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Washington County New York Biographies - Surnames R

Transcribed by Lynn Tooley

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Washington County New York Biographies - Surnames R, extracted from the Washington county, New York; its history to the close of the nineteenth century by Stone, William Leete, 1835-1908.

RICHARD, Judge A. N. Biography

Judge A. N. Richard, one of the best known lawyers in Sandy Hill, and a popular citizen of this village, was born in Glens Falls, Warren County, March 24, 1857. He was educated in the Fort Edward Institute and the Island Grove school and read law in the office of Robert Armstrong, Fort Edward, N. Y. He was admitted to the bar in 1884, but did not immediately take up the practice of his profession, but traveled west and south in other interests for some time. In 1890 he settled in Luzerne, and began the active practive of his profession wjth much success, but after a residence of five years in that place he came to Sandy Hill in 1895 to be in a larger and more active center and made it his permanent residence. Here he has become a strong factor in the legal profession. He was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1899 and subsequently was elected to the same office.

In politics Judge Richard was a Democrat until 1894, since which date he has been an out and out Republican.

In 1895 Judge Richard married Mary Davison. The family consists of four children living, three daughters and one son, namely: Ethel, Anna, Clara and Earl.

Judge Richard's parents were M. D. and Maryette (Wing) Richard. His father, M. D. Richard, was a lumberman. His grandfather, Edmond Richard, was a native of Connecticut, but removed to Genesee County, N. Y., and subsequently to Warren County, where he died at the advanced age of 93 years.

Judge A. N. Richard is a genial and affable gentleman, popular with a host of friends and acquaintances and enjoying the confidence and respect of all who know him.

ROBERTSON, Abner Biography

Abner Robertson was born in Salem, Washington County, N. Y., December 13, 1848. He attended the common schools of his native place and continued his studies at the Washington Academy and at a private school in Greenwich, N. Y. Having a strong taste for the law, on leaving school he determined to make it his profession, and forthwith entered the office of Judge Gibson at Salem, where for several years he read law and was in 1870 admitted to the bar at the General Term of the Supreme Court at Schenectady, N. Y. He immediately entered upon the practice of his profession at Salem, N. Y., and from the first displayed such pronounced ability in the gathering of pertinent facts, in foreseeing distant contingencies, and with his clear and forceful language before a jury, his services have been widely sought, and his practice of the general and civil law has been one of uninterrupted and constantly increasing success.

Mr. Robertson has always been devoted to the best interests of the Republican party, and now holds the office of Justice of the Peace, having for the second time been elected to that position. He has for twenty years been a prominent member of Salem Lodge, No. 45, L O. O. F.

On September 3, 1889, Mr. Robertson was united in marriage to Mrs. Josephine Van Decar of the town of Crescent, Saratoga County, N. Y.

Mr. Robertson is the son of Abner C. and Eliza M. (Woodworth) Robertson of Cambridge. His grandfather was born in Scotland, but came to America before the Revolution, in which war he served with distinction as a commissioned officer.

ROBINSON, Hon. Willard Biography

Hon. Willard Robinson, the subject of this sketch, who is a prominent member of the Washington County bar, was born at West Hebron July 20, 1859, and was educated at the Union school of Fort Edward. After leaving school he was engaged in business with his father in Fort Edward from 1876 until 1887. In the latter year he began the study of law, which he pursued in the office of Edgar Hull, at Fort Edward, until 1891, when he was admitted to the bar at the General Term in Albany, N. Y. Immediately after his admission he opened an office in Fort Edward where he has since continued the practice of his profession with much success. He is distinguished for his knowledge of the law, his sound judgment and high integrity, which have led both to appointments and election to office.

On March 26, 1888, he was appointed Justice of the Peace to fill a vacancy, and in 1891 was elected to the same office for a period of four years, to which he was again re-elected in 1895. In March, 1898 he was elected Police Justice for a term of three years.

Judge Robinson has always taken an intelligent interest in public affairs and is an active worker in the interests of his party. He is at present Chairmain of the Republican Town Committee.

In 1882 Judge Robinson married Augusta L. Gibbon and they have five children, viz: Clara May, Elsie Gertrude, Florence Livingston, Leslie Gibbon and Francis Willard.

Judge Robinson's parents were John J. and Margaret B. (Coggshall) Robinson. The founder of the Robinson family in America was John Robinson, who came to America from Monahan, Ireland, in 1791, when he was a- young man twenty-one years of age. One of his ancestors was an officer in Cromwell's Army. He settled in the town of Argyle and was Justice of the Peace for forty years and reared a family of ten children. His son, James Robinson, was the father of John J. Robinson, the father of Willard Robinson. Judge Robinson's great-grandfather, Livingston, received a large grant in the town of Hebron, Washington County, so. that on both sides Judge Robinson's ancestors have been identified with the history of Washington County from the earliest days. The branches of the family are numerous and are spread all over the country and have many representatives in the ministry.

Judge Robinson is a member of Washington Council No. 261, Royal Arcanum, and has passed all the chairs. He has also been twice delegate to the Grand Council of the State of New York.

ROGERS, General James C. Biography

General James C. Rogers of Sandy Hill studied law with A. C. Hand in Elizabethtown. He entered the army soon after the Civil War broke out and rose to the rank of Brigadier-General. He was Member of the Assembly in 1866, since which he has devoted himself entirely to his profession.

ROGERS, Randolph Biography

Randolph Rogers first saw the light of day at Sandy Hill, Washington County, N. Y., February 24, 1841, which village by the river has been his home ever since. His father, Charles Rogers, was a leading public man and politician of the Clinton-Seward Whig party of Washington County, having served with distinction two terms in the Legislature of New York State, and once having been called to the Congress of the nation at Washington. His mother was the daughter of Russell Clark, a prominent physician and surgeon of Northern New York in the early days of the country, when a doctor was not located at your very door.

His parents took a deep interest in young Randolph's early training. His first instructor was Jesse K. Sanborn, who taught him all the letters of the alphabet when but five years old. He attended the district school a while, and in due time was transferred to the "Mathematical and Classical School." presided over by William McLaren, a Scotchman of much learning and ability in his chosen profession. Under his inspiration he mastered the Latin of Caesar read fluently Virgil and the odes of Horace, and became proficient in algebra and the science of geometry.

While attending this school, Randolph was instrumental in organizing the Young Men's Literaiy Association of Sandy Hill, known as the "Y. M. L. A.," and was made its first president. This was a debating Club composed of thirty-five of the best and most talented young men of the village. Its first meeting was held December 3, 1858, and it convened weekly in the hall over the law office of Henry B. Northup, which rang with the eloquence of youthful oratory.

During this period the War Cry sounded throughout the land, and Randolph was uneasy. He could no longer remain quiet in front of a school desk, and soon was on his way to Washington as a member of the 22d Regiment N. Y. S. Infantry Volunteers. This regiment was one of the number that formed the celebrated "Iron Brigade," and fought well and nobly at Second Bull Run, Sotit/i Mountain, Antietam and Fredricksburgh.

At the expiration of their term of enlistment, the soldiers of the "old 22d," who had not made a sacrifice of their lives in their country's cause, returned to their homes in New York State, and Randolph enjoyed a season of rest and recreation from the bloody scenes of the battle field. He soon recuperated enough to enroll himself as a student of the Fort Edward Collegiate Institnte, and completed his education there under the master hand of Rev. Joseph E. King. From the Institute, he entered the law office of Hughes and Northup at Sandy Hill, and was admitted to practice as an attorney and counselor at law at a General Term of the Supreme Court held in Schenectady in May, 1865.

An appointment in the service of "Uncle Sam" awaiting him, Randolph laid aside the Diploma calling him to the bar as a fullfledged lawyer, and during the month of May, 1865, removed to New York City and entered upon the discharge of his duties as "Special Aid to the Revenue," in the office of Hon. Abram^ Wakeman, Surveyor of the Port of New York. The knowledge he acquired of city life and customs while in New York has been the best school to him he ever attended and rightly perfected the education he had previously obtained.

At the close of President Johnson's administration. Surveyor Wakeman resigning his office under the government, Mr. Rogers followed his chief into retirement and reti;rned to his home in Sandy Hill. Never idle, we now find him at a desk in the office of his brother-inlaw, Hon. U. G. Paris, reading up in old law books, and doing some good law work himself. We also see him with hoe and spade in hand, beautifying his father's grounds and sowing choice seeds in the garden spot which spring up under his careful cultivation to afford luxuries for the family table, and the bright beds of flowers, nurtured with his best care, to shed luster and perfume far around. For more work to come, he opens a law office in his native village, and is found early and late at his desk, and always busy.

In the fall of 1872 Charles Rogers cast his vote for Horace Greeley for President, and Randolph performed the same, as he believed, true and meritorious act. This son of a noble father has ever since remained a firm believer in the tenets of Democracy, and during Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock's canvass for the Presidency did some effective speaking on the stump. In the spring of 1885 he was elected Justice of the Peace by a good sized majority in the town of Kingsbury, which usually sends the Republican ticket half a thousand ahead. Leniency and moral suasion characterized his discharge of the duties of this oiifice. The tramp element of the neighborhood knew him as their best friend and adviser, and willingly skipped his town for the more fertile fields beyond.

Mr. Rogers has a reputation, where he is known, as a public speaker and poet. At the dedication of the Soldiers' Monument at Sandy Hill, June 30, 1887, and at the first Reunion of the 22d Regiment Veteran Association, of which he is a member, held at Glens Falls, the following year, where were assembled ten thousand citizens and soldiers he was given first place on the speakers programme and carried off the honors on both occasions.

He has held the office of President of the Veteran Association of the Regiment, to which he belongs, for three successive terms, and always at its Annual Reunion greeted his comrades with an address of welcome, flowing over with words of mirth and cheer, and delivered a poem full of war incidents, of story and song. He has written over one hundred short poems, songs and melodies, some of which have been published in the village papers. A few of his campaign songs were printed by the Democratic press and justly admired, especially his " Song of Victory." composed to the tune of " Marching Along."

Mr. Rogers was a favorite with the young ladies of Sandy Hill, but his heart was never touched until he met Miss Jessie Boone Harris, to whom he was married December 16, 1886, the Rev. Arthur B. Moorehouse of Zion Church performing the ceremony. Her father was the son of Moses Harris, who rendered distinguished military service for the country under General Schuyler during the early days of the Revolutionary War. Her mother, whose maiden name was Arilda Ann Boone, was a descendant of Daniel Boone, the renowned pioneer and hunter of America. One daughter has been born to them, named Ethel, who celebrated her thirteenth birthday November 5, 1900.

Mr. Rogers has a law office and sanctum at his residence on Clark street, where he spends many a quiet hour in study and reflection. His time is principally occupied in overseeing the four farms owned by him in Washington and Saratoga Counties, which he has made productive and a sourse of income to him.

He was a member of the Sons of Temperance when a large and flourishing division was located at Sandy Hill. He is a Veteran of William M. Collin Post, No. 587, G. A. R., and has a seat in the Presbyterian Church of his native village, from which he listens to the "stated preaching of the gospel" by his pastor, the Rev. Charles D. Kellogg.

Randolph Rogers was born under a hicky star, Pisces is his sign, and his ruling planet is Mars, and his favorite gem the Amethyst, the symbol of temperance and chastity; which assure him riches and long life, and a name and reputation that can never be assailed.

RUSSELL, Col. Solomon W. Biography

Col. Solomon W. Russell was born at Luzerne, Warren County, N. Y., July 5, 1836. He entered Union College, but in the middle of his course gave up his studies and raised the first company of volunteers in Salem for service in the War of the Rebellion. His company was mustered into the 2d New York Volunteer Cavalry, as Company A, in September 1861. He was elected Captain of his company. His regiment was mustered out at Washington, March 30, 1862, and he was afLerwards commissioned Adjutant of the 18th New York Volunteer Infantry and at the expiration of his term of enlistment he was commissioned First Lieutenant 49th New York Volunteer Infantry. He was breveted Major for services at the battle of Cedar Creek, Va., and promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel for gallant and meritorious services before Petersburg and at the battle of Sailor's Creek, Va. He was honorably discharged at Buffalo, N. Y., in June, 1865. His entire service was in. the 6th Army Corps.

At the battle of Rappahannock, November 7, 1863, Colonel Russell was shot through the body while jumping his horse over the enemy's works during a charge. He was carried from the field insensible and taken to Armory Square Hospital, Washington, D. C, and afterwards to Seminary Hospital, Georgetown. In May, 1864, he again reported for duty; joined the army at Spottsylvania, and served continuously to the end of the war.

After the war Colonel Russell began the practice of his profession in Salem and has continued it there ever since.

Colonel Russell has been President of the village of Salem for more than a quarter of a century and President of the Board of Education for a period equally long. He is a prominent Mason and Past Commander of A. L. McDougal Post No. 570, G. A. R. He was a Democrat until the first election of President Cleveland, but has since been a Republican. He was a delegate to the National Convention at St. Louis, in 1876, which nominated Samuel J. Tilden.

On August 16, 1866, Colonel Russell married Anna A., daughter of Lucius and Rosena (Ashton) Dixon, of Warrenton, Va. Their children are: Solomon W. Russell, Jr., a lawyer of Salem, Dixon P., Anna A., Rosena E., Alice P., Zada T., Mary S. and Sarah H.

[ Surnames S-U ]