reformed Dutch Church. In referring to the motives 
which prompted the founding of the institution, Dr. Knox said : 

Among the renowned teathen of antiquity were found the enduring monuments of power 
and pride and oppression, of selfishness and of ambition ; but of mercy to the miserable, not 
one. And, after the lapse of so many centuries, wherever the influence of the Gospel of 
Christ is unfelt, no salt has been oast into the bitter fountains of the heart. Its sweet sym- 
pathies are all dried up. The poor and the wretched are trodden in the dust ; infanticide 
prevails ; the aged and helpless are put out of the way, or left miserably to perish ; man is 
brutalized. While in lands truly Chi'istian, efforts, individual and combined, in every 
form are employed to prevent, to mitigate, and to remove human wretchedness. With the 
growth of the city, the wants of the destitute have multiplied; and now through the liberal 
and wisely directed munificence of au opulent citizen this blessed enterprise is called into 
being ; and the names of John G. Leake and John Watts will be held in perpetual remem- 
brance as distinguished benefactors of mankind. This endowment comes, not by force of law, 
or by any other human constraint, but by a moral impulse of mightier energy than these. 

Immediately after the will of Mr. Leake had been made public, 
that instrument had been attacked in the courts on various grounds, 
and considerable litigation had ensued, which resulted in establish- 
ing it as a will of personal property only, his real estate escheating 
to the State. The determination of Mr. Watts, after his son Robert's 
death, to apply every dollar of the personal estate to the founding 
of the Orphan House, was taken as a matter of principle, benevolence, 
and public spirit; and his chief aim was to bring the grand result 
to pass as expeditiously as possible. On the other hand, the family 
and friends of Mr. Watts felt that before making so great a personal 
sacrifice he ought at least to require a relinquishment by the State, 
to the same end, of its share in the Leake property; and he was 
urged to withhold the transfer of the personal estate until the legis- 
lature should provide for a like transfer of the escheated lands. But 
Mr. Watts was firm in his resolve to discharge his personal duty 
without reference to any but elevated considerations, and utterly de- 
clined to permit Ms own righteous act to have the slightest appear- 
ance of having been ultimately induced by the prior performance 
by the State of its special duty. In this attitude he was confirmed 
by his anxiety to leate nothing to the uncertain chances of life, for 
he was at that time above eighty years of age. The event justified his 
course. The State, notwithstanding his munificent example, stub- 
bornly refused to surrender its interest in the escheated lands, and 
the Orphan House has never received the slightest benefit from the 
State's share in Mr. Leake's fortune. In view of this it is most im- 


probable that the State could have been induced to co-operate with 
Mr. Watts in the first instan'ce. 

The Leake and Watts Orphan House has always retained its orig- 
inal character. It is an institution based exclusively upon personal 
philanthropy, conducted by a private corporation from the income of 
a trust fund, and therefore not in any measure a charge upon the 
public or subject in its administration to the vagaries of political di- 
rection. It is pre-eminently a select institution, conscientiously con- 
ducted for the promotion of the greatest attainable good in behalf 
of deserving orphan children. The regulations require that all chil- 
dren admitted shall be full orphans, of respectable parentage, men- 
tally and physically healthy, and not less than three or more than 
twelve years old. Every child is maintained, educated, and trained 
in useful occupations — under kindly but Avholesome discipline, — to 
the age of fifteen; when he or she is given back to a. relation, or, if 
not claimed, indentured to a trade or to service under the laws of the 
State of New York. One of the expressly announced objects is not 
to accept any but well behaved and inclined children : " if any who 
have been admitted are found to be habitually immoral, disorderly, 
or ungovernable, they are not retained." Thus the Orphan House is 
primarily a home for children of good natural antecedents and sen- 
sibilities, Avho without its discriminating care would at best be aban- 
doned to the refuges of the State, filled with promiscuous waifs of 
every variety of ruffianly, criminal, and immoral instincts and prac- 

The general results of its administration have perfectly corre- 
sponded to the expectations of so wise a plan. Its graduates, with 
exceedingly few exceptions, have led useful and honorable careers; 
and many of them have attained eminent success or reputation. The 
character of the institution is so well recognized that its certificate 
of graduation is regarded as an exceptional recommendation, and 
thus is an instrumentality for opening to its holder a good opportu- 
nity in life. 

Since its inauguration the- institution has cared for some 1,820 
children. The present number of inmates (September, 1900) is 144. 
The gTounds consist of about thirty acres. Each child has a garden 
plot and is expected to use it to the best adva.ntage in the cultivation 
of fruits, vegetables, and other plants. The superintendent is Mr. 
George R. Brown; his wife, Mrs. Margaret K. Brown, is the matron. 

General de-Peyster, grandson of the founder, John Watts, has al- 
ways manifested a keen interest in the Orphan House. Since the 
erection of the main building in Yonkers, an annex, called the de 



Peyster Annex/ has been added, — the donation of General de Pey- 
ster. The General, whose reverence for the memory of his grand- 
father is one of his most marked traits, has uniformly regarded the 
latter's action in diverting so large a part of his fortune to the crea- 
tion of the Orphan House as one of the most representative illustra- 
tions of his character, and has accordingly felt it to be especially in- 
cumbent upon himself to be, in a somewhat I'esponsive measure, 
promotive of the usefulness and development of the institution. 

BIGGS, GEOKGE EDWIN, the second and only surviving 
son of Edwin and Sarah M. (Starr) Briggs, was bom in 
the Briggs homestead, Peeksldll, March 18, 1869. In both 
paternal and maternal lines he descends from original 
English families which have been established in this country since 
early colonial times and which have patriotic Revolutionary ante- 
cedents. His paternal great-gxandfather was a volunteer in Captain 
Boyd's company. Colonel Drake's regfinent, of Westchester County 
militia; and his maternal great-grandfather, Thomas Starr, was in 
the service of his country from 1775 until the disbandment of the 
army in 1783, rising from the ranks by successive commissions. In 
1775 he was a private in Captain Noble Benedict's company of Colonel 

Waterbury's regiment — the 5th Connecticut; 
he was commissioned ensign in January, 1777, 
2d lieutenant on the 25th of January, 1778, and 
1st lieutenant on the 12th of March, 1780. 
From 1777 to 1781 he was lieutenant of the 
company of Captain Chamberlain in the 2d 
regiment of the Connecticut line (commanded 
by Colonel Swift). He was one of the citizen 
soldiers who came to the defense of Danbury, 
Conn., when the place was burned and raided 
by the British on the 27th of April, 1777, and 
on that occasion received a severe wound on 
the head from which he never perfectly re- 
He was subsequently captain of infantry, was a member of 



^The following is the inscription on the de Peyster 
Annex : 

" This Annex to the Leake and Watts Orphan House, 
originally founded and erected by John Watts, was erected 
as a memorial of his youngest child, my mother, Justina 
Mary, born 6th October, 1801 ; died 28th July, 1821, wife 
of Frederic de Peyster, for fifty years clerk of the Board 
of Trustees, L. & W. O. H., and of her mother Jane 

de Lancey Watts, born 5th September, 1756 ; died 2d 
March, 1809. — ' I call to Remembrance the unfeigned faith 
which dwelt first in thy grandmother, Lois [Famous 
Holiness], and thy mother,- Eunice [Happy Victory].' 
(.2 Timothy, 1.5.) 

John Watts de Peyster. " 


the Hartford organization of the Society of the Cincinnati, and re- 
sided in Danbury, Conn., where he died April 27, 1806, at the age of 

George E. Briggs was educated at the Drum Hill Public School 
of Peekskill, where he graduated June 26, 1885, and the State Normal 
and Model Schools of Trenton, N. J., being graduated from the latter 
institutions June 27, 1888. Upon completing his studies he returned 
to his home in Peekskill. He has always been a resident of that 

Since January, 1889, he has been connected with the Highland 
Democrat as local editor, also acting as correspondent for New York 
City dailies. He is prominent and tseful in the local affairs of Peek- 
skill. Prom 1892 until 1899 he was a member of the Peekskill Board 
of Health, and for the last five years of his term he was its president. 
He has also for several years been the citizen member of the Board 
of Health of the Town of Oortlandt. He is a member of the Peekskill 
Board of Trade and a. director of the Peekskill Co-operative Building 
and Loan Association. He is a leading member of various Peekskill 
social organizations. A Republican in«politics, he has always been 
actii'e in the party, for several years was secretary of the village Ee- 
publican committee, and has frequently served as delegate to con- 

He is prominent in the Masonic fraternity, being a member of 
Cortlandt Lodge, No. 34, of Peekskill (of which he was the Master 
in 1899); Mohegan Chapter, No. 221, Royal Arch Masons; Peekskill 
Council, No. 55, Royal and Select Masons; the Lodge of Perfection, 
Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Masons of New York City; the Coun- 
cils of Princes of Jerusalem, Scottish Rite, of New York City; the 
Chapters of the Rose Croix, Scottish Rite, New York City; the Con- 
sistory, Scottish Rite, of New York City; and of Mecca Temple, An- 
ci(5nt Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, New York City. 
He is also a member of the Sons of the Revolution, New York State 
Society; of the Drum Hill Alumni Association of Peekskill, which 
he served four years as president; of the Alumni Association of the 
New Jersey State Normal and Model Schools, of which he was presi- 
dent in 1892-93; an honorary member of Centennial Hose Company, 
No. 4, of Peekskill; a member and secretary of the Peekskill Chess 
Club; and a member of the Van Cortlandt Wheelmen and of the 
League of American Wheelmen. 

As a citizen he is public spirited, patriotic, and progressive, and 
takes a deep interest in the advancement of the community and an 
active part in promoting all worthy objects. 


MITH, CALEB, one of the founders of the village of Yonkers, 
and for very many years probably its most conspicuous 
citizen, was bom September 2, 1773, and died, in the year 
1858. His father and grandfather (who bore the same 
name) were farmers of the Manor of Philipseburgh, and the family 
was of English origin. The first Caleb Smith became a tenant of 
Philipseburgh Manor previously to 1747 (during the times of the 
second Frederick Philipse); and the farm which he occupied was 
held in tenant fee by his son Caleb until 1785, when the latter pur- 
chased it from the commissioners of forfeiture. Among the curious 
family documents preserved by the descendants of these tenants of 
the Philipses is a rent receipt for the year 1776, dated December 19 
and signed by Elizabeth Philipse, wife of the third and last lord of 
the manor. It acknowledges the receipt from Caleb Smith (second) 
of " three pounds, eighteen shillings, for one year's rent." This was 
one of the last documents of its kind executed by the ill-fated Philipse 
family. Some months previously Frederick Philipse had been placed 
under arrest by Washington's order and removed from the Manor 
House at Yonkers to a distant part of the country, whence he went 
to the British lines, and, forfeiting his parole, caused the steps to 
be taken by the Eevolutionary authorities which resulted in the con- 
fiscation in 1779 of his whole magnificent estate. 

The second Caleb Smith purchased the farm from the commis- 
sioners of forfeiture on the 6th of December, 1785. The land con- 
sisted of one hundred and thirty acres, and was described in the deed 
as " bounded north by Jacob Lent, south and west by Sprain and 
Grassy Sprain (brooks), east by John Odell and Eleazer Hunt." The 
farm dwelling stood on the west side of what is now Central Avenue, 
and on the south side of the road from Yonkers to Tuckahoe. This 
venerable house was torn down about thirty years ago. A portion 
of the old leasehold still remains in the Smith family. 

Caleb Smith, third of the name, the subject of this .sketch, in- 
herited the homestead from his father, and always resided upon it. 
He grew to manhood during the early years of the independence 
of the United States. At that period what is now the City of Yonkers 
was but an insignificant hamlet, containing, says Allison (the' his- 
torian of Yonkers), between three score and four score houses. This 
was long before the beginning of manufacturing activity. Caleb 
Smith, soon after coming to manhood, established a store where 
the building of the Westchester Trust Company now stands. He 
became known as one of the enterprising men of the little community, 
and was a prominent contributor to all the progress enjoyed by the 
village. From early life he was conspicuously identified with public 



affairs, holding at various times the offices of justice of the peace, 
town clerk, and supervisor of the Town of Yonlters. He was famil- 
iarly known as " Squire " Smith. He was supervisor for twenty- 
five years^ — a longer period of service than that of any other incum- 
bent of the position. A man of high character and much native 
ability, he was universally respected and esteemed, wielding an in- 
fluence not exceeded by that of any other citizen of Yonkers during 
the first half of this century. 

Mr. Smith married (January 26, 1804) Hannah Dyckman (born 
February 23, 1782), daughter of Jacobus Dyckman. Their children 
were : Maria Smith ( married John F. Underbill), William Dyckman 
Smith (married Jane Rebecca, daughter of James Vermilyea), Pris- 
cilla Smith, Sarah Smith, James F. D. Smith (who, being adopted by 
his maternal grandfather, took the name of Isaac M. Dyckman, and 
whose biography follows), Caleb Smith, Hannah Smith (married, 1st, 
John C. Courter, and, 2d, Samuel Fulton), Emeline Smith (married 
Benjamin F. Crane), Isaac D. Smith, and Michael D. Smith, both of 
whom died young. Of these children the only one now living is 
Emeline. * 

YCKMAN, ISAAC MICHAEL (born January 1, 1813; died 
May 9, 1899), was the fifth child and second son of Caleb 
Smith, of the preceding sketch. As already noted, he 
was born James F. D. Smith, and took the surname of 
Dyckman from his maternal gTandfather, Jacobus Dyckman, of 
Kingsbridge, by whom he was adopted. His first and middle names 
were assumed in honor of his uncles, Isaac and Michael Dyckman. 

The Dyckmans belong to the most ancient and notable families of 
Westchester County and Manhattan Island. Their common ancestor 
was William Dyckman, who emigrated to this country from Hol- 
land in the days when New York City was still called New Amster- 
dam, and, of course, long before Westchester County, as a civil 
division, came into existence. The following is Isaac M. Dyckman's 
line of descent from the ancestor : 

I. William Dyckman, of New Amsterdam. He was a man of sub- 
stantial means and was a liberal benefactor of the Dutch Reformed 
Church of .Fordham Manor. 

II. Jan Dyckman lived on Manhattan Island just below the pres- 
ent Kingsbridge, and laid the foundations of the Dyckman estate 
of that locality. 

III. Jacobus Dyckman, also of Kingsbridge, as were all the Dyck- 


mans of this particular line, married Sannetje Kiersen, and had two 
sons, Jacob^ and William. 

IV. William Dyclcman, born in 1725 ; married Mary Tourneur. They 
had nine children, of whom the eldest was Jacobus (see V. below) 
and the second and third were the celebrated Westchester guides 
of the Eevolution, Abraham and Michael Dyckman.^ 

V. Jacobus, born in 1748, died in 1832. He had nine children, of 
whom one was 

VI. Hannah Dyckman, born in 1782; married Caleb Smith, of 
Yonkers. One of their children was James F. D. Smith, who took the 
name of 

VII. Isaac Michael Dyckman. 

Thus Isaac M. Dyckman was of the seventh generation from Will- 
iam Dyckman, the progenitor of the family in America, and of the 
sixth from Jan Dyckman, of Kingsbridge. The Dyckmans have been 
resident at Kingsbridge for more than two hundred years, and have 
always been a. sterling, substantial, and vigorous race. Although 
living on the Manhattan Island side of the Spuyten Duyvil Creek, 
their connections with Westchester County have from the earliest 
times been most intimate. The patriotic services of the heroic Dyck- 
man brothers as Westchester guides in the Eevolution are doubt- 
less familiar to our readers. From the Dyckman family was derived 
the name of Dyckman's Bridge, popularly given to the Free or 
Farmers' Bridge, which was constructed as the result of popular 
dissatisfaction with the toll system enforced by the Philipses on 
the old King's Bridge. The ancient Dyckman burying ground on 
Manhattan' Island near Kingsbridge is still preserved, and is one 
of the most interesting landmarks of bygone times. 

The original Dyckman homestead stood near the Harlem Kiver, 
hard by the foot of Two Hundred and Ninth Street. It was burned 
during the Eevolution, whereupon another residence was erected by 
Jacobus Dyckman, grandfather of Isaac M. This dwelling, occupied 
by Jacobus Dyckman until his death, is on the west side of the Kings- 
bridge Eoad, or Broadway, near the twelfth mile stone. 

Isaac M. Dyckman came to live with his grandfather at the Kings- 

^ Jacob Dyckman was the ancestor of what may be he built Boscobel House (l'i92) ; his estate later became 

called the strictly Westchester County branch of the the property of his son-in-law, John P. Gruger. Another 

Dyckmans, as distinguished from the original Kingsbridge descendant of the first Jacob Dyckman was the late 

family, which comes down from his younger brother William K. Dyckman, of Hastings-on-the-Hudson, whose 

William. Jacob had a son Jacob, known as Jacob Dyck- child, Susan Dyckman, is now living in New York 

man of Philipseburgh, who resided on Verplanck's Point, City. 

The latter was the father of the distinguished Staats * Another child of William and Mary Dyckman was 

Morris Dyckman, who was a protdgd of General Staats Jemima, who married Evert Brown, of Yonkers, and was 

Morris of the British army, and later was private secre- the mother of Benjamin Brown, of Tonkers, whose 

tary to Sir William Ersldne, who at his death left him a daughter Fannie B. married Isaac M. Dyckman, (See the 

large and valuable landed property. Staats Morris Dyck- biographical sketch of Benjamin Brown.) 
man resided at what is now Cruger's, this county, where 


^&n/^:''^^U>r- ^■^'^4-iAjyi^ 


bridge home in his childhood, and ultimately became possessed Qf 
a large portion of the estate.^ About 1874 he built a new residence 
on the Kingsbridge road, which is one of the most substantial man- 
sions of that part of New York City. Mr. Dyckman, having abundant 
means, and finding his time fully occupied in caring for the interests 
of his property, did not engage in any business. He was a man of 
active mind and habits, cultivated tastes, and warm sympathies, 
and is remembered as a most public spirited and valuable citizen. 
He was exceedingly well informed about the local history of Kings- 
bridge and vicinity, and took great pleasure in rendering assistance 
to historical investigators and writers. He was warmly attached 
to the principles of the Democr^,tic party, and although he never 
held political office displayed at all times a keen interest in public 
affairs. In his religious connections he was a Presbyterian. He 
was a leading member of the Mount Washington Presbyterian 
Church, of Inwood, was one of its elders for more than thirty years, 
and also held the offices of deacon and trustee. He gave very gener- 
ously throughout his life to charitable and benevolent organizations 
and causes. <- 

Mr. Dyckman married, December 18, 1867, Frances Blackwell 
Brown, daughter of Benjamin and Hannah (Odell) Brown, of 
Yonkers, who survives him. Two children were born of this union, 
Mary Alice and Fannie Fredericka. The former is the wife of Bash- 
ford Dean, adjunct professor of zoology in Columbia University, and 
the latter is the wife of Alexander McMillan Welch, the well-known 
New York architect. 

^ROWN, BENJAMIN, a notable and most esteemed citizen 
of Yonkers of the last generation, whose daughter Frances 
B. married Isaac M. Dyckman, of the preceding sketch, 
was bom on the 12th of November, 1795, and died on the 
28th of September, 1880. He was a son of Evert Brown, who during 
and previously to the Eevolution lived in what is now the Town of 
Greenburgh, this connty, and who in 1785 purchased from the commis- 
sioners of forfeiture a large farm in Yonkers. 

Evert Brown's property in Greenburgh (owned by him either solely 
or in part) consisted of some two hundred acres and extended from 

1 Of the nine children of Jacobus Dyckman, only four M. Dyckman. The last survivor of the sons of Jacobus 

left issue-Abraham, vrho had tyfo children.both of whom was Isaac, a bachelor, who, when he died, left the bulk of 

died unmarried, Frederick, who had two daughters, both the estate to his nephew, James F. D. Smith, on condi- 

dying unmarried, Charity, who married Benjamin Lent tion that he should change his name to Isaac Michael 

7nd had four chUdren (aU now deceased), and Hannah, Dyckman. Thus it happened that the adopted grandson 

who married Caleb Smith and was the mother of Isaac finally inherited the property. 


the Hudson to the Sawmill Eiver. He disposed of his interest in the 
place to William Dyckman, brother of Staats Morris Dyckman, of 
Boscobel, and before the close of the Kevolution removed to Albany, 
N. Y., where he built a handsome brick house. But his residence 
in Albany was brief. In 1785 he returned to Westchester County, 
buying of the commissioners of forfeiture a portion of the Yonkers 
Philipseburgh Manor lands. His purchase consisted of about two 
hundred and sixty-seven acres, being exceeded in acreage by only 
eleven other purchases in the Yonkers portion of the manor. He 
married Jemima Dyckman, daughter of William Dyckman, of Kings- 
bridge, and sister of Jacobus Dyckman and also of the noted Kevolu- 
tionary guides, Abraham and Michael Dyckman. (Evert Brown's 
sister Hannah married his brother-in-law. Jacobus Dyckman; hence 
the descendants of Evert BroAvn and Jacobus Dyckman are double 
cousins.) The children of Evert and Jemima Brown were John, Will- 
iam, Charity, Jane, Benjamin, Isaac, ilaria, Alice, and James. Alice, 
the last surviving of these, died early in 1900, having reached the age 
of ninety-eight years. 

Benjamin Brown was the fifth of this numerous family. Reared 
on a farm and disposed by all his tastes to rural occupations, his 
entire life was devoted to agricultural pursuits. He was very suc- 
cessful in his farming operations, which for forty years he conducted 
jointly with his friend James Blackwell, of the well-known family 
of Blackwell's Island. 

In his early manhood Mr. Brown, actuated by strong religious 
conviction, joined the Methodist Church, which at that time had but 
a meager membership in Yonkers. The place of worship was in a 
small building at what is now the corner of Broadway and Ashburton 
Avenue, but services were usually held in the open air, with a box for 
a pulpit, except in inclement weather. To the end of his life he was 
devotedly attached to the Methodist denomination, and was regarded 
as one of its most exemplary and representative supporters in Yon- 
kers. His home was thrown open to itinerant Methodist ministers, 
and he was happy in everything he could perform to promote true 
religious profession and living. His character was singularly free, 
however, from all sectarian illiberality, his religion being founded 
upon simple faith and the doctrines of human kindness and sympathy 
and godly conduct. He gave largely to religious and benevolent 
purposes, uniformly observing the principle of giving according to 
his means and the merits of the case, without reference to the gifts of 
others or to like considerations. 

Mr. Brown was married, November 1, 1823, to Hannah Odell, of 
Yonkers. Their children were: Mary Robert Brown (died young), 


Catherine Amanda Brown (married Henry Milton Requa), James 
Hallett Blackwell Brown (married Hannali Stapleton), Evert Brown 
(died young), Prances Blacliwell Brown (married Isaac M. Dyckman), 
Jemima Brown, and Emily Brown (died young). Of this family three 
are still living — James Hallett Blackwell Brown, who has a family 
and resides at Kingsbridge ; Mrs. Requa, who lives in New York City 
(her husband is now deceased); and Mrs. Dyckman, widow of Isaac 
M. Dvckman. 

ERRIS, BENSON, was born in Tarrytown, this county, July 
If), 1825, and was descended from th? old Ferris family of 
Greenwich, Conn., on his. father's side, and from the old 
Dutch family of Acker through his motJier. Jaffray Ferris, 
founder of the Greenwich family, emigrated from England, landing at 
Boston about 1635. He finally settled at Greenwich, where the old 
farm which became his homestead is still pointed out. His son, John 
Ferris, Sr., the next in the direct line of descent, was also a resident of 
Greenwich; as was his son likewise, John Ferris, Jr.; the latter's son 
also, Josiah Ferris (who died, however, in New York City) ; while 
Josiah's son. Captain Oliver Ferris, was born in Greenwich, although 
subsequently remoAdng to Tarrytown. Captain Oliver was the father 
of Benson Ferris, Sr., the father in turn of our Benson Ferris. His 
mother was a daughter of Captain Abraham Acker, of the West- 
chester County militia and a soldier of the War of 1812. She was 
granddaughter of another Abraham Acker, great-granddaughter of an- 
other of the same name, great-great-granddaughter of still another, and 
great-great-great-granddaughter of Wolfert Acker, who came to Tar- 
rytown from Long Island aboxit 1685 and built the old Acker home- 
stead, known as " Wolfert's Roost," which Irving immortalized and 
rechristened as " Sunnyside." The second Abraham Acker in the above 
line married a sister of Major Van Tassel, of the Revolution, and " Wol- 
fert's Roost " was owned by the latter for a time, including the Revo- 
lutionary period. Mr. Ferris's grandmother on his mother's side was a 
daughter of Captain William Dutcher, another Revolutionary soldier. 

But even this does not exhaust Mr. Benson Ferris's ancestral con- 
nections with the struggle for independence. His grandfather. Captain 
Oliver Ferris, was likewise an officer in the Revolution, and, serving 
under Montgomery in the invasion of Canada, was also present in 1775 
at the siege and capture of Saint Johns. He was quartermaster of his 
brigade for a time, and was subsequently promoted to a captaincy for 
gallant services. In 1802 Captain Oliver removed from Greenwich, 


Conn., to Tarrytown, Westchester County, and purchased " Wolfert's 
Roost," which remained the Ferris homestead for thirty-three years, 
until its sale to Washington Irving in 1833. In this famous house 
Mr. Benson Ferris was born, while it remained Ms home until he 
reached the age of ten, when his father sold it to the genial author. 

The new house built by his father was on the west side of Broadway, 
a little north of Sunnyside Lane. Mr. Ferris received his early educa- 
tion in the old schoolhouse which formerly stood on the Sawmill Eiver, 
near the junction of Broadway and Sunnyside Lane. He subsequently 
attended the Tarrytown Institute, of which Professor Weston was 
then principal, and later on himself engaged in teaching. For three 
years he was assistant in the Paulding Institute, of which Professor 
Weston afterward became principal, and also taught where he had 
received his early education. 

Turning from teaching to engage in business, Mr. Ferris opened the 
first store in Irvington — or Dearman, as the village was then called. 
In 1856 his father removed from Irvington to Tarrytown, whither he 
accompanied him, and where he afterward resided. Between 1859 
and 1861 he was engaged in the hardware business in Tarrytown. 
But his most notable business connections were those with bank- 
ing and financiering enterprises. In 1865 he was elected a trustee of 
the Westchester County Savings Bank, and served this institution in 
turn as secretary and vice-president. The bank was organized in 1853, 
and is the oldest savings bank in Westchester County. In 1879 Mr. 
Ferris was elected its president, and this important position he 
held continuously until his death. He was also one of the found- 
ers of the Tarrytown National Bank in 1882, of which institution he 
was a director. He was likewise connected with the Tan^town and 
Irvington Union Gas-Light Company from 1864, when he became 
a director, and he served this corporation in the capacities of 
secretary, vice-president, and president. He was one of the original 
incorporators of the Young Men's Lyceum of Tarrytown in 1869, and 
served for a quarter of a century as a trustee. He was a liberal 
supporter of the organization. In 1894 he was elected treasurer of 
the committee which raised the money and built the noble monu- 
ment of imperishable granite to the officers and soldiers of the Ameri- 
can Kevolution in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. 

Mr. Ferris held many public offices of honor and trust, such as 
school commissioner for the Second District of Westchester County by 
appointment of Judge William H. Eobertson in 1866, and trustee of 
the village of Tarrytown in 1879. He was one of sixteen original 
founders of the Eepublican party in Westchester County in 1855, and 
was a member of the executive committee when the county convention 


was presided over by Horace Greeley in 1858. He was for many years 
a member of the Westchester County Republican Executive Com- 
mittee. He died December 7, 1898. 

In 1871 Mr. Ferris married Mrs. Mary P. Dutcher, of Providence E I 
She died in 1890. ' 

ILLAED, FEANK VINCENT, of Tarrytown, one of the most 
prominent lawyers and political leaders of Westchester 
County, was born in Tarrytown on the 27th of February, 
1867, his parents being James S. and Elizabeth A (Purdy) 
Millard. He received his early education in the schools of Taorytown, 
and was graduated with honor from Yale University in the class of 
1888, after which he studied law and was duly admitted to practice 
in February, 1890. His professional success dates from the com- 
mencement of his career,- and although still a young man, he occupies 
an enviable position in the very front ranks of the legal profession in 
this county. 

In 1896 he was chosen chairman of the Republican County Com- 
mittee to succeed ex-Judge William H. Eobertson, who had held the 
position for some thirty years and had declined re-election on account 
of failing health. Mr. Millard was re-elected annually, but resigned 
the position in 1899. He has represented his party in local, county, 
judicial, congressional, State, and national Eepublican conventions, 
and is now a presidential elector on the Eepublican ticket for the 6th 
congressional district. 

The first office to which he was elected was that of town clerk, 
and in 1892 he was elected supervisor, being the first Eepublican 
chosen to either position in . the Town of Greenburgh. He has 
served as counsel to the town board, to the board of assessors, to 
the board of highway commissioners of both Greenburgh and Mount 
Pleasant, to the excise board, to the board of health, to the Tarry- 
town village board of trustees, and to various village boards, and as 
counsel for the Town of Mount Pleasant and for the county super- 
intendent of the poor. 

In 1900 he was nominated by the Eepublican party for the office of 
presidential elector of the State of New York 

He is one of the most public spirited and useful citizens of Tarry- 
town. He has been a member of the village board of education for 
several years, is president of the Young Men's Lyceum, was for eight 
years foreman of Hope Hose Company No. 1, and is chairman of the 
board of directors of the Exempt Firemen's Association and chief engi^ 




neer of the fire department. He is a member of Solomon's IJodge, No. 
196, F. and A. M., and of the Transportation Club of New York City. 


Mr. Millard was married, December 30, 1891, to Miss Grace Kequa, 
daughter of Isaac Eequa, of Tarrytown, and has three children: 
Grace, Emily, and Florence. 

PGAR, JAMES KELLOGG, member of the assembly from 
the 3d district and a popular citizen of Peekslcill, was born 
in that village November 8, 1862. His father, Joseph A. 
Apgar, was foi? many years a man of prominence and in- 
fluence in this county. The son attended and graduated from the 
Drum Hill School, of Peekskill. 

As a lad he attracted the attention of General James. W. Husted, 
who resolved to open for him a political career. In 1882 young Apgar 
—then but twenty years old^ — accompanied General Husted to Al- 
bany, and became clerk to one of the legislative committees. This 
was the beginning of a service at Albany in positions of trust and of 
intimate connection with the business of legislation -which continued 
almost without interruption until his appearance before the people of 
the 3d district as a candidate for the office so long held by General 
Husted. Indeed, for a period of fourteen successive years he was in 
attendance at every legislative session excepting the sessions of 1892 
and 1893, when the Democrats Were in control. In 1886, 1887, and 
1890 he was speaker's clerk to Speaker Husted, and in 1888 and 1889 
sustained a like relation to- Speaker Cole. General Husted found 
him indispensable, and in 1891 made him his private secretary. The 
closest political and personal relations always existed between the 
two. During the years 1892 and 1893 Mr. Apgar held a responsible 
position in the New York Stove Works, of which General Husted was 
president until his death. In 1894-96 he was private secretary to 
Lieutenant-Governor Sexton, and in 1896 he became private secretary 
to the Hon. William L. Ward, member of congress. 

In the fall of 1897 he was unanimously nominated as representative 
in the assembly for the 3d district by' the Eepublican convention 
which met at Croton Dam. The Eepublicans of the district were not 
entirely united in the campaign which followed, a.nd Mr. Apgar was 
defeated by his Democratic opponent, the Hon. John Gibney, of Sing 
Sing, although by a plurality of but 161. He was renominated in 
1898, and carried the district by a clear majority of 109 over the com- 
bined vote of Democratic, Socialist Labor, and Prohibition candi- 
dates; and in 1899, after one term in the assembly, he was again 
elected, receiving a clear majority of 1,088. In the fall of 1900 he was 
once more renominated for representative in the assembly of New 



York, an honor which attests at once his popularity and the confi- 
dence and respect in which he is held by his constituents. 

Mr. Apgar's record in the assembly has been highly honorable to 
him and eminently satisfactory to his constituents. At the legisla- 
tive session of 1809 he procured the passage, through the assembly 
of bills making appropriation for the New York State Reformatory 
for Women, at Bedford, amending the law relating to municipal cor- 


porations, and giving railroad conductors and brakemen certain pow- 
ers as policeinen, together with several Westchester County local 
bills. , 

During the session of 1900 he was instrumental in passing bills for 
preserving the Albany Post Road, authorizing the issue of liquor li- 
censes to palace car companies, making appropriation for the Bed- 
ford Reformatory, amending the railroad law relating to guard' posts, 
reaj-jpropriating |2y000' for a naonument to Colbnel Christopher 


Greene at Crompond, reappropriating money for the repair of the 
Sing Sing Prison, and providing for the appointment of inspectors of 
election in Westchester County. 

; The elements of Mr. Apgar's political success are his large ex- 
perience in connection with public business and intimate knowledge 
of.its details, his proved trustworthiness and efficiency in public po- 
sition, and his popular personal qualities. There is probably no mem- 
ber of either house of the legislature better versed than Mr. Apgar in 
the business of thaState, or more conscientious and useful in its prac- 
tical transaction. He has been a delegate to scores of political con- 
ventions. He has attended every assembly district convention held 
in the 3d district since the beginning of his activity in politics, and 
every State convention except that of 1884. In 1896 he was a dele- 
gate to the Eepublican national convention at Saint Louis. 

He is. a member of the Transportation Club of New York City, the 
Albany Club, of Albany; Courtlandt Lodge, No. 34, F. and A. M., of 
Peekskill, and other organizations. 

EOST, CALVIN (born in Somers, this county, January 21, 
1823; died in Bar Harbor, Me., July 22, 1895), was the son 
of Captain Ebenezer Frost and Mary Green, of early New 
England and Long Island ancestry. He received his early 
education in private schools and at an academy, and was graduated 
from Yale College in 1842, at the age of nineteen. He studied law 
three years with J. Henry Ferris, of Peekskill, and being admitted to 
the bar in 1845 became the partner of Mr. Ferris, under the firm style 
of Ferris & Frost. This association continued until 1857, from which" 
time Mr. Frost continued the business alone until 1888. In the latter 
year he removed to New York City, where he practiced continuously 
until his death. 

Mr. Frost was engaged in many prominent litigations, successfully 
coping with the ablest lawyers of the New York bar. In his earlier 
years he enjoyed the personal friendship of Charles O'Conor, Francis 
B. Cutting, James W. Gerard, Daniel Lord, and William Curtis Noyes. 
He was a stanch Democrat, but resolutely refused political honors, 
declining the Democratic nomination for judge of the Court of Appeals 
offered him in 1878. He was, however, a frequent delegate to the State 
conventions, as also a delegate to the Democratic national convention 
at Baltimore in 1872. He was appointed by Governor Hill in 1890 a 
member at the commission to revise the judiciary article of the State 
constitution, and was given by Judge Danforth, the Eepublican chair- 



man of that body, the appointment of chairman of the important com- 
mittee on the Court of Appeals, of which committee James C. Carter 
and Frederic E. Coudert were also members. 


Mr. Frost was a member of the Lawyers' Club and the Bar Associa- 
tion of New York City, and of the State Bar Association. He was for 
thirty years vestryman, and during the last twelve years junior war- 
den, of Saint Peter's Church, Peekskill. 


^^ HE VEKPLANOK FAMILY.— The Verplancks are not only 
||^|| one of the oldest and most interesting of the historic fam- 
^Ipll ilies of New York State, but have always, from the time 
"■■ '* of their first appearance in America, a period of more than 
two and one-half centuries, been peculiarly and well-nigh exclusively 
a New York fainily. " It is noteworthy," says the genealogist of the 
Verplancks, " that none of the male descendants of Abraham Isaacse 
(the first American ancestor), except two or three in the present 
generation, have lived beyond the limits of the State of New York." ^ 
To all readers of the annals of the Dutch regime and the colonial era 
in New York the Verplanck cognomen is one of the most familiar of 
old family names. It is associated, moreover, by intermarriage, with 
those of nearlv all the earlv New York families of note. 

In Westchester County this family has been Conspicuous for gen- 
erations. We trace below the line of descent of the present Mr. 
Philip Verplanck, of Yonkers. 

I. Abraham Isaacse Verplanck (/. c, Abraham, son af Isaac), the 
founder of the family, came to New Netherland from Holland about 
1633. He married (hot later than 1635) Maria, daughter of Guleyn 
and Ariantje (Cuvel) Vigne or Ving6. In 1638 he obtained from 
Governor Kieft a ground brief or patent of a tract of land at " Paulus 
Hoeck." In 1649 he purchased a house in New Amsterdam (New 
York City), on the present site of Bowling Green. He also owned vari- 
ous other property. His occupation was that of a trader in beavers. 
He was a noted character in the old Dutch settlement, and his name 
appears frequently in the records. He is particularly remembered for 
his connection with Dutch aggression against the Indians, attended 
by .sanguinary results. It is supposed that he died in 1690. He had 
nine children, of whom the eldest son was 

II. Gulian (or Gelyn) Verplanck, born January 1, 1637; married, 
June 20, 1668, Hendrika Wessels. He was one of the prominent New 
York merchants of his time, and a leading man in local affairs. With 
Francis Koinbout he purchased from, the Indians, in 1683, some 85,000 
acres of land in Dutchess County, subsequently known as the Rom- 
bout Patent, comprising the Towns of Fishkill, East Fishkill, Wap- 
pingers, the west part of La Grange, and 9,000 acres on the south- 
eastern'side of the Town of Poughkeepsie. Portions of this domain 
are still owned by his descendants (notably Eobert N. and William E. 
Ver Planck,^ of Fishkill-on-the-Hudson). He died April 23, 1684. He 
had eight children. His second son was 

■ The HiBtory of Abraham Isaaose Ver Planck, and His the tanuly ia aa foUowB : Abraham Isaacse,' Gulian,' 

Male Descendants in America, by WUliam Edward Ver Samuel,' Gulian,« Samuel,' Darnel Crommelm, Guhan 

„, , _ Crommelin.' William Samuel," and Robert Newbn,» and 
FlancK, p. 7. 

' Grandsons of Gulian Crommelin Ver Planck, the dis- -William Edward." 
tinguished author. The line of descent of this branch of 



III. fJaftobus Yerplanck, born December" %' 1671 ; married, Septem- 
ber 8,, l,6,91j Margaretta, daughter of Philip Peterse Schuyler, of Rens- 
selaer^yyck. (Gertrude, another daughter of Schuyler, was the wife 
of Stephanus Van Cortlandt.) He lived in Ne.>\' YRrk City, dying there 
October 30, 1699. He had two children (both sons). The second son 
was . ,>,-•'■ 

, JV., Philip Verplanck, of Cortlandt Manor, born June 28, 1695; 
married, April 10, 1718, Gertrude, only child of Johannes Van Cort- 
landt, the eldest son of Stephanus Van Cortlandt. In his early life 
Philip lived in Albany County, of which he was sheriff. His wife 
inherited from her father that portion of Cortlandt Manor since 
known as Verplanck's . Point, Westchester County, which had been 


bought from the Indiains in 1683 by Stephanus Van Cortlandt and 
by him devised to his son Johaaines. The original Indian deed of this 
property is now in the possession of Philip Verplanck, of Yonkers, 
and is in good preservation. Philip, taking possession of this prop- 
erty, built a manor house at the Point near the river (1719 or 1720), 
which was continuously occupied by the family until the Eevolution, 
being burned down by hot shot from the British warship " Vulture." 
He was a noted surveyor and prominent public man. He laid out and 
surveyed over 85,000 acres belonging to his grandfather, represented 
the Manor of Cortlandt in the legislafUir-fe for thirty-four years, was 
king's commissioner to George II., and furnished nearly all the prc)- 
visions and transportation facilities in the Indian wars of 1763. He 
had nine children, of whom the youngest was 

, ■ /;*B!IOGRAPI-IIUAL 361 

V. Philip Verplanck, of Eombout Precinct, born August 30, 1736; 
married, April 6, 1764, Aefie (Eve, or Effie), daugliter of Gerard us 
Beekman, Jr., and Oatlierina (Provost) Beekman. He lived at his 
father's place at Pine Plains, near Fishkill ("Rombout Precinct"), 
pursuing the occupations of farmer and miller. He built a handsome 
and commodious mansion" in 1768 ( shown in the illustration), which 
is still standing in a good state of preservation. He also became the 
owner ( as the eventual sole heir of his father) of the estate at Ver- 
planck's Point. He died June 20, 1777. He had six children, his eld- 
est son being 

VI. Philip Verplanck, of Verjjlanck's Point, born July 18, 1768; 
married, September 27, 1796, Sally, daughter, of Thomas Arden, Esq., 
of New York. , Inheriting the lands at Verplanck's Point, he rebuilt 
the family mansion (the original building having, been burned, as 
related above), and after the ruin wrought by the contepding armies 
in the Eevolution brought the property up to a state pf improvement 
which was the admiration of all who ever saAv it. He had, the choicest 
of fruit, the best of sheep and horses, and the finest farm,- buildings of 
that day on the Hudson. He died April 12, 1828.' ^e had five chil- 
dren.^ His eldest son was . , :, 

VII. Philip Verplanck, born November 16, 1797; inarried, first, 
March 22, 1824, Augusta Maria, daughter of Andrew and Anna Maria 
( Verplanck) Deve^ux, and, second, Euphemia, daughter .of Anthony 
A. and Gertrude (Verplanck) Hoifman. He also lived many years at 
Verplanck's P.oint,.developing numerous additional features of a noble 
property of more than 2,000 acres. In 1834 he sold the entire estate, 
for $450,000, to a syndicate of New York gentlemen, who proceeded 
to lay out the Village of Verplanck's Point. He then removed to New 
Windsor, Orange County, where he built a fine dwelling, ''Hawk- 
wood," on the high ground overlooking the Hudson. He died August 
14, 1872. He had six children (all by his first wife), of whom the 
fij^st is 

VIII. Philip Verplanck, of Yonkers, a formal biography of whom 


In the foregoing sketch of the paternal ancestry of Philip Ver- 
planck no attempt has been made to trace in any specific manner 
the collateral lines. As has already been indicated, these lines include 
several of the best old colonial families— all of them being of Dutch 

> The second son of Philip Verplanck, of Verplanck's part of his life, and married, flxst, EUen Irving, grandniece 

Point, was William Beekman Verplanck, born October 11, of Washington Irving, and had by her one son, Lews 

1806. He occnpied a fine residence in the northern por- Irving, born November 7 1863. Dnrmg the mmority of 

tion of the Point property, which is still standing. He this son the father sold h.s property at the Point, and 

died in 1839 at the age of thirty-three, leavingbut one child, with him the last Imk -« bro^- 'ZT^n 

also named William Beekman Verplanck, born January of Verplanck's Pomt with the Verplanck family. 
26, 1835. This son lived at the Point during the greater 


stock and most of them identified with Westchester and Dutchess 

PHILIP VERPLANGK, of Yonkers, was bom in New York City, 
January IB, 1825. He was prepared for entrance to Yale at the 
Poughlceeijsie Collegiate School, but had the misfortune to suffer a 
severe injury from a fall from a tree, which for a long time pre- 
cluded all further studT. His back was nearly broken, and a serious 
curvature of the spine resulted. After his recovery it was thought 
he could not hope to endure the ordeal of college life and work, and 
he was accordingly placed in the law office of his father's friend and 
instructor, Richard L. Eiker, of New York. There he read commercial 
and insurance law for two years. He then procured a situation in 
the counting-house of Sands, Fox & Company, at that time the largest 
English importing establishment in New York. With this concern 
he remained for five years, acquiring a good practical commercial edu- 
cation; but the old trouble with his back and spine broke out anew, 
and he was obliged to abandon regular employment and seek re- 
cuperation, going, upon the advice of his physician, to the Danish 
( West Indies) island of Saint Croix. 

Prom that visit he returned at the time when the California gold 
fever was, at its height. He joined a company of young men, who 
purchased a ship, loaded her with tools, tents, and provisions, and 
in January, 1849, set sail by way of Cape Horn. They arrived at their 
destination after an adventurous voyage of six months. This was the 
first vessel of heavy draught to ascend the Sacramento River to Sacra- 
mento City, a distance of ninety niiles from San Francisco. In con- 
sequence of diversity of interests and dispositions the association of 
which Mr. Verplanck was a member gradually went to pieces, and 
after about twenty of the company had died of typhoid and other 
fevers the ship was sold and the proceeds were divided. 

He next made a journey to the Hawaiian Islands, and soon entered 
into trade there, shipping produce to San Francisco. Being fairly 
successful, he returned at the end of a year and embarked in the 
wholesale grocery business in San Francisco under the firm name 
of Verplanck & McMullin. After the breaking out of the Civil War 
he purchased the interest of his partner, who was a pronounced South- 
ern sympathizer, and the firm was reorganized as Verplanck, Well- 
man & Company. 

Having contracted the asthma in San Francisco, he again found 
it necessary to seek relief from bodily ills in travel. He revisited 
the Sandwich Islands, and made a trip to the Old World, visiting 
Syria, Egypt, Palestine, and every city of note in Europe. But upon 


Ms return to San Francisco his health again began to suffer and he 
reluctantly felt obliged to give up his business and residence there. 
He came back to New York in 1864, and, unwilling to resign himself 
to idleness, engaged in the rice and sugar business, becoming a mem- 
ber of the firm of Jahn, Verplanck & Oompa.ny, in Wall Street. In 
this connection he continued until 1883, when he retired permanently 
from active life, having completed his mercantile career within a 
block of where he passed the first five years of his viaried occupations. 

Mr. Verplanck has been a citizen of Yonkers since 1875. He pos- 
sesses many original documents of great interest and importance 
from colonial times, handed down to him by his ancestors. 

He married, first, in San Francisco, California, in 1851, Sarah Anne 
Johnson, and second (also in San Francisco), June 9, 1857, Ophelia 
Merle Durbrow. There was only one child by his first marriage, 
Philip, who is now living in Saint Paul, Minn.; he married Louise 
E., daughter of Bruno Beaupr<5, a pioneer merchant of the West, and 
has a son, Philip B. The children of Mr. A^'erplanck's second marriage 
are Catherine Augusta; Edward Durbrow (married Florence P. 
Wellman, granddaughter of Commodore Timothy Wellman, a de- 
scendant of Colonel Prescott, of Bunker Hill fame), who has a son 
Philip (born in Boston, Mass.); and Joseph Durbrow. 

RYANT, JOHN EMORY, of Mount Vernon, editor of the 
Chronicle-Record, of that city, was born in Wayne, Kenne- 
bec County, Me., on October .13, 1835. In his paternal line 
he is descended from the same ancestry as the late William 
CuUen Bryant, the original progenitor of the family in this country 
having emigrated from England to Massachusetts in old colonial 
times. The branch of the family from which Colonel Bryant springs 
removed soon after the Revolution to Maine, where his ancestors for 
two generations were farmers and Methodist preachers, and his father, 
Rev. Benjamin Bryant, was a clergyman of the Maine Conference 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, sustaining a high reputation for 
ability and character. His mother, Lucy (French) Bryant, was a mem- 
ber of the well-known French family of New Hampshire and Maine, 
She was a niece of Hon. John French, M.D., who was a candidate on 
the Whig ticket for governor of New Hampshire, and a cousin of Hon. 
Ezra B. French, at one time a member of congress from Maine and for 
many years second comptroller of the United States Treasury. 

Colonel Bryant received his education at the Maine Wesleyan Semi- 



nary (Eeadfleld, Me.), then under the direction of the Eev. Henry P. 
Torsey, D.D., one of the best known of Maine educators. He was grad- 
uated from that institutian in 1856, at the age of twenty-one. For nine 
years he successfully taught country and village schools, being for some 
time principal of the high school at Buckfleld, Me; 

On September 5, 1861, he was commissioned captain of the 8th Maine 
Infantry by Governor Israel Washburn, Jr., and from that date until 

"^^ m<^ 




October, 1864, when he was mustered out, he was in active service in 
the army. In the early period of the war he served in the brigade of 
General Egbert L. Viele, accompanying his regiment in the expedition 
that captured the Port Eoyal Islands. Subsequently he was for seven- 
teen months on the staff of General Eufus Saxton, military gov&rnor 
of the Department of the South, and in command of the United States 
forces at Beaufort, S. 0. 
In July, 1864, he rejoined his regiment, then with the Army of the 


James, in front of Petersburg. In the battle known as the Mine Ex- 
plosion (July 31) he had the honor of commanding his regiment. He 
continued in command until mustered out in October, participating in 
all the engagements before Petersburg during this period. On August 
23, 186i, he was commissioned major by Governor Samuel Coney, of 
Maine, and by act of congress, passed March 13, 1865, he was promoted 
for gallant and meritorious services during the Eebellion to the rank of 
lieutenant-colonel by brevet, his commission being signed by President 
Andrew Johnson. 

After leaving the army Colonel Bryant returned to Maine, where he 
remained until May, 1865. He then accepted the office of commissioner 
in charge of civil affairs for the State of Georgia, under General Eufus 
Saxton, military governor of the Department of the South. In this 
responsible position Colonel Bryant's duties were mainly in connection 
with the interests of the emancipated negroes, the Freedman's Bureau 
not having been created at the time of his appointment. Becoming 
satisfied from his experience and observation that it was not possible for 
the colored people to attain complete enjoyment of civil rights without 
being granted political rights as well, he commenced an agitation in 
favor of the ballot for the negro. To that end he called a conference of 
the friends of equal rights to meet in Augusta. Ga.. early in January, 
1866. The movement resulted in the organization of the Georgia Equal 
Eights and Educational Association, of which he was made president. 
On January 10, 1866, he began the publication, at Augusta, of the 
Loyal Georgian, the first newspaper in the cotton States that advocated 
suffrage for the freedmen. This journal was continued until 1872. 

In the winter of 1866-67 Colonel Bryant revisited Maine, and was 
aidmitted to the bar. Eeturning to Georgia, he was also admitted to 
practice law in that State (April 11, 1867) before the Superior Court 
in session at Augusta. He was a delegate to the first constitutional 
convention held in Georgia after the war (1867), and was a member of 
the first State legislature that met under the new constitution (1868). 
In 1869 he was appointed by President Grant postmaster at Augusta, 
but resigned the position to remain in the legislature. He cohtiiiued 
to serve in that body until the end of the session of 1871. In the spring 
of 1872 he received the Federal appointment of chief deputy collector 
for the port' of Savannah. His incumbency of this office continued 
until 1877, when' he resigned and removed to Atlanta. While living in 
Sayiahiiah he was twice (1874 and 1876) nominated and legally elected 
to represent the'district in congress, but by " counting out " operations 
was defrauded of his seat. 

Soon after he removed to Atlanta, Colonel Bryant established in that 
city the Georgia Republican, which he published and edited until 1885. 


On July 25, 1884, he was appointed by President Arthur United States 
marshal for the northern district of Georgia, vice Lieutenant-General 
James Longstreet, removed. On May 21, 1885, he tendered to President 
Cleveland his resignation of the marshalship, and on July 1 following, 
his successor having qualified, retired from the office. Upon that occa- 
sion United States Judge Emory Speer said : "In taking leave of the 
late marshal, the Court feels it its duty to express the opinion that Colo- 
nel Bryant has discharged the duties of the marshal's office with re- 
markable efficiency and skill, and with humanity and courtesy to all 
persons brought in contact with him. The Office, within the knowledge 
of this Court, has never been better conducted, and I am very sure that 
Colonel Bryant retires from the discharge of the duties not only with 
the good will of this Court, but also of the judge of this district, now 
absent, and of the officers of the Court." In addition. Judge Speer paid 
him the compliment of directing that his name be entered on the roll 
of members of the United States District Court for the northern dis- 
trict of Georgia. During his residence in Savannah he had been ad- 
mitted (November 5, 1874) as a practitioner before the United States 
District Court of the southern district of Georgia. 

Colonel Bryant was one of the founders of the Eepublican party in 
the State of Georgia, taking an active and leading part in establishing 
that organization on a solid basis after the passage of the reconstruc- 
tion acts in the spring of 1867. He was made secretary of the State 
committee of the party, and remained a member of the committee as 
long as he continued to live in Georgia. For four years, from 1876 to 
1880, he served the State committee as its chairman. He was one of 
the delegates from Georgia to the national Republican convention of 
1884 at Chicago, and was instrumental in causing the entire vote of 
the Georgia delegation of twenty-four to be cast, from the beginning 
to the end of the balloting, for the renomination of President Arthur. 

In February, 1887, after a residence of nearly twenty-two years in 
Georgia,. Colonel Bryant returned to the North, making his home in 
New York City, where he embarked in the real estate business. In 
April, 1891, he came to Mount Vernon as general manager for the 
M(mnt Vernon Suburban Land Company. He has ever since been a 
well-known, enterprising, and representative citizen of Mount Vernon. 
Eetiring from the management of the Land Company in July, 1896, he 
purchased a majority of the stock of the Mount Vernon Record. That 
newspaper was consolidated with the Mount Vernon Chronicle in Sep- 
tember, 1898, the new journal taking the name of the Chronicle-Record, 
of which Colonel Bryant is still at the head, both as publisher and 
editor. He is one of the most prominent Republicans of Mount Ver- 
non and that section of Westchester County. 


He was married, June 23, 1864, to Miss Emma Spaulding, daughter 
of James and Cynthia Spaulding, of Buckfield, Me. They have one 
child, Alice Emma, wife of the Rev. J. C. Zeller, of the Central Illinois 
Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Cliurch. 

Colonel Bryant is one of the leading IMethodist laymen of Mount 
Yernon. While living at the South he was a member of the Marietta 
Street Methodist Episcopal Church, of Atlanta, and the Wesley Me- 
morial Methodist Episcopal Church, South, of Savannah. He was a 
delegate from the State of Georgia to the Methodist Episcopal General 
Conferences of 1884 and 1888. Upon coming to Mount Vernon he 
united with the First Methodist Episcopal Church of that city, with 
which he is still connected. 

To Colonel and Mrs. Bryant is mainly due the credit for the founda- 
tion and successful conduct of the Bethany Christian Home, of Mount 
Vernon. Bethany Mission was begun in the spring of 1893, but it was 
not until two and one-half years later that practical steps were taken 
toward establishing a home for the care and encouragement, under 
Christiai" auspices, of destitute men. There was at the time no place 
in Mount Vernon, excepting saloons and the police station, where such 
unfortunates could be temporarily lodged. In September, 1895, Col- 
onel Bryant, upon his own responsibility, leased a house for the pur- 
pose, and although various difficulties were encountered during the 
first few months, the charity gradually attracted the attention and 
substantial support of the Christian public of the city, with the result 
that the present quarters on North Bond Street were opened in the fall 
of 1895. Since its inauguration 1,738 persons have been admitted to 
the Home, and of these nearly one thousand have professed Christian- 
ity and a desire to lead better lives. The Home is partly self-support- 
ing, it being one of the principal objects of the m-anagement to engage 
the men in work. From the start it has been personally managed by 
Colonel Bryant and his wife. 

ELTNEE, WILLIAM H., a director and the treasurer and 
manager of the Henry Zeltner Brewing Company, is a na- 
tive of New York City, the son of Henry Zeltner. His par- 
ents were married in New' York, September 20, 1857, his 
father having arrived in this country from Germany in 1854, and his 
mother in 1849. His paternal grandfather, George Zeltner, was a hop 
grower and brewer, while his great-grandfather, John George Zelt- 
ner, was also a hop grower. The latter died at the age of ninety-two. 



Mr. Ze]tner^s mother was born at Domfessel, Department of Stras- 
burg, Alsace-Lorraine, the daughter of Christian William Schurch 
and Eva Margareta Tiellmann. 

Henry Zeltner first worked with Erhardt Eichter, on Forsyth Street, 

f »'^" -"-"w , 


New York, and subsequently with the P. & M. Schaefer Brewing Com- 
pany, and Franz Euppert, father of Jacob Euppert. During the sum- 
mer time he also worked on the farm of Spencer Lorillard, now a part 





of Pelham Bay Park. In I860 he purchased the small brewery of 
William Jaeger, with lots, on Eighth Street and Third Avenue Mcvr- 
risania, now the Borough of the Bronx. The brewery was gradually 


enlarged as its business increased, until tlie present buildings were 
erected in 1891, on the site of the original brewery. In 1893 the busi- 
ness was incorporated, since which time Henry Zeltner has been 
president of the company, and his son, William H. Zeltner, treasurer 
and business manager. The latter has various other business con- 
nections, and is a member of a number of clubs and other organiza- 

UPFEL, ADOLPH G.— The large brewing establishment of 
A. Htipfel's Sons will always be remembered as one of the 
old landmarks of the Annexed District, and will be asso- 
ciated in mind with Mr. Adolph G. Hupfel, one of the 
most entesrprising and public-spirited citizens of the great " North 
Side." Doubtless some who are still living can remember the time 
when a small frame building stood upon the site of the present 
brewery buildings. This was the original brewery of a man named 
Xavier Gnant. Subsequently it became the property of a Mr. Schil- 
ling, and by him was sold to Mr. Anton Hupfel, stepfather of A. G. 
Hupfel and John C. G. Hupfel, in 1863. At that time the brewery 
consisted of a modest frame building, with a capacity of about 2,000 
barrels a year. In 1865 the old plant was torn down, and a new 
brewery (still incorporated in the existing buildings) was erected upon 
its site, with a capacity of 20,000 barrels. In 1873 Mr. Anton Hupfel 
retired from the business, which passed into the hands of his two 
stepsons, Mr. Adolph G. Hupfel and John 0. G. Hupfel, under the 
firm name of " A. Htipfel's Sons." Not alone this establishment, but 
the brewery at 223-9 East 38th Street, passed, into their hands. In 
1883, however, that partnership was dissolved, and the brewery in 
the Annexed District became the exclusive property of Mr. Adolph 
G. Hupfel, while that on 38th Street was taken by his brother. Under 
the executive management of Mr. Adolph G. Hupfel, therefore, the 
existing establishment has reached its present proportions, and at- 
tained its extensive business and high standing. A capacity of 
70,000 barrels was added to the original capacity of 20,000 barrels, 
making a total of 90,000, after Mr. Anton Hupfel had rebuilt in 1865. 
Under the management of the firm of A. Htipfel's Sons a storage 
capacity of 40,000 barrels was added to that enjoyed before, giving 
a grand total of 130,000. 

Adolph Glazer Htipfel was bom in Orange County, New York, 
August 12, 1845. He was the son of Adolph Glazer, a linguist, bom 
in Neviges, Prussia, and his wife, Catherine Bross, born' in Nymegen, 



Holland. They were married in Holland, and came to the United 
States about 1843. The family of Adolph Glazer was of some note 
in Prussia, and his immediate ancestors had enjoyed the dignity of 
burgomaster and held other important local offices in Neviges, taking 
a leading part in the Revolution of 1848. In consequence he lost all 
his possessions, was banished, but, after a general amnesty was 
proclaimed, returned to his native town and taught languages. He 


had himself been apprenticed to a cabinetmaker, and removing to 
Orange County, New York, very soon after the arrival of himself 
and wife in New York City, followed his business there, while also 
establishing a successful enterprise as a manufacturer of fishpoles. He 
died in 1849, when his son, the subject of this sketch, was but two years 
old. His business was continued by his widow for about three years, 
when she was married to Mr. Anton Hiipfel. The latter carried on 
the manufacturing enterprise in Orange County until 1854, and then 
associated himself with Roemelt & Assheimer, brewers, of 223-9 East 


38th street, New York City. In 1858 Anton Hiipfel bought out his 
partners, in 1863 (as already stated) purchased the Schilling brewery 
in the Annexed District, and in 1873 retired, selling out both estab- 
lishments to his stepsons, who adopted the surname of Hiipfel. 

Adolph G. Htipfel attended the district schools of Orange County 
until nine years of age, and, after the removal of his parents to New 
York City, the public schools of the metropolis, from which he was 
graduated in 1861. He then enjoyed a two years' course in a private 
school, and at its close became employed in the Htipfiel brewery on 
38th Street. Beginning at the lowest round, he discharged his duties 
so faithfully that after two years he was made bookkeeper for the 
establishment, also having the duty of collecting the outstanding ac- 
counts, while at the same time working in the practical departments 
and mastering every detail of the brewing industry. The strain of 
these exertions affected his health, and he visited Europe to recuper- 
ate. After his return he took the management of all the outside 
interests of the business. This now included a second brewery; for 
Mr. Anton Htipfel had acquired the Schilling establishment at 161st 
Street and 3d Avenue. The conduct of these businesses by the two 
brothers from 1873 to 1883, and of the uptown brewery by Mr. Adolph 
G. Htipfel alone since 1883, has already been referred to. 

The high standing which Mr. Htipfel enjoys among the leading 
brewers of New York City, and indeed of the country at large, is in- 
dicated by the fact that he has been president both of the Brewers' 
Board of Trade and the Brewers' Exchange of New York. He has 
taken a most prominent part in all public matters concerning the 
brewing interests of the country, and is well known as an effective 
advocate of liberal and progressive ideas. He is director of the 
Union Railroad Company, as also of the New York and New Jersey 
Bridge Company, a member of the North Side Board of Trade, a mem- 
ber of the, Masonic fraternity, the Knights of Pythias, and the Arion, 
Liederkranz, Turners', and Arion Liedertafel societies. He is an inde- 
pendent Democrat, allowing the public interest alone to guide him in 
all local elections. 

Mr. Htipfel married, in 1870, Catherine Kuntz, of New York City, 
who died with her young child in 1871. In 1873 he married her 
sister, Magdalen Kuntz, by whom he has four children — Catherine 
G., wife of H. W. McMann, of New York Oty; Adolph G., Jr.; An- 
toinette G. ; and Otto G. Adolph G. Htipfel, Jr., is a practical brewer, 
a master brewer, a graduate of the Packard Business College of New 
York City, and a post-graduate of Yale College. From the latter in- 
stitution he was graduated in the scientific department in 1896. He 
then spent a year of study in Europe, attending the Berlin Brewing 


School and the Physiological and Bacteriological Institute of Copen- 
hagen. He is now connected with his father's business, firm. 

Mr. Adolph G. Hiipfel is the proprietor of a handsome country 
estate of some two hundred acres, near Johnsville, Dutchess County, 
N. Y., where his family now reside. This beautiful homestead, 
formerly known as the Du Bois property and now called Echodale, 
was acquired by Mr. Hiipfel in 1884. " His residence," says a local 
Dutchess County authority, " is one of the finest in the county, and 
his bams are models of construction." All the time he can spare 
from his various business interests in New York Oty Mr. Hiipfel 
spends at the Dutchess County home. 

APFEN, MATHIAS, Se., founder of the Haffen brewery at 
152d Street and Melrose Avenue, and father of its present 
proprietors, Jolm and Mathias Haffen, and of Louis F. 
Haffen, president of the Borough of the Bronx, New York 
City, was born in Germany, May 23, 1814, from whence he came to the 
United States in 1831, when seventeen years of age. He served for sev- 
eral years in the United States Navy, and later was engaged in con- 
struction work in New York City, notably in connection with the 
Harlem Eailroad, then in process of building. He was married, in 
1844, to Catherine Hayes, a native of Ireland (born in 1823, died De- 
cember 16, 1888), and, removing to Williamsburg, L. I., was engaged 
in farming and the milk business from about 1845 or 1846 to 1851. 
In the latter year Mr. Haffen removed to Melrose (at that time a 
sparsely settled community), continuing in the milk business until 
1856, when he embarked in the brewing of beer, according to the 
primitive methods in vogue in those days, laying the foundation of the 
present establishment. The original brewery was on the north side 
of East 152d Street (Nos. 607-609), and so remained until its removal 
to the present site, on the south side of the street, in 1865. When Mr. 
Haffen began brewing the actual manufacture of the beverage could 
only be conducted during about five of the colder months of the year, 
from November to March, the brew being kept for summer use by 
storage in deep rock cellars or underground vaults, which were fre- 
quently mined out of the solid rock. The stone-arch cellars used for 
storage by Mr. Haffen were some thirty feet underground. 

Mr. Mathias Haffen, Sr., conducted the brewery during its earlier 
years; his sons, John and Mathias, Jr., being with him later on, learn- 
ing the business and associated in its management; and in 1871 Mr. 



Haffen retired and left them in full control. The firm name of J. & M. 
Haffen was adopted at that time, and has continued to the present 

day. Sketches of the present members of the firm are given below. 
Mr. Haffen died March 10, 1891. 

JOHN HAPPEN was born in Long Island City, February 7, 1847, 
and from that date until 1851 resided with his parents in Williamsburg, 


removing with them to Melrose in the latter year. The house built 
by his father in Melrose,' at the northwest corner of the present CJort- 
la.nd Avenue and 152d Street, is still standing, and is identical with 
the present " Protection Hall." This old homestead was built by Mr. 
Hafeen, Sr., in 1.851. The name, " Protection Hall," was acquired 
through the fact that the old volunteer engine company of Melrose 
("Protection Engine Company No. 5") had its headquarters next 
door, from 1852 to 1858, removing to 157th Street in the latter year. 
This company was organized in 1852, the elder Mr. Haffen being an 
original member. Upon annexation to the City of New York the old 
company passed out of existence in its original form, and was re- 
organized as a benevolent institution, most of its members being sons 
of the former members of the engine company. Of this society Mr. 
John Haffen has been president for a number of years. He was a 
member of the active company prior to 1874. 

Mr. Haffen was one of about fifteen pupils who attended the old 
school on Elton Avenue, between 156th and 157th Streets, and was 
one of the first pupils of the Christian Brothers, after they had built 
their school, between 150th and 151st, Streets, where the Church of 
the Immaculate Conception now stands. In 1860 he was employed 
in his father's brewing business as an apprentice, and worked his 
way through each department in turn, thoroughly mastering the pro- 
cesses in a practical way. He has been continuously connected with 
the brewery since, having in conjunction with his brother, in 1871, 
succeeded Mr. Haffen, Sr., in the full control of the business, as al- 
ready stated. 

Beyond his business connections immediately growing out of the 
brewing industry Mr. Haffen has been identified with various local 
interests, financial or otherwise, and is now president of the Dollar 
Savings Bank, first vice-president of the 23d Ward Bank, and chair- 
man of the 23d Ward Taxpayers' Association. He was married to 
Caroline Hoffmann (bom September 19, 1851), and has two children 
— Mrs. Mary A. Ireland, bom June 5, 1870, and John M. Haffen, born 
February 20, 1872. 

MATHTAS HAFFEN, Je., who, with his brother, succeeded to the 
control of the Haffen brewery in 1871, was born at Williamsburg, L. 
I., where his father was then in business, as previously stated, June 
6,' 1850, and removed with the family to Melrose the following year. 
Melrose was at that time just beginning to take on the character of ac- 
tivity which followed the opening of the Harlem Railroad. There 
was no system of public conveyance, either stage or horse-car, the 
establishment of the stage-line on 3d Avenue, with the stage-lines from 



Morrisania and Tlirogg's Neck, being subsequent to the settletaent 
of the Haffens in Melrose. The school advantages were also some- 
what primitive, therefore. Mr. Haffen, however, was educated in the 
public schools, attended a private German school, where his brother, 


the president of the present borough, was also educated, and finished 
at the school of the Christian Brothers, which stood on the site of the 
present Church of the Immaculate Conception. 

Like his brother John, Mathias Haffen entered the brewery as an 
apprentice and worked his way through all the departments, becom- 
ing practically equipped as a thorough master brewer. Both brothers 
have thus passed experimentally through the three stages of the evolu- 
tion of brewing in this country : the period of winter-brewing and un- 
derground storage, the period during which the introduction of the 
use of ice and ice houses extended the season of brewing and gave fa,- 
cilities for a larger output through the advantages in the matter of 
storage, and the modern period of refrigeration which has entirely 
freed the art from bondage to times and seasons. 

Prior to about 1865 every process in connection with brewing was 
done by hand, even to the pumping of water. Between 1860 and 
1868, or thereabouts, horse-power was employed for pumping and 
crushing the malt; while subsequently the use of steam and modern 
machinery was introduced. The firm of J. & M. HafEen built a large 
ice-house in 1874, which continued in use uatil about 1885, when ice- 
machines were put in, the first being constructed by the National Ice 
Machine Company. These had a capacity of forty tons of ice per 
day. In 1894 another ice-machine apparatus was put in, the De la 
Vergne, affording the additional capacity of another fifty tons of ice 
per day. The growth aiid development of the business, of the brewery 
has largely occurred since the accession of the present firm in 1871. 
While the output during the first year following the establishment 
of the original brewery in 1856 was one thousand barrels per year, 
it had become in 1896 more than forty-five thousand barrels. 
. Mr. Mathias Haffen has various business interests outside those of 
, the brewery, and is a member of several societies. His wife, Wilhel- 
mina, was bom June 27, 1848. They have a son, Louis Francis Haffen, 
Jr., namesake of President Haffen, and born August 14, 1885. 

BLING, PHILIP (born in Schomsheim, Germany, died in 
New York City), was the son of Jacob Ebling, both his 
father and his grandfather having been engaged in the 
manufacture of vinegar in Schornsheim. Mr. Ebling was 
educated in the schools of his native place, learned the business of 
vme^ax manufacture, and when about fourteen years of age came to 
the Fnited States by the tedious transit of a sailing vessel. He found 



employment with a firm engaged in vinegar manufacture on the west 
side of New York City, and worked up until he was made foreman 
and subsequently manager of this business. He also held the same 
position with respect to a brewery established by the same firm. The 
brewery was located at 51st Street and 10th Avenue, and the vinegar 
factory on 39th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues. 

His brother, William Ebling, having subsequently come over, the 


two brothers formed a partnership under the firm style of Philip 
Ebling & Brother, and established themselves in the manufacture of 
vinegar. In 1868 the firm name was changed to Philip & William 
Ebling, and the brewing enterprise begun. They purchased the 
property of John M. Beck, on the site of their present large 
establishment, the main building of which they erected in 1868. 
Large additions, including a malt-house, an ale-brewery, ice-houses, 


and refrigerators, were subsequently sLclded. In its remarkable rock- 
cellars, of enormous proportions and unprecedented storage capacity, 
this brewery probably has the finest system of cold storage of any 
brewery in the world. With the buildings now standing there is an 
actual storage capacity of 300,000 barrels. In April, 1896, one of the 
finest bottling plants was added to the establishment, having an out- 
put of about 1,000 barrels per month, or 12,000 boxes of two dozen 
bottles each, and this output has since doubled. 

In 1888 the company was incorporated as the Philip & William 
Ebling Brewing Company, with the late Philip Ebling as president 
of the company. Upon his death, William Ebling, his oldest son, suc- 
ceeded him as president, which office he still holds; Louis M. Ebling, 
another son, is vice-president and treasurer. William Ebling, Sr., un- 
cle of the present officers of the company, and one of the two original 
partners, withdrew from the company January 1, 1892, his interests 
being taken by his brother Philip, while the interest of the latter in 
their large joint real estate holdings throughout the city passed into 
the hands of William, Sr. The late Philip Ebling was a prominent 
figure in the brewing interests of the City of New York. He was a 
member of the Brewers' Board of Trade, the United States Brewers' 
Association, the Produce Exchange, and F. & A. M. Lodge, 714. 
Philip Ebling, Jr., another son of Philip, was formerly connected with 
the brewery, not only as director, but as manager and superintendent, 
being a practical brewer and maltster; but this connection was sadly 
cut short by his untimely death. 

William Ebling, president of the company at the present time, 
was born March 18, 1863. He was educated in public and private 
schools, and later took the business course at Packard's famous com- 
mercial college. He filled various business capacities, in the oflftce 
and outside, in connection with the Ebling Brewing Company. He 
has been in the active sersdce of this company since he was fifteen 
years of age. 

BLING, WILLIAM HENRY (born in Schornsheim, Ger- 
many, July, 1826), is the oldest child of Jacob Ebling, of 
. Schornsheim, both his father and his grandfather halving 
been engaged in the manufacture of vinegar. Mr. Ebling 
attended the schools of Schornsheim, and learned the business of 
vinegar manufacture with his father. Coming to the United States 
about the period of our Civil War, he founded an establishment for 
the manufacture of vinegar on 39th Street, between 8th and 9th Ave. 



jQues, New York City. In 1868 he formed a partnership with his 
brother, the late Philip Ebling, and added the brewing business to 
that of vinegar manufacture. The firm name was Philip & William 
Ebling, and so continued until 1888, when the business was reor- 
ganized as a stock company, called the Philip & William Ebling 
Brewing Company. In 1868 the brothers purchased the establish- 


ment of John M. Beck, the site of the present brewery, and erected 
the main building, which is still standing, various additions being 
subsequently added. It scarcely needs to be said that this establish- 
ment has always enjoyed a leading place among the brewing enter- 
prises of the City of New York. 

The Ebling brothers acquired large real estate interests through- 
out the city, and in recent years Mr. Ebling has especially devoted 
himself to the management of these large properties, many of which 
have been in his possession for a generation. He is a member of the 


North. Side Board of Trade, and resides in a handsome home on Pros- 
pect Avenue. 

He was married to Pha^be, daughter of Meyer Kaieffer. Of their 
nine children, six are still living: William H., who married a 
daughter of Christian Schmidt, the well-known Philadelphia brewer; 
Charlotte, wife of Peter Doelger, Jr., the New York brewer; and 
Philip, Edward, Louis, and Robert. 

ICHLER, JOHN. — The large and imposing brick buildings 
of the John Bichler Brewing Company occupy the site 
where once stood the small, old-fashioned brewery of a 
man named Kolb. His brewery consisted of a modest 
frame house, and this building Mr. John Eichler purchased of him 
in 1860, and gradually transformed by rebuilding and remodeling 
into the establishment now standing at 169th Street and 3d Avenue. 

This establishment remains as the monument of the industry and 
executive ability of the late John Eichler. He was bom at Rothen- 
burg ob Tauber, Bavaria, October 20, 1829, and died in Gollheim, 
Rheinpfalz, August 4, 1892, whither he had gone to recruit his health. 
He came to the United States in 1854, having previously mastered 
the brewing business. With Brewer Ott, of his native place, he served 
his apprenticeship and became a journeyman brewer and then worked 
in a number of the great German breweries to acquaint himself with 
different methods of manufacture. 

Arriving in this city, Mr. Eichler at once secured the position of 
brewmaster in the famous " Old Turtle Bay Brewery " of Franz Rup- 
pert, on 45th Street. About 1856 or 1857 he began a brewing busi- 
ness of his own in partnership with a friend, a Mr. Sandman. Their 
establishment was at the corner of 9th Avenue and 60th Street. In 
1858 this partnership was dissolved, Mr. Eichler remaining sole pro- 
prietor of the brewery. Soon afterward he removed to Morrisania 
(1860), and purchased the Kolb brewery, as already stated. The 
chief attraction which brought so naany brewers above the Harlem 
River in those days was the natural rock formation, which was tun- 
neled to make cool cellars where the beer was stored— for although 
it may not be generally known, at that period beer was never brewed 
during warm weather, as is now done under the refrigerator system, 
but was made in the winter months and stored in such cellars, or in 
ice houses, for summer use. 

Mr. Eichler at once enlarged the Kolb brewery by erecting a brick 



building, and, as business increased, built several more extensions. 
In 1880 the entire establishment was remodeled into the one large 
building which now occupies the site. In 1880, also, when the new 


ice machines were introduced, the old rock cellars were closed up, hav- 
ing become useless. In this case the cellars were practically caves, 
which had been tunneled out of the rocks back of the brewery and 
extended to Fulton Avenue. 

Mr. Eichler was a member of the Produce Exchange, the Arion So- 


cietj,theLiederkrauz Club, and other social clubs or societies, together 
with various brewers' associations. His business integrity inspired 
universal confidence. He was married, November 2, 1856, in the City of 
New York, to Miss Marie Siegel, who was born in Gollheim, Bavaria, 
where Mr. Eichler died. They had but one child, Minnie Augusta, 
who died when six years old. Mrs. Eichler survives her husband, 
and maintains an active connection with the great brewing business 
he built up. 

The John Eichler Brewing Company was incorporated February 17, 
1888, with a capital of |600,000, and is in the enjoyment of a very 
extensive business. 

ULIS, WILLIAM HENRY (bom Guillermo Enrique Eliseo), 
conspicuous in financial circles in New York City, is of 
Cuban parentage and traces his ancestry in a direct line 
from prominent Spanish families, and, more remotely, 
from the ancient Moors of Spain. Although of pure Cuban and 
Spanish extraction, he is a native of the United States, having been 
born in Victoria, Tex., on the 15th of June, 1864. 

He received a liberal education, attending schools in Mexico and 
also in this country, and supplementing his literary training with 
a course in a business college and with a thorough study of the prin- 
ciples of law. Embarking upon a business career at an early age, 
he became identified at different times with a variety of important 
enterprises. He was for some time engaged in the commission busi- 
ness, conducting large operations in hides, wool, and cotton. Sub- 
sequently he was manager of hacienda mines in Mexico. During this 
early stage of his career he held an official position under the United 
States government as inspector on the Mexican frontier. Incidentally 
to his business activities he was executor of one of the largest estates 
in Mexico. 

In 1889 Mr. Ellis obtained a concession from the Mexican govern- 
ment of two million acres of land for the planting and raising of 
cotton, com, and otiier crops, which Mexico imports in large quan- 
tities from the United States, and whose native production it was 
desired to stimulate by liberal inducements to private individuals. 
Mr. Ellis, engaging in good faith in the work of developing the prop- 
erty thus acquired, transported two thousand American negroes to 
the Mexican lands, personally paying all the expenses of railway 
transportation and feeding and clothing the negroes for a period of 
eight months. This undertaking, apart from its private and public 



aspects, was in the interest of improying the condition of the people 
selected to constitute the colony. It unfortunately proved unsuc- 
cessful, involving Mr. Ellis in a very large sacrifice of money. 

In 1896 Mr. Ellis made New York City his permanent place of resi- 
dence, and, entering Wall Street, at once became prominent in large 
corporate concerns and financial operations of various kinds. He 


is at present a director of the Kansas City, Watkins & Gulf Kailroad, 
running from Lake Charles to Alexandrie, La. One hundred miles 
of this road have been completed, and the capital stock, paid in, is 
11,967,400. He is also president, director, and one of the receivers of 
the New York City District Water Supply Company (with a capital 
of $1,000,000), the Upper New York City Water Works Company 
(capital -11,000,000), and the New York and Westchester Water Com- 
pany, with a capital stock of |10,000,000. He is to-day one of. the 


notable figures of Wall Street, and probably no man of his years and 
comparatively brief career in metropolitan financial circles enjoys a 
higher reputation for brilliancy and success. 

An American by birth, education, and business pursuits, Mr. Ellis 
has always retained an enthusiastic devotion to Cuba, the land of 
his ancestors. He fought in the famous war for Cuban liberty, being' 
connected with the scouting service, and in the recent Cuban Revolu- 
tion contributed his moral and financial support to the success of 
the cause. He has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, Africa, Mexi- 
co, Central and South America, and the United States, and is still a 


Acker, Thomas Jefferson, M.D 21b 

Adee, Frederic William ;..,... 124 

Andrews, George Clinton 202 

Apgar, James Kellogg. , . 355 

Appell, George Charles. 115 

Archer, Henry Benjamin 57, 60 

Banks, Charles G 302 

Bartlett, William Holmes Chambers . 22 

Beal, William Reynolds 205 

Berrian, Charles Albert 225 

Bolton Family, The 215 

Brett, John Harrington 178 

Briggs, Edwin 294 

Briggs, George Edwin 343 

Briggs, James 304 

Briggs, Josiah Ackerman 233 

Brown, Benjamin 349 

Brush, Edward Fletcher 83 

Bryant, John Emory 363 

Burns, James Irving 53 

Carpenter, Keese 113 

Cobb, Lyman, Jr 90 

Coffin, Owen Tristam " 4 

Cooley, Alford Warriner 262 

Copcutt, John 12 

Copcutt, John Boddington 16 

Couch, Franklin 297 

Cromwell, Uayid 245 

Crumb, Leverett Finch 66 

Uain, Nathaniel 203 

Davids Family, The , . 248 

Do Angelis, Thomas Jefferson 63 

De Graaf, Henry P 315 

De Hart,. John 110 

De Peyster Family, The 320 

De Peyster, Gen. John Watts 328 

Dean Family, The 220 

Dearborn, John M 152 

Depew, Cliauueey Mitchell 9 


Digney, John McGrath 258 

Dyckman, Isaac Michael . 347 

Dykman, Jackson O 232 

Ebling, PhUip... 377 

Ebling, William'Henry . 379 

Eichler, John , 381 

Ellis, William Henry 383 

Fairchild, Ben Lewis 141 

Fairchild, John Fletcher. 146 

Ferris, Benson 351 

Fiske, Edwin Williams . 189 

Fiske, Samuel .'.... 88 

Fitch Family, The 180 

Fitchj James Seely 186 

Fitch, Theodore 184 

Flagg, Ethan 18 

Fletcher, Thomas Asa 80 

Foote, William Cullen 20 

Foshay, Nelson Gray 260 

Fox, William WooUey 195 

French, Alvah Purdy 264 

Frost, Calvin 357 

Frost, Cyrus 208 

Gates, Ephraim C ...... 211 

Gedney, Bartholomew 312 

Geduey Family, The 307 

Getty, Robert Parkhill 137 

Gould, Jay. . . . 68 

Goulden, Joseph Aloysius 89 

Haffieu, John 374 

Haffen, Louis Francis ... 103 

Haffen, Mathias, Sr 373 

Haffen, Mathias, Jr 375 

Hasbiouck, Joseph D 188 

Hawes Family, The 248 

Hawes, James B 249 

Hawley, David 107 

Havs, Daniel Peixotto 240 



Hill, Uriah, Jr. 318 

Hodge, Thomas Robinson 230 

Hoe, Robert 46 

HoUs, Frederick William 163 

HoUs, George Charles '. 158 

Horton, Charles Davenporte 195 

Horton, Ezra James 193 

Horton, Stephen D 250 

Hudson, Joseph 299 

Huntington, CoUis Potter 117 

Hupfel, Adolph G 370 

Johnson, Isaac Gale 6 

Jones, Israel Cone 223 

Keogh, Martin Jerome 243 

Ketehum, Edgar 156 

Knapp, Sanf ord Reynolds 56 

Knight, Charles Calvin 192 

Lawrence, James Valentine 153 

Lawrence, Justus 165 

Leake and Watts Orphan House . i 320, 339 

Lewis, Edson 27 

Lookwood, James Betts 274 

Mace, Levi Hamilton 246 

Marshall, Stephen Sherwood 227 

Martens, Gerd 252 

Martin, Edwin Koenigmacher 209 

McClellan, Clarence Stewart 128 

Millard, Frank Vincent 353 

Mills, Isaac N 266 

Morris, John Albert 142 

Morse, Waldo Grant 222 

Myers, John Kirtland : 218 

Newton, George Brigham 30 

O'Gorman, William 237 

O'Neill, Francis 95 

Otis, Charles RoUin 40 

Otis, Elisha Graves 37 

Otis, Norton Prentiss 42 

Penfleld, George J. 254 

Peufield, William Warner 256 

Prime, Alanson Jennain 278 

Prime, Alanson Jeimain (2) 282 


Prime Family, The 276 

Prime, Ralph Earl 280 

Pugsley, Cornelius Amory ....... . 291 

Rhodes, Bradford ; 168 

Risse, Louis Aloys 97 

Robertson, George W . 273 

Schmid, Henry Ernest 229 

Secor, George Fisher 126 

Shepard, Elliott Fitch 78 

Silkman, Daniel 32 

Silkman, James Baily 31 

Silkman, Theodore Hannibal 34 

Skinner, Halcyon 131 

Smith, Caleb 346 

Smith, John, Jr 93 

Stephens Family, The 248 

Stephens, George Washington 61 

Sutton, Gilbert Travis 174 

Sutton, James Totten 176 

Swits, David 166 

Terry, John Taylor 148 

Tiffany, Henry Dyer 198 

Tiffany, Lyman 201 

Travis, David Wiley 12 

Van Court, James Seguine 171 

Verplanck FamUy, The . i 359 

Verplanck, Philip 362 

Walter, Martin 238 

Waring, John Thomas 1 

Watts Family, The 320 

Watts, John, Jr 326 

Webb, William Henry 49 

Wells, Charles Nassau 290 

Wells, Edward 286 

Wells, Edward, Jr 389 

Wells Family of Peekskill 283 

Wells, James Lee 267 

Willets, Howard 315 

Williams, David Owen 105 

Wood, Joseph S 206 

Zeltuer, Henry ■ 368 

Zeltner, William H 367