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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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a few years after their marriage, and his sec-
ond wife, Mary (Ludlum), was a victim of the
cholera epidemic of 1848. He then married
Mrs. Stanton, by whom he had one son. In
no place did the strong character of James
Cowl show to a better advantage than in his
home life. The best of fathers, he gave his
children good advantages, and started them
well in life. Of the three children of his first
family, Harriet, the wife of Alexander Allen,
was the youngest. Martin H., who died at
the age of forty-five years, was a carriage-
maker by trade, and was noted for his fine
natural abilities. George Cowl, the son of the
third marriage, is a successful drug broker in
New York City.

The subject of our sketch received a good
academic education in New York during his
boyhood, completing his studies in the school
conducted by Profs. Iving and Peaks, on Broad-
way, near Bleecker street. At eighteen years
of age he began to learn the tailor's trade in
that city, and when he was twent3 - two years
old he opened a shop of his own while living
with his brother-in-law, Mr. Allen. In 1865
he started a merchant-tailoring establishment
at Pawling, near the depot, which became the
principal house in that line in the town. He
was obliged to give this up in 1S71 on account
of failing health, and in the following year he
built his present residence, and has since given
his attention to the care of his extensive gar-



dens. As a business man he has been very
successful, displaying force of character com-
bined with clear and sound judgment. In poli-
tics he was first a Whig, later a Republican,
and he is a strong upholder of the temperance
cause.

In 1866, Mr. Cowl married Miss Phoebe A.
Beardsley, daughter of Bennett Beardsley, a
prominent citizen of Poughkeepsie. She pos-
sessed rare qualities of mind and heart, and
her death, which occurred July 19, 1894, was
deeply mourned. The memory of her efforts
as a devoted and self-sacrificing worker for the
good of others will always be cherished in that
community. She and her husband were both
active, members of the Methodist Church, and
Mr. Cowl has held the office of steward for
many years.



ILLIAM H. PARKER has, smce
1872, been a successful merchant of
Hughsonville, Dutchess county, dealing in
stoves, house furnishing goods and groceries.
His fair dealing and systematic methods of
doing business have won for him the confi-
dence and respect of all with whom he comes
in contact, and his property has been acquired
by the exercise of sound judgment, good busi-
ness talents and industry.

Thomas Parker, father of our subject, was
a native of Connecticut, born at Chester, in
1800. The family is of Welsh origin, three
brothers having come from that country and
settled in America about 1650. When ten
years of age the father became a resident of
Poughkeepsie, Dutchess Co., N. Y. , where he
learned the tin, sheet-iron and copper trade,
and later followed his chosen occupation at
Rochester, Troy and Elmira, N. Y. In 1841
he removed to Milwaukee, Wis., but his last
days were passed at Dubuque, Iowa, where he
died in December, 1856. In early life he was
a Whig in politics, but later supported the
Democratic party. He was a very religious
man, a faithful member of the Episcopal
Church, to which his wife also belonged.
Thomas Parker was united in marriage with
Miss Sarah De Groff, who was born in 1804,
at Poughkeepsie, where their marriage was
celebrated, and was the daughter of Cornelius
De Groff, a native of the same place. The
De Groffs were originally from France, but, on
going to Holland, they intermarried with that
nation, and representatives of the family came



018



COMMEMORATIVE BIOORAPBICAL RECORD.



to America at a very early period in the his-
tory of this country. Shortly after their mar-
riage the parents of our subject removed to
Troy, N. Y. , where part of the children were
born, the remainder being born at Rochester.
They are as follows: Jeffrey A., a resident of
Dubuque, Iowa; Adaline, deceased wife of
William R. .Anderson, a captain on the Mis-
sissippi river; Thomas, who died in Milwau-
kee at the age of eighteen years; Maria and
Julia, who died in infancy; William H., of
this review; and Elizabeth, wife of Thomas
Prest, of Whitinsville, Mass. The mother's
death occurred at Hughsonville, X. Y. , in
1S93, when in her ninetieth year.

At Troy, N. Y. , on July 4, 1837, William
H. Parker first opened his eyes to the light,
and was only a year old when taken by
his parents to Elmira, where they remained a
short time. As early as 1841 he became a
resident of Milwaukee, Wis., where his boy-
hood days were passed, and there he learned
the tinner's and plumber's trade with Henry
J. Nazro & Co. In May, 1S56, he started
overland to Kansas by cattle train, and was
three months en route. He traveled exten-
sively through the West and South for some
time, but finally, in 1858, came to Poughkeep-
sie, Dutchess county, where he remained for
a short time. He then worked at his trade in
many large cities, including Cincinnati, Pitts-
burg, Philadelphia, New York and Boston.
On the outbreak of the Civil war, he went to
Monticello, N. Y. , where he enlisted in the
First New York Mounted Rifles, but because
of a rupture did not enter into active service.

In June, 1864, Mr. Parker was married to
Miss Mary Kelly, a native of Orange county,
N. Y. , and a daughter of Thomas Kelly, who
was of Irish extraction. Nine children were
born to them, but four died in infancy. Those
still living are Willard, Fred, Jennie, Charles
and Addie, all at home. Shortly after his
marriage, Mr. Parker located at Wappingers
Falls, where he worked at his trade for A. W.
Armstrong for three years, and the following
year was in business for himself at that place.
Going to Troy, N. Y., he engaged in the
wholesale spice-box business, manufacturing
tinware there for four years. Since 1872,
however, he has been a resident of Hughson-
ville, where he has engaged in his present line
of business.

Politically, Mr. Parker affiliates with the
Republican party, being one of its most ear-



nest supporters, and betakes quite a prominent
part in public affairs. In 1889 he was elected
justice of the peace, in which office he served
for four years, for the same length of time was
the efficient postmaster of Hughsonville; in
1893 was elected supervisor of Wappinger
township, and at the end of a year was re-
elected, serving in that position until the pres-
ent time, when superseded by Mr. Barlow.
He is a very intelligent man, being well-read
on literary and scientific subjects, and is one
of the prominent men in the community, stand-
ing high in the estimation of his fellow-citizens.



MILES HUGHES. In past ages the his-
tory of the countrj' was the record of
wars and conquests; to-day it is the record of
commercial activity, and those whose names
are foremost in its annals are the leaders in
business circles. The conquests now made
are those of mind over matter, not man over
man, and the victor is he who can successfully
establish, control and operate extensive com-
mercial interests. Mr. Hughes is unquestion-
ably one of the most successful men of Dutch-
ess county. Tireless energ}', keen perception,
honesty of purpose, genius for devising and
executing the right thing at the right time,
joined to every-day common sense, guided by
resistless will power, are the chief character-
istics of the man. He is at the head of a large
mercantile establishment at Staatsburg, where
he is also engaged in handling grain, feed and
flour, having one of the finest elevators in the
county; is president of the Fallkill Knitting
Co., of Poughkeepsie; president of the Dutch-
ess Land Co., vice-president of the Gilbert
Arnold Land Co., and is also largely inter-
ested in property at Superior, \\'isconsin.

The family is of English ancestry, being
founded in America by those of the name who
took up their residence in New England dur-
ing Colonial days. The great-grandfather of
our subject, Christopher Hughes, was a native
of New Haven, Conn., and in early life was a
sea captain. He was the first of the family to
come to Dutchess county, where he purchased
about 600 acres of land in the town of Hyde
Park, southeast of Staatsburg, also the prop-
erty on which A. J. Briggs is now living. His
son, Christopher, the grandfather of our sub-
ject, was one of the first officers in the town of
Hyde Park after it was set off from Clinton.
He was born in New Haven, Conn., and by



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



619



occupation was a farmer, operating the land
which his father had here purchased. He
was one of the leading members of the locality,
took an active part in Church work, and was
one of the founders of St. James Episcopal
Church at Hyde Park. He married Rachel
Paulding, belonging to the family of which
John Paulding, one of the captors of Major
Andre, was a member, and also James Kirk
Paulding, the author and statesman. Of this
union eight children were born: Samuel;
Miles; Christopher, the father of our subject,
who is the only one of the sons now living;
Brooks; Elizabeth, who married Mr. \\'ade, of
Albany county, N. Y. ; Harriet, 'who became
the wife of John Uhl; Maria, who wedded Mr.
Skidmore; and Lucinda, wife of Hercules
Reed, of Hulburton, New York.

Upon the family homestead in the town of
Hyde Park, the father of our subject was born,
in July, 1805, and has always followed agri-
cultural pursuits, in which he has been suc-
cessful, being a man of good judgment in busi-
ness matters. He married Miss Sarah Lamo-
ree, daughter of John Lamoree, who belonged
to one of the oldest families of Dutchess coun-
ty, of French origin, and was one of the most
successful farmers and prominent men of the
community. Mrs. Hughes is one of a family
of seven children, the others being Daniel;
Isaac; George V.; Nathaniel; Millie, who
married Harris Marshall; and Mary, who
wedded Jeremiah Shultz, of 'the town of Clin-
ton, Dutchess county. To the parents of our
subject were born four children: Sarah, now
the widow of Jacob Cookingham; Miles, of this
review; Edgar, who died at the age of fifteen
years; and Lucinda. In his early years the
father took a great interest in military matters,
being captain of a cavalry company in the
State Militia, and was always known by his
associates as Capt. Hughes. He is still living
at the advanced age of ninety-one years, while
his devoted wife is in her eighty-ninth year.
He early became connected with the Episco-
pal Church of Hyde Park, but now holds mem-
bership with the Church at Staatsburg, in the
work of which he takes an active part, and
has always served as one of its officers. Pub-
lic interests also receive his attention, espe-
cially educational affairs, and for many years
he served as school trustee. His political
support has always been unswervingly given
the Democratic party.

Miles Hughes was born April S, 1836, on



the old family homestead at Staatsburg,
Dutchess county, and received a good aca-
demic education, finishinghisliterary studies at
Hinsdale, Mass., where he went with the in-
tention of preparing for Williams College. At
the age of eighteen, however, he left school
and began teaching in the home school, hold-
ing that position for about six months. He
was very successful in that undertaking, and
now looks back upon his work there with as
much satisfaction as anything he has accom-
plished in life. For about seven years after-
ward he assisted in the cultivation of the home
farm; but in February, 1S64, he began the gen-
eral merchandising in connection with a Mr.
Wood^ of Clinton town, and the firm contin-
ued to do business for some seven years, when
our subject bought out his partner's interest,
and has since conducted the concern alone.
He has one of the largest trades in the county,
won by the high grade of goods which he car-
ries, fair and honorable dealing, and his court-
eous treatment of customers. He has been
successful in all his business ventures, the re-
sult of his own untiring efforts.

In October, 1865, Mr. Hughes was mar-
ried to Miss Pier, of Upper Red Hook, Dutch-
ess county, daughter of Benjamin S. Pier, for-
merly of New York City, but later a resident
of Upper Red Hook, N. Y. As a coppersmith
he made the first pans for the Borden Con-
densed Milk Company. Five children grace
the union of our subject and his wife: Edwin
B., in the store at Staatsburg, and Marian,
both living; and Pier, Mary and Emily, all
three deceased. Mr. Hughes is a fine repre-
sentative of the Republican party, always a
firm supporter of its principles, and has served
as justice of the peace. He takes great inter-
est in St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, of
which he is a member, and is now senior war-
den. Public-spirited in a high degree, he has
ever been loyal to his home interests, and the
town owes as much to Mr. Hughes as to any
other man for its growth and stability, while
throughout the community no one is more
widely or favorably known.



LOUIS YOUNG was born August 24, 1837,
at a place called Oberingelheim, in Ger-
many, and came to America when he was thir-
teen years old. The following eight years were
spent mostly in traveling through the country
on pleasure trips, and when he had reached the



620



COMMEMORATIVE BIOQRAPHICAL RECORD.



age of twenty-four years, he had settled down
in Wappingers Falls, where he was employed
for ten years by John Barlow in the bakery
business'. In 185S, Mr. Young purchased the
business from Mr. Barlow, and carried it on
until the time of his death, which event took
place November 12, 1889. He was very suc-
cessful in his undertakings, being a man of strict
honesty, careful management, and reliable in all
his methods of dealing. He started in" life in
the village with a capital of fifty cents, and at
his death left property valued at $10,000.00.
He built the brick store which he occupied, and
the one now occupied by Matthew J. Cashin,
and also two brick houses on Mesier avenue.

On November 21, 1871, Mr. Young was
married to Miss Eliza Smith, who was born in
Orange county, N. Y., a daughter of Thomas
Smith, a native of England. Of this union four
daughters were born: Josephine, Mary, Sarah
and Wilhelmina. They are all young ladies of
culture and refinement, and with their mother
are popular members of society.

Mr. Young was a Republican, but never as-
pired to become an office holder. He was
quiet and unostentatious, and used his influence
in making improvements in the village, and
doing good in an unobstrusive manner, rather
than in seeking prominence for himself. He
will long be remembered for his many kindly
deeds. Socially he belonged to Wappinger
Lodge, F. cS:A. M. ; Eafayette Lodge, I. O. O.
F.; and the Legion of Honor. The family are
all members of the Episcopal Church, to which
their father was a liberal contributor.



EDWARD ELSWORTH PERKINS, law-
! yer, born in the town of Poughkeepsie,

February 4, 1863, is one of the prominent
young members of the Dutchess county Bar,
and a son of Alexander \V. Perkins and his
wife, Elsie A. Kay.

The old homestead, known as the " Spack-
enkill Farm" (now owned by Edward), stands
on the post road between the city of Pough-
keepsie and Wappingers Falls. There Mr. Per-
kins had the usual experience of a country boy,
attending thedistrict school in the neighborhood
until the age of fifteen, when he entered Pel-
ham's Institute, on Montgomery street, in the
city of Poughkeepsie, for a three-years' course.
At the expiration of that he returned to the
farm for two years, and then at the age of
twenty commenced to prepare for his profes-



sion in the law office of O. D. M. Baker. At
the age of twenty-one he was elected j-ustice
of the peace of his town, which office he held
for three years. In 1886 he was admitted to
the bar at the December term of the Supreme
Court held in Brooklyn, having the highest
standing in a class of seventy. He immedi-
ately engaged in practice at the city of Pough-
keepsie, in the office of his preceptor, and met
with a degree of success.

Mr. Perkins in 1887 was one of the organ-
izers of the Poughkeepsie & Southeastern
Railroad Company (now the Dutchess County
R. R.j, extending from Poughkeepsie Bridge
to Hopeweil Junction, and was elected its first
secretary and treasurer.

In 1890 Mr. Perkins went to Texas for
New York and Philadelphia capitalists, and
engaged in organizing and building the exten-
sion of the Fort Worth cS: Rio Grande railroad
form Comanche to Brownwood. Completing
this work, he went to Fort Worth, Tex., and
associated with T. L. Marsalis, of Dallas,
Tex., in the completion and extension of the
Dallas & Oak Cliff railroad, and later in the
building of the West Dallas railroad, of which
Mr. Perkins became president.

Mr. Perkins while in Fort Worth was
elected president of the American Savings
Bank and Trust Company, and was chosen by
the Travelers Insurance Company, of Hart-
ford, Conn., as their financial and loan repre-
sentative for the State of Texas. In 1893 he
organized the American National Bank; was
elected a director and its first vice-president.
In 1893 he removed to his native town, and
resumed the practice of his profession.

Mr. Perkins is one of the governors of the
Dutchess Club, member of the Gentlemen's
Driving Club of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess
County Golf Club, Poughkeepsie Tennis Club,
and is a Democrat in political faith.

On June 23, 1891, Mr. Perkins married
Miss Mary D. Beard, daughter of Col. O. T.
Beard, a prominent resident of Poughkeepsie.
Their children are three in number: Olive
Elizabeth, Jeannie Marie and Argenta.



DOUGLAS MERRITT, one of our most es-
teemed citizens, residing upon a beautiful

farm called " Leacote," is of the sixth genera-
tion in descent from Thomas Merritt, who set-
tled at Rye, Westchester county, in 1670, and
was a prominent citizen, and a deputy to the



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



021



General Court of Connecticut in 1699. He
had four sons: Thomas, Joseph, Ephraim and
Samuel, of whom, Joseph, who died in 1754,
left three sons: Joseph, Thomas and Nehemiah.

Nehemiah was born in 171 5, married
Dinah Hopkins, of Oyster Bay, and in 1758
moved to Quaker Hill, Dutchess county, where
he owned a large farm. He died there in 1 794,
leaving four children: Daniel, Nehemiah, Icha-
bod and Anna.

Nehemiah, Jr., born in 1740, married
Phoebe Wing, in 1760, and was a merchant of
the town of Washington, where he died in
1793, leaving eleven children. His youngest
son, Benjamin, was born in 1777, married
Thankful, daughter of Col. Matthew Scott,
and was a merchant in New York and Tro^'.
He died in 1854, leaving ten children, of whom
the eldest son, George, was born in Washing-
ton county in 1807, and married Julia, daugh-
ter of Alanson Douglas and Ann Sutherland.
He became an eminent dry-goods merchant in
New York, and was noted for his beneficence.
His death occurred at his country seat,
" Lyndehurst, " Irvington-on-Hudson, in 1873.
Of his six children the eldest, Douglas, was
born at No. 42 Barclay street. New York, De-
cember 4, 1847, was educated at the school of
John MacMullen and the Columbia Grammar
School, passed two years in Europe, and was
graduated from the Columbia Law School in
1874. He purchased his farm called "Lea-
cote" in 1875, and was married August 3,
1876, to Elizabeth Cleveland, daughter of Rt.
Rev. Arthur Cleveland Co.xe, Bishop of West-
ern New York. They have two children:
Ethel Douglas and Alan Douglas.

Mr. Merritt has always taken an interest
in public affairs and the progress of the neigh-
borhood. He is a trustee of St. Stephens
College, Annandale; St. Johns Church, Barry-
town; the Starr Institute, Rhinebeck, and the
Public School No. 3, and was a member of the
last Board of E.xcise. He is also senior war-
den of the Church of the Messiah, Rhinebeck,
and has for many years been a delegate from
that Church to the Diocesan Convention.



JOHN H. SMITH, Jr.. was born at the
Steel Works in the town of Amenia, Dutch-
ess county, March iS, 1863, and is a lineal
descendant of Nehemiah Smith, whose birth
occurred in England about 1605, and who
came to America and made application to be



admitted as a freeman at Plymouth, Mass.,
March 6, 1637. For two years he lived on
Long Island, but in 1644 removed to Stratford,
Conn., where he kept a flock of sheep on the
west bank of Oyster river, and was conse-
quently known as Shepherd Smith. Later he
removed to New Haven, Conn. ; in the spring
of 165 1, to Norwich, L. I.; and two years
afterward to London, Conn. Owing to trou-
ble with the Indians he continued to reside at
New London until after 1665, when he re-
moved to his farm at Smith Lake, Poquonock,
where he doubtless had been making improve-
ments for several years. He was one of the
original proprietors of Norwich, buying the
land from the Indian chief, Uncas, in 1659,
and was among the earliest settlers of several
new towns in Connecticut. He always took
an active interest in Church affairs, and, doubt-
less, of^ciated in the absence of the regular
pastor. He died about 1686. On January
21, 1639, he married Annie Bourne, of Marsh-
field, Mass., who died in 1684, and to them
were born the following children : Sarah, born
in 1642; Mary; Hannah, born in 1644; Mercy
and Elizabeth (twins), born in 1645; Nehe-
miah, born in 1646; Lydia, born in 1647; Ann
and Mehitable.

Nehemiah Smith, the only son, was born
at New Haven, Conn., in 1646, and was bap-
tized October 24, of that year, by Rev. John
Davenport, first pastorof the first Church at that
place. When ten years of age he accompanied
his father to the farm at Poquonock, Conn. , and
was seventeen when the latter moved to Nor-
wich, leaving him on the farm. On October 24,
1669, he married Lydia Winchester, daughter
of Alexander Winchester, of Roxbury, Mass.
In that year he was a member of the General
Assembly at Hartford, and also in several sub-
sequent years. He and his wife became mem-
bers of the first Church at New London, Conn.
About 1 69 1 or 1692 he purchased a large tract
of land at Niantic, Conn., of Joseph and John
Bull, of Hartford.

Nehemiah Smith, a son of Nehemiah and
Lydia (Winchester) Smith, was born Novem-
ber 14, 1663, and April 22, 1696, was united
in marriage with Dorothy Wheeler, who was
born December 6, 1679 (a daughter of Isaac
Wheeler), and died May 25, 1736. Soon
after their marriage they both joined the first
Church at New London, and he was always
known as an honest and highly respected farm-
er; in 1 712 and 1714 he served as townsman.



622



COMMEMORA TIVE BIOORAPHICAL RECORD.



His entire life was spent upon the old home-
stead farm near Smith Lake, Poquonock, Gro-
ton. Conn., where his death occurred Novem-
ber 2 1, 1724. In his famil}' were twelve chil-
dren, namely: Dorothy, Hannah, Elizabeth,
Nathan, John, William, Isaac, Mary, Lydia,
Jabez, Anna and Sarah.

Isaac, the seventh child of Xehemiah and
Dorothy (Wheeler) Smith, was born Decem-
ber 29, 1797, atGroton, Conn., and November
4, 1729^ wedded Esther, dauj^hter of Deacon
Daniel Denison. Both became members of
the First Congregational Church at New Lon-
don, Conn., He departed this life March 14,
1783, and his wife died on August 17, 1798.
In their family were eleven children, whose
names and dates of birth are as follows:
Daniel, December i, 1730; Amos, December
13, 1732; Esther, August 9, 1734; Hannah,
August 9, 1734; Simeon, June 9, 1738; Abigail,
February 15, 1740; Mary, November 15, 1743;
Lucy, November 11, 1746; William, October
26, 1749; and Silas and Phebe, twins, April
18, 1752.

William Smith, the ninth of the family,
engaged in farming at Mt. Archer and North
Lyme, New London Co., Conn., and served
as deacon in the Baptist Church, of which he
was a consistent member. In 1772 he mar-
ried Sarah Smith, daughter of Nathan and
Elizabeth Smith, who died July 14, 1831, and
his death occurred September i, 1841. They
also had twelve children, whose names and
dates of birth are as follows: William, Janu-
ary 22, 1775; Sarah, February i, 1777; Eliza-
beth, December i, 1779; Gurdon, December
4, 1 781; John D., August 12, 1782; Edward,
August 24, 1784; Phebe, August 20, 1786;
Nathan, November 12, 1788; Charlotte, Jan-
uary I, 1 791; Lucy, February 14, 1793; Al-
mira, March i, 1797; Ansyl, April 2, 1799;
and Edward.

Nathan Smith, the seventh in order of
birth, was born at North Lyme, Conn., and
■was the grandfather of our subject. In iSio



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