The name of Nicholas Francis Vedder is deeply engraven on the history of Oneida county because of his close
and prominent connection with its commercial and business development, many of the important business projects
of Utica and this part of the state owing their existence entirely or in part to his efforts and direction. He
was born in Schenectady, New York, January 10, 1804, a son of Francis Van der Bogart and Helena (Baneker) Vedder.
The Vedders are one of the old Holland families of New York and their family was founded in America by Harmen Albertse
Vedder, a trader in Beverwyck (Albany) before the year 1657.
Nicholas Francis Vedder pursued his education in the schools of his native City and when twenty years of age went
to Utica where he entered the boot and shoe business of his elder brother, John Vedder. Later he became connected
with the dry goods trade as a member of the firm of Guile & Vedder, and subsequently a senior member of the
firm of Vedder, Welbon & Tyler, in which connection he continued until his retirement from business in 1855.
In many other fields his operations were an element in the business development and substantial growth of city
and county. He was an early director of the Utica & Black River Railroad Company and was one of the pioneers
of telegraphy in this section, holding a large amount of stock in the New York, Albany & Buffalo Telegraph
Company. He was likewise financially interested in the Oneida National Bank and in the Utica Gas Company, serving
as a director of the latter. He was one of the founders of the Utica Waterworks Company and one of its early presidents.
His activities were at all times of a nature that contributed to general prosperity as well as to individual success
yet in the conduct of his interests he won a substantial fortune which he used wisely and well for the benefit
of others as well as for himself.
On the 12th of October, 1836, in Schenectady, New York, Mr. Vedder was united in marriage to Miss Cornelia Blandina
Veeder, a daughter of Hon Gerrit and Jane (ten Eyck) Veeder, of Schenectady. Her father, who resided near Schenectady,
became in 1776 captain of the Fourth New York Continental Regiment in the Revolutionary war and bore prominent
part in the work of advancement after the establishment of the republic. In 1809, following the organization of
Schenectady county, he was appointed the first judge of its court of common pleas and his service was characterized
by the utmost fidelity to duty and impartiality in the rendering of his decisions. He died February 18, 1836. His
daughter, Mrs. Vedder, became the mother of one child, Jennie Helen Vedder, who married Abram G. Browers.
In his political views Mr. Vedder was a republican following the organization of the party but never accepting
office nor did he hold membership in any secret societies. He was, however, a leading member and liberal supporter
of the Dutch Reformed church and no work done in the name of charity or religion sought his aid in vain. He gave
liberally where assistance was needed to ameliorate the hard conditions of life for the unfortunate and following
his death, which occurred in Utica on the 1st of May, 1873, it was found by the terms of his will that he made
liberal bequests to a number of charitable and benevolent institutions, including the Infant Orphan Asylum of New
York, the Home for the Friendless in New York and the Utica Orphan Asylum. Among his beneficiaries also was the
General Synod of the Reformed Church in America, Hamilton College at Clinton, New York, Faxton Hospital at Utica,
and he also established a fund for lectures at Rutgers College, New Brunswick, New Jersey. The generous use which
he made of his fortune in assisting others marked him as a man of kindly spirit and as one who ever recognized
the obligations and responsibilities of wealth. His kindness and generosity were never actuated solely by a sense
of duty but by sincere interest in his fellowmen.
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Oneida County, NY
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