William F. Polk
Town of Watervliet

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.

WILLIAM F. POLK. It was more than fifty-four years ago that William F. Polk, a lad of thirteen years, became messenger boy in the employ of the Central National Bank of Troy. During the more than half century which has passed since that time he has been continuously identified with that institution and with its successor, the National City Bank of Troy, of which he is now cashier and a member of the board of directors.

Frederick Polk, father of William F. Polk, was born in Germany in 1829, and died in Watervliet, New York, in 1901. He came to the United States in 1858 and located in Watervliet, where he was engaged in the shoe business to the time of his death. He married Lizzetta Benton, also born in Germany, and they were the parents of five children : William F., of further mention; Charles F., formerly a wholesale drug merchant, now ('1923) in the State Income Tax Department at Albany; Frederick B., a bookkeeper with the National City Bank of Troy; Catherine, of Watervliet; and Minnie, who married John D. Wersinger, of Watervliet.

William F. Polk was born in Germany, March 24, 1856, and was brought to this country by his parents when he was two years of age. He was educated in the schools of Watervliet, where his youth was spent, and when he was thirteen years of age found his first employment as messenger boy in the employ of the Central National Bank, of Troy. He was a faithful and energetic worker and was advanced as rapidly as his years would allow, becoming successively discount clerk, bookkeeper, receiving teller and paying teller. In 1905, when the Central National Bank was merged with the National City Bank of Troy, he was appointed paying teller of the merged interests. In 1908 he was appointed cashier, which responsible position he has now held for fifteen years. In 1918 he was elected a member of the board of directors. He has fairly won his way to the position he holds, having begun at the bottom, and through his own merit and ability risen to high and honorable rank in the business life of his city.

In Masonry, Mr. Polk has many affiliations, being a member of Evening Star Lodge, No. 75, Free and Accepted Masons, of Watervliet; of Hudson River Chapter, No. 262, Royal Arch Masons, of Watervliet; of Bloss Council, No. 14, Royal and Select Masters, of Troy; of Apollo Commandery, Knights Templar, of Troy; and a Noble of Oriental Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Troy, of which he is treasurer. He is a member and director of the Troy Club; trustee of Bethany Presbyterian Church, at Menands, New York; and an attendant of the Fifth Avenue Second Presbyterian Church, of Troy.

Mr. Polk married, July 6, 1881, Celestine Lundergan, daughter of John and Caroline (Foster) Lundergan, of Menands, and they are the parents of four children: 1. Rollin S., born January 1, 1883, and educated in Troy schools and State Normal College. He is now assistant cashier of the Tompkins County National Bank, of Ithaca, New York. He married Beth Crandall, of Troy, and has three daughters: Betsey, Peggy, and Mary C, and a son, Rollin S., Jr. 2. John L. born March 2, 1885, and educated in Troy Schools, State Normal College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, now head chemist with the American Linseed Oil Company, at their Chicago (Illinois) plant. He married Anna Bell Patteson, of Buffalo, New York, and they have four children: Charles J., Eleanor, William F. (2), and John L., Jr. 3. Caroline, educated at State Normal College and Emma Willard School, Troy; married William H. Bosworth, Jr., of Florence, Massachusetts. Mr. and Mrs. Bosworth are the parents of two children: William H. (3), and Virginia Polk. 4. Emma, educated at State Normal College and Emma Willard School; she married Robert C. Switzer, of Menands, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Switzer are the parents of four children: Robert C. (2), William Polk, Emma Ruth, and Warren M., who died in infancy.

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