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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Geiger

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1608-1609 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.]

Three generations of the Geiger family are herein recorded, each generation claiming a different country as a birthplace. George Geiger, grandfather of Albert Geiger, of Hudson, was a native of Poland, and fled an exile from his native land, taking refuge in Germany. He was a man of ability, and is supposed to have become implicated in some revolutionary movement that placed him under the ban of the government. He settled in the province of Würtemburg, Germany, where he lived and reared his family. He was twice married and one of his sons, John, was a noted sculptor of Munich, giving promise of becoming famous in his art, when he was stricken by death at the early age of twenty-five years. The only record of others of his family is of Leonard, founder of the American branch.

(II) Leonard, son of George Geiger, the Polish exile, was born in Würtemburg, Germany, October 23, 1829. He remained there until 1849 when, to avoid military service, he came to the United States. He was educated in the German schools, secured a good education and developed a strong genius for invention. He learned the trade of stone and marble cutting, but on his arrival in New York worked for a time for the Hudson River railroad. He did not long remain in that employ, but soon settled in Hudson, New York, where he followed his trade. In 1858 he formed a partnership with James N. Townsend and until 1870 operated a stone and marble yard, doing principally monumental work. In the year mentioned the partnership was dissolved and he continued the business alone for a year or two, then sold out to his former partner and retired from that line of business, devoting himself to his inventions. These included many articles of value which should have netted him a large fortune, but through the chicanery of those whom he trusted, he received only a small return for the product of genius. Two of his inventions were of the greatest value in military warfare and were universally adopted. His greatest, perhaps, was the breech-loading rifle which he brought out in 1864. While he was well-paid for his invention, the amount was but a trifle compared with the value of the invention. Those promoting the gun received large sums. Another invention was a copper-jacketed bullet, which is yet in use in several of the armies of the world. While his pay for this was to have been $30,000, he really received but a small stem, being swindled out of his right. Mr. Geiger was a Republican in politics, but extremely independent. He joined with the Liberal movement of 1872, and supported Horace Greeley for the presidency. After the overwhelming defeat of his favorite he took little interest in political affairs. Aside from one term as alderman of Hudson, he held no public office. He was reared in the Catholic faith, but after coming to the United States attended the Episcopal church, later becoming a follower of Robert Ingersoll. He was a member of the Masonic order, charter member of Aquilla Lodge of Hudson, also a Chapter Mason and a Knight Templar. He married, February 14, 1852, Margaret Firewig at Hudson, New York, who survives him, residing in Hudson. She was born in Nuremberg, Germany, and came to the United States in 1850. Children:

  1. Frederick, a resident of Hudson.
  2. Albert, of further mention.
  3. Emma, married Daniel W. Bugel; four children:
    1. Leonard G., married Mabel Hallenbeck, one child, Leonard;
    2. Daniel;
    3. Winifred and
    4. Gladys, twins.
  4. George W., born 1858, died 1869.
  5. Fannie, married Thomas J. Zimmer, of Poughkeepsie, New York; children: Thomas J., Margaret, Gertrude and Leonard G.
  6. Rosa (twin).
  7. Lillie (twin), married John Billingham.

(III) Albert, son of Leonard and Margaret (Firewig) Geiger, was born at Hudson, New York, January 25, 1854. He was educated in the public schools, and after completing his studies entered business life as a clerk, continuing as such in the dry goods business for eighteen years. In 1892 he entered the employ of the New York and Hudson Steamboat Company, and in 1895 was appointed general agent of the company, with headquarters at Hudson, which position he now holds (1911). He has served eight years in the National Guard, enlisting in the Twenty-third Separate Company as a charter member. He is a Republican in politics and served on the board of fire commissioners in 1906-07-08. He is an earnest worker for the good of the service in the Hudson fire department, which he joined in 1873, and is still on the roll (1911) of J. W. Hoysradt Hose and Chemical Company No. 8, and also was an active member of the Firemen Association of the State of New York in the early years of its existence, serving on many important committees. He is a member of the Masonic order, the Knights of Pythias and the order of Elks. He married, February 2, 1902, at Hudson, Ruth Ludlow, daughter of John Jessup, who died in 1857. During his earlier days Hudson was a great whaling port and Mr. Jessup sailed as a seaman on several whaling trips.

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