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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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highly successful physician.

Jacob Haight, the grandfather of our sub-
ject, also born in Dutchess county, married
Amy Clement, and they settled on a farm
where they reared a family of four children, as
follows: Charles, father of our subject; Alonzo,
a prominent farmer and physician in Dutchess
county; Alexander, who was a farmer in Vir-
ginia; and Maria, married to James Barlow, a
merchant of \ew York, but at one time a
farmer in \'irginia. Mr. Haight followed farm-
ing in Dutchess county until 1840, when he
went to Virginia and farmed there until his
death.

Jacob Haviland, father of Mrs. Haight,
was a native of Dutchess county, where he
followed the occupation of farming. Daniel
Haviland, great-grandfather of Mrs. Haight,
was a Quaker preacher, and followed farming
as a vocation.



J



JOSEPH HARRISON BENSON was born
in the town of Amenia, Dutchess county,
September 8, 181 5, and acquired his educa-
tion at the district schools. At the early age of
si.xteen years he left the home farm and began
working by the month and year as a farm hand.
His attention has always been devoted to agri-
cultural pursuits.

While still a young man he and his brother,
Samuel K. Benson, bought the Thomas Swift
farm. After running this farm together for
three years, he decided to branch out for him-
self, and, selling his interest to Samuel, he
bought the Reuben Reed farm on the hill near
the Steel works, where he lived for twenty-five
years. Wishing to enlarge his farming opera-
tions, he bought the farm known as the Judah
Swift farm, one and one-half miles south,
where he still resides.

In the meantime he was united in mar-
riage, in March, 1842, to Hellen S. Hall, of
the town of Union vale, Dutchess Co., N. Y.,
daughter of John Hall, who was an influential
member of the Friends (or Quaker) Church at
Mechanic, N. Y. Mrs. Benson passed to the
better land in June, 1880. Unto them were
born eight children: Lavina and Frederick
De Peyster (both deceased); Mary E., wife of
Truman Case, of Norwich, N. Y. ; Piatt J. ;
Franklin De Peyster; Augusta, wife of Clar-
ence Oakley, of Norwich, N. Y. ; John Homer



(deceased); and Ellen, deceased wife of F. M.
Irish, of Wassaic, New York.

Like his father, Mr. Benson was first a
Whig, and now advocates the principles of the
Republican .party, but has never aspired to
political preferment. In 1877 he purchased
the handsome residence and farm situated at
the junction of Tower Hill and Dover Plains
road, known as the Cal. Nase property, also a
place on Chestnut Ridge, both of which he
presented to his two sons, Piatt J. and Frank-
lin D. He is now in his eighty-second year, a
living monument to the coming generations,
showing what a young man with a pair of will-
ing hands and good judgment may accomplish.

Franklin De Peyster Benson, one of
the sons of Joseph Harrison Benson, and a
thorough and systematic farmer of the town
of Amenia, Dutchess county, was born there
March 22, 1854. He belongs to a family
that has for several generations carried on
agricultural pursuits within the borders of that
town. Samuel Benson, his great-grandfather,
was a native of Horseneck, R. I., but early
became a resident of Dutchess county, locat-
ing in the southern portion of Amenia town,
where he engaged in farming. He married
Rachel Darling, and reared a family of four
sons and three daughters: Samuel, Joshua,
Bethiah, John, Abigail, Phila and Polly. The
grandfather, who also bore the name of Sam-
uel, was born in Amenia town, where he spent
his boyhood days attending the district
schools. He was married at Otsego, N. Y.,
to Sarah Knapp, but soon afterward returned
to Amenia town, and there followed farming
until his death. In early life he was a Whig,
and on the organization of the Republican
party he joined its ranks, becoming one of its
faithful supporters. There were eleven chil-
dren in his family, namely: Joseph H., father
of our subject; Samuel K. and John, deceased;
James v., of Dover town, Dutchess county;
Ebenezer, of South Dover; Darius, of Amenia;
Charles and Sarah Jane, both deceased; Ada,
wife of J. G. Dutcher; Harriet, wife of Van-
Nest Dutcher, of South Dover; and Joshua,
deceased.

Franklin De Peyster Benson obtained his
literary education in the district schools, Fort
Edward Academy and the Amenia Seminary.
After attaining his majority he went to western
Kansas, where for five years he was engaged in
the stock business, and he still owns a large
cattle ranch there. Returning to Amenia, he




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COMMEMORATIVE BJOGBAPEICAL RECORD.



525



located upon his present farm in 1887, and
has since been engaged in its cultivation and
improvement. He follows in the political
footsteps of his father and grandfather, voting
the Republican ticket, and is deeply incerested
in the success of his party. In Lane county,
Kans. , January 24, 1 887, he was united in mar-
riage with Miss Carmel Gay, a daughter of
Rev. E. L. and Mary A. I'Masseyj Gay. Her
father, who was from Boston, Mass., is now
serving as pastor of the Baptist Church at
Dighton, Kans. Three children bless the
union of Mr. and Mrs. Benson, namely:
Luther Joseph, Frank De Peyster and Fannie
Augusta.

Piatt J., a brother of Franklin De Peyster,
and a prosperous farmer of Amenia town, was
born April 29, 1852, and attended the district
school and the Amenia Seminary. In Amenia
he married Flora Dickerman, who died April
3, 1892, and to them were born nine children:
Clarence, Sadie, Helen, Joseph, Hadley, Milo
(deceased), Anna, and Flossie and Flora
(twins). For his second wife he wedded
Louisa Benson, daughter of Samuel Benson.
Politically he supports the Republican party.



OLIVER BARRETT, one of the enterpris-
_^ ing and prosperous agriculturists of the
town of Northeast, resides on a farm near Cole-
man Station, which has been in the possession
of the family without interruption for nearly
one hundred years. The Barretts are of En-
glish descent, but is not known positively when
the first of the name came to this country.
Ezekiel Barrett, our subject's grandfather, was
born September 17, 1742, in Norwich, Conn.,
where he passed his entire life, following the
trade of carpenter and joiner. He was not
prominent in politics, nor was he a Church
member, although he was a Universalist in be-
lief. On July 7, 1773, he married Sarah
Lathrop, who was bom in Norwich, April 29,
1749. She was a descendant in the fifth gen-
eration from Rev. John Lathrop, a Congrega-
tional minister, who left England on account
of religious persecution, and arrived at Scitu-
ate, Mass., September 28, 1634, accompanied
by his six sons and two daughters. He died
in 1653. His son, Samuel Scudder Lathrop,
had a son, Israel, who married Rebecca Bliss;
their son William married Sarah Huntington;
their son Ezra, Mrs. Barrett's father, married
Esther Clark. Mrs. Barrett died October 27,



181 1, in her sixty-third year, her husband sur-
viving until February 10, 1838, when he passed
away at the age of ninety-six years. They had
four children: Mary B., born May 19, 1774;
Ezra Lathrop, born September 27, 1775; and
Oliver and Backus (twins), bom April 10,

1779-

Ezra Lathrop Barrett, our subject's father,
was a carpenter and joiner, and worked at his
trade for many years. He came to Dutchess
county prior to 1800, and, after a short stay
at Pine Plains, he moved to Northeast and
managed the Caleb Dakin farm, now occupied
by Mrs. Coleman. Later he bought the farm
which our subject owns, moving there in the
spring of 1820. The house he built at that
time is still in excellent repair, and he con-
structed other substantial buildings, including
Mrs. Coleman's present home, built for Caleb
Dakin. He was a Democrat, and verj' positive
in his views on public matters, and was a mem-
ber of the Masonic fraternity. Earlj' in life he
united with the Congregational Church at
Sharon, Conn., but afterward assisted in the
establishment of the Northeast Center Congre-
grational Church, in which he held theof&ce of
deacon until his death. On January 3, 1805,
he married Rhoda Dakin, daughter of Caleb
and Rhoda 'King; Dakin, and granddaughter
of Simon Dakin, a well-known Baptist minis-
ter, and an early settler of the town. Of this
union five children were born: Sarah Louise,
born December 6, 1805; Caleb Dakin born
November 21, 1807, married Caroline, daugh-
ter of Douglas Clark; Edward Lathrop, bora
July 26, 1 8 10, married Sarah Fish; MjTon,
born September 9, 18 16, a minister of the
Presbyterian Church, married Emma Elizabeth
R\erson; and Oliver, born December 9, 18 19.
Ezra Barrett died November 18, 1857; his
wife died May 23, i860.

The subject of our sketch has always lived
at the old homestead, having been absent from
it not more than six months in all. There are
two other farms in the vicinity, which have
been owned by the family for about one hun-
dred 3"ears, having been handed down by in-
heritance. Mr. Barrett has been very suc-
cessful, his prosperity being attained by close
attention to business, and he has added to
his original farm of 123 acres, the Smithfield
farm of 188 acres, acquired from the Dakin
estate. On November 21, 1854, he was mar-
ried to his first wife, Catherine Sophia Hom-
fager, daughter of Adam Homfager. Five



526



COMMEMORA TIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



children were born to them: Charles Miller,
October 24, 1855, a farmer, married to Jose-
phine Devoe; Ezra Lathrop, August 30, 185S,
married to Alice N. Clark; Khoda Louise;
Cornelia, who died in 1865; and Albert, the
railroad agent at Coleman Station, married
Edna Dodd Hazard. The mother of this
family died in 1870, and in 1874, Mr. Barrett
married Julia Elizabeth Pulver, daughter of
Nicholas N. Pulver, and a descendant of one
of the old Holland-Dutch families.

Mr. Barrett is well informed on general
topics, and takes an intelligent view of the
questions of the day. In politics he has
always been a Democrat, and he has taken an
active part in local affairs, and served two
terms as justice of the peace. He and his
family have always belonged to the Congrega-
tional Church, in which he held the offices of
trustee and deacon.



[ILES SCOFIELD. The Scofield fam-
ily in this country is descended from Sir
Cuthbert Scofield, of Scofield Manor, parish of
Rochdale, Lancashire, England, two of his
grandsons, Daniel and David Scofield, having
come to America in 1639, in the ship " Susan
and Ellen," settling in Stamford, Conn. The
family history is now in process of completion,
and, according to present expectations, will
shortly be in print, giving a complete account
of the many descendants of these pioneers.
The subject of this sketch traces his lineage to
Daniel Scofield, through along list of ancestors.

His great-grandfather, Jacob Scofield, mar-
ried Hannah Knapp; his grandfather, Miles
Scofield, married Abigail Hustis, and their son,
Ephraim M., our subject's father, was born
November i, 1796, in Putnam county, N. Y. ,
south of Fishkill, near Cold Spring. He was
a farmer in Fishkill, and, January 8, 1S24,
married a native of that town, Catherine Phill-
ips, who was born September 24, 1802, the
daughter of Henry Phillips, a Hollander by
descent, and his wife, Sarah Southard, an
English lady. Our subject was one of a fam-
ily of nine children: Emily, Miles, Joseph,
Julia, Mary, Sarah, Catherine, Ephraim and
Cordelia. The father departed this life July •
21, 1878, and the mother December 29, 1893.

Miles Scofield was born August 3, 1827, in
the town of Fishkill, and was educated in the
common schools of the village of Fishkill, un-
der J. C. Howard and Rev. Mr. Pingree, and



in the Fishkill Academy. He left school in
1850, and February 5, 1852, he sailed from
New York for California on the steamer " Pro-
metheus, " for Greytown, by the Nicaragua
route. On the Pacific coast he took the old
steamship " North America, " which was
wrecked on the coast of Mexico 100 miles
below Acapulco, the vessel being a total loss.
The passengers were taken by land to Acapul-
co, where they remained five weeks, and then
took passage to San F"rancisco on the steamer
" Independence," arriving April 10, 1852. Mr.
Scofield with three others started immediately
for the gold mines on the Yuba river, where
they purchased an interest and went to work
with a will. After three years of mining in
Yuba and Nevada counties, Mr. Scofield joined
a company in constructing the Excelsior canal,
to supply the hydraulic works in Rose Bar
township, Timbuctoo Diggings. They brought
the water first from Deer creek, a distance of
sixteen miles, and later extended the canal to
the South Yuba river, thirty-one miles away.
While in California Mr. Scofield was a strong
supporter of the N'igilancemovement in 1856.
He left the mines and went down to San Fran-
cisco, where he offered himself to the \'igilance
committee to be held in reserve for use if
needed. He remained in California four jears
and a half, and then, in the fall of 1858, came
back to his native place, where he purchased
his present farm of eightj-five acres near Fish-
kill village, now known as Fruit Ridge, then
Osborn Hill.

In the following year, October 2, 1859, he
married Miss Mary Vail, daughter of William
R. and Sarah Ann (Bogardus) Vail, highly es-
teemed residents of the town of Fishkill. A
new home was built in the spring of 1859, and
there Mr. and Mrs. Scofield began their
wedded life. For some time he devoted his
land to general farming and dairying, but
gradually put it into use in fruit grosving, and
at the present time he has fifty acres in fruits
of various kinds, and is considered one of the
best horticulturists in that region. In 1890 he
purchased a residence on Main street, in the
village of ^'ishkill, where he has since resided,
although he still owns and cultivates his farm.
His wife's father lived with them for three
years and died July i, 1896, in his ninety-first
j'ear, leaving a large estate. Mr. and Mrs.
Scofield have had two children, of whom,
F"rank died in infancy; the other, Mary Louisa,
is the wife of Edgar A. Shook, formerly of



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



527



the town of Red Hook, but now a resident of
Fish kill.

Mr. Scofield and his wife are leading mem-
bers of the Reformed Church of Fishkill, in
which he holds the office of elder. He was
appointed to attend the general synod of the
Church at Kingston in June, 1896. In poli-
tics. Mr. Scoiield is a Republican. He
was elected assessor in 1877, and he served
two terms of three years each. For several
years he has held the office- of school trus-
tee, and he has been a trustee of the Fish-
kill Rural Cemetery Association from its organi-
zation to the present time. In business circles
he is also prominent, and for many years he
has been connected with the management of
the Fishkill Savings Institute, and is now its
vice-president.



J WESLEY VAN TASSELL, a leading citi-
zen of the town of East Fishkill, is noted

no less for his ability as a business man
and political worker than as an agriculturist,
his success in various lines of effort showing
unusual grasp of affairs.

His family originated in Holland, but his
ancestors settled in Westchester county, N. Y.,
at an early date, acquiring e.xtensive estates
there. Henry \'an Tassell, our subject's grand-
father, was born there and became a promi-
nent agriculturist. He married a Miss Tickly,
and reared a family of six children: John L. ,
our subject's father; Isaac, Henry, Jones, Jane
and Delia.

John L. \'an Tassell, who was born August
25, 1817, and spent his early years upon the
old homestead in Westchester county, married
Miss Catherine Baker, a lady of English de-
scent, whose family had been located in Dutch-
ess county for several generations. Her father,
Bennajah Baker, was a well-known carpenter
and builder. After his marriage Mr. \^an Tas-
sell settled in Old Fishkill, where he engaged
in business as a farmer, miller and speculator
in cattle, his shrewd judgment enabling him to
make a success of each. Politically he was a
Republican. His wife died March 16, 1888,
and he did not long survive, passing to his rest
February 16, 1895. They had eleven chil-
dren: Sarah (deceased), formerly the wife of
AlonzoTownsend, a carpenter in Connecticut;
J. Wesley, our subject; James, who died at an
early age; Wilbur, a resident of Lagrange;
Eliza, who has never married; Benjamin, a



farmer in Wappinger town; Isaac, who lives
at Fishkill Plains; Phcebe, the wife of John
Nolin, a farmer near Matteawan; Kate, who
married Charles Dains, of Matteawan; and
Eugene and Charles, who are not married.

J. Wesley Van Tassell was born October
12, 1845, aii'J was educated in his native town
of Fishkill, attending first the district schools,
and later the old academy at Fishkill. On
completing his studies he engaged in farming,
which he has always followed, speniJing about
three years at his first place, in East Fishkill,
and six upon another farm in Fishkill Plains,
two in the town of Northeast, and afterward
returning to his present farm in East Fishkill.
On September 19, 1866, he married Carrie C.
Haight, a descendant of the well-known fam-
ily of that name. She is a native of Dutchess
county, and was the youngest daughter of
Henry Haight, a leading agriculturist of East
Fishkill. They have had seven children,
whose names with dates of birth are as follows:
Cora, October 26, 1867, married C. M. Dol-
son, a farmer in the town of Wappinger; Clin-
ton W., July 15, 1869, the manager of a com-
mission store in New York City; Milton J.,
June 9, 1874, a cashier in a restaurant, No. 1305
Broadway, New York City; How^ard C, Octo-
ber 26, 1875, a cashier in a restaurant, -No. 221
Sixth avenue, New York City; Carrie Mae,
September 11, 1879, at home; Orrin, April 28,
1884, died July 24, of the same year; Wesley
Augustus, November 5, 1888, at home.

In addition to his agricultural interests Mr.
Van Tassell carries on a fire-insurance busi-
ness in Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester
counties. He has been an able and energetic
public official, and a prominent worker in the
Republican party. Ever since he was twenty-
one years of age Mr. Van Tassell has been
closely identified with the politics of the
county. He has been a delegate to every Re-
publican county convention since that time,
and has cast a vote at every election. He was
elected assessor of East Fishkill in 1873, over
Abram Adriance, for three years. While on a
farm in Middleton, 1877-79, he investigated
the iron ore interest of J. V. W. Brinckerhoff,
of that town. In 1880 he was elected com-
missioner of highways in the town of East
Fishkill for three years. In the fall of 18S8
he was elected sheriff of Dutchess county for
three years, defeating Storm Emans by a ma-
jority of 466. He was elected supervisor of
the town of East Fishkill in 1S94, for two



528



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPBICAL RECORD.



years, and in the spring of 1896 he was re-
elected for a similar term. He was appointed
in 1886 assistant superintendent of the State
Stove Works at Sing Sing, and held the posi-
tion for two years.

While sheriff of Dutchess Co., Mr. Van Tas-
sell managed the two farms of A. A. Brush, and
was proprietor of the flour, feed and grist mill
at Hopewell. He has held school trusteeship
in every town in which he has lived. In the
spring of 1897 his name was frequently men-
tioned as a candidate for sheriff on the Ivepub-
lican ticket.



PHILIP KLADY, who during the greater
portion of his life was an esteemed citi-
zen of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county, was
born October 22, 1828, at Muehlhoffen, Rhein-
Pfaltz, Bavaria, Germany, the son of Jacob
and Lucetta (Alexander) Klady. His father
was also born in that town, and was a member
of one of its old families which came originally
from France, and are descendants of Hugu-
nots; his mother's family were also descendants
from Huguenots. The name Klady originally
was Kloedy.

Our subject had one brother, Jacob Klady,
and four sisters, Catherine (who married Jacob
Strope), Elizabeth (who became Mrs. Philip
Riedinger, of Poughkeepsie), Mary (who mar-
ried Jacob Barth), and Eva (who married Paul
Baur, of Cincinnati, Ohio). The family were
Lutherans in their religious views, but became
members of the Reformed Dutch Church.
The father was a carriage and wagon manu-
facturer by occupation.

Philip Klady obtained his education in the
common schools of his native land, and then
learned the trade of cooper, at which he served
an apprenticeship. In 1849 he came to the
United States, his destination being Pough-
keepsie, where he had two sisters and a
brother living. He was soon employed by the
Vassars, for whom he worked some years; he
also spent a short time in Hudson, N. Y. Mr.
Klady followed his trade as journeyman cooper
until 1857, when he formed a partnership with
Valentine Frank, in the brewing business, un-
der the firm name of Frank & Klady, and in
this business Mr. Klady was engaged until Oc-
tober I, 1875, when he retired from the firm.
During the continuance of this partnership a
large business was built up, it becoming one of



the most prosperous and substantial firms in
the city.

Mr. Klady was married, in 1857, to Mary-
etta, daughter of William Keesler, one of the
old and prominent citizens of Poughkeepsie,
and of this union one child, George Robert,
was born in 1867.

Mr. Klady 's second marriage took place in
the City of New York, June 10, 1875, when
he was united with Miss Lena Alexander, a
cultured and refined lady, daughter of George
Alexander, whose family are also descendants
of Huguenots; no children have been born of
this marriage. The death of Mr. Klady oc-
curred September 18, 1892, at Lahr, Baden,
Germany, whither he had gone for his health,
his remains being brought home for burial.

For some years previous to his decease Mr.
Klady had not been engaged inactive business,
but spent his time in retirement at his pleasant
home, and in traveling. He was much de-
voted to his family and friends, finding his
greatest enjoyment in their society. In busi-
ness affairs he showed excellent judginent, and
a resolute will that overcame all obstacles.
Coming to this country a poor young man, he
accomplished his purpose of becoming a suc-
cessful financier, and during his active life he
held an enviable position among his business
associates as a man of integrity and upright
life. His generosity and benevolence were
well known, and his tender heart could never
refuse assistance to those in need. Mr. Klady
took great interest in all public matters, and
was a loyal citizen of his adopted country.
He belonged to the Royal Arcanum, and was
an attendant of the First Reformed Church.
His widow is yet a resident of Poughkeepsie,
but spends her winters at Tarpon Springs,
Florida.



STEPHEN C. VAN WYCK, an agricult-
urist of energy and ability, belongs to a
family that long has been prominently con-
nected with the interests of the town of East
Fishkill, Dutchess county. His great-grand-
father, Cornelius R. Van Wyck, was married
March 2, 1775, to Ann Dur^'ea, by whom he
had five children: C. R., Annie, Duryea,
Stephen D. and Richard C. For his second wife
he married Magdalene Montfort, and they also
had a family of five children: Stephen D. and
Peter M. (twins), Annie, Barbara, and Cor-
nelius R.




§t M^



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



529



Stephen D. Van Wyck, grandfather of our
subject, was born in the town of Fishkill,
March 3, 1795. He was a farmer, and in
1 840 efficiently served as sheriff of Dutchess
county. His death occurred June 3, 1S79.
He was united in marriage with Hetty Purdy,
a native of Fishkill Landing, and they located
in the town of Fishkill, where they reared their
family of six children: Cornelius S., the father
of our subject; Francis P., who was a whole-
sale dry-goods merchant of Chicago, and was
the American minister to Turk's Island at the
time of his death; Jane Ann, widow of David
Heacock, at one time a glove manufacturer of
Gloversville, N. Y. ; John P., who died when
a young man; Helen M., deceased, unmarried;
and Tunis B., a retired merchant of Chicago.

Cornelius S. \'an Wyck, the father of our
subject, born in Fishkill town, March 9, 1831,
grew to manhood on a farm, and October 14,
1846, married Phcebe Van Wyck, who was
born in the town of Fishkill, March 9, 1823,
the daughter of Richard C. Van Wyck, whose
father was Cornelius R. Van Wyck, the pa-