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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Washburn

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1520-1521 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.]

A branch of the New England family of Washburn (see John Washburn I) settled in Cortland county, New York, and from this branch Charles Spencer Washburn, of Schenectady, New York, descends. Reuben Washburn settled in the village of Homer, Cortland county, New York, where he was engaged in mercantile life as owner and proprietor. Some of the older inhabitants of Homer asserted that Reuben Washburn was the first merchant in the village, while Goodwin, in his history, says John Coats was. This point cannot be settled, but the best evidence seems to prove that Washburn was the first. His store formerly stood between the Windsor House and Sherman's "Homer Exchange." Reuben Washburn married and reared a family, one son becoming a noted physician. During the civil war he was surgeon in a New York regiment, contracted disease and died during the war period. Dr. Washburn married a daughter of ex-Congressman Reed, formerly of Homer. His children, Lucy and Arthur, removed to California, where they established and conduct a fashionable private school. Another son, Reuben Washburn, was connected with Wells, Fargo Express Company, and died in the west.

(II) George Washington, son of Reuben Washburn, was born in Homer, New York, where he was reared and educated. After a commercial training with his father in the Homer store, he became identified with a New York wholesale house as their commercial traveler. He was a well-educated, courteous gentleman, and a capable, energetic business man. His residence after marriage was Poughkeepsie, New York, and Brooklyn. He died October 14, 1854, at the early age of thirty-one years. He married in Watervliet, Albany county, New York, Laura Spencer, born in Waterford, Saratoga county, New York, died in Schenectady, daughter of David Spencer, born February 4, 1787, died February 2, 1859. He was of English descent, and an early settler in Waterford. His wife, Rachel Spencer, was born in 1785, and died in Waterford, October 7, 1842. Children of David and Rachel Spencer were:

  1. Dr. James, born July 11, 1810; became a physician and practiced on Staten Island, New York.
  2. Eliza, January 22, 1813, died November 18, 1826.
  3. Caroline, November 6, 1815, died June 10, 1865; married, February 12, 1846, James Roy, died in 1878, noted as the maker of a famous weave of shawls known as the "Spencer," a very fashionable article of apparel in that day.
  4. Anna, November 10, 1818, died August 11, 1849; married James Jewett, who died 1850, leaving a son David.
  5. Laura, July 24, 1823, died November 18, 1891; she was a devout member of the Episcopal church, and actively interested in church work; she married, February 12, 1851, George Washington Washburn.

Children of George Washington and Laura (Spencer) Washburn:

  1. Charles Spencer, see forward.
  2. Caroline Roy, born August 26, 1853; married James M. Stewart, a civil and mining engineer of Philadelphia, where they reside; children:
    1. William M.;
    2. Charles W., died in childhood;
    3. James M. (2) died in early manhood;
    4. Roy, born 1898.

(III) Charles Spencer, only son of George W. and Laura (Spencer) Washburn, was born November 15, 1851. He was educated in the schools of Homer and Schenectady, New York. Subsequently was a clerk for a number of years in the Mohawk National Bank. Went west to California and Nevada, two years later was also connected with G. G. Maxon Sons, grain merchants. In 1882 he became an associate of John Wiederhold in the manufacture of woman's wear. The mills and factory of John Wiederhold & Company are located at Schenectady, and it is one of the prosperous industries of that city. Mr. Washburn is actively engaged in the business, chiefly in the office department. He is a director and vice-president of the Mohawk National Bank, where his early business years were passed. He is a member of St. George's Episcopal Church, in which he has held several offices. At present he is a member of the vestry; junior warden and treasurer; trustee of the Schenectady Savings Bank; trustee of the Children's Home and Young Men's Christian Association. He is prominent in the Masonic order, belonging to St. George's Lodge, Chapter and Commandery of Schenectady. He is a member of Albany Consistory, Thirty-second Degree Scottish Rite. Politically he is a Republican. His clubs are the Mohawk and Mohawk Golf, both of Schenectady. He is unmarried.

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