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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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served for many years as supervisor and jus-
tice of the peace. He took a commendable
interest in the free schools of the county, as
well as in other worthy objects for the benefit
of the community. He was a faithful member
of the Society of Friends, and spent his entire
life upon the old Marshall homestead, his
death occurring February 24, 1872. His wife
passed away February 9, 1892.

The primary education of John Allen Mar-
shall was obtained in the district schools, after



which he attended the Friends school at Me-
chanicstown, N. Y., and for two years was
a student at Claveracic, N. Y. , taking the full
course in the academy there. He thus ac-
quired an excellent education, becoming well
fitted for the practical duties of life, and at the
age of twenty-one began teaching in the dis-
trict schools of the towns of Pleasant Valley
and Hyde Park during the winter season,
while in the summer months he assisted in the
operation of the home farm until his marriage,
at the age of twenty-six years. Going to
Brooklyn, he there engaged in the milk busi-
ness, which he also followed in Jersey City for
two years. Since 1866, however, he has been
principally engaged in the cultivation and im-
provement of his present farm in Hyde Park
town, though the year 1888 was spent by him
in the West, and for another year he was
in the South.

Mr. Marshall wedded Miss Eimira D. Cul-
ver, daughter of John A. Culver, and to them
have been born five children: Nellie, wife of
Benjamin Haviland; Edwin Vincent, who is
still upon the home farm; Culver, who is em-
ployed in the New York Central depot, at New
York City; Jennie Maria, at home; and John
Allen, who is engaged in teaching in East
Park, Dutchess county. The religious views
of Mr. Marshall incline toward the Society of
Friends, in which he was reared. In politics
he is an ardent Democrat, taking a warm in-
terest in the success of his party, and during
the years 1875 and 1876 he served as super-
visor of his township. He is a progressive,
enterprising man, broad and liberal in his
views, and is very popular in his neighborhood,
where he numbers many friends.

The Culver family, of which Mrs. Marshall
is a member, is of Scotch origin, and was
founded in America by three brothers, Jacob,
John and James, who located first on Long
Island, but later bought farms in Hyde Park,
Dutchess county, the titles to which came
from King George at an early date. John had
two sons, James and Allen, while the other
brother became the father of four sons, Sam-
uel, Cornelius, Peter and John. Of the latter
family, John settled near Battle Creek, Mich.,
and the others became prominent men of west-
ern New York, having located near Rochester.
Until his marriage James Culver, Jr., remained
upon the family homestead in Hyde Park town,
and then for many years lived in Orange
county. New York.

Allen Culver spent his entire life upon the
old home farm, in the cultivation of which he
was very successful, and became the owner
of over 300 acres. He married Abigail
Marshall, daughter of Henry Marshall, and
they became the parents of eleven children:
Marshall, Hester, John A., Willet, Deborah,
Mariam, Emeline, Maria, Catherine, Hiram
and Jacob, all now deceased except John A.,
Maria and Hiram. In religious belief the
family were Friends, and though not an active
politician, the father was a strong Federalist.

John A. Culver, the father of Mrs. Mar-
shall, was born January 10, 1S09, on the farm
adjoining the one where our subject now lives,
and there continued to reside until after reach-
ing his majority. He later purchased the
farm once owned by his grandfather Marshall,
which he operated for seven years, and then
engaged in the mercantile and lumber business
in the village of Hyde Park for about four
years. On the expiration of that time he pur-
chased a farm in the northwest corner of the
town of Pleasant Valley, where he continued
to make his home some twenty-three years,
and as an agriculturist was very successful.
Going to Poughkeepsie in 1S65, he there lived
retired for many years. On October 31, 1834,
Mr. Culver married Miss Catherine Skidmore;
daughter of Walter Skidmore, and on the
maternal side a granddaughter of Jesse Bell,
who served as captain in the Continental army
during the Revolution, and was one of the
honored citizens of Dutchess county. Three
children blessed this union, Mrs. Marshall
being the only one now living; Jane Ann died
at the age of seventeen; and Henry M. at the
age of seven years. The mother passed away
February 29. 1840. For his second wife, Mr.
Culver wedded Elizabeth Brown, on February
2, 1842, and they had two children: Charles
Wheaton, who died at the age of two years;
and Amanda, who died when twenty-one years.
The mother was called from this life May 4,
1890. By birthright Mr. Culver is a member
of the Friends Church, and has ever been one
of the leading and influential citizens of the
county, serving as alms-house commissioner
while a resident of Poughkeepsie.

LEONARD LYON. Few sections of this
_ country can boast of more charming and
quietly picturesque scenery than that to be
found within the limits of Dutchess county,



and nowhere will there be found people more
progressive and companionable. The house
of Mr. and Mrs. Lyon on Quaker Hill, town
of Pawling, is one of the pleasant spots of that
favored region, and its occupants hold a high
place in the esteem of the community. Mr.
Lyon was formerly engaged in agriculture in
Cayuga county, N. Y. , but has become fully
identified with the interests of his adopted

Mr. Lyon was born March ii, 1843, '"
Sherwood, Cayuga Co., N. Y., a son of Alfred
and Harriet (Valentine) Lyon, the former of
whom, a native of Bedford, Westchester Co.,
N. Y. , was a merchant there in early life,
later moving to Cayuga county, where he fol-
lowed farming. He was twice married, first
time to Lavina White, and by her had seven
children, of whom five died when young, the
two yet living being George and Lavina. By
his second wife, Harriet (Valentine), Alfred
Lyon had seven children, as follows: (i) Hi-
ram, a farmer of Cayuga county, married to
Abbie Gifford, and had six children — Sanford,
Genevieve, Edith, Gertrude, Lyman and Her-
bert. (2) Elizabeth married Henry Grimshaw,
and had three children — Samuel, Howard and
Delia. (3) Samuel married Delia Nye, and
had three children — Howard, Alfred and
Page (the entire family live in Chicago). (4)
Leonard, our subject, comes next in the order
of birth. (5) James, a farmer of Sherwood,
Cayuga county, married Sarah Hopkins, and
had three children — Warren, Hettie and
Rossa. (6) Hattie married Frank Fowler, and
five children were born to them — Mary, Hom-
er, Delia, Stanley and Ada. (7) Mary mar-
ried William Avery, and they moved to Fort
Collins, Colo., where he died; they had one
child — Pearle. (8) Charles, a dealer in horses
at Atalissa, Iowa, married Lucy Avery, and
had one son — Alfred. The father of this fam-
ily died in 1880, the mother in June, 1893.
He was known as Col. Lyon, having served
as a colonel in the State Militia; was a mem-
ber of the State Assembly several times, and
a justice of the peace many years, besides hold-
ing minor offices. Politically, he was origi-
nally a Whig, later a Republican. Col. Alfred
Lyon was of English and Scotch descent, the
present Lord Lyon and Lord Howe being
relatives. The silver dram-cup and cane,
bearing the name of John Lyon (one of three
brothers who came to .America, and the one
from whom Col. Lyon was descended) are

now in possession of John Lyon, of Bingham-
ton, N. Y. Col. Lyon's aunt (his father's
sister) married John Jay, the first chief justice
of the United States. The family coat of
arms is still in the possession of the family.

Leonard Lyon, whose name introduces this
sketch, received a liberal education, and grad-
uated from Cayuga Lake Academy, after which
he took up farming, which vocation he has
ever since followed, having, in 1864, settled on
his present well-improved farm of 220 acres,
whereon he has erected some fine buildings.
In 1863 he was married to Mary Haines, a na-
tive of Pawling, Dutchess county, and they
have one daughter, Jessie H., born in Pawling
in 1878, who is now being carefully educated
by private tutors at home. Mr. Lyon, our
subject, is a Republican in politics, but no

The ancestors of the Haines family were
among the early settlers in Dutchess county.
Caleb Haines, Mrs. Lyon's great-great-grand-
father, was born and educated in Rhode Island,
whence he came to Dutchess county in his
manhood, to engage in farming. At one time
he owned most of the land upon which Pawl-
ing now stands. He married Deborah Lewis,
and had two sons: Sylvester and Caleb. The
elder of these married, and reared a family of
ten children: Chauncey; Andrew, who married
Phcebe Howard; Charles, the grandfather of
Mrs. Lyon; Peleg, of whose marriage no par-
ticulars are known; James, who is mentioned
below; William, who married (first) Eliza
Smith, and (second) Alma Belts; Lewis, who
wedded Maria Tabor; Caleb, who remained
single; Sarah, wife of Benjamin Sheldon, and
Sylvester, who never married.

James Haines was born on the old farm in
the town of Pawling, in 1790, and after ac-
quiring a common-school education engaged in
farming. He was a strong Republican, and
held some minor township offices. He mar-
ried Miss Hannah Sheldon, daughter of Jede-
diah and Jerusha (Hotchkiss) Sheldon. Her
father was a leading farmer of the town of
Dover. They had seven children: John, who
married Abbie J. Allen; Sheldon, who married
Emeline Corbin; Jane, who died in infancy;
Maria, wife of Archibald Dodge; Susan, wife
of Aaron Baker; Lydia, wife of Cyrus Baker;
and Jackson, who married Lydia M. Cook.

Maria Haines was born in the town of
Pawling, in 18 19, and was educated there.
She married Archibald Dodge, who was born



in 1810, and educated in the common schools
of that town, afterward engaginj:; in farming.
He is now very bright and active at the age of
eighty-eight years, and he sowed an acre of
wheat at that age. They have one daughter:
CorneHa, who married T. J. Arnold, a farmer,
and has three children: Helen M., Archie
and Carrie H. Labon Dodge married Miss
Libbie Birch, but they have no children.

Charles Haines, Mrs. Lyon's grandfather,
was born in the town of Pawling, and moved
West to engage in farming. He married Miss
Mary Spaulding, and had three children: Albro
A., the father of Mrs. Lyon; Harriet, wife of
Simeon Walters; and Eli/^a, wife of Leonard

Albro A. Haines was born in the town of
Pawling, in March, 18 13, and educated there,
but later engaged in farming in the town of
Pawling. On July 7, 1S33, he married Miss
Sarah Orton, daughter of William and Sarah
Orton, and Mrs. I^yon is the only child. Albro
A. Haines died July 31, 1891, a stanch Repub-
lican in his political preferences.

E>LIAS SPROSS, a retired contractor and
builder, with residence in Poughkeepsie,

Dutchess county, was born in Rhein Pfaltz,
Germany, August 5. 1826.

Michael Spross, father of our subject, was
a farmer in the Fatherland, and took part in
the war of 1S13, when Germany was invaded
by the French under Napoleon. He married
Miss Margaret Handschuh, and the}' settled
on a farm whereon they reared children as fol-
lows: Thomas was a mason contractor, and
died in 1895; Philip died in Switzerland at
the age of twenty-five years; Margaret married
Conrad Rissberger, who was a boiler maker in
Albany, N. Y., and both are now deceased;
Elias, our subject, comes next; Joseph is a
farmer in Monroe county, N. Y. ; and Michael
is a shoemaker in Poughkeepsie, The father
of this family died in 1872, the mother in
1842; both were members of the German
Catholic Church.

The early life of our subject was spent in
his native land; in 1851 coming to America,
and locating in Poughkeepsie, he followed the
mason's trade, which be learned in Germany,
and at which he continued to work in this
country until his retirement from business in
1884. From 1853 to 1858 he worked with
his brother Thomas in the Poughkeepsie Iron

Works or Furnace, also in Cold Spring, Man-
hattan, Peekskill, and other places until 1S58,
doing the mason work. In the latter year he
took work in Poughkeepsie, and began con-
tracting on his own account, in which he con-
tinued until his retirement as above related.
In 1875 he did the mason work on the fourth
section of the Hudson River State Hospital,
and in 1876 took another big contract to do
the mason work on another section of the
hospital — the center building from basement
to second story. He has filled many other
contracts in Poughkeepsie, the last being for
the building of the post office in 1884, if we
except his contract in 1888, for putting in the
foundation of St. Mary's Catholic church.

Mr. Spross was married July 25, 1851, to
Miss Barbara Bollman, who was born in Ger-
many, and who came to America on the same
vessel as did our subject. They have no chil-
dren. In 1 87 5 they took a trip to the Father-
land, and in 18S9 Mr. Spross again visited the
old country, rambling among the scenes of his
boyhood. He also visited England, particu-
larly to see an old friend, Frank Brown, of
Castle Villa, Keighley, Yorkshire, England,
from there going to Germany. The latter
country he left August 12, for the Exposition
held in Paris that year, to meet Mr. F. Brown,
and after a stay of two weeks they went back
to England, where he stayed until Septem-
ber 2. when he left on his homeward trip to
the United States, after a three-months' tour.
Mr. and Mrs. Spross have a beautiful brick
residence at No. 8 Garfield place, Poughkeep-
sie, which he built in 1S77. Their home has
always been in that city since June, 185 1. He
is a Democrat in politics, and has served on
the water board, and was an alderman from
the Fourth ward of Poughkeepsie. Socially,
he has been a member of the Germania So-
ciety for forty years, and has devoted much
time and attention to its welfare. He and his
wife are members of the German Catholic

bridge family has been so long and favor-
ably known in this section that its history will
be of unusual interest to many. The great-
great-grandfather of our subject, Billy Trow-
bridge, was born November 4, 1748, the son
of Deacon Samuel and Sarah (Seeley) Trow-
bridge. He received a common-school educa-

Xv^^. , i/fht^l>





tion, and then engaged in agriculture. In
June, 1777, he married Miss Rhoda Beards-
ley, who was born February 14, 1758, and
died February 8, 1S44. A year or two after
their marriage they settled in Carmel, Putnam
county, N. Y. , and in 1798 moved to Truxton,
Cortland county; but Mr. Trowbridge died two
days before the little party reached its desti-
nation. They had nine children , whose names,
with dates of birth and death, are as follows:
Ephraim, March 22, 1778, died Alay 5, 1791;
Alvah, September 4, 1779, died June 10
Billy, March 26, 1781, died May 8,
Levi, February 16, 1783, died 1846;
April 3, 17S6; died 1818; Samuel, December
I, 1788, died 1817; Sally, February 23, 1792,
died 1810; Ephraim, June 15, 1795, died
1798; John C, October 18, 1797, died 1831.
Alvah Trowbridge, our subject's great-
grandfather, received the education obtainable
in the common schools of his day, and later
became a farmer. He was married November
30, 1797, to Miss Sally Crane, daughter of
Judge John Crane, of Carmel, N. Y. She
was born June 27, 1780, and died of measles
April 6, 1833. Eight children were born to
them, whose names, with dates of birth and
the names of their respective partners in
matrimony, are here given: PhineasB., De-
cember 4, 1798 — Sally B. Raymond; AdaZ. ,
October 18, iSoo — Levi Knox; Allerton M.,
February 24, 1S03 — Letitia Coe ; Aralinda,
February 26, 1S05 — Orrin Richards; William

C, April 15, 1807 — Mary E. A. Holley; Cor-
nelia A., November 8, 1809 — Reynolds Piatt;
Sarah B., March 21, 1S21 — David B. Rogers.

Phineas Beardsley Trowbridge, the grand-
father of our subject, was born and educated
in the town of Southeast, Putnam county, and
at an early age engaged in farming near
Wings Station, later following the blacksmith's
trade. He was married October 28, 1823, to
Miss Raymond, who was born October 22,
1S03. They have six children, whose names
with dates of birth are as follows; Edwin M.,
November i, 1824 (died August 29, 1854);
Amanda, December 5, 1826 (died August 8,
1885); John C, September 24, 1828; Cor-
nelia A., April I, 1 83 1 fdied August 26,
1 848 1; William R., May 6, 1833; and George
Piatt, July 19, 1S40 fdied April 15, 1845).
Only two of that family entered the matri-
monial state; Edwin, who married Miss Sarah

D. Marsh, and William R., our subject's
father. He was born and reared in the town

of Southeast, Putnam county, and has been for
many years a prominent farmer near Wings
Station. He purchased his present farm of
300 acres about twenty-seven years ago, and
makes a specialty of dairywork. He married
Miss Maria W. Sheldon, daughter of Albro
and Elizabeth (Edmond) Sheldon. Four chil-
dren were born to Mr. and Mrs. Trowbridge:
(i) Cora B., born September 20, 1858, mar-
ried June II, 1878, Arthur Dorn, a inerchant
in Springfield, Mass., and son of Albert Dorn,
of Beekman, N. Y. They have one child,
Mabel, born September 30, 18S0. (2) George
A., born September 20, 1861, is a farmer and
merchant at South Dover; he married, March
19, 1889, Miss Eva Dutcher, daughter of
George W. and Nettie (Hill) Dutcher, well-
known residents of Dover. He has two chil-
dren: William D., born June 6, 1891, and
Nettie A., born March 4, 1894. (3) Ada, born
December 27, 1863; and (4) Eliza, born April
17, 1866, are at home.

Mrs. Trowbridge is a member of one of the
old families of the town of Dover, and her
great-grandfather, Caleb Sheldon, was born
and educated there, also passed his mature
years in farming. His death occurred there
November 22, 1841, at the age of ninety-three.
His son Luther, Mrs. Trowbridge's grand-
father, was a blacksmith for a number of years,
and later engaged in farming. He died Au-
gust 28, 1 86 1, at the age of eighty-six years,
and his wife, formerly Miss Mary Butts, of
Delaware county, died October 13, 1S63, aged
eighty-seven years. They had eleven children,
all of whom married except one. Their names,
with those of their respective husbands and
wives, are as follows: Phcebe — Abraham Sher-
man; Theodoras — Mary Wing; the twins.
Electa (died at the age of seventeen) and De-
lilah (married Duncan McDonald); Albro —
Eliza Edmonds; Ophelia — Henry P. Amey;
Anner — Wilson Johnson; Jeremiah — Sophia
Doughty; Wilson B. — Hannah M. Doughty;
Harrison — Hannah Ward; and Almeah — An-
drew Ward.

Albro Sheldon, the father of Mrs. Trow-
bridge, was born in 1808, and became a prom-
inent farmer. He was active in local affairs,
and held a number of town offices. He mar-
ried Miss Eliza Edmonds, daughter of Kenedy
Edmonds (a well-known farmer of the town of
Dover) and his wife, Leah C. Edmonds. Mrs.
Trowbridge was born in 1840, the eldest of
four children. Sarah A. Sheldon, born No-



vember 1 1 , 1 844, married (first) George Root,
by whom she had one son — George S. Root,
born April 23, 1871; Mr. Root died July
29, and she married Myron Edmonds; one
child came of this union — Carrie L. , born
March 12, 1882. Wilson B. Sheldon, born
October 22, 1846, is a prominent farmer in
Dover; he married Nellie J. Root, and has two
children — Albro, and Grace (Mrs. Frank Den-
toni. Almira Sheldon, born August 16, 1848,
married William Wheeler, a farmer of the
town of Dover, and has five children: Carrie,
born in 1877; Maude, 1879: Phcebe, 1881;
Howard, 1883; and AUie, 1886.

WALTER B. CUL\'ER, a worthy repre-
sentative of the agricultural interests
of the town of Amenia, and one of the large
land owners of Dutchess county, is descended
from good old Revolutionary stock, Joshua
Culver, his great-grandfather, having assisted
the colonies in gaining their independence.
His grandfather, who also bore the name of
Joshua, was a native of the town of Amenia,
and in early life learned the tanner's trade with
Capt. William Young, at Amenia Union. Sub-
sequently he established himself at Pine Plains
in the tanning business, conducting it with re-
markable success and becoming a wealthy man
for his day. He married Lavinia Backus,
whose birth also occurred in Amenia, and to
them were born five children, all now deceased,
namelv: Eimira, Eliza, Backus, Roxanna
and Phebe.

Backus Culver, the father of our subject,
was born at Pine Plains, Dutchess county, in
1806, was there reared and educated, and later
turned his attention to agricultural pursuits.
From farming he drifted into stock raising,
becoming an extensive dealer in live stock be-
fore a railroad had been constructed through
this section of the country. He married ^fiss
Abbie Drew, and they had nine children:
Joshua, Mary, Laura and Sanford (^all four
deceased);. Walter B. ; Dudley G. ; Lavina,
wife of William H. Bartlett; and Phebe and
Henry, both deceased. The father, who was
an earnest Democrat in politics, was called
upon to serve in several official positions, in-
cluding those of supervisor and assessor of
Pine Plains. In the spring of 1 864 he removed
to Amenia, where he lived until life's labors
were ended, in 1870, in which year his faithful
wife also died.

Walter B. Culver was born in Pine Plains,
May 7, 1837, and in the village schools he
began his education, supplementmg the knowl-
edge there acquired by a course at Dominie
Benedict's private school at Patterson, N. Y.,
and also at the Dutchess County Academy, of
Poughkeepsie, and the Amenia Seminary.

He remained on the home farm until after
attaining his majority, and in 1859 located
upon the old Culver place, south of the depot
at Amenia, where he continued to live until
the spring of 1SC4. On December 17, 1863,
he married Harriet J., a daughter of Ambrose
Mj'gatt. Their children are: Mary E., I-aura
B., Ambrose M., Dudley D. . Harry W.,
Arthur B., George R. and Bessie H. Like
his father, Mr. Culver has always been an un-
swerving Democrat in his political views, and
has acceptably served as commissioner and
assessor of his town. He is one of the most
progressive farmers of the community, and is
a straightforward and reliable citizen, one
whose word is considered as good as his bond.

bered among the native sons of the

town of Pleasant Valley, Dutchess county, and
for more than a centurj' the family of which he
is a representati\e has been connected with the
history of that county. It furnished its repre-
sentatives to the Revolutionary war, to the war
of 1812, and to the Civil war, and its mem-
' bers have ever been loj'al and patriotic citizens,
I giving a hearty support to all interests or
measures calculated to benefit the communities
in which they have resided.

As the name indicates, the family is of Hol-
land origin, and was founded in America by
Harman Van De ^^'ater, who with several
brothers came from Holland to America. One
of the number located in Canada, another in
Fishkill, and Harman on Manhattan Island.
He served as a soldier in the Revolutionary
war. After the British had captured New
York, he removed to Pleasant \'alle}', Dutch-
ess count)', now the town of Poughkeepsie,
locating on a farm. His death occurred at
Pleasant \'alley in July, 18 16. He married
Maria Barnes, a sister of David and Joshua
Barnes, and they became the parents of six sons
and one daughter, namely: Benjamin, who
was born November 25, 1782, and died in
Buffalo, N. Y. ; William, who was born De-
cember 2, 1784, and died in Hyde Park, No-



vember 30, 1834; Richard, born May 8, 1790;
Samuel, born in 1793; George, born January
27, 1795; Joshua, born January 21, 1799, his
death occurring in Cincinnati. Ohio, in 1877;
and a daughter who died in early life.

William Van De Water, grandfather of our
subject, was drafted for service in the war of
1812, was with the command of Capt. \'alen-
tine. and by him was honorably discharged.

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