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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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sterling qualities of character. By trade he
was a carpenter, and he was active in local
politics as a Jacksonian Democrat, although
he never sought or held office. He was a
birthright Quaker. His wife, Caroline Car-
tier, was a native of Bucks county, Penn., and
a daughter of Jacob Cartier, who was born in
Leipsic, Saxony. Six children were born to
them: Hester, who married Richard Parsons,
of Bucks county, Penn. ; Harriet, deceased;
William L. , our subject; Jacob Alfred, a resi-
dent of Lambertville, N. J. ; John Franklin, a
mining prospector in the West; and Charles
Henry, a seaman. The father died October
8, 1878, but the mother is still living, and at
the age of seventy-six has not a gray hair in
her head.

Mr. De Lacy was born at New Hope, Penn. ,
July 10. 1S45. His opportunities for an edu-
cation were meagre, his early years having
been spent mainly upon the Lehigh'canal. He
worked for one year in the office of the Peo-
ple s Beacon, at Lambertville, N. J., employed
by Clark Pierson for a time, and he gained
some knowledge of reading, both in script and
print, but at the age of sixteen, when he was
required to sign the pay roll, on his enlistment,
he could only make his mark. He soon learned



to write, however, and the next time his sig-
nature was wanted he was prepared to write it.
He was a member of Company C, 4th N.J.
Inf., ist N. J. Brigade, of which Gen. Phil
Kearny was the original commander. He
took part in many important engagements,
being at West Point. Va., May 7, 1862; at
White House Landing; at Mechanicsville,
twice; and at Gaines' Hill, June 27, 1862, on
the second day of the Seven-Days' fight, near
Richmond. Here he was wounded and capt-
ured with the bulk of his regiment, and, after
being confined in I^ibby Prison for some time,
was sent to Belle Isle with the first detach-
ment of one hundred prisoners, who were com-
pelled to put up the first tent on the island,
intended for prison purposes; he spent about
seven weeks there, and on being exchanged,
August 12, 1862, rejoined his regiment at Har-
rison's Landing. Then followed the Second
Battle of Bull Run, and the engagements at
'Crampton Gap, or South Mountain. Septem-
ber 14; Antietam, September 17, and Freder-
icksburg, December 12, 1862. He was de-
tailed for train guard duty after this, and his
next battle was at Rappahaimock Station, in
October, 1863, followed by that of Mine Run,
November 26, after which the regiment went
into winter quarters until May, 1864, when
Grant took command. In the battle of the
Wilderness Mr. De Lacy was seriously wound-
ed, and, as he could not take his place in the
field again, he remained in the hospital at
Newark, N. J., until he was mustered out,
October 11, 1865. On his return to the life
of a civilian, he spent eight months in the
Pennington Theological Seminary, and this
may be said to be the only real schooling that
he ever had. He left this institution, reluc-
tantly, to enter business life, taking a place as
clerk for James E. Goll, an insurance agent at
Newark, N. J. ; later he went into a market on
Pacific street. In October, 1866, he went to
Poughkeepsie with a physician, and, being left
penniless, he worked for some time in the
offices of the Press and Hoi^ie. On Septem-
ber I, 1873, he bought the Amenia Times, in
partnership with William Wiley, the firm being
at first De Lacy & Wiley, and afterward De-
Lacy cS; Walsh. Mr. De Lacy edited the paper
until 1877, when he sold out to Mr. Walsh,
and during this time he was twice elected jus-
tice of the peace, and once appointed to that
office to fill a vacancy. He had also been
studying law in private, and after a further

course with Cyrus Swan, of Poughkeepsie, he
was admitted to the bar in September, 1879,
and has since been in active practice, making
a specialty of pension claims.

In politics he has always been a Democrat,
and formerly he was quite active in party work.
He served two terms as police commissioner
under Mayors Rowley and Arnold. Since De-
cember, 1872, he has been a member of the
I. O. O. F., Fallkill Lodge No. 297, and he
belongs to the Order of Chosen Friends,
Dutchess Council No. 50; the Queen City As-
sembly Royal Society of Good Fellows, No.
124, and is an honorary member of Phoenix
Hose Company. He is also a member of
Hamilton Post No. 20, G. A. R. , in which he
takes great interest, and has been a delegate
to the National Encampments at San Francis-
co, Denver, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Boston,
Washington and Baltimore. In 1892 he was
senior vice-commander of the Department of
New York.

On March 30, 1868, Mr. De Lacy married
Weltha A. Wiley, daughter of Clark Wiley, a
prominent resident of Poughkeepsie. They
have two sons: George W. , an architect and
draughtsman, and Charles, who is a clerk in
the office with his father.

SHERIDAN SHOOK. The spirit of self-
help is the source of all genuine worth
in the individual, and is the means of bring-
ing to man success when he has no advantages
of wealth or influence to aid him. It illus-
trates in no uncertain manner what is possible
to accomplish when perseverance and deter-
mination form the keynote to a man's life.
Depending on his own resources, looking for
no outside aid or support, Mr. Shook has
secured a handsome property, although he
started out in life with naught save a pair of
willing hands and a determination to succeed.
Our subject is a native of Dutchess county,
born February 19, 1828, in the town of Red
Hook, and is a son of George Shook. He re-
ceived his education at Piermont Academy, and
at the early age of fourteen years went to New
York City, "to make his fortune," in which
he certainl}' succeeded. For ten years he
clerked for John Boyce, a dealer in butter and
cheese, at the expiration of which time he and
Henry N. Morgan took charge of the business,
Mr. Boyce having retired. .At the opening of
the war of the Rebellion, our subject was ap-





pointed treasurer of the "Relief Fund," which
had been raised in the city to meet- the needs
of the families of those who had g^one to the
front. In 1861 he was appointed by President
Lincoln to the position of Internal Revenue
Collector, which position he held seven years,
and about the same time he was elected to the
board of supervisors of New York City. In
1865, at an outlay of $40,000, he fitted up
" Gilmores Garden," in New York, which he
conducted for two years. In 1871 he built the
Union Square Theatre, corner of 14th street
and Broadway, and for several years conducted
same, under the able management of A. M.
Palmer. Mr. Shook was also engaged in the
brewery business, at New York, under the firm
name of Shook & Everhard, and was also pro-
prietor of the "Morton House," one of the
leading hotels of New York, which he carried
on until 1895.

Mr. Shook has been twice married, his
second union being on December 21, 1881,
with Miss Ellen M. Gillespie, a native of Al-
bany county, N. Y. , born at Greenbush, in
1846, a daughter of Charles Gillespie, of Al-
bany, N. Y. She is a member of the Lu-
theran Church. Mr. Shook in his political
preferences is a Republican. He is the father
of four children: Louise Week (Mrs. H. A.
Hoffman); Sheridan Shook, Jr., of New York;
Lillie; and one that died in early youth. He
still has business interests in New York and
Red Hook, but is not personally engaged there-
in. He has a fine farm and beautiful residence
situated about four miles from his birthplace.
No more genial man can be found than Mr.
Shook, and he and his estimable wife have
many friends to whom their hospitality is ever
e.xtended. They hold a high position in social
circles, having the esteem and respect of all
who know them.

Tr\AVID A. KNAPP, M. D., an eminent
jUf^ physician and surgeon of Dutchess county,
has for many years successfully engaged in the
practice of medicine in the town of Unionvale.
In his profession he takes a genuine and de-
voted interest, making a study of " the ills that
flesh is heir to, " and is one of the most capable
and conscientious men in his profession.

His father, Isaac Knapp, also a medical
practitioner, was a native of Greenwich, Conn.,
where he obtained his literary education, and

later began the study of medicine, graduating
at the New York Medical Institute in 1795.
He commenced the practice of his chosen pro-
fession in New Fairfield, near Danbury, Conn. ,
and also conducted a select school. In relig-
ious belief he was a Presbyterian. He married
Miss Amy Brush, a daughter of Squire Brush,
a prosperous farmer of New Fairfield, and they
became the parents of eight children, one of
whom died in infancy, the others being as fol-

(1) Theressa Knapp was born in the town
of New Fairfield, Fairfield Co., Conn., and se-
cured a common-school education. She mar-
ried Hubbel Piatt, but had no children.

(2) Isaac Knapp, also a native of New
Fairfield town, engaged in teaching after the
completion of his own education, and also fol-
lowed farming. During the old training days
he held the commission of captain in the
militia. He married Miss Maranda Hall, and
they had one son — Smith, now deceased, who
was born in Connecticut, and for a time was
engaged in the real-estate business. He was
twice married, the first time to a Miss Briggs,
by whom he had two children, Lula and
George F. ; later he wedded a Miss Taylor,
and they had three children.

(3) Enoch Knapp was born and educated in
Connecticut, and also taught school. During
the training days he served as major. He
married Rachel Barnum, of New Fairfield,
Conn., and to them were born seven children:
Almira, who married Daniel W'ood, a farmer
of Redding Ridge, Fairfield Co., Conn., and
has five children; Sarah, who married Waite
Brush, a farmer of Rome, N. Y. , and has three
children; Mary, who died in infancy; Charlotte,
an artist by profession, who is now studying in
France and other parts of the Old World;
Isaac S., an agriculturist, who married Lula
Dayton; Mary, who wedded a Mr. Clegett, and
has a son, Clifton; and Fred, a farmer, who
married a Miss Howe.

(4) Sarah Knapp. who was born in the
town of New Fairfield, married Ephraim
Leach, a farmer, and they had three sons:
David (now deceased), a machinist, who mar-
ried a Miss Bennett; Isaac, an engineer; and
Henry O., who married a Miss Roberts, of
Peekskill, N. Y., and has six children: Fannie,
Hannah, Mabel, Myra, Clara and Theressa.

(5) Ezra Knapp (deceased) was born in the
town of New Fairfield, received a common-
school education, and followed the pursuit of



farming. He married Miss Rachel Meade, of
Greenwich, Conn.; they had no children.

(6) Dr. David A. Knapp, of this review, is
next in order of birth, and like the other mem-
bers of the family, was born in the town of
New Fairfield, Fairfield Co., Conn. He at-
tended the district schools near his home, and
later pursued his studies in a select school of
that township, in the Danbury Academy and
in the Middletown Academy. For two years
he was then a student at Yale College, New
Haven, Conn., prior to which he engaged in
teaching for a time. At the age of twenty-
two years he entered the University of New
York, graduating from the medical department
in the spring of 1845. He soon after began
practice in the town of Unionvale, Dutchess
county, where he has since made his home and
has met with excellent results along his chosen
line of endeavor. He is one of the prominent
as well as original members of the Dutchess
County Medical Society. In social circle he
also holds a leading position, and has been
called upon to serve in a number of township

In 1846 the Doctor was united in marriage
with Miss Rebecca Vincent, who was born in
1827, and is the daughter of Jonathan G. and
Loretta (Williams) Vincent, prosperous farm-
ing people of the town of Unionvale. Two
sons bless their union: (i) David Vincent,
born in 1863, was educated at Wilbraham,
Mass., and Hackettstown, N. J., and also
studied medicine. He married Miss Anna
Dean, daughter of Cromaline Dean, of the
town of Lagrange, Dutchess county, and they
had one child that died in infancy. The wife
and mother is also now deceased. (2) Ezra
V. M., the Doctor's younger son, was born in
the town of Unionvale, February 14, 1875.
He also attended school at Wilbraham, Mass.,
and the High School at Meriden. Conn., later
taking a course at the Eastman Business Col-
lege, Poughkeepsie. He is now carrying on
farming with his father. In 1895 he took a
trip to the Pacific coast, remaining there six

(7) Euphemia Knapp, the youngest child
of Isaac and Amy (Brush) Knapp, married
Willian; H. Morse, an agriculturist of Mass-
achusetts; they had no children.

Gilbert Vincent, the grandfather of Mrs.
Dr. Knapp, was a native of the town of Union-
yale, and married Miss Phcebe Vail. In their
family were twelve children, namely: Isaac,

who married Martha Duncan; Absalom, who
married Hannah Duncan; Jonathan G. , the
father of Mrs. Knapp; Thomas, who married
Eliza Arnold; Richard, who married Helen
Fowler; Margaret, who married John T.
Potter; Betsy, who married Jonathan Hus-
tead; Rebecca and Levina, who never mar-
ried; Michael, who married a Miss Carey;
Phcebe A., who married Morris Germond; and
Hepsobeth, who married Edward Wheeler.

Jonathan C. Vincent was born in the town
of Unionvale, and was united in marriage
with Miss Loretta Williams, daughter of
Squire Williams, a surveyor, of the same town-
ship. Seven children were born to them, as
follows: (i) Elizabeth married Reuben L.
Coe, and had six children. (2) Rebecca is
the wife of Dr. Knapp, subject of this sketch.
(3) John, ex-county clerk, married Rhoda
I3utler, and had four children — Ella, who
married Obed Vincent; Minnie, who married
Charles Andrews; Walter; and Elisha B. (4)
Gilbert married Kate Uhl, by whom he had a
son, Ralph, who married Hannah T. Under-
bill; for his second wife Gilbert wedded Eliza
Ham, and they have a daughter, Loretta. (5)
Lewis never married. (6) Michael married
Estella O'Neil. and has five children — Nellie,
Minnie, Jonathan, Thomas and Rebecca. (7)
Mary A. wedded Orin Able, and has two chil-
dren — Elanita, who married Oscar Shaffer;
and Claude O. L.

TAMES G. PORTEOUS, M. D. (deceased).
In the romantic annals of Scottish history,
* and made immortal in the romances of Sir
Walter Scoti, is the name of Porteous, ever
linked in the struggles for freedom, and worthy
a place at the side of a Forbes, or a Mar, fol-
lowing under the leadership of the matchless
W'allace, or Bruce. In direct line of descent
from Capt. Porteous, famous in the "Porteous
mob" at Edinburgh, comes Andrew Porteous,
a native of that city, born in 181 5 or iS 16, a
son of Andrew Porteous, Sr. ; he emigrated to
this country in 1S37 or '38, and helped to lay
out Jersey City. He later went to Essex county,
New York, and worked in the mines as a civil
engineer, afterward going to Glens Falls where
he engaged in the cement business, and thence
to Luzerne where he followed agricultural pur-
suits. He married Jane Blair, also of an
ancient Scotch family, and they became the
parents of eight children, as follows: James



G. , Helen, Marj-, Jane, Charles, Maggie, An-
nie and Scott, only two of whom — Jane and
Scott — are yei living.

James G. Porteous, whose name opens this
review, was born at Moriah, Essex Co., N. Y. ,
January 3, 1839. \\'hile in Esse.x county his
educational training was under the guidance of
a private tutor, and his academic education was
received at Glens Falls. In 1861 he entered
the medical department of Harvard College,
graduating in 1865. During the four 3'ears he
was enrolled as a student at Harvard, he was
absent two years in the army. Prompted by
the same spirit that animated the breasts of his
ancestors he offered his services to his country,
to do his part that no star might be missed
from the field of blue. He enlisted as first as-
sistant surgeon of the 118th N. Y. V. I.,
and later was promoted to surgeon of the 46th
N. Y. V. I., where he served during the bal-
ance of the war. After being mustered out he
returned to college and passed "perfect" in
all of his examinations. In 1865 he began
practice at Luzerne, in Warren Co., N. Y. ,
and for fifteen years he successfully followed
his chosen calling — to which his large sympa-
thies so well adapted him — there; but May i,
1880, he bought out the practice of Dr. Carter,
of Poughkeepsie, and removed to that city,
greatly to the regret of his patients at Luzerne.
His career as a physician in Poughkeepsie was
one of remarkable success, and he remained
there until his death, one of the best known
physicians in this part of the State.

In 1865 Dr. Porteous was married to Miss
Sarah F. Wilbur, daughter of Samuel and
Sarah Wilbur, of Boston, Mass., and three
children were the result of this union: Effie;
Flora, who became the wife of Allen H. Craft,
of New York City; and Lizzie, who married
Dr. E. E. Hicks, of Brooklyn, N. Y. Soci-
ally, the Doctor was a member of the Mystic
Shrine, Knights Templar, and of the Loyal
Legion and the G. A. R., and was also a mem-
ber of the Dutchess Club. In religious belief
he and his wife were faithful attendants of the
Episcopal Church. The Doctor was very
strong in his political views, and was an active
and influential worker in the ranks of the Re-
publican party. Though for seven years su-
pervisor of Luzerne, and a member of the As-
sembly in 1873, he could in no way be regarded
as an office seeker. His interest was only
what every public-spirited and patriotic citi-
zen's should be — "to promote the general

welfare" — and in this our subject did not fail
to do his duty, for he was in the fore of any
movement that tended toward the advance-
ment of the community. He was one of those
typical self-made men, whose struggles with
adverse circumstances broadened the mind, and
his natural kind-hearted and unselfish nature,
together with his sincere regard for his brother
man, made him a man among men, a friend to
humanity. His heart responded to every call,
and he could laugh with them that laughed,
and mourn with them that mourned. No ap-
peal to his aid was ever made in vain, and
though he ranked among the foremost of his
profession in Poughkeepsie, no home was too
humble for him to enter if thereby he could
relieve the suffering of mind and body of some
unfortunate fellow-being. In proof of the high
regard in which he was held, his patients have
collected quite a sum of money for the purpose
of erecting a monument over his grave, that
there might be in chiseled marble a fitting tes-
timonial of- the life and character of one of na-
ture's noblemen.

JOHN J. BROOKS (deceased) was born in
Haverstraw, N. Y. , April i, 1821, and was
^ the son of Capt. William Brooks, a native
of Stony Point, New York.

John Brooks was a farmer by occupation,
and was a prosperous man. He married a
Miss Cooney, and their children were: Oliver,
Brewster and Samuel (deceased); Nathaniel,
a blacksmith by trade, living at Stony Point,
N. Y. ; John, William, Lavinia, and Mary, the
latter now living in Marlborough.

William, or "Capt. Billy," as he was gen-
erally known, by trade a ship builder, spent his
entire life in Haverstraw, where he was well-
known and highly esteemed. He was a man
of unusual ability, and was prominent in all
affairs of the county. He was a brave soldier
in the war of 1812, and a captain in the State
militia, whence he obtained his title. He was
a Democrat and a leading man in political cir-
cles, as well as in the Methodist Church to
which he and his wife belonged. He was mar-
ried in the summer of 181 7 to Miss Nancy De-
Groot, whose father was a large land owner at
Tompkin's Cove. Eight children were born
of this union, as follows: William D. is a
prominent citizen of Rochester, now retired
from business; John J. comes next; Oliver has
resided in Detroit, Mich., for a number of



years; Walter was a sailor, and was lost at sea;
Sampson, a builder, lives at Hyde Park; Ed-
ward is in the carriage business in Syracuse,
N. Y. ; Sybil died July 3, 1890, unmarried;
and Jane M. married Hewlett Baker, a promi-
nent builder in New York City. The father
of this family died at Haverstraw in the sum-
mer of 1846; the mother passed away in Pough-
keepsie, in November, 1881.

John J. Brooks was reared to manhood in
Rockland county, obtaining only a common-
school education, but being possessed of much
natural ability and a retentive memory he be-
came a well-informed man. He was very fond
of reading, and was one of the best mathema-
ticians in his locality. He was a good business
man, thorough in everything he undertook,
and became a leader in all public enterprises
as a Republican.

Mr. Brooks was apprenticed when quite
young to learn the carriage-trimming business,
and worked for two or three years in Rahway,
N. J., and New York City, then when he was
nineteen years old he bought his time, and
later started a shop of his own on the corner
of Broadway and Walker street. New York.
After moving to Poughkeepsie he started on
the corner of Cranneil and Main streets, soon
afterward opening a factory at Nos. 424-426-
428, on Main street, which he carried on until
about 1870. His first partner in business was
Marshall, and, later, Thomas Wyatt. This
factory employed from eighteen to twenty
men, and was the largest in the county. In
1870, in company with A. T. Kear, Mr.
Brooks went into the livery business, which
he carried on until 1876, when he retired from
active work. In 1880 he was elected chief of
police, Poughkeepsie's first chief, which im-
portant position he held for nine years. He was
also at one time alderman for the Third ward,
and again for the Fifth ward, performing the
duties connected with this office to the entire
satisfaction of his constituents. He was su-
pervisor one term, also a member of the ex-
cise board, and always held a prominent place
among the public-spirited men of the city of
Poughkeepsie, being a born leader and full of
enterprise. Religiously, he was a member of
the Congregational Church, and was ever
ready to assist in any good work. In his
death, which occurred July 17, 1891, the com-
munity lost one of its best citizens, and his
family a tender, loving husband and father.

Mr. Brooks was married June 18, 1845, to

Elsie A. Hermance, daughter of John Her-
mance, who was a shoemaker by trade and a
great temperance advocate. Four children
were born of this marriage: Herman and Char-
lie, both of whom died joung; Norman J.; and
Emma C, who married Charles A. Van De-
Water, of Poughkeepsie, and their children are
Irving B., Elsie May and Lena M.

Norman J. Brooks, only surviving son of
our subject, was educated in the public schools
of Poughkeepsie, and in Dutchess County
Academ}'. When fourteen years of age he
left school and went into the dry-goods store
of W'illiam Broas, for a time. He then was in
his father's office for awhile, after which he
learned the wagon-maker's trade, and subse-
quently engaged in the liver}' business for two
years. In 1874 he was employed as clerk in
the New York post office, where he remained
two and a half years. For several years after
this he was in no particular business. In 1877
or 1878 he was appointed, by B. Piatt Car-
penter, as a clerk in the Custom House,
which position he held for eight years. After
this he became salesman in the clothing house
of M. Schwartz, where he remained four or
five yfears, and then went into the grocery
business, the firm name being Brooks & Van
De Water. In 1895 he bought out his part-
ner, and at present is conducting the store
himself. He has been successful in this en-
terprise, and is looked upon as an able busi-
ness man.

Mr. Brooks was married September 25,
1872, to Hilah A. Burger, daughter of W. C.
Burger, of Ulster county, and four children
have been born to them: Lulu S. (deceased
when six months old), Arthur N., Clarence J.
and Elmer Frank. Mr. Brooks is a Repub-
lican, and has at times taken quite an active
part in politics, although he has never been
willing to accept office; he attends the services
of the Congregational Church. A public-spir-
ited citizen, he is interested in any movement

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