Biography of Smith Van Valkenburg
Rensselaer County, NY Biographies





Van Valkenburg, Smith, born in Schodack, November 11, 1813, is the son of Peter C. and Maria (Griffith) Van Valkenburg, both born in Schodack, N. Y., he born January 25, 1782, and she born May 20, 1790. The father of Smith Van Valkenburg, moved from Schodack in 1814, kept a hotel in Nassau until 1837 and then followed farming until his death in 1846; his wife died September 25, 1878. Smith was educated in the common schools and Westfield Academy of Massachusetts. He remained in the hotel until twenty five years of age and in 1836 engaged in the mercantile business until 1868, since which time he has lived retired. He now owns 110 acres of land and it is on this farm that the grounds of the Agricultural and Liberal Arts Society of Rensselaer county is located. He was postmaster in Nassau under General Harrison; he was married in 1840 to Phoebe Griffiths, daughter of John Griffiths, one of the early settlers of Albany county. To Mr. and Mrs. Van Valkenburg were born three children; Maria, born in 1842 and died in 1860; John, born November 22, 1844; Phoebe, born in 1849 and died in 1873. John was educated in Nassau Academy and was with his father in the mercantile business three years; in 1868 his father sold to Charles E. Huested and he and John were in partnership eleven years, and then Mr. Van Valkenburg sold to Mr. Huested and in 1881 again engaged in the mercantile business and sold in 1882, and in 1886 again went into business and in 1891 was burned out and then rebuilt the store which is now occupied by Mr. Witbeck. John Van Valkenbtirg at the age of twenty one was appointed town clerk and was justice of the peace eleven years; he was then elected supervisor one year. Mr. Van Vaikenburg is a member of Gratitude Lodge, F. & A. M. He was married in 1869 to Sarah Mead, by whom he has four daughters: Maria E., wife of Delmar Loynd, who have one son, John A.; Florence J., Katherine D. and Fannie P. Smith was one of the organizers of the Nassau, Schodack and Chatham Mutual Insurance Company, organized in 1856, and was secretary about ten years. Mrs. Van Valkenburg died in 1881 and he married Mary E. Kane of Schodack, a daughter of D. Kane of Albany.

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


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