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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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farmer of Virginia; Mary L. , born July 29,
1840, is the wife of Walter \'an Namberg, a
farmer of the town of Poughkeepsie; Harriet
M., born June 25, 1842, married George
Sprague, a farmer of Ohio; Deborah, born
March i, 1844, is the wife of Nicholas Chati-
ton, an agriculturist; Malissa, born March 23,
1846, is the wife of Ira Van Kleeck, a farmer
of Orange county, N. Y. ; and \Mllett, born
July II, 1848, is engaged in merchandising at
Florida, Orange county. The father carried
on farming up to his death, which occurred
September 20, 1877; the mother passed away
March i, 1882. They held membership with
the Presbyterian Church, and in politics he
was an ardent Republican.

Joseph I. Vail passed his early life upon
the farm, aiding in its cultivation as soon as
old enough, and acquired his education in the
district schools. At the age of eighteen he
came to Poughkeepsie, where. he served an ap-
prenticeship to the mason's trade with Isaac
Broas, and about i860 began contracting in
that line for himself, since which time he has
erected almost half of the buildings put up in
the city. From a mere hamlet he has watched
the growth of Poughkeepsie, and during his
long residence here has been one of the im-
portant factors in its progress and upbuilding.

On January 11, 1866, Mr. Vail was united
in marriage with Miss Susan A. Sloane. a na-
tive of Poughkeepsie. Her father, James
Sloane, was born in Ireland, and wedded Han-
nah Davidson, also of Irish e.xtraction. To
them were born seven children: Thomas D.
(I) and William J., who died while young;
Thomas D. (2), who became a merchant of



New York City; William J., who died in child-
hood; Mary J., who wedded Archie Hawioe, a
sea captain on the Pacific coast: Susan A., the
honored wife of our subject; and Margaret D.,
who married James E. Kirk, a railroad man.

Mr. Vail is a Republican in his political
convictions, and is one of the broad-minded
business men of the city, whose prosperity can-
not be attributed to a combination of lucky
circumstances, but who has risen from energy,
enterprise, integrity and intellectual effort well
directed. His business has ever been con-
ducted on the strictest principles of honesty.
He and his wife hold a high position in the es-
teem of their fellow citizens, and they give
their support to the Second Reformed Church
of Poughkeepsie.

MORRIS BAKER, for many years a well-
_ _ known citizen of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess
county, was born in Bamberg, Bavaria, Ger-
many, in 1842, and came to America with his
parents in 1844.

Heyman Baker, the father of our subject,
was a native of Exin, Germany, born in the
year 181 5. He was a merchant tailor by oc-
cupation, and after coming to this country
first located in New York City, later coming
to Poughkeepsie. In addition to his custom
work, Mr. Baker was interested in manufac-
turing goods for the California and Mexico
trade, making the fanciful and highly-colored
fabrics which the people of the latter country,
especially, use so profusely. This was in
1849; some time later he established a factory
in Poughkeepsie, which he carried on for about
eight years, and after giving up this line of
trade he continued in the clothing business
until his death, in 1866. Mr. Baker was well
known in commercial circles, where he held a
high reputation for integrity and straightfor-
ward methods of dealing, and was very suc-
cessful in his enterprises. He was a worthy
citizen, highly esteemed by all who knew him.
He was a charter member of the Masonic or-
der, and of the Odd Fellows. Mr. Baker was
married to Caroline Gillett, a native of Bam-
berg, Germany, and two children were born
to them, one of whom died when nine months
old. The father passed from earth in 1866,
and the mother in February, 1891.

Morris Baker had good advantages for an

ducation, first attending the primary school

held in the old Bond street school house, in

the Sixth ward, New York City. From there
he went to a private school taught by Miss
Filkins, and then to a grammar school under
A. Underbill, finishing his education at the
Poughkeepsie Academy. He has always been
a reader, and is a well-informed man. After
leaving school he went into business with his
father, and after the latter's death carried on
the establishment until the winter of 1867-68,
when he took up the business of an auctioneer,
in which he has been engaged until the present
time. This occupation carries him all over
the county, and he has become not only well
known, but is considered one of the best in
that line. His sales comprise real estate, chat-
tels and other property, and he has been re-
markably successful in n.aking large sales of
lands and personal property. He is popular
with all classes, and is a public-spirited and
enterprising citizen. In 1865 Mr. Baker was
married to Miss Marie Boyd, of Plainfield, N.
J., and seven children have blessed their union,
namely: Rebecca, the wife of Walter Todd,
of Poughkeepsie; Ettie, at home; Henry, a
cigar manufacturer at \\'appingers Falls; So-
phia, employed in the silk works at Matteawan;
Albert, a commercial traveler; and Belle and
Pauline, at home.

In politics Mr. Baker believes in the prin-
ciples of the Democratic party, but has never
taken an active part in public affairs. He is a
member of the Jewish Synagogue, and of the
Royal Good Fellows.

SAMUEL J. TANNER. Among the active
farmers and stock-raisers in the town of
Pine Plains, Dutchess county, this gentleman
holds prominent place. He belongs to one of
the pioneer families of the county, his great-
grandfather having been one of the early set-
tlers of the town of Dover. He was a native
of England, and while serving in the British
army he was captured by the Spaniards and
would have starved to death had it not been
for the Spanish women.

The grandfather of our subject, Samuel
Tanner, was born in the town of Dover, but
early located on the old Tanner farm, east of
the village of Pine Plains, and became a lead-
ing and influential man. He wedded Mary
Mcintosh, and to them were born fourteen
children: William, John, Alex, Reuben, Mor-
ris, Anthony, Henry, James, Samuel, Margaret,
Eliza, Myra, Clarissa, and Mary Magdalene,

C^^^^2oe^ ^- (5^«^




most of whom resided in Columbia county,
New York.

Samuel S. Tanner, father of our subject,
succeeded to the old homestead in the town of
Pine Plains, and by the careful management
of his business affairs accumulated a comforta-
ble property, having in the neighborhood of
450 acres of land, comprising one of the best
farms in the town. He was a man of good
natural ability, strong and rugged, of sound
judgment and well informed for his time. His
fortune was the result of his own diligence and
enterprise, and his upright, honorable life won
the high regard of all. For his first wife he
wedded Fannie Streaver, and after her death
was united in marriage with Miss Mary Betsy
Lown, by whom he had four children: Will-
iam; Fannie, wife of Henry Palmer; Mary,
wife of John Head; and Samuel J., subject of
this sketch. His third union was with Julia
Sheldon, and to them were born three chil-
dren: Elizabeth, wife of Samuel Titus; George,
of Pine Plains; and Julia. The father voted
the Democratic ticket, though never particu-
larly active in political matters, and was often
urged to take office, but declining the honor he
only served as assessor one term. In religious
faith his support was given to the Presbyterian
Church, which he attended. He was called
from this earth February 7, 1891, at the ripe
age of eighty-si.x years.

Our subject was born in 1845, on the old
homestead in the town of Pine Plains, and re-
ceived a fair education in the district schools
of the locality, which education in later years
he improved by reading and observation. He
always remained upon the old homestead, aid-
ing in its operation, and successfully managed
the same for several years. After the death of
his father he purchased the interest of the other
heirs, and his career as a farmer and stock-
raiser has been characterized by keen judg-
ment, shrewd common sense and good business
habits. He raises cattle, sheep and hogs, and
is a careful, conservative business man and
substantial farmer, owning 450 acres of valu-
able and productive land.

On November 28, 1894, Mr. Tanner was
united in marriage with Fannie E. Van Aken,
who was born April 22, i860, in Ulster coun-
ty, N. Y. , daughter of Solomon and Catherine
Ann (Atkins) Van Aken, highly respectable
farming people of the town of Esopus, Ulster
county. The father died in 1879, aged fifty-
five years; the mother in 1891, aged sixty-six


years. They are the parents of eight children,
three of whom are yet living. To the mar-
riage of Mr. and Mrs. Tanner has come one
child: Charles S., born November 8, 1895.
They are also caring for the orphan son of
Mrs. Tanner's sister, Aurelia (Mrs. William
Swartout), who died September 15, 1890.
Our subject is strictly temperate in every sense
of the word, thus following in the footsteps of
his father, and is a liberal contributor to the
Presbyterian Church. In politics he is a Dem-
ocrat, but cares nothing for political prefer-
ment, desiring rather to devote his time and
attention to his business interests.

NATHANIEL SMITH, a prominent mer-
chant of Low Point, Dutchess county,

has been for many years the postmaster at that
place, and his able administration of the affairs
of the office has served to confirm his popular-
ity and influence in that locality. He is a na-
tive of Dutchess county, born in New Hacken-
sack, September 18, 1840. His father, Na-
thaniel Smith, was of English descent, and
was born on Long Island in 1777. He mar-
ried Eustacia Weeks, a native of Westchester
county, and settled in New York City, where
he followed the carpenter's trade for some
years, the old Trinity church being among the
most important structures which he helped to
build. In 1832 he moved to New Hacken-
sack, and continued his trade until his death
in 1850, his wife surviving only six years. Po-
litically he was a Democrat, and he and Mrs.
Smith were both consistent members of the
Reformed Church. Of their five children,
some of whom were born in New York City,
our subject is the only one now living. Will-
iam was a carpenter, and spent most of his
life in New York City; Susan married Oliver
Van Dyne; Ann married Abram Stoutenburgh,
a farmer in western New York, and Maria was
the wife of Samuel Van Forte, a shoemaker.
The subject of our sketch spent his school
days mainly in Pittsford, N. Y., where he en-
joyed the ordinary educational advantages of
the time. His first entrance into mercantile
life was as a clerk at New Hamburg and Hyde
Park, but in 1856 he became station agent at
Low Point, then known as Carthage Landing.
After four years there he was transferred to
Dutchess Junction, and later to Fishkill Land-
ing, where he remained until 1871, when he
again turned to the mercantile life, opening a


co^T^fEMOli^ tive biooraphwal recoed.

grocer}' at Low Point. His success in this
venture soon warranted the enhirgement of his
stock, and he now conducts a general store,
with a good trade. In i 86.S he was appointed
postmaster, and has held the office without
interruption since that time, with satisfaction
to all concerned. Politically Mr. Smith is a
Republican, and, as one of the substantial and
progressive citizens of the town, he takes a
leading part in local affairs.

In 1864 our subject was united in matri-
mony with Miss Maria DcGroot, a lady of
French descent, but a native of New Ham-
burg. One daughter blessed this union, Es-
telle. who married George Terwilliger, of
Wappingers P'alls.

family has held a prominent position in
this section for many years, various members
taking an influential part in business and po-
litical life. The different branches of the fam-
ily trace their descent from one or another of
six or seven brothers who came from Holland
to America in the latter part of the eighteenth
century and located on Long Island, where
some of them remained. Derrick Dutcher,
our subject's grandfather, came from Long
Island to Dutchess county, and settled upon a
farm in the town of Dover. He married Miss
Edith Chapman, daughter of William Chap-
man, and reared a family of eight children:
Israel, the eldest; Ransom, who never married;
Wilbur, who married Mary Hoag; Luther, our
subject's father; Amy. who was twice married,
hersecond husbandbeingDaniel White; Esther,
Mrs. Ellis Benson; Elizabeth, Mrs. E. B. Som-
mers; and Ann, Mrs. Willis Benson. Derrick
Dutcher and wife are dead, his wife dying in
1 86 1, aged eighty-three years.

Luther Dutcher was born in the town of
Dover in 1806, and received his education in
the common schools there. He learned the
wheelwright's trade, becoming an expert fin-
isher and polisher, and later engaged in the
iron business at TDover F"urnace, being one of
the founders of that industry there. Later he
became connected with the Novelty Iron
Works, located at the foot of Twelfth street,
in New York City. On retiring from this busi-
ness he followed farming for three or four
years, and then resumed his former business
at Napanoch, Ulster county, remaining two
years. He then moved to Poughkeepsie,

where he occupied the residence at 471 Main
street, the present location of the Electric
Light Company. From that place he moved
to Dover Plains, and spent two years in the
business of carriage manufacturing. He was
a very benevolent man, a leader in many pub-
lic movements, and took an active part in the
work of the Masonic fraternity and in military
affairs, serving as captain in the old militia.
An ardent Democrat, he was a popular candi-
date of his party, and held a number of town-
ship offlces, including that of justice of the
peace. In 1892 he was elected to the State
Assembly, defeating John B. Dutcher, who
had been confident of success. He married
Miss ^delia A. Geddings, who was born in
1S09, the daughter of Buell and Sarah Ged-
dings, well-known residents of the town of
Dover. Of the four children of this union,
the eldest, Hiram W., born in 1834, was a
farmer. He never married. Gilbert J., born
in 1835, was in the employ of the government.
He married Miss Mary Watson, of Ulster
county, in 1863, and had one child, who died
at the age of six inonths. The third son is
the subject of this memoir, and the fourth,
William G., was born in 1848, and after re-
ceiving an education in the seminaries of that
locality, entered the service of the Harlem
railroad as conductor, and was regarded for
many years as one of their best and most
trustworthy employes. He married Miss Kate
S. Swords, daughter of Henry Swords, of
Pawling, and had two children: Sarah and
Adelia, both of whom died in infancy.

George W. Dutcher was born August 27,
1839, and was educated in the academies at
Amenia and Fort Plain. After graduating, he
learned the trade of a carpenter and joiner,
which he followed for twenty-five years. He
was engaged to some extent in the undertak-
ing business during that time, and in 1888 he
opened such an establishment at Wing's Sta-
tion, where he makes a specialty of that line
of work, in which he is a leader, and carries a
large stock of inaterials, having about $2,000
invested. He owns a farm of fifty-two acres
in that vicinity. His first wife was Miss Net-
tie Hill, daughter of Thomas Hill, a well-
known resident of the town of Olive, Ulster
county, and of this marriage three children
were born: (i) Frederick died when six
months old. (2) Eva is the wife of George
A. Trowbridge, and has two children, William
L. and Nettie; and (3) Luther T. died at the



age of fifteen years. The mother of this fam-
ily died March 5, 1878, and Mr. Dutcher mar-
ried Miss Sarah A. Webb, daughter of a prom-
inent commission merchant of Wing's Station,
Alexander Webb, who was born in Pawling,
September 5, 1813, and after receiving his
education there learned the miller's trade. He
spent some years in that business at Roches-
ter before settling at Wing's Station. He
married Miss Elizabeth Lane, of Unionvale,
and had two children: Sarah (Mrs. Dutcher),
and Mary J., who married William S. Jones,
and has two children: Nellie E. and Annie M.

On his mother's side Mr. Dutcher is de-
scended from the well-known Geddings fam-
ily. His grandfather, Buell Geddings, was a
native of the town of Sherman, Dutchess coun-
ty, where he was educated and learned the
trade of a wagonmaker, at which he worked
during the greater part of his life. His last
years were passed upon a farm in the town of
Dover. He married Miss Sarah Reasoner,
and has five children: (i) Noble married
Harriet Cox, of Crum Elbow, and had three
children: Theo F., Nina and Frank. (2)
Adelia married Luther S. Dutcher. (3) Jack-
son married Debora Hoag, and had four chil-
dren: John H., who married Maria Oliver;
George W. , who married Jennie Villinger;
Myra, Mrs. James Reynolds; and Andrew,
who is not married. (4) Martin married Mary
J. Hoag. (5) William is not married.

In politics Mr. Dutcher has always been a
stanch Democrat, and has held a number of
offices. He has been inspectof of elections in
his district for nineteen years, school trustee
for the same length of time, and is now serving
his sixteenth term as justice of the peace.

THEODORE S. HORTON is proprietor
of one of the most noticeable homesteads

in the town of Pleasant Valley, Dutchess
county, pleasantly situated about eight miles
from Poughkeepsie. His pleasant residence is
flanked by a good barn and the various other
outbuildings required by the progressive agri-
culturist. As a tiller of the soil he is thorough
and skillful, and has been uniformly fortunate
in his investments.

Mr. Horton spent his boyhood days in the
town of Esopus, Ulster county, where his
birth took place August 19, 1848, at the home
of his parents, John and Phcebe (Stoutenburgh)
Horton, both natives of Ulster county. His

paternal grandfather, David Horton, was a
farmer of that county, where he was married
and spent his remaining days. The Stouten-
burghs were of Holland descent, formerly
bearing the name of Van Stoutenburgh. The
maternal grandfather, Herman Stoutenburgh,
was also an agriculturist of Ulster county.
After their marriage the parents of our subject
located on a farm in the town of Esopus,
where they reared their two children: Elizabeth
and Theodore S. Besides his farming opera-
tions the father also conducted a grist and saw
mill. His political support was given the Re-
publican party, while he and his wife attended
the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was
called from this life in 1855, and his wife, who
survived him for many years, died January
13, 1895.

The early days of Theodore S. Horton
were spent upon the farm where his birth oc-
curred; but at the age of eight years he came
to the town of Pleasant Valley, to live with
his grandfather, and here obtained a fair edu-
cation. In 1866 he went to Poughkeepsie
town, Dutchess county, where he lived on the
farm of his uncle, David Stoutenburgh, and
there followed farming.

On November 6, 1873, was consummated
the marriage of Mr. Horton and Miss Jennie
Underwood, who was born on the farm where
she now resides, and is a daughter of Gerald
Underwood, also a native of the town of Pleas-
ant Valley, and of Holland lineage. To them
have been born three children, all at home,
namely: G. Kendel, Lispnard S. and Flavins.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Horton con-
tinued to live on a farm in the town of Pough-
keepsie until the spring of 1891, when they
removed to their present fine farm of 188 acres
of rich and fertile land. He is a progressive
and enterprising farmer, public-spirited to a
high degree, and an ardent supporter of the
Democratic party. Both he and his wife at-
tend the Baptist Church, to which they are
liberal contributors. They hold a high posi-
tion in the social circles of the communitv.

OHN W. LINK is one of the most promi-
nent among the energetic and successful
farmers of the town of Clinton, Dutchess
county. His life history clearly illustrates
what may be attained by faith and continued
effort in carrying out an honest purpose. In-
tegrity, activity and energy have been the



crowning points of his success, and have en-
abled him to accumulate all that he now pos-

William Link, his father, was born about
1798 in the town of Milan, Dutchess county,
of which locality the grandparents, Philip and
(Cookingham) Link, were early resi-
dents and farming people. William was the
second in their family of seven children, and
in the common schools of the neighborhood
received his education. On attaining manhood
he was married, in the town of Milan, to Eliz-
abeth Pells, a daughter of John Pells, and to
them were born si.x children: John W. , the
subject of this review; Eliza Ann (deceased);
Jeremiah ;Henry (deceased) ; Helen and Charles.
For some time after his marriage the father
worked by the day, but later engaged in farm-
ing on his own account, and from no source
whatever did he ever receive financial assist-

In the town of Milan, December 11, 1S17,
John W. Link was born, and he there attended
school. On starting out in life for himself he
first worked as a farm hand, later learning the
carpenter's trade, at which he was employed
some twenty-five years. His first purchase of
land comprised a farm in his native township,
which he operated for twelve years; but in
1864 he bought his present farm in the town
of Clinton, to the improvement and cultivation
of which he lias since devoted his time and at-
tention with remarkable success.

In Albany, N. Y., November 13, 1851,
Mr. Link was united in marriage with Miss
Sarah Hicks, who was born June 20, 1823, in
the town of Milan, Dutchess county. Her
father, David Hicks, was born in the town of
Pine Plains, in 1797, and in the town of Clin-
ton he was married in the Quaker faith to Miss
Mary Gildersleeve, who was born in that town-
ship in 1798. He died in 18S4, she in 1889,
and they were the parents of nine children,
Mrs. Link being third in the family and eldest
of those yet living. Benjamin Hicks, grand-
father of Mrs. Link, born in 175 i, became an
early settler of Dutchess count}'. He married
Deborah Doty, and to them were born eight
children, all now deceased. The family were
Quakers in religious belief. Mr. and Mrs.
Link rank among the oldest living pioneers of
Dutchess county, the family having been con-
nected therewith about 200 years, and they
command the respect and esteem of all with
whom they come in contact. Mr. Link has

been a lifelong Democrat, and has served as
road master in the town of Clinton. At all
times he has taken an active interest in the
welfare and prosperity of his town and county.

GEORGE F. PHESAY, a leading watch-
maker and jeweler of Matteawan, Dutch-
ess county, and one of the most enterprising
of the young business men of that place, is
the proprietor of an establishment which com-
pares favorably for equipment and variety of
stock with any of its kind along the Hudson
river. His success is the more worth}' of note
because it is founded upon his own efforts, and
his term of apprenticeship was served at the
same place which he now occupies as owner.

His parents, John and Ellen (Rhine 1 Phe-
say, were both born in England, his father at
Kidderminster, his mother in London. On
coming to America in 1S56, his father, who
was a gardener by occupation, located first at
Matteawan and except for some years at Troy,
N. Y., the greater portion of his time was
spent there. Our subject was one of eight
children, of whom two died in childhood. The
survivors are Carrie Emma (Mrs. Albert
Yates), John K. , James K., Ellen Nora,
George F. and Mary Elizabeth (Mrs. Fred-
eiick Way).

George F. Phesay was born at Lansing-
burg, N. Y., September 13, 1864, and was
educated in the public schools of Matteawan,
his parents having returned from Troy when
he was about five years old. After leaving
school he entered the employ of Capt. Fair-
banks of the steamer "Martin," plying between
Newburg and Albany, and took charge of his
conservatories, the fine collection of orchids
being his especial care. He remained there

Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoCommemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York → online text (page 155 of 183)