Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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hing, and again in the panic of 1857 he had considerable trouble, but despite these disas-
ters his fine work brought him custom and he was able to recover his losses. April 7,
1871, he retired from business at the age of si.xty-three with a substantial competence.
He had friends by the score He was very saving, yet at the same time liberal in his
gifts to the worthy distressed. He invested largely in real estate in Albany, the in-
come from which now supports him. He is temperate in his habits, yet withal en-
joys the good things of life which he has so hard earned. So strict was he in his business
that when asked to go out for a few moments' enjoyment during business hours his
answer always was, " No, I am expecting a customer." Mr. Liieke possesses a very
strong constitution, and even to-day reads the daily paper by gaslight without
glasses. He is actively identified with Holy Cross church and was its treasurer for
thirty-four years. He has never meddled in politics, but has always voted the Demo-
cratic ticket and has been a subscriber to the Argus ever since he came to the city.
He is at present a member of the board of trustees of St. Agnes Cemetery and is the
(mly surviving member of the original board which was composed of sixteen mem-
bers. In 1837, in New York city, Mr. Liieke married Miss Catharine W. Rodemeir,
who was a schoolmate of his. In October, 1887, Mr. and Mrs. Liieke had the
pleasure of celebrating their golden wedding. Mrs. Liieke died in December, 1890.
Two daughters survive her, Adelaide, the wife of Rupert Spang of Syracuse, N. Y.,
and Gertrude, who ably manages her father's property. Mr. Liieke prefers his home
and church to any club life and derives most of his enjoyment from reading history.
He is a very fluent speaker on this, his favorite topic. He knows the history of


Europe thoroughly for the past two hundred years and prides himself on being able
to trace the relationship between all the royal families.


Simon W. Rosendalk was born in Albany in 1841, coming of a German family,
and reads and speaks German lluently. His father, Sampson Rosendale, was a
native of Bavaria, and his mother of Saxony. His parents came to this country in
1837, and made Albany their home. Mr. Rosendale was educated in one of the
public schools and became a student of the Albany Academy and by his aptness for
learning and geniality of his disposition and his successful application he gained the
highest esteem of his teachers and cla.ssmates. In 1857 he entered the law office of
Courtney & Cassidy, then an important legal firm, suspending his law studies to
finish hisgeneral education in the hallsof the Barre,Vt., Academy, from which he grad-
uated in 1861, and on his return to Albany was admitted to the bar in 1862. Within
a year he was appointed assistant district attorney of Albany, and rendered valuable
aid to that office. In 1868 he was elected recorder by a large majority. He was ap-
pointed by Mayor Nolan corporation counsel, resigning the office in 1882 on account
of his extensive law practice. He has been a member of the law firm of Peckham,
Rosendale & Hessberg, which upon the election to the Supreme Court of Hon. Rufus
W. Peckham became and now remains the well known firm of Rosendale & Hess-
berg. In 1884 he was again appointed corporation counsel by Mayor Banks. He is
prominently identified with the legal and commercial interests of the Slate and with
many local organizations, being a director of the National Commercial Bank, tlie
National Savings Bank, the Albany Railway Company, the Albany Hospital, and
was for years treasurer of the New York State Bar Association. He is also a trustee
of the Albany Medical College (Union University). He has long been a representa-
tive of his people, willing to give his time, talents and money in aid of Jewish char-
itable and religious interests, and has been identified with many movements in
prominent organizations connected with Judaism. He was for many years promi-
nently identified with the order of Benai Berith, and for ten years the president of its
National Court of Appeals. He has presided over the convention of the United He-
brew Congregations of America, and is a member of its National Executive Com-
mittee. He is a member of the executive committee of the Jewish Publication Soci-
ety of America, and presided at its initial meeting in Philadelphia. He is also vice-
president of the recently organized American Jewish Historical Society.

In 1891 he was nominated by the Democratic State Convention for attorney gen-
eral of the State of New York, on the same ticket with Governor Flower, and was
elected by a very flattering majority. He is now engaged in the practice of the law.
In the discharge of the manifold and arduous duties of attorney-general, it may
at least be said that Mr. Rosendale's administration was successful and met with
public approval.



George A. House, well known in both business and political circles, is one of the
most enterprising men of Cohoes, his native city. After graduating from the High
School in 1870. he at once accepted a position with H. R. Grant & Co.. in the hard-
ware trade. In connection with his duties in the store he acquired a knowledge of
telegraphy. On the dissolution of this firm he was appointed manager of the West-
ern Union Telegraph office at Cohoes, which position he held until 1883. In that
year he resigned and became the Cohoes representative of Samuel Blaisdell, jr., &
Co., cotton and wool dealers, Chicopee, Mass. Almost immediately perceiving the
necessity of a warehouse in Cohoes he perfected his plans and then forming a co-
partnership with C. M. Blaisdell, a member of the firm of S. Blaisdell, jr., & Co.,
carried the new venture to a successful issue. In 1894 C. M. Blaisdell disposed of his
interest to his wife, Mr. House retaining his equal position. In 1895 Mr. House
mdividually built the Younglove Avenue Warehouse. Mr. House is a very influential
political leader, standing unswervingly in the Republican party. He has served as
fire commissioner, filling the vacancy caused by the death of the Hon. D. J. John-
ston, general superintendent of the Harmony Mills. He is a member of Cohoes
Lodge No. 116, F. & A. M., life member of Cohoes Chapter, R. A. M., life member
of Bloss Council of Troy. R. and S. M., past orator of Royal Arcanum, past grand
Cohoes Lodge, I. O. O. F., member of Cohoes Business Men's Association, member
of Cohoes City Club, and Pafraets Dael Club of Troy.

He was born in 1853 of Holland ancestry and was the son of Moses House, who
came here as early as 1850, a shoemaker by trade. He was also a private banker
and real estate dealer.


WiNKiELD S. Hevenor (of the firm of Van Alstyne & Hevenor) is the eldest son of
Robert D. Hevenor and Eliza C. Folger, his wife, and was born at Rhinebeck, N.Y.,
June 24, 1831. On his father's side he is a lineal descendant from some of the
earliest Gc-man settlers of Dutchess, Columbia and Ulster counties, and of the
mountainous regions of Pennsylvania and Virginia; on the side of his mother he is
a descendant from Peter Folger, the brother of the mother of Benjamin Franklin,
and also from one of the original Van Loons, who were among the earliest and most
prominent settlers of Greene county, N. Y., and from whom the present village of
Athens took its ancient name of Loonenberg. Mr. Hevenor was educated in the
common schools of the town, and at Rhinebeck Academy, under the instruction of
Professors Bell, Marcy, Dow, Schuyler, Smith and Covert, all foremost, in their
time, among the educators of Dutchess county. No academy in the State, in those
days, turned out better scholars than did Rhinebeck Academy; and many of the
young men educated there have become prominent in professional and business life,
and in the military service of the country. At the age of sixteen Mr. Hevenor had
been fitted in the ordinary English branches, in higher mathematics and the


as then taught, as well as in Latin and Greek, to compete creditably with
many graduates of the colleges of the day, and under the tuition of Mr. Covert
especially, had acquired a taste for, and a knowledge of, the rules of composition
and declamation, which have since proven of great value and assistance to him.
Thus equipped, and determining to waive the opportunity offered him by his father
and friends to proceed with an advanced college education, he commenced, and for
two years was engaged in, teaching common schools in the neighborhood of his
birthplace; and then, in September, 1849, upon the urgent solicitation of his old
schoolmate, Hon. (Jeorge Wolford (formerly county judge of Albany county, and
afterwards deputy superintendent of insurance), he came to Albany and took up the
study of law with Messrs. Tabor & Joyce, and continued his studies with them, and
with Messrs. Learned & WiUson, until he was admitted to practice in September,
1852. During his studentship with the latter firm he was also an attentive member
of the first class of the Albany Law School (now merged in the Law Department of
the University of Albany), under the instructions of Hon. Ira Harris, Hon. Amasa
J. Parker and Amos Dean, esq., the founders and first professors of that now noted
school ; and he refers with conscious pride to the fact that the recommendation for
his admission to practice as a lawyer bears the signatures of those eminent men.
Mr. Hevenor's life, since his admission to practice, has been an active and busy one.
professionally and otherwise. He served as assistant district attorney of Albany
county under Hon. Andrew J. Colvin and Hon. Samuel G. Courtney during their
respective terms as district attorney; afterwards filled one term as justice of the
peace of the town of North Greenbush ; was three years a member of the Board of
Education of Union Free School District No. 6 of that town, serving one year each
as clerk and president of the board; was afterwards for two years president of Bath-
on-the-Hudson, and for several years served as attorney for the village of Green-
bush. This constitutes his official life. In each position he was faithful, energetic
and competent, and met the approval of the public. In the spring of 1858 Mr.
Hevenor, after having been a partner of Mr. Colvin for several years, entered into
copartnership with Hon. Thomas J. Van Alstyne (afterwards county judge of Albany
county, and later a member of congress from the Albany district), under the firm
name of Van Alstyne & Hevenor. The firm located in Douw's building, in Albany,
and has ever since continued, as a firm, in the practice of law in the same building.
It is now the oldest unbroken law or business firm in the city of Albany, and prob-
ably the oldest in the State. Messrs. Van Alstyne and Hevenor are the oldest sur-
viving tenants of the building. Their practice has been large, varied and usually
successful. la 1878 Mr. Hevenor married Christina Pottenburgh, eldest daughter of
Capt. Henry Pottenburgh, who for many years was connected with the Old Night
Watch, and afterwards with the uniformed police of the city of Albany. Four
daughters are living, born of this marriage, to wit: Mrs. Maria Folger Colman,
wife of Rev. Charles Colman, Baptist clergyman, of Germantown, Pa. ; Mrs. Nancy
Eliza, wife of Dr. J. Wilton Barlow, of Brooklyn, N. Y. ; Ina Van Alstyne, unmar-
ried; and Mrs. Robertina L. Leech, artist, widow of the late Samuel D. Leech,
journalist; the latter two children are now residing with their parents. The only
son of the marriage, Robert Henry Hevenor, vi'ho died in early childhood, had he
lived till this time, would have been about thirty-three years of age. Although Mr.





■ received his first Sabbath school instruction from the noble daughter of the
pioneer Methodist minister. Rev. Freeborn Garretson, he early in life, after investi-
gation, adopted the creed of his paternal ancestry, that of the Lutheran church, and
still holds the same religious views. In politics he has been for many years, and still
is, an active and unswerving Democrat, and has many times advocated the principles
of his party with tongue and pen. During the war of the Rebellion he was a "War
Democrat," and was often called upon and found ready to address large gatherings
of people in favor of "a vigorous prosecution of the war." In family and social life
he is genial, social and kindly hearted, and has many friends. As a public speaker
he is plain, argumentative and forcible, rather than ornate or sophomoric. Among
his published addresses several orations delivered by him in his younger days, at
different times, and a few memorial addresses delivered at meetings of the bar oi
Albany, have received great commendation; and his eulogy upon General Grant,
pronounced at Round Lake, N. Y , shortly after the death of the general at Mount
McGregor, was said to be among the finest and best addresses delivered in memory of
the great chieftain. As a writer, Mr. Hevenor wields a facile pen, and his many
contributions (political, historical and literary) to newspapers of Albany and other
counties, have been warmly welcomed by the publishers, and read with pleasure
and approval by their readers. Mr. Hevenor's present residence is at Bath-on-the-
Hudson, N. Y.


Ei.iAs W. Sweet, son of Albrow and Mary (Wickham) Sweet, was born in the town
of Coeymans. Albany county, N. Y., September 16, 1830. Mr. Sweet enjoyed the
limited education of the public school of his day and took up farming as his life work.
He lived at Baltimore, N. Y., for fifteen years on a farm of sixty acres and subse-
quently purchased 'a farm at Stanton Hill, where he resided two years. In 1867 he
moved to a farm adjoining the one where he now lives in Aquetuck, town of Coey-
mans. In 1869 he purchased the farm on which his residence stands and since that
time has worked the two farms, comprising 163 acres. September 30, 1852, Mr.
Sweet married Eliza Ann Armstrong of the town of Coeymans. She died January
3, 1888, leaving four children: Elias, jr., Phoebe, Maria and Charles. Mr. Sweet is
a Methodist by profession.


John Bovd Thachkr, mayor of the city of Albany, was born on September 11,
1847, at Ballston Springs, N. Y., and is the eldest son of George H. Thacher, who
was for many years mayor of Albany.

John B. Thacher, was educated under private instruction, and in 186.T entered
Williams College, and was graduated therefrom with honors in 1869. He then en-
tered his father's foundry at Albany and learned the trade of moulder. He also
learned bookkeeping in Folsoms Business College. Mr. Thacher, in company with
his brother, George H. Thacher, still continues to operate the extensive foundry,
known as the Thacher Car Works, being one of Albany's leading industries.


Mr. Thacher began his public career in 1883, when he was elected to the State
Senate from Albany county, and during his term of office was an active supporter of
all labor measures. Since that time Mr. Thacher has been constantly in the public
eye as a politician, having taken the stump during both of the Cleveland campaigns.
He conducted the Albany bi-centennial with great success, and in 1895 became
mayor of the city of Albany, of which office he is now the incumbent.

Mr. Thacher was united in marriage in 1872 with Emma, daughter of George C.
Treadwell, esq., of Albany.

Mr. Thacher holds high rank in the Masonic fraternity, and is one of the few men
in Albany who have attained the thirty-third degree. He is past master of Masters
Lodge No. .5, and has held e.xalted positions in the other Masonic bodies of Albany,
and is also a member of the Democratic Phalanx. Mr. Thacher gained considerable
prominence during 1893 as a commissioner of awards at the World's Fair at Chicago.
He is also the author of '• Charlecote, ' a work treating on Shakespeare and the
drama, and several other works of merit.


Barent T. E. Bronk was born in the town of Coeymans, Albany county, N. Y.,
June 1, 1834. He is a son of John Bronk and Gerritie V'anderzee, and comes from
two of the oldest families in Albany county, the Ten Eycks and the Coeymans, after
whom the place Coeymans is named. Mr. Bronk's paternal grandmother and great-
grandmother were Ten Eycks. and his great-great-grandraother was a Coeymans.
On the maternal side the line of descent is also through the families of Ten Eyck
and Coeymans. The records of the town show that Andres Ten Eyck married Ann
Margreta Coeymans, whose daughter Charlotte married Conrad Ten Eyck, whose
daughter Maria married Jonas Bronk, grandfather of the subject of this sketch. In
1636 Barent Pieterse K->yemans (Coeymans) entered the service of the first patroon
and from this Koyemans Mr. Bronk is descended in the way above shown. The
founders of this republic always strove to perfect methods for educating the voung
and when practicable every son was sent to the best school that could be 'found.
Inasmuch as the facilities were so meagre at the place of his birth, young Bronk
was sent away to school. He attended the academies at Westfield and Leno.x, Mass. ,
and there obtained a magnificent preliminary education that was to fit him to acquire
the position he later attained in the business and social world. After leaving school
he returned to his fathers farm opposite where the Pulver House is now located at
Ravena, N. Y., and here he conducted the farm with his brothers Jonas, Xoble H
and Eugene. Eugene, filled with an ardent desire to serve his country, enlisted in
the Northern army during the Rebellion and his life paid the penalty. There is now
a G. A. R. Post m Coeymans named after him. In 1860 Mr. B. T. E. Bronk moved to
his present farm about one mile north of Coeymans. This farm, consisting of
four hundred and seventy-five acres, he .subsequently inherited from his great-uncle
Barent Ten Eyck. Since 1860 Mr. Bronk has lived on this farm enjoying a true!
simple life. He is a home-loving man and divides his time between his home and
his church, the Reformed church of Coeymans, of which he is an elder. January 18
180a, he married Sarah Ann Mull, who died leaving one daughter, Elizabeth' the



F. H. FISK, M. D.

wife of Dr. Powell of Coeymans. February 13, 1880, Mr. Bronk married his present
wife, Melissa Van Vliet.


The Hon. D. Cady Herrick was born in April, 1847, at Esperance, Schoharie
county, N. Y., and is a son of Jonathan R. Herrick.

D. Cady Herrick was educated in the public schools of Albany. N. Y., whither his
parents had removed in 1853. He was later sent to boarding school, and finished his
studies at Anthony's Classical Institute. He then studied law with Gen. Lyman Tre-
main, and the elder Peckham, at Albany, then took a course in the Albany Law
School, from which he was duly graduated, and was admitted to the bar of the State
of New York in 1868.

From that year until 1870 he was engaged in the offices of Hungerford & Hotaling
in the further prosecution of his studies of the law. In the latter year (1870) he en-
tered upon an active career in the practice of his profession at Albany. He first
became prominent in his defense of the murderer, Emil Lowenstein, receiving the
highest of praises for his powerful and eloquent appeal to the jury, from the judge,
jury and the public. Although the prisoner was convicted, Mr. Herrick gained
through this case a reputation which brought him clients in numbers and laid the
foundation of what promised to be a successful practice.

In 1880 Mr. Herrick entered politics and was nominated for and elected district
attorney, and renominated and re-elected to that office in 1883. In 1886 Mr. Herrick
resigned his position as district attorney to accept the appointment of justice of the
Supreme Court of the State of New York to fill a vacancy and is still serving in that
capacity, his term of office expiring in 1905. Mr. Herrick has held prominent posi-
tions in the Democratic party ever since his entrance into politics in 3880.

In 1873 he was united in marriage with a daughter of Daniel Salisbury.


Fr.\nk H. Fisk, M. D., son of Daniel, was born in Salisbury, Conn., August 6,
1854, and when young removed whh his parents to Bridgeport, in the same State.
He descends from an old Massachusetts family, and on his mother's side is descended
from the Chambers of Greenfield, Mass. He attended and was graduated from the
public schools of Bridgeport, and then entered and was also graduated from Barnum's
Academy, a celebrated institution for higher learning in that city. Later he was a
student for a time in the academy at Wilbraham, Mass. Deciding upon medicine
as a profession he went, while yet a youth, to Springfield, Mass., and entered the
office of a leading practitioner. He subsetiuently studied with physicians in New
Haven, Boston, and Albany, and was graduated from the Albany Medical College
with the degree of M. D. in 1881, since which time he has been in active practice in
this city. As a surgeon he has won a reputation, and has performed many diflicult
and dangerous operations. Dr. Fisk is a member of the Albany County Medical


Society and of the several Masonic and Odd Fellow fraternal organizations of


George Story is the son of Richard J. and Elizabeth (Rix) Story, both natives of
England, and was born in Albany, N. Y., December 15, 1854. His father came to
Albany about 1835 and early engaged in the grain trade; eventually he established
himself in the malting business, and died in 1892 at the age of eighty-six. His
mother also died in 1892, aged eighty.

Mr. Story was educated in School No. 14. on what is known as Trinity place,
Albany, and commenced to earn his own livelihood at the age of fifteen. Since then
his career has been one of almost unceasing activity and constant effort. With
indomitable perseverance, combined with good judgment, sound common, and
excellent business ability, he rose step by step in responsible capacities and event-
ually achieved a high place as an enterprising and successful citizen. He overcame
difficulties with remarkable adroitness, filled important positions with great credit
and satisfaction, and won the respect and confidence of all with whom he came in
contact. His independent disposition, his great firmness and directness of purpose,
his executive ability, and his energy and force of character enabled him to surmount
all ob.stacles and attain distinction in financial and bu.siness affairs.

In 1869 he entered the employ of Churchill & Dennison, photographers, and after-
ward of Frank Chamberlain, commission merchant, in Albany. In 1873 he entered
the Merchants' National Bank of Albany, where he remained until 1885, being ad-
vanced through the various positions to that of paying teller. He then engaged in
the brewing and malting business in his native city as a member of the firm of
Granger & Story, (rom which he withdrew in 1891 to accept the position, in New
York, of first assistant national bank examiner, which he held until 1893, when he
was made assistant cashier of the National Bank of Deposit of that city. Soon after,
this institution succumbed to the financial depression of that year and went into the
hands of a receiver, with whom Mr. Story remained until the business was wound
up and every depositor paid in full, with interest. He then became chief clerk of
the Third National Bank of New York city, but resigned that position July 1, 1894,
to accept a responsible post in the State Banking Department at Albany. His ex-
perience in banking affairs, and his thorough knowledge of finance, enabled him to
meet and discharge every demand upon his services with unusual satisfaction,
especially in the examination of savings banks, to which he was assigned. In the
fall of 1895 he again went to New York city and established himself in the manufac-
turing business, at 62 Reade street, as president and treasurer of the firm of Story,
Barber & Co., manufacturers of bicycle lamps, in which he has since continued,
maintaining his residence, however, in Albany.

Mr. Story, in connection with Dr. M. J. Lewi and Frank Sabold. founded, in about
1893, the Albany Club of New York city, composed of Albanians, and now one of the
prominent social organizations of the metropolis. In 1896 he met with a serious
affliction in the loss of his eyesight, caused no doubt by his conscientious devotion to

Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 78 of 138)