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'any, July 22, 1856. Colonel Hastings was born in Ireland in 1824, came with his
: arents to Albany in 1831 and died here June 3, 1887. At the breaking out of the
',var of the Rebellion he was engaged in the job printing business in the old Museum
building. April 19, 1861, he organized Co. B, 18th N. Y. Vols., was commissioned
its captain April 24, was promoted lieutenant-colonel of the 7th N. Y. H. A., Septem-
ber 8, 18C2, and was honorably discharged July 29. 1864. Afterward he was editor
of the Albany Knickerbocker until August, 1877, when he retired. He married Mar-
garet, daughter of Henry L, Jewell, of Albany, and their children were John, Hugh,
David, Wairen, Mary (widow of Lewis H. Van Antwerp), and Jennie, who survive,
and Henry J., William, Frank and Margaret, deceased.

Hugh Hastings was educated in the Albany public and High School and the Cass
Academy, and began journalistic work on the old Knickerbocker, founded by his
uncle, Hugh J. Hastings, September 3, 1843. In 1874 he joined the staff of the New
York Commercial Advertiser, of which he became city and financial editor and where
he began his career as a writer on political subjects. In October, 1885, he joined the
World's staff, and in 1886 became its Albany correspondent, but in 1887 was placed
in charge of its Washington bureau. In 1888 he was placed in charge of the New
York State Political Department of the New York Times, for which he described the
Johnstown flood of 1889 and the Homestead and Buffalo strikes of 1892.

On the creation of the office of State Historian, he was appointed and entered
upon his duties April 30, 1895, and has ably organized that department. His first
report, transmitted to the Legislature March 3, 1896, clearly shows the work he has
in view, the permanent preservation of New York's most important war records,
covering a period of 125 years. Excepting those of 1884 he has attended every na-
tional and New York State political convention since 1878. April 5, 1888, he mar-
ried Elizabeth Rehrer Dock of Harrisburg, Pa,



REV. WILLIAM GRIFFIN, D. D.

Few men have been more deservedly prominent and popular in the work and his-
tory of the Troy Conference of the Methodist Episcopal church than Dr. Griffin. He
was well educated and endowed with a clear and logical brain, possessed broad sym-
pathies and positive convictions and he was perforce of his mental and moral or-
iianization a man of action as well as ideas, early attaining prominence as a leader
among his brethren.

Three times he was placed in charge of districts and four times elected to repre-
;,ent his conference in the General Conference. Though retired from the active work
of the ministry several years ago, he has always kept in touch with the needs of the
world and the work of the church, and no worthy object ever appealed to him in vain
when it was in his power to grant the desired assistance.

To the cause of education he has always been a ardent friend and liberal supporter.



74

Wesleyan University at Middletown, Conn., credits him with the endowment of its
'■ Chair of Philosophy" and Syracuse University with having endowed its professor-
ship of ■' History and Political Science."

Cazenovia Seminary, where Mrs. Griffin had been both pupil and preceptress, was
made the recipient of §25,000, to endow the chair once occupied by her and to per-
petuate the memory of the place where she had passed not a few of the sunniest days
of her life. Generous contributions have been made to other educational institutions.

But history will undoubtedly show that at Round Lake he has accomplished the
crowning work of his life.

In 1886 he was elected president of the association, and most worthily has he filled
the position for more than a decade and most generously has he contributed to the
development of its growing educational work. Here he has had ample field for his
versatile genius, broad sympathies and indomitable perseverance. Up as by magic
have sprung a summer school with its varied departments of music, art, archaeology,
oratory, modern and ancient languages, theolog)', and a popular assembly of wide
range in up to date subjects.

Here, also, has been established a flourishing academy and an exceptionally fine
museum of art and archaeology.

Thoxigh eighty years have rolled past him, time has dealt most kindly with his
vigorous physique and left little impression save in his whitened locks. Living roy-
ally in years and deeds and memories, he is yet planning larger things in the inter-
ests of his beloved Round Lake.



JOHN H. VAN ANTWERP.

John Henrv Van Antwerp is a lineal descendant of Daniel Janse Van Antwerp
(married Maritie, daughter of Simon Groot), of Holland, who settled in Beverwyck
in 1661. Daniel J. Van Antwerp was a proprietary settler of Schenectady, where
several of his children were killed or taken prisoners to Montreal when that town
was burned by the French and Indians. He was a fur trader and a member of the
Dutch church, giving on June 23, 1715, the land on which the Reformed church of
Schenectady now stands. Mr.Van Antwerp'sgrandfather, Daniel Lewis Van Antwerp,
1771-1832, of Schenectady and later of Albany, was a member of the Constitutional
Convention of 1801, member of the Legislature for Saratoga in 1808-10, and district
attorney in 1811 for the counties of Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Montgomery
and Schoharie, being appointed March 9, 1811, by Gov. Daniel D. Tompkins. When
Albany county was erected into a separate district, April 21, 1818, he was reap-
pointed by Gov. De Witt Clinton, June 11, 1811, his commissions in each case being
unlimited, but continuous during the pleasure of the Governor and Council. He
was brigade quartermaster in the war of 1812, member of the Legislature for Sche-
nectady in 1818, and judge of the Court of Justices in 1820. His son, William Van
Antwerp, 1799-1829, was a prominent lawyer of Albany, married Sarah Meadon,
and had four children; John Henry, WilHam Meadon, Daniel Lewis, and one, a
daughter, deceased.

John H. Van Antwerp, born in Albany, October 12, 1823, received a private school



education and began his business life as a clerk. He was one of the founders and
original trustees of the National Savings Bank of Albany, and has been its president
since May, 1873, shortly after its organization. He has also been connected with the
New York State National Bank since July 17, 1847. first as corresponding clerk, and
from January 1, 1856, as cashier, until 1880, when he resigned to become first vice-
president, which position he now holds.

John H, Van Antwerp married Martha Wiswall in August, 1842. They have two
children living. Kate Josephine, wife of J. R. Stanton, paymaster United States
Navy, and Henrietta W., wife of Major J, W. MacMurray of the U. S. Army; and
one son and daughter deceased. Mrs. Van Antwerp died in August, 1880. Mr. Van
Antwerp and wife early became members of St. Paul's Episcopal church of Albany,
of which for many years he has been and is senior warden. He was one of the
originators of the scheme for the creation of Washington Park, Albany, and one of
the commissioners named in the act of the Legislature creating it ; was the first pres-
ident for thirteen years of the board during the formative period of the park, and
subsequently declined a reappointment by the mayor at the expiration of his last
term of service.

Socially he is a member of the Manhattan and St. Nicholas Clubs of New York
citj', Fort Orange Club, and the Country Club, city of Albany; also a member of the
Holland Society, Sons of the Revolution, Fellow of the American Geographical So-
ciety of the city of New York, and the Albany Institute. As a financier he has for
half a century been connected with the banking interests of Albany, and has shown
himself to be of acknowledged ability, which is indicated by the standing of the
institutions with which he has been connected in his official capacity as director
or officer, and the length of time he has remained in connection with them.

He was a member of the New York State Board of Charities for over eighteen
years; it being an unsalaried office Often when duties in other directions claimed
his time he cheerfully devoted it to the interest of the State and early called atten-
tion to the necessity of some restriction by the government of unsupervised emigration
from Europe to this country.



LUCY ANN PLYMPTON.

Miss Licv A.n.n Plv.miton, since 1879 principal of the Albany Female Academy,
is of English descent, both her paternal and maternal ancestors coming to Medfield,
Mass., in 1639. In each case the original estates in that town have never been owned
outside the family. She was born in Shrewsbury, Mass., May 6, 1834, and spent her
earlier years in her native village, attending the public and private schools and the
academy and developing a natural talent for study. She finished a course at the
New Hampshire Conference Seminary, taught for two years in grammar and private
schools, took the degree of Mistress of Liberal Arts at the New Hampshire Female
College, and became a teacher in the Newbury (Vt.) Seminary. When the Rebellion
broke out she returned home, but .soon took charge of the girls' department in the
Troy Conference Academy for one year, when she became lady principal of Ripley
College, which position she resigned in 1867. In 1869 she was elected principal of



76

Wilson College at Chambersburg, Pa., where she spent six years, coming thence to
Albany, where she has since resided. Here she started a private enterprise known
as Miss Plympton's School for Young Ladies, which in 1879 was merged into the
Albany Female Academy, over which she has since presided as principal. (A de-
tailed sketch of this historic institution appears elsewhere in this volume.) Miss
Plympton's long and faithful service in the academy has placed her among the fore-
most educators of the time. She represented as a delegate the Dana Natural History
Society of Albany in the International Geological Congress at London in 1888, was
an early officer and has continuously been chairman of the educational committee of
the Young Woman's Christian Association, and is actively interested in all move-
ments which tend to advance and educate not only her sex, but mankind.



CHARLES J. BUCHANAN.

CH.A.RLES J. Buchanan was born of Scoth-Irish ancestry in New Berlin, Chenango
county, N. Y., December 27, 1843, and received his preliminary education in the
common schools and academy of his native town. Of studious habits he was ambi-
tious to acquire the benefits of a college course, but the breaking out of the war of
the Rebellion fired his youthful ardor and patriotism and caused him to enlist in the
Union cause. In the autumn of 1861 he enlisted as a volunteer in the 1st Regiment
of U. S. (Berdan's) Sharpshooters and joined the army of the Potomac, in which he
served with distinguished gallantry for three years, rising to the rank of first lieu-
tenant and acting adjutant. He participated in many battles and skirmishes, from
Yorktown in 1862 to Appomattox in 186.5, among them Hanover Court House, the
Seven Days' Fight before Richmond, Antietam, Wapping Heights, Fredericksburgh,
Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House, Cold Har-
bor, Deep Bottom, the mine explosion at Petersburgh, Weldon Railroad, the siege of
Petersburgh, etc. He was never away from his regiment until his final discharge and
was never sick nor wounded while in the service. At the close of the war in 1865 he
accepted an appointment as clerk in the Quartermaster-General's office at Washington
and for a time was stationed at Fort Snelling, Minn. After about a year he resigned
this position to complete his academic studies, which his enlistment had interrupted.
In 1867 General Hancock offered him a lieutenancy in the regular army, which he
declined, and this same year he was appointed by President Johnson a cadet to the
U. S. Military Academy at West Point, where he made valuable use of his time. In
October, 1870, he resigned his cadetshipto study law, which he had contemplated for
several years. Entering the offices of Smith, Bancroft & Moak, one of the ablest law
firms ever known in Albany, he was admitted to the bar at the January General
Term, 1874, and the next year became a partner in this firm.

This partnership continued until the death of Mr. Bancroft in January, 1880, when
the firm became Smith, Moak & Buchanan. Upon the death of Mr. Smith in Decem-
ber, 1884, the firm of Moak & Buchanan was formed. These several firms enjo)-ed
large and successful practices, having important and intricate cases in the various
courts. Mr. Moak died September 17, 1892, since which time Mr. Buchanan has con-




ROBERT H. McCORMIC, jR.



tinned the practice of the law at the same oflfices occupied by his former partner-
ships.

Mr. Buchanan has .always taken great interest in military affairs. On July 3,
1889, he delivered the oration at Gettysburg on the dedication of the monument
to the 1st Regiment of V. S. Sharpshooters, which was subsequently issued in pam-
phlet form and is replete with interesting historical facts and reminiscences. He is a
member of the Grand Army of the Republic; has been first vice-president and a
member of the board of managers of the Young Men's Association (a literary insti-
tution founded by Amos Dean); is a life trustee of the Young Men's Association;
is a trustee and secretary of the board of trustees of the Albany Law School ; is a
trustee of the National Savings Bank of Albany ; has been for several years a member
and treasurer of the board of commissioners of Washington Park ; is a member of the
Fort Orange and Albany Clubs; and of the St. Andrevi-'s Society; and of the Albany
Burns Club(of which last named club he has been president); and the Buchanan Society
of Scotland. He is judge advocate, with the rank of major, of the Hd Brigade, N. G.
N. Y. He was active in raising the Harmanus Bleecker Hall fund, and has always
taken a keen interest in the advancement of the city of Albany, with so many of
whose institutions he is so prominently identified. In politics he is a staunch Repub-
lican. He is public spirited, patriotic and progressive, and liberally encourages all
worthy public movements. Mr. Buchanan is a member of the first class of the
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, which, as is well known, is
composed of those who were commissioned officers in the war of the Rebellion.

In October, 187.5, Mr. Buchanan was married to Miss Caroline Van Valkenburg,
daughter of the late Isaac Van Valkenburg, of Northville, Fulton county, N. Y.



ROBERT H. McCORMIC, Jr.

RoKERT H. McCqrmic, Jk., was born January 30, 1870, in the city of Albany, N.Y.
In the line of the paternal ancestry he represents the seventh generation of his fam-
ily in America, in each of which the eldest son bore the name of Robert, he being
the seventh Robert in direct line. His ancestor who immigrated to America was born
of Scotch-Irish parentage in Londonderry, Ireland, and immigrated to America in
1725 in company with John Woodburn, the great-grandfather of Horace Greeley.
They were among the original settlers of Londonderry, N. H., from whence the
McCormic family moved and settled the town of Londonderry, Vt. Mr. McCormic's
great-great-grandfather served in the Revolution and was one of the participants in
the battle of Bennington under Stark. On his mother's side he represents the
twelfth generation of his family in America. His maternal ancestor, Cornelius Van
Ness, was born of Dutch parentage upon the Havendyck in Holland and came to
America in 1642 and settled at Greenbush. N. Y. The family spread rapidly and
later generations settled upon large tracts of land in Columbia county, near Kinder-
hook. The family contained many lawyers, some of whom became noted.

Mr. McCormic's great-great-grandfather, John P. Van Ness, was born in theClav-
erack district in 1770. was educated at Columbia College and was subsequently ad-
mitted to the bar. He was elected to Congress in 1801, and afterward became



mayor of Washington, D. C, and president of the Bank of the Metropolis. He had
two brothers, William P. and Cornelius P. Van Ness, who were also distinguished
lawyers and jurists. Cornelius P. was admitted to the bar in 1804. Later he moved
to Vermont, became United States district attorney, collector of customs, member
of assembly, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Vermont, twice governor of Ver-
mont and finally minister plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary to the court of
Spain. William P. was one of the leading lawyers of his time and became judge of
the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He was
one of the seconds for Burr in the famous Hamilton and Burr duel. He owned
" Lindenwald" at Kinderhook, N.Y., which he afterward sold to Martin Van Buren,
who read law in his office. He was also a colonel in the war of 1812 aud a member
of the Constitutional Convention of 1821.

Mr. McCormic's great-grandfather, Jesse Van Ness, was a farmer and served as a
captain in the war of 1812. He owned a large tract of land between Castleton and
Muitseskill in Rensselaer and Columbia counties, portions of which remained in the
possession of the family until quite recently.

Mr. McCormic's father, Robert H. McCorraic, was born at Co.xsackie, N. Y., but
passed the days of his youth near Windham, Vt., graduating from Burr Seminary at
Manchester, Vt. He served as a captain in the late Civil war on the Union side.
He is Hving and is now and for some time past has been engaged in the insurance
business. Mr. McCormic's mother, Carrie Van Ness, was born at Stuyvesant, N.Y. ,
and graduated from Coeymans Academy at Coeymans, N. Y. She died August 20,
1875, and her mother, Amanda Van Ness, immediately removed to Albany, N. Y.,
and assumed the responsibility of caring for the two motherless children, Mr. Mc-
Cormic, then but five years old, and his sister Grace E., then three years old,* who is
now a teacher in one of the pubhc schools at Yonkers, N. Y. At the age of seven
years young McCormic entered public school No. 12 of Albany and graduated with
honors, receiving a graduation diploma, scholarship diploma, and Regents' certifi-
cate. He entered the Albany High School, chose the classical course and graduated
therefrom in 1888. He was a member of the Philologian Society and held several
important offices therein. After graduating from the High School he entered the
insurance office of his father. He left this employment for a brief period in 1888 to
accept the position of bookkeeper in closing up the business of the clothing house of
Joseph Gardner in Albany, and then returned again to his father's office. While
with his father he began to read law and on the first day of September, 1889, en-
tered upon a regular clerkship under the instruction of the late William A. Allen,
who occupied the same offices. On the 18th of April, 1891, he entered the law office-
of County Judge J. H. Clute as a minor clerk. His progress there was rapid and he
was soon made managing clerk of the office and on the 15th of September, 1892, was
admitted to practice law. He continued to occupy his position of managing clerk
after his admission to the bar and also practiced law himself, and in a short time
had acquired a very fair practice. On the first of April, 1896, just subsequently to
the retirement of Judge Clute from the bench, he entered into a partnership with
the judge under the firm name of Clute & McCormic, with offices at 5-15 Tweddle
building, Albany. This partnership has since continued.

Mr. McCormic takes an active interest in politics and is at present the secretary



and treasurer of the Second Assembly district Committee of the Republican organ-
ization of Albany county.

He early became affiliated with secret societies and is now the sitting vice-grand
of Clinton Lodge, No. 7, I. O. O. F., and the junior seneschal of Albany Senate No.
641, Knights of the Ancient Essenic Order, of which senate he is a charter member.
He is also a past captain of Frederick Townsend Camp No. 1, Sons of Veterans, and
has held nearly all the important positions in the State body of that organization
and has been a delegate to the national body.

On October 31, 1894, he married Estelle N., daughter of Horace R. Lockwood of
South Westerlo, N. Y., who was educated in Greenville Academy, located at Green-
ville, N. v., and the State Normal and Training School at Oswego, N. Y. He has
no children.



CHARLES F. STOWELL.

Charles Frederick Stowf.li,, son of Thomas P. and Henrietta (Fowler) Stowell,
was born in Owego, N. Y., February 28, 1853, and descends from an English family
who emigrated to New England in the early history of this country. Thomas P.
Stowell was prominent in the fire insurance business, being connected with the
^^Jtna Fire Insurance Company for about twenty years; he lived in Rochester, N.Y.,
where he died in February, 1896.

Charles F. Stowell was educated in the public schools and Free Academy of Roch-
ester, was graduated as a civil engineer from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
at Troy in 1879, and for live years thereafter was associated in a professional capac-
ity with Charles Hilton and the Hilton Bridge Construction Company, bridge build-
ers. In 1884 he was appointed as bridge engineer of the New York State Board of
Railroad Commissioners and held the position until 1892. His duties consisted ot
examining plans and strains of all railroad bridges in the State and reporting as to
their safety. The results of his valuable labors were published by the board in 1891,
in a volume of 1,880 pages, and covers outline sketches of every railroad bridge then
in the State, with the strains of each member of the bridge, a tabulation of sizes of
each member and recommendations for strengthening where weakness was found.
As a result of that report probably one-half of the railroad bridges in the State were
strengthened or rebuilt, and since then no railway bridge in New York has broken
down.

Since 1892 Mr. Stowell has been a consulting bridge engineer and is now a mem-
ber of the firm of Stowell & Cunningham. He is a member of the American Society
of Civil Engineers. October 10, 1882, he married Emily A., daughter of Thomas
Blossom, of Canandaigua, N. Y., a prominent railroad man and identified with the
Rochester Water Works. They have two children: Grace Elizabeth and Thomas
Charles. Mrs. Stowell's family were early Puritan settlers of Massachusetts and
prominent in public life. Her grandfather, Col. William Blossom, was a noted hotel
keeper in Canandaigua.



HOWARD VAN RENSSELAER, M. D.

Howard Van Rensselaer, M. D., son of Bayard Van Rensselaer, was born in
Albany on the 36th of June, 1838, and descends from one of the oldest and most re-
spected families in Eastern New York. Killian Van Rensselaer, the original ances-
tor, a merchant in Amsterdam, Holland, and a member of the Dutch West India
Company, availed himself, about the year lt-30, of the privileges offered by the As-
sembly of XIX and the commissioners of the States-General, passed in 1629, by
which all members of the company who planted a colony of fifty souls over fifteen
years of age were to be acknowledged patroons of the New Netherlands. He further
perfected his title to the lands thus granted by purchasing them from the Indians.
These purchases embraced a territory extending along the Hudson River, for
twenty-four miles back on each side, from Baeren Island to Cohoes Falls, Fort
Orange only being reserved by the West India Company. Killian Van Rensselaer
died in 1648, and his son Johannes succeeded him. The latter is believed to have
come here, and in 1642 to have built the mansion at Greenbush, which is still stand-
ing. His son Killian and the son of his brother Jeremiah, also named Killian, set-
tled here, and to these two Killians were given the English patents in trust for their
grandfather Killian. Killian the son of Johannes died without issue and the grant
was confirmed to Killian the son of Jeremiah, who was succeeded by his son Stephen,
whose eldest son Stephen became the seventh patroon, or lord of the manor, and
died in 1769, just after the completion of the present manor house in North Broad-
way. Stephen Van Rensselaer, son of the last named Stephen, was born in New
York city in 1764, his mother being Catharine, daughter of Philip Livmgston, one
of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. General Ten Broeck, his uncle,
had the management of the estate until he attained the age of twenty-one. Mr.



Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 66 of 138)