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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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cause, as appears from the local histories of
Redding, Conn.

Benjamin M. Fowler has lived in Pough-
keepsie since boyhood. After graduating at
the high school there, he took a special course
at Riverview Military Academy, and shortly
afterward began the study of law with Thomp-
son & Weeks, with which firm, and its suc-
cessor, Thompson, Weeks & Lown, he spent
most of his clerkship, although for a time he
was with Anthony & Losey and Robert E. Tay-
lor. He was admitted to the bar May 13,
1875. While stutlying law Mr. Fowler also
took up the study of shorthand. As he was
the pioneer stenographer in Dutchess county,
his services were in constant demand in the
various courts in that locality, and he was fre-
quently called upon to report speeches and lec-
tures of various sorts, as well. He was official
stenographer of the Dutchess County Court,
Surrogate's Court and State Board of .Assess-
ors, for a number of years. Many important
cases were reported by him during this time.
His experience in the surrogate's court and his



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



257



connection with Thompson & Weeks, who
were largely employed in the settlement of es-
tates, gave him unusual opportunities for ac-
quiring a knowledge of the procedure in that
line of legal business.

In 1889 he gave up the practice of stenog-
raphy to give attention to the settlement of the
late John Guy Vassar's estate; he having been
appointed by Mr. Vassar an executor of his
will. As the estate was an unusually large
one, and was the subject of considerable liti-
gation, it attracted much public attention.
Notwithstanding the litigation was carried
through the various courts, including the court
of appeals, the estate was finally settled and
distributed within three years, a remarkable
record, which reflected great credit on Mr.
Fowler and his associates. In 1891 he was
appointed one of the administrators of the es-
tate of the late Hon. Homer A. Nelson, and
since 1888 he has been secretary and assistant
treasurer of Vassar Brothers' Hospital. While
he has never sought or held public office, the
fact that these and other large interests have
been committed to his care, indicates the es-
teem and confidence which his energetic and
conscientious discharge of duty has won for
him.

On December 15, 18S1, at Jersey City, N.
J., Mr. Fowler married Miss Ada M. Douglas,
daughter of the late M. S. Douglas, a New
York merchant. Of this union three children
were born: Douglas P., August 11, 1S83;
Maltby S., July 18, 1886; and Benjamin M.,
Jr., September i, 1890.



DR. W. E. ACKERT, a well-known veter-
' inary surgeon in the town of Rhinebeck,

Dutchess county, and an agriculturist of prom-
inence, was born in that town October 5,
1840.

Like so many of the substantial and pros-
perous citizens of this country, his family was
of German origin, the first of the American
line coming from the Fatherland at an early
date. The grandfather of our subject, John
M. Ackert, born about 1784, in the town of
Rhinebeck, was a leading farmer in his day;
his son William, our subject's father, also a
native of Rhinebeck, was born in 1809, and
married Maria Pultz, of the same town, born
in 1 8 12, a descendant of an old Holland fam-
ily. In politics Mr. Ackert was a Republican;
and in- religious faith was a devout and consist-

17



ent adherent of the Lutheran Church, as is
also his wife. They were the parents of four
children: John H., a farmer of Rhinebeck,
now deceased ; Virgil .A.. , a farmer near the old
home; Sarah A., who married Egbert G. Tra-
ver, also a farmer of that vicinity; and W. E.,
the subject of this review. The mother is
still living and makes her home with her
daughter, Mrs. Traver.

Reared as a farmer's boy, the Doctor en-
joyed the educational opportunities afforded by
the public schools, and his natural abilities
have enabled him to improve upon them by
private reading, until he is an unusually well-
informed man. In his specialty, the treatment
of that noble animal — the horse — he has made
thorough study of all the related branches, and
stands at the front of his profession. He owns
a farm of fifty acres, of which his sons assume
the active work, while he devotes his time to
his extensive practice.

On November 24, 1864, Dr. Ackert was
married to Miss Sarah Hanaburgh, a daughter
of Peter H. and Eliza Ann (Montfort) Hana-
burgh, of Rhinebeck, the former born in 1812,
in the town of Rhinebeck, of German descent,
and the latter born October 2, 1S49. Four
children have been born to the Doctor and his
wife, as follows: Edward E., who died March
5, 1 891; David H., Jennie and Raymond P.,
who are all at home. Mrs. Ackert has in her
possession a quilt made from the dress of an
old slave — Aunt Betta — in the Montfort family.
" Aunt Betta " was at least one hundred years
old at the time of her death, and had worked
in the Montfort family when Mrs. Ackert's
mother was a child. In politics the Doctor is
a Republican, and takes an active interest in
all movements of the day.



>iEV. DOCTOR CORNELIUS VINCENT
iri MAHONY, pastor of the Catholic Church
at Wappingers Falls, Dutchess county, is a
native of New York City, where his birth took
place December i, 1851, and he is a son of
Cornelius and Anna O'Connell Mahony, both
natives of County Cork, Ireland, the former
born on January 18, 18 18. After their mar-
riage they emigrated to the New World, and in
New York City the father engaged in mercan-
tile pursuits for about thirty years. He then
lived retired until his death in 1893. His wife
had long preceded him to the other world, dy-
ing in 1869. In their family were two children:



258



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



Michael Joseph, who was born in 1849, and
Cornelius \incent, subject of this sketch.

Doctor Mahony spent his boyhood days in
New York City, attending the public schools
until eleven years of age, when he entered the
Jesuit College, where he remained for seven
years. After graduating there he became a
student in the Troy Seminar)-, completing the
theological course there at the age of twenty-
one; but being too young for ordination he
went to Rome, where he took the entire theo-
logical course, receiving the degree of D. D.
He then traveled through Europe with Dr.
McGlynn for three months, after which he re-
turned to America, and was located for one
year at St. Stephens, in New York City. Dur-
ing the following five years he was professor of
menta' philosophy and ethics in the Troy Sem-
inar\-, which position he then resigned, and in
1 884 came to Wappingers Falls, where he has
since been located.

His force of character, talent and ability
are phenomenal, and he possesses great power
for good among his people. Father Mahony
is himself a ver>- intelligent and cultured man,
and has done much toward instilling into the
minds of his parish children a taste for
literature.



EGBERT VAN WAGNER (deceased).
The subject of this sketch was bom July

21, 182 1, in Pleasant Valley. Dutchess county,
where he passed his youth, following farming.
On May 31. 184S. he was united in marriage
with Miss Cornelia B. Pulver. who was born
in the town of Pine Plains August 3. 1826. a
daughter of Andrus Pulver. a native of the
same place. He married Miss Margaret
Thomas, and the following children were born
to them: Mar)-, who became the wife of
Lewis D. Hedges, a merchant of Pine Plains
Cnow deceased); Frances, who married Henry
Myers, a farmer and speculator i now deceased i ;
Cornelia B., our subject's widow; Elizabeth,
and Nicholas, who died in infancy. Andrus
Pulver was a farmer and hotel keeper. Both
he and his wife are deceased.

Our subject and his wife, after their mar-
riage, lived a few years on the farm m Pleasant
\'alley, and five years in Pine Plains. They
then moved to Poughkeepsie, in 1856. and
bought the farm on which Mrs. Van Wagner
now resides. The following children were
born to them: Henrv. a farmer here, married



to Miss Ruth Brown; Margaret, married to
Eley R. Deyo, a merchant, who died August 4,
1S87; Albertson, who died October 19, 1S55.
at the age of twelve years; Walter, who died
March 7, 18S0; and Elizabeth, who became
the wife of John J. C. Howe, a farmer. Mr.
Van Wagner was a Democrat, and held the
office of commissioner of highways for several
terms. He took an active part in politics.
He was public-spirited, and took a deep in-
terest in all matters pertaining to the town
and its aSairs. He donated the site of the
present depot, and was postmaster of the
\'an Wagner station for about twenty years.
His wife was a member of the Presb\terian
Church.

John Van Wagner, the father of our sub-
ject, was a native of Pleasant Valley, where he
was reared, and where he was married to Miss
Elizabeth Albertson, born in Pleasant \'alley.
These children were born to them: Sarah,
who became the wife of David Doty, a farmer
of Pleasant Valley; Isaac, married to Sally
Ann Vincent; Hiram, a farmer, who married
Mar)- Badgley; Elsie, who became the wife of
Tunis Conklin. a farmer; Mary .\.. who died
unmarried; Willett. married to Catherine Sill
(he was a farmer and merchant^ ; Egbert, our
subject; Susan, who died unmarried; and Eli,
who died in infancy.

Nicholas Van Wagner, the grandfather,
came from Long Island and settled on the
farm in Pleasant Valley, where he reared the
following children: John, our subject's father;
Jacob, a farmer in Pleasant Valley, where he
lived and died; Evert, who farmed for a while
in Clinton, and then went to the western part
of the State, where he died; Solomon, who
farmed in Schoharie county; and Esther,
married to John \'an Wagner, a farmer in the
town of Poughkeepsie. The Van Wagners
were in the war of 1776.



GEORGE W. CANNON, a prominent resi-
_ dent of Poughkeepsie. Dutchess county,
was born July 31, 1834. in New York City,
which had been the home of his ancestors for
many years.

His grandfather Cannon was a man of note
in his day, a soldier in the war of 1S12, and
at one time the sherifi of New York City.
The late Arnout Cannon, our subject's father,
was a prominent contractor and builder in
Poughkeepsie. He was born July 13. 1S05,



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



259



in New York City, and there learned the trade
of a mechanic, in 1S36 coming to Poughkeep-
sie and engaging in the building business, in
which he continued until his death, September
12. 18S2. He was a member of the Masonic
fraternity. Lodge No. 266, Poughkeepsie, and
held a leading place in many of the pro-
gressive movements of the day in his locality.
He was married in New York Citj- to Miss
Naomi Chilson, a native of Orange county,
N. Y., born June 11, 1812. and eight children
came to this union: Hester (deceased); George
\V. , our subject; Charles H., a well-known
carpenter of Poughkeepsie; Arnout, Jr., a
prominent architect there; William H., a
resident of Chicago; Maria, widow of James
Gifford; Cornelius L., a leading contractor
and builder of Poughkeepsie; and Emma Kate,
the wife of Charles E. Schon. The mother
of this family is still living in Poughkeepsie.

George W. Cannon, the subject of this
review, attended the public schools of Pough-
keepsie until he was twelve years old, and then
entered the Dutchess County Academy on
South Hamilton street. After completing his
course there he learned the carpenter's trade
in his father's shop, serving an apprenticeship
of seven years. His first independent business
venture was the establishment of an art store
with a photograph gallery attached, which he
conducted successfully for six years in the
building now occupied by W. H. \'an Keuren.
He sold this, giving up the artistic surround-
ings of oil paintings, and bronze and marble
statuarj- for the prosaic business of a coal
dealer, which he followed for three years on
Hooker avenue. In this as in all his proj-
ects he displayed great enterprise, and he
bought and operated the first wood-splitting
machine ever seen in the city. After dispos-
ing of this business Mr. Cannon traveled
through the West for twenty years, and then
returned to Poughkeepsie to reside. In 1890
he purchased the old Hicks place, with a man-
sion now known as River Villa, the building
of which cost over $35.cx30. Here he enter-
tains his friends with lavish yet elegant hospi-
tality. During the triangular boat race on
the Hudson in June, 1895, between Cornell,
Pennsylvania and Columbia, the Cornell crew
made their home there; also in 1896. Mr.
Cannon has been married three times, first
time, in the city of Poughkeepsie, to Miss
Harriet Hall, who died leaving three children:
Irene, now Mrs. Charles Wells, of Indianapo-



lis; Julia, who resides in Indianapolis; and
Arnetta, a trained nurse in New York City.
Mr. Cannon's second wife was Miss Elizabeth
Wyley. of Detroit, Mich., who lived less than
a \ear after their marriage. At Detroit he
subsequently married Mrs. Emma Rich, a
native of Deep River, Conn., but at that time
a resident of Bay City; she has one daughter,
Mary B. Rich, a graduate of the School of
Music of Vassar College, and now the wife of
David Gibson, of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Mr. Cannon has a high standing in financial
circles, his business abilities being widely rec-
ognized. He owns the patents for the New
York Safety Dumb Waiter, also for the Dia-
mond Point Nail Set, and derives a large roy-
alty from each.

Charles H. Cannon, a younger brother of
our subject, was born in Poughkeepsie Novem-
ber 6, 1826, and was educated in the city pub-
lic schools and the famous old Dutchess County
Academy. He learned the trade of sash and
blind making with Harry Seaman and Joseph
Irish, and after an apprenticeship of two and
one-half years he opened a shop of his own on
South Hamilton street, where he did well for
a few years. But the breaking out of the war
bringing "hard times" to his line of work, he
gave it up and became foreman of a large car-
penter shop at Providence, R. I. , having charge
of over forty workmen. After three years
there he went to Detroit and spent five years,
when he returned to Poughkeepsie and em-
barked in the saloon business on Main street,
but was burned out in 1 8" i , since which time
he has been engaged in the carpenter's trade.

On June 24, 1855, at Buffalo, N. Y., Mr.
Cannon was married to Miss Margaret O'Con-
nor, and in i860 he built his residence on
Hooker avenue, Poughkeepsie. where the fam-
ily still resides. Of his ten children five are liv-
ing: Ettie^Mrs. Albert Jenksy; Fannie, wife of
William Brown, of New York City; Emma
Kate (Mrs. Fred Rogers); William, a resident
of Pittsfield, Mass. ; and Minnie, who married
Clarence Martens, of Mt. \'ernon.



BURTON A. SNYDER fdeceased) was born
_ in 1867, in the town of Gallatin. Colum-
bia Co., N. Y. , and died on Easter eve, April
18, 1897.

Henry Snyder, paternal grandfather of our
subject, was born in the town of Livingston,
Columbia Co., N. Y. , received a common-



2G0



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



school education, and at an early ag;e began
farming, which occupation he continued to
follow throughout life. When quite a young
man he married Miss Eliza Robison, who was
the daughter of a farmer of the town of Liv-
ingston. To this worthy couple were born five
children: Celia, who married Charles Moore;
Mary, who became the wife of William Finger;
Catherine, who wedded Theodore Hapeman;
Annie; and Charles. The last-named, who
was the father of our subject, was born in the
town of Livingston, Columbia county, and
after completing his literary training in the
public schools he took up farming as a life
work. He married Miss Mary Warehouse,
daughter of John Warehouse, a farmer of the
same township, and one child graced this
union. Burton A., our subject.

Burton A. Snyder, like his ancestors, re-
ceived only a common-school education. At
the early age of twelve years he began farm-
ing with his uncle, and afterward followed
that occupation. In i8Sg he married Miss
Gertrude Snyder, a daughter of Albert Snyder,
a farmer of the town of Red Hook, Dutchess
county. The farm, which belongs to Mrs.
Snyder, has been in the possession of her fam-
ily for many years. It contains 225 acres of as
fine farming land as is to be found anywhere
in the locality, and is supplied with all the
accessories and conveniences to be found upon
a model farm of the nineteenth century.

William Z. Snyder, the grandfather of Mrs.
Snyder, was a native of the town of Khine-
beck, Dutchess county, where he acquired his
education in the district schools, and he also
followed farming as a life work. He wedded
Miss Margaret Traver, of the same township,
and to them were born two children: Albert;
and .Anna, who became the wife of Edgar L.
Traver. The former was also born, reared
and educated in the town of Rhinebeck, but
he later purchased the farm ui the town of
Red Hook, which his daughter now occupies.
He was united in marriage with Miss Gertrude
M. Burger, of Rhinebeck town, and their only
child is Mrs. Gertrude M. Snyder.



WARREN P. LASHER was one of the
most straightforward, energetic and
successful business men who ever lived in
Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county, where he de-
parted this life in March, 1890. In his death
the community was deprived of one of its best.



most useful and public-spirited citizens, and
rich and poor alike mourned his departure from
their midst, for he was beloved by men in every
walk of life.

Mr. Lasher was born at Tivoli, Dutchess
county, April 8, 1841, and was the only son of
Philip and Catherine (Millham) Lasher, though
he had one sister, Carrie C. , now the wife of R.
C. Brewster, who resides in Brooklyn, N. Y.
His father was a merchant of Tivoli, and quite
a prominent man in the localitj-, who served as
brigadier-general in the State Militia in the
old training days, as postmaster of Tivoli. and
as a member of the General Assembly in 1858.
He was twice married, his second wife being
the mother of our subject.

The education of Warren P. Lasher was
obtained in the schools of Tivoli and Claverack,
N. Y.. and when only sixteen years old he
served as Assemblyman's Clerk, while his father
was a member of the Legislature. Three
years later he became a clerk in the general
store of Faulkner Brothers, at Wappingers
Falls, where he remained until he was twenty-
three years of age, when he came to Pough-
keepsie and secured a position in the dry-goods
store of Cornwell & Elting. He was after-
ward with Spring & Thalheimer, whom Saun-
ders & Lasher bought out in 1871, and the
firm later became Lasher, Haight & Kelley.
They also began the manufacturing business,
making ladies' skirts; and after selling out the
retail dry-goods business, the firm was changed,
Mr. Lasher associating with Luckey & Piatt,
while still later it became Forbey & Lasher. In
the manufacture of skirts and overalls they ran
forty machines by water power. The new
firm had been in existence about a year when
Mr. Forbey, the silent partner, died, and his
interest was purchased by Frank Hull, the
name being then changed to Lasher & Hull.
At the end of eight years our subject sold out
his interest to Mr. Hull, and formed a company
composed of Lasher, Eastmead & Osborne,
for the manufacture of overalls. Mr. Lasher
was also a member of the firm of Hcrmance
& Hance, manufacturers of shirts, but later
Messrs. Eastmead & Osborne purchased Mr.
Hermance's interest, and the name was changed
to Hance & C(x On account of failing health,
in 1889, Mr. Lasher disposed of his share in
in the company of Lasher, Eastmead & Os-
borne, but retained his interest in Hance &
Co. up to the time of his death.

While clerking at Wappingers Falls .Mr.



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



261



Lasher met Miss Altnira J. Hermance, who
was visiting a cousin there, and on January 19,
1870, they \vere united in marriage. They be-
gan their domestic hfe in Poiighkeepsie, where
were born to them two sons: Claude, a member
of the firm of Lansing & Lasher, real estate
and insurance; and Frank H. Mr. Lasher
was a conscientious, earnest Christian, a trus-
tee of the Baptist Church of Poughkeepsie,
and an active worker in the Young Men's
Christian Association. His benevolence was
unostentatious and genuine, and there is noth-
ing in the story of his life to show that he
ever, for a moment, sought to compass a given
end for the purpose of e.xalting himself, as he
was a man of retiring disposition and averse
to making any show. He was a member of
the Amrita Club, and as a man held the honor
and esteem of all classes of people.

Richard M. Hermance, the father of Mrs.
Lasher, was born at Clifton Park, Saratoga
Co., X. v., June 3, 18 17, and was the son of
Cornelius and Anna (Westfall) Hermance, the
former a native of Red Hook, Dutchess county,
and the latter of Claverack, Columbia Co.,
N. Y. For many years her father carried on
farming in Saratoga county, and, on disposing
of his land, went into the foundry business,
manufacturing stoves and plows at Stillwater,
Saratoga county; he patented many articles,
among which was the low reservoir used on
cooking stoves. He wedded Emeline Du Bois,
daughter of Ivichard Du Bois of Round Lake,
Saratoga count}-, and they became the parents
of six children, namely: Almira J.; Theodore;
Albert; George C. ; Mary; and Emma J., wife
of Henry Richmond. The mother of this fam-
ily died in 1886.



OBED W. VINCENT (deceased). The
\'incent family, which is one of the oldest
and most prominent in Dutchess county,
is of English origin, the ancestors of the sub-
ject of this sketch having come to America at
a very earlj' date, settling as pioneer farmers
in the town of Unionvale.

Isaac \'incent, our subject's grandfather,
was a farmer and merchant in Unionvale, and
his son, David D. Vincent, the father of our
subject, followed the same pursuits, in which
he proved an unusually successful business
man. He was always a Republican, and took
great interest in local politics, holding various
offices, including that of supervisor. He mar-



ried Phcebe Preston, whose ancestors were
leading farmers in the town of Dover, where
he died in 188S. He and his wife had three
children: Isaac, who was a farmer and store-
keeper at the Clove, and died in 1S89; Martha
(deceased), who married Stephen Moore; and
Obed W., who died July 14, 1892.

Our subject was reared by an aunt on a
farm at Chestnut Ridge, and was married April
15, t88o, to Miss Mary Ella Vincent, a grand-
daughter of Jonathan Vincent. Her father,
John W. Vincent, was born in the town of
Unionvale, and w^as a school teacher in early
life, later removing to Poughkeepsie and be-
coming an influential politician. He was
county clerk and justice of the peace for a
number of years, and was otherwise prominent
in political affairs; he died in 188 1. He at-
tended the M. E. Church, and was interested in
various progressive movements. He married
Rhoda Butler, who was born at Chestnut Ridge,
and is still living. This family is of English
descent. Her father, Peter L. Butler, was a
well-known farmer in the town of Dover. Of
the four children born to John and Rhoda
Vincent our subject's w-ife was the eldest;
Minnie married Charles Andrews, of Lagrange-
ville; Walter, who married Julia O'Brien, is
in business at the stock yards in Chicago; and'
George E. resides with Mrs. Vincent.

After their marriage Obed Vincent and his
wife lived at Chestnut Ridge with his aunt,
where their only child. Hazel Blanche, was
born. Mr. Vincent was a man of influence in
his locality, a Republican in politics, and ably
sustained the high reputation which was his
birthright. Since his death Mrs. \'incent has
managed the large fortune with great abilitj'.
In May, 1895, she bought a beautiful residence
at Manchester Bridge, three miles from Pough-
keepsie, where she now resides, her home be-
ing the center of a refined and gracious
hospitality.



WILLIAM THOMSON, a wealthy retired
merchant of New York City, now re-
siding upon a fine estate near Rhinebeck, was
born at No. 92 Watt street. New York, Sep-
tember 11, 1836. His family had long been
prominent in that city, and his father, \\'illiam
A. Thomson, was born there on Cedar street,
May 29, 1 80S. He served during his life as
president of the Mercantile Fire Insurance Co. ,
also serving for many years as president of the






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