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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Fassett

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 521-523 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The oldest family in this country bearing this name is of New England origin, having come from England with other families of the earliest settlers, and the records they have left behind show them to have been of excellent, sturdy stock, such as makes a good foundation for a country on which to build enduringly.

(I) Asa Fassett was born in Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1750, died November 28, 1823. He married, in West Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1744, Margaret Page. Children:

  1. Timothy, born in Bedford, Massachusetts, February 23, 1781;
  2. Amos, born in Bedford, March 10, 1783, see forward;
  3. Benjamin, born in Sherborn, Massachusetts, September 7, 1787, died October 9, 1857.

(II) Amos, son of Asa and Margaret (Page) Fassett, was born in Bedford, Massachusetts, March 10, 1783. He came to Albany, New York, when a young man, where he resided half a century, dying there February 21, 1858. For forty-eight years he was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Albany, and an elder of the same for twenty-one years, during which time he had read the Bible forty-eight times, and never missed a communion during his entire membership. He married, at Amherst, Massachusetts, June, 1802, Hannah, daughter of John Stewart, born in Ireland, in 1751, and Mary (Barron) Stewart, born in Merrimac, New Hampshire, in 1752. Children:

  1. Asa, born in Alsted, New Hampshire, October 1, 1803; married, in Albany, New York, October, 1832, Amanda Vervailin; died in Albany, April 20, 1872.
  2. Mary Margaret, born in Alsted, New Hampshire, April 27, 1805; died, unmarried, April 23, 1866.
  3. Amos Stewart, born in Alsted, New Hampshire, January 5, 1807; married, Vienna, New York, November 16, 1845, Mary Parker; died in Albany, New York, February 12, 1849.
  4. Harriet Emeline, born in Albany, New York, May 18, 1814; married, December 25, 1838, Alexander B. McDowal; died in New York City, May 12, 1877.
  5. William Neile, born in Albany, New York, August 18, 1816; see forward.
  6. Rachel Annabella, born in Albany, New York, February 18, 1820; married Rev. Stephen Bush, June 29, 1848; died in Siam, Asia, July 23, 1851.
  7. Sarah Justina, born in Albany, New York, September 30, 1826; died, unmarried, in Albany, July 24, 1848.

(III) William Neile, son of Amos and Hannah (Stewart) Fassett, was born in Albany, New York, August 18, 1816. He was a wholesale dealer in lumber until he retired from business in his old age, and resided at No. 97 Columbia street, Albany, where he died June 1, 1886. His was a most active and a life of full length. His education was received at the Albany Boys' Academy, from which he was graduated in 1832 with high honors. He had a natural bent for business, and upon his leaving his alma mater, secured a clerkship with William H. DeWitt, lumber and stave dealer, doing business on the Albany pier. Albany's great lumber trade, for half a century noted all over the country as a leading mart on this continent, was then only in its infancy, and the chief business was conducted on the pier, before the inauguration of the "District." His quick insight convinced him that there was room for new firms, and he organized it, under the title of Whitlock & Fassett. It succeeded from the start, and was the first to locate on the site of the Albany Lumber District. During the civil war, the firm was composed of William Birdsall, Frederic Olcott, who was later the New York state comptroller and afterwards president of the Central Trust Company, of New York City, and himself. Several times the Board of Lumber Dealers elected him president, and through ten years was the board's secretary. For a considerable period he furnished the statistics of the market to the Albany Evening Journal, and at the time of his death was the oldest lumber dealer in the city. From his youth he had been a Democrat; but while believing firmly in the principles of his party and materially aiding in its success, never did he seek or receive office, although often urged. When public enterprises were afoot, he was among the first to progress the movement. He attended St. Peter's Church (Episcopal), was for a long time a vestryman, and also the secretary of that body. His activity in the affairs of that church was one of the features of his life, as was notably the case when its rector, Bishop Doane, organized the new Cathedral. He was not given to display, but was industrious and approachable. Towards the end of his life he was in ailing health for several months, and died at his residence, No. 97 Columbia street, on the evening of June 1, 1886.

He married, in Brooklyn, New York, January 17, 1844, Anne Gates Taylor, born in Boston, Massachusetts, March 10, 1822, died January 6, 1903, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. J. Ausburn Towner, in Washington, D. C., where she was spending the winter, and was buried in the family lot in the Albany Rural Cemetery. She was kind-hearted and domestic in her tastes, and while exhibiting a rare degree of cheerfulness to all acquaintances, she was particularly genial when surrounded by her family. Her father was Samuel Priestly Taylor, a musician of national prominence. He was born in London, England, in 1779, died in New York City in 1874. He was the oldest son of Rev. James Taylor, and in childhood, being regarded as a musical prodigy, he was placed under instruction of Dr. William Russell, of Oxford. When twenty years of age he was made organist of Silver Street Chapel, and afterward of the Islington Church. He came to America in 1806, and shortly after his arrival in New York City was appointed the organist of St. Ann's Episcopal Church, where he introduced the custom of chanting. He was after this the organist of Grace Church, in New York City, then of St. Ann's Church, in Brooklyn, and later at St. George's Church, New York, and among the incidents of his career was conducting the musical program at the funeral service over the remains of General Richard Montgomery in St. Paul's Church, New York. In 1818 he removed to Boston, where he was the organist of the celebrated Old South Church. He leaves enduring distinction in that field as being the first director of the Handel and Haydn Musical Society of that city. In 1826 he returned to Brooklyn, resuming his former post. In 1834 he was appointed organist of St. Paul's, New York, but in 1871 relinquished all public professional appearances. The wife of Samuel Priestly Taylor and mother of Mrs. William N. Fassett was Susan (Hale) Taylor, of England. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Fassett, born in Albany, New York:

  1. William Henry, October 3, 1845; see forward.
  2. Annie Augusta, August 9, 1847; see forward.
  3. Emma Justina, September 21, 1849, died in Albany, October 15, 1850.
  4. Lawrence Taylor, April 13, 1854; see forward.
  5. Edgar Stewart, April 8, 1858; see forward.
  6. Grace McDowal, November 8, 1863, died in Albany, June 24, 1894.

(IV) William Henry, son of William Neile and Anne Gates (Taylor) Fassett, was born in Albany, New York, October 3, 1845. He received his education at the Albany Boys' Academy, which he entered in 1852. He then began a business career, starting in the lumber business with his father; but in 1880 he was appointed the English agent for American proprietary drugs and specialties, and thereafter took up residence in London. He was an Episcopalian, and while in this country a Democrat. His death occurred in London, England, September 20, 1908. He married, Albany, January 16, 1868, Isabella Matilda, daughter of Erastus Dow Palmer, the famous American sculptor, and Mary (Seamans) Dow. Children:

  1. Mary Palmer, born in Albany, October 16, 1869;
  2. Frederick Palmer, born in Albany, December 31, 1872;
  3. Dorothea, born in London, England, April 5, 1889.

(IV) Annie Augusta, daughter of William Neile and Anne Gates (Taylor) Fassett, was born in Albany, New York, August 9, 1847 and was educated at the Albany Female Academy. She married, Albany, January 25, 1870, James Ausburn Towner, of Elmira, New York, who was a journalist and writer. He died January 22, 1909. She was living in Washington, D. C., in 1910. Children:

  1. Ausburn Fassett, born in Albany, December 3, 1870;
  2. Mabel Fassett, born in Elmira, New York, April 12, 1873;
  3. Neile Fassett, born in Elmira, August 11, 1875;
  4. Isabell Louise, born in New York, New York, May 24, 1884.

(IV) Lawrence Taylor, son of William Neile and Anne Gates (Taylor) Fassett, was born in Albany, New York, April 13, 1854. He received his education at the Albany Boys' Academy, where he was a student from 1865 to 1871. He resided in Albany the greater part of his life, where he was active in the local affairs of the Democratic party. He was engaged some time with the excise department. He was a member of St. Peter's Episcopal Church and one of its choir of mixed voices before the introduction of a surpliced choir in 1889. He was all his life much interested in baseball, and at one time the owner of the Albany Club of the State League. About 1900 he removed to New York City and engaged in business, and was living there in 1910. He married, New York City, November 16, 1894, Elizabeth Child Hamlin, of Boston, Massachusetts.

(IV) Edgar Stewart, son of William Neile and Anne Gates (Taylor) Fassett, was born in Albany, New York, April 8, 1858. He received his education at the old Albany Boys' Academy, from which he was graduated in 1875, in a class composed of a number of youths who became well-known citizens. He was first appointed the superintendent of construction for the Albany District Telegraph Company, which was then in its infancy, and had charge of the constructive work on all of its lines. When that organization was absorbed by the Commercial Telephone Company, of Albany, he was likewise associated with it, continuing until 1883, when he severed his connection to join the United States corps of engineers engaged in making a survey for carrying out extensive improvements along the Hudson river. It was in the year 1885 that he first developed an interest for railroading, which ultimately resulted in his being known all over this country. It was then that he became connected with what was known as The Albany Railway Company, before the days of electrical service, and when the conduct of that road seriously required betterment in many directions. He was made assistant manager, and a great share of the duties fell upon him, as well as the work of originating improved methods and a systematizing of affairs generally. When this line was reorganized in 1899, as The United Traction Company, he was made general superintendent and general manager in 1906 for the greatly enlarged concern, which then included lines running into Troy, Cohoes, Green Island, Waterford, Rensselaer, Watervliet, and other places, so that he was in a position to exert active management which could bring about marked advancement. His achievements would read like the recent history of the progress of the company; but perhaps an example of his foresight and ability as an executive is best shown by the actual results of the rules laid down by him, which demonstrate the rarity of fatalities brought about by any inadvertence of his company. In the summer of 1907 he was elected vice-president of the Street Railway Association of the State of New York, at its annual meeting held at Bluff Point, New York, and in 1908, at the convention held in Niagara Falls, he was chosen president of the same body, and presided at its annual convention held in June, 1909, at Bluff Point. He has always been a staunch Democrat in politics, but has never held an elective office. He is an attendant of St. Peter's Episcopal Church and a member of the following organizations, as well as being a director on all the boards of the United Traction Company and subsidiary companies, the Fort Orange, the Albany Country, the Troy, the Glens Falls, and the Lake George clubs. He was one of the founders of the Albany Musical Association, and at one time a member of the choir of St. Peter's Church.

He married, in Washington, D. C., September 1, 1896, Mary, daughter of Captain Albert Crary and Betsey Ann (Haley) Burrows, of Mystic, Connecticut. She was born at Center Groton, Connecticut, January 28, 1866, and received her education at St. Agnes' School, in Albany, as a boarder. Her father was a captain for the Mallory and other ocean steamship lines, and died at sea, June 6, 1904. He was the son of Brutus and Julia (West) Burrows. Her mother, Betsey Ann Haley, was born at Center Groton, Connecticut, March 17, 1838, died in Hartford, Connecticut, August 14, 1887. They were married at Center Groton, May 27, 1861. Mr. and Mrs. Fassett resided in 1910 at No. 1003 Madison avenue, Albany, New York.

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