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Albany County New York Family Sketches - Surnames P-Q

Transcribed by Lynn Tooley

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Albany County New York Family Sketches - surnames P-Q, 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.

PALMER, Frank Rockwell, Family Sketch

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 alongline 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.

PARIS, Dr. Russel C., Family Sketch

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 greatuncle, 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 practiced 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.

PAYN, Edgar M., Family Sketch

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 In.stitute 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.

PEARSE, Harry Seymour, M. D., Family Sketch

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.

PHISTERER, Frederick, Family Sketch

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, Family Sketch

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 fiftythree, 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 1870 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.

PITKIN, Wolcott H., Family Sketch

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 school day 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 1805 the company was ortcred 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 18T0, 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. Pilkin, 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.

PRATT, Louis W., Family Sketch

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.

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