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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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Hcmstreet, and the following children were



born to them: Elda, who married Q. F. Shaf-
ford, of the town of Red Hook, Dutchess
county; Charles W. H., our subject; Florence,
who married Frederick Wheaton, of Yonkers.
N. Y. ; George and Henry. The father of this
family was river superintendent of the National
Ice Company.



TT'ALTER D. O. K. STRONG, M. D.
Despite the salubrious air and other
advantages of this favored region, its inhab-
itants have occasional need for the care of a
physician. Among the ablest of the practi-
tioners who minister to the many ills that flesh
is heir to, even under the best conditions, is
Dr. Strong, of Fishkill Landing, Dutchess
county, whose history is well worthy of a
permanent record among those of the leading
workers in professional and other lines.

Dr. Strong was born August 10, 1823, at
Owasco, Cayuga Co., N. Y. , and is remotely
of English descent, his ancestors having crossed
the Atlantic at a very early date. His great-
grandfather, Asher Strong, had his home in
youth in eastern New York, but later settled at
Cooperstown, Otsegocounty. Isaac Strong, the
grandfather of our subject, moved to Owasco,
Cayuga county, about the year 1800, and
engaged in farming and the hotel business.
He married Miss Elizabeth Waterman, of
Cooperstown, and had two daughters and one
son : Walter, the youngest of the trio; Nancy,
the eldest, married Thaddeus Thompson, a
wool dresser and the owner of a mill; Eliza-
beth married E. Clark, a cabinet maker.

Walter Strong, the father of our subject,
was born at Cooperstown, but when one year
old was taken by his parents to Cayuga county,
where he grew to manhood, and naturally be-
came familiar with the details of hotel manage-
ment. For a time he followed the lousiness;
but, choosing the independence of agricultural
life, he located later upon a large farm. In
1833 he traded this for one of 400 acres in
Crawford county, Penn., where he spent about
fifteen years, and then made an exchange for
a hotul and a farm of 100 acres at Jefferson,
Ohio. He died in 1862, and his wife, Sarah
(De V'oe), passed away in 1878. She was of
French descent, and was born in the south-
eastern part of New York, the daughter of Hon.
Elijah De V'oe, who was elected to the Legis-
lature in 1819, and again in 1825. Waiter
and Sarah Strong had eight children: Elijah,



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



08



the eldest, is a prominent resident of Plymouth,
Ohio, and has been mayor of the town, and
has also served for years as justice of the
peace; Malvina, deceased, was the wife of S. C.
Stratton, of Linesville, Penn., a tanner and
currier; W. D. O. K. is our subject; Sarah E.
married Horatio Shattuck, who was a soldier
in the Civil war, and is now deceased; Edwin
T. is a farmer at Jefferson, Ohio; Isaac M.,
who died in 1888, was first a merchant and
later a banker at Bancroft, Mich. ; Cornelia M.,
an artist of note and the painter of the " Elec-
trical Commission" (^which was purchased for
$7,000, and is now in the Capitol at Washing-
ton, D. C), married Samuel Fassett, a pho-
tographer, and resides in Washington; Nancy J.
married John A. Harvey, of Ashtabula, Ohio.

Dr. Strong's boyhood was spent at his na-
tive place, where he received his elementary
education from his grandfather, who was a
teacher. At nineteen he began a business
career as a clerk in a store, but after three
years he engaged in teaching, and gave all his
spare time to the study of medicine. Desiring
further literary education, he attended school
at Kingsville, Ohio, taking an academic course,
and later studied at Auburn, N. Y. He then
taught for a few months, and in 1846 he en-
tered the office of Dr. Benjamin De Voe, an
uncle, to prepare for entrance to the medical
department of Buffalo University, from which
he was graduated April 19, 1849. For one
year he practiced with his uncle, and then, in
1850, located at Sennett, Cayuga Co., N. Y.,
being accompanied to this place by his bride.
Miss Maria Rosa, daughter of Jacob Rosa,
formerly of Hurley, Ulster Co., N. Y. Five
years were spent at Sennett in successful prac-
tice. Dr. Strong serving also as superintendent
of the local schools for two terms. In 1S56
he returned to his old home at Owasco, and
during the winters of 1856 and '57 he attended
a course of lectures upon homeopathy in Phila-
delphia. Resuming his practice at home, he
continued until 1870, when he moved to Mil-
ford, Del., and followed his profession for ten
years. Since 1880 he has been established at
F"ishkill Landing, where he enjoys a large and
lucrative practice, his abilities, developed by
wide experience, gaining the confidence of the
community to a marked degree.

The Doctor is a firm adherent of the Re-
publican party, and is interested, as every in-
telligent citizen should be, in the various pro-
gressive movements of the time. His only



son now living, Edwin E., holds a responsible
position in the First National Bank of Fishkill
Landing, with which he has been connected
for thirteen years. An elder son, Jacob R.,
began practice as a physician in the same town,
but his death in 1892 cut short a most prom-
ising career.



MOOSEVELT. The first of the name to
come to this country was Claas Marten-
son Van Roosevelt, who emigrated from Hol-
land to New York in 1647.

The various members of the family held
prominent positions in New York, and Isaac
Roosevelt was one of the first senators from
that city; one of the framers of the first consti-
tution of the State of New York, when the
Constitutional Convention sat at Poughkeep-
sie; one of the founders and president of the
New York Hospital; the bank of New York,
and various charitable institutions.

James Roosevelt, son of Isaac Roosevelt,
settled at Mount Hope, a country place near
Poughkeepsie, and his descendants have had
homes in the neighborhood of Poughkeepsie
and Hyde Park ever since.

The present James Roosevelt of Pough-
keepsie and Hyde Park, Dutchess county, was
born at New York City, and has interested him-
self in railways, etc; was one of the Govern-
ment Commissioners for the World's Fair held
at Chicago in 1893; is vice president of the
Delaware & Hudson Canal Co.; and holds
various positions of trust.



HENRY PEARCE, M. D., a leading phy-
sician and surgeon of Pawling, Dutchess

county, is one of the best known practitioners
of that locality. As a surgeon he has won an
enviable reputation, and his practice extends
over a wide radius, including the northern por-
tion of Putnam county. His family is one of
the oldest in the town of Pawling, his great-
grandfather, Col. William Pearce, of Revolu-
tionary fame, having come from Rhode Island
during the Colonial period. He must have
been acquainted with Gen. Washington, as the
latter had his headquarters for some time at
the foot of Quaker Hill. Col. Pearce was a
farmer b\' occupation, and owned a tract of land
west of the village of Pawling, now occupied
by Charles Hoag. This has been in the posses-
sion of the family for more than a hundred



64



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



years. By his first wife Col. Pearce had four
children: Henry, Benoni, Ro.\ana and Mary.
Ro.xana married Mr. Hovvland, and went to
Canada, and became the mother of Sir Will-
iam Howland. Mary also married. Col.
Pearce had two sons, William and John, by a
second marriage.

Henry Pearce, our subject's grandfather,
was also a farmer, and lived about three miles
north of Pawling. He married Rebecca Bird-
sell, and reared a family of five children, of
whom our subject's father, Benoni Pearce,
was the eldest. (2) Nathaniel spent his life
at the old homestead, and his excellent natural
abilities made him a leader in the community,
where for many years he held the office of
assessor. He married Julia Ferris, but had
no children. (3) Roxana married Henry Stark,
and lived in Penn Yan, N. Y. (4) Amy mar-
ried Jaleel Billings Stark, a leading merchant
of Pawling. (5) Rebecca married Daniel
Shove, and lived at Wellsburg, New York.

Benoni Pearce was born in 1808, and fol-
lowed farming at Pawling until 1851, when he
moved to a farm of 200 acres at Penn Yan,
where he spent the remainder of his days, his
death occurring there in 1895. Although he
was never an office holder, he took a keen in-
terest in political questions, being a Whig in
early life and afterward a Republican. He
was a devout Methodist, and for many years
was an official in the Church. His first wife
was Mary Ann Stark, a daughter of Benoni
Stark, and after her death, in 1853, he mar-
ried her sister, Rachel. Bj' his first marriage
he had seven children, of whom the Doctor is
the eldest. The others were Lillius H., wife
of A. J. Brown, of Yates county, N. Y.
Jeremiah S., sheriff of Dutchess county
James S. , who lives in Pawling, N. Y.
Charles W., who lives in New York City; Ed-
win M. (deceased); and Elizabeth M., who
married John Gelder, a farmer and grape
grower of Yates county.

Dr. Pearce was born in Pawling, March i,
1833, and received his academic education
there and in the schools of Yates county. In
1853 he entered the Medical Department of
the University of Michigan, and was graduated
with the degree of M. D. in 1857. He began
his professional career at Ulysses, Potter Co. ,
Penn., but after two years there he came to
Pawling to practice. In 1862 he entered the
army as assistant surgeon of the 150th N. Y.
\'. I., with C. M. Campbell. During the



march to Lookout Mountain his horse fell, and
the Doctor was so injured that his left leg had
to be amputated above the knee; although he
was obliged to resign his former position in
the regiment, he remained in the department
until the close of the war. He spent three
years practicing at Carmel, Putnam county,
but finally settled at Pawling, where he has
now been successfully engaged in practice for
nearly thirty years, his business covering a
larger territory than that of any other phy-
sician in that locality. He is also the senior
partner in the firm of Dr. H. Pearce & Co., ,
the leading druggists of Pawling.

The Doctor has been three times married.
His first wife was Sarah Hall, of Pawling.
His second wife, Augusta M. (Stark), daughter
of J. W. Stark, died in 1878, leaving one son,
George Stark Pearce, now a successful phy-
sician at Dover Plains; a daughter, Bessie,
died at the age of four years. In 18S8 Dr.
Pearce married his third wife, Julia (Travis),
of Carmel, Putnam county. The Doctor is an
ardent Republican, and, like all of his family,
is very patriotic and public-spirited. He is a
member of C. W. Campbell Post, G. A. R. ,
and also of the medical societies of Putnam
and Dutchess counties.



ON. JOHN H. KETCHAM. Dutchess
county has possessed and possesses many
prominent citizens ; but in all their number
can be found no one more truly representative,
more widely or actively awake to the interests
of the community at large, than the subject of
this article.

A native of the county, Mr. Ketchain was
born December 21, 1832, in Dover, and is a
representative of one of the oldest families in
eastern New York, being the second son and
child of John M. and Eliza A. Ketcham, of
Dover. His education was received in part at
Suffield, Conn., in part at Worcester, Mass.,
where he was graduated in 185 1. At the con-
clusion of his studies, and on his return to his
native town, he, in partnership with his older
brother, William S., commenced farming, and
the conducting of an extensive marble busi-
ness, which they successfully continued several
years. During this period his fellow citizens,
justly recognizing his ability, which was devel-
oped in an active business life, soon called
upon him to represent his township on the
board of supervisors, and he served two terms.




J^-T^r^^r^Z^.^



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



65



after which he was then sent to the Assembly
for two terms, from which he passed into the
State Senate — his entire career in each of these
responsibilities proving him to be a man worthy
to represent his constituents.

In 1861, at the breaking out of the war of
the Rebellion, Mr. Ketcham was appointed, by
Gov. Morgan, a member of the war commit-
tee for Dutchess and Columbia counties, and
later was commissioned to raise a regiment,
which he did with characteristic zeal and energy,
rapidly filling out his quota with picked men
of Dutchess county, representing for the most
part the best and most intelligent families.
His regiment, the i50thN. Y. V. I., proceeded
first to Baltimore, afterward participating in
the battle of Gettysburg, where it suffered
severely. After recruiting his regiment, and
filling up its sadly depleted ranks. Col. Ketcham
moved his command southwest, joining Sher-
man, and was with him in the memorable
" March to the Sea." While on duty on Ar-
gyle Island, near the mouth of the Savannah
river, our subject received a wound, from the
effects of which he has never fully recovered.
At Atlanta, for meritorius conduct, he was pro-
moted to the rank of brigadier-general by bre-
vet, afterward to brigadier-general, and subse-
quently to major-general by brevet. While
with his command in Georgia, he was nomi-
nated for member of Congress from his Dis-
trict, and was elected by a large majority. He
has since served eleven terms in that office, on
each occasion being nominated by acclamation,
and receiving the support of the people of his
District, irrespective of party, his majorities
being unprecedented in that county. At the
termination of his twelfth term he was tendered
a unanimous renomination, but owing to im-
paired health he respectfully declined further
service.

The great secret of Gen. Ketcham's popu-
larity has always been his untiring and unre-
mitting efforts to promote the interests of his
constituents, irrespective of party. During
the interval of three years when he was not in
Congress, the General was appointed, by Presi-
dent Grant, a conmiissioner of the District of
Columbia, e.\-Gov. Dennison, of Ohio, and
Hon. H. T. Blow, of Missouri Tsince deceased),
being his associates, in which incumbencj' he
served with his usual energy and fidelity for a
period of nearly three years. About the time
of his retirement from the office of District
Commissioner, in 1877, he received letters
5



from a large number of the leading citizens of
the District expressing regret at his resigna-
tion, and testifying to the ability, industry aijd
thoughtful consideration manifested by him in
the faithful discharge of his onerous duties.

On February 4, 1858, Gen. John H.
Ketcham was united in marriage with Miss
Augusta A. Belden, daughter of William H.
and Sarah Belden, of Amenia, Dutchess county,
who were among the earliest and representa-
tive families of the county. Four children
were born of this marriage, of whom, two
sons, Henry and Charles, and one daughter,
Ethel, are living.

Gen. Ketcham is a man of warm impulses,
always ready to help a friend or do a kind act
for a fellow being, and is known and recog-
nized as the poor man's friend. His native
State honors him, and with good reason, for
he is one of her best products — a manly, noble
man in all the relations of life, one who in his
remarkable public career has maintained him-
self with dignity, propriety and honor.



COL. JAMES VANDER BURGH. Among
_ ' those who left the shores of the Old World
for those of the New, and settled very early in
the vicinity of Poughkeepsie, was a family of
Vander Burghs, directly from Holland, and it is
to James Vander Burgh, one of the descend-
ants of these early settlers, that this sketch
more especially refers. Not only was he des-
tined to be named among the noted men of
Dutchess county, but he proved to be one of
the country's most sturdy patriots and defend-
ers. Born in Poughkeepsie, September 4,
1729, we know little or nothing about him un-
til his marriage to Margaret Noxon, in Sep-
tember, 1853, and at this time they lived near
the little hamlet of Poughquag. Seven chil-
dren were born to them, and we read in Van-
der Burgh's diary, thirteen years later, these
words: " 1776, August ye 9 day my wife de-
parted this life. Between the our of 3 and 4
in the morning. Beaing the 8 day from ye
time of her beaing taken sick. " The follow-
ing year he married Helena Clark, and of this
union eleven children were born, among whom
were Federal Vander Burgh, a noted homeo-
pathic physician, who died in Rhinebeck in
1868; Gabriel Ludlow (named after one of the
first vestrymen of Trinity Church, New York),
who married Margaret Akin, of Quaker Hill;



6G



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



and a daughter, Paulina, who married Judge
Albro Akin, of the same place. The latter
had three children: ( i) Albert J., born August
14, 1803, still living, aged ninety-three, mar-
ried Jane Williams, of New York City (no chil-
dren). (2 ) Almira Vander Burgh married
(first) to Joshua Leavitt Jones, and had two
children; married (second) to John Akin Tib-
bits (no children). (3) Helen Maria married
to John W. Taylor, and has two children.

A brief genealogical record of the branch
of the Akin famil}' related to the \'ander
Burghs is as follows: (I) John Akin, born in
Scotland in 1663, emigrated to America about
1680, and settled in Dartmouth, Mass. There
in 1687 he married (first) Mary Briggs, who
was born in Portsmouth, R. I., August 9,
1 67 1, a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Fisher)
I^riggs. Children of this union: (II) David,
Judith, Deborah, Timothy, Mary, Hannah,
Thomas, Elizabeth and James. The mother
of these died, and for his second wife John
Akin married Hannah Sherman, who bore him
six children. (I) John Akin died June 13,
1746.

(II) David Akin, the eldest son of (I) John
Akin, was born September 19, 1689, in Dart-
mouth, Mass., and was there married in 171 1,
to Sarah Allen, also a native of that locality,
and by her had the following named children:
(III) John, Mary, Elisha, Josiah, Abigail,
Sarah, Hannah, James, David and Jonathan.
In 1741 the father of this family moved to
Quaker Hill (formerly called Oblong), where
he died in 1779.

(III) John Akin, eldest son of (II) David,
was born September 15, 1718, at Portsmouth,
R. I., and January 29, 1742, married Marga-
ret Hicks, of Portsmouth, R. I., by which
union children as follows were born: Anna,
Mary, Abigail and (IV) John. The father of
these died April 7, 1779, the mother in Octo-
ber, 1803.

(IV) John, the only son of (HI) John, was
born November 11, 1753, at Quaker Hill, and
December 27, 1775, was married at Pawling,
N. Y. , to Molly Ferris, who was born April
20, 1759, a daughter of Reed Ferris, of Pawl-
ing. Children as follows were born to them:
(V) Albro, Sarah, Margaret. Ann, Daniel and
Amanda. Of these (V) Albro married (first)
Paulina \'ander Burgh, of Beekman (three
children); (second) married Sarah Merritt (no
children); and married (third) Jemima Jacacks
(se\en children). Their son William H. Akin



married (first) Martha A. Taber (two children);
married (second) Sarah Miller (no children).
Albro Akin, son of William H. Akin, married
Emma Reed (two children), and their son,
Albert J. Akin, Jr., was born November 12,
1882.

A brief genealogical record of the branch
of the Ferris or Ferriss (anciently svritten Fer-
rass) family related, as above, to the Akin
famil}', is as follows:

(I) John F'erriss. a native of Leicestershire,
England, a holder of land in several counties
of England, emigrated with his family to Fair-
field, Conn, (there are records showing that
the Ferriss family were in America in 1650),
and afterward, about 1654, removed to New
York State. He is said to have been one of
five brothers who emigrated to this country
with their families, one of whom, Jeffry, lo-
cated first, in 1635, in Massachusetts, later,
in 1660. settling in Fairfield, Conn. Another
brother, Benjamin, settled in Massachusetts
in 1640. (I) John Ferriss died in New York
State in 171 5.

(II) Samuel, son of (I) John, came from
Reading, England, about 1658, it is supposed,
and was one of the first settlers of Groton,
Mass., whence he afterward moved to Charles-
town, Mass. He married Jerisha Reed, and
had one son, (III) Zachariah.

(III) Zachariah was born, it is supposed,
at Pequenock (now Bridgeport), Conn., and
was a Freeman in 1676. In September, 1698
or 1699, he was married to Sarah Reed, of
Stratford, Conn. About the year 17 10 they
moved to New Milford, Conn., and their daugh-
ter, Sarah, was the first female white child
born there. The children born to (III) Zach-
ariah and Sarah (Reed) Ferriss were as fol-
lows; David, (IV) Benjamin, Hannah, John,
Zachariah, Sarah Ann, Deborah and Joseph.
From (III) Zachariah are descended numerous
persons i5f that name in different parts of the
United States.

(IVi Benjamin Ferriss was born -Novem-
ber 10, 1 70S; in 1728 married Elizabeth
Beecher, and in 1730 they moved to Oblong
(now Quaker Hill). Their children were Zeb-
ulon, (V) Reed, Susannah, Phebe, Lillias,
Benjamin, Gilbert and Edmund.

(V') Reed Ferriss was born August 15,
1730. at New Milford, and died at Pawling,
N. Y., in March, 1S04. He married Anne
Tripp, and they lived in Pawling. Their
house was occupied by Washington when the



COMMEMORATIVE BWQRAPHICAL RECORD.



67



American troops were quartered on a hill near
by. The children born to Reed and Anne
(Tripp) Ferriss were: Edmund, Benjamin,
Lydia, (VI) Molly, James. Warren, Pitt, Mor-
ris, Anne and Seneca.

(VI) Molly Ferriss was born April 20,
1759, and married December27, 1775, to John
Akin, of Quaker Hill. She died October 30,
185 I, aged ninety-two years. They had chil-
dren: (VII) Albro, Sarah, Margaret, Ann,
Daniel and Amanda.

(\TI) Albro Akin was born March 6, 1778,
and was married three times, as above related
in the Akin family record.

James \'ander Burgh, the subject proper of
this review, is supposed to have been a son of
John and Magdalen Vander Burgh, of Pough-
keepsie. From a deed in the county clerk's
office of said place, he is given land in Dutch-
ess county, in 1752, when his father died. His
mother and ten children are also m.entioned in
the deed. One of the daughters, Magdalen,
named for her mother, married Clear Everitt.
He it was, no doubt, who built the historic
"Clear Everitt House," still standing on the
main street in Poughkeepsie, and now known
as "Washington Hotel." This house, evi-
dently an hostelry, was the meeting place of
the leading men of the Revolution, Governor
Clinton, Lafayette and Washington being
among its guests. Everitt was at one time
sheriff of the county.

From James Vander Burgh are descended
many of that name, as well as others, who are
scattered in various parts of the United States.
One of his descendants, Edgar H. Vander
Burgh, of Lithgow, Dutchess county, recently
said in a letter to Dr. David W. Vander
Burgh, of Fall River, Mass.: "I had heard
much through Judge Coffin of Colonel Vander
Burgh, of his residence and of his entertain-
ment of Washington in the time of the Revo-
lution, that he (Washington) frequently stopped
there over night on his way from Fishkill to
Danbury on horseback. He used to stop by
the road side near Colonel Vander Burgh's,
and with the bridle reins over his shoulder
draw water from a well sweep and drink. I
had such a reverence for this history that I
went to Beekman with Judge Coffin, and found
the very well, and the timbers of the old man-
sion laid on the wall. We took pieces of it
and some nails with which it was made, and
have them as sacred relics." Another of his
great-grandchildren remembers, when very



young, being taken by an old colored woman,
formerly a slave in Colonel Vander Burgh's
family, to see the old house in ruins. The
woman told her that there was where General
Washington used to visit, and that she remem-
bered seeing him. James Vander Burgh was
commissioned lieutenant-colonel on October
'7' '775' '^nd was made colonel March 10,
1778.

James H. Smith's history of Dutchess
county says: "A short distance northeast of
the hamlet of Poughquag lived, during the
Revolution, Col. James Vander Burgh, an
officer of some prominence in that struggle,"
and from the same source we learn that he
was appointed assessor of the town of Beek-
man in 1772, and, in 1775, supervisor, which
office he held until 1779. This history also
says: " In the New York Provincial Congress
and Convention from 1775 to 1779. inclusive,
when a State government was formed, Dutch-
ess was represented by men of mark, and