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Family Sketches

Surnames Beginning with "P"

This page was last updated 26 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.

Paddock, Edward, son of William S. and Magdalen (Houghtaling) Paddock, was born in Albany, N. Y., in 1859. William S. Paddock, the father of the subject of this sketch, was prominently identified with Albany interests and was for twelve years recorder and for two years acting mayor of Albany. Edward Paddock attended the public schools and after completing his education he obtained a clerkship in the office of Smith, Craig & Co., lumber dealers. He remained there seven years, after which he was a clerk in the office of William McEwan, coal merchant, for five years. In 1890 Mr. Paddock opened a general sporting goods store at No. 93 State street and has since carried on a successful business there. He is a member of Temple Lodge No. 14, F. & A. M., Capital City Chapter No. 242. R. A. M., De Witt Clinton Council No. 22, R. & S. M., and Temple Commandery No.5. Mr. Paddock is also a member of the Albany County Wheelmen and was at one time its treasurer. September 10, 1890, he married Miss Mary Underhill of Albany, and they have one daughter, Ruth Magdalen.

Page, Edward N., manager of the Cohoes Rolling Mill, has been associated with the iron industry since he was ten years of age. He was born in England in 1826, coming to America in 1848. and to Cohoes in 1862, when he became one of the firm of Simmons & Page (Jonas Simmons). In 1863 James Morrison bought out Jonas Simmons's interest, and the firm of Morrison, Colwell & Page was then formed, and the business is still continued under the same firm name and management. Mr. Morrison died June 11, 1893. Mr. Page is a master of the details in iron and steel making, and is a man of wide experience in the work, having devoted his whole life to the closest study of all the branches pertaining to America s greatest industry.

Palmer, Frank Rockwell, son of Amos P. and Martha E. (Newton) Palmer, was born in Albany, N. Y., November 21, 1868. He is descended from a long line of New England ancestors, the first of whom came to America early in the seventeenth century, and all of whom served most gallantly in the Colonial and Revolutionary wars. He was graduated from the Albany Academy in 1888 and entered the employ of the Albany City Savings Institution, where he rapidly rose to his present position of teller. Mr. Palmer inherits a great liking for the military, as his record shows. In the Albany Academy he was first sergeant of Co. A, later captain of Co. A, and upon graduation was major of the battalion of Albany Academy Cadets. In November, 1888, he enlisted in Co. A, N. G. N. Y., in 1889 was promoted to sergeant, in 1898 to lieutenant and in 1896 was elected captain. Mr. Palmer is a member of Masters Lodge, No. 5, F. & A. M.

Papen, George Washington, M. D., was born in Albany, N. Y., April 20, 1854. His father, Theodore Papen, was a son of Gen. George Von Papen of Pyermont, Duchy of Waldeck, Germany. His mother, Julia Wachter, was a daughter of John Wachter, for many years proprietor of the National Hotel of Albany, and came from Bretten, Baden, Germany. Her mother, Catharine, was a daughter of John Wollensack, who came to America in 1829 from Nagold. Wurtemburg. Dr. Papen received his early education in M. Walter's school in 1859, after which he went to the German American Academy and to the Albany Boys' Academy, where he remained until 1868. On March 1, 1869, he entered the Albany Medical College after a previous course in pharmacy, and in 1870 he entered Columbia Medical College in New York city, where he graduated March 3, 1874. During his course he served on the ambulance corps at Bellevue Hospital, New York. After his graduation Dr. Papen commenced his practice at No. 89 Schuyler street, Albany, where he remained until 1889, when he moved to No. 268 Madison avenue, corner of Hawk street, where his office is now. He is a member of the Albany County and Tri-County Medical Societies and is also a thirty-second degree Mason and an Odd Fellow. Dr. Papen also belongs to many German singing societies and the Albany Club.

Paris, Dr. Russel C., son of Urias G. and Cordelia E. (Rogers) Paris, was born August 4, 1859, in Sandy Hill, Washington county, N. Y. His father was an eminent member of the bar, and for eight years was surrogate of Washington county. Dr. Paris was one of a large family of children. He attended the Sandy Hill public schools and at the age of fourteen was appointed cadet midshipman, at the United Stales Naval Academy, by Hon. James S. Smart, M. C. He was graduated in 1877 with a high standing and completed the extended course two years later. He studied medicine one year with the surgeon on the United States ship Constitution, and in 1880 resigned from the navy and continued his medical studies with his great-uncle, Dr. E. G. Clark of Sandy Hill for one year. He then came to Albany and studied with the late Dr. John Swinburne, attending lectures at the Albany Medical College. He passed the Regents' medical examination in 1883, and has since prac- ticed in Albany. He is commander of Admiral Farragut Garrison, No. 135, of the Regular Army and Navy Union, and is a member of the Presbyterian church of Sandy Hill. In 1889 he married Jessie Nichols of Albany, and they have one daughter, Grace.

Parker, William F., was born in 1860, a son of William Parker, a laborer. He was educated in Watervliet, and took a course of lectures on embalming, and engaged in the undertaking business in 1881 with a younger brother, Joseph Parker. He personally directs funerals and manages all the branches of his profession, in a quiet and orderly way, characteristic of him. Mr. Parker has held no political office and seeks no political preferment.

Parlati, Lorenzo, son of Raffaele and Raffaela (Di Bissaccia) Parlati, was born in Naples, Italy, March 24, 1841. His parents wished him to join the priesthood and sent him to the Jesuit Seminary of St. Charles Borromeo, in Naples, where he remained but two years, owing to illness. At the age of thirteen he entered the Naples College of Music, where he remained until 1858. displaying great genius and leading his classes in all studies. In August, 1858, he left the college, at the time of the Italian Revolution, in 1859 joined the volunteers under Garibaldi, and in October, 1860, was taken prisoner by the Royal Troops. He remained at Gaeta Fortress from November, 1860, to February 16, 1861, when he returned home, there to be taken sick with typhus fever, the result of the hardships of such a life. He was an invalid until 1864, after which time he resumed active study. In 1867 he came to America, settling in Albany. In the winter of 1869 Jason Collier and Prof. Thomas Lloyd brought him forward at a concert in old Tweddle Hall for the Y. M. C. A., Mrs. Charles Hoyt, at that time the leading soprana in Albany being his accompanist. Immediately he was besieged with pupils, among them being David Mann of Albany, and William Oliver, being the first. For a year or two thereafter Signor Parlati went on a concert tour through New York and the East, meeting with great success. In the winter of 1870 he organized the orchestra still bearing his name and reaching such efficiency under his able leadership that it is recognized as being second to none in this State outside of New York city. He has furnished music at all the social functions from the time of Governor Hoffman. His orchestra numbers twenty-eight musicians. Subsequently he became the leader of the orchestra at the Trimble Opera House (now the Leland), holding through succeeding seasons. In 1874 he was prevailed upon to accept the leadership of the Tenth Regiment Band, Col. (now Gen.) Robert Shaw Oliver commanding. Gen. Amasa J.. Parker succeeded to the command and rendered great service in quelling the riots at West Albany. His orchestra of forty pieces played at the opening of the New Capitol, and later at the Bi-Centennial. He furnished the music at the Fort William Henry Hotel, Lake George, and at the Clarendon, Saratoga, for many seasons. In 1884 he resigned the leadership of the band, devoting himself to teaching and his orchestra, the demand for which was very great at colleges, etc. He furnished the music for ten successive seasons for the famous Coterie at Lenox, Mass. He is recognized as a musician among musicians, and his ability as a conductor and teacher stands unquestioned. Among his many pupils who have attained prominence are Charles Ehricke, now teaching in the Indianapolis Conservatory of Music; Isaac Strasser, George Van Tuly, Hugo Engel, Ed. Treadwell and many others. Professor Parlati is a charter member of the B. P. O. E. He married Mary E. Greig of Albany, who, with his daughter, Mary Elizabeth, adds largely to the musical atmosphere of their lovely home.

Parr, Henry, was born in Germany in 1848 and came to America in 1867, working in different hotels until 1879, when he became proprietor of the old National Hotel in Albany. In 1881 he came to Bethlehem and has since run the Abbie Hotel, which under his management has become a very popular resort for social parties.

Parsons, Francis Marion, of Scotch and German descent, was born in Camillus, Onondaga county, August 19, 1848. He is a son of David Henry Parsons, a farmer residing at Weedsport, N. Y. His mother was Emiline Mills, daughter of the late Samuel and Phoebe Mills, of Coeymans, Albany couuty. Her grandfather, another Samuel Mills, was a Revolutionary soldier. The grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Joshua Parsons, came from Scotland and settled in Dutchess county, N. Y. He later removed to Granby where he was supervisor of the town. In 1866, after a residence in Granby of seventeen years, the Parsons family removed to Camillus. Francis M., the subject of this sketch, attended the public schools for some time and entered the Baldwinsville Academy, meanwhile teaching school in the counties of Cayuga and Onondaga and working for a time in a Memphis store. While teaching school he read law with William B. Mills of Weedsport, and in 1871 he was admitted to the bar at the General Term of the Supreme Court held in Rochester, N. Y. He opened an office in Weedsport and soon became the leading lawyer in the northern part of Cayuga county. In 1879 he was elected special county judge on the Republican ticket and retained the place for three years. In 1886 and 1887 he was elected and re-elected to the Assembly where he was both years a member of the ways and means committee. Mr. Parsons has also been a justice of the peace and has acted as town clerk for the town of Brutus. About January 1, 1894, he was appointed first confidential clerk to the attorney-general of the State. July 1, 1894, he was made deputy attorney-general of the State and now holds that office. He is a member of Weedsport Lodges of Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias, and of the Unconditional Republican Club of Albany. He is also a trustee of the Methodist society. In 1871 he married Hattie Eliza Bibbens of Brutus, N. Y., and they have three children: Minnie L., Frederick Jay and Eva Hattie. The family residence is at Weedsport, N. Y

Passonna, Alfred, late of West Troy, whose death caused by an accident while driving a spirited horse at Brooklyn in 1893, was deeply deplored by a wide circle of friends. Captain Passonna was born at St. Valentine, Ont., in 1850, and came here in 1881. He was largely interested in fine horses, with headquarters in New York and a sale stable here. Formerly he owned several boats, and was engaged in the transportation of ice, malt, and other merchandise. During this period of his life he acquired the title of captain, and was noted for his personal bravery and physical power, and as an intrepid pilot. He figured quite prominently in West Troy business circles, and especially in the affairs of the Sacred Heart church. He was survived by a widow, since deceased, and by four daughters and one son.

Patterson, John, Jr., is the son of John and grandson of Archibald Patterson, who settled in Bethlehem in 1810 and died in 1876, leaving six sons; Robert, Andrew, James, Alexander, William and John, who settled on the homestead. He had one son, John, Jr., as above, who has been, and still is, one of the leading men of the town, having served as supervervisor from 1889 until 1895. Mr. Patterson, besides carrying on the farm, has for some time carried on a coal and ice business in Long Island city, and still has an ice house in Bethlehem that he built in 1878.

Payn, Edgar M., son of Samuel N. and Margaret (Merrifield) Payn, was born in Albany, N. Y., in December, 1838. Mr. Payn's ancestors were English and settled near Lake George, N. Y., before the Revolution and took a very active part in the war. He was educated at Professor Anthony's Classical Institute in Albany, and before completing the course, left the institution and went South, where he was employed as an assistant laying out and superintending the dredges improving the James and Appomattox Rivers, in Virginia. When the Rebellion broke out he was obliged to return North and entered the employ of his father, a contractor for river and harbor improvements. Mr. Payn was also in the employ of the State of New York superintending the building of dykes and dredging on the Hudson River. In 1871 he formed a partnership with William Bruce, the firm name since that time being E. M. Payn & Co. They have improved many harbors and rivers in the east as far as the Capes and in the South more extensively. In 1871 Mr. Payn married Ida Schermerhorn of New Baltimore, N. Y., and they have three daughters: Edna, Cora and Florence.

Payn, Louis F., was born in Chatham, Columbia county, January 27, 1835, and for many years has been the leading Republican politician of Columbia county. Before he was of age he was a power in politics, and the Republican who had been elected sheriff waited from January 1 until January 27, 1856, before appointing a deputy, in order that Mr. Payn might become of age and take the place, which was, of course, his first political office. Reuben E. Fenton, as governor in 1867, appointed Mr. Payn a harbor master of New York. Mr. Payn therefore zealously supported Mr. Fenton when he was a successful candidate for United States Senator in 1869; when Governor Hoffman appointed a Democrat to succeed him, Mr. Payn went back to Chatham. In 1872 he parted from Mr. Fenton on account of the latter's support of Horace Greeley for president. Mr. Payn did not join the Republican faction of which Roscoe Conkling was the head, but resisted all the efforts of Conkling and his supporters to oust him from the leadership in Columbia county. In 1876, when Conkling was a candidate for the nomination for president, Mr. Payn declined to give any pledge of support. He was elected a delegate to the convention at Cincinnati and voted for Roscoe Conkling until he saw that the latter could not be nominated, when he voted for James G. Blaine. President Grant subsequently nominated Mr. Payn for the office of United States marshal for the southern district of New York; he was confirmed as United States marshal in February, 1877, just before President Hayes assumed office. Mr. Payn's term as United States marshal expired in March, 1881, just before President Garfield assumed office, and he was reappointed by a United States judge, but President Garfield did not confirm the appointment. Mr. Payn supported Senators Conkling and Platt in their attitude toward the Garfield administration and also labored hard to bring about their re-election. His intimacy with Mr. Conkling and Mr. Platt can be appreciated when it is remembered that he carried their letter to Governor Cornell resigning their places as senators. After the long fight was ended Mr. Payn went to New York and for several years had an oflfice with Alonzo B. Cornell at No. 53 Broadway, and was en- gaged in promoting placers for tin mining at Harney's Peak in Dakota. Mr. Payn and Governor Black are warm friends, and it is in recognition of his earnest sup- port and his great business and executive ability that Governor Black appointed Mr. Payn, on February 1, 1897, superintendent of insurance of New York. Mr. Payn is a man of charitable inclinations, though his deeds of charity are bestowed with no ostentation.

Payn, Samuel Giles, Jr., born February 4, 1845, in Albany, is a son of Samuel Giles, Sr., who was born in Fort Miller, Washington county, N. Y., December 22, 1815, who married Sarah Goodrich Noble of New York city in 1839, who was born in New York city December 30, 1817, and who died in Albany July 8, 1854; she was a descendant through her mother of the French Huguenot family of Emars, who early came to this country. Samuel Giles, Sr., was for many years a prominent business man of Albany, being engaged in the flour and grain trade on lower Broadway. He was one of the organizers of the Young Men's Association and the Board of Trade of Albany, of which latter he was an early president. Their surviving children are John Goodrich, George Alexander, Samuel Giles, Jr., Cornelius Noble, Sarah Jane and Frederick Amar (Emar); by his second wife he had one daughter, Catherine. Benjamin Hawley Payn, father of Samuel G. Payn, Sr., who was born in Fort Miller, Washington county, N. Y., in 1783, was a son of Noah, who took an active part in the struggle for American Independence. Noah Payn was born in Pomfret, Conn., November 24, 1729, and settled in Fort Miller in 1766; he was the only son of Stephen Pain 3d, born June 21, 1699, in Pomfret, Conn., who was the seventh son of Samuel Paine of Rehoboth, Mass., who was born May 12, 1662, he being the fifth son of Stephen Paine 2d, born in Norfolk, England, in 1629, and who came to New England with his father when about nine years of age. He was the first son of Stephen Paine, Sr., who came from Great Ellingham near Hingham, Norfolk county, England, in the year 1638, in the ship Diligent of Ipswich, John Martin, master, bringing his family consisting of his wife Rose, three sons and four servants. Resettled first in Hingham, Mass., but removed to Rehoboth, Mass., in 1644. From him many of the Payn, Pain, and Paine families of America trace their descent, all being from one common ancestry. Stephen 3d dropped the final e of his name, and Noah changed the i to y; there are many of this family, cousins of Samuel G., Jr., who add a final e to Payn. Stephen Paine 1st was undoubtedly a descendant of the only Paine of the time of William the Conqueror, who was enumerated or mentioned in the Domesbay Book, the great Survey or first Census of England, taken after the conquest by order of King William in 1086, a copy of which is owned by the Boston Public Library. Samuel Giles Payn, Jr., attended the Albany Boys' Academy and Sand Lake Collegiate Institute. September 4, 1861, he enlisted as a sharpshooter in Capt. Elijah Hobart's Company of Berdan's 2d Regiment U. S. Sharpshooters. Governor Morgan, fearing that as U. S. troops they would not be credited to N. Y. State's quota, forced the company into the 93d Regt. N. Y. Vols., as Co. B. He was with the regiment continually except two weeks in hospital at Newport News, Va., six weeks on detached service at Gettysburg, Pa., after that battle, and during his thirty days' veteran furlough, from his enlistment until he received the wound that incapacitated him from further active service, and from which he still suffers. His regiment participated in all the campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, from its formation to the close of the war, and was engaged in the battles of Yorktown, Williamsburgh, Fair Oaks, Fredericksburgh, Mine Run, Wilderness, Po River, Spottsylvania Court House and North Anna River, Va., and Gettysburg, Pa. While carrying the colors of his regiment in the charge of its brigade at North Anna River, Va. , May 23, 1864, he was severely wounded in the left leg just below the knee: Shortly afterwards he was commissioned second lieutenant for his conduct on the battlefield, being promoted over all the non commissioned officers of the regiment. He was mustered out at the close of the war on July 28, 1865, while still suffering severely from his wound, having served almost four years. In 1867 he engaged with his brother Cornelius in the prepared flour business; in 1869 began the study of art with Prof. Alexander Francois of Albany. Later he opened a studio for pastel and crayon portraiture, being the first artist in Albany to make life size crayon portraits; afterwards he added the solar printing and enlarging process, and still later the electric light and platinum process, and continued in this business until 1894. He then engaged in the manufacture of magnetic garments and appliances at 611 Broadway, Albany, N. Y., under the name of "Suttonia" Magnetic Co. These consist of magnetic jackets, belts, leggins, shields, insoles, etc., for the cure of lung troubles, rheumatism, heart troubles, cold feet and cramp in limbs, etc. He is a charter member of William A. Jackson Post No. 644, Department New York G. A. R., and has resided in Bath-on-Hudson since 1873. February 14, 1871, he married Isabella Laing Hutton of Schuylerville, N. Y., a daughter of John Hutton of that place, who was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, August 8, 1812, who was a son of David Hutton, a merchant tailor of that place. John Hutton, her father, served during the war of the Rebellion in the 125th Regt. N. Y. Vols., that went from Troy, N. Y. He was discharged for disability after serving almost two years. They have had three chil- eren: Anna Goodrich and Albert Pond Payn, both deceased, and Samuel Giles 3d, born at Bath on-Hudson, August 27, 1878.

Pearsall, G. L., represents one of the younger successful business men of Albany. While but comparatively young, he has established a business that extends over the larger part of the United States and Canada, and enjoys an enviable reputation among not only the business men of Albany, but throughout the country. Mr. Pearsall is the son of S. W. Pearsall and Synthia E. Pearsall, and was born at Groomes Corners, Saratoga county, N. Y., September 14, 1865. His father was the inventor of several photographic processes connected with the old wet plate process, and for years carried on a successful manufacturing business at Groomes Corners, N. Y. Mr. G. L. Pearsall came to Albany in 1886, and after completing his education at the State Normal College, entered on a business life, the success of which has few equals. Until 1895 he conducted the photographic business with his present business of supplying the photographic trade with electric light enlargements, bromide prints, crayon, pastels, sepia and water color portraits, also frames, and conducts one of the largest concerns of the kind in the country. His factory is located on Fulton street. In 1896 he erected a handsome villa residence on Allen street, Pine Hills, which is an ornament to the city. In 1888 he married Miss Jennie Willard of Albany, and they have three children. Marguerite, Hazel Estelle and Willard Willard. He is a member of Wadsworth Lodge No. 417, F. & A. M., William Lacy Lodge No. 33. I. O. O. F., the Albany Press Club, the Albany County Wheelmen and Camera Club, is active in politics and alive to all that will benefit and promote the business interests of Albany.

Pearse, Harry Seymour, M. D., son of Charles W. and Nellie (Skinner) Pearse, was born in Elmira, N. Y., November 2, 1870. His father was a native of England and his mother a descendant af the Puritans. He was educated in the Elmira Free Academy and was graduated from the Albany Medical College in 1892. He then completed a three years' course on the staff of Bellevue Hospital, New York city. Dr. Pearse is a member of the Albany County Medical Society and of the Society of Alumni of Bellevue Hospital, New York. June 10, 1896, he married Cornelia Smith, daughter of the Rev. Dr; Battershall, rector of St. Peter's church.

Peasley, Wallace A., was born September 12, 1857, on the farm he now owns and occupies. Thomas Peasley, his great-grandfather, was a native of Massachusetts who came to Albany county and settled in the town of Berne on West Mountain, in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Orson Peasley, the grandfather was born in Berne in 1804, where he was a lifelong farmer and lived and died on the farm of 160 acres on which he was born. He died in 1866 and his wife in 1888. Addison, the father of Wallace A. Peasley, was born in Berne, August, 1834. He grew to manhood on the homestead and later came in possession of it. His wife was Hen- rietta, daughter of John Tibbitts, who was a soldier in 1812, and to them were born two children: Wallace A. and Elmer. Wallace Peasley attended the common district schools and the Gloversville Academy. He has spent his life on the farm with his father and for years has been a careful and interested breeder of thoroughbred trotting horses and is the owner of the fine stallion, Varrick; he is also a breeder of thoroughbred Jersey cattle, swine, chickens and turkeys. Mr. Peasley has filled town offices continuously since he became a voter, filling first the offices of inspector of election, excise commissioner, and in 1896 was elected to represent his town on the Board of Supervisors. In 1890 he was appointed to take the United States census in his election district. The farm now occupied by Mr. Peasley was originally settled by Mrs. Abigail Taylor, his great grandmother, who came from Rhode Island. The house she caused to be erected in 1777 is still standing, the only change from the original being a new roof. In 1877 Mr. Peasley married Florence Shultes of West Berne, daughter of Abram and Margaret (Turner) Shultes. Mr. and Mrs. Peasley have four children: Blanche, Ethel, Mary and Florence.

Perry, Edward Rodman, son of Nathan B., was born in Geneseo, Ill., March 27, 1861, and came to Albany with his parents in 1864. His father has long been a leading business man, being president of the Perry Stove Company, vice president of the National Savings Bank and a director of the Commerce Insurance Company. Mr. Perry attended the Albany Academy, was graduated from the Riverview Military Academy at Poughkeepsie in 1880, and was then engaged in the manufacture of stoves until 1893, being assistant superintendent and trustee of the Perry Stove Company. In 1893 he became secretary and treasurer of the Hilton Bridge Construction Company, which position he still holds. He is a member of the Fort Orange and Mohican Canoe Clubs, the Ridgefield Athletic Association and a life member of the Y. M. C. A. of Albany. In 1885 he enlisted in Co. A., 10th Bat., N. Y. N. G., and served seven years, being promoted to quartermaster-sergeant.

Perkins, George H., this gentleman, now superintendent of the weight department of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company at Green Island, to which position he was appointed in 1871, was born at Troy in 1845. His father was a prominent builder and steamboat engineer and is still a resident of Troy. Mr. Perkins, himself, began life on the river and his intimate association with the freight traffic caused him to gravitate naturally into his present position.

Phelps, Arthur T., was born in West Troy, March 18, 1853. He is the son of James Francis and Lucina (Tyrrel) Phelps. His parents were natives of Schroon, Essex county, N. Y. After their marriage they moved to West Troy, and for over twenty years he was engaged in the lumber business. He was a director of the National Bank of West Troy; about ten years ago he moved to Davenport, Iowa, where he is living retired. Mrs. Phelps, the mother of Arthur T., died in West Troy in 1853, shortly after the birth of her son. Mr. Phelps subsequently married Jenette, daughter of Capt. Nehemiah Finch. Arthur T. Phelps is descended from a Connecticut family, who in turn were the direct descendants of one William Phelps, who settled in Tewksbury, England, in 1521 , having moved from Wales. The Phelps family originally came from Italy, where the name was Guelph, went to Wales where the name was changed to Whelps; on removal to England it was anglicized to Phelps. The family came to America and settled in Windsor, Conn., where they were farmers, importers and breeders of fine cattle. Arthur T. Phelps was gradu- ated from Crown Point Academy in 1867, and from the Troy Business College in 1868; he became a professor in the same in 1869 which place he resigned to accept the position of bookkeeper for the firm of Phelps & Smith, lumber dealers of West Troy. He was appointed general bookkeeper in the National Bank of West Troy, February 8, 1871, and cashier of the same bank ten years later, which position he now holds He was appointed sewer commissioner for West Troy in 1892 and school commissioner in 1895. He was president of the Board of Education in 1896, and a water commissioner the same year. He is an admirer of fine horses and dogs. His horses are never entered in the professional races, but are always ready for a friendly brush on road or track. He is the proprietor of the celebrated Watervliet Kennels, which contain many fine St. Bernards, several of which were imported from the old countries, and have won many prizes at bench shows, etc. Mr. Phelps is well known in musical circles, and for several years was a tenor singer in many large churches. He has been prominent in local charities. The National Bank of West Troy was organized in 1852 with John Knickerbacker president, and A. C. Gunnison cashier; it became a national bank in 1865. Thomas A. Knickerbacker, a son of the first president, is the present president, and Mr. Phelps is cashier. Mr. Phelps was married to Miss Emma E., daughter of Samuel Stover of West Troy, June 9, 1874. The Stovers were one of the old Dutch families of West Troy, where the ancestors had resided for several generations. Mr. and Mrs. Phelps have three children: Lucina M., Alice J., both educated at the Troy Female Seminary, and Hawley Stover, student at the Troy Academy. The family attend the Episcopal church of West Troy. As a business man, Mr. Phelps takes rank among the careful and conservative business men of the county, and has made a most excellent record as a financier. He is a member of the Park Club of Lansingburgh, and for five years was president of Watervliet Club of West Troy, of which he was one of the organizers. In politics he has always been a staunch Republican.

Phibbs, Thomas, son of Thomas and Catharine (Donahy) Phibbs, was born in Ireland, October 8, 1846. He was educated in the public schools of Ireland and in 1867 came to America and settled in Canada, where he followed the occupation of farmer. Four years later he moved to Albany, N. Y., where he engaged m the ice business with Hiram Hotaling, with whom he remained four years, at the end of which time he started in the ice business for himself. In 1893 Mr. Phibbs was elected president of the Hudson Valley Ice Company and has retained the office ever since. Mr. Phibbs is a member of Greenbush Lodge, F. & A. M., Greenbush Chapter, R. A. M., Dewitt Clinton Council, R. & S. M., and Temple Commandery, A. A. O. N. M. S. He has three children: William, Lulu and Frank.

Phisterer, Frederick, was born in Wurtemberg, Germany, October 11, 1836. He enjoyed a liberal education in the high schools of his native country and while preparing for a course of law study at the University in Tubingen, emigrated to the United States in May, 1855. He joined Co. A, 3d U. S. Artillery, as a private on December 6, 1855; was promoted corporal October 12, 1858; sergeant, July 10. 1860, and was honorably discharged December 6, 1860. He was appointed sergeant major Eighteenth United States Infantry, July 31, 1861; promoted second lieutenant October 30, 1861; first lieutenant February 27, 1863; captain February 15, 1866; transferred to 36th U. S. Infantry July 28, 1866; transferred to 7th U. S. Infantry March 3, 1869, and was honorably discharged at his own request, August 4, 1870, received the Congressional Medal of Honor for special service at the battle of Stone River, Tenn., December 31, 1862, received brevets for the battles of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Resaca, Ga. His service in the National Guard began as captain of the Governor's Guard Ohio National Guard, August 27, 1817, from which position he resigned January 27, 1879. He was appointed acting assistant adjutant-general of New York January 1, 1880, and assistant adjutant-general November 22, 1892.

Pickett, Robert, youngest son of William and Mary (Egan) Pickett, both natives of Ireland, immigrating to America about 1823 and 1820 respectively, was born in West Troy, Albany county, March 9, 1850, and received his education at the parochial school of St. Bridget's church. His father died in West Troy in 1858, aged fifty-three, and his mother in April, 1889, aged eighty-seven. They had six sons and three daughters. When nine years old Mr. Pickett entered the factory of Roy & Co., and in 1863 began making cartridges in the Watervliet Arsenal. In 1865 he returned to the employ of Roy & Co.; in 1869 he was employed on a Hudson River dredge; in 18T0 he entered what is now the Troy and Rensselaer Iron Works; in 1873 he found employment in the machine shop of the Arsenal; in 1874 he returned to the steel works; and in 1876 he engaged in the grocery business in West Troy. In 1883 he became a State patrolman under James Shanwahan, and six years later again opened a restaurant, a business he had followed in 1881-82. November 18, 1894, he was appointed to his present position as inspector of customs under John P. Masterson. October 11, 1878, he married Katie, daughter of John Shaffer of Troy.

Pinkerton, Robert, son of James and Mary (Martin) Pinkerton, was born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1841. He was educated in the private schools and learned the trade of boilermaker in Greenwich, Scotland. In 1862 he came to America, settling in New York city, and obtained work in the Hutchinson boiler shops in Brooklyn. After a few years he went to Callao, Peru, South America, where he remained a short time, and returning spent a short period in New York and in New London, Conn. In 1871 he came to Waterford, N. Y., where for fourteen years he worked in the Steam Fire Engine Works. In 1885 he removed to Green Island, Albany county, where he established himself as a boilermaker. In 1892 he entered into partnership with Abram Mull, with whom he is now engaged in the manufacture of boilers, under the firm name of Pinkerton & Mull. Mr. Pinkerton is a member of the Exempt Firemen's Association, Waterford, Clinton Lodge No. 140 F. & A. M., and Waterford Chapter No. 169. R. A. M. In 1863 he married Rachel Adams, of New York city, and they have six children: Mary (Mrs. James Sinclair of New York), James (deceased), John, Robert, Jr., Nancy and Joseph G.

Pitkin, Wolcott H., son of John R. and Sophia M. (Thrall) Pitkin, was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., December 22, 1838. Both parents were from Litchfield county, Conn. Mr. Pitkin's childhood was spent on his father's farm in Jamaica township. Queens county, N. Y. In 1849 his mother died and the family was broken up. His father then made the farm into building lots and incorporated the village of Woodville, later known as Woodhaven, and he had previously incorporated the village of East New York, now the Twenty-sixth ward of Brooklyn. Soon after the death of his mother, Mr. Pitkin was sent to live with his uncle who owned a dairy farm in Torrington, Conn. Here under the good discipline and instruction of his uncle he learned to do all kinds of farm work and inculcated habits of industry. Schools were open during the winter months only and inasmuch as the facilities for obtaining an education were so limited, Mr. Pitkin, after a year or two of this farm life, was sent to Marlboro, Mass., where his father had arranged for him to attend the public schools and work an hour or two each schoolday and a part of each Saturday in the large shoe factory of C. D. Bigelow & Bro. In this way he acquired a knowledge of books and of business, and at the age of nineteen, with the advice and assistance of his elder brother, a wholesale dry goods merchant of New York city, he obtained employment with the wholesale boot and shoe jobbing house of William Smith, Brown & Co., as junior stock clerk. He remained with this firm until the war of the Rebellion crippled industries, and stranded his employers' business. He soon engaged and became interested in the business of the East New York Boot, Shoe & Leather Manufacturing Co., which was founded in 1838 by his father at East New York, L. I., with sales department in New York city. Levi B. Howe, representing his own and the Bigelow and Trask interests, was president, F. Eugene Pitkin secretary and treasurer, and John R. Pitkin, the father of Wolcott H., was vice-president of the company. At this time the company held contracts for the labor of some one hundred and fifty convicts in the Albany County Penitentiary and for the labor of two hundred and fifty boys in the Providence, R. I., Reform School. Mr. Pitkin was sent to take charge of the work at the latter institution in the latter part of 1859 and was very successful in his management. He also added another contract for the labor of the prisoners in the Rhode Island State Prison and established another factory in the city of Providence. Early in 1865 the company was offered inducements to move its plant to Albany, N. Y. The labor of some three hundred Albany county prisoners, then employed by C. D. Bigelow & Co., was offered, with additional increase as to the force as required. In 1866 Mr. Pitkin closed the works in Providence and organized six (afterwards ten) work shops in the Albany County Penitentiary. Later it became necessary to again enlarge and another factory was leased in South Broadway. In 1870 it again became evident that more room could be used to advantage. At this time Mr. Pitkin's brother, George D., became interested in the company. W. H. resigned his office as president in favor of his brother, who managed the finance and credit department until his death in 1886. The property on Hamilton street from No. 223 to No. 236 was purchased in 1870, and the factory was fitted up and equipped with the latest mechanical devices used in shoe manufacture This business continued until the spring of 1889, when the contracts for penal labor were closed through adverse State legislation. This depression caused a reorganization of the company when the following directors were elected: F. E. Pitkin, W. H. Pitkin, E. D. Allyn, Charles T. Whitman and A. R. Sewall. Success attended the efforts of the new company until the spring of 1890 when difficulties arose with the labor unions. These were partly settled in 1891, but the financial depression beginning in 1893 made itself felt in the business. In 1894 and 1895 the business was wound up and all obligations honorably liquidated. October 20, 1868, Mr. Pitkin married Mary Wood, daughter of Henry C. Southwick of Albany, N. Y., and they have two children, Edith Winifred and Wolcott Homer, Jr., now living.

Platt, William John, son of Charles E. and Helen (Wiley) Platt, was born in Albany, January 28, 1857. The family originally came to Albany county from Rye, Conn., and have lived there for several generations. Charles E. Platt, son of James E., was born in Albany, December 25, 1826, and died February 22, 1896. He was a butcher and meat dealer. His wife's death occurred March 2, 1896 and their children were James E., Susie A., William J., Lansing I. and Charles D., all of Albany. Mr. Platt enlisted for three years in the 113th N. Y. Inf. (which became the 7th N. Y. H. A.) and was stationed in the defenses of Washington. After one year's service he was promoted lieutenant. William J. Platt attended the public and high schools of Albany. He was for two years a clerk in the bookstore of Edwin Ellis & Co. and for nine years was employed in the Clinton Stove Works in Troy. In 1888 he engaged in the meat business with his father, and on the latter's death succeeded him.

Porter, Robert, is a self-made man, and started as a messenger boy twenty years ago for the company with which he is now connected. He was born at Ballston, N. Y., in 1860, and was educated in the High School at that place. When about sixteen years of age he entered the local office of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad. While in their employ he picked up a practical knowledge of telegraphy and soon after was transferred to Sandy Hill as operator, and was for five years clerk and operator at Fort Henry. He then became agent and traveling auditor. In May, 1888, he was appointed to the position he now holds, that of superintendent of the freight office at Green Island. During his residence at Green Island Mr. Porter has been active in local affairs. He is interested in educational aflfairs and is trustee and president of the School Board. He has developed marked ability and is recognized as a potent factor in that most worthy cause.

Potts, Jesse Walker, is the only son of Jesse Charles Potts, who was born September 30, 1811, in Albany. His grandparents were Jesse and Elizabeth (Duns) Potts, the former being a Friend, who came to Albany from Pennsylvania in 1790. He is descended from David Potts, who came from Wales and settled in Bristol township, Philadelphia county, Pa., before 1692. David Potts, a member of the Society of Friends, married Alice Croasdale, who with her parents came to America with William Penn in the Welcome in 1682. Jesse Potts died December 21, 1811, leaving a widow and six children. Elizabeth Duns was born in Scotland. Jesse Charles Potts attended the old Lancaster school and was at the opening of the new building in 1817, where the Albany Medical College is now. When thirteen he worked for Mrs. Cook who kept a reading room on Broadway near Maiden Lane, and afterward in a grocery on old Van Schaick street. In 1828 he was apprenticed to learn the molder's trade at Corning & Norton's Eagle Foundry, and after the firm sold their business to Many & Ward in 1830, he finished his apprenticeship with Francis Low at the Clinton Foundry. He worked for Howard Nott & Co., manufacturers of the famous Nott stoves, and was with Rathbone & Silliman for about a year. In 1835 he formed a partnership with Benjamin Thomas for the manufacture of stove castings, on the site of the present First Baptist church. In 1836 the firm was changed to Thomas, Potts & Wells. Subsequently Mr. Potts sold his interest to the other two and became the foreman of De Graffs Foundry. In 1837 he entered into partnership with Levi S. Hoffman, with whom he remained until 1846, when he bought Mr. Hoffman's interest and four years later sold the business to Shear & Packard; in 1852 he formed with Jacob H. Shear and Joseph Packard, the firm of Shear, Packard & Company; in February, 1857, he sold his interest to Shear & Packard and retired from active business. In 1850 and 1851 he became interested in real estate and built many dwellings in the city. In 1851 he went to Europe in company with the late George Dawson. He represented the old Third ward as supervisor in 1852, being elected as a Whig. He was an admirer of Henry Clay and when the latter made his second canvass for the presidency in 1832, Mr. Potts cast his first vote. He continued a Whig until the Republican party was formed in 1836, when he joined it. He joined the Volunteer Fire Department August 17, 1835, and was foreman of Truck No. 1. He was one of the organizers of the Commerce Insurance Company in 1859 and a director from that time, and was also a director of the First National Bank. He was a member and for many years a vestryman of St. Peter's church and was one of the committee (the other two being John Taylor and Dr. Philip Ten Eyck) that had charge of the erection of the present building in 1859 and 1860. He also at the request of the family of John Tweddle, superintended the completion of the tower in 1876. He was one of the founders of Fireman's Lodge of Odd Fellows, March 10, 1837, and was also a member of the Histrionic Association. He took a great interest in American coins and medals and his collection probably ranked with any in the country. December 23, 1835, he married Eunice U. Walker, who died in June, 1890. Mr. Potts died February 3, 1891, leaving two children, who are now living. In 1895 the new rectory of St. Peter's was built and given to the church as a memorial to Jesse Charles Potts and his wife, by their son and daughter, Jesse Walker Potts and Sarah Benham Potts.

Pratt, Aaron B., son of Silas and Lydia (Goodell) Pratt, was born in the town of Lawrence, St. Lawrence county, N. Y., January 31, 1833. He was educated in the common schools and was graduated from the State Normal School at Albany in 1853. He taught school for one year and then studied law in the office of S. F. Higgins and Robert H. Wells, of Albany. Mr. Pratt was admitted to the bar in 1854 and has since been practicing in Albany. In 1895 he formed a partnership with E. W. Sanford, the firm being Pratt & Sanford. Mr. Pratt is an honorary member of the Caledonians and a life member of the Young Men's Association; also a member of the New York State Bar Association. In 1869 he was supervisor of the Third ward of Albany, and in 1881 was a member of the New York State Assembly from the city district of Albany. In 1857 he married Jane C. McEntee, whose son, Colonel Charles S. McEntee, performed such gallant service in the Rebellion.

Pratt, Augustus W., son of John G. and Alida (Walter) Pratt, was born on Van Schaick's Island, Albany county, June 7, 1843. He is of English and French descent. His paternal ancestors (three brothers) came to America from England in 1842; his maternal ancestors came to America from France and Germany previous to the Revolution and did Revolutionary service. His father, John G., was a boatman on the Hudson River for sixty-six years. Augustus W. Pratt was educated in the Waterford, N. Y., public schools and later learned the trade of machinist. In 1860 he went to New York city, where he was employed by Fletcher, Harrison & Co. After a few years spent as engineer on steamboats, he secured the position of retailerfor J. B. Enos & Co., with whom he remained four years; he was then made engineer of Erastus Coming's iron works in Troy and was there seven years, when he secured the position of chief engineer at the Troy City Water Works, where he remained three years. April 8, 1893, Mr. Pratt was appointed United States local inspector of steam boilers and still holds that position. January 10, 1865, he married Kate S., daughter of John A. Kittell of Hadley, N. Y., and they have one son: Frank H. On June 1, he was appointed a member and chairman of the Board of Civil Service Examiners for the Custom House at Albany, N. Y.

Pratt, Louis W., a brilliant young lawyer and collector of internal revenue, is a son of Daniel J., and A. Eliza (Whipple) Pratt, was born in Fredonia, Chautauqua county, N. Y., August 14. 1862, and moved with his parents to Albany in 1865. Daniel J. Pratt was assistant secretary of the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York from 1864, until his death September 12, 1884. He was the founder and developer of the present system of regents examinations and was the author of "Annals of Public Education of the State of New York" and "Boundaries of the State of New York," two works of wide importance and usefulness. He was secretary of the New York State Boundary Commission and the Albany Institute, the first secretary of the New Capitol Commission, and the secretary of the Commissioners of the New York State Survey from its organization until his death. He was graduated from Hamilton College in 1851 as valedictorian of his class, and the prizes on that occasion were divided between him and Charles Dudley Warner. Louis W. Pratt was educated in the Albany public and high schools and was graduated from Williams College, of Williamstown, Mass., with honors in 1883. He became a student in the law offices of Parker & Countryman, took a course of lectures at the Albany Law School, was admitted to the bar and began the practice of his profession in 1885. In 1888 he formed a law partnership with Gaylord Logan, with whom he is still associated. Mr. Pratt is one of the editors of the revision of the New York Court of Appeals Reports. In 1888 he was elected alderman at large and in 1890 was re-elected. In November, 1893, he was appointed by President Cleveland collector of internal revenue, which office he now holds. During the last few years he has made more political speeches than any other local politician. He is a lover of good books in all departments of literature and science, a thoughtful student and an accomplished scholar, and well versed in all the intricacies of the law. Mr. Pratt is a member of the Fort Orange and Orange Clubs, of Masters Lodge No, 5, F. & A. M., Capital City Chapter, R. A. M. and the Albany Lodge of Elks. November 5, 1885, he married Geraldine F., youngest daughter of the late Thomas Schuyler, president of the First National Bank and a prominent citizen of Albany. They have four children; Marion, Helen, Schuyler and Geraldine.

Pratt, Otto M., son of Edward and Emily (Field) Pratt, was born in Earlville, Madison county, N. Y., August 22. 1851. He attended the Earlville public schools and at the age of fourteen left home and for twelve years was a clerk in a general store at Poolville, Madison county, at the end of which time he removed to Albany, N. Y., and accepted a clerkship with Herrick, Freeman & Smith, boot and shoe manufacturers. He was associated with this business for twenty years, and in 1885 became a member of the firm, when the name was changed to Smith, Pratt & Her- rick. In 1893 he resigned from this company. Mr. Pratt is now the largest bond and stockholder in, and vice-president of the Winconsin Land and Lumber Com- pany, located at and being the village of Hermansville, Mich., with office at Oshkosh, Wis., owning and operating 42,000 acres of timber lands, three large saw mills, hardwood flooring^factory, 101 dwelling houses, store, market, boarding house, etc. He is also the owner and proprietor of a shoe store at Fort Edward, N. Y., and owns considerable real estate at Superior City. In 1876 he married Ida Zenobia Blanchard, daughter of Taylor Blanchard of De Ruyter, Madson county, N. Y.

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