FACTORS IN COLUMBIA COUNTY HISTORY
Columbia County at the End of the Century
Published and Edited Under the Auspices of the Hudson Gazette
The Record Printing and Publishing Co.
Hudson, New York
M C M (1900)
These biographies in Part III begin after page 132 of Volume II beginning with page 3.
Abbreviations used: p. o. = post office
BACHMAN, Lewis W., Of Hudson, was born in the town of Livingston, Columbia county, N. Y., May 20, 1844. His great-grandfather, Joseph, and his grandfather, Jacob, were numbered among the early settlers of the town of Taghkanic, where his father, Jacob I. Bachman, was born. The latter was married to Maria Potts, and died in 1874. Lewis W. Bachman was educated in the public schools and began his business life in the employ of Samuel Ten Broeck, near Blue Store. In 1861 he removed to Hudson and engaged in merchandising, in which he continued alone until 1888, when he became a member of the firm of Miller & Bachman, which continued until 1890, when it was changed to Bachman & Co. In 1895, under the name of Marsh & Bachman Co., the firm was incorporated, and Mr. Bachman is secretary and treasurer of the same. In 1866 he was married to Libbie M. Gardiner. Mr. Bachman was a director in the Building and Loan Association, a charter member and trustee of the Hudson City Hospital, treasurer for twenty-five years of the Odd Fellows Lodge, and charter member of St. John's Lutheran church, which was organized in 1866.
Pages 283 & 284:
BACHMAN, Robert, of Ancram, was born in the town of Gallatin, N. Y., April 10, 1834, son of Fite and Charity (Baker) Bachman, who were the parents of nine children, four of whom survive, namely: Peter, Lyman, Robert, and Amelia Wolf; Eliza, Sylvester, John, Harmon, and Mary are deceased. Fite Bachman was a son of Jacob F., a native of Taghkanic and a blacksmith by trade. Robert Bachman was educated in the common schools of Gallatin. When fifteen years of age he began for himself as a farm laborer, continuing as such three years, when he went to Jackson's Corners, where he devoted three years to learning the blacksmith trade. From there he went to Union Corners, where he worked one year as a journeyman, going thence to Spaulding's Furnace for a year, and then working at his trade thirty years at Ancram, when he formed a partnership with his brother Sylvester and purchased the shop in which he had been employed, and carried on the business until 1870, when he purchased the farm where he now lives, located near the village of Ancram, and containing 244 acres. Mr. Bachman has served as town clerk six years and assessor three years, and was formerly a member of Stissing Lodge No. 615, F. & A. M. In 1866 he was married to Maryette, daughter of Benjamin Miller; they have had two children: Emma and Annie.
BAILEY, Horace, of Austerlitz , was born near Brewster, Putnam county, N. Y., November 3, 1849, a son of Hachaliah Bailey (born in 1821) and Sarah A. Reynolds, his wife (born in 1821). Mr. Bailey was educated in the common schools and has always followed farming, moving to Austerlitz in 1875. On November 18, 1874, he married Hannah A. Tompkins, who bore him eight children: Flora J., Norman, Alice M., Mamie E., Ruth E., Sanford H., Oscar, and Esther. Hachaliah Bailey was a farmer, the farm having been in the family for three generations. Levi Bailey, grandfather of Horace, was a captain in the State militia and was known as the largest real-estate speculator in his section. He was also interested with Daniel Drew in many business ventures. One of the family traditions is of his paying $2,200 for the John Knox farm in silver; at that time, owing to the scarcity of currency, it was considered the heaviest money transaction that had taken place in that locality.
BAILEY, Myron C., p. o. Chatham, N. Y., was born in Rensselaer county, N. Y., November 7, 1854. His father, Orry Bailey, was a native of the same county, and a farmer. His wife was Mary N. Strait, a sister of Judge Strait; their children were Myron C., William H., and A. Jane (Bailey) Dibble. Orry Bailey died in December, 1859, and Mrs. Bailey in 1857. Myron C. Bailey, after receiving a common-school education, was a clerk in a general store for five years, and for three years as in mercantile business in Troy. In 1892 he removed to Chatham, and, in association with William C. Woodward, engaged in the manufacture of shirts, which enterprise they are now conducting. He is a member of Rensselaer Council, Royal Arcanum, of Troy, and was town collector of Stephentown one year. He was married to Libbie, daughter of Lester Groton, of Hancock, Mass. They have three children: Clarence L., Mabel L., and Howard W.
BARNES, Robbins D., p. o. Chatham, N. Y., was born in the town of Canaan, N. Y., in June, 1844, son of D. D. Barnes, a native of the same town, who was a farmer and served as member of Assembly; his wife was Lydia Douglass, who bore him two children: Sarah and Robbins. Mr. Barnes died in 1885. Robbins D. Barnes was educated in the common schools and at Fort Edward Institute. His first venture was in the millinery goods business in Chicago, was afterwards engaged in brewing at State Line, and later carried on a grocery trade in Springfield, Mass., and hardware in Pittsfield, Mass. He is now a dealer in antique furniture. He was married to Mary Heath, daughter of Henry Heath. Their children are Grace, Nellie, and Harry.
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BARTLETT, George, of Claverack, was born in Dutchess county, February 16, 1839, a son of Samuel and Susan (Haight) Bartlett. In his early life he attended the public schools and at the age of twelve began working for his father on the farm. After a little he started to learn the carpenter's trade, which he followed for three years, when he gave it up and went back to farming, which he has followed to the present time. In 1888 he moved to Claverack, where he has since resided. On January 7, 1862, Mr. Bartlett married Catharine, daughter of John and Eliza Sophia (Clapper) Raught, who bore him three children: Charles, born June 6, 1864; Susan E., born July 24, 1866; and Mary L., born July 18, 1883. Charles Bartlett married December 14, 1892, Minnie G. Pulver, and they have two children: Sarah E., born December 3, 1893, and Stephen C., born August 3, 1897. Susan E. married, November 3, 1887, Samuel Hoftaling.
BARTON, Stephen K., of Claverack, was born in Kinderhook, May 6, 1826, a son of Solomon C. and Amy (Green) Barton, and was educated in the district school. His father was a miller and Mr. Barton was brought up to follow the same trade, and runs to-day a general custom and merchant mill; also operates a farm of 100 acres. He came to his present location in 1832, when he was six years old, making sixty-eight years in one place. Mr. Barton married Mary Neally, of Steuben county, daughter of William J. and Polly (Avery) Neally, and they had two children: Annie A., born in 1866, and William S., born in 1870, married Pauline Marshall, of Philmont, a daughter of Charles Marshall.
BARTON, Fred C., of Ancram, was born in the town of Ancram, N. Y., where he now resides, May 14, 1841, son of George W. and Elizabeth (Hoffman) Barton, who were the parents of the following-named children: William, George, Leonard, Anthony, Artemus, Fred C., Maryette, Catherine and Rachel, all natives of Ancram. His father, George W., was a farmer and speculator in farm products, live stock, etc., for shipment; he was born in Dutchess county and was the son of Leonard Barton, M. D. Fred C. Barton received his education in the common schools of his native town, and, upon the death of his father in 1872, purchased the interest of the other heirs in the old homestead and carries on general farming. He also has a farm in Dutchess county, and, altogether, owns and controls 615 acres of land. He is the senior partner in the firm of Barton & Hoysradt, general merchants, at Ancram Lead Mines, and also deals in farm products, hay, straw, coal, and agricultural implements. In October, 1865, he was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Hoysradt; they have six children, as follows: Annie, graduate of Poughkeepsie High School, and wife of Herman Miller; Elizabeth Charles, Floyd, graduate of Eastman's Business College; Harry and Frederick, attending Pine Plains High School. Mr. Barton has served as town clerk of Ancram, and is a member of the Presbyterian church of Ancram Lead Mines.
BASHFORD, Byaly, was born in Claverack, June 21, 1851, a son of James and Elizabeth A. (Decker) Bashford, one of a family of ten children, of whom seven are now living. He was educated in the district school and remained at home on the farm until 1874. He followed farming for two years and then went to Hollowville in 1876, remaining there until 1880, when he went to Martindale and worked the Columbia turnpike for fourteen years. In 1894 he came to Snydertown, where he has since remained and operates a farm of 180 acres. On September 4, 1878, Mr. Bashford married Ida Neefus, daughter of David C. and Sarah (Blakeman) Neefus, who bore him three children: Ruluf Neefus, born June 14, 1879; Florence, born August 12, 1880, and Mabel Laura, born May 22, 1886.
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BASHFORD, Lester J., was born at Hollowville, April 21, 1860, son of Chauncey and Mary Frances (Miller) Bashford. His education was received at the public school in his native town, supplemented by the benefits of two years' teaching in district schools. His father died when he was eight years of age, thus depriving him of many advantages that most boys have; but, by making the most of ever opportunity, has placed himself in the position which he occupies to-day. He is the owner of one of the best farms in the county, upon which are found various breeds of thoroughbred animals. He has been identified with local politics for some time. In 1891 was elected justice and has served continuously in that office since; has represented his town in the board of supervisors two years and his county in the State Legislature one year. Mr. Bashford is a member of Hudson Chapter No. 7, F. & A. M.
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BATES, Milford L., M. D., of Canaan, was born in the town of Fairfield, Maine, October 3, 1846. Thomas Bates, grandfather of Milford L., was a native of West Waterville, Me.: he married Fanny Stillman, of Petersburg, N. Y., and carried on an extensive agricultural business until his death. Asa S. Bates, father of Dr. Bates, was born and educated in West Waterville, Me. He worked on the farm and for three years served an apprenticeship with J. M. Frost as blacksmith. Becoming proficient in his trade, he established himself in business at Fairfield, Me., where he remained for four years, then moved to Pownal, Vt., and worked at his trade until 1850. In that year he came to Columbia county and bought a farm in Canaan Center, where he built a blacksmith shop adjoining his house, and there successfully carried on farming and blacksmithing until his death in 1888. For many years he served as town clerk and held other offices of trust. He was three times married, first to Abbe Lyford, of St. Albans, Vt., who died when her son, Dr. Milford L., was three years old. He married second, Amy L. Corey, of Hancock, Mass., who died in 1875; his third wife was Emeline E. Blinn, of Canaan. Milford L. Bates was educated in the schools of Canaan and the academy there, and taught school for three years. He began the study of medicine with Dr. Noah Cresey, of Canaan, and W. W. Green, of Pittsfield, Mass.; later he attended lectures at the Berkshire Medical College, from which he was graduated in 1867; he attended the Harvard Medical College (Boston) and practiced at the Massachusetts General Hospital. In 1868 Dr. Bates began his professional career in Canaan Center, where he built up a large practice and remained there five years. In 1878 he spent some time in Bellevue Hospital, New York city, receiving private instruction; the following year he resumed practice in Columbia county, settling in Canaan Four Corners, where he is still actively engaged. In 1870 Dr. Bates was married to Augusta G. Pierson, of Canaan, who died in 1888, leaving four children, two now living; Arthur P. and Nellie F. In 1890 the doctor married, second, Mrs. Nellie Barton, of Canaan. Dr. Bates served his town as supervisor for fourteen consecutive years, and was chairman of the board for three years. He is a member of Lodge, No. 98, F. & A. M.; the Columbia County Medical Society, of which he has been president and secretary, and is a permanent member of the Medical Society of the State of New York.
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BATHRICK, Cornelius, of Clermont, was born in the town of Gallatin, January 9, 1841, a son of Henry and Fannie Bathrick, now deceased. They were the parents of three children, now living: Cornelius, Catharine, and Charles. Henry was a son of Frederick, whose children were Christina, Henry, Frederick, Jacob, Almira, Hannah, Phoebe Ann, and Caroline. Frederick was a son of William, who came from Pennsylvania and settled in the town of Gallatin. Frederick's children were Jacob, Thomas, Frederick, Jonas, Margaret, and Catharine Bathrick. Cornelius Bathrick was associated with his parents on the farm until fifteen years of age, when he started in life for himself as a farm laborer. This he followed until twenty-one years of age, when he started to learn the wagon-making trade at Glenco Mills, which trade he followed until 1886, when he purchased the farm where he now resides, and follows general farming, making a specialty of fruit-growing. His farm contains forty-six acres. Mr. Bathrick has been married twice--first, to Mary, daughter of Thomas Best, who bore him one son, Byron, and second, in 1873, to Christiana, daughter of Major Henry L. Rockefeller, who bore him one daughter, Beulah, wife of Thompkins Coons. Mr. Bathrick is a self-made man, starting in life with $2, which was given him by his mother, and, through industry and economy, has amassed a competency. He is interested in town and county affairs, though he has never aspired to political honors. He is interested in school and educational work and is a contributing and supporting member of the Lutheran chuch (sic), of which he has been an officer.
BATHRICK, Wesley, of Gallatin, was born in the town of Gallatin, August 2, 1859, son of William and Catherine (Shafer) Bathrick, who had two children: Ward and Wesley. Mr. Bathrick received his education in the schools of his town, and when twenty-two years of age he started in life for himself as a farmer, locating on the farm where he now resides, which he afterward purchased; he has about 411 acres. When twenty-one years of age he married Phoebe, daughter of Abram Link, who bore him four children: Willis a., Florence, and Lulu, living, and William Elroy, deceased. Mr. Bathrick is actively interested in town and county affairs and at present time is justice of the peace. He also has taken an active part in school and educational work. His father and grandfather were both very active in the Methodist Episcopal church at Jackson Corners and Mr. Bathrick is a worker in the Methodist Episcopal church at Elizaville.
BAUER, Augustus W., was born in Albany, April 13, 1859, a son of Lewis Bauer, a native of Voaksburgh, Germany, who was a professor of languages and a chemist, and came to Kinderhook in 1867. In 1876 he engaged in the barber business, which he still continues. He was elected trustee of the village in 1898 and still holds that office. Mr. Bauer was married to Mary Kelly, and they have one son, Augustus W. He is a member of Blue Lodge No. 362, F. & A. M.
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BEAL, Sidney C., p. o. Canaan Four Corners, N. Y., was born in the town of Canaan, N. Y., August 21, 1827, son of Chester and Clarissa (Wainwright) Beal, whose children were Samuel, Eliza Jane, Jane Eliza, Frances L., Charles L., and Sidney C. Chester was born in southeast Connecticut, was graduated from Union College, and studied law in Hudson. He came to Canaan in 1818, and engaged in mercantile trade and farming. He died February 15, 1866, and his widow died in November, 1877. Sidney C. Beal was educated in the common schools and engaged in farming. He was a justice of the peace six years, and a member of the order of Odd Fellows.
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BEALE, Charles F. T., of Hudson, was born in Kinderhook, N. Y., June 15, 1857, one of the many prominent sons of Columbia county, whose birthplace was the storied old town. The family of Beale is traced in England back to 1350, and in this county to George Beale, who emigrated from County Kent, England, to Willington, Conn., in 1725. Capt. Mathew Beale, one of his descendants, settled in Spencertown in 1795; he had served in the Revolutionary War and later in life was the inventor of the first mowing-machine constructed in the United States. His son, Capt. Chester Beale, while a student in Union College in his junior year, left that institution to enter the army in the War of 182, and, after serving his period of enlistment, returned to college and was graduated in 1815. He read law in Hudson and with Elisha Williams, and became one of the leading men of the town of Canaan. His son, Charles L. Beale, was born and received his preliminary education in Canaan, and was graduated from Union College in 1844; he studied law with Tobey & Reynolds in Kinderhook and was admitted to practice in 1849, and through his life was an eminent member of the Columbia county bar. He was united in marriage with Katharine, daughter of Asaph Wilder, of Kinderhook. In 1858 he was elected to Congress, was presidential elector in 1860-64, and served as register in bankruptcy from 1866 to 1880. Charles F. T. Beale obtained his elementary education at Cheshire, Conn., prepared for college at Phillips Exeter Academy, and was graduated from Harvard in 1880. He studied law with his father, and was admitted to the bar in 1882. He began active practice in Hudson, where he was a prominent member of the bar, and where he remained until 1892, when he removed his office to Washington, D. C., where he is at present practicing his profession. Mr. Beale served as captain of the Twenty-third Separate Company, N. G. S. N. Y., from 1888 to 1892, and was a member of the board of education of Hudson four years. He has passed the chairs in all the Masonic bodies of Hudson, N. Y. On February 9, 1883, Mr. Beale was united in marriage with Margaret, daughter of Henry A. Du Bois, of Hudson, N. Y., and they are the parents of one son, Du Bois Beale, now preparing for Harvard University at Phillips Exeter Academy.
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BECKER, Albert M., of Hillsdale, was born in the town of Hillsdale, October 12, 1852, son of Norman and Anna Maria (Carpenter) Becker, who were also the parents of Mary, Franklin F., and Ida M. Mr. Becker died in 1887, and his widow in 1888. Albert M. Becker was educated in the common schools and after leaving school engaged in farming. He married Mary F., daughter of David Disbrow; their children are Louis R., Ernest H., Elmer T. and Ray. Mr. Becker served as trustee of the schools for some time. Mrs. Becker died March 9, 1891.
BECKWITH, Charles D., p. o. Chatham Center, N. Y., was born in Stillwater, N. Y., October 22, 1838. His father was Franklyn C. Beckwith, who spent the early part of his life in connection with railroads and afterwards engaged in the manufacture of iron in Paterson, N. J. His wife was Esther Ann Clarke, and their children were Charles D., Joseph A., and Julia Frances Beckwith. Mr. Beckwith died in 1875. Charles D. Beckwith attended the district schools and New Haven Military School. After leaving school he engaged with his father in the iron business. He was a prominent man in Paterson, serving two terms as mayor of the city, and one term as member of the Fifty-first Congress. He is a member of Columbia Lodge No. 98, F. & A. M., is a Knight Templar, and a member of the Royal Arcanum. He was married to Frances C. Jaqua, daughter of Sherman Jaqua, of Connecticut. Their children are Charles E., Fanny J., George A., Claude S., Marion C., and Florence C.
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BEDLOW, Henry, p. o. New Concord, N. Y., was born in New York city, December 21, 1821, son of Henry and Julia (Halsey) Bedlow. His first ancestor in American was Isaac Bedlow, on of the earliest Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam, and son of Godfrey Bedlow, physician to William Prince of Orange, who emigrated from Leyden, Holland, in 1639. In 1668 he acquired by purchase the historic Bedlow's Island. Another descendant of Godfrey was William Bedlow, who was one of the government commissioners to make surveys for the military academy at West Point; he was also postmaster at New York under Washington. He married Catherine, sister of Col. Henry Rutgers, and had two children, a son and a daughter. Henry Bedlow, father of the subject of this sketch, who inherited estates from his father and uncle, was a celebrity, quite as much on account of his distinction of person as of his prospective wealth, being heir-at-law to his uncle's vast estate, comprising the greater part of the Seventh ward of New York. Henry Bedlow, his son, and the subject of this sketch, was educated under private tutors and at Yale College, and was graduated from Harvard Law in 1842; he was admitted to the bar of New York. He afterwards studied medicine in Utica and Paris, but never practiced either profession. He was appointed attaché to the American Legation at Naples, where his familiarity with the court language of Europe and court etiquette enabled him to be of the utmost service to the Chargé d' Affaires at this the most ceremonious of European courts. In 1848 he accompanied Lieut. W. F. Lynch in his explorations of the Dead Sea and the River Jordan. For many years Mr. Bedlow has resided during the summer season at Newport, R. I., and has been active in the affairs of the city. From 1875 he has served three terms as mayor, and he won universal approval by his efficient and business-like administration. As a writer he deserves more than passing notice. His poems have been issued in a volume, entitled "The White Tsar and Other Poems," Socially he is very popular, and is a member of the Players' and Union League Clubs of New York, and of the Casino, and Harvard Club of Newport. Mr. Bedlow was married on March 2, 1850, to Josephine Maria de Wolf, daughter of Fitz Henry Homer, of Boston, Mass. They have two daughters: Mrs. Harriet Hall Morris and Mrs. Alice Prescott Meyer.
BEEBE, Amos Starks, was born in the town of Canaan, February 5, 1835, son of Clavin E. (born in the town of Canaan, October 4, 1805), and Prudence M. (Starks) (born October 23, 1807) Beebe, who were the parents of other children as follows: Lineus D., born October 12, 1828; Alanson E., born August 16, 1830, died in 1900; Ruth C., born October 26, 1833, died on June 12, 1853; Calvin W., born November 10, 1837, died March 9, 1839; Calvin, born February 20, 1840, died January 5, 1859; Cady W., born February 1, 1842, died March 9, 1859; and Sarah E., born January 14, 1844, died December 30, 1858. Calvin E. Beebe died January 30, 1879, and his widow July 21, 1889. Amos S. Beebe received his education in the common schools and learned the carpenter's trade; he is now engaged in the lumber business and is owner of a saw mill. Mr. Beebe married Margaret J., daughter of Harvey H. and Margaret S. Wilson, of Iowa, who has borne him three children: Carrie E., born November 15, 1863; Mollie P., born August 24, 1870; and Eri S., born December 8, 1877. Mr. Beebe has served his town as assessor for nine years. He is a member of Berkshire Lodge, No. 57, I. O. O. F.
BELL, Mrs. Abby J., p. o. Chatham, N. Y., is the daughter of Sherman C. and Eliza A. (Reed) Dickerman, of Spencertown, N. Y., whose only other child is Mary E., (Dickerman) Hand. Abby J. Dickerman was married to C. H. Bell, son of Aaron Bell, of Austerlitz, N. Y. For some years Mr. Bell was in mercantile trade, but during the later years of his life he was connected with the State Bank. He was a member of Columbia Lodge No. 98, F. & A.M., of which he was master. Mr. Bell was well and favorably known, and died in 1897, regretted by a wide circle of friends and associates. His life record was one of unsullied integrity and praiseworthy usefulness. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Bell are Mary A., Camilla (Bell) Pulver, and Charles R.
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BELL, William H. D., of Claverack, was born in Albany county, N. Y., April 3, 1862, a son of Robert W. and Sally Ann (Wetherwax) Bell, and was educated in the district school. He remained at home until after he was married, then went on to the Parson place in Hudson; here he remained for a year, then took a position as watchman in the House of Refuge. After four years there he filled the position of assistant freight clerk and baggage master on the B. & A. R. R., but, soon tiring of this, tried hotel-keeping at Churchtown, and not making a success of it he returned to Hudson and worked for the railroad in tower No. 86. In April, 1893, he came to Martindale and bought the old James Miller farm of 104 acres, where he has been since, following general farming. He was married October 4, 1882, to Katie Althea Knickerbocker, of Copake, who bore him six children: Cornelis Parkman, born December 15, 1883; Edith May, born October 5, 1885; W. H. DeWitt, Jr., born January 7, 1887; Lulu Althea, born July 4, 1889; Harold Wetherwax, born February 14, 1893, and Alice Knickerbocker, born March 11, 1898.
BELLOWS, E. Goodman, of Hudson, N. Y., was born in the town of Coxsackie, Greene county, N. Y, July 16, 1843. He is a son of Melantho and Maria (Brownell) Bellows, who were for many years residents of the said county, coming originally from Massachusetts and descendants of the Puritan settlers. Mr. Bellows received a limited education at the district school, for at the age of thirteen years, or after the death of his father, he sought to earn a livelihood for himself. At the age of sixteen he was engaged as a clerk in a general store in Chatham, N. Y., and followed this occupation until 1871, when the partnership of Miller & Bellows, general merchants, was formed in Athens, N. Y. In 1875 they removed to Hudson, N. Y. In December, 1885, Mr. Bellows purchased the interest of his partner in the business, and to-day is one of the leading merchants of Hudson. By his undaunted efforts and strict attention to business he has risen to his present standing, and his reputation for honorable dealing and strict uprightness is untarnished. In matters affecting public welfare his influence is always upon the side of progress and improvement. He is an elder of the First Presbyterian church and active in church work.
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BENDER, Richard William, was born September 9, 1829, in Altenstadt, near Frankfort-on-the-Main, Germany, and was educated for a mining and chemical engineer. He came to the United States in 1852 and engaged in his profession at St. Louis, Mo., but being taken with malarial fever in one of the mining camps, he felt obliged to look out for another occupation, and in due time entered the employment of William H. Belcher, who accorded him unusual opportunities to become fully acquainted with the practical details of his large sugar refinery. The valuable information thus acquired made him an expert in this specialty and brought him in 1865 to New York and in 1868 to Boston in connection with sugar-refining companies. In 1878 he went abroad for some years, and in 1888 he made Hudson his place of residence, where he erected a modest, but beautiful, home and where he spends the evening of a rather eventful life quietly and given over to meditations on scientific and philosophical subjects. Mr. Bender married in 1862 Angelina King Stebbins, who died in 1884, survived by one daughter, Marguerite Beatrice; another daughter, Helena, died in 1883.
BENEDICT, Napoleon T., was born in the town of Hillsdale, in September, 1851, a son of Isaac and Hannah (Hunt) Benedict. After receiving a common school education Mr. Benedict engaged in farming, in which he is still engaged. He has served his town as collector and is a member of Hillsdale Lodge, No. 612, F. & A. M. Mr. Benedict married Lavina Sweet, daughter of Martin J. and Althea Sweet, and their children are Ray M. and Carrie A.
BENEWAY, George Washington, p. o. Claverack, N. Y., was born in the town of Hudson, N. Y., January 24, 1861. His parents were Jeremiah and Jane Ann Beneway. He attended the public schools of Hudson, assisting his father in the meantime on his farm. He lived at home until he reached his majority, when he took steps to establish a home and business for himself. On December 20, 1882, he was married to Miss Iola Wentworth, daughter of John and Mary (Ham) Wentworth, of Elizaville. He is a member of Hudson Lodge No. 1221, Royal Arcanum. For the past six years Mr. Beneway has entertained at his farm the children sent by the New York Tribune Fresh Air Fund; he has received about 100 in all, they being sent in classes of twenty-five each in charge of a teacher, who has the care and control of them during their vacation.
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BENSON, Alexander R., was born in Hudson, May 5, 1849. He is a son of Joseph Benson, a native of Yorkshire, England, who came to Hudson in 1830; he was a carpenter and builder, and for many years was in the employ of the Boston and Albany Railroad Company, as master car repairer; his wife was Helen, daughter of Alexander Ross. Alexander R. Benson received his education in the schools of Hudson, and as a boy began service in the First National Bank on April 16, 1866, where he has ever since been an employee, being appointed assistant cashier in 1898. He has served as president of the board of civil service commissioners, president of the board of education, president of the cemetery commission, and upon two different occasions--1896 and 1899--was elected city treasurer; he is also engaged in manufacturing in the town of Greenport. Mr. Benson is a man naturally qualified to fill positions of a public character, where good judgment, a knowledge of human nature, and of what is best for the public welfare are necessary adjuncts to the proper execution of such trusts. These elements in Mr. Benson's character have been and are fully appreciated by his fellow citizens, and in no case has he disappointed them. In 1876 Mr. Benson was married to Julia V. Webster, who died in 1883. He married, second, Helen M. Chapel, His children are two sons, Lloyd R. and Alexander R., Jr., and two daughters Helen R. and Emily Freeman.
BEST, Edward Alexander, of Claverack, was born in Livingston, Columbia county, May 5, 1834, a son of Linus and Lavina (Doane) Best. In his early life he attended the public schools and the seminary at Amenia, N. Y. After completing his schooling he assisted on the farm until he was twenty-two years of age, then started in for himself. In a short time he went to his grandfather Doane's and remained with him four years, or until 1863, when he came to Claverack and bought what was then known as the Sagendorph farm of 100 acres and has operated this and lived on it ever since. Mr. Best has been a member of the town board of assessors and also one of the school trustees for a number of years. On January 29, 1863, Mr. Best married Elizabeth, daughter of John Sharp; they have one son, Frank Best, who is married, and at present has one child, Bertha.
BEST, Henry J., of Hudson, N. Y., was born in Hillsdale, N. Y., February 18, 1854, son of Sylvester Best, a native of the same town. Henry J. Best was educated in the public schools and at Claverack Academy. At the age of eighteen years he began his lifework in the mercantile business, which vocation he followed until 1884, when he engaged in shipping hay, grain, and produce, which he still carries on. There is not a man in Columbia county who has more attached friends and is more generally esteemed than Mr. Best. Always ready to lend his influence and assistance to any measure of public benefit, and in private life a good neighbor, he is recognized as a citizen of worth and influence. In 1899 Mr. Best was elected sheriff of Columbia county, a fact sufficient in itself to establish his popularity. In 1881 he was married to Julia F. Vosburg. They have a family of five children: three sons, Harry S, Edgar C., and William R., and two daughters, Frances A., and Lula.
BEST, Mervin, was born in the town of Greenport, N. Y., April 28, 1845. His father was Jacob Best, a native of the same town, and his grandfather, also named Jacob, was one of he early settlers. Jacob Best, Jr., was interested in river transportation and also devoted more or less attention to farming. He was united in marriage with Maria Hermance, and died in 1880, universally respected. Mervin Best obtained his education in the district schools, after which he engaged in farming, which has been his lifework; he has paid particular attention to dairying and the growing of fruits, and in both undertakings has won merited success. He has served his town six years as assessor, and is recognized as a useful and trustworthy citizen. In 1863 he was married to Madeline, daughter of Patrick Campbell.
BEST, Willis James, p. o. Chatham, N. Y., was born in the town of Chatham in 1858. His father, Jared Best, was a native of Kinderhook, born in 1825, and was engaged in the manufacture of paper and in mercantile trade in Chatham. He was married to Melinda Homes Paul; their children were Lizzie A., Lucius E., Frank J., Marie L., and the subject of this sketch. Willis J. Best attended the pubic schools and Eastman's Business College at Poughkeepsie, and after leaving school was a clerk in a bank in Chatham for a year, and also served in the same capacity in a bank in Forest City, Iowa. Following this he engaged in railroad business in Chicago two years, and for two and a half years in Denver, Col. He is now interested in ocean transportation and largely in mining and smelting in Mexico. He is an extensive breeder of Jersey and Guernsey cattle at his Highland farm in Chatham, which has reputation far and wide for the superiority of its stock, and is noted for its find butter product. Mr. Best is a stirring, thorough-going business man, gifted with keen foresight and fearless enterprise.
BEST, Edgar, was born in the town of Hillsdale, February 8, 1856, son of Sylvester (born in Taghkanic, October 26, 1818) and Ann M. (Moore) Best, who were the parents of Henry J., born February 18, 1854, and Edgar, as above. Mrs. Best died October 18, 1890. Edgar Best was educated in the public schools and Claverack Academy. He was manager of a general store for a number of years and is now engaged in farming.