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Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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wife died several years before. Samuel, the father of Richard B. , is a native of
Bethlehem, born September 2, 1815. He received a common school education and
remained on his father's farm until twenty-two years of age, when he married and
began for himself on a rented farm. He later purchased one-half of his father's 199
acres, on which he resided until 1875, when he removed to Guilderland, bought a lot
and erected a residence at Fuller's Station. Soon after he came into possession of
the general store at that place, which he conducted for fourteen years. In 1890 he
was succeeded in business by his son Richard and his brother-in-law. He has since
led a retired life. While in the town of Bethlehem he was elected school commis-
sioner and was trustee of the district school fgr fifteen years. In 1836 he married
Elizabeth Becker, who was born in Bethlehem in 1813, and was a daughter of Rich-
ard and Catherine (Snyder) Becker. Their children are John, Richard, Ira and
George. His wife died in 1867. The past few years his children have quietly
brought about a reunion at his residence, greatly to the surprise and delight of their
aged parents. Richard B. worked on his father's farm and attended the common
schools, but at the age of twenty-five left home and engaged as mechanic in the
steel works of Troy, and later spent a time at farming, and from 1879 to 1883 he
was in the produce business in Albany. In 1883 he removed to Fuller's Station,
where he assisted his father in his store. In 1890 he, with his brother-in-law, pur-
chased his father's store and business. He has also been a dealer in hay and straw
for the past five years and was for a time interested in a cider mill. He was post-
master at Fuller's Station for two years under Harrison and Cleveland. In 1888 he
married Emma Goodman of Schenectady. Mr. and Mrs. Van Allen have two chil-
dren : Voorhees and Mattie May.

Washburn, Hiram L., son of Hiram L. and Magdalen T. (Clark) Washburn, was
born in W^estford, Otsego county, N. Y., June 14, 1840. He is of English descent,
being descended from one of three brothers who came from England to America
prior to the Revolution ; and of Holland-Dutch descent, his maternal ancestors hav-
ing been among the first to settle the town of Schenectady, N. Y. Mr. Washburn
attended the Albany public schools and the Ballston Spa Institute, after which he
studied law in the office of Hungerford & Hotaling of Albany and was admitted to
practice in 1861. Since his admission to the bar he has practiced law in Albany.
Mr. Wa.shburn was the attorney for four or five German banking and loan associa-
tions that were organized between 1866 and 1875, and was for .several years searching
clerk in the Albany county clerk's office. He also tried the case which brought about
the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in New York State for several months
after the war of the Rebellion, the question involved being in relation to the mus-



218

tenng out of men who had enlisted to fill unexpired terms. He was the inspector of
rifle practice on the staflf of the Third, Fifth and Ninth Brigades, N. G. N. Y., for
ten years and was on duty at the West Albany riots. Mr. Washburn is at present
the attorney for the Permanent Savings & Loan Association of Albany and has a
very large real estate practice. He is a Royal Arch Mason, being a member of Cap-
ital City Chapter, De Witt Clinton Council and Masters Lodge No. 6. April 1, 18(i(i,
he married Phebe Neemes of Albany, and they have three children: Mrs. William J.
McKown, Mrs. R. J. LeBoef, and Lucius H. Washburn.

Wallen, William, is a son of Frederick J. Wallen, born in Birmingham, England,
October 21, 1837, who came to America about 1849 and settled in Philadelphia, Pa.,
where he learned the trade of gas and steam fitting. In 1860 Frederick J. came to
Albany and had charge of the steam and gas fitting department of Tucker & Craw-
ford until 1873, when he established business for himself. He became one of the
leading steam and gas fitters in Albany. Mr. Wallen was a prominent member of
the Philadelphia and Albany Volunteer Fire Departments from the age of seventeen,
being foreman in Albany of Steamer No. 4 several years. He was also connected
with the present fire department of Albany and while discharging his duties July l:!,
1885, was killed in the Boardman & Gray fire, being forty-seven years of age. He
was an active Republican and a member of the I. O. O. F. He married Elizabeth
Virden. who died July 30, 1878, and of their ten children eight are living. Mr.
Walleu's mother died in Philadelphia in 1892, aged eighty-two and his father, Will-
iam, in Albany, in 1893, aged eighty-three. William Wallen, son of F. J., was born
April 5, 1863, associated himself with his father in 1876 and on the latter's death in
1885 succeeded, with his brother, George E., to the business, under the firm name of
F. J. Wallen's Sons. George E. withdrew in February, 1895, and since then Will-
iam Wallen has continued alone, having one of the largest plants between New York
and Buffalo, and doing a large amount of steam, hot water heating and gas fitting.
He is a member of the Royal Arcanum, the Elksand the Empire Curling and Albany
Bicycle Clubs. April 15, 1884, he married Minnie E. Evans of Albany, and their
children are Nathan Evans and Frederick William.

Rankin, Edward W., is a great-grandson of William Rankin, who was born in
Stirlingshire, Scotland, May 16, 1745 (died 1834), and came to Troy, N. Y., in 176:!.
He married Wilhelmina Payne, daughter of Dr. Lodowick Dunkel, of New York
city. William Rankin, his son, born 1785, died 1869, married Abigail Ogden, of
Elizabeth, N. J., in 1809, and removing to Newark, N. J., became prominent in busi-
ness and religious circles. His son, Edward E. Rankin, D. D., born 1830, died
1889, was pastor at Springfield, N. J., then of the 42d Street Presbyterian church.
New York city, 1849 to 1863, when he went to the war under the Christian Commis-
sion. From 1866 to 1879 he was pastor of the First Church of Christ at Fairfield,
Conn. Retiring m ill-health he settled in Hartford for two years and then returned
to Newark, N. J. He was one of the directors of the Hartford Theological Seminary
and a lecturer in his later years at the Bloomfield Theological Seminary. He mar-
ried, 1847, Emily Watkinson, of Hartford, Conn., whose family came from Laven-
ham, Suffolk, England, in 1795. Her father, Edward Watkinson, married Lavinia
Hudson, of Hartford, and was a brother and partner of David Watkinson, the
founder of the Watkinson Library. Edward Watkinson Rankin, sou of Rev. Dr.



219

E. E. Rankin, born in New York city, August 12, 1850, educated at Collegiate
School, N. Y. C, Newark Academy and Williston, Easthampton, was gradu-
ated at Princeton College in 1871, receiving degree of A. M. in 1874. He studied
law at Southport, Conn, (where he also edited the Southport Chronicle), and at
Bridgeport. He received degree of LL. B. from the 'Albany Law School and was
admitted to the bar at Albany in 1873. He was in Europe until 1875 and studied for
a time at Leipsic. He returned to Albany in 1875, since which time he has followed
his profession, making a specialty of office practice and real estate titles. He is a
member of the Albany Institute, Albany Historical Societj' and Albany Camera
Club. June 3, 1884, he married Catharine Bogart Putnam daughter of Dr. Alonzo
and Harriet Maria (Van Rensselaer) Putraan, who on her father's side traces her,
descent back si.x generations to an ancestor coming from Holland. Her grand-
father, Cornelius H. Putman, married Gazena Visscher Maybee, the granddaughter
of Col. Frederick and Gazena De Grafif Visscher, of Caughnawaga. Mrs. Rankin's
mother, Hawiet Maria Van Rensselaer, was the daughter of Robert Sanders Van-
Rensselacr (married Catharine Bogart), who was the son of Col. Philip Van Rens-
selaer (married Maria Sanders), who built the mansion " Cherry Hill," at Albany
in 1768, in which Mr. and Mrs. Rankin now live. Col. Philip Van Rensselaer
was a son of Col. Killian Van Rensselaer (married Arriantie Schuyler in 1742), and
he the son of Hendrick Van Rensselaer (married Catrina Van Brugh, daughter of
Catharine Roeloffsen, and granddaughter of Anneke Jans), who was a brother of Kil-
lian Van Rensselaer, the third Patroon of Rensselaerwyck. Mr. and Mrs. Rankin
have three children, Edward Elmendorf, Herbert Edward and Emily Watkinson.

Keenholts, Hon. James, of Altaraont, was born in Guilderland, April 13, 1868, son
of James Reenholts and Helen (Horner) Martin, grandson of Christopher, whose
father was Chri.stopher. James Keenholts was educated in the district schools and
remained on his father's farm until he was sixteen years old, when he engaged in
the meat business on his own account in Altamont! In 1866 he engaged in the fruit
and produce business, which he still continues. From 1889 to 1893 he conducted a
livery in addition to his other occupations. Mr. Keenholts is a Republican and act-
ive in politics; he assisted in the incorporation of the village of Altamont, and is
now serving his third term as trustee thereof; he was a prime mover in establishing
the Altamont Driving Park and Fair Association, of which he was made superin-
tendent, and has been a director since the organization; on January 9, 1897, he was
elected president of the association. In 1894 he was elected to the Assembly and
re-elected in 1895. He is a member of the Voorheesville Lodge I. O. O. F. and Na-
tawa Tribe of Red Men of Albany. In 1887 he married Delia C. Griggs of Cobles-
kill, daughter of C. L. Griggs. They have had three children: Ella, Anita and
Helen J.

Reynolds, Charles W., was born in Petersburgh, Rensselaer county, N. Y., Feb-
ruary 8, 1848. He is descended from William Reynolds of Providence, R. I., who,
on August 20, 1637, with twelve others including Roger Williams, signed the follow-
ing compact:

iire to inhabit in llie town of Providence, do promise to
• obedience to all such orders or agreements as shall be
an orderly way by the major assent of the present inhab-



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220

itants, masters of families incorporated together into a town fellowship, and such others whom
they shall admit unto them, only in civil things. '

The great- grandfather of Charles W., William W. Reynolds, came from Westerly,
R. I., and settled in Petersburgh in 1780. Prior to this, in 1777, he served in the de-
fense of his country against the English, at the battle of Bennington. He spent his
remaining days in Petersburgh, being supervisor in 1801, 1802 and 1803, and magis-
trate for many years. The grandfather of this subject was Parley Reynolds, who
was born in Petersburgh in 1780. He became a merchant and for many years, in
partnership with his brother Thomas, conducted an extensive and profitable business
in Petersburgh, and was supervi,sor in 1837 and 1838. William W. Reynolds, the
father of Charles W., was born September 25, 1816, and died June 4, 1876, and was
supervisor in 1847, 1848, 1856 and 1857. He was married to Mary (born January 14,
1825), daughter of Braddock Peckham, jr. (born June 4, 1781. died January 7, 1834),
and granddaughter of Bfaddock Peckham, sr. (born May 4, 1757, died January 9,
1830), who was a soldier in a Rhode Island regiment during the Revolutionary war.
Previous to this service he was .second in command in an expedition composed of
patriotic citizens of Wickford, R. I., that made a prisoner of the British General
Prescott, July 10, 1777, at Newport, R. I. ; the prisoner was delivered to General
Washington at Newburgh by the same party, and on July 18, 1777, was exchanged
for Major-General Harry Lightfoot Lee. At the close of his connection with this
duty, he came to the valley of the Little Hoosick, looking for a future home. He had
but just arrived when Captain Hull's company was being formed to go to the relief
of General Stark at Bennington; he joined this company, was made lieutenant and
served in that capacity at the battle of Bennington and continued with the company
until after the battle of Bemis Heights and the surrender of Burgoyne, when the
company was disbanded ; he then joined the command of General Gates and with
that little army of 1,500 marched away to New Jersey. He was at the defeat of
Brandywine and on the bloody field of Monmouth. He remained with General
Gates's command until the latter was superseded by Gen. Nathaniel Greene, and
with him saw the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. At the termination of the
war he returned to his home in Rhode Island, and in 1786, accompanied by his brother
Abel, came to the beautiful valley of the Little Hoosick and there reared a family
of thirteen children and where many of his descendants still reside. The first an-
cestor in this county of Braddock Peckham was John Peckham of Newport, R. I.,
who was admitted an inhabitant May 20, 1638; he married Mary Clarke, who was a
sister of the Rev. John Clarke from Bradfordshire, England, " one of the ablest men
of the seventeenth century and a founder of Rhode Island." In 1648 John Peckham
was one of the ten male members in full communion of the First Baptist church.
Charles W. Reynolds grew to manhood on his father's farm, and obtained his educa-
tion in the common schools, at Fort Edward Institute and Alfred University. When
twenty-one years of age his father assisted him in purchasing an interest in a general

1 "The government established by these primitive settlers of Providence was an anomaly in
the history of the world. At the outset it was a pure democracy, which for the first time guarded
jealously the rights of conscience by ignoring any power in the body politic to interfere with those
matters that concern man and his Maker. Principle, not precedent, formed their only standard
of judgment. Could the record of their proceedings have been preserved (meetings were held
monthly), with what interest should we now pursue the debates of this earliest of modern democ-
racies!" — Arnold's History of Rhode Island.



231

store in the village of Petersburgh in partnership with the late David H. Kellyer where
they soon after, in connection with their mercantile interests, began the manufacture
of shirts by contract, and with such encouraging success that in 1874 they sold their
store and engaged exclusively in the fnanufacture of shirts on their own account, in
which undertaking they have been successful as well as furnishing employment to a
large number of people. Mr. Reynolds makes the village of Petersburgh his home,
but spends the winters at his Albany residence where his children enjoy greater ed-
ucational advantages. In 1874 he married Lucy M. Gifford, born December 7, 1856,
a native of Albany and daughter of Alonzo (born March 9. 1832) and Mary J. (Hakes)
Gifford (born August 4. 1835), who has borne him five children, as follows. William
G., born August 13, 1875; George T., born September 21, 1878; Grace born Decem-
ber 31, 1880; Alonzo P., born January 21, 1886: and Noyes, born April 8, 1891. Mr.
Reynolds has traveled extensively over the United States, and in 1891, accompanied
by his son William G., was of the party of over two hundred Knights Templar who
visited Europe. Mr. Reynolds has never sought office, but in the spring of 1896
was elected supervisor of Petersburgh without opposition- and at a considerable per-
sonal sacrifice consented to serve in that capacity.

Thacher, Ralph W., was born in Brockport, N. Y., April 24, 1839. He is a son of
Dr. Ralph Thacher, who was born in Lebanon, Conn., where five generations of
Thachers have lived or were born. Mr. Thacher's mother was Jerusha B. Harri-
son of Williamstown, Mass. The first member of the Thacher family in America
was the Rev. Thomas Thacher, first pastor of the Old South church in Bo.ston,
Mass., from whom is also descended John Boyd Thacher, mayor of Albany. Rev.
Thomas Thacher landed at Boston in the ship James in August, 1635, in charge of
his uncle, Anthony Thacher, who had been a curate of his father's church in Salis-
bury, England. Rev. Peter Thacher, the father of Rev. Thomas, was rector of St.
Edmund's church at Salisbury, England, and lies buried in the churchyard under
the shadow of Salisbury cathedral. Ralph W. Thacher, the subject of this sketch,
and seventh in descent from Rev. Thomas Thacher, spent the years of 1855 and
1856 at Williams College and was graduated from Hamilton College in 1859. While
at Hamilton he was a member of the Phi Upsilon fraternity. After leaving college
Mr. Thacher removed to Albany, N. Y. , in 1860 and engaged in the grain business
with David N. Glazier and Harvey D. Leonard. After three years Mr. Thacher was
taken into partnership and the firm became Glazier, Leonard & Co., which existed
five years. Mr. Leonard then retired and the firm became for two years Glazier &
Thacher. In 1870 Mr. Thacher withdrew and went to Kansas, where he established
the First National Bank of Ottawa, of which he was cashier five years and vice-
president four years, including two years after he returned to Albany, in 1877.
When Mr. Thacher returned to Albany he bought of David N. Glazier the business
that he was originally interested in. Mr. Glazier was then in failing health and
shortly after died. Mr. Thacher continued in this business until July, 1891, coupling
with it a mill and elevator at Schenectady, N. Y., a mill and elevator at Kenwood,
near Albany, two malt houses in Albany and a coal yard in Schenectady, having in
all ninety employees. He retired from that business to go into the export trade in
New York in 1891, that being the year when there was a shortage in all the wheat
producing countries in the world save America. Mr. Thacher was very successful



222

in New York and in the fall of 1892 he retired from active business on account of
impaired health. In November, 1896, he took the presidency of the Albany Art
Union as a pastime, growing out of his liking for amateur photography and to some-
what satisfy his love of the beautiful in art. Mr. Thacher is a member of Masters
Lodge No. 4, F. & A. M., and a demitted member of Temple Chapter, R. A. M. ;
he was also a charter member of the Fort Orange and Albany Clubs. He is now a
member of the University Club of New York and of the New York Produce Ex-
change. He was formerly a member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce and the
Chicago Board of Trade. His first wife was Anna Elizabeth Glazier, of Brockport,
N.Y., by whom he has one daughter. Mrs. F. W. Stedman, of Albany. His present
wife was Louisa C. Huntington, of Albany, by whom he has a son, Ralph Hunting-
ton Thacher.

Lawson, Stephen, was born in 1830, and is a son of Levi, and grandson of Law-
rence Lawson, who first settled at Bethlehem and later at Rufus Corners, where he
died and left two sons, James and Levi. Levi came to Coeymans in 1830 and bought
the farm where Stephen now lives. He was a farmer and died in 1860. He had
four sons: Henry, William, Isaac, and Stephen, who remained on the homestead,
and has two sons: Frederick and Howard.

Griffen, Edward C, son of Edward and Harriett (Perkins) Griffen, was born in
Newark, N. J., September 5, 1868. In 1875 he moved with his parents to Schuyler-
ville, N. Y., where he attended the high school at that place. Subsequently he at-
tended the Albany Business College and graduated from that institution June 6,
1887, when he entered the employ of Henry Russell, flour merchant, and remained
with him seven years, rising to the position of bookkeeper. In January, 1894, Mr.
Griffen resigned his position with Mr. Russell and opened a store at No. 43 Hudson
avenue, where he deals in flour, feed, hay and grain. He is one of Albany's young-
est merchants and is respected for his integrity, perseverance and fair dealing. Feb-
ruary 10, 1892, he married Harietta Meader of (Juaker Springs, N. Y., and they have
one son, Chauncey Rider.

Miller, S. Edward, jr., was born in Albany, N. Y., in 1855. His father for many
years was a prominent merchant on Broadway. His mother's maiden name was
Sarah Frances Silsby. On the paternal side, Mr. Miller is descended from Elizabeth
Staats (great- grandmother) who was born just below Albany in the old Staats home-
stead, the oldest inhabited house in America, bearing date of erection of 1630.
Mr. Miller received his education in the public and high schools and was bookkeeper
for Coming & Co. until 1882, when he opened a men's furnishing store at No. 36
Maiden Lane. His business rapidly increased so that in 1891 he took premises at
No. 34 Maiden Lane; now he occupies Nos. 34 and 36. He began this business in a
small way and owing to his pleasant manner and fair dealings, was not long in hav-
ing it very well established. He now has a plant outside used solely for the manu-
facture of shirts giving employment to a large number of hands. Mr. Miller has a
large double store and does the largest strictly furnishing goods business in the State,
outside of New York and Buffalo. He has a very large custom shirt trade extending
to all parts of the United States, and the Hanan shoe agency which is developing
into a large business. He is a member of the Albany Club, Old Guard, Albany
Zouave Cadets and the Empire and Capital City Curling Clubs. Mr. Miller is also



a life member, ex-vice-president and director of the Young Men's Association and a
member of the Y. M. C. A. In 1880 he marriedSarah Louise Nash, daughter of John
II. Nash and sister of Willis G. Nash, cashier of the New York State Bank. They
have two children: Louise Adele and Edgar Nash.

Danaher, John E.. son of Francis M. and Mary E. (Hillenbrant) Danaher, was
born in Albany, N. Y., March 4, 1861. He attended the publicschools and Christian
Brothers' Academy and graduated from the Albany High School in 1878. After
leaving the high school he obtained a situation as bookkeeper for Tallmadge & Carter,
commission merchants, and remained with this firm a year and a half. Subsequently
he was bookkeeper and afterward traveling salesman for William H. Livingston,
wholesale liquor dealer, with whom he remained seven years, when in 1886, he started
in the wholesale liquor business for himself at No. 34 Green street. He remained at
that location for one year and then owing to increased business he moved to Nos.
304 and 396 Broadway, where he was located five years, when his business became
so large that he was compelled to find more suitable quarters and moved to his pres-
ent location No. 97 Hudson avenue, corner of Grand street, with storehouse in the
rear at No. 14 Grand street. Mr. Danaher is a member of the Catholic Union, the
Commercial Traveler's Club, and is a member of the Board of Control of the National
Wholesale Liquor Dealers Association of America. He married Elizabeth B.,
daughter of Patrick McCarthy, for many years a builder and alderman of Albany.
They have one daughter, Hortense E. Mr. Danaher's success may be accounted for
so.-newhat by the fact that he was born of that good stock, Irish and German. His
maternal grandparents were of the first German immigrants to locate in Albany, where
they came in 1830. Mr. Danaher if a self made man and great praise is due to his
efforts. He does a strictly wholesale business, being a large direct importer of wines
and brandies and has sole control of the "Optimus" brand of whiskey. He has a
large busmess equal to and as important as any in Albany.

Ertz Berger, Edmund J., son of William G. and Mary L. (Sheridan) Ertz Berger,
was born in Albany, N. Y., Septembers, 1856. About 1765, Daniel Ertz Berger came
to America from Basil, Switzerland, and settled in Albany and engaged in trading
skins and furs with the Indians, and was in many a bloody encounter with them.
Daniel, his son, the grandfather of Edmund J., vyas born in Albany in 1788, and
Charlotte Dunlap, his wife, was born in Albany in 1794. William G., the father of
Edmund J., was a manufacturer of cigars and candies in Albany and did an exten-
sive business during the war. He died in 1885, aged seventy-five. Edmund J.'s
mother died when he was two years old and he went to live with an uncle who put
him through the public schools and high school, from which he was graduated in the
English and mathematical course in 1874. He then entered the employ of S. L.
Munson, shirt and collar manufacturer, where he learned the business and with whom
he remained twenty years, rising rapidly until he had entire charge of the shirt de-
partment. In 1881 Mr. Ertz Berger went West on an extensive trip for his health.



Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 111 of 138)