Biography of Abel Merchant
Rensselaer County, NY Biographies





Merchant, Abel, born in Schodack, January 31, 1829, is the son of Reuben and Susanah (Krum) Merchant, he a native of Amenia, Dutchess county, N. Y., and she of Schodack, and a daughter of Martin Krum, one of the early settlers of Schodack. The grandfather of Abel Merchant was one of the pioneers of Schodack, was a soldier of the Revolutionary war at the battle of Saratoga, and first came from Connecticut to Dutchess county, afterwards removing to Schodack. The father of Mr. Merchant was a farmer and for twelve years a merchant in Albany. In 1829 he purchased the Nassau Mills and removed to Nassau. In 1832 he bought the farm now occupied by his son Abel, and four years later disposed of the mill property. The mother died in 1844 and the father in 1850. Mr. Merchant graduated from Union College, class of '49, after a preparatory course at Nassau Academy. Upon graduating frem Union he was elected a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society; and being the oldest of seven children, all of whom excepting himself are now dead, he assumed charge of the business affairs of the family, upon the death of his father, and has since remained on the old homestead. Mr. Merchant was one of the organizers of the Mutual Insurance Association of Nassau, Schodack and Chatham, and was its first president, which office he held for ten years, from 1856 to 1866, since which time has been its secretary; he is president of the Nassau Free Library, of which he was also one of the founders; he has been secretary and treasurer of the Nassau and Schodack Cemetery Association for some years, has had the settlement of several large estates, and now has a number of trusts in hand amounting to several thousands of dollars. He was married in January, 1868, to Miss Clara L. Doty of Stephentown, and to them five children have been born: Clarinda, a graduate of Nassau Academy and of Wellesley College, Mass., a member of the Zeta Alpha society, and now a teacher at the Albany Female Academy. Henry D. was educated at Nassau Academy, graduating from Union College in 1893, and from the Albany Law School in 1896. and also a member of Phi Beta Kappa; John C. and Abel, jr., are now students at Union College. Reuben died at the age of eight years. The family attend the Reformed Church. Mrs. Merchant was a daughter of Joseph S. Doty and Palmyra Jolls Doty, both of Stephentown, N. Y. The grandfather of Mrs. Merchant was William Doty, and she traces her ancestry to Edward Doty who came over in the Mayflower; her maternal grandfather was Stephen Van Rensselaer Jolls, who came from Rhode Island in the last century.

From:
Landmarks of Rensselaer County
BY: George Baker Aaderson
Published By: D. Mason & Co. Publishers
Syracuse, NY 1897


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