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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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ful, he nevertheless materially reduced the
usual Democratic majority. In 1878 he was
appointed by President Hayes honorary com-
missioner to the Paris Exposition, and in the
autumn of the same year he was again nomi-
nated for Congress, and after a vigorous can-
vass was elected by 6,000 majority, which
majority was larger than the number of all the
votes of his opponent. This was the first time
the district had been carried b}' the Repub-
licans.

Mr. Morton took his seat in Congress (the
Forty-sixth I March 18, 1879. and he imme-
diately secured a high position in the legisla-
tive councils. On April 21, 1879, he was ap-
pointed on the Committee on Foreign Affairs,
where he served acceptably and with distinc-
tion. In 1880 he was again elected to ("on-
gress from the same district, by an increased
majority.



V0MME3I0RATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



11



When the Convention of 1880 had nomi-
nated Mr. Garfield for President of the United
States, it turned to New York to find a candi-
date for Vice-President, and Mr. Morton was
urged to permit the use of his name. He,
however, dechned the honor, and the choice
then fell upon Mr. Arthur. Mr. Garfield of-
fered Mr. Morton the choice of the Secretary-
ship of the Navy, or the position of Minister
Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary to
France. The latter office he accepted, and in
the summer of 1881 sailed with his family for
the French capital.

The pre-eminent fitness of the new envoy
at once became apparent, and the success of
his diplomatic career has probably never been
surpassed, if equalled, by any American repre-
sentative to a foreign court. Shortly after
President Cleveland entered upon the duties
of his office Mr. Morton resigned, and May 14,
1885, the retiring minister presented his letter
of recall to the President of the Republic.

In January, 1885, while he was yet in
France, Mr. Morton's name was brought be-
fore the Republican caucus of the New York
Legislature as a candidate for the Senate of
the United States, the vote being: William
M. Evarts, 61; Levi P. Morton, 28; Chauncey
M. Depew, 3. Two years later his name was
used in the same connection, but after the first
ballot in the Legislature Mr. Morton withdrew
in favor of Mr. Hiscock, who was elected.

Early in the Presidential campaign of 1888,
when Gen. Harrison was nominated for Presi-
dent Mr. Morton was nominated for Vice-
President, and both candidates were elected,
after a most hotly contested campaign. The
successful vote in New York was universally
conceded to have been largely due to Mr.
Morton's strength and popularity in that State.
On March 4, 1889, he entered upon the duties
of the Vice-Presidential office, and discharged
the same during his four-year term with marked
ability; and it may not be too much to say that
the United States Senate has never been pre-
sided over with greater courtesy, dignity and
efficiency. In 1894 Mr. Morton was nomi-
nated for and elected governor of the State
of New York, his term of office expiring Janu-
ary 1, 1897.

Mr. Morton has not only achieved distinc-
tion in financial and political circles, but in
charitable deeds as well, as witness his munifi-
cent donation to the Irish poor during the
great famine in Ireland, of 1888, and his gen-



erosity on several other occasions, .^d^xk to
the city of Newport; a house and lot^ Han-
over to Dartmouth College, that thePollege
might be enabled to erect an art galry and
museum; $10,000 toward the foundain of a
professorship of Latin and French inttiddle-
burg College; $75,000 to Grace Churl, New
York, to provide a building for a day rsery,
as a tribute to the memory of his fi ; wife,
Mrs. Lucy Kimball Morton, and her in est in
the children of the poor — all these slid out
from the list of Mr. Morton's public anc rivate
benevolences.

From Middleburg College, in 188 lie re-
ceived the degree of LL. D. , also fro Dart-
mouth College in 1882. Socially, : is a
member of the Union, Union League, letro-
politan. Century, and Lawyers Clubs : New
York; the Metropolitan Club of Was! gton,
D. C. ; the Historical and America Geo-
graphical Societies of New York, and t New
England Historic Genealogical Societj

On October 15, 1856, Mr. Mort was
married at Flatlands, Long Island, t Lucy
Kimball (born July 22, 1836, died 3* 11,
1871), daughter of Elijah H. and Sar; Wet-
more (Hinsdale) Kimball, of Flatland Long
Island. On February 12, 1873, Mr. jarton,
for his second wife, married Anna Liigston
Reade Street, born May 18, 1846, dainter of
William Ingraham Street, Esq., an Susan
Kearney, his wife. The following lildren
have been born to Levi Parsons a Anna
(Street) Morton: Edith Livingston, orn at
Newport, R. I., June 20, 1874; Le Kear-
ney, born at Newport, May 20, 187 Helen
Stuyvesant, born at Newport, August 1S76;
Lewis Parsons, born at London, igland,
September 21, 1877, and died there anuary
10, 1878; Alice, born at New York, :rch23,
1879; and Mary, born at New York, ne 11,
1881.



Among the finest country seats o



is Mr. Morton's
on-the-Hudson,
adorned, a spot
proud of.



" Ellerslie," at
beautifully laid
that Rhinebeck



■merica

fnecliff-

t and

justly



jr WALLACE SMITH has tlireputa-
tion of a strictly first-clasausiness
man, reliable and energetic, and is aitizen of
whom Poughkeepsie, Dutchess cojy, may
be justly proud. He is an offsprinaf excel-
lent stock of stanch Scotch anctry, his



12



COMMEMORATIVE BIOOIiAPHICAL RECORD.



grandfather having come from Scotland to the
New \\'orld, becoming a cabinet-maker of
New ^■(^r^; Citj-. Politically, he was an Old-
line \\ liig, and in religious faith was a member
of the Reformed Dutch Church.

William Smith, the father of our subject,
was a native of New York City, where he
grew to manhood and followed cabinet-mak-
ing. There he was married to Miss Jemima
Horn, who was born in that city, and was de-
scended from Mathew Van Horn, who, with
his brother James, came from Holland and
located in New York Cit}-, where their de-
scendants now live. She was a daughter
of Mathew and Margaret (Hagerman) Horn,
who were born, reared and died in that
city, where her father engaged in the real-
estate business, owning a large amount of
property. In the metropolis five children
were born to the parents of our subject: John
H., who was one of the valiant soldiers of the
Civil war, and died of starvation in Salisbury
(N. C.) prison; W. Wallace, the subject of
this review; George E., who is engaged in the
trunk business in New York City; Margaret,
who died unmarried; and Sarah H. Smith.
For twenty years after his marriage the father
continued to reside in New York City, and
then went to Baltimore, Md., where he en-
gaged in the trunk business for five years.
His death, however, occurred in Poughkeep-
sie, in 1864, where he had removed in 1859.
His wife died in 1889. In politics he loyally
adhered to the Republican party.

The birth of W. Wallace Smith occurred
in New York City, September 20, 1834, and
there he spent the days of his boyhood and
youth, ittending the city schools and learning
the bookbinding business with A. Appleton &
Co., with whom he remained until the panic of
1857. He then shipped on board the "Ni-
agara" to help lay one of the Atlantic cables,
which they commenced to lower on reaching
England; but after it broke he returned to that
country, though the "Niagara" came on to
the United States. He ne.xt boarded the "Sus-
quehanna," making a trip up the Mediterranean
Sea. In 1858 the vessel was ordered home;
but during the passage the yellow fever broke
out, and only eighty -seven of the three hundred
and fifty on board reached America. Mr. Smith
then followed his trade of bookbinding in New
York until the breaking out of the Civil war,
when he joined Company L, Ninth N. Y. State
Militia, and remained with the regiment for



two years, during which time he participated
in several battles, but while on picket duty
just before the battle of Bull Run, he caught a
cold which caused the loss of one eye. Re-
turning to New York, he was with D. Appleton
& Co., until 1870. when he came to Pough-
keepsie and purchased the Poughkeepsie Book
Bindery, of Gidley & De Garmo, at No. 258
Main street, and has conducted a very success-
ful business there ever since, doing all kinds of
bookbinding.

In 1 869 Mr. Smith was united in marriage
with Miss Martha W. Avery, a native of West
Point, N. Y. , and a daughter of Josiah Avery,
who was of Holland descent. Four children
were born of this union, two of whom died in
infancy. Those living are William Wallace,
Jr., and Franklin A., who are with their fa-
ther. In his political views, Mr. Smith coin-
cides with the Republican party; was elected
alderman of the Fifth ward of Poughkeepsie,
Januari" i, 1887, serving four terms, and in
1893 was elected supervisor of the Seventh
ward. Socially, he is an honored member of
the Grand Army of the Republic. He is highly
respected and esteemed by the entire popula-
tion of the cit}'. and looked up to as a man
truly honorable and upright in all things, and
one whom thej- can depend upon as a friend.



HON. HARVEY G. EASTMAN. LL. D.,
founder of Eastman Business College,
Poughkeepsie, and one of the most remark-
able men of his time, was born October 16,
1832, in Marshall, Oneida county, New York.
The earlier years of our subject were passed
upon the farm which his father owned and cul-
tivated, receiving as he grew up an academical
education, and while still very young he became
a pupil and afterward a teacher in a commer-
cial school in Rochester, N. Y. , taught by an
uncle of his. It was while engaged in this
school that Mr. Eastman conceived the idea
of a Commercial or Business College, and, as
the plan took definite form, he put it into prac-
tice by founding, December 19, 1855 (when he
was but twenty-three years of age), the first
school of any prominence of that class in Os-
wego, N. Y. In the spring of 1858 he opened
a Commercial College in St. Louis, Mo. , in one
of the finest buildings in the city, equipped
with all the appointments for his method of in-
struction, and, by judicious management and
systematic advertising, it at the end of the year



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



13



had become the largest and most popular pri-
vate school in the West. Owing, however, to
some differences existing among a certain class
as to the political status of some of the lecr.ur-
ers brought to this institution by Mr. Eastman,
he sold his good will in the College and turned
his eye eastward for a new and permanent
location.

In 1859 Mr. Eastman came to Poughkeep-
sie — a place he had never visited before, but
where his name and his College had by skill-
ful advertising already become "familiar as
household words " — and here founded the pres-
ent Eastman National Business College, which
at once became famed for its practicability and
usefulness, and has for many years now been
the recognized leader in business education
throughout the United States. He rented his
first room in the old Library building for sev-
enty-five cents a week, and with temporary
desks started his school, November 3, 1859,
with three students in attendance. The be-
ginning of the second week showed an attend-
ance of si.xteen, and before the end of the
month this new school — started by a stranger
at a few days' notice, and without friends or
capital, and with no small degree of opposition
from a large body of citizens — had outnum-
bered in patronage other institutions many
years its senior. By 1861 the attendance had
increased to 500; in 1863 to 1,200, every State,
Territory and several foreign countries being
represented; while in 1864-65 the daily attend-
ance had reached the extraordinary number of
more than 1,700 students. By 1S64 the col-
lege proper had increased from one room to
five distinct buildings, used for instruction
alone, and sixty-four teachers were employed,
beside numerous assistants. A secretary and
six assistants were required to attend to the
official correspondence, which, it may be in-
ferred, was one of no small magnitude. Each
building was supplied with a stationery store
to supply students, and a bindery belonging to
the college was devoted exclusively to ruling,
making and binding the blank books used. In
1876 the building was considerably enlarged
to meet the phenomenal growth of the busi-
ness which seventeen years before had been
established by Mr. Eastman without the aid of
idowment to the amount of a dollar, or
.. .-../. icription to the extent of a penny.

Mr. Eastman died of pneumonia in the
prime of early manhood, July 13, 1878, at
Denver, Colo., whither he had gone for the



benefit of his health. He was a man of inde-
fatigable energy, and through his enterprise
became one of Poughkeepsie's most prominent
citizens. In 1867, and again in 1873, he was
appointed a commissioner of charities for the
Second district; in 1872, and again in 1874,
he represented the Second district of Dutchess
county in the Assembly; in 1871, and again in
1876, he was elected mayor of Poughkeepsie.
The degree of LL. D. had been conferred on
him, and he was repeatedly urged to accept
positions of greater public trust. Personally,
he was one of the most genial, whole-souled
men, a polished and accomplished gentleman;
socially, he was a man of exemplary virtues, a
true and valued friend; in business he was
prompt and reliable. Physically, Mr. East-
man was a tall, slim, winning man, with keen,
flashing eyes that lit up when engaged, indi-
cating a soaring, restless ambition; he was
compactly built, apparently of an iron consti-
tution, with a vast amount of the go-ahead ele-
ment in his nature.

Mr. Eastman was the owner of a valuable
property of twenty-seven acres, known as
'• Eastman Park," situated almost in the heart
of the city, and celebrated as one of the most
beautiful and valuable private estates in the
country. On the purchase and the elaborate
preparation of the grounds he invested upward
of two hundred thousand dollars, and the en-
trances were always wide open, inviting citi-
zens and strangers alike to enter. In the midst
of this grand park he erected his own resi-
dence, a castellated building of much attract-
iveness. On an eminence, known as Eastman
Terrace, he also erected two blocks of houses
— twenty-four in number — which have lawns,
gardens, etc., and command an extended view
up and down the Hudson.

In 1857 Mr. Eastman was married to Miss
Minerva M. Clark, of Canastota, N. Y. , and
children as follows were born to them, three
daughters — Cora C, Charlotte C. and Min-
erva; Minerva died in infancy. In October,
1884, Mrs. H. G. Eastman was married to
Clement C. Gaines, president of Eastman
Business College, Poughkeepsie, and of the
New York Business College, New York City, a
sketch of whom appears elsewhere.

In his political preferences Mr. Eastman
was a stanch Republican; socially, he was a
member of the F. & A. M. and K. of P., and
he was vice-president of the Poughkeepsie
Bridge Company.



14



COMMEMORA TIFE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



The founder and genius of Eastman Busi-
ness College is no more, but the name of Har-
vey G. Eastman is held in loving remem-
brance by the friends who knew him, the stu-
dents who revered him, and the city svhich
honored him. Other hands picked up the
dropped threads, and continued the work
which his hands had laid aside, and Eastman
Business College remains a lasting monument
to his memory. His motto throughout life
was — " Peace and good will toward all;" and
his last words were — " I have tried to so live
as to do no man injustice."



Lanfine also, where he married Janet Kay Mc-
Whirter, and they brought up a large family of
children, the youngest of whom was our sub-
ject. William spent all his life on a farm.



JOHN DON.\LD (deceasedt. The subject
of this sketch was a member of the firm of
Donald, Converse & Maynard, one of the
largest dry-goods houses in this section of the
country. He was born in Lanfine, Scotland,
August 17, 1844.

fn early life our subject learned the dry-
goods trade in Scotland, and with his brother
William went to Aberdeen, where they formed
a partnership in that business, continuing it for
four years. In 1869 John came to America
and located at Hartford, Conn., where he had
charge of one of the departments in a dry-
goods store. He remained there about five
years, and in 1874 returned to Scotland and
married Miss Jessie Frew, a native of that
country, and a daughter of Alexander Frew, a
tile manufacturer. Mr. Frew married Miss
Mary Douglas, and they had two children:
Jessie and William, the latter a physician in
Scotland. Mr. Frew and his wife died in
Scotland.

In 1875 Mr. and Mrs. Donald came to
Poughkeepsie, and he formed a partnership
with C. E. Converse and R. L. Maynard, the
firm name being as above. Two children were
born to our subject and his wife: William A.
who is in the store at Poughkeepsie, and
Douglas, who is at school. Mr. Donald died
November 20, 1894. Politically he was a Re-
publican, and fraternally a Mason. He and
his wife were members of the Congregational
Church, and took a deep interest in all Church
affairs. He was an elder and deacon, and su-
perintendent of the Sunday-school at the time
of his death. He was a merchant of high
standing, and greatly respected by all. His
place in the store has been taken by his son
William.

William Donald, the father, was born in



GEORGE H. WILLIAMS, the son of Ge-
rome and Catherine \\'illiams, was born
at Chestnut Ridge, Dutchess Co., N. Y., Sep-
tember 16, 1844, and resided there until i860,
when he removed to Poughkeepsie, where he
has since resided.

During his residence in the country he at-
tended the district school, and one year in a
private school in the Clove kept by George
Draper, later school commissioner of Dutchess
county. After removing to Pougnkeepsie he
took a course at Eastman Business College,
and then commenced studying under a private
tutor for the purpose of taking an examination
for admission to Yale College; but the wave of
war fever then extending over the country was
too much for him, so, leaving thought of col-
lege behind, he, on September 22, 1862, joined
Company G. 150th regiment, N. Y. S. V., and
on October 1 1 left with the regiment for the
front, and continued to serve with it until it
was mustered out at the end of the war, June
8, I 865. During the time of his service in the
army he was engaged in the battle at Gettys-
burg, Penn., in the campaign from Chatta-
nooga, Tenn., to Atlanta, Ga., in Sherman's
march to the sea, in the campaign from Sa-
vannah, Ga., to Raleigh, N. C, and the sur-
render of Johnston's army; was wounded in
the arm and hand at New Hope Church, Ga. ;
marched in the grand review at Washington,
D. C, May 24, 1865.

After his return home he studied law with
his father at Poughkeepsie, and was admitted
to the bar May 18, 1866, and has ever since
practiced law there. He has since been ad-
mitted to practice in the U. S. Courts.

In 1865 he joined the 21st regiment, N. G.
S. N. Y., and continued a member until it was
mustered out, he being at that time its lieuten-
ant-colonel.

Mr. Williams was city chamberlain of
Poughkeepsie in 1875 and 1876, and Deputy
Collector of U. S. Internal Revenue during part
of President Cleveland's first administration.
He is a Knight of Pythias and a P. C. of Ar-
mor Lodge 107; a member of the G. A. R. ,
and P. C. of D. B. Sleight Post 331; belongs
to the Masonic order, and is captain-general



COMMEMOLATIVE BIOOUAPUICAL liECCRD.



15



of Ponghkeepsie Commander_v No. 43, K. T.,
and a member of the Mystic Shrine; and sec-
retary of the Veterans Association of the i 50th
regiment, N. Y. S. Volunteers.

Our subject is descended on the side of his
father from a brother of Roger WiUiams, who
settled in Rhode Island, and comes from a line
of soldiers, his grandfather serving in the war
of 18 1 2, and his great-grandfather during most
of the Revolutionary war, and his great-great-
grandfather being in the French and Indian
war. On his mother's side he is descended
from Henry Emigh, who came to this country
from Holland about 1696 and settled in Clove,
Dutchess county, building a stone house which
is still standing and inhabited.



JAMES SPENCER VAN CLEEF, one of
the most prominent and successful lawyers
of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county, was
born August i, 1831, at Athens, Greene Co.,
N. Y. He is descended from one of the old
Knickerbocker families, the first American an-
cestor being Jans V'an Cleef, who came from
the town of Cleve or Cleef, Holland, as early
as 1659, settling in New Utrecht, L. I. He
was probably a descendant of the old Dukes of
Cleve, whose inheritance, now vested in the
Emperor of Germany, was the immediate
cause of the Thirty-years War. There is also
a legend that Lohengrin was a Van Cleef.

Jans Van Cleef represented Borwick (now
Bushwick) in the General Provincial Assembly
at New Amsterdam, April 10, 1664, under
Peter Stuyvesant, Director General, in rela-
tion to the "protection of the inhabitants
against the malignant English." He married
Enjeltje Lowerons Preterse prior to 1661, and
had eight children, among whom was Ben-
jamin, the third child and first son, born No-
vember 25, 1683. He married Hendriks
Supten as early as 171 1, and settled in New
Jersey, where they reared a family of twelve
children. One son, Laurens, married Jen-
rietje Loan, and had five children, among
whom was Isaac, our subject's great-grand-
father, who was born October 24, 1742. He
married Dorcas Pumyea in 1769, and had
eleven children. Their son, Cornelius, our
subject's grandfather, was born January 2,
1777, and died July 10, 1855. He became a
leading farmer at Harlingen, N. J., and an
active supporter of the Reformed Dutch
Church there. He married Margaret Kershau,



granddaughter of Lucas Nevius, who was a
grandson of the Johannes Nevius who was
clerk of the city council. They had four chil-
dren, namely: Cornelius, Isaac, George, and
Matilda, who married Garrett Hegeman. The
family have generally been engaged in agricult-
ural pursuits, the majority living in New
Jersey, but one branch residing on Staten
Island has engaged in commercial pursuits.
They have always been adherents of the Re-
formed Dutch Church, and many have been
ministers. Rev. Paul D. Van Cleef, D. D.,
of Jersey City, is a member of the family.

Our subject's father. Rev. Cornelius Van-
Cleef, was educated at Dickinson College,
Carlisle, Penn.. with a view to entering the
ministry. Soon after entering college he
joined with a fellow student in establishing
the first students' prayer meeting ever held
there, meeting once a week in their several
rooms. For more than a year this faithfully-
conducted exercise was treated with ridicule
by the other students, but during the second
year, on the occasion of the death of Rev.
John M. Mason, D. D., a son of President
Mason, of the college, the attendance at the
prayer meetmg became very large and nearly
every student was converted, including all but
one in Cornelius Van Cleef's class. All but
two of his class entered the ministry, the Rev.
Dr. George W. Bethune, of Brooklyn, being
one of the most successful. After leaving
college Cornelius Van Cleef studied in the
Theological Seminary of the Reformed Dutch
Church, then located at New Brunswick, N. J.,
and on graduating, in 1823,. he immediately
offered his services to the Board of Domestic
Missions, or what was then called the Board
of Managers of the Missionary Society of the
Reformed Dutch Church. He was sent to
Palatine, N. Y. , where he remained six or
eight months, and as a result of his labors the
foundation was laid for the now flourishing
Church at Fort Plain. He was then trans-
ferred to Manayunk, near Philadelphia, where
he remained two years, and there also was
successful in establishing a Church, now known
as the Fourth Church of Philadelphia. From
the missionary field he was called to the Church
at Athens, N. Y. , where he was installed as a
settled pastor. He remained there five years,
and during that time the country was visited
by its first scourge of cholera, Athens being
especially afflicted and losing many of its in-
habitants. Mr. \'an Cleef remained there



1(3



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



throughout the plague, ministering to the sick
and the dying, and so generall}- beloved did he



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