J.H. Beers & Co.

Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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is also a photographer, of Wilmington, Del.
The parents were both members of the Con-
gregational Church, and in Kent, Conn., the
father followed farming and merchandising.
His political affiliations were with the Whig
party. His death occurred in the town of
Washington, Dutchess county, October 17,
1848; his wife died August 14, 1879.

Hiram T. Beecher was reared to rural life
on the farm in Kent, Conn., and after attend-
ing the academies in that place and at Sharon,
Conn., entered a law office where he studied
for some time. F"or three years he was then
employed as clerk in a general store in Kent,
and the following year was engaged in farm-
ing in the town of Northeast, Dutchess county.
In 1846, in connection with a brother, he
operated a farm in the town of Washington,
Dutchess county, which he continued to culti-
vate until April, 1867, when he purchased his
present farm of ninety-three acres.



On December 20, 1848, Mr. Beecher was
married to Miss Mary White, who was born
in the town of Washington, Dutchess county,
December 25, 1822, and is a sister of Mrs.
Hannah Brings and of Mrs. Catherine Kinney.
Mr. and Mrs. Beecher are widely and favorably
known throughout the county, and their circle
of friends is only limited by their circle of ac-
quaintances. For many years he has preached
nearly every Sunday at various places in the
county, and wasthe first to hold Sunday serv
ice at the county alms house, where he preached
for about eleven years. He has officiated at
many funerals and Church gatherings of all
kinds, and his influence for good is widely felt.

Abraham Beecher, the great-grandfather of
our subject, was a native of Connecticut. He
married Desire Tolls, and they had a family of
nine children, two of whom are yet living, and
Abraham, the grandfather of Hiram T., was
one of the oldest in the family.

m ZARIAH CORNWELL is the proprietor

£fk^ of a good farm located pleasantly in the
town of Beekman, Dutchess county, and to its
cultivation and fmprovement of which he has
devoted his time for a period of over forty- four
years, and now has one of the most highly
productive places in the locality. He pur-
chased his land of the Vandeburgs, and since
it came into his possession has labored unceas-
ingly to make it the valuable farm which we
to-day find it.

The early home of Mr. Cornwell was also
in the town of Beekman, his birth having there
occurred May 19, 181 5, and he is a son of
Thomas Cornwell, who was there born in
1778, and died in 1856. James Cornwell,
the grandfather, was born on Long Island,
but was brought to the town of Beekman
by his father when only two years old.
The latter, who bore the name of Richard
Cornwell, obtained his farm from Henry Beek-
man, the deed for which is still in the posses-
sion of our subject, and is dated 1728. He
became one of the pioneer settlers of this re-
gion, and cleared his land of all those obstruc-
tions usually encountered by the pioneer
farmer. Upon that farm almost the entire life
of James Cornwell was passed. He married
Rachel Dennis, a native of the town of Beek-
man, and they became the parents of five chil-
dren: Richard, Thomas, James, Letitia and

Thomas Cornwell was reared on this farm,
attending the district schools of the neighbor-
hood, and on reaching years of maturity re-
ceived a portion of the old home farm, where
his death occurred. He married Miss Annie
Crandall, daughter of Azariah Crandall, and
by their marriage seven children were born,
namely: Amanda, who died in the winter of
1896, at the age of eighty-five years; Harvey,
deceased; Azariah, of this review; Rachel, de-
ceased; Sarah, of Chicago; Olive, wife of
Elnathan Miller; and Richard, deceased. The
mother of these children, who has also passed
away, was an earnest Christian woman, a
member of the Baptist Church.

The education of our subject was acquired
in the Gardner Hollow district school, and he
remained under the parental roof until his
marriage, which was celebrated in the town of
Beekman on May 22, 1844, Miss Delia N.
Peters, adopted daughter of James Peters, be-'
coming his wife. The first vote of Mr. Corn-
well was in support of the Whig party, and he
is now identified with the Republican party,
whose principles he most firmly advocates. In
religious belief he is a Baptist, with which
Church he has been connected for many years,
and he is one of the most reliable and consci-
entious men of the community. For sixteen
years he served as commissioner of highways,
filling that office to the satisfaction of all con-
cerned, and the bridges which he constructed
after the freshet of 1857 are still standing and
in general use.


OHN HENRY FINK. Among the enter-
prising and wide-awake citizens of Ame-
nia, Dutchess county, whose place of
birth was the far-away German Fatherland,
and who are rapidly progressing toward that
financial condition so much coveted by all, is
the subject of this personal history. He was
born in Bavaria on the Rhine, November 25,
1843, and is a son of John H. Fink, a stone
mason by trade, who died when John Henry
was between two and three years old.

In his native land our subject received his
education, and learned the shoemaker's trade
at Edenkoeben, the place of his birth, com-
pleting his three-years' apprenticeship at the
age of seventeen years. He then traveled for
a few years in France, Prussia, and other
parts of the German Empire, and in 1866
sailed for America. He first located in Ham-



ilton street, Brooklyn, N. Y., remaining there
and in the vicinity for two years, and since
1868 has been a resident of Amenia. For five
years he worked at his trade where the bicy-
cle repair shop now stands, and then re-
moved to a biiiidinj::; where he conducted busi-
ness until 1880, at which time he came to his
present store. He is now the owner of the
buildings running from his corner store down
past and including the old Methodist Episco-
pal Church, with the exception of one. He
manufactures and carries a full line of boots
and shoes, and also handles cigars, tobacco,
toys, etc.

Mr. Fink is a self-made man, having ac-
quired all his property through his own enter-
prise, perseverance and untiring labor, sec-
onded by a strong determination to succeed.
He is a man of genuine worth, enjo3'ing the
respect and confidence of his neighbors, and
since casting his first vote, after his arrival in
Amenia, he has used his right of franchise in
support of the men and measures of the Re-
publican party.

In the fall of 1869, at .Amenia, Mr. Fink
wedded Mary Leubsdorph, who died August
22, 1870. In that village he was again mar-
ried, his second union being with Katherine
Pfahl, and they have two sons: — J. Henry and
George, who compose the firm of Fink Broth-
ers, now engaged in the butcher business. On
January 28, 1895, they bought out the busi-
ness formerly conducted by Joseph Field.
The elder son is now connected with Amenia
Lodge No. 672, F. & A. M.

JOSEPH D. COLEMAN, a prominent agri-
culturist and produce dealer of Stanford-
ville, Dutchess county, was born July 14,
1820, in the town of Stanford. His family
have long been firm adherents of the Quaker
faith, and in early times suffered the persecu-
tions common to its followers. His great-
grandfather Coleman came from England,
and settled on Nantucket Island early in the
eighteenth century. His grandfather, Jethro
Coleman, was born there, but came to Dutch-
ess county previous to the Revolutionary war,
and settled on a farm about two miles south-
east of Stanfordville. He was twice married;
his first wife died leaving a daughter of the
same name, since deceased. His second wife
was Deborah Russell, by whom he had four

children: Benjamin, Joseph R., .Annie and

Benjamin Coleman, our subject's father,
spent his life in the same locality, attending
the district schools in his youth, and succeed-
ing to the old homestead in later years. He
married Sara Dean, daughter of Jonathan
Dean, a well-known resident of Pleasant Val-
ley. Si.x children were born of this union:
William, Mary, Joseph D., Edward, George,
and Robert, of whom the only survivors are
our subject, and George, now a resident of

Joseph D. Coleman received his early edu-
cation in the district schools near his home
and in the Nine Partners Boarding School in
the town of Washington. He was married in
1847, to Miss Anna Carpenter, also a descend-
ant of a highly-esteemed Quaker family. Her
grandfather, Samuel Carpenter, was born in
Dutchess county, April 22, 1763, and spent
the greater part of his life farming in the town
of Stanford, where he died November 5, 1844.
He married Susanna Carpenter, with whom
he spent fifty years and nine months (lacking
two days) of happy wedded life. They had
eight children, whose names with dates of
birth are as follows: Israel, June 2, 1783; Anne,
September 24, 1788; Samuel, October 4, 1790;
George, March 6. 1792; Isaac, December 16,
1794; Elias, November 27, 1796; Amy, Janu-
ary 17, 1799, and Daniel S., October 13,
1800. The last named, Mrs. Coleman's fa-
ther, was born and educated in Westchester
county, and in early manhood came to the
town of Stanford, and engaged in agriculture,
first at the home farm, but later at the present
home of our subject, where he died October 24,
1873. He married Phcebe Hull, daughter of
Henry Hull, a well-known resident of that lo-
cality. She was born November 24, 1803,
and died May 21. 1856. Four children were
born of this marriage: Henry Hull, May 16,
1825; Sarah, June 22, 1827, who died in child-
hood; Anna (Mrs. Coleman), January 3, 1829,
and Caroline, born August 10, 1836, died June

7. 1843-

Mr. Coleman took his bride to the old
homestead on his marriage in 1847, but ten
years later he sold the place and moved to the
farm at Stanfordville, where he built his pres-
ent residence. His wife died November 24,
1890, leaving one daughter, Cora E., who
married Isaac S. Traviss. and has two chil-
dren — F"lorence and J. Coleman Traviss. Our

\ JTt^-^r-^^



subject's integrity, enterprise, and fine discre-
tion in business matters give him a high stand-
ing in the community. For many years he
has dealt extensively in hay and straw, in ad-
dition to his management of his estate. He is,
like his forefathers, a Hicksite Quaker. Since
the organization of the Prohibition party he
has voted their ticket, being at first one of two
voters in the township. He has never sought
or held public office.

Among the enterprising and prosperous
farmers of the township of Amenia, Dutch-
ess county, who thoroughly understand the
vocation which they follow, and are there-
fore enabled to carry on their chosen occupa-
tion with profit to themselves, are the brothers
whose names introduce this sketch. They are
now actively engaged in agricultural pursuits
and the milk business in the township which
has always been their home, and where they
are both widely and favorably known.

The founder of the family in this country
was Peter Klein, a native of Germany, who
left the Fatherland about 1752 or 1753, and on
reaching the shores of the New World first
located at Rhinebeck, Dutchess Co., N. Y.,
but in 1760 removed to the farm now known
as the E. E. Cline place, in the town of
Amenia, between South Amenia and Amenia
Union. He was a " redemptioner, " serving
his time for his passage to this country.

He left one son, John Cline, who was born
at Rhinebeck in 1756, and died in the town of
Amenia in 1845. There he acquired his educa-
tion and on the home farm where he was
reared he spent his entire life, engaged in
farming. He married Lucy Phillips, and they
became the parents of nine children, whose
names and dates of birth are as follows:
Betsey, September 25, 1784; Peter, February
20, 1787; Allen, December 9, 1788; Philo,
November 6, 1791; Asenath, October 26,
1793; Clarissa, January 12, 1796; Ebenezer
H., April I, 1798; Polly, April 26, 1801; and
Julia B. , March 30, 1S03. Of this family,
Asenath lived to an advanced age, dying April
I, 1891.

I^hilo Cline, the fourth in order of birth,
is the father of our subjects. Upon the old
home farm in the town of Amenia he was
reared, attending the district schools of the
neighborhood, and completing his education

in a select school at Sharon, Conn. Owing to
an accident which injured his foot in his
younger days, he was unable to do active farm
work, and about 1824 erected the store build-
ing at South Amenia now occupied by M. F.
Winchester, where he engaged in the mercan-
tile business until 1838, when he sold out. In
1840 he purchased the farm which is still
occupied by his son Franklin, and there lived
up to the time of his death, which occurred
December 26, 1864. In his daily life and
action he was ever genial and affable, winning
many friends and the respect of all. In
politics he was first a Whig and later a Repub-
lican, and efficiently served as supervisor of
his town. In the town of Amenia in February,
1827, he married Miss Harriet Swift, daugh-
ter of Moses Swift, who died April 9, 1838, at
the age of seventy-three years. Mrs. Cline
was ijorn September 24, 1796, and departed
this life April 11, 1861. The only children
born of this union were our subjects.

Albert Cline was born on the home farm
in the town of Amenia, Dutchess county, March
3, 1828, and after finishing his education in
the district schools and the Amenia Seminary,
for one year was employed as clerk in the store
of Judah Swift, at South Amenia. After his
marriage, in connection with his brother, they
engaged in milling until the spring of 1866, at
which time he bought his present farm and
residence, where he has since turned his atten-
tion to farming and the milk business.

On September 15, 1852, in Amenia, Albert
Cline was united in marriage with Eliza S.
Reed, who was the adopted daughter of Philo
Reed, and died January 18, 1872, at the age
of forty-one years. Four children graced this
union, namely: (i) Hattie A., born June 13,
1854, is the wife of Franklin Baylis, of Syra-
cuse, N. Y. , and they had si.\ children — Albert
C, Walter F., Eliza G., Clara R., Helen S.,
and Freddie, who died in infancy. (2) Philo
R. , born December 7, 1S55, married Grace
Collins, by whom he has one son — Albert C. ,
born September 12, 1892, and they make their
home at Millerton, N. Y. (3) Charles A.,
born November 22, 1857, married Fay Sher-
man, daughter of S. W. Sherman, by whom
he has a son — Charles S., born December 22,
1891, and they also live at Millerton. (4)
Maria E., born September i, i860, is the wife
of Walter A. Sherman, and they have five
children — Agnes, Walter, Helen, May and
Howland. Mr. Cline was again married at



Amenia, October 30, 1873, his second union
being with S. Rebecca Willson, daughter of
Samuel T. and Emeline (Sornborgen Willson.
A native of Dutchess county, her father was
born at Smithfield, October 3, 1803, and died
December 3, 1889.

The first vote of Albert Cline was cast in
support of the Whig party, but since the organ-
ization of the party he has been a stalwart
Republican, and in 1885 and 1886 served as
supervisor of the town of Amenia. Socially,
he is connected with Amenia Lodge, No. 672,
F. & A. M. His estimable wife is a member
of the Presbyterian Church at South Amenia.

Franklin Cline was born July 17, 1831, and
also spent his boyhood days in the town of
Amenia. His primary education was obtained
in the district schools, and in 1848 was a stu-
dent in the Nine Partners Boarding School.
He has always turned his attention to agri-
cultural pursuits, and, beside his general farm
work, is also successfully engaged in the milk
business. In the town of Stanford, Dutchess
county, on October i, 1856, he married Lydia
A. Sackett, daughter of John Thompson Sack-
ett, and they became the parents of two chil-
dren: Guernsey Sackett, born April 30, 1858;
and Maria L., who was born December 16,
1 86 1, and is now the wife of Frank M. Buck,
an attorney at law of Mount Vernon, N. Y.,
by whom she has two children — Franklin Cline
and Helen H. Like the other members of the
family, Mr. Cline has been a lifelong Repub-
lican, and he has ably served as assessor of
his town.

As representative farmers of the town of
Amenia, the entire lives of the Cline brothers
have been of unusual activity and industry,
and they well deserve the high regard in which
they are held by their fellow citizens.

and influential farmer of the town of

Pine Plains, Dutchess county, was born Octo-
ber 23, 1848, just across the creek from where
he now resides, on the old Thomas homestead,
and is a worthy representative of prominent
Colonial families. On that farm his father,
Hiram Thomas, was born in 1804. W'hen but
an infant, the grandfather, Edward Thomas,
was brought to Pine Plains by his mother, and
he became one of the successful farmers and
leadmg men of the community. He married
Anna Landon, a daughter of Jonathan and

Isabella (Graham) Landon, and to them were
born seven children: Arabella (who married
Simeon Culver), Walter, Samuel, John, Rich-
ard, Hiram and Mary.

The founder of the Landon family in
America was Nathan Landon, who was born
in Herefordshire, England, near Wales, and
sometime prior to November 20, 1668, lo-
cated at Southold, Suffolk Co., N. Y.,
where he died March 9, 1718, and his
wife, Mary, in 1701. They had three sons:
Nathan, James and Samuel. The last named
became quite prominent, serving as justice of
the peace from 1764 until 1775, was judge of
common pleas for his county, and wielded a
strong influence in courts and conventions.
He was born May 20, 1699. married May 26,
1 72 1, Bethia Tuthill, by whom he had six sons
and four daughters; he died January 21, 1782,
probably at Guilford, Conn., where many Long
Islanders had taken refuge during the Revolu-
tion. His wife, Bethia^ Tuthill (Henry, ' John,'
Henry'), belonged to the Tuthill family of
Sandringham, county of Norfolk, England (she
was a descendant of Wm. Kinge, of Salem,
Mass., of William Wells, Gent., and of Bar-
nabas Horton, of Southold). Their youngest
son was Jonathan, born at Southold October
30, 1743; he died at Northeast, Dutchess
county, in 1815. He was a stanch patriot
during the Revolutionary war, dividing his
time between civil and military service. He
was a member of the Provincial Convention
of New York in 1775-76-77; member of the
Council of Safety, 1777-78; State Senator,
1777-1779; major of Dutchess County Militia
in 1775, and lieutenant-colonel in 1778 under
his brother-in-law. Col. Morris Graham. He
was, likely, Dutchess county clerk for some
years. ["Southold Town Records;" "New
York Civil List;" "Archives of the State of
New York;" Revolution: "Journal of the
Provincial Convention," and "J. H. Smith's
Dutchess Co. His."]

The Graham family trace their ancestry
back to James Graham, Marquis of Montrose,
who was born in 161 2, and died in Edinburgh,
Scotland, in 1650. His son, John Graham,
was the father of James Graham, who came to
the New World about 1700, was Attorney
General of the Province of New York, and
died January 21, 1701. His children were
Augustine, May, Sarah, Margaret, John and
Isabella, the latter of whom married Hon.
Lewis Morris, the first Provincial Governor of



New Jersey, and they had a daughter, Ara-
bella. The next in direct line is Augus-
tine Graham, and his son, James, married
his cousin, Arabella Morris, by whom he had
the following children: James, Augustine,
Lewis, Charles, Morris, John, Arabella and
Isabella. James was killed by a fall; John,
the youngest brother, served as a scout under
Gen. Washington in Westchester county. The
others were all active in the service of their
native land: Augustine was a lieutenant;
Charles was a captain and a member of the So-
ciety of the Cincinnati; Lewis and Morris were
both colonels and both members of the Pro-
vincial Convention — Lewis from Westchester
county, Morris from Dutchess. [Year Book
of the " Society of the Cincinnati;" "Dutchess
County History;" " Bolton's Westchester His-
tory;" "Journal of the New York Provincial

The second son, Augustine, was the father
of James Graham, who married Elizabeth
Thompson, a daughter of Judge Jesse Thomp-
son, and their daughter, Julia, married George
Coventry. Isabella, the daughter of James
and Arabella (Morris) Graham, married Jona-
than Landon, their marriage license being
issued December ii, 1771, and to them were
born five children: (i) Richard, born in
1772. (2) Arabella, born in 1773, married,
about 1789, Amos^ Ketchum (Joseph,^ Na-
thaniel,- Joseph 1), by whom she had sev-
en children; she died in 1803, in Saratoga
county. (3) Mary, born July 3, 1775, married
John Church, and died May 30, 1850. (4)
Anna, born in 1771, was the wife of Edward
Thomas, the grandfather of the subject of our
sketch; she died in 183S, aged si.xtj'-seven
years. (5) Rebecca, born March 15, 1783, died
November 19, 1844. ["Partial Record of
the Landons of Southold," in N. Y. Gen. and
Biog. Record, Jan., 1897.]

The grandfather of Mrs. Isabella Landon,
Augustine Graham, was surveyor general, and
held a major's commission under the Crown in
1700 in W'estchester county, and a colonel's
commission in Richmond county in 1715 [See
" Bolton's Westchester Co. Hist."; "Colonial
MSS. of the State of New York".] He was a
patentee in the Great Nine Partners Patent of
1697, and also a patentee in the Little Nine
Partners of 1706. His death occurred Octo-
ber 18, 1 719. Morris Graham built the first
house in the village of Pine Plains, now owned
by Isaiah Dibble, and Jonathan Landon built

the house on the hill in the rear of the home
of our subject. The farm owned by Augustine
Graham has always been transmitted by will,
as it has never passed out of the family.

Hiram Thomas, the father of our subject,
was united in marriage with Catherine Coven-
try, of Deertield, Oneida Co., N. Y. , a daugh-
ter of Dr. Alexander Coventry, and they be-
came the parents of five children: Julia, wife
of Dr. Lewis D. Hodgekins, of Ellsworth,
Maine; Jane, wife of John Veile, of Ancram,
N. Y.; Charles, of Pine Plains; Robert M.,
whose name introduces this sketch; and Alice
L. The father followed farming, but was
principally engaged in iron manufacturing, be-
ing part owner of the Ancram Iron Works,
and was also interested in the milling business.
He died in 1880, at the age of seventy-six

The entire life of Robert M. Thomas has
been passed in rural pursuits in the town of
Pine Plains, and from the neat and thrifty ap-
pearance of his place the passerby knows the
owner and manager to be a man of enterprise
and progressive ideas. In politics he is a
strong advocate of the principles promulgated
by the Prohibition party, but formerly was a
Republican, and has served his fellow citizens
as assessor. He is actively identified with all
plans for the social and moral elevation of the
community, and has the respect and confidence
of all who kno^v him.

^ most prominent agriculturists of the town

of Stanford, Dutchess county, and a leader in
local politics, is a descendant of some of the
early settlers of this region, the family having
come originall}' from Holland.

For several generations the homestead of
the family has been at Pine Plains, Dutchess
county, and here our subject's grandfather,
Hugh Knickerbocker, was born, and here he
followed farming for many years, moving later
to Northeast. He married a Miss Stickle, and
reared a family of six children: Peter, \'alen-
tine, John, Nancy, Hugh and William, none of
whom are now living. Hugh Knickerbocker
(2), our subject's father, was born in 1801, and
passed his early life at Pine Plains, attending
the district schools of the neighborhood, later
engaging in farming there and at Northeast,
and in the town of Stanford, leading the quiet
life of a farmer. For many years he was a


member of the New York State Militia. Dur-
ing his residence in Northeast he united with
the Baptist Church, of which he remained a
consistent member until his death in 1882.
He married (first) Miss Mary Payne, of North-

Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoCommemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York → online text (page 141 of 183)