Category Archives: John L. Voorhies

Gravesend Characters Past: Charles R. Stillwell (1854-1920)

Continuing the challenge posed by my fellow members of the Society for One-Place Studies that we blog about 52 residents of our respective places in as many weeks, here is a profile of Charles Rushmore Stillwell, transcribed from Peter Ross, LL. D., A History of Long Island From its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, vol. 2 (New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1902), 111:

Stillwell.Charles.R.Eagle&Brooklyn.1893.cropped

Charles R. Stillwell (1854-1920)

Charles R. Stillwell, an esteemed resident of Gravesend, was born October 13, 1854, at Gravesend, in a house which is still standing. His ancestors were among a company of thirty-nine people who received grants of land from Lady Moody in 1643, and one purchased a plantation, thus becoming the owner of a portion of Coney Island. His father was Jacques R. Stillwell and his grandfather was Richard I. Stillwell. The former was born at Gravesend. Representatives of the family have long been associated with things which have formed the history of this portion of the Empire state, for the family was founded on Long Island in 1638 and has been identified with Gravesend since 1643, Nicholas Stillwell being the first to locate at that place. In 1640 he was associated with Governor Stuyvesant in fighting the Indians. Richard I. Stillwell, the grandfather, was a very powerful man, noted for the strength in all the athletic contests throughout the region around. Jacques R. Stillwell was a farmer by occupation, providing for his family by agricultural pursuits. His was a noble nature, his life being characterized by benevolence and charity. he married Miss Cornelia Stryker, a daughter of Samuel G. Stryker, of Gravesend, and both died in the year 1898. They had two children, Charles R. and Frederick, the latter a resident of Hackensack, New Jersey.

Charles R. Stillwell mastered the branches of English learning taught in the schools of Gravesend, New Jersey, and in Brooklyn, but at the age of fourteen he put aside his text-books and took his place upon the farm and for some time he was associated with the work of developing and improving the fields. For thirteen years he was engaged in the cultivation and sale of flowers, and as a florist carried on a successful business. He is now quite extensively engaged in the raising of fancy fruit, and in this enterprise is meeting with well deserved success. Industry and careful management have always characterized his work, and as the result of his diligence and perseverance he has acquired a comfortable competence. In connection with his other business affairs he is now engaged in speculating and his keen discernment, sagacity and foresight enables him to place his money so that it brings a good return.

Stillwell.Charles.R.poultry.farm.1911

Advertisement from the souvenir program of the fair of the wives and daughters of the members of Franklin Lodge, No. 182, I.O.O.F., at Sheepshead Bay, 26-28 April 1911. [Collection of Joseph Ditta]

In public affairs Mr. Stillwell has been quite prominent, having been called upon to fill a number of positions of trust and responsibility. In politics he is an independent Republican. He served as postmaster at Gravesend from 1890 until 1894, resigning his position in the latter year. He was then appointed shore inspector and acted in that capacity until 1898. He was also deputy inspector of the New York harbor from 1895 until 1898. He belongs to the Odd Fellows fraternity, which is his only lodge connection. On the 23d of October, 1879, occurred the marriage of Mr. Stillwell and Miss Elizabeth Voorhies, a daughter of John L. Voorhies, who for many years served as town clerk of Gravesend. They have three children: Walter E., Elizabeth J. and Cornelia E., and their home is upon a part of the original grant of 1643. Coming of a family of prominence, Mr. Stillwell’s record has cast no shadow upon the untarnished name and he is widely known as one of the leading, honorable and substantial citizens of his community.


Copyright © 2015 by Joseph Ditta (webmaster@gravesendgazette.com)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Charles Rushmore Stillwell, Gravesend characters, John L. Voorhies, Stillwell family, Voorhies family

Gravesend Characters Past: John L. Voorhies (1832-1898)

Continuing the challenge posed by my fellow members of the Society for One-Place Studies that we blog about 52 residents of our respective places in as many weeks, here is a profile of John L. Voorhies from The Eagle and Brooklyn: The Record of the Progress of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Issued in Commemoration of its Semi-Centennial and Occupancy of its New Building; Together With the History of the City of Brooklyn From its Settlement to the Present Time, edited by Henry W. B. Howard (Brooklyn, N.Y.: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1893), vol. 2, 1141:

John L. Voorhies (1832-1898)

John L. Voorhies (1832-1898)

For fifteen years JOHN L. VOORHIES has been town clerk of Gravesend, and for seven years he has filled the responsible post of commissioner of investment. He was born at Gravesend, on January 21, 1832. At the little red schoolhouse on Gravesend Neck road he received such instruction as was generally imparted in those days, and early in his teens engaged in the pursuit of farming. In 1877 he was elected town clerk; he ran as an independent candidate, but received the votes of both Democrats and Republicans. The term of office was then only one year, and he was re-elected each succeeding year, until 1880, when the term was increased to three years. In January, 1885, he was appointed to serve an unexpired term of two years as commissioner of investments for the monies derived from the sales of common lands at Gravesend. Upon the expiration of the term mentioned, the supervisors appointed Mr. Voorhies to the position of town treasurer and town clerk, the term expiring on June 19, 1893. he is a staunch Democrat, and serves his party well by serving the community well, but does not affiliate with any political organization.

Invitation to the tenth wedding anniversary celebration of John L. and Frances E. (Hicks) Voorhies, 22 November 1887. Frances was the second Mrs. Voorhies; the first -- Ellen Ann (Johnson) Voorhies -- died in 1875. [Collection of Joseph Ditta]

Invitation to the tenth wedding anniversary celebration of John L. and Frances E. (Hicks) Voorhies, 22 November 1887. Frances was the second Mrs. Voorhies; the first — Ellen Ann (Johnson) Voorhies — died in 1875. [Collection of Joseph Ditta]


Copyright © 2015 by Joseph Ditta (webmaster@gravesendgazette.com)

1 Comment

Filed under Gravesend characters, Hicks family, John L. Voorhies, Voorhies family