Hudson County & Bergen County Biographies

HUDSON COUNTY - West Hoboken




RICHARD EDWIN GALBRAITH, eldest surviving son of William and Dorothy (Nixon) Galbraith, was born in West Hoboken, N. J., April 17, 1842. After completing his studies in the public schools of his native town he associated himself with his father, and learned, and for several years practiced, the art of a taxidermist. He was successfully identified in a professional capacity with P. T. Barnum, the Chicago Academy of Sciences, and the Kentucky University at Lexington, and afterward was engaged for nineteen years in the ostrich feather business, in West Hoboken and New York, with E. V. Welch & Co. and their successors, Bene, Creighton & Co. These connections gave him a broad experience and a valuable training in both professional and commercial affairs, and brought him into prominence as a man of unusual ability, of great force of character, and of rare mental and executive attainments.

In 1884 Mr. Galbraith engaged in the real estate and insurance business in West Hoboken, which he still follows with characteristic energy and success. He has been an extensive operator in real property in that section, and through his enterprise and foresight has been instrumental in developing several important tracts.

In politics he is a conservative Democrat. He was four years a member and one year Chairman of the Town Council of West Hoboken, three years Chief of Police, two years a member and one year Chairman of the West Hoboken Board of Education, and one of the founders of the Hudson Trust and Savings Institution, of which he is a Director and a member of the Executive Committee. He has been President of the Palisade Building and Loan Association of West Hoboken since its organization in April, 1891. He is a prominent member and for three years was Master of Doric Lodge, No. 86, F. and A. M., of West Hoboken and is a member of Cyrus Chapter, No. 32, R. A. M., of Pilgrim Commandery, No. 16, K. T., and of the Scottish Rite bodies in the Valley of Jersey City, of Mecca Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of New York, and of the Masonic Veterans' Association, of Brooklyn, and is Past Junior Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge of Masons of New jersey. He is also a member of Ellsworth Post, No. 14, G. A. R., of the Town of Union, having enlisted in August, 1862. In Company F, Twenty-first New jersey Volunteer Infantry, and serving in the Third Brigade, Second Division, Sixth Army Corps, of the Army of the Potomac, in the Civil War. This was the first nine-months' regiment from New Jersey in the War of the Rebellion. Mr. Galbraith participated in both battles of Fredericksburg, and at the second battle was captured by the enemy and confirmed as a prisoner for about ten days. His high standing in the community, the esteem and confidence in which he is held, and his great popularity and wide acquaintance are attested by the several important positions he has filed, the duties of which he has discharged with ability, integrity, sound judgment, and faithfulness. Almost every important movement in West Hoboken, during the last fifteen or twenty years, has felt the impetus of his wholesome and benevolent influence.

Mr. Galbraith was married, June 1, 1865, to Sarah Jane, daughter of William Granger Quigley and Esther, his wife, of New York City and later of West Hoboken.

Source: Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey, Editor, Cornelius Burnham Harvey, The New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Company, 1900, pages 158-160.


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