William S. (William Smith) Pelletreau.

Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and family history of New York (Volume 1) online

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merchant and pi-omincnt man. On ]\lay 11, 171(i, he married
Catherine Boele. Of several children, the only one who sur-
vived was Jannettie (or Jane), who was l)aptised Xoveml)ei-
23, 1720.

Among other jiositions held hy Jacol) Goelet was that of
"Sworn Interjn-eter of tlie Dutch Lang-uage." The descendants
of the ancient Dutch families continued to write their wills in
that language down to a comparatively late date, and the rec-
ords of them in the New York Surrogate's office are certified
as translated 1)y Jacob Goelet. The residence of Jacob Goelet
in New York was the south corner of Broadway and ^Morris
street, which was anciently called "Beaver Lane." Here there
were formerly three or four small houses and lots, all of which,
including the house of Jacob (Joelet, were torn down long years
ago, and the hotel, known as the "Stevens House," now stands
in their place.

Jannettie (or Jan'e Goelet, as she was afterwards called)
married John Dies, July 28, 1743. Of John Dies but little is
]iositively known. He is said to have been a ship cajitain, and
traded with the West Indies. He is also said to have l)een a
major in the British army, and deserted from it and fled to
("atskill as a remote and safe retreat from the pursuei's. All
that is known with certainty is that his father-in-law, Jacob
Goelet, was at one time a merchant in Catskill, and probably
John Dies went with him, and turned out to be an extravagant
man, lacking in jirudence, and was chai'ged with still worse
faults. Jacol) (Joelet in his will dated July 9, 1768, leaves his
]!ro]:erty to his daughter, but takes sjiecial care to place it in



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the liauds dt" trustees, to prevent its coiniiiii- into the hands of
his son-in-Unv, John Dies, "of whose prudence 1 have uo o]jin-
ion." Jaco):) Goelet probably died soon after, but the date is
not known. V \nn\ tlie property at C'atskill, .John Dies erected
a mansion that was long famous, and was an elegant and ex-
pensive specimen of Colonial architecture. It was erected in
1763, and was built of sandstone, with corners of freestone.
It had laige wide halls extending from back to front, tine stair-
cases, deep wide fireplaces, large and square rooms with very
high ceilings, and presented a very striking contrast to the low
Dutch houses in the vicinity. It stood on a tract of about five
acres, bounded east by the highway, now known as Main street,
and on the south and west by Catskill creek. Its exact location
was about a hundred feet north of the foot of Green street.
The immense chimney of a tile making establishment now stands
on its site. It was very near the side of the creek. After the
death of Jane Dies, this elegant mansion became sadly neg-
lected, but could not fall into decay. It was occupied as a tene-
ment, later as a school, and as a private dwelling. While it
was a tenement it was occupied by the family of Thurlow "Weed,
once so prominent in the political affairs of the State, whose
father, Joel Weed, was a village cartman in Catskill. In its
early days it was i)opularly known as "Dies' Folly," and in
later years was known liy the irreverent title of the "Stone
Jug." It was torn down in 1897, having stood for one hundred
and lliirty-four years. Its massive walls required the use of
dj'namite to destroy them. It was a tradition that in a small
room in the attic next to a chimney, John Dies was concealed
by his wife, when British soldiers were in the vicinity.

Jane Dies, or as she was miiversally known, "Madame
Dies," was a lady of superior mind, and greatly esteemed by all
who knew her. Her tombstone, which is now standing in a

(iEXEALOaiCAL AM) FAMllA lilsroHY I'.'l

private burying grouiid on the Du Bois estate, hears the in-
scription :

In nieniury of .Iniic l)ii's, wife of .luhn Dies,

AVlio departed tliis life the 5th of March.

1799, aged 7S years.

See here slie rests free from all care

The world no more to mind

Bnt mounts up to her Saviour deai'

Hei' sui-e and faitliful Friend.

Tn Till' PdcLct, a newsjtaper ])rin(:ed hy Mackay Croswell,
in the numl)er dated Alarch 9. 1799, apjiears tlie following
notice: "Died on Tuesday last, (March 5th), Mrs. dane I>ies
of this town, aged seventy-eiglit years. Her virtues, piety, l)e-
nevolence and cliarity have heen equalled by very few."

The date of her husl)and's death is unknown, Init it was be-
fore 1773. Their children were: 1. Matthew, I)orn ^^fay 13,
1744. 2. Catharine, boi'n Februai'y -Jfi, 174(i. (She mai-ried
John H. Du Bois, July 17. 1S04. For lier descendants see
sketcli of Du Bois family.) .".. dacoh (Joelet, horn February 19,
1748, died in Canada. 4. daiie, horn Se])temher I'S, 1759 (mar-
ried Jolm J. Du Bois, son of Isaac Du Bois, 17S()). 5. John,
born September 14. 17(il (died unmarried at (iilhoa. alxmt

Afatthew Dies man-ied Fve. daughter of doliamu^s \'an
Ijoan and Jeannette \'an \'(ilkenherg. They had children: John.
(who lived at Gilljoa and died unmarried, aged ninety-six ) ; dane,
born AFarch 19, 17n8. died .\ugust -J!*, 1840, (she married. Feb-
ruary '2'.->, 1791. Isaac \'an Loan, captain and owner of the pas-
senger sloo]) " Delawai'e") ; Rebecca; Lydi:i : .Matthew, horn
Api-il 29, 1778 (died in Canada^; Christini. hoiii SeptemluT 1.
1784, (married Benjamin Faiming. and died at (iilhoa, .\ugust.
1816); Jacol), born .March 27. 1792, (died in Claryville. Sullivan



15, 1835, Anna Hoy. Their children were: Mary, Benjaniiu,
Nelson, "Walter Dies, John Tnttle, Harriet Clark, and Sarah
EHzal)eth. The two last are now livini - in Catskill, and have
many interesting relics of the family. Dr. Xelson Fanning was
a surgeon in the Union army, and a very prominent })hysician
in Catskill.

AinJAUAM \)V HO IS. ■ i

Ahralunu Du IJois is a worthy representative of one of the
(ildi'st JIngnenot families who wei-e among the first settlers of
the Hudson Kiver Valley. He was horn at the family homestead
in Harrington township, Bergen county, Xew Jersey, Jan-
uary "20, ]8o5, son of Henry Du Bois. The ancestors of the
latter were also among the early settlers of the lower Hudson
Valley, Powles Hoek, or Powles Ferry, which took its name
after the family, and was located at or near where the Jersey
City ferries aie now situated; it was the princi]ial landing on
the New Jersey sliore for the hoatmen and ferries coming from
New York.

Henry Du i^ois, horn June 17, I'^d.'!, at Tlster Landing, Ilar-
lington township. Bergen county. New Jersey, was left depend-
ent u})on his own efforts. His educational privilges heing lim-
ited, he was compelled to take u]) such em])loyment as could he
secured, and took \\\) hoating, which at that time was one of the
leading industries along the Hudson. By industr\- and perse-
verance he improved his opportunities and increased his capital.
Ahout 1840 he removed to New ^^)rk city, and hei-e hecame
engaged in the dock hnilding trade. In this nndeitaking lie met
with good success, and in 1845 associated himself with Isaac
Hendrix, under the firm name of Du Bois iS: Hendrix, who soon
Itecanie well and fa\'oral)ly known as the leading pioneer dock
huilders of New York city, the firm's name of Dn I'ois ^' Hen-


drix being e\'erywheie regarded as syiionyiuous with honest
business methods. The firm successfully continued until 1878,
when Air. l)u Bois ictired from active business pursuits.

in addition to the many duties devolving upon him in their
dock building business, Mr. Du Bois was interested in other
enterprises in New York city. He was for some time a member
of the board of directors of tlie St. Nicholas Fire Insurance
Company, and the Knickerbocker Bank, corner Fourteenth
street and Eighth avenue. Mr. Du Bois was a man possessed
of even and kind disposition and good temperament. He was
a stanch supporter of the ProhiI)ition i)arty. His moderate and
abstemious habits were no doubt conducive to his years of
longevity. He passed away July t, 1887, mourned by a large
circle of friends.

Henry Du Bois was married in Bergen county, New Jersey,
to Catherine Powles, born November 12, 1807, died October 8,
1878, a descendant of an old Colonial family. Of this marriage
were born a family of ten children, as follows: t. Jacob, who
married and resided in New York city, died there aged seventy
years. 2. John, who married and resided in New York city.
3. Rachel, who married Captain Fdward Skinner. 4. Abraham,
who died, aged one year. 5. Abraham (I'd), of this review.
6. Charles, who married and resided in Brooklyn. 7. Sarah
Ellen, who died in early childhood. 8. James, who married and
resides in Brooki^ii. f). Isaac Ilendrix, who died in early child-
hood. 10. Henry I]., of whom a sketch appears elsewhere in this
work. The mothei- of this family. Catherine ( I'owles) Du Bois,
})assed away October S, 1878. She was a most estimable lady of
the old school type, and, like her husband, had a wide circle of
friends, many of whom lost i)i her a generous benefactor at the
time of her death.

Abraham Du Bois, fourth sou and tifth child of ilenrv and


Cathci-hie (Powles) Dii Bois, was l)oni at tlie family homestead
ill Ilarriiigtou township, Bergeu county. New .Jersey, Jan-
nary 20, 18.'55. After having attended the schools of the Ninth
ward in Xew York city, and upon reaching the age of sixteen, he
liesan to learn the hookhinding trade with the Harper Brothers
of New York. Tlie work proving too confining for his liealth,
lie decided to take uj) outdoor work, and engaged in the dock-
huilding trade with his father. In lSo7, soon after liis marriage,
lie removed to Sus(|uehanna county. Pennsylvania, wliere he
resided for over nine years. In 18(57 he returned to New York
city, liaving lionght an interest in the firm of Du Bois ct Hen-
drix. He has since heen actively connected and identified with
the firm in all its various undertakings, namely: building docks
and bridges, and in its dredging contracts, the latter being their
chief line of enteri)rise at the present time. By his skill and
])ractical judgment, Mr. Du Bois has done much for the success
and advancement of the firm, which for some time was known as
Henry Du Bois tS: Sons. Noveml)er 25, 1898, the interests of the
firm were incorporated under the title of Henry Du Bois' Sons
Company, with Abraham Du Bois, president and treasurer;
Henry X. Du Bois, general manager and civil engineer; and
Edwin AY. Du Bois. vice-])resident and secretary.

Abraham Du Bois married, at Elizabethi)ort, New Jersey,
May 7. 1857. Alary B. Abnitgoinery, liorn September 25. 1836,
daughter of John and Elvira (Horton) AlontgomerA'. Of this
marriage were born six children: 1. Elvira, born April 25, 1858,
died Novem))tr 25. 1877. 2. IK'ai}- N., born in Susiiuehanna
county. Pennsylvania. January 27, 18(5(1; came with his parents
upon their removal to New York city, and here attended the
public school, and for two vears attended the College of the
City of New York. AVlien seventeen years of age he took up the
practical duties of life in the employ of Henry Du Bois & Sous,


and has since l)t'en connected with the finn and their successors
in various capacities. Since the incorporation of tlie firm of
Henry Du Bois' Sons &: C'ompany in 1898, he has acted as
genei'a! manager and chief engineer. He is a member of Lodge
Xo. 7o(), Free and Accepted ^fasons, of Brooklyn, and the Be-
nevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Lodge Xo. 22, of Brook-
lyn. He married, October IG, 1888, Irene ^lackey, Ijorn May 22,
18()4. daughter of William J. and Ella (King) :\rackey. Of this
marriage were boi'u four children: Edna, born August 4, 1889;
Irene, born September 23, 1890; Henry X., Jr., born Decem-
ber 25, 1893 ; and Agnes :\Iiriam, born August 29, 189(i. 3. Abra-
ham, died in infancy. 4. John, died in infancy. 5. Mary, died
in infancy. 6. Elliott C, born July 30, 1878, a graduate of the
Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. He married, January 23,
1906, Jessie Miller Van Wicklen, born Xovember 5, 1876, daugh-
ter of John Y. and Henrietta K. (Miller) A'an Wicklen. ]\[rs.
Du Bois died August 15, 1903.


Edwin W. Du Bois, vice-president and secretary of the,
Henry Du Bois Sons' Oomjjany. was born in X"ew Yoi'k city,
July 18, 1868. son of Charles and Emily A. (Wells) Du Bois,
and grandson of Henry and Catherine (Powles) Du Bois.

Charles Du Bois (father) was born in Flarrington townslii]),
Bergen county, Xew Jersey, April 1(5. 18;]7, died February 17.
lf)()L He received his educational training in the sclu)ols of
Xew York city, and at the age of sixteen entered a publisliing
lu)use in the city of Xew York, serving in a clerical capacity for
some time. Ca]>tain Du l>ois connnanded the steamer "Austin,"
one of the jMoneer Hudson river tow boats. In 1872, after hav-
ing pursued various occu])ati(ms foi' a numbei' of years, he be-
came associated with his father and others under the stvle of


Henry Dii Bois & 8ons, the firm having purchased tlie interests
of Tsaae Hendrix. deceased. (1iai"les Du Bois continued his con-
nection with the firm of Du Bois & Sons for several years, and
then became connected witli the firm of ^Torris & ("unnnings,
with whom he remained in tlie cai)acity of assistant superin-
tendent for a period of fifteen years. In 1878 lie again returned
to the employ of tlie firm with which his father was connected,
and remnined actively engaged up to the time of his death, Felj-
ruary 17. liXll. at which time he was president and treasurer of
the comi)aiiy. During the many years of his varied and ]irac-
tical career, Mr. Du Boi< acipiired a tliorough kiiowk^dge of the
various detiiils of the business in which his father had been so
many yeiirs engaged. He was president for two years of Dredge
Owners' Association, a l)ody of men re])resenting the dredging
companies throughout the country. Was also connected with
the F*ratt Oil Company. He was a useful and pub]ic-si)irited
citizen, a:id took an active part in all such enter])rises as tended
towards the good and welfare of the community in which he
resided. He held membership in the Carrol Park ^fethodist
Episco];;il church of Brooklyn, Xew York, and served as a mem-
be]' of the board of trustees for a nnmbei- of years, ^^r. Du
Bois was united in marriage to Emily A. Wells, born Septem-
ber 9, 1838. daughter of David and Sally (Curtiss) Wells. Three
children were the issue of tliis union: Sarah Frances, born Xo-
vember 1(). 18")7. died l)eceml)er L'5, 18(!l'. Minnie E., born Feb-
ruary 2(), 18()4 married A\'alter A. Miles, a resident of .Mt. \'er-
non. Xew York, and their children are: Ethel L.. Mildred I>. and
AValter Du liois. Edwin W., see forward.

Mdwin AY Du Bois ac(|uired an excellent English edncatii>n
in the public sclionis of Brooklyn. Xew York, graduating fi-om
the high school of the same borough. Cptm assuming the prac-
tical duties of life he at first engaged in stenographic work.


and later read law in the offices of Messrs. C'hainberlaia, Carter
aud Hornblower, ot" New York City. His next eni])loyinent was as
stenographer in the office of Angnst Behiiuiit tV' ('oni})any, lie
heing the first to operati' a typewriter and to hitrodnce modern
business methods in the office of that firm. At the expiration
of three months he was advanced to the position of private secre-
tary to the bite Angnst Behnont, serving- in that capacit>- for a
pei'iod of four years, and dnring liis entire connection with tlie
firm performed tlie duties assigned liim with ci'edit to himself
and to tlie satisfaction of the meml)ers couii)i'isiiig the firm.
Mr. Du I^ois accei»ted the i)osition of suiierintendeiit of the firm
of Henry Du Bois & Sons in 1887. serving as such until Feb-
ruary, ll'Ol, wlien, njion the incorporation of the Henry Du Bois
Sons' Com})any, he was elected to the position of vice-president
and secretary for the corpoi-ation, in which capacity he is serv-
ing at the })resent time. He is a member of executive board of
Association for Pi-otection of Commerce of the Port of New
York; member of Royal Arcamim and other fraternal and civic
organizations; a member of the AVillink Club of Flatl)ush, and
executive member of Glen's Club of Flatbnsh; also interested in
F]ati)ush Tax layers' Association.

Mr. Du Bois married, in Brooklyn, New Y'ork, Septem-
ber oO, 1893, Etta M. Beardsley, l)orn November (5, 1875, daugh-
ter of Frederick T. and Adelaide P. (Clark) Beardsley, of Con-
necticut. Their children ai'e: Howard, born Sei)tember 20,
189-1, died in infancy. Tjester B., born A])ril 2, 1897. Charles
F., born January 31, 1899. Air. Du Bois and his wife are charter
members of the Prospect Parlv Presbyterian church in Brook-
lyn. Mr. Du I'ois being president of board of trustees. They are
highly respected in the community in wliicli they reside, and
enjoy tlie accpiaintance of a wide circle of friends and

^^^^^ /^ (^^-c^/ff 6rt^



Ileniy E. Dn I'xtis, who was a prominent and successful
civil enginee!' and iiienihcr of the old firm of Henry Du Bois &
Sons, dock and bridge builders of New York city, was l)orn at
the fam.ily liomestead in West Eleventh street. New York city,
August S, 1^4'). son of Henry and Catharine (Powles) Du Bois,
both of whom were descended from old families whose ancestors
wei'e among: the eaiTy settlers who took up lands a.long the Hud-
sou rivei- with the Hollanders and others who were among the
early colonists. A full account of these families a])i>eai-s in
another part of this woi'k.

Henry E. Du I>ois attended the schools of his native city,
and wIkmi but fourteen years of age took up the practical duties
of life, beginning to work with his father, Henry l')u Bois, who
was then engaged in the dock l)uilding business with the firm of
Du i)ois & Hendrix. of New Yt)rk city. The young mechanic
soon displayed an aptitude for the technical i)art of the work
and readil}' mastei'cd the various details of the trade. He next
be/nme engaged with the Mcu-ris c^ Cumming-s Dredging Coni-
l)an\' of New York city, with whom he remained in the capacity
ol chief engineer until 187S. when the old firm of Du Bois &
Hendrix was dissolved and Henry E. severed his connection with
the ^Morris & Cummings l'omi)any and became a member of the
firm of Henry Du I>ois tV: Sons, who were for some time engaged
in the (hick and bridge building l)usiness. Hi 1880 Henry E.
Dn l>ois was instrumental in adding the dredging business to
the already ( xtciisive trade of Henry Du Bois & Sons, and by
his sk'ill and practical business ex|)erience contributed mucli to
the success of the enter])rise.

He/11'y E. Du l>ois was a self-made man in the fullest sense
of tlie word He was scrupulously just in all his transactions,


and (luiiiig tlie wiiole of liis ;u'ti\-e and l)u.sy career liis name
was everywliere regarded as synonymous with honest ])nsiness
metliods. He was sincere in all his associations with his fellow-
men, and was everywhere regarded with highest esteem. He
was ])rominent in the Masonic order and had attained to the
thirty-third degree of tlie craft. He was a strong advocate of
the )n'inci])les of the Repnlilican party, and was his party's can-
didate for assemblyman from the Tenth ward of Brooklyn, wliich
nominally gave a large Democratic majority, Init Mr. Du Bois'
well known ])rinciiiles and ]')ersonal popularity won him many
votes and he came within two votes of defeating his opponent.
He died April 2. ISDT, mourned by a wide circle of friends.

Henry E. Hu Bois married, October 18, 1865, Theresa Low,
born January 3. 1845. daughter of Eichard Godfrey and Car-
oline (McKown) Low, of Athens. Greene county, Xew York.
Of this marriage were born three children: 1. Catherine, born
July 22. 186(1. 2. Henry E., born July 20, 1868, married Eleanor
T. Cusliing. born October 6, 1872, daughter of Henry K. and
Kate Halsey (Hodgkiuson) Cushing. and have two children,
Harrold Cushing, born October 27, 1896, and Harry Edwin, Jr.,
born July 21. 1898. 3. "William, born January 25, 1870. married,
July 20. 1890. Amy C. Hannold, born :\[arch 25, 1874, daughter
of Charles H. and Harriet M. (Wright) Hannold. The mother
of this family, Theresa (Low) Du Bois still survives. She is a
most estimable lady, possessed of many excellencies of char-
acter, and is highly esteemed l)y nil who know her.


Tlie family of which Arthur Du Bois. of West Xew Brighton,
boi'ough of Richmond, Now York, is a re]iresentative, was fnuud-
ed in this country l)y Jacques Du Bois, and the line of descent
in the following generations were Pierre (or I'eter) Du Bois,


married Jeannette Burliams; Jonathan Du Bois. married
Ariantie Oosterliout ; Peter Du Bois. married ]\Iaria Van
Yooris (Voorliees) ; Cornelius Du Bdis. married Sarah Ph\tt
Ogden; Cornelius Du Bois. married Mary A. Delafield; Eugene
Du Bois, married Anna i\. P>i(i()k-: Artliin- Dm Bois, man-ied
Helen Sturges.

Eugene Du Bois. son of Cornelius and }khuy A. (Delafield)
Du Bois, and fatliei- of Arthur Du Bois, whose name heads this
sketch, was lioiai at the family homestead in (xramerey Park.
Xew York City, Fehruary 20, 1841. His elementary educational
training was ac(|uired under ])rivate tuition and at the Antlion
Memorial School, a noted institution of learning iu its day. At
tlie age of fourteen lie entered Columbia College, graduating
therefrom at the age of eighteen with credit. Ppon the comple-
tion of his studies he entered his father's business establishment,
which was then managed under the firm name of Du Bois &
Vandervoort, packers and wholesale (healers in tobacco, with
offices and wai'erooms at Xo. ?u Water street, and later at Xo.
75 Front street. The iirm was well and favorably known in the
tobacco trade, conducting an (»xten-ive business thrt)ug]umt the
southern states, hut ujxm the breaking out of the Civil war the
trade of the house was seriously affected, and the firm was com-
pelled to li(|uidate their atl'airs and dissolve their Imsiness re-
lations, rpon the severance of his connection with his father's
establishment. Eugene Du Bois enuaged in the real estate busi-
ness with offices at Xo. "Jo Park Pow. Xew York City, and he
continued in this liiu^ of ])ursuit for a number of years, gaining
an envia))le re])utation for iidegrity and uprightness, being just
and conscientious iji the manauement of all his affairs. He
labored efficiently in the promoTion of all sucli enter]nases as
liad for their oliject the good and welfare of the neighborhood
in which he resided, and was an ai'(U*nt supporter of religious


and (*hai'ital)l(' woik. He was an active and consistent niemher
of the P]piscopa! elini'cli at West New l)iii>hton, and served in
tlie cajiacity of vestryman foi- a nnnilier of years.

Eugene Du Bois was married at the Erastns Brooks home-
stead, AVest New Brigliton. New York. Apiil 4, 1872, to Anna
(Jreeideaf Brooks, l)orn July 1<S, 184.1. (hnighter of Erastns and
^[argaret (C'rancli) Brooks, and the issue of this marriage was
three children, as follows: Margaret. liorn Sei)tember 29, 1874;
Arthur, born January 12, 1877, referred to hereinafter; and
Eugene Eloyd, horn .June 4. 1882, a graduate of Harvard Col-
lege, and now a student of the College of Physicians and Sur-
geons of New York City, class of 1905.

Arthur Du Bois. eldest son of Eugene and Anna (Jre;^n-
leaf (Brooks) Du Bois, was born at the family homestead of his
maternal grandfather. Erastus Brooks, at West New Brighton,
borough of Biclnnond, New York, January 12. 1877. He at-
tended the Staten Island Academy of New Brighton, grad-
uating from the latter institution at the age of seventeen yeaj's.
He then entered Harvard College and in 1898 was graduated
from that institution with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and
from the law department thereof in the class of 1901. He estab-
lished an office for the i)ractice of his profession in New York
City, has gained a place for himself among his professional

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Online LibraryWilliam S. (William Smith) PelletreauHistoric homes and institutions and genealogical and family history of New York (Volume 1) → online text (page 12 of 26)