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Albany County New York Family Sketches - Surnames C

Transcribed by Lynn Tooley

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Albany County New York Family Sketches - surnames C, extracted from the Landmarks of Albany County, New York, Edited by Amasa J. Parker of Albany, N.Y., Syracuse, N.Y., D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1897.

CANTON, Charles N., Family Sketch

Canton, Charles N., late postmaster of the city of Cohoes, and for twenty years past a prominent citizen of that city, was born at West Troy, February 16, 1853. His first American ancestor was Albert Canton, who emigrated from Bordeaux, France, about 1811, and settled at Brattleboro, Vt. He was a soldier of 1812. Mr. Canton is one of five sons of the late Louis Canton, a contractor, who located at West Troy about 1836. He, himself, lived at West Troy until about twenty-one, having learned the builder's trade. In 1875 he married Miss Mary F. Carpenter, of Cohoes, lately deceased. In 1884 he was appointed sealer of weights and measures, and was postmaster of the city from 1890 to 1894, being succeeded by James B. McKee, the present incumbent. Mr. Canton is largely interested in the wholesale trade of ice. In 1895 he purchased the Peltier hotel property in Colonie, on the beautiful and historic Loudonville road, transforming it into the "Cottage Lawn," a picturesque and popular summer resort.

CARROLL, George H., Family Sketch

Carroll, George H., owns and conducts a grocery at No. 74 Oneida street, which his father, the late William C. Carroll, established in 1850. The latter, a pioneer here, came from New Hampshire, and was the leading grocer of his day. He was also a central figure in the development of the city of Cohoes, and an advocate of all matters pertaining to the advancement of his fellowmen. His death occurred in 1884, aged seventy-four years. George H. is a native of Cohoes, born in 1851, and was associated with his father in the grocery business, and since his death has continued in the mercantile business. His wife was Sarah Harwood of Schaghticoke, N. Y.

CARROLL, James H., Family Sketch

Carroll, James H., son of John and Jane (Ballard) Carroll, was born in Albany on the 19th day of September, 1828. His parents were born in Ireland. His father arrived in this country in 1824, came to Albany the next year, and commencing business in a small way. soon followed his brother in the manufacture of burr mill stones, on Broadway. He also held several positions of trust, and was highly respected. His death occurred from an accident in 1851. James H., the subject of this sketch, was educated in the public and select schools of the city, and in 1844, at the age of seventeen entered the printing office of Joel Munsell and learned the trade, which he followed for nineteen years. Being of an active political mind, in 1862 he was elected supervisor of the old Seventh ward, and afterwards a police commissioner of the city. In 1863 he was appointed to a position in the post office under Postmaster George Dawson, and on the passage of the capital police law accepted the captaincy of the third police precinct, which he held for nearly two years, resigning in 1867, purchasing an interest in the coal business with his brother-in-law, T. C. Ratferty. He also became interested in the Albany Stove Company, and held the position of its president and treasurer for several years, and is now one of the executive committee of St. Peter's Hospital. In 1894 Mr. Rafferty died, when he assumed sole charge, and has the most complete shed or pockets for coal now in the city. He is one of the five living members of the original Republican County Committee, and is in the enjoyment of good health. On the 28th of August, 1851, he married Jane Rafferty, daughter of the late Charles Rafferty of the city, by whom he had seven children, three now living: J. Ballard, Dr. Terence L. and Mary Ann.

CARY, William M., Family Sketch

Cary William M., is a native of West Troy, and was born May 28, 1866. He is the son of Joseph C. Cary, who served in the Rebellion in the 104th N. Y. Vols., and has been a compositor on the Times for thirty years. William M. Cary began the upholstering business in 1890, which he continued for two years, when he engaged in undertaking in which he has been successful. He received his education in West Troy, and is an exempt fireman, and is held in high repute both in social and business circles, as a man worthy of the confidence and respect of his fellow citizens.

CLASSEN, Frederick Luke, M. D., Family Sketch

Classen, Frederick Luke, M. D., was born in Albany, N. Y., July 7, 1857. He is of Holland-Dutch and English descent. His grandfather, Hermann Classen, was a distinguished soldier in the German army, and after the battle of Waterloo, was by the Emperor Frederic decorated with the Iron Cross, a mark of the greatest honor. This cross descends to the oldest son of each generation and is now in the possession of Dr. Classen. Dr. Classen received his early education in the public schools and the Albany High School, after leaving which be entered the drug store of Dexter & Nelligar, and while learning pharmacy there attended the Albany Medical College, from which he was graduated, receiving his degree in 1881. He immediately opened an office and began the practice of medicine. In November, 1888, he was appointed coroner's physician and held the place for three consecutive terms. Dr. Classen is a member of the New York State Medical Society and the Albany County Medical Society. He is a prominent member of the Masonic order, being a 32° Mason. He is also a trustee of the First Presbyterian church. In July, 1891, he made an extended tour through Europe. Dr. Classen married Ella J. McCracken, and has one son, Philip Luke Classen.

COHN, Mark, Family Sketch

Cohn, Mark, born in New York city, November 20, 1852, removed with his parents about 1861 to Albany, where his father, Louis Cohn, was engaged in the wholesale and retail clothing business until his death in 1877. He was educated in the public schools and Levi Cass's private school of Albany, read law in the office of Hand & Hale, Hon. Jacob H. Clute and Peckham & Tremain. He attended the Columbia Law School and received the degree of LL. B. from the Albany Law School in 1873 and was admitted to the bar in 1874. Since them he has been in the active practice of his profession. He is a Democrat, a member of the Albany Press Club and in 1892 was appointed assistant district attorney. In 1878 he married Sara Oppenheim of Albany, and they have two daughters, Olma and Therese.

COLBURN, Edwin S., Family Sketch

Colburn, E. S., & Son. — Edwin S. Colburn, son of Jonathan Colburn, was born in Jewett City, Conn., January 5, 1829, and for about thirty years was engaged in farming at New Baltimore, N. Y., where he still resides. In 1884 he was engaged in the commission business under the firm name of Colburn & Smith; in 1886 he purchased part of the present confectionery and ice cream business in Albany, and a partnership was formed under the firm name of Rawson & Colburn, which in 1888, became Rawson, Colburn & Co. In 1888 this firm was succeeded by Mr. Colburn as sole owner and in 1894 he admitted his son, Edwin E. to partnership, under the present style of K. S. Colburn & Son.

COLE, Ashley W., Family Sketch

Cole, Ashley W., was born November 23, 1841, in the Forest of Bere, Hampshire, England. His father died in 1848 and in 1849 his mother came with her family to the United States. Mr. Cole was educated in the common schools, and soon afterward worked at the of manufacturing blacking and ink, and later worked two years in a brick yard. During the war he enlisted in the 10th Regiment of New Jersey Yolunteers and at the close of the war, in August, 1865, went into the oil region of Pennsylvania, obtaining employment at Oil City in running a steam engine pumping an oil well. While so engaged he completed his studies in shorthand writing, which he had begun in the army. In 1866 he came to New York seeking employment in journalism, and in August of that year was appointed on the staff of the New York Herald. Three years later he became city editor and held that position until his health became impaired. Mr. Bennett then sent him to the West Indies and South America on a tour which occupied sixteen months. This journey required him to visit nearly every West India Island and was extended down the west coast of South America, through the Straits of Magellan and up the east coast. Mr. Cole crossed the Andes twice and experienced various adventures in the form of earthquake, yellow fever and revolution. While at Rio Janeiro he interviewed the Emperor Don Pedro, particularly on the subject of the abolition of slavery in the empire, the bill providing for which had just been passed by the Brazilian Parliament. Returning to New York he rejoined the Herald staff, and soon afterward became managing editor of the Evening Telegram. In 1874 he left the service of the Herald and joined the staff of the New York Times, soon afterward becoming financial editor of that paper, and later its Albany correspondent. In 1882 he became private secretary to the late Rufus Hatch, and was identified with that gentleman in the Yellow Stone National Park enterprise, which, however, collapsed in 1884, when the Northern Pacific Railroad went into the hands of a receiver. Mr. Cole then returned to journalism on the staff of the New York Herald, and remained there until the fall of 1887, when he resigned to organize the city staff of the Press and became the first city editor of that paper. In 1888 he went into Wall street as general manager of the Kiernan News Company, a concern whose specialty was the furnishing by ticker and bulletins of information to bankers and railway and financial corporations. In the fall of 1894, shortly after Governor Morton was nominated for the governorship, Mr. Cole was invited to become his private secretary, and has continued with him in that capacity until the present time. He has been a member of the New York Press Club for over twenty years and was twice elected vice-president. He is also a member of the 23d Regiment, N. G., N. Y., of Brooklyn and is now assistant chief of Artillery, State of New York, with the rank of colonel. He has contributed to various magazines sketches of the civil war, of foreign travel and of the Yellowstone country.

CONGER, Hon. Frederick W., Family Sketch

Conger, Hon. Frederick W., was born in the town of Berne. July 16, 1838. His grandfather, William Conger, was born in the town of Bethlehem in 1770; he was a lifelong farmer, spending most of his life m the town of Berne, having gone thither with his parents; his wife was Margaret McKnab of New Scotland, a daughter of a Revolutionary soldier, by whom he had eleven children; he died in 1840, his wife in 1855. Hugh Conger, the father of Frederick, was born on the homestead in Berne in 1804; he was a farmer and also engaged in the stone industry, owning and operating his own quarries; he was prominently identified with the Republican party, tilling the office of justice of the peace for several terms and justice of sessions; in 1867 and 1869 he represented his district in the State Legislature; his wife was Hannah Ward, who was born in the town of Berne, on the farm now owned and occupied by Frederick W. Conger. Her father was Frederick Ward, who came from West Chester county, and their children were Cordelia, Jane, Mariette, Eunice, Frederick W., Manley W. and Frances M. Mr. Conger was for many years a member of the Odd Fellows fraternity. Frederick W. Conger attended the common schools and remained with his parents until he was twenty-two, when he began for himself on his Grandfather Ward's farm. Here he remained and cared for his grandparents in their declining years to the time of their deaths, and on this farm he has ever since resided; he not only owns this farm, but in 1891 he purchased the original Conger homestead of 112 acres; he also owns a one-third interest in his father's homestead and quarry of 117 acres. He is an extensive dealer in flagstone, known as the Helderberg blue stone; he is also one of the Albany County Blue Stone Company, doing an extensive quarrying and shipping business. Mr. Conger is a staunch and leading Democrat and for five consecutive years was elected to represent the town on the Board of Supervisors. In 1868 and '88 he represented his district in the Stale Legislature, in 1894 he received the nomination on his party ticket for sheriff of Albany county, and the times are numerous that he has been chosen delegate to town. Assembly and State conventions. In 1869 he married Orsavill Cole, who was born in Berne, a daughter of John and Abigail (Fisher) Cole, and they have two children, Hugh and Frank, the former being inspector of election.

CONWAY, Cornelius, Family Sketch

Conway, Cornelius, is the elder son of the late Hugh Conway, a life-long resident of Cohoes. The latter at the time of his death, January 14, 1896, was operating in the partnership of Mr. Hugh Graham, the largest and finest grocery in the city. They came to the present location, 13 and 15 Willow street, in 1884, and erected the large and commodious double store. Mr. Conway began business as a humble clerk for Graham & Stanton, but in 1871 he purchased Mr. William Stanton's interests. Mr. Graham retired soon after the death of Mr. Conway and the firm is now known as Conway & Co.

CONYES, L. E., Family Sketch

Conyes, L. E., was born in RensselaerviUe in 1849. He is the son of Garret and the grandson of James Conyes, who came from Germany. Mr. Conyes followed farming in RensselaerviUe until 1886. when, after spending two years in Florida and California, he came to Ravena and opened a hotel opposite the depot which he now runs. Since 1893 he has also been in partnership with C. L. Diston in the coal business, and also handling brick, sewer pipe and fertilizers. He is a member of Cascade Lodge F. & A. M., and of the Capital City Chapter of Albany.

COOK, John B., Family Sketch

Cook, John B., was born in Troy in 1856, and was a son of Robert Cook, who came from Scotland in 1854 and was in the employ of the Burden Iron Company, then H. Burden & Sons, in the capacity of foreman until his death in 1873. Mr. Cook served an apprenticeship to the machinist trade with that company. He received his education in the public schools of Troy, and later took private lessons in mathematics, mechanical engineermg and drawing. Mr. Cook has been associated with the Watervliet Arsenal for twelve years as foreman of the metal work carried on in the shops east of the canal, and has had charge of the construction of the plant at the gun shop under the supervision of the constructing engineer.

COURCHAINE, William, Family Sketch

Courchaine, William, was born in St. George, P. V., in 1856, and is a son of William Courchaine, coming here in 1863. In 1865 he entered Harmony Mills, remaining until twenty-two years of age as a weaver, later he peddled vegetables, and in 1880 established his present grocery. He served his first public office as hospital commissioner. Mr. Courchaine is president of St. Jean Baptist Society; it is a social and benevolent organization. He has for nine years been trustee of the Church of Sacre Coeur. He is supervisor of the Sixth ward of the city of Cohoes, and proves a very efficient and popular official.


Courtney, Dickinson, son of Joseph and Mary (Gray) Courtney, who came to Albany from Ireland about 1830, was born in the capital city, August 10, 1850. His father, who died in 1854, was a prominent Democrat, served as alderman of the Second (now the Fourth) ward and several terms as city assessor and was engaged in the grocery and building stone business. His mother died in 1882. Mr. Courtney attended the public schools and the Albany Academy and in 1865 entered the attorney-general's office, where he remained seven years, becoming chief clerk. In February, 1872, he entered the employ of Hiram E. Sickels (who died in July, 1895), State reporter, and has ever since been connected with that office. In 1877 he married Louise A. Weaver of Albany, and they have one son living: Dickinson Courtney, jr.

CRAWFORD, Charles H., M. D., Family Sketch

Crawford, Charles H., M. D., son of Isaac and Hannah (French) Crawford, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of Massachusetts and a descendant of John French of Revolutionary fame, was born March 17, 1851, and was graduated with the degree of A. B. from the Maryland University at Baltimore in 1873. He read medicine with the late Dr. Frank Hamilton in New York city for four years, taking lectures in ihe mean time at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. He came to Albany in 1879 and entered the office of Drs. Swinburne and Balch, and graduated from the AlbanyjMedical College in 1881; since then he has practiced his profession in Albany, giving special attention to diseases of women and children; his office is located at 218 Hudson avenue. He is energetic and a hard worker and enjoys a wide practice among the best people of the city and vicinity, and whose judgment is considered equal to any in his profession. He is a member of the Albany County Medical Society, Temple Lodge No. 14, F. & A. M.. Clinton Lodge No. 7, I. O. O. F., Chancellor Lodge No. 58, K. P., and Clan Macfarlane No. 22, O. S. C.

CULVER, Charles M., M.D., Family Sketch

Culver, Charles M., M. D., son of Cyrus L.'and Mary (Bullock) Culver, was born in West Troy, N. Y., September 38, 18.56. His father, a lumber merchant, was born in Sandy Hill, Washington county, March 29, 1824, came to West Troy in 1850 and now lives in Albany. Dr. Culver was educated in the public and high schools of Troy, and was graduated as B. A. from Union College in 1878; while there he was prominent in athletics and won several prizes. He received the degree of A. M. from Union College in 1881, read medicine in Schenectady and Albany with Dr. Thomas Featherstonhaugh (now medical referee in the Pension Department at Washmgton, D. C), and was graduated from the Albany Medical College in 1881. He then went to Europe and studied ophthalmology with Dr. Schweigger, general medicine with Dr. Frerichs, and general surgery with Dr. Langenbeck, in Friedrich Wilhelm University, Berlin. In 1882 he went to Paris and studied ophthalmology with Drs. Galezowski and Landolt, and later pursued the same study in Loudon, returning to America in 1883. He began the active practice of his profession in Albany, where he has since resided. His translations of Dr. E. Landolt's "Refraction and Accommodation of the Eye and Their Anomalies" was published in Edinburgh in 1886; of Landolt's "Cataract-Operation, in Our Time" in Nashville, Tenn., in 1892; and of Landolt's work on Strabismus is in course of publication in Philadelphia, in the System of Ophthalmology to be edited by Drs. Norris and Oliver. Dr. Culver has written several articles which have been published in leading medical journals. He is ophthalmic surgeon to the Albany Orphan Asylum, member of the Ameritan Ophthalmological Society, the Medical Society of New York State and the Albany County Medical Society, historian of Philip Livingston Chapter, Sons of the Revolution, and a member through three ancestors, and a member of the Society of the Colonial Wars through four ancestors. May 10, 1887, he married Jessie, daughter of the late Joel Munsell of Albany, and they have two children: Cyrus L. 2d, and Mary.

CURTIS, Frederic C., M. D., Family Sketch

Curtis, Frederic C., M. D., born at Unionville, S. C. October 19. 1843. is of New England parentage and a descendant in the seventh generation of Henry Curtis, who was born at Stratford-on-Avon, England, in 1621 and came to America in 1643, settling in Wethersfield, Conn. For three generations the family resided in Connecticut and subsequently removed to Stockbridge. Mass., where they have since lived. Rev. L. W. Curtis, father of Dr. Curtis, went South on account of his health when he was a young man and soon after settling in South Carolina was married to Elizabeth Colton, of Lenox, Mass. Two sons were born to them; The eldest. Frederic C. Curtis, passed his early days in South Carolina, but while a lad removed to Canaan, N. Y., and subsequently entered Beloit College, Wisconsin, from which he was graduated in 1866, and in 1869 was awarded the degree of M. A. In 1864 he entered the U. S. army as a private in the 41st Wisconsin Regiment, Co. B, which was chiefly composed of Beloit College students. After completing his college course. Dr. Curtis began the study of medicine at the University of Michigan and finished it at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York city, from which institution he received his degree of M. D. in 1870. He subsequently pursued his medical studies for a year in Vienna. In 1872 Dr. Curtis began the active practice of his profession in Albany, in partnership with Dr. W. A. Bailey. He also, the same year, became a member of the Medical Society of the County of Albany and was its secretary from 1873 to 1874 and its president in 1878. In 1888 he was elected by the County Society a delegate to the Medical Society of the State of New York, of which he became a permanent member in 1882. He was made its secretary in 1889 and still retains the office. In 1883 he became a member of the American Public Health Association. He was appointed physician to the Albany Hospital Dispensary in 1872, a member of the medical staff of St. Peter's Hospital in 1874, of the medical staff of Albany Hospital in 1876, lecturer in the summer course of the Albany Medical College in 1877 and professor of dermatology in the college in 1880. He is a trustee of the Albany Female Academy and of the Albany County Savings Bank, and a member of the Sons of the Revolution. In 1884 he married Charlotte E., daughter of Royal Bancroft of Albany. He has made a number of valuable contributions to current medical literature.

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