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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Ira M. Terpening

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[This information is from pp. 106-108 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.]

Ira M. Terpening, a skilful and progressive agriculturist of Fulton, N. Y., was born July 31, 1857, in the town of Knox, Albany County, a son of Henry H. Terpening. His paternal grandfather, Moses Terpening, was born and brought up in Esopus, Ulster County, N. Y., whence he removed to Albany County, where he settled on a farm in Knox, being one of its earlier pioneers. Subsequently, coming to Summit in Schoharie County, Moses Terpening was there engaged in general farming until his decease, at the advanced age of eighty-eight years. He married a Miss Snyder, and they reared ten children.

Henry H. Terpening was educated in the district schools, and, becoming a farmer from choice, he purchased land, when a young man, in Cortland County, where he pursued his independent calling a few years. Not being very well satisfied with his prospects there, he sold out and removed to Knox, in Albany County. Several years later he purchased the farm in Fulton that is now owned and occupied by his son, Ira M., and here passed his remaining days, dying August 10, 1897, at the venerable age of ninety-one years. A man of integrity, he was highly respected by all. In politics he was an adherent of the Republican party. He married Cornelia L., daughter of Jeremiah Havens, a lifelong farmer of Jefferson, N. Y. They reared four children, namely: Ira M., of Fulton; Eunice, wife of John Feeck; Bertha, the wife of Charles Mann, of whom a brief sketch appears elsewhere in this volume; and Henry J. Both parents were members of the Reformed church, in which the father was an Elder.

Ira M. Terpening obtained a practical education in the public schools of his native town, and from his earliest youth, when not in school, assisted in the labors of the home farm. On the death of his father he succeeded to the ownership of the homestead estate of one hundred and fifty acres, and he has since managed it with signal success. He carries on general farming, including stock-raising to some extent and dairying. In politics he is a sound Republican. He is a member of the Dutch Reformed church of Middleburg, and he and his family attend also the Sunday-school connected with that church.

On January 14, 1876, Mr. Terpening married Angeline Murphy, daughter of Peter Murphy, of Fulton, and grand-daughter of Timothy Murphy, the renowned Indian scout. Timothy Murphy, born in America, of Irish parents, was one of the pioneer settlers of this section of Schoharie County, and one of the largest landholders of Fulton, owning also large tracts of real estate in South Worcester and in other places along the Susquehanna. During the Revolutionary War he rendered inestimable assistance as one of the most brave and daring scouts. His exploits, which are well-known to all students of history, won for him the name of "Murphy, the Indian Killer." At Bemis Heights his gallant conduct turned the tide of affairs and gave to General Gates the victory. At the "Middle Fort," by his cool and decisive actions, and more especially, by his refusal to obey the orders of a superior officer, he saved the Schoharie garrison from falling a prey to the Redskins. After the war he resumed the pursuit of agriculture, and remained on his farm until his death, at the age of sixty-seven years. His first wife, Margaret Feeck, was born in Fulton, on Mr. Terpening's farm, and died in this town at the early age of forty years. She left five children, of whom Peter was the youngest.

Peter Murphy inherited the ancestral homestead in Fulton and two other farms in this vicinity. These three he carried on simultaneously, and for years was one of the largest and best-known agriculturists of Fulton, where he spent his long and useful life of fourscore and four years. He was deeply interested in the welfare of his native town, which he served as Supervisor two terms, and as Collector a number of years. His wife, Catherine Borst, was born on the old Borst farm in Schoharie, one of the nine children of Peter Borst, a prosperous farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Murphy reared seven children, as follows: Marian, deceased; Helen, wife of John Follick; Margaret, who married William Wearman; Betsey, wife of Thomas Follick; Ann; Kate; and Angeline, now Mrs. Terpening.

Mr. and Mrs. Terpening have one son, C. Frederick Terpening, M. D. He completed his early education in the graded schools of Middleburg, studied medicine for a year with Dr. Rifenberg, and then entered the University Medical College, New York City, class of 1898. After receiving his diploma, he entered the Blackwell's Isle Hospital, where he will graduate in 1900.

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