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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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looking to the growth and welfare of his com-

BOBERT G. COFFIN, the subject of this
sketch, was born in the town of Wash-
ington, on what is now called the Altamont
stock farm. February 12, 1823. His father
was Robert Coffin, of whom see a biography
in the sketch of Hezekiah R. Coffin.

Our subject spent his boyhood on the farm,




attending the Nine Partners Boarding School,
and later the Dutchess County Academy. After
finishing his education he resumed his life on
the farm of his parents where he resided until
1887, when he sold the place and bought his
present property in South Millbrook.

On April 9, 1851, Mr. Coffin was united in
marriage with Miss Eliza Sackett, who was
born in the town of Washington, a daugh-
ter of Artemas E. Sackett, a farmer in that
town. The Sackett family was an old one of
the town of Stanford, where the father of Ar-
temas E. was born. Nine children were born
to our subject and his wife, namely: Kate
died young; Ida L. married Dr. J. O. Pingry;
Clarence died at an early age; Laura married
Beverly W. Howard, a farmer in the town of
Washington; Edwin married Miss Elizabeth
Tomlinson, and is a farmer in Stanford ; Robert
married Miss Elnora Lattin, and lives in Ma-
maroneck, ' N. Y. ; Artemas S. married Julia
Lattin, and is a merchant at Oak Summit;
Helen M. became the wife of Dr. D. H. Mac-
Kenzie, a practicing physician at Mabbetts-
ville; John L. married Miss Emily Crossman,
and lives in Washington. Mrs. Coffin died
November 28, 1894.

Mr. Coffin is a Democrat, and has been
quite a prominent man in his community. He
was instrumental in building the church in
South Millbrook; was also an active promoter
of the building of the Newburg, Dutchess &
Columbia R. R. He was the first bona fide sub-
scriber to its stock; was one of its first direct-
ors, and is still one, having served as such
about thirty years. He suggested calling meet-
ings along the entire line, at which he and
others addressed the people in favor of its con-
struction, which efforts resulted in an almost
unanimous subscription to its stock. After much
more hard work the road was completed, and
its benefits secured to the people. Millbrook
has now a fine church, a railroad, and has de-
veloped into a beautiful little village. Mr. Cof-
fin is greatly admired for his public spirit, and
possesses the esteem and respect of all who
know him.


Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county, second
son of Richard and Mary (Dietzi Bay ley,
grandson of Dr. Guy Carleton Bayley, and
great-grandson of Dr. Richard Bayley, was
born at Poughkeepsie, October 16, 1850.

Our subject was educated at the Dutchess
County Academy, and in Mr. Churchill's school
at Sing Sing, N. Y. In 1867 he entered Dr.
Jacob Bockee's office as a student of medicine,
and, in 1869, the office of Dr. Henry B. Sands,
New York City, by whose advice he took three
courses of lectures at the College of Physicians
and Surgeons, in the City of New York, where
he graduated in 1872. In the same year he
commenced the practice of his profession at
Poughkeepsie, where he was appointed visit-
ing physician at St. Barnabas Hospital, and
physiclan-in-charge of the Orphan Home and
Home for the Friendless. In 1884 Dr. Bay-
ley accepted an appointment on the visiting
surgical staff of the Womans Hospital of the
State of New York, New York City, and asso-
ciated himself in business with Dr. Nathan
Bozeman, in that city. In 1887 Dr. Bayley
was appointed resident medical officer of, and
visiting surgeon to, Vassar Brothers Hospital
at Poughkeepsie, and was given charge of the
details of the organizing and carrying on the
work of the splendidly-equipped and richly-en-
dowed institution. Dr. Bayley is an original
member of the New York State Medical Asso-
ciation, of the American Medical Association,
and of the New York State Medical Society.

In 1875 the Doctor married Angelica Cros-
by Wyckoff, who died in 1876; for his second
wife he, in 1885, married Ellen Lorraine
Bulkeley, of New York City.

LAWRENCE C. RAPALJE, a retired agri-
culturist and business man of the town of

East Fishkill, Dutchess county, has been for
many years a leading citizen of that locality,
his varied interests ideniifying him with many
of the most important progressive measures

In his veins there fiows the blood of sev-
eral of the oldest families of the county, mem-
bers of which have distinguished themselves in
the past by their devotion to principle, and by
their work in public lines. On the paternal
side, the first ancestor came from Holland
about 1623, and located near Newtown, Long
Island, where some of his descendants still
live. Martin Rapalje, our subject's grand-
father, was a farmer there throughout his life.
He married Miss Mary Lawrence, daughter of
Col. William Lawrence, and a member of one
of the most prominent families in New York.



They reared a family of children, among whom
was Uaniel L. , our subject's father.

Daniel L. Rapaije was born in January,
1800, spent his early years at the old home-
stead, and then engaged in the wholesale dry-
goods business in New York City, where he
passed the remainder of his life, dying in June,
1850. He was a Democrat in politics. His
wife, Phoebe Cortelyou, born in April, 1800,
in Long Island, vvas a daughter of Peter Cor-
telyou, and is also deceased. The Cortelyou
family is of French- Huguenot stock, and the
first of the American branch came from France
during the religious persecutions. He made
the first map of New York City.

Lawrence C Rapaije was born in New
York City, August 26, 1826, the elder of the
two sons of his parents; the younger, Adrian,
died at the age of twenty-one. The schools
of the city afforded excellent educational ad-
vantages, of which Mr. Rapaije availed him-
self, and at an early age he began to familiar-
ize himself with business methods by clerking
in his father's store. In 1843 he went to the
town of East Fishkill to reside, and October
10, 1855, he was married there to Miss Anna
Horton, a native of the town. Her family is
of English extraction, and her father, Maj.
Coert Horton, vvas a native of Dutchess coun-
ty, and a well-known farmer and merchant.
Mr. Rapaije settled upon a farm of 250 acres,
which he purchased in 1857, and has ever
since resided there; it is now within the wid-
ening limits of Hopewell Junction. Here four
children were born to them: John, who was
formerly the superintendent of a railroad in
the West, is now a civil engineer in West Vir-
ginia, and interested in the development of
coal lands; Lawrence, Jr., who is a farmer
at the homestead; Adrian, a civil engineer;
and Anna, the wife of Charles Underbill, the
agent for the railroads running into Hopewell
Junction. The mother of this little family
passed from life December 30, 1895.

Mr. Rapaije has not only given much at-
tention to agriculture, but he has been a
worker in finance as a director and vice-presi-
dent of the First National Bank of Fishkill
(now defunct), and he has also taken an act-
ive part in railroading, having been a director
and organizer of the Dutchess and Columbia
railroad, and a director of the Poughkeepsie
Bridge Co. He is now a member of the board
of directors of the Dutchess Mutual Life In-
surance Co. In local politics he is influential.

and has been a favorite candidate on the Dem-
ocratic ticket. In 1861 he was elected super-
visor, in which office he has served eight years,
and was justice of the peace for nearly thirty
years. A born leader, he has taken a promi-
nent place among his associates and co-labor-
ers in every line of effort. The Rapaije fam-
ily adopted the faith of the Reformed Dutch
Church at a very early period, and to this Mr.
Rapaije also adheres.

LEWIS E. WOOD, of the well-known firm
of Wood Brothers, leading nurserymen

and florists in the village of Fishkill, Dutchess
count}', N. Y. , has shown rare skill and ability
in his calling, having been chosen at the age of
twenty to superintend the extensive green-
houses of Burrow & Wood (who established
the business in 1866), the predecessors of the
present firm. Hereditary influences have doubt-
less played a part in his success, as he may be
said to belong to a family of gardeners, his fa-
ther, uncle and two brothers having engaged in
the same business.

Mr. Wood is a great-grandson of Isaac
Wood, and a grandson of Joseph W. Wopd,
who was married three times, first to Mariam
Odel (mother of Joseph J. Wood, our subject's
father). Joseph J. Wood was born May 4,
1828, and in early manhood began his work in
the nursery business in the employ of John
Burrow, with whom he remained about sixteen
years. He then married Rebecca J. \'ernol,
who was born February 20, 1835, a daughter
of Epenetus and Ann (La Due) Vernol, and
five children were born of this marriage:
Lewis E., Eugene \'., Annie J., Isaac J. and
Howard E. The parents are still living at
Fishkill. After his marriage the father took
charge of the Rapaije estate, where he re-
mained some eighteen years. In 1874 he
bought an equal interest in the nursery busi-
ness of Burrow & Wood, the junior member of
the firm being his brother, Isaac C. Wood.
On September 6, 1876, the two brothers pur-
chased Mr. Burrow's interest, and continued
under the firm name of I. C. Wood & Bro. ,
the partnership lasting until July i, 1889, when
our subject and his brothers, Eugene V. and
Isaac J., bought the entire property and busi-
ness. They have about fifty acres of land un-
der cultivation, with some forty greenhouses
which they have remodeled from time to time
since they took possession.



Lewis E. Wood was born at Fishkill, No-
vember 20, 1856, and was educated in the
Union Free School. He attended school
steadily, winters and summers, until he was
eighteen years old, when he entered the em-
ploy of Burrow & Wood, and after two years
of work in the greenhouses he was placed in
charge. This responsible position he held up
to the time that he and his brothers bought
the business, with the e.xception of two years
(1879 and 1880) when he conducted a branch
of the business at Newburg.

On October 21, 1877, Mr. Wood married
Miss Ada Jackson, daughter of Orry and Cor-
nelia (Pink) Jackson, former residents of Milan,
Dutchess county, and has three children:
Eugene Wesley, Frederick Morga'n and Flor-
ence Emily. Mr. Wood emphatically en-
dorses the principles of the Republican party,
but is not an active political worker.

ER PLANCK. The first member of this
family, of whom a definite account has
been preserved, was Abraham Ver Planck,
who often called himself Abraham Isaacse (or
IsaacsenJ, meaning thereby that he was the
son of Isaac. The exact date of his arrival in
America is not known, some authorities claim-
ing that he came previous to his marriage,
which took place about 1635, and others indi-
cating that he accompanied Governor Kieft in
1630. His name appears frequently in the
records of the early Dutch settlers, notably in
connection with the purchase of large tracts of

This Abraham \'er Planck married Maria
Vinge Ross, and by her had a son, Gulian,
born January i, 1637, who married Hendrika
Wessels; their son, Samuel, born December
16, 1668, married Ariantje Bayard; their son
Gulian, born May 31, 1698, married Mary
Crommelin; their son, Samuel, born Septem-
ber 19, 1739, married Judith Crommelin; and
their son, Daniel C, born March 19, 1762,
married Elizabeth Johnson. These latter were
the great-grandparents of Robert Newlin Ver-
Planck, the subject proper of this biography.

Gulian Crommelin, son of Daniel C. and
Elizabeth (Johnson) Ver Planck, and grand-
father of Robert Newlin, was born August 6,
1786, in New York. His mother died when
he was three years old, and his father having
married again, he was brought up by his grand-
mother, Judith Crommelin. At the age of

eleven years he entered Columbia College,
and graduated in the class of 1801. Not long
after he studied law, was admitted to the bar
in 1807, and at once took up the practice.
As his leaning, however, was rather to litera-
ture and politics, he devoted himself to them,
abandoning the practice of law. In 181 1 he
married Eliza F"enno, and in 18 16 they took a
trip to Europe, where, in Paris, Mrs. Ver-
Planck died in 18 17. He subsequently vis-
ited Holland, England, Scotland, etc., return-
ing to New York in 1818. After this he took
part in the political life of the day, and con-
tributed several articles to its literature, as
well as on various other subjects, all his efforts
in that line e.xhibiting considerable ability.
He was, also, a lover of art, and made a col-
lection of several good paintings and engrav-
ings. In 1825 he was sent to Congress as a
representative from New York City, there re-
maining through four successive terms, and
from 1837 to 1841 he sat in the Senate of the
State of New York. He then undertook what
may be considered the crowning work of his
literary efforts — the editing of Shakespere's
plays and poems — which occupied him three
years. He died March 18, 1870, at his town
residence in New York, in his eighty-fourth
year, and was buried in the cemeterj' of Trin-
ity Church, Fishkill Village, Dutchess county.
His children were William Samuel (mentioned
below), and Gulian, born April 29, 1815, died
.November 19, 1845.

William Samuel, father of Robert Newlin
Ver Planck, was born in New York City, Octo-
ber 15, 1 812. After graduating at Columbia
College in 1832, he commenced studying law,
and in due course was admitted to the bar;
but he practiced only a short time
attention to agricultural pursuits, and
charge first of the Mount Gulian farm, and
afterward of his father's farms on the Fishkill
Plains. On November 17, 1837, he married
Anna Biddle, third daughter of Robert and
Mary (Brown) Newlin, and eight children were
born to them, as follows: (i) Eliza Fenno,
born September 16, 1838, married Benjamin
Richards, of New York, where they live; (2)
Mary Newlin, born October 18, 1840, married
Samuel W. Johnson, who died in 1881 (she is
now living in New York); (3) Robert Newlin,
a sketch of whom appears presently ; (4) Daniel
Crommelin, born April 13, 1845, died April 8,
1854; (5) Anna, born November 27, 1846,
married Samuel H. Clapp, who died in 1891

turning his



(she is now living in Albany, N. Y.); (6) Jean-
nette, born March 7, 1S49, married Theodore
M. Etting, of Philadelphia, where they are
now living; (7) Gelyna, born January 23, 1852,
married Brig. -Gen. Louis Fitzgerald, of New
York, where they are now living; and (8) Will-
iam Edward, born Aprils, 1856, married Vir-
ginia Eliza Darby, and they live at Mount Gu-
lian, Fishkill-on-Hudson. The father of this
family died December 23, 1885, and is buried
by the side of the mother (who died May 31,
1883), in the Rural Cemetery, Fishkill. He
inherited his father's love of reading, and had
a very retentive memory; was a good farmer
and a successful one; a thorough sportsman
and an excellent shot. At the time of his death
he was president of the Savings Bank, and
vice-president of the First National Bank.

Robert Nevvlin Ver Planck was born
November 18, 1842, ai the family homestead
one and one-half miles north of Fishkill-on-
Hudson. This old house was built in 1730 or
'40 by Gulian Ver Planck, the grandson of the
Gulian Ver Planck, who by royal charter ob-
tained from the Indians one-third of the famous
Roinbout Patent, the first tract of land granted
within the limits of Dutchess county. It em-
braced the present towns of Fishkill, East
Fishkill, and Wappinger, the western part of
Lagrange, and nine thousand acres within the
southern limits of the town of Poughkeepsie.
February 8, 1682, Gulian Ver Planck and
Francis Rombout obtained a license to pur-
chase this tract from the Aborigines, the grant
making the issue of a patent conditional upon
a prior settlement with them, and the require-
ments being met the deed was delivered, and
on the 14th day of August, 16S3, was recorded
among the State papers at Albany. The Ver-
Planck homestead was one of the principal
landmarks in this section in the early days,
and one of the important events which the
walls of the historic mansion have witnessed
was the organization of the Society of the
Cincinnati, May 13, 1783, when Baron Steuben,
inspector-general of the Continental army, oc-
cupied the house for his headquarters, the
army being then at Newburg. [See Irving's
"Life of Washington," V'ol. IV, Page 392,
ct scq.']

Our subject was prepared for Harvard
College by Otis Bisbee, of Poughkeepsie, and
was graduated from that institution in 1863,
at the age of twenty-one years. He immedi-
ately joined the Twenty-second Regiment

N. Y. State Militia, then stationed at Carlisle,
Penn., and on the return of the regiment went
to Washington. On September 15, 1863, he
was made second lieutenant of U. S. Volun-
teers, by Gen. Silas Casey's examining board.
He served as provost marshal of the Third
Division, Eighteenth Army Corps, Army of the
James, and participated in all the battles that
were fought on the north side of the river. In
the winter of 1864-65 he was made aid-de-
camp to Brig. -Gen. Truman Seymour, Third
Division, Sixth Army Corps, Army of the Po-
tomac, and received brevet for gallant and
meritorious services on April 2, 1865, when
the line was broken in front of Petersburg. He
was mustered out as captain June 21, 1865.
On his return from the army he engaged in re-
fining petroleum in Jersey City, continuing in
this business from September, 1865, till the
spring of 1871, when he sold out to the Stand-
ard Oil Company, and took charge of his
father's lands, comprising seven farms in East

■ On February 24, 1876, Mr. Ver Planck
was married to Katharine Brinckerhoff, daugh-
ter of Matthew Van Benschoten and Mary
(Franklin) Brinckerhoff, and they have five
children, viz. : Gulian Cromelin, Judith Crome-
lin, Mary Brinckerhoff, William Samuel and
Robert St. Clair.

DAVID E. ACKERT, a leading merchant
of Rhinebeck, Dutchess county, the senior

partner of the well-known firm of Ackert &
Son, is a descendant of one of the old Holland-
Dutch families of the county, his great-grand-
father, George Ackert, having been the owner
of a farm three miles south of Rhinebeck.
This property has been in the possession of
the family from that time to this, and is at pres-
ent held by George Ackert. George Ackert (2),
our subject's grandfather, who was born about
1780, was a farmer also, and his son, William
G. Ackert, born about 1809, was engaged in
the same occupation early in life. His later
years were spent in Rhinebeck in the employ
of W. S. Cowles & Co., dealers in dry goods,
groceries, boots and shoes, farm implements
and other commodities. He was never active
in political or religious movements, and his life
passed uneventfully in the careful performance
of his duties. He died in 1876, and his wife,
Permelia Ackert, daughter of George Ackert,
passed away about 1880.

'. Q AJc.^



David E. Ackert, their only son, was born
September 20, 1832, in the town of Rhinebeck,
and received his early education in the public
schools of his native place. At the age of fif-
teen he became an errand boy for W. S.
Cowles & Co., and was soon promoted to a
clerkship, which he held until his purchase of
the business in 1868. For the last twenty-
seven years he has successfully conducted this
store, one of the largest in the town dealing in
dry goods, groceries and crockery. It is sel-
dom that one finds such a record of fifty years
of continuous effort in one enterprise. Of late
years his son, Ernest Cowles Ackert, has been
a partner in the firm.

In September, 1S53, Mr. Ackert married
Miss Mary Worden, of Rhinebeck, who died
in 1883, leaving two children — the son men-
tioned above and a daughter, Emma K., the
wife of Charles E. Worden, of Saratoga, New

Mr. Ackert is a prominent member of the
M. E. Church, with which he united thirty
years ago, and is a constant and devout stu-
dent of the Bible. He has been a Church
trustee for many years, and has served as pres-
ident of the board. He upholds the principles
of the Republican party, but is not a political
worker, although as a good citizen he is always
ready to respond to any call to duty, and has
been president of the village for four years,
and chief of the Fire Department for five years.
He is a member of the fraternal order of Odd

CHARLES D. SHERWOOD, a leading ag-
riculturist of the town of Fishkill, Dutch-
ess county, is one of the younger workers in
local affairs — religious, political, and social.

On the paternal side of the house, he is of
English descent, his ancestors coming to this
country some time during the seventeenth cen-
tury and locating in Connecticut. He is of the
eighth generation in descent from Thomas
Sherwood and Alice Seabrook, his wife, whose
son, Matthew, married Mary Fitch, and had
issue, Samuel, who married Rebecca Burr.
Their son Thomas married Anne Burr, and
was the father of Joseph, who was born in
Greenfield Hill, Conn., January 15, 1754.
He served for some time as corporal and was
commissioned, by Gov. Jonathan Trumbull, a
lieutenant in the Twelfth Company of the
Fourth Regiment, of Connecticut Militia, May

20, 1780. As corporal he served during the
Revolution in the force detailed to reinforce
Gen. Putnam, on the Hudson, during Bur-
goyne's expedition, and as lieutenant in the de-
fense of the Connecticut coast. [Evidence
found in "Connecticut Men in the Revolu-
tion;" pp. 520, 521, 576.] Mrs. John I.
Piatt, of Poughkeepsie, has this commission in
her possession. He married Sarah Bradley,
and died in Chester, N. Y. , January 22, 1838.
His son Samuel settled in East Fishkill, and
married Ruth Du Bois. They had nine chil-
dren; the youngest, Isaac, born March 25,
1826, married Mary Du Bois, June 24, 1851,
and had one son.

The Du Bois family, from whom Mr. Sher-
wood's mother descended, is of French-Hu-
guenot origin, and one of the oldest in the
State. The first of that name who emigrated
to the New World was Jacques Du Bois, who
was born in Leyden, France, and married
Pierromie Bentyn, of the same place. They
reared a family of eight children: Marie,
Jacques, Marie, Jean, Anne, Jehan, Pierre and

Pierre Du Bois came with the family to
America in 1675, and located at Esopus, Ul-
ster Co., N. Y. , but spent most of his early
life in Kingston, where he married Jeannetje
Burhans, October 12, 1697. In 1707 they
came to Dutchess county, locating in the town
of Fishkill, about three and one-half miles
east of the village of that name. Here he
secured a tract of land, and lived with his
family. His eldest son was born in Kingston,
the other children after he had moved to
Dutchess county. They were as follows:
Petronella (i), Johannes (i). Jacobus, Chris-
tiaan, Jonathan, Peter, Abraham, Johannes (2),
Helen, Elizabeth and Petronella (2). The
fourth child, Christiaan Du Bois, married
Nelltje Van Vliet, and they became the par-
ents of three children: Jannetje, Elizabeth
and Christian. The last named was born
June 13, 1746, and was married in 1768 to
Helena Van Voorhis, by whom he had seven
children: Henry, Abraham, Garret, John,
Elizabeth, Catherine and Coert.

Garret Du Bois, the fourth son, was the
great-grandfather of our subject. He married
Hannah Cooper, and located upon a farm near
Johnsville (now the town of East Fishkill),.
where they reared their family of three chil-
dren: Maria, who married Peter S. Montfort,
father of Peter Y. W. Montfort, of the town


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