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Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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hollow and Hat ware, cut glass, bric-a-brac; china, etc., a large part of which is im-
ported by him. He is one of the foremost jewelers of the State. He is a Democrat
and was alderman of the Fifth ward in 1878-79. He is a member of Washington
Lodge No. 85, F. & A. M., a trustee of Beth Emeth congregation, treasurer of the
Rural and Bethlehem cemeteries and a trustee of the Hebrew Benevolent Society
since about 1870.

Campbell, Stewart, born August 20, 1831, in the town of Columbus, Chenango
county, N. Y., is the son of Alonzo S. Campbell and a grandson of Samuel Campbell,
who at one time represented Chenango county in the Legislature at Albany, and also
as a member of Congress at Washington, D. C. Samuel Campbell was a personal
friend of Henry Clay, from whom he drank in the principles of protective tariff', which
still run strong in the veins of the family. Stewart Campbell's mother was a daughter
of Gideon De Forest, one of four brothers who received pensions for services in the



327

war of the Revolution. In early March, 1841." Mr. Campbell came to Albany and
entered the store of Charles A. De Forest, in which after a few years he received an
interest. Later Mr. De Forest retired, and a new partnership was formed with his ^
son, Dewitt C. De Forest, under the firm name of Campbell & De Forest, which con-
tinued for about six )'ears, through the war of the Rebejlion. In May, 1S6T, Mr.
Campbell located himself at the well known store, corner of South Pearl and Plain
streets, where he successfully prosecuted the business until June, 1896, when he
turned it over to his son, Edward W. Campbell. He married Catherine Mitchell,
of Albany, who died July 25, 1896, and they had three children: Jessie Maud, who
died at the early age of eleven months and eleven days; Sarah Elizabeth, wife of
Alfred S. Woodworth, of Boston, where she resides, having one son, Stewart Camp-
bell Woodworth: and Edward Willers Campbell of Albany. During all these years
Mr. Campbell has been positive in his political convictions, being first a Whig, after
the Thurlow Weed kind, and now an unflinching Republican. For over fifty years
he has been an active member of the Baptist church.

Delahant, Michael F., son of Michael, was born October'15, 1852, in Troy, N. Y.,
and received a public school and commercial education. In 1873 he entered the em-
ploy of J. N. Brady, at Cohoes, wholesale and retail dealer in teas and coffee at
Albany and Cohoes, and remained there thirteen years, having charge of that
branch. In 1887 he took charge of Mr. Brady's Albany store. Mr. Brady died in
1888 and Mr. Delahant continued as manager until May 1, 1893, when he formed
partnership with Charles W. Edwards, as Delahant & Edwards and purchased the
entire business. May 1, 1896, Mr. Delahant bought out Mr. Edwards's interest and
became sole owner of the two stores. He carries on a large wholesale and retail
trade in tea, coffee, spices, confectionery, and bakers' and butchers' supplies.

Wilson, Oren E., born in Boston, Mass., October 10, 1844, is the descendant of a
sturdy line of New England ancestry, both his father and grandfather being natives
of Kittery, Maine. James Wilson, of Pennsylvania, a signer of the Declaration of
Independence, was one of the original members of this branch of the Wilson family
in America. Mr. Wilson was educated at the district school at Portsmouth, and
later on his removal to New York with his father, in 1852, became a pupil in, and
was graduated from one of the public schools at the age of fourteen. He attended
for one year the Clinton Liberal Institute, at Fort Plain, N. Y., after which he en-
вАҐ tered Mount Washington Collegiate Institute, where he pursued a course of Latin
and Greek and where he was graduated in 1861. In 1862 he entered Columbia Col-
lege, where he spent one year, and in the fall of 1863 entered Columbia Law School,
and would have graduated in 1865 had not an incident occurred which changed the
whole tenor of his plans. While a student there he became acquainted with W. H.
Whitney, senior member of the firm of Whitney & Myers, who prevailed upon him
to become his confidential clerk. When the partnership of Whitney & Myers was
dissolved in the spring of 1870, Mr. Wilson removed with Mr. Whitney to Albany,
where a new firm was established under the name of W. H. Whitney & Co., with
which Mr. Wilson has since been connected, holding the position of financial and
confidential manager. In 1884, on the day of his retirement from the presidency of
the Young Men's Association after a most successful administration, he was nomi-
nated and elected by the Republicans a member of the Board of Public Instruction.



328

In the spring of 1894 he was nominated for mayor of the city of Albany by the Re-
pubhcans and Honest Election parties and was elected. He served efficiently until
the expiration of his term, January 1, 1896. In 1890 Mr. Wilson was elected life
trustee of the Young Men's Association, to succeed the late Henry R. Pierson. He
was superintendent of the Sunday school of the State Street Universalist church
from 1870 to 1879, and is now a trustee of All Souls Universalist parish, and was in-
strumental in erecting, in 1888, a new edifice for the latter church. In 1867 he mar-
ried M. Emma, daughter of the Rev. Dr. E. G. Brooks, a prominent member of the
Universalist denomination. Mrs. Wilson died in December, 1893. Mr. Wilson has
one daughter living.

Perry, Edward Rodman, son of Nathan B., was born in Genesee, 111., March 27,
1861, and came to Albany with his parents in 1864. His father has long been a lead-
ing business man, being president of the Perry Stove Company, vice president of
the National Savings Bank and a director of the Commerce Insurance Company.
Mr. Perry attended the Albany Academy, was graduated from the Rivervievv Military
Academy at Poughkeepsie in 1880, and was then engaged in the manufacture of
stoves until 1893. being assistant superintendent and trustee of the Perry Stove
Company. In 1893 he became secretary and treasurer of the Hilton Bridge Con-
struction Company, which position he still holds. He is a member of the Fort
drange and Mohican Canoe Clubs, the Ridgefield Athletic Association and a life
member of the Y. M. C. A. of Albany. In 1885 he enlisted in Co. A., 10th Bat., N.
Y. N. G., and served seven years, being promoted to quartermaster-sergeant.

Hochstrasser, Jacob- the proprietor and manager of the White Sulphur Springs
Hotel, was born in 1^2. Jacob, his father, was born at White Sulphur Springs in
1795. His wife was Margaret, daughter of Cornelius West, of Cooksburg, N. Y.,
and their children were Paul, Abel, Amos, Peter and Jacob. He died in 1875 and
she in 1870. Jacob Hochstrasser attended the common schools and after leaving
home settled in the village of Berne, where he erected a fine residence. For many
years he was extensively and successfully interested in bee culture, earning the name
of " Honey Jake;" during this time he was also a dealer in fine horses. In 1868 he
was pursuaded by his father to return to the farm, which he took charge of and
cared for his parents in their declining years. On account of the excellent healing
character of the sulphur water which flowed so freely from the springs on his place,
many people would come to drink and to bathe in the water and would beg to be
"boarded, and in 1881 Mr. Hoch.strasser concluded to erect a hotel. He selected a
beautiful location, erected his hotel, which has a capacity to accommodate 110 people,
and gave it the name of the White Sulphur Springs Hotel. Mr. Hochstrasser's ex-
cellent judgment in laying out the grounds and keeping them in repair, as well as
providing beautiful picnic grounds, has made his place by far the most beautiful and
desirable summer resort on the Helderberg Mountains. In 1854 he married Maria,
daughter of James N. and Elizabeth (Bassler) Hilton of Berne, aud they have one
child, Frank of Philmont, Columbia county, N. Y., where he is established in the
undertaking business.

Maxwell, James A., was born in Coeymans and began his business life on the river
as a cabin boy. He worked his way up until in 1881 he was made captain of the



329

steamer Lottie, which position he now holds. He married Julia Bratt of Delmar, and
they have one son, Harry, and two daughters, Mary and Ada.

De Freest, Alburtus B., was born in Bethlehem, and is a son of W. V. D. De
Freest, and grandson of David and great-grandson of John De Freest, who came
from Germany to Rensselaer county with the early settlers. David De Freest came
from Bethlehem in 1834 and was a farmer by occupation. He has four sons: A. B.,
John, Garrett, and W. V. D., who remained on the homestead until 1878, when he
came to Ravena, where he has since been engaged in farming, A. B. De Freest
opened a store in 1893, which he conducted until 1895, when he sold out and started
a lumber yard which he now runs, and also handles brick and ce^ient. He is a
member of the K. of P. Lodge of Coeymans, and has also been town clerk for two
years.

Waldron, Henry, was born in 1820 and is a son of Tobias and Cordelia (Van Derzee)
Waldron, and grandson of James W. and Edith (Ten Eyck) Walron. James Waldron
came from Greene county to where his father settled when he came from Holland in
about 1637. Mr. Henry Waldron remained on the homestead until 1850, when he
bought the adjoining farm, where he has since lived. Tobias Waldron was one of
the prominent men of his day and was identified with the public affairs of his town,
and was a member of the Legislature. He died on the Waldron homestead in
1876.

Van Derzee, Alton, was born in 1843 in Coeymans, and is a son of Barent and
Laura (Niles) Van Derzee, and grandson of Cornelius Van Derzee, who settled in
Coeymans in 1774 and was a farmer, Mr. Van Derzee moved to the neighborhood
where he now lives in 1852 and where his father died in 1850. Mr. Van Derzee has
always taken an active interest in the affairs of his town and in 1886 was elected
highway commissioner, and in 1887 was on the Board of Supervisors and was elected
again in 1891 and 1892. He is a member of the F. & A. M. No. 804.

Gedney, Samuel, was born in Coeymans in 1820, a grandson of Joshua, who with
two brothers came from England and were in the Revolutionary war, and after its
close one settled in Dutchess county, one in Orange county, and Joshua in Albany
county, at w-hat is now called Stanton Hill. He had four sons, Joshua, Peter, Bar-
tholomew and Absalom, who was a brickmaker, and died m North Carolina in 1838,
where he had gone to carry out a contract for opening a yard for the manufacture of
bricks. Mr. Gedney began life on the boats of the Hudson River, where he was
engineer and captain, and later went to Washington, D. C, where he remained for
thirty- two years, first as captain and then as general superintendent of the Potomac
River Steamboat Company until 1882, when he retired and returned to Coeymans
where he has since resided. In 1846 he married Susan, daughter of Anthony Wolfe,
and has one son, Edward C, a farmer, and two daughters, Susie (Mrs. T. J. Corrie)
and Mary C. (Mrs. W. B. Holmes) of Coeymans.

Bedell, Jerry, is the son of Thomas and grandson of Jeremiah, who came to Coey-
mans at an early day. His sons were David, Nathan and Thomas. Thomas Bedell
married Rachel Powell, and had five sons: Edgar P., John G., Alfred, Samuel and
Jerry. He was a large and successful fruit grower, and died in 1893. Jerry Bedell
married Helen I., daughter of David Vanheusen, and has one son, Enos D.



330

Whitbeck, Joseph M., is the son of John T., and the grandson of Thomas Whit-
beck, who was a farmer and died in 1873. Joseph M. is also a farmer. He married
Harriet, daughter of Spencer Stearns of Greene county, by whom he has had one
son, John S., who is a farmer with his father, and also has one son, William J.

Watson, Frank, was born in Starkville, Herkimer county, N Y., December i:3.
1829. a son of William H. and Margaret (Schmidt) Watson. His grandfather, Jude
Watson, and the near relatives of his grandmother, the Jenkses, took active part in
the Revolution in Herkimer county. When four years old Mr. Watson moved with his
parents to Cobleskill, N.Y., where his father preached in the First Lutheran church
for about ten years. March 7, 1846, Mr. Watson removed to Albany, and subse-
quently worked as clerk in the stores of William Reese and Hiram W. Allen. For
three years thereafter he conducted a clothing business in Niagara Falls, and in
1857. while at Niagara Frontier, he was made a Free Mason and was intimate and
often sat in lodge with Colonel Whitney, who was incarcerated in the Canandaigua
jail suspected of being an accessory to the disappearance of Morgan In IS.'iO Mr.
Watson returned to Albany and for twenty-three years was a salesman and partner
in the store of A. B. Van Gaasbeck & Co.'s carpet house. Since then he has been
engaged m the carpet cleaning and storage business at Nos. 254-260 Washington
avenue. At the age of twenty one he became an Odd Fellow and is now a demitted
Mason to Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 5 of Albany. He has been twice married first in
1852, and again in 1873 to Fannie H., daughter of Capt. Richard T. Hoag of Al-
bany. Mr. and Mrs. Watson have three children ; Mrs. M. E. Northrup, Grace A.
and Mabel E.

Parlati, Lorenzo, son of Raffaele andjiaffaela (Di Bissaccia) Parlati, was burn in
Naples, Italy, March 24, 1841. His parents wished him to join the priesthood and
sent him to the Jesuit Seminary of St. Charles Borromeo, in Naples, where he re-
mained but two years, owing to illness. At the age of thirteen he entered the
Naples College of Music, where he remained until 1858. displaying great genius and
leading his classes in all studies. In August, 1858, he left the college, at the time of
the Italian Revolution, in 1859 joined the volunteers under Garibaldi, and in Octo-
ber, 1860, was taken prisoner by the Royal Troops. He remained at Gaeta Fortress
from November, 1860, to February 16, 1861, when he returned home, there to be
taken sick with typhus fever, the result of the hardships of such a life. He was an
invalid until 1864, after which time he resumed active study. In 1867 he came to
America, settling in Albany. In the winter of 1869 Jason Collier and Prof. Thomas
Lloyd brought him forward at a concert in old Tweddle Hall for the Y. M. C. A.,
Mrs. Charles Hoyt, at that time the leading soprana in Albany being his accom-
panist. Immediately he was besieged with pupils, among them being David Mann
of Albany, and William Oliver, being the first. For a year or two thereafter Signor
Parlati went on a concert tour through New York and the East, meeting with great
success. In the winter of 1870 he organized the orchestra still bearing his name
and reaching such efficiency under his able leadership that it is recognized as being
second to none m this State outside of New York city. He has furnished music at
all the social functions from the time of Governor Hoffman. His orchestra num-
bers twenty-eight musicians. Subsequently he became the leader of the orchestra
at the Trimble Opera House (now the Leland), holding through succeeding seasons.



331

In 18T4 he was prevailed upon to accept the leadership of the Tenth Regiment Band,
Col. (uow Gen.) Robert Shaw Oliver commanding. Gen. Amasa J.. Parker succeeded
to the commanA and rendered great service in quelling the riots at West Albany.
His orchestra of forty pieces played at the opening of the New Capitol, and later at
the Bi -Centennial. He furnished the music at the Fort William Henry Hotel, Lake
George, and at the Clarendon, Saratoga, for many seasons. In 1884 he resigned
the leadership of the band, devoting himself to teaching and his orchestra, the de-
mand for which was very great at colleges, etc. He furnished the music for ten
successive seasons for the famous Coterie at Lenox, Mass. He is recognized as a
musician among musicians, and his ability as a conductor and teacher stands un-
questioned. Among his many pupils who have attained prominence are Charles
Ehricke, now teaching in the Indianapolis Conservatory of Music; Isaac Strasser,
George Van Tuly, Hugo Engel, Ed. Treadwell and many others. Professor Parlati
is a charter member of the B. P. O. E. He married Mary E. Greig of Albany, who,
with his daughter, Mary Elizabeth, adds largely to the musical atmosphere of their
ld\'ely home.

Blackburn, John, son of Robert and Sarah (Barnett) Blackburn, was born in
County Tyrone, Ireland, October 13, 1837. He attended the National School in
Ireland, and when nineteen years of age came to America and settled in Troy,
N. v., where he obtained a position as oflBceman and salesman for John Kerr & Co.,
manufacturers and dealers in wool. He remained in their employ six years and ten
months, after which he moved to Albia, where he bought the factory store of the
Troy Woolen Company; he was there four years manufacturing army goods and
doing a large business, and during that time made trips through the Western States,
buying wool for J. Kerr & Co. After the war, manufacturing having practically
ceased, Mr. Blackburn moved to Albany and entered the grocery business in the
west end, where he was engaged fourteen years, after which he formed a partner-
ship with John J. Jones and went into the coal business. Twelve years later Mr.
Jones died and the firm of Blackburn, Wallace & Co. was formed: this firm consi.sts
of John Blackburn, John T. D. Blackburn, and Robert A. Wallace. They are
located at Nos. 105 Water street, 705 Broadway, 841 Broadway, 30 Ontario street and
at Menands. Mr. Blackburn is a member of Masters Lodge F. & A. M., a member
of the West End Presbyterian church and has been chairman of the board of
trustees since the organization of the church in 1876. He has also been a trustee
of the Albany E.xchange Savings Bank for twelve years. In 1863 he married Nancy
Downing of Troy, N. Y., and they have three children; Robert M., minister in the
Presbyterian church at New Scotland, Albany county, N. Y. ; John T. D., in busi-
ness with his father ; and Zelda Rebecca.

Uell, Nicholas J., son of George V. and Julia Dell, was born in Baden, Germany,
April 26, 1840. He ^tended the public schools until he was thirteen years of age
and in 1856 came to America, settling in New York city. Here he worked as a tailor,
following the trade of his father for three years, when his parents came to America
and they moved to Albany, N. Y., where Mr. Dell engaged in the tailor business
until 1892. In 1870 he went into business for himself at No. 43 Beaver street, where
he continued until 1889; from there he moved to the corner of S. Pearl street and
Hudson avenue in the building later occupied by the South End Bank. In 1892 he



bought the Belvidere Hotel from Mrs. Zeller and has since conducted one of the best
resorts in Albany. Mr. Dell is a member of the Einthracht, and Harmonia Singing
societies. In 1864 he joined Co. B, 10th Bat. N. G. N. Y., and he is now a member
of the Old Guard; he is also a member of the Burgesses Corps and the B. P. O. K.
In 1887 he was elected coroner on the Democratic ticket and reelected in 1890. In
1809 he married Anna K. Von Lehman of Albany by whom he had three children.
In 1888 he married Mary K. Hermas of Watertown, N. Y., and they have one child.
Denison. Frederick P., son of Henry E. and Hannah M. (Godfrey) Denison, was
born in Berlin, N. Y., October 12, 1857. He is a lineal descendant of William Deni-
son, who was born in England, about 1586, came to America in 1631, and settled in
Roxbury, Mass., having with him his wife, Margaret, his three sons, Daniel, Ed-
ward and George, and John Eliot, who seems to have been a tutor in the family.
Mr. Denison was a deacon of the Roxbury church and died in Roxbury, January 25,
1853. Geerge (son of William), born in 1618. was married first in 1640 to Bridget
Thompson, daughter of John Thompson of Preston, Northamptonshire, England,
whose widow, Alice, had come to America and was living in Roxbury. The wife
Bridget died in 1643. George then went to England, served under Cromwell in the
army of the Parliament, won distmction, was wounded at Naseby, was nursed at the
house of John Borodell by his daughter. Ann, whom he married and returned to
Roxbury, Knally settling at Stonington, Conn. He had seven chlidren by his second
wife. John (son of George), born July 14, 1646. married in 1667 Phebe Lay of Say-
brook. Conn. He was known as Capt. John Denison, held a prominent position in
Stonington. and in many ways was a man of mark ; he died in 1698. George (son
of John), born March 28, 1671, was graduated at Harvard College, studied law and
settled m New London. Conn., where he was town clerk, county clerk and clerk of
probate; he died in 1720. Daniel (son of George) was born June 27, 1703 and died
previous to 1760. Daniel (son of Daniel) was born December 16, 1730, and settled in
Stephentown. N. Y., about 1773; he died in 1793. Griswold (son of Daniel) was born
August 21, 1765. George T. (son of (iriswold) was born March 17, 1795, and lived at
Berlin, N. Y. ; he died in 1874. Henry E. (son of George T.)and father of Frederick
P., was born May 30, 1828. Frederick P. Denison, the subject of this sketch, when
a mere boy went into the music store of Cluett & Sons, Albany, where he remained
until 1886, when he became organist of the Emmanuel Baptist church. Although one
of the youngest of Albany's musicians, he is deservedly counted among the ablest
and takes high rank not merely because of his fine natural gifts, but because of his
rounded and complete musical culture. When he assumed charge of the Emmanuel
choir in 1886, it numbered twelve singers; now there are fifty. To no small degree
is he indebted for his present position in the musical world to his association as
accompanist with such artists as Albani, Lillie Lehmann, Emma Thursby, Clemen-
tine De Vere-Sapio, Camilla Urso. Marie Rose, Mr.s. Osgood, Campanini, Adolph
Hartigan and many others of equal renown. Amateur opera owes him a debt and
his connection with local concerts has added to the esteem in which he is held by the
musical community. In the summer of 1886 he took a trip to Europe, where he
studied musicians as well as music, and where he acquired that fine touch and
artistic equipment of which his friends are so proud. In addition to his being or-
ganist of the Emmanuel church, he is conductor of the Schenectady Choral Society,



conductor of the Albania Orchestra and pianist of the Albany Musical Association.
He is a member of Masters Lodge F. & A. M.

Woodward, Walter M., son of John and Caroline A. (Mills) Woodward, was born
in Albany, N. Y., June 25 1860. The first member of this family who settled in
Albany, was John Woodward, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, who
came from Montreal about 1838, and engaged in the carpentry business. His son,
John, became prominent m the business circles of Albany because of his connection
with the saddlery and harness business of Woodward & Hill. This business was
founded by Nathaniel Wright in 1819 and consequently is the third oldest estab-
lished business in the city. In 1860 John Woodward together with Mr. W. W. Hill
bought the business from Mr. Wright and carried it on under the firm name of Wood-
ward & Hill. Walter M. Woodward, the subject of this sketch, received his educa-
tion at the Albany Boys' Academy, from which he was graduated in 1879 and imme-
diately went into business with his father. In 1888 Mr. Hill died and John and
Walter M. Woodward succeeded to the ownership of the business. In 1895, after his
father's death. Walter M. Woodward succeeded to the business and now conducts it
under the original name of Woodward & Hill. Mr. Woodward is a member of Mas-
ters Lodge F. & A. M. and a trustee of the National Savings Bank. In 1891 he mar-
ried May, daughter of Alonzo Blossom of Chicago, 111. They have two sons, John
B. and Walter M., jr.

Goold, Charles B., son of John S. and Abbie (Bridgraan) Goold, was born in the
town of Macedon, Wayne connty, N. Y., in 1857. When he was about seven years
of age his parents moved to Albany, N. Y., and ever since that time Mr. Goold has
been an active Albanian. His early education was received at Miss Crane's school
on Hamilton street and at Levi Cass's Classical Institute; subsequently he attended
the Albany Academy and was graduated from that in 1874. During the school year
of 1874 and 1875 he taught at the academj' and in the fall of 1875 he entered Amherst
College, where he took the Porter Prize for the best entrance examination ; the



Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 127 of 138)