BENJAMIN J. BODINE was born Jan. 7th, 1849, at Castleton Corners. His father, Abram Bodine, was one of the 1849
pioneers to the California gold regions.
Mr. Bodine was educated in. the schools of Staten Island. When only fourteen years of age he ran away from home
and enlisted in the Union Army joining Battery C., 3rd U. S. Artillery, Regulars, then stationed in the Shenandoah
Valley, Captain D. R. Ransom commanding. He served in the Army of the Potomac under Gen. Hancock, taking part in
many of the important battles fought along the Potomac and around Richmond. After the close of the war he was sent
to the Platte Valley, Neb., where he served in the Indian war until after the surrender of Spotted Tail. He was
mustered out in 1866, when he returned to Staten Island.
In 1868, he entered into co-partnership with Mr. John Smith, of Long Island, and carried on a fruit commission
business at Norwalk, Conn. In 1872, he dissolved partnership with Mr. Smith and took the position of head salesman
for Davis & Mayo, Hoboken, N. J., ship chandlers.
In 1876, he entered into partnership with Geo. W. Thackery, and again engaged in the fruit and vegetable business,
running a sloop between New York, Elizabethport and Port Johnson. He remained in this business, doing a thriving
trade, for nine years, until the death of Mr. Isaac Van Name, in 1883, made an opening for him to enter upon a
prosperous grocery trade in the thriving village of Mariners' Harbor, as the manager of his son and successor,
Oscar Van Name, where he remained until his appointment, in 1890, to the office of superintendent of the poor,
which position he still holds.
A visit to this well-kept institution will show that Mr. Bodine's military training in the United States Regular
Army has made him a model superintendent for a large institution, such as our county almshouse, and our board of
supervisors have set the seal of their approval on his management not only with their " well done good and
faithful servant," but have supplemented their words of praise by a liberal increase of salary.
There was probably no man better fitted for the position of superintendent of the almshouse than Mr. Bodine. His
long experience in business had made him tho roughly acquainted with the value of provisions and the cost of supplies;
and since he has been superintendent there has been no complaint of favoritism in the purchase of goods either
in price or quality, but all the affairs of the almshouse have been managed after careful business methods by an
experienced. business man.
Prominent Men of Staten Island 1893
A. Y. Hubbell, Publishers
New York, 1893.
Richmond County, NY
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