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Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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and received the prize for the best general examination. In March, 1887, Mr.
Hunting purchased the drug bu.siness at No. 67 Central avenue. In December, 1888,
he married Margaret F. Hocomb of Albany, and they have three children, Mil-
dred E., Joseph W., and Ruth. In February, 1795, he purchased the building and
removed his business to the present location. No. 131 Central avenue, corner of
Le.xington avenue. He is a member of Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 3, F. & A. M., and
is the president of the Alumni Association of the College of Pharmacy, of which
he was also the treasurer for five years. He is a Democrat, a bimetallist, and was
an ardent supporter of Mr. Bryan for the presidency. He is much opposed to the
English system of government rule by a moneyed aristocracy, and holds in con-
tempt the pseudo aristocrats, ^vho are striving to foist the English system upon
this Republic. He sympathizes much with the many, who suffer so grievously on
account of our present monetary system — those who are compelled to yield to avarice
and greed a portion of their pittance, that the holdings of the avaricious might be
correspondingly increased.

Selkirk, Alexander, oldest son of Charles and Jane (Elmendorf) Selkirk and
brother of Lewis M. and Frank, was born at Selkirk, Albany county, N. Y., July 18,
1830. On the paternal side he descended from James Selkirk, who emigrated from
Kirkcudbright, Scotland, and landed at the city of New York June 16, 1775, then
went to Galway, Saratoga county, where he resided until the early spring of 1776;
when at Albany, he joined the Continental army in which he served until the close
of the Revolutionary war, w^hen he received his certificate of service and discharge
duly signed by George Washington (now in the Hall of Military Records, Albany).



341

He served under Arnold in the northern campaign and was in the battle of Saratoga,
at which Burgoyne surrendered; under Green, he was in the retreat through New
Jersey, and endured the hardships of the winter quarters of the army at Valley
Forge; subsequently under Gates, he was in the southern, campaign until after
Gates's defeat at Camden, and later with his regiment in the allied army he was at
Yorktown, Va., when Cornwalhs surrendered. After the close of the war he took
up his residence at Gahvay until he finally settled in 1786 at Selkirk, Albany county,
N. Y., on land purchased by him and now owned by his descendants. He died in
1830. In 1787 he married Elizabeth, sister of Christinia Herrin, wife of William
Henry, and mother of Prof. Joseph Henry, late secretary of the Smithsonian Insti-
tution, Washington, D. C. On the maternal side Mr. Selkirk is descended from the
Elmendorfs, who came from Guilderland, Holland, and settled in Dutchess county
in 1690. Their descendants were numerous and in active service in both the rank
and file of the Continental army. Alexander's father, Charles, was born at Selkirk,
1799, and was in his early life a silversmith at Albany, but on account of poor health
and his inheritance of a farm from his father, James, he in 1820 returned to the life
of a farmer at Selkirk, where he died in 1868. Alexander, with his brothers,
received his education in public school No. 3, at Selkirk ; his teachers bemg gener-
ally men from the Eastern States who made school teaching a means to aid them in
acquiring collegiate education, and under this class of teachers he was instructed in
the highest Enghsh branches of education of that day. He removed to Albany in
1847 and at J. Goold & Co.'s coach factory learned the art of coach ornamentation
and heraldry, and was made foreman in that department in 1850. In 1849 he with
George Boughton, then also a coach ornamenter, James Hart and James Williamson
formed a class for the study of free hand drawing from models with Mr. John E.
Gavit, bank note engraver, as instructor. In the spring of 1853 he went into the
business of carriage manufacture and continued in the same until in 1864, when he
sold out to Shaw & Rose, and entered the profession of solicitor and attorney in pat-
ent cases and mechanical expert, and has since continued in this profession, having
established a large practice. Mr. Selkirk joined Union Lodge of I. O. O. F., in 1853,
and Wadsworth Lodge 417, of F. and A. M., in 1857, and the Ancient Essenic Order
in 1897. In 1848 he united with the Wesleyan M. church and was identified with it
until 1863, when he united with the Fourth Presbyterian church of Albany, of which
he is now a member. He has always been a Republican, voting first for Fremont.
He married Elizabeth Jane Fee in 1853, and they have five sons: Charles, William
F., John A., Alexander, jr., Frank E., and a daughter, Elizabeth R. With other
citizens he opposed the 1894 scheme ftjr supplying Albany with water from the Berk-
shire Hills, and so amended the Water Commissioners' Bill before the Legislature
that that board dropped their bill, while bills drawn by him and introduced through
Senator Parker passed both Houses, when the Berkshire Hill supply scheme was
dropped and his plans for water supply, except filtering, also advocated by him,
were adopted substantially as w-as provided in his bills. In 1896, he through Senator
Nussbaum, introduced a bill for making a State Excise department with provision
for State control of the traflSc in liquors, which bill was before its introduction in the
two houses, some ten days in the hands of Senator Raines, who then amended his
own bill previously introduced and incorporated in it many of the provisions of Mr.
Selkirk's bill. Mr. Selkirk is the inventor of the "System of dual circulation of



342

chemical cooking liquors for making chemical fibre; " he also is the original inventor
of closed electric conduits, of the class made water-tight and completed in sections,
in a factory, and ready for laying in the ground, or at its surface, with its enclosed
conductors at all times in condition for allowing electric currents to be taken, at will,
therefrom with safety at any time, thereby dispensing with exposed or overhead
conductors.

Hayden, John R., son of Timothy and Mary (Ryan) Hayden, was born at Muitz-
eskill in the town of Schodack, Rensselaer county, N. Y., May 31, 1859, and removed
to Albany. N. Y., five years afterward. He attend the Albany public and high
schools, after which he worked at the trade of blacksmith with his father for three
years. This, however was not to his liking and he took a course of instruction at
the Albany Business College. After finishing this he studied law with N. P. Hin-
rnan, Warren S. Kelly, and Wood & Russell. He studied law for five years but
never applied for admission to the bar. In 1886 Mr. Hayden was appointed stamper
in the mailing department of the Albany post-office and two weeks thereafter was
transferred to the general delivery division. In February, 1894, he was appointed
to his present position as superintendent of the free delivery division. Mr. Hayden
is president of Capital City Council No. 54, C. B. L., and is a member of the Y. M.
C. A. October 19, 1887, he married Elizabeth A. Driscoll of Albany, who died De-
cember 6, 1895, leaving two children, John and Edward.

Sweeny, William P., was born in New York city in 1855. He is a son of Patrick
Sweeny, who w^as a well known boss mason and contractor in New York city, having
erected some of the largest buildings and principal church fronts. Mr. Sweeny's
mother's maiden name was Margaret Butler. He attended private schools in New
York and in 1862 moved with his parents to Poughkeepsie, N. Y. , where his father had
the superintendency of the mason work on Yassar College. In 1863 his father died, and
after his death, Mr. Sweeny, with his mother and sister moved, to Montreal, Can.,
so as to be with relatives in fulfillment of his father's dying request. Here young
Sweeny attended the St. Lawrence and St. Ann Schools of the Christian Brothers
and also the Jesuit College, from which he graduated in 18T0. In the fall of 1870 he
removed to Albany, N. Y., and learned the trade of cabinetmaker with the late
Charles Ferguson. After three years' apprenticeship at this trade, he went into
the carpenter business and served part of his apprenticeship with Walsh Brothers,
and worked at this trade until 1885, when he started in the business of undertaker at
No. 171 Central avenue, where he is now located and where he does a good business.
At the age of eighteen, Mr. Sweeny being a great lover of military, joined the Al-
bany Jackson Corps; he was recording secretary of this organization for five years,
and for three years carried the Walsh medal for proficiency in drill. He also suc-
ceeded Major Walsh of the Jacksonians, the leading Democratic political club of the
city, and was in command on the occasion of their memorable trip to the Democratic
State Convention held at Saratoga, N. Y., 1885, when Hon. David B. Hill received
the nomination for governor the first time. In 1886 he ran for supervisor of the
Tenth ward on the Democratic ticket and was defeated by Charles Strempel. In
1887 he again ran and was elected over Charles Strempel; in 1888 he defeated John
Kurtz for the same office. Mr. Sweeny is a life member of the Catholic Union and
a member of Branch 136 C. M. B. A., Our Lady of Angels Council No. 145, C. B. L.,



343

Fort Orange Council No. 697, Royal Arcanum, and the Mohawk and Columbus As-
sociations. Mr. Sweeny is also president of the Holy Name Society of St. Patrick's
church.

Downs, J. Murray, is a son of James H. Downs, who settled in Albany about 185.5,
and Mary B. Murray, his wife, whose father was a prominent contractor in the capi-
tal city. He was born in Albany, July 9, 1873, was graduated from the High School
in 1889, and from that time until 1892 held a clerkship in the State Law Library.
Meanwhile he read law with Reilly & Hamilton, was graduated from the Albany
Law School in 1893 and was admitted to the bar in February, 1894. He remained
in the office of his preceptors as managing clerk until April 1, 1895, when he formed
a copartnership with Hon. Robert G. Scherer. as Scherer & Downs, which still con-
tinues.

Winne, Lansing B., M. D.. was born in Albany, N. Y., October 2, 1856, a sou of
Charles Henry and Mary D. (Passenger) Winne. The following are the names of
his ancestors in this country; Benjamin, born in Holland, December 19, 1705, mar-
ried Rachel Van Arnam December 14, 1728, and died in Albany, N. Y., January 8,
1797; Levinus, born June 8, 1745, married Maria Lansing May 10, 1768, and died De-
cember 6, 1825; Jacob L., born January 12, 1788, married Julia Ann Fry, August 11,
1813, and died May 7, 1860; and Charles Henry, his father, born April 26, 1833. Dr.
Winne was graduated from the Albany Free Academy in 1874, and from the medical
department of Columbia College, New York, in 1878, receiving the degree of M. D.
After graduation he was an interne at the Demilt Dispensary in New- York; he re-
turned to Albany in 1880 and associated himself with Dr. H. R. Haskins, with whom
he remained two years, after which he began his practice in Albany. In 1885 he was
appointed coroner's physician and held the office of city physician from jMay 20, 1894,
to January 20, 1897. Dr. Winne is clinical instructor in the Albany Medical College,
a member of the dispensary staff of the Albany City Hospital and physician at the
Albany City Mission Dispensary. He is vice-president of the Albany County Medical
Society and was its secretary in 1895; he is also a member of Temple Lodge F. & A.
M., Temple Chapter R. A. M., Temple Commandery, A A. O. N. M. S., and the Un-
conditional Republican Club; he has also been vestryman in Holy Innocents church
for several years, civil service examiner New York State for health officers, medical
examiner Northwestern Life Insurance Company.

Bailey, William Howard, was born December 28, 1825, at Bethlehem, Albany
county, N. Y. He was the seventh in a family of nine children. His father. Dr.
Solomon Bailey, a man greatly respected by the community in which he resided,
was a physician with a large practice. He was frequently called in consultation by
other physicians, his opinion being valued highly. The arduous duties of his pro-
fession, however, proved too severe even for his strong and vigorous constitution, and
in 1830 he discontinued his active practice and retired to a farm. It was at this farm
that William H. Bailey, the subject of this sketch, received his early training. The
outdoor exercise and pure air incident to farm life were valuable influences in the
formation of his character. He early attended a district school, but the instruction
there received was largely supplemented by the intellectual assistance of his father.
After the death of his father in 1839 he continued his studies at the Albany Acad-
emy, but afterward went to the Utica Academy, and subsequently to the State Nor-



mal School at Albany. He finally became a student at Cazenovia Seminary. For
five years he taught school at various places. While in charge of the Union School
at Trumansburg, Tompkins county, N. Y.. he began the study of medicine. From
Trumansburg he went to Cusseta, Chambers county, Alabama, to take charge of the
Male Academy located in that town. During these years of teaching he devoted
every spare moment to the study of medicine, and in 1851 returned to Albany to
attend lectures at the Albany Medical College, at which institution he was graduated
in 1853. His first e.xperience in the practice of medicine was at Utica, N. Y., which
was then the home of his mother. In 1854 he removed to Albany, N. Y., where he
has since resided. Shortly after his removal to Albany he became a member of the
Albany County Medical Society. For four years he was treasurer of the society,
and in 1870 was elected president. In 1855 he was married to Miss Sarah Jane
Peck, who died in 1860, leaving him two daughters, Anne Peck and Mary Ella,
both of whom still survive. In 1862 he was married to Miss Anne Eliza Peck, who
still lives. He was appointed a delegate to the State Medical Society in 1860, and
in 1864 made a permanent member. From 1865 to 1875 he was secretary of this
society, and in 1880 was elected president. In 1871 he received the honorary degree
of M. D. from Soule University, Texas, and in 1877 that of LL. D. from the Wash-
ington and Jefferson College, Pennsylvania. In 1882 he was appointed one of the
State consulting board of the Hudson River Hospital for the Insane at Pough-
. keepsie, which office he held for several years. For many years he was one of the
United States board of pension examining surgeons. He also served as ob-
stetrician and as consultant obstetrician for the Albany Hospital, which latter posi-
tion he still holds. He was repeatedly elected delegate to the American Medical
Association and to different State societies by the New York State Medical Society
and by the Albany County Medical Society. His connection with these societies
gives ample evidence of his industry and of the appreciation in which he was held
by the medical profession. He was a man of acknowledged ability in various lines.
As a citizen he took an active part in municipal affairs, serving two terms as alder-
man. As a teacheV he was eminently successful and beloved by his pupils. It is as
a physician, however, that he will longest be remembered, for he was recognized as
a leader in his profession. His genial, courteous manner and kind, considerate
spirit won him many friends. His long years of successful practice have given him
a record surpassed by few. He was honored and respected far beyond the average
man, and his life of willing self-sacrifice for the benefit of his fellowmen will leave
an influence not soon to be forgotten.

^'an Derzee, Andrew S., was born in Coeymans in 1828. He is the son of Char-
lotte and Andrew Van Derzee. Mr. Van Derzee's grandfather came to Coeymans
among the earliest settlers and bought a farm in the southeastern part of the town,
in a valley known by the Indians as Haquetock (said by old people of long ago to
mean "long valley"), while the Indians were yet located upon it, which is still owned
by the family, where he and his son were farmers all their lives. Andrew S. Van
Derzee began his business life when thirteen years old by going as cabin boy on one
of the Hudson River boats and continued river life until 1849, when he engaged in
itile business in Coeymans, under the firm name of W. B. Hull & Co., which
i continued until the death of Mr. Hull, since which time he has carried on the



345

busiuess alone. lu ISiil he married Caroline E. Robb of Dutchess county, who died
in 1884 and left one daughter, Mrs. S. F. Powell of Amsterdam, N. Y., and one son,
William H., who succeeds to his father's business. In 1890 he married Mrs. Jane C.
Brainerd of Saugerties, N. Y. Mr. Van Derzee has always taken a keen interest in
the welfare of his town, and has done much for its improvement. The following is
from a local paper of date of December 32, 1896 :

One of our oldest, most Itighly respected and longest established merchants has retired from
business. On Thursday last the new firm of William H." Van Derzee and P. H. Smith look pos-
session of the old stand and successful mercantile business of Andrew S. Van Derzee. Mr. Van-
Derzee had been in business at this stand for nearly half a century, starting as a partner with
the late \Vm. B. Hull in 1849. The house hasalways enjoyed a reputation for reliability. We con-
gratulate our worthy townsman in having secured a competency and most of all on his irreproach-
able business career, and trust he may be spared to enjoy many years the reward due an indus-
trious career. All will concur in wishing the new firm a prosperous future.

Soop, J. J.— Conrad Soop, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., October 10, 1745. His
parents were of the German Palatinates who emigrated from Wurtemburg, Ger-
many (the birthplace of Martin Luther) to America, under the patronage of Queen
Anne, early in the eighteenth century, owing to the religious intolerance at that time
manifested towards the followers of the great reformer, Luther. The larger portion
of these emigrants settled in the tows of Livingston and Germantown, Columbia
county, N. Y. A few years after, owing to the feudal tenure of their lands under
Livingston, many found their way to the fertile valleys of the Schoharie and Mohawk,
and there and in Columbia county their descendants are yet found, and to-day many
prominent citizens can trace their lineage to these worthy pioneers. In May, 1774,
Conrad Soop married Elizabeth, daughter of Jacob Becker of Schoharie (also of
Wurtemburg descent), an aunt of the renowned Schoharie lawyer and banker, Abra-
ham Becker. The larger portion of Schoharie county was then an unbroken wilder-
ness, and he purchased a valuable and fertile farm in the town of Bethlehem, Albany
county, near what is now South Bethlehem. He with his young wife had scarcely
become settled there when he vi'as called to shoulder his musket to fight in that war
which "tried men's souls." He was made a subaltern officer in Capt. Jurian
Hogan'sCo. , 4th Regiment, and about a year after was transferred to Capt. Con-
radt Ten Eyck's Co. of the 5th Regiment, of which Peter Whitbeck was first and
Albert H. Van Derzee second lieutenants, under General Schuyler, and was with
him in all his engagements on the northern frontier and at the surrender of Bur-
goyne at Stillwater, October 7, 1777, At the close of the war he returned to his
farm, where with his wife, .surrounded by children and grandchildren, he lived far
beyond the allotted years of man, enjoying the blessings of peace, and that social
and religious liberty he assisted to achieve. His wife died August 14, 1843, in the
eighty eighth year of her age, and he on September 26, 1H47, having reached the re-
markable age of nearly one hundred and two years. They lived eventful and Christ-
ian lives, and died honored and respected by their neighbors. The writer of this
hketch, now in his seventy-eighth year, a grandson, heard repeated many of their
reminiscences, one of which is related as follows: When he was in the army his wife,
wishing to visit her parents in Schoharie, saddled her horse with a sheep-skin, and
made the journey through an almost unbroken wilderness, where Brant and Butler,
with their band of tnries and Indians, were on the warpath, pillaging, burning, and



346

often murdering. She quite frequently made this journey of over eighty miles, un-
protected, and was never harmed. Who is the dame of the present day who would
undertake a similar journey? Their Children: Mary was born near South Bethle-
hem, November 30, 1782, married by Rev. Christian Bork (formerly a chaplain in
the I-fessian array in the Revolution), Septemper 27, 1800, and died March 23, 1861.
Michael Niver, her husband, was born in Livingston, Columbia county, June 2, 1778;
his ancestors were also of the Palatinate colonists. In 1790 he with his father's
family moved to Bethlehem on a large farm he had previously purchased. His
father, David, had served in the Revolution as first sergeant in Capt. Teutiis Van
Dalsten's Co., .5th Regiment, under General Schuyler, and was present at the sur-
render of Burgoyne. Michael was drafted in the war of 1812 and served at Brook-
lyn Heights. He was a .successful farmer, and died April 13, 1858. His farm is still
owned by his descendants. Their children were: Elizabeth S.. born July 12, 1802.
died unmarried Septembers, 1879. Margaret, born November 2, 1805, married Peter
A. Ten Eyck, September 25, 1838; now (1897) living; has one child living. Katha-
rine, born March 4. 1812, married John Crum, May 16, 1832; died August 24, 1851 ;
three children. Mary E., Hugh J., and James J. Conrad, born November 16, 1815;
studied medicine with William Bay of Albany, graduated from Fairfield Medical
College in 1837, and located in Ancram, Columbia county, where, and in Dutchess
county, he gained eminence as a physician reached by few; married Jane Mclntyre,
and after her death, married her sister Roxana; died January 31, 1867, leaving
three children by his first wife — Caroline, John Soop and Albert C. , and three b)-
his second wife — Walter, Loda and Herman' Bay. David, born February 16, 1820,
married Phebe C Hotaling of New Baltimore, October 26, 1843; living and author
of this sketch and owner of the old Niver homestead; has four children living —

Mary Soop Haswell, Conrad, Eugene A., and Charles A. Jacob Soop, son of

Com ad Soop, born May 3, 1786, married Maria Potter, September 6, 1837, died June
11, 1868; his wife died August 12, 1884; one child, Henry C. Jacob entered the
United States army July 15, 1812 and served under Captain Penfield. Henry C.
Soop, a well-known leading attorney at law of Rondout, Kingston, was born at
Albany, N. Y , April 17, 1842. He .studied law in the office of Judge M. B. Mattice
at Durham, N. Y., graduated from the Albany Law School in 1863 and practiced
law at Roxbury, Delaware county, N. Y. In 1890 he moved to Kingston and in
January of the same year he was elected president of the First National Bank of
Rondout; was also appointed attorney for the estate of Thomas Cornell, and secre-
tary and counsel of the Ulster & Delaware Railroad Company; he is also the coun-
sel and attorney for several other corporations, and is vice-pre.sident, attorney, and
one of the founders of the Peckhani Truck & Wheel Company, of Kingston. In
October, 1867, Mr. Soop was united in marriage with Helen M., daughter of Eras-
tus T. Peck, of Windham, N. Y.. and one child, Katharine, has been born to them.

Frederick, son of Conrad, born March 18, 1790, married Margaret Van Zant,

September 20, 1817, who died November 3, 1851; Frederick died May 13, 1870, leav-
ing two daughters, Maria and Rebecca, living. John, sou of Conrad, born June

16, 1793, died March 11, 1874; when a young man he engaged In the grocery busi-
ness at what is now known as Becker's Corners, but in later years purchased two
farms, one for each of his sons, and became a successful farmer and sheep breeder.
He also held important town offices, having been a justice of the peace for thirty-



347

two consecutive years. On February 31, 1838, he married Mary Ann Russell,
daughter of William Russell and Judith McHarg, who was born April 31, 1800, and
died November 29, 1843; and susequently married Huldah, sister of his first wife,
who was born June 15, 1815, and died childless April 34, 1883. He had three child-
ren by his first wife; Jacob J., who was born December 9, 1838, married Ann Kim-
mey, daughter of David Kimmey and Marie Niver, March 3, 1852, who died Feb-



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