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Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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familiar.

Courtney, Dickinson, son of Jcseph and Mary (Gray) Courtney, who came to Al-
bany from Ireland about 1830, was born in the capital city, August 10, 18.50. His
father, who died in 1854, was a prominent Democrat, served as alderman of the
Second (now the Fourth) ward and several terms as city assessor and was engaged
in the grocery and building stone business. His mother died in 1882. Mr. Courtney



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attended the public schools and the Albany Academy and in 1865 entered the attor-
ney-general's office, where he remained seven years, becoming chief clerk. In
February, 1872, he entered the employ of Hiram E. Sickels (who died in July, 1895),
State reporter, and has ever since been connected with that office. In 1877 he mar-
ried Louise A. Weaver of Albany, and they have one son living: Dickinson Court-
ney, jr.

Gutmann, John, a native of Albany, born December 14, 1853, is the son of John L.,
who was born in Doerbach, Prussia, Germany, came to Albany in 1851 and died here
in July, 1889; he was a moulder, superintendent and director of the Albany Stove
Company and president of St. Joseph's Benevolent Association ; his wife, Elizabeth
Hensel, died March 8, 1870. John Gutmann was educated in German private
schools and the Christian Brothers' Academy, graduating in 1869, and al.so attended
the Albany Business College. He read law with Henry N. Wickes, was graduated
from the Albany Law School and admitted to the bar in 1874, and practiced in
l)artnership with Mr. Wickes until 1882. Since then he has followed the profession
alone. He was justice of the Justice's Court about four and a half years, police jus-
tice from 1884 to 1894, has been delegate to several Democratic conventions and is a
member of various German organizations. In January, 1876, he married Theresa
Kresser af Albany, who died in 1880, leaving two children: John H. and Julia T.
He married second, in 1883, Christine E. Weber, a native of Kingston, N. Y., and
their children are: Loretta C, Anna M. and Elizabeth C.

Oppenheim, Leo, born in Albany, July 4, 1856, is a son of Gerson Oppenheim, who
died in 1886. highly respected by his fellow-townsmen and deeply mourned by his
appreciative children, who have since been singularly fortunate in carving out for
themselves enviable names in their respective lines of endeavor. Gerson Oppenheim
was a successful merchant, a well known Odd Fellow and occupied many positions
of trust in the community and in the synagogue of which he was one of the helpful
pillars. During the panic of 1857 many of the senior Mr. Oppenheira's co-religion-
ists withdrew their money from the banks and placed it in his hands for safe keep-
ing; that he was scrupulously faithful to the trust thus forced upon him was one of
the reasons for the esteem in which he was held. Leo Oppenheim is up to date,
fin cle sih/f, as a merchant and as an artictic designer of men's wear; his store is
said to be the most tastefully arranged, luxuriously fitted up and bountifully stocked
tailoring establishment north of New York city. With other environments, Leo
Oppenheim might have made name and fame as an artist; as it is, his love of the
beautiful as the highest principle and the highest aim of art, expends itself in en-
deavoring, artistically, to clothe his fellow men, in hiding their deformities and in
bringing out their silent good points. His ambition is to dress people well in har-
mony with their form aud build; that he succeeds is evidenced by the increasing
number of his fastidious patrons.

Rogers, W. Seymour, son of Samuel and Gertrude A. (Snyder) Rogers, was born
in Hudson, N. Y., July 12, 1854. He is of Holland-Dutch descent on his mother's
side and English on his father's side, being a descendant of the original Rhode Island
Rogers, who came to America early in the fifteenth century. He received his educa-
tion at the Hudson River Institute and Claverack College and subsequently worked
three years in a paper mill owned by his uncle, Harper W. Rogers, at one time



14

mayor of Hudson and member of assembly. Mr. Rogers moved to Albany in 1876
and engaged in the poultry and game business, which he has since followed. In
1876 he married Maggie Miller, daughter of W. Ellsworth Miller, of Claverack, Co-
lumbia county, and they have two children: Elsie D. and Lola.

True, George M., is a descendant of Puritanancestorsand was born in Holderness,
N. H., Augusts, 1856. His parents were Joseph F. and Mary B. (Watson) True.
He received his education in the common schools and at the New Hampton Literary
Institution, after leaving which he was superintendent of schools in the town of
Holderness, at the same time studying law with James L. Wilson of Ashland, N. H.
He was graduated from the Albany Law School in May, 1881, and has since prac-
ticed law at No. 82 State street, Albany. He was married August 39, 1881, to Mary
A, Wood, of Albany. He is a member of Ancient City Lodge No. 4.')3, F. & A. M.,
and Albany Senate No. 641. Knights of the Ancient Essenic Order. He is one of
the attorneys for the State Department of Agriculture.

Stern, Henry E., son of Emanuel and Clara (Kaufman) Stern, natives of Germany,
was born in Albany, April 8, 1857. His father, a shoemaker and later a real estate
dealer, who died in 1877, settled in Albany about 1843 and became a prominent Re-
publican, being a member of the general committee of the old Whig party. Mr.
Stern was educated in the public schools and Free Academy, was graduated from
the Albany Business College in 1873, read law with I. & J. M. Lawson and was ad-
mitted to the bar at Saratoga in September, 1878. Since then he has been in the
active practice of his profession. In 1878 he became a member of Mount Carmel
Lodge No. 76, I. O. O F., and rapidly rose in the order to vice-grand in January,
1879, and noble grand in June following, being the youngest man ever elected to the
latter post in Albany. He has represented his lodge in the Grand Lodge of the
State since 1880. He is a past master of Washington Lodge No. 85, F. & A. M.,
past president of Gideon Lodge No. 140, I. (). B. B. , and Albanian Lodge No. 102,
I. O. S. B., a member of the Adelphi Club, a manager of the Jewish Home Society,
and was for several years a member of the finance committee of congregation Beth
Emeth. In 1888 he was nominated by the Republicans for justice of the city court,
but was defeated by a small majority. October 30, 1883, he married Fannie Kas-
tanienbaum, of Albany, and they have one son. Manning Nathan Stern, born De-
cember 18, 1884.

Kimmey, Edson. manager of the Postal Telegraph Company at Albany, is of Hol-
land Dutch descent and was born March 15, 1867, being the son of Philip and Jane
A. (Hotaling) Kimmey. His father, an eminent citizen of Albany, was born in 1810
and died in 1893; he was State boiler inspector under Gov John A. Di.x and in the
fifties was a large property holder at Kimmey's Corners, in South Bethlehem, where
he built the first saw and grist mill, the tall chimney of which, recently blown up by
dynamite, was a landmark for many years. Edson Kimmey was graduated from
the Albany High School in 1885 and shortly after took up telegraphy being first em-
ployed by the Commercial Union Telegraph Company, under whose direction he
opened several branch offices in Northern New York. Later he accepted the man-
agership of the Baltimore & Ohio Telegraph office at Long Branch and soon after-
ward became operator and clerk for the district superintendent of the same company,
in New York city. Later he and several others incorporated the New York and



15

Long Island Telegraph Company, which was the first extension of telegraph facili-
ties ever put on Long Island in opposition to the Western Union. He was shortly
afterwards chosen a director and still holds his interest in this capacity. He soon
accepted a position as chief operator and was made district manager of various pos-
tal oftices in New York city. When the latter company absorbed the Commercial
Union, he was selected as manager of the Albany office, which position he now holds.
Mr. Kimmey was married in 1892. He has been prominently connected with the
political interests of Albany. He is a member of Masters Lodge, F. & A. M., and is
identified with the business affairs of the city.

Butler, Walter Burdett, was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., November 17, IS'iT, and is a
son of Benjamin Francis Burdett Butler, who was born in Stroud, Glouce.stershire,
England, in 1810, came to America in 1840, and died in Brooklyn June 16, 1874.
The latter was professor of languages in the Brooklyn Female Academy, Flatbush
Institute, and the author of Butler's Spanish Teacher, French Speaker and several
other educational works. Mr. Butler was educated in the grammar and private
schools of Brooklyn, came to Albany October 1, 1872, and was graduated from the
Albany Business College in 1875. He was bookkeeper for W. F. Hurcomb & Co. for
si.x years. In 1879 he went to Colorado and spent one year in mining, being assist-
ant secretary of a mining company in the Ward di.strict. In 1880 he returned to
New York city as bookkeeper for D. W. Richards & Co., and in the fall of that year
came to Albany, where he was made cashier of the old Commercial Telephone Com-
pany. In 1883 this company was merged into the Hudson River Telephone Com-
pany and Mr. Butler was continued as cashier until 1893, when he was made the
secretary and auditor. He is secretary of the Albany District Telegraph Company
and a member of Temple Lodge No. 14, F. & A. M., Capital City Chapter No. 252,
R. A. M., De Witt Clinton Council, R. & S. M.. Temple Commandery No. 2, K. T.,
and Cypress Temple N. of S. M. ; he is also a member of Co. A of the Old Guard,
.Mbany Zouave Cadets, the Young Men's Democratic Club and the Albany Masonic
Relief Association. He has often appeared as expert accountant before courts and
in other capacities. In October, 1882, he married Adda May, daughter of Jnhn
Kennedy, jr., of Albany.

Fitzsinimons, James J., is the son of James, a native of Ireland and was born De-
cember fi, 1852, in Albany, where his father, a blacksmith, settled in 1826. The
latter died here in 1882. Mr. Fitzsinimons attended the public schools, and also the
Christian Brothers, was for two years employed in a leather store, and in 1870 was
graduated from the Albany Business College. After teaching for a time be entered,
in 1872, the employ of the Howe Sewing Machine Company, with whom he remained
until 1885, as cashier of the Albany and later of the Bridgeport, Conn., offices. He
was then engaged in the retail shoe business in Albany three years. In 1890 he be-
came cashier of the Westchester Telephone Company and in 1893 was elected treas-
urer of the Hudson River Telephone Company, which position he still holds. He
has also been treasurer of the Albany District Telegraph Company since its organ-
ization. He was school commissioner from 1889 to 1892; is a member and vice-
president of the Catholic LTnion; and is financial secretary of Cathedral Council,
No.|55, C. B. L., and a deputy state chancellor of that order, and a director in the
Safety Loan and Building Association. November 30, 1876, he married Margaret
T., daughter of John Lamb, of Albany and they have six children living.



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Wagner, John, son of J. George and Nancy Wagner, was born in Rochester, N.
v., Jan. 31, 1858. He received a public school education and became a clerk in a hat
store in his native city, and later was made manager of the hat and cap department
of the Bronner Clothing Company, of Buffalo, where he remained five years. In
January, 1884, he came to Albany and formed a partnership with Joseph Belser, sr.,
as Belser & Wagner, and engaged in the retail dry goods business. Five years later
he withdrew and bought out John M. Foil, furniture dealer at No. :!()8-310 South
I'earl street, which he has since continued. In 1890 he started a branch furniture
store under the style of the Albany Furniture Company; in 1895 he also opened a
furniture store in Troy. He is president of the Commercial Co-operative Union Bank
of Albany, of which he was one of the founders, and the first vice-president. He is
a Republican and was alderman of the 5th ward one term. He is member of Gut-
tenberg Lodge, F. & A. M. and Temple Chapter, R. &вАҐ M. In 1883 he married
Catherine, daughter of Joseph Belser, sr., of Albany.

Hartnett, Daniel J., son of William, was born in Albany. November 7, 1845. His
father came from Ireland to Albany in 1825 and was engaged in the meat business
until shortly before his death in 1876, owning at one time the Fishslip Market at the
foot of Columbia street and was burned out in the big fire in 1848. When fourteen
Mr. Hartnett associated himself with his father and continued thus most of the time,
until 1870. when he engaged in the meat business alone. In 1878 he moved to the
corner of Chapel and Canal streets and in 1890 to No. 95 North Pearl street, where
he carries on a large retail business. He was one of the organizers of the Retail
Merchants Association and served as its vice-president and secretary; he was one of
the organizers of the Retail Butchers Association, was president during its existence,
and was one of the principal organizers of the reorganized association ; he is also a
member of the Knights of Columbus, and is well and favorably known to or by cit-
izens of the city, has repeatedly refused political positions preferring to devote his
entire time to the furthering of his business.

North, Charles F., of the firm of North & Doyle, proprietors of the well-known
Anchor Hosiery Mills. The family is of English origin. In 1640 two brothers first
settled in Connecticut, where Mr. North was born in 1844, at Collinsville, a son of
Morris North. He never entered school after seven years of age, the time when he
came to Cohoes, but worked in a mill until twenty years of age. He then sold ma-
chinery to the mills, in exchange for knit goods, which he again sold. As a demand
for ])aper boxes in which to ship knit goods increased, he began the manufacture of
them, conducting an extensive factory. Later he became a partner of the Anchor
Hosiery Mills, and with Charles F. Doyle built mill No. 1 in 1881, and in 1887 mill
No. 2, and in 1890 mill No. ;^. Mr. North also carries on a stone and sewer pipe
yard, building a large store house in 1884 and another in 1894. He has also served
officially in county affairs, and was the first alderman under city government in
1869. He later officiated as alderman for two years, and in 1874 as city chamberlain
for four years. In 1879 he was appointed fire commissioner, which appointment he
has since held. He has been a member of the Reform church since 1869.

Weidman, Reuben L. , is a descendant of Jacob Weidman of Switzerland, who
was one of the first settlers in Berne, Albany county, N. Y. , where he built the first
house, the town being named after his native city, Berne, Switzerland. He also



17

built a saw and flouring mill at what was long known as Weidman's Mills. Jacob
Weidman was the father of one son Felix, who was the father of Daniel, Jacob,
Paul and Felix. All these four generations lived in Berne. Daniel Weidman when
fifteen became clerk in a general store in West Berne, and when sixteen came to Al-
bany as clerk for Peter Van Wormer, and later for F. W. Ford & Son. Afterwards
he attended the Knoxville and Gallupville Academies, was clerk in a dry goods store
in New York city, joined his uncle in mercantile business in Gallupville for six years
and thence came to Albany in 184.i and was the founder of the present house of
Weidman & Co. He remained in the wholesale grocery business until his death.
May 13, 1886. His son George D. was born June 29, 1842, entered the army in 1801
as orderly sergeant, became brevet major of volunteers and captain of Co. F, Iflth
Regt., N. G. S. N. Y. He died March 17. 1883. Reuben L. Weidman is a son of
Felix Weidman, a physician and surgeon whose practice extended over a period cov-
ering about forty-five years. He was one of the best known and most successful
practitioners in his section of the county. The subject of this sketch was born at
Central Bridge, N. Y., October 1, 1848. For a number of years he was engaged in
the grocery business in Gallupville, N. Y., and was also for a time in the employ of
1). Weidman, Sons Sc Co., as traveling salesman. A short time previous to the death
of his uncle, Daniel Weidman, he became a member of the firm. October .5, 1888,
Mrs. E. Eugenia Daw, a daughter of Daniel Weidman, was admitted under the
present firm name of Weidman & Co. Thomas R. Ward, jr., was admitted March
1, 1894. Mr. Weidman enlisted August 17. 1864, in Co. I, loth N. Y. Cav., and did
special duty until discharged May 8, 1865. He is a member of George Dawson Post
No. 63, G. A. R., and also of Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 3, F. & A. M. He was married
October 4, 1870, to Miss Helena Hunting. They have one daughter. Miss Caroline
Weidman.

Menand, Louis, has been a commanding figure in horticultural circles for a num-
ber of years. He has been named " The Grand Old Man" of the gardener's craft
in this county. He is now in his eighty-ninth year. He came to America in 1837
and enjoys a retrospective view of American horticulture, extending over a period of
sixty years. Mr. Menand continued to reside among his beloved flowers at Albany.
He is mentally alert and active as ever. His personal recollections as originally
published in the American Florist, from which we quote, are overflowing with a
personality which is both charming and unique. Mr. Phelps says well of Mr. Me-
nand's autobiography that contains "the natural philosophy of one who was always
a lover of liberty, and a student alike of books and nature." His life has shed fra-
grance and beauty that will endure as long as flowers grow and gardens bloom.

McElveney, Daniel, was born of Scotch-Irish ancestry in the province of Ulster,
north of Ireland, in 1839, came to Quebec, Canada, with his parents in June, 1841,
and when thirteen was apprenticed to the confectionery trade in that city. After
serving three years of his seven years as apprentice, he came in August, 185.'5, to
Albany, where he entered the confectionery establishment of Benjamin M. Briarc,
the famous caterer. In 18.58 he entered the employ of S. De Lagrange, confectioner
and fancy cake baker, with whom he remained fifteen years. In the spring of 1874
he purcha.sed the old John Martin bakery cm the corner of South Pearl and Herki-
mer streets and six years later bought the property No. 97 South Pear! street, where



18

qe has since conducted a fancy bakery, confectionery and catering establishment
with marked success. A few years later, having associated with him his two sons,
he purchased the property No. 105 North Pearl street and opened a branch store.
Mr. McElveney has been for forty-four years connected with the various branches of
the catering business and throughout his active career has been uniformly suc-
cessful.

lyaventall, Julius, born in March, 1832, in Bovendon, Hanover, Germany, came to
America in August, 1854, settling in Albany and opened a small jewelry store on
South Pearl .street, in 1857. In June, 1865, having sold this business, he bought of
S. M. Valkenburgh the Ladies' Bazaar, on the corner of South Pearl street and
Hudson avenue. In 1857 he also purchased the property, and in 187(i, built the
present building, where he carries an extensive line of ladies and children's furnish-
ings and shoes. He is a member and ex-president of Shiloh Lodge, I. O. of B. B.
and of Arnon Lodge, I. O. of F. S. and has represented both in their respective
Grand Lodges of the United States. He is a member and past noble grand of Mt.
Carmel Lodge, I. O. O. F., member of Washington Lodge, No. 85, F. & A. M., was
manager of the Jewish Home and has been a trustee of the Congregation of Temple
Beth Emeth since 1873, and was its vice-president for eight years, its president in
1883, and chairman of the building committee during the erection of the present
temple, on the corner of Lancaster and Swan streets. He was also one of the
organizers and for the first two years a director of the South End Bank. In 1858 he
married Miss Sarah Swartz of Albany, who died, leaving two daughters: Mrs. H. W.
Foreman of Albany, and Mrs. Daniel Stern of Brooklyn. In 1863 he married
second, Hannah, daughter of M. Hydeman of Albany, and they have two sons:
Louis Julius, born January 28, 1866, and Edward Simon, born June 13, 1874, both of
whom are associated in business with their father.

Romeyn, Theodore F., born in Amsterdam, N. Y., is a son of Henry S. and Agnes
(Van Epps) Romeyn, and was educated in the public schools and academy of his
native town. He spent two years in Canada and nine years in 'VVMsconsin, as abridge
builder. In 1865 he came to Albany and engaged in box manufacturing at No. 214
Hudson avenue; he manufactured all kinds of wooden boxes, cases, etc. He was
one of the organizers of The Pure Baking Powder Company and its secretary. He
married Mary Conde, of Glenville, Schenectady county.

Star Knitting 'Company, The, was established in 1866, and its products have at-
tained the highest reputation for superiority of material fashion and finish. The
Star Mills are comprised m a group of substantially constructed brick buildings, ar-
ranged with special reference to convenience and dispatch of work and economy of
production. The main building is four stories high and 65x105 feet in dimensions,
and the other buildings adjoin the main structure. Water power is used to drive the
machinery and an auxiliary steam engine is also employed. The mechanical equip-
ment includes nine sets of cards, 2,160 spindles, 38 knitting cylinders, and forty
sewing machines, and all the appliances in use are of the latest improved character,
employment being given to one hundred and seventy-five skilled operatives. The
products consist of fine wool, worsted and merino knit underwear of the best grades
for both ladies and gentlemen, and the output averaging about 40,000 dozen per
annum, is distributed direct to the trade through the United States. Medals and



19

diplomas were awarded this company for superiority of knit underwear exhibition.
The officers of the company are Messrs. Andrew M. Church, president ; Thomas
Dickson, treasurer; A. I. Whithouse, secretary, and Charles T. Boughton, general
manager. An office is maintained at No. 43 Leonard street. New York city.

Swatling, James H., the well known wholesale and retail dealer in paints, wall-
paper, and decorations, located at No. 50 Oneida street, Cohoes, established the
business here in 1868. He is of English descent, born in the town of Watervliet in
1848. His early manhood was spent on a farm, but he acquired the painter's trade
at Saratoga Springs, where he resided four years. In 1890 in association with A. G.
Tanner, he erected the " E.xcelsior Knitting Mill," devoted to the manufacture of
ladies' and children's ribbed underwear. He has been on the Board of Health and
served in many minor offices.

Fletcher, Jones A., son of Benjamin and Polly (Kidder) Fletcher, was born April
2, 1835. in Woodstock, Vt. He was educated in the public schools and seminary of
Woodstock and learned the trade of painter, which he followed until 1861, when he
enlisted in the 8th Conn. Regt., in which he was a sergeant. After the war he set-
tled in Troy, N. Y., where he followed his trade until 1873, when he moved to Green
Island, Albany county, and opened a grocery store nearly opposite where he is now
located. In 1886 he erected the building in which he is now doing business. Mr.
Fletcher is a member of Post Tibbitts G. A. R., of Troy, and Green Island Lodge
No. 360, I. O. O. F. In 1860 he married Rachel Van Leuvan, of Troy, N. Y., and
they have one son, Fred.

Hickey, William F., the well known attorney, was born at Moriah, N. Y., in 1857.
He was the son of Thomas Hickey, a contractor, who was largely interested in local
mining. William was educated in the Sherman Academy, at Moriah, and about the
time of attaining legal majority began the study of law with B. B. Bishop, at Moriah,
forming a law partnership with him three years later which existed for three years.
Then Mr. Hickey practiced his profession at Port Henry until 1889 when he located
in Troy. Mr. Hickey resides m Green Island and has taken an active interest in
local affairs, especially in opposing the recent threatened annexation of Green Island
to Troy, and in the erection of the new town of Green Island. Mr. Hickey is now
village attorney for the village of Green Island, having held that office for ten terms.



Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 81 of 138)