Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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apprentice, continuing his education in the night schools. Mr. Heney has since been
employed in various mills in various capacities, and since 1893 has been superintend-
ent of The Hudson Valley Knitting Co., of Waterford, N. Y. He was inspector of
election of the Fourth ward for two years, and in 1893 was elected supervisor, being
re-elected in 1895. Mr. Heney is a member of Egberts Lodge No. 50, Knights of
Pythias, having served as chancellor commander, also as district deputy of the
Twenty-eighth District in 1894. Rejoined the Seventh Separate Co., N. G. S. N. Y.,
in 1883; after serving five years as quartermaster-sergeant and the same length of
time as first sergeant, he applied for and received an honorable discharge in 1892.
In 1888 Mr. Henry won the Woodward competitive drill medal, the presentation
speech being made by Hon. D. B. Hill, then governor of the State.

Sessions, Charles E., and Lewis E. Sessions, are residents of Cohoes for half a
century and are sons of the late John B. Sessions, who by trade was a mason and
who came here in 1847. Charles E. was born in Troy in 1842, and in his early years
worked in the Harmony Mills. Lewis E. was born in 1846 in Troy, and in his early
years was a butcher. In 1859 Philip, an elder brother, established the business at
the present location.

Canton, Charles N., late postmaster of the city of Cohoes, and for twenty years
past a prominent citizen of that city, was born at West Troy, February Hi, 1853.
His first American ancestor was Albert Canton, who emigrated from Bordeaux,
France, about 1811, and settled at Brattleboro, Vt. He was a soldier of 1812. Mr.
Canton is one of five sons of the late Louis Canton, a contractor, who located at
West Troy about 1836. He, himself, lived at West Troy until about twenty-one,
having learned the builder's trade. In 1875 he married Miss Mary F. Carpenter, of
Cohoes, lately deceased. In 1884 he was appointed sealer of weights and measures,
and was postmaster of the city from 1890 to 1894, being succeeded by James B. Mc-
Kee, the present incumbent. Mr. Canton is largely interested in the wholesale trade
of ice. In 1895 he purchased the Peltier hotel property in Colonie, on the beautiful
and historic Loudonville road, transforming it into the " Cottage Lawn," a pictur-
esque and popular summer resort.

.Smith, Oscar, Capt., was born in Howard, Steuben county, N. Y., June 15. 1S4(;.
He received a public school and academical education. In 1861, when only fifteen,
he enlisted in Co. G, 13th N.Y.Vol. Inf., and served eighteen months; he re-enlisted
in January, 1864, in Co. H, 13th N. Y. H. A., as sergeant and served until the close
of the war in June, 186.5. He was in many engagements of the armies of the
Potomac and the James; wounded at the first battle of Fredericksburg, December
13, 1862. Returning from the war, then but nineteen years of age, he engaged in
the .sewing machine business in New York city, but removed to Albany in 1868.
Here he continued a large wholesale sewing machine and lumber business until
June, 1893; since then, he with his son, under the firm name of Oscar Smith & Sou,
have carried on a successful wholesale wood, baled shavings, excelsior, sawdust .iiul
charcoal trade. Mr. Smith is connected with several of Albany's business, political
and social organizations; is president of the Novelty Knitting Co., a trustee of the

Tennessee Land Company, a member of Temple Lodge No. 14, F. & A. M., a cliar-
ler member of Chancellors Lodge, K. P., a charter member of the Albany Club, a
past commander of Post No. 5, G. A. R., ex-president and member of the Albany
Unconditional Republican Club ; a member of the Press Club ; also for about eight
years commander and now a life member of the Albany Burgesses Corps.

Harris, Melville A., is a native of Albany, born January 16, 1857, and a son of
Samuel C. Harris, who came to Albany from New York city in 1833, and for many
vears was engaged in the manufacture of woodenware. His father was alderman of
llie Thirteenth ward for six years and president of the Common Council. His mother
was Sarah, daughter of Abram Staley of Albany. Mr. Harris was educated at the
public schools and Free Academy, now known as the High School, and first asso-
ciated iiimself with his father as a manufacturer of and dealer in woodenware. In
1880 he accepted a clerkship in the street commissioner's office and shortly afterward
in the corporation counsel's office and so continued until May 1, 1894. In June fol-
lowing he was appointed by Louis W. Pratt to his present position of United States
ganger. He is an active Democi-at and a member and for several years financial
secretary of Fireman's Lodge No. 343, A. O. U. W. In 1878 he married Louisa E.,
daughter of Henry Launsbach of Albany, and their children are Annie Louise,
Frederick Staley and Sarah.

Muhlfelder, Isidor, was born in Albany, December 34, 1858. His father, Louis
Muhlfelder, who was a native of Bauerbach, Germany, came to Albany about 1850;
engaged in mercantile pursuits and subsequently removed to Ballston Spa, N. Y.,
where he was a merchant and one of the proprietors of the Ballston Spa tannery.
Later on he again removed to Albany and became a member of the wholesale millin-
ery firm of S. Nusbaum & Co., and in February, 1884, was one of the founders of the
present wholesale dry goods firm of Heiser, Muhlfelder & Co. He died February 23.
1893, leaving him surviving four children, namely: Joseph Muhlfelder. who is con-
nected with the above firm ; David Muhlfelder, a well known attorney of Albany ;
Bell Pareira, wife of Aaron Pareira; and Isidor Muhlfelder, the subject of this
sketch. Isidor Muhlfelder was educated in the public schools of New York city and
Albany, and was in 1874 engaged as a salesman with S. M. Valkenburgh & Co., of
Albany, with which firm he remained for ten years and in 1884 he, together with
Solomon A. Heiser and Louis Muhfelder, founded the present firm of Heiser, Muhl-
felder & Co., of which he is one of the two surviving members. In March, 1889, he
married Pina Fleischman, and they have two children, Leo and Elsa, and he resides
with his family at 126 Lancaster street in Albany. He is a prominent member of
several clubs, lodges and societies and is one of the leading business men of the city
of Albany.

Williams, George A., M. D., was born in the town of Columbia, Conn., March 13,
1851. His parents were George and Jerusha (Cohn) Williams, and both were the
youngest of seven children, respectively. Dr. Williams is descended from a long
line of ancestors, among whom was Roger Williams. Dr. Williams spent many
years in preparation for his profession and studied at Yale University, New Haven,
and Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He also received instruction
under Dr. Kingsley, the founder of the New York Dental College, and he has two
dental diplomas, one from the New York Dental College, conferring upon him the

decree of D. D. S., and the other of Master of Dental Surgery, from the New York
State Censors. In 1890 Dr. Williams was graduated from the Albany Medical Col-
lege, receivmg the degree of M. D., and since then he has practiced in Albany. He
is a thirty-second degree Mason and has all of both the York and Scottish Rite de-
grees. He is also a member of the A. A. O. N. M. S. and is a member of all the
Odd Fellow orders, having passed all the chairs. For two years he was instructor on
the heart and lungs at the Albany Medical College and also instructor in materia
medica in that institution. Dr. Williams is also a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa
Society and the Albany County Medical Society.

Tibbitts, Lorenzo B., son of William and Abigail (Seaman) Tibbitts, was born in
Ballston, Saratoga county, N. Y., November 12, 1847, was educated in the Jonesville
Academy and came to Albany in 1866 as superintendent of the gardens and grounds
of Moore & Furgeson. In 1867 he was appointed a member of the Albany police
force and served for fifteen years. In 1882 he engaged in the milk and dairy produce
business on the corner of Green and Division streets, where he has since continued.
In 1891 he started his present livery and boarding stable on Liberty street, succeed-
ing M. H. Teater, and since July, 1893, has also had a contract with the United
States Government for the transfer of mails between the Albany post-office and the
various stations. He has been an active Republican, was for a time vice-president
of the Consumers' Ice Company, and is a member of Wadsworth Lodge F. & A. M.,
Capital City Chapter R. A. M., Temple Commandery No. 2, K. T., and Cyprus Tem-
ple N. O. M. S. In 1869 he married Matilda A., daughter of Sylvester Van Home,
of Oneida, N. Y., and their children are William S., Cora B., Lorenzo J., Arthur
and Lotta.

Shaw, Andrew, son of John and Elizabeth (Moore) Shaw, was born in Albany, N.
Y., October 12, 1846. He is of Scotch ancestry, his father having come from Scot-
land to America in 1836. Mr. Shaw received his education in the public schools and
in Prof. Lawson's Classical Institute, after which he started to learn the plumber s
trade with Edward Kearney, with whom he remained one year. In 1864 he enlisted
in Co. A, 91st N. \'. Regt. N. Y. Vols. March 31, 1865, he lost an arm at the battle
of Gravelly Run, Va., which necessitated his returning to Albany, where he remained
in Harris Hospital three months. In 1868 Mr. Shaw was made tallyman at the
building of the stock yards at West Albany. After a short time he obained a situa-
tion as gate keeper at the Capitol building, then just commenced. From there he
went into the employ of the Albany Gas Light Company, where he served as valve-
man for twenty years. In March, 1888, he resigned that position and formed a
partnership for carrying on the coal business, with William L. Dresser, of Lee, Mass.
They located at No. 150 Grand street. Subsequently Mr. Dresser sold his share to
William McArdle. and for two years the firm was Shaw & McArdle. In 1894 Mr.
McArdle withdrew and since that time Mr. Shaw has conducted the business. He is
a member of the Unconditional Club, Lew Benedict Post No. 5 G. A. R., and the
Jackson Corps. He was married m 1886, his wife being Maude C. Chamberlain, of
Morris, Otsego county, N. Y. They have one son, William Reid Shaw.

Pratt, Louis W., a brilliant young lawyer and collector of internal revenue, is a
son of Daniel J., and A. Eliza (Whipple) Pratt, was born in Fredonia, Chautauqua
county, N. Y., August 14. 1862, and moved with his parents to Albany in 1865,

Daniel J. Pratt was assistant secretary of the Board of Regents of the University of
the State of New York from 1864, until his death September 12, 1884. He was the
founder and developer of the present system of regents examinations and was the
author of "Annals of Public Education of the State of New York" and " Bound-
aries of the State of New York," two works of wide importance and usefulness. He
was secretary of the New York State Boundary Commission and the Albany Insti-
tute, the first secretary of the New Capitol Commission, and the secretary of the
Commissioners of the New York State Survey from its organization until his death.
He was graduated from Hamilton College in as valedictorian of his class, and
the prizes on that occasion were divided between him and Charles Dudley Warner.
Louis \V. Pratt was educated in the Albany public and high schools and was gradu-
ated from Williams College, of Williamstown, Mass., with honors in 1883. He be-
came a student in the law offices of Parker & Countryman, took a course of lectures
at the Albany Law School, w-as admitted to the bar and began the practice of his pro-
fession in 1885. In 1888 he formed a law partnership with Gaylord Logan, with
whom he is still associated. Mr. Pratt is one of the editors of the revision of the
New York Court of Appeals Reports. In 1888 he was elected alderman at large and
in 1890 was re-elected. In November, 1893, he was appointed by President Cleve-
land collector of internal revenue, which office he now holds. During the last few
years he has made more political speeches than any other local politician. He is a
lover of good books in all departments of literature and science, a thoughtful student
and an accomplished scholar, and well versed in all the intricacies of the law. Mr.
Pratt is a member of the Fort Orange and Orange Clubs, of Masters Lodge No, 5,
F. & A. M., Capital City Chapter, R. A. M. and the Albany Lodge of Elks.
November 5, 1885, he married Geraldine F., youngest daughter of the late Thomas
Schuyler, president of the First National Bank and a prominent citizen of Albany.
They have four children ; Marion, Helen, Schuyler and Geraldine.

Bayard, Andrew Herbert, M. D. , only son of Augustus Willard and Isabella
(Browne) Bayard, was born at Leeds, Greene county, N. Y.. October 11, 1867. The
Bayards came to America about 1630 and are direct descendants of the renowned
French warrior De Chevalier Bayard. When an infant his parents removed to
Cohoes, N. Y., and his home was there until 1880, when he moved to Albany, N. Y.
He was educated in the Albany Academy, was lieutenant in the military department
and received the principal's prize for English composition, three consecutive years,
and graduated in the class of 1886; he then took up the study of medicine in the
Albany Medical College, receiving the degree of M. D. in 1889, was president of his
class in 1886-7 and is now historian. Dr. Bayard subsequently took a post-graduate
course at the New York Polyclinic and was assistant to Dr. R. C. M. Page, professor
of the practice of medicine, and other special training under prominent teachers,
served as assistant surgeon in the old Chambers Hospital, N. Y., since then he has
practiced in Poughkeepsie and Bath-on-the-Hudson, N. Y. In 1892 he returned to
Albany, N. Y., and at present is recognized as one of the leading young practition-
ers in the city, enjoying a lucrative practice and was elected county physician in
May, 1896. Dr. Bayard is a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity of Union
University, Wadsworth Lodge No. 417, F. & A. M., Albany Council No. 1,560, Royal
Arcanum, surgeon of the Albany Burgesses Coq)s, Capital City Republican Club


and the Albany County Medical Society. October 15, 1890, he married Orlena A.
Hunting, eldest daughter of Dr. Nelson Hunting of Albany, N. Y., and they have
one son, Roy Hunting.

Ainsworth, Danforth E.. the subject of this sketch, was born at Clayton, Jefferson
county, N. Y., November 29, 1848. He was educated at Pulaski Academy and Fal-
ley Seminary, and in the early years of his life was a teacher in the common schools
of the State. He read law with the Hon. Henry L. Howe, and was admitted to the
bar in 1873. He then resided at Sandy Creek, Oswego county, N. Y., where he con-
tinued in the active practice of his profession as a partner of Hon. Henry L. Howe
until 1878 when the partnership was dissolved. Mr. Ainsworth continued the prac-
tice of law at Sandy Creek until the year 1885 when he was elected to the Legisla
ture, representing the second district of the county of Oswego. He represented
that district in the Legislature during the years '86, '87, '88 and '89, during the two
latter years serving as chairman of the Committee upon Appropriations in that body.
He was again elected to the Legislature in 1892, and served during the years of '93,
'94 and '95, the two latter years being chairman of the Ways and Means Committee
and Republican leader of the House; also serving upon the Committee of Judiciary,
where his experience as a lawyer made him a strong man upon the committee. He
was always a forcible and ready speaker, taking an active part m all debates of the
House. It was largely owing to his support and advocacy that the reform legisla-
tion of the city of New York passed the Legislature in the session of 1894. The
policy of the two parties as represented by the passage of this legislation and its
veto by Governor Flower contributed in no small degree to the Republican tidal
wave of 1895. Upon the election of Hon. Charles R. Skinner as State Superintend-
ent of Public Instruction, Mr. Ainsworth was selected as his deputy, and is at pres-
ent serving in that capacity.

Victorin, Anthony, was born in Vienna. Austria, in 1850, of French parentage.
His early education was obtained in Vienna and later he completed a course in the
Polytechnic of Vienna, in the mean time devoted two years to practical work. After
leaving the Polytechnic he was engaged in an extensive establishment at Gratz,
Austria, for the manufacture and repair of locomotives, railroad cars, etc., as
draughtsman, foreman and superintending engineer: later he was in the employ of
the Austrian government as inspector of railway material. The last few years of
his residence in Europe were devoted to the construction and equipment of industrial
establishments in Austria and France. In 1880 he came to the United States where
he has been eminently successful. His first engagement here was as civil and me-
chanical engineer in the construction of the buildings for the Chicago Sugar Refin-
ing Company. In 1884 he accepted the position as mechanical engineer at the West
Point Foundry, where his duties were the designing and constructing of factories for
the production of machinery and heavy ordnance, and in the early part of 1886 he
was engaged as mechanical engineer of the Army Ordnance Bureau in Wa.shington.
In the fall of 1887 Mr. Victorin was transferred to Watervliet Arsenal, where his
knowledge and skill have been devoted to the building and development of the pres-
ent great gun factory, and designing, constructing and perfecting the gigantic ma-
chinery for the manufacture of heavy ordnance. His well known work here ranks
him as second to none in the engineering fraternity. Mr. Victorin is a member of


the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engi-
neers, the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, the Engineers Club of New York, the
I'afraets Dael Club and Laureate Boat Club of Troy, and the Fort Orange Club of
Albany; he is also an honorary member of the Troy Citizens Corps. Socially he is
a man of great popularity, a gentleman of pleasant manners and an entertaining
conversationalist. He is proud of his allegiance to his adopted country and is a
thorough American in his citizenship.

Gartland, John L., son of James and Elizabeth Gartland, was born in Manchester,
England, July 4, 1853, and was graduated from Kneller Hall, a military school of
music in Hounslow, in 1872. Meanwhile he was for ten years a member of the 2d
Battalion, l.lth Regiment of Foot, English army, which he entered in 1863 and in
which he served a part of the time as musician, bemg stationed at Gibralter, Malta,
Jersey (Channel Islands), Aldershot and Gosport. In 1878 he came to Portland, Me.,
where he followed his profession as a band musician. In 1874 he removed to Johns-
town, N. Y., and became leader of the Johnstown Band and a dealer in books and
stationery. He came to Albany in 1881 as a member of the old Austin Band and in
1M84 was elected leader of the IDlh Regt. Band, a position he held ten years. In
1894 he organized Gartland's Military Band of twenty five pieces and has since been
its leader and conductor. January 1, 1896, he formed a partnership with Joseph
Gioscia and organized Gioscia & Gartland's orchestra of twenty-five members.
These two bodies are the leaders in military band and orchestral circles in Eastern
New York and have filled many noted engagements. Mr. Gartland is also musical
director of the First Lutheran church, and a member of Wadsworth Lodge, Temple
Chapter, De Witt Clinton Council, Temple Commandery and Cyprus Temple of
Masons. In 1879 he married Josephine, daughter of Charles E. Peckham, of Johns-
town, N. Y., and they have one daughter, Elizabeth Peckham Gartland.

Payn, Edgar M., son of Samuel N. and Margaret (Merrifield) Payn, was born in
Albany, N. Y., in December, 1838. Mr. Payn's ancestors were English and settled
near Lake George, N. Y., before the Revolution and took a very active part in the
war. He was educated at Professor Anthony's Classical In.stitute in Albany, and
before completing the course, left the institution and went South, where he was em-
ployed as an assistant laying out and superintending the dredges improving the
James and Appomatto.x Rivers, in Virginia. When the Rebellion broke out he was
obliged to return North and entered the employ of his father, a contractor for river
and harbor improvements. Mr. Payn was also in the employ of the State of New
York superintending the building of dykes and dredging on the Hudson River. In
1871 he formed a partnership with William Bruce, the firm name since that time
being E. M. Payn & Co. They have improved many harbors and rivers in the east
as far as the Capes and in the South more extensively. In 1871 Mr. Payn married
Ida Schermerhorn of New Baltimore, N. Y., and they have three daughters: Edna,
Cora and Florence.

Hallenbeck, William Henrj-, son of John Henry and Mary (Beebe) Hallenbeck,
was born in the town of Kno.x, Albany county, July 30, 1859, and is of Holland
Dutch descent. His great-grandparents were early settlers of Albany county and
his father, a son of Abraham, was born in Guilderland ; all were farmers. Mr. Hal-
lenbeck finished his education in School No. 8, Albany, whither his parents moved


in 1868, and where they still reside. He clerked in a grocery store for about five
years and on August 13, 1876, became a clerk for J. & J. Doran, woodenware dealers,
with whom he remained until February, 1889. In March, 1889, he established his
present wholesale and retail millinery business at No. 92 South Pearl street. He is
a member of Peabody Lodge No. 32, K. P., Albany Division No. 3, Uniform Rank,
K. P.,Wadsworth Lodge No. 417, F.&A.M., Mountaineer Lodge No. 321, I. O.O.F. ;
he is also a member and was formerly trustee of the Odd Fellows' Mutual Aid and
Accident Association of Piqua, Ohio. February 34, 1880, he married Elizabeth,
daughter of John William Schweiker of Albany and they have two children: Sadie
Louise and Robert William.

McDonough, Joseph, so widely known throughout the country by antiquarians and
lovers of valuable books as " ye old booke man" of Albany, was born in 1834 in Kil-
kenny, Ireland. His rare taste for books was inherited from his father, James Mc-
Donough, a man of vigorous intellectual powers, who after extensive travels abroad,
became a school teacher and finally drifted mto the second-hand book trade. About
184.5 he opened a book stand in Liverpool, England, and continued there until his
death in 1860. The maiden name of the mother of Joseph McDonough was Mary
Hawthorne, a descendant of one of Cromwell's soldiers who had become proprietor
of some land in the vicinity of Kilkenny, where young McDonough was early in-
structed in the elementary branches of knowledge by his father. He first entered
his father's bookstore and when about nineteen started out with a book stall for him-
self in Liverpool. His financial success was assured from the first and in a few
years he accumulated a large stock of books. When Henry G. Bohn, the eminent
old bookseller and publisher of London visited Liverpool in 1858 he complimented
Mr. McDonough by saying that he had the best store of the kind in England. In
1S70 he came to America and soon settled in Albany, where he began business with
a small book stall on State street. He moved several times from small stores to
larger ones, and was very successful. In 1886 he started a branch in New York city
and issued catalogues of old books regularly. In 1890 he returned to Albany and
established himself in his present elegant quarters at Nos. 53 and .55 State street.
Much of Mr. McDonough's stock of books is secured by his attendance at auction
sales of private libraries in New York, Boston and Philadelphia, and the regular
book trade sales in those cities. He deals extensively in general literature, making
a specialty of books relating to America, and has a large trade with the numerous
public libraries and historical societies in the West and South. One of the grand
secrets of his success as an accomplished bookseller is his wide knowledge of bibli-
ography, a science which he carefully studied in England as early as 1860. Perhaps
there is no man in Albany better acquainted with this subject than he. With the
date of pubhcation, the best editions and real value of the vast collections of literary
treasures from the earliest periods down to the present time, he is perfectly

Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 80 of 138)