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
EATON, Albert M. p. o., Stuyvesant, N. Y., was born in Stuyvesant, N. Y., June 24, 1850. Ira Eaton (born in 1800), grandfather of Albert M., was one of four brothers who came to this country from England in 1820 and settled in Connecticut. He and one of his brothers embarked as partners in the hotel business. When he was twenty-five years of age he disposed of his hotel interest and removed to the town of Stuyvesant, where he engaged in farming. Soon after his arrival in Columbia county he was married to Catherine Like, who bore him seven children, named as follows: John, Peter, David, Ira, Margaret, Catherine and Harriet, all of whom were born in Stuyvesant. John Eaton, oldest son of Ira, was a farmer and a public spirited man. He took an active part in the affairs of the Reformed Church and was a member of its consistory for many years, and all his life stood high in the esteem of the community in which he dwelt. At the age of twenty-five years he was married to Roxana, daughter of Cornelius and Ann (Nichols) Miller, by whom he had two children. Mary and Albert M., the subject of this notice. After her death he was married to her sister Harriet, and they had six children, as follows: Sylvia, Ira, Amasa, John Henry, Isabelle, and Dwight, all natives of Stuyvesant. Albert M. Eaton spent his boyhood at home, attending school and working on the farm, until he reached his majority, when he began farming on his own account. He continued at this until 1891, when for a year he engaged in the coal and lumber business at Pine Plains, Dutchess county. Thence he returned to Stuyvesant, where he purchased the farm he now owns and occupies, which is considered one of the best on the river, and devotes his attention chiefly to the cultivation of fruits and berries. Mr. Eaton performs the part of the intelligent and progressive citizen in town and county affairs, is interested in schools and educational work generally and is prominent in the Reformed Church, being its treasurer and a member of the consistory sine 1892. In 1871 he was married to Susie J., daughter of William L. and Caroline Pitcher, a native of Schenectady, N. Y.
EATON, Martin B., of Hudson, was born in the city of Hudson, May 3, 1865, a son of Martin Eaton, a native of Ireland, who came to Hudson in 1861, engaged in merchandising, and died in 1866. Martin B. Eaton was well educated in the Hudson public schools, and began his business career in the employ of Henry Baker, with whom he remained sixteen years, faithfully working for his employer's interest and gaining that experience which has served him well in later years. In 1891, with his brother, P. H. Eaton, he established a business in paints, oils, wall paper, etc., which was a success from the beginning. In 1899 he purchased his brother's interest in the business, and is now conducting it alone, carrying one of he largest and most varied stocks in the city. Mr. Eaton's characteristics are those of the successful merchant. Close attention to the details of his business, constant study of the wants of the public, and strictly honorable dealing, have brought their reward in a thriving trade and the respect and esteem due to a man of enterprise and integrity. He served four years (1894-1898) as alderman of the Second ward, carrying into his service for the city the same principles that actuate him in his private affairs; he is also a member of the cemetery commission. In 1889 he was united in marriage with Fannie Kane, who died in 1891, survived by one daughter.
EBERLE, Eugene A., p. o. Chatham, N. Y., was born in Boston, Mass., in 1839. His father, Charles L. Eberle was a native of Philadelphia, and was an actor, and his mother was Rachel Apherton, a descendant of Gen. Humphrey Apherton. Mr. Eberle was on board the unfortunate steamboat "Lexington," which was burned on Long Island Sound, and in that awful catastrophe lost his life. His widow died in 1876. Eugene A. Eberle was educated in the schools of Boston, and early in life entered the theatrical profession. He was married to Mrs. Mary Tyrell, of Scotland, also an actress. Their children are Mary Tyrrell Eberle, George M. Eberle, a chemist in Oregon; Charles F. Eberle, a lawyer in New York city, and John A. Eberle, a photographer. Mr. Eberle took up his residence in Red Hook in 1870, removing thence in 1883 to Chatham, which has since been his home.
EDELMAN, William J., of Ancram, was born in the town of Gallatin, N. Y., August 4, 1866, a son of Jacob and Maryette (Wheeler) Edelman, who had two children: Libbie and William J. Jacob Edelman was born in Baden, Germany, and came to this country in 1848, when a young man, and settled in Hillsdale, where he worked at his trade of black-smithing and wagon-making until 1852, when he moved to Ancram, where he remained till 1854, removing thence to Gallatin, where he lived until 1895, when he, with his son, returned to Ancram. He died May 1, 1896. William J. Edelman, after leaving school, and when about fourteen years of age, began clerking in a general store in Gallatinville, where he was employed for nine years, and then purchased the store of his employer, Ellsworth J. Brandt. This business he carried on until 1895, when he sold out and purchased the general store at Ancram, of which he is now the proprietor. He was postmaster while at Gallatinville, and is now deputy postmaster at Ancram, is a member of Masonic Lodge No. 615, at Pine Plains, N. Y., a member of the Masonic Protective Association of Worcester, Mass., and of the Methodist Episcopal church, Ancram, N. Y. On August 7, 1899, he was married to Cora B., only daughter of John S. and Agnes Williams, and they have two children: Floyd W., born in 1892, and Florence C., born in 1894.
Pages 66 & 68:
EDWARDS, Judge Samuel, though so long a resident of the county as to make it seem that he must be a native of Columbia, was born April 24, 1839, on a farm in the county of Schenectady. He was graduated from Union College in 1862, and in September of that year entered the office of Stephen L. Magoun as a law student. At that time this office, besides having a large general practice, was in the enjoyment of, perhaps, a larger real-estate practice than that of any other office in the county. This is a branch of the law which imperatively demands the utmost care, the most patient and thorough investigation, the highest possible degree of accuracy, and there can be little doubt that the cautious, painstaking deliberation with which Judge Edwards always examines and considers important questions, before deciding them, is largely the result of the habit of critical, analytical scrutiny formed in searching titles, preparing abstracts, tracing descents, studying the obscure provisions of wills and construing doubtful covenants in deeds while in the office of Mr. Magoun. Judge Edwards was admitted to the bar in 1864, and thereafter opened an office and entered upon the practice of his profession. His fidelity to the interests of his clients, his studious habits, his clean and upright life, the industry and ability which he displayed in the conduct of all business intrusted to him, soon attracted attention, and a lucrative practice. From this time on, while his advancement in his profession was constant and rapid, his growth in the esteem and confidence of the community was no less so. In 1875 he was invited to form a partnership with Hon. Robert E. Andrews, who had for years conducted, alone, the largest litigated practice of any lawyer at the Columbia bar. Judge Edwards, then in the prime of youthful vigor, threw himself into the larger field of activity, which this connection opened to him, with the zeal and ardor of a true lover of his profession, and the next twelve years were years of strenuous, but congenial, toil. At the end of that period, upon the almost unanimous request of the bar of the county, Governor David B. Hill appointed him to fill the vacancy on the bench of the Supreme Court, occasioned by the death of Judge Osborn, of Catskill, and in the year following he was elected to a full term of fourteen years as a justice of the Supreme Court. Upon the bench Judge Edwards has achieved a most enviable reputation, not only for an integrity beyond all possibility of suspicion and an exalted sense of the high requirements of his office, but for great industry, sound judgment, and ripe learning. In the present year (1900) he was assigned by Governor Roosevelt to the Appellate Division of the Third Department, where he is sure to be a most valuable member of this, the next to the highest court of the State. A lucid and logical writer, nice and discriminating in his choice of words, compact and forcible in assaying facts, his opinions will not fail to sustain the high reputation in which the utterance of this court are universally held. The term for which Judge Edwards was elected will expire next year and, unless he should positively decline further service upon the bench, his renomination and re-election are as certain as anything in politics can be.
EITELMAN, Peter, of Claverack, was born in Germany, March 17, 1838, educated in the public schools of his native land, and learned the blacksmith's and machinist's trade, which he worked at for four years. At the age of eighteen he came to American and landed in New York in 1856. He came at once to Claverack and engaged with Matt Marshall staying with him four years, when he went to Gallatin and worked in different places. In 1866 he came to Claverack, locating in his present place in 1870, where he has since been in active business. Mr. Eitelman married Barbara Christman, of Hillsdale, and they have had ten children, seven now living.
Pages 69 & 70:
ELKENBURGH, Eugene, of Hudson, is a native of the town of Livingston, N. Y., and was born October 14, 1844. He is descended in the third generation from Nicholas Elkenburgh, who settled in what is now Livingston the early part of the eighteenth century, where he spent his life as a farmer. Nicholas' son, William, father of Eugene, was born in Livingston, and was married to Maria Magley. He was a farmer, and also was engaged in milling for many years. He is remembered as an upright, industrious man, who was a credit to the community in which he lived. He died in 1871, leaving to be emulated by his children a reputation unspotted by word or deed. Eugene Elkenburgh attended the commons schools, where he obtained the foundation for the education of experience to come in after life. Under his father's instruction he became a proficient miller, and after the death of the latter he removed to Hudson in 1872. There he entered the employ of the Boston and Albany Railroad Company, in which capacity he remained over six years. In 1879 he started a grocery in Hudson, which he carried on with a fair degree of success for fifteen years, finally, in 1894, engaging in the wholesale fruit and vegetable trade, which he is conducting at present. Mr. Elkenburgh has the keen faculties of the born business man, constantly awake to details and opportunities, and with a foresight that rarely fails him in the enterprises he embarks, in. He has been "the architect of his own fortunes" in the business world, and bears a reputation in the commercial circles of his adopted city of being a man in whom confidence may at all times be placed. In 1862 Mr. Elkenburgh was married to Anna S. Coons; they have a son, John, and a daughter, Mrs. Georgia Scovell.
ENGEL, Peter, of Ghent, was born in Bavaria, Germany, June 20, 1847, a son of Philip and Mary Ann Engle, who emigrated to this country in 1852 and to Columbia county two years later. They had five children, viz.: Barbara, Frederika, Philip A., Peter, and Margaret. By occupation Philip was a miller and a millwright which he followed until his death in 1877, at the age of seventy-two years. Peter Engel was educated in the schools of Stockport and Ghent and assisted his father in the mill. At the age of seventeen he entered the employ of his brother Philip, with whom he was five years, then took charge of the mill, which he has conducted to the present time (1900). In 1890 he purchased a farm of 100 acres, and has greatly improved the sawmill; has also added a cider and vinegar mill. He is president of the Town of Ghent Insurance, of which he has been director five years; was highway commissioner one term, and town clerk one year. Mr. Engel is a member of Hudson Lodge No. 7, F. & A. M., and Chapter and Lafayette Commandery No. 7. September 13, 1870, he married Eliza C., daughter of Jacob and Josephine Gearing; they have four children: Ida Annie, wife of Wilson E. Tipple; Margaret, wife of C. Ward Ostrander; Edwin T., and Henry.
Pages 70 & 71:
ESSELSTYN, Cornelius, was born in Claverack, May 31, 1846, a son of Martin and Cynthia (Garner) Esselstyn, the eldest of three children. He was born and brought up on the farm he now lives on and in early life attended the district school and the Hudson River Institute, and finished his education at Burnham's Business College in Springfield, Mass. He then returned home and helped his father, and as he had a natural taste for agriculture, remained at home until his father moved to Claverack, when he took the farm and has operated it since that time for himself. He owns about 300 acres of land and follows a general agricultural business in stock, hay, grain, and produce. On October 23, 1872, Mr. Esselstyn married Ida Eleanor Groat, of Ghent, daughter of John Calvin and Mary (Shufelt) Groat, who bore him two children: Cora May, born September 12, 1874, married Charles D. Vosburgh, of Ghent, and Louise Groat, born October 16, 1878.
ESSELSTYN, William Martin, of Claverack, was born in Columbia county, April 12, 1851, a son of Martin and Cynthia (Garner) Esselstyn, one of a family of three children, all living at this date (1900). Martin Esselstyn was born in 1810 and was one of a family of nine children born to Cornelius and Clarissa Esselstyn. William M. Esselstyn was educated in the district school, Hudson River Institute, and the college at Amenia, N. Y. He assisted his father with the work on the farm in his younger days, and stayed with him until 1877, when he, with his brother, bought the farm he now occupies of his uncle, William Esselstyn, consisting of 550 acres. For two years the farm was worked by outside parties, and in 1879 he came to live on it himself, where he has since remained. In 1885 he bought his brother's interest and has been sole owner up to the present time. October 23, 1878, Mr. Esselstyn married Emma F. Lawrence, of Hudson; they have one son, Lawrence, born March 1, 1885.
Pages 71, 72 & 74:
EVANS, Cornelius H., the head of the noted Evans brewery, of Hudson, N. Y., was born in that city on June 22, 1841. His father was Robert W. Evans, who was born in the town of Livingston, Columbia county, N. Y., in 1818. He removed to Hudson, and for eighteen years was engaged in the dry goods business. In 1856 he purchased from George Robinson the brewing plant, known at the present time as the Evans Brewery. He was married to Harriet E., daughter of Solomon Wescott, and they became the parents of one son, Cornelius H., and two daughters, Mrs. William C. Dornin (deceased), and Mrs. Arthur C. Stott. Mr. Evans was a man of much public spirit and was accorded the highest esteem and confidence of his fellow citizens. He was a director of the Hudson River Bank, and died May 30, 1868. Cornelius H. Evans was educated in the public schools, Hudson Academy, and at Bradbury's private school. When he was nineteen years old he entered his father's office as clerk and in 1865 became a member of the brewing firm. Upon the death of his father in 1868, he purchased the interest of the latter in the business and, with J. L. Phipps, formed the firm of C. H. Evans & Co. In 1878 the firm was dissolved, Mr. Evans assuming control of the business, Mr. Phipps retiring. In 1888 Mr. Evans took his two sons into partnership in the business. Mr. Evans is not only one of the leading business men of his native city, but in public service has won the confidence of the people. He succeeded his father as a director of the National Hudson River Bank, and has been president of the institution for a number of years, and is a trustee of the Hudson Savings Institution. He acted as one of the superintendents of schools one year, was a member of the board of education six years, served as president of the board of public works three years and as president of the Hudson Aqueduct Company. His four years' administration as mayor of the city of Hudson was marked by intelligence, care for the public interests, and progressive methods. He was a member of the State Democratic committee from 1875 to 1877, and was president for four years of the State Brewers' Association. In all of these positions Mr. Evans has acquitted himself with honor. In 1863 Mr. Evans was married to Imogene, daughter of A. H. Groat, who died in 1896. His second wife was Mrs. Ella S. Dickinson White. He has two sons: Robert W. and Cornelius H., Jr. Robert W. Evans was born in Hudson, N. Y., January 21, 1865, and was educated in private schools, Hudson Academy, and De Garmo Institute at Rhinebeck. In 1884 he entered his father's office as clerk, and in 1888 became a partner with his father. He is a director of the National Hudson River Bank, of the Hudson and Chester Granite Company, and of the Hudson Aqueduct Company, and succeeded his father as commissioner of public works, of which board he has been president. In 1887 he was married to Carrie Stephens Brown, daughter of J. Thomas Brown; they have three sons: Harold B., Cornelius 3d, and Robert W., Jr. Cornelius H. Evans, Jr., was born in Hudson, N. Y., October 26, 1866. He received his education at private schools, Hudson Academy, and De Garmo Institute. In 1885-1886 he studied brewing in Philadelphia and continued his studies in his father's brewery. In 1888 he became a member of the firm. A detailed history of the Evans brewery and its products is given in another part of this work.