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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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1887 he came to Salt Point, where he pur-
chased a half interest in a gristmill and flour-
mill, but the following year bought out his
partner, and has since conducted the business
alone. He is also engaged in sawing lumber,



and deals in all kinds of general merchandise
and farm implements.

Three children grace the union of Mr. and
Mrs. Cole, namelj': Stanley S., born Novem-
ber II, 1881; Jennie B. , born May 27, 1884;
and Pinnia, born December 29, 1886. Mr.
and Mrs. Cole are active in the community.
He is a strong believer in the principles of the
Republican party, which he always supports
with his ballot.

CH.AKLES H.DUNCAN. This gentleman
bears the family name that figures promi-
nently in the annals of Dutchess county, his
ancestors having been long and prominently
connected with the history of Pleasant Valley.
The Duncans, of whom we write, are origi-
ally of Scotch extraction. The grandfather
of our subject, Joshua Duncan, was for many
years assistant superintendent of the cotton
factory at Pleasant Valley, and was widely
known as a straightforward, honorable busi-
ness man. His political support was given
the Republican party. Both he and his wife
spent their last days in the locality where they
had so long made their home, and where they
had reared their family of six children, namely:
Mary, wife of George Cramer; Margaret, wife
of Richard Cronkrite, a farmer of the town of
Pleasant \'alley; Rachel, wife of John McCord,
a native of Dutchess county, now living in
Denver, Colo. ; Jane, widow of Samuel Bullock,
and a resident of Pleasant Valley; John B.,
the father of our subject; and Henry, a farmer
of the town of Lagrange.

John B. Duncan was born and reared in
Duchess county, and in his early life learned
the machinist's trade, which he followed for
some years. After his marriage he located in
Pleasant Valley, where for many years he en-
gaged in general merchandising, for a short
time as a part of the firm of Duncan & Has-
tings, and then as sole proprietor of his well-
conducted store. His last years were spent in
retirement from business cares. He gave his
political support to the Republican party; for
several years served as postmaster of Pleasant
\'alley, and was also town clerk for a number
of terms, and he also acceptably served as
president of the board of village trustees.
Mrs. Duncan, who bore the maiden name of
Jane E. Cronkrite, was a daughter of John
Cronkrite, a farmer of Lagrange town, de-
scended from Holland ancestry. The family

of Mr. and Mrs. Duncan included five children,
namely: Addison G., a resident of Streator,
111.; Charles H. and Marsden F., prominent
merchants of Pleasant \'alley; Grace; and
Jennie, wife of I. D. Le Roy, M. D., of Pleas-
ant \'alley; two children died in infancy. The
father died May 30, 1880; the mother is still

Charles H. Duncan spent his boyhood days
under the parental roof, and began his educa-
tion in the district schools, which, later, he
continued in Pelham Institute, Poughkeepsie.
Returning to Pleasant \'alley in 1875, he soon
after entered upon his business career by
securing a clerkship with Heath & Co., of
Poughkeepsie, in whose service he remained
some four years. He then entered the employ
of Solomon Strauss, a dry-goods merchant,
with whom he remained five years, and then
began business on his own account, in Pleas-
ant \'alley, in partnership with his brother,
Marsden F. Under the tirm style of Duncan
Brothers they carry on business, and have a
large trade, which their honorable dealing and
courteous treatment of their customers justly
entitles them.

Charles H. Duncan was married June 12,
1889, to L. Ida Pray, who was born in La-
grange town, Dutchess county, a daughter of
George Pray, who followed farming in that lo-
cality. The family has long been identified
with the history of this community. An inter-
esting family of five children — Ethel Pray,
Martha Lavinia, Hazel May, Virginia Ida, and
John Howard — grace the union of Mr. and
Mrs. Duncan. The parents are esteemed
members of the Presbyterian Church, of which
he is trustee and treasurer. His political
support connects him with the Republican
party, and socially he affiliates with the
Masonic fraternity.

1S12 a mill was erected in the town of
Lagrange, Dutchess county, around which the
thriving village of Moores Mill has since
grown up, its development and prosperity be-
ing largel}- due to the energy and business sa-
gacity of the subject of this sketch, and other
members of his family.

His grandfather, Stephen Moore, a native
of Plattsburg. X. Y. , owned and operated the
mill in his day. He married Ruth Clark, and
reared a family, among whom was Alfred



Moore, our subject's father, who was born at
Verbank, Dutchess county. He was educated
in the district schools of that town and of
Moores Mill. On attaining manhood he en-
gaged in farming in the western part of the
town of Lagrange, but after ten years he re-
moved to Moores Mill, where he conducted a
farm and ran the old mill. He was a high-
minded, progressive man, a Quaker in faith,
and a devoted friend to Libert}', his house
having been a station on the " Underground
railroad," by which so many slaves made their
way to freedom. Although he never sought
political honors, he was an earnest supporter
of the Republican party. Deeply conscious
of the necessity for broad and thorough educa-
tion for the masses, if our form of government
is to endure, he never failed to champion the
cause of education, as a worker in the Society
of Friends, attending meetings regularly from
boyhood, and often preaching to the congre-
gation. He probably officiated at more funer-
als than any other minister of his day in
Dutchess county. His wife, Charlotte Havi-
land. was a daughter of Isaac Haviland, a
well-known resident of Quaker Hill, and both
lived to a ripe old age, Mr. Moore departing
this life in his seventy-eighth year, and his
wife at the age of eighty-nine. They had
seven children: (i) Lydia, the wife of Daniel
Willets, of Jericho. L. L ; (2) Ruth ( Mrs. P.
A. Skidmore); (3) Susan, who resides at
Moores Mill; (4) Albert H., our subject; and
three, Charlotte, Andrew and Annie, who are
now deceased.

Alfred H. Moore, our subject, was born at
the village of Moores Mill November 27, 1843,
and his early education was acquired in the
district schools there and in a boarding school
in Unionvale, N. Y. He has thoroughly iden-
tified himself with the interests of his native
place, and in addition to the work of conduct-
ing the mill and farm, he started the first store
in the village, opened the first telegraph office,
and the first post office, serving as postmaster
for several years. After some time, he disposed
of the store, and now gives his attention to the
ancestral occupation, and since 1876 has been
the sole manager of the mill. He has been
extensively engaged in breeding fine Holstein
cattle on his farm.

In politics he is a Republican, and he is ac-
tive in the Friends Meetings. He is a man of
excellent ability and upright character, and is
held in high esteem. His courtesy is unfail-

ing, and in conversation he gives pleasure not
less by the wisdom of his remarks than by
their form, the soft "thee," "thou," and
"thy " lending their grace to his well-turned
sentences. He was married at Jericho, L. I.,
to Phcebe Willets, daughter of Jacob Willets,
and they have three children : Herman Wheeler,
Jacob Willets, and Daniel W.

Miss Susan Moore, our subject's sister, is
the proprietor of the "Floral Home" at
Moores Mill, a delightful summer boarding
place. She is a model hostess, untiring in her
efforts for the comfort of her guests, of whom
there are usually about seventy-five throughout
the season. The house takes its name from
the abundance of beautiful roses and other
flowers which bloom there, making the place a
charming retreat.


-LMORE FERRIS, a well-known dealer

in lumber, feed and coal at Pawling,

Dutchess county, is one of the most enterpris-
ing and successful business men of that locali-
ty. He was born October 19, 1S37, in Mid-
dlefield, Otsego Co., N. Y., and was educated
in the district schools there, his attendance
after the age of twelve years being limited to
the winter terms. At fifteen he left school
and began working bj' the month for farmers,
and at eighteen he came to Pawling town,
Dutchess county, where his ancestors have
had their homes for several generations. In
1859 he began to learn the carpenter's trade
with Mr. Mclntyre, and followed this for nine
years; but in 1867 he purchased a one-half in-
terest in J. C. Merritt's lumber, feed and coal
business. Two years later he bought Mr.
Merritt's share, and has since continued the
business alone, building up a large and profit-
able trade. Energetic and self-reliant in bus-
iness, he is also interested in local affairs, and
is regarded as one of the leaders in the com-
munity. He has always been a stanch Re-
publican, and although he has never been an
office seeker, he is at present trustee of the
village. He married Miss Mary Jane Holmes,
daughter of James Holmes, and has four chil-
dren: Carrie M., Harriet E., Jam.es H., and
Claude, all at home.

The Ferris family is one of the oldest and
most prominent in this section. The genea-
logical record dates back to John Ferris, a na-
tive of Leicestershire, England, who emigrated
with his familv to Fairfield. Conn., and after-



ward, about 1654, removed to New York
State, dying in 171 5. He is said to have been
one of five brothers who came to this country
with their families, one of whom, Jeffrey, set-
tled first in Massachusetts in 1635, and then
in Fairfield, Conn., in 1660. Another brother,
Benjamin, settled in Salem, Mass., in 1640.

Samuel Ferris, a son of John, was born in
Reading, England, and was among the first
settlers of Grotoii. Mass., whence he removed
to Charlestown. Mass. His only son, Zach-
ariah Ferris, married Sarah Reed, of Stratford,
Conn., and had eight children, of whom there
is the following record: (i) Deborah, born
June 17, 1700; (2) Joseph, born September
27. 1703. married a Hannah Noble; (3) David,
born March 10, 1707, in Stratford, died in
Wilmington, Del., December 5, 1779; (4) Ben-
jamin, born in 1708; (5) Sarah Ann, born No-
vember 10. 1 7 10, married a Mr. Noble; (6)
Hannah, born August 6, 171 2, married (first)
Gains Talbot, and (second) Dobson Wheeler;
(7) John, born February 7, 17 14, married
Abigail Tyron, of New Fairfield, Conn.; (8)
Zachariah, Jr., born September 30, 1714, was
a Quaker preacher of \\'ilinington, Del. : and
Daniel comes next in order of birth. Zach-
ariah Ferris, Sr. , was in Charlestown in 1675,
and afterward settled at Stratford, Conn., and
then about the year 17 10 removed to New Mil-
ford, Conn. From him are descended per-
sons of that name in different parts of the
United States. Five of the children — David,
Benjamin, Hannah, John and Zachariah. Jr.
— together with the mother, joined the Society
of Friends. David was educated for a Presby-
terian minister, but afterward became a cele-
brated preacher among the Friends. He went
to Philadelphia in 1733, and was there mar-
ried to Miss Mary Massey, and often attended
the Oblong meetings, visiting his brother Benja-
min. He traveled about with William Rus-
sell and Paul Osborne, preaching, being a
minister among the Friends for twenty-four
years. The Oblong meeting house was on
land owned half by a Russell and half by a

Benjamin Ferris was a Quaker preacher,
and was among the very first settlers of the
Oblong (now Quaker Hill), Dutchess county,
between the years 1734 and 1736. The
name "Oblong" is derived from the shape of
that portion of equivalent land that was set
off from Connecticut about 1730. He was
very prominent in the meetings there through-

out life. In his old age, his son Zebulan's
store mow occupied by William Clark) was
robbed by the cowboys during the Revolution,
and he was so far non-resident in his ideas,
that he desired those present to "seize the
rascals." Benjamin Ferris married Elizabeth
Beecher, and had the following children: (i)
Zebulon, born in New Milford, Conn., March

19, 1729, married Ruth -; (2) Reed, our

subject's great-grandfather, born August 15,
1730, in New Milford, married Anne Tripp; (3)
Susannah, born in New Milford, in 1732, mar-
ried Elijah Doty; (4) Phcebe, born in 1734, in
New Milford; (5) Lillius, born in 1736, in Ob-
long, married Jonathan Akin; (6) Benjamin,
born September 25, 173S, in Oblong, married
Mary Howland; (7) Gilbert, born in 1740, in
Oblong; and (8) Edmund, born in 1748, in

Reed Ferris, tradition and history informs
us, freely offered his fine mansion (known
as the "old Kirby House ") to Gen. Washing-
ton for his use as headquarters, at Pawling,
N. Y. In James H. Smith's history of Dutch-
ess county we find the following: "The old
• Kirby House ' was built by Reed Ferris in
1 77 1, and at the time Washington was in
Pawling was a new house. Mr. Ferris was a
substantial farmer, and his house, like his
means, was large. Mrs. Akin, mother of the
late Judge Albro Akin, and another lady used
to tell of its occupancy. One day two aides-
de-camp rode up and informed Mr. Ferris that
Gen. Washington would like to make his home
there for a while. Mr. Ferris consented, and
to notify all intruders that this was the house
of the commander-in-chief, they fastened a
paper to the front door, reading: • Headquar-
ters of Gen. Washington.' The Ferris house
has been torn down, and all that remains is
the front doorstep with ' R. F.' and ' 1771 'cut
in it." The farm is now owned by Archibald
Dodge. Reed Ferris and Anne Tripp had
the following children: Edmund, born March
30, 1752; Benjamin. July 29. 1754; Lydia,
July 5, 1756, married a Mr. Wanzer; Molly,
April 20, 1759, married John Akin; James,
July 2, 1761; Warren. February 19. 1764;
Pitt, July 4, 1766; Morris, October 16. 1768;
Anne. January 5. 1771. married a Mr. Havi-
land; and Seneca, February 15, 1773.

Edmund Ferris, the grandfather of our sub-
ject, was married four times, and had nineteen
children. On October 30, 1771, he married
his first wife, Mary Akin, who was born No-

coynrEvoBATrrE biogbapsical becobd.


vember i. 1747. and had one son — John Akin
Ferris, bom October 17. 1772. at Pawling. N.
Y. The second wife. Hannah Taber, became
the mother of two children: Thomas Taber.
October S. 1776. and Hannah, bom Novem-
ber 22. 1777. The third wife of Edmund
Ferris was Martha Birch, bom in 1760. whom
he married in 1781 : she died Jannarj- 22, 1794-
Their children were: Wlllett F.. who was
b:m May 19. 1782. and died April 12. 1853;
Betse}-. bom November 14. 1783: Amy, bom
Jannary 17. 1785: Ira, bom October 23. 1788:
Sophia, bora May 17. 17S9; and Oliver, bom
Etecember 5. 1793. For his fourth wife, he
inarried Sally Birdsall, who was bom in 1777.
and to them were bom ten children, whose
-asies and dates of birth are as follows: Ann.
Febman.- 25. 1706: Philelus. November 5,
1797: Minerva. March iS. 1799: Horace. Feb-
ruary 9. I So I: Ransom. Febmary 24, 1S03;
Matilda. December 30. 1804: Garrett, May
2S. 1806: Sally. April 26. 1S09; Alfred. Sep-
:ember 29. 1810: and Massilla. September 26,
I S 1 2. The third and fourth wives of Edmund
Ferns are the ancestors of nearly all of the name
InPawlia?. The grandfather of our subject was
a fanner, and succeeded to a part of i:
of his father. He lived on Quaker H... -,:-
ing a pcTtion of his life, and later on the Daniel
Dc-ise farm. He was qnite a laret ' ' - ' [ -
at cne time, and was prominent ir: -
He served in the war of 1812. and wa-
as Major Ferris.

Horace Ferris. o:ir subject s father, was a
tanner who went to Otsego county. N. Y..
about 1830. purchased a farm and spent the
remainder -of his life there. He had only a
small estate, but was a man of push and en-
ergy. He was a Whig, although he never took
an active part in politics, and he attended the
Methodist Episcopal Church. He died in 1873.
and his wife. Emeline Bentiey. a daughter of
Thomas Bentiey. of the town of Bt '
passed away in 1891. She was the tr^ :
family of five children, the others being: El-
mer: Luman; Harriet who married Philo Fer-
ris, and lived in Chenango county. N. Y. 1; and
Clarirda who married Mr. Garrett, and lived
and died in Pawling . The Bentleys were also
of English origin. To Horace Ferris and his
wife were bom children as follows: Clarissa,
who married 1 first Cyms Groves, and .second
Adam Dje: Matilda, wife of John Corbin:
Walter H., who married Caroline Terwiiliger:
Ellen, wife of John Prau: Maiy, who married

(firsty Albert Coie.
quins; Phcebe. ' ''-
who married A
in girlhood; E.more,
sketch; Alfred, who
and was a soldier in
of Isaac Tec^' ■
wounds recei • T
served in the Uaion
len; and twins who :
family live in Otse.

and second' Emery Ja-

- Farren Pratt: Eldmond,

-on; Elizabeth, who died

•a-hose name o|>=ns this

married Amanda Chase.

the Civil war; Levisa, wife

? -'-^rd. who died from

y; Leroy iwho also

armvi married M. J. Do-

\-.=t vcang. Most of the

RICHARD A. SCHOUTEN. proprietor of
a meat market at Staatsbcrg. Dutchess

county, is a man of strong and intelligent con-
victions and -' . -. - .- :t. He is a
native of Do: : November
22, 1835, in the : East F -
known as Fishki . . i.. - .5 descer _,.
Schouten. a Holland emigrant, v - to
r ■ :.^nof
F - ~ ~ en, was
bom. The latter was the grandfather of our
subject, who lived upon :~= - - - - —-7 - ;

entire life and was very = .

cultural porr_ :? ". . 1 fn^jizZTC x-err*".

who was z izz. .0 ?.-:_. o 1777. and to

them was bom a son. Stockholm, the father
of our subject. In Hyde Park. Datchess coun-
tv. the erandfather died. March 22. iSoi. and

nis w::

20. I -

of F ■
Vizr. '•-

^as bora Deo=:o.oer
e farm in the town

about a miie nortn 01 i:.ast

-? . procuring
: v De Witt

place. He spent his last da\-s. however, with
his son. a or:~:oent Ia\vv-er of Pr r- =;osie.
He ^as 00 'ot rent, well-read : - :ng

Tt ■ il advantages, and

";- , . ; „ nanirai talent. He

t ; nent part in local political

a±i:r5-n;;:o risoklll ar "- t Park town,
alwavs v;tinj wlih z'zt D- : party, and

served for many years as overseer of the poor
in the former town. In later !;fe he was an
earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal
Cborcb. d}~;ng :n that faith March 13. 1876,
at the ire ::' seventy-two years.

S: - zhouten married Miss Ann



Maria Underhill, who was born December i6,
1810, and died April 7, 1883; she was the
daughter of Absalom Underhill. Children as
follows were born to this union: Ann Eliza,
born August 19, 1S30, became the wife of
William S. Ladin, and died in August, 1849,
the year she was married. John S., born Oc-
tober 8, 1832, is a farmer of the town of
Pleasant \'alley, Dutchess county; he served
in the Civil war, enlisting as private, and was
promoted to sergeant. Richard A. is next in
order of birth. William Kipp, born January
27, 1839, became a promising young law\er of
Poughkeepsie, but was called from this life
February 18, 1870, at the age of thirty-one
years, one month and four days. Charles An-
drew, born November 23, 1843, was a soldier
during the Civil war, and was promoted to ser-
geant; most of his life has been spent in the
dry-goods business in New York City, but he
is now assistant superintendent in a post-grad-
uate hospital, 2 1st street and 2d avenue. New
York. Phcebe Helen, born October 2, 1847,
died in 1866, the year of her marriage. Julia,
born March 14, 1850, married to William Nel-
son, and had two children — Guy Lockwood
and Grace Deere; Julia died about the year
1885. Stockholm, born March 27, 1853. was
a printer of Poughkeepsie, where he died Oc-
tober 6, 1879.

The education of our subject was such as
the common schools of Fishkill and Hyde Park
towns afforded, and he is well posted on the cur-
rent events of the day. For one year after
attaining his majority he still remained upon
the home farm, and then began the butcher-
ing business on a small scale, for a few months
running a wagon. The following year he
bought a small place east of Hyde Park, where
he resided for about four years, but in 1863
succeeded to the business of M. E. Lattin, in
Staatsburg, starting a small market on the
west side of the track. For nine months he
conducted a shop at Red Hook, Dutchess
county, and for about a year one at Newburg,
N. Y., but in 1872 he purchased his present
building of William B. Densmore, and has
since successfully carried on a market there,
handling the best meats and controlling the
trade of the town. He is careful and method-
ical in his business dealings, and his success is
the just reward of his own diligence, enter-
prise and good management.

In 1S57 Mr. Schouten was united in mar-
riage with Laura J. \'elie, daughter of Henry

Velie, and they have become the parents of
the following children: Charles Henry, who
was born August 3, 1858, and is now in the
shop with his father; Alice L. , who was born
January 5, 1863, and is the wife of C. W. H.
Arnold; Francis M., who. died May 3, 1879, at
the age of thirteen years; Richard U., born
January 15, 1875, and died in 1894. at the age
of nineteen years; Laura Velie, who was born
February 10, 1S70, and is at home; Sterling
Bird, born May 17, 1879; and Emma Deere,
born May 23. 1882. Politically, Mr. Schouten
votes the straight Democratic ticket, and has
served his fellow-citizens as school trustee and
collector of his town. He is a devoted mem-
ber of the Methodist Episcopal Church of
Staatsburg, in which he has ol^ciated as trus-
tee, and superintendent of the Sunday-school.

ORLANDO JAMES COWL, a retired mer-
chant tailor of Pawling, Dutchess county,
has been for many years a leading resident of
that town, and he and his estimable wife, who
recently passed from earth, have been helpful
factors in the important social, phiianthropical
and religious movements which have contrib-
uted to the development and progress of the

Mr. Cowl is a native of New York City,
born November 14, 1825. His family is of
English origin, and the home of the American
branch may be said to be at Cowl's Corners,
east of Patterson, in Putnam Co., N. Y. , where
many of the name now live. Capt. William
Cowl, our subject's grandfather, was a promi-
nent citizen of that locality, and was greatly
respected for his sound judgment and upright
and temperate life. Possessing great energy,
he engaged successfully in various business en-
terprises, being a merchant, a shoemaker, and
the owner of a large tannery, and he also took
an active share in local politics as a supporter
of the Whig party. His title was a well-earned
distinction gained in the war of 1812. He
died in i860, and his wife, Elizabeth Gorham,
in 18 — . They had seven children: Eliza;
Harry; Orrin; James; one who went to the
West; Mrs. Flora Anderson; and Anna (also

James Cowl, our subject's father, was born
in 1799, and about 1826 engaged in the gro-
cery business at Pawling, at what was then
known as Goosetown, on the spot now occu-
pied by the residence of James Ferris. He



afterward moved to New York, and followed
the same business at the corner of Church and
Franklin streets, but at the age of thirty-five
he was compelled to abandon mercantile pur-
suits on account of ill health, and from that
time he was engaged in the real-estate busi-
ness. The family has always been distin-
guished for excellent business judgment, and
his career would serve to confirm that reputa-
tion, his energy and foresight enabling him to
accumulate a fortune. He did not care for
public honors, and refused to become a
candidate for office when urged ; but he was
interested in political questions of national im-
portance, and was at first a Whig, later, as a
strong opponent of slavery, becoming a Re-
publican. He was a cheerful giver to any
worthy cause, and a steadfast adherent of the
Presbyterian Church for many years before his
death, which occurred April 15, 1892. His
first wife, our subject's mother, was Miss
Phcebe Martin, a daughter of John Martin, a
well-known resident of Quaker Hill. She died

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