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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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In early life he learned the hatter's trade,
which he followed for a number of years, but



afterward engaged in farming and carpenter-
ing. By his marriage with Miss Permelia Mar-
shall, he had ten children; Edwin, Sallie A.,
George, Bartlet, Marshall, Lewis, William,
Seneca, Elizabeth and Joseph; of these, Sen-
eca was made colonel of the 28th Regiment.
September 5, 1862, which regiment went out
1,600 strong, and when mustered out, July
13, 1865, numbered but 400. After the death
of his first wife he married Miss Almira Baker,
who was born in 1822, and was the daughter
of John Baker, of the town of Pleasant Valley,
Dutchess county. Si.x children blessed this
union: Leander, born December 21, 1844,
married Miss F'rances Hustead ino children
were born to them); Charles A., born Novem-
ber 29, 1846, was in the Union army during
the Civil war, and is now married and has
two children; Jacob J., born May 16, 1849,
married Mrs. Elmira Finkle, and they have
one child, Mary; Theodora, born May i, 1851,
is the wife of our subject; Mary F., born Oc-
tober 29, 1853, wedded Andrew Lake, a sol-
dier of the Civil war, who now receives a pen-
sion, and they have nine children — Oran, Ale.x.
James, Fred, Arthur J., Mary, Ah'ereta, Alice
and Ida; and Cornelia, born April 27, 1858,
died August 18, 1866, at the age of eight years.



POLHEMUS W. MYER, leading agricult-
urist of the town of Wappinger, Dutchess
county, is a member of one of its old and
highly respected families. His ancestors came
from Holland at an early period, and his grand-
father, Reuben Myer, was born in that county
and spent his life there. He married Catherine
Van \'oorhis, and had seven children, none of
whom are now living: (i) John R. was a
farmer upon the estate now owned by our sub-
ject; (2) Abraham R. resided in Hughsonville;
('3) Zachariah was a hotel-keeper in Arlington,
Dutchess county; (4) Egbert was a resident of
Hughsonville; (5) Ellen married William Van-
Voorhis, a carriage painter; (6) Nancy married
William Monfort; and (7) Warren D.

Warren D. Myer, the youngest of the fam-
ily, was born and reared in New Hackensack,
and in early manhood began his successful
mercantile career by clerking for his brother
in Hughsonville, where he afterward conducted
a general store for twenty-si.x years. His wife
was Miss Susan Lyster, daughter of John P.
Lyster, a well-known farmer of East Fishkill,
and a descendant of another old Holland-



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



571



Dutch family. They attended the Presby-
terian Church, and were prominent in its work.
Ill later years Mr. Myer purchased the present
homestead, near Hughsonville, where he re-
sided until his death, in 1872. His wife sur-
vived him twenty years. Of their four chil-
dren, the eldest, Delancey L. , died in 1891,
and Margaret and Olevia died in infancy.

The subject of this biography, the young-
est child, was born in Hughsonville, July 31,
1846, and after availing himself of the educa-
tional facilities of his native town settled at
the homestead, and the management of its 133
acres has since occupied his attention. On
September 6, 1S83, he married his first wife,
Miss Kitty H. Denny, a native of the town of
Hyde Park, Dutchess county. They had two
children — Maud K. and Emma H., who are
both at home. Their mother died October
22, 1888, and on October 25, 1893, Mr. Myer
wgs again married, this time to Miss Jennie E.
Cutler, who was born in Westchester county,
the daughter of Cyrus Cutler, a prominent
farmer.

Mr. Myer is a Democrat, as was his father
before him, but his influence is exerted in a
quiet, though forceful, way.



HENRY HOFFMAN, who was born on
January 26, 1S29, in the town of Pine
Plains, Dutchess county, was there success-
fully engaged in farming for many years. He
was a worthy representative of an old and
honored family of the locality. The founder
of the family in the New World was Hendrick
Hoffman, his great-grandfather, who was born
in Germany about 17 19, and on crossing the
water located in Ancram,"Columbia Co., N. Y.,
where he secured the farm now occupied by
his great-grandson, Frederick Barton. By his
marriage with Sybil Magdalene Yunghans he
became the father of three children: Henry,
who was the grandfather of our subject, was
born in Ancram January 6, 1761; Matthias,
who married Anna Maria Strever, and Marga-
ret, who wedded a Mr. Talmadge, of Rensse-
laer county, N. Y., a distant relative of T.
DeWitt Talmadge.

The grandfather came to the town of Pine
Plains, Dutchess county, in 18 12, locating on
the hill where the Hoffman Mills now stand,
and in this town he spent the remainder of his
life, dying in 1840. He was one of the most
prosperous farmers of the vicinity, owning 500



acres of valuable land. His wife, who was
born January 6, 1762, survived him about ten
years. On January 15, 17S6, he had married
Catherine Veterle, of Red Hook, N. Y., and
they became the parents of ten children,
namely: Margaret, born September 25, 1786,
married Rowland Sweet, of Copake, Colum-
bia Co., N. Y. ; Catherine, born October 12,
1788, died unmarried; Eleanor, born Decem-
ber 28, 1790, married Walter Dorchester;
Henry, born May 17, 1793, married Almira
Culver, of Pine Plains; Polly, born August 27,
1795, married Jeremiah Conklin, of Pine Plains;
Catherine, born January 28, 1798, died in
childhood; one child, born June 15, 1799, died
in infancy; Betsey, born May 28, 1800, mar-
ried George Barton; Laura, born June 23,
1803, married Artemas Sackett, of the town
of Washington, Dutchess county; and Anthony
was born in Ancram, Columbia county, Sep-
tember 15, 1805.

Anthony Hoffman, the father of our sub-
ject, spent his entire life upon the farm which
his father had located in the town of Pine
Plains, where the family had long been a lead-
ing and prominent one in the community. ' He
was a progressive and enterprising man, and
kept the old homestead property intact. He
was married to Sally Barton, of the town of
Stanford, Dutchess county, and to them were
born the following children: Henry, of this
review, was the eldest; Sarah, born December
6, I S3 1, wedded Herman Snyder, of Gallatin,
Columbia county; Leonard, born November
24, 1833, died unmarried; Catherine, born
February 22, 1835, married J. Culver Hoag;
Julia, born October 30, 1837, became the wife
of Elias Halstead, of Ancram; Laura, born
January 20, 1840, married Edgar Eggleston, of
the town of Northeast, Dutchess county, and
Anthony, born September 8, 1844, died un-
married. All of the children are now deceased
with the e.xception of Catherine and Laura.
The father's death occurred September 10,
1876; his wife passed away November 23, 1884.

Our subject was educated in the district
schools of the neighborhood, and in a select
school at Millerton, Dutchess county, con-
ducted by E. W. Simmons, and by reading in
subsequent years became a well-informed man.
He succeeded to the eastern end of the old
homestead, consisting of 153 acres, and on
that farm spent his entire life. He was natu-
rally a man of good business ability, and was
numbered among the substantial and industri-



572



COMMEMORATIVE BWORAPHICAL RECORD.



oils farmers of Pine Plains. The farm is now
occupied by his only child, Leonard, making
the fourth generation that has resided there.
In 1866 Mr. Hoffman married Miss Mary A.
Strever, who was born July 31, 1836, and is a
(laughter of Adam and Eliza fEno) Strever.
Their son Leonard married Ella J. Miller,
daughter of Adam Miller, of Pine Plains, and
they have two children, Ira and Harry. Mr.
Hoffman used his right of franchise in support
of the men and measures of the Democratic
[jarty, and took an active interest in public
affairs. He was straightforward and honora-
ble in his dealings, and gained the high regard
of all with whom he came in contact.

The Strever family, of which Mrs. Hoffman
is a member, is of German origin, and the
name was formerly spelled Streibel, later cor-
rupted to Strevel and afterward to Strever.
About 1720 Johannes Strever came to America
from the Fatherland, and on his arrival in New
York City was sold to pay his passage. A man
by the name of Couse brought him to the town
of Milan, Dutchess county, where he worked
his time out. He was born December 24,
1731,' and married Maria Dings, who was born
in 1742, the daughter of Adam Dings. His
death occurred February 24, 1804, and his
wife survived him about four years. In their
family were si.\ children, namely: John Adam,
born June i, 1760, married Lizzie Strever;
Jacob, born June 18, 1762, married Anna
Maria Hoysradt; Anna Maria, born April 5,
1764, married Matthias Hoffman; Eva, born
March 27, 1766, became the wife of Hendrick
Hoysradt; John, born July 4, 1768, wedded
Mary Hoysradt; and Benjamin, born Novem-
ber 8, 1 77 1, married Maria Righter.

The ne.xt in direct line to Mrs. Hoffman is
John Strever, who was born on a farm near
Ancram Lead Mines, now owned by Jacob
Miller, and by his marriage with Mary Hoys-
radt had ten children: Polly, born October
23, 1790, became the wife of Cornelius Hoys-
radt; Henry, born March 18, 1793, married
Betsey Snyder; John, born January 13, 1796,
never married; Adam, born March 13, 1798,
was the father of Mrs. Hoffman; Elizabeth,
born April 28, 1800, died while young; Ben-
jamin, born June 20, 1802, married Cornelia
Snyder; J. Iloysradt, born November 24,
1805, wedded Abbie Marsh; Tammy, born in
November, 1807, became the wife of John
Silvernail; Eliza, born February 9, 18 10, died
unmarried; and Fanny, born January 18, 1812,



also died unmarried. On June 7, 1790, the
father of this family purchased of Mr. Gra-
ham, one of the Little Nine Partners, 700
acres of land, for which he gave 900 pounds
in English money, and that property has been
in the family ever since.

On the family homestead Adam Strever,
the father of Mrs. Hoffman, was born and
reared his family. He was an able financier,
being very successful in business matters, up-
right and reliable, and could be depended upon
under any circumstances. He was naturally a
quiet man, and one of the most highly esteemed
men of the community. He married Miss
Eliza Eno, daughter of Julius and Amanda
Eno, of Schoharie county, N. Y. , and to them
were born three daughters: Mary Amanda,
now Mrs. Hoffman; Jane W., born November
23. 1837; and Julia, born August 30, 1840.
On August 27, 1872, the last named married
Daniel Poole, by whom she had one son, Strje-
ver, and her death occurred August 6, 1895.
The father passed away February 18, 1872,
and the mother on July 25, 1845.

Among many heirlooms, Mrs. Hoffman has
a German Bible, sent to Johannes Strever some
time after his arrival in this country, and it is
now about 140 years old. This family, it is
quite evident, was one of considerable stand-
ing in the Old World.



MARTIN W. COLLINS, a pronnnent busi-
ness man of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess
county, was born October 14, 1847, in the
town of Pleasant Valley, Dutchess Co. , N. Y. ,
and is a member of one of the old families of
that locality.

The following record is given of Mr. Col-
lins' immediate paternal ancestors: Isaac F.
Collins, his father, was born May 22, iSi8, in
Pleasant Valley, Dutchess Co., N. Y. ; Martin
W. Collins, his grandfather, was born in the
town of Rhinebeck, in 1790; and Joshua Col-
lins, the great-grandfather, was born near
Providence, R. I. He was the son of Joseph
Collins, who was a native of England, and
came to America, settling near Providence,
where he reared a laige family of children, of
whom the sons were- : Joshua, Hezekiah,
Joseph, William and Charles. Of these, Heze-
kiah came to Dutchess county, N. Y. , and set-
tled on a farm in Unionvale; he married, and
reared a large family. Joseph lived in Rhode
Island, where his family became prominent.




Tl^Lon^ TP^ Cuiu^



COMME^VORATirE BIOORAPHICAL RECOHD.



578



William also made hi^^ homo in Rhode Island,
and there reared a family. Charles removed
to Columbia county, X. V., where he married
and settled on a (arm; he had two children,
one of whom. Charles, became a lawver and
lived in Brooklyn.

Joshua, the eldest of the family above re-
corded, and great-j^randfather of our subject,
was reared in Rhode Island, where he married
Mary White, and shortly after ^about 1774")
came to New York, settling in Rhinebeck,
Dutchess county, and taking charge of prop-
erty belonging to Gen. Montgomery. In iSoo
he bought a farm in eastern Pleasant N'alley,
where he remained until his death in iSjg.
He had a family of seven children, namely:
,\^ Henry, married Miss Cox, of Rhinebeck,
and followed farming, yi') Gideon married
Miss Sweet, of Lithgow, Dutchess county,
moved to Chautauqua, N. Y., and there reared
a family. (3) Joshua married Miss Rowe,
and located at Cocymans, N. Y.. from there
moving to Illinois. 14) Susan married Caleb
Angevine, a stock dealer in Now York City.
(5) Oliver married Miss Ward, and lived in
Pleasant ^■alley (he was a school teacher, and
also a merchant). (6) Patty married Minavd
\'elie, who was a farmer and sltK~kraiser, of
.Lagrange. 1^7) Martin W. was the grand-
father of our subject.

Martin W. Collins lived in Rhinebeck until
ten years of age, but was reared to manhood
in Pleasant \'alley. He married Miss Nancy
Forman, a native of tlie latter place, and for
some time after his marriage lived on his
father's farm. He afterward bought a large
farm in the town of Washington, Dutchess
county, where he died October i, 1876, his
wife surviving him until November JO, 1886.
He served as lieutenant in the war of 181J,
and was very prominent with the Democratic
party of his locality, and heltl the office of su-
pervisor for many terms, and also superintend-
ent of the County Poor. To the union of this
worthy couple were born four children: (0
Joshua, the eldest, is living at Wappingers
Falls at the age of eighty-two years; he has
for many years been a minister of the Gospel,
Presbyterian Church, but is now retired from
active work. {2) Mary A. married William
H. Ciurncy, who lived in Dutchess county,
and was a stockdealer in New York City. (3^
Isaac is our subject's father. (^4) Rhoda,
who never married, is now seventy-four years
old. In religion the family were Uuakers.



Isaac Collins, father of our subject, grew
up on his father's farm, and earl_\- in life stud-
ied surveying and engineering, which profes-
sion he followed during the greater part of his
life. He married Miss Phabe J. Holmes, who
was born at Pleasant \'alley August lo, 18^2.
Slx^ was the daughter of Isaac Holmes, a
farmer, and granddaughter of Joseph Holmes,
who came from Westchester county, N. Y.
The family was of Gorman descent. Four
children were born to Isaac Collins and his
wife, as follows: ^H Isaac H. died when eight
years old. (J^ Mary .\nn married James Ho-
gan, of Rhinebeck, and died December \2,
1871. 1^3'' Martin W. is our subject. ^4)
Peters 11. died at five years of age. The
mother passed away March 10, 1895; the fa-
ther is now living in Poughkeepsie, at the age
of seventy-seven years. He is a Democrat,
and was county superintendent of schools from
1868 to 187 J, taking an active part in all
matters pertaining to education. Ho and his
wife contributed liberally to the support of the
Second Reformed (."lunch at Poughkeepsie,
and have always commatuiod the respect and
esteem of the community.

Martin W. Collins, the subject of this
sketch, lived in the town of Washington, whore
he attentled the district school until ho was
fifteen years old, when his parents removed to
Rhinebeck. Ho then entered the Dutchess
County Academy. Poughkeepsie, where he re-
mained two years, and for one year was a stu-
dent in the Seminary at Ameiiia. In 1870 he
began teaching at Rhinebeck, continuing in
this occupation some live years. In the fall
of 1873 he was elected school commissioner,
and was re-elected in 1877, serving until Jan-
uary I, 1882. At this time ho formed a part-
nership with Henjamiii W. \'an Wyok in the
marble and granite business, under the firm
name of \'an Wyck cS: Collins, in which busi-
ness he is still engaged.

Mr. Collins was married September 19,
1870. to Miss Mary, daughter of Isaac P'. Kir-
by. of NewA'ork. who died in .\ugust. 1873.
One child was born to them. Jennie, who mar-
ried William K. Hrown, of Poughkeepsie. Mr.
Collins, on December .'o, 1877, married, for
his second wife. Miss lunily M., daughter of
William I. Foster, a farmer of Pleasant \'al-
ley. i^riio I'Yisters are of luiglish descent, and
came to Dutchess county from New Ilamp-
shiroV C>f this union two childron have boon
born: Maltie V. and Ruth M.



574



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



Mr. Collins is a Democrat, and ia public-
spirited man, one who takes an active interest
in all public matters. He is broad and pro-
gressive in his ideas, and as a loyal citizen is
held in the highest esteem. Socially he be-
longs to the I. O. O. F. and K. of P., and he
and his wife attend the Reformed Church.



CHARIJ-:S EMERY BAKER. As pioneer
farmers of the town of Pawling, Dutchess
county, the Baker family held a prominent
place in the development of that town in early
days, and the numerous descendants of this gen-
eration ably sustain the reputation won by their
forefathers for industry, business acumen and
public spirit.

Henry Baker, the grandfather of our subject,
was born at the old homestead, and became
the owner of a farm of about loo acres, ad-
mirably adapted to the dairy business, which
land is still in the possession of the family. He
was a successful man, and was regarded as a
representative citizen of his town. He was
married, and reared a family of eight children.
The five sons, James, Warren, John, Henry and
Joshua, all followed agricultural pursuits. The
three daughters were Ann, who married Harry
Peck; Betsey, the wife of Luman White; and
Hulda. All lived to the age of nearly si.xty
years or more, but have now joined the silent
majority.

Harry ISaker, our subject's father, was born
on the old homestead in 1818, and succeeded
to it after the death of his father, buying out
the claims of the other heirs. Hisentire life was
passed there, and he added to the acreage from
time to time. Possessing the usual native abil-
ity, he was even more influential in public life
than his father, for many years taking active
part in the support of Republican principles.
He served as assessor from eight to ten years,
also held other important offices of the town at
different times, and was a prominent member
of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Reynolds-
ville. His death occurred in February, 1883,
and his wife, Rebecca Jane Denton, followed
him May, i S93. She was a native of Reynolds-
ville, a daughter of Josiah Denton. Our sub-
ject was one of the family of seven children,
as follows: Josiah was a soldier in the Civil
war, having enlisted in 1 862, but only lived four
weeks thereafter, dying of smallpox. George
H. , the eldest living, and a farmer in Putnam
county, married Ann Rent, but has no children.



James H., a resident of Pawling, was twice
married, first to Anna Gage, and after her death
h& wedded her sister, Sarah; by his first wife
he had two children: William and Anna.
Charles Emery, our subject, comes next.
Amos D. is deceased. John Wesley, who resides
at the homestead, married Ida I^allard, and
they have two children, the elder, Harry,
being now deceased, the j'ounger, Stanley, yet
living. David L. , the youngest brother of our
subject, a resident of Matteawan, married
Emma I^adue, and has two children: Edith
M. and Ralph.

Charles E. Baker, our subject, was born
at Re\'nolds\ille, April 27, 1849, and his edu-
cational opportunities were restricted to an at-
tendance at the district schools of that village
until the age of twenty, the last four years
being limited to the winter term. Study was
a pleasure to him, and he became especially
proficient in mathematics, while a wide course-
of reading in later years has kept him well
abreast with the topics of the time. At twenty-
one he left home to engage in fanning, and
after his marriage, in 1872, to Miss Juliette
Mead, daughter of Robert Mead, of Farmers
Mills, Putnam county, he spent one year on the
Mead homestead. On April i, 1873, he settled
on his present farm in the town of Pawling.
The place was known as the Hillcr home-
stead, and was owned by Alfred Hillcr; but,
after nine years, Mr. Baker purchased the prop-
erty, which contains 255 acres, and is consid-
ered one of the best farms in the town. As Mr.
Baker had only $300 when he moved to this
farm, he may well be proud of the success which
his industry and good management have brought
him. He is interested largely in dairying, keep-
ing about sixty cows. In politics he has always
been a Republican and an active one, having
attended many conventions. In 1891 and 1892
he held the office of commissioner of highways.
He and his wife attend the Methodist Episco-
pal Church of Pawling. Socially, he is a mem-
ber of Dover Lodge No. 666, F. & A. M., of
Dover Plains.

Of their three children, Charles H. is a
graduate of the military school at Claverack,
in Columbia county, while Edith V. is attend-
ing school at Chappaqun, Westchester county,
and I'Vances L. , the youngest, is at home.

Mrs. Baker, wife of our subject, was born
January 14, 1850, near F"armers Mills, in Put-
nam coimty, a daughter of Robert and Abbie
M. ( Smith) Mead, who were the parents of three



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



57')



children: Naomi J., wlio married James W.
Tompkins, a farmer of East Fishkill, and has
two children: Nellie and William D. ; Juliette
(Mrs. Baker) comes next; and Robert R. , who
married Addie O. Thomas, and resides at Mat-
teawan, where he is engaged at horse dealing.
The father of these was born in Putnam county
in 1822, and died in 1858. By occupation he
was a farmer and drover, and also conducted
a store. He was a Democrat. The mother
was born in Putnam county in 18 19, and died
in January, 1894.



CLEMENT HAIGHT, who has ever been
_ closely identified with the agricultural in-
terests of the town of Washington, Dutchess
county, was born August 27, 1814, on the
farm where he still makes his home. His an-
cestors came from England to America, the
founder of the family in this country, Simon
Haight, landing in 1628. He had a son, Nich-
olas (i I, who married Susanna Joyce, and had
a son, Samuel; Samuel married, and became
the father of Nicholas (2), who married Pa-
tience Titus, and had a son, Jacob (i); Jacob
(ij by his marriage with Sarah Hicks became
the father of Jacob (2), the grandfather of our
subject. Jacob i2) married Phcebe Haviland,
and to them were born seven children, as fol-
lows: Jacob (3), who in early life engaged in
farming in the town of W'ashington, Dutchess
county, but later removed to Virginia, where
he owned a tract of land; John, who operated
a farm and engaged in cider-making at Mill-
brook, N. Y. ; Isaac, father of our subject;
Elizabeth, who wedded Philip Allen, a farm-
er, tanner and currier; Patience, who died un-
married; Sarah, who became the wife of Abner
Wing, a resident of W^ashington town, but
whose death occurred in Ohio; and Charity,
who married Obediah Thorne, an agriculturist
of Washington town. The grandfather always
followed the pursuit to which he was reared,
and died in the faith of the Society of Friends.
On the old family homestead Isaac Haight,
the father of our subject, was born November
25, 1784. He married Johanna Clement, a
native of Long Island, whose father was a
shoemaker by trade. To them were born five
children: Clement; Phcebe is the widow of
Daniel B. Haight, who carried on farming in
Washington town; Jacob C. , who was also an
agriculturist, is now deceased; Mary T. ; and
one deceased in infancy. The father's entire



life was devoted to farm labor, and on the old
home farm both he and his wife passed away,
the former in 1856 and the latter in 1855.
They belonged to the Society of Friends, and
in politics Mr. Haight was an Old-line Whig.

Clement Haight grew to manhood under
the parental roof, receiving the usual educa-
tional advantages afforded by the schools of
that day, and was active, industrious and ca-
pable in the discharge of the farm duties fall-
ing upon him. He was united in marriage
with Maria C. Almy, a native of Otsego coun-
ty, N. Y., and a daughter of Clark Almy, an
agriculturist of that county. Their entire mar-
ried life was spent upon the Haight home-



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