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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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gagged Mr. Finch, and compelled him to go
thus to his office and open his safe, from which
they took about $1,300.00. This was an ex-
perience which but few men could undergo
with the courage and " pluck " shown by Mr.
Finch.

In politics he is a Republican, and has al-
ways taken a great interest in the success of
his party. He has been town clerk for two
terms, and is one of the most earnest advo-
cates of improvement in local affairs.



ALENTINERICKES, one of the leading
mechanics of Dutchess county, now en-
gaged in blacksmithing at Millbrook, town of
Washington, was born November 3, 1836, in
Hegenheim, Germany, a son of Valentine, Sr.,
and Anna Mary (Carchj Rickes, both natives
of Germany.

Valentine Rickes, Sr. , was born in 1800,
and spent his entire life in Germany, engaged
in the hotel business, and also as owner of a
bakery, when enjoying the privileges of a
civilian; in times of trouble, however, he was
a sharpshooter in the German army. He
married Anna Mary Carch, one of the three
children of Christian Carch, a native of Ger-
many, born about 1766. To Mr and Mrs.
Rickes, Sr. , were born twelve children — ten
boys and two girls — who grew to maturity.
Four of the ten boys were college graduates,
and three of the ten came to America. The
father of this family died in 1867; the mother
is still living.

Valentine Rickes, the subject proper of



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



659



this sketch, spent his boyhood in Germany,
and until the age of fourteen attended the excel-
lent public schools of that country. For two
years he served an apprenticeship at the black-
smith trade, under Peter Schryver, learning all
the details and mastering the art of making
horse shoes in the finest style. Having com-
pleted his trade at the age of sixteen, he came
to America, in company with his brother
Frank, and settled in Connecticut, where for
two years he followed his trade. In 1854 or
'55, he removed to Mechanic, Dutchess coun-
ty, and here for four years was heard the busy
sound of his hammer and anvil. On February
7, 1858, he was united in marriage with Miss
Ellen Butler (an account of whose ancestry
will be found in the sketch of her brother, Ed-
mond Butler), a native of County Waterford,
Ireland, born May 25, 1841. At the age of
twelve years she was brought to this country
by her mother, who returned to Ireland and
there died, leaving her little daughter Ellen in
the care of her brother Edmond. After at-
tending the public schools of the town of
Washington for a couple of years, she cared
for herself until her marriage with Mr. Rickes,
to whom she has been a devoted helpmeet.
After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Rickes re-
mained at Mechanic for a year, then for two
years they resided at Rhinebeck, at the end of
which time our subject temporarily laid aside
the cares of business, and visited the old home
in the Fatherland, where still resided his fa-
ther, and several of his brothers and sisters.
Truly a happy reunion after eleven years of
absence. On his return from Germany, he
and his wife again settled in Mechanic, re-
maining three years, then coming to Millbrook,
where he followed his trade for four years.

At this time Mr. Rickes purchased 125
acres of fine land in the town of Unionvale,
and for seventeen years carried on farming;
wearying of this, he again returned to Mill-
brook, and for one year followed his trade,
while his wife carried on the farm. They
purchased a pleasant location in Millbrook,
and erected a neat, Gothic house, also
a commodious and well-arranged carriage
house, and are now enjoying life on the fruits
of their early toil. Mr. Rickes still carries on
his business with the assistance of two men.
To Mr. and Mrs. Rickes were born three chil-
dren: (I) Edward, who for nine years has
been in the employ of Swift & Co., at Kansas
City, and is now their hog buyer; he married



Miss Mamie Hopson, daughter of Dr. Hopson,
of Kansas City. (2) Charles, who is now
farming the old homestead in the town of
Unionvale; he married Miss Mamie Cutler, of
that town, and has one child — \'alentine. (3)
Anna Mar\', the only daughter, who married
Cassius M. Couch, of Poughquag, and has
three children — Bessie, Edmond and Ellen
Stack.

Mr. Rickes was the first man to open busi-
ness in what is now Millbrook. He purchased
the ground on which the Catholic Church and
parsonage now stands, and also the ground
on which is located the present Catholic ceme-
tery. The ground was bought for $600 per
acre. On this he erected a large blacksmith,
wagon and paint shop, and also the parsonage
which is now occupied by Rev. Father Burns.
The lumber used in these buildings was hauled
by team from Poughkeepsie, and there was
but one other building on the present site of
Millbrook. Mr. Rickes has ever been one of
the active, energetic men of the community,
and is highl}- respected for his many manly
qualities. In politics he is a Republican, and
he is a member of the Roman Catholic
Church.



JOHN CAMPBELL. The family name of
the subject of this sketch was identified for

many years with some of the leading inter-
ests of the town of Northeast, Dutchess coun-
ty, and has become associated with the qualities
which win success. The first American ances-
tor came from Scotland at an early date, and
enlisted and served in the Revolutionary war.
Robert Campbell, the grandfather of our sub-
ject, was born in 1776, and settled in the town
of Mt. Washington, Berkshire Co., Mass. He
possessed excellent natural abilities and much
• public spirit, and became quite prominent in
local affairs. He died in 1853; his wife, Hul-
dah Noble, departed this life in 1841. They
had eight children: Harriet, Stanton A., Anna
(wife of Sitnion Pollard), Robert, Almira (wife
of William \'osburgh), Huldah (wife of Gilbert
Race), John, and Susan (wife of Jason Lamson).

John Campbell, Sr. , our subject's father,
was born at the old home in Mt. Washington,
June 5. 181 1, and his educational opportunities
were limited to an irregular attendance at the
schools of that time, as he was obliged to go
to work at an early age. He was ambitious,
however, and possessed more than ordinary



660



COMMEMORATIVE BIOORAPIIWAL RECORD.



ability and energy, and after a hard day's toil
as a collier, or at chopping wood, he would
spend his evenings in study. In this way he
prepared himself for teaching, and in early
manhood he followed this occupation success-
fully for a number of winters. In 1849 he be-
came superintendent of the works of the Salis-
bury Iron Co., at Mt. Riga, Dutchess county,
having acquired an interest in the business.
He continued this work for nearly ten years,
in the meantime securing the entire control of
the stock, and in 1864 he sold the property
for $42,500 to William H. Barnum, of Con-
necticut, who was chairman of the National
Democratic Committee at the time of Cleve-
land's first election. In his later years Mr.
Campbell engaged in manufacturing Salisbury
pig iron, and farming. He was a man of re-
markably keen perceptions and sound business
judgment, and at his death, which occurred in
1866, his estate was inventoried at $250,000,
although only $180,000 was realized. In his
early years he was a Whig, later a Republican,
but he was never active in party work. He
was prominent, however, in many public move-
ments which had no partisan bias, helping dur-
ing the war to raise the quota of men from his
locality. In 1862 he was elected supervisor
of the town of Northeast, without opposition,
having been nominated by both parties. A
shrewd judge of human nature, he easily made
friends, whom his sterling qualities of character
retained. He was a memljer of the Methodist
Church, and was not a strict sectarian, being
broad and liberal in his views. He was mar-
ried June 27, 1835, at Pine Plains, to Miss
Eliza Van Dusen, a descendant of an old Hol-
land-Dutch family, and a daughter of James
N. 'Van Dusen, a farmer of Taghkanic, Colum-
bia county. He had eight children, whose
names, with dates of birth, are as follows:
Sarah J., born July i, 1836, died March 15, .
1858; John, born February i, 1838; James
May I, 1840; Wesley, June 20, 1842, died
March 26. 1891; Eliza Ann, June 23, 1844,
died February 15, 1877; Christina, March 27,
1846; Mary Ellen, April 21, 1849; and Henry
D., March 18, 1851. died December 6, 1875.



CHARLES W. WRIGHT. Among the
young and energetic business men of
Dutchess county, none stands higher than
the subject of this personal history, who is a
well-known general merchant of Clinton Cor-



ners. His birth occurred in the town of Stan-
ford, Dutchess county, on March i, 1866, and
he belongs to an old and honored family of
the county — his grandfather, Isaac Wright,
having been born in the same town.

The father. James Harvey Wright, was
born in that town in 18 19. where he attended
the district schools, and was also a student in
the Jacob Willets school, in the town of Wash-
ington. In his native town he wedded Mary
Ann Humphrey, a daughter of William D.
Humphrey, and they became the parents of
six children: John H.; Clara, wife of F. M.
Talmadge. of Yonkers, N. Y. ; Isaac, de-
ceased; Charles W. ; Ira; and Nettie, who
died in infancy. The entire married life of
the father has been passed upon his farm at
Bangall, in the town of Stanford, for which
he went greatlj' in debt, as on starting in life
he had very little capital besides a pair of
willing hands and a determination to make a
success of his business undertakings. Since
quite young he has been an active member of
the Baptist Church, and is a sincere and
earnest Christian. He has never taken any
prominent part in political affairs, but does all
in his power to promote the welfare of his
town and county.

The elementary education of Charles W.
Wright was such as the common schools of
Bangall afforded, and he later became a stu-
dent in Sackett's private school, in the town of
Stanford. When his school days were over
he entered upon a business career as clerk in
the general store of Mr. Knickerbocker, of
Bangall, with whom he remained four years,
after which he went to New York Citj', where
he was employed for about two years in the
butter and egg business. He then began
business for himself, which he continued for
four years. In the spring of 1892 he estab-
lished his present store at Clinton Corners,
where he carries a full and complete assort-
ment of general merchandise, and now secures
a liberal patronage. His stock is well select-
ed, and he devotes his entire time to his busi-
ness interests, and is meeting with a well-
deserved success.

On September 5, 1889, in the town of
Stanford, Mr. Wright was married to Miss
Delia Stewart, daughter of William Stewart,
of that town, and to them have been born
three children: Harold and Edith, twins,
born August 22, 1890; and Ethel, born Au-
gust 19. 1894. In his political views, Mr.



COMMEMORA TIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



661



Wright is a stalwart Democrat, and is now
serving as postmaster in Clinton Corners, to
which position he was appointed in the winter
of 1892.



EDWARD ODELL, a well-known miller of
Smithlield, Dutchess county, where he
has engaged in business for over thirty years,
was born March 21, 18 19, in the town of
Washington, Dutchess county, and belongs to
a family that was long connected with the in-
terests of that township. There his grand-
father, John Odell, was also born, and worked
at his trade of a hatter. In his family were
si.x children, namely: William, John, Jacob,
Samuel, Caroline and Betsey.

Samuel Odell, father of our subject, was
also a native of the town of Washington, and
a hatter by trade. His political support was
given the Republican party. He married Per-
melia Marshall, of Salt Point, Dutchess county,
and they became the parents of six children:
Edward; Lewis, who was killed while gallantly
serving in the Mexican war; William, of New
Haven, Conn.; Bartlett, of Illinois; Sally
Ann (deceased); and Elizabeth, who married
John Dodge.

The school days of our subject were passed
in the towns of Washington and Dover, and
at an early age he learned the carpenter's trade
with Samuel Tompkins in the latter township,
which occupation he then followed for a time.
For forty years he made his home at Perry's
Corners, town of Northeast, but since 1870
has resided in Smithfield, at which time he
purchased the grist and saw mill that he has
since operated with good success. Although
now seventy-six years of age, he has never
worn glasses, and his eyesight seems better
than it was at sixty. Ever fond of sport, he
is still one of the best marksmen with the rifle
in Dutchess county. His career has not been
marked by startling incidents, but his life has
been quietly and peacefully passed amidst the
scenes of his youth, and he has gained the con-
fidence and esteem of all with whom he has
come in contact. Politically he is an adherent
of the Republican party. At Rhinebeck,
Dutchess county, Mr. Odell was married to
Miss Mary Marquart, and they have two sons:
John, of Smithfield, who married Ella Cook-
ingham; and Frank, of Verbank, who married
Lettie May Smith, and has one child, Ethel
M. Odell.



JAMES V. MEAD, a well-known brick manu-
facturer of Low Point, Dutchess county,
" is one of the prominent self-made men of
the locality, having. begun his business career
without a cent, and gained by his own efforts
a fine fortune and limitless credit. •

He is a native of the town of Cornwall,
Orange Co. , N. Y. , where he first saw the light,
May 12, 1832, and on both the paternal and
maternal sides is of Dutch descent. Joseph
Mead, his grandfather, was born in Holland,
and Justice Mead, our subject's father, mar-
ried Elizabeth Van Duser, whose father, Ben-
jamin Van Duser, was of Holland stock.
Justice Mead settled in Cornwall after his mar-
riage, and followed the carpenter's trade, until
his death at the age of forty, and he and his
wife, who also died many years ago, were lead-
ing members of the Methodist Church there.
In politics, he was a Democrat. Our subject
was the youngest of six children: Benjamin
is a gardener in Cayuga county, N. Y. ; Eliza-
beth married Sylvenius Cury, of Orange coun-
ty; Sarah married Frederick Burton, who was
a machinist at Newburg, N. Y. ; Justice is a
farmer and brick manufacturer in Amenia;
and Hiram died in childhood.

Mr. Mead made his entrance into business
life at the early age of thirteen years, when
he left his home in Cornwall to learn the de-
tails of the brick business at Haverstraw, N.
Y. He proved himself so capable that, at
twenty, he was placed in charge of a gang of
men for the firm of Peck & Morris, and after
two years in that position he became superin-
tendent for Michael Archer, with whom he
remained three years. He then went to Ver-
planck's Point, N. Y., as foreman for Mr.
Reed, and later worked for a short time for
Francis Timony. Returning to Cornwall, he
engaged in boating for a year, and then be-
came foreman for Mr. Chambers, at New
Windsor, Orange countj'. About 1865, Mr.
Mead leased a brick yard at Dutchess Junc-
tion, and in four years there he made $24,000.
He sold his lease and purchased a farm near
Fishkill, which he improved, building a fine
residence and other structures. But farm life
was too quiet for one of his active tempera-
ment, and he resumed the business of brick-
making, leasing from Thomas Aldrich the yards
at Low Point, which he bought ten years la-
ter. The property includes eighty-two acres,
and the plant covers one acre. Mr. Mead
turns out about 5,000,000 second-class brick



062



COMMEMORATIVE BIOORAPHIC'AL RECORD.



per year, disposing of them mainlj' in New
York City. His fortune is now estimated at
$50,000, and his integrity and able manage-
ment have won for him a high standing in
business circles.

On August 4, 1858. Mr. Mead was united
in marriage with his first wife, Miss Mary A.
Flood, a native of Orange county, who died
March 14, 1884, leaving si.\ children: Hen-
rietta married Mose Collier; Alvaretta is the
wife of Jerome Walsh, a brick manufacturer;
Harry C. is engaged in the same business at
Low Point; James A. (the name given her at
baptism), the third daughter, married Frank
Collier; and Thomas A. and Sebastian are both
engaged in brick manufacturing. In Decem-
ber, 18S7, Mr. Mead formed a second matri-
monial union, his present wife being Mary
Knapp, a native of Putnam county. Three
children were born of this marriage: I^alph,
Mabel and James V. Mr. Mead has made a
point of giving his children a strict business
training. The family are members of the
Methodist Church, and Mr. Mead takes a
prominent part in all movements of public im-
portance, giving his influence in political
affairs to the Ivepublican party.



BICHARD P. KETCHAM, prominent
among the business men of Dutchess

county for a quarter of a century, has been
closely identified with the history of Dover
Plains, while his name is inseparably connected
with its financial records. The banking inter-
ests are well represented in him, for since 1884
he has been cashier of the Dover Plains Na-
tional Bank. A man of keen discrimination
and sound judgment, his e.xcellent manage-
ment has brought to the concern with which
he is connected a high degree of success. He
is a native of Dutchess county, born at Pough-
keepsie in 184S.

Amos Piatt Ketcham, his paternal grand-
father, was born at Huntington, Long Island,
where his early education and training were re-
ceived, and in his younger years he was en-
gaged in agricultural pursuits. On September
9, 181 1, he married .Miss Anna R. Piatt, who
was born in Huntington, November 26, 1793,
and they became the parents of five children:
Esther, Alonzo, Zophar P., Andrew J. and
Rebecca.

Andrew J. Ketcham, the father of our sub-
ject, was born in Poughkeepsie in 18 19. After



his graduation he began his banking career by
entering the Farmers and Manufacturers Bank
of Poughkeepsie, and after serving there for
some years as teller and bookkeeper he was
called to Saugerties, Ulster Co., N. Y. , where
he organized the first bank in that place, called
the Ulster Bank. After placing that institu-
tion on a sound financial basis, he started the
Saugerties Bank in the same village, which is
now a tiourishing institution. In 1865 he left
Saugerties and came to Dover Plains, N. Y.,
as cashier of the Dover Plains National Bank,
where he served for twenty years. From this
position he resigned in 1885, and moved to
Poughkeepsie, N. Y. , his native city. After
his retirement from active work for one year
he was called to the presidency of the Pough-
keepsie Bank, in which capacit)' he served for
two years, leaving the institution one of the
soundest in the State. He is now living in re-
tirement in the city of his birth and business
successes. He was twice married, his first
union being with Miss Sarah Anderson, daugh-
ter of Capt. N. L. Anderson, of Rondout, Ul-
ster Co., N. Y. , and to them were born six
children: Andrew, Richard P., Annie, Gold-
ing, John and Gaston. The mother of these
children died in 1S74, and sometime afterward
Mr. Ketcham married Miss Frances Cowles, of
Stamford, Delaware Co., N. Y. , and to them
has been born a son, Charles, who, after his
graduation from the River View Military
Academy, entered the First National Bank of
Poughkeepsie, where he is now one of its best
bookkeepers.

Richard P. Ketcham, the subject proper of
this review, was educated in the Claverack
Military Academy, and after graduating from
that institution became bookkeeper in the Im-
porters and Traders Bank of New York City.
In their employ he continued for some time, re-
signing in order to accept his present position
with the Dover Plains National Bank. Dur-
ing his residence here he has attested his emi-
nent and pronounced ability as a financier, and
he is probably equally prominent in social life.
In 1873 Mr. Ketcham married Mrs. Mary E.
(Dutcher) Peters, widow of George H. Peters,
of Pleasant \'alley, N. Y., daughter of Egbert
and Maria Dutcher, of Dover Plains. One
child graces this union, Grace Dutcher, who
was born at Dover Plains, and was educated
at Linden Hall, Poughkeepsie.

The Dutcher family is of Holland origin,
but for many generations its representatives



COMMEMORATIVE BIOORAPHICAL RECORD.



603



have resided in Dutchess county, where
Christopher Dutcher, the great-great-grand-
father of Mrs. Ketcham was born September
29, 1747. He acquired his education in the
common schools of the county, and later de-
voted his time to agricultural pursuits, his farm
comprising what is now the village of Dover
Plains. He married Mary Belding, who was
born in 1751, and they had seven children,
whose names and dates of birth are as follows:
Christopher, 1768; Mary, 1769; Jane, 1770;
Lawrence, 1773; Silas, 1776; Elizabeth, 1779;
and Cornelius, 1789.

Lawrence Dutcher, the fourth child of that
family, was the great-grandfather of Mrs.
Ketcham. He was born on the old homestead
at Dover Plains, and was educated in the
schools of the township. He succeeded to the
farm of his father, which he conducted until
his death. He was united in marriage with
Miss Elizabeth Nase, in the same place, and
they had two children: Belding, born August
9, 1793; and Rachel, born in 1791. After the
death of his wife he wedded Miss Mary \\'aldo,
and they became the parents of eleven chil-
dren, whose names and dates of birth were as
follows: Rensselaer, 1795; Silas, 1797; T.
Waldo, 1798; Cornelius N., 1802; Jerome,
1S04; Elizabeth, 1S06; Hannah, 1809; Jane,
1 8 1 1 ; Armelia, 1 8 1 3 ; Maria, 1 8 1 5 ; and Charles,
1817.

Belding Dutcher, the grandfather of Mrs.
Ketcham, obtained a good education in the
common schools, and remained upon the fam-
ily homestead during his entire life. He took
quite a prominent part in military affairs, and
became major in the State militia. He was
joined in wedlock with Miss Maria Hurd, and
to them were born five children: Egbert,
Allen H., Elizabeth J., William H. and
Thomas N.

Egbert Dutcher, the oldest of this family,
was born at Dover Plains, Dutchess county,
in 18 14, and was educated in the public schools
of the neighborhood. After reaching manhood
he became quite prominent in the Masonic
Order. He was united in marriage with Miss
Maria Soule, daughter of Henry and Abigail
Soule, farming people of the town of Dover.
Mr. Dutcher continued to live upon a part of
the old homestead, where were born his two
children: Mary E., the wife of our subject;
and Walter E. , who was educated in the
Cazenovia Seminary, at Cazenovia, kladison
Co., N. Y. He became connected with the



banking firm of Opdyke & Co., of New York,
where he held the position of bookkeeper for
three years, or until his death in 1874.



N; ICHOLAS ALLEN, a prominent and in-
^ fluential citizen of the village of Hibernia,

town of Clinton, Dutchess county, was born
in the town of W^ashington, that county, June
14, [840. His father, William N. Allen, was
a native of the town of Pleasant Valley, Dutch-
ess county, born April 6, 1806, and died in
1885, and was the second in order of birth in
the family of four children born to Nicholas
and Mary (Carpenter) Allen. Grandfather
Allen was also born in Pleasant Valley town,
about 1750, and died in i860; his wife died
some three years before him. Many years of
his life were passed in the operation of his
farm, in his native town, and he also lived in
the town of Washington on a farm which he
owned there. He was one of the heroes of
the Revolutionary war, and a consistent Chris-
tian, a member of the Presbyterian Church.

In the town of Pleasant \'alley, William
N. Allen was united in marriage with Miss
Helen Ketcham, a daughter of Israel Ketcham,
who was born September 5, 1802, and they
became the parents of five children: Ann
Maria; Sarah, wife of Charles Smith; Nicholas;
James Henry and John W. After his mar-
riage the father removed to a farm in the town
of Washington, near Hibernia, which he con-
tinued to cultivate and improve during the
rest of his life, his death occurring in 1885;
his wife had passed away in 1S66.

Nicholas .Allen, whose name introduces this
sketch, acquired a substantial and practical
education in the schools of the town of Wash-
ington, one of his teachers being Judge Guern-
sey, and was well fitted for his subsequent ca-
reer. After completing his school life, he
assisted his father in the management of the



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