John Archibald

Information on this page is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, published in 1880.

JOHN ARCHIBALD was eldest of a family of four sons of Thomas Archibald, of the city of Durham, England, and was born March 11, 1788.

In 1819 his brother Thomas, who had been educated in Durham, emigrated to America. For two years he lived in Greenbush, this county, and for twenty-five years he was a resident and business man of Troy, N. Y. He received a license to exhort in the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1823; in 1833 he was fully licensed to preach, and in 1839, at Schenectady, he was ordained a deacon by the venerable Bishop Hedding. The last nineteen years of his life were spent in Chautauqua co., N. Y., where he died Nov. 20, 1868, aged seventy-five.

His mother died when he was only seven years old. At the age of twelve John went into service on a farm, and was employed in various ways until the age of twenty, when he became superintendent of the construction of the Neesam Railway, - one of the first built in England. At the age of twenty-two he married Ann, daughter of Robert and Jane Elvin. She was born in 1788.

For several years following his marriage he was a butcher and accumulated quite a comfortable competence. In June, 1823, he came to America, remained a few months with his brother, then in Troy, and returned for his family. In the spring of 1824 he bade adieu to the land of his birth, and with his wife and only daughter, Elizabeth, reached New York in June of the same year, settling in Troy, where he has since resided.

For fifteen years as a butcher and proprietor or a market, and eighteen years as a brick-manufacturer, he was familiarly known to the citizens of Troy. While carrying on the meat market be began to operate in real estate, and for forty years he has been engaged as a dealer in houses and lots, and has caused to be erected on Tenth, Fifth, and Sausse Streets, and on Oakwood Avenue, some forty buildings. His integrity in all his business operations, his continued activity in business circles for a half-century, and his genial, unostentatious ways, have made him widely known and respected in the community where resides. He formerly belonged to the Democratic party, but since 1858 has been a Republican. His life has been one of activity, and his career as a business man successful. He has never been solicitous of much publicity, yet many years ago, in 1857, he was inspector of election, and in 1858-59 represented the Tenth Ward in the common council.

During his long residence in the city he has ever recognized the responsibilities and duties of the citizen, and has been connected with the various public enterprises tending to its growth and prosperity. Both he and his wife have been efficient members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Troy since 1840, the latter until her death, Dec. 2, 1871. Mr. Archibald, soon after his connection with the Church, was chosen a leader, and upon his resignation of the arduous duties of that office, after many years' service, he was chosen a steward. He has been prominent in the councils of that Church as a trustee, and as a liberal contributor in building church edifices, not only for his own denomination, but for others needing assistance. For the past five years he has been deprived of his sight, a loss which he bears with great patience. His daughter, Mrs. Robert Wade, is a lady of great kindness of heart, and, by her constant attention, adds much to the comfort and happiness of her father in the decline of life, and now in the ninety-second year of his age.

Mr. Archibald is one of the old landmarks whose career reaches back to the last century, and while nearly three generations have passed away since he was born, he is still active in mind and comfortable in body.

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