J.H. Beers & Co.

Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

. (page 150 of 183)
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in Litchfield county. Conn., in 1796, and in
1817 came to Dutchess county, and engaged
in mercantile business; but after two years in
Stanfordville and two in Bangall, he gave up
that occupation to conduct a hotel at Pulver's
Corners, remaining there three years. He
then bought the property known as the Solon
Lapham farm, where he passed the remainder
of his days as a successful farmer. He mar-
ried Mr. Lapham 's daughter, Melinda, and had
three children, Julia, Edwin L. , and Tamma
Josephine. He was an active worker in the
Republican party, also in all local movements
of importance, and was a regular attendant of
the Baptist Church at Bangall. His death
occurred November 16, 1865 ; his wife died
October 28, 1861.

Edwin L. Bushnell, our subject, attended
the district schools of his vicinity in boyhood,
and then studied for one winter at Amenia
Seminary. At seventeen he was obliged to
leave school, but he has always been an ex-
tensive reader; and is an unusually well-in-
formed man. He remained at home until the
age of twenty-three, when he left the farm on
account of ill health and entered the Pough-
keepsie Iron Co., of which he was one of the
three first stockholders on the organization of
the company, October 31, 1848. This com-
pany owned the first anthracite furnace built
east of the Alleghanies, and Mr. Bushnell
personally supervised its construction. In
1850 he retired to take the business manage-
ment of the American R. R. Chair Co., and in
their interest he spent the winter of 1851-52
in Columbus, Ohio, and four months of 1852
in Montreal, Canada. His mother's failing
health caused him to sever his relations with
this company, and return to Poughkeepsie.
In 1852 he undertook the selling of patents,
and visited Bangor, Maine, and Portsmouth,
N. H., with a patent window-blind hinge. He
had been for some time engaged in perfecting
the invention, of which he has since made such
a distinguished success; but like most in-
ventors he was obliged to follow occupations
which were less congenial, though more re-



munerative, than fashioninj; models. A brief
venture in the real-estate business in Boston
was followed by a few months in the lumber
trade with an uncle in New York City; but in
the fall of 1853 this business was closed out,
and Mr. Bushnell became connected with the
Lord's Prayer Association in the same city.
The winter of 1853-54 he spent in Richmond,
Va. , selling machinery. In the spring of 1855
he married Miss Sarah Jane Sherman, of Cam-
bridge, Washington county, N. Y., and settled
upon the old homestead farm. Three chil-
dren were born of this uniorf: Jennie, now at
home; James S., a resident of Seattle, Wash.;
and Edwin M., the treasurer and general man-
ager of the Bushnell Manufacturing Co., at
Easton, Pennsylvania.

In i860 Mr. Bushnell went to New Pres-
ton, Conn., and engaged in a mercantile busi-
ness; he contributed largely to the support of
families whose fathers were in the army dur-
ing the Rebellion. In the fall of 1865 he sold
his business in New Preston, and returned to
Poughkeepsie, where in the spring of 1S66 he
purchased the house in which he still resides.
He began the manufacture of scythe riffles, and
patented a mowing-machine sharpener, which
he sold in 1869, when he commenced manu-
facturing his own invention, making a spring
bed with four eyes in each end of the springs.
This has met with great success, and in 1880
he adapted the idea to car seats, berths and
backs, and was awarded the only medal on
that line of goods at the National Exposition
of Railway Appliances at Chicago in 1883.
Though various parties infringed his patents
and kept him seven and one-half years de-
fending his rights in the United States Courts,
he secured the patronage of the Wagner &
Pullman Palace Car Co. His goods have been
largely adopted by ail the leading railroads
and car-builders throughout the country, with
several new patents for improvements, and, on
tools and machinery for manufacturing, they
take the lead. In 1893 Mr. Bushnell removed
his factory from Poughkeepsie to Easton,
Pcnn., where there is a fine plant employing
a large number of men. This firm furnished
the seats for the new "Defender," also the
" Black Daimon Train," the finest train in
the world. He built the first skylight in
Poughkeepsie, for taking pictures.

Mr. Bushnell is a man of great natural
ability and energy, and notwithstanding his
years is mentally active, his memory being re-

markable. He has always taken an interest
in the success of the Republican party, but
has always refused to accept office. He
served out his time with the Davy Crockett
Hook & Ladder Company. He attends the
Second Reformed Church, to which he is a
liberal giver.

ISAAC B. GILDERSLEVE (deceased), who
was one of the highly respected and hon-
ored citizens of the town of East t'lshkill,
Dutchess county, was born in Scipio, Cayuga
Co., N. Y., April 5, 1823, of Holland descent.
His father, Solomon Gildersleve, was a native
of the town of Fishkill, Dutchess county, but
after his marriage with Margaret Wiltsie lo-
cated upon a farm in Cayuga county, where
their five children were born: Annis, who
married Thomas Ketchum, of the town of East
Fishkill, but both died in Indiana; Eliza, who
first married James Deleree, and alter his death
wedded Elias Tompkins, and they lived at
Cold Spring, N. Y. ; Emma, who became the
wife of a Mr. Bronson, and lived at Port
Chester, N. Y. ; Ann; and Isaac B.

Our subject when a young man came to
the town of East Fishkill, where he engaged
in teaming, hauling hoop poles to Poughkeep-
sie, but about 1842 went to Missouri, and was
on the Mississippi until 1865, working his way
upward from a deck hand until he was owner
of a steamboat, which carried both freight and
passengers. In 1S65 he began the hotel busi-
ness in St. Louis, which he continued for five
years, and on the expiration of that time re-
turned to Dutchess county, purchasing the
farm now owned and occupied by his daugh-
ter, Rita A.

Mr. Gildersleve was married in 1865, to
Miss Charlotte A. Miller, a native of Berwick,
Columbia Co., Penn., and a daughter of Jacob
Miller. Five children were born to them, all
of whom died in infancy with the exception of
Rita A., and the mother departed this life
September 24, 1887, while the father's death
occurred on the home farm February 25, 1890.

The farm is a most beautiful place, on
which Mr. Gildersleve made many improve-
ments and erected excellent buildings. It
comprises 146 acres of valuable land, on which
he carried on general farming, but his daugh-
ter, who now has the management, makes a
specialty of milk.

In the career of this gentleman we find an



excellent example for young men just embark-
ing in the field of active life, of what may be
accomplished by a man beginning poor, but
honest, prudent and industrious. He was en-
tirely self-made, and left behind him an excel-
lent property, as well as a good name. He
was a Democrat in politics, and was one of
the prominent and esteemed citizens of the
community. His estimable wife held member-
ship in the Episcopal Church.

ONCURE BARTOW was called from
'" earth in the midst of his usefulness, dying
on the 19th of April, 1881. He was a leading
and honored citizen of the town of East Fish-
kill, Dutchess county, where he devoted his
energies to the care and cultivation of the farm,
and was also connected with the Dutchess
County Insurance Company, of Poughkeepsie.

The Bartow family is of French e.Ktraction,
and was established in Dutchess county at a
very early day. Religiously, its members were
mostly connected with the Episcopal Church.
William A. Bartow, the father of our subject,
was a native of the town of East Fishkill, and
a farmer by occupation. The mother bore
the maiden name of Jane Hasbrouck.

Moncure Bartow was the seventh son in a
family of twelve children, and was reared upon
the old home farm, where he continued to en-
gage in agricultural pursuits until his marriage,
in 1867, to Miss Elizabeth D. Brinckerhoff.
They began their domestic life upon the farm
where she still resides, and there their two
children — Jane D. and Moncure — were born.
The parents contributed to the support of the
Reformed Church, and in politics Mr. Bartow
was a decided Democrat, but would never ac-
cept public office. His upright, honorable life
won him the confidence and esteem of his
neighbors, and he was classed among the most
respected representative citizens of East Fish-
kill town.

Mrs. Bartow, a most excellent lady, was
born in the house which is still her home, and
is the only child of Abraham and Betsey
(Delavan) Brinckerhoff, the former born on
the farm in the town of East Fishkill (where
his daughter now resides), October 6, 1798,
and the latter at North Salem, Westchester
Co., N. Y., January 11, 1799. The Brincker-
hoff family is of Holland origin, and was
founded in America in 1638. The first to lo-
cate here was Joris Dericksen Brinckerhoff,

who married Susanah Dubbles, and from him
in direct line to the father of Mrs. Bartow were
Abraham Jorisen (married to Altia Stryker),
Derick (married to Altia Cowenhoven), Abra-
ham (married to Femmetia Remsen), John A.
(married to Elizabeth Brinckerhoff), and Derick
(who married Margaret Brett). The Delavan
family was of French extraction, and Mrs.
Bartow's maternal grandfather, John Delavan,
was born February 11, 1744, and became a
prominent farmer of Westchester county. He
married Martha Keeler, whose birth occurred
at Ridgefield, Conn., August 28, 1757, and
they became the parents of five children, as
follows: Jane, born in 1789, died in 1865;
Chauncy, born in 1790, died in 1863; Benja-
min, born in 1792, died in 1827; Catherine,
born in 1797, died in 1867; and Betsey, the
mother of Mrs. Bartow, was the youngest.
The father of these children died January 8,
1S34, the mother on March 10, 1843. After
their marriage, Abraham l^rinckerhoff and his
wife located upon the farm where Mrs. Bar-
tow yet lives, and there the former died Jan-
uary 5, 1874, and the latter on September 29,
1878. They were prominent members of the
community, and had the respect of all who
knew them. In early life Mr. Brinckerhoff
was a Democrat, but later supported the Re-
publican party.

HIRAM CLARK (deceased). The family
name of the subject of this sketch has
long been held in high esteem in Dutchess
county, and he proved himself to be a worthy
representative, displaying in a high degree the
keen business judgment and high sense of
honor which have characterized the race. Re-
motely he was of English descent, the head of
the American branch being Thomas Clark,
who was one of the "Mayflower" pilgrims.
The first of the family to come to Dutchess
county was our subject's grandfather, Ezra
Clark, an energetic, thrifty and prosperous
farmer, who was born at Plainfield, Conn., in
1748. He came to Dutchess county about
1795, and his first purchase was a farm of 200
acres, adjoining what is now our subject's es-
tate, he later buying the farm now owned by
Leonard Barton, where he passed his later
years, and died in 1834. He was married in
Connecticut to Mary Douglas, who died in
1837. They had ten children: Douglas; Moses;
Ezra; Elijah, a farmer in Amenia: Sarah, who



married Samuel Brown; Lidia, who married
Jeremiah Conkhn ; Patty (Mrs. Conklin i ; Aphia,
married to George Brown; and Ohve, married
to Jacob Dakin.

The two elder sons remained in the town
of Northeast, and became prominent in local
affairs — business, political and social. Doug-
las Clark, our subject's father, was born in
Plainfield, Conn., July 12, 1774, but spent the
greater part of his life on the present Clark
farm, near Millerton, Dutchess countj-, con-
sisting of 400 acres, which he purchased in
1 8 16 from a Mr. Spencer, for whom Spencer's
Corners was named. He owned two other
estates also, comprising in all about 800 acres.
He possessed rare business judgment, and was
greatly esteemed throughout the community,
being often called upon to assist in the settle-
ment of estates. In 1829, 1830 and 1831 he
was supervisor, and for a number of years was
commissioner of highways and justice of the
peace. He was twice married, (first) to Sarah
Collins, and (second) to Elizabeth Wiggins, a
lady of English descent, daughter of Arthur
and Mary Wiggins, of the town of Northeast.
He had eight children, as follows: Of the
first family were — Olive, born in 1797, who
died at the age of twenty-seven; Sarah (Mrs.
Alex. Trowbridge), born in 1798; Perry, born
in 1800; Harry, born in 1808; Emeline (Mrs.
B. H. Wheeler, of Amenia), born in 18 16; and
Caroline (Mrs. Caleb Barrett), born in 18—.
The second family were: Hiram, born June
I, 1824; and Douglas, born in February, 1832.

Hiram Clark succeeded at his father's death
to a portion of the estate, and followed farm-
ing. He was a well-informed man, having re-
ceived a good English education in his boyhood
at Amenia Seminary and at Kinderhook, to
which he constantly added by reading and ob-
servation. An able and entertaining business
man, in the management of his farm he was
thoroughly successful. He made many im-
provements, remodeling the house, which was
built about 1829, the lumber being brought
from Albany. It is now one of the finest farm
houses in the town. He "was engaged for
some years in the breeding of fine horses.
Among other business enterprises in which he
was interested was the founding of the Miller-
ton National Bank, in which he was one of the
original stockholders. Although he took a keen
interest in public affairs, and was an ardent
Republican in politics, he never sought or held
office, being quite content to use his influence

quietly. He was an earnest Christian, and
a regular attendant at the Congregational
Church, but later became an adherent of the
Presbyterian Church, and often held official
positions in those societies. On November 17,
1847, he married Mary Richter, daughter ot
John W. and Hannah (Harris) Richter, well-
known farming people of near Pine Plains.
Four children were born to them: Henry, June
28, 1850; John W., December 17, 1854; and
two who died in infancy. The father was
called from earth December 6, 1890; the
mother still resides on the old homestead.

The two surviving sons of this estimable
couple inherited the old farm of 400 acres
first acquired by their grandfather, where they
now conduct an extensive dairy business. They
are successful managers, and hold a prominent
place among the younger men of their town.
Henky Clark was educated at Amenia Semi-
nary and at New Marlboro, Mass. He is a
Democrat in politics, was assessor from 1890
to 1893, ^rid for two years past he has been a
director of the Millerton National Bank. On
January 1 1, 1882, John W. Clark was married
to Harriet J. Weed, of Torrington, Conn., and
has one daughter, Harriet Emma Clark.

known proprietor of the Beverick

Bottling Vaults, at the corner of Main and
Clover streets, Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county,
is one of the most enterprising business men of
that city.

His family is of Irish origin, the old home
of his ancestors being located at Belfast,
where his grandfather, James D. Diamond,
followed the trade of a mason. He had five
sons, all of whom came to America. John
died in Dutchess county; Hugh was our sub-
ject's father; Charles H. was a saloon keeper
in Poughkeepsie, and was noted for his gener-
osity; Patrick, a shipbuilder by trade, enlisted
in the army during the Civil war, and rose to
the rank of acting major; William was a la-
boring man; James enlisted in the army in
1863, and was one of the "missing."

Hugh Diamond came to Poughkeepsie in
1849, ^"d engaged in the manufacture and sale
of boots and shoes at the corner of Dutchess
avenue and Albany street, gaining the reputa-
tion of being an excellent workman and good
business manager. Although he was not lib-
erally educated, he had good natural ability



Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoCommemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York → online text (page 150 of 183)