The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 17

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam



Coming of a family which has been prominent in the development of Central New York from earliest colonial days, Thaxter Deloss Vedder, of Johnstown, has ever upheld the splendid traditions of his forebears, while at the same time he has been actively engaged in furthering the civic and commercial progress of this town. Mr. Vedder is one of the leaders of the automobile industry of this vicinity, being in partnership with his son, the firm name being I. D. Vedder & Company, conducting a capacious modern and progressive garage here, representing the manufacturers of the highest types of motorcars and trucks, among which he is one of the most successful agents for the Stutz motor cars and the International Harvester trucks. In the public life of the town, he is always to the fore, taking a constructive interest in all affairs which tend to the advancement of his community and its people, while in fraternal circles he is one of the most active men,

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untiring and unselfish in his zealous aid to the philanthropic activities in behalf of the poor and unfortunate.

Mr. Vedder was born in Truxton, December 18, 1865, son of Deloss Nicholas and Katherine (McChesney) Vedder. Deloss Nicholas Vedder was active for many years in the agricultural industry and also was an expert in the trade of carpenter.

Thaxter Deloss Vedder was educated in the public schools of Truxton, and received a general, thorough country education. Entering the world of business, he was successful from the beginning, ever displaying the same estimable qualities o courtesy and service which have marked his steady advance in the realm of commerce. Having the keen foresight to observe the future of the automobile industry, Mr. Vedder engaged in the garage business in the earliest years of the motor era, since keeping abreast of all changes and discoveries, which were continually being made in this remarkable, revolutionary advance. In addition to motor trucks, he carries and sells a complete line of the products of the International Harvester company, including reaping machines, mowers, binders, etc. the garage and service department of his organization is operated and managed by his sons, Sterling and Frank, and they have achieved an enviable reputation for the durability of all repairs and the quality and dependability of all materials used. In his political preference Mr. Vedder is a staunch supporter of the principle of the Republican Party. Although his success in business attests to his thorough attention to his commercial affairs, he has always found time to devote to the interests of the Loyal Order of Moose, of which he is one of the most energetic and enthusiastic members, having been a trustee of this organization for nine years and leaving nothing undone to further the achievements of this great order. His popularity and familiarity with all his townspeople is evidenced by the fact that he is affectionately known to all by the name of "Pop." His religious adherence is given to St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

Thaxter Deloss Vedder married, in Johnstown, in the spring of 1889, Phoebe Becker, daughter of Louis Henry Becker, a native of Berghausen, Germany, and of Catherine Kleeman, who came to America, 1858, and settled in East Stone Arabia, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Vedder are the parents of six children: 1. Katherine, born 1890, died May 25, 1919. 2. Ira Deloss. 3. Sterling Henry, served in the United States Army during the World War, for a year and a half. 4. Frank, born February 28, 1894. 5. Roy, died in infancy. 6. Grace Lulu, born December 11, 1903.


Born at Mariaville, Schenectady County, New York, March 5, 1871, George Reynolds Smith is a son of Solomon Polver and Adelaide (Knapp) Smith, his father having been for many years a business man and shoemaker, highly respected in Mariaville, where he took an active part in community affairs.

When his mother died, George R. Smith was about three years of age, and he went to live in the home of his uncle. Later he lived in his grandmother's home. Then, in 1881, when he was ten years old, his father having married a second time, Mr. Smith came to Gloversville, where he has since resided and has made his career. In 1900 he became a patrolman, and, because of his attention to duty and rigorous regard for it, was promoted to the rank of chief of police, in 1907. This office he has held during the years succeeding, one term after another, successively. The people of Gloversville have cause to esteem him for his service to the public, and to regard him with affection as a man, for he is liberally endowed with those qualities of character that tend to beget friends of number and sincerity. A Republican, Mr. Smith is loyal to the party's principles, and is possessed of a considerable influence in local mattes of political questions. During the World War he was active on the various boards and committees engaged in war work, and took part also in the several campaigns of the Liberty Loan. Fraternally, Mr. Smith is affiliated with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Knights of Pythias. He is a communicant of St. James' Lutheran Church.

On January 18, 1890, Mr. Smith was united in marriage with May Lyke, daughter of Henry and Emily (Forsythe) Lyke, and they are the parents of the following children: 1. Emily Adelia, born in 1891. 2. Corine A., born in July, 1899


For almost half a century the late Hendrick S. Holden resided in Syracuse, and from this city directed the many diversified emprises which made his name familiar in the industrial world, railroading, banking, journalism, publishing, and numerous affairs of import. He was an

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influential figure in banking, in the university, and in public affairs for a full generation, although he consistently declined to enter public office, with the exception of one term in the State Legislature, where he served on many important committees, having been one of the leaders in the movement to establish the State College of Forestry at Syracuse, which is now a part of the University of Syracuse. While the coal business perhaps occupied the greatest portion of his time, his energy and capacity for details enabled him to establish and supervise the publication of one of Syracuse's best-known newspapers. He was the recipient of repeated trusteeships, the custodian of public and private investments, and in their administration he ever proved himself sincere and true. Many of the foremost social and civic organizations enjoyed his affiliation and his stimulating influence in their projects and benevolences.

Mr. Holden was born in Charlotte, New York, March 22, 1849, a son of Erastus Franklin Holden, a coal merchant of Syracuse, who died in that city on December 25, 1899. Hendrick S. Holden was educated in public and private schools at Rochester until 1867, when the family home was moved to Syracuse. He matriculated at Colgate University in the class of 1873, but did not graduate, leaving school to enter business life in association with his father, who dealt extensively in coal, maintaining large yards for this purpose in Syracuse. In 1872, Mr. Holden became a resident of Brooklyn, New York; there bought an interest in a coal business, and was quite successful in its conduct for a decade, under the firm title of Nelson and Holden. In 1882 he returned to Syracuse, which was to be the scene of his operations for the remainder of his long and useful life. Here he became a member of Holden Brothers, coal dealers, which, after his entrance therein, was renamed Holden & Son, and eventually assumed the title of Holden & Sons. This concern was developed into the largest institution of its kind in Central New York, and handled all coal shipped into the cities of Syracuse, Utica and Oswego, New York by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad. Mr. Holden severed his connections with the company in 1905, and the business was discontinued in that year. Mr. Holden's interests were scattered from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, and were of great important in the communities where they were located. He owned docks and tidewater properties in Seattle, Washington, and land on the Calumet River, Chicago, Illinois. He was a director of the Solvay Process Company, in the Semet Solvay company, the By-Products Company, and the Northwestern Fuel & Coal Operating Company, of St. Paul, Minnesota. For an extended period, Mr. Holden was president of the Commercial National Bank of Syracuse. In 1915, this institution was merged with the Syracuse Trust Company, forming one of the city's strongest banking concerns, and Mr. Holden became vice-president of the new corporation, serving in that office until his demise. Vice-President of the Frazer & Jones Company, many suburban railroads held his interest, and he was of material influence in their affairs. Further proof of Mr. Holden's capabilities and versatility is found in his publishing enterprises. He aided in founding the "Syracuse Post," and later the "Post-Standard," thus becoming widely known in newspaper spheres. Assuming the presidency of the Post-Standard Publishing Company, Mr. Holden retained that post until his demise. He served as a member of the board of directors, and invariably his associates depended upon his judgment in matters of business policy. But his support was not confined to the business end, for the editors, writers and employees of other departments found him intelligently interested in their work and welfare.

Politically, Mr. Holden was a Republican, and during his time one of the greatest influences in that party's councils, ever devoted to the principles and issues of Republicanism. In 1895 he was appointed State Game and fisheries commissioner, this appointment coming from governor Levi P. Morton. He was elected State Senator in 1908, succeeding ex-governor Horace white from the Thirty-eighth District. His legislative records was filled with service on many important committees, including those of cities, railroads, taxation, retrenchment, banks, forests, fish and game. He was one of the original proponents of the movement to establish the State College of Forestry in Syracuse, and introduced the statute providing funds for locating the college. Although this bill was approved by both houses of the Legislature, it was not signed by Governor Hughes. However, in the following year, the measure again was introduced in the Senate, by Senator Walters, Senator Holden's successor, and the latter, as a private citizens, went to Albany on behalf of

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the bill. In this year it was passed by the legislative branches, approved by Governor Dix, and thus the College of Forestry became a part of Syracuse University. Mr. Holden was a strong supporter of Syracuse University and served this institution for many ears as a member of the board of trustees. Colgate University also recognized his achievements in educational work by conferring upon him the degree of Master of Arts. Further embellishing his life and deeds Mr. Holden's association with numerous clubs and societies. He was a member of the Anglers' Association, the Century Club, Citizens' Club, Sedgwick Farm Club, University club, Sons of the American Revolution, and the Onondaga Historical Association. A perusal of the foregoing memberships disclose Mr. Holden's preference for the out-of-doors, where he gained most of his recreation.

Hendrick S. Holden married (first), May 13, 1874, Belle S. Stewart, daughter of Daniel Stewart. they had one daughter: Mrs. Robert F. soul, and she and her husband are the parents of three children, a daughter and two sons. Mr. Holden married (second), May 10, 1905, Luella S. Stewart, sister of his first wife. Mrs. Holden, who survives her husband, and resides at No. 1054 James Street, Syracuse. In this city she is highly esteemed and has a reputation as an artist of ability. Mr. Holden had erected a splendid residence here, where he died, November 10, 1918, and he was laid to rest in Oakwood Cemetery.

The forgoing review of the life and deeds of Hendrick S. Holden, although of necessity brief, conveys in small measure to the reader a few of his accomplishments during his career. His commercial endeavors brought him into close contact with his fellow-man; he ever placed their needs and welfare well to the fore, and they, in return, gave to him those things beyond the power of money to buy; Deep friendship, full confidence and the highest respect. His friends were numbered by the thousands, and tot hem he ever was loyal; he was generous and tolerant, and those he left behind will long cherish the fact that he was a true friend.


Sine 1991, Earl Barkhuff has been continuously identified with the great legal fraternity of Albany, New York, where, as a member of the firm of Barkhuff & Conway, he has achieved success and attained a foremost position among his confreres in the legal profession.

Earl Barkhuff is a grandson of Peter L. Barkhuff, who settled in the town of Guilderland, Albany county, in 1840, and engaged in farming, and son of Peter F., a retired farmers, and Barbara (Hungerford) Barkhuff. Earl Barkhuff was born in Altamont, Albany County, New York, April 22, 1890, and attended the public schools of his native place, graduating from the local high school in 1907. Having in the meantime determined to take up law for his life-work, with this end in view, he accordingly matriculated at Albany Law School, from which institution he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of laws, and was admitted to the bar in September, 1911. Upon completing his studies he engaged in general practice for seven years, but in 1918 he became associated with the firm of Staley & Tobin, and the relationship continued for five yeas, or until 1923, when Mr. Barkhuff formed a partnership with John J. Conway, under the legal firm name of Barkhuff & Conway, with offices at No. 50 State Street, Albany, New York.

Mr. Barkhuff is a Democrat in politics, and for a number of years has been president of the Albany and Schenectady County Fair. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Albany County Bar Association; of Noah Lodge, No. 754, Free and Accepted Masons; Temple Commandery. No. 2, Knight Templar; Cyprus Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine; Lodge No. 49, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and also holds membership in

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Woolfert's Roost Country Club. His religious affiliation is with St. John's Lutheran Church, of Altamont.

At Altamont, July 1, 1914, Earl Barkhuff married Irene Lucretia Lee, daughter of V. P. Douw and Mary (Caw) Lee. Mr. and Mrs. Barkhuff are the parents of two children: Virginia lee, born May 17, 1915; and Earl Douw, born April 28, 1926. The family home is at Altamont, Albany county, New York.


Coming to Gloversville some fifteen years after the close of the Civil War, in which he served for two years in a regiment from Illinois, William N. Zimmer, an expert glovemaker, went to work. He later established a business of his own, which today is one of the leading glovemaking establishments of this city, W. N. Zimmer & Son, with a payroll of one hundred and seventy-five to three hundred people, and manufacturing only the highest grades of handwear. Of this house Bert S. Zimmer, the son, is a partner. He is one of the most reputable citizens of Gloversville, a hard worker, an able executive, with a thorough knowledge of the intricate details of his business and a code of business ethics that has established him high in the opinion of his fellow-citizens and the large clientele served by his house.

Mr. Zimmer was born in Gloversville, new York, June 20, 1883. His father was William and his mother Eva M. (Strain) Zimmer, of Littleton, New Hampshire. Bert S. Zimmer was educated in the Gloversville public schools and graduated from high school. For five years afterward he worked as an employee of his father, then in the glove-making business here, and then was taken into the business as a partner. In his political affiliations he is an Independent Republican, and his church is the Methodist Episcopal. He belongs to the Sir William Johnson Country Club and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is vice-president (19128) of the National Association of Glove Manufacturers.

Mr. Zimmer married, in June, 1905, at Gloversville, Emma L. Hodge, daughter of Charles and Ida (Dracy) Hodge, both Deceased. They have one daughter, Doris, born August 3, 1910.


As a financier, industrialist, philanthropist, and as one who has ever given his most generous interest and support to every measure tending toward civic improvement for Perry, New York, George Melville Traber is numbered among the outstanding figures in that particular section of the State. A self-made man in the truest sense of the word, a type of which America is ever justly proud, he has solely through his own indefatigable efforts attained his present position, and as such we present him as one who is, indeed, worthy of emulation.

George Melville Traber was born in Dorloo, New York, April 15, 1862, the son of Jacob and Mary (Van Patten) Traber. Attending school but a comparatively short time he went to work at an early age, his first employment being in a knitting mill in Cohoes, New York. Later he went tot Little Falls, New York, where he held various positions in the knitting industry, subsequently becoming superintendent of the Robert McKinnon plants of that city with the one thought foremost in mind that some day by dint of hard work and "sticktuitiveness" he would own a mill himself. With this definite aim in view he applied himself diligently to the work at hand and as a result, when, but twenty-nine years of age he removed to Perry, New York, taking over the general management of the Perry Knitting Mills, which at time was suffering from greatly impaired credit. Under Mr. Traber's leadership the organization was soon put on a sound playing basis, and upon the death of its president, Mr. Willis H. Tuttle, the former succeeded him. With but sixty hands employed when Mr. Traber came to the company, it now employs eleven hundred, and its production of men's and children's union suits in which it specializes if over five hundred thousand dozen each year, and is shipped to all quarters of the globe as well as finding a tremendous sale in this country and Canada.

Together with this important line of advance, Mr. Traber is also chairman of the board of directors of the Kaustine Company and he is connected with many other industries in this section, as well as being a vital force in the financial life of the community in his presidency of the Citizens' Bank at Perry.

Throughout his residence in Perry his interest for its welfare has always been of the keenest. He has given unstintingly of his time and money toward furthering its advancement and is readily acclaimed one of its mot influential citizens. A Republican in his political choice he has shown his interest in many tangible ways, and for twenty-seven years

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served on the local School Board, some of the time as president of that body. He is a member of the Masonic order; the Rotary club and the Silver lake Country club; and his religious affiliation is with the Baptist Church of Perry.

On April 27, 1886, at Little Falls, New York, George Melville Traber married Ida M. Rickmyre, a daughter of David C. Rickmyre of that city. Mr. and Mrs. Traber are the parents of two children: Bessie May, and George M., Jr., Bessie May Traber was graduated from Vassar and later from the Biblical Seminary at New York City. She entered the educational profession and until 1924 was a member of a college faculty, after which she became a missionary in the Baptist faith and is now located in the Philippines. George M. Traber, Jr., was born in Perry, New York, June 1, 1898, and after a preliminary education in the local schools, completed his education at the Lawrenceville School for Boys. He then returned to Perry and became associated with his father in business, subsequently being made vice-president and assistant manager of the Perry Knitting Mills. He married, September 14, 1921, Theodora Isabelle Sanford, a native of Perry, and they have one child, George Melville Traber (3), born September 23, 1923.


The greater part of the business career of Franklin Lewis Crandall, of Ticonderago, has been spent in the lumber industry, to which, indeed, he maybe said to have inherited an inclination, for his father before him was a lumberman and sawmill proprietor.

The Crandall family originally came from Wales and the ancestry is traced from the minister, Crandall, who located at Westerly, Rhode Island. The children of John M. and Clarissa (Ward) Crandall are:

  1. George H., now deceased.
  2. William A., of Monrovia, California, now deceased.
  3. Levi B., late of Glenfield, New York.
  4. Halsey D., late of Cohoes, New York.
  5. Lucy, not deceased.
  6. Sarah M., widow of De Witt Foote, of Glenfield, New York.
  7. Franklin L., of whom further.

Born in Watson, Lewis County, New York, in 1858, son of John and Clarissa (Ward) Crandall, Franklin Lewis Crandall was educated in the common schools of the district. Following the completion of his school days, he learned the wood-turning trade with G. H. Crandall, at Crandallville, where he remained for seven years. The business was then sold to Dannett and Pell, with whom he continued for three years. He then went to Cohoes, New York, where his brother George was engaged in the furniture and house-furnishings business, and remained there with him for twelve years. For the next seven years, Franklin Lewis Crandall was manger of the lumber, coal and ice business of H. D. Tupper, which involved traveling through the territory and establishing and maintaining personal contacts with the customers. When Mr. Tupper died, in 1901, Mr. Crandall purchased the business and carried it on alone until 1915, when he settled in Ticonderago, having contracted with the Smith Lumber Company. He became manager for the Barnett Lumber Company two years later. One of the founders of this concern having withdrawn, the Hoyt Lumber company was founded in 1918, with Mr. Crandall in association with Messrs. Hoyt, Smith and Barnett. As the Hoyt Lumber company, Hoyt and Crandall, the surviving partners of this firm, still continue the business. Mr. Crandall is a member of the Mt. Hope Lodge, No. 260, Free and Accepted Masons; an attendant of the Methodist church, and has long been identified with the Republican Party.

On December 31,m 1877, Mr. Crandall married Celestia Worden, of Watson, Lewis county, new York. Their children are:

    1. Lillian Worden, now Mrs. Stetson, field secretary of Religious Education.
    2. Laura Isabella, now Mrs. Martindale, of Elizabethtown.
    3. Clarissa Isabella, deceased.

Mr. and Mrs. Crandall have a granddaughter, Mildred Crandall Stetson, now the wife of Glenn Tyrrell, of Severance, and they have a great-granddaughter, Carolyn Celestia Tyrrell.


The History of New York State, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1927

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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