The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 28

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam



Among the leaders in mercantile advance in this section of New York State is Robert M. Chalmers, who is manger and practical head of the John G. Myers Company of Albany, New York, one of the largest department stores in this State outside of New York City. Together with this interest, he has ever taken time to devote himself and give his earnest support to whatever movement tends toward public progress and, as such, is numbered among the prominent and useful citizens of the Capitol district.

John L. Chalmers, father of Robert M. Chalmers, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and until 1845, when he came to the United States, was a dyer there. After arriving here, and locating in Albany, New York, he followed the dyer's trade for a time and then entered the service of the New York Central Railroad, continuing there until his death. He married Catherine Ireland, also a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, and they became the parents of five children: 1. James A. 2. William M., deceased. 3. Walter, deceased. 4. Jessie L., married John Hagy; and 5. Robert M., of whom further.

Robert M. Chalmers was born in Albany, New York, January 31, 1869, and after attending the local public schools entered Albany Business College; for two years, while a student at that institution, he was a clerk in the drygoods store of James McElroy, entering there at the age of twelve years. In 1881, at the age of fourteen, he entered the employ of John G. Myers, a drygoods merchant of Albany, and two years later, so rapidly had he advanced, he was given important duties to perform. Advancement repeatedly followed his earnest efforts and he was subsequently made buyer for several departments of the store. Each year other departments were added until he was the buyer for sixteen of the most important departments. On July 12, 1905, Mr. Chalmers was made a partner of the company and still later became sole manger of the John G. Myers Company, which position he still holds. His success has been fairly won by close application to business and untiring interest in the work at hand. Thus promotion has followed promotion until he has finally reached his present position. Mr. Chalmers has few interest outside of the store, although he is a director of the First Trust Company of Albany and the City Savings Bank; director of the Commerce Insurance Company of Albany; and a director of the local Chamber of Commerce. His fraternal affiliation is with Temple Lodge, No. 14, Free and accepted Masons; his religious affiliation is with the First Presbyterian church of Albany, serving as a trustee. He also holds membership in the Fort Orange Club, Albany Club, Albany Country Club, Wolfert's Roost Country Club, and is a member of the Society of St. Andrews. Mr. Chalmers' hobbies are motoring and golfing.


Achievement of wide recognition for his constructive association with outstanding organizations of New York City as a mercantile and financial executive and for his wide interest in philanthropic and civic groups, to which his practical aid has been liberally given, is the unique distinction of Philip LeBoutillier. Graduating from Princeton University at nineteen years of age, the youngest man in his class, he commenced his business career as bundle wrapper ina Rochester department store, and is now director, general manger and president of Best & Company, a leading Fifth Avenue store.

Philip LeBoutillier, was born in New York City, October 22, 1880, the third son of John and Fannie (Goodman) LeBoutillier. After completing his preparatory education at the Halsey School in New York City, he entered Princeton University, graduating in 1900 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. While in college, he was a member of the Cap and Gown Club, associate editor of the "Daily Princetonian," and paid his way through the last two

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years by writing for several metropolitan dailies, by tutoring, and by representing at Princeton, various mercantile houses.

Recognizing that a university education is neither a complete nor a well-rounded preparation for a successful business career, Mr. LeBoutillier chose to begin at the bottom and work up in the line of business in which both his father and grandfather had been outstanding successes in New York City. He began as bundle wrapper in the Sibley, Lindsay & Curr Department Store, at Rochester, New York. there he not only learned something of the foundation on which a great mercantile establishment is built and demonstrated his own fitness to climb to greater heights in the system, but he also gained an insight into boy and human nature in general, which enabled him to help his fellows intelligently as his fortunes and opportunities have grown with his business advancement. After three years in his first connection, where he sold behind the counter in different departments, for about two and a half years and then went through the office system in about six months, Mr. LeBoutillier went to work as a salesman behind the counter for Jordan, march & company, a large Boston department store. Six months later he went to New York City to work for the firm of LeBoutillier Brothers, on West Twenty-third Street, of which the sole owner was an uncle. Here his ability and application brought him to the position of manager in 1909, in which establishment he remained until the discontinuance of the business in 1911. The next year found him a floorwalker at John Wanamaker's where he went to bring himself up to date in the methods of large department stores. Since 1913 he has been associated with Best & company, of the same city, becoming general manager, secretary and director at the time of its incorporation in 1917, in 1924 being advanced to the office of first vice-president and in October, 1927, at the age of forty-six, being elected president, while continuing as director and general manager. In 1923-24 he served as director of the National American Bank, and since 1922 as vice-president of the National Council of American Importers and Traders, Incorporated, of the publicity and tariff committees of which he was chairman. This same office he held in connection with the tariff committee of the National Retail Dry Goods Association of New York, and the Retail Dry Goods Association of New York, when, in 1921-22, he managed the successful campaign against American valuation. Into that fight he entered with all his energy, believing that the proposed law would prove a great detriment to United States commerce.

His work for social and philanthropic advancement parallels his business activity. He is a member of Chancellor Walworth Lodge, No. 271, Free and Accepted Masons,. From 1904 to 1910 he belonged to Squadron A. Since 1920 he has been treasurer of the class of 1900 of Princeton University, and ever since his graduation a member of the executive committee of the Graduate Council, to which he was elected in 1924, and chairman of the committee on public relations of Princeton University, an important office he has filled since 1925. Since 1924 he has been trustee and member of the executive committee of the Boys' Club branch building committee and chairman of the Jefferson Park branch, the Boys' Club of New York's new $700,000 operation on One Hundred and Eleventh Street, near Fifth Avenue. He is a member of the board of managers of the West Side Young Men's Christian Association, which he served from 1917 to 1926 a chairman of the boys' committee among other Young Men's Christian Association committees, he was chairman of the commission on eighteen to twenty-one-year-old boys in 1920, since 1934 he has been chairman of the committee on boys' camps of Manhattan and the Bronx and is now chairman of Camp Greenkill, the second largest boys' Camp in New York State. From 1924 to 1927 he was trustee of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church.

His political affiliation is with the Republican Party. His clubs are the Union League, the West Side Tennis, Squadron A ex-Members' Association, the University and the Princeton Club of New York, of which he is vice-president. He is also a member of the Cap and Gown and Nassau clubs of Princeton, and a life-member of the Huguenot Society. Since 1924 he has been president and governor of Quogue Field Club and governor of the Quogue Beach club. His chief recreations are horseback riding and tennis.

At the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, in New York City, on May 10, 1909, Philip LeBoutillier married Gertrude Havens Tifft., and they have children: 1. Margaret havens. 2. Philip, Jr. 3. Gertrude and 4. Henry LeBoutillier.


Marked advance in the practice of the pro-

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fession of his choice, whereby he has been instrumental in remedying the visual defects of great numbers of people, has rendered significant the career of Dr. Charles Austin Hanvey, of Jamestown, a well-known specialist in his field, and president of the Southwestern New York Optometrists' Society, and otherwise prominently identified with associational interests of his profession. He is also a lecturer of considerable note on the subject of optometry.

Dr. Charles Austin Hanvey was born in Attica, New York, April 4, 1889. His father, Henry P. Hanvey, is a veteran locomotive engineer, still in the service of the Erie Railroad at the age of seventy-five years. He married Belle Lincoln, a member of one of the old families of New York. Patrick Henry Hanvey, grandfather of Dr. Hanvey, came from the North of Ireland early in the nineteenth century and settled in Erie County, New York. he engaged in the lumber industry, and met his death in the forest by a tree falling upon him, when in middle life. He married a Miss Wright, of one of the early families of Northwestern New York, on whose side there is a Revolutionary ancestry.

Dr. Hanvey completed his academic education in the Lockport High School in 1902. He then studied at the Young men's Christian Association Training School in Chicago, Illinois, following this with a course at the Rochester School of Optometry, since he had elected that profession for his life-work. After his graduation, in 1905, he spent a few months in New York City and Buffalo, and in 1906 established himself in practice at Jamestown, where he specializes in musculae in-blanc. On October 14, 1912, having determined to perfect himself still further, he began a post-graduate course at the Philadelphia College of Optometry, which conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Optometry.

Needless to state, Dr. Hanvey has risen high in the esteem and councils of his contemporaries. He also enjoys the confidence of a large and desirable group of patients, which in reality is the most acceptable appreciation of his services. As president of the

Southwestern New York Optometrists' Society he has given evidence of his qualifications for leadership. He is affiliated with the New York State Society of Optometrists, the American Optometrists' Association, and the New York and Pennsylvania academy of Optometry. His activity in behalf of professional advance has brought him a reputation that has preceded him far beyond the confines of this State. He is especially well known as a lecturer on the subject of optometry, his platform work in this respect being featured by moving pictures and lantern slides, furnishing apt and compelling illustrations of his addresses.

His fraternal relations embrace Mr. Moriah Lodge, No. 145, Free and accepted Mason; the Royal Arch Masons, the Royal and Select Masters, and Jamestown Consistory of the Scottish Rite; also Mt. Tabor Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Dr. Charles Austin Hanvey married, August 10, 1920, Mable May Maybee, of Jamestown, where they have their residence on Eleventh Street.


John F. Clark has been actively engaged in the real estate business in Albany since 1912, his offices being at No. 91 North Pearl Street.

Mr. Clark was born in Whitehall, New York, January 26, 1873, the son of John f. and Deborah (Wilson) Clark, John F. Clark, the father, was a farmer and merchant at Whitehall, and for a number of years the postmaster of that village. He died in 1922 in his ninety-second year, the mother having died in 1905.

John F. Clark, the son, received his early education in the public schools and high school of his native village and later attended the Albany Business College. In 1908 he was married to E. Elliston Kidder, of Albany.

After being connected wit the commerce Insurance Company of Albany for a year, Mr. Clark entered the State service in 1896, and remained with the State Department of Excise until 1911. During this period he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1905. Upon leaving the State service he was the Managing Law Clerk of the Excise Department.

In 1912, Mr. Clark associated himself with the firm of Chism Brothers, which had been in the real estate business in Albany for many years. Two years later he bought out the business and since then has conducted a general real estate business in the capital city. he has negotiated many large and important real estate transactions and holds a prominent place in the real estate and general business life of the city. The high opinion in which he is held by the realtors of his city is attested by the fact of his having been President and member of the Executive committee of the Albany Realty Board.

Mr. Clark is a member of the Chamber of

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Commerce of Albany, of the Albany Automobile Club and of ancient City Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons. With Mrs. Clark he attends the Fourth Presbyterian Church and has been president of the board of trustees for a number of years. His long association with the city of Albany has given him social as well as industrial prominence, and he can be counted upon to back every worth enterprise which his for the general welfare of the city.


As a contributor to literature,. Both prose and poetry, an as a accomplished musician and composer of music, Mrs. Albertus Brownell Johnson, of Caledonia, New York, has a rare record of accomplishments and the honor o most valuable service to her fellow-citizens as a historian of the town and village of Caledonia, since 1919. She is the daughter of Elias Wright Harrington, who was born and educated in New York State, and was at one time principal of a commercial school with special courses in bookkeeping and penmanship at Yellow springs, Ohio. He later came to New York State and located at Geneva, where he was a bookkeeper of the old school when modern methods were unknown and the intelligence of the man who kept the books of any business was the responsibility that kept the business in proper running order. Mr. Harrington also conducted a greenhouse, trading in nursery stock, and was agent for different life insurance companies. Mrs. Johnson's mother was Marietta (Doty) Harrington. Both parents, now deceased, were from early New England ancestry. She is a descendant, on the paternal side, of Roger Williams, of Rhode Island, and Deputy-Governor John Green of Rhode Island, while on the maternal side she is a descendant of Sergeant Roger Alling, of the First Military Company of New Haven, Connecticut, who also was the first and only one elected treasurer of the New Haven Company. She is also a descendant of Edward Doty, of the "Mayflower," he being the fortieth Signer of the compact. She has nine Revolutionary ancestors verified and accepted by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Lucy Doty Harrington was born at Yellow Springs, Ohio, May 22, 1859. She received her education in private schools, Park Place Young Ladies' Seminary, and Union School, all of Geneva, New York. She then attended Palmyra, New York, Classical Union School, and LeRoy Academic institute at LeRoy, New York. She is a highly accomplished pianist and for many years was a teacher of rudiments of music in schools and also piano instructor of music to private pupils. She is well known as a poet and song writer and composer of music as well. For thirty-two years she has contributed as a correspondent to different newspapers, and for seventeen years she has been an official historian and genealogist of the Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter. Her talents for the cultural and artistic training, for she has been a bookkeeper both for her father-in-law and husband, and for the large firm of A. B. Johnson and Sons. During the World War she was superintendent of the Red Cross Unit of the southwest part of the township of Caledonia; and she was in reality the president of the circle that met each week to sew and knit for soldiers. She has written a compilation of "Caledonia's Part in the World War," and compiled many early records of the pioneers and early settlers of Western New York. This work has been done for the archives of history at Albany, New York, and for the library at Caledonia, and as the work has not yet been published, but is only in typewritten form, it is treasured very dearly in the town vault. Many of Mrs. Johnson's patriotic songs have been published, and also a number of her poems. She is a charter member of the Caledonia Grange, No. 870. In her early years she was a lecturer and one year chaplain, and has been secretary for some twenty-three years since, and press correspondent. She is also a charter member of the Livingston County Pomona Grange, of New York State, and served as lecturer six years; now press correspondent. She is a member of the New York State Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, and also of the National Grange, Patrons of Husbandry. She is a member of the council board of the Livington County, New York, Historical Society, and a member of Gan-e-o-di-ya Chapter, Daughter of the American Revolution of Caledonia; also a member of the Caledonia Library Association; is a member of the Red Cross Chapter at Caledonia during several years. In 1898, Mrs. Johnson was a member of a Writers' Union which flourished for few years in Chicago, Illinois, and from 1902 to 1918 she was a member of the Writers' League of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her first song words to be published were a memorial to Pres-

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ident McKinley, entitled, "Drape the Flag Once More in Mourning.." The music to this was written by Willard Groom. Another one of her songs was dedicated to the New York state Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, and was sung at the annual convention of that organization in Poughkeepsie in 1914, and was entitled "A Song of the Empire State." There are many other patriotic songs from her versatile pen which have been set to music and are sung on many occasions. In politics, Mrs. johns is a Republican.

On November 29, 1881, at Geneva, Ontario County, New York, Lucy Doty Harrington was married to Albertus Brownell Johnson. They have eight children: 1. Arthur Elias. 2. Leland Taft. 3. Harrington Wright. 4. Benjamin Harrison. 5. Albertus William. 6. Chauncey Morgan. 7. Sara Maria. 8. Lucy May. Mrs. Johnson and family attend the Baptist Church. She united with the First Baptist Church in Geneva in 1872, and was baptized by Rev. J. Byington Smith, D. D., then pastor, later having membership in Palmyra, LeRoy and Mumford, Western New York Baptist churches. She has been superintendent of the rural Sunday school and organist and Bible class teacher for a considerable time.


For more then fifty-five years, Charles king has engaged in business in Gloversville and Johnstown, where the tanning units established by his father have become among the most prosperous of tanning interests in this part of New York State. The prosperity of the King enterprises has resulted from their industry and vision of its founder, and of like talent and endeavor by the successor in control to the present time (1928). Like his father before him, Mr. King is a man of the highest principles in business and other relations, and as a worker for the advancement of his organization moves with the same earnestness that characterizes his oldest and most trusted employees. He has spent his life in the Gloversville area, and is here appreciated for his devotion to the cause of communal prosperity and to the civic advancement of the population.

The Kings, of Johnstown and Gloversville, Fulton County, are of Scotch, Irish and Dutch ancestry. The name is encountered frequently in the annals of New England's early history. After the Revolution, when settlers from New England' began making settlements in the Mohawk Valley, the Kings were among those who acquired land and founded substantial families. Descendants of John King, of New Lebanon, Massachusetts, settled in the vicinity of Gloversville early in the nineteenth century.

(I) Robert King and his wife, Emma (Evans) King, brought wit them a family of six children. Robert, their eldest son, was born January 1, 1807; and the other children were Eunice, Mary, Henry, Elisha, and John.

(II) Robert (2) King was a carpenter by trade, and married (first) Christina Van Dyke, and to this union was born a daughter, Eliza. He married (second) Harriet Veeder, daughter of Volkert and Nancy Veeder, of the Mohawk Valley. Her ancestors played important roles in the Revolution. By this marriage Robert King (2) became the father of eleven children: 1. John Veeder, 2. Eunice, 3. Cornelius, 4. Henry, 5. Robert, 6. Harriet, 7. Mary, 8. Amelia, 9. Mathilda, 10. Christine, 11. And George. The parents lived long, the father to the age of eighty, and the mother survived him twenty-two years, to the age of ninety-six. Her mental faculties remained remarkably clear until the life had all but ended, so that she was able to recount many interesting incidents connected with her early life. She was survived by one hundred and twenty-five descendants; ten sons and daughters, fifty-eight grandchildren, and fifty-seven great grandchildren.

(III) John Veeder King, son of Robert (2) and Harriet (Veeder) King, was born in Johnstown, August 15, 1836. He was educated in the public schools, and in early life followed the occupation of farmer. He married (first), July 4, 1855, Anna Ballantine, youngest daughter of Robert and Janet Ballantine, of Broadalbin, New York, both of whom were natives of Perthshire, Scotland, and came to America in 1805. Of this union there were six children: 1. Charles, born June 14, 1856. 2. Anna Janet, born March 20, 1858. 3. Harriet Louisa, born September 8, 1859. 4. Sarah B., born in April, 1861. 5. John Veeder (2), born in July 1863. 6. Clara May, born May 17, 1865. In 1866, John Veeder King became engaged in the business of tanning and dressing leather, and began tanning, in what is known as "Old Swamp Mill," Gloversville, where he remained three years. He then removed to Johnstown, and opened business in the T. W. & D. Miller mill, in which he continued successfully as mill for twenty-five years. John Veeder King's business career was marked by successful financing, notwithstanding the fact that the country passed through more or less serious phases of depression. When the question of

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building a street railway between Johnstown and Gloversville was first agitated, in 1871, he was one of the prime movers in the project, a stockholder in the company formed, and a director of its board. In 1871, John Veeder King had become a member of the First Baptist Church, of Gloversville, and throughout the years following proved himself of value to the works of the denomination. John Veeder King's first wife died, May 12, 1888, and he married (second), August 28, 1889, Mrs. Emma Washburn Comrie.

(IV) Charles King, eldest child of John Veeder and Anna (Ballantine) King, was born in Gloversville, as noted, June 14, 1856. He received his education in the public schools of Gloversville, and, at the age of seventeen years, he was taken into the tannery by his father, to learn the trade. The connection with the company has never been broken in all the years that have succeeded that date of first association. Fifteen years before his father died, Mr. King took over the business, and has conducted it with steadily mounting fortune. He is a director of the People's Bank of Johnstown, and a member of the Humane Society, the Young Men's Christian Association, and the Business Men's Club of Johnstown. Independent in political views, he has been a constant worker for the public welfare, giving his endorsement and personal support to all worthy projects calculated to be of worth to the community, and area surrounding. During the World War he served on the various committees and boards of war work which offered occupation of patriotic nature, and was of valued assistance in the campaign of the Liberty Loan. He is a communicant of the First Baptist Church of Gloversville, having been for many years a trustee, and more recently appointed a deacon in the denomination. With members of his family, it was Charles King who made possible the educational building and Sunday School room of the First Baptist Church. This is said to be one of the most complete in the United States.

The history of the King tannery has been replete of interesting incident. On July 30, 1883, the factory was destroyed by fire, but a larger and finer one replaced it within a brief period of time. The second factory also burned down, December 28, 1886. Within six weeks, the present building, in Gloversville, was completed and fitted with the best of rapid and modern machinery. John Veeder King, who founded and directed the destinies of the company for so long a time, retired from it in 1903, at which time Charles King became sole controller, by purchase. he retains the sincere esteem of all with whom he comes in contact, one of the most respected member of the Gloversville community, and of Johnstown, where he is known well through long years of association.

Charles King married, December 4, 1873, Susan Ann Decker, daughter of Anson Decker and Maria (Niver) Decker, of Johnstown. To this union were born three children: 1. John Veeder, born October 16, 1876. 2. Anson Decker, born September 18, 1878. 3. Margie May, born May 13, 1881. Mrs. Charles King, grand-daughter of George A. Decker, was one of three children born to Anson and Maria (Niver) Decker, of whom the others were: 1. Abram, born January 9, 1844 2. Eleanor, born November 8, 1846. Mrs. Charles King, youngest of the three children, was born on April 6, 1856. John Veeder King, eldest child of Charles and Susan Anna (Decker) king is associated with his father in business, as is the second child and son, Anson Decker King, who is associated with him in the Johnstown unit. John Veeder King married, February 14, 1900, Jennie Robinson, of Northville, New York, born December 24, 1876. Anson Decker King married, November 22, 1898, Burdella Nice Millian. The third child and only daughter of Charles and Susan Ann (Decker) King, Margie May King, became the wife of Dr. Theodore D. Dockstaher, June 14, 1905.


The History of New York State, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1927

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