Biography of Stephen L. Magoun, Esq.


History of Columbia County, New York

By Captain Franklin Ellis

Published by Everts & Ensign

Philadelphia, PA



Between Pages 192 & 193


      Stephen L. Magoun was born April 16, 1815, in New Hampton, N. H.  He is a son of Stephen S. Magoun, grandson of Rev. Josiah Magoun, who was a son of Benjamin Magoun, and descended from emigrants from the north of Ireland, and originally of Scottish ancestry.

     Rev. Josiah Magoun removed from Shapleigh, in the State of Maine, to New Hampton, N. H., about 1790.  He served as a soldier in the Revolutionary war, taking an active part in many of its contests.  He married a daughter of Deacon Stephen Sleeper, and reared a family of seven sons and one daughter.  As a minister of the Free-Will Baptist denomination he preached until his decease.  He had sons--Stephen S., Benjamin, Josiah, Nathaniel S., John Calvin, Martin L., and Aaron B.; and a daughter, Susannah (Mooney).

     Stephen S. settled in New Hampton and married Nancy Hanaford.  He was a farmer, country merchant, and held various offices of the town in which he resided.  He had children--George W., Peter H., and Stephen L., the subject of this biography.  He died August 14, 1858, aged seventy-six years.  His widow, Nancy, died at Hudson, N. Y., October 12, 1873.  (Born April 1, 1789.)  The sons George W. and Peter H. died unmarried.

     The subject of this notice entered the academy at New Hampton, where he pursued his preparatory course; he entered Union College in 1834, and after the full course of four years, graduated in 1838.  He commenced his legal studies in the office of Messrs. Page & Potter, at Schenectady, where he remained till November, 1838, when he removed to Hudson, N. Y., and entered the office of Sutherland & McClellan, and was admitted to the bar in May, 1841, and immediately became a copartner with the same firm.  In 1843, having dissolved his copartnership, he opened an office alone in the city of Hudson, where he has continued to practice till the present time.

     In his profession he is a thorough student, and has had a wide range of experience.  He is well versed in jurisprudence, not only in its theory and history, but in all its practical bearings and applications, having had a large practice in all the courts except the Supreme Court of the United States.  As a counselor, he is safe and judicious; as an advocate, clear, forcible, and effective in the presentation of his causes.  Self-reliant, well informed in his profession, and commanding the confidence of a large and respectable clientage, he may be regarded as a successful lawyer.

     In his political affiliations he has always been a Democrat; but he has subordinated politics to the legitimate duties of his profession, and had never been a partisan nor an office-seeker.

     He was first married, July 29, 1841, to Marianna Pierson, who died May 12, 1860.  He married his present wife, Mrs. Lucie White, of New York City, October 23, 1861.  He has one son by the first marriage, Edward P. Magoun, an attorney-at-law, in the same office with his father.