William Beekman

William Beekman (1767 - 1845)

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Judge William Beekman
Born in Enroute from Germany to Americamap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Cooperstown, Otsego, New Yorkmap
[children unknown]
Died in Sharon Springs, Schoharie, New Yorkmap
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Biography

Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899); page 88;

http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/people/brgss/bios/beekman_duryea.html

The first progenitor of the Beekman family in this country was John Beekman, an early settler in Albany, N. Y., who later removed to a farm in the Mohawk valley. William, the next in line of descent, born in 1767, was the first judge of Schoharie County, which position he held for thirty years. When a boy he was clerk to Colonel Marinus Willet. He was appointed County Judge by Governor George Clinton, and held that office until 1833. In the years 1798, 1800, 1801, and 1802 he represented his district in the State Senate. He was married July 18, 1788, to Joanna Low, daughter of Nicholas Low, and he afterward removed to Sharon, this county. His death took place at Sharon on November 26, 1845, in the house which he had built in 1802-4, and which is still standing.

William Beekman was honored with the appointment of First Judge of the Court of Common Pleas upon the formation of the County, and held the office until the year 1833, when John C. Wright, then of Esperance, succeeded him. Of Judge Beekman's early history we are indebted to his only living child, Cornelius Beekman, now of Albany, who in his old age is deprived of his sight. The Judge was born upon the ocean, was of German parentage, and was early accepted by Colonel Willett as an errand boy. He attended school but six months previous to his entering Willett's service. After the close of the Revolution, about the year 1788, he came to this town, and began as a merchant in a small way, and soon acquired sufficient means to purchase the farm upon which he died. During his life here he continued trade in connection with agriculture, and proved successful in both. Upon the formation of the County we find men of fine legal ability here whom one would naturally think would be honored with the appointment of First Judge, but one of the last acts of Governor George Clinton was to cast the honor upon mr. Beekman. What influence was brought to bear upon the council of appointment to concur in the choice, we cannot say, nor whether he was the only candidate. We only know that Beekman, a youthful pioneer, without education, received the honor and performed the duties with dignity and grace.

Besides his judicial appointment he was elected to the State Senate in 1799, 1800, 1801 and 1802, and held many minor positions in corporate bodies. He was small in stature, with a well proportioned frame, and a very round head which he carried erect, and with hair always closely cut. He became gray at an early day, and upon his death was somewhat bald. He married Joanna Low, (whose parents came from New Jersey,) by whom he had seven sons and three daughters. Those that grew to man and womanhood.and married, were John, Nicholas, William, Cornelius, Dow and Duryea. Maria was the only daughter married. Her husband was Hoffman Ten Eyck.

'I'he Judge built a spacious mansion west of Beekman's Corners in 1802-'04, which is still standing, having the appearance of a "baronial hall," in which he lived in princely style until his death, which occurred on the 26th of NOVenlber, 1845, at the age of seventy-eight. His remains were deliositecI in the family vault, near the residence, and lying near are five of his first children, the eldest being born in the year 1789. Mrs. Beekman lies beside him, having died in December, 1835, at the age of seventy

The mother of Mrs. Beckman also is buried near, and we find she was born in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, in March, 1732, and died in Sharon in October, 1821. Without doubt the Judge was the first man that kept a general assortment of merchandise in the town, and for a number of years did a large business. His barns, sheds and barracks were at one time swept away by the hand of an incendiary, although at the same time but few men enjoyed the confidence and respect of his neighbors and the country at large as did the Judge.

Sources

  • History of Schoharie County by William E. Roscoe

CHAPTER XV. HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF SHARON http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nyschoha/chap15.html



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