Location: Rensselaer County NY

Biography of Isaac V. Gilbert

Isaac V. Gilbert located in Riverside in 1881, seeking a desirable place of residence and safe investment of his capital. He purchased seven acres of land on Jurupa Avenue, in Brockton Square, from E. W. Holmes. Upon this tract he erected a substantial cottage residence, suitable outbuildings, etc., and also added beauty and comfort to his home by laying out roads, walks and lawns, and planting ornamental trees and floral plants. He has produced a beautiful and worthy specimen of a California home. His orange grove, of three and one-half acres, is composed mostly of seedling trees, about seven-teen years of age. They are some of the finest to be found in that section, and give a yield of $450 per acre, under the intelligent care and fertilization he has given them. He has also a large variety of deciduous fruits, such as apples, quince, peach, prune, plum, etc., and also a large variety of table grapes. He has made his home a model of beauty and productiveness. In 1885 Mr. Gilbert and others projected the establishment of a national bank in Riverside, and was one of the original incorporators of one of the soundest banking institutions in San Bernardino County. He was its first president and held that position for three years. Since then he has been on the board of directors, and auditor of the bank. He...

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Biography of James W. Waters

James W. Waters, deceased, a noted mountaineer, trapper, hunter, and guide of the Rocky Mountains, was born near Brainard’s Bridge, in Rensselaer County, New York, June 20, 1813. In 1835 he started out, a young man twenty-two years of age, with his rifle in hand, bound for the Rocky Mountains and the great West, to begin his career. For nine years he hunted and trapped from the head waters of the Columbia and Yellowstone rivers along the mountain ranges as far south as Texas, accompanied by such noted hunters as Kit Carson, the Sublettes, Major Fitzpatrick, the celebrated Bents, Old Bill Williams, John Brown, Sr., Alexander Godey, V. J. Herring, and Joseph Bridger, all famous in frontier life for deeds of daring. He trapped the beaver throughout the country of the Arapahoes, Cheyennes, Utes, Sioux, Crows, Blackfeet, Comanches, Snakes, Apaches and other tribes, and had many interesting and exciting experiences. On one occasion, while he and old Bill Williams were hunting on the Big Bottom Dear the Rio de las Animas for three days and nights, they were besieged by the Apaches. Mr. Waters was severely wounded by a shot in his side. He cut out the bullet on the other side of his body with his butcher knife. After holding the bloodthirsty savages at bay for three days without food he and Williams escaped by riding their horses...

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Biography of William Finch

Among the prominent and well-known horticulturists of Riverside is the subject of this sketch. A brief resume of his life is as follows: Mr. Finch dates his birth in Rensselaer County, New York, in 1821. He was reared and schooled at his native place near the city of Albany, and followed the occupation of his father, which was that of a farmer. His parents, Cyrenius and Minerva (North) Finch, were both natives of New York. In 1850 Mr. Finch started for the great West, and was among the pioneer settlers of Minnesota. He first located in Ramsay County; thence went to Hennepin County, near Fort Snelling, where he was engaged in agricultural pursuits and stock-raising. He was a representative man of his section, and took a leading part in building up and developing the resources of his county, and was prominent in its government, holding positions of honor and trust, serving as the County Commissioner, and as a member of the Board of Supervisors. In 1876 Mr. Finch decided to seek the genial climate of the Pacific coast, and in that year he came to Riverside and remained until the following summer; during that time he purchased a twenty-acre tract on Bandini avenue, at the corner of Cypress avenue, and commenced his preparations for engaging in horticultural pursuits. He returned east in 1877, and the next year brought his...

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Biography of Frank Hinckley

Frank Hinckley, one of the most successful horticulturists in San Bernardino Valley, is a native of Rhode Island. His father, E. B. Hinckley, was an architect and builder. He early came to California, where he died in 1880. The subject of this sketch was graduated at the Polytechnic Institute at Troy, New York, in civil engineering, and almost immediately after came to California, his first work as a civil engineer was on the fortifications in San Francisco. He next worked on the Northern Pacific Railroad. He followed engineering for a period of ten years, and has since given his attention to farming and fruit culture, having been thus engaged in Alameda, Santa Clara and Monterey counties. Six years ago he purchased sixty acres where he now lives. He has one of the finest residences in the valley, and no finer fruit orchard can be found in Southern California. The following statement was made by Mr. Hinckley to the Board of Trade of San Bernardino County: ” My seedling orchard, ten years old, yielded an average of three and one-third boxes to the tree, from which I realized $1.75 per box, net, on the tree the season just past. My budded trees, five years old, yielded two boxes to the tree, and sold for $2.50 and $3.00 per box on the tree, net. I have three seedling trees, twenty years...

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Biography of Amos Fowler, M. D.

AMOS FOWLER, M. D. IN THE galaxy of Albany physicians whose professional labors have done so much toward alleviating physical suffering, the name of Dr. Amos Fowler stands conspicuous. This celebrity he has attained after long years of patient toil, deep study, and constant practice. He was born in the town of Cohocton, Steuben county, N. Y., on the 5th day of July, 1820. His ancestors were among those from the old, enterprising eastern states, who loved so much to set the wheels of civilization in motion and turn the wilderness into a garden. Removing at an early day from Lebanon, Connecticut, they came to the wild forests of Herkimer county, N. Y., and there with brave hearts and strong hands went to work to open up the wilderness around them, little dreaming that in after years flourishing towns and villages should spring up in this delightful region of Central New York. Among those pioneers were Mark Fowler, uncle of General Amos Fowler, and Rev. and Hon. Orin Fowler. Mark Fowler had a family of nine children, most of whom were sons, and who grew up to accomplish heroic work in leveling the thick old trees, in developing the resources and aiding in the prosperity of the new country. Mr. Fowler died in 1813, during the second war with England, on the very day (April 27) when the American...

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Biography of Charles H. Peck

CHARLES H. PECK There is a lesson in each flower, A story in each stream and bower; In every herb on which you tread Are written words, which, rightly read, Will lead you from earth’s fragrant sod. To hope, and holiness, and God.” Allan Cunningham. AN ALBANIAN who has manifested a high order of genius in a special department of science, and whose devotion to the study of the beauties and sublimities of nature is supreme, is Professor Charles H. Peck, the present botanist of the New York state museum of natural history. He was born in the town of Sandlake, Rensselaer County, N. Y., on the 30th of March, 1833. His father, Joel B. Peck, operated a saw-mill at that place, and when but fourteen years of age young Peck assisted him in running the mill during the summer months. In the winter he attended the district school – a much more congenial work for him than that of handling lumber. But this manual exercise was at the same time greatly beneficial to him in strengthening his naturally delicate constitution and fitting him for future usefulness in his later scientific researches. In 1851, at the age of eighteen, he entered the state normal school at Albany, where for a year he pursued his studies with the closest application and the most absorbing interest. It was here that he...

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Biography of Charles Jerome King

CHARLES JEROME KING, postmaster at South Amherst, Massachusetts, and leading merchant in the town, was born at Wynantskill, a village near Troy, New York, February 14, 1875. The family has made its home in the vicinity of Suffield, Connecticut, for successive generations since the first immigrant ancestor set foot in America, and the fact that the father of Charles Jerome King was born in Suffield seems to establish his descent from the first Kings to live in the United States. Although the origin of the name is uncertain, students incline to think it was derived from the practice of holding mock pageants and ceremonies in the olden times. The person assigned to the part of king took that surname forever after. The Kings are descended from early English stock. Some thirty-eight coats-of-arms are listed as belonging to the family, while fifteen others are borne by families who spell the name Kinge. Other forms of spelling are Kynge and Kyng. The coat-of-arms borne by the American ancestors who founded the family in New England is: Sable, on a chevron or, between three crosses-crosslet of the last, three escallops of the first. An esquire’s helmet surmounts the shield. The King family was seated in the vicinity of Ugborough, Devonshire, England, as early as 1389. Fowelscombe in the parish of Ugborough, an estate of large extent, has been the property of the...

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Biography of Elnathan Sweet

ELNATHAN SWEET IN THE profession of a surveyor and civil engineer, a name known far and near is that of Elnathan Sweet – a man who for the past fourteen years has claimed the city of Albany as his residence. He was born in Cheshire, Mass., on the 20th of November, 1837. He comes from a New England ancestry, noted for their enterprise, solidity and high character, and for the active part they took in pioneer work in this section of the country, and in the dissemination of moral and religious principles in their communities. His father, Rev. Elnathan Sweet, was an earnest, eloquent and pious minister of the Baptist church, who for many years preached in Cheshire and Adams, Mass., and who removed to Stephentown, Rensselaer County, N. Y., in 1842, and carried on a very successful pastorate there until his death, in 1879, at age of eighty-two. His mother, whose maiden name was Chloe Cole, was a daughter of a substantial farmer of Berkshire, Mass; she died in 1872, at the age of sixty-eight. Of this old couple it may truly be said that they were lovely and pleasant in their lives and in their deaths were not long divided. His great-grandfather, Elnathan Sweet, removed from Dutchess County, N. Y., to Stephentown about the year 1762, and was one of the first settlers of that fertile region....

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Pennacook Tribe

Pennacook Indians (cognate with Abnaki pěnâ-kuk, or penankuk, ‘at the bottom of the of hill or highland.’ Gerard). A confederacy of Algonquian tribes that occupied the basin of Merrimac river and the adjacent region in New Hampshire, northeast Massachusetts, and the extreme south part of Maine. They had an intermediate position between the southern New England tribes, with whom the English were most directly interested, and the Abnaki and others farther north, who were under French influence. Their alliances were generally with the northern tribes, and later with the French. It has been supposed that they were an offshoot of the southern tribes, as they spoke substantially the same language as the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Indians, and are generally classed with the Mahican. We know the confederacy only as constituted under the influence and control of Passaconaway, who probably brought into it elements from various tribes of the same general stock. The tribes directly composing the confederacy were: Agawam, Wamesit, Nashua, Souhegan, Amoskeag, Pennacook proper, and Winnipesaukee. The first three of these were in Massachusetts, the others in New Hampshire. The Accominta of Maine and the Naumkeag of Essex County, Massachusetts, were merged in larger tribes and disappeared at an early period. Besides these, the following tribes were more or less connected with the confederacy and usually considered a part of it: Wachuset, Coosuc, Squamscot, Winnecowet, Piscataqua, and...

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Biography of Colonel Henry Curtis

One of the prominent citizens of Rock Island, and a man of high standing in the legal profession, was Colonel Henry Curtis, deceased. He was born at Boston, Massachusetts, August 13, 1834, the home of his parents. Henry and Rebecca L. (Everett) Curtis, and in that city he spent his boyhood and received his preliminary education. This was finished by a course in the English High School of his native city, which fitted him for entrance into the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, New York, where he pursued an engineering course, and graduated in 1855 as a civil engineer. In 1856 Mr. Curtis came to Rock Island, where, one year later, December 15, 1857, he married Lucy R. Osborn, the daughter of Marcus B. Osborn. He continued his practice as a civil engineer in Rock Island until October 8, 1860, when, having fitted himself for the legal profession, he was admitted to the Rock Island County Bar. Upon taking up the practice of his new profession, Mr. Curtis entered into partnership with his brother-in-law, Charles M. Osborn, under the firm name of Osborn & Curtis, and this partner-ship continued until 1880, when it was dissolved, Mr. Osborn removing to Chicago and Mr. Curtis continuing in the practice alone until his death. During the continuance of the firm they were attorneys for the Rock Island Road. In 1887 Mr. Curtis...

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Biography of Mrs. Eliza Cooke

MRS. ELIZA COOKE. – All who are acquainted with the estimable lady whose name heads this brief résumé of her life well known that the best eulogy that can be written only illustrates how impossible it is to bear fitting portrayal of the genuine worth of so good and noble a woman. Grandma Cooke has ever been known in her intercourse with others to be generous and unselfish in the highest degree, one of the gentlest of mothers, the most patient of wives, an affectionate friend, and the kindest of neighbors. Whether meeting with trials incident to a long, tedious and dangerous journey across the plains, enduring the privations of pioneer life, or surrounded thereafter, as she has been, with a competence of life’s comforts, the tenor of her life has run in the same channel, ever manifesting to all about her those qualities which make the good, true woman akin to the angels. She was born in Rensselaer county, New York April 29, 1816. In early Rensselaer county, New York, April 29, 1816. In early life her parents removed to Ohio and located in Erie county. On September 5, 1835, she was married to Edwin N. Cooke, at Oxford, in that state. For a number of years they resided at Sandusky City, when they removed to Fremont, where they remained until their departure for Oregon in the fall...

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Biography of Hon. Harrison Clothier

HON. HARRISON CLOTHIER. – The subject of this short sketch was born in Corinth, Saratoga county, New York, on the 9th of July, 1840, and is the son of Ebenezer K. and Lucy Clothier. He remained in the place of his birth until 1868, with the exception of three years spent in New Jersey and in Troy, New York. Then he put into execution the advice of Horace Greeley, and emigrated to Wisconsin. After a short time there he journeyed on to Minnesota, where he devoted his time to farming in the summer and teaching in the winter. In 1872 he began merchandising in Farm Hill, Minnesota, under the firm name of Clothier & Divine. There he continued for two and a half years. In May, 1875, he started for Oregon, stopping for a short time in San Francisco on the way, and going first to the Sound, where he worked at harvesting during the summer at La Conner. Then pursuing his original design, he came on to the Webfoot state, and established himself first as “the village master of a little school” on Howell Prairie. In November, 1876, Mr. Clothier went to Mt. Vernon, and there united with Edward g. English in a merchandising business, having a capital of less than fifteen hundred dollars, and founded the town of Mt. Vernon in March, 1877. The firm has continued...

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Biographical Sketch of George E. Hartson

GEORGE E. HARTSON. – The subject of this sketch, editor and proprietor of the Skagit News, was born in Troy, New York, in 1855. While but an infant his parents made a new home in Wisconsin, and nine years later in Iowa. In 1869 they came to California, but almost immediately continued their travels up the coast, coming to a final halt at Coupville, Washington Territory. Young Hartson accompanied them, and at this place made such good use of the public school as to be able at the age of seventeen to engage as teacher; but in 1872 he made a permanent home near Mount Vernon, Washington Territory, purchasing land a mile distant and farming, and in the interim of his new labors plying his old profession as school teacher. He was promoted by the popular voice in 1882 to the position of school superintendent of Skagit county, which he held till 1886. In 1885 he purchased the Skagit News, a paper devoted to the interests of Mount Vernon and Skagit county in particular, and to the Sound at large. With what success he has conducted it, the public already knows. In connection with his newspaper office, he accommodates the public by keeping a stock of books and stationery. He was married in 1879 to Miss Matilda Gates, an accomplished young lady and the daughter of the substantial business...

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Biographical Sketch of Charles R. Briggs

Charles R. Briggs, portrait-painter, Charleston; was born in Washington Co. N. Y., Jan. 5, 1816; his father was a farmer and carriage-manufacturer in Easton; at the age of 17 years, he left home, and going to Troy, apprenticed himself to the trade of a coach-painter; he remained there four years and helped to paint the first passenger-coaches on the Albany & Schenectady Railroad; thence he went to Buffalo, N. Y., and entered the employ of Benjamin Rathbone, the great contractor of that city; about a year later, he went to New York City, and thence, shortly afterward, came West; this was in 1839; after spending a few months in St. Louis, he located in Coles Co., and, after farming one year, engaged in carriage, house and sign painting in Charleston. He early turned his attention to portrait painting, for which he had a decided talent, and for the past few years has made a specialty of the painting of fine stock, a branch of the art in which he is excelled by none in the State; he started the first livery-stable in Charleston about 1843, with one horse, and continued it about a dozen years, running it up to forty-two horses; in 1848, he opened a farm of 363 acres in the timber adjoining the city, fencing it in eastern style, mostly in ten-acre lots, and followed farming for...

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Biography of Thomas W. Hallock

Thomas W. Hallock, farmer and stock-raiser; P. O. Ashmore; was born in Dutchess Co., N. Y., Jan. 20, 1811; he was raised on a farm until he was 15 years old, and then went to Troy, N. Y., where he learned the trade of a coachmaker; he worked for Eaton & Gilbert, at that time one of the largest coachmaking firms in the country; he helped to build the first railway-coach in this country, in 1829; this coach was run on the Amboy & Burtontown R. R., and was drawn by horses. Going to New York City in 1833, he entered the employ of John Stephenson, then located on Bleecker St., near the Bowery, and continued with him after he went to Harlem, and put up his large manufactory there; he remained in New York, and Newark, N. J., until 1837, when he came to Coles Co., and entered acres of land on the Embarrass River; he then rented a farm of H. J. Ashmore for five years, but owing to a lack of rain his farming venture proved an unfortunate one, and at farming end of three years he abandoned it, and removing to Charleston, engaged in carpentering, wagon-making and blacksmithing. On the restarting of the Terre Haute, Alton & St. Louis Railroad, he returned to Ashmore Tp., and settled on his present farm; at that time it...

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