Claude F. DeFrate

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


Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin


In the early years of the century, Claude F. DeFrate turned to the automobile industry, with which his career has since been closely connected. He has been a garage operator at Coxsackie since 1913, has held the Ford sales and service agency over a period almost as long, and in recent years has added the Studebaker line. 

Mr. DeFrate was born in Grapeville on December 7,1884, son of Frank and Catura (Lampman) DeFrate.  His mother was born in Coxsackie; his father, who was a farmer, in Michigan.  Both are now deceased.

After a public school education, Claude F. DeFrate began his active career at Coxsackie and until 1906 worked for various employers in different capacities.  At the end of this time he became the first chauffeur in this section and in 1913 established the garage at Coxsackie, which he has since operated.  In 1916 he obtained the Ford agency in the local territory and having previously operated a general repair shop, now established a Ford service station in conjunction with his garage. Mr. DeFrate has continued to handle Ford sales and  repairs in this area and a complete line of accessories. His recent appointment as Studebaker dealer  at Coxsackie has given him an additional line. For several years he has also been engaged in the milk hauling business and now operates four trucks for the Golden Guernsey Dairy Company.

A Democrat in politics, Mr. DeFrate serves as a member of the Board of Water Commissioners at Coxsackie and has been otherwise active in the general life of the community. He is affiliated fraternally with the Masonic Order, is a member of the Coxsackie Board of Trade and of local Hose Company, No.3, of the Volunteer Firemen.  Mrs. DeFrate has just organized a drum corps as an auxiliary of the hose company.

On July 9, 1905, Mr. DeFrate married Anne Whitty, of Columbia County, daughter of William Whitty, a carpenter born in Washington County, died about 1930, and Laura (Schlifelt) Whitty, born in Columbia County and a school teacher at Philmont for some years, also now deceased.  Mr. and Mrs. DeFrate have one son, Francis William, born November 20, 1917, a graduate of local public schools and Albany Business College, now associated with his father.


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