Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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generation was Peter and his wife Maritie Van Der Bogart. The fourth generation
was Claas (Nicholas), who was born in February, 1734, and his wife, Catharine Van
Eps. The fifth generation was Pieter C, born in March, 1773, and his wife, Maria

Mynderse. The sixth generation was John Pieter, who was born in September,
1809, and his wife, Sarah Ann Batterman.

Cook, Eugene, born in Berne, N. Y., July 10, 1846, is a son of Abram and Jane
(Crocker) Cook, both born in Albany county, he a son of David Cook who came to
Albany county in an early day and settled in Berne, N. Y. The maternal grand-
father of Eugene Cook was Rev. Mr. Crocker, an early settler of Berne, where he
reared a large family. The father of Eugene Cook was a farmer, and died in
Berne in 1866. Eugene Cook was reared on a farm and educated in the common
schools and Rensselaer Academ)'. He was for several years engaged in the sale of
stove shelves and Horton's washing machines; and also in the livery business in
Illinois, but his principal occupation is farming, and in 1866 he removed to the farm
of 156 acres, he owns. He is a Democrat in politics, but does not aspire to public
office. In 1869 he married Augusta Lounsbury, a daughter of William Lounsbury.
To Mr. Cook and wife were born three children: Alice, wife of Charles Mackey,
Arcia and Reba B. The family attend the Methodist church.

Williams, Elam, was born in the town of Knox, March 12, 1844. Prentice Williams,
his grandfather, was a native of Connecticut, settled in Knox when a young man
cleared himself a farm in the forest, where he became prosperous. His children
were Lucy, Mary, Eliza, Eunice, Prentice, jr., and Dennison. He and his wife were
niLinbcrs of the Methodist church, in which he was an active worker. He died in
1S,-,(|, and his wife died some years before. Hon. Prentice Williams, jr., the father
of Elara, was born in the town of Knox on the homestead in 1794. In early life he
followed farming, but later learned the cabinetmaker's trade, which he followed in
connection with undertaking for a number of years in the village of Knox. He sub-
sequently engaged in mercantile business in Albany, remained there but a short time
and returned to Knox and resumed his old business of furniture and undertaking.
He was prominently identified with the Democratic party and his influence was ex-
tensive; he had the honor of serving his district in the State Legi-slature one term,
and was postmaster many years. He was twice married ; his first wife, Harriet Jane
Clark, died a year aftei their marriage ; his second wife was Mrs. Jane (Knight) Arm-
strong, widow of Patten Armstrong, and they had one child, Elam. Mr. and Mrs.
Williams were members of the Methodist church, in which he took a leading part
He died in 1864 and his wife September, 1882. Elam Williams received his education
in the Knox Academy and when twenty years old began teaching which he followed
for a number of years. Early in life he manifested a keen and active interest in the
political affairs of his town and county, and while yet a young man was elected to the
office of justice of the peace on the Democratic ticket. He filled the office with such
credit that he was elected and re-elected for nineteen successive years ; the years
of 1882-83 he was justice of sessions and in 1870 was appointed State census
enumerator for his district. He has filled the office of postmaster of Knox during
both of President Cleveland's administrations. In 1886 he engaged in the general
mercantile business in the village of Knox and with careful and strict attention
to business, he has met with merited success. In the spring of 1896 he purchased a
farm of 11'2 acres near the village, of which he has taken personal management,
being assisted in the store by his son, Stanley. He is a member of the Masonic
fraternity, Berne Lodge, No. 684. In 1871 he married Catherine, daughter of Syl-


vester and Sarah (Bunzy) Allen of Knox, and they have five children, Effie, Stanley,
Jennie. Marx and Emma.

Bassler, Elias, a well known landmark, was born in the town of Knox, on the old
Bassler homestead, Februarys, 1819. Frederick Bassler, his great-grandfather, was
a native of Switzerland, who immigrated to America before 1750 and settled in
Philadelphia. He was married on board of ship while on his way to America. Be-
tween 1750 and 1760 he settled in what is now the town of Knox, took up 238 acres
of land and made himself a home in the forest, and was one of the first eight to settle
in the town of Berne. Frederick Bassler, the grandfather of Elias, was born in
Philadelphia, Pa., in 1753, and grew to manhood on his father's farm in Knox, of
which he sub.sequently came in possession. When the Revolutionary war broke out
he took sides with the British and enlisted in their service. His wife was Martha
Ball, a native of Berne, born in 1768, and their children were Peter, Frederick, Henry,
John, Beniamin, Eve, Elizabeth, Maria and Ann Eliza. He died November 5, 1851,
at the age of ninety-eight years; his wife died February 27, 1833. Frederick, the
father of Elias Bassler, was born on the homestead in 1793; coming into possession
of one-half of the homestead, he added more to his landed possessions, .where he
remained a lifelong and successful farmer. He was prominent and influential in the
political affairs of his town and county, being chosen six times by his townsmen to
represent them in the Board of Supervisors, and was once elected to represent his
district in the State Legislature on the Republican ticket. He was actively identified
with the church and was one of the building committee to erect the first Dutch Re-
formed church of Berne, in which he afterwards officiated. His wife was Maria
Salsburg, and their children were Anna, Maria. Elias, Jacob. Peter, Levinus, Sophia,
Eliza and Emma. He died in 1874 and his wife in 1862. Elias Bassler, when a boy,
attended the common district schools. He remained on the farm until thirty-nine
years af age, when he came into possession of his present farm of 130 acres, through
the assistance of his father, and on this farm he has ever since resided, doing general
farming. In politics Mr. Bassler is a Republican, and while feeling a keen interest
in the welfare of his party, he has never sought political honors. In 1842 he married
Eva, daughter of Jacob Sand of Knox, and they have three children: Dorthy L.
(wife of Nicholas Sheldon of Knox), Olivia M. (wife of James E. Onderdonk of Central
Bridge, N. Y.), and Catharine E. (who died when nineteen). Mrs. Bassler died in
February, 1894. They were both members of the Reformed church, in which he has
officiated as deacon and elder. He has now retired from the active life and care of
the farm, which he now leases to his son-in-law, Mr. Sheldon.

Sturgess, Charles E.. a well known landmark and patriot in the Northern army in
the war of the Rebellion, was born in the town of Knox, June 17, 1846, on the farm
he now owns and occupies. George Sturgess, the grandfather of Charles E., was
torn in Delaware county, N. Y., a descendant from one of four brothers who
migrated from England to America in an early day. George spent his life as a
farmer in Delaware county and lived to be a very aged man; he was the father of
ten .sons and daughters. David, the father of Charles E. Sturgess, was born in Del-
aware county, June 13, 1815. He was a farmer and carpenter, spending most of his
hfe at his trade. In 1844 he moved to the town of Knox, where he spent his remain-
Ingdays. He was prominently identified with the Republican party in his town, but


never an aspirant for office. He owned the farm now owned by Charles E. Sturgess,
and formerly owned by his father-in-law, Nathaniel Swan. His wife was Melinda,
daughter of Nathaniel Swan, and their children were Charles E., Nathaniel, Adelia,
Sarah, Isadore and Eugene. He died in March, 1807, and his wife survives him and
resides on the home farm with her son. Her father, Nathaniel Swan, was a promi-
nent man in the town of Knox, and did much toward building it up. His place of
business and residence has ever been known as Swan's Corners, where he owned
600 acres of land, a hotel, store, blacksmith shop, and also a large potash factory.
In stature he was of medium height and weighed about 165 pounds, but herculean
in strength; he would pick up a 400 pound weight from the ground and place it in a
wagon, or pick up a barrel of cider from the ground on to his knees and drink from
the bunghole. He lived to be ninety-five years old and was perfectly healthy to the
morning of the day of his death, which occurred in December, 18T2. Charles E.
Sturgess attended the common schools and was graduated from the Knoxville Acad-
emy. He remained on the farm with his parents until July 38, 1862, when yet a lad
of but sixteen years he answered his country's call for troops and enlisted in Co. K,
7th N. Y. Heavy Artillery, and served three years, participating in all the battles of
his regiment; the principal engagements being the battle of the Wilderness, Spott-
sylvania. North Ajina River, Tolopotomy, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg, being in the
famous bayonet charges of the two latter battles. At the battle of Deep Bottom he
was captured and confined in Libby prison one month, when he was transferred to
Belle Island prison, where he endured terrible sufferings for two months, from the
effects of which he has never fully recovered. After his return home he engaged in
farming and teaching during the winter months; this he followed for a number of
years, always making his present residence his home. In politics he is a Republican,
having served two years as town clerk and elected and re-elected ten successive years
to the office of justice of the peace, the last year resigning the office. He has also
filled the office of school commissioner for the Third district of Albany county for
three years. He is a member of Michael H. Barckley G. A. R. Post of Altamont,
N. Y. December 31, 1868, he married Nancy E., daughter of John and Elizabeth
(Kane) Quay, and their children are Louie, Edith, Bertha, Ada, Rosco and Lottie.

Mackey, Charles H., was born in Rensselaerville, N. Y.. October 3, 1863, and is
a son of Willett B., who was a son of Alexander Mackey, a native of Rensselaerville,
and he a son of one Alexander Mackey who came to Rensselaerville previous to
Revolutionary times. He was in the war as drummer at age of twelve. Willett B.,
the father of Charles Mackey, was a farmer by occupation and a Democract in poli-
tics, and held the office of highway commissioner. His wife was Hannah E. Rein-
hart of Schoharie county, N. Y., a daughter of John J. Reinhart, an early settler of
Rensselaerville. To Mr. Mackey and wife were born two sons and one daughter
who grew to man and womanhood. Charles H. Mackey was reared on a farm and
educated in the common .schools. He is a farmer and owns 190 acres, 100 acres where
he resides. November 14, 1888, he married Alice M. Cook, daughter of Eugene
Cook. In politics Mr. Mackey is a Democrat and has been collector two years. The
family attend the Baptist church, of which the father was a lifelong member.

Fanning, James O., was born of American parentage in Gorham. Ontario county,
N. Y. , March 8, 1835 He received a common school and an academical education,


the latter being obtaiued principally at the Franklin Academy at Prattsburg. Steu-
ben county, N. Y. Mr. Fanning was a student in the office of Hon. Daniel Morris
at Penn Yan, N. Y., and in the law department of the University of Albany, and
was admitted to the bar in 1860. After practicing some years, Mr. Fanning served
three years as accountant in the Treasury Department at Washington and the same
period as financial and engrossing clerk of the State Assembly. He has been
connected with the State Board of Charities as assistant secretary for about twenty

Brown, Johh C, M. D., son of P. J. and Margaret (Bough) Brown, was born in
Oswego, N. Y. July 32, 1870. In 1881 he moved to Albany, N. Y., with his parents
and attended the Christian Brothers' Academy, from which he was graduated in
1886. While there he organized and was the first president of the Justin Literary
Society. In 1887 he entered the Niagara University, where he remained three years,
and while there he was one of the founders of the Shakespeare Dramatic Associa-
tion. He returned to Albany and received the degree of M. D. from the Albany
Medical College in 1893. He subsequently spent one term m the Charity Hospital
on Blackwell's Island, N. Y., and returned to Albany, where he has since practiced
medicine. In 1895 Dr. Brown was elected coroner's physician, and in 1896 he was
re elected. He is a member of the Albany County Medical Society, the Alumni
Association of the Albany Medical College and the Dongan Club, of which he was
secretary in 1895.

Wiltse, James Wesley, M. D., son of James and Elizabeth (Magiunis), was
born in Delaware county, N. Y., November 10, 1864. The Wiltse family has been
in America for several generations. The first, three brothers, came from Holland
and settled in Columbia county; later one moved to New York and another to Dela-
ware county. Dr. Wiltse's paternal grandfather was a soldier in the Revolution.
Dr. Wiltse received his preliminary education in the public schools of Greene and
Delaware counties. In 1891 he was graduated from the Albany Medical College,
receiving the degree of M. D., and immediately began practice at No. 1203 Broad-
way. In May, 1896, he moved to No. 135 North Pearl street, formerly occupied by
Dr. Samuel B. Ward. He was fourth district physician from 1891 to 1896. Dr. is a member of the Albany County Medical Society and Temple Lodge, F. &
A. M. In 1893 he was married to Lizzie Bailie of Albany, and they have one son,
Stanley Bailie.

Harris, William B.. son of Henry H. and Mary A. (Parker) Harris, was born in
Albany, N. Y.. in 1860. He was educated in the public schools and Albany High
School and afterwards conducted the cigar stand at the N. Y. C. & H. R. R. R. depot
for eleven years. In 1884 he moved to No. 9 South Pearl street, where he is now the
owner and proprietor of a cigar store. He is a member of Wadsworth Lodge No.
417, F. & A. M., Garriaka Tribe of Red Men No. 343, and the Unconditional Repub-
lican Club. In 1883 he was married to Carrie Kiugsley of Albany.

Duggan, Edward J., son of Matthew and Fannie (Welsh) Duggan, was born in
Albany, March 11, 1857. He received his education in the public schoolsr Thomas
Newman's Private School, Christian Brothers' Academy and Masson College, Can-
ada. He started in life in a New York grocery house, where he remained only a


few months. He removed to Albany and after seventeen years successfully sjjent in
both the wholesale and retail grocery business, he is now the owner and proprietor
of a large store on Hudson avenue. He is a member of the Catholic Union and
Knights of Columbus. In 1861 he married Mary F. Kearns.

Sheppey, John V., M. D., son of Alonzo N. and Charlotte (Benedict) Sheppey,
was born in Ogdensburgh, N. Y., in 1859. On the maternal side, Dr. Sheppey is
descended from the Van Derwaters, who were among the first settlers of Schenec-
tady, N. Y. He attended the public schools and was graduated from the Rugby
Academy at Philadelphia. Pa., in 1880. He entered the Jefferson Medical College in
1882 and in 1885 received the degree of M. D. from that institution. Dr. Sheppey
did hospital work for one and a half years and after two years spent in Ohio,
he opened an office in Albany, N. Y., where he has since practiced. He is a member
of the Albany County Medical Society and assistant at electrocutions to the physi-
cian at Dannemora. He married Lina Craig of Ulster county, and they have four
children, Elsie C, Margaret, Esther and Dorothj'.

Green, Col. G. James, son of John R. and Ann C. (Vosburgh) Green, was born in
Albany, N. Y., June 4, 1860. His great-grandfather, John, an Englishman, came
from Dublin to America and settled in Niskayuna, N. Y., where he married Rebecca
Groot. They had a son, Cornelius, who married Gertrude Tymerson. G. James
Green received his education in the Albany public and high schools. In 1875 he
went into the employ of the D. & H. C. Co. as clerk, and for three years following
was paymaster for Curtin & Whalen, railroad contractors. In 1884 he was tendered
the position of bookkeeper with McKinley & Co., and remained with that company
until 1893, when he resigned to accept a similar position with Weidman & Co.
January 1, 1894, he was appointed chief clerk in the oflfice of the inspector-general of
the State of New York and on January 3, 1895, he was appointed assistant inspector-
general of the State, which position he now holds. Colonel Green enlisted in Co. B,
10th Regt., November 13, 1879; was promoted corporal January 4, 1881 ; dropped on
account of removal from the city, November 30, 1881 ; taken up as private in Co. B,
10th Battalion, June 6, 1884; promoted corporal September 7, 1885; sergeant, Janu-
ary 18, 1886; first sergeant. May 3, 1886; second lieutenant, October 15, 1887; lieuten-
ant-colonel and assistant adjutant-general, Third Brigade, December 11, 1889. Upon
the resignation of Brigadier-General Parker he was placed upon the supernumerary
list, at his own request; January 2, 1891, and on August 9, of the same year, he was
elected captain of his old company, vice Stacpole promoted major of the battalion.
Colonel Green resigned the captaincy of Co. B, January 1, 1895. He is a member of
the United Service Club of New York city, the Military Service Institution of the
United States and the Unconditional Republican Chib of Albany.

Fitts, Hon. George H., was born in Cohoes, Albany county, September 29, 1851.
He is of English descent and his parents, Lucien and Lemira M. (Slocumi Fitts,
were natives of New England. Mr. Fitts was graduated from l)artniouth College
in 1873 and from the Albany Law School in 1874. He then commenced the practice
of law in Cohoes, where he continued until January 1, 1896, when he assumed the
office of surrogate of Albany county, which be now holds. He was in partnership
with Charles F. Doyle from January, 1878, to October, 1891, and was a member of
the firm of Fitts & Wertime from January 1, 1894, to January 1, 1896. Judge Fitts


was city attorney of Cohoes from May, 1888, to January 1, 1896, when he resigned.
June 4, 1896, he married Clara B.. daughter of the late Henry S. Bogue of Cohoes.

Ui.\on, George, was thirteen years of age when his father, Robert Dixon, died
leaving him to gain his own livelihood. Thus entering upon a life of toil and priva-
tion which developed in him those excellent habits and those which distinguish him
as a man. He went into a mill near his birthplace, Poughkeepsie. N. Y., where
he was born in 1827. There he began in a humble way his life work. Being cour-
ageous and energetic, he soon left the hardships of youth behind him, and advanced
rapidly. In 1858 he came to Cohoes and for ten years took charge of the weaving
department in Harmony Mill, Nos. 1 and 2. Since that time he has been superin-
tendent of No. 3, the largest mill in the United States, having 140,000 spindles and
1,500 employees. Yet Mr. Dixon in his busy life that followed found time for social
and political duties, serving as school commissioner for six years; he is also director
of the Savings Bank. Mr. Dixon in 1849 married Mary C. H. Thompson of Pleasant
Valley, by whom he had four children. George E., the elder, is superintendent of
schools in Cohoes.

Archibold, John, M. D.. of Aichibold Bros.' elegant drug store, and successful
general practitioner of Cohoes, is a native of Bonfield, Scotland, born in 1861. He
was brought by his parents to America when three years of age, and began his edu-
cation at Cohoes, graduating from the Albany Medical College in 1888. He began
practice at Troy and afterward removed to Green Island, where he served as health
officer for one year. He has practiced here since 1892, and for the last three years
has been city health officer. William Archibold established the drug business upon
his arrival in Cohoes in 1864. He stood in the front rank of his profession until his
death in 1889, and the business has taken no step backward under the able manage-
ment of his two sons. Dr. Archibold enjoys a wide popularity, outside of his pro-
fessional radius, and as a man inherits the sterhng qualities of his race. He is lieu-
tenant of the crack local company National Guards S. N. Y.

White, David, is as well known for his zealous labors in the temperance cause as
for the extensive roofing, with which his name has been associated since his
settlement in Cohoes in 1866. He was at that time twenty-two years of age and had
acquired his superior knowledge of the trade in Scotland, his native country. Mr.
White is the oldest and most experienced roofer in the county, equally skillful in
every branch of the work. His father is Robert White, a linen cloth manufacturer,
still living at the advanced age of eighty-four. The maternal grandmother lived to
be 103 years of age. Mr. White inherits the sterling qualities characteristic of liis
ancestors. In him the Temple of Honor has a useful and influential member, ami
the Reform church an able supporter.

Rosenthal!, Mitchell, editor and pubhsher of the Sunday Regulator, is one of the
leading newspaper men of the city of Cohoes. Mr. Rosenthal! has always been in-
terested in journalism and has had wide experience in newspaper work, doing special
work for many out of town papers For several years he was correspondent for the
Troy Telegram, then became its city editor in 1885. He was also connected with the
Troy Budget, at the time serving as deputy postmaster, to which office he was ap-
pointed in 18T7, holding it for eight years in all. He is a Republican and has been


school commissioner. His father was Abram Rosenthall, an honored and highly
esteemed citizen of Cohoes, since 1869. He was a native of Warsaw, Poland, and
an extensive traveler, paying his expenses in foreign countries by making passamen-
teries, then coming to America before reching man's estate. He joined the gold
seekers in California, but soon located m New York, where he married, then returned
to California, where Mitchell was born, in 1856. After stopping in St. Louis, New
York, and Troy, he finally located in Cohoes and engaged as a retail clothier, until
his death, February 6, 1896. He is survived by his widow and two sons.

Walsh, John S., is the son of a longtime resident of Cohoes, John Walsh, an en-
gineer. Starting with no capital he has made his own way in the world, first engag-
ing in the tea business, later taking up the business for himself. He came to his
{present location, corner Mohawk and Ontario streets, three years ago, carrying a
large stock which is unsurpassed in its line. Teas, coffees, spices and flour are
specialties, besides a choice stock of general groceries. Mr. Walsh while taking a
deep interest in politics and everything that contributes to the welfare of his native
city, where he was born in 1856, never seeks or accepts political preferment. He is
a member of the Business Men's Association. In 1893 he married Catherine Platz,
daughter of N. B. Platz of Cohoes.

Wallace, James, was born in Cohoes, Albany county, N, Y., July 9. 1856. He at-
tended the public schools and later acted as correspondent in his native town and
vicinity for several newspapers. He began the study of law with counselor Earl L.
Stimson in 1880 and was admitted to the bar January 24, 1884. In July, 1883, the
Cohoes Cataract, a weekly newspaper, the original publication of which was begun
early in the history of Cohoes, was again started and Mr. Wallace became the editor.
A year later the paper was superseded by the Cohoes Dispatch of which he was
selected the editor, and William E. Seaport, the publisher of the Cataract, became
the proprietor. About a year later Mr. Wallace purchased the paper and early in
the year 1886 he formed a copartnership with his brother Michael, and the firm of
J. & M. Wallace has since continued the publication of the paper. March, 1886, Mr.
Wallace was elected justice of the peace of Cohoes. He assumed the duties of the
office the first of the following year and served four years and refused a renomination.
He has taken an active p^rt in local political, social and business affairs and through
the columns of his paper has aided in improving the local city government and has
also aided in the material progress of the city.

Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 125 of 138)