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Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

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is of German origin. His great-grandfather
was a native of Wurtemberg, Germany, and
on coming to America his passage was paid by
his mother. On his arrival he bound himself
out to a man living in Wurtemburg, town of
Rhinebeck, Dutchess county, which village
was named for his birthplace. At that time
he had some money, and as his employer was
in need of financial assistance, he aided him.
Later he became a large property owner in
Clinton town, Dutchess county. He was mar-
ried at Wurtemburg, N. Y., and became the
father of four sons, one of whom was John
Crapser (the grandfather of our subject), who
was born May 20, 1750.

On February 19, 1778, John Crapser was
married to Charity Ostrum, who was born
March 12, \y6o, and fourteen children were
the result of this union, their names and dates
of birth, etc., being as follows: John J.. July
5, 1780, died September 12, i860; Anna, Oc-



398



COMMEMORATTVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



tober 27, i/Si.d. December 7, 1S59; Albertus,
January 14, 1784, d. September 4, 1S80; Fred-
erick, September 20, 1785, d. March i, 1S61;
Cornelius, August 30, 1787; Catherine, August
23. 1789, d. May 8, 1832; Elizabeth, Septem-
ber 25. 1791, d. August 21, 1854; Margaret,
January 24, 1794; Mary, June i, 1796, d. Jan-
uary 12, 1823; Levi, July 14, 1798, d. May
21, 1855; Gertrude, August 25, 1800, d. Jan-
uary 5, 1852; Philip, June 3, 1803, d. Sep-
tember 19, 1872; Sarah Ann, March 27, 1S05,
d. July 3, i860; and Elias. June 21, 1807, d.
February 7, 1786. The father of this family
was a member of the Lutheran Church, and
devoted his life to agricultural pursuits in the
town of Clinton until his death, which occurred
February 24, 1824. His wife was called from
earth December 28, 1851.

Elias Crapser, thej'oungest in their family,
and the father of our subject, was born in the
town of Clinton, where his early life was passed
in rural pursuits. In 1830 he went upon the
river, at first as the owner of a sailing vessel,
and afterward, for half a century, as pilot and
captain on steamboats, for many years being
with the Commercial Transportation Co. From
1850 up to the time of his death he made his
home at Poughkeepsie, passing the last four
years with his son, Abram B. Crapser. He
was married January 14, 1830, to Rebecca C.
Nickel, of the town of Rhinebeck, and they
became the parents of the following children:
Anna M., born September 22, 1830, became
the wife of Abram Wallace, December 2,
1847; Abram H., whose name introduces this
sketch, is the next in order of birth; Emeline
G., born November I 5, 1835, married Ransom
La Paugh, January 6, 1855 (he died May 16,
1896); Catherine E., born April 5, 1838,
wedded George Clarke, February 12, 1S61;
Levi, born April 8, 1841, married Mary J.
Ackert, June 29, 1864; William H., born No-
vember 3, 1843, married Catherine \Miitner,
of Brooklyn, August 15, 1868; Henrietta was
born September 22, 1846; Rebecca, born De-
cember 7, 1849, died July 23, 185 1; Nelson,
born March 15, 1852, married Julia Fraleigh,
October i, 1873; and Charles, born Novem-
ber 4, 1854, wedded Rose Golden, January 5,
1882. The mother of these died April 18,
1879.

Our subject spent his boyhood in New
York City, where he was educated, and at the
early age of ten years began boating with his
father during the warmer months, while in the



winter he attended school. At the age of six-
teen he secured a position as deck hand on a
steamer, where he remained for nearly one
year, and then was made assistant engineer on
the "Cygnet," being thus employed by the
Commercial Transportation Co. of the Phila-
delphia and .Albany line for four years. At
the age of twenty he was made chief engineer,
filling that position on the "Swan," " Pa-
troon," "Commerce," "Tempest," "Consti-
tution," "Commodore Foote," "Commodore
Du Pont," "William H. Aspinwall," "Col-
umbus," "Francis King" and "Reliance."
During the Civil war he was chief engineer on
the ' ' Vidette, " in the Burnside expedition, and
for three years was in the government service.
Since the close of the struggle he has been chief
engineer of the steamer "John L. Hasbrouck,"
all of which will indicate his faithful discharge
of duty, and the high regard in which he is
held by his employers. He is the pioneer en-
gineer of the Crapser family, and he now has
four brothers, a nephew, son-in-law and two
sons, who are also engineers, raised by him to
the trade, besides a brother-in-law (now de-
ceased.)

On December 13, 1855, Mr. Crapser was
married, to Adaline Ackert, who was born in
Pleasant Plains, town of Clinton, September i,
1833, and seven children blessed their union,
namely: Lester A., born February 22, 1858,
and married Carrie Falk June 5, 1882; Ethel-
ward v., born December 12, 1859, married
Mary Tracy, ^L^rch 18, 1885; Ida M., born
February 12, 1S62, became the wife of W'alter
L. Simmons July i, 1883; Ella R. , born April
25, 1865, died February 19, 1868; Ira E., born
October 18, 1868, died February 2, 1869; Lil-
lie Belle, born .August 26, 1872, married Sam-
uel H. Miller November 14, 1894; and Freddie
B., born June 3, 1874, died on the 26th of
July following. The children that married all
have families.

Mr. Crapser is one of the oldest members
of Lodge No. 266, F. & A. M., of Poughkeep-
sie, which he joined February 21, 1859, and
also belongs to and is one of the charter mem-
bers of the Masonic Mutual Benefit -Associa-
tion, and a member of the Marine Engineers
Beneficial Association. His courteous, genial
manner has gained him a large circle of warm
personal friends, and he justly deserves the
confidence and esteem of all with whom he
comes in contact either in a business or social
way.



COMMEMORATIVE BIOOBAPHICAL RECORD.



399



JOHN P. AMBLER, wholesale and retail
dealer in books, stationery and fancy goods,

Poughkeepsie, Dutchess count}', was born
June 25, 1 841, in the town of Stanford, Dutch-
ess county, and is the son of Rev. Silas and
Eunice D. (Olmstead) Ambler.

The Ambler family, of which our subject is
a worthy representative, was founded in Amer-
ica during its early history. The first tc locate
in New England was Richard Ambler, who
was born in Somersetshire, England, in 1609,
and was one of twenty-four men who organ-
ized the town of Watertown, Conn., taking
deed from the Indians, and he became a lead-
ing resident of that town. He was twice mar-
ried and became the father of three children:
Sarah, Abram and Abraham. His death oc-
curred in 1699. Of his family, Abraham, who
was a Baptist minister in Bradford, Conn., was
born in 1642, and he was also twice married,
his union with Mary Bates being celebrated in
1662; they made their home in Stamford,
Conn. Their son John was born in 1668, and
in his family were three children: John,
Stephen and Martha. The birth of John Am-
bler, of this family, occurred at Stamford,
Conn., in 1695, and he became a resident of
Danbury, in the same State, where he died.
By his will he bequeathed his gun and sword
to his only son, John. He was the father of
seven children — John, Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary,
Martha, Anna and Rachel. The only son was
born in 1733, and died October 2 i, 18 14. By
his marriage with Huldah Fairchild he had
eight children: Peter, Squire, Stephen, Gilead,
Diodote, Silas, Huldah and Deborah. The
father of these was a sergeant of a company of
100 men raised in Danbury May 17, 1775,
which joined the 6th Regiment, commanded
by Col. David Waterbury.

Peter Ambler, of the above family, was the
grandfather of our subject. He was born at
Danbury, Conn., September 20, 1759, and
there continued to engage in farming through-
out life, owning the land on which the Dan-
bury Fair is now held. During the Revolu-
tionary war, he served as artificer in the Colo-
nial army, and later took a prominent part in
public affairs, being a member of the State
Legislature for one term. He held member-
ship with the Baptist Church, in which he
served as deacon, and died in that faith March
7, 1836. On October 21, 1784, he had mar-
ried Miss Hannah Shove, who was born Octo-
ber 27, 1 76 1, and was the daughter of Deacon



Benjamin and Sarah Shove, and their family
included the following children: Fairchild,
Benjamin, David, Thomas, Joseph, Silas,
Sarah, Rachel and Hannah. The mother of
these died April 22, 1843.

Rev. Silas Ambler, Baptist minister, father
of our subject, was born at Danbury, Conn. ,
March 12, 1798. He was married August 29,
1822, to Miss Eunice D. Olmstead, who was
born October 28, 1800, at Wilton, Conn., and
died October 3, 1892, at Stanford, N. Y. They
had a family of seven children: Samuel H.,
a sketch of whom appears elsewhere; Mary E.,
who makes her home in Greene county, N. Y.,
is the widow of Ezekial Griffin; Augustus, born
April 19, 1829, died April 22, 1852; Catherine,
born May 23, 1831, is the widow of Levi
Boyce, of Greenville, N. Y. ; Sarah, born
January 31, 1835, is the wife of Henry Knick-
erbocker, of Bangall, N. Y. ; Emeline, who was
born April 6, 1837, and died April 3, 1869,
was the wife of Charles Sheldon, now deceased;
and John P., born June 25, 1841, is the pro-
prietor of a book store at Poughkeepsie, N. Y.
The father was for a time a minister in the
Baptist Church, having charge of congregations
at Cornwall and Norfolk, Conn., but in 1840
on account of ill health he gave up preaching,
and located upon a farm in the town of Stan-
ford, Dutchess Co., N. Y., near Stissing, which
is now owned by our subject. He there spent
his remaining days, dying November 22, 1857,
honored and respected by all.

John P. Ambler spent his boyhood days on
his father's farm in the town of Stanford, and
when fifteen years of age entered Greenville
Academy, where he spent two years. He then
taught school in Stanford for one year, and the
following year drove a market wagon. During
the winter of 1860-61 he attended Eastman
Business College, at Poughkeepsie, and in
1861 entered the bookstore of J. H. Hickok,
in Poughkeepsie, as clerk, remaining there
some si.x years. He was next employed in a
similar business with H. A. Reed, and on July
12, 1869, he purchased a small news business
on Market street. From this modest begin-
ning he has built up an extensive and prosper-
ous trade, and now owns a large building facing
on both Market and Main streets. Here he
has a fine assortment of fancy goods, a com-
plete line of stationery; his establishment is the
headquarters for all the latest publications.
His industry, enterprise and undoubted integ-
rity, as well as his courteous manners, have



400



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



made him popular with all classes of people
and have brought him well-deserved success,
and a host of warm friends.

On November t6, 1870, Mr. Ambler was
married to Miss Mary A. Tracy, a native of
Shelburne, \'t. , and daughter of Hon. Guy
Tracy, a farmer of that place. They have one
child, Donna Louise. Mr. Ambler is a Demo-
crat and in 1884 was a candidate on that ticket
for county treasurer, being defeated by only
fifteen votes. He has been a member of the
board of health for two terms. Socially, he
belongs to the I. O. O. F., Royal Arcanum,
and of the Reform Club, of New York City,
while in religious faith he and his wife are
members of the First Reformed Church.



JOHN U. ABEL (deceased) was numbered
among the prosperous and skillful farmers
of the town of Unionvale, Dutchess coun-
ty. Here his grandfather, Daniel Abel, reared
his family of seven children: Jacob, John,
Lawrence, William, Peter, Mary 1 who became
the wife of Daniel Uhl) and Gideon. Jacob
Abel, the father of our subject, spent his en-
tire life in Unionvale, devoted to agricultural
pursuits. He married Miss Margaret Uhl, and
in their family were three children: (i) Will-
iam W., who married Helen Cornell, and had
two children — Mary Elizabeth, deceased; and
Evaline, who married Henry Brill, by whom
she has two children — Theodore R. and Helen.

(2) Our subject is the next in order of birth.

(3) Mary wedded Luman B. Odell, who was
killed by accident, and they had three children
— Daniel, Wright and Flora.

In the town of Unionvale, Dutchess coun-
ty, John U. Abel was born October 11, 1821,
and he acquired such an education as the
common schools of the locality afforded, and
for one year attended school at Quaker Hill.
For some time he followed the profession of
teaching; but his time was mainl)- devoted to
his farming interests, which were quite exten-
sive, and at his death, which occurred Novem-
ber 6, 1893, he left a large estate. He was a
popular and influential citizen, one who easily
gained the friendship of those with whom he
met either in a business or social way, was
charitable and benevolent, and took a com-
mendable interest in the welfare and prosper-
ity of those around him. For a number of
years he served as supervisor of his township,
was president of the Agricultural Society, and



held several other positions of honor and trust.
He was prominently identified with the Ma-
sonic order, in which he took an active inter-
est. On June 4, 1846, he was united in mar-
riage with Miss Esther Odell, who was born in
the town of Unionvale, March 9, 1829, and
was educated there and in Amenia. She still
survives her husband, and like him is held in
the highest respect.

Uriah Odell, the grandfather of Mrs. Abel,
was a native of Pawling town, Dutchess coun-
ty, and followed the vocation of a farmer. He
married Miss Esther Sheldon, and to them
were born the following children: John, Dan-
iel, Benjamin, Isaac, Abijah (who married Ann
Hubbard I, Ann, Latnira (who married Davis
Hubbard), Sallie, and Polly (who married
Daniel Butler).

Daniel Odell, the father of Mrs. Abel, was
born in Pawling town in 1781, attended the
common schools of Delaware county, N. Y. ,
and later carried on farming in Unionvale
town. In the old training days he served as
captain of a company of militia, and took a
prominent part in public affairs. For his first
wife he married Miss Esther Stevens, daughter
of Archibald Stevens, of Dover town, Dutch-
ess county, and to them were born two chil-
dren: (i) Samuel, born December 3, 1809,
married Hannah Hunt, and had three chil-
dren — Duane, Sheldon and Adeline. (2) Eb-
enezer, born August 23, 18 12, married Sallie
A. Baker, and had two children — Ann E., who
married Duane Odell; and Levina. who died
unmarried.

On June 20, 18 17, his first wife died, and
November 17, 1S17, Daniel Odell married Miss
Esther Cole, a daughter of Royal and Hannah
Cole. During the Revolutionary war her fa-
ther aided the Colonies in securing their inde-
pendence, and lived to be over ninety years of
age, dying on the Fourth of Julj'. Seven chil-
dren graced the second marriage, namely:
(i) Olive A., born June 2, 1818, married
Henry W. Uhl, a farmer of Unionvale, by
whom she had a son, Daniel H., who died
when young; her death occurred in 1847.
(2) Daniel W., born April 28, 1821, was a
farmer by occupation, and married Hannah
Devine, daughter of Abel Devine, by whom he
had a daughter, Mary E., who died at the age
of seventeen years. F"or his second wife, Dan-
iel wedded Elizabeth Giddley, of the town of
Lagrange, Dutchess county, and they had two
children: Ardell E., who married Robert Mo-





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w-











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COMMEMORATIVE BIOORAPHWAL RECORD.



401



rey, and later became the wife of Zachariah
Dorland; and Willis B., who married Annie
Baker. (3) Newton B., born January 18,
1823, married Christina Baker, and they had
one child: Ida, who married Frank Akerley.
After the death of his first wife he wedded
Annie Morey, and to them was also born a
daughter: Levina M. (4) Luman B. , born
February 23, 1S26, wedded Mary Abel, and
had three children : Daniel J. , who married Hat-
tie Coe; Wright, who married Inez A. Brill;
and Flora M., who married Charles Brill, Jr.

(5) Mrs. Esther Abel is next in order of birth.

(6) Alexander J., born April 17, 1832, wedded
Mary L. Taber, of W^ashington town. (7)
Hannah L. , born March 6, 1840, married
Rev. S. W. Butler, a minister of Fall River,
N. Y. , who is now living in Nebraska. They
had two children: Weight A.; and Odell C,
who was born at Fall River, February 22,
1874, was educated in the De Garmo Institute,
of Fishkill-on-Hudson, and is now engaged
in farming.



I BIAH W. PALMER, who was called from



yr^ this life in January, 1882, was widely
known throughout Dutchess county, having
spent most of his life in Amenia, and by all
was held in the highest regard. He was born
January 25, 1835, at Amenia, on the old home-
stead which was deeded to his father by the
Nine Partners, the son of Abiah Palmer, Sr.,
who removed from the town of Stanford, Dutch-
ess county, to Amenia, in 1789, and immedi-
ately took an active part in public business,
being a successful farmer and mine owner.
He died before his son was born, and the
mother of our subject passed away when he
was only nine years old. He then made his
home with two half brothers and two half
sisters.

Mr. Palmer pursued his academical course
at the Amenia Seminary, later was a student
in the Cazenovia Seminary, and at the age of
twenty years entered Union College, which
he attended for two years. On account of ill
health he was not permitted to graduate, be-
ing compelled to relinquish his studies in 1856,
and soon afterward he started for Europe,
where the following two years were passed in
travel. On his return home he was not strong
or thoroughly well, but greatly improved in
health. Being nominated by the Republican
party in 1859, he was elected to represent his

" 26



district in the General Asseinbl\-,
over seven hundred majority, and at once took
high rank in that body. In the following year
he was unanimously renominated, an honor he
was compelled to decline; but later he was in
the Senate for two consecutive terms, taking
there, also, a prominent and active part, and
serving on several important committees.

Among the valuable property owned by
Mr. Palmer was the iron mine at Amenia,
which he sold just before the Civil war broke
out. For years he served as president of the
First National Bank of Amenia, and was re-
elected to that position the day after his death,
as the news of that sad event had not reached
the village. He was always a strong Repub-
lican in politics, socially was connected with
Amenia Lodge No. 672, F. & A.M., and was
a man of deep religious convictions, but not a
member of any Church. Public-spirited and
progressive, he was one of the most popular
citizens of the community, and no words are
needed to assert his high and delicate sense of
honor — his blameless integrity, both in public
and private life. In 1 860 he received the nomi-
nation for comptroller of New York State, but
was defeated. At Westfield, Mass., in 1872,
he was married to Miss Jeanette Yeamans, a
daughter of Roland Yeamans, and two children
were born to them: Roland Swift and Katha-
rine.

Mr. Palmer was a man of great influence,
his advice being often sought and deferred to
by far older men, and no one's opinion in
the community on any subject of business
action, or social expediency, carried greater
weight than his. He had a marvelous faculty
of seeing, in any emergency, the precise thing
that should be done. His sympathetic, genial
nature put him often in confidential relations
with all, and no person was so unpopular or
so obscure as to forfeit his kind attention. For
a number of years prior to his death he was in
very poor health, and often made trips to the
South and to Colorado. A year before his
death he located permanently at Manitou
Park, Colo., hoping that the high latitude and
pure air would give him, at least, a partial
restoration of health. But it was decreed
otherwise, and he would have been glad to
have returned to Amenia; but the condition of
his health rendered it imposible. He breathed
his last at Manitou Park, and his remains were '
brought back to Amenia and interred. We
cannot better close this brief record of his life



402



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



thai) by quoting a letter written by Bishop H.
N. Powers in tribute to him:

" I wish that I might stand up among those
who gather at Mr. Palmer's grave, and pay a
tribute to his youth. I knew him from his
early childhood to the years when he bore
great public trusts with distinction and honor,
and my recollection of him is singularly delight-
ful. All through his boyhood and youth I can
recall nothing about him but what is suggestive
of rare qualities and a noble nature. His in-
clinations from the first were good. With his
unfolding intelligence he seemed instinctively
drawn to what was morally wholesome, refin-
ing, uplifting.

"From his incipient boyhood he showed
those traits and that disposition which are
prophetic of an honorable and useful manhood.
As time went on he developed into the thought-
ful, gentle, ingenuous, studious youth of high
aims and most attractive presence. His nat-
ural talents were remarkable. His sympathies
led him into the best associations. His spirit
was lovely. There is no face, among those of
my early acquaintances, more clearly stamped
upon my memory than his, and every linea-
ment of it indicated sincerity, sensibility, a
keen, bright intelligence. His deep, soft,
luminous eyes, so trustful and searching, seem
looking upon me now, with meanings that go
to my heart.

" I thank God that it has been my privilege
to see and live in contact with a young life so
fair and lovely as his. The very thought of it
is refreshing, and I shall carry its sweetness
with me while I live. "



'ENDEL STROBEL (deceased). Many

of the best class of citizens of Dutchess

county have come from over the sea, particu-
larly from the empire of Germany. They
have transported to this country the industry,
thrift and economy of their native land, and
have been important factors in the upbuilding
and advancement of the land of their adoption.
Of this class of honest, alien-born citizens,
none have occupied a more prominent place
than Mr. Strobel and his family. He was
born, reared and educated in Germany, and
was one of the twelve children of Peter Stro-
bel and wife, who were also natives of the
Fatherland.

In the year 1S26, in Hessen-Darmstadt,
Germany, Mr. Strobe! was married to Miss



Christina Kuth, who had received an excellent
education in her girlhood. Three children
were born to them, the birth of the eldest oc-
curring before they left their native land.
They are as follows: Peter, who served as a
soldier in the German army; Mary; and Will-
iam, who married a young lady of Barrytovvn,
Dutchess Co., N. Y. , by whom he has four
children. In 1846, with his family, Mr. Stro-
bel left Germany for America, and in Barry-
tovvn made his home until called from this life
about four years ago. He enjoyed the esteem
and regard of the entire community, and at his
death was deeply mourned.

Henry Hirtsel, the maternal grandfather of
Mrs. Strobel, was born in Hessen-Darmstadt,
Germany, and there married Barbara Metz. of
the same place. They had both received a
common-school education in their native land,
and in the same province where their births
occurred were born their two children: Peter,
who married Eliza Stormf; and Susan; the lat-
ter was given excellent educational advantages
in the Fatherland, and there she married Val-
entine Ruth. They always made their home
in Germany, where were born to them five
children, as follows: Mary, who remained
single; Catherine, who married Anthony Han-
sey; Christina, widow of our subject; Eliza-
beth, who died at the age of fifteen years; and
Valentine, who was also married. Mrs. Stro-
bel and the other children were all born and
married in Germany.



CHARLES L. FLETCHER, M. D. The
first of the Fletcher family to come to the
New World was Cotton Fletcher, a Congrega-
tional minister, who was born in England. He
reached the shore of this country in 1630, land-
ing at Plymouth, Mass., with which colony
was his mission, and from him sprang the
present family of Fletcher, of which our sub-
ject is a worthy representative.

Calvin Fletcher, the grandfather of the
Doctor, was born at Poultney, \'t., in 1738,
but in childhood removed with his parents to
Grand Isle county, of the same State. He re- '
ceived a common-school education, and be-
came a very successful farmer. He took a
prominent part in political affairs, and was
called upon to serve in numerous town offices.
By his marriage with Miss Eunice Davidson, of



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