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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Jeremiah Dunckel

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[This information is from pp. 226-228 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.]

Jeremiah Dunckel, who resides on his farm in the town of Seward, about a mile from the village of Hyndsville in Schoharie County, is living retired from active pursuits, enjoying the fruits of his earlier years of toil. He was born April 7, 1821, in Canajoharie, N. Y., a son of George G. Dunckel, and the descendant of a pioneer settler of that town.

His great-grandfather, Dunckel, whose name was Peter, emigrated from Germany in Colonial times. Peter Dunckel took up a large tract of unbroken land in Canajoharie, and, erecting a small log cabin in the woods, settled there with his wife and children. He was an industrious, hard-working man, and while clearing a farm for himself he assisted in the upbuilding of the town. His son George, who was the grandfather of Jeremiah Dunckel, the subject of this brief sketch, enlisted as a soldier in the Revolutionary army, and at the battle of Cedar Swamp was unfortunate enough to lose an eye.

George Dunckel was born in Germany, and spent the first ten years of his life in the Fatherland. Coming then to New York with his parents, he performed his full share of the pioneer labor of redeeming a homestead from the forest. When, on the death of his father, the farm came into his possession, he continued the improvements already begun; and prior to his death, which occurred at the age of eighty-four years, he had a fine set of frame buildings on the place, which was one of the best in its appointments of any in the neighborhood. Six children were born to him and his wife, Elizabeth Countryman. She, too, lived to an advanced age. Both were active members of the Lutheran church.

George G. Dunckel, son of George, grew to manhood on the ancestral farm in Canajoharie, where from his youth up he was familiar with its daily labors. He subsequently became sole owner of the homestead property, and was there prosperously engaged in agricultural pursuits until 1848. Selling out at that time, he came to Seward, and, having purchased the farm now owned and occupied by his son Jeremiah, he carried it on until his decease, at the age of seventy-seven years. A man of energy and intelligence, he was a valued member of the Democratic party, and for a number of terms served wisely as Assessor and Highway Commissioner. He was a Methodist in his religious belief, and an active member of the church of that denomination. He married Maria Cook, daughter of John R. Cook, a farmer and blacksmith of Canajoharie. They had a family of eleven children, three of whom are now living, namely: Jeremiah, the fifth-born; Levi, who lives at Central Bridge; and Sophronia, widow of Austin Lory, late of Hyndsville.

Jeremiah Dunckel obtained his early education in the common schools, and under the instruction of his father became well versed in farming pursuits. When the family came to Seward he accompanied them, and, remaining an inmate of the household, assisted in the management of the new farm. This valuable estate of two hundred acres he now holds in his own name, having purchased the interest of the remaining heirs. In its care he has shown excellent judgment and skill. He has carried on general farming to advantage, devoting a part of the land to raising hops, a profitable crop in this section of the State, and has also met with success as a dairyman. He has sometimes had as many as forty cows in his herd, and his butter has always met with a ready sale. Of recent years he has relegated the management of the estate to his eldest son, Lucius Dunckel.

On October 5, 1843, Mr. Dunckel married Lana A., daughter of Sylvanus Nestle, a well-known tailor of Sprout Brook, N. Y. She died at the age of sixty-one years, having borne him four children. Of these two are dead, namely Esther, who married Anson Hynds; and Helen M., who married Irving Schoolcraft. The two now living are Lucius and George. Lucius, born April 6, 1846, has spent his life on the home farm, of which he has had full charge since 1882. He is a Democrat in politics and has served as school trustee. In 1869 he married Adelaide Lory, daughter of John Lory, of Seward. They have one child, Lottie Ann, who married Clark Bouton, Postmaster and merchant at Hyndsville, and has two children — Edna Belle and J. Leroy. George, a resident of Cobleskil1, married Angerilla Falk. They had five children: Jerry; Ann; Una and Ula, twins; and Oscar, who died at the age of nineteen years. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Dunckel married Henrietta Young, who was born in Seward township, where her father, Jeremiah Young, a farmer of Seward township, but a native of Onondaga County, died aged seventy years. Her mother, whose maiden name was Caroline E. Weatherwax, was born in Rensselaer County. She died in 1892, aged eighty-one years, leaving seven children out of a family of ten born to her and her husband. Mr. and Mrs. Young were members of the Lutheran church.

Mr. Dunckel is a stanch Jeffersonian Democrat, dyed in the wool. He has taken an active interest in advancing the welfare of the town and county, but has invariably refused public office, although he has served as trustee of the School Board. He was one of the originators of the Cobleskill Agricultural Society, and has been among its most active and valued members. Mrs. Dunckel is a member of the Methodist church.

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