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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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notable service to that section, and the enter-
prise will always reflect honor upon him as the
original projector and active promoter. He


assisted H. G. Eastman (then a member of
the legislature) and P. P. Dickinson, in secur-
ing the charter authorizing its erection, and
did much to raise the money needed. Mr.
Piatt visited Boston, Philadelphia, and other
cities in his effort to interest capitalists and
railroad men, and through A. L. Dennis, then
a director of the Pennsylvania railroad, secured
a large subscription from the directors of that
company toward the project. The panic of
1873 interferred with this arrangement, how-
ever, and some time elapsed before the matter
was revived with a promise of success. The
American Bridge Co. undertook it, but failed
after the work was begun, and again the enter-
prise was halted. In 1886 a new construction
company, composed mainly of Philadelphia
capitalists, took hold of it and carried it to
completion. In 1887 Mr. Piatt secured an
extension of the charter, after a bitter struggle
in the legislature, and then, acting upon the
well-proven principle that "if you want a thing
done well you should do it yourself," he started
the construction of the connecting railroad on
the west, making contracts and grading several
nnles on his own responsibility, before the
work was turned over to the company. Mr.
Piatt is president and treasurer of the Chazy
(N. Y.) Marble Lime Co., which manufac-
tures about thirty-three tons of lime per day.

The oratorical gifts which have made Mr.
Piatt's services sought for in political cam-
paigns are valued in other fields, and he was
chosen to deliver an address on July 26, 1888,
at the celebration of the centennial of the
Ratification of the Constitution of the United
States by the State of New York.

On June 3, 1862, Mr. Piatt was united in
marriage with Miss Susan ¥. Sherwood, of
Montgomery, Orange Co., N. Y., daughter of
Benjamin C. and Abbie A. (Strong) Sherwood.
Seven children have brightened their home, of
whom one died in infancy; Edmund is his fa-
ther's partner; Eliza S. married George L.
Hubbell, of Garden City, L. I.; Sarah S. is
the wife of G. Arthur Hadsell, of Plainville,
Conn. ; and Isaac, Francis W. and Edith M.
are at home.

Active as Mr. Piatt has been in business
and political lines, religious and philanthropic
work has found in him a generous helper,
while socially he and his family hold a high
place. For many vears he has been a member
of the Presbyterian Church, and he was one
of the founders of the Y. M. C. A., of Pough-

keepsie, and served as its president for a term.
He has been a delegate to numerous State and
National conventions of the associations, and
was secretary of- the international convention
at Washington, D. C. At the State conven-
tion held at Lockport, N. Y., he was the presi-
dent. He was also first chairman of the State
Executive Committee, and served in that ca-
pacity for several years.

Edmund P. Platt, member "of the well-
known leading dry-goods firm of Luckey, Platt
& Co., Poughkeepsie, and one of the successful
and representative citizens of the county, is a
native of Poughkeepsie, born December 2,
1843, to Isaac and Harriet (Bowne) Platt.

Our subject received his education at the
Dutchess County Academy, Poughkeepsie. and
at the age of sixteen commenced clerking for
W. S. & W. H. Crosby, a well-known dry-
goods firm of the city, with whom he remained
several years, or until they sold out to J. N. &
G. W. Candee, Mr. Platt then continuing with
the latter, in the same store, until 1869. On
March 22, of that year, he formed a partner-
ship with C. P. Luckey, under the firm name
of Luckey & Platt, which later was changed
to Luckey, Platt & Co., by the association of
S. L. De Garmo into the business. In 1896
Mr. Luckey died, and Messrs. Platt and De-
Garmo purchased the deceased's interest, still,
however, retaining the old firm name The
business, which was coiiiparatively small at
first, has steadily grown until it is to-day the
largest in the county, in the dry-goods line.
The premises at first occupied by the store were
at No. 328 Main street, whence, in August,
1874, it was removed to the present site No.
332 Main street; since occupying which, the
firm have found it necessary to enlarge the
store from time to time, as business increased,
the last addition being made in 1890, and it
now occupies the entire building, Nos. 332,
334 and 336 Main street.

In 1870 Edmund P. Platt was united in
marriage with Miss Mary Emily Bartlett,
daughter of Charles and Emily (Vedder) Bart-
lett. of Poughkeepsie. Mr. Bartlett being the
founder and owner of the Poughkeepsie Colle-
giate School on College Hill, which has since
been merged into Riverview Academy. To
Mr. and Mrs. Platt have been born four chil-
dren, to wit: Emily, Miriam, Howard and
AUetta. Mr. and Mrs. Platt are members of
the First Presbyterian Church of Poughkeep-

W^'^-.^z^^^^ C^ .^^Z^^i^^


sie, in which he is an elder, and of the Sunday-
school of which he has been superintendent for
eighteen years; has also held several other
offices in connection with the Church and Sun-
day-school in the count}' and State. In the
Young Men's Christian Association he has been
very active, holding office as president, treas-
urer or director for more than twenty )-ears.
For the past eighteen years Mr. Piatt has been
the chairman of the New York State Executive
Committee of the Young Men's Christian As-
sociation. He is also actively engaged as an
officer or director in many missionary and be-
nevolent enterprises both at home and in for-
eign lands. He is one of the trustees of the
new " Rescue Mission" of Poughkeepsie, and
chairman of its executive and building commit-
tees. In his political preferences he has al-
ways been a stanch Republican, and at the
same time is an earnest advocate of the Tem-
perance cause.

All in all, Mr. Piatt has proved himself to
be one of the most useful men in the commu-
nity, being assisted in all his works of philan-
thropy by his amiable wife, who is also very
active in works of charity. Personally, Mr.
Piatt is a gentleman of sterling integrity, inter-
ested in everything that is for the good of the
community and the best interests of mankind.
His friendships are of that lasting nature which
close only with the final summons.

JOHN CALHOUN OTIS, M. D.. is without
doubt one of the best known and most suc-
cessful physicians of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess
county, and to any one familiar with the high
character of the fraternity in that city this will
at once convey an idea of merit far beyond the

Dr. Otis is a native of Dutchess county,
having been bornin the town of Stanford, Jan-
uary 4, 1847. He is descended from an old
English family, and from James Otis, of Bos-
ton, a noted personage in the early days. The
Doctor's grandfather, Henry Otis, was born in
Massachusetts, and passed the greater portion
of his active business life as a contractor in
Boston, where he died in 18 12. He had two
sons and seven daughters, none of whom are
now living.

Hon. John H. Otis, our subject's father,
was born in 1809 at New Brunswick. N. J.,
where the family resided for a short time. He
learned the carriage maker's trade, and at eight-

een years of age went to Charleston, S. C, to
engage in business in the firm of Otis & Rou-
lane. In 1846 he disposed of his interest and
came to Dutchess county, where he purchased
about 700 acres of land in the town of Stan-
ford, three miles from Bangall. This he sold
in 1855, and then moved to Poughkeepsie,
where for some tim>e he was interested with E.
B. Osborne in the Telegraph, now merged into
the NezL's Press. For many years he was a di-
rector of the Merchants Bank, and at the time
of his death was the oldest member of the
board. He was a man of strong character and
positive views, an Old-line Democrat m poli-
tics, and an active participant in the movements
of his time. During the Nullification troubles
of 1832 he was a member of a company of
"Northern Volunteers " in Charleston, S. C. ,
and he served in Florida during the Seminole
war. as a sergeant under Andrew Jackson.
When the Civil war broke out, he supported
the Union cause, and raised the first company
of soldiers sent from Dutchess county — Com-
pany E, 30th N. Y. V. I. He had expected
to go to the front as their captain, but gave
way to Capt Harrison Holliday, who was killed
in the service. This regiment saw some hard
fighting, and made an honorable record. Later
Mr. Otis was offered the colonelcy of the 150th
Reg. N. Y. V. I., but declined it; he went to
the front, however, in 1863 as captain of Com-
pany K, 1 6th Heavy Artillery, their first en-
gagement being at Yorktown. His health
failed after about nine months' service in the
field, and he returned home.

As a citizen he possessed great popularit}'
and influence. While in the town of Stanford
he served seven terms as supervisor, and dur-
ing the war he once came within seven votes
of being elected mayor of Poughkeepsie, then
a Republican stronghold. For several years
he served on the board of health and the board
of education, and in 1852-3 he was elected to
the State Senate, but after one term of two
years he declined a re-nomination on account
of ill health. He was an active member of
St. Paul's Church, and for twenty years held
the office of vestryman. In 1842, while on a
visit to the North for the summer, he met and
married Miss Ann B. Buckman, a member
of a prominent family of Dutchess county,
daughter of Seneca Buckman, and granddaugh-
ter of Dr. Amasa Buckman, of the town of
Stanford, a graduate of Oxford University, En-
gland. She died in Poughkeepsie, in i860, at



■ -seven, from pneumonia, leav-

jn: , i> Man-, wife of Dr. \V.

K. Case, of Pouj;hkeepsie. and {^2) Dr. J. C
Otis, of this sketch. T' ' r passed away

in July, 1SS7. aged sevi , : year?.

Dr. John C. Otis was about eight years old
when bus parents moved to Poughkeepsie,
where, in the Dutchess Academv. and in John
R. Leslies^

quired. Ir. ^ - . -

quartemiasters ,nt at Milwaukee, Wis.

For a t •- - -^ ;he University of Ver-

mont. ; be besran his profes-

H,iris • , Dr. Case.

" >. he vvji ,___.:._ from the
New York HomeopathJc College, and in June


-It tne

- - - , - :-. - ... - -V . i ques-

tioa of a location, and after six months at
Er{r " - .

etv. and for a number of year&he was surgeon
of the old Twentj-first Militia, which was dis-
banded when the Nineteenth Separate Com-
pany was organized. Notwithstanding his
activity in professional lines he is connected
with several business enterprises, and is the
president of the Delamater Carriage Company
of Poughkeepsie. a director of the Farmers &
::urers Bank, and a trustee of the
, ..epsie Cemetery- .Association. Politic-
ally, he is a Democrat: for ten years past he
has 5er*"ed as a member of the board of health,
and for seven years was vice-president of that
body. ~^ . he is connected with the

Amrita :chess Clubs, the K. of P.,

and sev .dcian.- orders. He is a lead-

ing . c Church, in which he

is a - jne of the trustees of

St- Barnabas Fund, disbursing the income of
the fund in behalf of the committee.

later Dr. Otises:

CHARLES E. BOW"NE, a leading mer-
_ chant of Poughkeepsie, and fonoder of the
■ - - - - — - C. E. Bowne Jc Sod. is a

r ?? the prominent families

i alone et:

- -;a

wben be asked

tars oc -

- . - _-. . .-5cn now ..-

t5~.t he has tnade hK facc3e a:

ing. Long Island.

seei meir lonaces
NewYc-> ~ - -'

and hucratire bcsness^ £¥. OtES has a general while G

Marr. t

:;. -^y serzlers at Flosh-
His grandfather. Gershom
^ about the
: the old he

-.e settling m

. — - : - tester coeat}-.

- the town of Fishkill,

■ Bowne.


Gersbom. Samael and James.

— : - r - - ; farher.

-.i nassed

^-s *»^i::

iTiIaad. Ha- He -aras a leader in his Iccalitv. hoidine n:anr

irt. m wfecse hoccr Harts \ ulsse was at Bcinj

2=s Co.. X- Y. He Eiar-

Dr. Otis as a asejEber of the

:l; rem


rei'jotts Co Ene New Yors Scate Medtcai Soo- anc at -r^e i£e ot seTen ccrr






i -



Poughkeepsie to live with his uncle, James
Bowne, who was then a member of the firm of
Conklin & Bowne, dealers in merchandise.
After acquiring a good education in the schools
of the city, and in a boarding school at Whites-
boro, near Utica, from which he was graduated
in 1832, Mr. Bowne entered his uncle's store
as a clerk, and there remained sometime after
the change in the firm to Bowne & Trow-
bridge. In order to perfect his knowledge of
the business, he went to New York and served
two years in the wholesale house of T. B. &
J. Odell, No. 207 Pearl street. In 1844, at
the strong solicitation of the firm, he returned
to Poughkeepsie and became his uncle's part-
ner, Mr. Trowbridge retiring. The partner-
ship then formed under the name of J. Bowne
& Co. lasted thirty-five years, when the senior
member withdrew, and Mr. Bowne continued
the business under his own name. About five
years ago the firm became Bowne, Valentine
& Bowne, the last named being Frederick
Bowne, a son of our subject. Mr. Valentine
has since retired from the business, and Mr.
Bowne intends to give less of his personal at-
tention to it in the future, as a stroke of par-
alysis, in the spring of 1895, warned him to
release himself from care, although his recov-
ery has been rapid. Fortunately the business
is in capable hands, his son being a worthy
successor. Mr. Bowne has been in business
on Main street for more than fifty years, and
has seen many changes, his early associates
and competitors there having all passed away,
their places being filled by another generation.
On December 23, 1846, at Staten Island,
Mr. Bowne married Miss Mary Haggerty, and
of this union five children were born: Emma,
who married J. A. Piatt, of Providence, R. I.;
Charles S., a prominent druggist at Pough-
keepsie; Henry Haggerty, a leading attorney
at Jacksonville, Fla. ; Frank, a commercial
traveler; and Frederick, junior member of the
firm of C. E. Bowne & Son. On February
27, 1896, the mother of this family passed
from earth at the age of sixty-six years, after
almost half a century of married life.

FREDERICK BOWNE, junior member of
JT' the firm of C. E. Bowne & Son, of Pough-
keepsie, and one of the most capable and en-
terprising young business men of Dutchess
county, was born in the city of Poughkeepsie,
April 14, 1862.


He was educated in his native place, and
after graduating from the high school he took
a responsible position in the office of a large
jewelry factory at Providence, R. I. , where
he remained three years. In 1887 he re-
turned to Poughkeepsie and entered his father's
store as clerk, in 1890 becoming a partner.
Owing to the ill health of his father, the busi-
ness has devolved mainly upon him of late,
and his prudent and energetic management
gives promise of the continued success of this
long-established house. It is the only store
in the city which is devoted strictly to the
carpet business, and the firm is in advance of
all competitors in that line, holding the bulk
of the trade.

Mr. Bowne is an ardent supporter of the
doctrines of the Republican party, and is a
leader among the younger men in his locality.
In social life he holds a prominent place, is a
member of the Order of Elks, Knights of
Pythias, and was one of the founders of the
Poughkeepsie Bicycle Club, of which he is now

CVASPER L. ODELL, a prominent attorney
Jj of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county, and a
representative of an ancient and honored fam-
ily, was born in the town of Beekman, Dutch-
ess Co., N. Y., December i6, 1850.

Mr. Odell 's genealogical tree affords an in-
teresting study, the line reaching back to
Saluart, father of the first Count of Flanders.
The family name is variously spelled in the old
records — Odell, Woodhull, Wodhull, etc. His
descent may be traced by two lines to Edward
II of England, and also reaches back to Alfred
the Great, and to Charles the Bold of France,
and the family was related by marriage to
William the Conquerer, and to Catherine Parr,
Queen of Henry VIII. The biography of
Joseph E. Odell, a brother of our subject,
contains additional information as to the re-
mote history, which, it is alleged, dates back to
Priam, King of Troy. The following record,
dating back to 795 A. D. is correct beyond
question, being founded upon documentary

Generation I — Saluart, who married Mac-
larne Eringarde. II — Prince Dijon, first Count
of Flanders. Ill — Lideric Le Buc, founder
of the family of Foresters. IV — Ingleram.
V — Baldwin I, called Audacer and Bras le Fer,



who married Judith, daughter of Charles the
Bold, of France. VI— Baldwin II. the Bold,
married Aelfthry, daughter of Alfred, King of
England. VII — Arnulf, who married Adelia,
daughter of the Count of Vermandois. VIII —
Baldwin I\'. IX — Baldwin V, Le Debonair.
XI — Walter Flandrensis, the last Count and
the first Wodhull or Odell. XII— Simon De-
Wodhull, who married Sibill. XIII— Walter
de Wodhull, who married Koesia. XIV — Wal-
ter de Wodhull. XV. — Saher Wodhull, who
married Joan or Alice W'helton. XVI — Wal-
ter de Wodhull, who married Helewyse Senes-
challe. XVII — John de Wodhull, Baron, who
married Agnes Pinkeney. XVIII — Thomas
de \\'odhull. Baron, who married Hawise de
Praers. XIX — John de Wodhull, Baron, who
married Isabella . XX — Nicholas Wod-
hull, Baron, who married Margaret Fo.xcote.
XXI — Thomas Wodhull. Baron, who married
Elizabeth Chetwood. X.XII — Thomas Wod-
hull, Baron, who married Isabella Trussell,
daughter of Sir William Trussell. XXIII —
John Wodhull, Baron, whose wife was Joan,
daughter of Henry Eastwell. XXIV — Fulk
Wodhull, Baron, who married knn Newen-
ham. XXV — Nicholas W^odhull, Baron, sheriff
of Northumberland county, who married Eliz-
abeth Parr, daughter of Baron \\'illiam Parr
of Horton. XXVI— Fulk Wodhull of Then-
ford, whose wife was Alice Colles of Leigh.
XXVII— Nicholas W^odhull of Thenford, who
married Barbara Hobby of Hales. XXVIII —
William Odell, born at Odell, near London,
who emigrated to America, and in 1639 was at
Concord, Mass. He removed to Fairfield,
Conn., about 1644, where his will, disposing
of ^^447, was probated June 12, 1676. He had
three children: William. John and Rebecca
(Mrs. Samuel Moorehouse).

XXIX— William Odell, who was born about
1634, and died about 1700, was one of the
first settlers at Rye, N. Y., where he owned a
large estate. In 1681 he appears on the Fair-
field records as owning 362 acres there, and in
1684 he deeded some land at Rye to a "son
Samuel living in the same county." Another
deed appears in 1697, ^s resident of Rye, and
October 2, 1668, he signed a petition there as
William W^oodhull. Savage mentions him as
"William, of Greenwich, Conn., in 1681.
aged forty-seven." He married a daughter of
Richard Voles, of Fairfield, a freeholder and
representative in the Colonial government in
1665-68-69. The}" had eight children: John,

Samuel, Isaac, Jonathan, Michael, Hachalia,
Stephen and Sarah.

XXX — Isaac, of Eastchester, N. Y.. signed
the oath of allegiance to King William at
White Plains, in 1699. He married Anne
Tompkins, and she joined in a deed of lands at
Rye in 1705. They had three children: Will-
iam, Tompkins and Joshua.

XXXI — Joshua married Sarah Jones, and
had three children: Joshua, Joseph and John.
XXXII — Joshua married Mary \'incent. and
had nine children: John, Joseph, Abraham,
Daniel, James, Joshua, Sarah, Abigail and
Isaac. XXXIII — John, of Dutchess county,
was born January 5, 1762, and died January
26, 1853. He married Esther Crawford, and
had eight children: Peter, Daniel, James,
Elizabeth, Abigail, Charlotte. William and
Ann. XXXIV — Daniel was born in Clinton
township. Dutchess county, April 15, 1805,
and died October 22, 1875. He was a farmer;
he married Malinda LeRoy, and had four chil-
dren : Eliphalet P. , of Rowland ; John D. , of Salt
Point; Joseph E., of Poughkeepsie, and Cas-
per L., our subject.

The thirty-fifth generation of this remark-
able family are all worthy representatives, in-
telligent, progressive and prosperous. Casper
L. Odell attended during boyhood the public
schools of Hyde Park, where the family moved
when he was only five years old. He entered
Union College at Schenectady, but while in
the sophomore year his father died, and he
was obliged to leave his studies and solve in a
practical way the problem of self-support. For
a year he was a clerk in the law office of Smith
and Jackson, at Schenectady, N. Y. , and the
next year taught school at Scotia. In 1876
he came to Poughkeepsie and studied law with
J. S. Van Cleef and William M. Lee, and was
admitted in 1879. For some time he con-
tinued with Mr. Lee, and then clerked in the
county clerk's office under William A. Fanning
and Wilson B. Sheldon. He is an influential
worker in the Republican party, and has never
been defeated at an election. He was chosen
supervisor of the Third ward in 18 — , serving
two terms, justice of the peace in 18S6, and
city recorder in November, 1894. In 1885 he
opened an office and began the practice of his
profession, in which he has been unusually

On December 16, 1879. he was married,
at Lawyersville, Schoharie county, to Katha-
rine T. Davis, born December 16, 1854, daugh-



ter of Rev. William P. Davis. Their children,
the thirty-sixth generation of the ancient line,
are LeRoy L. , born October 6, 1880; Joseph
D., May 22, 1882; Lawrence C. , January 31,
1885; Ralph M., December 31, 1887; Free-
man Dewitt, March 11, 1890; and William D.,
March 22, 1893.

Mr. Odell is a member of the K. of P.,
Poughkeepsie Lodge No. 43, and of the F. &
A. M., Triune Lodge No. 782, Poughkeepsie
Chapter No. 172, R. A. M.. King Solomon's
Council No. 31, R. & S. M., Poughkeepsie
Commandery No. 43, K. T., Mecca Temple
No. I, A. A. O. N. M. S., and Poughkeepsie
Lodge B. P. O. E.

IE LLISON BUTTS, a well-known member
.M^L of the Dutchess County Bar, is especially
distinguished for his knowledge and skill in
real-estate law and the different questions in-
volved in trusts. He is descended from one of
the old pioneer families of New England. The
first American ancestor, Thomas Butts, came
from Norfolk, England, May 18, 1660, and
settled at Little Compton, R. I., which was
then a part of the Plymouth Colony. He mar-
ried, and had three sons and one daughter.
One of the sons, Moses, who was born July

30, 1673, married, and had seven children,
among whom was a son John, born August

31, 1707.

John Butts married Alice Wodell, October
26, 1727, and with his family came to Dutch-
ess county, locating on the " Little Nine Part-
ners Patent," in the town of Washington,
where he purchased a farm of 200 acres from
Isaac Thorn. The original deed, dated Octo-
ber 4, 1748, is now in the possession of J. De-
Witt Butts, of Rochester, N. Y. John Butts
died about 1797, leaving a large estate, which
was distributed in accordance with his Will,
probated in the office of the Surrogate of
Dutchess County, July 25, 1797. He had nine
children, of whom one, Moses, had died about
1780, leaving two 3'oung children, Daniel and
Hannah. Daniel Butts, our subject's great-
grandfather, was born in 1768, and died in
1817. He married Isabella Gardner, and about
179- moved to a farm in the town of Stanford,
Dutchess county, where he built a large and
substantial mansion, which is still standing.
Daniel and Isabella Butts had eleven children,
the eldest being Moses (our subject's grand-
father), who was born December 16, 1786,

and, like most of this family, passed his life
in agricultural pursuits. He was married,
March 22. 1806, to Mary Waltermire, of the
town of Stanford, and his death occurred in
the same township, June 4, 1851. He had
eight children: David W., William, Hiram,
Angeline, Daniel, Walter, Alfred, and George
F., the father of our subject.

The late George F. Butts was born De-
cember 13, 1823, in the town of Stanford,