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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.

Winfield S. Hevenor

Winfield S. Hevenor (of the firm of Van Alstyne & Hevenor) is the eldest son of Robert D. Hevenor and Eliza C. Folger, his wife, and was born at Rhinebeck, N.Y., June 24, 1831. On his father's side he is a lineal descendant from some of the earliest German settlers of Dutchess, Columbia and Ulster counties, and of the mountainous regions of Pennsylvania and Virginia; on the side of his mother he is a descendant from Peter Folger, the brother of the mother of Benjamin Franklin, and also from one of the original Van Loons, who were among the earliest and most prominent settlers of Greene county, N. Y., and from whom the present village of Athens took its ancient name of Loonenberg. Mr. Hevenor was educated in the common schools of the town, and at Rhinebeck Academy, under the instruction of Professors Bell, Marcy, Dow, Schuyler, Smith and Covert, all foremost, in their time, among the educators of Dutchess county. No academy in the State, in those days, turned out better scholars than did Rhinebeck Academy; and many of the young men educated there have become prominent in professional and business life, and in the military service of the country. At the age of sixteen Mr. Hevenor had been fitted in the ordinary English branches, in higher mathematics and the sciences as then taught, as well as in Latin and Greek, to compete creditably with many graduates of the colleges of the day, and under the tuition of Mr. Covert especially, had acquired a taste for, and a knowledge of, the rules of composition and declamation, which have since proven of great value and assistance to him. Thus equipped, and determining to waive the opportunity offered him by his father and friends to proceed with an advanced college education, he commenced, and for two years was engaged in, teaching common schools in the neighborhood of his birthplace; and then, in September, 1849, upon the urgent solicitation of his old schoolmate, Hon. (Jeorge Wolford (formerly county judge of Albany county, and afterwards deputy superintendent of insurance), he came to Albany and took up the study of law with Messrs. Tabor & Joyce, and continued his studies with them, and with Messrs. Learned & Wilson, until he was admitted to practice in September, 1852. During his studentship with the latter firm he was also an attentive member of the first class of the Albany Law School (now merged in the Law Department of the University of Albany), under the instructions of Hon. Ira Harris, Hon. Amasa J. Parker and Amos Dean, esq., the founders and first professors of that now noted school; and he refers with conscious pride to the fact that the recommendation for his admission to practice as a lawyer bears the signatures of those eminent men. Mr. Hevenor's life, since his admission to practice, has been an active and busy one, professionally and otherwise. He served as assistant district attorney of Albany county under Hon. Andrew J. Colvin and Hon. Samuel G. Courtney during their respective terms as district attorney; afterwards filled one term as justice of the peace of the town of North Greenbush; was three years a member of the Board of Education of Union Free School District No. 6 of that town, serving one year each as clerk and president of the board; was afterwards for two years president of Bath-on-the-Hudson, and for several years served as attorney for the village of Greenbush. This constitutes his official life. In each position he was faithful, energetic and competent, and met the approval of the public. In the spring of 1858 Mr. Hevenor, after having been a partner of Mr. Colvin for several years, entered into co-partnership with Hon. Thomas J. Van Alstyne (afterwards county judge of Albany county, and later a member of congress from the Albany district), under the firm name of Van Alstyne & Hevenor. The firm located in Douw's building, in Albany, and has ever since continued, as a firm, in the practice of law in the same building. It is now the oldest unbroken law or business firm in the city of Albany, and probably the oldest in the State. Messrs. Van Alstyne and Hevenor are the oldest surviving tenants of the building. Their practice has been large, varied and usually successful. ln 1878 Mr. Hevenor married Christina Pottenburgh, eldest daughter of Capt. Henry Pottenburgh, who for many years was connected with the Old Night Watch, and afterwards with the uniformed police of the city of Albany. Four daughters are living, born of this marriage, to wit: Mrs. Maria Folger Colman, wife of Rev. Charles Colman, Baptist clergyman, of Germantown, Pa.; Mrs. Nancy Eliza, wife of Dr. J. Wilton Barlow, of Brooklyn, N. Y.; Ina Van Alstyne, unmarried; and Mrs. Robertina L. Leech, artist, widow of the late Samuel D. Leech, journalist; the latter two children are now residing with their parents. The only son of the marriage, Robert Henry Hevenor, who died in early childhood, had he lived till this time, would have been about thirty-three years of age. Although Mr. Hevenor received his first Sabbath school instruction from the noble daughter of the pioneer Methodist minister, Rev. Freeborn Garretson, he early in life, after investigation, adopted the creed of his paternal ancestry, that of the Lutheran church, and still holds the same religious views. In politics he has been for many years, and still is, an active and unswerving Democrat, and has many times advocated the principles of his party with tongue and pen. During the war of the Rebellion he was a "War Democrat," and was often called upon and found ready to address large gatherings of people in favor of "a vigorous prosecution of the war." In family and social life he is genial, social and kindly hearted, and has many friends. As a public speaker he is plain, argumentative and forcible, rather than ornate or sophomoric. Among his published addresses several orations delivered by him in his younger days, at different times, and a few memorial addresses delivered at meetings of the bar of Albany, have received great commendation; and his eulogy upon General Grant, pronounced at Round Lake, N. Y , shortly after the death of the general at Mount McGregor, was said to be among the finest and best addresses delivered in memory of the great chieftain. As a writer, Mr. Hevenor wields a facile pen, and his many contributions (political, historical and literary) to newspapers of Albany and other counties, have been warmly welcomed by the publishers, and read with pleasure and approval by their readers. Mr. Hevenor's present residence is at Bath-on-the-Hudson, N. Y.

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