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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Button

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 667-668 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

Eliza (Button) Page traces her ancestry to Matthias Button, who came to America with Governor John Endicott; he first settled in Salem, Massachusetts, where he landed September 6, 1628. He soon removed to Boston, where he is found among the earliest settlers and was identified with the First Church prior to 1633. He removed to Ipswich, then to Haverhill, Massachusetts, 1646, where he resided until his death, 1672, very old. He married (first) Lettyce ————, who died 1652. Married (second) Teagle ————, who died 1663. Married (third) Elizabeth Wheeler. Children by first wife: Mary, David, Elizabeth, Sarah, Hannah. Children by second wife: Daniel, killed at the battle with the Indians at Bloody Brook; Abigail, Matthias, Peter and Patience. There was no issue by third marriage. His widow survived him several years.

(II) Matthias (2), son of Matthias (1) and Teagle Button, was born at Haverhill, Massachusetts, 1657. He married Mary Neff. They removed to Plainfield, Connecticut, 1690, where he died 1725.

(III) Matthias (3), son of Matthias (2) and Mary (Neff) Button, was born 1689. He was of Plainfield, Connecticut. He married and had issue.

(IV) Captain Matthias (4), son of Matthias (3) Button, was born in Connecticut, 1727. He married Phebe Butts, and they had children born in Canterbury, Connecticut. He was a captain in the revolutionary war. He had five wives and children by four of them, said to have been twenty in all. His fifth wife survived him and died in Wells, Rutland county, Vermont, about 1811, aged eighty-four years.

(V) Elizabeth, daughter of Captain Matthias (4) and Phebe (Butts) Button, born 1748, died September 14, 1824. She married her cousin, Daniel Button, son of Ebenezer Button, born 1746, died June 9, 1791. Children: John, Hazzard and Daniel.

(VI) Hazzard, son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Button) Button, was born in Groton, Connecticut, February 10, 1780, died in Waterford, New York. He married Eurania Tuttle, a descendant of Captain Tuttle, who donated the fieldland for Yale College, and among their children was Lysander.

(VII) Lysander, son of Hazzard Button, was born in North Haven, Connecticut, September 2, 1810. He appeared in Albany, New York, with his parents. When a mere lad he lived in other places, and at age of twenty-one settled in Waterford, Saratoga county, New York. He began work in Waterford as a machinist, and about the year 1835 entered the firm of William B. Platt & Company with N. B. Doe, manufacturers of fire engines of crude and primitive models. In a few years he bought out Mr. Platt and on the death of Judge Doe became the sole owner of the business, which he conducted in Waterford for one-half a century. During that time Robert Blake was associated with him, a partner for several years, and afterward his eldest son, Theodore E. Button, under firm name of Button & Son. In 1881 he sold out to Holroyd & Company, and led a retired life until his death, July 29, 1898. When he entered the business the building of fire engines was in its infancy. The engines were of crude design and of little value for fire protection. He immediately began to introduce improvements, which he did not protect with patents, and which allowed his competitors to very soon adopt them. He invented and first applied to fire engines the "Crane Neck, the "Butterfly" or "Folding Brakes," the "Squirrel Tail Suction," large cylinders with adjustable stroke, the return or "runaround" by which water could be returned to the suction to relieve pressure on the hose. He patented the "improved air chamber, with contractor neck," folding handles on hose couplings, and a number of other improvements on hand and steam fire engines. When he left the business the "Button Fire Engine" was a "thing of beauty" and a marvel of boundless power and the acme of fire fighting machinery. "Button" engines were sold in every state and territory in Canada, South America and in Europe, and wherever the engines went the reputation of Lysander Button as a total-abstaining, Sabbath-observing, honorable christian man of business went with them.

He began life absolutely without capital, but he never failed, never had a note go to protest, never was without unbounded credit and never missed a pay day. He was a busy man but never too busy to be interested in the welfare of his town. He served on the board of trustees and on the school board. He took especial interest in the schools and in having a good water supply. He was a Republican and a great admirer of Horace Greeley. He was a staunch supporter of the government during the civil war and never lost faith in the ultimate success of northern arms. He lost a valuable consignment of engines during the war which were destroyed by the privateer "Alabama." He was very indignant and after walking the office floor for a few minutes said to his bookkeeper: "Take the ledger and open an account with the English pirate 'Alabama,' I will have every cent of that in good British gold, when the war is over," and he did with interest to date twenty years later. In 1838 he united with the Presbyterian church of Waterford. In 1842 he was made ruling elder. He was superintendent of the Sunday school twenty-five years and a teacher until within one year of his death. He held the offices of deacon, trustee and leader of the choir at various times. For sixty years he was a faithful member and rarely was his pew vacant. He was always cheerful, of strong faith, sanguine temperament, fearless and positive, yet tenderhearted as a woman and loyal in his friendships.

He married Abigail Ranney, born June 15, 1810, died April 1, 1874. Children: May Josephine; Eliza, married George Henry Page (see Page II); Theodore E., in partnership with his father; Julia M.; Charles Ranney; Charles Ranney and Mrs. Page are the only survivors. Abigail (Ranney) Button was a descendant of Thomas Ranney, born in Scotland, was of Middletown, Connecticut, in 1658, married, in 1659, at age of forty-three, Mary Hubbard, aged seventeen, died June 21, 1713, "lived 97 years," left four sons and six daughters. Many of the Ranney name served in the revolution from Massachusetts and Connecticut, and the name is an eminent one among the families of New England. The Button family appears often on Massachusetts revolutionary rolls under the name Button, Butten, Buten and Buton.

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