Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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purchasing an interest in the coal business with his brother-in-law, T. C. Ratferty.
He also became interested in the Albany Stove Company, and held the position of
its president and treasurer for several years, and is now one of the executive com-
mittee of St. Peter's Hospital. In 1894 Mr. Rafferty died, when he assumed sole
charge, and has the most complete shed or pockets for coal now in the city. He is
one of the five living members of the original Republican Countj- Committee, and
is in the enjoyment of good health. On the 28th of August, 1851, he married Jane
Rafferty, daughter of the late Charles Rafferty of the city, by whom he had seven
children, three now living: J. Ballard, Dr. Terence L. and Mary Ann.

Pitkin, Wolcott H., son of John R. and Sophia M. (Thrall) Pitkin, was born in
Brooklyn, N. Y.. December 22, 1838. Both parents were from Litchfield county.
Conn. Mr. Pitkin's childhood was spent on his father's farm in Jamaica township.
Queens county. N. Y. In 1849 his mother died and the family was broken up. His
father then made the farm into building lots and incorporated the village of 'Wood-
ville, later known as Woodhaven, and he had previously incorporated the village of
East New York, now the Twenty-sixth ward of Brooklyn. Soon after the death of
his mother, Mr. Pitkin was sent to live with his uncle who owned a dairy farm in
Torrington, Conn. Here under the good discipline and instruction of his uncle he
learned to do all kinds of farm work and inculcated habits of industry. Schools
were open during the winter months only and inasmuch as the facilities for obtain-
ing an education were so limited, Mr. Pitkin, after a year or two of this farm life,
was sent to Marlboro, Mass., where his father had arranged for him to attend the
public schools and work an hour or two each schoolday and a part of each Saturday
in the large shoe factory of C. D. Bigelow & Bro. In this way he acquired a knowl-
edge of books and of business, and at the age of nineteen, with the advice and as-
sistance of his elder brother, a wholesale dry goods merchant of New York city, he
obtained employment with the wholesale boot and shoe jobbing house of William
Smith, Brown & Co., as junior stock clerk. He remained with this firm until the
war of the Rebellion crippled industries, and stranded his employers' business. He
soon engaged and became interested in the business of the East New York Boot,
Shoe & Leather Manufacturing Co., which was founded in 1838 by his father at East
New York, L, I., with sales department in New York city. Levi B. Howe, repre-
senting his own and the Bigelow and Trask interests, was president, F. Eugene
Pitkin secretary- and treasurer, and John R. Pitkin, the father of Wolcott H.. was
vice-president of the company. At this time the company held contracts for the
labor of some one hundred and fifty convicts in the Albany County Penitentiary and
for the labor of two hundred and fifty boys in the Providence, R. I., Reform School.
Mr. Pitkin was sent to take charge of the work at the latter institution in the latter
l)art of 18.'59 and was very successful in his management. He also added another
contract for the labor of the prisoners in the Rhode Island State Prison and estab-
lished another factory in the city of Providence. Early in 1805 the company was
ortcred inducements to move its plant to Albany, N. Y. The labor of some three
hundred Albany county prisoners, then employed by C. D. Bigelow & Co., was
oflered, with additional increase as to the force as required. In 1866 Mr. Pitkin
closed the works in Providence and organized six (afterwards ten) work shops in the
Albany County Penitentiary. Later it became necessary to again enlarge and an-


other factory was leased in South Broadway. In 1870 it again became evident that
more room could be used to advantage. At this time Mr. Pitkin's brother, George
D., became interested in the company. W. H. resigned his office as president in
favor of his brother, who managed the finance and credit department until his death
in 1886. The property on Hamilton street from No. 223 to No. 236 was purchased
in 18T0, and the factory was fitted up and equipped with the latest mechanical de-
vices used in shoe manufacture This business continued until the spring of 1889,
when the contracts for penal labor were closed through adverse State legislation.
This depression caused a reorganization of the company when the following direct-
ors were elected ; F. E. Pitkin, W. H. Pilkin, E. D. AUyn, Charles T. Whitman and
A. R. Sewall. Success attended the efforts of the new company until the spring of
1890 when difficulties arose with the labor unions. These were partly settled in
1891. but the financial depression beginning in 1893 made itself felt in the busines.s.
In 1894 and 1895 the business was wound up and all obligations honorably liquidated.
October 20, 1868, Mr. Pitkin married Mary Wood, daughter of Henry C. Southwick
of Albany, N. Y.. and they have two children, Edith Winifred and Wolcott Homer,
jr., now living.

Warner, Jacob A , a well known citizen and landmark, was born in the town oi
Berne, March 16, 1828. Christopher Warner, his great grandfather, was a native
of Germany, came to America with his two brothers, and settled in the town of
Berne, taking up land around what is now known as Warner's Lake. Christopher
Warner, the grandfather, was born in Berne and was a farmer. In 1765 he and his
brother Johannes erected a saw and grist mill in East Berne, it being the second
mill in the town. He reared three sons and four daughters. Henry C, the father
of John A. Warner, was born in Berne on the homestead near Warner's Lake,
November 14, 1793. In early life he was a farmer, but the greater part of his life
was spent at coopering, residing all his life at Berne. His first wife was Lena,
daughter of Andrew Batcher of Knox, and they had seven children : Rebecca,
Samuel, Mary Ann, Elizabeth (who died when three years of age), Hannah, Chris-
topher and Jacob A. His wife died in 1834 and he married Mrs. Lane Cole. He
died in 1854. Jacob A. Warner received a limited common school education, and
when a lad of twelve years of age began work on a farm for others ; when fourteen
he went to live with an uncle, with whom he remained until eighteen. He then
learned the mason's trade and followed this for nine years, when he purchased a
small farm in Berne and engaged in farming. After selling this farm he lived two
years in Knox on a rented farm and in 1865 he purchased a farm in the town of New
Scotland. He sold this farm and in 1867 purchased his present farm of 127 acres,
where he has ever since resided. He has been the breeder of many fine horses and
also a dealer in horses, and is an excellent judge of o.xen, as he found it profitable for
many years when ox teams were much in use to deal in those animals, buying and
selling many yokes of cattle; later years he has devoted more attention to the breed-
ing of Jersey cattle. In politics Mr. Warner is a Republican and has filled the office
of assessor in his town for fifteen years, and is now filling that office. He has often
been drawn as juryman, having sat on the Grand Jury and United States Grand
Jury. In 1851 he married Sarah, daughter of Lawrence Clyckman, and their chil-
dren were Henrietta (who died when twenty-one), Lawrence and Mary (wife of Charles


Fares of Guilderland). Mr. and Mrs. Warner are members of the Lutheran church
in Knox, where Mr. Warner is elder. Lawrence, his son, now has the management
of the farm and is interested in the breeding of Jersey cattle and fine draft horses.
His first wife was Mary Kipp, second wife. Minnie, daughter of Calvin Beebe of
Knox, and they have one child, Earl. He is a Republican and a member of the
Patrons of Husbandry.

Higgins, John H., was born in New Scotland, February 7, 1844. His father, John
Higgins, was born in England, July 27, 1809. When seventeen years of age he
came to America on account of his health, first settling in Dutchess county, where
he lived two years, then in 1828 came to New Scotland and engaged in farm
work, which he followed many years. His wife was Elizabeth Schermerhorn of
Knox, daughter of Abram Schermerhorn, by whom he had two children: Thomas,
who enlisted in Co. D. 91st N. Y. Vols., and died in Pensacola Hospital in 1862; and
John H. ; John Higgins died in October, 1890, and his wife in November, 1866.
John H. Higgins attended the common district school and remained on the farm
with his father until twenty-one years of age, when he began for himself by assuming
charge of a farm for another party and later rented farms for some years. In 1877
he bought his present farm consisting of 102 acres, where he makes a specialty of
dairying and fruit growing, having the finest plum orchard in his vicinity. He has
also devoted much time to breeding thoroughbred Jersey cattle and fast horses. In
1863 Mr. Higgins married Mary Ann, daughter of Alex, and Sarah Ann Patter-son
of New Scotland, by whom he had two children: Mrs. Elizabeth Bennett of New
Scotland, and William. His wife died April 2.5, 1873. His second wife was Emily
Albright, daughter of Mrs. Margaret (Hotaling) Albright, and they had one child.
Lulu. Mrs. Higgins died July 12, 1894. William Higgins married Nellie Warner,
daughter of Franklin Warner, of New Salem.

Martin, Robert, was born in the town of New Scotland in 1838. John, his great-
grandfather, was born in Coxsackie, and was left an orphan when quite young. He
was a mason by trade, and was a soldier in the English army during the Revolution-
ary war. He settled in New Scotland before the war, where he worked at his trade,
and later died in New Salem about 1816. His wife was Maria 1-ralick by whom he
had thirteen children. Peter, the grandfather, was born in this town in December,
1781. He was a farmer and became a soldier in the war of 1812. His wife was
Christiana Allen, daughter of William and Jennie (Dremmons) Allen, both of Scot-
land and pioneers in New Scotland. They had seven children: Margaret, Isabella,
Mary, Jennie, William, Avery and John. He died in June 1852 and his wife in 1839.
William, the father, was born in New Scotland, October 18, 1806, and came on the
farm he now owns with his parents when he was six years of age. When he was
thirty years of age he purchased a half of his father's farm of ninety- four acres, and
in 1851 purchased the other half and has since devoted his time to general farming.
He erected all of the buildings and made other improvements on the place. In Oc-
tober, 1829, he married Mary Moak, daughter of William Moak and granddaughter
of Robert Taylor, a native of Ireland. Their children were Mary, Jane, Peter W.,
William M., Robert, Harriet A., Rachael, and Alden, who died when twenty-two
years of age. His wife died April 19, 1880. Robert has alwaysresided on the home-
stead ; for the past twenty-five years he had charge of the farm, his father residing


with him. In December, 1869, he married Amelia Wood, daughter of Arnold Wood.
They have two children : Arvilla H., wife of Clarence Harkey of Guilderland, and
Frank W.

Stewart, L. D., born April 10, 1851, is a son of Ebenezer and Catherine (Carpenter)
Stewart, both natives of Westerlo. The parents of Ebenezer were Andrew and
Lydia (Seaman) Stewart, of Albany county, but spent their last days in Greenville,
Greene county. Ebenezer Stewart has been a farmer, speculator in stock and wool
buyer ; his business is now dealing in wool at South Westerlo, which business he has
followed tsventy-five years. He has two children ; L. D. Stewart, as above, Susan
S., wife of Clarence S. Gage, proprietor of the Ravena House, Ravena, N. Y. The
parents of Catherine (Carpenter) Stewart were Thomas G. and Janett (Green) Car-
penter, he a native of Stephentown and she of Westerlo. He was a boot and shoe
dealer at Coxsackie, and grocer and farmer in Westerlo. The parents of Janett
Green were Capt. John and Mary (Llewellyn) Green, he of England and she of France.
He was a drummer in the Revolutionary war, and owned a large estate and kept
slaves. The parents of Thomas G. Carpenter were Samuel and Homar (Arnold)
Carpenter ; she was a cousin to Stephen A. Douglass and relative of Benedict Arnold.
In 1888 L. D. Stewart married Jo.sephine, daughter of George W. and Lucy (Rey-
nolds) Robbins of South Westerlo. Mrs. Stewart died April 12, 1893. She was a
teacher of music and educated in Albany. Mr. Stewart has been in the wool busi-
ness with his father, and in 1888 he engaged in general mercantile business at South
Westerlo and carries a complete line as needed in country stores. He is a Republi-
can and has been county committeeman five or six years; he also has been post-
master at South Westerlo.

Waggoner, William S., was born in the town of Guilderland, November 10, 18.").').
The Waggoner name dates back to the early settling of Albany county. Michael
Waggoner, the founder of the name in America, was a native of Germany ; he set-
tled in what is now Guilderland, where he took up a tract of some 700 acres of land.
George, the next in line, was born in Guilderland on the homestead near Dunnsville.
Peter, the great-grandfather, was born on the homestead about 1770; his wife was
Hannah Walker, and their children were George, Israel, Nancy. Fulatta, Betsey,
John and Susan. George, the grandfather, was born on the homestead in 1801, and
devoted his life to farming; his wife was Elizabeth, daughter of John Winnie, and
their children were Peter G., John W., Amanda, Susan M., William, Sarah, Louisa,
Elizabeth and Mary Ann; he died in 1848 and his wife died in 1867. Peter G., the
father, was also born on the Waggoner homestead in 1833; he attended district
.schools until sixteen years of age, when, his father becoming an invalid, he look
charge of affairs; after some twelve years he gave the farm to his brother William,
the latter to care for the mother and sisters; he then bought another farm, but later
moved to the town of Bethlehem, where he resided for twelve years; in 1883 he
removed to Guilderland and purchased his present farm of ninety-three acres, near
Guilderland Center, on which he has erected fine and commodious building.s; he has
served his town for several years as commissioner of highways, and was twice
appointed to take the govornment census of his town ; in 1853 he married Evaline, a
native of Guilderland and a daughter of John P. Livingston. Their children are
are Magdalen V., William S., Rolin, Anna B., deceased, Elon M. and Grace. Will-


iam S. received a common school education and when twenty-three years old began
farming on his own account in the town of Guilderland. On this farm he lived for
nine years, when in 1890 he removed to his father's farm which he has since had
charge of. He is now serving his second four years' term as justice of the peace, and
is president of the Guilderland Mutual Insurance Association. In 1878 he married
Emma C, born in Guilderland and daughter of John F. and Ann Eliza (Crounse)

Kibbee, William Backus, son of Austin S. and Anna (Meeker) Kibbee, was born in
Albany, N. Y., February 1, 1852, and was educated at the Albany Academy and
Oberlin College. He is in direct line from Edward Kibbee, who, with his wife Deb-
orah, were living in Exeter, England, in 1611. Their son Edward, with his wife,
Mary Partridge, came to New England in 1640; in 1643 Elisha, the third child of
Edward, lived in Salem, Mass., and in 1683 removed to Enfield, Conn., and was one
(jf the founders of that town and a large land owner. His son Isaac was the first
male child bora in Enfield. He married Rachel Cook, and his son Edward with his
wife, Dorothy Phelps, were among the first .settlers of Somers, Conn. Thus it will
be seen that the ancestors of the subject of this sketch played no small paf-t in the
early settlement of the country. The followmg names of ancestors, with dates of
birth, show the Ime of descent: Edward, born May 11, 1611 ; Elisha, September 9,
104;{; Edward, February 2, 1670; EHsha, February 25, 1697; Charles, May 11, 1737;
Joel, September 15, 1764; Joel, March 1, 1786; Austin S., November 22, 1822; and
William B., February 1, 1852. About 1875 there was a remarkable gathering at the
old homestead of Horatio Kibbee at Ellington, when ninety children, grandchildren
and great-grandchildren sat down together to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of
Mrs. Valorous Kibbee, who was the daughter of Allerton Cushman, and so a direct
descendant of Thomas Cushman and Mary Allerton of Mayflower and Pilgrim fame.
Mr. Kibbee is engaged in the lumber business with his father, Austin S., and they
have one of the largest yards and businesses in the State. Mr. Kibbee married Carrie
Staats, who is a descendant of Abraham Staats, a surgeon, who went to Rensselaer-
wyck in 1642 and who was one of the founders of Albany city. They have three
children: Fanny Abbott, Austin Staats and Wilham Bertram.

Filkins, Edward Vincent. — The late Edward Vincent Filkins was born in East
Berne, on the Filkins homestead, in 1821 of Scotch ancestry. His father, Richard
Filkins, was a native of \'ermont and came to Berne with his parents about 1792,
and later settled in the eastern part of the town on a farm of 200 acres. He also
owned and operated a saw mill, and was a soldier in the war of 1812, filling the
office of sergeant. He was twice married, and by his first wife si.x children were
born. His second wife was Catharine Angle; to this union were born fourteen chil-
dren, eight sons growing to maturity. Edward V. was reared on his fathers farm
and attended the Rensselaerville and Knoxville Academies, teaching .school to pro-
cure means to pay his way. He read law in Delhi and settled in Berne in 1854,
where he spent his life practicing his profession with success and distinction. Pre-
vious to his entering actively into the law practice, he filled the office of school com-
missioner. His law practice was extensive, often being retained on cases which car-
ried him before the higher courts in Albany. His wife was Emma E.. daughter of
Rev. Thomas L. Shafer and they had three children : Carrie E., Thomas Richard


and May S. He died February 13, 1887, and his wife September 23, 1894. The sur-
viving children, Carrie and Thomas, still reside on their father's homestead in the
village of Berne, and they own a farm of 400 acres jn Iowa. Miss Filkins is a grad-
uate of Temple Grove Seminary of Saratoga, and for some years afterward devoted
her attention to teaching.

Gise, Peter, was born in Rensselaer county in 1858, and is the son of Peter Gise
(deceased) who came to Bethlehem in 1859 and settled on the farm where Peter Gise
now lives, where he is a successful farmer and dairyman, running a large-milk route
in Albany. He married Anna Dorothy, daughter of George Smith, a gardener of
Kenwood, and they have one son and two daughters: Peter, jr., Carolyn and Lulu.

Grey, W. W.. .son of William C. and Mary (Burrows) Grey, was born in Bedford,
England, in 1851. He received his early education in the Bedford schools and was
apprenticed when very young as office assistant to the Howards of Bedford, Eng-
land, manufacturers of agricultural implements and the inventors of the iron plow.
He remamed there until 1871, when he came to America, having been preceded by
his parents. Before leaving England Mr. Grey had been importuned to accept the
position of bookkeeper m the office of Coolidge, Pratt &• Co., brewers, of Albany.
In 1872 the bu.siness, which is one of the oldest breweries in America, having been
started in 1797, was incorporated under the name of the Albany Brewing Company.
Subsequently Mr. Grey became a member of the company, and in 1890 he was
elected assistant manager, which office he now fills. Mr. Grey is a 32° Mason and is
the potentate of Cyprus Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He has been president of St.
George's Society of Albany for two years and was its secretary seventeen years.
He was commodore of the Albany Yacht Club for three years and was one of the
organizers of the first fencing class in Albany. He is also president of the Erwin
Manufacturing Company of Greenbush, N. Y., and was a director of the South End
Bank. He is a member of the Press, Acacia and Albany Clubs, and also a member
of the Albany Masonic Veteran Association.

Jolley, Hugh, who was born in Galway, Scotland, in 1721, came to this country in
1772. He kept the Abbey Hotel during the Revolutionary war. He had three sons;
Samuel, James and Hugh, who was born in Scotland in 1770 and came to this coun-
try with his father and was a minister. He had three sons: Henry S., Hugh B.
and James W. Henry S. was born in 1807; he married Elizabeth Ten Eyck and
settled the place known as the Crystal Hill farm in Bethlehem; he died in 1845,
leaving three sons: Samuel, Hugh R. and James H. Samuel was born in 1833; he
married Caroline V., daughter of Frederick Rosekrans. He still remains on the
farm. He has two sons: Orville H. and Harry S., who is on the farm with his
father. Orville H. was born in 1862 and resides in New York city; he has one son:
Orville Blaine Jolley.

Graham, Edward J., son of John and Margaret (Kirwin) Graham, was born in Al-
bany, July 25, 1857, attended the public and high schools, graduating in 1874 and
read law with Hand, Hale, Schwartz & Fairchild and with Attorney-General
Charles S. Fairchild, being also a clerk in the attorney-general's office. He com-
pleted his law studies in the office of Hon. Sidney T. Fairchild. counsel for the N. Y.
C. &• H. R. R. R. and treasurer of the Hudson River Bridge Company, and was ad-


milled to the bar in 187ti. In May, 1885, he went to Washington as private secre-
tary to Hon. Charles S. Fairchikl, assistant secretary of the treasury, and remained
with him in the same capacity while he was secretary of the treasury, resigning
in April. 1889. Returning to Albany, Mr. Graham has since been in the active
practice of his profession. In 1883 he was elected a member of the Albany Board
of Public Instruction and served until he went to Washington. He was appointed
a civil service commissioner by Mayor Manning and held the office about one year,
when he resigned. In May, 1893, he was appointed by Comptroller James H.
Eckels national bank examiner for the Northern District of New York, and still
holds that position. He is a member and trustee of the Catholic Union and is un-

Hull, Samuel T., son of Heury G. and Rhoda A. (Corbin) Hull, was born in Rox-
bury, Delaware county, N. Y., October 20, 1851. His father's ancestors were mem-
bers of an old Connecticut family that served in the Revolution ; one of them hav.
ing been Captain Hull, who commanded the U. S. S. Constitution at the time of her
engagement with the Guerriere. His mother's ancestors, the Corbins, belonged to a
prosperous family in Delaware county and they fought in the Revolution. Mr.
Hull's father was a stock dealer and farmer and died in 1853. Samuel T. Hull was
educated at the Roxbury Academy and at Stamford Seminary, Stamford, N. Y.,
and was graduated from that institution in 1871. He then went to Cobleskill, Scho-
harie county, and studied law with County Judge William C. Lamont, teaching
school during the winters. He left there in November, 1872, and taught school at
Arkville, Delaware county, during that winter, and in March, 1873, he went to
Kingston, N. Y., and entered the law office of e.x-Attorney-General Schoonmaker as
managing clerk. Mr. Hull was admitted to the bar in January. 1875, and practiced
law at Kingston until April 1, 1890. when he was appointed bookkeeper of the State
Banking Department at Albany. Subsequently he was promoted to the position of
chief clerk and remained there until May 1, 1896, some months after the resigna-
tion of Hon. Charles M. Preston, superintendent. He then formed a copartnership
with the Hon. Galen R. Hitt, with whom he has since practiced law in Albany. He
was for eight years city judge of Kingston and for four years justice of sessions
of Ulster county. He is Past Grand Chanceller of the order of Knights of Pythias
of New York State; is a member of Kingston Division No. 18, U. R. K. P.. Endow-
ment Section No. 185, K. P.. Franklin Lodge No. 37, K. P., and is now Chief Tri-
bune, the head of the judicial branch of the order. Mr. Hull is a Past Grand of
Kosciusko Lodge No. 86, I. O. O. F., and a member of Kingston Encampment No.
1-25, I. O. O. F. He is at present Past Regent of Albany Council No. 1560, Royal
Arcanum, and Senior Seneschal of Albany Senate No. 641, K. A. E. O. He was
superintendent of the engrossing room of the Assembly during the winter of 1883,

Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 91 of 138)