James H. (James Hadden) Smith.

History of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

. (page 94 of 125)
Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 94 of 125)
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brief reference can be made to each of the others.
James H. Weeks is a native of Poughkeepsie,
and is now upwards of sixty years of age. His
practice has always been carried on in this city,
and during the whole of his professional career he
has been a partner of Hon. John Thompson. He
has filled many public positions of honor and trust,
and always acceptably. He at one time repre-
sented his district in the Assembly and during his
term was chairman of the Judiciary committee.

Leonard B. Sackett was born in the town of
Washington, in Duchess County in 1822. He
received his education at Amenia Seminary in this
County, and was admitted to practice in 1847.
Was at one time the law partner of Hon. Gilbert
Dean. Has held the office of County Treasurer
for two terms ; was a member of the Board of
Education of the city for twelve years, and Presi-
dent of the Board for three years. Has several
times been the candidate of his party for County
Judge and Mayor of the city.

Milton A. Fowler was born at Claverack in
Columbia county in 1835. He was educated at
Claverack Academy andRutger's College,and after
an attendance at the Albany Law School was ad-
mitted to practice in March, 1857. He came to
Poughkeepsie in 1868, and has since resided here.
Has held the office of Surrogate, President of the
City Water Board and other offices of public trust. Is
now the Vice-President of the Duchess County
Mutual Fire Insurance Company.

Daniel W. Guernsey was born in Stanford, Duch-
ess County in 1834. His education was obtained at
the Newburgh Academy. He was admitted to the
bar in March, 1856. During the strife in Kansas
which preceded the admission of that State into
the Union, he was a resident of that territory. He
entered the army early in the late war, served three
years, and at the close held a captain's commission.
He then came to Poughkeepsie, in the neighbor-
hood of which he has since resided and carried on
a successful practice.

Charles Wheaton is a native of Duchess County ;
was educated at WiUiam and Mary's College, Va.
Since his admission to practice he has resided in
Poughkeepsie. He is a successful advocate, has
creditably filled the office of County Judge, and
has received distinguished honors from the Demo-
cratic party of which he is a prominent member.

Henry M. Taylor has also held the office of
County Judge of this County.



Walter Farrington, was born in the town of
LaGrange, in this County, in 1829. He is a
descendant from one of the oldest families of the
County. Nearly a century ago his grandfather
was a large real estate owner in the southern part
of this County and Putnam. His father served
his country in the war of 1812. Mr. Farrington
studied in the office of Hon. Homer A. Nelson,
and was admitted to the bar in December, 1857.
Since that time he has carried on the practice in
this City. He has been Supervisor of his ward,
and a member of the Board of Education of this
City. He has taken an active and prominent part
in the temperance movement, andhas several times
been nominated by the Prohibition party for some
of the highest offices in the State.

William I. Thorn, is a native of Duchess Coun-
ty. Was admitted to practice in 1861. Was at
one time the law partner of Hon. Homer A. Nel-
son and Hon. Erastus Cooke. He is a prominent
politician in this County, an able advocate, and
has filled the office of District Attorney for the
County and also that of City Attorney.

Edward Crunmey was admitted to the bar in
1856, and has since that time resided and prac-
ticed in this City- He has shown but Httle ambi-
tion for public office, and has been successful in
the practice of his profession. For several years
he has been very active in the temperance move-
ment, and is a distinguished advocate of that

Robert E. Taylor, is a graduate of Yale College,
and a native of this county. He is an industrious
lawyer ; was for several years the City Chamber-
lain of the City, and afterwards for twelve years
held the office of Recorder. He is now the attor-
ney for the Poughkeepsie Savings Bank.

William R. Woodin, was born in Pine Plains, in
this County, and graduated at Trinity College. He
was captain in a Duchess County regiment during
the war, and since its close has been apractitioner
in this City. He is now District Attorney of this

James L. Williams, was born in Duchess County,
and has been in practice in this City for about six-
teen years. Has been District Attorney of the

O. D. M. Baker was born in Hyde Park July
31st, 1842. Was educated in the Duchess County
Academy. Admitted to the bar in December,
1863, andhas since practiced in this city. Has
held the office of City Attorney and for nine years
has been a member of the Board of Education.
He was the Democratic nominee for Congress in

Alfred B. Smith is a native of St. Lawrence
county. He graduated at Union College. Was
admitted to the bar in 1855, since which time he
has followed his profession in Poughkeepsie. He
has been for thirty years a member of the Board of

Education, and is now the President of the Board.
Has been Postmaster at Poughkeepsie. He en-
tered the army as Major of the 150th N. Y. Vols.,
and rose successively to the rank of Lieut-Colonel
and Colonel of the Regiment, and was by brevet
Brigadier- General.

Robert F. Wilkinson was born in Poughkeepsie
June loth, 1843. Graduated at Williams College.
Was admitted to the bar in 1866, and has practiced
in Poughkeepsie since his admission. Served in
the U. S. army from 1862 to 1865, as Captain and
Major of infantry and as Judge Advocate and In-
spector General on Division and Corps Staff.
Brevetted Lieut-Colonel and Colonel. Has held
the office of Assistant Assessor in the Internal
Revenue department, and is at present Recorder
of the city.

Gerome Williams ■washorn in thiscountyin 1824,
was for several years town clerk and justice of the
peace, was admitted to the bar in 1858, and has
continued in successful practice to the present

Tristram Coffin is a native of the County, was
admitted to practice in 1864, and has been the
County District Attorney.

Wm. Morgan Lee was born in Poughkeepsie in
1838, admitted to the bar in 1866, was connected
with the Enrollment Department for this district
during the war, has been Supervisor, City Cham-
berlain, and is the present City Attorney of Pough-

Hon. Homer A. Nelson is a native of Duchess
County, where he has always resided. He was edu-
cated at the Duchess County Academy, and read law
in the office of Tallman & Dean, Poughkeepsie. He
has held the offices of County Judge, Colonel of N.
Y. Volunteers, Congressman and Secretary of
State ; is a member of the present State Senate and
Chairman of its Judiciary Committee. For several
years his principal law office has been in New York
City, where an extensive and responsible business
is transacted.

Joh7i Hackett is a native of Hyde Park, Duchess
County, and from an unpromising beginning, en-
countering and overcoming embarrassing obstacles,
he has rapidly arisen to better than a fair standing in
his profession. As Assistant District Attorney, he
is entitled to share in the honor which distinguished
the administration of his partner, W. Williams, as
the District Attorney of the County. His perse-
verence and industry are unsurpassed, and no man
in the County is more entitled to the appeUation of
a self-made man than John Hackett.

Edgar Thorn was born Dec. i, 1804, in the
town of Poughkeepsie, and his pursuits were agri-
cultural until he was about fifty years of age when
he was licensed, ex gracia, at Albany, N. Y., to
practice law having, at that time, been elected to
the office of Surrogate of the County, the duties
of which he performed for the whole term credit-



ably. Since his retirement from oflSce, he has
pursued his profession until the present. While a
farmer he frequently represented his town m the
Board of Supervisors, and was two years President
of the Duchess County Agricultural Society.

Peter Borland was born March 23, 1815, at
Fishkill Plains, in this County. His grandfather,
Enoch Dorland, was a recommended minister of
the Society of Friends. Peter was educated at
Tones' Academy, Quaker Hill, and was mainly oc-
cupied in teaching school until his thirty-ninth year,
when he was admitted to the bar, and removed to
Poughkeepsie in the spring of i860, on his election
to the office of Surrogate. His administration was
so popular that he was twice re-elected and held
the Surrogacy fourteen years.

/ S. VanCleef was born at Athens, N. Y., is
son of Rev. Cornelius VanCleef, D.D., was edu-
cated at Rutger College, and admitted to the bar
in 1856, and has practiced law in Poughkeepsie
since 1858, with industry and success. Has been
a member of the Board of Education seven years,
a director of the Merchants' National Bank ten or
twelve years and one of its attorneys. Mr. Van-
Cleef is an active member of the church of his
father, (Reformed Dutch,) and is distinguished
as an amateur organist.

C. B. Herrick is a native of the County, was
born August 15, 1845, educated at Yale College,
admitted to the bar in 1870, and has practiced law
in Poughkeepsie since admission.

Allard Anthony, a brilliant young lawyer, District
Attorney and County Judge, prematurely died three
years ago.

The space allotted to this department will not
allow special reference to R. H. Hunter, and
others, worthy of a more extended notice.


Of the physicians practicing in Poughkeepsie,
A. B. Harvey, M. D., a descendant from old
Revolutionary ancestry in Massachusetts, was
born in 181 7. After receiving an education at the
Hopkinton Academy, N. H., and graduating in
medicine at the Vermont Medical School, he
commenced practice in this city in 1844. He was
at one time president of the County Medical
Society, and is now one of the physicians to St.
Barnabas Hospital.

The next in seniority as to residence, is Dr.
John R. Cooper, born in this city in 1828, who
commenced practice in 1848. (See page 451.)

Alfred Hasbrouck, M. D., came to this city
in 1848. He belongs to one of the Huguenot
families df Ulster county, where he was born, and

after graduating at Yale College, took his degree in
medicine in 1848, at the College of Physicians
and Surgeons, New York City. He is one of. the
physicians of St. Barnabas Hospital.'

Dr. Charles Haight, born i8o8, educated and
licensed to. practice in the County, came to
Poughkeepsie in 1852.

Per Lee Pine, M. D., commenced the practice
in 1852 in this city, where he was born (1812,) and
was educated and graduated in medicine at the
College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York.
He is the President of the Duchess County Medi-
cal Society.

Dr. Samuel Tuthill (see page 451) came to
Poughkeepsie in the same year (1852.)

John C. Payne, M. D., (Berkshire Medical Col-
lege 1848,) was born in Amenia (1820,) educated
at the Seminary in that town, and came to this
city in 1858. He was for a time Surgeon of the
Board of Enrollment durii% the war. He is one
of the physicians to St. Barnabas Hospital.

In the same year (1858,) Edward H. Parker,
A. M., (Dartmouth and Trinity Colleges,) M. D.,
(Jefferson Medical College 1848,) removed to
Poughkeepsie from New York City, where he was
Professor of Physiology and Anatomy in the New
York Medical College. He was born in Boston,
Mass., in 1823 ; in 1862 he was President of the
Medical Society of the State of New York and
held commissions from Governors Morgan and
Seymour in the corps of Volunteer Surgeons pro-
vided by this State. He is one of the surgeons of
St. Barnabas Hospital.

Robert K. Tuthill, M. D., (New York Medical
College 1859,) was born in Newburgh, Orange Co.,
N. Y., (1835,) educated at the Charlotteville Sem-
inary, commenced practicing medicine in Pough-
keepsie, in 1859. He is a permanent member of
the State Medical Society. During the war he
went out as Assistant Surgeoif of the 20th N. Y.
regiment (Ulster county,) and rose to the rank of
Brigade Surgeon. He is one of the surgeons to
St. Barnabas Hospital.

E. L. Beadle, M. D., a native of this County
after a long practice in New York City, now lives
in Poughkeepsie, having retired from the active
duties of the profession.

Jacob Bock^e, M. D., has also retired. He was
born in this County and at one time was engaged
m active practice here. He served in the army
during the war, and was stationed at one of the
New Orleans Hospitals.

C. N. Campbell, M. D., was born in Amenia, July
7, 1825, and came to Poughkeepsie in 1866. (See
page 4S7-)

Besides the reference elsewhere made to the
elder Doctor Cooper, deceased, too honorable ref-
erence cannot be made to the departed Doctors,
Thomas, Varick and Barnes.

f>" V-


Edward Howard, grandfather of James Howard, the
subject of our present sketch, was born Dec. 24, 1724,
but at what place we have no authentic record, and came
to Pawling, Duchess Co., in the year 1770. He was the
father of thirteen children as follows : Stephen, Matthew,'
Kuth, Mary, Richard, Sarah, Edward, Patience, Phebe,
Thomas, Benjamin, John and William. Thomas the father
of James was born at Pawling, May 14th, 1770. He was
united in marriage with Lucy Haynes, whose parents
were from Ehode Island. To them were born eight
children, as follows: Patience, Hannah, Thomas, Laura,
Lucy, James, Sophia and Jane. Of these but three are
living: Thomas and Laura, who reside in the town of
Washington, and James, who lives in La Grange. James
was born Sept. 2, 1804, and in Oct. 24, 1827, was
married to Ann Dodge of Pawling, to whom were bom
ten children, five of whom are now living, viz:— Maria,
wife of Beuben S. Haight, of the town of Washington ;
Frances H., wife of D. P. Blackstone, of Oneida county;
Caroline A., wife of E. J. Hurd, of Pawling; John D.,
who was married to Adaline Bamers, of La Grange ; and
Jay, whose wife, Ruth A. Halleok, of Stamford, died Oct.
26th, 1874.

James Howard assisted his father on the farm until
twenty -four years of age, when he moved to Ontario
county, from whence, after a residence of two years, he
moved to the town of Washington. He remained there
six years when he moved to Patterson, Putnam county
where he resided two years. For the next nine years he
lived in the town of Dover. From there he moved to La
Grange^where, for nineteen years following, he occupied
the residence which is now the home of his son, John D.
Howard, the present Supervisor of that town.

Mr. Howard always took an active interest in local poU-
tics.his first entrance into the political arena being in 1840,
when he was elected assessor of the town of Dover, and
afterwards, in 1854 and '.59, was supervisor of the town of
La Grange. In the years 1864-'.5,he was chosen to repre-
sent his district in the Legislature, serving" on the Com-
mittee on Railroads as Chairman. The second year he
served on the committee for the erection and division of
towns and counties. After bis return home he was
elected town auditor, which position he held for the thir-
teen years following. During the war he was appointed
to recruit and fill the quotas of his town, which he did
very successfully.

In 1869 Mr. Howard built the fine residence he now
occupies and where his wife died in ApriL 26tb, 1880.
Although now in the seventy-seventh year of his age he
enjoys goodhealth and possesses remarkable vigor, giving
his many friends reason to hope that he will be spared to
them many long and happy years. His youngest son.
Jay, supervises his farm which is pleasantly situated and
in a remarkably good state of cultivation.

Mr. Howard is a man who always makes friends, and
has the rare faculty of keeping them ; and probably has
as large a circle of friends and acquaintances among all
classes as any man in the county.

In business he has ever been a shrewd and successful
man, and has always retained the respect and confidence
of all who knew him.

In his younger days Mr. Howard dealt a great deal in
cattle and horses, and gained a quickness of perception
and judgment concerning their good and bad qualities,
which he still retains to a marked degree for a man of his
advanced years.



History of the Town of La Grange.

THE territory comprising the town of La
Grange, when the county was first divided intci
districts or precincts, lay mostly in that of Rombout,
and from 1770 up to 1788, was designated as

Upon the division of the county into towns by
the Legislative act in 1778, the present territory
formed a part of Fishkill and Beekman. On the
9th of Feb. 1 82 1, the town was formed under the
name of Freedom, and on the ist of March, 1827,
a small portion of it was taken to form the town of
Union Vale, and since that date the boundaries
have not been changed. The original description
of the bounds read as follows : —

" That from and after the last day of March next,
(1821) all that part of the town of Fishkill, lying
north of a line commencing at the fording place on
the Wappingers Creek, nigh the house of the late
Samuel Thome, deceased, from thence running
easterly to the division line between Fishkill and
Beekman towns, ten chains southerly of the house

formerly owned by Palmer and now in part

occupied by John Arthur; and all that part of the
town of Beekman, lying west of a line commencing
at the point on the division line between Fishkill
and, Beekman, where the east and west line afore-
said in Fishkill will intersect said division line of
Beekman and Fishkill, running from thence north-
easterly to a point two chains distance due east
from the northeast corner of the house of Seneca
Vail, built by Dr. Soffin, (provided it includes the
house of Elisha C. Barlow, if not, thence commenc-
ing at the point aforesaid, on the division line of
Beekman and Fishkill aforesaid, and running from
thence to and including the house of Nicholas
Tyce; from thence to the point aforesaid, two
chains distance, due east from the northeast corner
of the house of the said Seneca Vail,) from thence
on either of the courses last aforesaid as may be
determined by actual survey, to the Washington
town line, shall be known and distinguished as a
separate town by the name of Freedom, and that
the first town meeting in said town of Freedom,
shall be held at the house of William Wolven, in
said town, on the first Tuesday in April next."

According to the act, the town election was held
and the following officers were elected : John Wilkin-
son, Supervisor ; John Clapp, Clerk ; Isaac B.
Clapp, Silas Pettit, Reuben Tanner, Israel Fowler,
and John Van De Belt, Assessors; Leonard Nelson,
Collector ; John Billings, Mynard B. Velie, Over-
seers of the Poor ; Baltus Velie, EUas Vail and
Henry Dates, Commissioners of Highways ; Eze-
kiel Velie, John D. Brown and John G. Dunkin,
Commissioners of Schools ; James Congdon, John

G. Dunkin, Samuel Pettit, Henry D. Sleight,
Thomas H. Potter, and Avery L. Herrick, Inspec-
tors of Common schools ; Jacob Culver, Daniel
Stillwell, James Coles, and Peter Hageman, Con-
stables. Roadmasters, fence-viewers and other
officers were appointed a few days after, and rules
adopted in regard to stock running at large, and
the manner of fencing.

There being postoffices in other sections of the
country, bearing the name of Freedom, to which
papers and letters belonging to this office were
sent and vice versa, the Board of Supervisors
changed the name of the town in 1829, to 'La
Grange, after the homestead of La Fayette in
France. The southern part of this town was the
earliest settled as the influx came from Fishkill,
and was chiefly made about the years 1750 to 1760.

One of the earhest points settled was near
Morey's Corners, and for a number of years it was
the chief business portion of the town. The early
settlers were the families of Brundage, Clapp,
Shear, Swade and Dean. They were here during
the Revolution and took an active part in the con-
test, but were divided in sentiment and harbored
bitter feelings toward each other. At that time
Jesse Clapp owned the place now occupied by
Samuel H. Moore, and also the only gristmill in
this section of the country.

When the Tory force, which made the raid upon
Washington Hollow — referred to in the annals of
Pleasant Valley — was concentrating recruits, they
formed an encampment upon this farm and sub-
sisted upon the donations of their Tory friends,
many of whom living here accompanied them on
their march. The meadow upon which they en-
camped has ever since been called the "Camp lot"
and undoubtedly will be by generations to come. ,

John and Daniel Hosier, two brothers, settled
opposite the present parsonage, and were the first
actual settlers of the hamlet now known as Morey's
Corners. They built a fulling-mill a few years pre-
vious to 1815, near the bridge and after running it
for several years successfully, sold the same to
Daniel Noxen. A much respected son of John
Hosier, who was on the ill-fated steamer " Henry
Clay " and was drowned, was nearly the last of that
family, which is now extinct in this county. Noxen
sold the mill to Daniel Haight of the town of
Washington, who removed to the opposite side of
the creek and added others in which are carried
on tanning and currying. The property was sold
under foreclosure and purchased by the heirs of
John Billings, who resold the same to George



English. He converted the whole into a gristmill,
which is at the present time owned and occupied
by Albert Emigh, a distant relative.

"Morey's Corners" received the name from Jacob
"Morey who settled here about the year 1800, and
built the present parsonage at least sixty years ago.
He was a blacksmith by trade, but in order to add
to his income commenced keeping an inn. While
Morey made the anvil ring with his honest strokes,
Mrs. Morey attended to the affairs of the Inn, es-
pecially the " spiritual" part, or the bar, and became
her own best customer. Morey was obliged to
close the tavern on account of his wife's intemper-
ate habits and rely exclusively upon his trade for a
livelihood, which added more to his family's repu-
tation, as the inn was anything but commendable
to him or the neighborhood. He was the first
blacksmith in this part of the town and when he
died the family name also vanished, except as ap-
plied to the hamlet.

Mr. J. C. Colwell, the only " old resident " of
the place now living, says, when he settled in 1827,
besides those already mentioned, Joseph Wicks,
Elisha C. Barlow, Jonathan Brooks, Elijah Town-
send, John Billings and Enoch Borland, were the
heads of the families then living. Mr. Colwell has
been an active townsman, having officiated as
Justice of the Peace for many years, besides being
an auctioneer for a period of forty-seven years,
attending over six hundred auctions. He is still
active and robust at the age of seventy-eight and to
his retentive memory we are indebted for many
facts relating to the events of the past.

Mr. Colwell informs us h6 was well acquainted
with the last of the Wappinger Indians of this
county. They were but two, man and wife, and
lived in a hut near Freedom Plains. The Indian
was a tall, robust man with keen eye and active
limbs, but slovenly in habits and much addicted to
strong drink. He was supposed to be a "full
blood," as was his squaw, who followed her
"warrior" to the spirit-land a few years after
his death.

When the Duchess & Columbia Railroad' was
completed and a station established, Morey's Cor-
ners vanished as a business center and a new
village sprang up under the name of La Grange-
ville. J. E. Andrews erected the first store which
was the continuation of a business long ago estab-
lished at Morey's and at present is the only one of
the^hamlet. W. Bodden followed in the tin and
hardware line, making the only tradesman at

A coal-yard was soon opened, whose sales in-
creased year by year, those of the last year amount-
ing to a trifle over five hundred tons. It is under
the efficient management of Gregory & Colwell.


The neighborhood of Arthursburg was settled
about the year 1755. At this place was early built
a Friend's meeting-house, and as early as 1790 the
Oswego yearly meetings were held here. Many
Quaker families resided near, among whom were
the Dorlands. The most prominent, Enoch Dorland,

Online LibraryJames H. (James Hadden) SmithHistory of Duchess county, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 94 of 125)