Leonard House Giles
City of Troy

This biography is from Troy and Rensselaer County, New York, Volume III, by Rutherford Hayner, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York and Chicago, 1925. It was submitted by Debby Masterson.

LEONARD HOUSE GILES—The Giles ancestry is of English origin, Mr. Giles' forbears having removed from England, during the time of the Rebellion, to Ireland, where they settled in County Wexford. Henry Giles, the grandfather of Leonard H. Giles, was born in Clone House, County Wexford, Ireland, in 1795, and while still a young man came to the United States with his brother, William. He lived for a while in Durhamville, Oneida County, New York, where he remained until 1816, when he removed to Elizabeth, County of Leeds, Upper Canada, where he settled, built a long cabin, and began farming the land as he cleared it of its growth of timber. He went into the Canadian woods with wife and two children, and amid the rough surroundings of a pioneer's farm, four others were born. Henry Giles worked very hard to provide for his family; so hard in fact, that, at the age of thirtv-two, on October 24, 1823, he died from overwork. Reared in the faith of the Church of England, he embraced the teachings of John Wesley after coming to the United States, and became a local preacher of the Methodist Episcopal church, frequently, in Canada, filling the local pulpit when the "circuit rider" did not appear for the customary service. He was a man of great energy, a true Christian, and well liked in the community. Henry Giles, the pioneer, married, in Oneida County, in 1814, Margaret Jones, born in Wales, who survived him with five sons, whom, after becoming a widow, she brought with her from Canada to Rome, New York, where she died. These sons were: 1. Henry Godkin, of whom further. 2. David C., born November 1, 1816, who became a well-known fireman of the city of Utica, New York, where the stone which marks his burial place reads: "Erected by his many friends." 3. William W., born October 18, 1818. 4. James M., born in 1820. 5. John J., born November 13, 1822.

Henry Godkin Giles, eldest of the sons of Henry and Margaret (Jones) Giles, was born in Deerfield, Oneida County. New York, March 27, 1815, and died in Troy, New York, January 5, 1879. He was taken to the frontier home in Canada by his parents soon after his birth, and there spent the years prior to 1823. In that year his father died, and not long afterward Mrs. Margaret Giles with her sons came to Rome, New York, where Henry G. Giles attended the public schools. He became head of a hardware and stove business in Rome, and continued in business until 1858. The following two years were spent in business in Rochester, New York, then in i860 Troy became his home and business location. In Troy, New York, Henry G. Giles established a foundry for the manufacture of stoves, building up a good business, to which he admitted his son, Leonard H., they continuing in business as H. G. Giles & Son until the death of the senior partner in 1879. Henry G. Giles was a member of the First Particular Baptist Church, of Troy, serving that church as trustee. Under Governor Seward, he held the rank of paymaster in the New York National Guard, and his life was one of wellrounded influence. Mr. Giles married, June 2, 1840, at Houseville. Lewis County. New York, Harriet House, born November 7, 1816, daughter of Leonard and Louisa (Murdock) House. Her ancestry was English, through Buckingham and Murdock lines tracing to Thomas Buckingham, who died in 1657. Thomas Buckingham sailed from London, and landed at Boston June 26, 1637. He was one of the Puritan settlers, and the ancestor of all the American Buckinghams. He later removed to Ouinnipiack (New Haven) in 1638, his home being located on the square now surrounded by Chappel, Church and College streets. He married twice, his first wife, Hannah, dying June 28, 1646, leaving five children. Thomas (2), youngest of the children of Thomas and Hannah Buckingham, was born in 1646, and died April i, 1709. He married (first) Hester Hosmer, September 20, 1666. She died June 3, 1702, leaving nine children. He married (second) August 10, 1703, Mary Hooker. Thomas (3), son of Rev. Thomas and Hester (Hosmer) Buckingham, was born September 29, 1670, and died September 12, 1739. He married Margaret Griswold. Captain Joseph Buckingham, son of Thomas and Margaret (Griswold) Buckingham, was born January 20, 1707. He married Sarah Tully, September 24, 1741. They were the parents of six daughters. Ann Buckingham, youngest child of Captain Joseph and Sarah (Tully) Buckingham, was born in Saybrook, Connecticut, August 4, 1753. She married Rev. James Murdock, of Saybrook, Connecticut, born February 10, 1755. They settled in Sandgate, Vermont, about 1780. Louisa Murdock, daughter of Rev. James and Ann (Buckingham) Murdock, was born January 12, 1788. She married Leonard House, of Turin, New York, who was born August 24, 1787. She died July 6, 1870. Harriet House, daughter of Leonard and Louisa (Murdock) House, was born November 7, 1816, and died in 1876. She married Henry Godkin Giles, June 2, 1840. Henry G. and Harriet (House) Giles were the parents of two sons: Leonard House, of whom further; and Albert Henry, born in Rome, New York, March 22, 1844, and there died, January 2, 1850. Father, mother and son are buried in Rome. Mrs. Giles, the mother, died in the same room in which she was born, ninety-five years before.

Leonard House Giles, only son of Henry G. and Harriet (House) Giles to survive childhood, was born in Rome, New York, May 23, 1841, and now (1923), at the age of eighty-two, is a well-preserved, successful business man of Troy, New York. The first seventeen years of his life were spent in Rome, where he acquired his education in public schools and in Rome Academy. In i860 the family came to Troy, and there for a year he studied law in the office of Judge George Gould. The professional idea was then abandoned, and until 1866 he was employed in the J. M. Warren & Company hardware store. In 1866 he became associated with his father in the stove manufacturing business, that association continuing until the death of Henry G. Giles in 1879. The firm H. G. Giles & Son was continued by Leonard H. Giles until the sale of the plant in 1888, Mr. Giles the same year establishing his present business, nickel plating and manufacturing. Later he formed the present partnership. Giles & Neilson Nickel Works, and that firm still continues a prosperous existence (1923), the company plant since 1915 being at No. 15 Front Street, Troy. Mr. Giles continues active in the business and his eighty-two years rest lightly upon him.

In politics Mr. Giles is classed as an independent Republican, which means that he is not partisan, but does not mean that he has no pronounced views on public questions, for he has, and is keenly alive to his responsibilities as a citizen. He is a member of the Troy Club, the Deeper Waterways Association, the New York Historical Society; the First Particular Baptist Church, of Troy, of which he is senior deacon; and of Troy Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution. He is an expert on Oriental rugs and owns some rare specimens. He is highly esteemed in the city which has for so long been his home.

Leonard H. Giles married, at Cohasset, Massachusetts, January 20, 1869, Susan Elizabeth Snow, born at Cohasset, October 21, 1847, died at Troy, New York, April 25, 1872, and is buried in her native Cohasset. Susan E. Snow was a descendant of Nicholas Snow, who came to Plymouth in the ship "Ann" in 1623, and married Constance, daughter of Stephen Hopkins, both of whom came in the "Mayflower" in 1620. The line of descent from Nicholas and Constance (Hopkins) Snow is through their son, John Snow, and his wife, Mary Smalley; their son, John (2) Snow, and his wife, Elizabeth Ridley; their son, Anthony Snow, and his wife, Sarah Paine; their son, David Snow, a soldier of the Revolution, and his wife, Hannah Collens; their son, Henry Snow, and his wife, Deliverance Dyer; their son, Captain Henry Snow, and his wife, Susanna Stoddard; their daughter, Susan Elizabeth Snow, and her husband, Leonard H. Giles. The children of Leonard H. and Susan E. (Snow) Giles are: Anna Louise, born at Troy, New York, February 4, 1870; Henry Snow, of further mention. Leonard H. Giles married (second) at Jersey City, New Jersey, December 15, 1880, Anna Laurella Clarke, born in Albany, New York, January 28, 1861. The family home is "Sunnyside," Troy.

Henry Snow Giles, only son of Leonard House and his first wife, Susan Elizabeth (Snow) Giles, was born at Troy, New York, April 22, 1872. After graduation from Troy High School he entered business life, and eventually entered into a partnership with Guy Ball, under the firm name of Ball & Giles, custom shirt manufacturers.

He is a member of the "Old Guard" of the Troy Citizen Corps, a veteran of the Spanish War, a veteran volunteer fireman, a member and trustee of the First Particular Baptist Church, and in politics is an independent Republican.

Henry Snow Giles married, June 29, 1910, Ethelyn Howe Ripley, of Cohasset, Massachusetts, and they are the parents of two children: Barbara House, born in Troy, May 1, 1911; and Edward Ripley, born in Troy in November, 1918.

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