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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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elegant residence and extensive grounds dis-
playing in their appointments a refined and
cultured taste.


BRAHAM W. IRISH. The early ances-
tors of our subject were French, were
military men, and served in the first and
second Crusades; the name was originally
"D'Irey." The family moved to Germany,
where the D' was dropped, and the name be-
came Irey. In the wars between Germany and
England the Ireys espoused the cause of the
English. They were successful as generals,
and one of them was knighted on the field of

When the family went to England the

name was changed to Irish, and one of the
members became sheriff of London, holding
the office for nine years. Another, member of
the family came to this country as a common
soldier under Miles Standish, and it is from
this ancestor that the family in America are

Abraham W. Irish was born in the town of
Pleasant Valley March 31, 1825, and after his
mother's death was taken by his uncle, Abra-
ham Wing, and his wife, by whom he was
brought up and educated, and who were the
only parents our subject ever lived with. Mr.
and Mrs. Wing were Quakers. Abraham lived
with them until he was of age, when he went
to New York City and secured a situation in a
store in Bleecker street, remaining there during
the summer of 1844. In the summer of 1845
he went to Matteawan, and taught school
there for six years. In 1851 he was mar-
ried in that city to Miss. Caroline West, and
began farming. His health failing him from
overwork, he bought a store on his grandfa-
ther's place in the town of Lagrange. This he
sold in 1863 and moved to Poughkeepsie, where
he took a position as cashier for Smith Broth-
ers. In politics Mr. Irish is a Republican.
He was in the county clerk's office for nine
years, and in the surrogate's cffice for eight
years. He is now clerk of the surrogate's
court, which position he has held for six years,
during which time he has not missed a day at
the office on account of sickness. When he
was out of office Mr. Irish was in the millin-
ery and fancy-goods business, and at one
time was with a Mr. Sisson, dealer in second-
hand furniture. Mrs. Irish died in 1887, and
our subject subsequently married Mrs. Rachel
Le Roy.

Amos Irish (grandfather of our subject), a
farmer by occupation, was a Quaker, and was
greatly persecuted during the Revolutionary
war. His children were as follows: Jedediah,
Charles, Joseph. Asa, Ruth, Rachel, Esther,
Jonathan and David, all of whom are now

Joseph Irish (our subject's father) was born
in Pawling, where he spent his youth. He
was married, in the town of Beekman, to Miss
Phcebe Dorland, a daughter of Enoch Dor-
land, and they had the following children:
Edmund, Catherine, Jane, all now deceased,
and Abraham W. (there were also half broth-
ers, Charles, and William and Henry, twins).
Our subject's mother died when he was two



weeks old. Joseph moved to Pleasant Valley
after his first marriage, and engaged in farm-
ing. After the death of his wife he moved to
New York City and worked at trucking. He
was matried there to Miss Jane Stephenson,
who was born at Gaylords Bridge, Conn.
None of their children are living. Mr. Irish
died in Pawling at the age of eighty-six years.

FRANK B. VAN DYNE, one of the prom-
inent business men and leading undertak-
ers of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess county, was
born in Milton, Ulster Co.. N. Y., October lo,
1857, but belongs to a family of Holland ori-
gin that has been connected with the history
of Dutchess county for several generations.
Here his grandfather, Oliver Van Dyne, was
born, reared and engaged in farming through-
out life. He wedded Susan Smith, by whom
he had two sons: James A., a carpenter by
trade; and William H., the father of our

The birth of the latter occurred in Dutch-
ess county, December 18, 1832, and he early
became familiar with the duties that fall to the
lot of an agriculturist, as his boyhood days
were passed upon his father's farm. He mar-
ried Miss Anna C. Brevoort (a lady of Holland
descent), who was born in Fishkill, N. Y.,
where her father, Benjamin Brevoort, was em-
ployed at shoemaking. Five children were
born to this union, namely: James H., a sign
painter of Poughkeepsie; Frank B., subject of
this sketch; Susan, wife of Arthur Kockwell, a
silk manufacturer of Matteawan, N. Y. ; Min-
nie, who died in infancy; and Edward, a resi-
dent of New York City. Shortly after his
marriage the father went to Milton, Ulster
county, where he formed a co-partnership with
his brother in a general store. He next re-
moved to Hackensack, N. Y. , but at the end
of two years came to Poughkeepsie, where he
has since resided. He is an earnest supporter
of the Democratic party, and holds to the
faith of the Reformed Dutch Church, in which
he was reared. His faithful wife departed this
life July 3, 1893.

Frank B. Van Dyne was two years old
when he left his native village, and in 1864 he
came to Poughkeepsie, where he attended the
public schools. On the completion of his edu-
cation, he was employed in various ways until
1875, when he began working for different un-

dertakers. In 1888 he formed a partnership
with John Mellady, at No. 391 Main street, un-
der the firm name of Van Dyne & Mellady.
which connection lasted until May, 1893, when
it was dissolved, and our subject removed to
No. 406 Main street, where he has since been
alone in business. He is exclusively engaged
in undertaking, and thoroughly understands his
business in its various departments.

On June 30, 1891, Mr. \'an Dyne was
united in marriage with Miss Minnie C. Cox,
daughter of William A. Cox, of the town of
Clinton, Dutchess county, where he was born.
One child blessed their union, Ruth, born Oc-
tober 23, 1892; but March 11, 1893, the wife
and mother was called to her final rest, leav-
ing many friends as well as relatives to mourn
her death. Mr. Van Dyne is a representative
business man, enterprising and industrious, and
holds a high place in the estimation of his fel-
low citizens. He is prominently identified
with several clubs and social orders, among
which are the F. & A. M., the Knights of
Pythias, the Elks and the Royal Arcanum,
while his political connection is with the Dem-
ocratic party, whose principles he earnestly

CHARLES M. COLWELL, a well-known
business man of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess
county, is noted for his accurate and practical
judgment of values, his high reputation in this
regard making him an acknowledged expert in
the appraisal of property and the adjustment
of insurance claims.

The Colwell family is of Scotch origin, and
four geneiations have been residents of Dutch-
ess county. Samuel Colwell, our subject's
great-grandfather, was a native of the town of
W^ashington; his son, Archibald Colwell, was
born in 1794, in the town of Washington,
Dutchess county, and in early life was engaged
in the manufacture of cotton goods, being em-
ployed as foreman in the factories at Pough-
keepsie, Pleasant Valley, Hart's \'illage and
Verbank. In his later years he followed agri-
culture. He was an old-fashioned Methodist,
and often served as an unlicensed preacher.
His wife, Abigail Hall, was a native of Con-
necticut and a relative of the Hubbards of that
State. He died in januar}", 1877, and his
wife in August, 1866. They had eight chil-
dren: Hubbard; Louisa (Mrs. Nathan Beach);
Archibald L. ; Julia (Mrs. John Burnett): Sam-



uel; Edwin; Mary (Mrs. William Ackeniian);
and Sarah (Mrs. Henry H. SeanianJ.

Archibald L. Colwell, our subject's father,
was born March 22, 1819, in the town of
Washington. His early life was passed in
Poughkeepsie, but for the last fifty-five years
he has lived at \'erbank, following the occupa-
tion of shoemaker and dealer. He has always
been quiet in his tastes, but is a man of good
natural powers, and has been successful in
business. Before the war he was a Whig, and
later a Republican, and he has served one
term as justice of the peace and two terms as
postmaster at Verbank. Like the majority of
his family, he is a Methodist. In 1841 he
married Sarah Seaman, daughter of Samuel
Seaman, a well-known resident of the town of
Washington. Her family is of English de-
scent, and one of the oldest in the county.
Mrs. Colwell died in August, 1S93, but her
husband still survives. They had five children,
to whom they gave 'excellent educations, (i)
Seaman A. was graduated from the Albany
Normal School in 1862, and for some time
was a teacher and county superintendent of
schools in Pulaski county, 111. ; he is now a
successful farmer and horticulturist there. (2)
Charles M. is our subject. (3) Mary M., who
is a graduate of Claverack College, Columbia
county, N. Y., married Dr. A. G. Paine, of
Chicago, 111. (4) Armeda J., who was gradu-
ated from Amenia Seminary, married Charles
T. Bird, of Wilkesbarre, Penn. ; both have been
dead for a number of years. (5) Phcebe mar-
ried B. F. Conkright, a leading real-estate
dealer of Chicago, Illinois.

Charles M. Colwell, the second in order
of birth, was born January 4, 1847, in the
town of Unionvale. He accjuired the rudi-
ments of knowledge in the district schools at
Owego village, which were unusually good,
and afterward studied at Claverack College
one year. At eighteen he left school and went
to Poughkeepsie to learn the carpenter's trade
with Nelson Seaman. He followed this occu-
pation for twenty years, and that of contractor
and builder for about twelve years. He was
superintendent of construction of the U. S.
Government Building at Poughkeepsie under
appointment of Charles J. Folger, Secretary of
the Treasury. About 1887 he became engaged
in the insurance business as appraiser of dam-
aged buildings, and his services have been
called into requisition in different parts of the
State. He has done a great deal of work be-

fore the State Board of Assessors, and in con-
demnation proceedings in railroads acquiring
real estate.

A strong Republican in principle, he has
been active in political work. In 1873 he was
elected assessor, and served for nine consecu-
tive years; in 188S he was elected supervisor
of the Fifth ward, and held that office one
term. At the beginning of President Har-
rison's administration he was appointed clerk
in the Revenue office of the Fourteenth Dis-
trict, and held this throughout Harrison's
term. When a successor was appointed he
became deputy revenue collector for the coun-
ties of Dutchess and Columbia for six months.
In 1894, three days before the expiration of
his term, he was elected clerk of the board of
supervisors of Poughkeepsie, which office he
yet holds, and January i, 1895, he was ap-
pointed president of the board of civil service
for the city. He has always taken an interest
in affairs of a non-political nature, and was in
the National Guard for eight years, serving as
first lieutenant of Company A, 21st Regi-

On March 22, 1S68, Mr. Colwell married
Miss Mary F. Hayman, daughter of Richard
R. Hayman, a prominent resident of Pough-
keepsie, and they have three children: Grace
F., the wife of Charles J. Knapp, of Pough-
keepsie; and May M. and Richard H. at home.
The family attend Trinity M. E. Church.

FRANK VAN KLEECK, a well-known
merchant of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess

county, was born in that city June 25, 1857.
Here also his paternal ancestors for six gener-
ations back lived.

Baltus Barentszen Van Kleeck, who was
the first of the name to emigrate from Holland
to this country, bought a farm, in 1697, where
the city of Poughkeepsie now stands, and later
built the first stone house in the place, which
was situated on Mill street, nearVassar. This
was in 1702, at which time the present fine
city consisted of only a few huts, no houses.
He was a member of the Colonial Assembly,
and was succeeded by his son Johannes. Six
children constituted his family, namely:
Barent. Johannes, Lawrence, Peter, great-
great-great-grandfather of our subject; Sarah
and Elizabeth. Of these Peter became the
father of Baltus, and he the father of Peter
B., the great-grandfather of our subject. His



son, Tunis Van Kleeck, the grandfather of our
subject, was born June 14, 1773, in Pough-
keepsie, where he was reared to manhood and
learned the trade of a hatter, establishing him-
self in business there in 1799, his first store
being situated opposite Crannell street. His
second location was where Joseph's clothing
store now stands, while the third was on the
site of the present store, which was occupied
in 1854. On January 15, 1792, he married
Irene Bacon, and nine children were born to
them, of whom the following record is given:
Sally A. married B. Davis Noxon, a lawyer of
Syracuse, N. Y. ; Cornelia married George W.
Somarindyck, of Poughkeepsie; Eliza became
the wife of Rufus Cossit, a lawyer of Syracuse;
George married Mary E. Tallmadge, a mer-
chant in Poughkeepsie; Edgar who was a mer-
chant in New York City, and married Nancy
Graham (he died in Orange county); Albert
was our subject's father; Mary became the
wife of Willett Raynor, of Syracuse; Louisa
married Edward Beach, a merchant in Pough-
keepsie; William H., who was a wholesale
grocer in New York City, married for his first
wife a Miss Mary Haight, and for his second
wedded Miss Margaret Hardenburg. On the
death of the father of this family, which took
place September i, 1S31, the business was
continued by his son Albert, and has been in
the family ever since. In politics he was a

Albert \an Kleeck, father of our subject,
was born December 27, 1807, in Poughkeepsie,
where (as has been stated) he carried on his
father's business as a hatter until his own death,
November 7, 1866, and he was succeeded by
his son Edward, who, on February i, 1890,
took his brother Frank in as a partner. Ed-
ward died November 13, 1890, and his widow
and Frank continued the management of the
establishment until February, 1894, since
which time the latter has assumed full control.
On September 25, 1833, Albert Van Kleeck
was married to Miss Eliza Green, a native of
England, and of this union ten children were
born, as follows: Davis, Edward, Harriet,
Elizabeth, Julia, Cornelia, Albert, Augustus,
Irene and Frank. The mother of these died
in 1863. Mr. Van Kleeck was a prominent
man in his community. In 1857 he was elected
treasurer of Dutchess county, and was ap-
pointed postmaster under Lincoln. He was re-
appointed under Johnson, and died during that
administration. In politics he was originally

a Whig, becoming a Republican on the forma-
tion of that party.

Frank V'an Kleeck was married September
24, 1 891, to Miss Sarah P. Sleight, who was
born in Dutchess county, a daughter of Henry
A. Sleight. Mr. Van Kleeck is a Republican,
a member of the F. & A. M., of the Holland
Society, and of the Amrita Club, a social or-
ganization, of which he has been president.

IfA Among the able men who hc'.ve repre-
sented Dutchess county in the State Assembly
the late Hon. Augustus Martin will always hold
a notable place in the history of the locality;
his integrity and high sense of honor, no less
than his practical sagacity in public affairs,
winning and retaining for him the esteem of
all classes of people.

His family has had in (he past many mem-
bers whose lives have been conspicuous for
the same admirable qualities, and his direct
ancestors were among the pioneer settlers in
this section. Hendrick Martin, who came to
America in 173^ built at the village of Red
Hook, Dutchess county, a residence which is
one of the oldest houses in the State; occa-
sional repairs and alterations have still left in-
tact a large portion of the original structure.
It is located about one-eighth of a mile from
the old New York & Albany post road, upon
land leased from the Beekman patentee. In
175 1 Hendrick Martin leased some adjoining
lands from the Van Benthuysen patentee. It
is related that when his son Gotlob married,
the father took a large stake, and walking to a
suitable spot drove it into the ground, remark-
ing to the son that it was time for him to
"swarm for himself. " Here Gotlob built, in
1776, a stone house of the substantial Colonial
type, which is still standing. At the moment
when the Declaration of Independence was be-
ing read in Philadelphia, the rafters of this
historic mansion were being put in place by
the workmen. Gotlob's son John married, in
1789, Isabella Fulton, a relative of Robert
Fulton, the inventor, and had ten children:
Philip, Michael S., Augustus, Robert, Claudius
G., James, Edward, Joseph, John and Serena.
Their grandfather willed the estate to them,
but they were not willing to take it from their
mother, and after her death it was purchased
by Edward as a hotne for his sister, who, like
himself, never married. Edward Martin, who



was born February iS, 1811, and died Decem-
ber 3, 1893, made a large fortune as a civil
engineer, some real estate, which he took in
payment from a railroad for his services, prov-
ing very valuable, a portion of it lying within
the present limits of Chicago.

The late Augustus Martin was born in Red
Hook, December 13, 1808, and although his
early educational opportunities were limited to
the common schools of that town, his fine
mental endowment enabled him to acquire a
wide and liberal education through the channels
of observation and private reading. While a
.young man he was elected on the Democratic
ticket to the State Assembly, and was a mem-
ber of that body for two years (1852-53) un-
der Gov. Seymour. In local affairs he held a
prominent place, and was chosen to many
positions of trust, including that of supervisor,
and his interest in educational affairs, and de-
sire that children of all classes should have
ready access to the paths of ■ knowledge, led to
years of faithful service as a school trustee.
He was an active helper in religious movements,
and was a trustee of the Lutheran Church, at
Red Hook, of which he was a member. His
wife, Lydia Maria (Benner), was born in Red
Hook, December 28, 181 1, the daughter of
Judge Jacob Benner, a leading member of the
legal fraternity. She died February 23, 1864,
and Mr. Martin followed her January 14, 1875.
Of their six children the first two — Margaret
M. and Marian M., died in infancy; the others
are: Cora A. (Mrs. John B. Scott); Ella A.;
Isabella (now Mrs. Luther L. Stillman); and

rrRS. JANE M. CHAPMAN. The late
Frank Chapman, whose sudden death
in 1893, from heart disease, cut short a life
which had been filled with quiet but effective
endeavor, was a native of the town of Dover,
Dutchess county, where he received his educa-
tion. As a young man he engaged in mercan-
tile business in Pawling, Dutchess county; but
after some years he went to New York City,
as bookkeeper for J. B. Dutcher, and held
that responsible position until his death. His
widow, formerly Miss Jane M. Bishop, was
born in the town of Washington, Dutchess
county, in 1831, and was educated in the town
of Amenia. Their marriage took place in
1861, but no children were born of the union.
Mrs. Chapman now resides in Pawling.

The Bishop family was known in New
England at an early day, and Abiah Bishop,
Mrs. Chapman's grandfather, was a soldier in
the Revolutionary war. He was born and
educated in Rhode Island, and in early man-
hood learned the cooper's trade. His wife,
Ruth (Wilbur), was a native of the town of
Washington, Dutchess county, and a descend-
ant of a prominent Quaker family. Two sons
were born of their union; Archibald, who mar-
ried Angeline ; and George (Mrs. Chap-
man's father), who was born in the town of
Washington, in 1809, and after availing him-
self of the advantages afforded in the common
schools learned the trade of wagon making.
He followed this for some time, later becom-
ing station agent at Wassaic, Dutchess county,
in which position he continued until his death,
in 1874. He married Miss Desire Northrop,
whose father, Samuel Northrop, was a promi-
nent farmer of the town of Washington. Her
mother's maiden name was Mary Benham.

Mrs. Chapman was the eldest in a family
of eight children; the others were born and
educated in the town of Amenia. (2) Seneca
S. followed the sea from early manhood, and
since sailing for the West Indies has never been
heard from; it is not known whether he mar-
ried or not. (3) Mary A. married (first) John
Clark, and had two children who died, and
after his death she wedded Joseph Hobbs, by
whom she had one son, Amos A. (4) George
W. was a machinist by trade, and became
master mechanic of the New York & New
Haven railroad; he married Miss Isabella Mc-
Connell, and had six children: George, Jen-
nie, Isabella, Hattie, Minnie and .Ida F. (5)
Charles W. was engaged in business in New
York City at the beginning of the Civil war; he
enlisted in the 6ist N. Y. V. I., and lost his
life in the seven-days' struggle at Bull Run.

(6) Catherine M. married Edward Brown, an
engineer of Amenia; they have no children.

(7) William G. was connected with the con-
densed milk factory at Wassaic; he married
Miss Josephine Nichols, and had one son,
Harry, who died in infancy. (8) Noah L. was
superintendent of the Gail Borderi Condensed
Milk factory at Wassaic; he married (first") Miss
Hattie Noyce, and after her death he wedded
Miss Jennie Jones; by his first marriage he had
one son, Frank, who died in infancy, and by
the second there were three children: Lena,
the wife of Dr. Fred Brace; Cora L. , who is at
home; and one who died in infancy.




AMES \'AN WVCK. The \'an Wyck family
is prominent in this region not only by rea-
son of the number of its members, but for
the ability and public spirit shown by many of
them in past and present times. The first of
this branch of the family to locate in Dutchess
county was Theodorus Van Wyck, our sub-
ject's great-grandfather, who was born at
Hempstead, Long Island. He purchased 900
acres of land of the Madame I^rett patent in
the town of Fishkill (now East Fishkill),
Dutchess county, and in 1740 built the house
which is still occupied by his descendants.

Although this old homestead has rarely ap-
peared in print, there are few of our old places
more permanently associated with the pleasant
social life of the early settlers, and with the
personal presence of the prominent actors in the
Revolutionarj' period. Dr. Dorus \'an W'jck,
on his marriage, abandoned the homestead to
a tenant farmer, and took up his residence on
the north side of the Fishkill creek, near Gen.
Swartwout's. At this time the Jay family, in-
cluding the distinguished patriot. Governor and
Chief Justice John Jay, moved north, seeking
refuge from the threats and depredations of the
Tories and "cowboys" who infested the lower
counties, under the protection of the British at
New York. The Van Wyck homestead being
vacant, it was hospitably offered them by its
owner, and it was occupied by Gov. Jay for
about two years. It was during his residence
here (the family fortunately being absent), that
a band of " cowboys " crossed the mountains
one night and robbed them of a quantity of
silver plate. A "spontoon," or rude lance,
dropped by the robbers, is now preserved at
Washington's headquarters, at Newburg. It
was from this house that John Jay set off on
his mission to France, to aid in negotiating a
treaty of peace with England.

Theodorus Van Wyck was a man of
marked ability, a farmer and surveyor, and
was so greatly interested in the development
of the locality that with his negroes (slaves)
he opened up highways through the forests in
many directions. His maps of Poughkeepsie
and the Nine Partners tracts are still in ex-
istence. He was an active worker in the
Presbyterian Church. In 1752 he was ap-
pointed judge of the court of common pleas of
Dutchess county, by George Clinton, then
governor of the Province of New York. His
death occurred in 1755. His wife was born
on Long Island, of English descent, and they

reared a large famih', consisting of two sons
and a " noble group of girls," whose married
names were Piatt, Hoffman. Graham, Bailey
and Adriance, respectively. The daughter of
one of these became the wife of Chancellor
Kent. Of the sons, the elder, William, was a