Calvin Crosby

Biography courteously provided by Joyce Riedinger, Delaware County Coordinator.


CALVIN CROSBY, a well-known resident of Fleischmanns, where he is an enterprising man of business, was born in Middletown, January 1, 1838, being the son of Horace and Phebe [Ackerly] Crosby, and grandson of Hopkins and Betsy [Weed] Crosby.

Hopkins Crosby was a farmer on Hubble Hill, where he worked the farm now owned by Elijah Hull. Later he went to Indiana, where he settled and continued farming until his death. His wife also died in that state, and they left the following children: Jeremiah, Horace, Calvin, Cyrus, Jeanette, Amanda, Esther, Maria, Elisha, and William. Horace was born on the old homestead at Hubble Hill in 1812, and grew to manhood there. Having learned the tanner's trade, he served as foreman in a number of different places, and then bought a tannery at Clovesville, in which place he carried on a successful business until his death. His wife was Phebe Ackerly, daughter of William and Lucy [Townsend] Ackerly, the former of whom was a carpenter. He died in early manhood, and left three children-Alfred, Matilda, and Phebe. The children of Horace and Phebe Crosby were: Calvin; Adelia, who married David Pulling, now deceased, and resides in Marlboro, Ulster County, N.Y.; and William H. and Mary F., both of whom died young. The father of these children was a Democrat, and a Methodist in religion. He lived to the age of sixty-three years, his wife reaching her seventy-first year. Calvin Crosby having received his education in the schools of Clovesville, began to work at the age of fourteen for Mr. Humphrey, then became clerk for the firm of Snyder & Dimmick, with whom he remained four years. He afterward purchased a horse and team, and for two years travelled the road with goods. He received the appointment of Deputy Sheriff for Delaware County under Gabriel S. Mead, of Walton, which office he held two years, and was for five years Constable in the town of Middletown. In 1864 he enlisted as a defender of his country's flag in Company C, First New York Engineer Corps, and continued in service until the close of the war, receiving an honorable discharge. On returning home, he married Augusta Van Valkerburgh, daughter of Alexander and Thankful [Peck] Van Valkerburgh. Her father is a mechanic, carpenter, and millwright, owning a saw-mill at Halcott Centre, Greene County.

After Mr. Crosby's marriage his father died; and he went into the mercantile business at Clovesville for, three years, but at last took his father's tannery, carrying it on from 1865 to 1886. During this period he met with various mishaps, at one time losing a large stock of leather by fire in Boston. But, not discouraged, he bought a new stock of bark and leather, which he lost by a freshet. Even this did not daunt him. He began again with renewed determination, and kept on with the business. In the mean time his mother died; and he found himself ignored in the will, the property going to others. In 1888 he established a general merchandise store at Fleischmanns, which he has continued to the present day, now having the largest trade in the village. In politics he is a Democrat, and has been Overseer of the Poor for eight years. He is a member of Margarettville Lodge, No. 389, A.F.& A.M.; of the Knights of Pythias; and of Elliot Post, Grand Army of the Republic. In religion he is a progressive thinker, being liberal in his views. He has led an industrious and useful life, and well deserves the trust reposed in him by his fellow-townsmen.


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