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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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plete charge. In the winter of 1885-6 he
erected his present brick block at the corner
of Union and John streets, Nos. 47 and 49 John
street, and 50 Union street. After its comple-
tion he there removed his stock of groceries,
and now does a large and paying retail busi-
ness; he also resides in the building.

On November 8, 1871, Mr. Muldowney was
married to Miss Mary E. Driscoll, a native of
New York City, and a daughter of John Dris-
coll, a sailor, who was born in Ireland. Their
family circle now includes ten children; one
died in infancy. The others are all at home,
namely: Mary, Joseph, Edward, Jennie,
John, Frank, Hugh, Winnie, Rosamond and

Following in the footsteps of his father, Mr.
Muldowney casts his ballot in support cf the
Democratic party, and has been twice elected
alderman of the Second ward of Poughkeepsie,

the last time in 1892, being president of the
council that term. He has been quite success-
ful in his business undertakings, and is now a
member of the Board of Trade and the Busi-
ness Men's Association. He is one of the most
public-spirited and progressive men of the cit}',
and he and his wife are faithful members of the
Roman Catholic Church.

GILBERT FOWLER, one of the most
_^ prominent and prosperous agriculturists
of the town of Rhinebeck, Dutchess county,
was born October 15, 1840, in the town of
Clinton, where at least three previous genera-
tions of the family had lived.

His first American ancestor came from
England at an early date, and his grandfather,
Gilbert Fowler, was born in Dutchess county,
and became a farmer in the town of Clinton,
but later in life he moved to Illinois, where
his death occurred. He married Miss Powell,
a native of Clinton, and reared a family of
seven children: Gilbert, our subject's father;
Weeden, a merchant and truckman in New
York City; James, a cooper in the town of
Hyde Park; Amond, a resident of New York
City; Derinda, who married Dr. Braidj', of
Little Rock, 111.; Anna, who married Jesse
Braidy, of Illinois; and Mary, the- wife of
Henry Abbey, a wagon maker in Little Rock.

Gilbert Fowler (2), the father of our sub-
ject, grew to manhood in the town of Clin-
ton, and married Hannah Frost, a lady of
English descent, and a daughter of William
Frost, a well-known farmer there. Shortly
after his marriage he took his young wife to
New York City and engaged in the trucking
business, but he did not live long, his death
occurring before the birth of our subject. His
wife survived him many years; dying in 1894.

The subject of our sketch was reared in
the town of Clinton, and October 31, 1867,
he was united in marriage with Amanda De-
Wint, a descendant of one of the early French
settlers, and daughter of George De Wint, a
leading farmer of Rhinebeck. The first year
after his marriage they went to Illinois, where
Mr. Fowler farmed for a year; but in 1868 he
returned, and has since been contented with
the fertile fields and picturesque scenes of his
native county. He first purchased a farm of
118 acres, where he lived until 1889, when he
bought the Pultz farm of 103 acres near Rhine-



beck, all of which he devotes to general farm-
ing. Mrs. Fowler died July 23, 1892, leaving
four children bereft of her loving care: Emory,
Jesse, Gilbert and Edna Mae, all of whom are
at home. Two others had died in infancy.
Mr. Fowler's ancestors on both sides were
Quakers in faith, but he and his lamented wife
had united with the Lutheran Church.

In politics our subject is a Republican, and
while he is no politician he takes an influential
part in local affairs, befriending every progress-
ive movement.

PETER M. CORNELL. The subject of
this sketch was born on his present home-
stead in the town of Lagrange, Dutchess
count}", November 20, 181 5, and is the son of
Isaac and Elizabeth (Hoffman) Cornell.

Isaac Cornell was born at Bushwick, Long
Island, and at the age of three years was
brought by his parents to Lagrange. Here he
grew to manhood, receiving his education in
the district schools. He was married to Miss
Hoffman, who was a native of the town of
Poughkeepsie, and the following children were
born: Peter M., our subject; William A.,
Margaret, Mar\", and Elizabeth, all deceased;
Isabella; and Frederick, living iii Kansas. Mr.
Cornell died in Lagrange in 1875, and his wife
in 1878.

Peter Cornell, the grandfather of our sub-
ject, wasone of the earliest settlers of the town of
Lagrange. He married Miss Marcia Messarole,
and to them were born the following children:
Cornelius, Margaret, Eliza, Jane, Sarah and
Isaac, all of whom are deceased. Mr. Cornell
was of French ancestors, who were exiled from
France at the revocation of the Edict of
Nantes. They went to Bavaria, and from there
came to America. Mr. Cornell died on his
farm in Lagrange.

Peter M. Cornell, our subject, remained
on the old homestead in Lagrange with his
father, and in his youth went to the district
schools. He has devoted all his time to farm.-
ing. At one time he was justice of the peace
of Lagrange. He has never married.

William A., brother of our subject, married
Miss Helen Wickoff, and had four children:
Isaac, \\'illiam, Elizabeth, and Jacob W.
Frederick, another brother, married Miss Alice
Barnes, and three children were born to them:
Edward, Ann, and Peter M.

ROBERT HUTCHISON, one of the repre-
sentative farmers of Lagrange, was born

in Perthshire, Scotland, July 24, 1857, and
remained there during his boyhood, receiving
his education in the parish schools. He served
a three-years' apprenticeship at the carpenter's
trade in Enochdhu, Scotland, and then worked
in Glasgow for four years, and at Newcastle-
upon-Tyne for three and a half years.

In 1882 our subject emigrated to America
and located in New York City, where he fol-
lowed his trade for nine years. In 1891 he
moved to the town of Lagrange and bought his
present farm, on which he has since lived. He
was married in New York City May 11, 1887,
to Miss Maggie J. Forbes, a native of Wap-
pingers Falls. Mr. Hutchison owes his pres-
ent prosperous condition to his own enterprise
and energy. He is a Republican in politics,
and a member of the Reformed Dutch Church
at New Hackensack.

Robert Hutchison, father of our subject,
was born in Fifeshire, Scotland, where he is
still living on the farm, pursuing the occupa-
tion he has alwaj's followed. He married Miss
Jeannette Petrie, by whom he had three chil-
dren, namely: Elsie, Robert and George.
James Hutchison, our subject's grandfather,

was born

in Fifeshire also, where he followed

JOHN SELLECK LANDON, one of the sub-
stantial farmers of Dutchess county, was

born in the town of Lagrange, Dutchess
county, April 25, 1843. As a boy he attended
the district schools of his native town and, later,
the Irving Institute at Tarrytown, N. Y. , and
Bisbee's school at Poughkeepsie. He remained
upon the farm with his father until his mar-
riage, in Poughkeepsie, to Miss Jane Ken-
worthy, a daughter of Richard Kenworthy.
Of this union one child was born, Edith, now
the wife of John Townsend.

Mr. Landon farmed for seven years after
his marriage, and then followed the milling
business at Manchester Bridge, Lagrange town,
for nine years. In 1890 he bought his present
farm, to which he has since devoted his time
and attention. He is a member of the Farm-
ers Alliance, is a stanch Democrat, and has
held the office of town auditor for several years.

James H. Landon, the father of our sub-
ject, was born in the town of Poughkeepsie,
June 23, 1 8 14. He attended school there and.



later, in Lagrange, and at the Willets Boarding
School in the town of Washington. He re-
mained on the farm with his father until the
death of the latter, and has lived at his pres-
ent residence for thirtj'-seven years. He was
married January 19, 1842, to Jane A., daugh-
ter of Reuben Tanner. Of this union the fol-
lowing children were born: John Selleck, our
subject; Mary T., born Februarj' 5, 1848,
married Galen Overocker, and they had two
children, Daniel W. , born August 13, 1883,
and Mary, born October 23, 1884. Mrs.
Overocker died November 8, 1884. Mr. Lan-
don was assessor of the town of Lagrange for
many years, and also held the office of town
auditor, being elected on the Democratic
ticket. Mr. and ^frs. Landon celebrated their
golden wedding January 19, 1892, and are as
bright and lively as man}^ people twenty years

Joel Landon, the grandfather of John Sel-
leck, was a native of Connecticut, born July
22, 1 77 1, married Deborah Selleck (born Oc-
tober 3, 1773), May 30, 1 81 2, and their chil-
dren were: John S., born March 30, 1813,
died December 16, 1837; and James H., men-
tioned above. Joel Landon died August 23,
1839, and his wife, Deborah, October 10, 1871.

WILLIAM J. WELLING, a substantial
farmer of the town of Washington,

Dutchess county, was born in that locality,
March 22, 1833. The first person bearing the
name of \\^elling in this country came from
Wales and settled in Dutchess county. From
him descended Thomas, the great-grandfather
of our subject, who was born probably in
Pleasant \'alley.

William, his son, was also born there, and
his son, James M., the father of our subject,
was born in the town of Clinton, January 19,
1807. Thomas \^'elling married a Miss Ger-
mond, and they settled in what was then a
wilderness, where five children were born to
them. Of these, William married Elizabeth
Marshall, and settled on a farm. Two chil-
dren were born to them — James M. and Caro-
line C. The latter married William C. Smith,
a farmer in the town of Northeast, and is now
deceased. William \\'elling was a stanch

James M. was reared on a farm, and mar-
ried Susan Vail. She was born in Unionvale,
and was the daughter of Joseph and Mary

Vail, the former a farmer and a son of Israel
\'ail. The \'ails are among the oldest fami-
lies in Dutchess county. For some time after
his marriage our subject's father ran on the
Hudson river as captain of the steamer " Ga-
zelle," and subsequently for several years was
a stock salesman in New York City. Later in
life he spent his time upon his farm, where he
died July 31, 1882. His wife died September
23, 1886. He was a Democrat and held the
office of justice of the peace for some 3'ears.
In their religious belief the family have all
been Presbyterians. To James M. Welling
and his wife four children were born, namely:
Caroline C, who married Mark H. Wheeler,
a farmer in Lagrange; William J., our subject;
Edgar P.. who died in the Civil war; and
Frances E., deceased.

When our subject was nine years old he
went with his parents to Poughkeepsie, where
the}' made their home while the father was
engaged in steamboating. There he attended
the city schools for some years, and in 1846,
the family went back to their farm in the town
of Washington. William completed his edu-
cation in the Richmondville school in Scho-
harie county, N. Y., and for a while taught
school in the neighborhood of his old home.
He then took up farming, at which he has been
engaged ever since. He owns a tine place of
200 acres which is highly cultivated, and car-
ries on general farming, in which he has been
very successful. Although a man of agreeable
manners and excellent character, and standing
high in his community, Mr. Welling has never
married. He is a Republican and a strong
temperance advocate, and does all in his
power for the good of his fellow-men.

ILES K. LEWIS. There can be found
no biographies more interesting to read
than those of the industrious and enterprising,
who have risen from a state of comparative
poverty to a position of affluence. Prominent
among the men of Dutchess county who have
thus laboriously toiled onward and upward,
is the individual of whom this sketch is written.
He is now a successful business man of ^^'as-
saic, where for over thirty j-ears he has con-
ducted a general store.

Mr. Lewis was born at Sharon, Conn.,
August 15, 1842, and traces his ancestry back
to Benjamin Lewis, who came from England
with two brothers and located at Wallingford,



Conn., being one of forty families who laid
out that town. His name appears on the
Congregational Church records in 1677. He

married Miss Hannah , and their son

James wedded a Miss Judson, by whom he had
four children — James, John, David and Eph-
raim, the eldest of whom married a Miss Sher-
man, and their son Ephraim was the father of
Birdseye, the great-grandfather of our subject.

Birdseye Lewis was born at Huntington,
Conn., February 20, 1750, and died Novem-
ber 27, 1822. On November 11, 1773, he
married Miss Jerusha Thompson, whose death
occurred June 8, 1821. Their son, Cyrus
Lewis, the grandfather of our subject, was
born at Trumbull, Conn., November 15, 1778,
and on November 28, 1809, wedded Alice
Hawley, who was born October 29, 1793, and
died May 26, 1861. He departed this life
August 25, 1 86 1.

Miles B. Lewis, the father, was also a
native of Trumbull, Conn., where he secured
his education in the district schools, and served
an apprenticeship to the blacksmith's trade,
which he followed some forty years at Sharon,
Conn. At Milford, in that State, he was
united in marriage with Miss Maria Kelsey,
daughter of Horace Kelsey, and they became
the parents of four children, namely: William
S., of Chicago, 111.; Miles Kelsey, of this
sketch; Eliza (deceased); and Charles, of Car-
pentersville. III. The parents were good
Christian people, very earnest workers in the
Methodist Church, and were held in the highest
regard. The father's death occurred in April,
1892; the widowed mother now finds a pleas-
ant home with our subject.

Miles K. Lewis passed his boyhood at
Sharon, Conn., attending the public schools,
and at the age of fifteen years left the parental
roof, coming to Amenia, Dutchess county,
where he clerked for George Conklin in a gen-
eral merchandise store until the spring of 1 862.
He was then in the employ of Seward, Vail &
Haight, merchant tailors, as bookkeeper and

Filled with patriotic ardor, Mr. Lewis en-
listed, in September, 1862, in Company A,
150th N. Y. v. I., and was a member of the
regimental band until mustered out at Pough-
keepsie, in June, 1865. Returning to Dutch-
ess county, he was engaged in clerking in Dover
until January, 1866, when he opened his pres-
ent general store at Wassaic. In 1894 he ad-
mitted J. G. Doyle to a partnership in the

business. For fifteen years he was also con-
nected with the New York Condensed Milk
Factory at Wassaic as bookkeeper and super-
intendent, and was administrator of the Grid-
ley estate for seven years. In all his dealing
he is straightforward and honorable, and is
justly entitled to the high regard in which he
is held by all.

At Amenia, on October 24, 1867, Mr. Lewis
wedded Miss Julia C. Reed, daughter of Les-
ter and Margaret Reed, and to them have been
born four children: Emma Gridley, who mar-
ried E. J. Tanner, and has three children —
Lewis, Margaret and Frederick; Nina, wife of
Albert Hicks, of Wassaic; Alice and Roland.
Socially, Mr. Lewis affiliates with Dover Plains
Lodge No. 666, F. & A. M., of which he be-
came a member in 1867; and of J. M. Gregory
Post, G. A. R., of Sharon, Conn. He is a
member of the choir of the Presbyterian
Church at Amenia, as he takes great delight in
music; in politics he is an ardent Republican.

»OBERT H. TITUS, one of the substan-
tial farmers of Dutchess county, was
born in the town of Lagrange, August 5, 1835.
He spent his boyhood in the place of his birth,
and attended the public schools and the Nine
Partners Boarding School, in the town of

At the early age of ten years he went to
work in his father's woolen-factory, and after
the latter's death he continued the business
with his brothers until 1891, when he sold out
his interest to his brother Henry, and has
since devoted his time to farming. He was
married in 1864 to Miss Frances Sweet, a
daughter of Nehemiah and Millie Sweet, of
Poughkeepsie. Of this marriage were born
the following children: Mary Annette, Fran-
ces Adele, Helen Lossing and Warner Hatch.
Mr. Titus built his present beautiful residence
in the spring of 1S64.

Elias Titus, father of our subject, was born
in the town of Washington, where he received
his education. He was married in the town
of Pine Plains to Miss Mary A. Hoag, a daugh-
ter of Robert Hoag, a farmer of that town, and
the following children were born: Frances mar-
ried James E. Sleight, and four children were
born (both parents are deceased) ; Robert Hoag,'
our subject; Richard, deceased; Henry lives in
Poughkeepsie; Sarah resides in Lagrange;
Caroline Alida. Mr. Titus was living at La-



grange at the time of his marriage, where he
was running the woolen-factory with his father
and brothers. He continued in that business
from 1S28 until the time of his death in 1881.
In the early days the goods were shipped by
boat in summer and overland in winter. As a
business man he kept out of politics, and was
a member of the Quaker Church. His wife
died in 1838 or 1840.

John Titus, the grandfather, was born in
the town of Washington. He was married
three times, the grandmother of our subject
being his third wife. He was known as
" Squire Titus," and ran a factory for the man-
ufacture of woolen cloth.

The great-grandfather of our subject was
one of the early settlers of the town of Wash-
ington. The family came from Long Island.

JOHN R. THOMPSON. Success in any line
of occupation, in any avenue of business,
is not a matter of spontaneity, but is the
legitimate offspring of subjective effort in the
proper utilization of the means at hand, the
improvement of opportunity and the exercise
of the highest function made possible by the
specific ability in any case. In view of this
condition, the study of biography becomes val-
uable, and its lessons of practical use. Mr.
Thompson to-day stands at the head of several
important enterprises, and is one of the most
enterprising and successful business men of
Dutchess county, making his home in Amenia.
In the town of Amenia, our subject was
born July 8, 1851, and he is a son of Robert
R. and Catherine (Sanford) Thompson, the
latter of whom died in 1892. His father was
born in the town of Stanford, Dutchess county,
December 15, 181 5, a son of James, Thomp-
son and a grandson of Elias Thompson, also
residents of Dutchess county. For forty years
the father has been engaged in the insur-
ance business at Smithiield, and he is a highly
respected citizen. Our subject is the third in
a family of four children, the others being:
Ellen C, wife of William J. Clanney, of
Amenia; George (deceased); and Edward B.,
who is engaged in the poultry business in the
town of Amenia.

The early life of John R. Thompson was
passed upon a farm at Smithfield, and in at-
tending the district schools of the neighbor-
hood. On leaving the parental roof in 1874
he took charge of a general store at Sheko-

meko, Dutchess county, and was also operator,
station agent and postmaster for a year. He
then engaged in the insurance business with
his father at Smithfield, town of Amenia, for
some seven years, on the e.xpiration of which
time he there turned- his attention to agricult-
ural pursuits, and also owned a large farm in
Nebraska, but never resided thereon. While
purchasing a windmill for the latter place, he
became interested in the windmill business, and
since that time has engaged in selling those
machines all through the State; he also erected
the largest windmill plant in the world, located
at Chatham, Columbia Co., New York.

Until 1885 Mr. Thompson continued to en-
gage in agricultural pursuits at Smithfield, and
then removed to the village of Amenia, where
he has since resided. Together with B. H.
Fry, Charles Walsh, A. M. Card, of Sharon,
Conn. , and M. K. Lewis, of Wassaic, he as-
sisted in the incorporation of the Amenia
Water Co. , in 1881, and, with Mr. Lewis, also
owns the Wassiac water works, being now the
efficient superintendent of both water works,
as well as the one at Pine Plains. In 1885 he
entered the steam-heating business, and, in
advancing hi.s individual prosperity, he has
materially promoted the welfare of his county
and State.

In the town of Amenia, October 1 1, 1877,
Mr. Thompson was married to Miss Mary F.
Bertine, daughter of Robert Bertine, of
Amenia, and they have three children: Katie,
John R. and Annie Frances. For over twenty
years Mr. Thompson has been prominently
identified with Amenia Lodge No. 672, F. &
A. M., and he also holds membership in the
Royal Arcanum at Wassaic. Like his father,
he is an ardent Democrat, and is one of the
leading and representative citizens of the com-

DE WITT C. AYRES, a progressive and
' successful young agriculturist of the town

of Rhinebeck, Dutchess county, was born
February 12, i860, in Clinton Hollow.

His grandfather Ayres came from England
and located upon a farm in Dutchess county,
where he spent his remaining years. Jo-
seph Ayres, our subject's father, was born
in Oxford, England, and was nineteen years
old when he accompanied his parents to this
country. He married Margaret Marquet, a
native of the town of Rhinebeck, and located



in Clinton Hollow, where he followed the
butcher's trade for some years. In 1879 he
moved to the farm which is now owned by our
subject, and here he carried on his trade in
connection with farming. His wife died in
187S, and ten years later he, too, departed
this life. They had four children: Charles,
who died in 1888; Ue Witt C, our subject;
George D., a farmer in Rhinebeck, and one
who "died in infancy.

De Witt Ayres was trained in youth to the
habits of industry upon which his success is
based, and for a short time he followed the
butcher's trade successfully. On November
2, 1882, he married Miss Lelia Mills, a lady
of English descent, the daughter of William
Mills, a well-known blacksmith of Red Hook.
After their marriage they settled upon the
farm near I'ihinebeck, where they have since
remained. They have two children, Elsie
and Ruth.

Mr. Ayres devotes his one hundred acres
of land to general farming, and is regarded as
one of the most enterprising and judicious of
the young men of his locality. In politics he
follows the faith of his father and is a stanch

JOHN H. BOICE, one of the active, prom-
inent and most enterprising citizens of

Dutchess county, is at present engaged in
general farming and fruit growing in the town
of Red Hook. His birth occurred June 16,
1850, on a farm in Milan town, Dutchess
county, where his father, William Boice, and
his grandfather, Henry I. Boice, were also
born. The latter was a son of John Boice,
who was of Holland origin, and is supposed to
have been born in this country. After his
marriage with Miss Lown, Henry I. Boice be-
gan his domestic life upon the old family
homestead, where his three children were born,
one son and two daughters; but William was
the only one svho reached years of maturity.
To the cultivation of that farm the grandfather
gave his time and attention up to his death.

On reaching manhood the father of our
subject was united in marriage with Catherine
C. Pultz, a native of the town of Rhinebeck,
Dutchess county, and a daughter of David
Pultz, a farmer, who was of Holland lineage.
On the old homestead in Milan town, they be-
gan house-keeping, and there remained until
1869, when the father purchased the farm on

which our subject now resides, there continu-
ing to make his home until his death in 1881,
while his wife also died there on July 12, 1895.
He was identified with the Republican party.
The family circle included three children —
Elmer A. , a retired farmer, who now makes his
home in the village of Red Hook; Ida C, wife
of Henry Finger, an agriculturist of Columbia
county, N. Y. ; and John H.

John H. Boice, of this review, obtained his
elementary education in the district schools
near his home, but completed his literary
training at Rhinebeck, and was a resident of
the town of Milan until nineteen years of age.
Being reared a farmer's boy, he has followed
this vocation through life, and since 1869 has
lived upon his present farm, where in 1882 he

Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoCommemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York → online text (page 168 of 183)