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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Ingalsbe

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 402-406 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.]

The ancestry of Judge Ingalsbe, of Hudson Falls (until 1910, Sandy Hill), is most notable. It leads on both the paternal and maternal sides to the early Puritan settlers of New England, and through them to a long array of distinguished and royal ancestors in England and on the Continent, which have been traced along different lines for more than a thousand years. He married Franc E. Groesbeck, of Dutch, English and Quaker descent, so that in their son, Grenville Howland Ingalsbe, mingled the blood of the Swede, the Dane, the Saxon, the Frank, the Norman, the Welsh, the Hollander, the Englishman and the Quaker.

(I) Ebenezer Ingoldsby (Ingalsbe) was born February 10, 1730, in the vicinity of Boston, Massachusetts. He married Susanna Robbins, born October 18, 1729. They had fourteen children. He was an English soldier in the French and Indian wars as private, ensign and second lieutenant, under the name of Ebenezer Ingoldsby. He was with Sir William Johnson and Lyman at Lake George in 1755; with Amherst and Wolfe at Louisburgh in 1758, with Amherst at Ticonderoga in 1759 and with Haviland to Montreal and at the surrender of Canada in 1760. He then settled as a farmer in the north parish of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, where he held various positions of trust, including that of justice of the peace. At the breaking out of the war of independence he changed his name to Ingalsbe. He was a sergeant of the minutemen upon the Lexington alarm, became captain, and after arduous service in the Northern Department was discharged November 29, 1777, with his health permanently impaired. All of his sons who were of military age, Ebenezer, Jr., John and Joseph, served in the continental army. In 1790, having been preceded by several of his sons, he moved to Hartford, New York, where he died August 17, 1802. His wife died September 17, 1804.. He was the great-grandson of John Ingoldsby, who emigrated from Lincolnshire, England, to Boston in 1640, and became a freeman or voter in 1642. John Ingoldsby was of the thirteenth generation from Sir Roger Ingoldsby, Knight, Lord of the Manor of Ingoldesby in the county of Lincoln, England. In England and in America the Ingoldsbys have been of warrior blood. They were prominent in the civil wars, and were the adherents and among the closest confidants of Oliver Cromwell. In America they were participants in various of the Indian Border wars, including that of King Philip.

(II) Aaron, fifth son of Ebenezer Ingalsbe, was born at Boylston, Massachusetts, June 10, 1765; married Polly Hicks, born January 5, 1773; was one of the pioneer settlers in Hartford, New York, in 1780, and died January 17, 1850. His wife died January 4, 1853. They had eleven children.

(III) James, eldest son of Aaron Ingalsbe, was born in Granville, New York, July 18, 1789. He married, December 8, 1813, Fanny Harris, born August 26, 1795, and settled in Kingsbury, New York. In a few years he moved to Hartford, where he became a successful farmer and an influential citizen. He died December 3, 1880, and his wife died May 17, 1868. They had five children. Fanny (Harris) Ingalsbe on her paternal side was of the fifth generation from Thomas Harris, of Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1636, and his wife, Martha (Lake) Harris, who was the daughter of John Lake, a descendant of the Lakes of Yorkshire, England, deriving their descent through a long royal line from Pippin of Heristal, Mayor of the Palace under the Merovingian Kings. On her maternal side she was of the sixth generation from Thomas Tracy, who was born in 1610, and who emigrated to America in 1636, settling in Salem, Massachusetts, removing to Saybrook, Connecticut, in 1639, and to Norwich, in 1660, and taking a prominent part in civil and military affairs. He was the son of Sir Paul Tracy of the Manor of Stanway, who was created a baronet by King James I, and a descendant on his father's side through Alfred the Great, from Ecgberht, King of the West Saxons, and Lord of all England, and on his mother's side through Sir Thomas Lucy, of Warwickshire, from the Emperor Charlemagne.

(IV) Milo, eldest son of James Ingalsbe, was born in Kingsbury, New York, May 29, 1818. From 1820 until his death, November 29, 1893, he resided in Hartford, New York. On June 5, 1842, he married Laura Cook Chapin, born August 21, 1817, in Chicopee, Massachusetts. They had one child. Laura Cook (Chapin) Ingalsbe, on her father's side was of the seventh generation from Deacon Samuel Chapin, one of the founders of Springfield, Massachusetts, whose statue, by St. Gaudens, in that city, represents the typical Puritan. The Chapins were of Welsh ancestry. On her mother's side Laura Cook (Chapin) Ingalsbe was of the seventh generation from Henry Cook, who emigrated from England, and was a freeholder in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1638, and of the third generation from Samuel Cook, who after various short terms of service in the patriot army, during the revolutionary war, with the Connecticut troops, became a member of Captain Warner's company, January 1, 1777, and served throughout the war, receiving his discharge, January 1, 1781. He settled in Granville, New York, and in 1793 moved to Hartford, New York, where he died.

Milo Ingalsbe early distinguished himself as a student. When sixteen years of age he commenced teaching, meeting with great success. Later he attended the Castleton Academy in Castleton, Vermont, winning the highest rank. In 1840-41 he took a course in medicine at the Albany Medical School. When in Albany a fine position as teacher was offered him, in the present middle-west, carrying great opportunities for advancement, and he chose teaching as his life work, but his father urged him to return to the farm to assist in the education of his younger brothers. As a result he renounced a career which would have resulted in a high measure of success. He did not repine. Wherever he was, whatever he did, he was born to be a leader. For many winters he continued to teach. He became, successively, school inspector and school superintendent of his town. He was a staunch supporter of the public school system and of the free district library during their early and critical days. He was a lover of good literature and sought, by the circulation of such periodicals as the Cultivator, the New Yorker and the Tribune, and later Harper's Magazine, and the Atlantic, to all of which he was a subscriber from their first issues, to raise the standard of public intelligence. He was district clerk of his school district for fifty years. Mr. Ingalsbe never sought public office, but he was a justice of the peace of his town for several terms and was its supervisor during the years of the civil war, and upon him fell largely the burden of filling the quotas and adjusting the accounts of the town. A large portion of his time was thus occupied during the last years of the war, without compensation, but the town quota was always full, its accounts were unimpeachable, while the burden of war taxation was not only reduced to a minimum, but was entirely removed, while war prices for farm products prevailed. The war over, and the town's war debt paid, he declined a further nomination for supervisor, and while often besought by his fellow citizens, persistently refused to allow his name to be used as a candidate for any district or county office.

In the early forties he assisted in the organization of the Washington County Agricultural Society, and his name appeared on its official lists for over fifty years. For twenty years he was its secretary. He held the office of president for several terms, and for the twenty-eight years preceding his death was a member of its board of managers. After holding various subordinate positions in the State Agricultural Society he was chosen a member of its executive committee. He held this position five years, and in 1871 was chosen president. He continued as a member of the board of managers until 1876. The address, which according to custom he delivered upon his retirement as president, was widely circulated, and for beauty of diction, breadth of thought and masterly grasp of the agricultural situation will remain a classic among the agricultural addresses of the time. Upon the establishment of the Bureau of Agriculture in 1860 he became its correspondent in Washington county, and he continued to act in that capacity until his death. For forty years he was the conveyancer, the drawer of wills, the pacificator, and the legal adviser of his neighborhood, and he bore the test of this confidence so truly that almost the entire town was his clientele.

He was a master of a pure and forcible literary style. He prepared a large number of addresses and monographs upon educational, historical, biographical, meteorological and agricultural subjects. At the time of his death he had matured plans for the preparation of a local history, for which his remarkable memory, wide acquaintance with men and affairs and large stores of collected material especially fitted him.

The keynote of Mr. Ingalsbe's life was contained in his utterance only a few hours before his death, "I have always tried to stand close by the nearest duty. I have known no other way." The rich fruitage of such living was revealed in that other remark made by him, in the presence of death, "I do not know as I have a grudge against any one."

(V) Grenville Mellen, only child of Milo and Laura Cook (Chapin) Ingalsbe, was born in Hartford, New York, July 26, 1846. He studied at home under his father's personal instruction until he was fourteen. During the next four winters he attended the district school, and then spent a year at the Fort Edward Collegiate Institute. In 1866 he entered Union College as a junior in the class of 1868. He remained in college only a year, but his record was such that in 1870 the college conferred upon him, in course, his Bachelor's, and three years later his Master's degree. For three years, commencing in 1867, he was the principal of the Argyle Academy at Argyle, New York. He was a student with his students, was deservedly popular, and placed the school in the front rank of country academies. In 1870 he resigned the principalship and commenced the study of law with the firm of Hughes & Northup in Sandy Hill. Up to this time he spent his vacations working on the farm and his love of farm life has always remained intense.

After a year of unremitting office study, he entered the Harvard Law School. There he performed two years work in one, graduating with honor as a Bachelor of Law in the class of 1872. During this year he formed a wide acquaintance in Boston and vicinity and took courses of lectures in History under Samuel Eliot, Natural History under Louis Agassiz, Life and Living under Ralph Waldo Emerson, and pursued the study of botany under Asa Gray, and of literature and German under equally illustrious masters. Immediately upon his graduation he re-entered the law office of Hughes & Northup, this time as managing clerk. This was during the presidential campaign of 1872, and he flung aside the most flattering prospects of political preferment to aid the cause of his personal friend, Horace Greeley.

Mr. Ingalsbe was admitted to the bar in 1874, and in 1875 he opened a law office in Sandy Hill. In 1874 he was elected secretary of the Washington County Agricultural Society, a position which he held for four years. During this time the field of the Society's operations was more than doubled, the prize list was revised, the premium number system was introduced, which has since been adopted by all well-managed societies; Memorial Hall was erected, the attendance at the annual fairs was largely increased by the addition of legitimate attractions, and the indebtedness of the Society was reduced nearly four thousand dollars. Upon his retirement the Society showed its appreciation by electing him a life councilor. In 1875 he was elected clerk of the Village of Sandy Hill, a position which he held, with the exception of one year, till 1894, when he resigned. In 1877 he was appointed a justice of the peace and was twice elected, retiring after nine years of service, as the office interfered with his professional work. In 1885 he was elected supervisor of his town and was twice re-elected. During his last year as supervisor he was chairman of the board. As supervisor he was an uncompromising reformer and an unsparing critic in the direction of economy and faithful public service. When first elected he had vigorous opposition at the polls. Upon his first re-election he had no opponent, at his second re-election he received the nomination of both political parties, and at the expiration of his third term he was offered by both parties a further unanimous renomination. He refused, however, to hold the office longer, as his law practice and other personal interests engrossed all his time. In 1894 he retired from all official work to devote his energies wholly to the practice of his profession, and to his various business enterprises and society activities.

In 1895, though not an active candidate until the day of the county convention, and then not upon his own initiative, he was nominated for surrogate of Washington county by the Republican convention. One of the most exciting campaigns ever known in the county followed, resulting in his election by a majority of over sixteen hundred. Of his record as surrogate there was no dissent. A newspaper bitterly hostile, politically, said, "Political friend and foe alike concede that Mr. Ingalsbe has made a model official." Upon assuming office he instituted six entirely new series of record books, revolutionized a seventh, adopted improved methods for the filing of papers, introduced the card index system, prepared and issued about one hundred different blank forms for use in surrogate's court, systematized the work of the office, increased its efficiency and greatly elevated the standard of the court. Personally, his incumbency of the office involved so great a sacrifice that a year before the expiration of his term, though deeply appreciative of the favor with which his conduct of the office had been received, alike by the bar and the people, he declined to be a candidate for re-election.

Upon his admission to the bar, Mr. Ingalsbe engaged in the general practice of the law. In 1885 his practice had become so large that he began limiting his efforts to the more congenial lines of legal work, and this led immediately to the establishment of an extended and lucrative practice in corporation, probate, administration, real property, commercial and banking law. From that time forward he has had charge of the legal work of a great number of the most important private and corporate interests in his vicinity. He has been prominent as counsel or stockholder or both in the organization of nearly every one of the business corporations at Sandy Hill. He is widely known as a skilled draftsman of wills, and of intricate legal papers. His practice in surrogate's court, except during the years of his incumbency of the office of surrogate, has been large and constantly increasing.

Mr. Ingalsbe has been active in business affairs since his election as a director and counsel of The Sandy Hill National Bank in 1884. He has held these positions continuously since that time. In 1899 he was elected vice-president of the bank, and in 1905 its president. During all these years this institution has been the largest bank of deposit in Washington county. For many years he was a director and the secretary of the Sandy Hill Electric Light and Power Company, of the Spring Brook Water Company, and a director and the counsel of the Glens Falls, Sandy Hill & Fort Edward Street Railroad Company. He is now a director and counsel, and the secretary of the Imperial Wall Paper Company, a director and vice-president of the Progressive Pulp and Paper Company, and of the Lake Champlain Pulp and Paper Company, a director and the president of the Adirondack Motor Car Company, and is besides a director in various other corporations, and interested as a partner in several lines of business, in the management of all of which he takes an active interest.

Mr. Ingalsbe's identification with learned and purposeful societies has been extended. He is a member of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the National Bimetallist Association, the American Anti-Imperialist League, the Harvard Law School Association, the Union College Alumni Association for Northeastern New York, the American Historical Association, the American Bar Association, the American Political Science Association, the New York State Bar Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and several other like associations. For several years he was a member of the Local Council for New York State of the American Bar Association. He has been a member of the executive committee of the New York State Bar Association continuously since 1893. Since its organization in 1899 he has been a trustee and vice-president of the New York State Historical Association, and for several years he has been the chairman of several of its most important committees, including the committee on program.

Loving his profession and giving it no stinted allegiance, irresistibly attracted by the keen rivalries of business and giving them prodigally of his strength, Mr. Ingalsbe has enjoyed most of all, his garden and his books. His private library is one of the largest in Northern New York, and amid the duties of an exacting profession and the activities of business, he has still found time for extensive reading, painstaking study and the preparation of many papers and monographs along attractive lines, and thus has preserved the mental poise of the student and many of the habits of the scholastic recluse.

Mr. Ingalsbe married, September 20, 1876, Franc E. Groesbeck,of Sandy Hill,New York, born October 19, 1854, a daughter of Nathaniel Barnet, and Lydia A. (Kingsley) Groesbeck. She was of the fourth generation from Nathaniel Barnet, and from Jonathan Kingsley, both soldiers of the revolution, and also of the fourth generation through her Grandmother Kingsley from Maurice Wells, a Quaker from the Providence plantations. The Groesbecks were early Dutch settlers in Schaghticoke, with revolutionary records. The Barnets came to New York from Rhode Island, and Jonathan Kingsley from Swansea, Massachusetts. He was a representative of the celebrated English family of that name, of which Canon Charles Kingsley was a member. Mrs. Ingalsbe graduated at Temple Grove Seminary in 1874, afterward teaching for two years in the Sandy Hill Union School. They had one child.

(VI) Grenville Howland, only child of Grenville Mellen and Franc E. (Groesbeck) Ingalsbe, was born in Sandy Hill, November 8, 1878, and died in that place, February 26, 1910.

His early and preparatory education was acquired at the Glens Falls and Phillips Exeter academies. He entered Harvard College in the class of 1902. At this time his physical condition was ideal, but serious illnesses culminated in an almost complete breakdown during his senior year, though he graduated with his class. He chose law as his life work, and immediately upon graduation he commenced its study in his father's office, with little expectation, however, on the part of his friends that he could pursue it. The greater part of the next two years he spent at Saranac. Residing with his parents in Sandy Hill he then assumed charge of the paternal homestead in South Hartford, carrying it on for five years with great success. He made a thorough study of farming; became a breeder of high grade Jersey cattle and Berkshire swine; introduced new methods of tillage husbandry and a systematized rotation of crops. During the same time he engaged in the lumber business as a member of the firm of Nichols & Ingalsbe, with headquarters at Wells, Vermont, and acquired a half interest in the Empire Coal Company at Sandy Hill. His other business enterprises were the Adirondack Motor Car Company, of which he was the vice-president, and the Progressive Pulp and Paper Company of Plattsburg, which he served as secretary. He was a member of the Kingsbury Club, the Alumni Associations of Phillips Exeter Academy and of Harvard College and the New York State Historical Association.

In politics he was a Republican, though never a strong partisan. He was widely read, and though a successful farmer and man of business, his tastes were ever those of the scholar. He was a man of culture, a lover of good literature, and a close student of world politics. He was unostentatious and retiring, but all who knew him liked him, and marvelled at his wealth of information. Ill health alone, apparently, prevented him from attaining high and worthy distinction among the world's workers, in whose ranks he longed for place.

Born for success he seemed,
With grace to win, with heart to hold,
All pledged in coming days to forge
Weapons to guard the State.

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