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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Daniel W. Jenkins

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[This information is from pp. 235-237 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.]

Daniel W. Jenkins, agent of the D. & H. Railroad at Central Bridge, Schoharie County, N. Y., was born in Glen, Montgomery County, on September 27, 1846, son of Nathaniel and Eleanor (Shannon) Jenkins. His great-grandfather Jenkins, who was a Welshman by birth. came to this country and settled on Long Island, where he died. At the time the British invaded the island he was made a prisoner of war. After the close of the Revolution the family removed to Duanesburg, Schenectady County, this State. William, one of the sons and grandfather of Daniel W. Jenkins, was born on Long Island, but spent the last years of his life in Montgomery County, where he died in old age.

Nathaniel Jenkins, son of William by his second wife, was born in Montgomery. He was reared on a farm, and received his education in the public schools. He was one of a large family of children, only two of whom are now living, both physicians and prominent in their professions — namely, Thomas, residing at Vandalia, and George, at Kilbourn City, Wis. Nathaniel was very successful in his farming, and was highly respected by all who knew him. He died at the age of eighty-two. His wife, Eleanor, who died at the age of eighty, was born in Prattsville. Both were members of the Society of Friends.

Daniel W. Jenkins received a practical common-school education, and on September 15, 1863, at the age of seventeen years, entered the employ of the Albany & Susquehanna Railroad Company. This road has since become a part of the D. & H. C. Company system. Mr. Jenkins's father was agent at Quaker Street (now Delanson), and at that time the equipments of the ticket office were carried in a tin box, and the way bills were made out on a board that was set up in the embankment. The road then ended at the Schoharie Creek, near the present Schoharie Junction. Mr. Jenkins has since seen it advanced all the distance to Binghamton. There was only one train per day, as against fifty per day at the present time, and most of the modern improvements have been added since then. Mr. Jenkins succeeded his father as agent at Quaker Street, and in 1868 became the agent at Central Bridge, where he has since remained. He has now two assistants. He is the youngest of seven children, the others being: De Witt C., at Syracuse; Zerah and William A., at Delanson; Mrs. Lottie Christman, of Iowa; Mrs. Colonel Coryell, whose husband is an ex-paymaster of the D. & H. Road; and Mrs. M. S. Hoag, of Albany. In addition to his duties as station agent, Mr. Jenkins does a large business in handling coal, lumber, hay, and straw.

As a business man Mr. Jenkins is known as a "hustler." Whatever he finds to do he does with all his might, and, as a rule, successfully. Recognizing his superior business qualifications, the Board of Trustees of the Schoharie County Agricultural Society elected him president of the society, which position he has held for the past eight or ten years. As a representative of this organization he has been one of the leading spirits in the State organization of county societies, serving on the Executive Committee; and for the past few years he has been vice-president of the society, frequently visiting Albany during the legislative sessions in the interests of agricultural societies generally.

In politics Mr. Jenkins is a stanch Democrat, and has frequently attended county and State conventions as a representative of his party. In the winter of 1889 he accepted the nomination for Supervisor of the town of Schoharie. At the succeeding town meeting he was elected, and he has served the town continuously since then as Supervisor, having been elected three times without opposition. He was chairman of the board for the years 1893, 1896, and 1897, and at the spring meeting held May 2, 1899, was again honored by being unanimously elected chairman for the ensuing two years. As Supervisor he has exerted a powerful influence. He was largely instrumental in effecting a settlement of the suits brought against the county by several towns of the county (including the town of Schoharie), when the law went into effect requiring the amount raised by taxation of the railroads in towns having a bonded railroad debt to be deposited with the county treasurer as a sinking fund with which to meet the bonds when due. In this settlement the town of Schoharie received its full share — in fact, more than she had reason to expect. As a member of the county board he has looked carefully after the interests of the county, believing liberality without extravagance in the care of county property to be a benefit in the long run, and firmly advocating the policy of the county paying its debts instead of paying interest on old claims. He is always foremost in any movement which contemplates the interests of his town, and more than once has contributed of his means for such a purpose.

On September 9, 1869, Mr. Jenkins was united in marriage with Harriet L. Rosekrans, daughter of Charles Rosekrans, of Jonesville, Saratoga County.

Mr. Jenkins is identified with the order of Masonry, being a thirty-second degree Mason; and he has many social ties in Schoharie County. He belongs to Schoharie Valley Lodge, No. 491; John L. Lewis Chapter of Cobleskill; Temple Commandery of Albany, a noted commandery in the State; to De Witt Clinton Council of Albany; and to Cyprus Temple of the Mystic Shrine, of the same city. He is also a member of Wellington Lodge, No. 731, I. O. O. F., of Central Bridge. He is an attendant and liberal supporter of the Lutheran church.

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