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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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who died in 1S63, in defense of the Union;
Nathaniel, now living in Arizona; Seth, who
died in 1887; Edwin, our subject; Sarah, who
died in 1886; Wesley B. , a farmer in Rhine-
beck; Oscar and DeWitt, who died in youth;
Mary, who died in 1891; and Emma C. , now
living with our subject. The mother died in
1882, and the father six jxars later.

The subject of our sketch was born in the
town of Clinton, November 15, 1844, and at
six years of age he moved with his parents to
his present home. His farm comprises 180
acres of land, well adapted to general farming.
F'or about six years in all, during his earlier
years, he taught school, and he takes great in-
terest in educational progress and in all the
movements of the day, keeping well informed
•on current measures. In politics he is a Dem-
ocrat, and he contributes to the Lutheran
Church, of which his forefathers were ad-

'TLLIAM P. ROE, a well-known dairy-

man and agriculturist of the town of

Fishkill. Dutchess county, residing near Brinck-
erhoff, is one of the most enterprising workers
in his chosen lines.

John Roe, his father, was born June 28,
1792, and followed the occupation of a farmer,
settling upon a farm of about 100 acres in the
town of W'appinger, Dutchess count}-. On
April I, 1849, he married Mary Ann Phillips,
who was born August 26, 1802, in Fishkill,
Dutchess county. To their union one son was
born — William P. Our subject's mother was
a daughter of William I. Phillips (who was
born March 14, 1767, and died July 9, 1839)
and his wife, Elizabeth (who was born Decem-
ber 3, 1774, and died March 14, 1854). The
father of our subject died September 27, 1861;
the mother passing away January 24, 1875.

William P. Roe was born near Flushing,
Long Island, January 29, 1847. Although not
a native of Dutchess county, he come here at
the age of two years with his father, and re-
ceived his education in the district schools of
the town of Fishkill, assisting in the meantime
with the work at home. After leaving school
he devoted his attention to the management of
the farm, to which he succeeded at his father's
death. On September 27, 1861, he married
Miss Elizabeth De Long, daughter of James R.




and Frances (Seaman) De Long, prominent
residents of the town of Beekman. James R.
De Long was the only brother of the Hon.
Charles E. De Long, the most prominent law-
yer on the Pacific coast, and who was ap-
pointed, by President U. S. Grant, United
States minister to Japan, which office he filled
with great honor, his wife being the first Amer-
ican lady introduced to the Mikado of Japan.
In 1877 Mr. Roe sold his farm and moved to
Brooklyn, where he opened a feed, l^our and
grain store, which he carried on for one year;
he then returned to Dutchess county, and
worked for a year on the farm of his father-in-
law. Since that time he has been continu-
ously engaged in agriculture, spending four
years on the estate of George Tabor, of Beek-
man (Mrs. Roe's uncle); three years at Green-
haven on the Peters farm; three years in the
town of Unionvale, on the Peter H. Christie
property; and for the past seven years at his
present location — the farm of 300 acres owned
by \\'. F. Wilson, of New York City. He is
largel}' interested in dairying, keeping, on an
average, about fifty cows, with many young

In politics Mr. Roe is a Democrat, and in
religion inclines to the Methodist Church,
which he and his wife attend. They ha\'e had
ten children: John Franklin, George Bert,
Mary Helena, James Clifford, Charles, Bertha,
Sarah Elizabeth, Edith May, Carrie Elizabeth
and William P., all of whom are living, e.xcept
Charles and Sarah Elizabeth, who died in

Mrs. Roe's paternal great-grandparents
were James and Sally I'Loseei De Long, and
their son Egbert (her grandfather) married
Sarah Crandall, daughter of Reed and Eliza-
beth Crandall. On the maternal side her
grandparents were David N. Seaman and his
wife, Melissa Howard, who was a daughter of
Edward Howard. This David N. Seaman was
sheriff of Dutchess county, serving three years
from 1847.

THEODORE ANTHONY, a representa-
tive agriculturist of the town of Fishkill,
Dutchess county, resides one-half mile from
Fishkill village, upon a farm which has been
in the family for many years. He was born
September 25, 1830, in the house which he
now occupies, and has passed the greater por-
tion of his life there. His education was be-

gun in the public schools of Fishkill, and com-
pleted in the old academy which has given so
many of the clever sons of Dutchess county
their intellectual training. On completing his
course there he began his career as a farmer.
Some years were spent at the homestead, and
then he went to De Kalb county. 111., to im-
prove some prairie land belonging to his father;
but after four years he returned and resumed
his work at the old home. In 1884 he pur-
chased the place, which now contains si.xty-
three acres, mainly devoted to general crops.
He keeps from ten to twelve cows, and is very
successful in his dairy work, and also raises
some fine fruit of various kinds, his apple
orchard being extensive and productive. The
estate is bounded on the north and west by the
lands of Sylvanus Haight, on the east by the
old Albany and New York post road, and on
the south by the property of Sebring Smith
and Charles D. Rogers.

On November 20, 1862, Mr. Anthony mar-
ried Miss Mary T. Phillips, daughter of Isaac
and Cornelia (Tappan) Phillips, and grand-
daughter of John Phillips and his wife Hester
(Van Voorhis). On the maternal side she was
a granddaughter of Major Peter Tappan and
his wife Annie (DeWitt), who was a daughter
of Col. Charles DeWitt of Revolutionary fame,
and Blandina (DuBois), his wife. Major
Peter Tappan was a son of Christopher, who
was a son of the Christopher Tappan, whose
daughter Cornelia married Gov. George Clin-
ton. Mrs. Anthony died November 15, 1884,
leaving no children, and Mr. Anthony was
married October 20, 1894, to her sister. Miss
Cornelia V. Phillips, who lived but a short
time, passing away December 18, 1894. Both
were members of the Reformed Dutch Church,
and were held in high esteem among their ac-
quaintances. Mr. Anthony has also been a
member of that Church for years, and at differ-
ent times has held the office of deacon. Mr.
Anthony is one of the leading workers in local
affairs, and in the Republican organization,
and has held the office of town auditor,
and received the nominations of his party on
various occasions as assessor, highway com-
missioner and collector.

The Anthony family is among the early
comers to this State, and our subject's great-
grandparents, Nicholas and Catherine (Daly)
Anthony, were residents of New York City.
Their son John, our subject's grandfather, mar-
ried Elizabeth Van Wyck, daughter of William



and Martha Carman Van Wjck. William An-
thony, the father of our subject, was born Au-
gust lo, 1798, and became a successful farmer
at the present homestead, owning about 210
acres of land. He was a prominent member
of the Reformed Dutch Church for many years
previous to his death, which occurred November
16, 1879. His first wife. Miss Mary Wright,
was a daughter of Enos and Mary (Woolen)
Wright. She died June 20, 1836, leaving four
children: John W., Theodore, Elizabeth (Mrs.
Abraham G. Remsen, of Plainfield, N. J.), and
Mary, who died at the age of thirty. By a
second wife, Hannah Wright, a sister of the
first, there were also four children: Cornelia,
Sarah A. , Enos and Kate.

JAMES .MADISON WOOD. It is a natural
and praise-worthy interest in our common

humanity that lends to biography its chief
charm to the reader, and there is no life his-
tory from which there may not be some lesson
drawn to enlighten and direct the ine.xper-
ienced, cheer the despondent, or renew the
energy of the weary. Years spent in quiet
usefulness may win honor for gray hairs as
well as those which have been passed under
the public eye, and while no one would de-
tract from the merits of those who gain the
world's applause, faithful attention to the ev-
ery-day duties of life may also show ability and
high purpose.

Our subject's paternal grandparents, Jo-
seph and Elizabeth (Light 1 Wood, were early
settlers, and his father, Joseph I. Wood, was
born September 16. 1783, dying April 2, 1861,
after a life given mainly to agricultural pursuits.
His wife, Rachel Finch, was a native of Croton
Falls. Westchester county, born June 7, 1790,
and her death occurred March 19, 1879.
Our subject was the eldest of five children: the
others being: Martha E., Isaac F., John H.,
and Harvey.

James Madison Wood, who is one of the
oldest and most esteemed residents of Mattea-
wan, Dutchess county, was born in Johnsville,
town of Fishkill, October i, 18 16. His edu-
cation was received at the district school at
Glenham for some years, and he then pursued
the higher branches, including trigonometry
and surveying, in a private school. On at-
taining his majority he left the farm, and
learned the machinist's trade, which he fol-
lowed until 1 8fio, when he engaged in mercantile

business, conducting a general store at Mattea-
wan. In 1869 he disposed of this, and pur-
chased a farm of 800 acres in Louisa county,
V'a., where he remained five years, raising
corn, wheat, oats, and tobacco. Selling this
propert\- in 1S74, he returned to Matteawan
and rented a gristmill, and froni that time un-
til his retirement from business, in 1885, he
was engaged in milling and in dealing in flour
and feed. His sound judgment in business af-
fairs gave him an influential place in local af-
fairs; yet he has never sought public honors.
He voted the Democratic ticket until 1859,
but since that date he has been a Republican.
He married Louisa Rothery, daughter of
John and Mary (Ashforth: Rothery, who were
both natives of England. Her great-grand-
father (on the father's side) was Joseph Roth-
erj-, and her grandfather, John Rothery, was
the originator of the Rothery files, known all
over the world. Her maternal grandparents
were William Ashforth and his wife, Ann Clay,
a native of Chesterfield, England, and a cousin
of the famous American statesman, Henry
Clay. Mr. and Mrs. Wood have had five
children: Mary Ann, who married Moses
Cortland Sanford, of New Jersey; John A.;
Wilfred, who died in infancy; Ida, who died
at the age of eleven; and Lelia, the wife of Al-
bert Townsend, of Peekskill, N. Y. Mr.
Wood has been a member of the I. O. O. F. for
nearly fifty-two years, and is now one of the
two surviving charter members of Evergreen

ILLIAM H. HAIGHT. In his chosen
Ji'V specialties of dairying and horticulture,
the subject of this sketch is regarded as one of
the leaders in his vicinity, and his fine farm,
within sight of the village of Fishkill, Dutchess
county, is one of the best-managed places of
its kind.

For several generations the home of his
family has been at Phillipstown, Putnam Co.,
N. Y., where his grandfather, Joshua Haight,
was a farmer. Henry W. Haight, our sub-
ject's father, was born there in 1809, and be-
came a farmer and extensive dealer in ship
timber. On November 7, 1829, he married
Jane Mekeel, who was born in 1808, the daugh-
ter of Stephen and Elizabeth (Bell) Mekeel,
and of this union eight children were born:
Sylvanus W., Mary E., Charles B. , Sarah
Jane, John, Phrebe W. , William H. (our sub-



jectj, and Albert. The father died December
20, 1872, and the mother passed away May
15, 1886.

W'ilHam H. Haight was born September
27, 1844, and grew to manhood on the farm
near PhilHpstown, attending the neighboring
district schools in winter and assisting in the
work at home at other seasons. At eighteen
he left school and engaged in business, follow-
ing the occupations of his father. He con-
tinued to conduct the homestead until he was
thirty years old, when he rented a farm for a
few years, and later purchased his present
property, which contains something over 100
acres. He keeps thirty-five head of cattle,
and sells an average of 200 quarts of milk per
day the year round, while a goodl} portion of
his estate is devoted to the raising of fine
varieties of fruit. As a business man he holds
a high reputation, and he is a stockholder in
the National Bank at Matteawan.

Mr. Haight has a pleasant home. His wife,
whom he married February 12, 1881, and
whose maiden name was Mary Nelson, is a
daughter of Justus and Sarah (Nelson) Nelson.
They attend the Methodist Episcopal Church,
and are interested in all efforts for the advance-
ment of morality. Their only son, Harry N.
Haight, is a student in the Union School at
Fishkill. Politically, Mr. Haight is a Repub-
lican, but has not given much time to party
work, especially of late years. While living
at Phillipstown he held the office of commis-
sioner of highways for three years.

CASPER LAWSON, one of the most enter-
prising and prosperous agriculturists of
the town of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county,
was born at Barnegat, Dutchess Co., N. Y. ,
November 22, 1823. His ancestors came from
Holland at an early period, and settled in
Dutchess county. The great grandfather of
our subject, William C. Lawson (who spelled
his name '• Lansink "), wedded the first white
girl born in Dutchess county. She was a Miss
Eighmie, her Christian name being now un-
known. The wedding created wide notice,
and it is said that all the " whites " of Dutch-
ess county attended — not very numerous in
those days, though " Redmen " were plentiful.
His grandfather, Matthew Lawson, was
born in the town of Fishkill, and became in-
terested in several lines of business there.

aside from the management of his small farm.
He married Eleanor Hoffman, a native of
Dutchess county, and reared a family of seven
children. His five sons were all engaged in
boating and in the stone and lime business.
Simeon married Mary Miller; Daniel married
Rachel Weaver; Peter H. (our subject's father)
married Kathline Westervelt; Matthew married
Ann Budd; John M. never married; Elizabeth
was the wife of Thomas Lawson, who was en-
gaged in boating and in the lime business; and
Maria was the wife of John Bower, a shoe-

Peter H. Lawson was born at Barnegat, in
1793, and died there in 1828, his wife surviv-
ing him six jears. She was the daughter of
Caspaurus Westervelt, a native of Dutchess
county, and a descendant of an old Holland-
Dutch family. He owned and conducted a
farm and gristmill, and was a prominent citizen
of the town of Poughkeepsie. Peter Lawson
was an honorable, upright man, whose repu-
tation is a heritage of which his children may
well be proud. He and his wife were devout
members of the Reformed Dutch Church.
They had seven children, two of whom died in
infancy. Elizabeth married John Bishop (now
deceased), then a mason and builder in New
York City, and later a merchant and ferr}'-
man at New Hamburg, where his widow re-
sided until her death in February, 1896; Al-
bert G., a boatman b}' occupation, is now liv-
ing in Brooklyn; Kathline married Benjamin
Dearin, a native of Dutchess county, who en-
gaged in mercantile business in New York
City; and Eleanor married Adam Graham, a
native of Poughkeepsie, and a well-known
merchant and hotel-keeper at New Hamburg;
and Casper (or Caspaurus).

The last named was a mere child when he
lost his parents by death. He attended the
schools of his native place until he was four-
teen, when he began boating on the river, an
occupation which he followed for many years.
On December 15, 1S47, he married Miss Eliza
Nichols, who was born at the present site of
Passaic, N. J., December 12, 1820. Her
father, John Nichols, was a school teacher, and
was an active worker in the Democratic party
in his locality. He and his wife, Ann Masters,
were both natives of England. After his mar-
riage Mr. Lawson moved to New York City
and engaged in a mercantile enterprise with
his brother-in-law, Benjamin Dearin, but soon
resumed his former emploj-ment, which he



continued until 1868. He did an extensive
business in the transportation of brick, having
twenty-two boats under his control. His suc-
cess reflects great credit upon him, as it was the
result of his own exertions and thrifty manage-
ment. Beginning at a salary of five dollars a
month, he worked a long time before he man-
aged to save enough money to buy a boat; but
when this point was reached the purchase of
others from time to time was more easily ac-
complished. As an employer, he is noted for
fair dealing. On June 12, 1868, he bought
his present farm of i 13 acres near Arlington,
where he has since been engaged in general
farming. The estate is among the finest of
that vicinity, and he has barns and other im-
provements of a model kind, and an elegant
and commodious dwelling house. Mrs. Law-
son died January 17, 1893, deeply mourned
by a large circle of friends. She and her hus-
band were for many years prominent members
of the Second Reformed Dutch Church of
Poughkeepsie. Of their seven children six are
still living: Edward W. is the superintendent
of the Fort Lee Ferry, at New York; Casper
N. has been a stone dealer and contractor at
New York, and still resides there; Roberta (i)
died in infancy; Clementine married Henry
Warrall, a farmer near \'assar; Roberta (2) is
at home; Welcome H. married Catherine Wat-
kins, of Fort Lee, N. J. ; Watkins, a lawyer,
is now studying at the farm on account of ill
health; and Mary E. married Walter H.
Bedell, a dentist of Poughkeepsie. Mr. Law-
son has taken an active interest in local poli-
tics, and is a leading Democrat; was appointed
assessor in 1S69, was elected to the same office
in 1870, and has served and is serving as
supervisor, being elected in 1881, 1883, 1896
and 1897.

known throughout Dutchess county, of

which he is a native, is numbered among its
best citizens, both socially and financially, and
is especially valued as a large-hearted, public-
spirited citizen, whose enterprise and benevo-
lence have contributed largely to the happiness
and comfort of the people around him. His
homestead is one of the most notable in the
town of Beekman, for the thrift and comfort
which surrounds it, and the evidence of enter-
prise, taste and skill.

Mr. Skidmore was born April 15, 1831, in

the town of Beekman, receiving his education
chiefly at the district schools of the neighbor-
hood. On December 26, 1856, he married
Miss Ruth Moore, daughter of Alfred and Char-
lotte (Haverland) Moore, both born in 1806,
in Dutchess county, where they were respect-
able farmers. They had four children who
lived to maturity: Lydia (now Mrs. Willetts),
residing on Long Island; Ruth (Mrs. Skidmore);
Susan, a maiden lady residing at the old home
at Moores Mill, proprietress of the "Floral
Home" boarding house; and Alfred H., mar-
ried, and making his home at the old farm,
running the mills. Alfred Moore, the father
of these, was a son of Stephen Moore, who
was also a native of Dutchess county, and op-
erated the old Moore Mills, formerly known as
the Oswego Mills. The family have been
members of the Society of Friends for several
generations back, and Mrs. Skidmore's father
was a preacher in that sect. He died in 1879,
the mother in 1892. Four children have
blessed the union of our subject and his wife,
viz.: Elizabeth (deceased); Alfred M. ; and
Jesse and Susie (both deceased). Of these,
Alfred M., the only survivor, was born Octo-
ber 10, i860, and assists his father in the con-
ducting of the farm. He is a Republican in
politics, and has frequently been urged by his
friends to run for oflice, but prefers to devote
his time to agricultural pursuits. On the home
farm are buried the parents of Benson J. Los-
sing, the historian.

An earnest Christian gentleman, our sub-
ject is a member in good standing of the So-
ciety of Friends, which organization is opposed
to warfare; yet during the Civil war he was
the first in his section to be drafted; he was
rejected, however, on account of physical dis-
ability. In politics he is a Republican, has
ever taken a commendable interest in the wel-
fare of his native county, and has capably
filled several minor offices of his town, dis-
charging his duties to the satisfaction of all.
Socially, he is a charter member and treasurer
of Sylvan Lodge, of the Grange, which was
organized in the town of Beekman, in Decem-
ber, 1896.

Jesse Skidmore, the father of our subject,
was born in the town of Unionvale, in 1796.
By his marriage with Sarah Akin, daughter of
Peter Akin, of the town of Pawling, in this
county, he had four children: Peter Akin,
Elizabeth, Abigail and Andrew. The daugh-
ters died in early life; Andrew is now living


i^^cA^ ^ ^/UcA^£^



on a farm in Beekman, near the homestead,
and has no children. The father engaged in
farming on the farm now owned by his son,
Peter Akin, until advanced in life, when he re-
moved to Poughkeepsie, where he died in 1862.
He was a lifelong member of the Society of
Friends, as were his ancestors.

Andrew Skidmore, grandfather of our sub-
ject, was born on the Skidmore homestead, in
the town of Union vale, in 1797, and died in
1852. He was a man of great physique,
weighing over 2S0 pounds. He married Eliza-
beth Clapp, and they had four children: Jesse,
the father of Peter Akin Skidmore; James,
who left no family; Andrew A., and Judith.
The descendants of Andrew A. are James W.
Skidmore, and Jane, who married Cromoling
Dean, all now living in the town of Lagrange.
Judith married Gideon Downing, and has one
daughter living, but no descendants known.

Andrew Skidmore, the great-grandfather of
our subject, whose ancestry came from Hol-
land, was born at Great Xeck, Long Island, in
1748, and died in 18 16. Of his family, of
which we have record: Had a bachelor brother
murdered by a servant; he kept a large stable
of running horses at Great Neck, Long Island.
Had two sisters: Alary, married to Benjamin
Everett, and Phcebe, married to John Colder.
Many of the Skidmore family now living on
Long Island are descendants of this family.
Andrew Skidmore, the great-grandfather,
moved to the town of Unionvale, Dutchess
Co., N. Y. , in the year 171 5," purchased a
large tract of land, through which runs the
Clove creek. On this stream he built a grist-
mill, sawmill, and woolen-mill, these being
the first mills in this section; the gristmill is
now standing, and known as the "Skidmore
Mill." The tract of land is now on£ of the
best in the Clove Valley. Mr. Skidmore mar-
ried Judith Rogers, who was born in 1746,
and died in 1826, and by this marriage had
two sons and three daughters: Andrew, James,
Mary, Phcebe and Abby.

James Skidmore married Elizabeth Rogers,

and they had three sons and two daughters:

Andrew J., Zophar R., Harvey, Elizabeth

and Phoebe. All but Zophar R. and Harvey

moved to the State of Maryland. Harvey

moved to New Jersey; Zophar R. married

Maria Hughes, of Staatsburgh, and lived

(until his death in 1S88) on the Skidmore

homestead in the Clove Valley; they had two

children: James H., and Mary, who married

Charles E. Rogers, who now owns the Skid-
more homestead.

Mary Skidmore married John Rogers, and
resided near Sylvan Lake, town of Beekman;
they had four sons and five daughters: Laban,
Stephen, James, Gilbert, Hannah, Judith,
Phebe, Maria and Ruth. Judith, who married
Samuel A. Doughty, is the only one living.
Phcebe married Nichols Haight, lived and died
near Coffins Summit. The only descendant
living is Sherman Haight, of Mabbettsville,
Dutchess Co., N. Y. Abby married Richard
Betts, of Saratoga county; no record of de-

WILLIAM H. JAYCOX, a leading and
progressive farmer of the town of East

Fishkill, Dutchess county, is a native of Put-
nam county, N. Y. , born in the town of Phil-
lipstown, October 6, 1843, and is of Holland
lineage. His great-grandfather, Isaiah Jay-
co.\, was also a native of Putnam county,
while his grandfather, Thomas Jayco.x, was
born in the town of Phillipstown. There the
latter was reared on a farm, and spent his en-
tire life engaged in agricultural pursuits. In
his family were five children: David, who
was a liveryman at Matteawan, Dutchess

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