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Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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New Scotland, and died at eighty-eight; his wife died at ninety; he left two sons,
Conrad and Frederick. Conrad, the grandfather, was born in 1773 and died in 1848
on the farm where he was born; his wife was Sally Hoyt; they reared four sons,
William, Richard, Henry and Samuel, and three daughters. Richard, the father,
was born in 1808 and died in 1891, was also a farmer; his wife was Elizabeth Bogar-
dns, born in the town of Berne and was the daughter of John Bogardus; they reared
three sons, Wilhelmus, John and Conrad, and three daughters. Mrs. Rowe died in
1876. Wilhelmus was a contractor and builder and in 1856 went to Winona, in the
then Territory of Minnesota, afterward to Memphis, Teun. ; he was in Tennessee at
the outbreak of the Civil war and was conscripted in the rebel army, and after
Beaureguard took command was detailed to guard prisoners from Corinth to Holly
Springs, Miss.; was second lieutenant in a company of Home Guards. Immediately
after the fall of Memphis he made his way north, and three months afterward was
drafted in the Union army, but was exempted on the grounds of having been
in the rebel army. In 1866 he married Elizabeth H. Bennett, daughter of Rush-
more Bennett, of Clarksville, whose father, Daniel Bennett, was born at Stone
near Berkley, Glostershire, England, in 1777, and came to the United States
in 1802; he married Abigail Rushmore of New Salem and settled on a farm
near that village, where he died while still a young man, leaving three sons, William,
Rushmore and Thomas, and one daughter. Rushmore married Emily Whitcomb,
who was a daughter of Roswell Whitcomb, a preacher in the Society of Friends; his
father had come from Connecticut with pack and ax when Albany county was a com-
parative wilderness, to take up a farm under what was then considered the very ad-
vantageous offer of the Albany patroon. Van Rensselaer; he settled in Berne. Mr.
Bennett was a farmer and mill owner in Clarksville, and built the thirdhou.se in that
village ; he was a Republican in politics and his name appears on the lirst Republican
county ticket, the ticket with white letters on a black ground, which gave to the Re-
publican party the name of Black Republicans; he reared one son, Erasmus, and
two daughters, and died in 187.5; his wife in 1874. Mr. and Mrs. Rowe still reside
on the Bennett homestead, a farm of 200 acres, and have three sons, Erasmus B.,
born in 1866, R. Burton, born in 1872, and Anson H., born in 1882.

McEwan, Walter, born in Glasgow, Scotland, came to America with his parents,
John and Agnes (Lander) McEwan, in 1849 and settled in Albany. He attended the
public schools and in 1860 entered the employment of the Hudson River Railroad



150

office at East Albany. lu 1870 he became a member of the wholesale coffee and
spice firm of Baily, Ford & McEwan. March 15, 1872, he purchased his partners'
interests and in 1876 moved to his present location, corner Maiden Lane and James
street. He has been treasurer of the St. Andrews Society since 1884, and is a
trustee of the Home Savings Bank. In 1873 he married Abby Stuart, daughter of
Stuart McKissick of Albany, and their children are Walter Stuart, Agnes Lander,
Jessie Ellis, George William and Charles Bailey.

Van Schaack, John S., was born in New Scotland in 1834. John, his great-grand-
father, was a native of Holland and came to America and settled in Greene county,
and reared five sons. He owned a fine farm on Coxsackie flats and lived to be
eighty years of age. Albert, the grandfather, was the third son, born in Greene
county m 1853. He was a farmer and settled in New Scotland in 1770. His first
wife was Eva Spore, by whom he had five children, two of whom grew to maturity.
His second wife was Mary Ann Bradt, by whom he had nine children ; all grew to
maturity. He died in 1830. The father was the oldest son by his fathers first wife,
born in New Scotland in 1802, where he spent his life as a farmer. He was a volun-
teer soldier in the war of 1812, and participated in the battle of Sackett's Harbor.
His wife was Sarah Shaver, born in 1809, and daughter of John F. Shaver of Berne.
They reared four children ; Mary Ann, John S., Frank and Elizabeth. Mrs, Van
Schaack died in 1888. John S. was reared to farm work and received his education
in the common and district schools and Charlottesville Seminary, and followed farm-
ing all his life up to 1888, when he retired to the village of New Salem. He has
been and is now serving as justice and was postmaster during both of Cleveland's
administrations. He has also filled the office of town auditor and represented his
town as delegate to county conventions and at district and Assembly conventions.
In 18(13 he married Amanda M., daughter of Luke Gallup of Westerlo, by whom
three children have been born: Albert, who is a teacher in Te.xas; Susan and Eli.
Mrs. Van Schaack died in 1881.

McMillen, James S., was born in Schoharie county in August, 1843. Alexander,
the grandfather, was a native of Scotland, born about 1775, who came to America
and settled in the town of New Scotland, where he died at the age of eighty years.
He was a farmer and achieved some note as a politician in his town. He reared
seven sons and four daughters. Aaron, the father, was born in Albany in 1815 and
died in December, 1872. He was a wheelwright by trade, which he followed for
some thirty years. He moved to Orosvenor's Corners, in the town of Carlyle, Scho-
harie county, where he owned and conducted a shop and was fairly successful. His
wife was Margaret Ann Culens, and their children were James S., Nelson B., Helen
M., and William J. The wife survives her husband and lives in Albany with her
daughter. James S. received a limited education and began to care for himself at
the age of fifteen, following different occupations in Guilderland and Bethlehem. In
1869 he purchased his present farm of seventy-five acres and is actively engaged in
mixed husbandry. He was town auditor and is now serving his tenth year as
assessor. In 1871 he was married to Hester L. Snyder, born in New Scotland and
daughter of Jacob Snyder, by whom one child has been born, Franklin J., who
resides at home with his father. His wife was Charlotte Hallenback. They have
three children : Anson, Olive and Allen.



151

Butler, William H., son of David and Laura A. (Smith) Butler, was born in Oneida,
N. Y., January 31, 1860, and was graduated from the Oneida High School in 1878.
He then became a freight conductor on the N. Y. C. & H. R. R. R., and continued
in this capacity and in the depot at Albany in all ten years, when he learned the
trade of clothing cutter and merchant tailor. In 1893 he established himself in the
merchant tailoring business at Nos. 635 and 637 Broadway, Albany, where he has
built up a large and growing trade. Mr. Butler is a member of Mount Vernon
Lodge No. 3, F. & A. M., of all the Masonic bodies to and including the 33 , and of
the Acacia Club. In 1880 he married Cora B., daughter of William Foster of Siloani,
Madison county, N. Y., and they have one daughter, Lenora Belle.

Yerks, George W., is a descendant of Revolutionary stock, especially on the side
i>{ his maternal grandmcjther, Mrs. Amos Clark, a member of the Van Warts family.
His parents were William H. and Mary A. (Clark) Yerks and he was born in Union-
ville, Westchester county, February 4, 1843. He received his education at Claverack
Academy and Fort Edward Institute, and he spent a few years in government em-
ploy in New York city, and in 1867 came to Albany where he soon engaged in the
wholesale fancy grocery business at No. 373 Broadway, under the firm name of Ben
jamin & Yerks, whom he succeeded in January, 1877. In 1888 John J. Taaffe was
admitted under the present firm name of George W. Yerks & Co. The business has
grown steadily and now three stores are occupied. Mr. Yerks has been president of
the Equal Rights Benefit Association since 1893 and is a trustee in the Madison
Avenue Reformed church. In 1868 he married Adeline, daughter of George W.
Benjamin of Albany, and of their children one daughter, Adeline Powell Yerks, is
living.

Rivet, F. A. W., M. D.. one of the oldest physicians of Green Island, was born at
Montreal in 1S47. His father was a farmer, and when about nineteen he began the
study of medicine at " College Point aux Trembles" near Montreal, graduating from
this institution with honors in 1871. He took a post-graduate course at McGill Col-
lege. Practicing his profession at Au Sable Falls for eight years, and about the
same length of time at Indian Fields, he came to Green Island in 1887. Dr. Rivet
is of the eclectic school of practice. He has been health officer for a long term of
years.

Tompkins, Stephen, was born in Coeymans in 1857, and is a son of Stephen and
Jane (Van Derzee) Tompkins. His grandfather, Daniel C , was a son of Caleb
Tompkins, who came from Dutchess county. The grandfather of Mr. Tompkins
was a tanner for many years at Stephenville, and came to Coeymans Hollow in 1850,
and bought the farm where Mr. Tompkins now lives. He died in 1882. He had
three sons: Alfred D.. Anson, who died in infancy, and Stephen, who died in 18.57,
and one daughter, Margaret. Mr. Tompkins is a farmer and one of the most suc-
cessful men of the town. He married Elizabeth, daughter of William S. Cole, and
has two sons: William and Van Derzee.

Reinhart, H. E , though apparently not past the prime of life, is a pioneer set-
tler of Cohoes, coming here in 1853 from Berne, N. V., where he was born in 1838.
He is of Dutch descent, and a son of John Reinhart, a hat manufacturer. Here he
learned the machinist trade, which "vocation he followed ; having been associated



152

with the Granite Mill of William Moore since 188(i. In 1861 he married Marie Oster-
hout of Cohoes, by whom he has one daughter, Elizabeth, wife of William Leroy of
this place.

Kane, Hon. Nicholas T., was born in Ireland in 1846. He came to America with
his parents and settled in West Troy, Albany county, in 1848, and died there Sep-
tember 14, 1887. At an early age he actively entered the field of labor; when seven-
teen he enlisted in the Union army in the war of the Rebellion and served with gal-
lantry and patriotism as a soldier. Returning home he rapidly rose in business
until finally he formed a copartnership with his brother, Pierce Kane, and success-
fully engaged in the manufacture of knit goods, at Sand Lake, Rensselaer county.
About 1883 he also engaged in brewing with Daniel E. and Henry A. Conway of
Troy. In 1882 he was elected town supervisor and held that office several years, be-
ing at one time chairman of the board. In 1886 he was elected to represent his dis-
trict in the Fiftieth Congress, a position he held at the time of his death. He was
chiefly instrumental in locating the government gun factory (one of the largest in the
United States) at the Watervliet Arsenal, and various other important measures re-
ceived his earnest support. He was a member of Post Patrick Kane, No. 312, (i. A.
R., vice-president of the S. G. Gleason Hook and Ladder Company of West Troy,
trea-surer of the Wynant.skill Knitting Company, and prominently identified with
various other organizations. He was a typical self-made man, charitable, compan-
ionable, public spirited, enterprising and progressive, and enjoyed universal respect
and confidence. In politics he was a staunch Democrat and in every capacity he was
loyal, influential and popular.

McCormic, Robert Henry, represents the sixth generation of his family in Amer-
ica, in each of which the eldest son bore the name of Robert. His ancestor, Robert
McCormic, born of Scotch-Irish parentage in Londonderry, Ireland, was one of the
first settlers of Londonderry, N. H. ; a branch moved thence and settled the town of
Londonderry, Vt. Mr. McCormic's great-grandfather, Robert, served in the Revo-
lution. His father, Robert, who married Rhoda Stevens, was born in Windham,
Vt., but spent most of his life in Greene county, N. Y., where, at Coxsackie, Rob-
ert H. was born, October 25, 1839, being the only son, his sister being Mrs. Harriet
M. Stark of Paris Texas. She has been a teacher and missionary among the Choc-
taw Indians for forty-five years. Robert H. McCormic was graduated from Burr
Seminary at Manchester, Vt., came to Albany in 1858 and in 1860 joined Co. B, lOth
Regt. September 1, 1861, he enlisted in Co. F, 44th N. Y. Vols., Ellsworth Zouaves,
rose to the post of captain and was mustered out October 14, 1864. He was with the
Army of the Potomac, participated in nearly all its battles from first Bull Run, was
wounded twice and still carries in his right hip a bullet received at Rappahannock
Station. From 1865 to 1887 he held an important position in the Albany post-office,
and since then has been engaged in life insurance business, being now connected
with the Mutual Life of New York. He became a member of Lew Benedict Post
No. 5, G. A. R., in 1887 and is now a member of L. O. Morris Post No. 121, and is
past commander of both organizations. He has held nearly every office in the State
department of the G. A. R., being assistant adjutant-general in 1894, and is also past
noble grand of Clinton Lodge No. 7, I. O. O. F- January 1, 1866, he married Caro-
line, daughter of Isaac Van Ness of Stuyvesant, N. Y., who died in 1875, leaving



153

two children : Robert H., jr., and Grace E., graduates of the Albany High School
and State Normal College respectively. In 1894 he .married Louise, daughter of
Ephraim House of Albany and for over twenty years a teacher in the public schools.
O'Brien, Dr. Francis J., son of Francis and Catharine (CoUopy) O'Brien, was born
in West Troy, June 13. 1860. He was educated in the public schools, the Troy Busi-
ness College, and the New York College of Pharmacy, graduating from the latter in
188"2. In 1887 he was graduated from the University of Vermont with the degree of
M. D. From 1883 to 1886 he studied with the late Dr. Swinburne of Albany, N. Y.
Since graduating from the Universty of Vermont he has practiced in West Troy.

Chapman, jr., Edgar T. , is the eldest son of the well known and prominent Epis-
copal clergyman. Edgar T. Chapman was born at West Troy in 1872, on the eld
homestead on the Troy and Albany road. Mr. Chapman began the study of law in
1891. He was graduated in 1894 and at once admitted to the county bar under the
most favorable auspices, and began the practice of his profession in Albany. A
younger brother, John K. Chapman, is now supermtendent of the freight office for
the N. Y. C. R. R., at West Albany.

Simpson, Anson A., was born at Hillside, N. Y., in 1842. He was the son of Ben-
son Simpson, a merchant of that place, and was educated at Hudson River Institute.
He began life as a clerk in a general store at Craryville. Mr. Simpson has traveled
a good deal and has been engaged in many and various enterprises. In 1865 he
went to the far West, and spent five years in Colorado and California as a miner,
hotel keeper, fruit dealer, etc. In 1870 he drifted to Pittsburg, Pa. , and traveled
for a glass manufacturing company there. He then engaged in the mercantile busi-
ness at Kinderhook Depot, remaining there till 1885, when he came to Troy and be-
came connected with the Delaware & Hudson Canal Co. now nominally occupying
the position of inspector of signals. He is especially fertile in the line of inventions
and has produced many valuable appliances, which have been adopted and are in
daily use, among others, a time signal, and a life saving fender for motor cars, which
possess peculiar merit and will, without doubt, come into general use.

Fonda, Douw H., son of Garrett T. B. and Rachel (Polhemus) Fonda, was born
September 10, 1831, in Fonda, N. Y., which derives its name from the family. The
first American ancestor was (l^ Jellis Douwse Fonda, who came from Holland and
was in Beverwyck as early as 1654. The line is (2) Douw Jellise Fonda, who resided
at Lubberdeland (Troy) in 1676; (3) Jellis Adam Fonda, born in 1668, married a
daughter of Peter Winne in 1695; (4) Douw Fonda, of Caughnawaga (now Fonda),
who served in the Revolutionary war and was killed by the Indians in 1780 ; (5) Adam ;
(6) Douw Adam Fonda, member of the Legislature, died in 1855 ; and (7) Garrett T.
B. Fonda, who was born in Fonda in 1808. Douw H. Fonda, after completing a
common school education, engaged in railroading. He was then a mere boy. When
thirteen he went to New York city as clerk in a men's furnishing store, where he re-
mained two years. Returning home he finally became a clerk in a general store in
Rome, N. Y., and two years later engaged in railroading, being ticket agent at Pal-
atine Bridge under the later Hon. Webster Wagner for four years. In September,
1853, he became teller of a bank in Canajoharie and two years later was made cash-
ier, which position he held until 1865, when he came to Albany as a partner in the



1.54

wholesale drug^firm ofiFonda & Bagley, the founders of the business being Thomas
and Joseph Russell, who were succeeded by a Mr. Pulling, who was followed by J.
H. McClure&Co., whom Fonda & Bagley bought out. During all these changes
the business has been located at Nos. 70-72 State street and No. 13 Norton street
and is the oldest of the kind in the city. In 1877 Mr. Fonda became sole proprietor
and in 1879 he formed the firm of D. H. Fonda &Co., by admitting Henry R. Wright
and William B. French. In 1889 the Douw H. Fonda Drug Company was incorpor-
ated and since then Mr. Fonda has been its president. He is a member of Temple
Lodge No. 14, F. & A. M., and has served as school commissioner two terms. He
married first at Canajoharie. Mai-y A. French, and after her death he married Ellen
A. Barker of Barry, Vt.

Lochner, Dr. George Emory, was born in Albany, July 19, 1867, and is a son of
Jacob L. Lochner, who for twenty-five years was engaged in the fruit business at
the'corner of South Pearl and State streets. On the maternal side Dr. Lochner is
descended from Revolutionary stock, his mother being Nellie J. Best of Schoharie.
When Dr. Lochner was eight years of age his mother died. His early education
was received at private schools and in Public School No. 11, and was graduated from
the High School in 1885. He then registered with Dr. Albert Vander Veer, under
whose care he studied medicine for three years. He had previously attended clinics
at the City Hospital. While with Dr. Vander Veer he attended the Albany Medical
College, graduating in March, 1888, being honored by selection as historian of the
class. At the competitive examination which followed for appointment to the Al-
bany Hospital, Dr. Lochner outstripped all competitors and the result entitled him
to the place. During the summer of 1888 he continued his studies in New York
city. In September, 1888, he entered the Albany Hospital and served twenty
months as ambulance surgeon and house physician and surgeon. His term expired
in April, 1890, and upon retirement he received a diploma from the staff, gift of
surgical instruments from matron and associates, and a letter of commendation from
the Board of Governors. Leaving the hospital, he began the practice of his pro-
fession at No. 1 South Hawk street. In 1890 he was appointed by Dr. J. M. Bigelow as
an instructor in the Albany Medical College in laryngology and rhinology and the fol-
lowing year by Dr. J. P. Boyd, as instructor in obstetrics and gynaecology and m
anatomy by Dr. S. R. Morrow, which place he still holds. In October, 1891, he re-
ceived the appointment of physician to the Albany Hospital Dispensary for diseases
of women and children. As a member of the Albany County Medical Society he
was, in October, 1891, chosen as its secretary and served as censor in 1893 and 1894.
In 1892 he was appointed physician to the Albany Fire Department. Dr. Lochner
is a member of the alumni associations of the Albany High School, of which he is
no'w serving as president, and Medical College, and of the executive committee of
the High School; he also belongs to the Press Club, A.K.P., and P.E.K. fraternities;
is also a member of Masters Lodge No. 5, F. & A. M.

Burrick, Rev. JuHus J., was born m Waeregheu, in the diocese of Ghent, Belgium,
in 1858. His early education was acquired under eminent tutors of St. Nicholas
College. His philosophical course was subsequently pursued at the same college,
and his theological at the Seminary of Ghent. Before his assumption of holy orders
and in recognition of his superior talents, he was promoted to the dignity of a pro-



«







155

fessor's chair, which he held until April, 1892, when, coming to America, he was ap-
pointed pastoral director of his present charge, the Sacred Heart of Mary, French
Catholic church, of Watervliet, N.Y. As a clergyman of marked religious zeal, and
a scholar of broad culture in many languages, he enjoys the merited esteem and
confidence of all his ecclesiastical and secular associates.

Bell, Thomas H., son of George and Martha (Turner) Bell, was born in Carlisle,
North of England, August 27, 1861. He was educated in the public schools and was
for five years a clerk in the bonded warehouse of the County Hotel and Wine Com-
pany, England. In 1880 he came to America and settled in Albany, and through
the influence of his uncle, William Gray, he obtained a situation in the office of the
Troy Steel & Iron Co., where he remained six years. During that time he became
interested in the work of the Young Men's Christian Association and in 1885 was
one of the prime movers in the organization of the West Troy Y. M. C. A. He was
made president of the preliminary organization and later accepted the office of ex-
ecutive secretary of the permanent organization, and willingly gave his time to the
work free of charge. In 1886, at the solicitation of the general secretary, Frank
Ober, of the Albany Association, and the Rev. George A. Hall, State secretary, he
resigned his position with the Troy Steel & Iron Co. and entered the school for
Christian Workers at Springfield, Mass. , to prepare for the general secretaryship of
the Y. M. C. A. In 1887 Mr. Bell was appointed general secretary of the Lansing-
burgh Y. M. C. A., but ill health forced him to resign in the spring of the following
year. He was then appointed assistant to Supt. J. D. Rogers of the Round Lake
Association and remained in that position until 1891, when he entered into partner-
ship with Lee Rivers, in the hardware and electrical supply business, at West Troy,
Albany county. In July, 1893, they dissolved partnership, and since then Mr. Bell
has been engaged m the electrical business, for a time at West Troy and now at
No. 24 Green street, Albany. He is a member of the Evening Star Lodge No. 75,
F. & A. M. , of West Troy, and is also a member of the official board of the First
Avenue Methodist church of West Troy. October 22, 1890, he married Louisa W.,
daughter of P. R. Robson of Albany, and they have two children: Ernest B. and
Edith May.

Ouinlan, George B., D. D. S., of West Troy, has practiced four years, having
graduated from the University of Maryland at Baltimore. He first entered the
New York Dental College in 1889, and was a student of the Troy Business College
before that time. His father, J. W. Quinlan, was a M. E. clergyman, once located
in West Troy, and is now in that field of labor. His great-grandfather came from
Northern Ireland, and was a physician of note in Philadelphia. Dr. Ouinlan was
born in Columbia county, N. Y.

Wilcox, George W., a prominent resident of Green Island, was born at Troy, No-
vember 20, 1854, and is a son of th? well known Alanson Wilcox, who was born at
Amsterdam, N. Y., in 1814, and has been a resident of this place for over thirty
years. He was a carpenter by trade, but is now retired from active business.
George Wilcox began life for himself when sixteen years of age by engaging in the
news business and after five years went into the grocery business and conducted it
for seventeen years, and is at present not engaged in active business life. He main-
tains a deep interest in the local affairs and ranks high among the prosperous and



prominent business men of the town. He has been tax collector and trustee of the
village, and ranks high among the Masonic and benevolent and social fraternities.

Wiswall, Eben S. — This is one of the oldest families in the vicinity. Mr. Wis-
wall's paternal grandfather came from Newton, Mass., about the first of the present
century, and settled in Troy, engaging in general store business; in this connection
it is remembered he put in the first soda fountain known here. He afterward owned



Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 101 of 138)