J.H. Beers & Co.

Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

. (page 85 of 183)
Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoCommemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York → online text (page 85 of 183)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

in agricaltural pursuits, but is practically liv-
ing retired. He has a beautiful home, and is
surrounded by all the comforts and many of
the luxuries of life. In the family are two
children — Mar\- C. and Phebe A. — and they
bold a high position in the social circles of the
community, where true worth and ability are
received as the passports into good society.
In politics, Mr. Humeston is entirely inde-
pendent of party lines, preferring to vote for
the man who, he thinks, will best fill the

ARTHUR V. ROCKWELL, -silkthrow-
ster ' of one of the leading manufactories

of Matteawan, was born February- 14, 1S66,
at Millbrook, Dutchess county, the only son of
the late Ralph Rockwell and his first wife,
Elizabeth Broadhurst.

It seems quite in the natural order of things
that Mr. Rockwell should be engaged in the
silk business, his father having been prominent
in that line of work, while his ancestors on the
mothers side were even more closely identi-
fied with that industr}-, being among its earli-
est promoters in this country. John Broad-
hurst, Mrs. Rock\veir5 father, wove the first
piece of broad silk goods ever made in Amer-
ica, and her brothers were masters of ever}-
detail of the art of silk manufacturing as it
was carried on in their day, having perfected
their knowledge in the great silk mills of Mac-
clesfield, England. But, if these pioneers
should to-day visit the extensive warp spinning
works at Matteawan, they would find much to
interest them while examining its highly im-
proved machiner}- so delicately adjusted that
the breaking of a single fibre of silk stops the
" take up. " Formerly both warp and filling
were spun at this establishment, but now its
16,000 spindles are devoted exclusively to the
making of warp, and turn out about 33,600,-
000 yards per day.

.Arthur V. Rockwell, the presiding genius
of this busy place, a courteous yet business-
like young man, was educated at Poughkeep-
sie, graduating from the high school in 1S84.
and from the Eastman Business College a year
later. He then engaged in the silk-throwing
business with his father, who was a partner in
the firm of J. Silbermann & Co., at Pough-
keepsie. and in 1890, when the father moved
to Matteawan and established the present
plant, in partnership with John Cummings,

our subject took charge of his interests in
Poughkeepsie. In 1892 he also moved to
Matteawan, took Mr. Cummings' interest in
the firm, and has since remained there, carry-
ing on the business for the estate since his fa-
ther's death, December 27, 1894. He mar-
ried Miss Susie ^'an Dyne, daughter of Will-
iam H. and Anna C. Brevoort; \'an Dyne, of
Poughkeepsie. They are members of the First
M. E. Church of Matteawan, and are promi-
nent in social life. Mr. Rockwell is a Repub-
lican in politics, and he belongs to the Mattea-
wan Club, the Hudson River Lodge No. 57,
K. of P., and is president of the Beacon En-
gine Co., of Matteawan.

The late Ralph Rockwell was born Septem-
ber 27, 1837, in the town of South Windsor,
Conn., and at an early age engaged in the
woolen business at South Manchester, Conn.,
remaining three years. He then began his
long experience as a silk manufacturer, enter-
ing the factor}- of Cheney Bros., well-known
pioneers in this business, where he spent seven
years learning the trade in all its branches.
On leaving them he went to Yonkers as super-
intendent of G. B. Skinner's mills, and after
six years there he moved to Paterson, N. J. ,
the "Lyons of America, ' and, with William
S. Archer as a partner, purchased the factory
known as the Benson Mills, now one of the
old landmarks of this business. He sold his
interest in this plant in the following year, and
for some time occupied the famous old •' Red
Mill' at Poughkeepsie; but the failure of the
water power there led to his removal to Hart's
Village, in i860, where he took the factory
owned bj' Abraham Swift at the Upper Pond.
The death of his first wife occurred Feb. 19,
1866, and shortly afterward Mr. Rockwell re-
turned to Yonkers and embarked in business
there, remaining about six years. While there
he married Miss Clara J. Du Bois. who sur-
vives him. On leaving Yonkers he resumed
business at Paterson. and after four years re-
turned to New York City, and established for
J. Silbermann a factor}- for "silk throwing"
on Tenth avenue, which was transferred to
Poughkeepsie four years later. The partner-
ship with Mr. Cummings, referred to above,
was succeeded by the firm of Rockwell & Son,
which continued until the death of the senior
member; but for some years previous the active
management of the works devolved upon our
subject, his father retiring to an estate at Mill-
brook, where he died of heart disease Thurs-




day afternoon, December 27, 1894, at the age
of fifty-seven years.

Tfiough not lacking in public spirit, Mr.
Kockwell never sought public office, and was
best pleased when he could remain quietly at
home. His business associates speak highly
of his fairness and liberality, and say that he
took more pleasure in paying them than in
collecting debts. His circle of acquaintances
in this vicinity was not large, but those who
knew him best speak most highly of his excel-
lent qualities of head and heart. As a friend,
neighbor and citizen, his death was deeply
mourned, He was a Master Mason, a charter
member of Manchester Lodge, at South Man-
chester, Conn., and was one of the oldest
members of the fraternity in the State of Con-
necticut. His remains now rest in the ceme-
tery at Wapping, Conn., his birthplace.

Russell Rockwell, our subject's grandfather,
was a prominent resident of Windsor, Conn.,
the owner of a sawmill, and a pioneer in the
cultivation of tobacco in that section. At one
time he had the option of purchasing, for $300,
the entire site of the present village of Rock-
ville. Conn. ,■ including the remarkable water
power at that point, a property now worth
millions of dollars.

[ciiTriLLIAM K. ROY, the popular post-

jLiL master of Wappingers Falls, Dutchess
county, and one of the most prominent citi-
zens of that village, was born there December

31. 1853-

James Roy, the father of our subject, was
born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1816, learned the
business of calico printing, and became fore-
man of his father's works, when only a boy.
When eighteen years old he came to America,
and for a short time lived at Stockport, N. Y.,
being foreman engraver in the print works at
that place. In 1837, he removed to Wap-
pingers Falls, and took a position in the print
works there, retaining same for nearly ten
years. In 1848 he opened a drugstore, which
he carried on until his death, which occurred
in 1868. James Roy was married May 25,
1843, to Susanna Darling, who was born at
Cumberland Hill, Mendon, Mass., in 1818.
She was the daughter of Seth Darling, a native
of Cumberland, Mass., and Susanna Clark,
who was also born in Massachusetts, on both
sides the families were of English descent.

The Clarks came to America at a very early
period and settled in Rhode Island, where our
subject's mother spent a part of her childhood
on the old homestead. When she was eight
years old her parents removed to Fall River,
Mass., where she grew to womanhood.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Roy
came to Dutchess county, and settled at ^^^ap-
pingers Falls, where they reared a family of
eight children, of these, James S. married Car-
rie A. Orr, and has two children; Emma Dar-
ling married Edward Griffith, of Newport, R. I. ;
WilliamK., the subject of this sketch; Albert M.,
who is in the drug business with his brother in
Wappingers Falls (he graduated with honors in
the class of 1 885 from the College of Pharmacy,
New York City, taking two prizes); Elizabeth
Clark married George H. Kelley, of Newport,
R. I., a descendant of one of the old and lead-
ing families of that State. Three other chil-
dren died in infancy. Since the death of her
husband Mrs. Roy has conducted the drug
business in which he was engaged, and has
made a great success of it. She is thoroughly
conversant with all its details, and so high does
she stand in the estimation of medical men,
that when the State Board of Pharmacy was
organized, she was sent a certificate authoriz-
ing her to practice pharmacy without taking
an examination. She is one of the best known
business woman in Dutchess county, and pos-
sesses unusual ability in that direction, besides
being a lady of refinement and culture.

Mr. Roy took an active part in all matters
of public interest, especially in the cause of edu-
cation. He was instrumental in building up
the present excellent school system in the
county, and was one of the principal promoters
in the establishment of the high school; he was
one of the small number who secured the ground
and laid out the beautiful cemetery at Wap-
pingers Falls, and was the secretary and treas-
urer of the association up to the time of his
death. In politics he was a Democrat, and in
all the relations of life proved himself a most
loyal and honorable man, whose influence will
be felt many years to come.

William K. Roy was graduated from the
Union Free School No. i, Wappingers Falls,
Dutchess county, in 1870, and in 1872 entered
Cornell University, taking two courses, those
of civil engineering and chemistrj-, and was
graduated with high honors in the class of '76.
During the Centennial at Philadelphia, in 1876,
he was in charge of some of the chemical ex-



hibits. Of late years he has been connected
with his brothers in the drug business. Mr.
Roy is a Democrat in his political belief, and
has held a number of responsible offices. He
was town clerk for two terms in the town of
Poughkeepsie; was supervisor for one term in
18S7; was clerk of the village board two years;
and was made postmaster at Wappingers Falls
in May, 1887. This position he held until
July, 1892, when he resigned to become Index
Clerk of the State Assembly at Albany, serv-
ing in that capacity for two years. On Janu-
ary 30, 1896, he was again appointed post-
master, and is now tilling that office to the
satisfaction of the public and with honor to
himself; he has made many improvements in
the arrangements and handling of the mails.

Mr. Roy has always taken much interest
in everything pertaining to the growth and
welfare of his community. He was one of
those instrumental in building the bridge across
the river at Wappingers Falls; was influential
in getting the electric road built, and is a di-
rector in the company. He is also secretary
of the board of park commissioners, and was
a prominent factor in having the park legally
located in the village. For the past twenty
years he has been a member of the Democratic
County Committee, and for ten years was one
of the executive board, at present its secretary.
He is one of the directors and a member of
the executive committee of the Wappingers
Falls Savings Bank, and is trustee and secre-
tary of the board of the Grinnell Library in
that village. No man is more closely identi-
fied with the best interests of the place, and
none is held in higher esteem than Mr. Roy.

James S. Roy, the eldest brother of our
subject, has efficiently managed the drug busi-
ness since the death of his father, in 1867, and
has been prominent in the public affairs of
Wappingers Falls. He was secretary of the
board of health, and chairman of the board of
highway commissioners. Mr. Roy, after serv-
ing several terms as village trustee, was elected
president of the village, and is now serving his
seventh consecutive term as village president.
The good roads of the town are a monument
to his zeal in this direction; the purchase and
embellishment of the beautiful village park was
mainly effected through his efforts; he has also
been treasurer of the village; is a trustee and
first vice-president of the Wappingers Falls
Savings Bank, and a member of its funding
committee, and has held other minor offices.

These sons of a worthy father have followed
in his footsteps, and none are more deserving
of a place in this record of the county.

WILLARD W. HICKS. On the nth
of November, 1621, the ship "For-
tune" arrived at Plymouth, Mass., from Lon-
don. She followed the " Mayflower, " bring-
ing over the parts of families left behind by
those who came in that famous vessel the year
before. In the "Fortune" with this second
body of Puritans came Robert Hicks, the an-
cestor of the family in America. He was a
leather-dresser from Bermondsey street, South-
wark, London. His father, James Hicks, was
lineally descended from Elias Hicks, who was
knighted by Edward the Black Prince on the
battlefield of Poictiers, September 9, 1356, for
bravery in capturing a set of colors from the

Margaret, the wife of Robert Hicks, and
her children, came over in the ship "Ann,"
which arrived at Plymouth during the latter
part of June, 1622. This family settled in
Duxbury, Mass. ; but two of the sons, John
and Stephen, subsequently (about 1642) came
to Long Island. In October, 1645, Gov. Kieft
granted a patent to Thomas Farrington, John
Hicks and others for the township of Flushing,
Long Island. John Hicks seems to have taken
a leading part in the affairs of the settlement,
and was appointed at various times to fill the
most important offices. His name, also that
of his son Thomas, appears in connection with
almost every public measure for many years.

Robert Hicks married (first) Elizabeth Mor-
gan, and had the following children: Eliza-
beth, Thomas, John, Stephen. For his second
wife he married Margaret Winslow, and had
children, viz: Samuel, Ephraim, Lydia, Phcebe.
His son, John Hicks, and the third child of his
first marriage, married Rachel Starr, and had
three children: Thomas, Hannah and Eliza-
beth. Their son, Thomas Hicks, married
May Washburn, and had two children: Thomas
and Jacob. He married, for his second wife,
Mary Doughty, and had the following chil-
dren: Isaac, William, Stephen, John, Charles,
Benjamin,' Phcbe, Charity, Mary and Eliza-

Jacob Hicks, the second child of the first
union, married Hannah Morgan, and had the
following children: Samuel, Stephen, Thomas,



Joseph, Jacob, Benjamin,- Elizabeth, John,
Sarah and Hannah. Their son, Joseph Hicks,
married (first) Elizabeth Desler, and had the
following children: Mordecai, Thomas, Ber-
nard, Elizabeth. For his second wife he mar-
ried Catharine Filkins, and has the following
children: Isaac, Benjamin, •' Catharine, John,
Joseph, Abraham, Sarah, Samuel and Stephen.
— Benjamin Hicks'' married Deborah Doty,
and had the following children: Elias, Joseph,
Benjamin,^ David, Amy, Elizabeth, Sarah,
Deborah, and Annie. — Benjamin Hicks ^ mar-
ried Hannah Couse, and had the following
children: Samuel, Ury, George, Annie, Ed-
ward, Asa, Zadieann, Perry, Elizabeth, Cath-
arine, and Benjamin.'' — Samuel Hicks married
Eliza Ann Link, and had the following chil-
dren: Emily, Willard W. (our subject), Esther,
Jasper, Irving, and Samuel E. — Willard W.
Hicks married Fannie H. Smith, daughter of
Egbert Smith, a well-known citizen of Pine
Plains, and has had two children: Iduma E.
and Emma Z.

Our subject is one of the leading residents
of the town of Pine Plains, Dutchess county,
and was born May i8, 1844, in the town of
Milan, near Fayetteville. Until the age of
eighteen he attended the district schools of that
neighborhood, and then spent one term at the
little Nine Partners School at Millbrook. At
nineteen he taught a term of four months in
the Bartlett district, town of Milan, also a
winter term in his home district, and the fol-
lowing year he spent nearly two terms as a stu-
dent at Charlotteville, Schoharie county, to
further prepare himself for the work of teach-
ing. In this calling he was very successful,
having natural talent and inclination for it,
and he became known as one of the leading
educators of the locality. He taught three
successive terms at home, several years in the
Germain district, two terms in the Carroll dis-
trict, in the town of Stanford, and one in Mt.
Ross district, but he has also given his atten-
tion toother pursuits. In the summers of 1865
and 1866 he was engaged in carpentering, and
he has followed this trade intermittingly since
that time. Since 1873, the year of his mar-
riage, he has owned and cultivated a farm of
153 acres in the western part of the town of
Pine Plains, to which he added ninety-six acres
more in 1883. He is quite extensively engaged
as a dealer in sheep and cattle, Michigan sheep
being his preference on account of their thrift,
hardiness, quiet and orderly inclinations. From

that State he has brought many car-loads to
his locality, where at all times he finds a ready
market. He is also engaged somewhat as an
auctioneer, and has the credit of succeeding in
securing first-class prices for goods which he
sells. He says his motto is "Better wear out
than rust out," and that he has no affinity with
idleness or inactivity — "God helps him who
helps himself."

Mr. Hicks is a director in the Farmers Mu-
tual Insurance Company, of Milan, Pine Plains
and Stanford townships. As a well-read man,
versed in legal forms, he is often engaged by
his neighbors to draw up contracts, leases,
deeds, mortgages, wills, and other papers, and,
as may well be supposed, he is a very busy
man. Enterprising in private business he is no
less so in public affairs; and, having in mind
the difficulties with which he contended in gain-
ing his education, he has been especially active
in the interests of the local schools, serving as
trustee for a number of years. On national
questions he has always been a stanch supporter
of the Democratic party, but in local matters
he votes independently, choosing the best man.
He has been town assessor for five years. He
and his wife are leading members of the Chris-
tian Church of West Pine Plains, in which Mr.
Hicks holds the office of deacon.

__ name of Velie is a reminder of the early
days to any one familiar with the history of
the development of Dutchess county, the an-
cestors of this respected Holland-Dutch family
having been pioneer settlers in the town of La-
grange. Minard B. Velie, the grandfather of
the lady whose name appears at the opening
of this sketch, was born and educated in that
town, and at an early age engaged in agricult-
ural pursuits, which he continued throughout
his life. He married Miss Mary Baldwin, and
had seven children: Isaac, who married Pam-
alie Wheeler; Baltus, who remained single;
Mary A., who never married; Richard, our
subject's father; Susan (Mrs. Elias Tompkins);
Carrie, the wife of Peter Pells; and Phoebe
(Mrs. John Losee).

Richard Velie was born in the town of La-
grange, and after receiving an education in the
common schools of that town, he engaged in
farming, as had his father before him. His
wife, Rebecca Traver, was a daughter of
David and Catherine (Pells) Traver, who were



prominent among the agricultural residents of
the town of Rhinebeck, Dutchess county. Of
their two children, our subject was the elder.
The younger, Phoebe R. , was born and edu-
cated in the town of Unionvale, and has never

Mrs. Mar}' J. Traver was also a native of
the town of Unionvale, and her education was
obtained in the common schools of that local-
ity. She married (first) Albert Ingraham, a
farmer of the same locality. They had no
children. By a second marriage, to Herbert
L. Traver, also a farmer and well-known citi-
zen of Unionvale. she has one son, Arthur E.

Another branch of the Velie family in this
section traces its descent from William Velie,
who lived and died in the town of Lagrange,
Dutchess county, where his son, Baltus, was
born February 19, 17S5. The latter also
passed his life in that town and died there May
25, 1 87 1. His early years were spent upon
his father's farm with the common-school ad-
vantages of that time, and later he learned the
details of tanning and shoemaking at Pleasant
\'alley, Dutchess county, but his main business
throughout his active career was agriculture.
He owned an excellent farm, upon which he
built a comfortable residence and other build-
ings. He was a self-made man and a good
citizen, taking a hearty interest in public ques-
tions; the Whig party received his support
until the Republican organization was formed,
when he became one of its steadfast adherents.
He was married at Pleasant \'alley to Miss
Nancy Losee, a lady of French descent, who
was a devoted member of the Presbyterian
Church. Ten of the fourteen children of this
union have joined the silent majority, and
their names with dates of birth and death are
as follows: Simon, July 12, 1808 — Novem-
ber 4, 1876; Hepsibeth, April 5, 1807 — March

14, 1867; Egbert, December 12, 1809, died
in childhood; Zacheus, March 12, 181 1 — June
29, 1885; Eliza Ann, March 21, 18 13 — -July

15, 1849, (married John Pells); Catherine,
June 4, 1815 — November 16, 1851. (married
Jacob Baker); Jacob O., February 26, 1817
— 1829; Mary Rebecca, August 26, 1819 —
August 2, 1869; Alonzo B., July 8, 1822 —
February 26, 1896; Isaac, January 5, 1825 —
October 16, 1829. Four of the family are
still living: William Morris, December 31,
1826, resides on Main street, Poughkeepsie;
William J., May 17, 1829; Susan Jeannette,
March 29, 1831, is mentioned below, and

George Edward, September 28, 1833, lives at

Susan J. Velie was married January 28,
1857, to John Henry Brinkerhoff, who was
born in the town of Fishkill, Dutchess county,
in September, 1835, son of John H. Brinker-
hoff, a prominent agriculturist residing in Dow
Point. Mr. Brinkerhoff's boyhood was spent
in his native town, and on learning the car-
penter's trade he settled in business there, re-
maining until 1869, when he moved with his
family to Lagrange, where they lived for sev-
eral years. The only son, Clarence \., was
educated at Leslie's private school at Pough-
keepsie, and became a pharmacist in that city,
first with Strickler (SiSwartz, and later with A.
M. Doty. On January 28, 1891, he wedded
Miss Stella ^'an ^^■yck, daughter of Abram C.
Van Wyck, and granddaughter of James Van-
Wyck, of Unionvale. Two children were
born of this union: George, March 11, 1892;
and Frank Raymond, January 14, 1894.

JOHN REDMAN, an enterprising and pros-
perous business man of Fishkill-on-Hud-
son, is one of the leading plumbers of the
county, and a member of the New York State
Master Plumbers' Association, also of the
National Plumbers' Association. His exten-
sive establishment at Fishkill contains a show
room fitted up with all the latest appliances for
gas, steam, and hot water plumbing, and for
arrangement and workmanship it will compare
favorably with any in the United States.

Robert Redman, our subject's father, was
a native of Bradford, Yorkshire, England, and
followed the occupation of a plumber. He
married Rhoda Jennings, who was a descend-
ant on the maternal side of an old and well-
known family, the Ogdens. To their union
were born two children: Susanna, who mar-
ried John Horrocks, and resided in Fishkill,
where she died in November, 1S95; and John,
our subject. The father died in 1842.

John Redman, our subject, was born in
Bradford, Yorkshire, England, in 1839, and
was baptized in Haworth Church by Charlotte
Bronte's father. He was left fatherless at the
age of three years, and received but little
schooling, his attendance being limited to
half-days from his ninth to his twelfth year,
the other half of his time being spent in work-
ing in a factory. From twelve to fifteen he
was employed full time in a woolen-factory,





and then he began to learn the plumbing busi-
ness, receiving seventy-five cents per week
during his apprenticeship. He worked at his
trade in different shops until 1870, when he
came to America, and, in 1 871, he opened a
shop in Fishkill, which he carried on with
gratifying success. In 1895 he built his pres-
ent show room, with a workshop adjoining
show room, that are considered models in con-
struction, fitting and arrangement.

In 1864 Mr. Redman married Miss Susan
Taylor, daughter of John and Jemima Taylor.

Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoCommemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York → online text (page 85 of 183)