J.H. Beers & Co.

Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

. (page 147 of 183)
Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoCommemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York → online text (page 147 of 183)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

agement. He comes under the category of
self-made men, having been thrown upon his
own resources early in life, and has succeeded
only by the exercise of his steady, plodding
labors, both mental and physical. At the
present time he is one of the prominent repre-
sentatives of the agricultural interests of Dutch-
ess county.

Our subject was born April 6, 1818, and his
boyhood days were passed in the town of Beek-
man, Dutchess county, where he attended
school. He remained upon the home farm until
his father's death, when, at the age of seventeen
years, he was obliged to start out in life for
himself. Removing to the town of Lagrange,
he there worked for S. L. Lockvvood until he
was twenty-two. On October 6, 1841, he was
married to Miss Julia Ann Phillips, who was
born August 6, 1824, daughter of Thomas H.
Phillips, of the town of Lagrange, and one
child graced their union, Mary Louisa, born
February 11, 1845, who, on October 10, 1866,
was united in marriage with Frederick L
Knapp, by whom she had two children: John
M. and Effie Beatrice; but she was called from
this life June 9, 1876.

After his marriage Mr. Monfort operated a
farm in the town of I^agrange for a year, after
which he followed the same pursuit in Fishkill
town, Dutchess county, for six years. For
nine years he was then engaged in farming in
the southern part of Lagrange town, and on
the expiration of that time came to this present
farm, which he cultivated for ten years, but
the following five years were passed in Pough-
keepsie, after which he returned to his farm in
Lagrange town, where he has resided since
1874. On October 6, 1891, Mr. Monfort and
his faithful wife celebrated their golden wed-
ding, having traveled life's journey together
for fifty years, sharing with each other its joys
and sorrows, its adversity and prosperity.
They are now well advanced in years, and
have reason to feel that their lives have not
been spent in vain. They have endeavored to
exercise the kindly spirit of charity and benev-
olence, to do good as they have opportunity,
and proved the friends and sympathizers of
those less fortunate.

Henry A. Monfort, father of our subject,
was born in the town of Fishkill, June 25,

1778. On December 2, i8or, he married
Miss Maria Phillips, who was born November
27, 1780, and they became the parents of six
children: Susan, Eliza, Albert H., Aletty
Maria, Jane and John Angevine.

Thomas H. Phillips, the father of Mrs.
Monfort, was a native of Dutchess county,
born in the town of Fishkill, February 4, 1794.
He married Miss Rachel Brower, who was
born January 7, 1794, and they became the
parents of five. children: Mary Ellen, who died
March 25, 1836; Cornelius; Julia \m\; and
Sylvanius and Susan E. , who live on Smith
street, Poughkeepsie.

HORACE JENKS, a prominent agricult-
urist of the town of Northeast, Dutchess
county, is of English descent on both sides of
the family. His paternal grandfather, William
Jenks, was born October 5, 1775, and was for
some time an iron manufacturer on Staten
Island. He came to Dutchess county in 1795,
and located at Leedsville, where he became
interested in the flax business, supplying that
material in large quantities to the North Fac-
tory. He was married November 3, 1795, to
Sarah Mygatt. They died within a year of
each other, Mr. Jenks, May 18, 1824, and his
wife, February 14, 1825. They had nine
children, whose names with dates of birth are
as follows: George, June 24, 1798; Myra,
September 29, 1800; Miles, Ju'ly 30, 1802;
William, February 29, 1804; Luther Pardee,
May 30, 1806; Sally Ann, November iS, 1809;
Thomas M., November 30, 181 1; Edward,
March 29, 1814; and Eli Starr, April 22, 1816.
Miles Jenks, our subject's father, was a man
of great energy, and, although he died in early
life, he had given evidence of unusual ability.
He engaged in the hotel business and in black-
smithing at Leedsville, and during the summers
he also bought and butchered stock. In i S29 he
went to Michigan, where he remained for a
year, purchasing, while there, 1,000 acres of
land in Oakland county. He died September
18, 1836. His wife, formerly Betsey Conklin,
to whom he was married January i, 1824,
survived him until September 30, 1853. Of
their four children our subject is the only one
now living. William H. , born October 26, 1 824,
was a painter in the town of Northeast, where
he died August 22, 1893; Selah N., born Sep-
tember 7, 1829, died January 7, 1893; he was
a merchant in the village of Millerton, and



also a musician and bandmaster, teaching
music throughout the neighboring towns and
villages. Mary Jane, born August 14, 1833,
died August 19, 1884; she married Myron
Pitcher, who survived her nine years, dying
November 2, 1893.

The subject of our sketch, the second son,
was born December 30, 1826, attended the
public schools of Amenia during early boy-
hood, but did not receive much schooling after
the age of nine years. After his father's death
he lived for one year with his uncle, Horace
Conklin, on the farm once owned by the late
Ezra Clark, and now owned by Leonard Bar-
ton. The next two years he spent with Hiram
Wheeler, and in 1838 he accompanied his un-
cle, Horace Conklin, to Binghamton, Broome
Co., N. Y., where he remained four years.
In 1842 he came back to his native county, in
charge of a drove of cattle, belonging to his
uncle, and began to work for Lawrence and
Milton Wheeler on their farm in the town of
Northeast, and later he apprenticed himself to
Daniel Piatt, a well-known mason, for two
years, at three shillings per day.

On completing his term he formed a part-
nership with Mr. Piatt, which lasted five
years, their work extending to different por-
tions of the towns of Amenia and Northeast.
For about seven years after the dissolution of
their partnership Mr. Jenks carried on his
trade alone, and in the spring of 1856 he went
to Davenport, Iowa, and then to Henry Co.,
111., where he engaged in buying and herding
cattle for a short time. Later he went to Pon-
tiac, Mich., and worked at his trade, but in
1857 he returned to Dutchess county. Until
1864 he was a successful drover, buying his
own cattle in Vermont and central New York,
and selling to the farmers in Northeast and
vicinity. He then entered the employ of C.
S. Maltby, as wood and coal agent, supplying
the Phoenix and Millerton iron furnaces. This
responsible position he held for twenty-one
years; but since his retirement he has been en-
gaged in farming in a small way. He is a
man of sound business judgment, noted for
his shrewdness and caution, and his advice is
valued in financial circles. For the past three
years he has been a director of the Millerton
National Bank.

On March 3, 1880, Mr. Jenks was married
to Miss Jennie Lord, a descendant of one of
the old families of the town of Northeast, and
a daughter of Newman and Malinda (Hise-

rodt) Lord, prominent residents of Spencers
Corners. They have one son. Miles Lord
Jenks, born May 14, 1883. Newman Lord
was born November 12, 1808, in the town of
Northeast, Dutchess county, and his wife, Ma-
linda (Hiserodt), on January 28, 182S. They
were married September [7, 1855, ^"^1 had
four daughters, Mrs. Jenks being the only one
who grew to womanhood. She was born
August 7, 1856. The father passed from
earth June 19, 1894; the mother is yet living.
Mr. Lord's father, Ethan Lord, by occupa-
tions a painterand a farmer, as was also the son,
was born July 14, 1776, in Connecticut, and
died July 4, 1866. He married Ruth Dakin,
and they had four children: Jenette, New-
man, Cornelia and Olivia, all now deceased.
Ruth Dakin, wife of Ethan Lord, was born
September 8, 1785, and died January 10,
1852; she was a daughter of Simon Dakin,
and a granddaughter of Elder Simon Dakin,
the first stationed Baptist minister of this
place. He was born January 27, 1721, and
died September 19, 1803. Simon Dakin, Jr.,
was born September 16, 1757, and died July
12, 1830.

In public affairs our subject has always
shown a generous interest on the side of prog-
ress. Politically he is a Republican, but has
not taken an active share in the work of the
party. He is affiliated with the Masonic fra-
ternity, and has been a member of the Order
of American Mechanics.

JACOB S. TOWNSEND, a well-known resi-
dent of the town of Unionvale, Dutchess
~ county, is one of the successful agricultur-
ists of that locality.

Mr. Townsend's ancestors were early set-
tlers in Arthursburg, Dutchess county, and his
grandfather, Tredwell Townsend, was born
there January 9, 1780, and became a promi-
nent farmer. His educational opportunities
were limited to an attendance at the local
schools, but he was a man of intelligence, tak-
ing much interest in public questions. In poli-
tics he was a Democrat, and represented his
town on the board of supervisors several terms.
He married Miss Anna Dorland, who was born
August 31, 1782. They had nine children,
whose names, with dates of birth, are as fol-
lows: Zachariah F. , April i, 1802; John, Sep-
tember 12, 1803; Edgar, December 14, 1805;
Enoch, October 17, 1807; Samuel, August 18,



1811; Gilbert, May 6, 181 5; Gilbert D., March
15,1817; Mary, July 27, 1819; and Catharine,
July 13, 1821.

Edgar Towiisend, father of our subject,
was born in the town of Lagrange, Dutchess
county, and was educated there at the com-
mon schools. He taught school for some time
in early manhood, and later he engaged in
farming. He married Miss Eurana Jolly, and
their children were as follows: Jacob S., born
November 10, 1834; Mary E., May 22, 1836;
and Catharine A., March 11, 1838.

Jacob S. Townsend, our subject, was born
and educated in Seneca county, N. Y. In early
life he learned the blacksmith trade, at which
he worked a few years, engaging later in agri-
culture. He is a Democrat in politics, but
never held any important town office. He
married Miss Cordelia Washburn, daughter of
Daniel Washburn, a prosperous farmer of
Unionvale, and his wife, Sarah Morey. Mr.
Townsend's home has been brightened by three
daughters: (i) Mary, born December 21, i860,
is at home. (2) Sarah was born February 5,
1863, in Lagrangeville, Dutchess county, and
was educated there. She married George W.
Gibney, a tinsmith of Pawling, and they have
three children— Willie T., born July 8, 1888;
Ethel M., born March 8, 1894; and Florence
A., born February 18, 1896. (3) Carrie Town-
send was born January 2, 1865, in Lagrange-
ville, Dutchess county, and was educated in
the local schools. She married Walter Ells-
worth, an employe of the N. Y. C. R. R. They
have had one child, Arthur, who was born
October 3, 1891, and died February 21, 1893.

GEORGE R. SHAW. The subject of this
sketch, one of the prosperous agriculturists
of this section, has lived a long and active life,
been more than ordinarily successful in his
chosen vocation, and reared in intelligence and
comfort a large family. He is a native of
Dutchess county, being born January 24, 1822,
on the farm at that time belonging to his father,
in the southern part of what is now the town
of East Fishkill. He was the elder of two
sons of Enoch and Catherine (Reed) Shaw.
The younger son, the Rev. William W. Shaw,
is a clergyman of the Methodist Church, and
is the pastor of the Church at Spencertown,
Columbia county. Mr. Shaw resided with his
father until grown to man's estate. The home
farm was of about one hundred acres, and.

after the death of the father, was divided be-
tween the two sons. Mr. Shaw continued for
a time upon the old place, working his portion
in connection with other land adjoining, but,
later, the farm was sold, and he resided in other
neighborhoods, working different farms, until
during the "seventies," he purchased a farm
near Washingtonville, Orange county, contain-
ing over two hundred acres. Here the family
resided for a few years, until 1882, when he
sold the property, and the present home was
purchased. This farm is one of the historic
ones of this historic town. It is situated on
the old "Post Road" laid out by Lord Low-
den in 1753, leading from New York to Albany,
and is a half mile north of the gateway of the
Highlands, known as Wiccopee Pass. The
farm is a portion of a tract of 959 acres pur-
chased by Cornelius Van Wyck, of Hempstead,
Long Island, of Catherine Brett in 1733. The
farm was in the possession of his descendants
for nearly 150 years. The farm was divided
shortly after the Revolution, and the portion
now owned by Mr. Shaw, comprising 2\\\
acres, of which 160 are under cultivation, fell
to Cornelius C. \'an Wyck, grandson of the
original settler, who built the present mansion.
Tradition says that previous to that time a
small house had occupied nearly the same site,
a part of that structure forming the kitchen
wing of the present edifice. The original Van-
Wyck house stands a few rods toward the
south. This dwelling has been made famous-
by history and romance. It is the "Wharton
House" of Cooper's "Spy." It was for two
years during the Revolution the residence of
John Jay, the chairman of the Committee of
Safety, and was at various times occupied by
the officers who commanded that considerable
part of the American forces which for several
years was stationed in this neighborhood to
guard this pass through the mountains. All
about these houses was the camp. The sol-
diers' barracks stood behind the site of the
house now occupied by the Shaw family, and
frequently have been found relics of their oc-
cupancy, in the shape of corroded bullets,
pieces of shells, bayonets and other imple-
ments of war. The enlarged house was par-
tially built with timbers taken from these bar-

Mr. Shaw has been twice married. His
first wife was Amy Maria Rickey, daughter of
Peter and Elizabeth (Horton) Rickey. She
died leaving five children. Ward is a farmer




in Illinois; Catherine Elizabeth is married and
lives in Orange county; Julia, married, lives
in the town of Wappinger; Sarah G. and
Georgiana reside in New York City. Mr. Shaw
remarried, his second wife being Susan Jane
Wilcox, daughter of George and Tamar (Ste-
vens) Wilcox, of Putnam county. By this
marriage there were eleven children, two of
whom died in infancy. William G. is the
manager of the Elmira Glass Works; Irving is
a farmer in Illinois; Amy is a teacher in the
academic department of the Fishkill Union
School; two sons, George R. , Jr., and John,
are engaged in brick manufacturing; Frank, a
graduate of the Brooklyn Polytechnic School,
is attending Harvard University, while Nellie
B. and Luella are teaching in district schools
near their home.

There was one other son, Adelbert. born in
1870, who met a sad and tragic death at the
age of twenty. He was a youth of rare intel-
lectual promise. After studying the ordinary
branches at the common schools, he decided
to fit himself for the legal profession. For a
time he was a student in the law office of J.
Hervej' Cook, of Fishkill Landing; later, from
.1888 to 1890, he attended the Genesee Wes-
leyan Seminary, at Lima, N. Y., graduating
with the highest honors of his class. In 1890
he entered Harvard University. He was
blessed with a quick mind, and was a patient,
laborious student. More than that, he was
a natural athlete, large and of excellent
physique. The leaders of athletics of the
college demanded his services. He was put
on the football team, and was one of the
best men on the eleven. Later he was
urged to join the "Varsity Crew", then
training at the oars in hopes of defeating Yale.
As an oarsman he promised to be the strongest
of all. On April 6, 1891, he was practicing in
a single boat. He passed under the Western
avenue bridge, when, from some unaccountable
reason, his boat capsized, and, though an ex-
pert swimmer, and scarcely fifty feet from
shore, he sank and drowned almost instantly.
The next day his remains were brought home
for burial. During the time of the funeral
services at his home, memorial services were
held in the chapel of Harvard College. All
college work was suspended, and the professors
and students in large numbers attended the
obsequies, which were conducted by the Rev.
Phillip Brooks, who offered prayer, while the
discourse was delivered by the Rev. Frank G.

Peabody, who spoke of the virtues and relig-
ious character of the deceased. To his family
his mysterious and untimely death was a shock
from which none have even yet fully recovered.
To the parents, but to the children more espe-
cially, it was the first break in the family chain.
Mr. Shaw has nearly all his life been a
prominent and enthusiastic member of the
Methodist Church, and for years he has
been a licensed local preacher of the denomi-
nation. Mrs. Shaw and many of the chil-
dren are also members of that Church.
The subject of this sketch has never taken a
great interest in public affairs of a political
nature, has never held any public office,
but, as an individual, has had the courage of
his convictions, and labored for the benefit of
his country as he saw the right. For the past
few years he has voted and worked with the
Prohibitionists. After a long life of agricult-
ural labor, he still takes an interest in his farm
work, favors advanced ideas, but devotes his
energies along well-tried lines, general farming
and dairying, keeping from twenty to thirty
cows. He is possessed of much general in-
formation, is a good business man, an agreeable
acquaintance, and a warm and abiding friend.

S\AMUEL HASTINGS, though not a native
') of this country, has lived in the United

States nearly all his life, coming here at the
age of twelve years. He was born in Dover,
County of Kent, England, on the paternal side
of English origin, and on the maternal side of
Scotch-Irish descent. His mother belonged
to an old Scotch-Irish family of the name of
Tomb, who were engaged in the manufacture
of Irish linen, near Belfast, Ireland, before the
days of machinery. The father, who was an
officer in the British army, died while stationed
in the West Indies, in 1835.

The education of our subject was com-
menced in his native land, and on reaching
the shores of the New World he completed his
literary training. For a time he took up the
study of law, then that of medicine, from
which he drifted into the study of chemistry
and pharmacy, graduating in those sciences at
the College of Pharmacy in Philadelphia,
Penn., with the class of 1849. For twenty
years he conducted a large drug business in
the city of New Orleans, and on the termi-
nation of the Civil war left the South, but still



holds interests in that city, which he occasion-
ally visits on business.

In Dutchess county, N. Y., Mr. Hastings
was united in marriage with Miss Eliza J.,
daughter of the late J. Hastings, and in this
county has made his home for over twenty-
seven years, during which time he has taken
much interest in the affairs of his adopted
county and State. Though a Democrat in
politics, he has no ambition for political pre-
ferment, and has held no public ofifice. His
religious affiliation is with the Episcopal
Church. The elegant place of Mr. Hastings is
known as " Fairview," and comprises 825
acres. He superintends the cultivation of this
property, employing much labor, thus further-
ing the material interests of the surrounding
section and the county at large. In his family
are si.\ children, — two sons and four daughters.
The view from his place is most extended and
beautiful, indeed is one of the finest in the
county; there a grand panorama is spread out
before the vision — the Catskill mountains can
be seen, commencing at the site of the old
" Mountain House," and extending far south-
ward, the coloring of this delightful scene
changing as the seasons come and go, from the
rich green of the springtime to the brilliant
gold and red of autumn, the whole is like a
series of beautiful pictures hung up before the
beholder. This charming spot not only glad-
dens the eye, but is one of the inost healthful,
well watered with springs, and altogether is
one of the most highly favored locations in the

the leading and inHuential farmers of the

town of Pleasant Valley, who thoroughly un-
derstand their business, and pursue the voca-
tion of their chosen calling in a methodical
and workmanlike manner, is the subject of
this biography. In reviewing his genealogical
record we find his lineage tracing back to the
Colonial history of the nation, and to that
period which marked the inception of the
grandest republic the world has ever known.
Through such sources have we attained the
true .American type, and along this line must
our investigations proceed if we would learn of
the steadfast, unyielding elements which con-
stitute the basis upon which has been reared
the lofty and magnificient superstructure of
an enlightened and favored commonwealth.

Among the early emigrants from England, who
located in New England, was the Bartholomew
family, whose descendants are now very nu-
merous throughout the Eastern States.

John Bartholomew, the grandfather of our
subject, was born in Kensington, Conn., but
was reared in Litchfield county, that State,
where, after his marriage with Lydia Brooks,
he located upon a farm. Three children were
born to them: Lynus, who died at the age of
two years; Lydia S., who became the wife of
P. B. Butler, a wheelwright of Burlington,
Hartford Co., Conn.; and John B., the father
of our subject. The grandfather followed
farming exclusively, and valiantly aided the
Colonies in their struggle for independence.
His death occurred in 18 17, that of his wife in
1854. P-arly in life thej' were Presbyterians,
but later they joined the Congregational

John H. Bartholomew was born October
'3- '793- in Harvvinton, Litchfield Co., Conn.,
and he married Eunice Harrison, who was born
at Branford, New Haven Co., Conn., June
19, 1 801, a daughter of Augustus Harrison,
also a native of New Haven county, and a
farmer by occupation. The Harrisons also
came from England. To the old family home-
stead Mr. Bartholomew took his bride, and
their four children were there born. Ralph,
the eldest, died at the age of twelve years;
George, a wholesale and retail jeweler, died
June 10, 1893; Harriet became the wife of
John W. Lattin, a native of Dutchess county,
N. Y. , and a retired farmer. He was killed
by the cars September 23, 1890, and his widow
now makes her home in the town of Pleasant
Valley. Ralph A. is the youngest of the fam-
ily. Upon his farm in Litchfield county.
Conn., the father died February 10, 1S59; the
mother died May i, 1896, at the patriarchal
age of about ninety-four years. In religious
belief they were Congregationalists, and in
politics he supported the Democratic party.

Ralph A. Bartholomew was born in the
town of Harvvinton, Litchfield Co., Conn.,
April 3, 1837, and grew to manhood upon the
old ancestral farm, contributing his quota to
carrying on the work of the place. At the age
of nineteen he started out as a traveling sales-
man; but at the end of four years he returned to
the old farm, which he sold in 1867, and the
following year bought his present place in the
town of Pleasant \'alley, Dutchess county.
He now has ninety-seven acres of fertile and



productive land, pleasantly situated about six
miles from the city of Poughkeepsie. It is
highly cultivated, and well improved with fine
large buildings and good fences, and is one of
the most beautiful places in the locality.

In his political views, Mr. Bartholomew
strongly adheres to the principles of the Dem-
ocratic party. He is one of the active and
progressive men of the county, taking great
interest m all matters calculated to enhance
its value, or to benefit his fellowmen, and has
the respect and confidence of all with whom
he comes in contact.

ENJAMIN VAN WAGNER is one of the
3LJ t. enterprising, energetic and industrious
agriculturists of the town of Pleasant Valley,
and is a worthy representative of an honored
old family of his section.

The founder of the family in this country
was Nicholas Van Wagner, who came from
Holland and located in the town of Pleasant
Valley, Dutchess county, where his descend-
ants now live. His son, Evritt Van Wagner,
was born on the farm which our subject now

Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoCommemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York → online text (page 147 of 183)