Biography of Charles R. Durkee


Durkee, Charles R., one of the foremost citizens of the town of Alden, was born in Randolph, Vt., December 12, 1821. His parents were of old English stock, with a lineage reaching back more than 200 years. His mother was Hannah A. Bayliss, daughter of Dr. Timothy Bayliss, a noted physician of Randolph, who at seventeen years of age was in Washington's army at West Point at the time of Arnold's treason. She died in Alden in 1872. Ziba Durkee, father of Charles R., was born in Royalton, Vt., in 1800, where he lived until 1828, and then moved to York, Pa., he having then large government contracts for carrying mail by stage between Philadelphia and Pittsburg, and Philadelphia and Baltimore, and Harrisburg and Baltimore. This continued until 1836. when the completion of steam railroads cut off to a large extent the necessity for government stages. In the mean time, in 1833, he had moved to Philadelphia and engaged in the manufacture of omnibuses, coaches and railroad cars, and in fact manufactured the first double truck car ever used on a railroad in this country, which was run on the Philadelphia and Norristown Railroad. In 1840 he engaged in the manufacture of mill machinery. In 1847 Mr. Durkee bought a large farm in the town of Alden, which he settled and lived on for the balance of his life. He died in 1853. Charles R. Durkee had during the time been associated with his father in the manufacturing industry and so continued it for several years after his father's death. He has continued to reside on the farm purchased by his father, and has beet a potent factor in the politics of Erie county. being elected to many important offices. In 1861 he was elected county clerk, and in 1866 he was made county treasurer. He was one of the original commissioners for locatirg and building the city and county hail at Buffalo. He is now serving as justice of the peace. In 1851 he married Helen, daughter of Samuel and Abigail Bass of Randolph, Mass., and they have three daughters and one son. One daughter, Louise, is connected with the Pension Bureau at Washington.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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