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Richard S. Hammond

Biography courteously provided by Joyce Riedinger, Delaware County Coordinator.

RICHARD S. HAMMOND, a popular and prominent citizen of Roxbury, was born at Batavia Kill in this town, January 15, 1839. He is of English and Dutch descent, one of his great-grandfathers, named Ferris, having come here from Holland. Mr. Richard S. Hammond can remember going to visit him in his old log house many years ago. Mr. Hammond's paternal grandfather was Jonathan Hammond, who came to Roxbury from Long Island, and settled on a small farm and built a log house. His wife was Polly Jenkins. They had six children--Nathaniel, James, Polly, Phoebe, Margaret, and Litta.

Nathaniel Hammond, the father of the subject of the present sketch, was born at Batavia Kill, and received a common-school education. At the age of twenty-one he purchased a farm, which is now owned by James Sherwood, Jr. This farm he sold after improving the land and buildings, and went to work in the carpenter's trade, which he followed the rest of his life. He married Caroline Sears, the daughter of Richard Sears, and had eight children: Richard S.; Nancy; Franklin; Daniel and David, who were twins; James; Herbert; and Hector. After working as a carpenter at Roxbury for a short time, Mr. Hammond moved to Lexington, Greene County, and from there to Ulster County, where he spent the last years of his life. He was a Whig, and was a prominent citizen, well known and respected. His church preference was Baptist, and he was a prominent member of that church. He died at the age of forty-seven. His wife survived him, and married a second husband. Both are now dead.

Richard, who was named for his grandfather Sears, was educated in the district school. At the age of seventeen he went West to Illinois, where he worked farming, but came back to Roxbury after three years, and continued in the same occupation until a few months after the outbreak of the Civil War. He then took up arms in defense of his country, enlisting in September, 1861, in Company G, Twentieth New York Volunteer Militia, as a private at the end of a year being promoted to be Corporal. In the battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862, Mr. Hammond was wounded in the knee, and disabled so that he had to come home, receiving his discharge. After his return he bought a farm of one hundred and sixty acres at Pine Hill, Ulster County. At the end of two years he sold it, and bought out a grocery business in Pine Hill; but at the end of a few years, deciding to go back to farming, he traded his grocery business for a farm on Birch Creek. Here he remained ten years.

On July 4, 1865, he was married to Louise H. Cure, the daughter of William Cure, of Pine Hill. She died on his farm at Birch Creek; and he sold the place, and accepted a position as traveling salesman. On January 15, 1874, he married Phoebe Gray, daughter of Jonathan and Nancy Gray, of Ulster County. He has two children by his first wife, namely: Elmer F., who was born January 13, 1866, married Jennie Haines, has one child, and is now a well-to-do farmer in Lexington, Greene County; and Benjamin F., who lives at home. By his second wife he had four children: James W. and Louise H., both of whom died in childhood; Hermon H.; and Charles T. The former is thirteen and the latter seven years old.

Mr. Hammond was Deputy Sheriff for nine years, and is now a Constable in the town. He is a member of the John A Logan Post, No. 477, of the Grand Army in Stamford, and is a respected and popular citizen of Roxbury.

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