Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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Co. was established in the year 1850 by Samuel Whitehead, sr. , his sons succeeding
to the business in 1860 and continued the business as a copartnership until 1891,
when it was incorporated in a stock company under the New Jersey laws, with Ly-
dell Whitehead as president, Alfred J. Miller, vice-president, Van Loan Whitehead,
secretary and William H. Smith, general manager. It is the largest Moulding Sand
Company in America, dealing in all kinds of moulding sand, fire sand, foundry clay,
kaolin, cupola and foundry supplies, stove plate moulding sand a specialty. This
company does business in New Jersey and different points on the Hudson River and
on the Erie Canal. Mr. Samuel Whitehead, sr., is one of the members of the firm
having charge of the work at Coeymans, Selkirk and Cedar Hill, N. Y., w'ilh his son
Samuel G. Whitehead as asssistant. Samuel G. Whitehead married the charming
Miss Eliza H. Clapper, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Clapper of Cedar Hill, N. V.
Mr. Samuel Whitehead, sr., resides with his son and daughter in their beautiful villa
on the banks of the Hudson.

Van Leuven, Peter, born December 2, 182.'j, is a son of Peter Van Leuven and
Cathrine (Myers) Van Leuven and grandson of Peter and Cathariue (Brietl) Van
Leuven, who came from Dutchess county, and on the passage across river in a
scow, they were upset and nearly all their goods were lost. They settled a farm
near Chesterville, where they spent their lives. Peter Van Leuven, sr., always fol-
lowed farming, commencing near Chesterville, where he died August 15, 1863, and
Mr.s. Van Leuven in 1866. During the war of 1812 he conveyed with his own team
ammunition and provisions from Albany to Sackett's Harbor. Peter Van Leuven,
jr., has been a successful farmer and has made many improvements on the home-
stead, which consists of 162 acres; he also owns 200 acres, part of which he rents.
He is a Republican. In 1891 Mr. Van Leuven married Juliett, daughter of !)r.
Josiah W. Lay of Chesterville, who was a prominent physician there. On the ma-
ternal side Mr. Van Leuven is a descendant of Philip Myers, who was brought to
Coeyqians when a small boy by his father from Germany. The father returned for
the rest of the family and was never heard of. Philip was reared by Peter Whit-


beck of Coeyraans. He came to Westeilo and took a large tract of land and became
one of the most prominent farmers of the town.

Spaulding, Alonzo, born in Westerlo, February, 1825, is a son of Hugh and Mary
(St. John) Spaulding, who were lifelong residents of Westerlo. The grandfather,
Elnathan Spaulding, came from Connecticut to Kinderhook and engaged in farming.
He afterwards removed to Westerlo where he died. He was twenty-five years
justice in Westerlo. Alonzo Spaulding was reared on the farm and educated in the
common schools. He studied law with Rufus Watson of Greenville, then with Ly-
man Tremain, and in 1851 was admitted to the bar and for many years practiced his
profession in Albany county. Mr. Spaulding has always had his residence on the
old homestead, with the exception of four years spent in Rensselaerville and less
than one year in Kingston.

Moore, William J., son of Dr. John and Eleanor (Hagadon) Moore, born in Al-
bany, N. Y., February 27, 1838, was educated in the public schools and the Albany
Business College, after which he engaged in the gardening business on Van Rensse-
laer Island. His father died in 1863; he then took charge of the latter's business,
settled up the estate, and continued the business until 1886, when he sold out his
interest in the garden to William Glosser. He has leased the Van Rensselaer
Island for the last thirty years. He then bought a farm at Castleton, N. Y., and
conducted it as a horse farm, which he still owns. He then embarked in the livery
business on Hudson avenue and conducted that about four years; then .sold out the
business to Mills & Sanborn. February, 1895, he bought the retail department of
the Standard Wagon Co.. located at 447 and 449 Broadway. May. 1896, he moved
to his present location 26 and 28 State street, where he still carries on the business.
May 2, 1888, he married Lillian L. Holmes, and has one son, William J., jr.

McKown, William, was born in the town of Guilderland, July 13. 1842. John Mc-
Kown, his second great-grandfather, was a native of Scotland and founder of the
McKown name in America about 1767. John McKown, his grandfather, was born
in the McKownville Hotel in 1778, and in this hotel he grew to manhood and lived
until seventy years of age. James, the father of Mr. McKown, was also born in the
McKownville Hotel in the year 1814. He assisted his father in the hotel until the
latter rented it, and then moved to the farm, which came into his possession at the
death of his father, where he lived and died. He was an active and successful
farmer and for years was a breeder of cattle. His wife was Sarah Ann White, born
in the town of Guilderland, a daughter of Jesse and Sarah White, formerly of Ver-
mont. They had one child, William. Mr. McKown died in February, 1878, and his
wife died in 1879. William McKown spent his early life on his father's farm, at-
tending the common schools and the Boys" Academy in Albany When he was
eighteen years of age he entered the grocery store of Samuel C. Bradt in Albany,
as clerk, the store standing where the capitol now stands. After two years as clerk
he became a partner in the business, remaining there seven years longer, when, on
account of his father's failing health, he closed out his business and returned home
to take charge of his father's affairs. His father died the next year and he remained
on the farm for fifteen years, when, in 1887, he retired to McKownville, erecting a
fine residence, where he has since resided. He now owns several farms which he
looks aftei. He was for some time president of the Guilderland Mutual Insurance



Association. In 1863 he was married to Leviua McMillcn, who was born in the town
of New Scotland, a daughter of Alexander and Margaret McMillen. Their children
are James, Margaret, Ella, Jessie, Alexander, Anna, and Eva. The three oldest
died when nineteen, eighteen, and seventeen years of age, respectively. His wife
died in 1890. His second wife was Mrs. Rachel (Jacobson) Buchanan, who was
born in the town of New Scotland, a daughter of Jacob Jacobson. She died Sep-
tember 29, 1890.

Hollenbeck, Jerome M., born in the town of Rensselaerville, N. Y., June 15, 1855,
is a son of Charles Hollenbeck, who was born in Columbia county, July 4, 1810, and
came to Albany county with his parents in 1814, where he was a farmer. He died
August 3, 1894. His wife was Hannah Hess, born August 22, 1815, and died June
21, 1893. Jerome Hollenbeck was educated in Rensselaerville Academy and select
schools and is by occupation a farmer and speculator. October 6, 1880, he married
Ida Cartwright, daughter of Salmon S. Cartwright, and they have two children :
Malla May and Bertha.

Gaffers, Will R., was born on the old homestead in 1863. He is the eldest son of
a family of five children and one of the executors of the late William M. Gaffers.
The latter was born at Albany in 1825, and began life without capital, achieving
substantial success by force of character. He came to Watervliet, now Colonie, in
1850 and purchased a farm, the nucleus of the present large estate of nearly 500
acres. It was he who proposed the name of Colonie for the town, having been
largely instrumental in its separation from West Troy in 1895. He died May 11,
1896, leaving a widow and five children, all of vphom are of age; the widow now re-
sides on the old homestead. W. R. Gaffers is recognized as a rising young man,
having the courage of his convictions and is a fluent speaker, having mastered sev-
eral languages. He is the fifth generation of the paternal ancestry since the first
William Gaffers came from Sippling, Brunswick. Germany, over 100 years ago, and
fought gallantly under Colonel Bremen at Bennington.

Cole, William S., was born in 1832. He was the son of Charles, and the grandson
of Shubael, who came from Rhode Island to Coeymans in 1795. He had seven sons:
Lanson, Nathan, George, Charles, Hardy, David and Merritt. Charles Cole had
two sons: Madison and William S. William S. had one son and two daughters:
William, Mrs. Stephen Tompkins, and Mrs. Jessie Hotaling. He bought a farm at
Indian Fields, where he has always been a prominent and successful farmer.

Koonz. John F., was born in the town of New Scotland, November 5, 1839. His
great-grandfather came from Germany and settled in the town of Westerlo. Peter
Koonz, the grandfather, was born in Westerlo, where he became a farmer and spent
his life. His wife was Catherine Cline, and they had thirteen children. She lived
to be 106 years of age, and when 104 years, without the use of glasses, she hemmed
a linen handkerchief for each of her granddaughters, the needle work on which
would have been creditable to one half her age. She died in Albany. Samuel, the
father of John Koonz, was born in the town of Westerlo in 1809. When a young
man he went to Albany and learned the weaver's trade and soon after married
Elizabeth, the only child of Jonathan and Hannah (^Van Burcn) Folmsbee of New
Scotland. Mrs. Folmsbee was a first cousin of President Martin Van Buren. Im-


mediately after his marriage Mr. Koonz moved on to the farm of his father-in-law,
consisting of sixty-two acres, which he took charge of, and later added forty acres
more to the farm, and here spent his remaining (Jays. Their children were Mary,
Hannah, Catherine, Peter (who died when two years of age), Phebe, John F., Abram,
Peter, Samuel (who died in infancy) and Sarah. Mr. Koonz died December 29, 1871.
and his wife in 1888. John F. Koonz grew to manhood on his father's farm and at-
tended the common district schools. When twenty-one he married and began life
for himself as farmer in the town of Guilderland on a rented farm ; two years later
he purchased a small farm of ten acres in the town of New Scotland, and in 1865
purchased his present farm of seventy-three acres, and' here has ever since resided.
Since 1875, in connection with his farm, he has been an extensive dealer in fertilizers,
and for four years had his ofBce in Albany, where he had a heavy trade. For fifteen
years he spent the autumns and winters as traveling salesman, in the interest of his
fertilizing business, the balance of the year being spent on his farm. Mr. Koonz is
an active member of the American Protective Association. He has been twice mar-
ried; his first wife was Nancy, daughter of Frederick J. Tygert of Guilderland, by
whom he had seven children: Ellen J. (wife of Jacob Allbright), Libbie (wife of
Fred Nickelson), Samuel C, John E. (who died when nineteen from injuries received
on a railroad), Fannie, Frederick J. and Daisy. Mrs. Koonz died m October, 1S88.
In 1891 Mr. Koonz married Miss Jessie, daughter of William Vanderbilt of Iowa, and
they have two children, Harlan and Harold.

Wetmore, Edward Willard, was born in Detroit, Mich., September 5, 1846. He
is a son of Frederick Wetmore and Cornelia Piatt Willard, who was the granddaugh-
ter of Dr. Elias Willard of Albany, N. Y., who was a surgeon in the Revolution and
a direct descendant of Simon Willard, the founder of Concord, Mass. The Wet-
mores came from Middletown, Conn., where Amos Wetmore was a captain in the
Connecticut Line in the Revolution. He was the great-grandfather of E. W. Wet-
more. Mr. Wetmore's mother was the fourth in descent from Robert Livingstone,
jr., mayor of Albany and Indian commissioner; and the fifth in descent from Peter
Schuyler, first mayor of Albany. Edward W. Wetmore, the subject of this sketch,
was educated in the public schools of Detroit and the University of Michigan, from
which he was graduated in 1867 with the degree of A. B. In 1870 he received the hono-
rary degree of M. A. from the same institution. In 1869 Mr. Wetmore took a course
in metallurgy at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.V. He also took a
two years course in Auburn (N. Y.) Theological Seminary, after which he received
the appointment of instructor in natural sciences in Robert College, Constantinople,
where he remained three years. Since then Mr. Wetmore has been a teacher of
natural sciences with the exception of ten years of business life spent in Detroit and
Connecticut. Since 1891 he has been the professor of natural sciences at the State
Normal College at Albany, N. Y. He is a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fra-
ternity, Sonsof the Revolution, Society of the Colonial Wars, Fortnightly and Cres-
cendo Clubs and the Albany Institute. He has always been actively identified with
church, Sunday school andY. M. C. A. work, was for four years the president of the
association in Detroit, Mich., and is now chairman of the educational committee of
the Albany Y. M. C. A. In 1883 he was married to Martha, daughter of William H.
Cox of Brooklyn, N. Y., and they have two children: William Cox and Edward Van


Moore, Albert T. , was bom in Rensselaerville, N. Y. , December 1, 1827, son of
Apollos and Deborah (Stone) Moore. His father, ApoUos Moore, was born in Pitts-
field, Mass.. 1765; he was a, soldier in the Revolutionary war, enlisting at the age of
si.xteen, and served three years. He came to Rensselaerville about 1785, built a
substantial house two miles east of the village, which became his home for life. He
was a prominent man in the town, holding most of the town offices and was ap-
pointed judge of Albany county, which office he held for many years. He was by
occupation a farmer and miller. He died in 1841. Deborah Stone, his wife, was
born in Windham, Greene county, 1788, and died in Rensselaerville, 1857. Their
children were George Stone. Albert Tuttle, and Jerome B. Albert T.. the subject
of this .sketch, was reared on the farm, educated in the common schools, and has
always been a farmer by occupation. In politics he is a Demorcrat. For five years
he held the office of supervisor of the town. For the last ten years he has lived a
retired life in the village of Rensselaerville. In 1855 he married Ann B. Knowles,
who was also born in Rensselaerville.

White, John J., son of Isaac and Ann Eliza (Cramer) White, was born in Fulton-
ville, N.Y., September 4, 1848. His paternal grandfather, Isaac White, moved from
Nine Partners, Dutchess county, to near Duanesburg, N. Y., later to Otsego county,
and in 1828 to Palmyra, N. Y., but finally returned to Duanesburg. Hon. Isaac
White, son of Isaac, was born in Maryland, Otsego county, February 10, 1820, was
educated at Gallupville Academy, taught school, became a merchant in Gloversville
and afterward a farmer in Duanesburg and in 1866 came to Albany and entered the
employ of George A. Wolverton & Co. On October 3, 1843, he married Ann Eliza
Cramer, and in March. 1871, he formed with his son, John J., the firm of Isaac White
& Son and purchased the notion and fancy goods business of George H. Knowlton.
In 1874 another son, Edgar M., was admitted under the style of Isaac White & Sons.
January 1. 1883, Mr. White withdrew, Edgar M. gave place to his brother, Frank,
and the firm became Isaac White's Sons & Co. In January, 1885, Edgar M. White
again became a member of the firm and m 1887 Addison B. Wells was admitted,
Frank White retiring at this time on account of ill health. In 1890 the business was
closed out and the firm dissolved, and in 1892 John J. White, Addison B. Wells and
Frank J. Wilkins, organized the present firm of White, Wells & Wilkins, from which
Mr. Wilkins withdrew in December, 1894, the other two partners continuing under
the same name. The business is exclusively wholesale dry goods, notions and fancy
goods, and has been conducted in the present block on Broadway since 1871 and is
the only one of the kind in the city. John J. White was educated at the Gloversville
Academy, came to Albany in 1867 and was a clerk for Mr. Knowlton until 1871. He
is a director in the Albany County Bank and a trustee of the Albany County Savings
Bank. In 1873 he married Anna E., daughter of Jacob Miller of Albany; she died
in March, 1875. leaving one son. Frederick J., who is associated in business with his
father. In 1870 Mr. White married, second, Charlotte E., daughter of Launcelot
Bevv, of Albany, and they have five children: Launcelot Bew (deceased), Mary Bew,
John J., jr., William Bew, and Ruth.

Groot, James Bleecker, was born in the city of Albany in 1848. He is the son of
Philip Wendell Groot, who was a native of Fonda. Montgomery county. N. Y.. and
a descendant of the old and widely known Groot family of Amsterdam. He was for


many years a broker in New York city. In 1840 he came to Albany and engaged in
the dry goods and real estate business but after a time returned to New York city
and resumed his operations as a broker. His wife was Deborah Sanders, a rative
of Schenectady, and a daughter of Barent and Cathalina (Bleecker) Sanders. Mr.
and Mrs. Groot reared three children, two daughters and one son ; he died about
1870, and his wife survived him eight years. James Bleecker, the subject, spent
most of his time in early life traveling about for his health ; after a time he studied
law and later engaged in the mercantile business for a time in Albany. In 1887 he
accepted a position as assistant paymaster on the Delaware & Hud.son Canal Rail-
road which he now holds. In 1888 he erected a residence on the mountain side,
above the village of Altamont in the town of Guilderland. In 1893 he erected his
handsome and imposing residence on the mountain side, above the village, a pic-
turesque spot, commanding a beautiful view of the valley At this beautiful residence
he and his sisters make their permanent home. In this home they have old pictures,
furniture, and rare old china, Japanese and Russian tea sets, comprising hundreds
of pieces of the most elegant and antique ware, worth thousands of dollars. All
these articles were inherited as the portion of the estates of Groot, Bleecker, San-
ders, and Van Rensselaer families, from whom they are descended. Mr. Groot is a
natural mechanic and mathematician, and spends much of his time in the manufac-
ture of fine and complicated clocks of his own designing, having a room setoff as his
work shop, which he has well stocked with all the finest and modern tools, etc. He
is a member of the Masonic fraternity, Noah Lodge and Noah Chapter of Allamont,
and is a thirty-second degree Mason of Albany Lodge.

Deitz, Wallace E., M. D., was born in the town of Berne, November til, 1857.
Col. Johan Jost Deitz, his great-grandfather and founder of the family in America,
came from Switzerland and was one of the first settlers in the town of Berne, coming
there between 1750 and 1760. Jacob, the grandfather, was born in Berue about 1787.
He was a lifelong and successful farmer, accumulating a fine property in the Beaver-
dam Valley. His wife was Mary Elizabeth Zimmer. John G , the father, was born
in Berne in 1836, his early life being spent on his father's farm. In 1878 he removed
to Gloversville, N. Y., where he was engaged in the grocery business for about fif-
teen years, when he retired to the village of Slingerlands, where he died November
17, 1896, and was buried at Pine Grove Cemetery of Berne. His wife was Lydia J.,
daughter of John H. Engel, of Berne, and they had eight children : Isadora, Wallace
E., Laura, Charles F., Elmer, Seward, Carrie, and Adella, of whom four survive.
Wallace E. was reared on the farm and educated m the common district school. At
the age of eighteen he began for himself, contmuing his schooling winters. Urged
on by his success in his studies, he was soon enabled to secure a certificate to teach.
He was then engaged in teaching and studying until 1877, vi-hen he passed the State
examination and soon after entered the Albany Medical College, from which he was
graduated March 3, 1883. He began the practice of his profession m Howe's Cave,
Schoharie county, two years later removing to Berne, where he has since resided,
enjoying a large and lucrative practice. He owns a farm, also a saw mill, which he
superintends. He is a member of the Albany County Medical Society and the I. O.
O. F., Orion Lodge No. 624 of Gallupville, of which he is past noble grand. In July,
1889, Dr. Dietz married Theodora, daughter of David and Louis (Rheinhart) Ball,
of Berne. They have an adopted daughter.


Reid, William James, was born in New Salem, Albany county, March 6, 1835.
George the grandfather, was a native of Scotland, who came to America, before
1785, and settled in the town of New Scotland. He was a farmer and reared eight
children, and died in 1805. One of his sons, James, was the first supervisor of the
town and held the office from 1833 to 1838. Alexander, the father, was born in New
Scotland in 1801 and spent most of his life here. When a young man he settled
in the town of Berue, where is now Reidville, which was named in his honor.
Through his efforts a post-office was established and he was appointed postmaster,
and conducted a store and hotel. He remained there for about six years, when
he returned to New Salem, where he engaged as a wheelwright, which business he
followed until he retired on account of ill-health. His wife was Sophia Thompson,
born in New Scotland, by whom eight children were born: Eliza J., George A., Mar-
garet, Maria, Alexander, William J., Ann and John, Mr. Reid died in 1878 at the
age of seventy-seven, and his wife died in 1869. William J., when sixteen years of
age, began learning and working at the wheelwright trade in his father's shop and
has followed this business since. For many years he manufactured sleighs and
wago! s and employed several men to help him. After his marriage, in 1859. he
opened a shop for himself and has always met with success m his business. In early
life he manifested a keen and intelligent interest in the political affairs of his town
and county, and when twenty-eight years of age was elected justice of the peace
and filled the office with satisfaction for twenty years. He was justice of sessions
during the years 1872, '73, '81 and '82, and was elected supervisor of the town for
the years 1886, '87, and '88, and since 1883 he has been notary pubHc. He has been
chosen many times as representative to county and State conventions. In 1859
he married Catherine Paterson, daughter of Alexander Paterson, who was born in
Kew Scotland and is of Scotch ancestry, his grandfather, John, being one of the early
emigrant settlers in this town. Their children are Mrs. Margaret Raynsford of
Jersey city ; Mrs. Mary Moak of the same place; and William P., who is with the
National Express Company at Jersey city.

Bennett, David W , was born in New Scotland, August .'JO, 1838. He was the son
of William, who was one of three sons, William, Rushraore, and Thomas, and one
daughter, Ann, born to Daniel Bennett, of England. William became a farmer in
New Scotland, where he did a large and successful business. His wife was Catha-
rine Bradt, daughter of David Bradt, and granddaughter of Storm Bradt; she was
born on the farm now owned by David W. Bennett in 1814, as was her grandfather.
To Mr. and Mrs. Bennett were born six children; Daniel. David W., A.nn, Abbie
(died at twenty years of age), William H., and Hester. Mr.s. Bennett died in 1865,
and Mr. Bennett spent the last fifteen years of his life in the town of Bethlehem,
and died in 1876, aged sixty-nine years. David W. received his education in the
common district and Albany schools. He remained on the homestead until he was
twenty-four, when he purchased it of his father; he sold it in 1871, when he pur-
chased of an uncle the original homestead of 113 acres of his maternal grandfather,
where his mother was born, and four years later he removed to Albany, where he
resided one year. For many years he has made a .specialty of high grade Jersey
cows. He has also devoted much of his time to apple culture, and in the mean time
has purchased sixty-eight acres adjoining the homestead. In 1861 he married Miss


Harriet Perry of New Scotland. She was the daughter of Casper and Amanda
(Meade) Perry; this union was blessed with two children, William C. and Anella.
William C. married Elizabeth Higgins and has one child, Edward J. Daniel Ben-
nett, the grandfather of the subject, was born at Stone near Berkley, England, in
the year 1777. He married Miss Abigail Rushmore of New Salem, and settled near
there on a farm, where he died while yet a young man.

Barber, Morgan F., was born in the town of Berne, April 6, 1849. Lemuel (Bar-

Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 106 of 138)