J.H. Beers & Co.

Commemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York online

. (page 90 of 183)
Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoCommemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York → online text (page 90 of 183)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


March 6, 1893, at the ripe old age of eighty-
one years. He was a Republican in politics,
and an honored veteran of the Civil war. The
war record of the family is one of which they
may be justly proud, four of its members enter-
ing the Union army to defend the country in
its hour of peril. Although over fifty years of
age, the father enlisted in Company A, 150th
N. Y. V. I., in which he faithfully served until
the close of the war; while of his sons, Sey-
mour was a member of the 13th Connecticut;
Albert, of the 48th New York, and Lewis of
the 2nd Massachusetts regiment.

The mother died June 13, 1896, at the age
of eighty years, while she looked to be not over
sixty. She was the daughter of Hezekiah and
Lydia (Perry) Lewis (the former a native of
Connecticut, the latter of Amenia, Dutchess
county), and was the third in a family of six
children, all now deceased. They were Sarah,
wife of John Church; Louisa, wife of Calvin
Day; Abigail, wife of Norman Bates; Lydia
Ann (unmarried); and Catherine, wife of Will-
iam McArthur. Her father, who was a soldier
in the war of 1812, always lived in the town of
Amenia, where he followed the trade of a car-
penter. Her grandfather, Joseph Lewis, was
a resident of Great Barrington, Mass., and
a Revolutionary soldier, faithfully serving
throughout the entire struggle for independ-
ence.



IRGIL G. WINANS. one of the most
__ energetic and enterprising agriculturists
of the town of Stanford, Dutchess county,
where he operates a good farm, is a native of
the county, born in Pine Plains, Februar}' 15,
1S67, the only son of Seymour and Caroline
A. (Guernsey) Winans. He obtained his early
education in the district schools near his home,
later attending the Seymour Smith Institute,
in the village of Pine Plains.

Mr. Winans began life for himself, in 1888,



462



COMMEMORATIVE BJOORAPEWAL RECORD.



on the Desault Guernsey farm, where he has
since resided, and has placed the land under a
high state of cultivation. On June 7, 1893,
he was united in marriage with Miss Susie
Conklin, a daughter of Isaac P. Conklin, of
the town of Washington, Dutchess county.
Mr. Winans is a prominent member of Stan-
ford Grange. Although yet a young man, he
is rapidly growing into the esteem and respect
of his neighbors, and bids fair, in the near
future, to assume a prominent and influential
position in the community.

Calvin P. Guernsey, his maternal grand-
father, was born in the town of Stanford, No-
vember I, iSii, and was a son of E/;ekiel
Guernsey. His boyhood days were spent upon
the home farm, near Hunns Lake, and in the
district schools of the neighborhood he secured
his education. He studied medicine with Dr.
Haight, in the town of Clinton, Dutchess
county, and also with Dr. Peter Guernsey, of
New York City. After practicing for some
time at Clinton Corners he removed to Schultz-
ville, Dutchess count}', but finally returned to
the town of Clinton, where he continued in
successful practice up to his death, which oc-
curred December 3, 1855.

On October 30, 1839, in the town of Clin-
ton, Dr. Guernsey was married to Miss Louisa
A. Arnold, who was born May 5, 1822, and
died December 4, 1853. They became the
parents of two children, namely: Welcome
A., who was born March 4, 1841, married
Laura Morris, of New York City, and died
January 22, 1867; and Caroline A. (mother of
our subject), who was born June 29, 1846, and,
December 7, 1864, became the wife of Sey-
mour Winans. Since i860 she has been a
faithful member of the Baptist Church, and is
a most estimable lady. Her mother was the
daughter of Welcome Arnold, who was born
September 11, 1783, and died October 2,
1 88 1. He wedded Mary Rowe, by whom he
had three children (all now deceased), namely:
Archibald H. K., Melinda, and I^ouise. The
mother was born November 27, 1788, and de-
parted this life March 24, 1876.



GEORGE HENRY SWIET, one of the
representative and highly respected busi-
ness inen and farmers of the town of
Amenia, Dutchess county, is descended from
William Swift, who came from England in the
great Boston immigration of 1630-1631. He



was born in the county of Esse.x, England,
and on his arrival in Massachusetts located at
Watertown. In 1637, however, he sold his
possessions there, and removed to Sandwich,
Mass., on the cape, where he purchased the
largest farm in the locality, which is to-day
still owned and occupied by his lineal de-
scendants. In his family were three children:
William, Hannah and Esther.

William Swift, the son, was born in Eng-
land, and accompanied his father to America.

He married Miss Ruth , by whom he had

eleven children: Hannah, William, Jireh,
Josiah, Temperance, Esther, Dinah, Ephraim,
Samuel, Ruth and Mary. Ephraim Swift was
born at Sandwich, June 6, 1656, and died in
January, 1742. By occupation he was a car-
penter and cooper. He married Miss Sarah

-, who died in August, 1734, and to them

were born seven children: Elizabeth, Johann,
Samuel, Ephraim, Sarah, Hannah and Moses.
Samuel Swift, the third son, was born at
Sandwich, Mass., April 9, 1686, and by trade
became a carpenter and blacksmith, which
pursuits he followed up to his death in Decem-
ber, 1757. At Falmouth, Mass., December
24, 17 1 2, he had married Miss Ruth Hatch,
and they became the parents of nine children:
Ephraim, Manasseh, Judah. Reuben, Moses,
Mary, Joanna, Joan and Lydia.

Judah Swift, the third child of the above
family, was born at Sandwich, September 3,
1 7 16, and December 14, 1738, was united in
marriage with Miss Elizabeth Morton, of Fal-
mouth, Mass., where they continued to reside
until 1769. In that year the}' became resi-
dents of Dutchess county, traveling the entire
distance to Amenia with an ox-team. Mr.
Swift there purchased what is now known as
the Barlow farm; but desiring a larger tract,
he e.xchanged it for the farm now owned by
Nathan W. Smith. He became one of the
most extensive land owners of the county,
owning at the time of his death (January 17,
1807) 1,800 acres of valuable land. Politic-
ally he was a Torj'. In his family were eight
children: Lois, Samuel, Nathaniel, Moses,
Rebecca, Seth, Elizabeth and Moses.

Seth Swift, the sixth of the family, was
the grandfather of our subject. He was born
at Falmouth, Mass., March 16, 1757, and died
November 12, 1823. He erected a house upon
a portion of his father's vast estate, and there
continued to carry on agricultural pursuits until
his death. In 1782 he wedded Mary Wells,



COMMEMORATIVE BIOORAPHWAL RECORD.



463



by whom he had six children: Henry, Moses,
E. Morton, Ann W. , Maria and Thomas.

Henry Swift, the father of our subject,
was born in the town of Amenia February 5,
17S4, and, after attending the district school
near his home, entered Yale College, where he
graduated in 1804. He then studied law with
Van Ness & Livingston, of Poughkeepsie, N.
Y. , and was admitted to the bar in 1807. He
began the practice of his chosen profession at
Washington Four Corners, in the town of
Washington, Dutchess county, where he re-
mained until December, 18 16, at which time he
removed his office to the three-story brick build-
ing opposite the Farmers' and Manufacturers'
Bank, Poughkeepsie, there successfully engag-
ing in practice until his death, November 5,
1866. From 1 84 1 until called from this life he
resided inthe house now occupied by Dr. A. P.
Van Gieson, on Cannon street. Socially, he
was identified with the Masonic fraternity, and
held a high position in the regard of his fellow
citizens. At Poughkeepsie, July 23, 1807, he
married Rebecca Warner, who was born there
June 26, 1785, a daughter of Thomas and
Alida ^^'arner, and died October 7, 1855. In
their family were the following children :
Charles Wells, born June 27, 1812, died No-
vember 19, 1877; Maria, born September 22,
1814, died June 2, 1841; John Morton, born
September 18, 1816, died April 3, 1887; George
Henry, of this sketch, is next in order of birth;
Frances, born November 29, 1821, died No-
vember 13, 1887, and James Harvey, born
April 23, 1825, died September 27, 1889.

George Henry Swift, the only one of his
father's family now living, was born at the
famih' residence on Market street in Pough-
keepsie, February 8, 1820, and acquired his
early education at the Dutchess County Acad-
emy, and at Judge Hall's private school, Elling-
ton, Conn. , while he completed his literary
course at Yale College, entering in 1837 and
graduating in 1840. Returning to Poughkeep-
sie, he began the study of law in the office of
his father, and was admitted to the bar at
Utica, N. Y. , in 1843. He at once began the
practice of his profession at Poughkeepsie in
connection with his father and brother, Charles
W., and there remained until the spring of
1846, when he sold out to them and came to
the town of Amenia, for one year making his
home with his brother John. He then pur-
chased the farm on which he has since lived,
devoting his attention mainly to agricultural



pursuits, though he still engages in the prac-
tice of law to a limited extent. He is now
president of and attorney for the First Na-
tional Bank of Amenia. A conscientious,
earnest Christian gentleman, he has for many
years served as local preacher of the Methodist
Episcopal Church at Amenia Union, and in all
the relations of life he has faithfully discharged
his duties to himself, his neighbor and his
country.

On January 28, 1844, at Poughkeepsie,
Mr. Swift married Emily Eddy Babcock,
daughter of Elder Rufus Babcock, pastor of
Lafayette Place Baptist Church, and they had
one son, Rufus Eddy, who was born October
25, 1844, and died July 3, 1870. The wife
and mother departed this life November 5,
1844. At Amenia, March 17, 1847, Mr. Swift
was again married, his second union being
with Pamela Forrest Paine, daughter of Har-
vey and Hannah Paine, of that place. Six
children graced this union: Emily Eddy, born
January 21, 1848, died June 20, 1855; Eliza-
beth R., born July 23, 1849, is the wife of
Samuel L. Brengle, of New York City, a ma-
jor in the Salvation Army, and they have two
children — George S. and Elizabeth S. ; George
P., born March 26, 1851, died November 19,
1864; Harvey W. , born July 23, 1855, died
December 10, 1864; Maria R., born May 12,
i860, died November 29, 1864, and Susan F. ,
born July 10, 1862, graduated at Vassar in
1883, and is now a brigadier in the Salvation
Army, and stationed at National headquarters.
New York City. The mother of this family
passed away June 20, 1896.

Politically, Mr. Swift is a Republican, and
in 1854, at Washington Hollow, he took a
prominent part in the mass meeting that organ-
ized the Republican party in Dutchess county,
and he has ever been one of its active sup-
porters. He has efficiently served as super-
visor and clerk, but has never been an office-
seeker.



ATHAN SMITH, a reliable and energetic
business man of Dutchess county, is now
successfully conducting a general store at
Amenia Union, where since 1891 he has effi-
ciently served as postmaster. A native of the
county, he was born in the town of Amenia,
April 21, 1848, and is a son of John H. and
Maria (Reed) Smith. His father, who was a
well-known wagon maker of Amenia, traces his



4C>4



COHMEMOEATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



ancestn' back to Nehemiah Smith, who came
to this counin" from England some time before
1637. He married Annie Bourne, and their
onlv son, who also bore the name of Nehemiah,
married Lydia Winchester. Their son Nehe-
miah married Dorothy Wheeler, by whom he
had twelve children, the seventh being Isaac,
who wedded Esther Denison. Of their family
of eleven children. William was the ninth in
order of birth. He married Sarah Smith, and
to them were bom eleven children, Nathan
Smith, the seventh, being the grandfather of
our subject. By his marriage with Nancy
Waterman, he had five children, of whom John
H. was the youngest.

At the public schools of Wassaic. our sub-
ject acquired his education, and at the age of
eighteen jxars he began working on the farm
of Homer Hitchcock. The following winter
he passed at Schenectady, N. Y. , after which
he returned to Dutchess county and was em-
ployed on the farm of his uncle, Nathan W.
Smith, for a year. Subsequently he clerked
for two and a half years for Oliver Chamber-
lain, and was again with his uncle Nathan for
three years. Four years later he spent in farm-
ing at Cornwall Bridge. Conn. In 1S72 he
married Miss Josephine L. Hufcut. a daughter
of William Hufcut. of the town of Dover.
Dutchess county, and by her had one daughter.
Josephine. The wife and mother was called
to her final rest in 1875, and in the spring of
1S77 Mr. Smith was married at Amenia to
Miss Sarah Barrett, and they have one son,
Nathan Collins.

After his second marriage, Mr. Smith went
to Poughkeepsie township, Dutchess county,
where for two years he operated the farm of
Lawyer Weeks, and on his return to Amenia
town he conducted his uncle's farm for two
years. He was next superintendent of D. H.
Sherman's farm for a year, and the following
four years he rented land of W. A. Sherman.
On leaving that place he purchased the Jacob
Rundall farm, between Amenia and Wassaic,
where he made his home for three years, and
at the end of that time sold out to A. E. Hall.
In the spring of 1SS9. he purchased of A. D.
Buckley the old Lambert store at Amenia
Union, and has since engaged in general mer-
chandising at that place, carr^nng a large and
well-selected stock. His courteous treatment
of his customers, and his systematic methods of
doing business, have won for himself a liberal
patronage, so that he now enjoys a lucrative



trade. Politically, he supports the men and
measures of the Republican party, and is promi-
nently connected with Webatuck Grange, while
in religious belief he is a Baptist, being a lead-
ing member of the Church of that denomina-
tion at Amenia.



WRIGHT DEVINE, the efficient post-
master of Pleasant Valley, Dutchess

county, who, in relation to the village, has
largely promoted its interests and supported
all measures calculated to prove of public
benefit, was bom December 13, 1S38, in that
locality.

In the early Colonial days there came from
Holland to .\merica the founder of the family
in the New World. He was the great-grand-
father of our subject, and his son, the grand-
father. Abram Devine. was bom in New Jer-
sey. The latter married Ann Devine, and
located on a farm in the town of Pleasant
Valley, where he reared a family of seven chil-
dren, as follows: Daniel, a farmer of Pleasant
Valley; Abel, who carried on agricultural pur-
suits in the town of Washington; Jonathan,
father of our subject; Joshua, also a farmer of
Washington ; Phctbe, who married Abram Van-
Vlack, a farmer of Dutchess county; Nancy,
who married William Welling, of Dutchess
county; Joel, a physician of Poughkeepsie.
Grandfather Devine made farming his lifework
and died on the old homestead in 1850, a life-
long Democrat, his wife passing away some
years previous.

Jonathan Devine, the father of our subject,
was bom and reared on the old home place,
and became a shoemaker by trade. In 1827
he married Catherine Van Mack, a native of
Dutchess county, and a daughter of Andrew
and Elizabeth \'an Vlack, the former of whom
was also descended from Holland ancestry.
Mr. and Mrs. Devine took up their residence
upon a farm in the town of Pleasant Valley,
and reared a family of ten children: Abram and
Albert, who follow farming in Pleasant Valley;
Marj- E. . deceased; Sarah J.: Bartlett, who
operates the old homestead: Reuben C, a
farmer of Lagrange township; Erastus and
Theodore, both deceased: Anna E. . wife of E.
C Drake, a merchant of Pleasant Valley; and
Wright. The father died October 3, 1881. at
the age of eighty-four, the mother on October
29, 1890. aged eighty-one years. He was a
Democrat in politics, and for thirty years



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



465



served acceptably as justice of the peace, dis-
charging his duties in a highly creditable and
satisfactory manner.

Throughout his life Wright Devine, our
subject, has lived in Pleasant Valley. Farm
work and study in the public schools occupied
most of his time during childhood, and after
leaving the district school he engaged in teach-
ing in the town of Lagrange for one year.
He afterward continued his education in the
Nine Partners School, and later resumed teach-
ing, after which he was employed as a sales-
man in a general mercantile store at Four Cor-
ners. His ne.xt service was in the employ of
a fire insurance company, which he repre-
sented in Ulster county. He is now serving
as postmaster of Pleasant Valley, to which
position he was appointed by President Cleve-
land, and his administration of the affairs of
the office commends him to the respect and
confidence of all. He has been justice of the
peace some twelve years, and town clerk for
several years. Mr. Devine was married Sep-
tember lo, 1866, to Miss Julia M. Way, daugh-
ter of James Way, a carpenter, and they have
two children: Grace E. and Seward W. The
mother died in 1893, a devout member of St.
Paul's Church.

In the spring of i S67 Mr. Devine, in con-
nection with his brother Albert, purchased his
present store, and after a partnership of two
years became sole proprietor. He is an enter-
prising, progressive merchant, and his large
and carefully selected stock receives the pat-
ronage of the public in a liberal degree. Mr.
Devine is never too busy to devote a portion
of his time to the public welfare. He was
largely instrumental in building the sidewalks
in Pleasant Valley village, and is interested in
all that pertains to the upbuilding of the com-
munity. In religious faith he attends St.
Paul's Church, of which he is vestryman and
treasurer. Socially, he is a member of the
order of F. & A. M. , and for two years was
master of Shekomeko Lodge No. 458, and he
is now treasurer of that lodge. His innate
nobility of character, and his devotion to every
manly principle, have made him one of the
most highly esteemed residents of Pleasant
Valley.

EDWIN BROWN, a well-known artist, re-
: siding near Rhinebeck, Dutchess county,

finds much of the inspiration for his beautiful
landscapes in the picturesque scenery which

30



surrounds his home. His farm had been in
the possession of his family for several gen-
erations.

Bastian Brown, great-grandfather of our
subject, and who was one of three brothers
who came from Holland about 1730, leased a
large tract of land from Col. Beekman soon
after his arrival, and a portion of it comprises
Mr. Brown's present estate. Bastian Brown
married Margaret Schultz, and had three chil-
dren: Peter (our subject's grandfather), Elea-
nor, and John. Peter Brown married Eleanor
Paulding, and settled at the old homestead.
Si.x children were born of this union: Sebas-
tian (our subject's father), John (who died in
childhood), Margaret (Mrs. Camp, of Newark,
N. J.), William and Edwin (who never mar-
ried), and Abigail (who married James Clear-
man, of New York).

Sebastian Brown was born at the old farm
in 1795. He married Eliza Bard, a daughter
of Anthony Bard, a prominent butcher of
Rhinebeck. He was a native of Germany,
and the name of the family was originally
Barth. For some years after their marriage
our subject's parents lived upon a farm in
Hyde Park, but in 1844 they returned to the
old homestead, where they spent their remain-
ing years. They had eight children: Peter,
a painter in Rhinebeck; Helen (deceased),
formerly the wife of Harry Wheeler, a carpen-
ter; Emily, who married Levi Baker, a mer-
chant; Eliza (deceased); Lewis, a carpenter
(now deceased); Edwin, our subject; John C,
a resident of Rhinebeck; and Henry H., who
lives in Philadelphia. The mother of our sub-
ject died September i, 1850, the father on Oc-
tober 21, 1883. He had been a Whig in his
younger days, later becoming an adherent of
the Republican party, and still later voting the
Prohibition ticket.

The subject of this sketch was born De-
cember 21, 1833, in the town of Hyde Park,
and he was eleven years old when his parents
moved to the homestead, where he has since
resided. He was married, July 7, 1863, to
Miss Geraldine F. Pultz, a daughter of the
late Philip Pultz, a prosperous butcher of the
town of Rhinebeck. They have had five chil-
dren: Nettie married David L. Parliman;
Emily is at home; Charles H. married Augusta
Pless, and lives in New York; Robert B. is at
home; and Mabel died in childhood. The-
early generations of his family adhered to the
Reformed Dutch Church, but our subject and



im



COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.



his wife are members of the Metfiodist Church.
In every movement for the educational or
social improvement of the community they
take deep interest, and they are prominent
supporters of the temperance cause, Mr. Brown
giving his vote of late years to the Prohibi-
tion party.



TOHN L. HAMMOND, an honored and
I worthy representative of one of the pioneer

families of Dutchess county, is a true type
of the energetic and progressive farmers of the
present day. He is a native of the county,
his birth having taken place in the town of
Northeast, August 7, 1850, and he is a son of
James Hammond, who was born in the town
of Washington, January 31, 1810.

Benjamin Hammond, paternal grandfather
of our subject, was of English lineage, and be-
came a leading farmer of the town of Wash-
ington. By his marriage with Anna Fitch, he
had si.\ children, namely: Cyrus, a farmer of
Washington town; John, who also engaged in
farming in that township, but died in Niagara
county, N. Y. ; Isaac, who was a harness
maker of this locality, and died unmarried;
James, the father of our subject; Andrew B.,
also an agriculturist of Washington town; and
Lydia, wife of Nathaniel Lockwood, a farmer
of the same township.

After reaching man's estate James Ham-
mond married Lucinda B. Washburn, a native
of Erie county, N. Y. , and a daughter of Sol-
omon Washburn, who was of English descent,
and a blacksmith by trade. They began their
domestic life upon a farm in the town of
Northeast, where they reared their four chil-
dren, who in order of birth are as follows:
Anna M. is the wife of Calvin Bryan, a farmer
of the town of Northeast; Henry C. died un-
married in 1872; James E. spent his life on
Wall street, New York, and died in the town
of Stanford, Dutchess county; and John L. is
the subject of this review. Throughout his
entire life the father carried on the occupation
of farming, and was quite prominent in politic-
al circles, being a leader in the Republican
party in his communitj'. In 1847-48 he was
a member of the General Assembly of New
York, and he held many minor offices, being
sheriff of Dutchess county in 1859-60-61. Re-
ligiously he was a member of the Friends
Church, to which his widow also belongs. His
death occurred in 1867.



Our subject received the benefits of a good
common-school education, and was otherwise
fitted for the battle of life. On attaining his
majority he left the parental roof, going to
Buffalo, N. Y., where for two years he was
employed by R. L. Howard in the Howard
Iron Works; in 1872, however, he returned to
tHe farm in the town of Northeast, where he
remained until 1883, when he removed to his
present farm. It comprises 170 acres of rich
and arable land, and besides general farming
he is also extensively engaged in the dairy
business, which proves to him a profitable
source of income.

Mr. Hammond was married, in 1877, to
Miss Josephine M. Bertine, who was born in
New York City, a daughter of Robert and
Mary Bertine. The family is of French origin.
Two sons have been born of this union: James
E. and Robert B. Mr. and Mrs. Hammond
are members in good standing of the Reformed
Church, and number their friends by the score
in that locality. He uniform!}' votes the Re-
publican ticket, and has materially assisted in
the progress and development of the country
around him.



CHARLES J. VAN WYCK, a leading under-
taker of the town of Unionvale, Dutchess
county, is a worthy representative of a family
that has long been identified with the inter-
ests of the county. He is descended from
Cornelius Van Wyck, who was born and edu-
cated in the town of Beekman, and when the
Revolution broke out he entered the Continen-
tal army and was made captain of his com-
pany. At the time of his enlistment, in 1776,
he was living at Green Haven, Dutchess
county. He proved a brave and fearless



Online LibraryJ.H. Beers & CoCommemorative biographical record of Dutchess County, New York → online text (page 90 of 183)