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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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who served in King Philip's war, and was for
many years a member of the Governor's coun-
cil. Rev. William Thacher's maternal grand-
father was Thomas Fitch, Governor and Chief
Justice of Connecticut), by whom he had six
children: Martha T. (Mrs. William D. Mur-
phy), Catherine R. (Mrs. Aaron Innis), Mary
Louisa (the widow of Walter C. Allen), Will-
iam T. (our subject), Hannah M., and Clarence
James (now a partner of the firm of Reynolds
& Cramer).

The subject of our sketch was born in
Poughkeepsie, December 20, 1838, was edu-
cated in the public schools there, and has
always been identified with the interests of the



city. At the age of sixteen he began working
in his father's wholesale store, taking a place
"at the foot of the ladder," and working up
by degrees until he had familiarized himself
with every branch of the business. He has
inherited the excellent qualities which made
his father and grandfather useful and honored
citizens, and he has well maintained the credit
of the Reynolds name in religious, social and
commercial life.

On July 6, 1864, William T. Reynolds
was married to Miss Louise Smith, and they
have two children: Harris Smith Reynolds,
born May 19, 1865, also a member of the firm
of Reynolds & Cramer, and May Louise Rey-
nolds, born July 5, 1873. Our subject being a
conservative Republican, has never taken an
active part in politics, but is possessed of
strong convictions, and great courage and in-
dependence in supporting any cause he be-
lieves to be right. He holds many important
positions of honor and trust in the community,
to wit: President of the board of trustees of
the Washington Street M. E. Church; presi-
dent of the Vassar Brothers Home for Aged
Men; trustee of the Old Ladies Home; trustee
of the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery; director
of the Fallkill National Bank and the Pough-
keepsie Savings Bank.



WALTER C. HULL, well-known in
Dutchess and surrounding counties as

a prominent and highly popular attorney at
law, with offices at No. 52 Market street,
Poughkeepsie, is a native of that city, born
July 4, 1857.

Mr. Hull was educated in part at private
schools in Poughkeepsie, afterward attending
McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and
Harvard, his law studies being completed in
Columbia College Law School, from which
latter institution he graduated in 1880. Such
a thorough education would naturally combine
to accelerate the development of his character,
and the furtherance of his future prospects.
Since 1880 he has resided and practiced his
profession in Poughkeepsie, his specialty being
real-estate law and surrogate practice, though
he has taken some general practice. During
the years 1893-94 he was associated with Ira
Shafer, of New York, but with this exception
he has had no office partner.

George D. Hull, father of our subject, was
born February 6, 1821. In 1850 he married



110



COMMEMORATIVE BIOORAPHICAL RECORD.



Miss Mary E. Cluctt, who was connected with
the Adams family, of Boston, and children as
follows were born to them: Louise M. and
Walter C. The father died in i 886, the mother
in 1883.

Walter C. Hull was married, in 18S2, to
Adele M. Fonda, who died April 5, 1893, leav-
ing two children: Crosby Livingston, and
Carlton, born in 1885 and 1890 respectively.
Mr. Hull, socially, is a member of the Amrita
and Dutchess Clubs, of the Veteran Firemen's
Association, Poughkeepsie Gun Club, and of the
Royal Arcanum. In politics he is a Repub-
lican, and has served on the Civil Service Com-
mission of Poughkeepsie. He is one of the
most prosperous attorneys in his native city,
and his fame as an erudite and accomplished
scholar, a ripe lawyer and a close student of
political economv is not confined to Pough-
keepsie and Dutchess county, but extends
throughout the entire State.



C\HARLES A. HOPKINS, an able young
1 attorney of Poughkeepsie, N. Y., has made
unusually rapid advancement in his profession,
his success in dilTicult cases having already
won for him an enviable standing. He is a
native of Dutchess county, and was born in
Storm ville October 20, 1S64, the son of Ben-
jamin Hopkins, Esq., a well-known and highly-
respected citizen of that place, whose biogra-
phy appears elsewhere.

Our subject attended the common schools
of his native town until the age of seventeen,
when he entered the employ of Thomas O'Don-
nell, a contractor in the construction of the
New York & New England railroad, as time-
keeper; was with him several months in the
summer of 1881, and in the following winter
entered the Eastman National Business Col-
lege at Poughkeepsie, graduating May 2, 1882.
On the 31st of the same month he entered the
law office of Hackett & \\'illiams, and was a
student there until he passed the examination
for admission to the bar at the General Term
at Brooklyn, in September, 1885, about one
month before he became of age. After his
admission to the bar he remained with Hackett
& Williams as managing clerk under salary
until January i, 18S9, when he commenced
active practice of law at Poughkeepsie for him-
self at No. 4 Garden street, corner of Main,
and he has continued in practice at that place
to date. Mr. Hopkins has a general practice,



and is attorney for several estates. Some time
ago he brought an action to compel the Pough-
keepsie Bridge Co. to open up the bridge for
foot passengers, in compliance with the act
creating the company, and defining its powers
and duties. This was one of his most notable
cases. For five or six years he has been attor-
ne)' for the State Game and Fish Protection
Commission for the Third District of the State
of New York. Mr. Hopkins was elected Jus-
tice of the Peace for the City of Poughkeepsie
in November, 1890, his term expiring January
I, 1895; his decisions in this office were never
reversed. Mr. Hopkins is a Democrat in poli-
tics, and has always taken quite an active in-
terest in his party. In 1894 he was the candi-
date for City Recorder, and ran about 300
. ahead of his ticket; but, as it was the year of
the Republican tidal wave, he was not elected.

In 1S95 he was candidate for the Assem-
bly in the Second Assembly District of Dutch-
ess county, and again ran ahead of his ticket.
Socially, he is a member of the K. of P.,
Triumph Lodge No. 165, and of the Dutchess
Social Club. He was married October 18,
188S, to Mary Eno Stewart, daughter of Wal-
ter Stewart, a leading farmer in Clinton,
Dutchess county, and by this union there are
two sons: Frank Stewart, born August 18,
1889, and Ralph Adriance, born January 31,
1S92.

The Hopkins family is of English origin,
and the head of the American branch came
over on the "Mayflower." They were Hick-
site Quakers in religious faith. Benjamin
Hopkins, our subject's great-grandfather, was
a native of Rhode Island, and in earl}' life was
engaged in the coasting trade; but after his
marriage to Sarah Palmer and the destruction
of his property by the British, which hap-
pened soon afterward, he came to Dutchess
county in 1779, and bought 400 acres of land
in the town of East Fishkill, where he passed
his remaining years as a farmer. He had eight
children, among whom was John Hopkins, our
subject's grandfather, who was born at the old
farm September 6, 1779, and also became a
farmer. In 1 819 he married Miss Mary Brill,
daughter of John and Hannah (Cornell) Brill,
both natives of Dutchess county. Four chil-
dren were born of this union: Benjamin, Gil-
bert P., Solomon P., and Sarah P. (Mrs. S.
B. Knox). John Hopkins was prominent as a
Whig, and served the public interests with
great credit in several town offices. He was a



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGEAPEICAL RECORD.



Ill



Friend, but his wife was a member of the Re-
formed Dutch Church, and both proved the
sincerity of their faith by their devoted Chris-
tian lives.

Benjamin Hopkins, our subject's father, re-
mained at home until the age of sixteen, when
he entered school at Poughkeepsie. After
four years of study, he engaged in teaching,
and also traveled extensively in the State. In
1842 he went into mercantile business at Low
Point, Dutchess county, but in the following
year he became the owner of the old home-
stead, purchasing the interests of the other
heirs. He has 290 acres of excellent land,
and has been mainly engaged in general farm-
ing, but he now makes a specialty of the dairy
business. On December 6, 1844, he married
Miss Eliza Montfort, a native of Beekman
township, Dutchess county, by whom he had
five children: Cornelia (Mrs. John Taber), of
Dover township, Dutchess county; Phoebe, de-
ceased, who never married; Sarah (Mrs. Will-
iam H. Ogden), of Kansas Cit}', Mo. ; Loda
V. (Mrs. John Ogden), of the same city; and
John G. , a business man of Chicago. The
mother of the family died October, 1859, and
subsequently Mr. Hopkins married Miss Mar-
garet Lasher, a native of Columbia county, N.
Y., and daughter of Jacob Lasher. Seven
children were born of this union: Charles A.
(our subject), Benjamin, Mary, Harry W.,
IBertha M., and George and Edith M. (twins).
Benjamin Hopkins is a successful auction-
eer, and has followed the business for thirty
years in addition to his other pursuits. In
politics he was a Whig in early years, and
later a Democrat, and he has repeatedly held
the highest official positions in his township,
his faithful discharge of every duty deepening
the esteem and confidence of the people.



WILLIAM JAMES CONKLIN, M. D., of
Fishkill, Dutchess county, is one of the

most prominent members of the medical
fraternity of this section, more than a quarter
of a century having been given by him to the
successful practice of this noble calling.

The Conklin family has been long known
in the vicinity of Cornwall, N. Y. , the Doctor's
grandfather, David Conklin, having been a
leading resident there for many years. Be-
fore the days of railroads, David Conklin re-
moved to Elmira, N. Y. , where he spent his
last days. The late Dr. Peter Elting Conklin,



our subject's father, who was born in 1809,
followed his profession at Cornwall for thirty
years, and had an extensive practice. He
married Miss Sarah M. Slater (whose an-
cestor in the country was one of the " May-
flower's " passengers), a native of Poughkeep-
sie, born in 1808, and had six children, of whom
three died in childhood; the eldest, Cornelia P.,
married Henry B. Breed, of Cornwall; and
Sarah Louise resides in New York City. Both
parents are deceased, the father dying August
17, 1867, and the mother on April 3, 1886.

Dr. Conklin was born at Cornwall, N. Y. ,
January 28, 1846, and after attending the
public schools there for some time spent three
years in the Cornwall Collegiate Institute, and
two years in Madison (now Colgate) University,
at Hamilton, N. Y. He then took a course
in the Eastman Business College at Pough-
keepsie, and followed mercantile pursuits for a
time; but in 1867 he began the study of
medicine, and in 1870 was graduated from
the medical Department of the University of
the City of New York. On March 17, 1870,
he opened his office in the village of Fishkill,
where he has built up a large practice. For
five years he was health officer of the town,
and for six years was one of the coroners of
the county. His standing among his profes-
sional brethren is high; he has been a member
of the Dutchess County Medical Society for
twenty-five years, and a permanent member
of the State Medical Society for ten years.

He is actively interested also in local affairs
of a non-professional nature, and at present is
a director of the First National Bank of Fish-
kill Landing, and a trustee of the Fishkill Sav-
ings Institute. His sympathies are always on
the side of progress, and he is an earnest sup-
porter of the free-school system, is now, and
has been for fourteen consecutive years, a
member of the board of education of Fishkill,
and for a time its president. He is a member
of Beacon Lodge No. 283, F. & A. M., and
of Hudson River Lodge No. 57, K. of P. On
May 27, 1875, the Doctor was united in mar-
riage with Miss Barbra E. B. Walcott, daugh-
ter of Halsey F. and Jane H. (Bogardus)
Walcott, prominent residents of Fishkill, of
whom further mention will be made. Three
children were born to them, of whom one died
in childhood; William E. is now a student in
Cornell University, at Ithaca, N. Y. ; and
Clarence J. is attending school at Cazenovia
Seminary, Cazenovia, New York.



U-2



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGEAPmCAL RECOHA



Halsey F. Walcott is a well-known busi-
ness man of Fishkill^one of the oldest now
actively engaged in commercial life in Dutchess
county. His well-preserved energies and
ripened judgment make him a valued adviser,
and aside from the management of his hard-
ware store he is interested in some of the
most important enterprises in his town. He
was born May i, 1817, at Cumberland, R. I.,
the old home of his family. His grandfather,
Dr. Jabez Walcott, was a leading physician
and surgeon of his day in that locality, and
his son, Abijah Walcott (father of Halsey F.
Walcott), passed an honored life there, dying
at the age of si.xty-seven. He married Miss
Sophia Smith, daughter of Rev. Jonathan
Smith, a soldier in the Revolutionary army,
and a pastor of the Baptist Church, who
preached for sixty years, his life being pro-
longed to the old age of ninety-four years.
Halsey F. was the eldest of four children, the
others being: Angeline, the wife of Rev. T.
W. Clark, a Baptist minister, and a chaplain
in the army during the Civil war, now residing
in Boston; and \\'illiam and Sophia, both now
deceased.

Halsey F. Walcott attended the public
schools of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
In 1S46 he married Miss Jane Bogardus, whose
father, the late Joseph Bogardus, owned and
conducted the "Union Hotel" at Fishkill,
which was destroyed by fire in 1872, and after
his death, which occurred February 3, 1859,
Mr. Walcott continued the business until 1863.
He then sold the hotel, and after four years of
retirement from business life, purchased the
hardware store of Charles Owen, which he
has ever since conducted. He was a director
of the First National Bank of F"ishkill, and
trustee of the Savings Bank at Fishkill, and
has been a trustee of the Fishkill Cemetery
Association for years, and is now its president.
As a progressive citizen, he has taken great in-
terest in educational matters, serving as a
member of the board of education for a num-
ber of years, and for part of the time as its
president. In politics he is a Republican; he
was town clerk for two years, justice of the
peace some twenty years, postmaster for four
years, and has held many minor offices, such
as town auditor, etc. He is the oldest mem-
ber of Beacon Lodge, F. & A. M., with which
he united forty-one years ago, and he formerly
belonged to the I. O. O. F.

Mrs. Walcott's father was a direct descend-



ant of Everardus Bogardus, the first clergy-
man in the New Netherlands. Her mother,
whose maiden name was Barbra Moffat, of
Paterson, N. J., was born in Glasgow, Scot-
land, the granddaughter of Lady Barbra Gil-
more. Of the two children that have blessed
the home of Mr. and Mrs. Walcott, one died
in youth, and the other, Barbra Etta, is nbw
the' wife of Dr. W. J. Conklin, of Fishkill. ■



r-ALTER FERRIS TABER. the subject
of this sketch, is descended from an-
cestry antedating the settlement of this coun-
try as shown by the familj' Coat of Arms,
whose motto "Virtue alone ennobles" carried
the stamp of character.

The Tabers were among the early settlers
in the Massachusetts Colony, and Thomas Ta-
ber (great-grandfather of our subject), born in
New Bedford, Mass., in 1732, and his wife,
Annetheresa, came on horseback from Rhode
Island to Dutchess county, in 1760, and located
upon a grant of land of 500 acres obtained from
King George III, on Quaker Hill in the town of
Pawling, a tract known as the "Oblong."
They had two sons, William and Jeremiah
(and several daughters), the latter son remain-
ing upon the farm during his life. [For a more
extended account see sketch of Geo. K. Taber.]
He married Delilah Russell, a native of the
town of Dover, and had six children: Russell,
a farmer in Dover; Thomas, a farmer, first in
Dutchess county and later in Broome county;
John, who died in childhood; William, our
subject's father; Harriet, who married Jona-
than Akin, a farmer in Pawling; and Eliza,
who married Joseph Carpenter, a farmer in
Westchester county.

William Taber, our subject's father, was
born at the old homestead December 10, 1796,
and always resided there until his death in
1863. He was a Democrat, and a birthright
member of the Society of Friends. He mar-
ried Eliza Sherman, a native of Quaker Hill,
born March 19, 1803, and died February 5,
1 84 1, a daughter of Abiel Sherman (one of the
stalwart family of nine sons that averaged six
feet in height, and were the terror of the Tories
in the Revolutionary war), whose ancestry
traces back on the same lines with Gen. T. W.
Sherman and Senator John Sherman of Ohio.
He was a prominent man, and member of the
State Legislature. Four children were born
of this union: Eliza, who died in infancy;



COMMEMORATIVE BIOORAPUICAL RECORD.



113



William H., who now owns and occupies the
old farm ; Walter F. , the subject of this sketch ;
and George A., who died at the age of six
years. The father died in 1863, the mother on
February 20, 1840.

Walter F. Taber was born October 29,
1830, and attended the schools of his native
town until he was fourteen years of age, after
which he attended boarding schools during the
winter terms for five successive years in Wash-
ington, Dutchess county, and in Sherman and
Warren, in Connecticut, afterward teaching,
one winter, a public school, and having charge
ofthe Willets Boarding School in Washington,
Dutchess county, for 'one winter. Having a
natural taste for mechanics, while remaining
upon his father's farm, he made and repaired
many farm implements, and after using one of
the f^rst mowing machines that was invented,
which was driven by one wheel, he saw the
necessity for improvement, and after much
study and trial devised the first iiiozuing ma-
chine that zuas ever placed upon two driving
zvhee/s and having a hinged cutter bar that
could be raised or lozoercd by a lever zohile
riding the machine. The model of said ma-
chine is in the Patent Office at Washington.
This was when Mr. Taber was but nineteen
years of age. Like many other inventors, he
failed to secure the benefits of his invention,
but it made him an efficient agent for the well-
known Buckeye mower, which he sold for six-
teen years after leaving his father's farm, which
he did at the age of twenty-four years to en-
gage in mercantile business with his brother,
William H. Taber, at Pawling Station, where
he resided for about sixteen years.

On February 16, 1859, Walter F. Taber
was married to Miss Mary Emma Arnold,
daughter of Dr. Benjamin F. Arnold, a prom-
inent physician of Pawling and a descendant of
one of the pioneer settlers, the family being, like
the Tabers, of English origin. One son was
born of this union, Franklin A. Taber, who is
engaged with his father in his present business.

Mr. Taber has been a member of the Soci-
ety of Friends for many years; is treasurer of
the Society, and was superintendent of the
Sabbath-school for a number of years. Polit-
ically he was formerly a Democrat, but for
several years past has been an advocate of
Prohibition and working with that party, and
its candidate for both State and Congressional
honors.

On June 27, 1870, Mr. Taber moved from



Pawling to his present residence, which he
had previously purchased, one of the old land-
marks, formerly known as the Judge Sweet
place, now known as " Lakeview Fruit Farm,"
a short distance outside the limits of the
city of Poughkeepsie, where he has since re-
sided. For nearly twenty years he has been
devoting his attention to the cultivation of
all kinds of fruits, making a specialty of
small fruits, and sparing no labor or ex-
pense in preparing the soil and producing
fruits of high quality that should find ready
sale in both home and distant markets. He is
an authority upon his specialty, and a contrib-
utor to the horticultural papers. He has given
addresses on fruit culture at many of the State
Farmers Institutes, and at the annual meeting
of the Western New York Horticultural Soci-
ety in Rochester in February, 1895, of which
Society he is a member. He is also one of
the promoters of the Eastern New York Horti-
cultural Society, and its present vice-president.
For nine years he has been connected with
the Dutchess County Farmers Club, and its
president for most of that time. With a desire
to contribute something to help mankind, he is
ever trying some experiment or making some
improvement whereby to arrive at the most
successful results and contribute to the general
good by freely giving of such knowledge as he
may have acquired in his particular line of
horticulture.



ISAAC HAVILAND (deceased). The sub-
_ ject of this sketch was born in the town of
Washington, Dutchess county, February 28,
18 1 2, and was the son of Isaac and Lydia
(Weaver) Haviland. After marrying, Isaac
Haviland, Sr., settled on a farm on Quaker
Hill, Dutchess county, where he followed farm-
ing and reared the following children: Isaac
our subject; Joseph, a farmer in Washington
town; Daniel, who was a farmer and minister;
Jacob, who was a farmer in the town of
Poughkeepsie; Abram, who farmed in Paw-
ling; Charlotte, married to Alfred Moore, a
farmer and Hicksite (Quaker) minister; Sarah,
who died unmarried; Lydia A., who became
the wife of John Martin, a farmer, and Alex-
ander, who was a farmer at Clinton Corners.
Mr. Haviland was an Orthodox Quaker, and
died on Quaker Hill.

Our subject was reared on the farm, and
attended the district school, later continuing



114



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



his Studies at the Providence school. In 1835
he married Miss Maria Ann Swift, who was
born in the town of Washing;ton, June 6, 181 5.
Lemuel Swift, her father, was the twin brother
of Zebulon Swift, whose sketch appears in
that of Isaac Swift. Our subject and wife
went to live on the farm where Mr. Davidson
now resides, near South Milibrook. It was
in an uncultivated state, and during Mr. Havi-
land's residence of thirty years he much im-
proved it. He and his wife moved to S. Mill-
brook and lived a retired life there for about
twenty years and then came to Milibrook, where
he died March 31, 1894, aged eighty-two
years. No children were born to our subject
and his wife. In politics he was a Democrat.
He was a member of the Orthodo.x Friends
Church, was benevolent and greatly respected,
and died a Christian, with a prayer on his
lips. Mrs. Haviland is still a member of the
Friends Church, in which she is an elder.



SMITH L. De GARMO, member of the
well-known dry-goods firm of Luckey,
Piatt & Co., Poughkeepsie, is worthy of promi-
nent mention in the pages of this volume.

The family is of French origin, and were
among the early settlers of the country. The
first of whom we have definite mention was
Rowland De Garmo (grandfather of our sub-
ject), who was born November 29, 1785, and
died June 6, 1838. By occupation he was a
tanner, carrying on business near New Paltz,
Ulster Co., N. Y. He married Phebe Sutton,
born March 12, 1791, and died F"ebruary 24,
1875. Their children were David S., Elias,
William Henry, Mary, Eli^a and Daniel.

David S. De Garmo (father of our subject)
was born March 6, 181 3, and in early life was
a tanner. On November i, 1838, he married
Phebe H. Lawrence, and turned farmer, pur-
chasing a farm near Highland. In 1851 thej'
removed to Hibernia, Dutchess county, re-
maining there till 1866, when Mr. De Garmo
built a new house in Salt Point, where he
passed the remainder of his days, d3'ing of
paralysis of the throat May 29, 1875. His
wife survived him until October, 1894, when
she, too, passed away at the age of eighty-two,
after five years of much physical suffering,
made as comfortable as po ssiblein the care of
her only daughter, Mrs. William E. Smith, in
one of the most attractive of the beautiful



and far-famed homes of Milibrook, provided by
her son, the subject of this sketch.

Capt. Jonathan Lawrence, the maternal
great-grandfather, served as a captain in the
Revolutionary war, and a monument to his
memorj' stands in an old family burying ground
at Esopus, Ulster county. Thomas, his son,



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