J.H. Beers & Co.

Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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brothers and sisters are as follows: Margaret,
who became the first wife of William Tanner;
Betsey, wife of Joseph Gillis, who located at
Argyle, Washington Co., N. \'. ; Maria, wife
of Abram Reynolds, also of Argyle; Sally;
John; Uldrick, who married Amanda Kinney
and lived in .\rgyle; and Benjamin A., who
died unmarried at the home of his cousin, John
B. Strever.

Adam A. Strever was married to Clarissa
Tanner, who was born January 16, 1797, to
Samuel and Rachel (Mcintosh) Tanner, and
died December 4, 1S77. They became the
parents of three children: Rachel, who was
born October i, 1820, and died unmarried
August 2, 1882; Sylvester, born March 29,
1822; and Benjamin .\., the father of our sub-
ject. The father of Mrs. Strever, Samuel
Tanner, was born .\pril 4, 175S, in Dover,
Dutchess county, where he li\ed some years.
He first wedded a Miss Mcintosh by whom he
had five children: William, born February 4,
1783, first married Margaret Strever, after her
death Mrs. Finch, and his third wife was Bet-
sey Davis; John, born March 6. i~S8, for his
second wife chose Mrs. Christine Mosher;
Rachel was born March 20, 1784; Alexander,
born February 20, 1785, was married and had
two children, one daughter marrying Dr. Plat-
ner; and Margaret, twin sister of Alexander,



was also married. For his second wife Sam-
uel Tanner chose Rachel Mcintosh, who was
born August 4, 1767, and was a daughter of
Alexander and Rachel (Yonkhoncei Mcintosh,
and to them were born ten children, namely:
(I) Mary Magdalene, born November 2, 1790,
married William T. Woolridge. (2) James,
born January 12, 1793, was married three
times. (3) Reuben S. was born January 12,
1795. (4) Clarissa was the wife of Adam A.
Strever, the grandfather of our subject. (5)
Anthony, born August 13, 1799, was twice
married, and died January 14, 1877. (6)
Henry was born November 9, 1801. (7)
Samuel was born August 6, 1804. (8) Morris
was born April 26, 1867. (9) Almyra, born
May 24, 1810, was married to Jeremiah Lown.
(10) Eliza, who completed the family, was
the twin sister of Almyra, and married Andrew
Case. x\le.\ander Mcintosh, the father of
Mrs. Rachel Tanner, was undoubtedly a native
of Scotland, and his parents died while on the
voyage to the New World, and he worked for
three years to pay his passage. The sister
of our subject now has in her possession a
small straw-covered trunk which he brought
over about 1 740. It is supposed that he sailed
from England, and took the oath of allegiance
to the King of England. Rather than break
that oath he went as a' baker in the Colonial
army during the Revolutionary war, and was
called a Tory as he would not take up arms
against the mother country. He remained in
New York City for some time, where he mar-
ried Clara Yonkhonce, but November i, 1786,
he bought land of George Clinton, and removed
to the farm now owned by his great-grandson,
Samuel Tanner. It is said that while looking
for a place to build he accidently stepped into
a spring, and said "here is where I will put
my house." His wife's parents located about
the same time on the land now owned by the
Du.xberry family.

Benjamin A. Strever, the father of our
subject, was born on the old homestead in the
town of Ancram, Columbia county, June 19,
1830, and in the district schools of the town
of Pine Plains, Dutchess county, received a
good common-school education. He was
reared to agricultural pursuits, and in connec-
tion with that occupation also engaged to some
e.xtent as blacksmith, carpenter, mason, artist,
etc. In 1884 he removed to the farm still oc-
cupied by the family.

On December 26, 1855, Benjamin A.

Strever married Amelia Jane Collier, who was
born November 11, 1831, the daughter of
Simeon Mace and Maria (Jones) Collier, and
to them were born three children: ii) Frank-
lin Adam (who still owns and occupies the old
Strever homestead in Pine Plains), born Oc-
tober 18, 1857, was married December 5, 1883,
to Mary Elida Vosburg. who was born June 26,
1858, and is the daughter of John and Rhoda
Ann (Scutt) Vosburg, and three children blessed
their union — Rhoda Anna, born April 16,
18S5; Raymond. V., born June 24, 1886;
and Senella Blanche, born December 17,
1887. (2) Frederick Henry, whose name
introduces this sketch, is ne.xt in order of birth.
(3) Rachel Tanner, born November 17, 1865.
Simeon Mace Collier, the maternal grand-
father of our subject, was born July 30, 1S07,
and was married December 16, 1830, to Maria
Jones, by whom he had two children: Amelia
Jane and Gilbert Henry. She was born
August 22, 1805, to Isaac and Sally (Ross)
Jones, and died July 18, 1834. Her paternal
grandparents were Isaac and Anna Jones, and
her mother, who bore the maiden name of
Sail}- Ross, was the niece of Captain Ross,
who is buried at Mt. Ross. On December 10,
1839, Simeon Mace Collier was again married,
his second union being with Eliza Thomas,
who was born May 2, 1S06, and was the
daughter of John and Elsie (Hollow; Thomas,
and to them were born five children: Frances
C. , Thomas, George M., Gertrude Arnold and
Amy Thomas. The father of this family was
the fifth and youngest child of Noah and Leah
(Mace) Collier. His mother was born Octo-
ber 16, 1775, and after the death of Noah
Collier, she became the wife of John Benson,
and died in 1857. She was the second daugh-
ter of Simeon and Deborah (Fillow) Mace.
Her mother was born September 13. 1757,
and in 1772 became the wife of Simeon Mace,
who was born January 2, 1752, and died De-
cember 24, 1822. Her death occurred Jan-
uary 17, 1839. She was the daughter of John
and Phebe (Olmsted) Fillow. John Fillow
was born probably about 1704 and married
before 1726. He was the son of John and
Sarah Fillow. It is thought that John Fillow,
Sr. , was born in France about 1667, and was
about thirty-three years of age when he came
to America, bringing his wife and three sons,
who came here Huguenot refugees to escape
religious persecution. On coming to the New
World he located at Norwalk, Conn. He



died about 1765, at the extreme old age of
ninety-eight years.

In the usual manner of farmer lads Fred-
erick H. Strever was reared to manhood, as-
sisting his father in the labors of the farm,
and attending the schools of the neighborhood.
He has been (]uite successful in his agricultural
pursuits, which he has continued to follow, and
now has a farm of 140 acres of rich and arable
land. He takes quite an active interest in
local political matters, voting with the Repub-
lican party, and is interested in school work.
He is one of the representative young farmers
of the locality.

ISRAEL R. WILLSON, a prominent agri-
_ culturist and dairyman of the town of North-
east, Dutchess county, residing near Coleman
Station, is a descendant of a hard}', long-lived
Scotch-Irish ancestry, whose shrewd judgment
and upright character won for them a leading
place in this community. His great-grandfa-
ther, Robert Willson, was one of three broth-
ers who came from the North of Ireland at an
early day, his ancestors having moved from
Scotland to Ireland a number of years before.
He settled upon a tract of 100 acres west of
the present residence of Mr. Slee, where he
followed farming successfully. He was an en-
terprising, public-spirited man, and did much
to develop the neighborhood, being one of the
founders of the Congregational Church north
of Amenia. He died in the latter part of the
eighteenth century, and his wife, Betsey Hind-
man, to whom he was married after coming to
this country, lived to be over 100 years old.
They had seven children, whose names and
dates of birth are as follows: Reuben, Octo-
ber 16, 1755; Amos, March 10, 1758, both of
whom moved to Saratoga county, N. Y. ; Han-
nah. May 15, 1760; Mary, April i, 1763;
Thomas, September 11, 1767, who moved to
Ohio in early manhood; Margaret, September
9, 1769, the wife of Reuben Gaston, of Chan-
tilly, N. Y. ; and Robert, May 14, 1772, our
subject's grandfather. He inherited his fa-
ther's farm, but sold it and purchased the
Murdoch property, containing about 400 acres,
where he passed the greater part of his life.
He was a captain in the State Militia, and a
man of prominence in this region, active in
politics as a member of the \N'hig party, and
in business circles as a successful manager of
his fine estate. He belonged to the Presbyte-

rian Church of Amenia City Tnow Smithfield),
and was a deacon for many years. He was
married November 1 1, 1795, to Sarah Thomp-
son, of Amenia City, born February 7, 1777,
and had eight children, whose names and
dates of birth are here given: John, June 3,
1797; Hiram, August 12, 1799; Rebecca, May
17, 1801, who was married January 6, 1820,
to Philip Flint; Samuel T., October 3, 1803,
who was married February 21, 1833, to Eme-
line Shornberger; Theron, June 10, 1805, who
was married January 8, 1829, to Lydia Collin;
Robert E. , March 28, 1807, a well-known
minister of the Presbyterian Church, who was
married February 20, 1838, to Mary Strong,
sister of Justice Strong of the United States
Supreme Court; Sarah, August 12, iSii, who
died at an early age; Henry, July 12, 1S14,
who was married to Sarah E. Cady, October
25, 1838; and Barak, January 24, 1817, who
married Cordelia Collins, September 24. 1840.
Capt. Willson died October 21, 1854. and his
wife survived him until July 6, 1872, when she
died at the age of ninety-five years.

Hiram Willson, our subject's father, also
followed farming as an occupation, and spent
many years on the homestead at Amenia City.
He moved to the town of Pine Plains in 1844,
and bought a place known as the Knicker-
bocker farm, where he passed his remaining
years, his unusual executive ability enabling
him to accumulate a fine property. He
was married February 18, 1S24, to Eliza
Reynolds, a lady of English descent, and a
granddaughter of Stephen Reynolds, who
came from Rye, Long Island, and located at
Pine Plains. Her father. Dr. Israel Reynolds,
was one of the prominent citizens cf that local-
ity. He married Deborah Dorr, of Lym.e,
Conn., and had three children — Walter, who
was an able lawyer of Pine Plains; Julia and
Eliza. Hiram Willson died June 22, 1873,
and his wife September 30, 1892. Their six
children were born as follows: Ellen, October
8, 1825; Israel, November 2, 1827; Julia (Mrs.
Isaac Carpenter), February 11, 1830; Edward
P., December 26. 1S32, who married Olive
Sinks, of Leavenworth, Kans.; Sarah R., May
2. 1836, who was the second wife of Isaac
Carpenter; Elizabeth D., July 20, 1838. who
married Theodore Strong, of Pittston, Penn.;
a brother of Justice Strong, of the United
States Supreme Court.

Israel Willson first saw the light of day at
the farm now occupied by John N. Conklin in



the town of Northeast. He received a good
academic education, attending the district
schools near his home, and later the schools
of Warren, Conn., and Pittsfield, Mass.
He is a very intelligent man, a great reader,
and has taken the New York Tribune for
forty years. On leaving school in 1852,
he bought a farm of 160 acres of Barak Will-
son, to which, four years later, he added 120
acres purchased of Stoughton Moore, and sub-
sequent additions have enlarged it to a tract of
320 acres, making one of the best farms of the
town. The Harlem railroad was built through
it in 185 1, and, in the following spring, Mr.
Willson engaged in the milk business, being
one of the pioneers in that line, and has met
with gratifying success.

On September 16, 1S52, he married Eliza-
beth Conklin, a daughter of John Conklin, and
granddaughter of Major Nathan Conklin, an
officer in the Revolutionary war, who came to
Dutchess county from East Hampton, Long
Island, about 1781. They have had three
children: Elizabeth Hunting, who was born
August 16, 1856, and died June 7, 1878; and
Julia, born November 11, 1858; and Helen P.,
born August 14, 1S64, who married D. Dewey
Merwin. Mr. Willson and his family are lead-
ing members of the Presbyterian Church at
Amenra, and he is one of the active workers in
all matters of local improvement. Although
he never aspired to office he was town as-
sessor for six years, and he takes great interest
in national affairs, being in early years a Whig,
and later a Republican.

I'HOMAS O'BRIEN, one of the most en-
_l_ terprising and prosperous agriculturists
of the town of Dover, Dutchess county, resides
near Dover Plains on a fine farm of 225 acres,
which he devotes to dairy work and stock rais-
ing. He is a native of Parish Vancha, County
Tipperary, Ireland, where his ancestors have
made their home for many years. His father,
Daniel O'Brien, conducted a large dairy farm
there, supplying the neighboring cities with
milk. He married Margaret Dempsy, and had
six children: Daniel, who died at an early age,
Jeremiah, John, Thomas, Margaret and Mary.
Mr. O'Brien came to the United States in
1854, and located for a time upon a farm in
the town of Beekman, Dutchess county. Later
he purchased his present property, known as
the Hall farm. In politics he is a Democrat,

and he has always taken an intelligent interest
in all that concerns the welfare of his adopted
country. He was married at Wappingers
Falls to Miss Mary Cunningham, who was born
and educated in the Emerald Isle, and came
to America in 1850 at the age of twenty. They
have three children: (i) MaryT. , who was
born in the " Clove " in 1862, married Thomas
Mclncram, a farmer in Amenia, and has four
sons — Thomas, Joseph, John and Leo. (2)
John who was born in 1863, received his edu-
cation in the schools of Dover, and is now en-
gaged in farming with his father. (3) Julia A.
is at home.

Mrs. O'Brien's grandfather, Thomas Cun-
ningham, was born in the Parish of Golden,
County Tipperary, Ireland, where he was a
farmer during his mature years. He and his
wife, Bridget, reared a family of children,
among whom was a son, Patrick, Mrs. O'Brien's
father, who moved in early manhood to Tulli-
mane Parish, Lethard, County Tipperary, Ire-
land, and engaged in agriculture. He married
Bridget Markley, daughter of Dennis Markley,
a farmer of the same locality, and his wife,
Johanna. Thirteen children were born to
them, of whom four died in infancy. Of the
others, Thomas married, first, Catherine Hayes,
and, second, Miss Penneferth; Patrick married
Kate O'Brien; Dennis. Miss Hayes; Michael,
Mary O'Brien; John; Johanna, Charles Wat-
son; Margaret, Mr. Kennedy; Mary, Thomas
O'Brien; and Bridget died at an early age.

E\UGENE HAM, a progressive agriculturist

Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoCommemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York → online text (page 113 of 183)