History of Putnam County
Dr. James H. Merritt, son of David and Naomi Merritt, was born in Carmel, July 26th, 1828, the family from which he was descended being among the older settlers in the county. His early education was obtained at the public schools of his native town, and he graduated from Amenia Seminary.
The study of his chosen profession was begun under the direction of a dental surgeon in Fond du Lac, Wis., and finished in the city of New York.
He then began the practice of dental surgery in Carmel, where he remained a short time, and in 1854 removed to Fond du Lac. In that place he remained about two years, then returned to Carmel and established his profession, and continued in its practice till the time of his death, which occurred August 21st, 1883, at the age of 55.
Dr. Merritt established an excellent and widespread reputation as a dental surgeon, and secured a large practice. During the last years of his life he interested himself largely in improvements upon his property, furnishing profitable employment to many needy people, and the laboring man out of employment found in him a willing and efficient helper.
He was a man of quiet habits, taking no part in political strife, and devoting his time to his business and his family, to whom he was strongly attached. He was for many years a zealous member of the Methodist Church of Carmel.
He was married in 1854 to Miss Antoinette, daughter of Morris Brown. Their children are: Ella (deceased), David S., Anna, John B., and Jessie (deceased).
Dr. Merritt was justly considered one of the most expert and successful members of his profession in the county. He was a well educated man, possess of very original ideas, and an earnest worker in all that he undertook.
The Foster Family. — Thomas and Nathaniel Foster, brothers, came from Cape Cod in 1740, and settled in Southeast. The farm of Thomas Foster was west of Doansburg, and he resided there till the time of his death, about 1790. Thomas had eight children.
Of these, James settled in Southeast, where his descendants are numerous; Seth settled on a farm about a mile east of Carmel, where his grandson, William H. Foster, now lives; and the others went to Dutchess county. Seth Foster married Huldah Ragan, about 1786. Their children were: Eleanor, wife of Jesse Kelley; Isaac, who died unmarried; Till, and Thomas. After the decease of his first wife, Mr. Foster married Elizabeth King, and has tow children: Huldah, wife of Ebenezer Kelley; and Laura, who died unmarried. Seth Foster died September 15th, 1837, aged 76.
Tilly Foster was born in 1793, died April 4th, 1842. His homestead was the farm on which the Tilly Foster Iron Mine is located, and from him it took its name. He married Sarah Armstrong and had children: Isaac E.; Seth; Eleanor, wife of Middleton Bell; Laura, wife of Nathan L. King, M.D.; Emily and James. By a second marriage he has one son, Walter, who died young.
Thomas Foster was born in 1795, and died September 22d, 1840, aged 45. He married Betsy, daughter of Joseph Crane, in 1821. They were the parents of two sons: Rev. Joseph, born 1822, was pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Red Mills, from 1854 to 1859, and died in 1860, leaving no children; and William Hill Foster, born May 7th, 1824. The latter, who is now living on the ancestral home, about a mile east of Carmel, married Rachel Chapman, of Sharon, Conn., and has three children: Emma Josephine, Marilla Chapman and Bessie Crane. Mr. Foster has long been an active member of the Presbyterian Church of Carmel, and for twenty-five years has been one of its ruling elders. The homestead farm was held by lease under Frederick Philipse, by Seth Foster, from 1786 to 1801. In the latter year he bought the farm and built the present residence in 1811.
William W. Everett, widely known as president of New Jersey Steamboat Company, is of Scotch descent, and is a grandson of the eminent Judge William Watts of Putnam county. His father, Leonard K. Everett, who married Miss Louise H. Watts, daughter of the judge, was a farmer residing at Carmel, where William W. was born, November 26th, 1838.
After finishing his education at the Carmel Academy, now Drew Seminary, Mr. Everett spent a few years in the home of his parents, leaving at the age of twenty-three for New York city, where he entered a broker's office as a clerk. He was thus employed during eight years, after which he returned to Carmel, where he remained till 1877. He then came again to New York.
At that time he was made a director in the New Jersey Steamboat Company commonly known as the People's Line Steamers, and in the fall of the following year he was elected president of the corporation, which position he continues to hold at this time.
Mr. Everett is a man of varied abilities and attainments. He manages the enormous business of the New Jersey Steamboat Company with promptness and dispatch, and he has won for himself a foremost place among the managers of our great steamboat lines. His position brings him constantly into contact with the great men of the time and he is widely and favorably known not only throughout his native county, but through the entire State, particularly at the capital and in New York city.
Mr. Everett was formerly connected with a number of social organization in New York, prominent among which were the New York and Manhattan Clubs, in which his genial disposition and open manner made him exceedingly popular. These same characteristics have also had a like effect in Putnam county, where he is greatly esteemed.
Mr. Everett married November 20th, 1860, Miss Georgeanna Kelly, daughter of Robert W. Kelly and granddaughter of the distinguished financier, Daniel Drew. They have three children: Gertrude, Robert R. and Louise.
The Weeks Family. — Hon. Chauncey R. Weeks was born in Carmel village March 12th, 1812, at the hotel on property now owned by heirs of Lewis Ludington.
His father, Robert Weeks, was a physician of Putnam county, of whom a sketch is given in this work, in the chapter relating to physicians.
His grandfather was a Quaker doctor and resided and practiced in town of Somers, Westchester county.
The Weeks family came from Cape Cod, Mass., but were originally from England.
Chauncey R. Weeks was educated at the public schools. He first learned the harness making trade with James Raymond. In 1833, taking a small interest with Waring, Tuffs & Co., in the menagerie business, he travelled through the Eastern States and Canada. In 1836, opened a general store in Carmel village. In 1838, was employed on steamboats on the Hudson River, as clerk, by Daniel Drew. In 1840, again engaged in the menagerie business. In 1842, became a partner with Raymond & Co., and travelled through United States. Later became a partner of the firm of Ogden, Weeks & Co. About 1860, retired from the menagerie business and became a stockholder in the People's Line of steamers on the Hudson. He was elected to the State Legislature in 1847 and again in 1856. In 183, he married Ada Raymond, daughter of James Raymond of Carmel village. Their children are: James R.; Thomas R. and Edward C. (twins); Louis and Chauncey R., jr., deceased.
Edward C. Weeks, son of Hon. Chauncey R. Weeks, and present county clerk of Putnam county, was born in Carmel in 1844. He was educated at Raymond Collegiate Institute, private school at Croton Falls, and Eastman's Business College, Poughkeepsie. He has always been an active man of business and has held positions of responsibility. For a number of years he was employed in the Croton River National Bank at Brewster, and the First National Bank of Carmel. For four years he was in the employ of Van Amburgh & Co., as treasurer. Later he engaged and traveled with P.T. Barnum as ticket agent. In 1880, he was elected supervisor of Carmel township. In 1881, he was elected county clerk of Putnam county and re-elected in 1884. For a number of years he has been secretary of the Putnam County Agricultural Society, and in 1885 was elected its president.
In 1867, he married Josephine Howes of Carmel, daughter of Williams Howes, and granddaughter of Nathan Howes, the prominent representative of this old and well-known Putnam county family.
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