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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Shults

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1337-1338 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 first permanent settlement north of the Mohawk river in Montgomery county, and probably the first west of Schenectady, was made by Hendrick Frey, a native of Zurich, Switzerland, who, in 1700, journeyed up the Mohawk and erected a log dwelling a short distance from what is now Palatine Bridge. In 1712-13 other settlers came into the town of Palatine and between that date and 1744 the Shults family located in the town. Who the emigrant was does not appear, but in 1770 land was conveyed to Christian Dillembeck and Johannes Shults in trust for the Lutheran church. Johannes Shults was probably the father of John I., Philip, Nicholas and Solomon. The name is also found in Steuben county, New York, where sons and grandsons of Johannes settled. John I. Shults was a farmer in the town of Palatine, New York, and later in Avoca, Steuben county; was twice married, and by his first wife had three sons: Alexander, Casper; Giles; and two daughters: Catharine and Betsey. By his second wife, two sons: Lyman, Langrane; and two daughters, Sarah and Dorliska.

(III) Alexander, son of John I. Shults, was born in the town of Palatine, Montgomery county, New York, where he followed the occupation of a farmer and carpenter. He married Lucinda Wagner, whose ancestors came from Germany prior to the revolutionary war. Children:

  1. Amelia, married Oliver Zeeley; one child,
    1. Alexander L., married Elizabeth Vrooman, and had William and Amelia.
  2. DeWitt Clinton, of whom further.
  3. John H., married Kitty Van Wie; children: Morgan, Bertha, Mary.
  4. Eleanor, married Mortimer Parkhill; two children:
    1. Clinton, married Miss Carpenter, who lives at Poughkeepsie, New York;
    2. Amelia, married James Travis, and has James, Clinton and Emma.
  5. Mary Catherine, married Abel Bullard, has daughter Lena.

(IV) DeWitt Clinton, eldest son of Alexander and Lucinda (Wagner) Shults, was born in the town of Palatine, January 11, 1834. He was educated in the public schools, and Alfred Academy, at Alfred Center, Allegany county, New York. He attended the latter institution for two years, and for one year, was a student at Lima Seminary, Lima, New York. After completing his studies he became a law student under Judge Jacob Wendel, of Fort Plain, New York, in 1859. May 7, 1862, he was admitted to the bar, and in September of that year was appointed United States assistant assessor for internal revenue, the district at that time comprising but two towns, Minden and St. Johnsville; subsequently he had the entire county. He remained in the revenue service until 1873, when he commenced the practice of law at Fort Plain. He formed a partnership with Peter G. Webster and H. V. Borst, the firm name being Webster, Shults & Borst. In 1880 this partnership was dissolved, Mr. Webster retiring, the new firm continuing as Shults & Borst.

January 1, 1888, Mr. Borst retired, having been elected county judge and surrogate of Montgomery county, and Mr. Shults continued the business alone, his practice being largely confined to the surrogate's court. Since his first settlement in Fort Plain he has been prominent in every department of village life. For ten years he was a director of the Fort Plain National Bank, and on the death of Mr. Shearer was elected president, March 1, 1910. He was a justice of the peace for twelve years, president of the village two years, and trustee for eight years. He is secretary and treasurer of the Fort Plain Cemetery Association, an office he has held for twenty years. He is a Republican in politics, and a member of the Dutch Reformed church, which he has served as trustee for a quarter of a century. He is widely known and highly respected. He married, May, 1864, Aurelia L., daughter of Stickney J. Dygert, of Minden. Children:

  1. William D., of whom further;
  2. Lauretta, born 1868, died at the age of six years.

(V) William D., son of DeWitt Clinton and Aurelia L. (Dygert) Shults, was born at Fort Plain, New York, September 15, 1866. He was educated in the public schools, attended the Cortland Normal school two years, and Albany Boys' Academy one year. He removed to Sidney, Nebraska, where for one year he was cashier and assistant treasurer of the Union Pacific Hotel Company; he next located in Salt Lake City, Utah, where for two years he operated as real estate broker. He next located in San Francisco, where for two years he was assistant secretary and manager of the Union League Club. He then returned to Fort Plain and has since been with his father in the insurance, law and real estate business. He is a Republican in politics. He married Ada Bullock, November, 1901; child,

  1. DeWitt Clinton (2), born July 15, 1903.

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