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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
James K. Alverson

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[This information is from pp. 416-417 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

James K. Alverson, who has been identified with the educational interests of Schoharie County, New York, as school teacher and School Commissioner for the past three decades, resides in Middleburg, where he built his present residence in 1883. He was born February 21, 1845, in Berne, Albany County, a son of Leonard Alverson. His grandfather, Isaac Alverson, formerly a blacksmith in the city of Albany, was killed in one of the battles of the War of 1812, while in the prime of manhood.

Leonard Alverson was reared on a farm in Duanesburg, N. Y. He learned the blacksmith's trade, which he subsequently followed in Berne, not far from Hunter's Land. In Berne he afterward settled on a farm, and also carried on a grocery store and conducted a hotel, being very popular as a landlord. In politics he was a sound Democrat. He served as Assessor of Berne and as Supervisor, and for a number of years he was a Deacon of the Christian church. He subsequently purchased a farm in Hunter's Land, on which he engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, at the age of sixty-five years. He married Elizabeth Cutter, or, as she was familiarly known in her girlhood, Betsey Wilbur, who was born in Duanesburg, a daughter of Esquire Wilbur. Her father was a well-to-do farmer and an expert fox hunter. He reared four children, namely: Sarah, wife of Seth Owens; William B.; Elizabeth, Mrs. Alverson, deceased; and Joseph W.

James K. Alverson attended the common schools of his district until he was fourteen years old, and then began earning his own living by working out by the month; being thus employed until the breaking out of the Civil War. At the age of eighteen he enlisted in Company M, Seventh New York Artillery, with which he served eighteen months. He participated in the battles of Spottsylvania, Anna River, and Cold Harbor, where he was twice wounded by minie-balls, once in the right forearm and once in the left thigh. He was taken to the hospital, from which he was discharged as a private at the end of eight months. Returning home, he commenced his career as a teacher, being employed in 1865 and 1866 in Berne. Afterward he was principal of schools in the village of Schoharie, in Middleburg, and Wright, and in other places in Schoharie and Albany Counties, for a continuous period of twenty years. In 1888 Mr. Alverson was elected School Commissioner of the First District of Schoharie County for a term of three years, and in 1894 was again elected to the same responsible position, and served until 1897. As School Commissioner he had to examine the one hundred and twelve teachers employed in the ninety-eight schools under his immediate supervision, and personally visit each school in the eight towns composing his district. Since the expiration of his last term in this capacity, he has resumed his former occupation as a teacher, and is now one of the oldest instructors in this part of the county and one of the most successful. He was formerly a member of the Schoharie County Teachers' Association, and while a Commissioner of the First District he built many new school-houses. He is a Democrat in politics, and was twice elected Collector of the town of Berne. Fraternally, he is a member of the Moses Tompkins Post, No. 149, G. A. R., in which he has served as Officer of the Day and been Commander, and belongs also to the Middleburg Lodge, Le Bastelle, I. O. O. F., in which he has passed all the chairs, and is now Past Noble Grand. He and his family attend the Lutheran church.

In 1876 Mr. Alverson married Miss Rhoda Shoemaker, a daughter of Abraham and Phebe (Layman) Shoemaker. Her parents spent their later years of life in Middleburg, where her mother is still living at the age of seventy-five years. Mr. and Mrs. Alverson have three children; namely, Leonard A., W. Layman, and Otis Ray.

[Editorial note: This entry was not returned to the author with corrections.]

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