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The Capital Region of 
New York State
Crossroads of Empire

Comprising Albany, Columbia, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Greene, Schoharie, Montgomery, Fulton, Herkimer, Otsego Counties and Environs

Volume III

by Francis P. Kimball


Published by Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc. New York in 1942


This series of books located at the Catskill Public Library. Biographies pertaining to individuals from Greene County only are posted to this site.
Copied by Sylvia Hasenkopf. Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin.


Burdette Gage Dewell

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.


Claude F. DeFrate

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.


O. Gates Porter

Long prominent in the practice of law and in the insurance business in Athens, O. Gates Porter also serves as Deputy Commissioner of Welfare of Greene County.

Mr. Porter was born February 3, 1874, in Athens, New York, son of Clark and Charlotte Christina (Meade) Porter, of Schoharie and Greene counties respectively, both now deceased.  His father was for many years engaged in agricultural pursuits and was active in public affairs.

Public schools of Athens provided O. Gates Porter’s early formal education, and he was graduated from Albany Law School in 1907 as a Bachelor of Laws.  At the age of twenty-one years he became under-sheriff of Greene County, so serving until 1898, when he was made clerk of the Surrogate Court for the term 1898-99.  He then went to New York City and became associated with a fire insurance company in the financial district, remaining there for two years and then devoting a year to work in the accounting department of the American Locomotive Company, at Schenectady, New York.  During this period he began his law studies, and also served as clerk in the law office of Edward A. Gifford, who was then district attorney of Greene County. Admitted to the bar of New York in November, 1906, six months before his graduation from law school, Mr. Porter remained with Mr. Gifford, who soon became deputy attorney general of New York State. The two men were partners together in both law practice and the insurance business. In 1909 Mr. Porter took over both the law and insurance branches, and has been engaged in both these realms down to the time of writing, with offices in Athens.

He has rendered a variety of public service. A Republican in politics, he served for twenty years as police magistrate of Athens.  He has also been a member of the town board and for eight years was justice of the peace. At the time of writing he is town attorney of Athens and president of the board of education.  His appointment as Deputy Commissioner of Welfare of Greene County came to him November 1, 1930, and he still continues in this position.  His main office is situated at the Courthouse at Catskill, though he still maintains his Athens office.  He is also attorney for the Welfare Department.  Fraternally Mr. Porter is connected with Catskill Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, in which he is a member of Albany Consistory of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite and Cyprus Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.  He also is a member of the Knights of Pythias and is Past District Grand Chancellor of the order.  He holds membership likewise in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  He is active in the Reformed Church.

On October 24, 1900, O. Gates Porter married Ann Fah Lawrence, daughter of Captain Edward and Jeanette (Salt) Lawrence.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Porter are talented newspaper writers, and do some work as correspondents for local newspapers. Mr. Porter particularly enjoys, as a hobby the collection of historical papers.


Henry W. Barker

Since 1925. Henry W. Barker has served as commissioner of welfare and superintendent of the Greene County Home. He is a well-known resident of Greene County and has been active for many years in its life.

Born at Saugerties on August 12, 1868, Mr. Barker is a son of Samuel Ransom and Mary (Fiero) Barker, both born in Ulster County. His father was a teacher in the district schools all his life.  Educated in local public schools and at Saugerties Free Academy, Mr. Barker was reared on a farm and has followed the farmer’s vocation all his life.  He has also been active in the carpenter’s trade.  An interest in public affairs has marked his career and brought him eventually into the sphere of public service.  As superintendent of the Greene County Home and commissioner of welfare since 1925 he has administered his responsibilities in a matter reflecting high credit upon the qualifications he brings to his office and the industry and loyalty with which he has devoted himself to his tasks.

Mr. Barker is a member of the New York State Department of Social Welfare. He is past superintendent of Highways for the town of Greenville, a position he filled for four years, and as a present resident of the town of Cairo he is active in its civic life, as well as in the general affairs of the county. For some years he has been a director of the Cairo National Bank. Mr. Barker is a member of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce and is affiliated fraternally with the Free and Accepted Masons, the Knights of Pythias, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Royal Arcanum.  In  the Masonic Order he is a member of Greenville Lodge, Greenville Royal Arch Chapter and Catskill Council, Royal and Select Masters.  He is a Republican in politics and a member of the Baptist Church of Greenville Center, but attends the Methodist Church in Cairo.

On December 24, 1917, Henry W. Barker married Sarah E. Brouillard, nee Walters, of Cairo, daughter of Enoch Walters. They are the parents of one daughter, Laura May, who attended local schools and became a graduated nurse. She is now assistant superintendent of the Greene County Memorial Hospital. 
 

Alfred Lake Coons

The board business background of Alfred Lake Coons has excellently equipped him for the performance of his present duties as postmaster of Elizaville.  He takes the deepest interest in Columbia County affairs, and in a variety of ways has contributed to the well-being of this district of New York State.

Mr. Coons was born in 1886 in Catskill, New York, son of Alfred and Hannah (Buckley) Coons.  His father was for years a Methodist minister of Ulster and Greene counties.

Alfred Lake Coons attended Ulster County schools, and after completing his high school studies was employed as bookkeeper with an Ulster County paper company. In 1917 he removed the Elizaville, where he learned the retail merchandise business. In 1925 he bought a general store here, owning and operating it down to the time of writing. On November 5, 1923, Mr. Coons was appointed postmaster here, and he still serves in this capacity.

Mr. Coons has friends in many places, since his store and his work are centered in the heart of the summer camp and resort district, and the people from all parts of the country come flocking here in the  warm months of the year to spend their holidays.  Mr. Coons has made a deep study of the history of the Catskill district and the Capital Region, and his opinions on important local questions are regarded with the utmost respect.  He is a member of the Livingston Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, and belongs to the Methodist Church.  During the World War he was chairman of the local board for the Liberty Bond Drive.

In Elizaville, New York, Alfred Lake Coon married Margaret Leach, daughter of William and Rosalia (Fingar) Leach, of Columbia County. The marriage took place December 16, 1908. A son, Erwin Leach Coons, was born of the marriage on December 14, 1909.  He became a teacher in Poughkeepsie High School. He married Sarah Law, of Rome, New York, and they have two children: 1. Anita Lou Coons, born August 11, 1936.  2. William Alfred, born December 14, 1939.
 

Hon. Emory Albert Chase

wpe8.gif (36092 bytes) Hon. Emory Albert Chase---As a lawyer and jurist, the Hon. Emory Albert Chase earned a position of prominence in his home community of Catskill and in the surrounding district of Green County and New York State. He held several different judgeships, concluding his judicial service as a judge of the Court of Appeals of New York State, in which position he continued his activities until the close of his life.  His public spirit and his remarkable generosity and consideration for others caused him to be respected, honored and trusted in every quarter in which he was known.

Judge Chase was born August 31, 1854, at Hensonville, Greene County, New York, son of Albert and Laura Orinda (Woodworth) Chase. His mother was the daughter of Abner and Betsey (Judson) Woodworth, who were married in 1844 at East Jewett, New York. Judge Chase was a descendant of early Colonial stock. His great ancestor, Thomas Chase, came to America from Hundred Parish, Chesham, England, in 1636. There are seven generations from Thomas Chase to Emory A. Chase.  He received his early formal education in the Hensonville school, finishing his studies at Fort Edward Collegiate Institute, where he was a student in the early seventies of the last century.  From 1871 to 1877 he taught in the village schools of Greene County, working during the summer months on his father’s farm and at the carpenter’s trade, while keeping up his interest in study with a view to the practice of law.  On March 27, 1877, he entered the law office of King and Hallock, of Catskill, New York, where he devoted himself to legal study for three years, being admitted to the bar on May 6, 1880. Prior to his admission he had been a law clerk in the law firm of Hallock and Jennings, the successors of King and Hallock, and on July 4, 1882, he was admitted as partner under the firm name Hallock, Jennings and Chase. Mr. Hallock retired on September 22, 1890, and the firm became Jennings and Chase and so continued until December 1, 1896, when it was dissolved upon the elevation of Mr. Chase to the Supreme Court.  This was not, however, the first public honor that was tendered to Mr. Chase. While he was a Republican from childhood, he was personally popular without regard to party lines, and service was thrust upon him solely upon the basis of his worth to the community. From 1882 to 1896 he was elected to and served as a member of the Board of Education of Catskill, of which board he was president for five years. He served for some time as Corporation Counsel of Catskill. He was also vice-president of the Tanners National Bank, of Catskill, and first vice-president of the Catskill Savings Bank.

Continuously from 1896, most of the way through two fourteen-year terms, Emory Albert Chase served on the bench of the Supreme Court of New York State, Third District, and from 1901 to 1906 was also judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.  After January 9, 1906, he was judge of the Court of Appeals.  At first he was assigned to the Appeals bench by the Governor. Then, in November, 1920, he was duly elected to that court, continuing on this assignment for the rest of his life. In his quarter of a century on the bench, including fifteen years with the Court of Appeals, Judge Chase revealed striking qualities of fairness and impartiality, so essential to one performing a judicial function, and his dignity and pose were qualities that brought him to affection of many. For further interpretations and appraisal, there is no better source than the “Memorial” adopted by the Court of Appeals, October 3, 1931, which contains the illuminating paragraphs:

Necessarily the bar and the public their judgment of an appellate judge largely upon his written opinions. These are almost the only available test by which they can measure his judicial ability. Judge Chase’s reputation might well rest upon its test. His opinions, spread through fifty-four volumes of Appellate Division Reports and through forty-eight volumes of the New York Court of Appeals Reports, are the well expressed views of a learned and able judge. They are written in a plain and simple style, reinforced by carefully selected citations, never made dangerous or confusing by undesirable illustrations or intelligent laymen, may indeed understand them and appreciate the line of reasoning which led to the final conclusion, even though disagreeing with that conclusion. They will be a lasting monument to the judge who wrote them.

But the truth is that a judge’s opinions are a very incomplete test and measure of this ability and usefulness. They indeed reveal in some degree the manner in which his mind works, his capacity for logical and forceful reasoning and expression, his industry in searching authorities and, perhaps, his judicial tendencies on certain classes of questions where men’s minds naturally take different directions. But they give no adequate conception of the work which a judge does and of the ability which he may display in preparing for the carrying on the consideration and consultation room, unseen and unappreciated by any except associates. It is fundamental. No grace of expression or brilliancy of reasoning in an opinion can atone for error of injustice which, through lack of thorough examination and consultation, may have entered into the decision.

In this essential and basic work no one excelled Judge Chase. He was indefatigable in his labor. He listened with attention and unusual power of assimilation to the oral argument. No volume of record and no length of brief ever deterred him from an examination of every fact and principle of law which seemed to be involved in the decision of an appeal.  He came into the consultation with genial and tolerant personality but with convictions which he was thoroughly prepared to maintain to the end, unless convinced of error.  His reports and discussions were full, accurate and always helpful. As a case tr4aveled around the consultation table from judge to judge, it never frightened or drove him from his position that one judge, or three, or even six, differed from him. If that interchange of views disclosed to his mind some new aspect of a case, which had escaped him, and which fairly overthrew the view which he had entertained, he was never ashamed to yield.  But if the correctness of his conclusions, in his opinion, remained unimpaired, he had the courage to stand by them, and the reports are ample evidence of his steadfastness and of his courage to dissent from a decision which seemed to him wrong.  Thus he possessed the ability to present in virile fashion his own views and yet keep his mind open to the merits of a differing one which might be urged by some colleague. His response to the demands and test which measure the usefulness and worth of an appellate judge was ideal.

Such were some of the qualities by which Judge Chase ever held the deep respect and affectionate regard of those who worked with him so constantly and knew him so intimately. His was no character whose qualities seemed to assume fairer proportions or greater merits in proportion as the distance increased from which on contemplated them.  

On June 30, 1885, Judge Emory Albert Chase married Mary Elizabeth Churchill, of Prattsville, New York, who survived him, with a daughter, Jessie Churchill, who married James Lewis Malcolm, and attorney of Catskill, New York, now deceased, and a son, Albert Woodworth Chase of Catskill.

Upon the death of Judge Chase on June 25, 1921, the press, members of the bench and bar, and notables in all walks of life, vied in paying tributes to his character and career.  From the “Memorial of the Court of Appeals,” an extended quotation has been made. Every organization---civic, business, professional and social---recorded their encomiums. The final word was spoken by a cotemporary, the Rev. Christopher G. Hazard, D. D., who began the funeral address: 

We have looked upon Judge Chase and loved him. He was an American of the highest type. He did justly, loved kindness, and walked humbly with his God as a product of his Christian faith. Placed in high office by the confidence of the people, he both magnified his office and filled it with ability, multiplying his public services with ever widening influence and ability.  In his private life he endeared himself to many by his unselfish consideration, patient attention, and willing consecration of his great knowledge and rare powers to the uses of friendship. He had the magnetism of resources and good will, and thus attracted to himself a host that he never sent empty away.  Wise in counsel, adequate in difficulty, accurate in estimations, particularly exact in decisions, fearless in convictions; more than professionally just, conscientiously just in settlements, he encouraged truth and righteousness; while falsity was exposed in his presence, duplicity rebuked, dishonor abashed, meanness ashamed. In him was a combination of dignity and humility, of simplicity and wisdom, of strength and sweetness, seldom found in men.  Intellectual power, with its zeal for truth, actuality, reality, rarely combines with tenderness of heart, with constancy of patient kindness amid its weighty cares, but here was an interested and helpful friend for every corner.


Frank H. Osborn

wpe5.jpg (86615 bytes)For years Frank H. Osborn was a successful lawyer in Catskill, where  he was a member first of the firm of Jennings and Osborn, then of the firm of Osborn and Bloodgood, which eventually became Osborn, Bloodgood, Wilbur and Fray.  He held public office and rendered valuable service to his fellow-citizens in a variety of ways. He exerted a profound influence in his community, was skillful in argument on important public questions, and was kind, generous and fair-minded in his personal and business relationship.

Mr. Osborn was born May 22, 1857, in Windham, New York.  A brother, W. Irving Osborn, of Evanston, Illinois, and two sisters, Mrs. Ella F. (Osborn) Peck, who resides with her brother in Catskill, and Mrs. Dorville S. Coe, of Brooklyn, were among Frank H. Osborn’s survivors.

Receiving his early education in his native district, Frank H. Osborn came in young manhood to Catskill, where he studied law in the office of the late John A. Griswold.  Admitted to the bar in 1880, he practiced his profession until, 1886, he was elected district attorney of Greene County, in which office he served for three years. He established for himself and excellent record as a prosecutor, and his career promised to become a brilliant one. After retiring from this office, Mr. Osborn practiced law alone.  Following the election of Emory A. Chase (q.v.) to the Supreme Court bench and his retirement from the law firm of Jennings and Chase to assume his new duties, Mr. Osborn joined in partnership with W. Irving Jennings, on December 1, 1896, to form the new firm of Jennings and Osborn.

 On May 1, 1898, Mr. Jennings retired, and the firm then came to be known as Osborn and Bloodgood, consisting of Frank H. Osborn and Albert C. Bloodgood. On January 1, 1905, Howard C. Wilbur was admitted to the partnership, where upon the firm came to be known as Osborn, Bloodgood and Wilbur.  On March 1, 1916, John L. Fray (q.v.) entered the firm, which then was renamed Osborn, Bloodgood, Wilbur and Fray. Mr. Osborn’s law practice and public service caused him to be widely and favorably known, as did his memberships and active participation in such organizations as the Greene County Bar Association, the New York Stat Bar Association and the American Bar Association. His community services were many-sided. For several years he was a trustee and president of his village. After August 3, 1897, he was a trustee of the Catskill Savings Bank. He was a member of the advisory committee in charge of erection of the present courthouse.  In 1931, the year of his death, he was designated Special Assistant Attorney-General by Attorney-General Bennett, to assist in prosecution in Greene County of indictments against Jack (“Legs”) Diamond and other alleged gangsters.

Of Mr. Osborn it has been written:

Mr. Osborn was one of the outstanding members of his profession and his reputation as a lawyer was widespread. He tried important cases in many courts of this State and he was known as a quick-witted, brilliant and learned practitioner.  He won many a hard-fought legal battle in court and was often complimented by his antagonists for his ability as a trial lawyer. It was characteristic of him that he always gave to every case in which he figured the best that was in him.  He fought just as hard to win an unimportant case as he did in matters in which large sums were involved.

During his long career as a lawyer Mr. Osborn was often matched against some of the greatest legal talent in the country and more than once he emerged form the contest a victor.

Mr. Osborn had the reputation of being exceedingly skilful in summing up a case and he never failed to make a deep impression on a jury.  He was eloquent, forceful and expressive and he seldom referred to notes in making a final plea to a jury.  He had a wonderfully retentive memory and with his broad knowledge of the law, his summations were always impressive and convincing.

Mr. Osborn exerted a great influence in the community in which he lived and this was manifested often at appropriation meetings, where he frequently appeared to speak for or against some item in the budget. He seldom failed to carry his point.

He was public-spirited, although at time, when convinced that some project was not advisable, he would oppose it with all the energy of which he was capable.  Generous-hearted, Mr. Osborn gave liberally to charitable causes and any worthy object brought to his notice.

Frank H. Osborn married, June 12, 1895, Harriet Gage, the ceremony taking place in Durham, New Hampshire. She died March 23, 1931. They became the parents of two daughters: 1. Mrs. Forrest S. Emery, of Brookline, Massachusetts. 2. Mrs. William K. Kerr, of Brooklyn.

 The death of Frank H. Osborn occurred November 20, 1931, at his home on William Street, Catskill, New York, and was an occasion of profound regret and sorrow. Many glowing tributes were paid him, and court was adjourned at Hudson out of respect for him. His accomplishments were highly constructive along a variety of lines, and he will long be affectionately remembered by a host of friends on all walks of life.


John L. Fray

wpe2.gif (282766 bytes)For many years active in the practice of law in Catskill, John L. Fray is a member of the firm of Osborn, Bloodgood, Wilbur and Fray, of this city, a firm that, through its different forms, has a continuous history dating back over an entire century.

Mr. Fray was born February 18, 1885, in Columbia County, New York, and as an infant was brought to Greene County by his parents, John H. and Catherine R. (Brandow) Fray, where his father was engaged in landscaping work. The mother, who was born in 1856, is still an honored Greene County resident.

Public schools of Catskill provided John L. Fray’s early formal education, and afterward he became a student at Albany Law School of Union University, where he took the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1906. From law school he came to Catskill, engaging in a general practice of law. He has had a notable advantage in association with such preceptors as Senator Clarence E. Bloodgood and later Frank H. Osborn, who, with others gave him much of his preliminary law training. In 1916 Mr. Fray became a member of the law firm of Osborn, Bloodgood, Wilbur and Fray in which his partners were Frank H. Osborn (q.v.), Albert C. Bloodgood and Howard C. Wilbur. Mr. Osborn, for years one of the members of the firm until his death November 20, 1931, was admitted to the bar in 1880, and on December 1, 1896, became associated with W. Irving Jennings and Chase, in which Emory A. Chase (q.v.) was a partner until his election to the Supreme Court bench in that  year.  Two years later Mr. Jennings withdrew, and the firm of Osborn and Bloodgood was established on May 1, 1898. Howard C. Wilbur came into the firm January 1, 1905, and it was thereafter known as Osborn, Bloodgood, and Wilbur until Mr. Fray’s admittance.

Mr. Fray’s contribution to the firm has been a significant one, earning for him wide recognition and approval. The firm has as its clients the larger interests of the district, including the banking and larger corporations.  Mr. Fray is counsel for the New York State Bridge Authority. He is a member of the Greene County Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. A member of the bar since March, 1907, he has been a consistent Democrat in his political views, and is a director of both the Catskill Savings Bank and the Tanners’ National Bank. He is a member of Catskill Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, and is a trustee of the Methodist Church.


James Lewis Malcolm

James Lewis Malcolm---The late James Lewis Malcolm was trained to the profession of law and for a quarter of a century was a distinguished member of the Greene County bar.  His professional attainments, however, and his success as a practicing attorney constituted only one phase of his career.  In the sphere of public service and the realm of civic affairs, he had important responsibilities for many years in the Republican party of Greene County he was long an influential figure. Throughout the closing period of his life, he was also editor and publisher of the “Greene County Examiner.”  Able, public-spirited and widely loved, he was one of the best known citizens of Catskill, and there were few phases of its life which did not benefit by the constructive force of his leadership.

Mr. Malcolm was born in Catskill on June 18, 1887, son of Joseph and Jeannie (Lewis) Malcolm and a descendant of a Scottish family. His father, who was born in New York, operated a woolen mill in Catskill for many years under the firm name of  Malcolm & Pettingill.

James Lewis Malcolm received his preliminary education in the Catskill public schools and later was a student at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, and at Yale University, where he prepared for his professional career.  After taking the degree of Bachelor of Laws at Yale Law School in 1910, he was admitted to the bar and entered the office of the law firm of Kneeland, Harrison and Hewitt, in New York City. During two years of service there he became managing clerk of the office. In 1912,  Mr. Malcolm returned to Catskill and established the law practice to which he devoted himself without interruption until the time of his death. In 1920 he formed a partnership with R. H. McQuistion of New York City, under the firm name of McQuistion and Malcolm.  Offices of this firm were maintained in New York City and Mr. Malcolm continued the connection until the close of his career. At Catskill he subsequently formed a law partnership with Percy W. Decker and after this firm was dissolved he practiced alone with offices in the Masonic Temple.  During the course of his career Mr. Malcolm appeared successfully in a wide variety of cases and frequently represented important interests. His professional standing was acknowledged by his colleagues and the public alike and by virtue of his attainments and record he became one of the leading members of the Greene County bar.

Shortly after his return to Catskill from New York City, Mr. Malcolm’s legal talents were publicly recognized in his appointment to the post of corporation counsel of the village of Catskill. This office he held for sixteen years, from 1914 to 1930, during which he handled all legal details connected with the many public improvements undertaken by the village board of trustees, including, notably, the acquisition of the present Catskill water system, the Potic Dam and Reservoir, extensive paving projects and others. All bond issues and similar details involved in these projects were also under his full charge. In March 1937, shortly before his death, Mr. Malcolm was again appointed corporation counsel at Catskill. Meanwhile, for nine years, beginning in 1919 and continuing through the years to 1927, he served as county attorney of Greene County, an office whose many responsibilities he also discharged with efficiency and zeal. In addition, he was town attorney for many years, serving at the time of his death, and for fifteen years, terminating with his resignation in 1930, acted as United States Referee in Bankruptcy. In 1934 he undertook and completed a revision of the village ordinances of Catskill, and his work in this connection was highly praised. The World War period brought him further responsibilities which he assumed as a duty of patriotic citizenship. Following the entry of the United States into the war, Mr. Malcolm acted as director of the military census of Greene County and chairman of the Red Cross drive in this county.  He was also legal adviser of the local draft board, secretary of the Home Defense Committee and was afterward appointed supervisor of the Bureau of Imports of the War Trade Board, with headquarters in Washington, District of Columbia. Subsequently he became supervisor of the Bureau of Aircraft Production, in which capacity he had two thousand persons under his direction. Preferring military status to civilian service, he applied for and received a commission as second lieutenant and was assigned to duty in the legal department of the Aviation Corps.  At this time he spent a year and a half in the national capital on active war service.

In addition to his professional connections, Mr. Malcolm had a number of business interests. He was both a director of the Tanners National Bank of Catskill and a trustee of the Catskill Savings Bank, long established and widely known financial institutions of this community. When the old “Catskill Daily Examiner” met financial difficulties and was forced into bankruptcy, Mr. Malcolm purchased this historic organ of news and opinion, renamed it the “Greene County Examiner,” revitalized it and served as its editor and a president of the publishing company, Catskill Publications, Inc., until his death.  This was a highly congenial interest, to which he devoted much of his time.  Since his school days, when he was editor of the school paper of Phillips Academy and member of the staff of the Yale University paper, as well as New England sports correspondent for one of the large press associations, he had  had a strong leaning toward journalism. That he was able to gratify this taste through his work with the “Greene County Examiner” was a source of great satisfaction to him.

Mr. Malcolm was long a power in Republican politics and served for many years as chairman of the Republican Village Committee and as chairman of the  Republican Town Committee, which latter office he occupied at this death.  He was also a member of the Republican County Committee during the greater part of his career and brought to its councils a whole-hearted allegiance to party interests, as well as the enterprising leadership and acute judgment which always distinguished him. His civic interest were innumerable, embracing all movements designed to promote the progress and welfare of Catskill and the county and the principal institutions of the area.  Mr. Malcolm was president of the Greene Tuberculosis Committee for several years and was a trustee of the Chase Memorial Library. He was a charter member and past president of the Catskill Rotary Club and a leader in the Catskill Chamber of Commerce, on many of whose committees he served.  Among these was the Bridge Committee, which played a useful role in bringing to consummation the project for construction of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, spanning the Hudson at Catskill. For many years he actively manifested his deep interest in the Catskill Fire Department. In addition to his other connections, Mr. Malcolm was a member of the American Bar Association, the New York Bard Association, the Greene County Bar Association, the Yale Club of New York City, the Linage Club, the Rip Van Winkle Club, and the Greene County Fish and Game Club, Inc.  He was affiliated fraternally with Athabasca Tribe, No. 251, Improved Order of Red Men; and with the Masonic Order, in which he was a member of Catskill Lodge, No. 468, Free and Accepted Masons, and Catskill Chapter, No. 285, Royal Arch Masons. Mr. Malcolm was also affiliated with the Phi Delta Phi fraternity and in its early years was active in the American Legion, becoming a charter member of Catskill Post, No. 110, and helping to organize all the Legion posts of Greene County. A Presbyterian in religious faith, he served as trustee of Christ’s Presbyterian Church in Catskill.

On October 22, 1913, James Lewis Malcolm married Jessie Churchill Chase, daughter of Emory A. Chase (q.v.), distinguished jurist and late associate justice of the Court of Appeals of New York State, and Mary Elizabeth (Churchill) Chase.

Mr. Malcolm died at Catskill on April 7, 1937. He had many claims upon the regard of his fellow-townsmen and the unexpected and relatively early termination of his career was widely mourned.  Not the least of his gifts was his happy capacity for friendship. “Of a genial, friendly nature,” it was written of him, “courteous and always ready to confer favors, Mr. Malcolm was popular in a wide circle. He was a man of high integrity and held the esteem and confidence of his fellow-citizens.” 


Cyrus Edward Bloodgood

Cyrus Edward Bloodgood---Long active in business affairs in the Capital Region, Cyrus Edward Bloodgood was for years a merchant and public servant in Hensonville, and during much of his official career in Greene County made his home in Catskill, the county seat. Throughout county and district he was exerted in the many different connections of his life was a constant power for good.

Mr. Bloodgood was born September 23, 1846, in the town of Jewett, Greene County, son of Jason F. and Lucinda (Coe) Bloodgood. His father was engaged in farming.

Cyrus E. Bloodgood had a public school education and spent his early life on his father’s farm.  When he reached the age of twenty years, he went to Hensonville, where he entered the mercantile business in association with his brother Levi W. Bloodgood. Elected county clerk of Greene County, Cyrus E. Bloodgood served in that office from January 1, 1898, to January 1, 1904. On being so elected, he removed to Catskill, where he lived for the rest of his life.  In 1881 and 1882 he was chairman of the board of supervisors.

Many aspects of community life interested Mr. Bloodgood, who was a trustee of the Catskill Savings Bank and a director of the Tanners National Bank of Catskill. For six years he was clerk of Greene County, as indicated above, and held the other offices indicated. He was a trustee of the Young Men’s Christian Association and the Catskill Methodist Church.

Cyrus Edward Bloodgood married (first) January 4, 1871, at Hensonville, New York, Lydia A. Chase, daughter of Albert and Laura Orinda (Woodworth) Chase and a descendant of Thomas Chase, who came to America from Chesham, England, in 1636, according to family records.  There are seven generations from Thomas Chase to Mrs. Bloodgood. Her grandparents on the maternal side were Abner and Betsey (Judson) Woodworth, who were married at East Jewett, New York, in 1844. Mrs. Bloodgood’s brother, the Hon. Emory Albert Chase (q. v.), was a distinguished lawyer and judge. Cyrus E. and Lydia A. (Chase) Bloodgood were the parents of one son, Albert C. Bloodgood (q.v.), born November 23, 1871.

Mr. Bloodgood married (second), December 12, 1883, at Windham, New York, Alice A. Munson, daughter of Silas L. and Julia R. (Smith) Munson. They became the parents of three children: 1. Grace M. Bloodgood, now Mrs. Grace M. (Bloodgood) Deer, born January 18, 1885.  2. Beulah W. Bloodgood, born November 28, 1886, now Mrs. Beulah W. (Bloodgood) Rogers. 3. Clarence M. Bloodgood, born February 16, 1894.

The death of Cyrus Edward Bloodgood, August 10, 1914, was an occasion of deep sorrow in the Catskill community and throughout Greene County, where he was so widely known. Services were preformed by the Rev. J. W. Tetley, pastor of the Catskill Methodist Church, and the Rev. C. G. Hazard, D. D., pastor of the Christ Presbyterian Church.  The Rev. Mr. Tetley called attention to Mr. Bloodgood’s loyalty to principle and to friends, and spoke eloquently of his worth as citizen and Christian; and it is said that, as he spoke, there was not a dry eye in the large audience, so great were the esteem and admiration in which Mr. Bloodgood was held. The “Catskill Daily Mail” of August 10, 1914, said : 

Cyrus E. Bloodgood was physically and mentally of that rugged fiber which marked the citizenry of another generation which is rapidly disappearing. He thought in straight lines and expressed his opinions and belief in an equally straightforward manner.  He was little in sympathy with equivocation, but loved a man who told the truth whether he was friend or foe.  And, perhaps, it was because of this characteristic that he had so few foes and so many friends. He bore his own troubles almost stoically, but for the sorrows of others he had the most profound sympathy. He will be remembered for those splendid traits of character which go toward the making of the high-minded, self-controlled, patriotic citizen.
 

Albert Chase Bloodgood

Widely and favorably known in the legal profession and for his own work as a lawyer, Albert Chase Bloodgood is a member of the law firm of Osborn, Bloodgood, Wilbur and Fray, of Catskill.

Mr. Bloodgood was born November 23, 1871, in Hensonville, New York, son of Cyrus Edward and Lydia A. (Chase) Bloodgood.  His family is an old and well established one on both sides of the house. His grand father on the paternal side, Jason F. Bloodgood, was a farmer in Greene County, and his paternal grandmother was Lucinda (Coe) Bloodgood, a member of the old Coe family. On the maternal side of the house, Albert C. Bloodgood’s ancestry dates back eight generations,  according to family records, to Thomas Chase, who is on record as having come from Chesham, England, in 1636. Albert C. Bloodgood’s maternal grandparents were Albert and Laura Orinda (Woodworth) Chase, the latter a daughter of Abner and Betsey (Judson) Woodworth, who were married in 1844 in East Jewett, New York.  His uncle, the Hon. Emory Albert Chase (q.v.), was a distinguished lawyer and judge.  The father, Cyrus Edward Bloodgood (q.v.), was a merchant in Hensonville, though he removed to Catskill in 1898 upon being elected clerk of Greene County. He held other public offices, notably that of supervisor from the town of Windham in 1881 and 1882 and that of chairman of the board of supervisors in 1882.

Albert Chase Bloodgood attended common schools, and was graduated from the Eastman Business College, in Poughkeepsie, New York. Studying law, he took up the practice of his profession in Catskill, where he is today a member of the law firm of Osborn, Bloodgood, Wilbur and Fray. This firm, persisting through many changes in personnel and in community conditions, dates far back in Catskill’s legal history.  With it have been associated from decade to decade, since the eighties of the last century, such eminent names as those of Judge Emory Albert Chase (q.v.), Frank H. Osborn (q.v.), W. Irving Jennings (q.v.), Howard C. Wilbur and John L. Fray (q.v.). In a grand procession these men and others of their colleagues have represented the legal fraternity in their district, each one a link in a vast chain constituting a splendid professional succession. First there was the law office of King and Hallock, in which Emory A. Chase studied in the late seventies. Then came Hallock and Jennings, in which Judge Chase was a law clerk before his admittance to the bar; then Hallock, Jennings and Chase, after July 4, 1882; then Jennings and Chase following Mr. Hallock’s retirement September 22, 1890; then, after Judge Chase’s elevation to the bench, in 1896, Jennings and Osborn, with W. Irving Jennings and Frank H. Osborn as partners.  At Mr. Jennings’ retirement, May 1, 1898, the firm became Osborn and Bloodgood, when Albert Chase Bloodgood became a partner of Mr. Osborn. Howard C. Wilbur was admitted on January 1, 1905, after which the firm style was Osborn, Bloodgood and Wilbur, so continuing until John L. Fray’s entry, March 1, 1916, changed it to Osborn, Bloodgood, Wilbur and Fray, its present form.

Albert Chase Bloodgood, since his membership in this firm, had taken his full share of responsibilities for carrying on the legal work that arises in Catskill. He is highly regarded in Greene County, not alone for this service, but for his participation in business and community affairs. He is first vice-president and a trustee of the Catskill Savings Bank and a director of the Tanners National Bank of Catskill. As president of the Board of Education of the Union Free School District No. 1, of Catskill, he has further contributed to community welfare, and he is also president and a director of the Catskill Young Men’s Christian Association and a member of the Rip Van Winkle Club and the Presbyterian Church.

Albert Chase Bloodgood married, April 23, 1901, in New York, Annie Howland, daughter of Francis N. and Mary A. (Nichols) Howland. Mary A. Nichols was the daughter of  Brigadier-General George S. Nichols, a veteran of the Civil War, and Ann (Foster) Nichols.


Harry C. Emens

Figuring prominently in Cairo business life, particularly on the financial side, Harry C. Emens is cashier of the Cairo National Bank and is connected with a number of fire insurance companies of this area.

Mr. Emens was born February 17, 1892, in Binghamton, Broome County, New York, son of Charles H. and Ardell (Blair) Emens.  His father was for years engaged in the furniture and undertaking business in Owego, New York. The mother came from Schoharie County. Both parents are now deceased.

Public schools provided Harry C. Emens’ early formal education. From the classroom he went immediately into the furniture business in association with his father in Owego, New York. He remained for five years in that  business, then became connected with the Jamison Supply Company, at Marathon, New York. In 1917 Mr. Emens accepted a post as assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Marathon. Until 1925 he was associated with that bank. Then he came to Cairo as cashier of the Cairo National Bank, continuing since that time in this same capacity. He is also a director and an executive committeeman of the Pioneer Fire Insurance Company, the Greene County Fire Insurance Company (of Greenville, New York).

Fraternally Mr. Emens is active in Kedemah Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons and is a Past Master of Marathon Lodge.  He is also a member of Catskill Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. He is a trustee of the Presbyterian Church.

On August 2, 1912, Harry C. Emens married Adylene Cooley, of Binghamton, New York. Their son, Allyn Emens, a graduate of Cairo High School and of the University of Pennsylvania, where he took the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1935, is associated with the Central Hudson River Power & Light Company as a member of the sales department; he married Ruth Cole.


John A. Carman

 With the development of the business which he established as a young man a quarter of a century ago, John A. Carman, of Prattsville, has become the largest independent trucker in the East. His milk and fuel tanks, tractors, trailers and large fleet of trucks are in daily operation throughout a wide area ranging northward and westward from New York City and embracing virtually the entire New York milk shed. 

Mr. Carman was born at Roxbury, Delaware County, on November 3, 1893, son of Andrew and Eva (Mase) Carman, both of Prattsville. His father, a farmer and trucker, died in 1926. His mother is still living. After a public school education, John A. Carman began driving a team as a young man, and three years later bought horses and equipment and went into the hauling business for himself. In 1919 he bought his first motor truck and for some years after that hauled with both horses and trucks, until the motor vehicles gradually displaced the horse-drawn carts and his business in its present shape began to take form.  At this time Mr. Carman was engaged in hauling feed and coal from the railroad siding and mild to the various rail shipment points.

In 1920, when the tunnel was started, he acquired more trucks,  receiving the hauling contract and began the first major expansion of his business. In 1922 he received the contract to haul cement for the Ulen Construction Corporation building the intake shafts Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. In the same year he started his first long hauls, initiating this phase of his business by hauling feed and other products to Oneonta. In 1927 he made his first contact with the dairy industry by hauling milk into Catskill for the McDermott Dairies and, in 1929, started hauling from Prattsville to New York City. In 1931 he bought his first milk tank to haul for the Dairymen’s League on the Catskill-Millerton run, where cans had previously been used.  In 1933 he started with Hegeman Farms and added another tank, hauling out of Kortright Station and later out of Sheds.  In 1934 he bought five more milk tanks and began hauling for other companies—out of Poland for the Juniper Valley Dairy Company, in 1937; out of Blenheim for the Tuscan Dairies, in 1938, and also for Sheffield Farms until September, 1939, averaging eight hundred to one thousand cans of milk per day from Grand Gorge to Jamaica, Long Island. During the 1939 milk strike he hauled for all of his regular customers as well as from Vermont into the New York milk shed without a loss.  He has also hauled for the Rockdale Creamery Corporation of Rockdale and Smyrna, for Hagaman Farms, and Grand View, seven tanks per day; also for Hagaman out of Maybury Mills, Youngs Crossing, Sheds and Kortright Station, one thousand two hundred cans per day; for Breakstone Brothers out of Little Falls, three hundred cans daily; and for the Vogt Ice  Cream Company out of New Kingston, three hundred cans daily, and also three hundred cans from Kyserike to New Paltz and Roxbury.  At the present time he has a total of twenty-five milk tanks in operation.

In the package haul business the growth has been just as steady.  Mr. Carman began hauling for McDermott out of Catskill and continued for three years. When McDermott bought their new plant in Manorkill, he also took over that haul for two years, until the company started to do its own hauling. Afterward, when McDermott met financial difficulties, he purchased their trucks and continued the haul for another year and a half. In 1933 he began hauling case milk for Delaware County Dairies and L. Daitch & Company and has had this business amounting to fifty or sixty tons daily ever since. For the Vogt Ice Cream Company, he had been hauling cases and cans out of Delhi since 1933, with two loads daily out of New Paltz to New York City starting in 1937, also hauling for trailers which are spotted in New York, and two loads daily for Lexington Farms, since 1930, four hundred cans of cheese, milk and cream, and for Ferndale Farms hauls two hundred cans daily out of Hamden, besides transporting milk for them in big tanks out of Andes and Bovina Center, with additional loads of cream and powdered milk.

Mr. Carman also hauls general freight out of New York to all these points. In 1932 he launched another important department of his business when he began hauling petroleum products for himself, taking over for Sinclair & Texaco in 1933. In 1934 he added Colonial Beacon and, in 1935, Cities Service, Gulf, Standard Oil and a number of distributors.  These hauls are made from bulk storage plants on the Hudson River to Saratoga, Glens Falls, Schenectady, Grand Gorge, Valatie, Mechanicville, Whitehall, Unadilla, Fort Plain, Hagaman, Oneonta, Sidney, Delhi, Arkville, Liberty, Monticello, Port Jervis, Windham, Ellenville, Stamford, Luzerne, Hobart and other points. He has seven large tanks in operation all the time, hauling fuel oil, gasoline and kerosene.

On January 20, 1938, a fire destroyed his garage and ten trucks. The present fine garage, built in 1938, consists of two connected buildings, one 160x120, and the other part 90x90 feet, all planned and constructed by his own men.

Mr. Carman carries on his business under the name of John A. Carman, and by his initiative and sound judgment has built up what is now the largest independent trucking business in the East.  He operates in all a total of fifty trucks and tractors and forty-two trailers and give year around employment to from eighty to one hundred men. His dairy business alone amounts to four hundred tons daily, and for refrigerating these trucks he harvests about three thousand tons of ice yearly, which he stores in his own ice house at South Gilboa.

Mr. Carman, who has become one of Greene County’s leading business men, is a member of the Reformed Church and is independent in politics. In 1938 he was asked to be a candidate for the State Senate, on the Democratic ticket, but declined to run.  His business absorbs his entire attention, and his leisure is devoted to his family. 

On November 18, 1914, he married Ola Schermerhorn, of Grand Gorge. They became the parents of three children: Kathryn, deceased; Andrew a high school student, now seventeen years old; and Louis, fourteen years old, who is also attending high school.


Paul Fromer

Engaged in the practice of law and in real estate and insurance work in Catskill-Tannersville district, Paul Fromer is known throughout Greene County as one of the leading men here.

Mr. Fromer was born April 30, 1897, in Tannersville, New York, son of John and Mary Kilmer (Payne) Fromer.  His father is engaged in agricultural pursuits. The mother, who was born in Windham, died in 1937.

Tannersville schools provided Paul Fromer’s early formal education and be became a student at the Law school of New York University, where he took the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1919. Admitted to the New Jersey bar, he practiced for two years in that State, then, in 1921, returned to Tannersville to take over the real estate and insurance business of Jacob Fromer. He took the New York State bar examinations and was admitted to the bar in this State in the same year. Since 1921 he has conducted a general practice of law in Tannersville, along with his real estate and insurance work.

He has also rendered valuable service to the community. In 1924 he became town clerk, so serving until 1928.  In 1936 he was elected to the General Assembly for Greene County, so continuing until 1939, when he resigned from the Assembly to accept nomination as county judge and surrogate and judge of the Children’s Court. He was elected to this post, taking office January 1, 1940, and at the time writing is effectively and usefully serving the people here in his judicial capacity. He is a Republican and a member of the Board of Education. During the World War Mr. Fromer was in the United States Army from July, 1917, to August, 1919, as a member of the 4th Division. He now belongs to the American Legion, in which he is a past commander of Bunt-Brewer Post, No. 165, as well as of the Greene County organization. In the Veterans of Foreign Wars he is affiliated with Sergeant James F. Mc Carthy Post, No. 1545. He belongs to the Catskill Rotary Club, is a trustee of the Methodist Church, and in the Free and Accepted Masons is a member  of Mount Tabor Lodge, Mount Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Roundout Commandery, Knights Templar, and Cyprus Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. In leisure time Mr. Fromer enjoys the out-of-doors, particularly such sports as hunting and fishing. 

On June 2, 1923, Paul Fromer married Adelaide D. Molter, of Plainfield, New Jersey. The have three children: Paul Fromer, Jr., Frederick Fromer, and John Jacob Fromer.


James Cronk Constable

For more than forty years, James Cronk Constable has been engaged in business as a building contractor in the Tannersville section of Greene County. During this period he has erected many of the largest buildings in the village and neighboring resorts. Mr. Constable also carries on a lumber, coal and wood supply business.

He was born in Newburgh, Orange County, on December 21, 1865, son of Aaron and Mary (Cronk) Constable, both of Orange County families.  Although his father was a farmer, his own interests led him in other directions and after attending the Newburgh public schools he began clerking in a local grocery store at the age of fourteen.  Two years later he began his apprenticeship in the carpenter’s trade, which he followed, after qualifying as a journeyman, for several years before coming to Tannersville in 1894.  In this community he was employed as a carpenter by others for a short time, then established himself as a contractor.  His experience, reflected in the superior quality of his work, and his prompt fulfillment of all contractual obligations led to the rapid expansion of his business which he has since continued on an extensive scale.  Mr. Constable has erected some of the largest resort hotels and numerous fine residences in the Catskill, including many beautiful homes in Elka Park, Onteora Park and Twilight Park.  He handles all types of contracting work and since 1919 has developed as a joint enterprise a large business in lumber, coal and wood.

Mr. Constable, who is well known in the Catskills for his business interests, has also been active in the general life of Tannersville community, where his influence is acknowledged as a constructive force. He has served at various times in all village offices and has rounded out a long term as a member of the local board of education. Mr. Constable was one of the organizers of the Jacob Fromer Hose Company and is still a member of the company. He is a Republican in politics and is affiliated fraternally with the Knights of Pythias, in which he has been accorded honorary membership. A Methodist in religious faith, he serves as treasurer of the Tannersville Methodist Church. 

On December 21, 1898, James Cronk Constable married Frankie E. Eggleston, of Tannersville, daughter of Henry and Delia (Perry) Eggleston, born in Prattsville. They became the parents of one daughter, Violet, now deceased, a graduate of Tannersville High School. She married Harry L. Kirchner, of Kingston, and leaves two children: Joyce L. and Phyllis.
 


Edwin A. Ham

At the turn of the century, Edwin A. Ham entered the lumber business at Hunter, Greene County, through the purchase of an established lumber yard. The development of this enterprise by the expansion of the original business and the addition of new lines during the past four decades has made it the leading commercial concern in the village.

Mr. Ham is a son of Peter and Mary E. (McDonnell) Ham and a descendant of families established in Columbia and Dutchess counties before the Revolutionary War. His father, a farmer, was born in Clermont, Columbia County, but spent most of his life in Dutchess County. His mother was a native of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Both parents are now deceased.

Educated in the district schools of Dutchess County, Edwin A. Ham also attended Wilbraham Academy in Massachusetts, for one year and as a young man farmed with his father in Dutchess County until about 1885. At this time he moved to North Dakota, where he spent the following ten years. Upon his return to New York in 1899 he settled in Hunter and at that time purchased the lumber business of George W. Anderson. Through close application and good judgment he succeeded in building up a very extensive business, handling all types of builder’s supplies, feeds and paints as well as lumber. With its development the Ham enterprise became the leading business concern of Hunter.  Although its active operation is now in the hands of Mr. Ham’s son, the builder of the business continues as its principal owner.

Mr. Ham has always taken a leading part in local civic affairs and has given generously of his time in public office. He had completed twenty-five years as a member of the Hunter Board of Education and on numerous occasions has served on the village board. In politics he has always been a Republican. Mr. Ham is also active fraternally. For fifty-four years he ahs been affiliated with the Masonic Order, which he originally joined as a member of Dover Plains Lodge, No. 666, in Dutchess County. Since 1900, however, he has been a member of Mt. Tabor Lodge, No. 807. He is also a member of the Royal Arch Chapter at Windham and the Council of Royal and Select Masters at Catskill. Mr. Ham attends the Presbyterian Church. He married, on June 9, 187, Blanche Chase, of Jewett Heights, Greene County, daughter of George Chase, former member of the New York State Assembly.  Mr. and Mrs. Ham are the parents of two children: 1. George Richard, a graduate of Wilbraham Academy. After the completion of his education he came into the Hunter business with his father and has been its active head for several years.  

He is a member and Past Master of Mt. Tabor Lodge, No. 807, Free and Accepted Masons, and a member of the Royal Arch Chapter at Windham and the Council of Royal and Select Masters at Catskill. George R. Ham married Marian McCambridge, of Ticonderoga, New York, and they are the parents of one son, John M., now five years old.  2. Helen G., a graduate of Hunter schools and of Russell Sage College at Troy. She taught school for three yeas and is now living at home in Hunter.
 


Calvin Ira Lacey

Succeeding his father in the Ford agency at Catskill, Calvin Ira Lacy has operated this enterprise successfully, on a complete sales and service basic covering Greene County, during the past nine years.

He was born at Freehold, Greene County, on December 23, 1909, son of Roscoe C. and Mabel (Hunt) Lacy, both of Freehold. His father, a merchant at Freehold and later an automobile dealer in Catskill, died in 1931. His mother is still living.

Calvin L. Lacy received his preliminary education in the Freehold district school, later attending Catskill High School, Keystone Academy at Factoryville, Pennsylvania, and Colgate University. In 1930 he joined his father, who was then operating the Ford agency in the automobile business at Catskill, and worked in all the various parts of the business.  After only a little more than a year, his father died and Mr. Lacy took over the agency, which he has since operated under the name of R. C. Lacy Estate.  He handles the Ford, Mercury and Lincoln Zephyr cars and the Ford tractors and averages about two hundred cars annually in his sales figures. His sales and service territory includes all of Greene County.

Mr. Lacy, who makes his home in Freehold, is a Republican in politics and a trustee of the Free Christian Church at Freehold.  He is a member of the Catskill Chamber of Commerce. His success in the operation of his agency has made him well known among the younger business men of the county. 

On August 1, 1935, Calvin I. Lacy married Dorothy Simpson, of East Durham, New York, daughter of William Simpson. They are the parents of two children: Roscoe C. and Gail Christine.
 


Mahlon H. Atkinson, MD

Mahlon H. Atkinson, M. D.---One of Catskill’s best known professional men, Dr. Mahlon H. Atkinson has specialized in general surgery and fracture work in recent years. He is connected with a number of hospitals and organized groups in his profession, and is widely respected and honored.

Dr. Atkinson was born January 17, 1895, in South Amboy, New Jersey, son of Lawrence R. and Margaret (Stevenson) Atkinson. His parents now live with Dr. Atkinson. His father, who is retired, is a native of Pennsylvania. The mother came from New Jersey.

Public schools provided Dr. Mahlon H. Atkinson’s early formal education, and he completed his high school studies at South Amboy, his New Jersey birthplace, then went to the University of North Carolina, taking his degree of Bachelor of Science there in 1916. After an intervening period of war service, he studied medicine at the Harvard University Medical School, where he took the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1923.  His World War service with the United State Army began early in 1917 and continued until he was honorably discharged in May, 1919, rising from a first-class sergeant in rank to first lieutenant. Connected with the Sanitary Corps, he was assigned to United States Army Base Hospital, No. 1, at Vichy, France, there working in the X-ray department.

After completing his post-war medical studies, Dr. Atkinson began a general practice in Catskill in 1926. Meanwhile, he had an internship at Boston City Hospital, and served as resident surgeon at Albany Hospital.  He attended, at different periods, many special courses at the New York Post-Graduate Hospital, in New York City, as well as in Boston, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and elsewhere, so adding to his knowledge and skill. Gradually he limited his practice more and more to general surgery and to fractures, which have absorbed his major attention in recent years.

In addition to his regular practice, Dr. Atkinson has written numerous articles on fractures for medical journals. He has served as president of the Greene County Medical Society. He belongs to the York State Medical Society and the American Medical Association, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. His is chairman of the staff of the Greene County Memorial Hospital. Among his public duties, he ahs served as coroner of Catskill, He is a Republican in his political views, and is president of the Catskill Republican Club. Local civic, social and athletic affairs have taken up much of his time, and he is a past president of several organizations here---the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, the Catskill Country Club, the Rip Van Winkle Club and the Catskill Athletic Association. He is a member of Catskill Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, in which Order he is affiliated also with Catskill Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Catskill Council, Royal and Select Masters; Kingston Commandery, Knights Templar and the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is affiliated, too, with Catskill Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and is a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He worships in the faith of the Reformed Church of Catskill.

In Boston, Massachusetts, on April 4, 1921, Dr. Mahlon H. Atkinson married Lillon P. Hamer, of that city. They became the parents of one son, Mahlon H. Atkinson, Jr., a Catskill school student.
 


W. Irving Jennings

wpe14.jpg (141815 bytes)Although trained to the profession of law and for some years engaged in active practice, W. Irving Jennings devoted the greater part of his career to the financial responsibilities he assumed as president of the Catskill Savings Bank. For a quarter of a century he administered the affairs of this institution with sound judgment and sure vision, adding to the prestige and strength of the bank and winning in banking circles the distinguished position which he occupied until his death.

Mr. Jennings was born in Jefferson, town of Catskill, Greene County, on May 2, 1851, son of Daniel Dean Jennings, who was born at Freehold, and Elizabeth (Souser) Jennings, born at Jefferson.  After the completion of his general education in the district schools of Jefferson and at Catskill Free Academy, he began the study of law with the firm of Olney and King, composed of Danford K. Olney and Rufus King, then leading lawyers of eastern New York.  On June 6, 1872, he was admitted to the New York bar. Continuing as clerk with the law firm of King and Hallock, successor to Olney and King, he became a partner of Mr. Hallock in 1880, when Mr. King retired.  At that time the firm of Hallock and Jennings was organized. Emory A. Chase, later one of the judges of the New York State Court of Appeals, was at this time a clerk in the office. He remained a member of the office force and on his admission to the bar about a year later, became a partner in the firm.

In the fall of 1890, Rufus King, who was then president of the Catskill Savings Bank, died. Mr. Hallock, retiring from legal practice, became his successor as head of the bank. Mr. Jennings and Mr. Chase continued the practice of law under the name of Jennings and Chase until the fall of 1896, when, upon the election of Mr. Chase to the Supreme Court bench, Mr. Jennings and Frank H. Osborn became partners under the firm name of Jennings and Osborn. This firm carried on its extensive practice from the offices occupied by all the firm above referred to, located in an office building on the site now occupied by the new building of the Catskill Savings Bank.

Meanwhile, on January 2, 1895, Mr. Jennings had been elected president of the Catskill Savings Bank, with whose affairs he first became associated as a trustee on May 5, 1885, succeeding the late Sherwood S. Day. Following his election as president he endeavored for several years to continue his law work along with his banking duties, but the pressure of affairs became too great and on May 1, 1898, he retired form the firm of Jennings and Osborn and from the legal practice in which he had won an eminent position at the bar.  During the remainder of his career he devoted his time to the management of the Catskill Savings Bank and to the care of numerous trusts, which came to him with great frequency.

Mr. Jennings was also a director of the Tanners National Bank of Catskill from 1885 onward and of the National Bank of Coxsackie for many years. His attainments and notable record made him one of the leading bankers in eastern New York and his influence was widely felt. He was equally well known in his social relationships, through his intimate contacts with leading figures in this and other states, and as one of Catskill’s first citizens, whose interests touched and enriched all aspects of the village life.  He was a member of the First Reformed Church of Catskill, for several years was an officer of the church and for over thirty years was superintendent of its Sunday school.

On November 22, 1880, he married Annie C. Kortz.

W. Irving Jennings died on May 5, 1923, after a long and active career which brought him honor as well as success and a secure place in the regard of many who knew and valued his character and attainments.
 


Addison Porter Jones

wpe11.gif (426208 bytes)As president of the Catskill Savings Bank, Addison P. Jones has made a substantial contribution to the financial and business life of his native community and its people and institutions. He has been connected for many years with this bank and with banking affairs generally in the Catskill region.

Mr. Jones was born in Catskill on August 22, 1877, son of George Howard and Ione Elizabeth (Lusk) Jones and a member of a prominent local family. His paternal grandfather, for whom he was named, was State Senator from the Catskill district, serving at the time of the State Capitol was built in Albany, and for a period of years was a member and chairman of the County Board of Supervisors.  He was also a director of the Tanners National Bank of Catskill and a trustee of the Catskill Savings Bank, with both of which his grandson and namesake is connected.  George Howard Jones, the father, was for many years a leading member of the Greene County bar and for several years, county district attorney. In earlier life he served an enlistment in the State militia, now the New York National Guard. The mother, Ione Elizabeth (Lusk) Jones, was born in Coxsackie.

Addison Porter Jones received his general education in the public schools of Catskill and at Catskill Free Academy. From the latter institution, he spent three years with the Catskill dry goods firm of H. L. Boughton and then entered the Eastman Business College in Poughkeepsie, from which he was graduated in 1896. From 1897 to 1900 he was engaged in the grocery business at Catskill with his brother. On February 2, 1901, he entered the employ of the Tanners National Bank of Catskill as discount clerk and general bookkeeper, an association he continued until December, 1910, when he joined the operating force of the Catskill Savings Bank as clerk. Mr. Jones’ previous banking experience and demonstrated qualifications for larger responsibilities soon brought him advancement in the institution. On September 3, 1912, he was elected a trustee of the bank. In 1918, he was appointed assistant secretary and in 1923, was elected secretary.  This office he occupied until 1937.  Meanwhile, in 1927, he was also elected second vice-president. When the presidency of the Catskill Savings Bank fell vacant in 1937, Mr. Jones, who for years had borne conspicuous responsibilities in its management, was elected executive head of the bank.  He has served as president since that time, directing its operations with a sure hand.

Mr. Jones also continues his association with the Tanners National bank as director.  In addition to this banking connections, he was for some years a partner of Jones, Golden & Jones, and insurance and real estate firm, serving as  such until that firm was sold to Harring & Harring in 1935. Throughout his career he has taken an enlightened interest in civic affairs and in latter years has several times been called into the sphere of public service. During the World War period he was chairman of one of the Red Cross drives.  The quota of Greene County was $10,000 and Mr. Jones had doubts of their ability to raise it.  However, he personally organized committees in every town in the county and when the drive was ended had raised $243,000. In August, 1926, Mr. Jones was elected a member of the Board of Education of Catskill Union Free School District No. 1, and was president of the board from January 6, 1934, until his resignation on April 11, 1938, during which time the new Junior-Senior High School was erected.  On April 23, 1932, Mr. Jones was also appointed a member of the New York Bridge Authority by Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt and was successively reappointed  to this body by Governor Herbert H. Lehman on January 18, 1935, March 13, 1935, January 24, 1938 and February 4, 1941, the last appointment for the three year term which he is now serving.  On February 13, 1936, he was elected chairman of the New York State Bridge  and is still serving in this capacity, having been reelected on February 7, 1941. He has been a member of the authority since it was first constituted to build and operate the Rip Van Winkle Bridge at Catskill, and to operate the mid-Hudson Bridge at Poughkeepsie. In September, 1940, the State of New York purchased the Bear Mountain Bridge and the management of this bridge is also under the Bridge Authority.

Mr. Jones is a Democrat in politics and is past treasurer and past president of the Rip Van Winkle Club of Catskill, of which he has been a member since 1906. A prominent Episcopal layman, he was elected to the vestry of St. Luke’s Protestant Episcopal Church in Catskill in 1910, has served the church variously as financial secretary and treasurer and at present is senior warden.

On October 8, 1902, Addison Porter Jones married Alice Annette Whittaker, of Catskill, daughter of Howard and Amelia Elizabeth (Mitchell) Whittaker. They are the parents of one daughter, Ruth Elizabeth, born July 27, 1917, married, September 12, 1939, Roger Lyle Demeritt. She is a graduate of Skidmore College.
 

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