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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Simons — Chase

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 210-211 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.]

These are two well-known names in the United States, the former being borne by men well-known in the annals of the Mohawk Valley, the latter by men of national prominence from early New England days.

Nathan E. Simons was born in Schagticoke, Rensselaer county, New York, in 1829, died in Albany, New York, September 13, 1889, and is buried in Rural cemetery. His father died when he was a small boy, and his mother married a second time. At the age of fourteen years, the lad left home and started out to make his own way in the world. He worked in Lansingburg, New York, for a few years, gaining education and business experience. He next went to Albany, being a bookkeeper and yard salesman for a lumber firm, where he acquired a thorough practical knowledge of the lumber trade and methods of conducting it. Until he was twenty-seven, he was in the employ of Richard Whitlock, then a prominent dealer. In 1856 he entered in partnership under the firm name of Mattice & Simons, and established yards and salesrooms on Water street, where he successfully engaged in the lumber business. In 1859 his firm dissolved and was succeeded by Simons & Griswold, lumber dealers, Aaron Griswold being his new partner. He died in 1872, and Mr. Simons became sole owner. In 1878 he admitted A. K. Richards, under the firm name of Simons & Richards, which continued until the death of Mr. Simons. He was a public-spirited man, and a liberal supporter of all worthy causes. He was active in local affairs, was one of the promoters of the Albany Institute, and a member of the First Dutch Church of Albany. In politics he was a Republican. He married, in 1855, Meribah Chase, born in Little Falls, New York, May 2, 1837, daughter of Sylvanus G. Chase, of Little Falls and Albany, New York. Children of Nathan E. and Meribah (Chase) Simons:

  1. Charles Newman, born June 5, 1857, died April 2, 1866.
  2. Lillian, born July 20, 1863; married Herbert Wright Stover, of Plainfield, New Jersey.
  3. Alfred, died at age of nineteen years.
  4. May L., unmarried, resides with her mother in Albany.

(I) Jacob Chase, of Vermont, was born, lived, and died in that state. He attained the great age of ninety years.

(II) Moses, son of Jacob Chase, was born in Vermont, but located in New York state, at Rome. He had three wives, his first, Mercy Goodenough, being the mother of his children.

(III) Sylvanus Goodenough, son of Moses and Mercy (Goodenough) Chase, was born at Rome, New York, December 28, 1806, died at Albany, at age of eighty-three years. He was a lad of ten years when he witnessed the gathering of a few distinguished gentlemen about four miles east of Rome to throw the first shovelfulls of earth that inaugurated the building of the Erie canal. Eight years later he was a passenger on the first Erie canalboat ever built. It was a memorable, as well as a historic trip. Soon after his parents removed to Herkimer county, New York, where he attended school during the winter months, and was employed on the canal in the summer. He next became steersman on one of the two small packet boats that plied on the canal between Little Falls and Utica. He was later steersman on one of the large packets plying to Schenectady, and had the honor of conveying General Lafayette as passenger. In 1827 he became captain of one of the boats carrying freight and passengers between Albany and New York City, owned by Dows & Cary, also owners of the Washington line of canal and river boats. He continued as captain of the boat until 1835, when he engaged with E. S. Prosser of Albany, as tally clerk, continuing until 1841, when he organized a line of boats for freight and passengers to ply between Albany and Buffalo, connecting at the latter city with the transportation line of John R. Evans and Bro. for the lakes, and with the Santvoord and Company "Swiftsure" line at Albany for New York. The firm name of the company, S. G. Chase & Company, became a well-known one. In 1856 eight different canal lines combined, forming a stock company under the name of "The Western Transportation Company." Mr. Chase entered the combination and became a director and agent on the pier at Albany, remaining until 1879, when he disposed of his entire interest and retired from business, after a period of forty-four years in business on the old Albany pier. He was a member of the Albany Board of Trade, director of the Capital Insurance Company, and trustee of the Jagger Iron Company. He was a member of the First Reformed Church, and for many years an elder. He was of commanding, dignified bearing, and a most upright and honorable business man. He married, (first) Mary A. Dewey; married (second) Elizabeth Loomis, of Suffield, Massachusetts; no children. Children of first marriage:

  1. Amy, died in childhood.
  2. Darius, died in childhood.
  3. Aljilenah, married Albertus K. Richards, a partner of his brother-in-law, and his successor in the firm of Simons & Richards, died in 1895; she survives her husband, is a resident of Albany and had children:
    1. Jesse A., of Brooklyn, New York.
    2. Walter S., of Albany.
    3. Bertha, deceased.
    4. Hamilton, of New York City.
  4. Meribah, see forward.
  5. Orlando, accidentally killed at age of two years.
  6. Esther, married Charles M. Sears; she survives her husband, resident of Lenox, Massachusetts, with children, Charles and Grace, both married and of Lenox.
  7. Henrietta, married Irving Knickerbocker, retired lumber dealer of Albany.
  8. Agnes, married John D. Parsons (2), whom she survives, resident of Albany.

(IV) Meribah, daughter of Sylvanus G. and Mary A. (Dewey) Chase, was born at Little Falls, New York, May 2, 1837. Her parents removed to Albany in 1839, and in that city she received her education, attending private schools and Albany Female Academy. She married, 1855, Nathan E. Simons (see Simons). She is a member of the First Reformed Church, and since the death of her husband has continued her residence at 26 First street, where she has as companion her youngest daughter, May L. Simons.

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