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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Joseph Roger Tharratt

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 160-161 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Joseph Roger Tharratt, long numbered among the most substantial and honored citizens of Oneida county, was born in Loweth, Lincolnshire, England, on the 1st of January, 1819. His father, Joseph Tharratt, Sr., was a typical English gentleman and a member of a prominent and aristocratic family. He inherited vast estates but was given to excessive indulgence in the sports common in England in those days and thus lost most of his inheritance, after which he came to America.

Joseph R. Tharratt was a lad of thirteen years when the voyage was made across the Atlantic. The years of manhood found him among the foremost and highly respected citizens of Oneida county, New York. He possessed marked energy and used his ability not only in furthering his own interests but also in advancing the public welfare, and was connected with every event or project which had for its object the growth, upbuilding and development of the community. In the business circles of Boonville he figured as a wholesale grocer and druggist for many years, winning success along those lines, and eventually in 1864 established a private bank which afterward became the First National Bank of Boonville. He continued as its president from its organization until his death and formulated a policy in which conservatism and progressiveness were evenly balanced forces, making the institution one of the strong financial concerns of this part of the state. Through his carefully managed business affairs Mr. Tharratt became one of the wealthiest men of the community. He was fortunate in his investments and his capability and persistency of purpose enabled him to carry forward to successful completion whatever he undertook. He was also financially interested in various railroads. Something of the confidence and high regard in which he was uniformly held is indicated by the fact that he was chosen executor of over thirty estates. He was as loyal in his friendships as he was faithful and honorable in his business relations and in public office he stood as a high type of manhood and citizenship, honored and respected wherever known and most of all where he was best known.

In early manhood Mr. Tharratt was united in marriage to Margaret Brinckerhoff, a native of Fishkill, Dutchess county, New York, born in June, 1819, a daughter of Benjamin and Esther (Barton) Brinckerhoff, the latter of French and the former of Holland descent. The founder of the Brinckerhoff family in America was Joris Brinckerhoff, who came to the New World in 1634 and settled on Long Island, the grant of land accorded him covering all of Staten Island. John Brinckerhoff, the grandfather of Joseph R. Tharratt, was a colonel in the Revolutionary war and his father-in-law, Benjamin Brinckerhoff, was a soldier of the War of 1812. The latter became the founder of the family in Oneida county, where he settled in 1826. The family of Joseph R. and Margaret (Brinckerhoff) Tharratt included a daughter, now Mrs. Loraine (Tharratt) Carrington, who until her death in August, 1923, resided on the old homestead in Boonville, where her parents lived for fifty-seven years and where she was born. Extended mention of Brinckerhoff C. Tharratt, who died in Boonville, on the 17th of September, 1923, and who was a son of Joseph R. and Margaret (Brinckerhoff) Tharratt, is made on another page of this work.

Joseph R. Tharratt served for many years as supervisor of Boonville township, was also president of the village board, president of the Erwin Library at Boonville and president of the Boonville Cemetery Association. He regarded a public office as a public trust, and no trust reposed in Joseph Roger Tharratt was ever betrayed in the slightest degree. He took helpful interest in church work and taught by example as well as precept how much better it is to choose those things in life which" are really worth while. For fifty-seven years he was a teacher of the Bible class and was thoroughly versed in the Scriptures. Reading and meditation made the Holy Word so much a part of his life that the spirit of its teaching was expressed in all of his daily conduct and his relations with his fellowmen. While a man of high character he was still a man of charming personality, a most interesting conversationalist and a pleasing entertainer in social affairs.

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