The Belknap Family
Orange County, NY Biographies





THE BELKNAP FAMILY. - Abraham Belknap, from whom the Belknap family in this country trace their descent, emigrated from England and settled in Lynn, Mass., in t637. Samuel Belknap, the immediate ancestor of the family in Orange County, was born in 1707, came to Newburgh in 1749, and died in 1771. His son Isaac, during the struggle for independence, was appointed a captain of a company of rangers, and later in the regular service as assistant deputy quartermaster general. Another son, Abel, was chairman of the committee of safety for the Newburgh precinct during the Revolution. At the close of the war he engaged in the manufacture of soap. This became an important industry, and has extended from father to son for four generations as follows: Abel Belknap, 1783 to 1804; his sons, Abel and Moses Higby Belknap, 1804 to 1855; Moses Cook Belknap and Belknap & McCann, 1855 to 1892, and William Cook Belknap, 1892 to the present.

Moses Highy Belknap was born in Newburgh, N. Y., September 23, 1787, and died January 4, 1855. He was president of the village of Newburgh in 1832-33-34-38-39-41-43-44. He was one of the founders of the Newburgh High School.

Moses Cook Belknap was born in Newburgh, February 2, 1832, a son of Moses H. and Ruth P. (Cook) Belknap. In 1867 he was appointed cashier of the Highland National Bank and January 9, 1883, was elected its president, continuing in this office until he retired on account of ill health in 1892. He died at Newburgh, October 3, 1892. Upon the death of his father in 1855, Mr. Belknap formed a copartnership with Thomas M. McCann to continue the soap manufacturing business of A. & M. H. Belknap, Mr. Belknap managing the finances of the concern. He served as clerk and treasurer of the board of trustees of the First Presbyterian Church from 1855 o the time of his death. He was one of the founders of the local Y. M. C. A. and was connected therewith after its reorganization. In 1877 he served as alderman from the Third Ward and in r884 was elected a member of the Board of Education and reelected in 1888. In 1887 he was chosen its president.

In 1857 Mr. Belknap married Mary H., daughter of William K. Mailler, who died May 3r, 1858. In 1862 he married Marietta, daughter of David McCamly, of Warwick, N. Y. She died in 1873, leaving three sons and one daughter. In 1875 he married Evelina, daughter of Dr. Nathaniel Deyo, by whom he had a son and a daughter, now living.

From:
The History of Orange County New York
Edited by: Russel Headley
Van Deusen and Elms, Publishers
Middletown, N. Y. 1908


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