Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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can farming, he spent some months in Europe (agricultural operations m this coun-
try being at that time modeled on foreign practice after a fashion hardly conceivable
by the present younger generation of American farmers) and detailed his observa-
tions, first in letters to the Country Gentleman, and afterwards in a contribution to
the nineteenth volume of the "Transactions of the State Agricultural Society," and
in a series of lectures on English agriculture in a course of agricultural instruction
at New Haven (delivered in 1860) which attracted wide attention and aided ma-
terially in the subsequent development of the Sheffield Scientific School. It has
seemed surprising that he was able to collect, in so short a time, and particularly
in countries like France and Germany, whose languages he was compelled to ac-
quire by periods of study that most persons would consider utterly inadequate —
such a wealth of the practical and accurate information on agricultural practice for
which the trip was undertaken, selecting with rare judgment the points most likely
to be useful in the LTnited States.

Of other literary work, outside of that constantly done in the office of the Country
Gentleman, Mr. Tucker preserved no record, being absolutely careless of his reputa-
tion as a writer and speaker, and keeping no copies of a number of lectures and
essays of his that were at one time and another printed. In 1865, at the time when
Congress distributed the public land fund for the establishment of colleges of agri-
culture and the mechanic arts, Rutgers College at New Brunswick, N. J., received
its share, and Mr. Tucker was appointed professor of agriculture in the first arrange-


ment of the faculty and delivered^a full course of lectures. He was compelled to
resign his chair, however, at the completion of his course because of more pressing
duties at home.

In 1858 Mr. Tucker was elected treasurer of the State Agricultural Society (as had
been his father, ten years before), and entered at once actively into the management
of that body. He brought to official duty the same habits of unbounded energy,
scrupulous accuracy, and the constant aiming at improvement and expansion, that
characterized his operations as a publisher; and the rapid increase in the financial
resources of the society which followed his election was certainly due in considerable
part to the good management of the treasurer's office and to the sound judgment of
the treasurer himself in the councils of the governing board. He resigned this office
on the death of his father in 1873, when he became senior member of the firm (the
original title remaining unaltered), that occurrence throwing upon him the heavy
burden of the editorship in chief of the paper and adding greatly to his responsibili-
ties. The executive committee accepted the resignation "with great reluctance,"
according to a minute made at the time, adding that the office had been (illed by
him "most acceptably and efficiently."

So passed thirty active and successful years — years however in which there was at
first no opportunity, and afterwards but little thought, of recreation or pleasure.
He did, it is true, make two or three fiying visits to warmer climes like Florida and
Cuba to escape the opening of our northern spring, and he took occasionally a few
days at the seashore and the springs in summer. But for the most part he was per-
petually at his post.

In the autumn of 1884, however, when he had just passed his fiftieth birthday, this
unremitting application began to tell. A heavy cold, neglected at first, refused after-
ward to yield to treatment, and brought about a condition of 'general malaise that
rendered exertion of any kind most irksome; and at last, one gloomy day toward
the close of the year — a busy day it was, too, when the edi,tor-in-chief had his hands
and his head especially full — he found himself absolutely unable to go on, and left
the office for rest and medical advice, expecting that a few days at home would
make him all right again.

But his condition had become so serious that a winter in Nassau was neces.sary,
and even this did not restore his former health. The following winter (1886) was
spent in Bermuda, and from January to June, 1887, he traveled in Southern Europe
and Great Britain. For some years following shorter trips were taken ; another
foreign tour in 1895. So although these years were shadowed by semi-invalidism,
there were great alleviations in the larger lei.sure and opportunities for travel and
observation. His life, in short, seemed enviable, and would have been .so indeed,
had he succeeded in recovering completely his lost health. But this was not to be.
A complication of disorders caused him trouble, and gave anxiety to those who loved
him.— sometimes more, and sometimes less, but never entirely absent after the first
break down. Toward the end of February, 1897, the symptoms of acute Bright's
disease suddenly developed, and on Tuesday, February 23, he passed away peace-
fully and painlessly.

Mr. Tucker was one of the trustees of the Albany Savings Bank, treasurer of
the board of trustees of the All)any College of Phannacv. and a vestryman of St.
Peter's church.

127 ,

November 28, LSGo. at St. George's Manor, L, I., Mr. 'J'ucker was married to Cor-
nelia Strong Vail, daughter of Harvey Wentworth ^'all and Anne I'dall Vail of
Islip, L. I. His wife survives him and four children, Lnther Henry, jr., Cornelia,
Wentworth and Carll.

The following are among the resolutions passed at Mr. Tucker's death In- the
various bodies with which he was connected:

At a special meeting of the board of trustees of the Albany Savings Bank, called
to take action in regard to the death of Luther H. Tucker, the following minute was
adopted :

The associates .)f Luther H. Tueker, who for nearly fourteen years has been a trustee of this
bank, desire to express their sincere sorrow for the loss of one who has so long and so ably as-
sisted in the management of this institution, and to bear testimony to the faithfulness with which
he has met the responsibilities of the position.

While unobtrusive in manner, he «:i ' -" -acy of every measure which he

believed would subserve the best ini. : .1 his associates felt that they

could depend upon him for advice an^l

To his family, so sadly bereaved, tli' : , . in this hour of trial, and as a

manifestation of their respect will attend his funeral in a body.

At a meeting of the vestry of St. Peter's chvirch, Alljany, February 28, 1807, an
entry was directed on the minutes of the board, in respect to the death of the late
Luther H. Tucker, as follows:

The rector, wardens and vestrj'men of St. Peter's church have received with profound sorrow
the announcement of the death of their friend and associate, Luther H. Tucker. They deeply
mourn, in this event, the loss of a trusted and greatly esteemed officer of the church, and of a fel-
low citizen of rare attainments, widely extended influence and estimable life and character, and
they direct that the following brief record of his earthly career shall be entered in their minutes,
transmitted to his family, and given to the press for publication.

Somewhat more than forty years ago Mr. Tucker, then barely twenty years of age, came
with a brilliant record for scholarship from Yale College, his Alma Mater, back to his home at
.\lbany, quietly dropped into his seat in the editorial sanctum of the Country Gentleman, by the
side of that of his distinguished father, Luther Tucker, the founder, proprietor and editor of that
sheet, and at once addressed his attention diligently, and with great zeal, to the especial news-
paper work of that agricultural organ.

Some twenty years later, when Luther Tucker, the senior, having conducted the paper
through his untiring and determined labors' to a useful a prosperous career, rested from his
arduous duties, the son stepped from the seat which had been at his father's side into the vacant
place at the head, and became, as his father before him, manager and editor-in-chief. The enter-
prise expanded and grew with the efflux of years, under the intelligent management which
shaped its editorial work, and guided its business affairs, and it became more and more, as it
continues to be to-day, the most important and reliable of the agricultural periodicals of this

In the editorial work of the Country Gentleman; in the study of those branches of useful and
practical knowledge which were incidental and essential to that work; in literary pursuits, for
which he had especial fondness and adaptation; in the enjoyment of the pleasures of an affluent
.and delightful domestic life, and of a generous hospitality; in the pleasure of a constant benevo-
lence; in travel and in the rational enjoyments of human existence, Mr. Tucker's life was passed,
and has closed with the record of a career of undev
although seemingly impersonal influence upon hu
vidual men to exert.

The honors which he achieved in more public employments were those obtained through oc-
casional non-editorial literary productions in the earlier period of his career; by a series of lec-
tures on agricultural subjects at Yale College; through his connection with Rutgers College as
its professor, for a brief period, of agriculture, a position resigned as incompatible with his edi-
torial duties at .'\lbany, and through his connection with the New York State Agricultural
Society for some time as its most efficient treasurer.


For fifteen years he had been a member of this board,
St. Peter's church; a judicious and reliable counselor in it

At a meeting of the board of trustees of the Albany College of Pharmacy, Feb-
ruary 25, the following resolution was adopted :

A'm«/7w/— That in the death of T.uther H. Tucker, who from the founding of the college had
been a member of this board and its treasurer, we have suffered great and serious loss. Wc
shall miss his wise counsel, unswerving loyalty and substantial aid. We extend to his bereaved
family our sincere sympathy, and direct that this resolution be suitably published and spread
upon the minutes of this board. *

At a meeting of the Yale Alumni Association of Eastern New York at Albany.
February 24, the following was adopted:

The friends of Mr. Tucker entertain pleasant "memories of their associations with him in the
past, and they appreciate the honor which his literary work has conferred upon his Alma Mater.
In later years he showed his affection for the college by sending to it his eldest son, to be edu-
cated there. The association desire to express to his widow and children their heartfelt sym-
pathy in their hour of trial and loss.


John (Josman Farnsworth was born in Elmira, N. Y.. January 21, 18:!2. His
parents were Marshall L. Farnsworth and Joanna B. Gosnian, his wife. His father
was born March 12, 1798, was graduated at Union College in 1825, and on June 30,
1830, married Joanna B. Gosman ; he died November 27, 1838. He was a faithful
minister of the Congregational church. General Farnsworth traced his descent to
both E;nglish and Holland Dutch sources. On the paternal side he was descended
from members of that sturdy body of Puritans who made a home on the rugged
shores of Massachusetts more than two and a half centuries ago, and among
whose children and children's children were many whose names became prominent
in the Revolutionary, literary and theological history of the earlj' days of this
country. On his mother's side he came from the earliest Dutch settlers of New

General Farnsworth was the recipient of a practical education, having pursued in-
telligently and faithfully his studies at the academies iti Ithaca, N. Y.. and Albany,
supplemented by a course at Pittsfield, Mass., fitting him thoroughly for the active
duties and responsibilities of life. His first business enterprise was in the wholesale
lumber trade as a member of the firm of J. O. Towner & Co., which for many years
carried on an extensive business. Here Mr. Farnsworth found active employment
for his mind, and gradually absorbed those correct and systematic business prin-
ciples which in later years made him so valuable a servant in the public service.

When, in 1861, the crash of civil war pealed over the land, shattering the con-
lent of thousands of homes, and plunging into chaos the business of the country,
young Farnsworth felt moving within him a new and theretofore untried sentiment.
A firm Democrat of the Jacksonian school, he was none the less a patriot and sup-
porter of the administration to which he was politically opposed. If his country
needed his services in the suppression of the Rebellion, he was ready to devote them
to the full extent of his power.


< )n the 14th of April, 1862, he was appointed by President Lincoln to the post of
of captain and assistant quartermaster and assigned to duty in the Army of the
I'otomac. In this position he found ample scope to employ the knowledge gained
111 his business experience, and so well did he apply it that from July. 1862, to
August, 1883, he served as chief quartermaster of the Fourth Army Corps under
.Maj.-Gen. E. D. Keyes. From August, 1863, until January, 1864, as a member of
the staff of Gen. M. C. Meigs, quartermaster-general of the U. S. army, he accom-
panied the latter on a tour of inspection through the western departments, and was
present with him during the siege of Chattanooga and at the desperate battles of
Mission Ridge and Lookout Mountain.

From February, 1864, to November of the same year General Farnsworth was in
command at Wheeling of the principal .supply depot of the quartermaster's depart-
ment of West Virginia, and from November, 1864. to September, 1865, he was chief

Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 73 of 138)