Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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building commissioners of the capital city and is at present a member of the Board
of Health. He is a prominent and highly respected Free Mason, 33d degree, is grand
treasurer of the Grand Chapter R. A. M., and a charter member of the Albany Club,
and enjoys the confidence and esteem of all good citizens. He has been engaged in
business in the firm's present building for fifty years and is now the oldest active
merchant on State street in Albany. Adam Russ, his father, born in Germantown,
N. Y., in 1774, came to Albany in 1790 and died here in 1863. He was for a long
time inspector and measurer of grain, carried on a large freight business by teams
between Albany and Buffalo until 1825, when the canal was opened, collected State
taxes, served as alderman of the Fourth ward in 1815-16, and was a member and
elder of the Second Reformed Dutch church, now located on the corner of Madison
aveuue and .Swan street. Mr. Ridgway. born in Albany. July 19, 1849, has been
connected with the firm for thirty years. is.a member of the Masonic order, was for-
merly a member of the National Guard, is a charter member of the Old Guard of Co.
A. 10th Bat., N. G. N. Y.. and is one of the water commi.ssioners appointed by Mayor
Wilson. He is also a charter member of the Albany Club and one of its board of
governors. He is an active and progressive business man and highly respected.
The firm does a large business in plumbing and heating all over the country and has
executed heavy contracts in Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New
York, New Jersey, North Carolina and several other States.

Rochford, W. P.. a resident of West Troy, is at present engaged as superintendent
at Tim & Co.'s Shirt, Collar and Cuff Manufactory. He is of French ancestry, born
at Chester, Vt.. in 1859. After residing in Montreal and North Bennington for a
short time, he came to Troy in 1874. He had learned the shoemaking trade of his



143

father, Peter Rochford, but went to work at Holmes & Ide's collar shop, also I-:. L.
Killop's laundry, and spent one year in Richard Davis's laundry. He left C'luett,
Coon & Co., where he had been nearly thirteen years superintendent of the shirt,
collar and cuff laundries, and in 1894 went to Clifton, Staten Island, to engage in
business for himself, laundering new goods only. He has only recently returned' here,
where he is well known for his sterling worth and enterprising abilities. Mr. Roch-
ford now owms a custDin laundry at Bennington, Vt. which is operated by a resident
manager.

Gallien, Edward J., is (he eldest son of the late Henry Gallicn, who came to Al-
bany from the Island of Cuernsey when a boy and spent the most of his life in the
offices of the canal auditor and State comptroller, covering a period of about thirty
years, during fourteen years of which he was deputy State comptroller. Henry
Gallien's fidelity under all administrations is a part of the financial history- of the
State of New York. He died in January, 1884. Edward J. Gallien was born in the
town of Watervliet, Albany county, June 13, 1858, was educated in the Albany
Academy, Public School No. 11 and the High School. For several years he was a
me.ssenger in the State comptroller's office. He was five years assistant bookkeeper
for the National Commercial Bank and later accountant for the National Savings
Bank. In 1883 he went with several of his brothers to the "Bad Lands" of North
Dakota and started a cattle ranch, but soon returned to St. Paul, Minn., as book-
keeper for the Germania Bank. Returning to Albany, he became bookkeeper for
Barnet Bros. & Auf.sesser. wool merchants, and later accountant for the Albany City
Savings Institution, of which bank he afterwards became secretary and treasurer.
In 1893 he established his present business as a dealer in investment securities. He
is a trusteeOf the Albany City Savings Institution and has served for a number of
years as a member of its finance committee. He is a member of the Unconditional
Republican Club. In November, 1880, he married Jean, daughter of the late ].
Wesley Osborn of Albany, and they have five children: Edward J., jr., Winifred
Le Page, Leila Osborn (deceased), Ruth Osborn and Marion Ackroyd.

Frederick, Nathan, was born in the town of Guilderland, August 21, 1851. Mi-
chael Frederick, his great grandfather, was a native of Germany, born in 1725, and
migrated to America when a young man, settling in the town of Guilderland on a
tract of 270 acres, which was then a forest, and there made him a home. Mathias,
the grandfather of Nathan Frederick, was born on his father's homestead in (iuil-
derland in 1775. He came in possession of half of his father s farm and there spent
his life. His wife was Anna Van Auken, and they had four sons and three daugh-
ters. He died June 13, 1848; his wife survived him many years and died September
38, 1875. Peter M. Frederick, the father of Nathan, was born in Guilderland on the
homestead in 1818. He was the oldest of his father's sons and after the death of his
father took charge of the farm. He and his brother Henry later purchased the farm
from the heirs and they subsequently divided. To his share Peter M. added until he
owned loS acres ; here he raised his family and lives at the present time, and two of
his sons now run the farm. His wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Jacob Hart, and
their children are: Ann Eliza, Mary, William, Sarab, Martha, Nathan, Henry, Al-
fred and Amanda. His wife died in February, 1876, at the age of fifty-five. She
was a member of the Lutheran church; Mr. Frederick is also a member of the same



churcli, in which he has othcialed as deacon and elder for many years. Nalhau
Frederick was educated in the common district schools and left home when twenty-
three and engaged at farming in the town of Coeymans, where he lived but one
year, when he returned to Guilderland and bought a farm in partnership with bis
brother-in-law. J. Oggsbury. After two years he sold his interest in the farm and
removed to Clarksville, and rented the farm of 13.'i acres which he now owns, and
has since been engaged in general husbandry. . Mr. Frederick is a staunch Demo-
crat. He is an active member of the Patrons of Husbandry, Clarksville Lodge No.
781, in which he is steward and was one of the leading charter members, the lodge
being organized in his house in January, 1893. Mr. Frederick has manifested an
active interest in the progress of the proposed Albany, Helderberg & Schoharie
Electric Railroad, and was also a worker on the proposed New York, Schenectady
& Ogdensburg Railroad, and was with the engineers five months while surveying
the line.. In 1873 Mr. Frederick married Miss Elena V. A. McCulloch, daughter of
William and Maria (Slingerland) McCulloch, and their children are Maria, Peter M.,
(iarrett and Helen. They are both members of the Reformed church, in which Mr.
Frederick has filled the office of deacon for ten years. Mrs. Frederick was a teacher
in the schools of the town of New Scotland for nine years before her marriage to
Nathan Frederick.

Smelzer, Baxter T., M. IJ., was born in the town of Lodi, Seneca county, N. V.,
March 27, 18.52. He attended the common schools and the Genesee Wesleyan i^emi-
nary at Lima, N. Y., and Syracuse University, where he was a member of the Psi
Upsilon fraternity. Subsequently he was a student in the medical department of
the Michigan State University at Ann Arbor and later entered Bellevue Hospital
Medical College in New York city, from which he was graduated in 1874. He there-
upon commenced the practice of his profession in Havana, N. Y. Dr. Smelzer has
always been an active Republican in politics. He is a member of the Republican
State League and was for several years chairman of the Central Committee. He
was president of the village for a number of years, member of the Board of Educa-
tion for four successive terms, and its president for six years. In 1893 -Dr. Smelzer
was elected to represent the Twenty-seventh Senatorial District. While a member
of the Senate he was chairman of the committee to investigate the State Board of
Health. He introduced and ably supported very many important bills, among them
being the Tuberculosis bill and the one maintaining the Public Health law. He is a
member of the Schuyler County and State Medical Associations and the Elmira
Academy of Medicine. In June, 1895, he was appointed secretary of the State
Board of Health, which position he i.s now filling. In 1876 Dr. Smelzer married
Lucy A. Tracy, whose father, Peter Tracy, was one of the first presidents of the
Chemung Canal Bank of Elmira and president of the Chemung Railroad. They are
the parents of two sons.

Vander Veer, Dr. Albert, was born m the tuwn of Root, N. Y., July 10, 1841, and
is a son of Abraham H. Vander Veer, who in 1828 built for tannei-y purposes the
first building in what is now Rural Grove. His paternal ancestors came from Alk-
maar, Holland, in 1639, and first settled in Long Island and then in New Jersey.
His grandmother's ancestors, Vancovenhoven (abbreviated into Conover), were also
Hollanders, and on her father's farm in New Jersey the battle of Monmouth was



145

fouj^ht, June 28, 1778. William Vander Veer, relative of Dr. Albert, was au officer
in the Revolutionary war and a surgeon in the war of 1813. Colonel Frederick, a
cousin, and Capt. Garret Vander Veer, a brother, served in the Rebellion. Dr.
Albert Vander Veer attended the Union Free School of Palatine and theCanajoharie
Academy, and at the age of eighteen began the study of medicine with Dr. Simeon
Snow of Currytown, N. V. One year later he came to Albany, entered the office of
the late Dr. John Swinburne, and attended lectures at the Albany Medical College
during 1861 and 1863. In the spring of 1862 he became one of the original "one hun-
dred," commissioned as a U. S. Medical Cadet and ordered to duty at Columbian
College Hospital, Washington, D. C. While there he attended lectures at the Na-
tional Medical College, receiving from that institution the degree of M. D., graduat-
ing (honorary) later from the Albany Medical College. In December, 1862, he was
commissioned assistant surgeon 66th N.Y. Vols., in June, 1864, being raised to grade
of surgeon with rank of major. He served with his regiment until the close of the
war, being mustered out in September, 1865. During 1865-66 he attended lectures
at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York city, and since then has
practiced his profession with signal success in Albany. He was appointed to the
chair of general and special anatomy in the Albany Medical College in 1869, and at-
tending surgeon to St. Peter's Hospital. On the reorganization of the Albany Med-
ical College in 1876 he became professor of the principles and practice of surgery
In 1883 he was appomted professor of surgery and clinical surgery and still holds
these positions. He is a member of the Boston Gyna;cological Society, the British
Medical Association, the International Medical Congress at Copenhagen in 1884, the
British Gynsecological Society, the American Surgical Association, Holland Society
of New York, the American Medical Association, the New York Medico-Legal Soci-
ety, the Albany Institute and the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynae-
cologists. He is a frequent writer and contributor to leading medical journals. He
was a member and president of the Special Water Commission and has been for
many years a member of the Albany Board of Health ; he has also been president of
the Albany County and New York State Medical Societies. Williams and Hamilton
Colleges conferred upon him the degree of A. M. in 1883, Union College gave him
the degree of Ph. D. in 1883, and the Queen of Holland decorated him with the order
of " Oranje-Nassau," because of his services as vice-president of the local Holland
Society. He is also one of the Regents of the University of the State of New York.
Crandall, George H., prominent among the business men of Cohoes and a large
operator in builders' material of all kinds, as well as a manufacturer of furniture.
Mr. Crandall was born at Adams, N. Y. , in 1839, of old Connecticut ancestors; his
father, the late John M. Crandall, was an e.xtensive operator in lumber and real
estate in Lewis and Jefferson counties. George H. Crandall first engaged in busi-
ness as a keeper of a general store at Glendale, N. Y., from 1861 to 1868, and then
run a lumber yard for two years at Hoboken, N. J., furnishing material for the
building trades. Then from 1870 to 1872, in Breslau, near Babylon. L. I., buying
agent for all kinds of material to build about 400 houses; and from 1872 to 1878 man-
aging a .store and a large saw mill in Lewis county, N. Y., and wholesaling lumber
and all kinds of turned work and dimension lumber, in New York city and vicinity;
and from 1878 to 1881 engaged in the furniture business, traveling by canal with



146

four canal boats, stopping from three to ten days in each city and town along the
Krie Canal. This was a profitable business, as he could undersell all local dealers,
until they got a special law passed by Legislature allowing each incorporated town
and city to charge him a license of $25 per day; this he could not stand, and he de-
cided to settle in Cohoes and build a factory and store and manufacture furniture
and sell at retail. The disastrous fire of 1891 was a serious check, but his indomita-
ble energy soon replaced the plant. The Crandalls" career has been characterized
by the qualities which makes success certain and failure an unknown word ; he has
done a good deal in the building line himself, having erected about 100 dwellings in
the vicinity of Cohoes and Lansingburgh.

Bradley, Franklin G., is a grandson of Philo Bradley, an early settler of Berne,
Albany county, and a son of Daniel G. Bradley, for many years deputy sheriff, and
was born in Berne, December 28, 1849. Daniel G. came to Albany in 1857 and was
long a prosperous merchant. He married Arvilla Nelson, and of their nine children
seven sons are living. With the e.Nception of six years spent on a farm in Guilder-
land, Franklin G. Bradley has been engaged in the mercantile business since he
reached the age of twenty. 'He established his present grocery and provision store
on Beaver street in 1878 and in 1893 moved to No. 99 Hudson avenue. He is a
member of Wadsworth Lodge No. 417, F. & A. M., Fort Orange Council. R. A., and
American Lodge No. 32, L O. O. F. In 1868 he married Alice M., daughter of
Hiram Gardner of Franklin, Va , who died in 1891, leaving three children: Daniel
G., Jennie E. and Franklin G., jr. He married, second, in 1892, Mrs. Celia (Reed)
Weidraan of Summit, Schoharie county.

Gick, William H., son of Robert, was born on the Isle of Man, March 4, 1848, and
came to America with his brother, Robert Gick, jr., in the spring of 1870, settling in
Albany. He had learned the trade of carpenter and joiner in his native country,
and coming here followed it as a journeyman about one year, when he became a
builder. In the fall of 1878 he formed a copartnership with William Sayles (whose
sketch appears in this volume), as Gick & Sayles. This firm has since conducted an
extensive building and contractmg business in Albany and vicinity, and many noted
buildings are due to their skill and enterprise. In 1874 he married Mary E. Bulger
of Albany and their children are Annetta E., Alice E. and William H., jr.

Best, John A,, one of the most prominent farmers of Colonie, and also largely in-
terested in manufacturing and mercantile life, was born in Watervliet in 1850.
Abraham Best, his father, is now a retired resident of Saratoga county ; it is an old
Columbia county family, whose paternal ancestors were from Germany, and on the
maternal side from Holland. Mr. Best now operates five farms, aggregating 450
acres, chiefly devoted to dairy products. At Crescent Station he has a coal yard,
another at Vischer's Ferry, with a grocery business also. He is a heavy operator in
ice and grain. For about five years he was also engaged in the manufacture of knit
goods at Troy, the firm being known as the Brunswick Manufacturing Company.

Toohey, Edward J., son of John and Bridget (Kennedy) Toohey, was born in
West Troy, Albany county, N. V., August 23, 1859. His father was one of the
pioneer canal men and kept the Whitehall Packet House at the time immigrants
came by way of Quebec. Mr. Toohey was eduated at the Christian Brothers Acad-



U1

eniy in Troy, N. Y., and in 1874 was graduated from Mason College, Terre Bonne,
Province of Quebec. After leaving college he obtained a clerkship in his father's
store at West Troy, where he remained until elected justice of the peace of that
village in 1881, which position he now holds. He is also engaged in the real estate
and insurance business. Mr. Toohey was chairman of the Board of Fire Trustees
of West Troy for two years and is a member of the Young Men's Democratic Club
and was its president for one term. He is president of the Young Men's Literary
Association and a member of the Vestris Club of West Troy.

MacUonald, Pirie, son of George and Margaret MacDonald, was born in Chicago,
111., January 17, 1867; in 1882 he entered the studio of Forshew in Hudson, N. Y. ; in
188!) he came to Albany and opened his present studio at the corner of Maiden Lane
and Broadway. He is unquestionably one of the leading technicians of America,
and as a voucher for this opinion we may mention the fact that twice (in 1884 and
1886) he was awarded the Grand Prize for portraiture by the Photographers' Asso-
ciation of America; he holds seven medals from the same society and two medals
from the National Photographic Society of Germany, and one that was awarded at
the International Photographic Exhibition in Amsterdam, Holland, in 1886, as well
as the Gold Medal for the best portrait by photography in America. Mr. MacDonald
is a member of Temple Lodge No. 14, F. & A. M. , and of the Albany and Albany
Camera Clubs. In 1891 he married Emilie, daughter B. Van Deusen of Hudson,
N. Y., and they have one daughter, Jessie.

Estes, Capt. Milo D , was born in Clayton, N. Y., September 16, 1841. His father,
Capt. James B., became a sailor when twelve and a captain when eighteen and fol-
lowed the lakes during much of his active life; he was master of the Niagara, Cata-
ract, Ontario, Rothsay, Sylvan Stream, Pilgrim and Bon Voyage, all well known
Lake Ontario steamers, and now has charge of the ferry between Ontario Beach and
SomerviUe at the mouth of the Genesee River. Capt. Milo D. Estes after receiving a
common school education at Clayton and Charlotte, became, when twelve years of
age cabin boy on the steamer Niagara and later was cabin boy on the Cataract and
quartermaster on the old Ontario. In September, 1862, he enlisted in the U. S.
Navy as an able seaman and was assigned to the gunboat Montgomery, under
Farragut, cruising in the Gulf of Mexico. After serving one year he returned home
and in February, 1864, enlisted in the 3d N. Y. Cav , from which he was honorably
discharged in December, 1865. Following this he was .successively captain of the
tug D. T. Hunt, second officer of the steamer Columbian, superintendent of the
Rochester Iron Company's fleet of barges and captain of the steamers Flower City,
J. F. Maynard, John Thorne, Island Belle and the St. Lawrence. The latter he suc-
cessfully commanded from August, 1884. to September, 1892, making it the most
popular vessel among the Thousand Islands. In the spring of 189.") he came to Al-
bany as superintendent of the Albany and Troy Steamboat Company. He is a
member of Genesee Falls Lodge No. 507, F. & A. M., of Rochester; also a member
of Charles J. Powers Post No. 391, G. A. R., Rochester. In 1890, as captain of the St.
Lawrence, he refused to lower the U. S. flag at Kingston, Canada, in order to sail an
excursion in Canadian waters, an incident which brought him considerable distinc-
tion.

Skillicorn, John H., M.D., son of John and Jane (Cowell) Skillicorn, was born in



Albany, N. Y., December 35, 1801. His parents came from the Isle of Man and
belonged to a very old and respected family, his grandfather being a minister, noted
for his eloquence, in the Methodist Episcopal church. Dr. Skillicorn attended the
public schools and the Albany High School, from which institution he was gradu-
ated, receiving the English prize and first honorable mention for declamation. He
then attended Cornell University, where he took the medical preparatory course and
where he was fitted to enter the Albany Medical College. In 1883 he was graduated
from the latter institution and received the degree of Doctor of Medicine, standing
second in his class and receiving special honorable mention for his thesis. During
his course at the Albany Medical College Dr. Skillicorn was also a student in the
dispensary of the late Dr. John Swinburne. After his graduation he was connected
with his alma mater for three years as prosector and also held quizzes. He then
traveled extensively, studying the methods in the different hospitals, and in 1884
settled down to practice in Albany, opening an office at No. 324 Hudson avenue,
where he is now located. Dr. Skillicorn is a frequent contributor to medical and
scientific journals, and is a perfect linguist in German, French, Italian and Spanish.
He is a member of the Albany County Medical Society, and was one of the first sur-
geons in the world to advocate and operate successfully for appendicitis.

Hermans, Charles W., was born September 4, 1844, in the town of Nassau, Rens-
selaer county, N. Y., and attended the district school until si.xteen years of age,
working on a farm during summer vacations. His parents were Daniel and Adeline
(Waterbury) Hermans. In 1860 he went to Marquette, Mich., returning to Albany
in the summer of 1862. On September 30 of that year he enlisted in Co. I, 99th N.
Y. Vols., and served until the close of the war, being discharged from Co. A, 22d
Regt., Veteran Reserve Corps, July 11, 1865. He attended Bryant, Stratton &
Folsom's Business College in the winter of 1865-66, and in the spring secured a posi-
tion as bookkeeper with H. B. Silliman of Cohoes. In 1870 he was appointed a book-
keeper in the Manufacturers' and Builders' Bank of New York city and filled all the
positions in that bank up to paying teller. In 1889 he assisted in organizing the
South End Bank of Albany, was elected its cashier and so continued during its ex-
istence. He married in March, 1871, Eliza J., daughter of Ambrose C. Spencer, of
Cohoes.

Bordwell, Mrs. Margaret K., is one of the oldest re.sidents of Cohoes. She came
here with her father, Francis Revell, a native of France, in 1824 from Mechanicville,
where she was born in 1823. She was married in 1845 to Jacob A. Bordwell, a boss
knitter in the cotton mills until his death, which occurred in 1863. He left three
children : Mary Elira, wife of George Cook, of Cohoes ; Esther E. , widow of Professor
George Gravis, late of Troy ; and Charles Francis, who conducts a hotel at Detroit,
Mich. Mrs. Bordwell is a well preserved lady and a personal landmark, and has in
her mature years witnessed the growth of Cohoes into a city.

Pratt, Otto M., son of Edward and Emily (Field) Pratt, was born in Earlville,
Madison county, N. Y., August 22. 1851. He attended the Earlville public schools
and at the age of fourteen left home and for twelve years was a clerk in a general
store at Poolville, Madison county, at the end of which time he removed to Albany,
N. Y., and accepted a clerkship with Herrick, Freeman & Smith, boot and shoe
manufacturers. He was associated with this business for twenty years, and in 1885



140

became a member of the firm, when the name was changed to Smith, Pratt & Her-
rick. In 1893 he resigned from this company. Mr. Pratt is now the largest bond
and stockholder in, and vice-president of the Winconsin Land and Lumber Com-
pany, located at and being the village of Hermansville, Mich., with office at Oshkosh,
Wis., owning and operating 42,000 acres of timber lands, three large saw mills,
hardwood flooring^factory, 101 dwelling houses, store, market, boarding house, etc.
He is also the owner and proprietor of a shoe store at Fort Edward, N. Y., and owns
considerable real estate at Superior City. In 1876 he married Ida Zenobia Blanchard,
daughter of Taylor Blanchard of De Ruyter, Madson county, N. Y.

Rowe, Wilhelmus, was born in the town of Westerlo January 20, 1836. Wilhelmus,
his great-grandfather, came from Holland and grew to manhood in Dutchess county,
N. Y. After he married he settled on a farm near O-nes-que-thaw, in the town of



Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 100 of 138)