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 351 & 352:

ROCKEFELLER, Albert, of Gallatin, was born in the town of Taghkanic, December 18, 1833, son of Obadiah and Margaret (Bortell) Rockefeller, who had seven children, as follows:  Cornelia, Albert, Robert, William H., Charles M., Abram F. and Simon, all born in Columbia county.  By occupation Obadiah was a merchant, and was located at Churchtown.  At the call for troops in the war of the Rebellion this family were among those to volunteer; Obadiah, the father, enlisted as a private in the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Regiment and died at New Orleans.   Charles M.  enlisted in 1861 as a volunteer and later as a regular and has served the government, being promoted to major and the last known of him was on April 28, 1899, when he was with his regiment at Manila and now reported missing.  Robert also enlisted and received an honorable discharge for disability.  Abram F. served as engineer on one of the government war vessels during the war of the Rebellion, which position he held many years and up to the time of his death.  Simon also enlisted in the navy and received an honorable discharge and is now living in Wisconsin.  When Albert was three years old his parents moved to the town of Gallatin, where he was educated in the common schools.  When twenty-one years of age he started in business life for himself as a farmer, and moved to the State of Wisconsin, where he remained two years.  In 1863 he purchased a farm near where he now resides, which land he still owns, and later came in possession of the farm he now lives on and owns and controls about 900 acres of land, making a specialty of dairy farming.  On February 2, 1856, Mr. Rockefeller married Mary E., daughter of David Moon, and had children, Alden H. and Ariel; he married, second, Georgiana, sister of his first wife, who bore him six children:  George B., Harry U. S., Albert, Jr., Everett, Roscoe and Algers, all born in Gallatin.  Mr. Rockefeller has served as trustee of his school many terms.

Pages 204 & 205:

ROCKEFELLER, Claudius, of Hudson, was born September 4, 1849, in Germantown, Columbia county.  His father was Phillip H. Rockefeller, Jr., a native of the same place.  The family came from the Palatinate, Germany, and settled in Germantown about 1710, the pioneer being Tiel Rockefeller.  Phillip H. Rockefeller, Jr., married Elizabeth, daughter of Peter H. Miller, and throughout his life followed the farming business.  He died in 1893.  Claudius Rockefeller received his early education at Riverside Seminary; was graduated from Rutgers College in 1873 and from the Albany Law School in 1876.  Before entering the Albany Law School Mr. Rockefeller studied in the law offices of Gaul & Esselstyn.  Immediately upon his graduation from the law school he began practice, forming a partnership with E. D. Delamater, which continued until 1885.  From that date he practiced alone until 1899, when he formed his present connection, making the firm of Rockefeller & Holsapple.  He served as city recorder of Hudson for two years and from 1881 to 1885 was deputy United States internal revenue collector.  In 1879 Mr. Rockefeller married Lucinda Van Ness, daughter of Sherman and Clarissa Rich Van Ness, the latter's family being among the early settlers of the county.  There have been two sons born to this union:  Harold and Sherman Van Ness.

Pages 352 & 353:

ROCKEFELLER, George Henry, was born in Germantown, N. Y., in 1833, son of George and Margaret Rockefeller, whose sons were Hiram, Philip, Edmond, and George H., and daughters, Polly, Christina, Catherine, Emaline, Lucinda, Harriet and Margaret Helen.  George Rockefeller, his wife and daughter Emaline were drowned in the Hudson River on May 26, 1845, while crossing the river in a small boat, by being run down and sunk by the steamboat "South America."  This family was among the earliest of the pioneers of Germantown, and though it is now impossible to trace the direct line of descent, there is documentary evidence to prove that the original settler came here some time in 1600.  George Henry Rockefeller was educated in the district schools and the early years of his business life were devoted to steam-boating, which he followed for ten years, on the "Edwin Lewis" between New York and Haverstraw, and the "Mohegan" between New York and Rondout.  Abandoning river life he returned to Germantown, where for the last forty-five years he has been engaged in the hotel business.  Mr. Rockefeller is one of the typical old-fashioned landlords, who spares no efforts to make his hostelry a home, in every sense of the word, to his guest; good cooking, clean rooms and beds and carefully attention to the wants of his guests have made his house notable as one of the best on the Hudson river.  Of late years families from different cities have made his hotel a home for the summer, thus attesting in a critical way to his success as a landlord and to the superior accommodations he furnishes.  As a citizen and business man Mr. Rockefeller has earned a deserved reputation for liberality, enterprise and integrity, and is well known as one of those straightforward and genial men that every community delights to honor.  He has held the office of supervisor seven years, good evidence of the esteem and confidence in which he is held by his townsmen.  His wife, Margaret, died in March, 1892, leaving no children.

Page 353:

ROCKEFELLER, Isaac P. was born in Germantown, N. Y., in 1851, son of Philip W. Rockefeller.  He received his education in the district schools and at Riverside Seminary.  In 1869 Mr. Rockefeller entered into partnership with Edmund Rockefeller, under the firm name of E. Rockefeller & Co., and engaged in a general merchandise business in Germantown.  The firm also conducts a flour, feed, grain, lumber, builder's supplies, etc., business at Germantown Station.  Isaac P. is also connected with the Germantown Ice Co., organized in 1882, which does an extensive wholesale trade in ice, harvesting from 10,000 to 15,000 tons of ice annually, which is mostly disposed of in the New York market.  In politics Mr. Rockefeller is a Republican, and has always been active in the interests of his party.  In 1888 he was elected county clerk for three years, was again elected in 1894 and re-elected in 1897.  His repeated elections to this office may be accepted as evidence of his popularity in his party, and of his fitness and ability as an official.  He resides upon the homestead of his father, the latter being one of the oldest living representatives of the Rockefeller family, while Edmund is the next.  Mr. Rockefeller is counted among the leading business men of the county, energetic, progressive and of the strictest integrity, while socially he holds rank with the best circles.

Pages 205 & 206:

ROCKEFELLER, Philip W., the oldest living representative of this numerous family, was born in the house that stood on the site of the present Central Hotel in Germantown, on May 10, 1824, son of Philip W. and Hannah (Fritz) Rockefeller, and grandson of William Rockefeller.  Mr. Rockefeller, the subject of this sketch, began his life's labor at the age of seven years, employed by the river fishermen, and later worked on a farm until he was thirteen years old.  For his services he received the munificent sum of $1.50 per month, and a limited amount of schooling in the district schools.  Weary of this laborious life and unpromising recompense, he secured a place as cook upon a sailing vessel.  Keeping his eyes open and his wits active, he gradually learned the duties, and was promoted to higher positions until he became pilot, the responsible duties of which office he performed successfully.  In 1852 he, with John S. Ray, became owner of the tugboat "Peter Crary," and for fifteen years owned and operated this and several other tugs in New York harbor.  In 1867, at the age of forty-three years, tired of the exacting and wearing life of a waterman, he returned to Germantown and purchased the George Rockefeller farm, and erected an addition to the Mountain View Hotel.  He started a school, called the Riverside Seminary, in 1864, which existed four years, when the building was converted into a summer boarding-house, to which use it is still devoted.  Mr. Rockefeller is a Democrat, although he has voted the Republican national ticket several times.  He has served his town as highway commissioner four years, supervisor five years, and was revenue collector for one year.  He was appointed sheriff by Governor Hill for one year, and in 1891 was elected to that office for a full term.  Mr. Rockefeller married Harriet, daughter of George Rockefeller, who bore him three sons and three daughters, viz.:  Isaac P., Norman and Philip W., Jr., and Emma, Rhoda and Harriet; the eldest daughter died in New York in 1884, and the sons all reside in Germantown.  Mrs. Rockefeller died in May, 1899, in her seventy-second year.  Mr. Rockefeller resides in the elegant mansion which he erected in 1863, a beautiful home, finely located, commanding an extended view of the Hudson river and the distant Catskill mountains, with a broad field of less prominent but nevertheless fascinating scenery surrounding it on all sides.  Mr. Rockefeller is a striking example of the successful American.  Beginning with nothing, when almost a child, he has, by his own hands, will and foresight, wrought out a successful life---successful not only in a pecuniary sense, but in the culture of those qualities which go to make up the good citizen.   His probity, honorable business methods, liberality and enterprise have merited and won the unstinted approval of his townsfolk and business associates, and, to-day, in the ripeness of a life well spent, he is enjoying the rewards due to a life of industry and good works.

Pages 353 & 354:

RODGERS, Conrad, of Copake, was born in Dutchess county, N. Y., January 18, 1837, son of Hiram and Catherine (Vosburgh) Rodgers, she a native of Ancram, N. Y., where her father, Conrad Vosburgh, also was born.  Hiram Rodgers was a son of Joel and Annie Rodgers, all born in Dutchess county.  Conrad Rodgers was educated in the schools of Northeast, Dutchess county, and remained with his parents until he was twenty-two years of age, when he began his business life as a contractor on public works in the town of Northeast, which he followed four years; since then he has been a farmer.  He rented a farm in Dutchess county until 1896, when he purchased the farm of 273 acres in Copake which he now owns and operates.  His family are active workers in the M. E. church of Copake, and he is a member of Millerton Grange.  At the age of twenty-two he was married to Sarah, daughter of Harmon and Antoinette Johnson, who has borne him four children, namely:  Eva, Annie, Nellie and Kate, all born in Dutchess county.

Page 206:

ROE, Peter H., of Claverack, is a son of Jacob M. and Margaret (Snyder) Roe, and was born in Gallatin, Columbia county, N. Y., November 19, 1826.  When Peter was three years old his father moved his family to Copake and lived there for two years, then removed to Taghkanic, where they remained fifteen years, and then to Claverack and bought the farm Peter H. now occupies.  When twenty years old Mr. Roe went to Illinois and was there for some time, when his father sent for him and he returned home and stayed with his father until the latter's death, which occurred January 14, 1861.  Upon his father's death he assumed charge of the property and has handled it ever since, having something like 300 acres.  Mr. Roe has been twice married, first, in 1861 to Ida Miller, of Claverack, who died in 1864, and, second, in 1873, to Mariet Lasher Miller, daughter of Peter and Margaret Lasher.  They have no children.

Page 207:

ROGERS, Col. Charles S., was born in Hudson, N. Y., January 17, 1854, the son of Harper W. and Catherine Rogers.  He was well educated, and has always been actively engaged in business affairs.  He succeeded in 1878 to the wholesale grocery business established by his father, and has since conducted the same---the only strictly wholesale grocery and liquor house in the city.  Mr. Rogers has always taken an ardent interest in the fire department of Hudson, and in the welfare of firemen generally.  In 1880 he became a member of the State Volunteer Firemen's Association, of which organization he was chosen president in 1890.  He was one of the prime movers in the establishment of the State Volunteer Firemen's Home, and it was due chiefly to his influence and persistent labors that the beautiful home was located in Hudson; in the interest of this institution he has never permitted his activities to flag.  Mr. Rogers was appointed a member of the staff of Governor Flower with the rank of colonel, and is now president of the board of public works of Hudson, and it is no flattery to say that through his endeavors and insistence no village or city in the State has finer streets than Hudson, and none where they are kept cleaner and in better repair.  He is prominent in Masonic circles and is president of the Masonic Association of Hudson.  It is from such men as Colonel Rogers that cities and villages receive the incentives of improvement that place them in the van of progress, and no city has to a greater extent reaped the benefits of progressive ideas of such men than Hudson.  In 1876 Colonel Rogers was married to Blanche, daughter of Hoffman Sweet.  They have one daughter, Lulu, the survivor of three children.

Page 207:

ROGERSON, J. C., Jr., of Hudson, was born on the 29th of October, 1870, In Hudson, N. Y., to which place his father, James C. Rogerson came from Mullingar, Ireland, in 1858, and where he was engaged in the hardware business for forty years, and was recognized as one of the influential business men of Hudson and active in promoting its institutions and its general progress.  J. C. Rogerson was a director of the First National Bank, a trustee of Hudson Academy, and was active in the affairs of the Dutch Reformed church.  He was married to Cornelia, daughter of Joseph Mosely, of Claverack, and died in 1898.  He was succeeded in business by his son J. C. Rogerson, Jr., who is also connected with Seymour Bros. & Co., bankers in New York city.

Pages 208:

ROONEY, J. F., M. D., was born in Albany in 1874, a son of James D. Rooney and Anna De Le Bique, his wife.  His father died in 1889 and his mother in 1885.  Dr. Rooney was educated in the Albany schools and St. John's College.  He was in the Lying-In Hospital, New York, and the Albany City Hospital, and came to Valatie in 1898, where he holds office of health commissioner.  Dr. Rooney married mary A. Brady, daughter of John Brady, and they have one son, John J.

Page 354:

ROSSMAN, Arthur W., p. o. Malden Bridge, N. Y., was born in Hudson, N. Y., on August 16, 1868.  He is a son of Leonard J. Rossman, an extensive manufacturer of knit goods, wire fencing and paper at Rossman, N. Y., married to Alice Webster, who died in 1880.  They had the following children:  Edgar, Nellie, Alice, Madeline and Arthur W.  The latter attended the common schools and began his business life as a clerk in a store in a knitting factory.  In 1880 he went to California, and was engaged in orange culture.  He returned in 1898 and assumed the management of the Malden Bridge paper mill.  He was married to Isadore Woodruff, daughter of Arthur Woodruff, and their children are Clarabell and Nellie.

Pages 354 & 355:

ROSSMAN, Edgar J. , p. o. N. Y., is a son of Leonard J. and Alice (Webster) Rossman, grandson of Jacob W. and Sarah (Hawes) Rossman, and great-grandson of Nicholas Rossman, who had three sons, Stephen, Peter and Jacob W.  Jacob W. Rossman was a native of Columbia county, devoted his life to manufacturing, beginning as a paper manufacturer about 1846 at Stuyvesant Falls; since that time he has been interested in various manufacturing enterprises at Blue Store, Stockport, and in 1862 located at Rossman (formerly known as Chittenden's Falls).  He was the father of two children:  Leonard J. and Alice, wife of Scott L. S. McClelland.  Leonard J. Rossman was born in the town of Stockport, N. Y., February 14, 1842, and was educated at Stuyvesant Falls, and Hudson Academy.  He remained with his father, assisting him in his business, until he was seventeen years old, when he began teaching school, which occupation he followed five years.  From 1868 to 1880 he carried on a drug business in Hudson; at the latter date he removed to Rossman, where he is proprietor of a paper mill, and is also connected with other manufacturing enterprises, a detailed notice of which is given in the History of Stockport in Volume 1 of this work.  In October, 1868 he was married to Alice, daughter of Ashley Webster, of Hudson, who died in 1880, leaving the following children:  Arthur W., who was married to Dora Woodruff; Edgar J., married to Ella Gale; Nellie, wife of Henry Hogeboom; Alice and Adaline.  The ancestor of the Rossman family came from Holland and settled in Germantown, N. Y., and his descendants have always been identified with the prominent manufacturing interest of the county.

Page 208:

ROSSMAN, Frank, of Valatie, N. Y., was born in the town of Ghent, N. Y., in November, 1856, the son of Rodolphus and Mary Jane (Van Allen) Rossman.  Mr. and Mrs. Rodolphus Rossman spent their lives at farming, and were the parents of Frank, Alexander and Peter S. Rossman.  Mrs. Rossman died in 1876, and her husband in 1896.  After attending the district schools, Frank Rossman pursued his studies at the Chatham Academy, the Albany Normal College and the State Normal School at Brockport, N. Y.  He studied medicine for two years, but gave it up and engaged at farming.  He held the office of assessor for three years, is an Odd Fellow, and was district deputy grand master for two terms.  Mr. Rossman married Martha J., daughter of John Randerson; their children are John M. and Lillian M.

Page 355:

ROSSMAN, George W., M. D., was born in Columbia county, N. Y., in 1841, son of Dr. Peter P. Rossman and Caroline Benton Rossman.  He received his preparatory education at Amenia Seminary and Hudson Academy; graduated at Hamilton College in 1863 and the Albany Medical College in 1866.  In the early part of 1867 he located at Ancram, his native town, and began the practice of medicine and surgery, which he has successfully continued since.  Without delay he became a member of the Columbia County Medical Society; was soon chosen as its president and later was sent as delegate for three successive years to the New York State Medical Society, of which he became a permanent member.  In 1885 the County Society chose him as delegate to the National Medical Congress which convened at New Orleans, La.  He was married to Frances N. Green, daughter of John Green and Elizabeth Northrop Green in 1870.  they have one son, Clark Green Rossman, who is also a physician.  Though zealous in educational matters and good government he has held himself aloof from the political arena and strife for public office and it emoluments.  His chief ambition has been to maintain an honorable position in the foremost ranks of his profession.

Page 355:

ROSSMAN, Dr. Peter P.---The first of the family to settle in this country was Johannes, who came from Bavaria, Germany, to Germantown, N. Y., about 1710.  Dr. Peter P. Rossman was born August 1, 1801, and died June 23, 1881.  He was a resident of the village of Ancram for over fifty years, and was immediately connected with the leading affairs of the town, holding various positions of trust.  He was a member of Assembly in 1844, supervisor in 1852-58, and commissioner of excise in 1868, and a charter member of the Columbia County Agricultural Society.  He began the practice of medicine in 1826, and continued to practice till 1845, when he resigned and purchased the Ancram Livingston farm at Ancram, on which he resided till his death.

Page 208:

ROSSMAN, Richard, was born on the place he now occupies, April 20, 1817, a son of Jacob and Nancy M. (Latting) Rossman.  Mr. Rossman's grandfather bought the place of the Van Rensselaers as early as 1750, and upon his death his son Jacob became the owner, and he in turn left it to his son Richard.  Mr. Rossman was educated in the district school and the academy at Albany.  After finishing his schooling he took up farming, which he has followed since, and now operates about 300 acres.  In 1874 he rented his place and moved to Claverack and built a house on the land next to Edward Van de Boe, where he lived seven years.  While at church one Sunday in 1881, his house was set fire to and upon his return found his home in ruins; he then moved back to the old homestead and has lived there since.  In 1851 Mr. Rossman married Carrie Van de Boe, daughter of Adam and Hannah Van de Boe; they have no family.

Pages 208 & 209:

ROWE, Jonathan, was a native of Catskill, N. Y.  He was born June 12, 1801, and died in 1875.  Until 1856 he was in active business at Catskill, mainly engaged in merchandising and river transportation.  In 1856 he retired from active participation in business pursuits, and removed to Hudson, where he spent his remaining days.  His wife was Lucretia, daughter of Andrew Burchard.  Although not engaged in active business in Hudson, nor participating in the affairs of public life, Mr. Rowe was recognized as a man whose counsel was worthy of attention, and whose long and successful business career had given him that experience so valuable to those who are sought as advisers.  Mr. Rowe was a genial, whole-souled man, with many firm friends, who believed in his integrity and good sense.

Page 209:

RUDD, Charles, of Gallatin, was born at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., March 7, 1820, son of Reuben B. and Elizabeth (Smith) Rudd, who had five children:  Mary, Sarah, John, Charles and Zebulan.  Reuben B. was an influential man in Dutchess county and was connected with the Middle District Bank of Poughkeepsie, and was also in the county clerk's office.  Charles Rudd moved with his parents to North East, when three years of age, and when about eight years of age went to live with his grandparents, with whom he lived five years, when he started out in life for himself as a farm laborer.  This he followed until 1837, when he started to learn the harness making trade at Pine Plains.  In 1850 he purchased the farm where he now resides and carries on dairy farming; he owns and controls about 400 acres of land.  In November, 1849, Mr. Rudd married Frances, daughter of David B. Falk; they have had six children:  Mary, John, Sarah, Rachel, Harry, Chalres, Jr., and four deceased, Fanny, Tammy, Carrie and Isaac.  Mr. Rudd has always taken an active part in school and educational work, and has been trustee of the school many terms; his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Pine Plains.

Page 356:

RUSSELL, Robert B., p. o. North Chatham, N. Y., was born in Albany, N. Y., in 1854.  He is a son of Robert C. Russell, who was a druggist and manufacturer of dyes in Albany; he was married to Eliza Baker, who bore him the following children:  Josephine, Mrs. Caroline Goodwin, and Robert B.  Robert C. Russell died in 1849, and his wife died the same year.  Robert B. Russell was educated in the schools of Albany, and engaged in the manufacture of pianos.  In 1861 he enlisted in Company B, Berdan's Sharpshooters, served a year, and on October 24, 1862, was transferred to Battery D, Fifth United States Artillery; he was discharged at Yellow Church, Va., August 29, 1864.  He came to North Chatham in 1895, where he has since been engaged in farming.  He is a member of Mount Vernon Lodge, F. & A. M.  He has been twice married.  His first wife was Frances Abbott, who died in 1887; his second was Edith, daughter of Daniel Fayles; their children are Robert D. and Willis W.


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