Columbia County at the End of the Century

Volume II

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

Pages 177 & 178:

NASH, Morehouse, p. o. Martindale, born in Hillsdale, June 30, 1840, a son of David Lane Nash and Sarah Rosalind Johns, his wife.  Mr. Nash was educated in the district school, the Spencertown Academy and the Hudson River Institute, and finished his commercial education at Eastman's Commercial college at Poughkeepsie.  His first business that he engaged in was trading and raising live stock in connection with his farming operations, and has followed this for a number of years; he has also invented what is known on the market as The Great E. Liniment, an article of great merit.  In addition to the liniment and stock business he works about 600 acres of land.  August 19, 1873, Mr. Nash married Alicetine Molyneaux, daughter of Rev. A. N. and Mary Frances (Boehn) Molyneaux; they had four children:  Maud, born in 1874; Matilda F., born in 1877; David Lane, Jr., born in 1879, and Sarah Rosalind Juliett, born in 1883.  Mr. Nash's father, David Lane Nash, is one of the oldest residents of the town of Claverack.  He was born August 7, 1813, a son of Francis and Charlotte (Morey) Nash, whose ancestry is traced back to 1742, to Sir Thomas Nash of Lincolnshire, England.  He received his early education in the public schools and at the close of his school days engaged in a country store, which, not finding to his liking, he sold out and started in farming and stock raising.  He was also an auctioneer, which he followed until  1881, when he retired from active life.  November 9, 1837, he married Rosalind Johns, and they had two children, Morehouse and Matilda.

Page 178:

NEAL, William Henry, was born in Poughkeepsie, N. Y., March 19, 1857, a son of Emerson Harwood and Marietta (Smith) Neal.  His father died when he was small and his mother moved to Troy, where William H. finished his education and then was employed in a bakery for a year and a half.  He was next employed by Hildreth & McCune four years, with Knowlson & Kelley four years, and then went with Burdette, Smith & Co. as engineer, but was only with them a short time when his health failed him, and he went west.  Returning from the west he engaged with Knowlson & Kelley, but was only with them a short time when he engaged in business for himself; not caring to continue his business he returned to his old employers again, Knowlson & Kelley, this time remaining with them seven years.  In 1887 he came to Philmont and engaged as machinist in the Aken Mill, which position he filled for three months, when he was promoted and had charge of the entire machinery; in 1897 he was made superintendent of the mill and has held that position ever since.  In 1897 Mr. Neal was elected trustee of the village, and in 1900 re-elected to the same position, and this year was made president of the board.  He is a member of Aquilla Lodge, No. 700, F. & A. M.  On November 26, 1880, Mr. Neal married Emma G. Aken, daughter of Robert and Emily (Hilton) Aken; they have four children, as follows:  Estella, born in 1881, Emma Grace, born in 1884; William Earl, born in 1889, and Ernest Avery, born in 1892.

Page 179:

NEEFUS, David C., Jr., ws born in Hollowville, in the town of Claverack, N. Y., May 3, 1864.  His father was a native of the same town and the family trace their line back to one Nevius, who came to this country early in the seventeenth century.  D. C. Neefus, Jr., was educated in the district schools and the Hudson River Institute at Claverack, and in 1881 came to Hudson and entered the post-office as a clerk, in which capacity and as deputy postmaster he served eight years.  In 1890 he entered the employ of C. A. Van Deusen, with whom he remained until April 1, 1900, when he assumed the duties of bookkeeper in the Hudson City Savings Institution.  Mr. Neefus has earned and merits the confidence placed in him, he having served with unquestioned integrity in all the positions he has held.  He is a member of Hudson Lodge, No. 7, F. & A. M., and of Hudson City Council, No. 1,221, Royal Arcanum.  In 1890 he was married to Abbie P., daughter of Benjamin F. Raught; they are the parents of two daughters, Roselyn and Laurie.

Pages 179 & 180:

NEEFUS, David Carshore, of Claverack, was born in Claverack, September 9, 1818, a son of Ruluf and Ann (Carshore) Neefus.  He attended the district school from the time he was four years old until sixteen years of age, when he left and went to Hudson to work as a clerk in the drug store of W. & G. Storrs.  Here he remained about a year and returned to Claverack, where he was apprenticed to the firm of Herrmance & Skinkle, carriage blacksmiths.  From 1835 till 1838 he was with this firm, then went to Hudson as clerk in the post-office under Postmaster Wescott.  In 1841 he started a grocery business and in 1842 moved to what was then called Smokey Hollow, which, by Mr. Neefus' efforts, was later changed to Hollowville.  Mr. Neefus followed blacksmithing until 1853, when he was elected county clerk, which office he held until 1859; he was succeeded in this position by Cornelius Bortle and remained with him as his deputy for three years.  In 1862 Mr. Neefus gave up active business and in 1865 was appointed postmaster, which position he has held continuously since that time, making thirty-five years of service.  In 1866 he ran a general store in connection with the post-office, and in 1897 sold out to the present proprietor.  Mr. Neefus was clerk of the board of supervisors for two terms and has been justice for several years, as well as notary for the past eight years.  He is a member of Hudson Lodge, No. 7.  November 10, 1840, he married Sarah, daughter of Philo and Abi (Johnson) Blakeman; they had a family of seven children:  Jane C., Ruluf, Emma, Rachel, Ida, Antilla and David C., Jr.

Page 180:

NEEFUS, Ruluf, was born in Claverack on the 24th of September, 1843.  His parents were David C. and Sarah Blakeman Neefus, and were both natives of Columbia county and of Holland descent.  Ruluf Neefus obtained his early education at the district schools of his native town and in the Hudson Academy.  His first business position was that of a copyist in the county clerk's office, which position he held during the years 1859, 1860 and 1861.  After four years of farming in Sparta, Wis., he took up his residence in Hollowville and entered his father's mercantile establishment at that place, with which he was connected until 1883, when he withdrew to accept the assistant postmastership of the city of Hudson.  In this capacity he served under Postmasters Bryan and Cady.  Mr. Neefus next became bookkeeper in the Hudson City Savings Institution, remaining seven and one-half years; then bookkeeper for C. H. Evans & Sons, which position he still holds.  Several corporations have honored him with official positions, he having been secretary and treasurer of Hudson Light and Power Company, Hudson and Athens Ferry Company, Hudson Aqueduct Company and secretary of the Columbia Turnpike Company.  In political and public affairs Mr. Neefus has been prominent for years.  In 1870 he was census enumerator for the towns of Claverack, Greenport, Copake and Hillsdale; in 1869, 1870 and 1874 he was clerk of the town of Claverack; in 1873, 1875, and 1880 he was clerk of the board of supervisors, and from 1873 to the present time, with the exception of one or two years, he has assisted the clerks of the board of supervisors in levying the taxes; in the years 1878 to 1881, during the legislative sessions, he was clerk in the New York State Senate and Assembly.  Mr. Neefus is a member of Hudson Lodge, No. 7, F. and A. M., and was worshipful master of that lodge during the years 1897 to 1899, inclusive; and of Hudson City Council, No. 1,221, Royal Arcanum, of which organization he was for many years secretary.  In the year 1884, Mr. Neefus was united in marriage to Ada Hallenbeck, of Greenport, and they have one son, Wendover, who was born in 1885.

Pages 180 & 181:

NILES, Charles H., ws born in Austerlitz, May 20, 1832, a son of Sill Niles (born July 28, 1795) and Lovisa H. Olmstead, his wife (born in Hillsdale, N. Y.).  He was educated in the common schools and Spencertown Academy.  He has been engaged in farming throughout his life, with the exception of four years, from 1865 to 1869, when he conducted a general store at Kinderhook.  He resided at Sand Lake, Rensselaer county, for twenty years, and has been on his present farm for about thirteen years.  October 16, 1867, he married Emily Averill, daughter of James G. (born at Flatbush, L. I.) and Clarissa (Sluyter) Averill (born at Sand Lake, N. Y.).  Mrs. Niles' grandfather, Clement Sluyter, was one of the first settlers of Sand Lake.  To Mr. and Mrs. Niles was born one son, Frank Averill Niles, born October 26, 1868, died May 12, 1884.  Thomas Niles (born July 2, 1760, died December 25, 1844) and Rhoda Phelps, his wife (born September 27, 1765, died November 21, 1819), grandparents of Charles H., had children as follows:  Harvey, born December 18, 1788, died December 14, 1862; Milton, born October 21, 1790, died November 9, 1853; Rhoda, born July 6, 1792, died March 23, 1835; Sill, born July 28, 1795, died March 7, 1872; Melissa, born November 7, 1797, died December 19, 1849; Dan, born February 2, 1801, died December 22, 1871; Miranda, born August 17, 1803, died January 28, 1848; Lucy, born November 11, 1805, died April 12, 1891; and Thomas P., born June 6, 1808, died October 10, 1895.

Pages 181 & 182:

NILES, Henry W., of Spencertown, N. Y., was born in Spencertown, N. Y., in 1852, and was educated in the public schools, Spencertown Academy and Amenia Seminary.  During the years 1872-73, he was engaged in the manufacture of straw paper, as a partner with his uncle, William C. Niles, at the Ghent Paper Mills, Ghent, N. Y.  He has since been principally engaged in farming, and has been located on the farm where he now resides for the past twenty-seven years.  The farm has been in the possession of the Niles family for four generations.  He was married in 1873 to Florence W. Dickerman, daughter of William Dickerman, merchant, and postmaster at Spencertown for sixteen years.  They have the following children:  Carrie W., born in 1874, married to T. Frank Niles, of Spencertown, in 1897; M. Frances, born in 1876, married to Geo. M. Angell, of Ghent, in 1896, now located at Shelton, Conn.: John D., born in 1878, is a telegraph operator, located at East Chatham, N. Y.  Mr. Niles has held the office of assessor for twelve years and is the present incumbent.  He became a member of Columbia Lodge No. 98, F. & A. M., in 1885, and for ten years held various offices in the lodge, holding the office of master during the years 1895-96.  He is a charter member of Austerlitz Grange No. 819, P. of H., organized in 1895 at Spencertown, N. Y., and for the past two years has held the office of master.  His father, John M. Niles, was born in Spencertown in 1815, and resided there till the time of his death.  He was married to Charlotte P. White, of Sandy Hill, Washington county, N. Y., in 1843.  He conducted a general store for several years but was afterward engaged chiefly in farming.  He also owned and operated a sawmill for many years.  He held the office of town clerk for several terms and was a prominent and highly-respected member of the M. E. Church for over forty years.  He died in 1893, and his widow, Charlotte P. Niles, died in July, 1900.

Page 344:

NIVER, John S., was born in the town of Ancram, N. Y., January 14, 1844, son of Dr. Conrad and Jane (McIntire) Niver, who had three children:  Caroline, John S., and Albert C.  After the death of his first wife, Dr. Niver was married to her sister, Roxana, daughter of Daniel and Christiana McIntire, who bore him three children:  Walter, Loda, and Herman B.  Dr. Conrad Niver was born in the town of Bethlehem, Albany county, N. Y.  He was educated at Fairfield Seminary and was graduated for Albany Medical College.  He began practice of medicine when about twenty-one years of age, which he continued until his death; he was also interested in farming, owning a farm of 200 acres in Ancram.  He was a public spirited man, served as supervisor, as school trustee, and was a member of the Presbyterian church at Ancram Lead Mines.  John S. Niver was educated in the district schools and at Eastman's Business College.  At the age of twenty-one he began farming in Dutchess county, where he resided ten years, when he returned to Ancram to the farm where he now lives and carries on dairying, and is a dealer in agricultural implements.  He has been assessor two terms, is an active worker in the Presbyterian church, one of its trustees and has been superintendent of its Sunday school.  He has been a member of Stissing Lodge No. 615, F. & A. M., of Pine Plains, for about thirty years, and has held most of the offices in the lodge.  On October 5, 1865, he was married to Ruth, daughter of Anthony and Catherine Pulver, who died April 25, 1894; they had two children:  Fred and Anthony.  In 1896 he was married to Jane Silvernail.

Pages 344 & 345:

NIVER, Norman, of Copake, was born in the town of Taghkanic, December 30, 1826, son of Christian and Mary (Rector) Niver, who had eight children, as follows:  Andrew, Elizabeth, Henry, Charity, Hannah, Catherine, Mary, and Norman, all born in the town of Taghkanic.  Christian Niver was a native of Claverack, a son of Christopher Niver, and was engaged in farming.  Norman Niver, when about nine years old, moved with his parents to the farm where he now resides.  His education was received in the common schools of Taghkanic and Copake and he was associated with his parents until his father's death in 1870; a few years previous to that he purchased the homestead, which contains about 200 acres, and he follows dairy farming.  In his early life he speculated in farm products, making a specialty of sheep and cattle raising, which he sold in New York and other markets.  On February 5, 1852, Mr. Niver married Catherine, daughter of Casper and Catherine Lampman; they had four children, as follows:  Almena, wife of John White; Frank, who died at the age of five years; Lee, and Emmett, a physician located at Hillsdale, N. Y.  On September 27, 1866, Mr. Niver married, second, Charity, daughter of Killean and Polly Smith, who bore him one child, Katie.  Mr. Niver has held the office of assessor, excise commissioner and commissioner of highways of his town.

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