The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 71

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam



The maintenance of the fundamental principles of the law and their practice has been the recognized attainment of two generations of the Hirschberg family, Henry Hirschberg, of Newburgh, continuing in his legal activities that laudable tradition, both in legal office and as a general practitioner. In the larger cities of the Commonwealth, Mr. Hirschberg rendered that distinguished service to his profession that he has continued in his increasing influence in Newburgh, which was his place of residence while he held the office of district attorney, and where he is esteemed in his professional relationships and those of the civic progress.

Henry Hirschberg was born February 12, 1879, at Newburgh, a son of Michael H, Hirschberg, who married in 1878 Elizabeth McAlles, and who had three children. Michael H. Hirschberg was born April 12, 1847, in Newburgh, where for a time he practiced law with the firm of Scott and Hirschberg, and in 1875 was elected to the office of special county judge. He served for three terms as district attorney, and in Republican affiliation was elected to the Supreme Court in 1896, where he served with distinction, receiving the nomination of both parties for his second term, and was then retired at seventy years of age owing to the age limit. He had also received appointment to the Appellate Division, Second Department, by Governor Odell, and his presiding judgeship was bestowed by Governor (afterward president) Theodore Roosevelt. Nominated also for the mayoralty and for Congress Judge Hirschberg declined candidacy for those offices. He is not (1928) eighty years of age, a member of the board of directors of the Highland Bank, and a Past Master of Newburgh Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons.

Henry Hirschberg was graduated at Newburgh High School, and followed in his father's footsteps in the profession of law. After one year of practical preliminary work in the law office of E. E. Ross, at Newburgh, and two years at the law school of New York University, where he was graduated in 1900, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws, Mr. Hirschberg began to engage in practice at Newburgh, and afterward he was a clerk in the law firm of Stern and Rushmore, No. 40 Wall Street, New York City. Later, with William N. Dykman, he practiced law in Brooklyn. For the next ten years, Mr. Hirschberg was associated with the firm of McCloy and Dollin, in the Tribune Building, New York City, and in 1914, he returned to Newburgh, where he reestablished his present office, and where he has continued in his successful practice. With his political allegiance given to the Republican Party, Mr. Hirschberg is a member of the County Committee. He received his election as district attorney as a Democrat. He is a member of the American Bar Association; Association of the Bar of City of New York; the Selden Society; the American Institute of Criminal Law; and, fraternally, he is affiliated with Carmel Lodge, No. 1075, Free and accepted Masons. He is a member of Newburgh Lodge, No. 247, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is also a life-member of the new York State Bar Association; the American Bar Association; member of the Orange County Bar Association, and of the Town Hall Club, of New York. His mother's people were members of the First Presbyterian Church; his father's of Temple Beth Jacob.


Realizing the need for a modern grocery and delicatessen in the city of Kingston,. Asaph Wagner, formerly of Brooklyn, came here in 1926 and opened such a business, in which he had had much experience by conducting the same kind of an establishment in Brooklyn. He is an enterprising citizen and adds much to the commercial affairs of the city, as well as to the convenience of the inhabitants. He is the son of Henry and Amelia Wagner, both parents natives of Vilna, Russia (which is now in Poland). Their patens were natives of Germany, but for economic reasons moved into Russia. Henry Wagner served in the Russian Army under the Czar for five years, from 1871 to 1876. He is a high-grade carpenter and cabinetmaker by trade, making furniture and piano cases. He and his wife moved to the United States about twenty years ago.

Asaph Wagner was born in Vilna, than a town of Russia, now in Poland, on October 7,

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1890. He attended the schools of Vilna and graduated from the public school there in 1905, and the following year, at the age of fifteen, he came alone to the United States, his parents following a year later. During the World War, he entered the service of the United States Army in the 106th Infantry, but owing to physical defects was honorably discharged after six weeks. His brother, Richard Wagner, was more fortunate, and enlisting in the United States Navy was in service in foreign waters and remained in the navy for four years. Mr. Asaph Wagner is a Republican in politics and a member of the Baptist Church.

In Brooklyn, new York, on November 30, 1922, Asaph Wagner married Emma Segwart, a native of Chicago, Illinois, daughter of Louis Segwart, a candymaker, who was born in Bavaria, and came to this country when a young boy, and of his wife, Elvira (Heffla) Segwart, a native of Germany.


Numbered among the younger generation of a successful attorneys in Albany is Samuel E. Aronowitz, who, since engaging in the practice of law, through personal effort and recognized abilities, has won a well-earned success and an honored place in the esteem of his contemporaries.

Samuel E. Aronowitz was born in Albany, New York, May 24, 1890, the son of Max and Dora Aronowitz. He obtained his early education in the public schools of his native place and, after graduating from the local high school in 1907, entered Dartmouth College, from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1911. Having in the meantime determined to take up law foe his life-work, he accordingly matriculated at Albany Law School and three yeas later, in 1914, graduated from that institution with the degree of Bachelor of Laws, and was admitted to the bar in September of that same year. From 1912 to 1917, Mr. Aronowitz was a teacher of English in the Albany Evening High School.

During the World War, Mr. Aronowitz served overseas as sergeant of Company B. 309th Machine Gun Battalion, 78th division, American Expeditionary Forces, and after his honorable discharge from the service he returned to Albany and engaged in the practice of his chosen profession. In 1925 he formed a partnership with Edward J. O'Connell under the firm name of O'Connell & Aronowitz, with offices at No. 100 State Street, Albany, and this association has continued ever since.

Mr. Aronowitz was State Adjutant of the American Legion, in 1920, and State Commander in 1925; is Past commander of the Fort Orange Post in the Legion; Past Master of Washington Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; former member of the Albany Masonic District Council; secretary of the Old Philologians of the Albany High School; trustee of the Beth Emeth Congregation; member of the executive council of Boy Scouts; Dartmouth Alumni Association; and has attained the thirty-second degree in Masonry, and holds membership in Cyprus Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of the Colonie Club of Albany; Voiture No. 348, La Societe des 40 Hommes et 8 Chevaux. His hobbies are the activities of the American Legion, and general athletics; he is secretary-treasurer of the Capital District Baseball Association, Incorporated.


Among the recent additions to the professional circles of the city of Newburgh is David Copans, who opened law offices there in July, 1926, immediately following his admission tot he New York State Bar. He is one of Newburgh's own sons, born there on April 17, 1902, son of Henry and Theresa Copans. His parents were both of European blood, coming to America in childhood, the father from Leeds, England, the mother from Warsaw, Poland. For forty years previous to his death, which occurred on February 10, 1922, Henry Copans was a well-known figure in Newburgh, where he had been engaged successfully in the real estate and insurance business.

David Copans attended the local public schools, graduating from the Newburgh High School in 1920. He matriculated at New York University and there completed his freshman and sophomore years, completing his college course at Rutgers College, in 1922. He professional degree was obtained from Fordham University, where he was made a Bachelor of Laws in 1925. During the three years of his connection with this university, Mr. Copans took an active part in the athletic life, playing "end" on the freshman football teach and being a member of the track team of the university.

Fraternally, Mr. Copans has identified himself with Newburgh Lodge, No. 247, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and with Kerem Lodge, No. 1074, Free and Accepted Masons. He is a member of Omicron Alpha

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Tsu College Fraternity, and the Newburgh Wheelmen. In politics, he is a Democrat.

George F. CACCAMISE, M. D.

One of the most able of the younger physicians at Jamestown, New York, George F. Caccamise has won the confidence of the community in an unusual degree and now devotes all his attention to answering the many demands on his services and caring for the wants of his large practice.

Dr. Cacccamise was born in Buffalo, New York, on March 24, 1896, a son of George and Nina (Syracuse) Caccamise, of that city. He attended the public schools of Fredonia, and later the State Normal School there, after which he entered the University of Buffalo, and in 1920 was graduated with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Soon afterwards he became a member of the staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital, in Dayton, Ohio, and after a year as interne, he came to Jamestown in 1921, establishing a general practice here. His activity in the care of the sick and injured and high conception of his professional duties soon brought him a large practice which has now reached flattering proportions and demands all his time.

Dr. Caccamise is a member of the staff of both Jamestown hospitals and is highly regarded by all his colleagues in the profession, who have a profound respect for his skill both as physician and surgeon. He is a member of the New York Medical Society, and the American Medical Association, while fraternally he is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

In spite of a busy life, Dr. Caccamise has found time to be interested in the problems of government and various civic movements, contributing to many worthy causes. With his family he worships in the Roman Catholic faith, being an active member of SS. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church, at Jamestown.

On September 12, 1923, George F. Caccamise married Gertrude Moynihan, of Jamestown, New York, and they are the parents of one child, George F. (3). The Family residence is situated at No. 714 Lafayette Street, while Dr. Caccamise's offices are at No. 103 Allen Street.


A prominent attorney of Newburgh, whose public service, as well as private business, entitles him to recognition as an addition to the New York Bar, is Henry Grusky, of Russian ancestry. His father, Nathan Grusky, who died in 1910 at the age of fifty-nine years, was born in Russian, came along to this country in the early "eighties," and settled in Newburgh, where he conducted a retail drygoods business; he had served nine years in the Russian Army before coming to this country. His mother, Bertha (Streem) Grusky, was also a native of Russia, coming to the United States about 1885 and settling at Newburgh, where she still lives (1928).

Henry Grusky was born at Newburgh, New York, on February 12, 1896. He received his early education in the public schools of Newburgh, graduating from the high school here in 1913. He matriculated at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, where he received his degree of Bachelor of Arts in the class of 1917. He then entered the school of law at the Columbia University, New York City, and from that institution received the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1920, and began the practice of law in Newburgh, the same year. Mr. Grusky enlisted in the United States Army in 1918 and was sent to Camp Meade, Maryland, where he was at the time the Armistice was signed, with the rank of sergeant-major of military police, and scheduled to go to Officers' Training Camp. He is a Republican in politics, and in 1923 was special assistant to District Attorney Jonathan D. Wilson, Jr. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the American Legion.


For more then thirty years, George Chambers has been connected with one of the leading undertakers of Kingston, New York, W. N. Connor. Born in Samsonville, New York, he received his education there in the public schools, and settled in Kingston in early manhood. He is a member of St. James' Methodist Episcopal Church, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and of the Order of Moose.

Mr. Chambers married Carrie Anderson, of Highmount, New York, and their children are: 1. Adelbert Henry, born in June, 1887, in Kingston; educated in the public schools there; married Elizabeth Gwynne, of Kingston, by whom he has three children: Robert, Gay and Emily; is a member of the Free and Accepted masons; Mount Horeb Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Mystic Shrine; Commercial Travelers. 2. Leon Edward, born in 1894, in Kingston; was educated in the public schools of Kingston; married Marion Gandy, of St. Petersburg,

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Florida, daughter of George and Clara Frances Gandy, December 14, 1926; is a member of Kingston Lodge, No. 10, Free and Accepted Masons, and of the Kingston Club.

Mr. Chambers' sons are conducting the Stuyvesant Garage, representing Packard and Chrysler motor cars, and have been in business for over twenty yeas in the city of Kingston. They also deal in accessories and conduct a general garage business, having the largest plant of its kind between New York and Albany.


A funeral director, embalmer, and mortician of note in his community, John M. Zwack is a public-spirited citizen of Albany who is held in high esteem. His avocation is music, and as a student of the late John Kautz, who was a great exponent of Chopin and the musical theories and practices of Tausig and Moscheles in Germany, Mr. Zwack's appreciation of classical music and his interpretations of piano compositions attained a degree of recognized proficiency. He gives his services gratuitously, and has appeared as guest artist with the Albany community Chorus, Albany Maenner Chor, the Knights of Columbus Choral Club, and other associations whose aim is to further the advancement of classical music in the community. Mr. Zwack and his brother, Raymond J. Zwack, violinist, have repeatedly been heard from WGY, Eastern broadcasting station of the General electric company, and associated stations, and through this medium have expressed their personality and given pleasure to many thousands outside their own circle of local activities.

John M. Zwack is a son of John and Gertrude (Urschel) Zwack, born in Albany, December 23, 1893. John Zwack, the father, was a widely known undertaker in this State; and established the business which is now being carried on by his two sons, John M. and Raymond J. Zwack. The elder son, John, received his primary education in the Roman Catholic School of Our Lady of Angels, Albany. Upon graduation from there he completed his scholastic studies in the Albany High School, graduating with honors in the class of 1991, also winning the Albany High School Art Medal. In 1912 he entered the Renouard Training School for embalmers, at New York City, and upon Completion of the course in 1916 joined his father in the undertaking business in Albany. This firm was established in 1894 by John Zwack, the father, but in 1912, when his son was taken in as an apprentice, the firm name was changed to Zwack & Son, and later, Zwack & Sons, this latter being the present name of the concern, although Mr. Zwack, the father, died in 1923. The two sons, John M. and Raymond J. Zwack, are carrying on the business, and in addition to being embalmers and funeral directors they are both skilled derma-surgeons.

In his political inclinations Mr. Zwack is a member of the Democratic Party; and during the turbulent period of the World War he served in the Medical Department, United States Army, where for six months, he was rated as an expert embalmer. Mr. Zwack is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus, in which organization he holds the third and fourth degrees. He is a member of Fort Orange Post No. 30, American Legion; and is affiliated with the City, State and National Funeral Directors' associations.

John M. Zwack married, September 5, 1923, Elizabeth Ikenhoffer, a graduate nurse of the Albany Hospital, class of 1922, and daughter of Frederick and the late Emma (Myers) Ikenhoffer. Mr. and Mrs. Zwack are communicants of the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Angels. They have one child, John M. Zwack, Jr., born January 27, 1927.


Following in the footsteps of his father and elder brother, Raymond J. Zwack has become one of the well-known morticians in Albany. He is also a devotee of the arts, takes a particularly keen interest in all things musical, and ranks high among the artists of Albany. In order to give himself the benefit of the best teachers available, he enrolled as a pupil of Charles Ehricke, a noted violin virtuoso and teacher of Albany. Mr. Zwack was appointed in 1924 teacher of advanced students at the Academy o Holy Names, Albany, New York. As soloist he as been heard as assistant artist of the Albany Community Chorus and the Knights of Columbus Choral Club, besides contributing his talent to many other high-class musical programmes. He does concert work entirely, and together with his brother is often heard through WGY and allied broadcasting stations in New York State, having become very popular with his unseen audience.

Born in Albany, New York, August 31, 1895, Raymond J. Zwack is the youngest son of John and Gertrude (Urschel) Zwack, both of whom are deceased. As has been stated in the biographical history of his brother, John M., he is now a member of the funeral establishment which was founded by his father, a noted di-

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rector and embalmer of Albany, in the year 1894. The elementary education of Raymond Zwack was received in the Roman Catholic School of Our Lady of Angels, in Albany. Upon completion of his studies there he became a student of the Albany High School, from which he was graduated with the class of 1914. He later attended and graduated from the Renouard Training School for embalmers, after which eh took up, at one,, his duties as a member of the firm of Zwack & sons, funeral directors and embalmers of Albany. He is also a graduate derma-surgeon. While in attendance at the Renouard School for Enbalmers, he served his class as president.

Mr. Zwack is a Democrat in his political inclination, and is fraternally affiliated with the Knights of Columbus, in which organizations he holds both the third and fourth degrees; and is a member of the American Legion; Fort Orange Post. He is a member of the City, State, and National Funeral Directors; associations, and in 1925 was elected to the office of secretary of the Albany and Rensselaer Funeral Directors' Association. Mr. Zwack is particularly active as a member of the Albany Local Federation of Musicians; and of the National Academy of Music, with headquarters in Aeolian Hall, New York City.

Raymond J. Zwack married, April 22, 1925, Mary G. Hammer, daughter of George and Barbara Hammer, of Albany. Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Zwack are the parents of two children: Mary Elizabeth, born in Albany, May 16, 1926, and Raymond Jacob, Jr., born in Albany, June 19, 1928. Mr. Zwack and family are communicants of the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Angels, in Albany.


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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