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Schenectady County, New York : its history to the close of the nineteenth century online

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the old firm and located for nearly two years where the Schenectady
Bank once stood near Church street. Later, they obtained the resi-
dence of Mrs. William H. Smith, 134 State street, next door to the
Yates store, at present the New York store, where they have very
large pleasant rooms, including a chapel for funeral services and all
conveniences for carrying on the undertaking business.




ij^za^i-^-^j^-^ ^'^A^^->^



BIOGRAPHICAL/. ' 193

Both of Edward L. Fronk's parents were very ingenious and per-
severing. His mother was an expert carpet weaver and, when the
old hand looms were in use, she wove carpets in the old mill of
Stephen Sanford of Amsterdam. She could card the wool and spin
the yarn used in knitting mittens and stockings for her family. She
was also a good dressmaker and tailoress, having learned both of
these trades. She was a devout Christian woman and a member of
the Baptist Church in Amsterdam, and was always very careful that
her children should grow up to be useful.

Edward L. Fronk is himself a member of the Methodist Church,
which he joined when about eighteen years of age, at the Methodist
Episcopal Church at Minaville. He has been a member of the
Schenectady church for about twenty years and is one of the official
board. He takes an interest, not only in all good work but in the
welfare and progress of Schenectady and in every movement tending
towards progress and advancement. He is a lover of all good books,
as well as of music and works of art, and has a special fondness for
fine paintings of which he is a connoisseur.

Jacob Fronk (father) was born in Albany County, N. Y., February.
14, 1822, and died in Amsterdam, N. Y., May 22, 1889. His wife,
Anna M. (Johnson) Fronk, was born in Montgomery County, N. Y.,
May 12, 1821, and died March 27, 1874.

On April 25, 1882, Edward L. Fronk married Delia M. Beecher,
daughter of Clark and Anna M. Beecher, both of whom were natives
of Newark Valley, N. Y.

Mr. Fronk is a licensed member of our New York State Em-
balmers' and Undertakers' Association and of our National Em-
balmers' Association. He is also a member of the Royal Arcanum,
and is a charter member- of Schenectady Council, which numbers at
the present time about three hundred members. Mr. Fronk is an
officer and an active member of the Y. M. C. A. of this city.



Henry A. Miller, agent for the Dobler Brewing Company, was
born in Detroit, Michigan, November 16, 1861. He was educated
by private tuition and afterwards learned the trade of moulder. He



194 SCHENECTADY COUNTY: ITS HISTORY.

worked at his trade in Detroit for twelve years and then went to
Albany, N. Y., where he worked for six years. He next went to
Troy, where he worked at his trade for three years, after which he
returned to Albany and remained nine months.

In 1893 Mr. Miller came to Schenectady to act as agent for the,
Pobler Brewing Company, and has since resided in this city where,
he gives his undivided attention to the interests of the well known
company he represents.



William Thomas Clark was born in England, July 12, 1870,
but has resided in the United States since 1874. His people settled
in Gloucester, Mass., where he received his early education. After
his school days he entered the employ of the Whittier Machine Com-
pany of Boston, Mass., and remained with them for. seven years
altogether, five years of this time being spent in Boston and two,
years traveling on the road for his house. His next employment
was with the Otis Elevator Company of New York, for whom he
acted as superintendent of construction for five years, after which he
was with the Sprague Electric Company in the same capacity for
two years. He then joined Henry R. Worthington, taking the
superintendency of his factory, and remained with him for one and
one-half years. In 1900 he came to Schenectady and entered the
employ of the General Electric Company, where he now fills the
position of assistant mechanical superintendent.

Mr. Clark is a member of Commonwealth Lodge No. 408, F. and
A. M., and of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. On March
3, 1893, William Thomas Clark married Annie Holmes, daughter of
William D. Holmes of Mount Vernon, and they have two children
Lucy Beatrice and John Lester.

Mr. Clark's parents were John and Caroline (Prior) Clark.

Mr. Clark has been essentially the architect of his own fortunes
and has, by his own enterprise and ability, raised himself from the
position of apprentice mechanic to that of a mechanical superinten-
dent in one of the greatest manufacturing establishments of the
world.



BIOGRAPHICAL. 195

Dayton L,. KaThan, M. D., was born in Saratoga County, N. Y.,
Nov. 16, 1856. He received his literary education at a select school,
the Albany Normal College and the Geneseo Normal School, gradu-
ating from" the latter institution in 1881.

After leaving college he taught school for three years. For one
year he was principal of the Stillwater schools, and during the two
succeeding years, he taught languages in the Mechanicville schools.

In 1883 he entered the Albany Medical College, and, after a
highly creditable course, was graduated in the class of 1886 with the
degree of M. D. After receiving his degree he spent one and one-
half years in the Albany City Hospital as house physician, and subse-
quently took two post-graduate courses in New York City.

In 1888 Dr. Kathan opened an office in Schenectady and began
the regular practice of his profession which he has since continued,
building up a high reputation as a successful physician and surgeon
and attaining an enviable popularity, not only with the public at
large, but with the profession to which he belongs. He is a member
of the Schenectady County Medical Society and also of the State
Medical Society.

In April, 1896, Dayton h. Kathan, M. D., married Anna B.,
daughter of Caleb and Elizabeth (Banker) Meeker. They have one
son, Roland Kathan. Dr. Kathan's parents were Truman and
Ducinda (Gray) Kathan. The first representative of the Kathan
family in America was Captain John Kathan, who came from England
in the year 1629, and settled in Boston, removing afterwards to
Brattleboro, Vt. . His son, Charles Kathan, was a soldier in the
Revolutionary War. This soldier had a son, also named Charles,,
whose son, Luke, was the father of Truman Kathan, the father of
Dr. Kathan.



Andrew Wolf was born in Schenectady, N. Y., September 14,
1843, and was educated in the public schools of his native place. He
first learned the machinist's trade in the New York Central shops in
West Albany, where he worked for four years. He then moved to
New York City and went into the advertising business, in which he



196 SCHENECTADY COUNTY: ITS HISTORY.

remained for fifteen years. Returning to Schenectady he engaged in
the grocery business and so continued for four years. He then went
to Allentown, Pa., and was engaged in the same business there for
two years. Again he returned' to Schenectady and embarked in the
coal and feed business, which he carried on very successfully
for eight years, after which he was engaged in the knit goods busi-
ness for two years. Finally he became a member of the firm of
Peckham, Wolf & Co., lumber dealers, which is now one of the
largest concerns of its kind in this part of the state.

In 1883 Mr. Wolf married Emma J. Stebbins. He is the son of
Henry and Anna (Ward) Wolf.

In politics he is a Democrat and has held the office of supervisor
from the fourth ward and that of alderman from the second ward in
the city of Schenectady.



Thomas M. GlEASON, son of Michael and Bridget (Kane) Gleason,
who came from Ireland to Schenectady in 1863, was born in the
city of Schenectady, N. Y., March 3, 1879.

He was educated in St. Paul's Parochial School, and began the
active affairs of life as a clerk in the office of the General Electric
Company. He remained for biit a short time with the General
Electric people, when, having decided to embark in the undertaking
business, he took a course of study and training at the Champion
College of Embalming at Utica, N. Y. He then entered the employ
of D. J. Cronin, in the undertaking business, and remained with him
for three years, after which he was with R. E. Jacobs for one year.

In the year 1898, the firm of Gleason & Bernardi, undertakers and
embalmers, was formed, which has become one of the most popular
and successful in the city of Schenectady. Both gentlemen give
their personal attention to the details of the business, and both are
painstaking, courteous and popular.

Mr. Gleason is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Ancient
Order of Hibernians, the Catholic Mutual Benevolent Association, and
in politics is a Democrat. His father died in September, 1900 ; his
mother died in April, 1901.



BIOGRAPHICAL. 197

Everett E. Lucas was born at North Carver, Mass., December
7, 1863. After his school days he learned the trade of shoemaker
and followed that occupation for four years, when he abandoned it
and learned the trade of machinist. He then entered the employ of
the American Heeling Company, with whom he remained for one
year, after which he went to Waterbury, Conn., and took a position
with the Plume & Atwood Manufacturing Company. After one year
in this establishment he took employment with the Waterbury Mal-
leable Iron Company, where he remained for another year. He then
joined the Thomson-Houston Company at Lynn, Mass., and, upon
the consolidation of that company and the General Electric Com-
pany, he came to Schenectady with the latter company, and is now
foreman of the cut-out and socket department.

Mr. Lucas is a member of the Order of Knights and Ladies of
Honor No. 12, of the Royal Arcanum No. 983, and of St. Paul's
Lodge No. 17, L O. O. F.

On November 25, 1882, Everett E. Lucas married Harriet I.
Atwood, who died in May, 1889. In June, 1890, he married his
present wife, Anna P. Overton, and they have one daughter, Pauline
G. Mr. Lucas is a son of John B. and Abigail R. (Dunham) Lucas.



Ira B. Hedden, son of Archibald and Hannah (Vedder) Hedden,
was born in the town of Glenville, Schenectady County, N. Y.,
October 18, 181 8. After his school days he ran his own canal boat
on the Erie Canal for five years, after which he owned and conducted
a meat market in the city of Schenectady for two years. He then
engaged in , farming in the town of Glenville, which he made his
life business.

In 1849 Ira B. Hedden married Angelica C, daughter of Abram
and Catherine (Clute) Van Antwerp. Their children are Frank
A. F., Isaac V., and Belle E. T. Mr. Hedden has always been a
Republican in politics and for three years was assessor in the town
of Glenville. "His father came from New Jersey to New York state

in 1812.

43



igS SCHENECTADY COUNTY: ITS HISTORY.

Frank P. Reeves, one of the best known business men in the
city of Schenectady, is the son of Thomas H. and Elizabeth (Van
Vorst) Reeves, and was born in Schenectady, N. Y., May 12, 1866.
He was educated at the public and high schools of his native city,
graduating from the latter institution in 1885, after which he entered
his father's store as a clerk and remained there in that capacity until
1892, when he became a partner in the well known firm of Reeves-
Veeder & Company.

On June i, 1899, Frank P. Reeves married Marie, daughter of
Michael Glas, and they have one son, Thomas H. Reeves.

Mr. Reeves is essentially a business man and, therefore, takes no
active part in politics ; he is, however, a member of the Order of
Red Men, of the Knights of Pythias and of the Knights of Malta
and St. John.

Mr. Reeves is of Holland descent on his mother's side and gener-
ations of this branch of the family have lived in America.



George J. Dent was born in Smithville, N. Y., June 4, 1833,
and was the son of Joseph and Betsy (Lawton) Dent. He was
educated in the public schools and by private study, and worked on
the farm in the summers, teaching school in the winters for a few
years. He then moved to Athens, N. Y., where he. was employed as
railroad freight agent for four years. He came to Schenectady in
1870 and received the appointment of policeman, which position he
held until the time of his death in 1892. He took a great interest in
the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and was a member of that
organization for many years.

On April 10, 1856, George J. Dent married Sarah Birley, daughter
of William and Phoebe A. (Phelps) Birley. They had three children,
Frank I., born October 5, 1857, who is engineer on a Hudson River
steamboat; Richard Ward, born January 6, 1861, who graduated from
Union College in the class of '83 and is a lawyer in Brooklyn, N. Y.,
and Grant R., born January 28, 1872, who is connected with the
Schenectady Union.



BIOGRAPHICAL. 199

Allen W. Johnston, a son, and the youngest child of George D.
and Atlanta (Allen) Johnston, was born in Montgomery County,
N. Y., in the year 1847. He was educated at Union College, and
after leaving that institution was agent for the New York Central
Railroad at Palatine Bridge for some time, after which he accepted a
position as teller in the National Spraker Bank, which position he
held for five years. He then went to Albany to take a position in
the Mechanics' and Farmers' Bank, and, after remaining there for
some time, finally settled in Schenectady.

He is now treasurer of the Schenectady Savings Bank, which was
chartered in 1834. The first officers of this bank were : president,
Joseph C. Yates ; vice-president, William Cunningham ; secretary,
William A. S. North ; treasurer, Thomas Palmer, and accountant,
William H. Palmet.



William H. Oatting was born in the city of Schenectady, May
i5i 1867, and received his education at the Union school. His first
active work in life was in the capacity of bookkeeper in the office of
the Maxon Elevator, which position he occupied for nine years. In
June, 1890, he entered the employ of the General Electric Company
as a machinist, in which capacity he worked for six months, after
which he was bookkeeper for two years, then entered the superin-
tendent's office where he remained six months, when he was pro-
moted to the general manager's office, where he is still employed.

Mr. Oatting is associated with several prominent societies, among
them the Schaugh-naugh-ta-da Tribe No. 123, Order of Red Men,
the Edison Mutual Benefit Association and the Episcopal Church, of
which he has been a vestryman for four years. He is very promi-
nent in the Order of Red Men, and has filled all the chairs in the
local tribe of the order, and has taken the Pocohontas degree.

On June 4, 1890, William H. Oatting married Minnie, daughter of
Alexander and Mary Vedder, and they have one son, William H., Jr.
born September 21, 1897. Mr. Oatting's parents were Henry and
Anna (Simpson) Oatting. His mother was born in England and
came to America in 1852 ; his father was born in Germany and came
to America in 1854.



200 SCHENECTADY COUNTY: ITS HISTORY.

Charles Gilchrist Briggs, M. D., was born in Saratoga County,
N. Y., March 25, 1865, and was educated at the Ballston High
School, from which he was graduated in 1881. He then took a two
years' course at the Drury College, Springfield, Missouri, and after
kaving that institution returned east and entered the Albany Medical
College in 1886, from which, after a highly creditable course, he
graduated in the class of 1889 with the degree of M. D. After gradu-
ating. Dr. Briggs spent one year in St. Peter's Hospital as house
physician, and also a year at Dr. Strong's Sanitarium at Saratoga
Springs, N. Y.

In 1 891 Dr. Briggs opened his office in Schenectady and began
the regular practice of his profession, and has attained a high repu-
tation as a skillful and successful physician and surgeon. He is one
of the visiting physicians to the Ellis Hospital, and is a member of
the Schenectady County Medical Society. He is also examining
physician for several prominent life insurance companies, among
them the Provident Life and Trust Company, the National Life
Insurance Company and the Aetna Insurance Company.

Socially, Dr. Briggs is also a member of several important orders
and societies. He is a member of St. Paul's Lodge No. 17, F. and
A. M., of the Mohawk Club, the Mohawk Golf Club, the Schenec-
tady Gun Club and the college fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta.

On February 22, 1892, Charles G. Briggs, M. D., married Laura
H. Phillips. Dr. Briggs is a son of Daniel C. and Catherine M.
(Gilchrist) Briggs. Daniel C. Briggs represented Saratoga County
in the Assembly at Albany for the years 1883 and '84.



Amanders Metzger was born in the Empire of Germany in
June, 1850, and was educated in his native country.

He came to the United States of America in 1872 and settled in
New York City, where he went to work with Thomas A. Edison,
who will always be remembered as the greatest electrician of his age,
and probably of the world. Mr. Metzger had studied electricity in
Germany, and was employed by Mr. Edison upon experimental work
until 1874, when he accepted a position with the Western Union



BIOGRAPHICAL. 201

Telegraph Company as mechanical expert. He remained with the
Western Union people for five years, or until 1879, "when he went
back to Mr. Edison and remained with him until the consolidation
of the electrical business in 1894, since which time he has been with
the General Electric Company at Schenectady, N. Y., and he is now
general foreman in the electrical department of the Schenectady
works.

Mr. Metzger is an electrical and mechanical expert of a high order,
as his position in the works of the General Electric Company clearly
indicates.'

In March, 1879, Amanders Metzger married Eliza Kuhn and they
have had two children, namely, August, deceased, and Helen
Metzger.

Mr. Metzger takes an active and intelligent interest in the welfare
and progress of Schenectady, and has served two terms as fire com-
missioner.



WitLiAM MuDGE was born in England, December 20, 1838, and
was a son of William and Jane (Avent) Mudge. He came to America
when quite young and was educated in the public schools of Schenec-
tady. After his school days he worked in the Locomotive Works for
two years, after which he was farming in Newtonville, Albany
County, for five years, after which he settled in the town of Duanes-
burgh, Schenectady County.

On September 20, i860, William Mudge married Nancy M. Mott,
daughter of John and Elizabeth Mott, and they have two children.



John Turnbull,. son of Joseph W. and Sarah (Schermerhorn)
Turnbull, was born in the town of Rotterdam, Schenectady County,
N. Y., December 5, 1856. After his school days he began farming
in Saratoga County, where he lived for several years, finally moving
to his present farm in the town of Rotterdam, Schenectady County.

On December 10, 1891, John Turnbull married Maggie, daughter
of George and Belle Pangburn, and they have a family of three
children.



202 SCHENECTADY COUNTY: ITS HISTORY.

Henry Fliegel, son of Henry and Gertrude (Ivohre) Fliegel, was
born in Albany, N. ¥., November 29, 1866. He attended the public
schools of his native city for a time and later entered the German
Catholic School in Albany. After leaving school he took up the
study of pharmacy and entered the store of C. H. Gans, with whom
he remained for thirteen years. He was next with William
McAllister for four years, after which he moved to the city of Schenec-
tady, where he erected a business block in which he has an elegant
drug store, one of the most complete in northern New York.

On September 26, 1894, Henry Fliegel married Celia, daughter of
Harmon and Katie (Beal) Van Laak. Mr. Fliegel's parents were
natives of Germany.



Cornelius Bradt was born in the town of Rotterdam, Schenec-
tady County, N. Y., June 12, 1842. He lived on the farm until
April 21, 1861, on which day he enlisted in the 19th N. Y. Volun-
teer Infantry. He served one year with this regiment, which saw a
great deal of hard fighting and was so cut away that there were too
few men left to be called a regiment. These men, among whom, was
Mr. Bradt, were transferred into the Third N. Y. Artillery with which
he was thereafter connected for the time of his service. After the
close of the war he returned home and resumed farming, which he
followed for two years, after which he worked for the New York
Central & Hudson River Railroad on the Troy-Schenectady Division
for twenty-one years. He was also baggageman at the depot in Nis-
kayuna for a year, after which he returned to farming.

On December 8, 1863, Cornelius Bradt married Barbara Wolf, a
native of Germany. They have had a family of fourteen children, of
whom nine are still living, namely, William Henry, Fred, Eugene,
Cornelius, Jr., Anna, Emma, Theresa, Ida and Ada. Mr. Bradt's
parents were Cornelius and Nancy (Karns) Bradt, both of whom were
natives of the town of Rotterdam. Mrs. Bradt's parents were John
and Anna Wolf. The Bradts are an old family in Schenectady
County and are of Holland-Dutch descent.



BIOGRAPHICAL. 203

Fred W. Berning was born in Germany, June 12, 1848. His
parents were William and Mary (Whitmier) Berning, and with them
he came to America when three years of age. They settled in
Schenectady and he was educated in the public schools of that city.

Fred W. Berning married Catherine L,., daughter of Frederick and
Anna (Newman) Bowman. They have six children, all of whom
are living. Mr. Berning is a member of the Order of Red Men,
Lodge No. 249, Scotia, N. Y., and of the Scotia Lodge of Odd Fel-
lows, No. 845.



David W. Walpole was born in the house in which he now
resides in Mariaville, Schenectady County, N. Y., November 22,
1845. His parents were Richard and Margaret (King) Walpole, both
of whom were natives of Ireland and came to the United States in
1837. After his school days Mr. Walpole engaged in the milling
business at Oswego, where he located in 1861. He lived there eight
years and then went to Champlain, where he remained one year,
after which he returned to his native place. Here he conducts a
grist mill, a saw mill and cider mill, and is also interested in farming.

He is a Republican in politics and takes an active part in further-
ing the interests of his party. He was elected Justice of the Peace in
1880 and still retains that office. He was one of the first_ excise com-
missioners of the town and has been a county committeeman for
eight years.

On March 3, 1866, David W. Walpole married Frances L. Lock-
wood, daughter of Charles P. and Helen (Roth) Lockwood, who sub-
sequently died. On February 23, 1876, Mr. Walpole married for his
second wife, Julia L. Dome, daughter of William B. and Martha
(Barrows) Dome, who died June 2g, 1896, leaving four children,
namely, Mary B., Martha J., Grace M. and Helen E. Mr. Walpole
has a brother, Thomas Walpole, and a sister, Jane A. Dickson, living
in Oswego, N. Y.

Mr. Walpole is a member of New Hope Lodge No. 730, F. and A.
M., and has been a Mason since 1868.



204 SCHENECTADY COUNTY: ITS HISTORY.

Bertie D. Koons was born on the farm where he now resides in
the town of Duanesburgh, Schenectady County, N. Y., October i6,
1868. He was educated at the district school and afterwards ran a
hay press for a number of years, subsequently going into farming.

On October 2, 1899, Bertie D. Koons married Katie .Selkirk, who
only lived a short time after their marriage. On January i, 1901, he
married Pearl Guernsey, his present wife. Mr. Koons' ancestors
were Holland Dutch and settled in Duanesburgh in the early part of
the last century. His parents were John W. and Eleanor (Jones)
Koons. He is a Republican in politics and takes an active interest
in the affairs of the town and county.



James Devine was born in the city of Schenectady, N. Y.,
February 17, 1856. His first employment was in the capacity of
fireman on the Delaware & Hudson Railroad, which occupation he
followed for seven years. At the end of this time, he was promoted
to engineer and ran an engine for the D. & H. Railroad for a period
of twelve years, after which he was an engineer on the New York
Central Railroad for three months, filling out a total period of twelve
years engineering.

Leaving the railroad, he went into the employ of the Schenectady
Locomotive Works as traveling engineer, and remained in this posi-
tion for three years, during which time he delivered engines to all
parts of the world.

He next went into the street contracting business, which he made
his permanent occupation, and at which he is still engaged. In 1898



Online LibraryAustin A. YatesSchenectady County, New York : its history to the close of the nineteenth century → online text (page 57 of 62)