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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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co-operation and encouragement are always
given to any movement which in his opinion
will promote the public welfare.



JOHN WILLIAMS, a leading hardware
merchant of Dover Plains, Dutchess coun-
~ ty, has been for many years prominently
identified with the best interests of that town,
and has encouraged by his active and efficient
aid many of the most important progressive
movements in his locality. He is of English
birth, and on his mother's side is descended from
an old Lancashire family.

Robert Samulshaw, his great-grandfather,
was born in that county in 1758, and after re-
ceiving an education in the schools of his na-
tive place learned the tailor's trade, which he
followed throughout his later years. He also
owned and cultivated a farm there. Among
his eleven children was a son, William, our
subject's grandfather, who learned the tailor's
trade with his father, and after working at it
in his native town for some time removed to
Liverpool, England, and established a custom-
tailoring business, which proved very success-
ful. His wife's name is not known, but they
also had eleven children. A daughter, Mary,
our subject's mother, was born in Wigan,
Lancashire, and was educated there. She
married William Williams, a native of Llan-
gollen, Wales, who at the time of their mar-
riage owned a large bakery in Liverpool.
Nine children were born to them: Robert,
who died in his youth; William, who married
Addie Delaverne; John, our subject; Jane
(Mrs. John Lewis); Ellen (Mrs. Andrew John-
ston); Mary, who married (first) George Rey-
nolds, and (second) Mr. Scott; Elizabeth, the
wife of William Frost; Susanna, who died at
the age of nine years; and one that died in
infancy.

The subject of our sketch was born in
Liverpool in 1836, received a good education
in the schools of that city, and learned the art
of brass finishing there. In 1858 he came to
America, locating for a time in Amenia, Dutch-
ess county, where he learned the tinsmith's
trade. While there he married Miss Martha
Harrocks, daughter of Robert and Ellen Frost
Harrocks. She was born and reared in Bury,
England, where her father was a well-known
merchant. In 1872 Mr. Williams established
his present hardware store and tinshop at
Dover Plains, of which he has made a success



654



COMMEMORATIVE BIOORAPHICAL RECORD.



from the first. His wife passed from earth in
1891, leaving two daughters: HattieS.. the
wife of Frank H. Brant, and Mary E., who is
at home.

The family is prominent, socially, and our
subject's fine bass voice is highly appreciated
among the best people of Dover Plains. He
is a member of the Baptist Church, and in its
choir makes worthy use of his musical gifts.
He belongs to the Masonic Lodge, No. 666,
of Dover Plains, and has always taken great
interest in public affairs, local and national.
Possessing the courage of his convictions, he
is an outspoken Democrat, and he has been
chosen by his fellow townsmen to several
official positions. He was inspector of elections
for a number of years, and on one occasion
his honesty, courage, and persistence saved
his party from being " counted out."



JOHN DUTCHEK, one 01 the most trusted
employes of the Harlem railroad, upon
which he has run an engine for over twenty
years, is an honored veteran of the Civil war,
having been one of the first to join the forces
for the defense of the Union, and one of the
last to leave the service at the close of the
struggle. He was born in Dover Plains, Dutch-
ess county, July 16, 1841, and his parents,
John and Catherine f Elliot) Dutcher, were
both natives of the town of Dover, Dutchess
county. On the maternal side he is of Eng-
lish descent, his great-great-grandfather, Sam-
uel Elliot, having been born in the city of I^on-
don early in the eighteenth century. The Elli-
ots of that day were engaged in commerce,
owning a fieet of sailing vessels, and this an-
cestor came to America as a young man, be-
came a merchant and settled in Dutchess coun-
ty, marrying, and rearing a family, among whom
was a son, Samuel, our subject's great-grand-
father. He was born in the town of Dover in
1740, and spent his life there (juietly in agri-
cultural pursuits. He married Catherine Gil-
let, of Norwalk, Conn., and had six children:
Richard, who never married; Jonathan, who
died in infancy; Anna (Mrs. Morrey); Eliza-
beth (Mrs. Neilson); Sarah (Mrs. Ward); and
Samuel, our subject's grandfather, who was
born and reared at the old homestead in the
town of Dover, and followed farming. His
wife was Miss Delia Dart, the daughter of a
prominent farmer of Dover, and they had five
children, all of whom lived to maturity and



married: Enos married Miss Mary Brown;
Charles, Miss Calista Chamberlain; Juda,
Sherman Mallory; Samuel, Miss Gibbs; and
Catherine (our subject's mother), who was born
in 1817. Our subject's father, John Dutcher,
was a son of Cornelius Dutcher, a leading agri-
culturist of the town of Dover, and his wife
Ruth. Of the seven children, all but one lived
to adult age. (i) Ruth married John Proper,
of Hudson, and has had four children: Samuel,
who died when about twenty-four years of age;
Alfred, who married Nellie Blood; Jennie, the
wife of Walter Davis; and Frank, who married
Elizabeth McGarry. (2) Amelia never mar-
ried. (3) Mercy married John Cameron. (4)
Jennie married William J. White, and has two
children — Mary Ella and Catherine C. (5)
John is the subject of this sketch. (6) Enos
married (first) Estella Brewer, who died, leav-
ing one daughter. Bertha, and he then formed
a second matrimonial union, this time with
Mrs. Sophia Sailor. (7) \'aness died at the
age of four years. John Dutcher, the father,
died in 1856.

The subject of this sketch has spent the
greater part of his life at his native place, re-
ceiving his education there and later engaging
in farming. After three years at that occupa-
tion he enlisted, in August, 1861, in Company
C, 72d N. Y. V. I., and took part in cam-
paigns under McClellan, Halleck, Burnside,
Grant and others. He was in the engage-
ments at Williamsburg, and Yorktown, the
second battle of Bull Run, the seven-days'
fight at Richmond, and the retreat to Harrison
Landing — in fact, his regiment was engaged in
fighting all of the time. When Halleck took
command the regiment was sent to Mine
Run, then to Spottsylvania, then back to
Chancellorsville, and participated in the bat-
tles at Fredericksburg, under Burnsides, and at
Spottsylvania C. H., under Grant. While at
that place Mr. Dutcher was taken prisoner,
and remained a prisoner of war five months,
being confined the greater part of this time at
Andersonville, Ga., and on his release rejoined
the army. At the close of the war he was
sent west as member of the 5th Regiment
U. S. \'., and was mustered out at Fort
Kearney, Kans. , in 1865. Fortunately he
passed through all the dangers of those trying
years without serious injury, having been
wounded but once, and that slightly, by a
piece of shell. He was promoted to the rank
of sergeant.



COMMEMORATIVE BIOORAPUICAL liECOIW.



655



On his return from the army Mr. Dutcher
went to New York City to take a position on
the police force, which he held five years. He
then resigned and came back to his native
place, entering the employ of the Harlem
Railroad Company, with which he has now
been connected about a quarter of a century,
working first as brakeman and fireman, and
since 1875 as engineer. He is now in charge
of an engine on a passenger train, and stands
high in the confidence of his employers and
the public. He belongs to the Brotherhood
of Locomotive Engineers, the Masonic Lodge
of Dover, No. 666, and to the Independent Or-
der of Good Templars, Dover Lodge. Al-
though his tastes are domestic, and he appre-
ciates the repose of home life, he has never
married.



GEORGE ROGER, the able and popular
postmaster at Millerton, Dutchess county,
and one of the most prominent of the younger
men of the town, was born August 29, 1855,
in Kirkmichael, Scotland, which has been the
home of his family for many generations. His
grandfather, William Roger, was a miller
there, and was killed in a mill in the year
1822, leaving his wife, Mary Hunter (who
survived until 1862), and three children —
Mary, Jane and David, our subject's father.

David Roger was born in 18 10, and for
about thirty years was a gardener in the em-
ploy of the Ferguson family, being head gar-
dener for sometime previous to his coming to
America, in 1873. He married Janet Bone,
daughter of Quintin Bone, of Paisley, and had
eleven children: William and Quintin (both
deceased); Janet (Mrs. William Allen); Mary
(Mrs. Thomas Moore); Agnes (Mrs. John
Dempey); John, a gardener at Spencer's Cor-
ners; James and David (twins), the former of
whom is the depot agent at Rosslyn Castle,
Scotland, the latter being now a clerk in the
Colonial Bank, at Dunedin, New Zealand;
Robert, a gardener at Millerton; Marian, the
wife of Freeman Traver;and George, the sub-
ject of this sketch. After coming to this coun-
try David Roger and his wife made their home
with their sons, John and Robert, and he was
was not regularly engaged in any work. He
died in 1892, followed a year later by his wife.
Both were devout Presbyterians, and their
children all adhere to the same faith.



George Roger received a good education
in the schools of his native land, and taught
as a pupil teacher for one year, but finding
the occupation injurious to his health he en-
gaged work in a railroad office for a short
time. He accompanied his parents to this
country, and his first employment here was as
bookkeeper for C. S. Maltby, he and Mr.
Manning entering his service in the same year,
1873. Mr. Roger resigned after two years,
but in 1880 returned to the firm, retaining his
position until 1893. In 1894 he was appointed
postmaster by President Cleveland for the
term of four years, and his efficient management
of the office has won the praise of all classes.
He has also held the office of excise commis-
sioner, and he is a prominent worker in the
Democratic organization of his locality. It is
not often that a stranger can so quickly gain
the confidence of an entire community, but
Mr. Roger's character and abilities are of a
sort to command esteem.

He was married, in 1882, to Miss Mary I.

E. Ward, daughter of Alfred Ward, of Dur-
ham, England, and they have five children:
Isabel, Janet, Marion, David and Margaret.
Mr. Roger attends the Presbyterian Church,
and is a member of Webatuck Lodge No. 480,

F. & A. M. (in which he has been master for
two years), and of Poughkeepsie Chapter; he
also belongs to Millerton Lodge No. 383, I.
O. O. F., and is now noble grand in that
body.



C\AMPBELL N. HICKS, a well-known busi-
' ness man of Red Hook, Dutchess county,
and proprietor of a livery stable there, was
born September 10, 1855, in the town of Stan-
ford. His father, Eli Hicks, was a native of
Clermont, Columbia county, married Miss
Margaret A. Waters, of Binghamton, Broome
county, and reared a family of nine children.
The subject of our sketch received his educa-
tion in Brooklyn, N. Y. , and after completing
his course learned the butcher's trade. He
then engaged in business for himself at Red
Hook, in partnership with George Cramer, to
whom he sold his interest two and a half years
later. Since that time he has conducted a
stage and livery business, and holds the con-
tract for carrying the U. S. mail.

On October 28, 1874, he was married to
Miss Mary E. Hutton, a daughter of Jacob and



650



COMMEMORATIVE BIOORAPHICAL RECORD.



Lydia Hutton, prominent residents of Red
Hook. Two children were born of this union:
Byron N., December 2, 1876, and Margaret
B. , June 9, 1882. Mr. Hicks takes an active
part in local affairs, and has been overseer of
the poor for one term, and town clerk for two
terms, discharging his duties with the faithful-
ness which has characterised him in every line
of effort. He is a member of the I. O. O. F.,
Christian Lodge No. 379, of Red Hook, in
which he is past grand, and of Shiloh Encamp-
ment No. 68, holding the office of chief pa-
triarch.



S.A.MLEL HOLMES BROWN, a promi-
nent citizen of Poughkeepsie, and one of
the leading members of the Dutchess County
Bar, is a descendant of a well-known family
which has been identified with this section for
more than a century.

Noah Brown, his great-grandfather, who
was of Scotch ancestry, had his early home at
Johnstown, N. Y. He married Lois Mills,
September 20, 1783, the two starting upon
their united career with but little capital ex-
cept their health, their strong common sense
and industrious habits. Not long after their
marriage they moved to Dutchess county and
settled upon a tract of land at or near the
Square, about two miles northwest of .Amenia
City, and there Mr. Brown conducted a farm,
a hotel and a tannery. They prospered as
they deserved, and in 1817 they purchased a
fine farm two miles south of the site of the
present village of Millerton, a part of what is
known as the Edgar Clark farm. Mr. Brown's
well-proved abilities were devoted mainly to
his business affairs, and he never, in any sense,
took a position which would call him from his
family, yet he felt a keen interest in public
affairs, and tilled several local offices with
credit to himself and satisfaction to the pub-
lic. After the towns of Amenia and Northeast
were divided, he was elected, April i, 1823,
to act as one of the first assessors of the latter.
He served in the 6th Regular Dutchess County
Militia, of Charlotte Precinct, under Col. Ros-
vvell Hopkins and Capt. Waters. His death
occurred May 1 1, 1841, when he was seventy-
eight years old, and that of his wife October
3, 1849, when she was aged eighty-si.\; their
final resting place is in the family lot in Spen-
cer's Corner burying yard, north of Millerton,
N. Y They had si.x children, whose names



with dates of birth and death are here given:
Noan M., June, 1784 — June 22, 1822; Sam-
uel, April 20, 17S5 — January 5, 1870; Sally,
May 21, 1787 — February 13, 1876; Betsey,
October 28, 1791 — May 19, 1888; George,
February 16, 1794 — October 18, 1878; Har-
riet, March 29, 1800 — June 24, 1876.

Samuel Brown, our subject's grandfather,
was a man of far more than the average ability
and foresight, and while conducting several
farms carried on successfully a number of busi-
ness enterprises, including a tannery. Among
some of the farms owned by him is what is
known as the "Halstead farm ", near Mt.
Riga Station, the "David Eggleston farm",
situated between Millerton and Boston Cor-
ners, the " Hopkins farm ", situated between
Millerton and Salisbury, and the • ■ Rudd farm",
at the head of Rudd pond. Although he was
judiciously economical in his management of
his private affairs, he was ready to respond
liberally to any public need, and showed in
many ways a hearty sympathy with the inter-
est of his fellows. In 1S2S he was one of a
building committee to erect the " New Baptist
church " at Spencer's Corner, which was dedi-
cated the following 3'ear, and was used until
1866, when the congregation decided to estab-
lish a place of worship at Millerton. Samuel
Brown's wife, Sally (Clark), whom he wedded
February 20, 1813, was a daughter of Ezra
Clark, a prosperous farmer near Millerton, who
came from Lisbon, Conn., about the time of
the Revolution. She died July 18, 1859, aged
seventy-one years, five months, nine days.
Their children were as follows: Mary, born
February 20, 181 5, died April 16, 1875; Milan,
born July 22, 1816, now living; Milton, born
September 26, 181 8, died April 9, 1881; and
Douglas Clark, born July 23, 1822, died
March 19, 1871.

Milton Brown, our subject's father, became
a successful agriculturist at the "Hopkins
farm ", already referred to. He, in appear-
ance, favored the mother's side of the family.
In looks he reminded one much of Hon. Will-
iam M. Evarts, and there is no question in the
mind of any one who knew him well that he
was a man of marked ability and business
courage and capacity. He was not only a
farmer, but branched out into other enter-
prises. He had the full confidence of all who
knew him, and his advice was sought by many.
His careful methods brought him a competency
for himself and family. For his first wife he





b^l^



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



657



married Selina H. Wheeler, daughter of Milton
Wheeler, a prosperous farmer. This marriage
was blessed with one child, Mary E. , who was
born July 14, 1845. Selina H. died March 30,
1848. In September 14, 1864, Mary E. mar-
ried William H. Hart, a dentist, who prac-
ticed his profession at that time at Millerton,
but afterward moved to Hudson, N. Y. , where
she died March 30, 1868. She left her sur-
viving one child, Clarence, who died July 29,
1877. On November 21, 1849, Milton Brown
married Miss Phcebe Holmes, daughter of
Reuben Holmes, a prosperous farmer of Mt.
Pleasant, near Millerton, N. Y. They had
one son, Samuel Holmes.

The subject of this sketch was born and
reared on the •■ Hopkins farm ", helped in the
farm work and attended the local schools dur-
ing his early boyhood. As he grew older he
was given better educational advantages at
Amenia Seminary, Cazenovia Seminary, the
Troy Business College and t'tie Albany State
Normal School; but before entering the latter
institution he clerked for a short period in a
store at Millerton, and was employed as a
bookkeeper in a wholesale tlourmill at Water-
ford. N. Y. On leaving the Normal School,
in 1876, he went to Newark, N. J., and taught
for a year and a half in a business college,
meantime preparing himself for the position
of a court stenographer. That calling he fol-
lowed successfully for some time; but in that
as in all his other enterprises he was actuated
by the hope of finally entering the legal pro-
fession. His father had always discouraged
the idea, hoping that he would settle down on
the old homestead. In 1881 Mr. Brown be-
gan the study of law with Hon. Milton A.
Fowler, of Poughkeepsie, and September 14,
1883, he was duly admitted to the bar. He
immediately established himself in practice at
Poughkeepsie, with a branch office at Miller-
ton, and he soon attained prominence in his
chosen work, much important litigation — civil
and criminal — passing through his hands.

Mr. Brown is an able business man, and
has been engaged in several enterprises, nota-
bly the Millerton National Bank, the stock of
which he was one of the first to subscribe for,
and of whose board of directors he was a mem-
ber. Later he was made a director of the
Farmers' and Manufacturers' National Bank of
Poughkeepsie. He was also one of the organ-
izers of the Hallock & Duryee Fertilizer Co.,
of Mattituck, L. I., and of several other cor-

42



porations. At his father's death, in 1881, he
succeeded to the homestead, and he afterward
acquired the "George R. Winchell farm" and
the "John D. Kerley farm " adjoining. Until
1890 he was extensively engaged in raising live
stock, and dairying; but he has since disposed
of all his farms, and now gives his entire time
to his profession.

On October 30, 1877, Mr. Brown married
Clara Lefferts Duryee, daughter of John
Wyckoff Duryee, and his wife, Elizabeth T.
(Verity), who resided near Mattituck, L. I.,
and were formerly of New Utrecht, N. Y. ;
both descended from old families of Long
Island, the Duryees being descendants of the
famous Huguenot family who arrived in this
country in 1675. For some time after their
marriage Mr. and Mrs. Brown lived at Newark,
N. J., and on the homestead near Millerton;
but in the fall of 1887, they, with Mr. Brown's
mother, moved to Poughkeepsie, where they
now reside. In politics, Mr. Brown is a Re-
publican, and he has been a member of the
board of supervisors of Dutchess county for
several years. In 1893 he was the president
of the Lincoln Republican League Club of
Poughkeepsie. In 1894 he was the first choice
of a large number of delegates to the Republi-
can County Convention, for the office of Dis-
trict Attorney of his county. In the fall of
1896, the Republican party of the city of
Poughkeepsie got into a bitter factional fight
over local matter, and a strife between lead-
ers. It was not only carried into primaries
and conventions, but was also carried on up
to and including election day. Mr. Brown
devoted much time to this matter, and it is
generally conceded that it was owing much to
his efforts that the Republican city ticket was
saved from defeat. He is also regarded as an
able, instructive, interesting, and amusing
political speaker, and he has done much for
his party in that direction.

In the summer of 1896, in company with
his wife, he spent his vacation in traveling ex-
tensively in Europe. His letters to the pub-
lic press received much favorable comment,
and showed him to be a keen observer and
possessed of the rare faculty, as a writer, of
being able to give a graphic idea of what he
saw in a very few words — painting a picture
with a very few lines. His genial manner,
industry and strong common sense have sur-
rounded him with many friends, clients and
well wishers.



658



COMMEJ^ORATIVE BIOGRAPmCAL RECORD.



JAMES FINCH, an entL-rprising and success-
ful merchant of Millerton, Dutchess county,
has shown in his conquest of unfavorable
circumstances in early life all those admirable
qualities of courage and perseverance which
mark the self-made business man.

Caleb t'lnch, ^grandfather of our subject,
was descended from one of four brothers of
the name, who came to America from England
some time in the eighteenth century. He set-
tled in the town of Ancram, Columbia Co.,
N. Y. , and followed blacksmithing there dur-
ing the rest of his life. He was the father of
six children, all of whom lived to adult age,
namely: John, Ebenezer, James, Betsey (Mrs.
Amos Bryan;, /\lma (Mrs. Ambrose Gray), and
Laura (Mrs. William Van Alstine).

James Finch, our subject's father, was
born in the town of Ancram, Columbia county,
on July 14, 1789, and after the death of their
father, he and his brother, John, owned and
farmed the old homestead together. Possessed
of good natural ability, he held a prominent
place in the commimity. He married Almira
Card, who was born in Ancram on October 23,
1791, the daughter of Stephen Card, who was
of English origin. Si.x children were born of
this marriage, as follows: Betsey, Septem-
ber 27, 1812, married Eli Collins; ]?ryan,
April 23, 1814, married Mary Thorne, daugh-
ter of Richard Thorne, and settled in Tomp-
kins county, where he died, leaving three chil-
dren; Caleb, November 13, 18 16, located in
Tompkins county, where he died in 1852;
Sally, January 5, 18 19, married Smith Stew-
art; Elisha, March 21, 1823, died at the age
of fourteen; and James, our subject. The fa-
ther of this family died in the latter part of
1827, and his widow married William Tanner.
She died July 6, 1844.

The subject of our sketch was born at the
old Finch homestead April 8, 1827, and at-
tended the district schools at Pulver's Corners,
receiving a good English education. He re-
mained at home with his step-father until the
age of twenty-two, being employed for one
year, and then worked upon the farm of his
brother-in-law, Eli Collins, for two years. In
1853 he went to Uryden, N. Y. , and learned
the details of the manufacture of fanning mills,
working at the trade for two years and a half.
Returning to Mr. Collins' farin, he worked there
for a time, and later found employment in the
Bryant Fanning Mill shop. In the fall of 1857
he began clerking, first for Herman W. Pulver,



at Pulver's Corners, and then for Harrison
Jones, at Millerton, but his brother-in-law dy-
ing in 1861, he was engaged for one year in
looking after his sister's business interests.
On March 28, 1863, he entered the general
store of E. W. Simmons & Co., as clerk, the
firm consisting of Mr. Simmons, J. M. Bene-
dict and S. N. Jenks. He continued until
1877, when the firm failed, and as he had not
drawn his wages for some time, he took the
business in payment. In spite of this some-
what inauspicious beginning, he made a suc-
cess of the venture, and has given the busi-
ness a much larger scope than it formerly had,
adding to the stock a large line of furniture.
It is now one of the largest houses in its line
in the northeastern part of the county. On
Monday night, August 2, 1880, his store was
broken open by three burglars, who bound and



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