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Family Sketches

Surnames Beginning with "O"

This page was last updated 25 Mar 2016

These family sketches are from Landmarks of Albany County, New York, edited by Amasa J. Parker of Albany, N. Y., Syracuse, N. Y.; D. Mason & Co. Publishers, 1897.

O'Brien, Dr. Francis J., son of Francis and Catharine (Collopy) O'Brien, was born in West Troy, June 13, 1860. He was educated in the public schools, the Troy Business College, and the New York College of Pharmacy, graduating from the latter in 1882. In 1887 he was graduated from the University of Vermont with the degree of M. D. From 1883 to 1886 he studied with the late Dr. Swinburne of Albany, N. Y. Since graduating from the Universty of Vermont he has practiced in West Troy.

O'Brien, Hon. Smith, was born in the town of Berne, Albany county, N. Y., February 12, 1850. He attended the public school of the town and after leaving was apprenticed to a mechanic; he learned the trade and worked at it until 1875, when he became ambitious to study law. He therefore entered the law office of Barret H. Staats of Clarksville, and remained with that lawyer for some time. Leaving that office he removed to Albany and read law with ex-Judge Jacob H. Clute. While there he attended the Albany Law School during 1877 and 1878, and was graduated in the latter year. In the fall of 1878 Mr. O'Brien was admitted to the bar and since that time has practiced law in the village of Clarksville and Albany. He was superintendent of documents in the Assembly of 1878 and 1879 and document clerk in 1884 under Charles R. Chickering. He performed his duties in an able manner and was brought prominently before the public. His popularity was well attested in 1885 when he was elected to represent the Second Assembly district of Albany county. Mr. O'Brien is a staunch Republican and is well liked. Since 1875 he has resided at Clarksville. He is now the attorney for the Fish and Game Commission.

Ogden, Charles G., son of Edward and Julia (Hand) Ogden, was born in Albany, N. Y., January 25, 1858. Mr. Ogden's father was born in England and on the maternal side he is descended from New England ancestors. He received his education in the Albany Academy, from which he was graduated in 1877. He then entered the office of his father, where he learned the business of architect and draughtsman. In 1892 he was taken into partnership, the firm being Edward Ogden & Son, located at No. 61 State street. In 1884 Mr. Ogden married Lizzie, daughter of Peter Kinnear, of Albany, and they have two children, a son and a daughter.

Ogsbury, John H., was born in the town of Guilderland, January, 1831. John David Ogsbury, or Augsburger, was the founder of the family in America. He was born in Altweyer, Switzerland, and landed in America, May, 1759, settling in the town of Guilderland, where he died July 2, 1800. His wife, Anna Rachel, was a native of Altweyer, and there was born to them three sons and five daughters. David, the next direct ancestor, was born in Guilderland in 1761 and died November 22, 1836. He was a farmer and served as a soldier during the Revolutionary war and was for a time stationed at Fort Schoharie. He conveyed provisions for the army, often fording the Mohawk River with his loads. His wife was Nancy Apple, who was born in August, 1768, and died March 3, 1849. They reared six sons and four daughters: Eve, John D., Henry A., David, Peter, Elizabeth, Alexander, Jacob, Nancy and Margaret. Henry, the father, was born in 1793 and when six years of age went to live with his grandparents, Apple, with whom he lived until he was fourteen when he engaged as clerk in Albany, where he remained for several years, thence to Middleburg, where he renewed the same vocation and five years later moved back to Guilderland, where he settled down, doing a pettifogging business, drawing wills and settling estates. He was active in Democratic politics, but always declined public office. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the Lutheran church. He died in July, 1853. His wife was Elizabeth, daughter of John McMillen, born in the town of New Scotland in 1795, and died in July, 1876. Their children were Jeanette, Margaret M., Catherine, David, James, John, Jack and Magdalene. John H. Ogsbury was educated in the common schools and served an apprenticeship as cabinetmaker, but abandoned that on account of ill-health and in 1850 began farming. He now owns and resides on a portion of the original homestead of 155 acres, on which he does a general farming. In politics he is a Democrat. In 1851 he married Eva Ward, daughter of Henry A. Ward of Guilderland, and they had three children: Henry W. (deceased), Frank L. and David E. Mr. Ogsbury's wife died in 1893. They were both members of the Reformed church.

Ogsbury, Junius D., and John D., comprise the Enterprise Company, editors and proprietors of the Altamont Enterprise, and are kinsmen. Junius D., the senior member of the company, was born in the town of New Scotland, February 14, 1857. James, the father of Junius D., was born in Guilderland in 1832; his wife was Almira Wands and their children were Junius D., Maggie, Stanley, William, Ella, George and Jennie. He died in 1890 and his wife survives him and resides in Altamont, where they were both members of the Lutheran church. Junius D. was reared in the village of Altamont, attended the village school, and when eighteen spent a year in Michigan with an uncle who conducted a printing office, where he acquired his first practical knowledge of the art of printing. Upon his return he engaged in school teaching and clerking for a few years, and in 1885 purchased the Enterprise, which was then but sixteen months old and known as the Knowerviile Enterprise. A year later he associated with him his present partner, a cousin, John D. He is an Odd Fellow and one of the consistory of the Lutheran church. In 1880 he married Anna, daughter of James Ostrander of Guilderland, and they have five children: James, Nettie, William, Junius, Jr., andCharles. His wife died in November, 1893. In August, 1896, he married Margaret J. Bell, a daughter of the late Chauncey Bell, of Rensselaerville. John D. Ogsbury was born in the town of Guilderland, August 31, 1856. His father, John P., was born in Guilderland, November 7, 1818. In 1839 he married Margaret J. Van Valkenburgh, a daughter of Johoicam Van Valkenburgh, and their children were Charles A. (who died when two years old), Peter J., Mary C. (who died when twelve years old), David Clayton (who went west and became city marshal of Silverton, Col.; he was called upon in August, 1881, to make an arrest of a party of ruffians and was fired upon by one of the party and killed; his body was brought back for interment and now lies in the family cemetery in the old Helderberg Cemetery), Ella (wife of Peter Vanderpool), and John D. John D. received a common school education and his life was spent on the farm until twenty-six years of age, when he went on a canvassing tour through the South and West. In 1885 he engaged in the furniture and undertaking business in Altamont, and in December, 1886, he purchased a half interest in the Enterprise. He is a Republican and filled the office of the first village tax collector. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias and the Altamont Reformed church, in which he is deacon. June 1, 1885, he married Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Brunk of Guilderland, and their children are Bessie Margaret, De Witt Clayton, Milton J., Merlin L., John P., and Howard F.

Oliver, Abram E., was born in the town of New Scotland, N. Y., in January, 1833. He has spent his life successfully at farming and fruit growing, being one of the most extensive apple growers in his town, in which pursuit he has manifested a thorough knowledge. He purchased his first farm from his father, but now owns four farms containing 383 acres, which was originally owned by his great-grandfather, grandfather and father, and which he purchased at different times. In early life he dealt to some extent in cattle and sheep. He has made many essential improvements on his farm, erected an imposing dwelling, etc. He has provided each of his children with liberal educational advantages, and has since placed two of his sons on two of his farms. Mr. Oliver is a Republican in politics, has served his town nine years as assessor, and is now president in the third district of the Republican town organization. Mr. Oliver has been twice married; May 17, 1856, he married Lucretia, daughter of Anthony Legrange, by whom he had seven children: Anna, Abram, Nelson, Ida, Lovina, Frank and Elwood, the latter a physician in Colorado. In 1872 Mr. Oliver married Elizabeth Borst, a native of Schoharie county, by whom he had three children; Chester, Lillian and Sadie. Mr. and Mrs. Oliver are members of the New Scotland Presbyterian church, of which Mr. Oliver has been trustee for many years and is now superintendent of the Sunday school. Everett Oliver, the great-grandfather of our subject, was born in the town of New Scotland, on one of the farms now owned by Mr. Oliver, about 1759. He spent his life as a farmer and lived to be about eighty years of age. He reared four sons and three daughters. John E., the grandfather, was the oldest of his father's children, and was born on the same farm about 1780. He came into possession of twenty-five acres of his father's homestead and became an active, energetic and successful farmer. He was a Republican in politics, and was much interested in the welfare of his party. He reared eight sons and one daughter, and to each of these he gave a farm. He lived to be ninety-four years of age. The last half of his life was spent in the town of Westerlo. Everett Oliver, father of our subject, was born in New Scotland, in 1807, on one of the farms now owned by his son. He was a lifelong farmer, meeting with good success. He married Mary Albright, by whom he had four children: John, Abram, Ellen J., and Eve Ann. His wife died at fifty-seven years of age. They were members of the M. E. church, of which he was a liberal supporter. He died in January, 1896. At the time of his death he owned four farms and $7,000 in cash; he had eight living great-great-grandchildren, a number of great-grandchildren, several grandchildren, and three children.

Oliver, George, is one of the wealthiest men of Cohoes, inheriting with his six brothers and sisters a large farm property, which they have sold. He has interests in many parts of the United States, among which are the Oliver Bros. Grist Mill, flour and feed at 297 Ontario street, brass and iron bedstead manufacturer at Lockport, N. Y., Green Island Knitting Mill, phosphate and fertilizers and oil works in North Carolina, and the oil business at Atlanta, Ga. He was born at Argyle, N. Y. in 1839, and was the son of John Oliver, a farmer of Cambridge, who died in 1861. Mr. Oliver was born on a farm in Washington county, came to Waterford in 1839 and to Cohoes in 1860, building a cider mill in 1862. His wife was Isabella Frink, who bore him three children: Harrison G., Grace, and Marion Ruth.

Oothout, Volkert J., born in West Troy, N. Y., July 6, 1855, is a son of Jonas V. and Helen M. (Lobdell) Oothout. Mr. Oothout entered the law office, as a student, of Elias Van Olinda, counselor at law, of West Troy, and also attended the Albany Law School, from which he was graduated on May 27, 1881. He was admitted to the bar on May 28, 1881, and ever since that time has been engaged in the practice of law at West Troy, now the city of Watervliet. June 30, 1896, he was married to Sarah E. Blunn. Mr. Oothout is a descendant of Hendrick Oothout, who came from Holland and settled in Albany, and in 1713 purchased a large tract of land on the west side of the Mohawk River and settled there. A greater part of the land has been sold and is now populated with residences and manufactories, and includes the lands now comprising the village of Green Island, also a portion of the lands lying between the cities of Cohoes and Watervliet.

Oppenheim, Leo, born in Albany, July 4, 1856, is a son of Gerson Oppenheim, who died in 1886. highly respected by his fellow-townsmen and deeply mourned by his appreciative children, who have since been singularly fortunate in carving out for themselves enviable names in their respective lines of endeavor. Gerson Oppenheim was a successful merchant, a well known Odd Fellow and occupied many positions of trust in the community and in the synagogue of which he was one of the helpful pillars. During the panic of 1857 many of the senior Mr. Oppenheim's co-religionists withdrew their money from the banks and placed it in his hands for safe keeping; that he was scrupulously faithful to the trust thus forced upon him was one of the reasons for the esteem in which he was held. Leo Oppenheim is up to date, fin de siecle, as a merchant and as an artictic designer of men's wear; his store is said to be the most tastefully arranged, luxuriously fitted up and bountifully stocked tailoring establishment north of New York city. With other environments, Leo Oppenheim might have made name and fame as an artist; as it is, his love of the beautiful as the highest principle and the highest aim of art, expends itself in endeavoring, artistically, to clothe his fellow men, in hiding their deformities and in bringing out their silent good points. His ambition is to dress people well in harmony with their form aud build; that he succeeds is evidenced by the increasing number of his fastidious patrons.

Orelup, William H., is the son of the late John Orelup, who died in 1892 at the age of seventy two years. He was one of the most prominent men in Cohoes, and always resided here, with the exception of fifteen years spent in Ballston Spa, as an axe manufacturer. Here he was a contractor in the manufacture of axes, having reached the top of financial success by the results of his own labor and genius. He had the courage and mental strength to stand firmly by the principles of right. William H. was born here in 1849, where his grandfather, William Orelup, settled in 1830 as a local preacher. His mother, who is still living, was Eliza Hitchcock; her only daughter, Mrs. Egbert P. Lansing, is now living in New York. He is chiefly interested in real estate. '

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