Mr. Overhiser was born Jan. 4, 1813, in Dutchess Co.,
N. Y. His father, George Overhiser, removed to Hillsdale, Columbia
Co., when he was quite young. Here he was brought up on a farm, and
resided till 1835, when he removed to Cayuga county, where his father died.
In 1840 he returned to Hillsdale, where he spent five years in mercantile
In 1842 he
commenced his political career. He was elected justice of the peace
for the town of Hillsdale, and served in that capacity eight years. He
was four terms elected to the board of supervisors, and one year served as
chairman of that body. In 1850 he represented the Second Assembly
district in the Legislature. In 1867 he was elected sheriff of the
county, and on the 30th of May, 1868 was required, by virtue of his office,
to perform the most disagreeable duty of his life,---the execution of Joseph
Brown, convicted of the murder of his own child. It was the only case
of capital punishment which had occurred in the county for fifty-one years.
to filling most of these official positions, and subsequent to his services
in the Legislature, Mr. Overhiser was engaged in extensive forwarding and
commission business on the New York and Harlem railroad. He continued
this business from 1852 to 1868, at which time he removed to Hudson.
He assisted in organizing the present police system of the city, and in 1873
was appointed by the mayor and common council police justice, the duties of
which office he is still discharging. He is an efficient and popular
Overhiser has been three times married, his first and third wives being
sisters, Emily and Eliza, daughters of Captain Isaac Downing, of Hillsdale.
He has reared three children, all by the first marriage, two of whom are now
living. The Downings are well-known citizens of Hillsdale, their
ancestors having settled there many years before the Revolution, and the
original estate being still in the possession of some of their descendants.