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Burdette Gage Dewell

From The Capital Region of New York State, Crossroads of Empire, 1942
Francis P. Kimball

Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin

wpeE.jpg (129458 bytes)Participating constructively in the agricultural, business and political life of Catskill and this district of New York State, Burdette Gage Dewell is one of his community’s honored and respected citizens.

Mr. Dewell was born September 2, 1873, in Windham, Greene County, New York, son of Henry and Mary Elizabeth (Kingsley) Dewell, of Schoharie County, both now deceased. His father was engaged in farming.

Burdette G. Dewell attended the Windham Union Free School, and through the whole of his boyhood was reared in the environment of the home farm. As he became old enough to assume responsibilities in connection with its operation, he became ever more actively connected with agricultural pursuits.  Until 1920, when he first served in public office, he remained on the farm, then came to Catskill to take up his duties of under-sheriff, which he continued for three years.  He had earlier established his own farm at Windham, starting operation with a graded Jersey herd, then gradually concentrating his attention more and more upon Holsteins until his cattle were exclusively of this breed.

For a time he served as chairman of the Democratic county committee. At about the same period he became active in business affairs, associating himself with the W. I. Van Deusen Company, Inc., a Dodge sales and service agency in Catskill. He has been vice-president of this corporation continuously since 1925.

For eight years Mr. Dewell continued his service as chairman of the Democratic county committee, and, as his political interests became ever more extensive, he was chosen in 1933 for appointment as postmaster of Catskill, which office he still holds.  Still other public service has come from Mr. Dewell’s activities as president of the Catskill Chamber of Commerce. While so serving, he was instrumental in having the bill introduced providing for construction of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge.  This bill was passed by the State Legislature and designed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was then Governor of New York.

In addition to all these activities, Mr. Dewell has interested himself in a wide variety of civic and social affairs.  He has been Clerk of the board of Supervisors, a director of the Catskill Savings & Loan Association, president of the Rotary Club, a member of both the Catskill Fire Department and the Rip Van Winkle Club, and a member of the official board of the Methodist Church.  In the Free and Accepted Masons, he is a Past Master of Mountain Lodge, No. 529, past High Priest of Mountain Chapter, No. 250, of Royal Arch Masons, a charter member of his Council of Royal and Select Masters, a member of Rondout Commandery of Knights Templar (at Kingston), and an initiate in Cyprus Temple of the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Albany.

Burdette G. Dewell married Mae Armlin, of Middleburg, New York. They are the parents of a son, Burdette G. Dewell, Jr., who was born at Windham, New York, and was graduated from high school there, later taking his Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts degrees in Union University, at Schenectady, now a teacher at Catskill High School.  He married Mildred Vickers, of Utica, New York, and they are the parents of three children—Jay Burdette, Burdette G., III, and Elizabeth Louise.

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