The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 68

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam

 

JOHN L. MOLLENHAUER

One of the Williamsburgh's prominent citizens and a member of one of the old families of that section, the death of John L. Mollenhauer was keenly felt by the many friends of his business and social life. Mr. Mollenhauer was a most unusual character in many ways,. He was not a member of any clubs or similar organizations, ever stating that his club was in his home. Nevertheless, he was possessed of a very large and influential circle of acquaintances, and there were a great many who admired him for his exceptionally approachable manner, for his kindness of heart and for this tolerance and general good nature. His death was deeply and sincerely mourned by his family and friends and, although not unexpected, it still came as a distinct shock to the many who still miss his genial presence.

John L. Mollenhauer was an Englishman by birth, but came to this country at a very early age and was in every respect a type of the true American citizen. He was born in London, England, July 10, 1850, and was brought to America by his parents when but a few months old. He was the son of Elfert and Mary Mollenhauer, and a nephew of John L. Mollenhauer, the latter the founder of the sugar refinery, which is now a warehouse, at Kent Avenue and South eleventh Street, Williamsburgh. His father and mother both died when he was nine years of age and he was brought up by his uncle, residing with the latter in his Brooklyn home.

He was educated in the public schools of Brooklyn, and at the close of his scholastic career took a position with the hardware firm of Russell & Erwin, a hardware concern located on Chambers Street, Manhattan. He was with the firm for over twenty years, when at the invitation of his uncle, he became associated with the latter in the Borough Sugar Refinery. Here he worked with his cousins Harry F, Mollenhauer, the late J. A. Mollenhauer and the late F. d. Mollenhauer, all sons of John L. Mollenhauer. When his uncle died, December 31, 1904, he took over the management of the Mollenhauer estate, which he conducted until 1916 when he retired from the active pursuit of all business and devoted himself to his family and his light recreations and reading.

On May 27, 1880, Mr. Mollenhauer was married in Brooklyn to Emma Braun, the daughter of Louis and Elizabeth M. Braun, the former one of Brooklyn's leading hardware merchants, who came to this country from Germany in 1854. Mr. and Mrs. Mollenhauer were the parents of one child, a son, L. Elfert, born February 7, 1881. He was married to Etta Cosgrove, in 1914.

Mr. Mollenhauer died suddenly on December 5, 1926, at his home on Hewes Street, from the effects of a stroke. He and Mrs. Mollenhauer had lived in that house since the day of their wedding, forty-six years before, and Mrs. Mollenhauer continues her residence there. His funeral service, which was private, was conducted by the Rev. Dr. John J. Heischman, pastor of St. Peter's Lutheran Church, the edifice of which Mr. Mollenhauer and his family were faithful attendants and, although the service was announced as private, many of Mr. Mollenhauer's friends and acquaintances attended, to attested their sense of loss at the passing of a man who had endeared himself to their hearts by his unfailing kindness and courtesy.

MARTIN GABRIEL MCCUE

Few men can boast a more varied or successful career than martin Gabriel McCue, clerk of the Surrogate's Court, Municipal Building, New York City, who has been in succession a newsboy, a professional boxer, proprietor of a cigar store, a laundryman, member of the New York General Assembly and now court clerk. The son of Irish parents, Mr. McCue has fought his way through numerous difficulties until he has been rewarded with success; he has found those opportunities which his fond father predicted for him in this land of liberty and freedom, and within him has developed an intense love of America. The Irish stock does not need to become Americanized. The race has struggled and fought for liberty 700 years; their ideals are the same as ours, and when they reach these shores they immediately find themselves ina congenial atmosphere. The Irish have fought in every war to Establish or defend the Union, and in times of peace they have invariably proven themselves faithful, efficient public servants, and of such is the family of McCue.

Mr. McCue was born in New York City, February 18, 1875, the son of Thomas J. and Ellen (King) McCue, both natives of County Rosecommon, Ireland, who came over at an early age with their parents more than half a century ago. The elder Mr. McCue was engaged in the livery stable business for many years, prior to which he had been a farmer. He died some seventeen years ago. He was active in the St. Patrick's Alliance of America, having been one of the charter members, and was also identified

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With numerous other societies whose purpose is the advancement of the interests of the Irish race.

Mr. McCue went to work as a newsboy at the early age of eleven, and in other ways open to boys of his age made a little money here and there. For a time he attended the public and parochial schools. Later he worked for the boys' clothing concern of Best & Company; a paper box factory on the site of the present Hotel Commodore, Depew Place and Forty-second and Forty-third Streets; and in the large silk factory of J. M. Stearns Company, which concern he left when he was seventeen years of age. Always physically alert, Mr. McCue early took an interest in athletics, especially boxing, and by the time he left the Stearns Company he had acquired quite a reputation, and was enabled to devote all his time to demonstrating the manly art ina professional way. He first entered the ring weighing 110 pounds, but as age increased, so did weight, until he weighed in at 122. He got a match every few weeks, and sometimes several times a week, and must have met practically every fighter of note between New York and the Pacific Ocean. He won most of his fights and was the center of an admiring throng of youths and small boys. But the time came when Mr. McCue felt that he should be steadying himself to some line of business, and at twenty-seven years of age he left the ring forever. Today he shows the result of those years of clean living, and although he is fifty-two years of age, he is in perfect health and can pass for ten years younger. When he retired from the boxing profession Mr. McCue opened a cigar store at Third Avenue and Forty-fourth Street, and here he plied his trade and received his old friends for three or four years. Then an opportunity offered for a more ambitious undertaking. At this same location he developed a chance to get into the hotel business, and he followed this until 1911. Then he became a laundryman, and successfully carried on this business until 1921. Meantime, Mr. McCue had been developing abilities in the Tammany Hall Democratic organization. A man cannot engage in selling newspapers, boxing and the hotel business without making friends, and the time was coming when his admirers would put him in office in compliment to his peculiar abilities. He filled several minor offices with credit to himself and the organization with which he was associated, and more was to follow. Possessed of a keen and active mind and with strong social inclinations, it was but natural that he should manifest an interest in politics and public affairs. This interest asserted itself even before he became of age, and he has been a member of the Democratic organization ever since he attained his majority. He has taken a leading part in all political campaigns since that time, and his energetic assistance has been of great benefit to assembly district leaders in rolling up a comfortable majority for the chosen candidate. Possessed of a keen and analytical mind, Mr. McCue is able quickly to strip off the husks and penetrate tot he mean of the proposition; and gifted with exceptional facility of expression, he is able to present his ideas with great force, yet in diction that is graceful and within the comprehension of the most humble and unlettered of his auditors. His ability to gain the goodwill of his audience and to persuade his hearers of the soundness of his pleas, taken together with the worthiness of his cause, early placed him in great demand as a campaign orator. All the arts and graces of rhetoric and oratory are at his command as certainly and spontaneously as one might desire; and, indeed, they flow from him once he summons them, with the facility of water gushing from the rock in response to a blow from the cane of Moses. His fund of wit and humor are seemingly inexhaustible, while his wide reading and retentive memory have furnished him with a fund of facts upon which he can draw without conscious effort in any exigency, even as Pocahontas drew silver pointed arrows from the quiver slung conveniently across her shoulder. Small wonder it is, indeed, that Mr. McCue's activities as a public speaker are not confined to the arena of politics, but that he is in much demand as an after-dinner speaker, and before fraternal and other public gatherings. It is worthy of adding, too, that Mr. McCue not only receives the invitations, but accepts them with the grace of a beplumed knight, and delivers himself with the effect of a Cicero, an Edmund Burke or a Catiline. For some years, he was a valued member of the old Mohegan Club on Forty-sixth Street, the leader of which when he was a member being Francis J. Lantry, who was also the leader of the assembly district.

Mr. McCue was elected to the General Assembly at Albany in the year 1906, and during the fourteen years that he was a member he served on all the important committees, and was responsible for considerable legislation which greatly benefited the people. In 1911 he was chairman of the Committee of Navigation, when the Democrats were in the majority. In 1913, when the former Governor, Alfred E.

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Smith, was Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. McCue was chairman of the Committee on Railroads. He fathered a number of important bills, including that providing for the demolition and removal of the elevated structure in Forty-second Street, new York, which bill was passed in die course, so that the structure was town down and removed and this wide thoroughfare was left perpetually open. In 1914 he introduced his Widows' Pension Bill, and after a wait of some months reintroduced it in 1915, in which year it handsomely passed both houses of the Legislature and was duly signed by the Governor. He was one of the younger generation of lawmakers, along with al Smith, "Bob" Wagner, who now represents his State in the United States Senate as the successor of Senator James W. Wadsworth, Jr., the Republican candidate who went under in the Democratic landslide. Another who helped to mold legislation at this time was Judge James A. Foley; together these gentlemen placed upon the statute books a mass of legislation that is in full force and effect today, and the voters have cause for rejoicing because it is invariably of a liberal and progressive nature. Mr. McCue became much interested in workmen's compensation legislation, the direct election of United States Senators, by the people, and other measures looking to the curtailment of special privileges and the advancement of the welfare and interests of the common people. During the World War he maintained this principle.

Mr. McCue's services as a member of the House of Representatives came to an end with the session of 1921, and in the following year, his work having been of such a high standard, he was promoted by election to the State Senate. He likewise served in the higher branch with distinction, but resigned in June, 1021, when he was offered the position of clerk of the Surrogate Court for the city of New York, located in the Municipal Building. His department gives employment to 175 persons, and is considered one of the best organized and efficiently managed branches of the city government.

Mr. McCue is a member of Castilian Council, No. 154, Knights of Columbus; New York Lodge, No. 1, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; the American Irish Society; the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick; the National Democratic Club; the Thursday Nighters; the Tammany Club, of the Twelfth Assembly District; and the Alumni Society of St. Gabriel's Parochial School.

Mr. McCue married Nellie Duane, daughter of Patrick Duane, of New York City, and they are the parents of four children; 1. Eugene B. 2. Agnes, wife of James J. Deignan. 3. Martin G., Jr. 4. William H.

WILLIAM L. VAUGHAN

Highly regarded in Tottenville, Staten Island, William L. Vaughan has for many years pursued the vocation of mason and builder. His influence has been widespread in politics and his contribution to his community far from negligible. He is the son of John J. and Sarah F. (Lucas) Vaughan.

William L. Vaughan was born August 12, 1866, in Glen Cove, Long Island. He attended the grammar school of Richmond County as a boy. Mr. Vaughan early fitted himself to become a mason and builder, and since going into business for himself has made a continued success of his undertakings. He has served his State politically as Assemblyman, having been elected in 1922, and re-elected for two succeeding terms.

Mr. Vaughan takes a comprehensive interest in fraternal organizations. He is a member of Huguenot Lodge, No. 381, Free and Accepted Masons; of the Knights of Pythias; Independent Order of Odd fellows; Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; and is a veteran fireman. His church affiliations are with the Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church of Tottenville.

Mr. Vaughan's children are: 1. Horace R Vaughan. 2. Hope Josephine (Vaughan) Peterson. 3. And an adopted daughter, Elsie Condie.

MRS. M. H. CASE K. BENTLEY

Conductor of the Case Healthatorium & Massage Parlors, of Gloversville, Mrs. Mary Hosmer Case K. Bentley, or Doctor Bentley, as she is more widely known in the Mohawk Valley, has had an eventful career, rich in benefit to mankind. It was in 1907 that she began in her present business and profession as head of the Case Healthatorium, the name given the institution by Mrs. Bentley in 1916, and she has continued in charge through the years succeeding to the present time (1928). Situated at No. 30 Elm Street, the Case Healthatorium makes a specialty of treating rheumatism, paralysis, arterio-sclerosis, constipation, and all nerve and stomach trouble. The treatments include electricity, vibration, manipulation, hydrotherapy, exercises, diets, fasting, violet ray, ozone, radio-vitant, zoalite, and vit-o-net treatments, baths, etc. The clientele is large, and this is due for the most part to Mrs. Bentley's skilled talent and to her agreeable personality.

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Native to Gloversville, Mrs. Bentley was born in June, 1873, daughter of Alanson Hosmer and Minerva Adelia (Fox) Case, her father having been for a number of years in the glove business. The ancestors of Alanson Hosmer Case were descended from Reuben Hosmer and Ruth Sedgewick, who came to Fulton county from Hartford, Connecticut, about the early part of the seventeenth century, the family having long been printers and men of business of Hartford. The family were among the early settlers of Fulton County. There are several brick houses still standing on state Street, an old section of Gloversville, formerly known as Kingsborough, which were built by the Case family.

Mrs. Bentley was educated in the public schools of her native community, and has never ceased to be a student of general affairs. She has traveled extensively, and has given minute attention to study and comprehensive understanding of the human body, as well as to the effects of electrical treatment thereon. Politically, she is a Republican. She is a communicant of the First Congregational Church, and active in its works. During the World War she was of valued assistance in the campaigns of various patriotic movements, including those of the Red Cross, and the Liberty Loan.

Mrs. Bentley, has been married three times. Her first husband, Lucius Franklin burr, a direct descendant of Nathaniel Burr, whom she married in 1891, died in 1896. In February, 1900, she married (second) Samuel Edwin Knott; they resided in Coldwater, Michigan, where Mr. Knott was the founder of the Knott-Van Arman Manufacturing company. To this marriage two sons were born: Edwin Hosmer Knott, born December 22, 1900; and Samuel Kirk Knott, born September 5, 1902; reside in Gloversville, New York. Mr. Knott, in order to obtain better shipping facilities, moved his family and business to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he was accidentally killed, February 27, 1903. Mrs. Knott returned to Gloversville, her home city, with her sons. In 1911, she married (third) Frank Veeder Bentley, whose ancestors, the Veeders and Vroomans, were among the early settlers of the Mohawk Valley.

Mrs. Bentley, an expert equestrienne, is a great lover of horses and dogs and delights in roaming God's country. Her mother was the daughter of Buell Fox and Prudency Aley Fox, of Jefferson County, New York. Her father was the son of Sherman Wilbur and Mary Hosmer Case. Mrs. Bentley has one brother, Sherman Wilbur Case, Jr., of Rochester, New York, and one half-sister, Mrs. Anna Chase, of Gloversville, new York.

CHARLES WARREN LITTLE

One of Johnstown's most prominent young men, Charles Warren Little, already has established for himself a distinguished place among the members of the legal profession of this state. Mr. Little has been engaged in the general practice of law since he opened his present independent office, immediately after being admitted to the bar of New York State, in 1922, and he has acquired a clientele of the highest type, specializing particularly in real estate and surrogate law. His rapid advance to the position of one of the most successful lawyers of this vicinity has been due mainly to his through attention to the interest of his clients, his comprehensive knowledge of legal technicalities and his ability in securing favorable decisions in matters of litigations which were handled by him.

Mr. Little was born in Johnstown, July 31, 1899, son of Charles Gordon and Mary Catherine (Dorn) Little. Charles Gordon Little has been engaged in the agricultural industry in Johnstown and Fulton county for the greater part of his active career.

Charles Warren Little was educated in the public schools in 1915, after which he entered Cornell University, graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences of that famous institution of learning in 1920. Admitted to the bar in 1922, he at once began his practice, which has been highly successful and has brought him the acclaim of all his fellow-citizens. In his political principles, he is an adherent of the Republican Party, and his fraternal connections are with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Knights of Pythias. In social activities, he takes a prominent part and is a leading member of the Colonial Club of Johnstown. His religious affiliations are with St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

CLEON BOICE MURRAY

Rejected by the examining surgeons of the United States Army, because of being underweight, when he volunteered for service upon the entry of this country into the World War, Cleon Boice

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Murray, of Ellenville, New York, has since shown that successful accomplishment is not a matter of avoirdupois. Twice he was before the board of examining surgeons, the second time drafted, and twice he was too light to be a soldier. So he went to work at his profession of the law, in which he had made a conspicuous success. Although not a native of this State, he has made it his home for so long that he has come to be regarded as such. His private practice keeps him busy, while his duties as counsel for various commercial organizations have brought him into prominence. Aside from professional interest, he takes a deep pride in the civic welfare of the community and a large share in fraternal affiliations. With room always at the top, Cleon B. Murray, by hard and conscientious work, seems destined to climb there.

He was born in Proctor, Pennsylvania, June 25, 1890, a son of Dayton and Myra (Boice) Murray. The elder Murray was secretary of the Rondout Savings Bank, of Kingston, and served as city clerk under Mayor Crane. His wife, the mother of Cleon, was a daughter of Peter and Ruhamah J. Weeks, of Kingston, a graduate of Whitestown Seminary. The Murray family is of Scotch origin, its earlier members coming to Vermont, Herkimer County, New York, and New Jersey, prior to the War of Revolution, in which conflict a number of them fought for American independence with the army of Washington.

Cleon Boice Murray received his education at Kingston Academy, from which he was graduated in 1908, and at Cornell University, where he took the course in law and received his degree of Doctor of Laws upon graduating in 1913. He came to Ellenville in 1915, establishing himself in practice, already having studied in the offices of Cunningham & Traver, in Ellenville and Kingston. Since 1921 he has been assistant district attorney of Ulster County, and is attorney for the Standard Oil Company of New York, and the New York Telephone Company. He served one term as Police Justice of Ellenville, resigning, and, since 1917, has been corporation counsel of the town. He is a Republican in politics and attends the Baptist Church. He is Past Master of Warwarsing Lodge, No. 582, Free and Accepted Masons, and Past High Priest of Chapter No. 246, Royal Arch Masons. He also is affiliated with Cyprus Temple, of Albany, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and with Kingston Lodge, No. 550, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He belongs to the Kingston Club, to the Shawangunk Country Club, of Ellenville, and to the Cornell University Club of New York.

Mr. Murray married, at Ellenville, October 12, 1927, Katherine R. Houghton, daughter of Joseph T. Houghton, deceased, of Bayone, New Jersey, and of Anita (Raphael) Houghton.

George C. DRESSEL

As a partner in the firm of Brown and Dressel, George C. Dressel has been engaged in the heating, plumbing and metal work business in Kingston, since 1907. The firm occupies a large plant at Nos. 37-39 St. James Street, Kingston, and is conducting a large and steadily flowing business. Mr. Dressel served as president of Kingston's board of plumbing for a number of years. He is also a member of the City Fire Department. His grandfather, George Dressel, came to this country from Holland, and settled in Eddyville, or St. Remy. He married a daughter of the Decker family, an early Colonial family at Marlboro. He served as a soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War and when he was discharged because of illness, voluntarily hired a substitute.

John N. Dressel, son of George and -------- (Decker, Dressel, was associated with his father in the operation of the Dressel and Hauck Brewery, but later was engaged in the grocery and restaurant business on Broadway. He died in 1907 at the age of fifty-five years. He married Mary Scharschue, who was born in Kingston, of ancestry whose native place was Vornbartarn, Germany, but who came to the United States in 1848. Among their children was George C. Dressel, of further mention.

George C. Dressel, son of John N. and Mary (Scharschue) Dressel, was born in Kingston, November 10, 1877, and received his education in the public schools of Kingston. In 1907 he formed a partnership with Samuel S. Brown, under the firm name of Brown and Dressel, and engaged in the heating, plumbing and metal work business, beginning ina modest way in the Preston building on Fair Street. As the business grew, larger quarters became necessary, and the partners removed to the Sharp Building, which was located on the present site of the Governor Clinton Hotel. The next move was to the fine, large, modernly equipped plant which the firm now occupies at Nos. 37-39 St. James Street. Both Mr. Dressel and Mr. Brown were employed in the plumbing and heating concern of B. Loughran before engaging in business for themselves, and both were thoroughly acquainted with the practical side of the

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business. As the years have passed the enterprise has grown steadily, and both Mr. Dressel and Mr. Brown have become well known as able and successful business men. Mr. Dressel has served as president of the Kingston Board of Plumbing for a number of years, and as a volunteer member of the Central Hook and Ladder Company he has rendered able service in Kingston's Fire Department since 1920. Fraternally, he is identified with Kingston Lodge, No. 10, Free and Accepted Masons, and with the Junior Order United American Mechanics, of which he is a Past Councillor and a Past member of the State Financial Board for a period of seven years. He is a member of the Kingston Club, and his religious affiliation is with the Baptist Church.

George C. Dressel was married (first), in 1899, at Saugerties, New York, to Ella Murdock. She died in 1918, a victim of influenza, and Mr. Dressel married (second), at Kingston, in 1921, Catherine E. Scherick, of Kingston, daughter of Eustace and Catherine Scherick, the first mentioned of whom owned and operated the Blue Stone at Plattekill for twenty-five years. To the first marriage, three children were born: 1. Fred C., who married, august 6, 1926, Adeline Peterson, of Jamestown, New York; since reaching the age of twenty-two he has mad the responsible position of district sales manager for the Art Metal Works, covering fifteen counties in the State of New York and Pennsylvania. 2. Ruth E. 3. Elizabeth (Betty). To the second marriage, one child was born, Catharine Mary, born February 5, 1924.

George VEGHTE

At an early age, George Veghte began his career in the textile industry. Through talent, industry, and application, he bettered his position, and he is today president of the Diana Knitting Company of Johnstown, manufacturers of medium low-priced and low-grade underwear. This organization was founded in 1900, and has grown steadily to a place of prosperity comparable with the chief industrial enterprises of Johnstown and Gloversville. It has from one hundred and twenty-five to one hundred and fifty employees at full-time work, maintains a well-known distributing point in New York City, at No. 93 Worth Street, and sells entirely to jobbers. Gross sales in 1927 aggregated approximately three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, in spite of the fact that 1927 was considered a bad year for the textile-apparel and allied industries. Many seemingly firm established organizations went to the wall, and the whole period proved suicidal for numerous embryonic enterprises in the knit-goods field. Survival of the period, and increased prosperity of the Diana organization, has largely been the doing of Mr. Veghte, whose acumen in crises has been demonstrated as remarkable.

Mr. Veghte was born in Johnstown, February 10, 1865, son of Lewis and Catharine (Yost) Veghte, his father having been a farmer and business man, a prominent citizen of Johnstown. In the public schools of Johnstown, Mr. Veghte secured a sound academic basis for future studies and reflection. He had two years in Johnstown Academy, and without delay entered the textile world, as recounted, and with the substantial success indicated. While he was thus being busily occupied in the furtherance of his career, he has not neglected the general affairs of interest to all good citizens. A Republican, he has been a figure in the party, locally, and an influence for sound movements designed to benefit the well-being of the people at large. For eight years he served as member of the Johnstown board of Aldermen. Fraternally, Mr. Veghte is affiliated with the Free and Accepted Masons, in which order he is a member of all bodies to and including the Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. In religious adherence, he is a communicant of the First Presbyterian Church. During the period of America's participation in the World War, although somewhat above the limits of age prescribed for duty in the military service of his country, he did serve the common cause, and with patriotism, acting on various boards and committees of war work. He supported the campaigns of the Liberty Loan and the American Red Cross, and himself gave liberally to the latter, while he subscribed to the former as befitted one of his position.

On May 22, 1890, in Jamestown, Mr. Veghte was united in marriage with Harriet May Harding, daughter of William and Mary (Ballard) Harding, of Pennsylvania. To this union were born children: 1. Mildred C., born October 30, 1894. 2. George, jr., born April 12, 1899. 3. Arlene, born May 17, 1906.

 

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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