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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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of eleven. At that early time of life he took
an engagement with the liarl of Clare, whose
estate lay on the river Shannon, to work on
the farm and in the garden, at fivepence a day.
During his service of seven years on this estate
his wages were increased from time to time,
and when he left he was in the enjoyment of a
pretty fair income for a boy. In 1864, in
company with his mother and brother, Thomas,

he set sail for America, his brother Patrick hav-
ing preceded him in 1862 (the other brother,
John, and sister, Bridget, had both died). On
arriving in New York our subject soon became
impatient to find work, and it so chanced that
one day he met a lady on the street with whom
he engaged to go to Staten Island to take
charge of her greenhouse.

Without waiting to apprise his mother of
his intentions, the lad set out at once and
landed on the island with just twenty-five cents
in his pocket, which he invested in peaches.
His pay to commence with was to be $8 per
month, and at the end of a fortnight he asked
for a part of his wages, but did not get it then,
nor since. However, he succeeded in borrow-
ing enough material to enable him to write to
his mother to let her know of his whereabouts.
He now threw up his somewhat unprofitable
situation and engaged with a C. G. Genoux at
$14 per month, at Clifton. Staten Island; but
a year and a half later we find him in the em-
ploy of Timothy Ryan, florist, at Yonkers,
N. Y., at $18 per month. Receiving, how-
ever, an offer of $20 a month as assistant gar-
dener under William Chalmers, Mr. Lilenthal's
gardener, Mr. Lynch soon made a change, and
with this gentleman remained one year. The
next engagement was with W. H. Aspinwall,
of Tarrytown, N. Y. (now the Rockefeller
place), as foreman of the greenhouse depart-
ment; but after twelve months he went to Col.
Babbit, of Newton, N. J., laid out his grounds
and built extensive greenhouses for him. In
1 868 he again made a change, this time ac-
cepting the position of head gardener to Will-
iam B. Dinsmore, of "The Locusts", on the
Hudson, having charge of the greenhouses and
ornamental grounds, and here he remained
two years. At the expiry of that time he went
to Belleville to lay out J. B. Harvey's grounds
and one year later came to Poughkeepsie,
where he commenced his present business as
florist at the corner of Academy street and
South avenue, which property he had pre-
viously purchased. He began in a small way,
having at first only one greenhouse, 12x50
feet in dimensions, a modest nucleus to his
present mammoth establishment comprising
ten greenhouses, ranging from 100 to 160. feet,
employment being given to five men all the
year 'round. In addition to this he owns val-
uable property at No. 256 Main street, where
he has his seed and flower store. All seeds
sent out by him are tested before shipment.



and parties desiring plants, bulbs, shrubs or
seeds may order as safely by mail as though
they were on the grounds to make their own

In 1870 Mr. Lynch was married to Cath-
erine, daughter of John and Mary (Murphy)
Powers, of Rhinebeck, Dutchess county, and
natives of County Wexford, Ireland, but both
now deceased, as is also Mr. Lynch's mother.
The children of John and Mary Powers were:
Patrick and James, both liverymen of Brook-
lyn, N. Y. ; Edward, of Chicago; Thomas, who
was a veterinary surgeon, and is now deceased;
John, who was a liquor dealer, and is now de-
ceased; and Catherine. The children born
to our subject and wife are: Thomas and
John, associated with their father in business;
Mary; Maggie, a bright, happy girl, who
died at the age of sixteen; James and Kate.
All the family are members of St. Mary's
Catholic Church at Poughkeepsie, and in poli-
tics Mr. Lynch is neutral.

,^^ UGUST KOCH. The subject of this

sketch is a well-known merchant tailor

of Poughkeepsie, N. Y. He was born at Leut-
nitz, Fuerstenthum Schwarzburgh-Rudolstadt,
Germany, March 2, 1834, and is the youngest
of nine children, four sons and five daughters,
of Nicolaus. Casper Koch and his wife, Anna
Barbara, a Miss Fridrich, also of said place,
now both deceased.

The early life of A. Koch was spent in his
native town. At the age of six years he com-
menced his schooling, and was a regular scholar
up to the age of fourteen, when he received
as good an education as the average children
at that time.

At the age of fifteen he left his home, go-
ing to Stadt Remda, Sachs Weimer, to learn
his trade with Ernest Heinze, one of the best,
if not the best, master tailors in that city. At
the age of nineteen Mr. Koch came to America,
landing in New York May 21, 1853, where he
remained, working at his trade, until July,
1 8 54. He then went to Albany, still working
at his trade in that city. In November, 1855,
he came to Poughkeepsie, and was engaged as
cutter by the late Jacob Bahret, then a well-
known merchant tailor and clothier.

In 1856 Mr. Koch married his estimable
wife. Miss Julia Caroline Bahret, a daughter
of his employer; their married life has been a
very pleasant one. Four children were born

to them, three sons and one daughter, as fol-
lows: Charles Henry, William Edward, Julia
and Augustus Wesley. The eldest died when
an infant. William is a plumber and tinsmith
by trade; he married Miss Sadie S. Karcher,
three children being born to them — Ernest
Harrison, Ethel J. and Florence C.

In 1866 Mr. Koch formed a co-partnership
in the merchant-tailoring business with J. J.
Bahret, a brother of his wife, and took full
charge of the cutting department. This part-
nership continued up to 1883, when poor health
made it necessary for him to retire from the
business, selling his interest to his partner.
No sooner had he gained his health and strength
than he again took up the business he always
liked so well, and started in merchant tailor-
ing at No. 146 Main street, where he still han-
dles his tape, square and shears. His son
Augustus assists him in the business.

Mr. Koch has been an active member of
the German M. E. Church since 1854, and
has been a hard worker in the Sunday-school
for nearly forty years. He is a self-made man,
starting in life with no capital, and what he
has accumulated has been through his indi-
vidual efforts, energy and perseverance.

_; keepsie's most prominent, industrious and
progressive citizens, who for the past thirty-
seven years has been engaged in the business
of stair-building, is a native of Wayne county,
N. Y. , born April 13, 1828.

Lebbens E. Scofield, father of our subject,
was born in Dutchess county, in 1801, a son
of Ephraim S. Scofield, who in an early day
moved from Connecticut to New York State.
Lebbens during his lifetime was a resident of
three different counties in the Empire State —
Dutchess, Wayne and Tompkins — and a por-
tion of his earlier manhood was passed in the
town of Fishkili, near the village of Glenham.
His first occupation was that of a farmer, he
afterward serving as a watchman in factories,
etc., this change being occasioned by an ac-
cident, whereby he lost the fingers of one
hand, thus incapacitating him for manual
labor. He married Susan Van de Water, who
was born, in 1797, in the town of Fishkili,
Dutchess county, of Holland-Dutch ancestry,
and eight children bless this union, viz. : Abbie,
married to Walter C. De Golyier, and living
in Danbury, Conn. ; Julia, wife of John Spald-



ing, a florist of New London, Conn. ; Stephen,
our subject; Edmund, accidentally drowned in
a pond at Glenham; Hannah (widow of Horace
Crocker), living at Payne. Ohio; Phcebe, de-
ceased wife of Daniel Smith, of W'appingers
Falls; Susan, single, a dressmaker, comfort-
ably situated at 103 Pine street, Poughkeepsie;
and Harmon C. who died in infancy. The
father of this family was called from earth in
1S48, and the mother in 1886.

Stephen Scofield, the subject of these lines,
received a liberal education for the times, first
attending the common schools of Tompkins
county, later, when a young man, receiving
instruction in a night school in W'appingers
Falls, while he worked in a cotton factory.
He has alwajs been a great reader, especially
of ancient history and mechanics, becoming
on most topics a well-informed man. His first
occupation in life was farming, and in 1S41 he
removed with his parentsfromTompkins county
to Dutchess county, where, in the village of
Glenham, he secured work in a cotton factor}-.
After three years engaged in that line, he went
to W'appingers Falls, and there worked in a
cotton factory until 1847, in which year he
commenced learning the trade of carpenter
with Stephen Armstrong, in Poughkeepsie.
Returning to W'appingers Falls, he continued
in that line of work as journeyman until 1859,
when he took up the specialty of stair-build-
ing — his present business^in Poughkeepsie,
where he has since resided, meeting with un-
qualified success in his occupation, which is a
branch of carpentry requiring the highest grade
of skill. For many years he was the only
e.xclusive stair-builderln Poughkeepsie — in fact
in his section of the country — and his services
in buildings have extended from fifty to one
hundred miles in all directions. He has done
work in Great Barrington, Mass., also in
Staten Island, X. Y. , in Providence, R. I.,
and in New York City.

In 1850 Mr. Scofield was united in mar-
riage with Miss Letitia Mott, daughter of
Abram and Margaret Mott, of Bangall, Dutch-
ess county, and two children have been born
to them: Isabella, married to J. Frank Clark,
of Norwich, Conn. , who has charge of Osgood's
drug business in that city; and Frank L. , a
musician, leader of an orchestra and band,
who married Miss Florence Eastmead (daugh-
ter of Charles and Janet Eastmead), by whom
he has four children. Mrs. Florence Scofield
died in 1890, and for his second wife Frank L.

married Maud Rounds, daughter of Charles F.

Mr. Scofield in his political preferences has
been a Republican ever since the formation of
that party, prior to which he was a Whig, and
has always been most pronounced in his views,
as well as an active worker in the party. In
religious faith he is a member of the Presbyte-
rian Church. Socially, he is a charter member
of the K. of P., Armor Lodge No. 107, Pough-
keepsie; and of the I. O. O. F., Fallkill Lodge,
No. 297, Siloam Encampment No. 36, and
Excelsior Rebekah Degree Lodge No. 7, all of
Poughkeepsie. He has always taken a zealous
interest in fraternal work, and in the K. of P.
he is past chancellor, while in the I. O. O. F.
he has passed all the chairs and been a dele-
gate to the Grand Encampment.

One act in Mr. Scofield's life, for the bet-
terment of his fellowmen, is his determined
and uncompromising fight against the use of
tobacco in any form, contending that it is an
incentive to the worse habit of drinking. He,
himself, is strictly temperate, a man of bright
understanding, and an excellent conversation-
alist. A firm and enduring friend, it may also
be said of him that he has never been a bitter
or vindictive enemy, and he enjoys the respect
and esteem of all with whom he comes in con-

GEORGE W'. KIDDER is a successful coal
and lumber dealer of Staatsburg, Dutch-
ess county. From researches that have been
made it has been ascertained that the Kidder
family is one of the ancient families of Eng-
land. Some account relating to a transfer of
land there dated as early as 1370, in which the
name of Kydder is a party, is said to be still
extant. Tradition says that they are of the
stock of ancient Britons, and existed as a
family previous to the incursions of the Saxons,
Danes, or Romans, and were not disturbed at
the Conquest.

Nelson Kidder, the father of our subject,
was born at East Alstead, N. H., August 22,
1 803, was a man of more than ordinary ability,
well-informed, and highly successful in his
chosen occupation — that of farming. On De-
cember 22, 1829, he married Sophia George,
daughter of Ezra George, of Acworth, N. H.,
where she was born July 22, 1803, and they
became the parents of five children: Clarissa,



deceased wife of Mr. Roys, of Alstead, N. H.;
Miranda (Mrs. Sawyer), deceased; ErastusE.,
engaged in tfie lumber business at Alstead; Va-
laria, the wife of Andrew Morrison, a large
farmer of Alstead; and George Wilder, the
subject of this sketch. The father was a strong
Democrat, but did not take an active part in
political matters, though he was naturally one of
the leading men of the community. He was a
great Church worker, belonging to the Methodist
denomination, and was one of twelve who
built the Brook church at East Alstead, where
his death occurred December 21, 1871.
There his estimable wife also died. May 26,

At East Alstead, Cheshire Co., N. H.,
George W. Kidder was born April 10, 1845,
and in the common schools of the place ac-
quired a good English education. He re-
mained upon the home farm until he had
reached his majority, when he purchased a
half-interest in a machine shop at Alstead, be-
ing a member of the firm of Roob & Kidder
for two years, selling out in the fall of 1869,
and coming to Staatsburg, Dutchess county.
Until the following spring he worked as a car-
penter for William Densmore, and then began
dealing in lumber and building material, as a
member of the firm of Herrick & Kidder, which
connection was continued for five years, or
until after the fire in April, 1875, when the
partnership was dissolved. Going to New
York City, he was for ten years employed by
the Mutual Benefit Ice Co., being weighmaster
in the summer and superintendent on the river
during the winter season. In 1887 he bought
out the coal business of James Roach, at
Staatsburg, to which he immediately added a
stock of lumber and building material, since
when he has carried on business very success-
fully, having a large and paying trade.

In December, 1874, Mr. Kidder was mar-
ried to Miss Julia Rersley, daughter of William
H. Rersley, of Staatsburg, and to them have
been born one son and one daughter: Bertha
M. and George Nelson. Mr. and Mrs. Kidder at-
tend the Methodist Church, and in social cir-
cles hold an enviable position. Mr. Kidder's
sterling integrity and general urbanity of man-
ner have won him a large number of friends in
his community. In politics he is a stanch and
true Democrat, at National or State elections,
but on local matters he votes independently.
Socially, he is connected with Rhinebeck
Lodge No. 432, F. & A. M.

^ YRON SMITH, a well-known citizen of
Millbrook, town of Washington, Dutch-
ess county, and who at this writing is holding
the office of superintendent of the poor, was
born in Amenia, Dutchess county. May 12,
1 85 1, a son of John H, and Maria (Reed)
Smith. His early days were spent in the dis-
trict school, which he attended until fifteen
years of age, and in assisting his father at


His schooling he finished in a

private school at Dover, and for the following
three years he clerked in stores at Dover and
Wassaic. He then was employed as book-
keeper for the New York Condensed Milk Co.,
at Wassaic, for three years.

On February 18, 1875, Mr. Smith was
united in marriage with Mary E., daughter of
Henry and Mary H. (Arnold) Tripp. Mrs.
Smith's father was a farmer in the town of
Washington, but she was born in Amenia April
5, 1854. Of this marriage three children have
been born, as follows: Howard, deceased;
Edna L. and Frank. After his marriage Mr.
Smith located on a farm in Washington town,
which he carried on until January i , 1 889, at
which time he was made superintendent of the
poor of Dutchess county, and has held that
position ever since. In this responsible office
he has given general satisfaction by his excel-
lent management, and has shown himself to be
a man of good business ability, integrity and
kindly disposition.

Mr. Smith has always been a stanch Re-
publican, and cast his first Presidential vote
for Gen. Grant. He takes a leading part in
political affairs in his locality, and has served
as assessor of the township for two terms, and
has also been inspector of elections. He be-
longs to the Masonic fraternity and the K. of
P., and is a prominent member of the Mill-
brook Club, at Millbrook, where his social
qualities are highly appreciated. In public
matters he has always been on the side of prog-
ress, ready to assist in all worthy enterprises,
and commands the respect and esteem of his
fellow citizens.

The Smith famil_\- of which our subject is a
member is said to have descended from the Rt.
Rev. Dr. Smith, who was born in the parish of
Prescott, Lancashire, England, about 1460.
He was Bishop of Lincoln and Litchfield, and
with Sir Richard Sutton, was the founder of
Brazenose College. Oxford University. Nehe-
miah Smith and his brother John came to
America about 1638, and located at what is



now New London. Conn. Fourteen years
later he obtained a grant of land for a home-
stead on the other side of the river, at what is
now known as Poquonock, in the town of
Groton. The first house on the land was built
by Neheiniah Smith about 1652, on the east
side of the road, and was burned down during
the Revolutionary war. The second house
, was built by Nathan Smith, the grandfather of
our subject. From Nehemiah Smith the line
of descent is as follows: Nehemiah (2); Isaac,
born December 29, 1707, married Esther Den-
ison; William, born October 26, 1749, was
married, in 1772, to Sarah Smith; Nathan,
born at North Lyme, Conn., November 12,
178S, married Nancy Waterman, of Salem, in
1 8 10. To this last named couple five children
were born, namely: Sarah M., Gilbert B.,
Nathan W., Nancy L. and John H.

John H. Smith, father of our subject, was
born near New London, Conn., June i, 1821.
He spent his boyhood on his father's farm, and
when fifteen years of age left home to learn
the wagonmaker's trade. He was married on
June I, 1847, to Maria Reed, a daughter of
Myron Reed, of Amenia, N. Y. For some
time after his marriage Mr. Smith lived at
Amenia; but subsequently removed to Wassaic,
where he followed his trade until his death,
which occurred in October, 1892. The father
was a Republican, and a prominent man in his
locality, holding various town offices, such as
justice of the peace, etc. He and his wife were
consistent members of the Baptist Church and
were estimable people. Their children were
seven in number, of whom the following rec-
ord is given: Nathan is a merchant in Amenia
Union; Sarah M. married Charles M. Hoyt, a
hatter in Danbury, Conn. ; Myron is the sub-
ject of this sketch; Belinda is a school teacher
and has never married; Esther M. married
William S. Tripp, a butcher in Millbrook, and
is deceased; Edwin U. is a farmer in Pough-
keepsie town; and John H. is a wagon maker
in Wassaic.

The following short history of the family of
our subject's mother will prove of interest.
"The Reeds of Amenia were from Norwalk,
Conn. In 1 759 James Reed was one of a com-
pany of Connecticut troops who passed through
Amenia on their way to Canada to the aid of
Gen. Wolfe in the siege of Quebec. While on
their way the company received news of the
capture of Quebec, and were ordered to return.
Mr. Reed was so pleased with the Oblong Val-

ley through which he leisurely returned, that
he induced his father, Daniel Reed, of Nor-
walk, to purchase for him some land, fifty-three
acres in all. The brothers of James Reed, who
removed here a few years later were: Ezra,
Elijah and Eliakim. The emigrant ancestor
of this family was John Reed, who came from
England in 1660. He had been an officer in
the army of the Commonwealth, and came
away at the time of the Restoration. He died
in Norwalk in 1730, aged ninety-seven years.
He was a good specimen of a Puritan soldier,
who held his ' sword in one hand, and his Bible
in the other.' "

: most prominent contractors in eastern

New York, is a notable instance of success in
life attained solely by diligence, thrift and
judicious management, having risen from a
humble position, where hard toil was repaid
with but meager wages, to a high rank in the
business world.

Mr. Hochstadter was born in Lauenburg,
Prussia, Germany, April 11, 1838, the son of
Henry Hochstadter, a native of Hohenhorn,
born in 1801, and a successful teacher who oc-
cupied a responsible position in the public
schools for many years previous to his death
in 1839. He married Wilhelmina Turnow. a
native of Hagenow, Mechlenburg-Schwerin,
and had three sons, of whom our subject was
the youngest; August, who was' for some time
in business with the latter, died in Poughkeep-
sie in 1873, and Henry is a prominent grocer
in Brooklyn. The mother came to America
in 1865, and in 1882 passed away at the home
of her son in Poughkeepsie.

Ernest Hochstadter received an excellent
education in the schools of his native village,
and being also fond of reading has become un-
usually well-informed. He was only one year
old when his father died, and as he grew older
was obliged to make his own living at such
employment as could be obtained, being an
errand boy at Lauenburg and in Hamburg for
about two years and a half. He then secured
a clerkship in Hamburg, where he remained
until 1862, at which time he came to this
country. Locating in Brooklyn, he bought a
horse and cart and engaged in trucking, and in
1867 he obtained a contract from the city for
grading and paving a part of Si.xth avenue,
quite an achievement, all things considered.



He then began the business of constructing
sewers in partnership with his brother August,
and did $200,000 worth of work in Brooklyn
alone. In 1871 they came to Poughkeepsie to
take contracts on sewerage, and built all thesew-
ers in the city except the one in Main street and
a few collateral lines. They employed from four
hundred to five hundred men for two years,
and on the completion of the work in 1873
they went to Hudson and laid all the pipes for
the water works there. Returning to Pough-
keepsie, they laid all the pipes for the new
Gas Company, and then transferred their base
of operations to Sandusky, Ohio, where they
laid twenty-two miles of water pipe in rock,
and constructed three miles of sewer. Other
important works were the construction of the
Phcenica & Hunter railroad in the Catskill
Mountains; the work in the Wallkill Valley
with a steam shovel, and the work on the
West Shore east of Rondout creek, about one
and one-half miles; in addition, the building
of the tunnel at Rosendale. They also per-
formed part of the work on the Poughkeepsie
Bridge. Mr. Hochstadter is very systematic
in all that he does, and doubtless his success
is due largely to his careful attention to detail.
In 1863 Mr. Hochstadter was married to
Miss Margaret Grimm, a native of Barmbeck,
Germany, and has had five children, all of
whom died in infancy. In politics he was a
Republican until the attempt to nominate Gen.
U. S. Grant for a third term, since which time
he has been a Democrat. He was street su-
pervisor under Mayor Ellsworth for two years;
but has been usually too busy with his own
affairs to take an active share in party work,
although his influence has often been e.xerted
in a quiet way to further beneficial movements.
Among the German-born citizens he is regarded
with pride as a worthy representative of their
race. He is a member of the Lutheran

SAMUEL SLEE was born in Poughkeepsie,
_) N. Y., in 1854. His father, Robert Slee,
was born in Poughkeepsie in 18 18, educated
at Willets' Academy, at the old Nine Partners,
and soon after coinpleting his studies became
a successful merchant, retiring from business
in 1866 to become vice-president, and, shortly
after, president of the First National Bank of
Poughkeepsie, of which he had been an incor-
porator, remaining president until his death in

Robert Slee was interested in many public
enterprises and in all movements for the ad-
vancement of his native place, and was largely
instrumental in securing the location in Pough-
keepsie of the Hudson River State Hospital
for the Insane, the construction of railways
and the Hudson River bridge. He was of
studious disposition, and read largely, keeping
in touch with the progressive thought of the

Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoCommemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York → online text (page 55 of 183)