Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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time mayor.

Veeder, Hon. William Davis, was born in Guilderland, Albany county, N. \'.,
May 19. 18315, a descendant of an old Netherland family. He received a common
school and academic education, and read law with Peter Cagger, Nicholas
Hill and John K. Porter. He was admitted to the Albany bar in 1858 and entered
the office of Hon. Henry Smith in that city, where he remained until his removal to
Brooklyn later in the same year, where he has since resided. He soon became active
in politics and has filled with enviable distinction many positions of responsibility
and honor. He represented the First district of Brooklyn in the Assembly in 1865
and 1866. He was made a member of the Democratic State Committee in 1874,
which position he occupied until 1882. He served in the Constitutional Convention
of 1867-68, and also in that of 1894 on the Committees on Preamble and on Corpo-
rations. In the fall of 1866 he was elected surrogate of Kings county over two
opponents by a majority of 4,500; this office he filled for ten years, or until 1877, and
what is remarkable, not one of his decisions was ever reversed. In the fall of 1876
he was elected to the Forty-fifth Congress by a vote of 17,916 against 10,630 for
Colonel Cavanagh, Independent Democrat endorsed by the Republicans. At the
close of his term he retired from active political work and resumed his law prac-
tice, which had become extensive. Mr. Veeder is an authority on constitutional
law and a specialist in the statutes which relate to trusts, corporations and wills.
He was a member of the Municipal Consolidation Inquiry Commission as to the
Greater New York.

Wirth, Jacob, jr., son of Jacob and Mary Wirth, was born in Albany, N. V., Feb-
ruary 2, 1869. He was educated in the public schools and at the Albany Business
College. Subsequently he learned the tailor's trade with his father, who for many
years was in business in Albany. Jacob Wirth, jr., was in the employ of William
Illch, as a cutter from 1886 to 1891, when he went to Europe with the Knight Temp-
lars. Upon his return he commenced business at No. 41 Beaver street, where he is
now located. He is a member of Guttenberg Lodge No. 737, F. & A. M., Temple
Chapter No. 5, R. A. M., De Witt Clinton Council No. 23, R. & S. M., Temple Com-
mandery No. 2, K. T., Cyprus Temple A. A. O. N. M. S., and the Acacia and I'n-
conditioual Clubs. He is at present representing the First ward in the Board of
Aldermen. In June, 1894, he married Katharine Deiseroth.

Winne. Barent S., son of Barent S. and Ann A. (Staats) Winne, was born in Cedar
Hill, July 20, 1858. The Winne family are of Dutch descent and date their ancestry
back in Albany county to 1684, the line of descent being Barent S., son of Barent S.,
son of Peter W., son of William, son of Daniel, son of Peter, son of Daniel, son of
Peter. Mr. Winne is the seventh generation living on the homestead settled by
Daniel Winne in 1715. Mr. Winne is now engaged in the extensive freighting com-
mission and coal business established by his father in 1860.

Andrews, jr., Horace, was born in New Haven, Conn., March 19, 1852. His an-
cestry includes several of the most prominent founders of the Connecticut Colony,


and the Holland settlers of Kinderhook, N. Y. Mr. Andrews's parents were Horace
Andrews and Julia R. Johnson, both of Connecticut. He was educated at private
schools in New York city and New Haven, and at the Sheffield Scientific School of
Yale XTniversity, where he received his first and second degrees, the latter (of Civil
Engineer) in 1872. Since then his occupation has been entirely in the line of lus
profession. He was engaged on hydrographic work, under the U. S. Coast and Geo-
detic Survey, in 1872 and for several years afterwards was connected with the same
government bureau, first m connection with the survey of the harbor and vicinity of
New Haven, Conn., and afterwards on the east coast of Florida, whence he was
called m 1S78 to accept the position of assistant on the New York State Survey which
he tilled till the conclusion of the survey in 1884. Several of the technical papers in
the reports of this survey were communicated by Mr. Andrews. Sanitary investiga-
tions in many parts of the State were next undertaken by him, under the New York
State Board of Health, until his appointment by Mayor Thacher, in 1886, as city
engineer of Albany, which office has been filled by him since his first appointment
up to the present time. Mr. Andrews has been a member of the American Society
of Civil Engineers since 1887 and of the Geometer Yerein of Germany since 1881;
for several years he has been a member of the Fort Orange Club and he is a member
of St. Peter's Protestant Episcopal church. In 1881 he married Adeleine Louise
Downer, of Hamden, Conn., who died in December 1893. Of his three children, all
of whom were born in Albany, the two now living are Theodore and Bertha A.

Aspinwall, William F., whose charming home near Loudonville, snrrounded by
grounils evincing the care and skill of a landscape gardener, cannot fail to attract
the admiration of travelers along the Loudonville road, is the son of the late Lewis
E. Aspinwall, who came to Watervliet in 1848. He was a brass founder by trade
and noted for inventive genius and .skill ; but ill health led him to retire to the coun-
try. He died here in 1888, aged seventy years. W. F. Aspinwall was born at
Hastings-on the, Hudson in 1843. He was about years old when his family moved to
Watervliet; since then he has resided here, chiefly engaged in gardening. Mr.
Aspinwall is a musician, chiefly as an amateur violinist, and it is his own tasteful
labors which have beautified the surroundings of his home. A daughter. Miss Mar-
garet, evinces much of the same artistic proclivity; and a son, William D. Aspin-
wall, a recent graduate of Harvard College, is now occupying a position with a Bos-
ton publishing house. Mr. Aspinwall is a gentleman of quiet and studious tastes,
with no political ambitions. He feels a just pride in the fact that one of his paternal
ancestors was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and it is interesting to
note that the Aspinwall Potato Planter, known the world over, was invented by his
elder brother, L. Augustus A.spinwall.

Bentley, W. — Ur. Richard Bentley, English critic, was born in Culton, England,
in l(i02 and died in 1742. He had two brothers, Thomas and James, who emigrated
to Rhode Island in 1720. James, not liking America, returned to England; Thomas
remained m America and was the progenitor of a very numerous and respected line
of descendants. Thomas Bentley had three sons: William, Benjamin and Caleb.
Rev. Charles E. Bentley, Baptist minister of Lincoln, Neb., and chairman of the
Nebraska State Prohibition Committee, is a descendant of Benjamin. Thomas
Bentley's son, William, had four sons; Tillinghast, William, jr., Taber and Pardon.


Pardon Bentley was the father of eleven children: Margaret, Pardon, jr., Thomas,
William, John, Charles. Augustus, Samuel, Stephen, Elizabeth and Susan. Pardon
Bentley's third son, William, was born in Rhode Island m 1767 and died at Chester-
ville, N. Y., in 1820. He was twice married; by his first marriage he had three
children: Jerusha, Olive and William, jr. His daughter Olive married Peter Cap-
well; their son, Albert C. Capwell, was for many years a prominent lawj'er in
Brooklyn, N. Y. William, jr., was a resident many years of Westerlo, N. Y. ; he
was supervisor of the town in 1837 and 1838, and moved to Onondaga county, N.Y.,
in 1840, where sojne 6f his descendants still reside. But one of his sons. George, is
living, who resides at Colorado Springs, Col. ; a grandson, Floyd F. Bentley, is
agent for the D., L. & W. R. R. at Baldwinsville, N.Y. William Bentley, sr.'s, sec-
ond marriage was to Abigail, daughter of Elisha Smith of North East, Dutchess
county, N. Y., whence they moved to Chesterville, Albany county, in 1800. Their
children were Amanda, wife of John Winston; Alva; Abigail, wife of Reuben
Winston, M. D. ; Harriet, George H., Edward S., Edwin S. and Alexander, all dead
except Alexander, who resides at Greenville, N. Y. Alva Bentley had one son, Jas-
per Bentley, who is a lawyer and resides at Lansing, Mich., and whose daughter is
the wife of J. B. Moore, Supreme Court judge of Michigan. George H. Bentley,
born March 1, 1806, in Chesterville, N. Y., died July 16. 1863. He married Almira
Lawrence, January 30, 1828, and in 1832, in company with his brother Alexander,
engaged in the mercantile business in Chesterville, which was dissolved in 1837.
George H. Bentley then purchased the old homestead, where he resided the rest of
his life. He represented the town in the Board of Supervisors in the years 1854 and.
185.1. He was the father of Charles Bentley, who was born in Westerlo, N. Y.,
August 22, 1831. and lived on the old homestead until 1S83, when he sold it and
moved to Hastings, Neb. ; he now resides at Cambridge, Neb. He married Pris-
cilia, daughter of Samuel G. Baker of Westerlo, N. Y., October 14, 1851, and they
had one daughter and three sons: Fanny Ada, George, Edward W. and Willis.
Charles Bentley was supervisor in Westerlo in 1866-67. Edward W. died June 28,
1866, Fanny Ada died July 19, 1866, and Mrs. Charles Bentley died December 21,
1879. George married Rosella, daughter of Henry L. Tallmadge of Westerlo, and
moved to Cambridge, Neb., in 1883, where he now resides. They have two sons:
Fred E. and Charles L. Willis Bentley was born May 12, 1868, and in 1883 entered
the employment of Ferris Swartout of Chesterville as clerk, in 1887 came to Ravena
(then Coeymans Junction) and clerked it for James M. Borthwick (now county clerk)
until 1890, when he and an associate clerk, Elvin C. Shults, succeeded Mr. Borth
wick m business under the firm name of Shultes & Bentley, until March 18, 1895,
when Mr. Shultes retired from the firm and the busmess has since been conducted
by Mr. Bentley. Willis Bentley married Cora B., daughter of William H. Winegard
of Westerlo, N. Y., February 4, 1891, and their union has been blessed with one
daughter, Inez C, born March 19, 1892.

Belser, Joseph, jr., son of Joseph and Barbara (Klett) Belser, was born in Albany,
May 4, 1866. Joseph Belser. sr.. was born in Messingen. Germany, March 13, 1836.
He came to America in 1852 and settled first in New York city, then in 1854 he re-
moved to Albany and in November, 1857, engaged in the retail dry goods business,
at what is now No. 352 South Pearl street. He gradually increased his scope of


operations until 1884, when he took in his son-in-law, John Wagner, as a partner
under the firm name of Belser & Wagner. This firm continued until 1888, when
Mr. Reiser's son, Joseph, jr., became a partner. In 1889 Mr. Wagner withdrew and
engaged in the furniture business and Joseph Belser, sr., Joseph Belser, jr., and
Miss Barbara Belser constituted the firm. In 1890 Joseph, sr., retired and since
then the brother and sister, as Belser & Co., have continued the business. Joseph,
sr., is a member of the Eintracht Singing Society and was for several years its
treasurer. The firm of Belser & Co. now occupy for retail purposes three stores at
Nos. 348, 350 and 352 South Pearl street; they also have three stores for their
wholesale business, which has gradually been built up within the last few years.

Brennan, Edward J., is a grandson of James Brennau, sr., a maltster who came
to Albany from Ireland and died herein 1880, aged eighty-two. James Brennan, jr.,
has been connected with the Albany police force since about 1870. He is a native
of the capital city, as is also his wife, Mary Murtaugh. Edward J., their son, was
born 17, 1860, in Albany, was graduated from the Christian Brothers' Acad-
emy in 1876 and m 1877 entered the law office of Smith, Bancroft & Moak, being ad-
mitted to the bar in 1881. He remained with his preceptors as managing clerk until
1886, when he was elected justice of the City Court for a term of three years. Smce
1889 he has been in active practice of his profession, making a specialty of criminal
law, in which he has been very successful, having freed many well known criminals.
He is a prominent Democrat, has served as delegate to several political conventions
and is a member of the A. O. U. W. January 22, 1896, he married Mary, daughter
of George Schwartz, a well known pork packer and dealer of Albany.

Cummings Brothers. — James and John Cummings were born in the town of Berne,
June 25, 1857, and May 20, 1859, respectively. They are sons of John Cummings,
who was born in the city of Clonmell, Ireland, in 1829. He was one of four children
of Patrick Cummings. John, the father, was a miller m his native place. He came
to America and direct to the town of Berne, where he engaged in farming which he
continued until recent years, when he retired to the village of Reidsville and leased
his farm. In 1864 he enlisted in Co. B, 81st Regiment N. V. Vols., and served until
the close of the war, participating in the battle of the Wilderness, where he received
a wound and lost part of his hand. He was under General Butler in five active en-
gagements. His wife was Ellen Shea, a native of the city of Clonmell. Ireland, and
daughter of Thomas Shea; to them were born five children: James, born June 25,
1857; John, born May 30, 1859; George, born June 1, 1861, and died at the age of
nineteen; Ellen, born in October, 1862; and Thomas, born in December, 1866, and
died at the age of sixteen. James and John were reared to farm life and attended
the common schools and remained at home until they were twenty-four years "of age,
when they embarked in business for themselves, their first enterprise being farming
and quarrying, which they followed for seven years. They dissolved partnership,
James remaining at the quarry and John repaired to Albany and engaged in the
stone business from 1891 to 1895. They then moved to Voorheesville and established
themselves in the feed, grain and produce business, and in connection with this they
carried on an extensive stone business. James married Ella Van Deusen of Berne,
and daughter of Robert A. Van Deusen. Their children are Carrie and George.
John married Mary C. Ecker of the town of Knox, and daughter of Allen Ecker, by


whom three children were born: Thomas, who died when ten years of age; Edward
and Mary. John is a member of the Knights of Pythias and of Chancellors
Lodge of Albany. The brothers are both stockholders in the Clarksville Telephone
line. John is a stockholder in the Altamont Driving Park and Fair Association ;
the brothers are also stockholders in the Voorheesville Canning and Preserving Co.

De Witt, Abraham Van Dyck, descends from a distinguished line of Holland an-
cestry. Among his earliest ancestors were John L. De Witt, a captain in the Revo-
lutionary war, and Lucas De Witt. Tjerck Claassen De Witt of Zunderland, Holland,
born 1620, was the first of the family to come to this country. He stopped at New
Amsterdam, N. Y., in 1656, settled for a time in Albany and thence removed to
Kingston, where he died February 7, 1700. Mr. De Witt's paternal grandfather,
Rev. John De Witt, was born in Catskill, N. Y., August, 1789, studied at Union
College, and graduated at Princeton in 1809. He was licensed to preach in 1811;
married Sarah Schoonmaker, and was pastor of the old collegiate Dutch church of
Albany from 1813 to 1815 and of the Second Reformed Dutch church from 1815 to
1833. He was then chosen professor of ecclesiastical history in the theological semi-
nary at New Brunswick, N. J., having in 1825 also assumed the professorship of
belles lettres, criticism and logic in Rutgers College. He died at New Brunswick
October 11, 1831. The great-grandfather of A. V. De Witt was John I. DeWitt of
Catskill and Saugerties, N. Y., who was born in 1763. He married Mary, daughter
of Peter Breasted, in 1782, and died in 1816. Mr. De Witt's father, Clinton De Witt,
born in Albany in 1814, became a brilliant lawyer and orator and died in New York
city in 1845. He married in 1835 Flsie, daughter of Abraham Van Dyck, a leading
lawyer of Coxsackie, N. Y. She was an accomplished student, read Greek and
Hebrew, and died August 1, 1885. Abraham V. D. De Witt, born in Coxsackie, Au-
gust 11, 1836, was educated in the village academy, and read law with James B.
Sanders of Albany for seven years, being admitted to the bar when twenty-one. He
was then in partnership with his preceptor until 1871, when Mr. Sanders retired. In
1872 he became a partner of Charles F. T. Spoor, and since the latter's death in
1891 has practiced alone. Mr. DeWitt has not only conducted a general law prac-
tice, but has also had the settlement of many large estates. He is a member of the
Fort Orange Club and the Holland Society of New York. In June, 1894, he was
elected treasurer of the Albany Exchange Savings Bank and since then has had the
active management of that institution, devoting much of his time to its affairs. In
January, 1896, he married Grace Ilallam Learned of New London, Conn., daughter
of the late Rev. Robert Coit Leonard. A daughter, born to them November 2'i,
1890, is named Elsie Van Dyck.

Moak John T., was born in the town (jf New Scotland, on the Moak homestead,
April 37, 1827. He is a son of Col. Joseph Moak, a native of New Scotland and a
farmer by occupation. His wife was Arianna Taylor, daughter of Robert Taylor,
and their children were Robert, Joseph, Jane, Frances, Eve Ann, Catherine, Har-
riet, Rachael and John T. The father, Col. Joseph Moak, died March 38, 1848, the
wife dying previously in 1830. John T. spent his early life on the homestead, re-
ceiving a common school education. When he was twenty-one years of age he be-
gan working at the cabinet trade, which he followed one year; then he worked for a
time at farming and returned to the cabinet_shop again. In 1851 he purchased his


present farm, consisting of ninety acres, wliere he is at present residing. To tliis lie
lias added another farm of seventy acres and made many improvements in the prop-
erty. In 1850 he married Margaret Sager, who was born in New Scotland, a daugh-
ter of Conrad and Margaret (Bradt) Sager. Their children were Arianna, wife of
Jeremiah Winne, Melville S. (deceased), Ida L., wife of Edgar B. Ruso. The pater-
nal grandfather of John T. Moak was Jacob Moak, who came from Switzerland
with his two brothers, Francis and Henry, about 1730.

Schubert, Theodore, a popular and well-known citizen of West Troy, was born in
Saxony, Germany, in 1855. He was a son of a weaver, Charles G. Schubert. They
came to America in 1804 and settled at Holyoke, Mass., where Theodore learned
the woolsorting trade, and in 1878 came here as a weaver in the Roy Mills, and
later as a loom adjuster. In 1885 he opened a cafe and retail saloon at 1,399 Broad-
way. Mr. Schubert is prominently connected with numerous local societies, the
West Troy Fire Department, president of the local board of Wine and Liquor Deal-
ers' Association and member of Laurel Lodge, I. O. O. F.

Munson, George S., M. D., son of Stephen and Eunice A. Mun.son, was born in
Waterford, N. Y.. April 4, 1856, and moved wrth his parents to Albany in 1858. His
mother, a native of Westerfield, Mass-, who died in March, 1886, was a descendant
of Rev. Jonathan Edwards, the theologian and metaphy.sician of Northampton,
Mass., and afterwards president of Princeton College. His father became an exten-
sive shoe manufacturer in Albany. Dr. Munson was graduated from public school
No. 3 in 1868 and from the Albany High School in 1872, and in 1874 entered Princeton
College, where he took several prizes for oratory, study, etc., and where he was
graduated with honor in 1878. He read medicine with Drs. Vander\'eer and Snow,
and was graduated from the Albany Medical College in 1880, took a special course in
Dr. Knapp's ophthalmic and aural institute in New York, where he remained as first
assistant for two years, and also pursued special courses under Drs. Noyes and
Agnew of that city. In 1883 he began the active practice of his profession in Al-
bany. He has served as ophthalmic surgeon to St. Peter's Hospital, Albany,
ophthalmic and aural surgeon to the Schenectady Hospital and Dispensary, and Al-
bany City Hospital, and is a thirty-second degree Mason and a member of the Fort
Orange Club and Albany Medical Library and Journal A.ssociation. He has con-
tributed many valuable papers to medical literature, especially on the treatment of
diseases of eye the and ear. In 1884 he married May S., daughter of George S.
Downing of Albany, and they have one son, born March 31, 1888, and a daughter.

Bloss, Dr. F. S. of West Troy, is a descendant of prominent ancestors in the pro-
fession of medicine, as he is a son of J. P. Bloss, a noted physician of Troy, and
grandson of Richard BIol^s, who was a pioneer homeopathist of Troy, and who died
there after twenty-five years of practice. He is also a nephew of Richard D. Bloss,
an active practitioner, now of Troy. Dr. F. S. left Burlington, Iowa, where he was
born in 1857 and came to Troy in 1859. He went to Schenectady, graduating from
the Union Classical Institute, and entered Union College, graduating in 1881, after
which he entered the Albany Medical College. He first practiced at Troy with his
father, and came to West Troy in 1896. He is a member of the Medical Society of
Northern New York.


Patterson, jr., John, is the sou of John and grandson of Archibald Patterson, who
settled in Bethlehem in 1810 and died in 1876, leaving six sons; Robert, Andrew,
James, Alexander, William and John, who settled on the homestead. He had one
son, John, jr., as above, who has been, and still is, one of the leading men of the
town, having served as supervervisor from 1889 until 1895. Mr. Patterson, besides
carrying on the farm, has for some time carried on a coal and ice business in Long
Island city, and still has an ice house in Bethlehem that he built in 1878.

Vloebergh, Louis, was born in Belgium, Province of Antwerp, in 1823, where he
learned the wheelwright's trade, which he followed until 1857, when he came to Al-
bany where he worked for some time, when he came to Bethlehem Center in 1861,
and has since carried on a shop. He has three sons: Livine, who is in business in
Albany, Augustus and Joseph, who are business with their father, and two daugh-
ters, Mathilda and Cristina.

Moore, William, was born in Ireland. March, 1827. He received a common school
education and in 1846 came to America. He remained for a time in New York city
and then went east and worked in the cloth mills in New Hampshire, Vermont and
Rhode Lsland. In 1852 he went to Cohoes and worked three years for Egberts &
Bailey, the first knit goods manufacturers m America. Then after learning the
machinist's trade with the Harmony Company, he was for thirteen years machinist
and foreman of the Mohawk River Knitting Mills company, which was an enlarge-
ment of the business of Egberts & Bailey. In 1859 Mr. Moore accepted the manage-
ment of William Mansfield's knitting mills and in 1860 established a mill of his own
on Erie street, known as the Erie Knitting Mill. In 1882 he built the Granite Mill,
on the corner of Ontario and Saratoga streets, to which he gives most of his atten-
tion, but he still retains an interest in the Erie Mill, which is owned by the firm,
Moore & Tierney. Mr. Moore has been a member of the Odd F"ellows fraternity for
forty years and was for one term alderman of the Third ward. In 1892 he married
Sarah A., daughterof James Tierney of Waterford and they have one son, William J.

McHinch, Robert, a prominent and successful farmer and fruit grower of the town
of New Scotland, was born near Belfast, Ireland, September 23, 1847. Alexander,
the grandfather, was a native of Scotland and spent his lifetime there as a farmer.
His brother James came to America and settled in the town of New Scotland, on the
farm now owned by Robert McHinch. James, the father, was born in Scotland, in
August. 1804, and died in August, 1889. He was a successful farmer and left con-
siderable property, which he accumulated near Belfast, Ireland, where he had gone
when a young man and engaged in the manufacture of gas, in connection with which
he owned a farm, which he sublet to tenants. His wife was Mary Lowry, of Ireland,
and their children were Anthony, Robert, Agnes, Jane, and Andrew. His wife died
in 1867, and after some years his sons Anthony and Andrew died. He lived alone
then until 1884, when he converted his property into cash and came to America,
where he spent his remaining days with hisson Robertand his daughter Agnes. He

Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 97 of 138)