Frank Akeley

From the Biographical Review, Volume XXXIII, located at the Durham Center Museum.
Transcribed by Celeste MacCormack


Frank Akeley, dealer in general merchandise at West Fulton, was born here on October 20, 1851, his parents being James and Sally J. (Shutts) Akeley.

James Akeley, who was born in January, 1812, came to this town in 1840, and settled on a fine farm of about two hundred acres, near what is now his sonís store, and here he remained engaged in agriculture until his death in 1861, at about the age of fifty. His wife, Sally, survived him many years, and died in February, 1898. She was the daughter of John Shutts, of Greenville, Greene County, a lifelong and prominent farmer, and also a veterinary surgeon.  Her mother was of Connecticut birth. Mr. and Mrs. Shutts had a family of four children. Of these the only survivor is Mrs. Salome Hart, who resides near Greenville. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. James Akeley, and all are living. The are Edgar, who resides at Cobleskill; Emily, who is the wife of William Richards; Dr. John S., who is a physician in Ravena, Albany County; Martin A., who is County Clerk of Schoharie County; Lorenzo, Farmer and Supervisor (1899); Frank, the subject of this sketch; and Mary J.; who married John Hinds, of Greenville. Both parents attended the Methodist church.

Mr. Frank Akeley, after obtaining his education in the common schools of his native village and a the Normal School at Albany, taught school for a while.  In 1871 he went to work in the store of M. B. Fellows, situated opposite his present place of business, and there remained until 1875, when he went to New York for a short time.  Later in the same year he returned, and began teaching the school at West Fulton. During the farming season of that year, 1876, he worked for six months on a farm, but in the fall taught school at Fulton.  Not long after he bought his present building, and since that time he has had a prosperous career as a merchant. He carries a large stock of goods, ready-made clothing, underwear, glassware and hardware, patent medicines, and , to some extent, farming implements.  A gradual increase of stock has made it necessary for him to have enlarged quarters; and, since starting, he has opened a second floor, so that he has now an exceedingly well-equipped business.

In politics Mr. Akeley is a Republican.  For a time he served as Assistant Postmaster. He was married in 1881 to Elmina Zeh, a native of Breadabeen, and daughter of Adam and Nancy (Shafer Zeh. Mr. Zeh was a lifelong farmer. He had four children. After his death his widow married a second time.  Mr. and Mrs. Akeley have one child, Hazel, who is at school. Mr. Akeley has served on the county committee. He is liberal in religious views, and believes in dealing with unquestionable honesty in all his business transactions.


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