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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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Dutchess county, and had his home throughout
his life near Cold Spring, in that town. On
December 16, 1851, he married his first wife,
Eliza D. Case, by whom he had three sons:
Allison, our subject, born October 2, 1852;
Charles H., horn February 5, 1855, now mar-
ried and living on the old homestead; and
Elias N., born August 10, 1865, now in the
Department of the Interior at Washington,
D. C. By a second wife, Cornelia Ailing,
there were no children; she is still living at the
homestead, where the father died, September
3, 1893.

Allison Butts spent his boyhood upon the
farm occupied by his father. He was edu-
cated in the common schools and academies of
Dutchess county, and at twenty began teach-
ing, but continued for a short time only. On
January i, 1874, he came to Poughkeepsie as
a clerk for Andrew C. Warren, then county
clerk, and soon afterward was appointed dep-
uty county clerk, which office he held through
both Republican and Democratic administra-
tions, until January i, 1881, when he re-
signed. He had in the meantime read law and
been admitted to the bar, and the large circle
of friends gained during his long term in the
county clerk's office made his entrance upon
his chosen profession a most promising ven-
ture. He immediately began a general prac-
tice at Poughkeepsie, and has been intimately
associated with the law firm of Hackett &
Williams, occupying offices in connection with
them. His business is an extensive one, trusts
and real-estate practice being now the leading
features. He is often appointed by the courts
to administer trusts, and has frequently served
as executor and attorney for large estates.
While he has conducted many important cases,
his office practice comprises the larger portion
of his work, and in his specialties he is recog-
nized as an authority by his fellow lawyers as
well as the laity.

His genial manners make him popular with
all classes. In municipal affairs he is active



84'



COMMEMORATIVE BIOQRAPnWAL RECORD.



and influential. Politically, he is a stanch
Democrat. He served two terms as police
commissioner of the city of Poughkeepsie, and
from 1887 to 1890 was a member of the board
of education. In Julj% 1S90, he was appointed
by the board of managers of the Hudson River
State Hospital to the office of treasurer of that
institution, which office he now holds, and he
has discharged the duties with characteristic
fidelity.

Mr. Butts was married Uecember 14, 1876,
to his first wife, Miss Phebe D. Mosher, of the
town of Stanford, Dutchess county. She died
December 15, 1882, leaving one son, Ralph
F., born April 6, 1878, who is now a student
in the Sophomore class at Harvard College.
Mr. l:5utts' second wife. Miss Arrie E. Mosher,
to whom he was married September 16, 1S85,
was cousin to his first. There are three chil-
dren by this union: Norman C, born August
8, 1888; Allison, Jr., born April 26, 1890, and
Wilbur Kingsley, born September 7, 1895.
Mr. Butts resides in a handsome home on
Academy street, Poughkeepsie, erected in 1895.



JUDGE D. W. GUERNSEY, for twelve
years past the judge of the County Court

of Dutchess County, is one of the most
distinguished members of the legal fraternity
in this locality. He is descended from an old
and honored pioneer family, one of the early
settlers being John Guernsey, his great-great-
grandfather, who was born in 1709 in Con-
necticut, either at New Milford or Woodbury.
He had a son, John Guernsey (2), born in
.\menia in October, 1734, who had a son,
Ezekial H. Guernsey, born in the same town
.\pril 19, 1775, who had a son, Stephen G.
Guernsey, the Judge's father, who was born
September 8, 1798, in the town of Stanford.'

Judge D. W. Guernsey entered upon his
earthly career March 27, 1834, in the town of
Stanford, and his early education was obtained
in the district schools of that neighborhood,
with one year at Rose Hill Academy at New-
burg, under Rev. Baynard R. Hall. On
leaving school, at the age of seventeen, he
taught for two years in Dutchess county, and
then began the study of law with George W.
Houghton, of Buffalo, N. Y. , who was a judge
in the superior court, and a member of the
legal firm of Houghton & Clark. The choice
of Buffalo as the place for study was influenced
by the fact that many relatives lived there,



and a cousin. Guernsey Sackett, was also
pursuing a course in law. In March, 1S56,
our subject passed his examination, was ad-
mitted to the bar, and in 1857 he and his
cousin went to Leavenworth, Kans. , and en-
gaged in practice. At that time Gen. Sher-
man and Gen. Ewing were practicing law
there. The Kansas-Nebraska bill was an ex-
ceedingly live issue, and as the Judge was a
Democrat he met with opposition from many
people, but, notwithstanding, he had a good
business, consisting mainly of cases before the
land commissioners, involving questions of
title. He argued cases before E. O. Perrin,
Shannon and Matthews, of the Interior De-
partment. As the time drew near when the
opposing forces of the Union appealed to arms
to settle their differences, the place became
uncomfortable for a man of the Judge's polit-
ical views, so in January, 1861, he returned
east. During that year he was managing
clerk for Ira O. Miller, of New York City,
and in the spring of 1862 he enlisted as a
private in Company D, 47th N. Y. V. I.,
which was recruited in Stanford and Pine
Plains. The 47th made a part of the loth and
later the i8th Corps, and was assigned to the
army of the James. The Judge took part in
many engagements, and was at the seige of
Fort W^agner, at Morris Island under Gilmore,
the seige of Petersburg, and the mine explo-
sion. Drurj''s Bluff, Chapin's farm, Chester
Station, Cold Harbor, Florida, Fort Fisher,
Wilmington, Bentonville, and Raleigh, serv-
ing until mustered out "at Washington. At
Cold Harbor, his corps, the i8th, lost three
thousand men in two hours. The Judge was
promoted to the rank of commissary-sergeant.
Col. Allen giving him his commission, and
later was made second lieutenant, his com-
mission being given by Col. Fenton, then pro-
moted to first liestenant, and finally to cap-
tain. Gov. Seymour being the giver of the last
commission.

On his return in 1S65, Judge Guernsey be-
gan the practice of his profession at Pough-
keepsie as a general practitioner, and has con-
tinued it successfully ever since. In November,
1893. he was elected judge of the county court
for six years, and in 1889 was re-elected for
another term. Some time ago he was ap-
pointed by the supreme court to act as com-
missioner for the City of New York, in the
matter of the appraisement of the value of
lands taken by that city.



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



85



The Judge has always maintained his home
in the town of Stanford. In June, 1S70, he
was married to Miss Emily Millard, daughter
of Seneca Millard, a well-known resident of
Dutchess county, and they have an interesting
family of seven children: Eleanor G., at
home; William, a student at Wesleyan Uni-
versity; Lydia, studying at Vassar College; and
Daniel W. , Millard, H. Newport and Ruth are
all at home. In matters of religion the family
incline to the Baptist faith.

Judge Guernsey has shown his public spirit
in many ways, being always ready to encourage
a forward movement. He is a member of the
F. & A. M., of Poughkeepsie, and also belongs
to the Sons of Temperance, Division No. 9.



T^^FILLIAM A. BLISS, M. D., who was
jUmI for many years a leading physician and
surgeon in Brooklyn, N. Y. , is now living in
well-earned leisure at his beautiful country
seat on Spy Hill, near Fishkill-on-Hudson,
Dutchess county, his residence commanding a
charming view of the river with the bay and
the city of Newburg.

The Doctor is a descendant of a family
which has long been distinguished for nobility
of character and devotion to principle, and is
of the tenth generation in direct descent from
one of the heroic Non-conformists of England
who upheld their faith in the face of the
fiercest persecution. His genealogy is of great
interest, his earliest known ancestor being
Thomas Bliss, of Belstone parish, Devonshire,
England. It is recorded of him that he was
a wealthy land owner, and belonged to the
class which was stigmatized as Puritans, on
account of the purity and simplicity of their
forms of worship. He was persecuted by the
civil and religious authorities under the direc-
tion of Archbishop Laud, and was maltreated,
impoverished, imprisoned, and finally ruined
in health (as well as in finances) by the many
indignities and hardships forced upon him by
the intolerant Church party in power. He
was born about 1550 or 1560, and died about
1635 or 1640.

Second Generation: Jonathan Bliss, son
of Thomas Bliss, was born at Belstone about
1575 or 1580, and like his father he was
doomed to bitter persecution on account of his
non-conformity and opposition to the iniqui-
tous practices that had assumed control not
only of the government, but also of the con-



sciences of the people; he was subjected to
heavy fines, much ill-treatment, and a long
imprisonment, during which he contracted a
fever from which he never recovered. His
death occurred about 1635 or 1636. He mar-
ried, but his wife's name is not known.

Third Geueralion: Thomas Bliss, of Re-
hoboth, Mass., son of Jonathan, was born at
Belstone, England, and on the death of his
father in 1636, he emigrated to America, land-
ing at Boston, whence he removed to Brain-
tree, Mass., thence to Hartford, Conn., and
from there back to Weymouth, near Braintree,
from which place he removed in 1643 with
many others, and commenced a new settle-
ment, which they called Rehoboth. He died
there in June, 1649.

Fourth Generation: Jonathan Bliss, son
of Thomas and Mistress Ide (or Hyde), was
born in England about 1625, was married about
1648 to Miriam Harmon, and died about the
beginning of the year 1687. He followed the
occupation of a blacksmith at Rehoboth.

Fiftli Generation: Samuel, of Rehoboth,
Mass. (son of Jonathan Bliss and Miriam Har-
mon of Rehoboth), was born at Rehoboth June
24, 1660, and married April 15, 1686, to Mary
Kendrick, who died February 8, 1705-6. He
died August 28, 1720. They had nine children.

Sixth Generation : Abraham Bliss, son of
Samuel and Mary Bliss, was born October 28,
1697, at Rehoboth, and on July 11, 1728,
married Sarah Ormsbee, of the same place.
He died in 1787. Twelve children- were born
of this marriage.

Seventh Generation: Abraham Bliss, Jr.,
our subject's great-grandfather, was born April
10, 1735, in Rehoboth, Mass., and was a lieu-
tenant in the Revolutionary army. He mar-
ried Miss Polly Scudder, and had four children:
Abraham, John, Samuel, Polly.

Eighth Generation: Samuel Bliss, of
Schodack, N. Y. , farmer, son of Abraham
Bliss, Jr., and Polly Scudder, was born in
Schodack, August 19, 1771, and died Decem-
ber 14, 1846. He married Elizabeth Pem-
broke, who was born in Schodack August '26,
1774, and died there April 16, 1852 or '53.
They had ten children: Polly, .Rebecca,
Abraham, Betsey and Anna (twins), Sandford,
John S., Sally, Clarissa and Christina.

Ni)itli Generation: John S. Bliss, of
Sand Lake, Rennselaer Co., N. Y., son of
Samuel Bliss and Elizabeth Pembroke, and
father of our subject, was born in Schodack,



86



COMilEMORATrVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



N. Y. , May 3, 1809. He was married Janu-
ary II, 1 83 1 , to Polly Hunt, born at Sand Lake
January 11, 18 10; she died at Sand Lake Jan-
uary 8, 1863. He was a farmer at Sand Lake,
and died at North Nassau. N. Y., September

'5. "S/S-

In the Tiiitli Generation of this line there
were six children: (i) William Anson, born
at Schodack March 14, 1833, died May 15,
1835; [2\ Sophronia F. , born in Schodack I'eb-
ruary 17, 1836, died July 17, 1880; (3) La-
rissa C, born in Summit, N. Y. , March 26,
1838, was married March 17, 1869, to George
G. Merrifield, a farmer at Nassau, N. Y. , who
died August 24, 1895; (4) William A., our
subject, was born at Nassau May 5, 1841; (5)
Mary Frances, born at the same town May 21,
1846, died April 20, 1895 (she was married
September 14, 1874, to Edward T. Norton, of
Greenbush, N. Y., a timekeeper on the B. Jc
A. R.). (6) Solon P., born at Sand Lake Sep-
tember 7, 1849, was graduated from Albany
Medical College in 1873, and after spending
two years at Tung-Chou, near Ghee Foo,
China, as a medical missionary, returned to
this country, took up his practice at No. 646
Herkimer street, Brooklyn, N. Y., and died
here July 24, 1896. He never married.

William A. Bliss was educated at Sand
Lake, attending the common schools for some
years, and later taking a full course at the
Sand Lake .Academy. He then entered Al-
bany Medical College, and while there he had
the good fortune to secure a position in the
office of Dr. Alden March, in his day the
greatest surgeon of northern New York. On
graduating, in 1866, the Doctor began his pro-
fessional career in Brooklyn, and continued
for twenty-eight years, building up a large
practice, from which he retired in 1892, re-
moving to Matteavvan, and two years later he
built his present residence, which can hardly
be surpassed for beauty of situation. His
wife, to whom he was married March 28, 1866,
was formerly Miss Jennie Jaques, of Albany,
N. Y. She was born in the village of Nassau,
N. Y., June 3, 1848, daughter of Edward and
Emily (Lewis) Jaques, and she is now the
only surviving member of her immediate
family, as are the Doctor and his sister Larissa
and her daughter (Frances) the only surviving
members of their immediate family. In poli-
tics Dr. Bliss is a Republican, but his arduous
professional labors have prevented him from
taking an active part in public affairs.



Genealog}- of Mrs. Jennie Jaques Bliss, be-
ginning with Henry V2i\\\\x\%{First Generation),
said to have been an officer in the British army.
He had a grant of five thousand acres of land
in Philadelphia, Penn.. from William Penn
before he emigrated to America. He was
about having a patent of Pawling's purchase,
now Staatsburgh, Dutchess Co., N. Y., when
he died. This patent was afterward made to
his widow and children. He settled in Ulster
county, and died in Marbletown about 1692,
leaving a widow and seven children living, one
other having died. His will dated January 26,
1 69 1 (1692 new style), and proved March 26,
1695. His widow was living as late as 1745.
Henry Pawling married, in Kingston, N. Y. ,
Neeltje Roosa, daughter of Albert Heymanse
Roosa. Children: |ane, married Jan Con,
Kingston; Wyntie, married John Brodhead;
John, baptized 168 1; James, baptized 1683,
died young; Albert, married Catherine Beek-
man, widow of John Rutsen, and died in 1745;
Anne, baptized 1687, married Tjerck DeWitt,
Kingston; Henry, married Jacomyntie Kunst;
Mary, baptized 1692. married Thomas \'an-
Keuren. Marbletown.

Second Generation : Henry Pawling, Jr.,
lived in Ulster county, N. Y. . until about 1720.
when he removed to Philadelphia, Penn., to
lands granted to his late father. His brother
John also removed to the same place. Henry
Pawling, Jr., married, in Kingston, Jacomyn-
tie, daughter of Cornelius Barents Kunst and
Jacomyntie Sleight. They had children bap-
tized in Kingston: Henry, 1714; Sara, 1716;
Elizabeth, 1719; and others born in Pennsyl-
vania, as follows: Levi, afterward of Marble-
town, colonel in the army of the Revolution;
John (Major), afterward of Staatsburgh; and
doubtless others.

Third Generation: Major John Pawling
married (first") Neeltje Van Keuren (a cousin),
daughter of Thonjas \'an I\euren and Mary
Pawling. Children: Henry, baptized Novem-
ber 30, 1755; Cornelius, baptized January 27,
1758; John, baptized October 24. 1760; Mary,
baptized November 11, 1764. Major Pawling
married (second) Maria, daughter of Jacob
Van Deusen and .\lida Ostrander. Children:
Levi married (first) Gertrude Knickerbocker,
(second) Hannah Griffin; Jesse married Leah
Radcliff; Jacob married Martha Russell; Elea-
nor married Peter Brown; Rachel married
Christopher Hughes; .Alida married Peter Os-
trom; Elizabeth married William Stouten-



COMMEMORA TIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



87



burgh ; Jacomyntie married Wait Jaques (grand-
father of Mrs. Jennie J. Bliss); Catharine mar-
ried Jacob ConkHn; and Rebecca married Fred-
erick S. Uhl.

" Major John Pawling was an offtcer in the
French and Indian war, also in the Revolu-
tionary war, and was a leading man in his day.
His- remains lie in the cemetery of the Re-
formed Dutch Church in the village of Rhine-
beck, N. Y. " [From Smith's History.] "In
1 76 1 he built the stone house on the post road,
now owned by the heirs of Edwin Berg. It
bears the inscription of J. P. N. P. July '4,
1761. He took an active part in the Revolu-
tion and was personally acquainted with Wash-
ington and many of the prominent men of the
time." [From History of Rhinebeck.] This
stone house is on the post road between Staats-
burgh and Rhinebeck, still standing in nearly
its original condition, beautifully located with
tine river views. This was Jemima Pawling's
(grandmother of Mrs. Jennie J. Bliss) birth-
place.

"Levi Pawling, brother of Major John
Pawling, was a delegate from Marbletown, Ul-
ster county, to the provincial convention held
in the City of New York, April 20, 1775, to
elect delegates to the Second Continental Con-
gress of the Colonies, and on October 25,
1/75' was commissioned colonel of the Third
Regiment of Ulster county militia, which had
an e.xcellent record in the war. His son. Col.
Albert Pawling, born in Dutchess county in
1749, was the first mayor of Troy, and first
sheriff of Rennselaer county. He died No-
vember 10, 1837, and was buried in Mount
Ida Cemetery, near the banks of the Poesten-
kill." [Here follows the inscription on the
monument]:

Albert Pawling joined the Revolutionary army as
second lieutenant June, 1775; in 1776 he received the
commission of brigade major, and in 1779 that of lieu-
tenant-colonel. He took a conspicuous part in the assault
on Quebec, at the taking of St. John's, at the Battle of
White Plains and Monmouth. He was the first sheriff of
Rensselaer county, and the first mayor of the city of Troy.
In 1831 he united himself to the Second Presbyterian
Church, laid his honors at the feet of Jesus, gave up his
earthly in hope of an heavenly inheritance. Col. Albert
Pawlmg died November 10, 1837, aged eighty-seven years.

Fourth Generation: Jacomyntie (Jemima)
Pawling (grandmother of Mrs. Jennie J. Bliss),
daughter of Major John Pawling and Maria
Van Deusen Pawling, was born in Staatsburgh,
Dutchess Co., N. Y., March 12, 1782, and
died at Nassau, Rensselaer Co., N. Y., March
22, 1867. She married December 18, 1803,



Wait Jaques, a farmer, born at Groton, New
London Co., Conn., April 27, 1762, and died
at Nassau, November 27, 1857. He was of
Huguenot descent. They lived in Rhinebeck,
Dutchess county, many years, where four chil-
dren were born to them: William, born De-
cember 4, 1804, died October 26, 1871; Ed-
ward, born December 12, 1809, died Novem-
ber 4, 181 1 ; Edward (father of Mrs. Jennie
J. Bliss), born June 12, 1813, died February
19, 1886; Janet Montgomery, born November
9, 1817, died February 27, 1839.

Fiftli Genfration: Edward Jaques, son of
Wait Jaques and Jacomyntie (Jemima) Pawl-
ing, was born in Rhinebeck, Dutchess county,
N. Y. , June 12, 181 3. He was married Jan-
uary 2, 1840, to Emily Lewis, born September
22, 1820, in Schodack, N. Y., daughter of
Jacob Lewis (who was of Holland descent)
and Abigail Hughson. For some twenty years
he was a merchant in Nassau, N. Y. , and ten
years in Albany, N. Y. , passing his later years
in Brooklyn, N. Y., where he died February
19, 1886, and his wife on June 21, 1888. They
had five children: Janet Montgomery, born
October 4, 1840, died October 30, 1861; Ed-
ward Pawling, born September 10, 1842, died
May 9, 1873; Irving Phillip, born March 6,
1844, died July 2, 1S63; Jennie (wife of Dr.
W. A. Bliss), born June 3, 1848; and Willie
Wait, born February 8, i860, died January
18, 1869.

Sixth Generation: Edward Pawling Jaques,
first lieutenant of Company E, 169th Regiment
N. Y. V. I., served through the Rebellion,
was wounded and captured May 10, 1864, in
the battle at Chester Station, near Richmond,
and confined in Libby Prison a short time.
After the close of the war he settled in Albany,
N. Y., and married, February 28, 1867, Laura
D. Bingham, daughter of Anson and Laura
McClellan Bingham. She died November 15,
1867, and he died May 9, 1873. Irving Phillip
Jaques (brother of Edward) was sergeant-major
in the iiith Regiment, N. Y. V. I., and was
killed July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg.



URTON GILBERT (deceased) was born

in Warren, Conn., in 1S02, and received

his education there. The Gilberts were of
English stock, and Ezra, the grandfather, was
one of the earliest settlers of Warren. Capt.
Samuel Gilbert, the subject's father, was a
manufacturer of iron, but failed in business



88



GOMMEMORA TIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



when his son was a mere boy, leaving him
penniless.

Thrown upon the world at the early age of
sixteen, with every discouraging influence
around him, our subject soon manifested those
traits of industry, perseverance, and true
Yankee pluck, which attracted the attention
of business men, convincing them that he had
within him the promise of a future. He made
himself wanted, which is the first element of
success in a young .man. From the humble
position of a boy, hired into a merchant's
family to do common chores, he soon found
himself behind the counter as clerk; and ere
long the height of his ambition was realized,
as he often remarked in after life, when he
caught the first sight of the sign over the store
door of " Hartwell & Gilbert." He continued
in the mercantile business almost uninterrupt-
edly to the close of life, carrying to the end
that Same energy, industry and decision of
character so early manifested in the boy. He
died in 1882, aged eighty years. A short
sketch, written by a friend shortly after his
death, illustrates his life and character:

"The death of Mr. Gilbert removes one
of the most familiar landmarks, known to our
citizens. For more than half a centur}' he
had been engaged in active business, and pur-
sued it with untiring energ}', and with marked
success. Few men in business life have ap-
parently loved their vocation more than he, or
left a more honorable record of a busy and act-
ive career. He was of genial temperament,
and always had a pleasant and cordial greet-
ing to extend to all his friends. For these he
will long be affectionately remembered in this
and other communities. He had a wide circle
of acquaintances, extending over western Con-
necticut, Hartford county, etc. He was also
well-known to many merchants in New York,
and distinguished for his high commercial
standing and credit. He cheerfully bore his
share of taxation for civil and religious pur-
poses. He was a member of the Congrega-
tional Church of Warren, and was its principal
supporter. He was three times married: In
1833 he married Maria Carter, of Warren.
Their daughter Maria (now deceased) married
Frederick Whittlesey, of New Britain, Conn.
His second wife was Maria Stone, of New
Preston, Conn. They had four children:
Two are now living — Laura, who married
George S. Humphrey, of New Preston, Conn.,
and Lester H. Gilbert, who now lives in Colo-



rado. In 1848 he married Thalia M. Miles,
of New Milford, Conn., whose ancestors were
prominent among the original settlers of that
town. Their daughter Emma married Henry
R. Hoyt, of Poughkeepsie, New York.

''This brief sketch of the life of this, in
many ways remarkable, man, if more extended,
might give many an object lesson for the
young men of the present day."



W ARON INNIS. Prominent among the
.^L, business men of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess
county, stands this gentleman, whose entire
life has been closely identified with the history
of the city, while his name is inseparably con-
nected with its financial records. For many
years he was president of the city railroads,
and president of the City Bank of Pough-
keepsie for a number of years. He is pos-
sessed of keen discrimination and sound judg-
ment, and his executive ability and excellent
management brought to these concerns a high
degree of success.

Mr. Innis comes of a family that has long
been prominent in the affairs of the city of
Poughkeepsie. The original ancestor, James