Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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Van Rensselaer attended school in Albany, the Kingston Academy, and Princeton
College in 1782, and in 1783 married Margaret, daughter of Gen. Philip J. Schuyler,
who died in 1801, leaving a son Stephen. His second wife was a daughter of Judge
Patterson, of New Jersey, of the U. S. Supreme Court. He was member of assembly
in 1789, 1808, 1810, and 1816, State senator from 1791 to 1795, lieutenant-governor
from 1795 to 1801, colonel of State cavalry in the war of 1812, member of Congress
from 1822 to 1829, chancellor of the university in 1835, and for twenty-two years a
canal commissioner and for fifteen years president of the board. He died in the
manor house January 26, 1839. His son Stephen married Harriet Bayard, of New
York, and died in 1868. Their son Baj'ard, who died in 1859, married Laura, daugh-
ter of Marcus Tullius Reynolds, who survives him. Both were natives of Albany,
and the parents of the subject of this sketch.

Dr. Van Rensselaer, at an early age, was placed in the State Normal School at
Albany and later in the Albany Academy. In these two institutions he developed a
deep love for the pursuit of knowledge and won a warm place in the affections of his
teachers and companions. After leaving the academy he spent three years in a pri-
vate boarding school in Catskilland six years in St. Paul's School at Concord, N. H.,
where he gave special attention to scientific study, and where he took a yearly testi-
monial for high standing, two literary prizes, and the school medal, the highest
honor given by that institution. There he also took an active part in athletics, be-



ing president of the Athletic Association and stroke in the successful school crew.
He was graduated with the degree of Ph. B. from Yale Scientific School in 1881, and
also spent some time in the Yale Art School, taking a literary prize. At both Yale
and St. Paul's he made records in walking contests.

Having completed his literary studies he immediately entered the College of Physi-
cians and Surgeons of New York City and received the degree of M. D. in 1884. He
became an assistant in the Chambers Street Hospital and a student in a post-gradu-
ate medical school, and on competitive examination secured a post as interne in the
in the New York Hospital, where he remained eighteen months. The years 1887
and 1888 he spent in Europe, where he studied in the ho.spitals of Berlin, Paris,
Vienna, Munich, London, Edinburgh, and other cities, and also visited the noted
art galleries of the Old World. Returning to America in February, 1889, he began
the active practice of his profession in Albany and was at once appointed visiting
physician at St. Peter's Hospital and attending physician at the dispensary of the
Child's Hospital. In the following autumn he became instructor in nervous diseases
and diseases of the chest at the Albany Medical College, and in December was made
attending physician to the Hospital for Incurables. In January, 1890, he was elected
visiting physician to the Home of the Friendless and in June was called as lecturer
on materia medica at the Medical College. In 1891 he was appointed lecturer on
diseases of the heart and lungs in the Albany Medical College. In 1893 he was
chosen editor of the Albany Medical Annals. In 1893 he was elected attending
physician in the City Hospital, and was also made president of the Country Club.
In 1894 he was appointed associate professor of materia medica in the Medical Col-
lege. In 1895 he was elected as State medical examiner for the Civil Service Com-
mission. In 1896 he was promoted to the associate professorship on thereapeutics,
and was also made associate professor on general medicine in the Albany Medical

Dr. Van Rensselaer, besides visiting and studying abroad, has traveled exten-
sively on the American continent, and possesses an interesting fund of reminiscence
and learning. He is a member of the Fort Orange Club, the Albany County Club,
the Calumet Club of New York, and the Berzelius Society of Yale Scientific School.


Anthonv N. Brady, who for many years has been prominentlj' identified with
various gas and electric street railway enterprises of the State, was born, a son of
Nicholas and Helen (Malone) Brady, in Lille, France, August 22, 1843, and came
with his mother to this country in 1845, settling in Troy, N. Y., where he received a
thorough public school education. He first engaged in the tea business in Albany,
Troy and Cohoes, and subsequently became a contractor in all kinds of work,
executing among his numerous contracts the stone work of the Hawk street viaduct
in Albany.

In 1885 Mr. Brady became interested in the gas business and later in electric
street railway enterprises, and since then he has been actively and prominently con-
nected with various large corporations of this character. These enterprises are


associated with the progress and development of a number of the chief cities of the
Empire State. He is president of the Municipal Gas Company of Albany, vice-
president of the Albany and Troy City Railway Companies, and a director in severa
other gas and electric street railway corporations operating in the States of New
York, Indiana, Rhode Island and Illinois. He is also a director in the Commercia!
National Bank of Albany, and served that city for several years as a fire commis-
sioner, being first appointed by Mayor Nolan. He is a member of the Albany and
Fort Orange Clubs of Albany and of the Manhattan and New Club, the Downtown
Association, and the Fifth Avenue Democratic Club of New York city. He has
never sought public preferment, but has always taken a lively interest in every
movement affecting the general welfare and advancement.

Mr. Brady was married in 1866 to Miss Marcia A., daughter of Harmon Myers, of
Bennington, Vt. They are the parents of six children, and reside in Albany.



John A. Delehaxty was born in Albany, N. Y., May 18, 18.5'', and received his
earlier education in the public schools and Free Academy of his native city. He
was graduated with honor from Union College in 1877, read law in the oflnce of Hon.
Simon W. Rosendale, e.\-attorney general, and was admitted to the bar in Septem-
ber, 1879, when he at once began the active practice of his profession. In 1881 he
was appointed assistant district attorney of Albany county by District Attorney D.
Cady Herrick, and held that position until Judge Herrick became corporation coun-
sel of the city of Albany in May, 1886, when he resigned to accept the appointment
of assistant corporation counsel under Mr. Herrick. Upon Judge Hernck's elevation
to the Supreme Court bench on January 1, 1892, Mr. Delehanty succeeded him as
corporation counsel, and continued in that capacity until May 1, 1894. He was
appointed corporation counsel January 1, 1896, and is the present incumbent of the

The office of corporation counsel is perhaps the most important and responsible
position connected with a municipal government, as the incumbent of the office is not
only required to represent the corporation in all litigation in which it is interested,
but the relations between the various departments are determined and regulated
under his advice and direction. The subject of reform in the method of governing
municipal corporations which is now attracting such widespread attention is a prob-
lem, to which Mr. Delehanty has devoted much time and study. His experience has
made him a firm believer in and advocate of the theory that the most businesslike
administration of city affairs depends upon the concentration of the exclusive power
of appointment of all subordinate officers in the chief executive, thus imposing
responsibihty where it rightfully belongs. With this idea in view during his connec-
tion with the city government he has been instrumental in effecting legislation which
has entrusted such power in the mayor of Albany to a greater extent perhaps than in
any other city in the State of New York; in fact it now applies to almost every de-
partment of the city government. He is also the author of a proposed charter for a
city government which follows this doctrine to its fullest extent and provides for de-






partments each under the management of a single individual instead of boards and
commissions as now generally administered. Although the measure has not as yet
become a law, the plan proposed has received favorable comment from students of
municipal reform, who are of the opinion that it will in a great measure solve this
much vexed question. The commissions appointed by Governor Morton to report
uniform charters for cities of the second and third class have reported proposed
charters, based upon the plan which Mr. Delehanty devised incorporating therein
many sections of his proposed charter in their entirety without change of language.

During the administration of the office of corporation counsel by Mr. Delehanty
the city has been unusually successful in its litigations. His great experience in
corporation law has been valuable and useful in his private practice, and he has
been successful in a large number of cases involving intricate points of municipal

Mr. Delehanty is a member of the Fort Orange and Albany Clubs, and takes an
active interest in the welfare of his native city. He was married in 1884 to a daugh-
ter of the late Hon. Daniel Manning of Albany, and they have two children: Mar-
garet Manning Delehanty and Raymond Manning Delehanty.


James M. Borthwick, son of William D. and Maria (Russell) Borthwick, was born
on a farm in Broome, Schoharie county, January 29. 1849, was educated in the com-
mon schools and when seventeen began teaching a district school, ail occupation he
followed winters until 1874. In 1875 he engaged in mercantile business in Hunters-
land, N. Y., and continued until the spring of 1877, having for one year Holmes
Wiltsie as a partner. Selling out he became a clerk for G. B. Russell at Clarksville,
Albany county, one year and then spent two years on the farm and two years as a
general merchant at South Berne.

In 1882 he came to Albany and, forming a partnership with George B. Russell,
engaged in the grocery, flour and feed business. Five years later he sold out to Mr.
Russell and went to Coeymans Junction (now Ravena) as a general merchant, being
also postmaster. In 1890 he sold out to Bentley & Shultes, and for a short time en-
gaged in real estate operations. Returning to Albany in September, 1890, he became
proprietor of the Pearl Street House, which he sold in 1891 to John G. Myers. On
May 1, 1891, he became proprietor of the Kimball House on Washington Avenue,
which he has since conducted.

He has always been an active Republican, a delegate to several political conven-
tions, and in 1895 was elected county clerk of Albany county, over Joslyn Nodine,
receiving the largest majority (1,032) of any man on the ticket. He is a member of
Middleburg Lodge No. 663, F. & A. M., Capital City Chapter No. 342, R. A. M.,
De Witt Clinton Council No. 22, R. & S. M., Temple Commandery No. 3, K. T.,
Cyprus Temple, N. O. M. S., and the Republican Unconditional Club and was some
time a member of the Jackson Corps.

In 1869 he married Charity, daughter of Cook Sisson, of Huntersland, Schoharie
county, and they have two children : Acton S. and Blanche M.


JosiAH Goodrich Root, manufacturer, was born in PittsHeld, Mass., May 28.
1801. He was descended from an old Northamptonshire (England) family. His
father being a farmer, the boy worked on the farm in the intervals of attendance at
the town schools. At this period Pittsfield was becoming a home of woolen manu-
facture, looms for the making of broadcloth having been setup there m 1804. Mr.
Root entered one of these mills and soon acquiring a practical knowledge of the
business he started for himself, setting up a small mill for dyeing and finishing
goods. When wool spinning and weaving were transferred from the homes of the
people to large establishments, Mr. Root devoted himself to setting up machinery
and starting mills for other parties.

In 1833 he was employed to set up the machinery of a new woolen mill at Water-
vliet, N. Y. , of which he became manager, operating it with success for the next
three years. This was the nucleus of the e.xtensive establishment of James Roy &
Co. In 1836 Stephen Van Rensselaer of Albany, the patroon, who had been running
flour mills, desired to engage, instead, in woolen manufacture, and built the Tivoli
Mills, engaging Mr. Root as manager, a position the latter continued to hold until
1839, when he became proprietor. For sixteen years thereafter he was well known
as a woolen manufacturer. Then the city of Albany purchased the control of the
water of the patroon's creek for the purpose of supplying the city of Albany with
pure water, and this necessitated the closing of his mills.

He purchased the hosiery business and machinery of Thomas Fowler, at Cohoes,
about the same time and became the largest manufacturer of knit underwear in the
United States. He made many improvements in this manufacture by the introduc-
tion of new machinery, and about 1859 erected a new and larger building, called the
Tivoli Knitting Mills, one of the best appointed in the country, and received his
sons, Andrew J. and Samuel G., into partnership under the firm name of J. G. Root
& Sons. In 1869 the senior partner retired, the business being thereafter continued
under the firm name of J. G. Root's Sons. Samuel Gilbert Root, the elder son, was
born in Pittsfield, Mass., June 26, 1826, and Andrew Josiah Root, the younger, in
Albany, January 13, 1834.

The panic of 1857 caused a general stoppage of the cotton and hosiery mills at
Cohoes, but only for two weeks. In 1874 the firm suffered a loss of nearly §200,000,
as well as a grave interruption of their business by the complete destruction of their
mills by fire. This fire occurred when the operatives, about 350 in number, were all
at work, but fortunately the fire escapes proved entirely adequate, and no employee
was in any way injured. A new building was immediately erected, called like its
predecessor, the Tivoli Hosiery Mill. It was built in the most substantial manner,
provided with every reasonable safeguard in case of fire, and furnished with all the
improved appliances for heat, light and ventilation.

January 1, 1875, the concern was reorganized as a corporation under the name of
the Root Manufacturing Company, with Josiah G. Root president; Andrew J. Root,
treasurer and general manager; Samuel G. Root, superintendent; George Water-
man, jr., secretary. New facilities have since been added through the purchase of
the Mohawk mill.


The subject of this sketch established, in 1859, the bank which is now the National
Bank of Cohoes ; he was one of the original directors and afterwards vice-president
and acting president. He enjoyed in the highest degree the respect of the com-
munity in which he resided. Josiah G. Root died February 2, 1883.

In 1881 S. G. Root withdrew and A. J. Root succeeded to the entire business,
which has since been again enlarged by the addition of another mill to the plant,
making in all three mills with an annual production of §1,000,000, and giving em-
ployment to 550 operatives. The Root Manufacturing Company manufactures ex-
tensively the famous "Tivoli Standard" all wool and merino knit underwear, which
is unrivalled for quality, finish, durability and uniform excellence, and has no superior
in the American or European markets. The present officers of the company are
Andrew J. Root, president and treasurer; Charles H. Douglas, secretary; Charles F.
Root, superintendent.


Judge Jacob H. Cllte was born in the town of Guilderland, Albany county, N. Y.,
March 16, 1827, and is descended from Holland Dutch stock. The Clutes are a very
old Albany county family. Mr. Clute has always been a resident of Albany county ex-
cept for a period of six months, when he was about nine years of age, during which
time his parents lived in the town of Rotterdam, Schenectady county. He was born
on a farm and has always retained his affection for the life of the agriculturist. He
still has a well kept farm withm a mile of his birthplace where he spends a portion
of his time. Until he was fourteen years of age he attended the district school of his
town and then went to Schenectady where he entered the old Schenectad)' Lyceum,
an advanced grammar school At the age of sixteen he began to teach school and
study law.

He early displayed that aptitude for the law which has characterized his whole
professional career and long before he was old enough to be formally admitted to the
bar was winning suits in the justices courts. In 1851 he was admitted, and in De-
cember of that year opened a law office in Blunts building, now the Globe Hotel.
From that time to the present he has steadily built up a large practice and has won
for himself an enviable reputation at the Albany county bar.

In 1863 he received the nomination for county judge and was elected by a flatter-
ing majority. Four years later, when his term expired, his ability and integrity up-
on the bench were recognized by his fellow citizens, and he was again elected for
another term of four years. After his second term expired Judge Clute confined
himself to the practice of his profession and although numerous nominations were
within his reach he steadily declined them. He has always been an earnest and re-
liable adherent to Democracy and has done appreciative service for the party. In
1889 he was again nominated and elected to be judge of Albany county for a term of
six years, which term expired in 1895. He has been a familiar figure in various
National, State and county conventions.

He has a pleasant city home as well as one in the country. Few men are better
known or more highly respected. Since his third term as county judge. Judge Clute
has attended strictly to the practice of his profession in his office in the Tweddle

building. In April, 1896. he formed a partnership with Robert H. McCormic, jr.^
under the firm name of Clute & McCormic.


Richard W. Brass, son of Charles W. and Anna (Bay) Brass, was born in Brook-
lyn, N.Y. , January 28, 1861. His father, a native of Bremen, Germany, engaged in
mercantile business in New York city and died in Brooklyn in April, 1863, aged
forty-si.x. In 1869 his widow moved with the family to Binghamton, N. Y., where
and in Munich, Germany (where they lived from 1863 to 1868), Richard W. received
his education.

Mrs. Anna Brass was a daughter of Dr. John W. Bay and a granddaughter of Dr.
William Bay, both prominent Albany physicians. His maternal great-great-grand-
father was Dr. Samuel Stringer, also a noted Albany phj^sician, who was held in
high repute in the British army and later in the American Revolution. In 1775 Dr.
Stringer was a member of the Albany Committee of Safety and was subsequently
appointed by Congress director-general of hospitals in the Northern Department,
and accompanied the troops to Canada. He was a charter member of Masters
Lodge No. 5, F. & A. M., Albany, and its master from 1768 lo 1781, and in 1776 pur-
chased the site upon which the new Masonic Temple now stands, deeding the prop-
erty eventually to his lodge. He married Rachel Van Der Heyden, of a prominent
Albany family.

John Bay, father of Dr. William, was born in Maryland in 1743, became a lawyer
and a member of the Albany Committee of Safety in the Revolutionary war, and died
in Claverack, N. Y., m 1818. Dr. William married Katherine Van Ness. Their son.
Dr. John W. Bay, married Eliza Treat, a lineal descendant of Robert Treat, the
loyal defender of the Charter of the Colony of Connecticut when surrender of same
was demanded by Governor Edmund Andros by direction of King James, and for
nearly thirty years governor of Connecticut. Her father was Judge Richard S.
Treat, of Albany, a great-grandson of the colonial governor, and the son of Rev.
Joseph Treat, born 1734, died 1797, who was commissioned chaplain of Colonel Mal-
colm's regiment May 6, 1776, being at that time pastor of the First Presbyterian
church of New York city.

Richard W. Brass remained in Binghamton until April, 1882, beginning the study
of the law there with M. J. Keeler. Coming to Albany he completed his legal studies
with Judge A. B. Voorhees and was admitted at Saratoga in September, 1883. May
1, 1884, he formed a partnership with Judge Voorhees, which continued for four
years. Since then he has been associated with E. W. Rankin.

He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, a member of the Albany
Camera Club, the Unconditional Club, the Albany Burgesses Corps, and the Wash-
ington Continentals, and for five years has been a director and treasurer of the Bran-
dow Printing Co. He was also for several years a trustee of the estate of Catherine
W. Van Rensselaer under the will of her mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Bleecker. He is a
Republican and at one time was a candidate for justice of the City Court.

June 2, 1886. he married Harriet C, daughter of Jacob Neville, a merchant of Mid-
dleburg, N. Y., and they have had four children: Harold Neville, Gertrude Stringer,
(deceased), Janet Elizabeth, and Karl Van Ness.






Nathaniel B. SrALUixc is of English descent, the first of that name, Edward
i^palding, having come to this country about the year 1620 from Lmcolnshire, Eng-
land, and settled in Braintree, Mass.

The name it is said received its derivation from " Spall" English meaning shoul-
der; and "ding" to strike. It is supposed the name originated in the middle ages
when battles were fought hand to hand, and the two handed sword found in the coat
of arms of the name, seems to strengthen this view.

The subject of this sketch is of the eighth generation descended from said Ed-
ward Spalding, and was born in Saratoga, N. Y. , in 1863, the youngest son of the Rev.
N. G. Spalding, a prominent clergyman of that place. His mother was Miss Harriet
Dorr, daughter of the late Dr. Russell Dorr of Chatham, a collateral relative of
Thomas W. Dorr, the champion and fearless leader of the movement known in his-
tory as the "Dorr Rebellion," which so called rebellion asserted and finally estab-
lished the principle that manhood and not property was the proper and essential
basis upon which should rest the right of suffrage, in the Commonwealth of Rhode
Island. Mr. Spalding is a brother of Dorr Spalding, now deceased, Harriet Mabel
Spalding and Dr. Warren Clyde Spalding of New York city, During his childhood
the family removed to a suburb of Albany, N. Y., and at the age of fourteen he en-
tered the Albany Boys' Academy, where he remained several years, later joining
the senior class of the Union Classical Institute at Schenectady, N. Y., from which
he was graduated in 1881. He entered Union College the same year becoming a
member of the class of 1885 and taking the classical course.

Finding it impossible to expend the time necessary to complete an academic course
he subsequently withdrew from his class and entered upon the studv of law in con-
nection with teaching, completing his studies at the Albany Law School, from which
he was graduated in 1884, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws.

In the following year he began the practice of law at Albany where he has since
resided and devoted his time strictly to his chosen profession.

In 1891 he married Miss Matilda Garretson Galbraith, daughter of Judge Thomas
J. Galbraith, an able and distinguished lawyer of the West, whose decisions on the
many intricate questions affecting mines and water rights have been widely quoted.

In 1892 Mr. Spalding was admitted to practice in the Federal Courts, thus prepar-
ing himself for more varied fields of professional activity.

He is an active member of the New York State Bar Association and has member-
ship in several local and out of town clubs, societies and alumni organizations. He
is also a member of the Masonic fraternity.

Mr. Spalding is a polished and forceful speaker. His addresses upon public occa-
sions have been highly commended and have gained for him a place among the
gifted and eloquent young orators of the city.

In politics he has always been a staunch and unswerving Democrat, having held
active membership in the Young Men's Democratic Ckib and other political societies.

Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 67 of 138)