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This biography is from Landmarks of Albany County, New York, edited by Amasa J. Parker of Albany, N. Y., Syracuse, N. Y.; D. Mason & Co. Publishers, 1897.

Isaac W. Vosburgh

The late Isaac W. Vosburgh, of Albany, was a lineal descendant of Abram Pieterse Vosburgh, who came from Holland and settled at Beverwyck (now Albany) in 1653. With this original ancestor came three brothers, who located in Kinderhook, Claverack, and the Mohawk Valley respectively. Abram P. married Gertruy Pieterse Koeymans, or Coeymans, and had a son Isaac, who married Anna Janse Goes in 1686. Abraham, son of Isaac, married Geertje Van Den Berg in 1719, and their son Isaac, born 1720, died 1785, married, in 1759, Catherine Staats Dort. Their son, William Vosburgh, born 1772, died 1839, was a contractor, and in 1799 married Mary McDonald. Mr. Vosburgh was therefore descended from one of the oldest Holland Dutch families of Albany, and from his ancestors inherited a liberal measure of their thrift and noted characteristics.

Isaac W. Vosburgh was born where his ancestors had lived for four generations, in Albany, on the 21st of December, 1801, his parents being William Vosburgh and Mary McDonald. He received a common and private school education, and on February 3, 1828, became a clerk in the hardware store of George Humphrey, who in 1825 was succeeded by the firm of Humphrey & Co. Mr. Vosburgh remained with this concern for six years. On January 1, 1829, he formed a partnership with Lansing Pruyn and Abram F. Wilson and purchased the hardware business then conducted by John Pruyn and located where the post-office building now stands. The firm of Pruyn, Wilson & Vosburgh conducted a successful trade until 1842, when Mr. Wilson retired and the name was changed to Pruyn, Vosburgh & Co. This copartnership continued business until 1860, when Mr. Vosburgh retired permanently from active life, being at that time one of the oldest hardware merchants in Albany. The last store occupied by his firm was the east half of the store now owned by the Albany Hardware and Iron Company on State street.

Mr. Vosburgh, during a long and active career, was uniformly successful, and retained the confidence and respect of all who knew him. He took a deep interest in the welfare of his native city, was prominently connected with several charitable and commercial institutions, and gave liberally of both time and means for the advancement of public interests. He was one of the founders of the Dudley Observatory and served as treasurer from its inception until about 1883, when he resigned on account of ill-health. He was also one of the originators of the Albany Rural Cemetery, was a trustee from its organization until his death, and was for many years chairman of its executive committee. He was long a trustee of the Mechanics' and Farmers' Savings Bank and of the Second Presbyterian church. In politics he was first a Whig and afterward a Republican, but never sought nor accepted public office. During the war of the Rebellion he staunchly supported the Union, and although at that time he was beyond the age limit and could not have been drafted, he nevertheless recruited and equipped and sent a substitute for each member of his family, who served with honor in the nation's cause. Mr. Vosburgh died in Albany, September 29, 1888.

He was married in 1841 to Miss Sarah Jane, daughter of Wiley Fletcher, of Albany, a descendant of William Fletcher, who came from Yorkshire, England, to Concord, Mass., in 1630. She was born in 1818 and survives him. Their children were Mrs. William Irwin and Mrs. Caldwell R. Blakeman, of New York city; Mary McD. and Miles Woodward Vosburgh, of Albany; Fletcher Vosburgh, who died July 30, 1895, at the age of thirty-nine; and two who died young. Miles W. is a general shipping agent in Albany, conducting the business established by the late William McElroy in 1840.

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