Misc. Biographies #2

Hamilton county residents and natives appearing in various local history books around the nation.

R. J. Palmer

R. J. Palmer, who for more than forty years has been a resident of Olmstead county, Minnesota, is a native of New York state, his birth occurring August 21, 1836, at Elizabethtown, Essex county. He was one of five children born to the union of Ezekiel and Harriet (Kellogg) Palmer, who were born and reared in the east and with the exception of seven years spent with their son in Minnesota passed their entire lives in the vicinity of their birth. The father was born February 12, 1810, at Chimney Point, Addison county, Vermont, and the mother, August 21, 1815, at Elizabethtown, New York state. The names of their children are: R. J. Palmer, our subject; Cyrus, who died at fifty years of age; Rhoda Ann, died in infancy; Lurinda (Barnes), residing in Veblen, South Dakota, and Eunice Helms, of Long Lake, New York.

At an early date Mr. R.J. Palmer came to Olmstead county, and on November 6, 1859, was united in marriage with Miss Mary Jane Shaw. She was a daughter of George and Mary (Baskin) Shaw, to whom the following children were born: Ellen, died when two years old; Mary Jane, wife of subject, born September 20, 1835; Mariah LaPel, deceased; Melissa M. (Dickerman), of Elgin, Minnesota; Robert, deceased; William, residing in Vermont, and George, deceased. When war broke out between the North and South, Mr. Palmer enlisted for the preservation of the Union in Company F, second New York Heavy Artillery, and suffered a severe wound in the arm at Cold Harbor, which after twelve years of suffering necessitated amputation. He came to Minnesota shortly after his discharge, the exact date being October 24, 1865, and with the exception of about three and a half years' residence in Rochester, made his home in Viola township. He purchased a farm of 240 acres in sections 11 and 14, which he still retains, and he and his wife own a home in the village of Viola, where they expect to pass their declining years in peace and comfort. They have, by energy and perseverance, secured a competency, and are enabled to gratify any wish or desire that may come to them in their latter days. For twelve years after his discharge from the army Mr. Palmer received a pension of $64 per year, and after his operation on April 4, 1877, when his troublesome arm was increased gradually until it now amounts to $55 per month. In politics Mr. Palmer has always voted the Republican ticket and he has served his community faithfully and well in the minor capacities he has been entrusted with. He was at one time the nominee of his party for the state legislature, and, although his party was hopelessly in the minority, he was defeated only after a close contest. His firm convictions endeared him to his many friends and commanded the respect of his opponents. He is a member of the G. A. R. at Rochester. To him and wife two children have been born: Ernest, whos birth occurred September 30, 1861, and Maude (Purves), born November 26, 1866. Mr. And Mrs. Palmer are highly respected in the community where they reside.

Source: "History of Olmsted County Minnesota; Together With Sketches of Many of its Pioneers, Citizens, Families and Institutions," Hon. Joseph A. Leonard, Goodspeed Historical Association, Chicago, ©1910.

Seth C. Partridge

SETH C. PARTRIDGE-Prominent among the agriculturists of Kent county, and a well known citizen of Grattan township for almost twenty years, is Seth C. Partridge, a resident of White Swan, Oakfield township, and a native of Fulton county, N. Y., born August 19, 1854. He is the eldest of three children born to Arnold and Lillis (Cook) Partridge, all of whom are living, viz: Herbert, now engaged in agriculture near Saratoga Springs, N. Y.; Abbie, the wife of Herbert Scott, residing in Minneapolis, Minn.; and Seth C.

Arnold Partridge was born in Saratoga county, N. Y., February 22, 1830. His education, only elementary, was obtained in the common schools of his native county. A harness-maker by trade, he was also engaged in agriculture and spent his life in the last named state, where he died on the 6th of March 1874. In his political views he was a democrat, as were seven out of the eight brothers in the family. He was very staunch in his political belief and took an active part in the affairs of his county and township. Socially he was a Freemason. The mother of S. C. Partridge was also from Saratoga county, N.Y., dating her nativity, July 1933. She was associated with the Episcopal church and died there on October 8, 1895.

The early life of Seth C. Partridge was spent on the farm of his father, where he until his majority was engaged in assisting on the farm.

On August 24, 1875, Mr. Partridge married Miss Emma E. Williams in Hope, Hamilton county, N.Y., and three sons and two daughters have been born to this union, viz: Burton A., who, having completed the course in the common schools, is now a student of the Ferris institute at Big Rapids, Mich.; Ward I., Georgia A., Clyde S., and Alta L.

Mrs. Partridge was born August 31, 1854, and is one of the two children of Isaac and Susan (Brundige) Williams. Her Brother, Charles A. Williams, is an agriculturist residing on the old homestead in Hamilton county, N.Y Her father was born on May 30, 1823, and died at Hope, N.Y., June 16, 1899. He was a lumberman in the Adirondack mountains and there laid the foundation of his wealth, being very successful throughout life. Her mother, a very devoted Baptist, was also a native of Hamilton county, and was born August 7, 1833, and departed this life on March 22, 1891.

Mr. Partridge spent the first five years of his married life in New York state, coming to Grattan, Mich., in the year 1880. Here Mr. Partridge worked out as farm hand, and in 1884 rented the Nelson Holmes estate, this being one of the best farms in that vicinity. During the year 1898 he raised 10,000 bushels of corn, wheat, potatoes and beans. In the spring of 1899 he purchased the well-known Neil Stuart farm, comprising 170 acres, lying on the west side of Wabasis lake. The success of Mr. Partridge-for he is acknowledged successful by all- is only attributed to his unflagging industry and perseverance, his economy and business principles. His future is bright, for his land is the best, adapted to the culture of all fruits, vegetables and grains. His improvements are modern and good and the location is one of the busiest centers of North Kent.

Seth C. Partridge has always adhered to democratic principles. Having cast his presidential vote for Hon. Samuel J. Tilden, the democratic candidate in 1876. Socially, he is a member of Grattan lodge, No. 171, F. & A. M.

Source: "The City Of Grand Rapids and Kent County, Mich., Up to Date, Containing Biographical sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Illustrated," A. W. BOWEN & CO., 1900

William Hall Place

PLACE, WILLIAM HALL. - This well-known citizen of Gloversville was born in the town of Benson, Hamilton County, N.Y., December 29, 1830, and received his name from his grandfather on his mother's side, William Hall, who was a native of Danbury, Conn. His father was John S. Place, a native of Johnstown, but whose life was passed in Hamilton and what is now Fulton County. Two years previous to his death the father went to Illinois in the expectation of settling there permanently, and whither his family were to follow him; but he was taken sick and died in Wisconsin. His wife was Adaline E. Hall, who died in Benson, September 5, 1849. They had four children, two of whom died in infancy; the others are Mrs. A.C. Curtis, wife of R.G. Curtis, of Minnesota, and the subject of this sketch.

William H. Place was denied the opportunity of securing a liberal education, but he made the most of his privileges in the district school in his native place and the public school of Gloversville after his removal hither, and one term in the locally celebrated school of Horace Sprague at Kingsboro. His life was mostly passed at home until he was about twenty years old, and his first work on his own account was for a neighboring farmer at five dollars a month. In about the year 1850 he went to Johnstown as a clerk in a grocery, and there cast his first vote. After a year and a half he went to Gloversville to enter the employ of his uncle, Uriah M. Place, in the manufacture of gloves, interspersed with a little farming. By this time the young man had acquired fixed habits of life which have governed his conduct ever since. Industry, economy, perseverance, these were marked characteristics, and they undoubtedly made a favorable impression upon his kind hearted uncle, for in less than a year after he began work he was called into the office, and offered a partnership in the business. He had then saved out of a slender income a little less than $300, and it will be readily understood that the offer referred to came to him as a welcome surprise. This partnership continued seven years, with a degree of success that was satisfactory, when his benefactor, U.M. Place, retired to give his attention to other engrossing matters, and William H. Place continued it ten years longer. During all that period he devoted to his manufactory his undivided energies and most careful, conservative and prudent attention. His methods as a successful and extensive (for that time) manufacturer were the same that marked his life when a grocer's clerk. While he felt that he might probably have further extended his field of operations and possibly realized greater profits, such a course was not characteristic of the man. Never niggardly or narrow-minded, he still possessed the prudence that generally characterizes the successful man of business, and the perseverance and patience to wait a proper length of time for the development of fortune. During the last year of his experience as a manufacturer, which was 1866, he was associated with Daniel Hays, who is still in business in Gloversville. After Mr. Place's marriage he began housekeeping in a dwelling that is now occupied by the Young Men's Christian Association. In the year 1864 he sold this property to Mr. Hays and went to live with the family of his wife's father, Benjamin Bailey, one of whose sons had died, and the other was in the army. Two years later Mr. Place had retired from manufacturing, and he purchased of Robert Earl seven acres of land in what was then the partially settled suburbs of the village, lying between Prospect Street and First avenue, divided the tract into building lots, had it surveyed, built a dwelling on First avenue and occupied it two years, while his present handsome residence was being erected, and soon sold the remainder at a substantial advance on its cost, though at a far less price than its present value. By that time the prospects of future growth in the village were becoming more promising, and Mr. Place was encouraged to invest his means and devote his time to purchase, improvement and sale of real estate. He accordingly bought nineteen acres adjoining on the east his former purchase. On portions of this site he carried on farming, but ultimately it was all divided into lots and sold. He next purchased four acres more in the same vicinity, which was also sold in lots. He also purchased the site and erected two brick stores adjoining what is now the Darling block, and two years later followed with the erection of three more stores adjoining the first. This is now among the most valuable and desirable business property in the city. He next purchased the homestead of his wife's father, on West Fulton Street, and there in 1890-91 erected the handsome brick block now standing on that site, comprising five stores, making ten now owned by him. Besides the extensive operations and improvements he has built and purchased many dwelling houses in various parts of the city, so that at the present time his tenants number about eighty, and his tax list is among the largest in the place.

At one time when his own business cares were the most exacting, and when he thought his time must be wholly given to his own property, Mr. Place was called to the bedside of his uncle, Uriah M. Place (whose death occurred soon afterward), and informed that he was appointed executor of the large and somewhat complicated estate. In that connection it need only be stated that in association with his aunt he closed up the scattered investments, consolidated the property, and so carefully managed it that it could hardly be in better condition than it now is. While this additional burden was a severe tax upon his health, it is nevertheless a source of personal gratification that he was able to reach this result.

The reader will not need to be told that the common phrase, he is a self-made man, applies in its broadest sense to Mr. Place. Starting without means, and from the humblest beginning, he has reached the front rank of real property owners in Gloversville, and in his every transaction, great or small, has adhered to his early-formed determination to so conduct his affairs as to win the approbation and confidence of his fellow-citizens.

Mr. Place was formerly a Republican in politics, but in late years he became convinced that neither of the two dominant parties of the country could or would ever cope with the giant evil of intemperance, and since the nomination of St. John for the presidency of the United States, he has labored with the Prohibition party with his voice and his means. He was never a seeker after political or other public station, and while the Prohibitionists have honored him with the nomination for member of assembly and for member of congress, he did not, of course, expect an election. He was trustee of the village several terms, and was a member of the prosecuting committee, which attempted to stop the illegal selling of liquor in the place, for which performance of his duty, he, with others on the committee, was marked for persecution by the element which he had antagonized. But he did what he conceived to be his duty, with the probability of suffering loss through the burning and destruction of property. He has been a trustee of the cemetery association since April 29, 1870, and its secretary since 1872, and feels a commendable degree of pride in that beautiful city of the dead. He was trustee and treasurer of the Methodist Church for about twenty years, and has been president and director of the Manufacturers' and Merchants' Bank since its organization. He was also a member of the school board for several years, and only gave up some of these positions on account of the pressure of his own private affairs.

In all these various stations Mr. Place has endeavored to do his duty with the same conscientiousness that has governed his more personal concerns. With a character for integrity and business ability, and a reputation for having done much for the growth and prosperity of Gloversville, he enjoys the full esteem and respect of the community.

Mr. Place was married on the 2d of April 1857, to Sarah J. Bailey, daughter of Benjamin Bailey, before mentioned. Her mother was Jane Musgrave, a native of England. Mr. Bailey was a leather dresser by occupation, and a man of the most unblemished character for integrity and uprightness. No person, perhaps, who has passed a lifetime in Gloversville, was more universally respected for good, manly qualities than Mr. Bailey. His death occurred on April 7, 1891. He was the father of Benjamin Bailey, jr., whose death is remembered as having been caused by poisoning while handling skins. Edward Bailey, now a cutter for Daniel Hays, is his son. Mr. And Mrs. Place have had four children, two of whom died in infancy. Their names are as follows: George M., now of the glove manufacturing firm of Dempster & Place, of Gloversville; he married on February 22, 1883, Miss Lou Barnum, and they have a daughter, Bertha, six years old. ; Adaline A., deceased. ; John Howard, book-keeper for Dempster & Place, married Miss Emma Smith, November 12, 1890.; and Eddie, who died October 4, 1872.

Source: Frothingham, Washington. History of Fulton County. Pp. 617-620. (C) 1892. Syracuse, NY. D. Mason & Co., Printers and Publishers.

William A. Russell

WILLIAM A. RUSSELL. The enterprising member of the firm of Russell & Ostrander, whose name is given above, grain merchants and handlers of all kinds of farm produce, whose place of business is in Willis, this State, is a native of Hamilton County, N.Y., where he was born October 4, 1840. [He is listed with his father in the 1850 census in the town of Hope, age 9 - listed under the surname "Russel"] He is a son of William F. and Getty (Abbott) Russell and was reared to man's estate in his native county. He was brought up as a farmer boy, that being his father's occupation and continued to be so engaged until he reached his majority.

Mr. Russell received a good common-school education and after he reached years of maturity embarked upon a large business experience. For a number of years he followed the lumber business, his operations in this direction being mostly confined to Hamilton County, N.Y. Being an independent dealer, his efforts met with a laudable degree of success. On the breaking out of war our subject's zeal and enthusiasm was fired, but not until August 28, 1864, did he finally join the forces and then entered the Fourth New York Heavy Artillery in Company D, which was part of the Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac. He was engaged in the siege of Petersburg, in the battle of Ream's Station, Amelia Courthouse and Southerland Station and other minor engagements. He was with Grant's army at Lee's surrender of Appomattox and was also a participant in the Grand Review at Washington. He received his honorable discharge June 15, 1865, after which he returned to his native State, where he resided until 1873.

At the date above mentioned William A. Russell came to Washtenaw County, Mich., and took up his residence on a farm for a number of years, it being in Augusta Township. Three days before enlistment our subject was married, August 31, 1864, to Miss Mary Bowman, a daughter of Isaac and Sophia (Sanford) Bowman, of Hamilton County, N.Y. [She is also listed with her parents in the 1850 census in the town of Hope, age 2]

In the fall of 1878 our subject engaged in the grain and produce business, making his station at Willis, this State. His first partner was W.H. Willings, the last-named gentleman being the senior member of the firm. This partnership existed for nearly a year and in July, 1891, our subject entered into his present partnership with William H. Ostrander, under the firm title of Russell & Ostrander. They carry on a thriving business in buying and selling wheat, rye, oats, potatoes, beans, dressed hogs, poultry and all kinds of farm produce, besides carrying that winter staple, hard and soft coal.

Mr. Russell has been elected to several important township offices since residing here. He served as Township Treasurer for three years. He is a man who believes in the power of evolution in the chief creation of nature as well as in the lower orders, and is thoroughly progressive. He is a democrat in his political liking and for many years has been associated with the Post of the Grand Army of the Republic located at Ypsilanti. Mr. Russell is numbered among the leading and most enterprising citizens of Willis, and is highly esteemed by his business associates and in his social relations.

1. "Portrait And Biographical Album of Washtenaw County, Michigan," Pp. 311-312. (C) 1891. Chicago. Biographical Publishing Co.
2. The 1840 and 1850 Federal Census for the town of Hope online on this site.

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