Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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early showed his love for the military by enlisting, when a mere boy, as a drummer
boy in the war of the Rebellion, but was of course prevented from serving, being
under age. In November, 1869, he enlisted in the 7th Regt. N. Y. ; in 1873 was
elected corporal ; was elected first lieutenant of the 71st Regt. in November, 1873,
and captain in 1875; major in August, 1875; resigned from the 71st Regt. in the fall
of 1883 to accept a captaipcy in the 7th Regt. : elected colonel of the 71st Regt. in
May, 1885, and resigned his commission in June, 1888; in the spring of 1888 was
elected colonel of the 71st Regt. Veterans Association. Gen. McAlpin is a man of
large fortune and is very liberal. He is director of the Eleventh Ward Bank and
director of the Sixth National Bank of New York city and of the firm of D. H. Mc-
Alpin & Co. of New York city. He owns a delightful summer residence at Lake
Brandreth. Since 1878 Ger.. McAlpin has lived in the village of Sing Sing and he
has contributed largely to its development. In 1884 and 1888 Gen. McAlpin was up-
on the Republican electoral ticket in the State of New York and in the year General
Harrison was elected, he received the largest number of votes. General McAlpin
was president of the Republican State League for three years, and was appointed by
Gov. Levi P Morton adjutant-general of this State June 1, 1895. The wife of Gen-
eral McAlphin was a Miss Brandreth of Sing Sing.


John R. Van Wokmer is a member of an old Albany family, the original American
ancestor of which was Henri Van Wormer, who, with a brother, came from
Wormer, Holland, about 1655, and first settled in New Jersey, whence he moved to
thislocality. From here a member of the family removed to the Lake George region,



long prior to the Revolution, and there Abram Van Wormer, grandfather of John R.,
was born, his father Henry being a lieutenant in the Continental army during the
Revolutionary war in a company of the 14th Albany County Regiment. Abram
served in the War of 1812, on the Canadian frontier, and subsequently settled in
Jefferson county, N. Y. He had a son Rufus, who married Eunice E. Bullock, of
Trenton, Oneida county, N. Y., and they were the parents of the subject of this

John R. Van Wormer was born in Adams, Jefferson county, March 14, 1849, and
received first a thorough preliminary education in the public schools of his native
town. There he also attended the Hungerford Collegiate Institute, an academy of
excellent reputation, and meanwhile learned telegraphing, a business he followed for
many years in various places. In 1869 he became a member of the faculty of the
Hungerford Institute, having charge of the military department until 1872, when he
went to Oswego in the employ of the Western Union Telegraph Company- The
same year he was made the Oswego correspondent of the New York Times, which
supported General Grant for president as against Horace Greeley, the candidate of
the Liberal Republicans and Democrats. Hon. De Witt C. Littlejohn, of Oswego,
was an ardent partisan of Greeley's, and became a candidate for member of assembly
in Oswego with a view to aiding the cause he espoused. He was defeated and Daniel
G. Fort was elected. This episode terminated Littlejohn's public career. During
that campaign he was ahso active on the stump, making political speeches which
attracted wide attention. He had previously had, from youth up, considerable
experience as a public speaker and debater, and his talents now formed a wider
field as a campaign orator and correspondent.

Late in the year 1872 Mr. Van Wormer came to Albany (where he had spent much
time since 1868) and remained here in the employ of the Western Union Telegraph
Company until January, 1878, doing also considerable newspaper work and stump
speaking and taking an active part in Republican politics. When Hon. George B.
Sloane was elected speaker of the Assembly in 1876 Mr. Van Wormer became his
private secretary. In the fall of 1877 he was appointed the Albany correspondent
of the New York Evening Post, but in January following he resigned this position
to become private .secretary to U. S. Senator Roscoe Conkling and clerk of the Senate
committee on commerce, of which Mr. Conkling was chairman. He filled these
positions for about one year. Early in 1879 he was made chief clerk of correspond-
ence in the New York post-office under Postmaster Thomas L. James, and in 1881,
when the latter was appointed postmaster-general, he became his private sec-
retary and soon afterward chief clerk of the post-oflfice department at Washington.
On January 1, 1882, Mr. James resigned and returned to New York with all the glory
and distinction he had won in the famous Star route cases, which he had successfully
carried through, and in the credit for doing which Mr. Van Wormer shared as the
active executive officer of the Post-office Department during this trying period.
Mr. Van Wormer returned also, and was made teller of the newly organized
Lincoln National Bank, which commenced business January 12, 1882, in a build-
ing opposite the Grand Central , depot. This bank now has deposits aggregat-
ing about §10,000,000. The Lincoln Safe Deposit Company was organized and
in July, 1883, occupied the substantial building erected for the purpose at 32-38 East
42d street, New York city, and since then Mr. Van Wormer has been its secretary


and general manager. Hon. Thon:as L. James is president of both institutions,
which now occupy the same structure. The Deposit Company, which has a capital
of ?1, 000,000, was the pioneer in the United States in the construction of absolutely
fire-proof safe deposit and warehouse buildings. Besides the building containing
the huge deposit vaults they have four large warehouses, erected in 1884, 1891. 1894,
and 1896 respectively.

Mr. Van Wormer, as general manager of this immense property, has shown marked
business ability, and has won the confidence and respect of all with whom he has
come in contact. During an active life he has enjoyed the acquaintance and confi-
dence of the leading men of the country — of statesmen, financiers, authors, news-
paper men, lecturers, politicians, etc. He achieved distinction as a correspondent
and no little renown as an orator, especially on political subjects. He is the vice-
president and a director of the Brooklyn Warehouse and Storage Company, which
was organized in 1893, and which has a large building on the site of Dr. Talmadge's
original t.ibernacle at Schermerhorn street and Third avenue, Brooklyn. He is also
a director of the Schermerhorn Bank of Brooklyn, and a member of the Union League
Club, of which he was secretary in 1892 and 1893, and of whose house committee he
IS now chairman. He is a member of the Lotos Club, the Republican Club, and the
New York Athletic Club, all of New York city, being a member of the finance and
building committee of the latter organization, which is erecting a handsome new
club house at 59th street and Sixth avenue. He is also a member of the St. Nicholas,
the Holland, the New England, and the Albany Societies, all of New York, and the
Sons of the American Revolution.


Hon. Timothy L. Woodruff was born in New Haven, Conn., August 4, 1858.
His ancestors fought in the Revolution and he is a member of the Sons of the Revo-
lution. His father was a member of the House of Representatives from 1855 to the
close of the Civil war. Mr. Woodruff received his preparatory education at Phillips
Exeter Academy and entered Yale University in 1875 and was graduated in 1879 as
Bachelor of Arts, and received the degree of Master of Arts in 1889. After leaving
Yale he took a course at Eastman Business College in Poughkeepsie, N. Y. In Jan-
uary, 1881, after a year's clerkship, he was admitted to the firm of Nash, Wheton &
Co., now the Worcester Salt Company, of which he is treasurer. He took up his
residence in Brooklyn, N. Y., in the spring of the same year. In 1887 he was the
proprietor of the Franklin, Commercial, Nye and Waverly stores and two grain ele-
vators. In 1888 he was made a director and secretary of the Brooklyn Grain Ware-
house Company. In 1889 he became one of the proprietors of the Maltine Manufac-
turing Company of New York, of which he is now^ president. He was one of the in-
corporators of the Kings County Trust Company, the Hamilton Trust Company and
the Manufacturers Trust Company of Brooklyn. He is a director of the Merchants
Exchange National Bank of New York and a member of the New York Chamber of
Commerce. In 1881 and 1883 he was a member of the executive and advisory com-
mittees of the Brooklyn Young Republican Club. He was a member of the Repub-



lican State Convention of 1885 and has been a delegate to nearly all State and local
conventions ever since. In 1888 he was a delegate to the convention at Chicago, and
in 1889 and 1890 he was a member of the Republican State Committee. Mayor
Wurster, upon assuming office, appointed him Commissioner of Parks of Brooklyn.
He was also a delegate to the convention at St. Louis which nominated William
McKinley. Socially, Mr. Woodruff occupies a very prominent place in Brooklyn and
is a member of all the fashionable clubs and societies. He is also a member of the
Union League and University Clubs of New York city. In November, 1896, he was
elected lieutenant-governor of New York State. His wife was Cora C. Eastman,
daughter of the late Hon. H. G. Eastman, at one time mayor of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
They are both members of the Presbyterian church. They have one son, a student
at Paul's School at Concord, N. H.


Hon. Theodore E. Hancock was born in 1847, in the town of Granby, Oswego Co. ,
N. Y. He is a descendant on his mother's side from Roger Williams. His paternal
ance.stors were natives of Massachusetts, from which State his father emigrated
about 1836 to Oswego county. He attended the public schools and the Falley Sem-
inary, where he prepared for college. He entered the Wesleyan University in 1867,
and was graduated with honors in 1871. While at college he was a diligent stu
dent of the classics and mathematics and showed great skill in logic and debate.
After leaving the University he studied law in the office of the Hon. Edward T.
Bartlett, now judge of the Court of Appeals. He also took a course of study in the
Columbia Law School of New York and in 1873 was admitted to practice in all the
courts of this State. He chose Syracuse, N. Y., as his home and commenced his
practice there. He met with great success and for many years he has been the
senior member of the firm of Hancock, Beach, Peck & Devine, now Hancock,
Hogan. Beach & Devine. In 1889 he was elected district attorney for the term of
three years. In 1893 he was nominated to the office of attorney-general of New
York State and was elected by a majority of 21,290. He assumed office January 1,
1894, and in 189.5 was re-elected by a plurality of 94,758. He is a member of the
Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias.

In 1880 he married Martha B. Connolly, of Pittsburg. Pa., and they have two
sons and one daughter.


The subject of this sketch was born at Albany, N. Y. His father, James Dickson,
.md mother, Margaret Leitch Russell, were natives of Scotland, the former of Peebles,
near Edinburgh, the latter of Hamilton, near Glasgow. Walter Dickson is the
eighth successive generation of this old Scottish border name. His mother was a


descendant of Major Andrew Leitch, who fell at Harlem Heights in 1776, fighting
under Washington. Walter's school life was spent at Prof. Anthony's Classical In-
stitute, and the Albany Academy. He excelled in boy's sports, and very early evinced
a taste for drawing and construction. William Ellis, then the prmcipal architect
in Albany, having seen some of the boy's handiwork, prevailed upon his (Walter's)
father to have him study in his office. Later the boy entered the office of William
L. Woollett. of Albany, also prominent in his profession, and finally completed his
studies in New York city. He held the office of resident architect of the new Fed-
eral Building at Albany for years and it was completed under his s'upervision.
Ambitious for a greater field, he associated himself in 1887 with Frederick C. Withers,
an old and well known architect of New York city, their practice being largely in
public buildings. They are at present erecting many for the city of New York.

Mr. Dickson isa memberof twenty yearsstandingof the American Instituteof Archi-
tects, and of the Architectural League, and has been president of the Depart-
ment of Architecture of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences.

From boyhood he has been a student of history and of places of historical interest
around him, which his published articles and tales of Old Albany attest to. In fact,
antiquities are his hobby. He was placed at the head of historical committee of the
Albany Bi-Centennial Celebration of 1886, and it was through his efforts that the
memories of many places and events of historical interest in Albany were perpetu-
ated by the the bronze tablets now seen about the city, the importance of which was
so eloquently set forth at the time by an eminent Roman Catholic divine, who .said:
" When the noise of smoke and cannon, and the glitter and music of parade, and the
brilliant effusions of inspired oratory will have all passed away, these bronze tablets
indelibly inscribed with history will be the only imperishable thing left to tell the
story of Albany's Bi-Centennial."

Mr. Dickson has been identified with many of Albany's institutions. He succeeded
his father as president of St. Andrew's Society, was president of the Young Men's
Association, commandant of, and closely identified with the Albany Burgesses
Corps. He was one of the original curlers of Albany, and one of the citizens who
introduced the steam fire engine into this city. He was also a member of the Fort
Orange Club, and the designer of the great Albany Army Relief Bazaar, and the
first president of the first Electric Illuminating Company in Albany. He is at pres-
ent an officer in the Albany Society of New York, and in addition to the other or-
ganizations with which he has been associated, has been for more than thirty years
a 33° Mason.

Mr. Dickson married Fanny Louise Guest, of Ogdensburg, N. Y., a descendant of
an old Albany family, and has three sons and two daughters. His only si.ster, Jean
Agnes Dickson, was the wife of William H. Tayler, both of whom are now deceased.


J. TowNSENi) Lansing is a descendant of (1) Frederick Lansing, of Hassel, Hol-
land, who came to New Amsterdam (New York) with three sons and three daughters
and probably settled in Rensselaerwyck about 1650. Gerrit Frederick Lansing (3),


his son, was no doubt the progenitor of all the Lansings in America. The line is (3)
Gerrit, born in Hassel, Holland; (4) Jacob Gerritse, 1681-1767, who built the old
" Peraberton House;" (5) Gerrit J. ; (0) Abraham G., 1756-1844; (7) Gerrit Y., 1783-
1862, member of the State Legislature, chancellor of the Regents of the University
of New York, and member of Congress, married Helen Ten Eyck; (8) Charles B..
married Catharine Clinton ; and (9) J. Townsend.

"John Townsend Lansing, born in New Haven county. Conn., was educated in
Albany and in 1866 engaged in the manufacture of saws with Robert C. Pruyn and
James Goodwin, under the firm name of Pruyn & Lansing, succeeding the fathers
iif Messrs. Lansing and Pruyn. They continued this business until 1878 and also
manufactured files under the name of the Sheffield File Works and were interested
in the embossing company.

Since 1878 Mr. Lansing has been interested in the care of trusts, estates and real
estate and has often acted as administrator. He is a director in the New York State
National Bank, the Albany Insurance Company, the Public Market Company and
the Wheeler Rent and Power Company; a trustee of the National Savings Bank, the
Dudley Observatory, the House of Shelter, the Albany Medical College, the Charity
Organization Society, the Albany Historical and Art Society, the City Mission, and
the Young Men's Christian Association; and is a member of the Fort Orange Club
of Albany, the Reformed Club of New York, the Holland Society and the Old Guard
Albany Zouave Cadets. He is also identified with several other organizations of the
capital city.

In 1870 he married Helen Franehot Douw, daughter of Volckert P. Douw of Al-


JoMCPH Aluerl Lintnkr, Ph. U., of German descent, is a son of Rev. George
.\mes Lintner, D.D., who was born in Minden, Montgomery county, N. Y., in 1796,
was graduated from Union 'College in 1817 and was pastor of the Lutheran churches
i>f Schoharie, Middleburg and Cobleskill for many years. Prof. Lintner was born
in Schoharie, February 8, 1822, attended the Jefferson Academy, was graduated
from the Schoharie Academy in 1837 and spent ten years in mercantile pursuits in
New York city, where he also prosecuted his studies under the Mercantile Library
Association. He contributed scientific articles to the Tribune and other newspapers,
and returning to Schoharie in 1848, engaged anew in mercantile business. In 1853
he began a collection of insects, and in 1860 removed to Utica, where for seven
years he manufactured woolen goods. Meanwhile he had steadily pursued his sci-
entific studies, for which he had a natural taste and unusual capacity. In 1868 he
became zoological assistant in the State Museum of Natural History at Albany; in
1880 he was appointed by Governor Cornell State entomologist; in 1883 he was
placed on the scientific staff of the museum, a position he still holds. He has writ-
ten about 1,000 papers on scientific subjects, published eleven annual Reports on the
Injurious and other Insects, of the State of New York, and is widely recognized as
one of the foremost entomologists of the world. His services in the interest of agri-


culture and allied pursuits have been of great value to both the State and nation.
He is a forceful speaker, an accomplished writer and a man of not only high scien-
tific, but of rare personal attainments. In 1884 the Regents of the University of the
State of New York conferred upon him the honorary degree of Ph. D. He was
president of the Entomological Club of the American Association for the Advance-
ment of Science, and the Association of Economic Entomologists, two years each,
has been president of the department of natural science in the Albany Institute
since 1879 and is a member of the American Entomological Society, the Entomo-
logical Society of Washington, D. C, the Entomological Society of Ontario, Canada,
the New York Academy of Sciences, the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, the
Cambridge Entomological Club, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Davenport,
Iowa, the Oneida Historical Society, the Kansas State Horticultural Society, the
New York State Agricultural Society, the Mus^e Royal d'Histoire Naturelle de
Beige, Societe Imperiale des Naturalistes de Moscou, and Societe Entomologique de
France, and since August 31, 1873, fellow of the American Association for the Ad-
vancement of Science. October 3, 1856, he married Frances C, daughter of Hon.
Holmes Hutchinson, of Utica, N. Y. Their children are George A., of Minneapolis,
and Charles H. of St. Paul, Minn. ; and Mary C. and Laura B., of Albany, N. Y.


J.\MEs H. Wilson is one of the foremost temperance leaders in the city of Cohoes
and a faithful member of the Baptist church, in which he has served as trustee for
the past three years, and as superintendent of the Sunday school he has been very
successful. He is prominent in the I. O. G. T., and assisted in organizing the Tem-
ple of Honor in 1873, and was a charter member of both organizations. He is also
a member of the A. O. U. W., and is serving as a trustee. As a director of the Y.
M. C. A. he is serving his fifth year, and also does mission work on Van Schaick's
Island, where he was one of the early settlers. In politics he is a Republican, and
is serving his third term as school commissioner, and is also a valued member of the
Masonic fraternity.

He was born in 1854 at Lowell, Wis., and is a son of James S. Wilson, a contract-
ing carpenter. He lived at Clifton Park until twelve years of age, when he came to
Waterford and assisted his father (who died in 1894. and his mother in 1891).

He came to Cohoes in 1868, and in 1878 became engaged with Leggett & Son, paper
bo.\ manufacturers, with whom he remained until May, 1885, -when he purchased the
business and has since successfully conducted the same.

In 1893 he organized the Continental Knitting Co., of which he served as president
until he severed his connection with the company in December, 1894.

In 1875 he married Adelaide Delanoy, by whom he had two children. The daugh-
ter, Frances D., died in 1892 at the age of sixteen ; she was a talented musician and
highly respected. The son, William J., was born in 1887.



Hon. a. 51.EECKKR Banks was born in New York city, March 7, 1837. He comes
from old Revolutionary stock and is a son of David Banks, who founded a law book
publishing house in New York city in 1804 and a branch at Albany soon after, of
which branch Mr. A. B. Banks has been the manager since 1858. Mr. Banks was
educated at the public and private schools and Columbia College, New York city.
He was a member of assembly from Albany county in 1863, State senator, 1868-71,
and mayor of Albany city. 1876 to 1878 and also 1884 and 1885. He was instru-
mental during his first term as senator in securing the first appropriation for the new
State Capitol, establishing Washington Park and legislating a new charter for his
city. When mayor he inaugurated the granite block pavement and improved sew-
erage systems, which has made Albany one of the best paved and drained cities of
the State. It was through his plans and management that the Bi-Centennial of Al-
bany city was carried on to its final success. He was a delegate to the Democratic
National Convention at Chicago in 1884, and aided in nominating Grover Cleveland
for president; he was also a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention of 1894.
He is an active member of the firm of Banks & Brothers, law book publishers, Al-
bany and New York.


Qharles W. Little is a descendant of George Little, the founder of the Newbury
family of this name, who came in 1640 from Unicorn street, near London Bridge,
England, and settled in Newbury, Mass. Mr. Little was born in Albany, February
4, 1850. His father, Weare Coffin Little, was the sixth in descent from George
Little, and was born July 31, 1806, in Maine. In 1827, while acting as the western
representative of the firm of Little, Brown & Co., of Boston, Mass., he established
in Albany, the law publishing house of W. C. Little & Co. He died February 20.
1885, after a long and successful business life; his uprightness and integrity having,
gained him the regard and esteem of all who knew him. C. W. Little's mother was
Elizabeth Latimer, and her grandfather. Col. Jonathan Latimer, who served in the
Connecticut forces during the Revolutionary war, was present at Bunker Hill and
Stillwater and also fought in the French and Indian war. Mr. Little was educated
at Professor Anthony's Classical Institute and the State Normal School in Albany.
After leaving school he entered his father's law book publishing house and upon the
death of his father in 1885, became the sole proprietor. He is a member of the Fort
Orange and L^ncondilional Republican Clubs, a life member of the Young Men's As-
sociation and of the Young Men's Christian Association. December 31, 1872, he
married Edith, daughter of Samuel B. Herbert, of London, England, who was a
direct descendant of the Earl of Pembroke. They have three daughters; Milla A.,
Edith H. and Elizabeth W.


RAi.rn Hornby, now retired from active life, took up the machinist trade upon
coming to Cohoes from England, where he was born in 1829. His early manhood
was spent as a cotton weaver, but on coming to America he entered the employ of
Campbell & Clute, remaining with them twenty-si.\ years, holding the position of
foreman for the last twelve years.

Mr. Hornby, from a poor boy, by economy, hard work, and perseverance, has ac-
cumulated a substantial fortune. He is practically the father of the Fifth ward of
Cohoes. having built the first house in that ward. He has been largely instrumen-

Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 71 of 138)