This page conforms to the XHTML standard and uses style sheets. If your browser doesn't support these, you may not see the page as designed, but all the text is still accessible to you.

SCHENECTADY DIGITAL HISTORY ARCHIVE

Bringing the heritage of Schenectady County, New York to the world since 1996

You are here: Home » Families » HMGFM Home » McCulloch

Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
McCulloch

Index to All Families | Index to Families by County: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington

Go to previous family: Engle — Sisson | next family: Genet

[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 511-519 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.]

Hathorn McCulloch was the founder in America of the McCulloch family now living on the estate known as Hathorden, at Clinton Heights, distant about two miles from the city of Rensselaer (formerly village of Greenbush), on east bank of the Hudson, opposite the city of Albany.

(I) He was born in Wigton, a shire of Galloway, Scotland, December 5, 1773, son of Andrew and Ann (Allan) McCulloch, grandson of Andrew and Agnes (Parker) McCulloch, great-grandson of William and Grissell (Shallane) McCulloch. William McCulloch was a man of large possessions and of a long lineage. He belonged to the branch of the family known as of Myerton, or Myrtown Arms, in the Scottish Registry: Described, erm. efret. engr. gu. Crest: A hand throwing a dart ppr. Motto: Vi et animo.

The McCullochs, as a family or clan in Scotland, when that country was unassociated with England, and for a long period thereafter, were noted as an influence and power to be considered by their contemporaries during that stormy period. The name appears not infrequently in local annals, in the annals of neighboring clans or families, and in the history of Scotland itself, though no comprehensive history of the family as such (as there is of many others,) appears to be extant at the present day.

Though Hathorn McCulloch brought from his native land little beside his own personality, having been a youngest son, his direct progenitors for generations back were people of standing and consequence in the locality in which they lived. He came to America, settling in the city of Albany, New York, about the year 1795. He early made a place for himself in a business way, and at a date which cannot now be recalled, formed a partnership with a Mr. Boyd, and the firm under the name of Boyd & McCulloch engaged in the brewing and malting business. The business established by this firm was eminently successful, has thrived under various succeeding owners, and continues in existence to this day.

Mr. McCulloch married at an early age, and established a home for himself and family in the city, but a country life appealed to him; therefore, when the opportunity offered, he purchased from the United States government, about the year 1830, the military reservation known as the Greenbush Cantonment, near Greenbush and Albany, consisting of about four hundred acres of land, with many buildings thereon, including an imposing headquarters, large barracks for officers and soldiers, store houses, stables, etc., etc. This military post was an important factor in the conduct of the war of 1812. Largely from here were drawn the troops who, commanded by General McComb, with Commodore McDonough on the lakes, defeated the British at the battle of Plattsburg.

After remodeling one of the government buildings (still standing) and making there from a spacious house for himself on this large estate, he divested it of its military features, remodeling such buildings as he required, razing the rest, and converted the lands, with suitable buildings, into a model farm. This accomplished, he with his family removed from the Albany home, and shortl: thereafter he relinquished his interest in the city business, retaining, however, some valuable city real estate, and continued to live at the Cantonment in contented retirement unti his death, at an advanced age, in 1859. Hathorn McCulloch was a man of robust physique, great energy, and fine mental attainments. In his leisure hours he read extensively, and delighted in the study of mathematics. His large circle of friends and acquaintances during his early life and middle age embraced about every one worthy of note in the then small city of Albany. Among the most noteworthy of his personal friends was De Witt Clinton, illustrious among the governors of New York. In politics he had always been a Democrat, being especially an admirer of Jackson and Van Buren, but in the last presidential election before his demise he cast his vote for Fremont and Dayton.

A few years after his settlement in Albany he married Miss Christina McFarland, of the town of New Scotland, near Albany. She, as was her husband, was born in Scotland (October, 1779), daughter of Dr. John McFarland, of Glasgow. She was related to the Buchanan family, that having been the family of her mother. She esteemed the Buchanans very highly and caused the name to be perpetuated in the persons of several of her grandsons. She was a worthy consort to Hathorn McCulloch and shared with him both his early and more advanced and declining years. She died in 1858. To them were born two sons — John Hathorn and William Alexander, and a daughter, Mary Ann. John H. in early manhood married and established himself near Buffalo; he died at an early age, the result of an accident, having been thrown from his horse, and his sons, on arriving at maturity, moved farther west; some of his descendants are now making names for themselves, but his and their records do not pertain to the locality in which the founder of the family made his home. Mary Ann married Benjamin Bostwick Kirtland; she is noted elsewhere in this work.

(II) William Alexander, second son of Hathorn and Christiana (McFarland) McCulloch, was born in Albany, February 14, 1810, where his boyhood days were spent. He graduated from the Albany Boys' Academy, an institution of learning founded in the year 1813, and still existing. He never supplemented the instruction there received by a college course, but always spoke in high praise of the thoroughness and comprehensiveness of the course of study taught at that school while he was a student there, and it was with almost veneration that he esteemed Dr. T. Romeyn Beck, the principal and chief instructor, who for many years controlled the academy, and whose memory is revered to this day by that venerable institution of learning. To the foundation of his education received at the academy he added much in the way of technical knowledge by personal study in after life. An incident of his school days was his shaking the hand of Lafayette on the occasion of that patriot's visit to Albany in 1824.

Upon his coming of age he already found himself intimately acquainted with the details of his father's extensive business; the latter trusted him implicitly, and even sought his advice in many matters of importance. It has been said by some that it was his son William who first noted the future possibilities of the Cantonment property and induced the father to purchase the same from the United States government. On the removal of the family to the home of the Cantonment estate, William was in his element as chief assistant to his father in the arduous task of getting the property in shape, not only as to affording a suitable home, but that it should be productive. He married, July 7, 1841, and about this time his father deeded to him in land area approximately one-half of the Cantonment estate, upon which he built a house and other buildings, and commenced to live there late in the following year. He named the estate Hathorden, from his father's name, and it was his home thereafter as long as he lived.

Shortly previous to his marriage he purchased a large malt house in Albany and engaged in the malting business. After his marriage he associated with himself as a partner his brother-in-law, Mr. E. C. Aikin, under the firm name of Wm. A. McCulloch & Co. Mr. Aikin had other business connections and this partnership was of only a few years' duration. While it existed it purchased on a venture a large tract of land (1856) in North Carolina, with the purpose of exploiting the mineral deposits in which it was rich, but the outbreak of the civil war caused the non-success of the enterprise. The land is now held by one of Mr. McCulloch's sons jointly with the heirs of Mr. Aikin.

The malting business (then a great industry in Albany) yielded generous profits to Mr. McCulloch, though it was somewhat distasteful to him as a business. Therefore, when during the year 1863 the opportunity offered to sell out and close the business so far as he was concerned, at great advantage, he availed himself of it, and retired from active business.

He was idealistic as to the occupation of farming, and it was early in life his ambition to personally operate his own farm, which he made a model one at great expense in the way of reclaiming swamp land through extensive drainage, the erection of fine buildings, and in other ways, but a year or two at a time, at different periods, in such operations, with its wearying detail, demonstrated to him that farming was not for him, and on relinquishing each attempt he either turned over the farm management to his second son, or leased to a tenant. With these exceptions noted, after his retirement from business in 1863, his only occupation up to the time of his demise was the care of his vested interests and such recreations as his taste or inclination dictated.

In early manhood he took a lively interest in politics and was an ardent worker in the party to which he belonged, but though offered him, he did not care for nor would accept a political office, though he did a military one. Like his father, he was a Democrat, and an admirer of Jackson and Van Buren, but when the new party lines were formed on the question of slavery, he joined the new Republican party, which was his party thereafter as long as he lived. Though always taking an interest in political matters, in his later years he ceased all activity in that line, contenting himself in the casting of his vote, in which duty he was always punctilious.

After the war of 1812 and almost up to the fifties of the preceding century, the militia of the state of New York embraced with few exemptions every man capable of bearing arms. Mr. McCulloch took a keen interest in the militia, and, being thorough in everything he undertook, he entered the service, first as quartermaster with the rank of major, and later was chief of staff with the rank of colonel on the staff of Major General Henry J. Genet, a division commander. This officer was a son of Edmond Charles Genet, known in history as Citizen Genet. It was said of the general during his military career that he took great pride in his command, and that his personal staff, of which Colonel McCulloch was the chief, was composed of young men of high social standing and efficient in the discharge of their duties. They were all fine horsemen and of soldierly appearance and bearing.

In character and mental attainments, Colonel McCulloch was worthy of emulation, though his modesty and a shrinking from notoriety of any kind amounted to defects in his character which prevented him from attaining more than a celebrity which was almost entirely local in extent. His literary taste was rare and discriminating, and during his lifetime he accumulated quite an extensive library. He also kept posted with the contemporaneous events of the day, as well as keeping a diary himself, noting not only events of a personal nature but such of general interest as he deemed worthy of record. This record only ended with his life.

Almost entirely through self-instruction and for his amusement as well as for the knowledge sought, he was an architect, engineer and chemist. He was first led to interest in the last-named science through his early association with Joseph Henry, for many years curator of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, whose friendship he enjoyed as long as he lived, and with whom he not infrequently corresponded. His knowledge of architecture enabled him to design his own house at Hathornden, which stands as a monument to his ability in that line.

He never had occasion to look to others for aid, and he was not much of an advocate of indiscriminate charity, but to those he loved and upon whom he felt it incumbent to bestow assistance, he gave with a liberal hand, and the needy stranger was never turned from his door unaided. He was a member of the Presbyterian church. Like his father, in his early years and middle life his acquaintance was large, and his friends many who held him in high esteem, but he outlived all his contemporaries of that period. He was in possession of all his mental faculties, and, for his years, of considerable vigor up to within a little more than a week of his death, which occurred January 28, 1900, at the advanced age of eighty-nine years and eleven months.

William Alexander McCulloch married, July 7, 1841, Caroline Matilda, youngest daughter and child of William A. and Caroline Matilda (Cary) Akin. Mr. Akin was a man of large possessions in the old settlement of Greenbush, and afterwards of the incorporated village of that name, of which he was the founder. He was during his lifetime preeminently its foremost citizen. The Cary family (to which Mrs. McCulloch's mother belonged) originated in New England by one of three brothers (the other two going south), who came to America in the early colonial period, and were of the English Carys, many of whose members were eminent, especially during the late Tudor and early Stuart periods of English history, perhaps the most notable having been Lord Falkland, who figured largely during the stormy reign of Charles I. and the Commonwealth.

Mrs. McCulloch's maternal grandfather was Major Ebenezer Cary, an officer in the revolutionary army. A great-grandfather was Captain Joshua Champlin, who was an officer in the colonial army at the siege of Louisburg, and with the forces at Lake George, 1755, and during the revolution commanded a company in the same regiment with his son-in-law, Major Cary. A more remote ancestor (a Champlin) was in the battle of the Swamp, during King Philip's war. The late Sir William Howland, of Toronto (an American by birth), once governor of Ontario, Canada, was a cousin of Mrs. McCulloch, Sir William's mother having been a sister of William Akin, her father. He died only a few years ago, at an advanced age.

Caroline Matilda Akin was born October 30, 1816, in Greenbush, in the home of her father, which is still standing in the present city of Rensselaer, corner of Broadway and Akin avenue, and is unsurpassed to-day by any residence in the city. She finished her education at the Albany Girls' Academy, an institution of learning then as now of high character. Those who remembered her after her school days spoke of her as possessing about every accomplishment then in vogue among young ladies except music, for which she thought herself she had not sufficient talent to cultivate. She was skillful with both brush and pencil, and in English composition especially excelled. In appearance and manner attractive, added to a vivacious and impulsive disposition, her companionship was largely sought by the large circle of her numerous relatives and friends. Upon her marriage she went with her husband to his home at the Cantonment, but on the completion of the house at Hathornden they entered upon their life at their new and attractive home. Here she presided as mistress with a charming grace and hospitality, bringing up her young children with a loving care, but after a little more than a decade of married life she suffered a terrible affliction in the form of a mental derangement from which she never recovered and which necessitated her removal from her home that she might receive constant and unremitting care. She was possessed of an estate in her own right, consisting of both real and personal property, which was kept intact for her during her lifetime, and which fell to her two surviving sons. She died January 1, 1893. To Colonel and Mrs. McCulloch were born three sons — William Hathorn, Aiken, and Walter Buchanan.

(III) William Hathorn McCulloch, eldest son of William Alexander and Caroline Matilda (Akin) McCulloch, was born September 15, 1842, at the Cantonment, the house of his parents at Hathornden not being ready for occupancy at the time of his birth. He attended several primary schools in Greenbush and Albany, also taking a course at the Albany Boys' Academy, from there going to the celebrated Philips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts. Deciding upon the law as a profession, he took up its study at Yale university, ultimately finishing at the Albany Law School. After his admission to the bar, he supplemented the legal instruction already received by a course of reading in the law office of Cagger & Porter, who were noted practitioners in their day. While so engaged he joined a crack military company in Albany, known as the Albany Zouave Cadets, organized 1860, in which year the subject of this sketch joined it. This company became famous as a preparatory school for the training of its members to become officers competent to take commands in the volunteer regiments soon to be raised in the near impending civil war, and after the war had commenced it continued to so send its well equipped members as officers where their services could be of value through their training. It celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its organization June 7, 1910. While Mr. McCulloch was in the ranks of this company it was twice called into active service by the state to do guard duty at the Albany barracks, where raw levies of volunteers were stationed preparatory to their proper organization and equipment for duty at the front in the war which had broken out early in 1861.

In the following year, 1862, he received a commission as second lieutenant, and was assigned to Company H, One Hundred and Seventy-seventh Regiment, New York S. V. This regiment was composed largely in personnel both as to officers and enlisted men, of members of the Tenth Regiment, N. G. S. N. Y., of which the Albany Zouave Cadets was Company A. William H. McCulloch's was the eighty-second name on the roster of cadets of those of that company to be commissioned, and in the volunteer service he was one among its very youngest officers to be selected from civil life, having not yet attained the age of twenty years when commissioned. His regiment left Albany early in the following year (1863) and went from New York by ship to New Orleans, where it joined the army commanded by General Banks. While doing picket duty with his company shortly after his arrival at the front, Lieutenant McCulloch received, for one of his rank, quite an extended notice in the papers for his clever capture of a Confederate spy, who naturally would have suffered execution had he not escaped from the careless hands of one of higher rank to whom the captor gave him in custody.

The lieutenant participated in all the various skirmishes (some of which might be called engagements) and in the two pitched battles in which his regiment took a prominent part. Much of the time he was the actual commander of his company, his captain having been killed in the first battle, and the first lieutenant being assigned to staff duty. At the first battle of Port Hudson, May 27, 1863, his regiment, with most of the army, charged the earthworks, strongly defended by the infantry and artillery of the enemy, and strewn in front with felled timber and other entanglements, disarranging the proper alignment of the attacking forces. In the charge he was in front of his company and close to his captain, who was encouraging on his men, when this officer turned to his subaltern and told him that he should return to his proper place in the immediate rear of the company to push on the wavering rather than to lead, which was his (the captain's) place. This rebuke to the lieutenant was the captain's last duty performed; he had hardly uttered the last word when a bullet from the enemy laid him low with a mortal wound. Shortly after this the recall was sounded, and defeat with heavy loss was the result of the action. The second battle, June 14, over about the same ground, had a similar ending — defeat and heavy loss. Both actions were said to have been military blunders in their inception, as the enemy were soon after starved into submission and surrender by the regular process of siege interrupted by these two actions. On the return of the regiment from the war, Lieutenant McCulloch was mustered out with the rest and returned to civil life.

During the last year of the war, in association with a former college chum, he contracted with and furnished the government large quantities of hay from the vicinity of Whitehall, New York. Though the enterprise was extensive, but little profit accrued therefrom. This was the only commercial venture in which he ever engaged.

He was on the point of forming a law partnership in the city of Albany, when he concluded that the west promised a better field for the young practitioner, and acting on this impulse, he went to St. Louis, commencing the practice of law there. After several years in that city a case in which he was engaged took him to the near-by town of Washington, in Franklin county, Missouri. Liking the place, he removed to that town and continued his successful practice there for a number of years. His somewhat restless disposition chafed under the slow rewards of his professional life, so when gold was discovered in the Black Hills, he, with several other professional men of his town, went there with the view of bettering their fortunes. Not succeeding there, he returned to Washington, and shortly thereafter went to the territory of New Mexico, prospecting and mining again being the object. After several years there, he attained a degree of success which would have satisfied many, but which was not comrrensurate with his expectations and ambition. With the purpose of further advancement, in the year 1883 he, with two associates, one of whom was Colonel Prescott (who gave the name to the city or town of Prescott, Arizona), equipped themselves with a very elaborate outfit, including pack animals, mounts, and the necessary paraphernalia, with ready funds incident to conducting a prospect for paying mineral. This expensive outfit contributed to their undoing, as will be seen. They started out into an unexplored region and never returned. Diligent search was made for them by organized parties, in one of which was Mr. McCulloch's brother, but no trace of them living could be found. It was not until several years had elapsed that the remains of this party were found and recognized by papers and relics found with them, the discoverer being a single prospector with an attendant Indian boy. It was afterwards learned that the value of the outfit had aroused the cupidity of a roving band of robbers (perhaps organized for the purpose) of renegade whites and Mexicans, who ambushed and slew the party and made off with their plunder. It was impossible to properly distinguish the separate individuality of the remains found. Mr. McCulloch's father caused the sheriff of the county to inter the remains and erect a monument with suitable inscription where the unfortunate men fell. The precise date of Mr. McCulloch's death will never be known, but it probably occurred in the early months of the year 1884, when he was aged about forty-one years.

William Hathorn McCulloch was nearly six feet in height, and of sturdy build; his features were almost classic in outline, and his general appearance impressive. In aptitude for acquiring knowledge and information, he had more than the usual allotment, and he availed himself of it. Besides the knowledge acquired, necessary to the pursuit of his profession, he was remarkably well informed in history, both ancient and modern, and well read in the current literature of his day, besides being a fluent writer and ready speaker. Unlike his father and grandfather, his tastes did not lead him in the direction of scientific or technical knowledge. He was genial and impulsive in manner, everywhere popular, and a leader among his fellows. He never married.

(III) Aiken, second son of William Alexander and Caroline M. (Akin) McCulloch, the existing head of the family, was born June 19, 1847, at Hathornden, his present home and possession. In boyhood he attended schools in the vicinity of his home, including the Albany Boys' Academy. Early in life it seeming that it would one day be his lot to be the proprietor of Hathornden, his education was shaped to that end, in that his scholastic course was finished at the State Agricultural College of Pennsylvania.

In the brief sketch of his father's life it will be noted that he (his father) at varying periods personally operated his own farm. On these occasions his son Aiken was his right hand or executive officer, who relieved him of much detail for which he was unadapted, and made success when failure without his assistance might have resulted. For a number of years Aiken McCulloch, either under a lease from his father or through a sharing of profits, conducted the farm himself, and always with satisfactory results, but it eventually became evident to him that the actual farmer can only win out by undergoing a drudgery which he did not feel called upon to endure, which resulted finally in his leasing the farm to a tenant, as his father had done before him, and for which the place was always adapted by being equipped with a commodious house built purposely to accommodate employed labor by the proprietor, or a tenant farmer and his own family and force. Such were the conditions when in the year 1900, through the death of his father, he became the owner of the estate, together with other property devised to him by will, and this is the present status, except that the proprietor reserves sufficient land to furnish hay to his horses and other stock required by a country family.

Being relieved from the exactions incident to farming and other active business, Mr. McCulloch has had and has much leisure time on his hands, but takes little enjoyment in anything unshared with him by his family. The social life made possible by a commodious and attractive home and an extended and agreeable acquaintance has been and is his and their lot to enjoy, which in the past has been diversified by travel, both in their own country and abroad.

Aiken McCulloch is a lover of all legitimate sports. A pastime much enjoyed by him is riding, as he is an excellent horseman, and ever in his stable he has a ready mount. Like his progenitors, he has read much on a diversity of subjects, and is a mentally well equipped and well informed man. He is of moderate height and build, erect, and enjoys good health. He has ever been held in high esteem in the community in which he has always lived. Unlike his brothers, he has never joined the Masonic fraternity, nor the patriotic societies of comparatively recent origin, to which his ancestry would make him eligible. He is a Republican, though never active in politics. He and his family are all members of the Presbyterian church.

Aiken McCulloch and Lottie L. Ham were married October 11, 1883. Mrs. McCulloch is a daughter of the late Chester Griswold and Charlotte (Lyon) Ham, and was born in the village of Greenbush. Her father was of the original Dutch stock which settled in New York state early in the seventeenth century. Mr. Ham was long an official of the Boston & Albany railway, but in the last years of his life was engaged in business in Bath, a corporate village of which he was for several terms the president. Here he built a fine residence, with spacious grounds surrounding same, commanding a view of rarely surpassed excellence, which includes in its range the Hudson river, the city of Albany, and adjacent country. His widow now owns and occupies this home. Bath is now part of the city of Rensselaer.

Mrs. McCulloch's mother is of the Lyon family, which early settled in New England. General Nathaniel Lyon, who fell in the battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri, during the civil war, was a near relative. A great-grandfather was Waitstal Avery. The Averys were a distinguished family, and figured prominently both in New England and the South during the Colonial and Revolutionary period of our country.

Upon entering the home of her husband as a bride, Mrs. McCulloch found herself at once its mistress. Her father-in-law, upon her marriage with his son, in effect abdicated as head of his establishment and was thereafter more like an honored guest of his son and young wife than the actual head of the house. Notwithstanding this he was always deferred to in matters of importance and his wishes ever regarded. Hathornden had for years been without a real mistress, and in the new incumbent it found one of rare grace, charm, and ability in management. Besides her own pervading personality she brought to her new home the joy of music, she having been (and is) skillful in that accomplishment both through her rich voice in song and as a pianist. She has ever presided over her home with the same charm as inaugurated in her early married life. She delights in entertaining the large circle of the family acquaintance, who find in her and her husband hostess and host whom it is a pleasure and a privilege to meet. Mr. and Mrs. McCulloch have a son, William Alexander, and a daughter, Anne Charlotte.

(IV) William Alexander McCulloch, named for his grandfather of revered memory, is now a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, representing the twenty-second congressional district of New York state. The fact that he is at that world famous school for the preparing of young men for commissions in the army, with its rigid requirements both as to mental and physical qualifications, is, for one so young, almost enough of record for him. The future is his concern, and it is to be hoped, with such a propitious start, that he will make a name and fame for himself in his country's service. His boyhood days at home before going to West Point were about as those of the boys of the period, except that for one so young he had traveled not a little. He is of an amiable disposition, regular in features, tall of stature, and as a result of his present training, of very erect figure and of soldierly bearing.

(IV) Anne Charlotte McCulloch, generally known as Charlotte McCulloch, only recently finished as to education, is a young woman of charm both as to person and manner. She is the idol in the household of her parents, which she helps largely to adorn. She is very popular in a large circle which embraces her near relatives and an extended acquaintance. She has many accomplishments, enhanced by her experiences in an extended tour through Great Britain and Continental Europe with her parents a few years since. She inherits from both her parents a fondness for horses, and is both an equestrienne and a whip of courage and skill.

(III) Walter Buchanan McCulloch, third and youngest son of William Alexander and Caroline M. A. McCulloch, was born at Hathornden, December 2, 1849. In his early education a course in the classics was commenced and pursued to some length, but it was decided that this should be dropped and a technical course substituted. In early boyhood he attended, among other schools of more or less merit, the Albany Boys' Academy, as had his father and brothers, and he finally finished at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy. A few months after leaving that famous technical institute of learning an opening offered and he went to Iowa, and as a civil engineer in the department of maintenance of way on a railroad operated in that state, acted as assistant to the chief engineer. In this position his duties were much of an executive character, he frequently acting as head of an important department during the absence of his chief. Thereafter most of his work had to do with railroad construction; generally with the title of division engineer, many divisious of various railroads were built under his direct charge and supervision. In this particular field of operations he was in his element. Commencing in Iowa in 1871 and ending in Virginia in 1894, the practice of his profession as a civil engineer took him to many states of the Union. From 1894 to 1900 his activities were confined to operations of minor importance and near his home.

An interruption to his duties incident to the pursuit of his profession occurred in the year 1884, when the disappearance of his eldest brother (as noted in biographical sketch of William Hathorn McCulloch) caused him to leave Missouri, where he was actively engaged, and at the behest of his father, proceed to New Mexico in search of his lost brother, whose fate was then unknown. Though with ample funds at his command and armed with credentials from the governor of New York state which obtained for him rare consideration from officials, both civil and military, his search through not only New Mexico but the adjacent territory of Arizona, by every means of conveyance except afoot, was without result. Hardly had he finished this search and left its scene when that rapacious and murderous savage, Geronimo, the Indians broke out and plundered and killed over much of the country passed over by him. Had he from any cause delayed his expedition only by three weeks at most, the tragic fate of his brother might easily have been his.

Some of his operations other than as pertained to railroad work may be noted briefly as follows: For the United States government as manager for a contractor he built part of the Panther forest levee on the Mississippi river, in Arkansas; opened up and started in operation a coal mine in Iowa; was inspector of river improvement for the state of New York, in operations on the Hudson river, and was one of a timber exploration party on the north shore of the Great Lakes in the British possessions. This last-named enterprise, undertaken in the winter time, had to him, at least, some of the characteristics of an Arctic expedition.

In the year 1900, on the death of his father, Walter B. McCulloch found himself possessed of a property, the income derived from which he deemed sufficient for his wants, inasmuch as he has no one dependent upon him. Except that he is interested in and a director of the Rensselaer County bank, he is now in no active business or occupation. In the decade just closing (1910) he has traveled considerably, and as his duties previously had taken him extensively over his own country, his recreation tours have been almost exclusively in foreign countries. He has crossed the Atlantic and returned three times, touring through much of Great Britain and Continental Europe, and visiting parts of Asia and Africa contiguous to the Mediterranean sea. He is a Free Mason of the thirty-second degree, a member of the D. K. E. college fraternity, also the Society of Colonial Wars, Sons of the Revolution, and the Albany Club. These various affiliations, together with his family connection, have given him a large acquaintance. In politics he reserves the right to be independent, but of late years has been found with the Republicans on national questions. In religious faith he is a Presbyterian, and a member of that church. He is of medium height, inclined to stoutness in figure, of vigorous constitution, and generally enjoys the best of health. His home is with his brother and family at Hathornden. He is unmarried.

The Hathornden Estate. — The country estate known as Hathornden, comprising an area about two hundred acres, was formerly a part of the Cantonment or military reservation purchased by Hathorn McCulloch, the grandfather of Aiken McCulloch, the present proprietor, and was detached therefrom as noted in the biographical sketch of William Alexander McCulloch.

It is largely a farm under cultivation, except that occupying the southeast corner is a tract of woodland about fifteen acres in extent, and certain reservations of land comprising the roadway leading from the state road to the homestead, and the lawns, gardens, and surroundings of homestead and adjacent outbuildings, exclusively used by the proprietor, and distinct and isolated by well-defined boundaries from the farm proper. Pertaining to the farm is a house for the tenant farmer, a large barn and outbuildings, and other features necessary to its operation. On its westerly side it is bounded by the Columbia turnpike (now a state road); northerly mostly by the Cantonment estate, and elsewhere by the lands of adjacent neighbors. Entering from the south and for a distance of about two thousand feet nearly paralleling the state road, it is crossed by the Albany & Southern railroad, the land comprising this right of way was donated to the railroad by the late William A. McCulloch. The railroad leaves the farm as it crosses the state road. Here are situated a small railway station, a country wayside inn, a school house, and several houses. This small settlement is the nucleus of the community known as Clinton Heights, taking in a larger area, distant about one and one-half miles from Rensselaer and Albany. Very near this railroad station, and opposite the inn, a gateway flanked by tall brick pillars is the entrance to the private roadway leading to the home on the estate. This road is four rods in width, properly arched and graveled, and is shaded most of the way by elms on each side, except as it approaches entrance to lawn, where maples are found. All the trees are of good size and of generous foliage. At another gate, although not passing through the same, the road, narrower in width, diverts toward the north towards and through the Cantonment estate. This last-named gate is flanked by massive masonry pillars adorned by capitals, and through it by a graveled roadway the lawn surrounding the house is entered upon. It is spacious in extent, is traversed by graveled roadways and walks, interspersed by trees of abundant foliage, and shrubbery. On a terrace is the house, in a commanding position. It is built of brick, in pure Italian style of architecture. The walls are very thick, and the structure is in as good con dition as when erected about seventy years ago. The house is not so great in extent as the cunning of the designer in its construction would lead the external observer to infer. Viewed from a favorable position on the lawn or approaching roadway where the western front with its imposing porch, and south side with vine-entwined veranda both in range, it has in connection with its surroundings, in appearance the stateliness and dignity of a country mansion, which it really is.

In its interior are many antiques in the way of furniture. Among silver, china and cut glass ware, are heirlooms of the McCulloch and Akin families of preceding generations.

At convenient distance and to rear of house, are stable, carriage house and other outbuildings, and on the north and south of lawn towards rear are gardens, the one to the south being a rare flower garden.

A view of the city of Albany is obtained from the terrace surrounding the house, but on a rise of ground a short distance in the rear, is one of much greater extent, embracing in its range the Hudson river. This in bare outline is a description of Hathornden. It is really entitled to one of greater scope and comprehensiveness than is here set forth.

Go to top of page | previous family: Engle — Sisson | next family: Genet

You are here: Home » Families » HMGFM Home » McCulloch

http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/families/hmgfm/mcculloch.html updated July 30, 2009

Copyright 2009 Schenectady Digital History Archive — a service of the Schenectady County Public Library