Amasa Junius Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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whose son Barent J. was baptized in Albany, March 13, 1737. Johannes B. Visscher,
son of Barent J. was born here September 4, 1769 and died April 15, 1825. His son,
John B. Visscher, was born here August 31, 1825, and married first, Ann, daughter
of Abraham R. and Annetje (Visscher) Ten Eyck, and second, Alida, daughter of
Douw and Jane Ann (Lieverse) Lansing. He died January 31, 1890. and was
survived by Edward W. Visscher and William L. Visscher. Edward W. Visscher
was educated in the Albany Academy and in 1887 entered the Mechanics' and
Farmers' Bank, with which he has since been connected. He is a member of the
Holland Society of New York and of the Fort Orange Club. In January. 1895, he
married Miss Mame E., daughter of Eugene P. Palmer of Chicago, 111.

Colburn, E. S., & Son. — Edwin S. Colburn, son of Jonathan Colburn, was born in
Jewett City, Conn., Jannary 5. 1829, and for about thirty years was engaged in farm-
ing at New Baltimore, N. Y., where he still resides. In 1884 he was engaged in the
commission business under the firm name of Colburn & Smith; in 1886 he purchased
part of the present confectionery and ice cream business in Albany, and a partner-
ship was formed under the firm name of Rawson & Colburn, which in 1888, became
Rawson, Colburn & Co. In 1888 this firm was succeeded by Mr. Colburn as sole owner
and in 1894 he admitted his son, Edwin E. to partnership, under the present style of
E. S. Colburn cl- Son.

Hills, James W., was born in Watervliet, now Colonie, in 1841. He is the son of
the late John Hills, of English descent. He has always been engaged in farming
and gardening, and in 1875 purchased the farm of Newton, known as the Newton
place, from whom the hamlet of Newtonville took its name. Mr. Hills is an up-to-
date and enterprising farmer, finding market for his product chiefly at Troy. Mrs.
Hills is a daughter of the late James McDonald of Delhi, Delaware county, brother-
in-law of the late Assemblyman John McDonald of Delaware county. Mrs. and Mrs.
Hills have two sons, Goldsmith and Donald E. Hills. They were educated at the
Troy Academy, State Normal and Albany Business College.

Heidrich, Charles A., born November 18, 1856, in Albany, is the son of John
Heidrich, a native of Germany, who came to Albany about 1854 and died here
in 1886, being a mason by trade and a prominent contractor and builder. After
finishing his education at the Albany Academy, Mr. Heidrich entered the architect-


ural office of John Cornelius and remained there five years. Meanwhile in L880 he
had associated himself with his father under the firm name of Heidrich & Son and
continued as a contractor until the latter's death in 1886, when he opened an
architectural office. Since then he devoted his whole time to architecture and
building and since 1882 has done a large amount of contracting, numbering among
his chief efforts the Fourth Reformed and St. Matthew's churches. He is a member
of Gnttenberg Lodge No. 737, F. & A. M, Temple Chapter No. 5, R. A. M. and
De Witt Clinton Council No. 22 R. & S. M. July 19. 1882, he married Elizabeth
Herzog of Albany and their children are Dora Elizabeth and Victor Carl.

Waters, M. B. , was born in Duxbury, Plymouth county, Mass., in October, 1831,
and is a descendant of good old Puritan stock. He had none of the advantages of
education so liberal in this day, but he was a great reader and seeker after knowl-
edge and always had a book with him, to which he applied himself during leisure
moments. His mind therefore became stored with very useful information, for he
read only those books from which he could derive practical knowledge and which
tended to strengthen his mind. He began railroading in 1851 on what was then the
Hudson River Road, now the N. Y. C. & H. R. R. R., and leaving there he went to
the Troy & Boston Railroad, now the Fitchburg Railroad, where he filled such posi-
tions as baggagemaster, ticket agent and freight and passenger train conductor.
He was also the first passenger agent and during the war was stationed in New
York with an office on Broadway. That office was abolished after the war and he
became connected with the N. Y. C. & H. R. R. R. as passenger train conductor. The
genial disposition and courteous manners which he showed in that capacity, emi-
nently qualified him for advancement and to-day he holds the position of general
passenger agent of the People's Line Steamers on the Hudson River. He has
traveled extensively throughout the United States, Mexico and the West Indies. Mr.
Waters is also a very interesting correspondent and has many times favored the
general public with letters to newspapers describing his travels. He was formerly
president of the Railroad Conductors' Insurance Company of the United States and
Canada and is now an active member of that body. He is also a life member of the
various Masonic bodies, from the Blue Lodge to the Mystic Shrine, and is also a
member of the International Association of Ticket Agents, also a member of the
American Association of General Passenger Agents. He is a very public spirited
citizen and nothing which will improve his home city, Troy, escapes his notice; and
he has written many articles setting forth his views on public matters which have
always carried great weight. Mr. Waters was married October 15, 1866, at North
Dorset, Vt., to a daughter of the Hon. Welcome Allen.

Gleason, James M., was born in Troy, N. Y. , August 25, 1860, and removed to
West Troy and Watervliet in 1865, where he has since resided. He was educated in the
public schools, Troy Christian Brothers' Academy and Troy Business College. At
an early age he became an active member of the West Troy I >ld Volunteer Fire De-
partment and served as foreman of the J. C. Dayton Hose Company, and as assist-
ant chief of the department until its disbandment in 1883, and is an exempt fireman.
Before and since attaining his majority he has taken an active part in politics as an
enthusiastic Democrat and is prominent in his party organization in city and county.
At the Watervliet town election in 1885 he was nominated and elected to the re-


sponsible office of collector of taxes and was re-elected in April, 1886. On January

1, 1887, he was appointed deputy court clerk by Hon. Robert H. Moore, county clerk,
and served for three years to January 1, 1890, when he was promoted and appointed
by Hon. A. C. Requa, county clerk elect, to the position of deputy county clerk,
which he held until the expiration of Mr. Requa's term of office December 31, 1892.
On December 4, 1893, he was appointed by Hon. Frank Campbell, State comptroller,
a commissioner to make an examination of the papers, books, records and docu-
ments in the office of the surrogate of Kings county, N. Y., relating to the enforce-
ment of the inheritance tax laws of the State of New York, and at the expiration of
his commission he retired to private life and engaged in business in Albany, N. Y.,
where he is still located. Mr. Gleason was married February 16, 1886, and resides
with his wife, two sons and three daughters, on Sixth avenue, in Watervliet, N. Y.

Godfrey, James H., was born on the site of his beautiful home, in 1841. He spent
his whole life with his father, the late George A. Godfrey, one of the first settlers.
Mr. Godfrey is a farmer and a dairyman, and his home is located so as to command
extended views of the lovely landscape, of which the Mohawk Valley is widely famed.

Baldwin, H. W. , the shoe dealer of 29 North Pearl street, is, like a large propor-
tion of Albany's prominent merchants, a self-made man. His business career com-
menced in New York city, where, when quite a young man, he laid the foundation
for the knowledge which was to be of great benefit to him in conducting an estab-
lishment of his own. He came here from New York in 1888 and started in business
at his present location, succeeding Sherman & Green. By close application and
acuteness in buying goods, he built up his trade to such an extent that up to the
present time he has had to enlarge his store three times, until now he occupies com-
modious quarters fitted up in the most modern style. Mr. Baldwin's last improve-
ment was made about a year ago when he nearly doubled the space of his main
floor. Mr. Baldwin's business acumen is hereditary. His father was one of the
largest lumber dealers in Buffalo and built one of the first houses on the famous
Delaware avenue of that city. Mr. Baldwin was born in Buffalo in 1855, and spent
his boyhood there.

McNeil, Thomas J., was born in Ireland, of Scotch ancestry, in 1860. He is the
son of John McNeil, a linen manufacturer, who came to America with his family
in 1866, and located in the city of Albany, N. Y. In 1872 they moved to Cohoes,
N. Y. McNeil, the elder, was employed by the Harmony Company as an overseer
and cloth expert ; he remained with that company for twelve years, when he re-
signed. After that time, and until his death in September, 1894, he was employed
by the Tivoli Knitting Mill Company. Thomas J. enlisted in the 7th Separate Com-
pany, State Militia, in 1880, being that time twenty years of age. His record in
that company is as follows: Private, May 15, 1880; sergeant, April 18, 1883; first
sergeant, June 18, 1884; second lieutenant, June 20, 1884; first lieutenant, March 15,
1889; resigned (honorable discharge), December 30, 1890; re-enlisted, January 12,
1891 ; corporal, February 16, 1891 ; sergeant, November 9, 1891 ; first sergeant, May

2, 1892. At the present time he is first sergeant of the company and also drill,
master. His rating as drillmaster and tactician is of the highest. He received the
appointment as armorer of the above named company in 1883, which position he


now so capably and acceptably fills. He was married January 21, 1885. to Elizabeth
Fisher Hume, a daughter of George Hume of Cohoes, N. Y.

Targett, Alfred E., is a pioneer in the laundry business of Cohoes. his establish-
ment being the first of its kind here. It was first an adjunct to his hat and furnish-
ing goods business organized in 1873, and the washing was done by hand. Now the
extensive establishment contains all the modern machinery of an up-to-date laundry.
Mr. Targett was born in England in 1842 and was the son of Charles Targett. He
came to this country in 1846 and with his parents settled in Danbury, Conn. In
1853 he moved to Wisconsin, where he worked on a farm about two years, when he
returned to Danbury, Conn., and worked for a while in a fur factory; then went to
Bethel, Conn., and learned the trade of hat finishing, after which he returned to
Danbury and attended the academy and prepared for college, which he entered in
1862 and graduated from the University of Rochester in 1866 with the degree of
A. B., being a classmate of Hon. George Raines of Rochester. After graduation he
returned to Danbury, Conn., went into the music business and also taught singing
in the public schools, an accomplishment he had acquired with his other studies.
He came to Cohoes in 1872, where he has ever been highly esteemed as a man, and
appreciated for his musical talent. He is an accomplished tenor singer, and sings
in various churches. He served for several years as alderman of the Third ward.

Wheeler, Frederick F., son of John C. and Adaline (Freeman) Wheeler, was born
in Oshkosh, Wis.. February 25, 1859, and was educated at the Vineland, N. J.,
Academy, where the family settled in 1864. In 1882 he came to Albany and the
same year established his present furniture business. He was one of the organizers
of the Albany Chamber of Commerce in 1890, and has since been a director and the
secretary. He organized the South End Bank, was continuously one of its directors
and during the first five years was its first vice-president. He is an associate director
of the National Life Association of Hartford, Conn., was one of the founders and is
vice-president and director of the West End Savings and Loan Association of Albany
and was an originator and officer of the West End Association, designed to effect
improvements in the western part of the city. In politics he has been from youth up
a Prohibitionist, casting his first vote (the only Prohibition vote cast in Cumberland
county, N. J.) for Neal Dow for president in 1880. He has never voted any other
ticket. In 1884 he was elected chairman of the State General and State Executive
Prohibition Committees and served five years, declining further service in this
capacity. During that period the Prohibition ticket received the highest vote ever
given it in this State. He is still a member of the Prohibition State Executive
Committee and in 1896 was elected a member of the National Prohibition Commit-
tee. December 24, 1879, he married Alice Amsden of North Walden, Vt., who died
July 22, 1891, leaving four children : Herbert A., Fannie A., Alice A., and Effie A.
June (i, 1893, he married, second, Hattie Hall of Leslie, Mich.

Long & Silsby. — The carriage manufacturing firm of Long &• Silsby was founded
in 1847, by James Long and Henry W. Silsby, who successfully carried on an exten-
sive business until 1888, when Mr. Long purchased his partner's interest and became
sole owner. Mr. Silsby was a blacksmith and was born at sea about 1815. Mr. Long,
a native of Ireland, came to America in 1824 and spent his active life in Albany. He


was a practical wagonmaker and after the retirement of his partner, carried on the
business alone until February, 1892, when his sons, Le Roy Y. and John S., were
admitted. He died in November, following, and since then his two sons have con-
ducted the establishment, which is one of the oldest of the kind in this city. The
original firm name has always been retained. This concern is widely known, has
continuallv enjoyed an extensive trade of the best class and makes a specialty of the
finer work.

Keeler, John, sou of Daniel and Margaret (Murphy) Keeler, was born in Albany,
N. Y., January 7, 1843. He received a common school education and in 1865 went
to work in the restaurant of his brother William, on Green street. In 1871 he suc-
ceeded his brother in the management of the Green street restaurant and remained
there until July, 1884, when he and his brother formed a partnership and opened a
restaurant at No. 56 State street. In 1890 Mr. Keeler again assumed management
of the Green street restaurant and since then his sons, William H. and John, have
been the proprietors of the State street restaurant.

Harris, Julius F., son of Marvin C. and Huldah (Dickinson) Harris, was born in
the town of Queensbury, Warren county, N. Y., January 3, 1839. Thomas Harris,
born in 1576, came from England and ran the ferry from Boston to Winnisimmet and
Charlestown. Joseph Harris, who was directly descended from said Thomas Harris,
the great grandfather of the subject of this sketch lived in the town of Queensbury,
served in the Revolution and originally came from Dutchess county. William D.
Harris, the grandfather of Julius F., was a prosperous farmer living in the town of
Queensbury. Julius F. Harris was educated at the Fort Edward Collegiate Institute,
from which he was graduated in 1863. Soon after he removed to Albany, N. Y.,
studied law with Col. William H. King, was graduated from the Albany Law School
in 1882 and was admitted to the bar in the same year. He has since practiced law
in Albany. He is a member of Temple Lodge No. 14, F. & A. M., and is a class
leader in the Ash Grove M. E. church.

Dreis, L. Theodore A., son of Anthony and Catherine (Geimer) Dreis, was born in
Albany, N. Y. , January 24, 1868. He was educated in the public and private
schools and at the age of eleven years was apprenticed to W. H. Slingerland & Sons,
civil engineers, with whom he remained eighteen years and in addition carried on
quite extensively the real estate and insurance business. Augnst 1, 1896, he went
with the Albany, Helderberg and Schoharie Railroad, with whom he is at present.
He is secretary of Co. D, 10th Battalion, N. G. N. Y., and was for three years
financial and corresponding secretary of the Capital City Club and is at present. In
1895 he represented the Capital City Club at the convention of the National League
of Republican Clubs at Cleveland, Ohio, as delegate. He is at present orator
of Germania Council No. 110, C. B. L., recording secretary of the City Club and
president of the Young Men's Society of the Holy Cross church and was the organ-
izer of that body. He has been for four years the Republican president of the Third
district of the Second ward, and at the last primary was re-elected by a vote of 64 to
25. He is also a prominent member of the Republican League. That he is prom-
inent among the young men is assured by the great esteem he is held in and in
society he is a prominent figure. Invitations are refused owing to the surplus of


Burdick G. Dudley, son of G. W. and Mary Elizabeth (Van Antwerp) Burdick, was
born in Albany, July 19, 1842. He was educated in the public schools and learned
the trade of mason, which he followed until 1878, when he engaged in his present
business of contractor and builder. He built the Tweddle Building, the Dudley Ob-
servatory, the Albany Safe Deposit and Storage Building, the Madison Avenue
Presbyterian church and Wolfert's Roost and many other notable structures. Mr.
Burdick is a member of Wadsworth Lodge No. 417, F. & A. M. and of the board of
deacons of the State Street Presbyterian church. He served seven years in the old
volunteer fire department and in Co. B, 10th Regiment, N. Y. N. G. December 26,
1876, he married Emma Havard, daughter of John Havard of Brooklyn, N. V., who
died November 24, 1881, leaving a son and daughter, Clarke Havard and Mary
Louise. Clarke Havard died March 6, 1883. October 10, 1884, he married Juliette,
daughter of Epraim Hotaling, of Albany, N. Y.

Wands, John B., was born in the town of New Scotland, X. Y., June 13, 1833. The
first of the Wands to come to America were two cousins, James and John Wands;
they were Scotch Highlanders, and were weavers by trade. They enlisted in the
English army and came to Canada to take part in the French and English war
(1754 to 176£), having enlisted as volunteers for three months; they served their
time, and upon their discharge started as pioneers through the woods of New York
State, toward Albany, and finally located in what is now New Scotland; their settle-
ment dates about 1762. Ebenezer Wands, the grandfather of our subject, was
another of these hardy Scotch pioneers; he was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and was
also a weaver by trade; he was a cousin of James and John, who had preceded him
a few years to America; he married Mary Ann Miller and came to America imme-
diately after, probably about 1780, and settled on a tract of land, about 400 acres,
which he purchased for two dollars per acre, and began clearing him a home, and
plied his trade winters. He reared eight sons and three daughters; the sons all be-
came tradesmen, some blacksmiths, wagonmakers, carpenters, weavers, etc., and
among them they grew and manufactured everything needed on the farm. He died
when eighty eight years of age. Benjamin Wands, father of our subject and the
fourth son of his father's -children, was born in New Scotland in 1797. He learned
the weaver's trade from his father; he afterward became a farmer, owning a farm of
sixty acres, which he operated, and plied his trade winters. In politics he was first
a Whig, later a Republican, and, though not an aspirant to public office, he mani-
fested an active interest in the electing of his party ticket. His wife was Margaret
Wands, who was born in New Scotland in 1797, daughter of James 2, who was the
son of James 1, the pioneer; they reared live sons and five daughters. He died in
1865 and his wife in 187:;. John B. Wands worked on his father's farm until he was
seventeen years of age, when he went to Albany and engaged as cartman, which
position he occupied for five years; he then accepted a position as porter in a whole-
sale grocery store, where he remained six years, and in 1864 engaged with Mather
Bros., as shipper in their wholesale grocery; he remained with them over twenty-
four years, when, on account of failing health, he was obliged to resign his position.
In 1888 he moved to Voorheesville, where he engaged in the retail general mercantile
business, and where he has since remained. Mr. Wands is a Republican in politics.
He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Wadsworth Lodge, Albany, in which he


often officiated. He is also a member of the Odd Fellows fraternity, American Lodge,
No. 32, of which he is past noble grand, and was also on the district grand commit-
tee for years. In addition to his other interests Mr. Wands has been for a number
of years interested in the manufacture of soap in Kingston, N. Y. In 1855 he mar-
ried Sarah J. Drew, of Albany, daughter of Robert and Sarah Drew, natives of
London, England, by whom he had three children: Emma, wife of Slater Swift, of
New Scotland ; Grace, wife of Carey Martin ; and Robert B. Wands.

Lord, Edmund J., was born in Lancashire, England, in 1820. At an early age he
came to America and settled in Albany, where he engaged as a clerk in a grocery
store, winning the respect of his employer by constant attention to business and
those traits which foretold his later success. After years of hard work, in which
pluck, perseverance and rigid economy played active parts, he succeeded in saving
sufficient money to start the business with which he has been identified, and in 1841
established a grocery on the northeast corner of Washington avenue and Hawk
street, opposite where the capitol now stands. Possessed of unusual business qual-
ifications, it was not surprising that the work which he had begun on a small scale,
should, in the course of a comparatively few years, increase to such a degree as to
prove highly profitable and remunerative. In 1870 he moved to larger and more
commodious quarters at the northwest corner of Washington avenue and Hawk
street, where he continued in business until his death, September 22, 1895. The
business since then has been conducted by his son, Edmund W. Lord, who inherits
much of his father's business ability. In the constant rush and excitement attend-
ant upon a business life, Mr. Lord never forgot the important duties to be performed
in his home, and it was there the amiable disposition and kind heart were ever mani-
fest. He was a devoted Presbyterian and while he loved his Creator and served
Him as best he could, he did not neglect to practice that charity without which there
can be little religious sincerity. He was also a member of the St. George Benev-
olent Society and several fraternal organizations. As a citizen, Mr. Lord was
highly esteemed and respected. A Republican in principle, he stood ever ready to
give his undivided and active support to his party when the exigencies of the hour

Hendrickson, Howard, was born in Albany, November 20, 1859, and is the son of
the late Jacob Hendrickson, who for many years kept a large wholesale grocery on
the dock and died in July, 1879. Mr. Hendrickson was educated in the public
schools of Albany and subsequently entered a job printing office, where he worked
for three years. He then entered the law office of S. W. Whitmore, meantime tak-
ing a course of lectures at the Albany Law School, from which he was graduated
May 25, 1882, being immediately admitted to the bar by the General Term of the
Supreme Court. Opening a law office he commenced the active practice of his pro-
fession, which is varied and extensive. In 1895 he was elected alderman of the Six-
teenth ward and during that year served as president of the Common Council,
receiving the largest majority ever given a candidate in that ward. In politics he is
an influential Republican. He was the organizer of the Commercial Union Co-
operative Bank and at present is its attorney and a member "of the board of man-
agers. He is the owner of considerable Albany real estate. He is a member of
Wadsworth Lodge No. 417, F. & A. M., and has passed through all its chairs. He is


a member of Capital City Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, De Witt Clinton Council
of Royal Select Masons, Temple Commandery No. 2, K. T. , and of Cypress Temple,
Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; he is also a member of Will-
iam Lacy Lodge No. 93, I. O. O. F.

Geer, Robert, son of James L. and Prudence Almira (Gallup) Geer, was born in

Online LibraryAmasa Junius ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 85 of 141)