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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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the stockholders and directors of the Dover
Plains National Bank. He has always taken
a deep interest in political affairs, favoring the
Democratic party with his support, but has
never aspired lo public office, perferring the
quiet life which he has always led, though he
has often been urged to accept official posi-
tions. He is an earnest Christian gentleman,
having the respect and confidence of all who
know him.

Mr. Benson has been twice married, his
first union being with Miss Mariette Hufcut,
daughter of John and Mary Hufcut, who were
prosperous farmers of Denmark, Lewis Co.,
N. Y. They became the parents of seven
children: Clark H., who married Nina Oxley;
George V., who wedded Carrie Fry; Martha
A., who died at the age of si.xteen years; Mary,
who became the wife of James Bird; Carrie
and Sarah, who died in infancy; and Hattie. j
In 1872, the mother of these children died,
and two years later Mr. Benson married a sis-
ter of his former wife. Miss Caroline Hufcut,
by whom he has one son, Horatio S., who was
born December 24, 1874, and since complet-
ing his education in Dover Plains, has en-
gaged in teaching school in one of the district
schools of the town of Dover, Dutchess county.

The family to which Mrs. Benson belongs
have also been prominent agriculturists of
Dutchess county. Her grandfather. George
Hufcut, was a native of Dover town, and re-
ceived his education in the school of Dover
Plains, where he also studied law. He prac-
ticed to some extent in connection with farm-
ing, but gave most of his time to the latter pur-
suit. He married Miss Hannah Benson, of
Dover Plains, and to them were born the fol-
lowing children: Martha married William
Howard; John B. was the second in order of
birth; George B. married Sallie Dennis; Obed
was also married: Shedrish married Susan
T;i['ptncy; Henry first married a Miss Dixon,

and, after her death, Eliza Wheeler; William
married Pattie Preston; Perry married Sarah
Schammerhorn; Jane married Aaron Benson;
Caroline first married Myron Knickerbocker,
and, for her second husband, Samuel Edward;
and Betsj' married Andrew Pitcher.

John B. Hufcut, the father of Mrs. Ben-
son, was a native of the town of Dover, Dutch-
ess county, where he attended school, and like
his father, followed the occupation of farm-
ing. In early life he married Miss Mary Simp-
son, daughter of Ambrose and Elizabeth
Simpson, prosperous farmers of Dover Plains,
and to them were born seven children: .Am-
brose, who married Lurinna W^ilson; Henry,
who married Elizabeth Butterworth; George,
who wedded Melvina Barnum; Delia, who be-
came the wife of Samuel Worm; Martha, who
remained single; Mariette. the first wife of our
subject; and Caroline, the present Mrs. Ben-

SAMUEL P. TEN BROECK, a prominent
' agriculturist of the town of Wappinger,
Dutchess county, and a descendant of one of
the oldest and most distinguished families of
that locality, was born March 20, 1S39, in the
town of Livingston, Columbia county, N. Y.
His father, the late Samuel Ten Broeck, was
also a native of Columbia county, and passed
his early years there, removing to the town of
Rhinebeck, Dutchess count}', when the sub-
ject of this sketch was only six years old.

Mr. Ten Broeck has spent most of his
years in Dutchess county. On October 25,
1876, he was united in marriage with Miss
Adeline Montfort, and settled upon the farm
near New Hackensack where she was born.
Her family has been prominent in this region
for several generations, her ancestors being
among the earliest settlers. Her grandfather
was a leading farmer in the town of Fishkill.
and her father, the late John Montfort, fol-
lowed the same pursuit. He married Miss
Martha Emmons, a member of another well-
known family and daughter of Cornelius Em-
mons, a prosperous agriculturist of the same
localit}-. They established their home at the
farm now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Ten-
Broeck, and reared a family of four children:
Catherine, deceased; Adeline. Mrs. Ten Broeck;
Gertrude, now residing in Chicago; and John
Jacob, deceased. Mr. Montfort was never
active in political life, but he was a supporter



of the principles of the Democratic party, and
was influential in local movements of various

Our subject has resided at this farm since
1877, and is considered one of the successful
farmers of the vicinity. He has no specialty,
his 1 14 acres being devoted to f^^eneral crops.
Mrs. Ten Broeck is an Episcopalian, but they
attend the Reformed Church. Their four
children — Catherine, Samuel M., Charles and
Walter L. — are all at home. In politics, Mr.
Ten Broeck, like his ancestors before him, ad-
heres to the Democratic faith.

C^\OLLINS SHELDON, a leading lawyer of
_^' Millerton, and an ex-surrogate of Dutchess
county, was born July 26, 1839, in Copake,
Columbia Co., N. Y. The Sheldon family is
of English origin, but on the maternal side the
ancestr}' is Irish. Agrippa Sheldon, our sub-
ject's great-grandfather, was born in South
Dover, Dutchess county, and was a blacksmith
there for many years.

Gideon Sheldon, our subject's grandfather,
was born at South Dover, and lived there un-
til he was about twenty-five years old, when
he moved to Copake, and purchased a farm of
200 acres on which he spent the remainder of
his life. He was a man of note in that local-
ity, a ^Vhig in politics, and for a number of
years was a justice of the peace. He died in
1835, his wife, Lydia Lake, surviving him un-
til 1850. They had nine children: Henry;
Isaiah; Eliza, wife of Thomas Trafford; Daniel;
Emma, wife of Jacob Vosburgh; James; and
three who died in childhood.

Henry Sheldon, the father of our subject,
was born at the old homestead in South Dover,
July 23, 18 1 2, but his life was passed mainly at
Copake. He inherited his father's farm, and
was largely engaged in cattle raising, being
noted for his ex'cellent judgment in this line.
He was a man of fine natural ability, possess-
ing an unusually good memory, and his strong
and positive nature made him a leader in the
community. In early life he was a \\'hig, and
later a Republican, but he never sought political
position for himself. He was greatly interested
in educational wofk and in the temperance
movement, taking advanced ground in both,
and he was an active and generous supporter of
the Methodist Church. He married Selina
Cook, daughter of Lot Cook, a well-known
citizen of Amenia. His death occurred in De-

cember, 1865, his wife surviving him until
1892. Of their nine children all were care-
fully educated to fill honorable positions in life.
They are: Eveline, living at Brooklyn; Col-
lins; Wilson, a farmer at Hillsdale, N. Y. ;
Allen, a farmer and speculator at the same
place; Miranda, who married Chester Dayton,
of Northampton, Mass.; Otis, a farmer of
Copake; Franklin, living at Glens Falls, N. Y. ;
Frances, living at Northampton; and George,
a resident of New Briton, Connecticut.

Collins Sheldon attended the public schools
of Copake for some years, and in i860 was a
student at the Hudson River Institute at
Claverack. He then took the regular course
in the Albany Law School, graduating May
23, 1862, and after some months of preparatory
work in the office of Maynard, Wright &
Moore, he went to Millerton and opened an
office of his own, February 23, 1863. Since
that time he has been successfully engaged in
practice, making no specialty of any particular
branch, although his business consists mainly
of the settlement of estates, in which he has
gained a high reputation. In 1864 he was
elected clerk of the town of Northeast, and in
the fall of 1877 was chosen surrogate of
Dutchess county, taking office January i, 1878,
and serving for six years with entire satisfac-
tion to the public. He was offered a re-
nomination, but declined it. He has taken a
leading part in various local movements, es-
pecially those which relate to educational
affairs, and was a town trustee at the time of
the building of the Union Free School house,
and was a trustee of Millerton Academy.
Possessing keen perceptions and strong con-
victions, he is a forcible and pungent speaker,
and a most positive man.

In June, 1867, Mr. Sheldon was married
to Miss Maria Pulver, daughter of Henry Pul-
ver, a prominent resident of Stanford, and has
two children — Harriet, who is at home, and is
a graduate of Mrs. Gynn's Seminary in Pough-
keepsie, and Wallace A., a graduate of the
Albany Law School, who is now in practice
with his father, under the firm name of C. &
W. A. Sheldon.

; of Moores Mill, Dutchess county, a rising

young physician whose abilities are already
winning recognition, is a descendant of an old
English family, being of the seventh genera-



tion in the direct line from Col. Harry Hall,
who came from England about 1690, and set-
tled in Connecticut. By his activity during
Queen Anne's War he gained the name of
" Harry, the Indian Killer," and is so men-
tioned in history His son, Ichabod Hall,
settled in Enfield. Conn., and was married
May 31, 1730, to Lois Kibbie, of that place.
Their son, Ebenezer Hall, moved to Massa-
chusetts, and died there in 18 17. His son.
Gen. Isaac Hall, married Vashti Johnson, of
New Marlboro, Mass., and moved to Pompey,
N. Y. , in 1797. Their son, Johnson Hall, was
born at Sheffield, Mass., January 6, 1794, and
became a hardware merchant at Syracuse,
N. Y., where he died October 27, 1870. He
was known as Judge Hall. He was married
in 1 8 16 to Polly Andrews, and their son, John-
son LaFayette Hall, our subject's father, was
born at La Fayette, N. Y., September 16,
1825. He obtained a district-school educa-
tion, and then went into the hardware business
with his father, but later engaged in forwarding
freight on the canal, owning a fleet of boats
at Oswego. He is now an expert accountant
at Syracuse. On August 22, 1848, he was
married in that city to Marcelia Wood, daugh-
ter of Noah and Pauline (Holmes) Wood.
Her father was a well-known business man at
Buffalo and Chicago. Mrs. Hall died Decem-
ber 6, 1890, leaving three children, viz.: (i)
Florence Elizabeth, born June 4, 1849, mar-
ried Henry Cory, of New York City, and has
one daughter — Florence Pauline. (2) Irene
Virginia, born April 17, 1853, married John
Clark Howe, of St. Louis, and has one child —
Guy La Fayette.

E. J. Hall, the third and youngest member
of this familj', wasborn at Oswego, N.Y. , March
6, 1855, and after attending the public schools
of that city for some years he studied at St.
John's Military School in Manlius, N. Y. He
then entered the business world, spending five
years with the St. Paul's Harvester Works at
St. Paul, Minn., si.x years in a drug store at
Syracuse, and twelve years in a hardware store
at Si. Louis, Mo. During this time the desire
to follow his present profession became too
strong to be overcome by his unpromising cir-
cumstances, and he began his preparation by
private study. Three years of reading fitted
him to undertake practical work in anatomy
with profit, and he spent two years in dissect-
ing at night at St. Louis Medical College. To
this preliminary work he added three full

years of study at the Homeopathic College of
Missouri, graduating in the spring of 1894.
April 17, 1895, he passed the Regent's e.xami-
nation in this State, and December 16, 1895, he
located at Moores Mill, purchasing the prac-
tice of Dr. Warren C. McFarland. He is the
fourth physician to occupy his present residence
in Moores Mill.

Dr. Hall was married at St. Louis to Miss
Ellen Frances Cooper, daughter of the late
William Fenimore Cooper, who was formerly
a w'ell- known hosier at Watertown, N. Y., and
a member of the Masonic fraternity. He en-
listed in the' looth N. Y. V. I., and lost his
life in the Union cause.

J HYATT LYKE, D. D. S., a leading den-
tist of the town of Millerton, Dutchess
^ county, was born September 9, 1864, in
Copake, Columbia Co., N. Y. He is a son of
John Lyke, now a prominent resident of Pough-
keepsie. who retired from business some years
ago, and his academic education was obtained
there, with the exception of two years at Wil-
bur, Mass. During the last year of his course
in the Poughkeepsie high school he left, only
a month or two before the graduation day, to
begin the study of dentistry in the office of Dr.
Mills, and, after seven months of preparation,
he entered the New York College of Dentistry.
After one year there he went to the Philadel-
phia Dental College, where he also remained
a year and was graduated, the youngest mem-
ber of the class.

Immediately after his graduation he began
the practice of his profession at Pine Plains,
succeeding Dr. Seaman. He remained there
several years, and enjoyed a lucrative practice;
but seeing an opportunity for more rapid ad-
vancement and a larger business, he moved to
Millerton, in May, 1891, taking the practice
of Dr. C. I. Bailey. He has been more than
ordinarily successful, his practice including
many of the best people of Millerton and vicin-
ity, and extending for some distance up and
down the Harlem railroad. He was married
in 1889 to Miss Georgia Rowe, daughter of
Clinton Rowe, a well-known resident of Pine
Plains, and has had two children — Clinton and

While he is an earnest advocate of local im-
provement, and a stanch believer in the princi-
ples of the Republican party, the Doctor has
never taken an active part in public affairs.



He is much interested in the breeding of the
English greyhound, and owns two famous speci-
mens — "Southern Rhymes " and " Bestwood
Daisy. " The former has won ten first prizes
in England and seven in this country — three
in the challenge class and four in the open
class. He has defeated the " Gem of the Sea-
son," owned in Toronto, Canada, the winner
of 1/5 first prizes, and without doubt is the
best of his breed to-day in America. "Best-
wood Daisy" is the winner of fifty-one first
premiums in this country and is the best of
three well-known dogs, "Southern Beauty"
and " Spinaway " being the other members of
the trio.

HENRY M. SWIFT, a highly esteemed
resident of the town of Unionvale, Dutch-
ess county, residing near Verbank, is a man
of liberal education who, preferring a country
life to the more exciting scenes of a profes-
sional career, has devoted his time to agricult-
ural pursuits.

He is a descendant of William Swift, a na-
tive of the County of Essex, England, who
came to Boston during the immigration of 1630-
163 I. On his arrival in Massachusetts, he lo-
cated at Watertown, but he sold his posses-
sions there in 1637, and removed to Sandwich,
Mass., on the Cape, purchasing the largest
farm in that vicinity, which is still in the pos-
session of his lineal descendants. He had three
children: William (2), Hannah and Esther.
William Swift (2) was born in England, and
came to this country with his father. He
married, and became the father of eleven chil-
dren: Hannah, William, Jireh, Josiah, Tem-
perance, Esther, Dinah, Ephraim, Samuel,
Ruth and Mary. Ephraim was born at the
old homestead in Sandwich, Mass., June 6,
1656, and became a carpenter and cooper by
occupation. He died in January, 1742. Their
seven children were: Elizabeth, Joham, Sam-
uel, Ephraim, Sarah, Hannah and Moses.
Samuel Swift was born at Sandwich April 9,
1686, and died in December, 1757. By trade
he was a carpenter and blacksmith. He was
married December 24, 1712, at Falmouth,
Mass., to Miss Ruth Hatch and they reared a
family of nine children: Ephraim, Manassa,
Judah, Reuben, Moses, Mary, Joanna, Joan
and Lydia. Judah Swift, the great-grand-
father of our subject, was born September 3,
1 7 16, at the old home on Cape Cod, and in

1769 came to Dutchess county, with his wife,
Elizabeth Morton, of Falmouth, Mass., to
whom he was wedded December 14, 1738.
They were accompanied by their children, and
made the journey with an ox-team. Mr.
Swift settled in the town of Amenia, purchas-
ing first the property now known as the Bar-
low farm, but later he exchanged it for a larg-
er tract, now owned by N. W. Smith. At the
time of his death, January 17, 1807, he was
one of the most extensive land holders of
Dutchess county, owning 1800 acres. In poli-
tics he was a Tory. His wife died in 1802 at
the age of eighty-two. They had eight chil-
dren: Lois, Samuel, Nathaniel, Moses, Re-
becca, Seth, Elizabeth and Moses (2).

Samuel Swift went west, and bought the
land where the city of Auburn, N. Y., now
stands. Elizabeth married (first) Sam Jarvis,
and (second) a Mr. Hawkins. Seth Swift, our
subject's grandfather, was born at Falmouth,
Mass., March 16, 1757, and on arriving at
manhood's estate he engaged in farming upon
a portion of his father's property. In 1782 he
married Mary Wells, by whom he had six
children: Henry, who married Rebecca War-
ner; Moses, who married Hannah Payne; E.
Morton, our subject's father; Thomas, who
married Emma Gront; Ann, the wife of William
T. Hobson; and Maria, Mrs. Allen Cline.

E. Morton Swift, the father of our subject,
was born in the town of Amenia, in 1790, and
after acquiring a common-school education in
the local schools studied law. engaging in the
practice of the profession at Poughkeepsie and
Dover Plains. He married Miss Belinda Bar-
low, daughter of Thomas Barlow, a well-known
farmer of Amenia. Our subject was the eldest
of seven children, the names of the others with
datesof birth being as follows: Ann, December
18, 1814; Rebecca, February 28, 1818; Maria,
July 4, 1820;. Harriet, November 13, 1822;
Amie, December 13. 1825; and Mary, August
25, 1829. The father passed to his eternal
rest May 10, 1859, at the age of sixty-nine.

Capt. Swift first saw the light July 17,
1 8 10, at the old farm in Amenia. His literary
education was completed by a course at Union
College, Schenectady, N. Y., and he then
studied law, but he never practiced his pro-
fession. He is one of the prosperous agri-
culturists of his locality, and is prominent in
local affairs. Although he has not aspired to
ofiice for himself, he has always been influen-
tial in political movements in his section, as is



well shown by the historj- of the nomination of
Kiilian Miller for Congress. During the Civil
war our subject was appointed on the staff of
General Clark, the Commissary General of the
Army of the Potomac, with the rank of Cav-
alry Captain, and he still has in his possession
the original commission signed by Edwin M.
Stanton and President Abraham Lincoln.
Capt. Swift enlisted April 14, 1862, and
served until 1864. He reported for his first
duty at the White House. He participated in
many engagements, and his reminiscences of
the war are very interesting. At the time of
the battle of Fair Oaks he was at the White
House, where he met Gen. Clark, and was
ordered to the scene of battle, and after
remaining there one week he joined the forces
on the Potomac.

In 1834 Capt. Swift was married to Miss
Sarah Cofifin, daughter of I'fobert and Magda-
line (Bently) Coffin, and they have had six
children: (i) Belinda, born January 22, 1836,
died in infancy. (2) Robert, born June 16,
1S37, was educated in the common schools of
Amenia township, and is now a trusted employe
of the Harlem R. R. He married Miss Mag-
gie Elliot, and has two children: Samuel E.
and Sarah. (4) Morton, born April 14, 1840,
received a comrnon-school education, and is
now engaged in the postal service. He mar-
ried Miss Francesca Cooke, and has three
children: Lucy. Belinda and Harriet. (4)
Henry and (^5) Jane have never married.

TARVEY J. FRENCH, a prominent and
JfA successful merchant tailor of Poughkeep-
sie, Dutchess county, is a native of New York
State, born in the city of Albany, August
12, 1862.

The family of which our subject is a mem-
ber is of English origin, and his grandfather,
Samuel French, was a merchant tailor in Lon-
don. England, during the early part of the
present century, and died there. He had but
one child, Samuel (the father of our subjectl,
who was born in 1825, learned of his father
the trade of tailor in the Mother Country, and
in 1857 came to the United States, settling in
Albany, N. Y., where he commenced business
as a merchant tailor, continuing in that line
some thirty-five years, or until 1892, when he
retired from active work, and now makes his
home in Syracuse, N. Y. In England he had
married Miss Ann Barnett, who survives him,

and nine children (all living) were born of this
union, to wit: Samuel H., a merchant tailor
in Albany, N. Y. ; Kate, the wife of Dr. W.
H. Todd, of Dobbs Ferry, N. Y. ; Annie, wife
of George Barnhart, of Columbus, Ohio; Mabel,
the wife of Fred L. Geer, a well-known mer-
chant of Albany; Harvey J-, our subject; Har-
riet, the wife of T. Rockwood Cutler, a prom-
inent architect in New York City; Grace, the
wife of Frederick Hemming, a merchant of
Syracuse, N. Y. ; Bertha, at home; and Clar-
ence, living in Syracuse.

Harvey J. French, whose name introduces
this sketch, passed his boyhood in Albany, at
the public schools of which city he received his
primary education, later attending All Saints
Cathedral school, an institution conducted un-
der the auspices of the Episcopal Church, and
presided over by Bishop Doane. From that
school Mr. French was graduated, and he then
entered his father's place of business as an ap-
prentice to the tailoring trade, making him-
self a thorough master of the business, espe-
cially in the cutting department. Later he
graduated from a "cutting school" in New
York City, and then opened out a tailoring es-
tablishment in Albany, N. Y., which he con-
ducted some six years; but owing to impaired
health was compelled to abandon work and
recuperate for a year. His health being re-
established, he took charge of the custom de-
partinent of Julius Saul's tailoring business in
Troy, N. Y., the largest of the kind in that

In March. 1892, Mr. French came to
Poughkeepsie, where he accepted the position
of cutter for Peter B. Hayt & Co.. which he
filled two years, at the end of that time resign-
ing to engage in a similar capacity with M.
Swartz. In the winter of 1895 he commenced
his present successfully-conducted business on
the corner of Main and Garden streets, and in
the face of strong competition has advanced
rapidly to the position of one of the leading
merchant tailors of the city. He employs
only skilled workmen, which fact, together
with his genial good nature and painstaking
methods, as well as determination to please
his patrons at whatever cost of time and
trouble, have secured for him, and retain, a
liberal portionof the best business of thecounty.
In Albany, New York, in June, 1883, Mr.
French was united in marriage with Miss May
W. Nichols, daughter of Charles C. Nichols, a
prominent architect of that city, and to them



have been born three children : Clifford,
Harold, and Harvey, Jr. While a resident of
Albany our subject was a member of Company
A, N. G. N. Y., Albany Zouave Cadets. After a
service of six years Mr. French applied for and
received an honorable discharge; he then joined
the Old Guard of Company A, a leading social
organisation of that city, which numbers
among its members nearly all the prominent
professional and business men of the city. In
Poughkeepsie he is a member of Armor Lodge,
K. of P., of the Booth Hose Co., and of the
Century Bicycle Club. He was once elected
lieutenant of the Nineteenth Separate Com-
pany, N. Y. S. N. G., but declined to accept
the honor. In religious faith he and his wife
are members of Christ Episcopal Church, of

IrRVING DEYO LE ROY, M. D., a prom-
_\ inent physician and surgeon of Pleasant
Valley, Dutchess county, by his devotion to
his work, and the careful study and diagnosis
of the various diseases that have come under
his observation, has been unusually success-
ful, and has gained an enviable reputation as
a skilled practitioner. He belongs to a family
long prominently connected with the hi?tory
of Dutchess county, although his birth occurred
at Highland, Ulster Co., N. Y., on April i8,


The founder of the family in this country
was Frans LeRoy, who was of French Hugue-
not descent, the family having emigrated from
France with the Huguenots, and taken up

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