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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Packer

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 194-195 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.]

John Packer, having obtained a grant of land in the southern part of Connecticut, emigrated from England about the year 1651 and settled in the town of Groton, Connecticut. He shortly became one of the largest and most influential of the planters in the struggling colony. In time he became the father of twelve children, seven being sons.

(II) James, youngest son of John Packer, was born in 1681, died April 24, 1765. Like his father, he made his mark in the community by industrious management, becoming noted among the large planters and leading a life which made him highly respected. He had twelve children.

(III) James (2), eldest son of James (1) Packer, was born in Groton, Connecticut, in 1734. In middle life he removed with his family from there to Guilford, Vermont. Among his children were James, born August 17, 1760; Jeremy, born about 1762; Eleazer, see forward.

(IV) Eleazer, son of James (2) Packer, was born in Groton, Connecticut, June 26, 1770, and died in Peachem, Vermont, March 29, 1864. He was one of the earliest, in fact the second, of those who settled in Newark, Vermont. He cleared a tract of what was then a virgin forest in the wilds of Vermont, and built thereon a log cabin, where he took up his residence and commenced farming. About the year later, this tract of land had come into the possession of James Packer, eldest brother of Eleazer, who effected a change of property with him, Eleazer taking the lot of land in Newark, Vermont, and turning over to James his own farm in Guilford. About two years after he had erected this crude habitation he brought thither his wife and little ones from Guilford to dwell there with him. Shortly afterwards, others seeing he had acquired a piece of favorable property which he had converted into a comfortable and paying estate, came to settle there, and when a sufficient number had followed his lead the town was organized. He and two others, James Ball and John Sleeper, were chosen selectmen. Eleazer Packer was made the first justice of the peace for the place, which was a recognition of his prominence, and in 1811 was chosen the first representative to the general assembly. To his credit as a pioneer it is recorded that he solemnized the first marriage at the place, marrying Philemon and Sally Hartwell, June 28, 1812, at Newark, Vermont. As he continued to prosper he cleared still more acres of land thereabouts. Pushing back farther and farther the line of wild forest, he increased the proportion of his crops, built a larger and more commodious residence, and moved into it from the modest one which had sheltered him when he made his start. Here he lived for half a century and was permitted to see his cultivated acres increase from the small, original clearing to a large, well-managed and prosperous farming estate. As the town grew, schools were established, a church (the Methodist Episcopal) of which he became an honored and devoted member, was organized, and the entire machinery of the town came into existence under his eye and was largely aided by his ability and willingness to further such important public movements. In all the respective advances he is known to have borne a conspicuous part, and not infrequently it was he who furnished the initiative for the various steps. That he thoroughly enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his fellow-townsmen is sufficiently evidenced in the fact that he was chosen to represent his town in the legislature of Vermont for fifteen consecutive years and was justice of the peace there for no less than two-score years. He might have continued much longer to serve the public in the former office had he not relinquished the desire on account of the demands upon his time by increasing home duties. Serving the town for so lengthy a period as a justice, fastened upon him the familiar sobriquet of "Squire," which he seemed to appreciate and favor as a sign of cordial friendship; and wherever he was known he was mentioned with that distinguishing title prefixed to his name. Eleazer Packer married, at Leyden, Massachusetts, March 16, 1796, Abigail Potter. Children:

  1. Philura, died 1824; married Curtis Newell.
  2. Electra, died 1824.
  3. Horace, born March 9, 1801, see forward.
  4. Eleazer, born 1803; died April 3, 1806.
  5. Austin, born April 28, 1805.
  6. Osman (twin of Austin).
  7. David, born February 20, 1808.
  8. Eli Wing, January 5, 1811.
  9. Josephine, March 30, 1814.
  10. Rebecca Barney, July 23, 1817.
  11. John Quincy Adams, 1820.

(V) Horace, son of Eleazer and Abigail (Potter) Packer, was born in Newark, Vermont, March 9, 1801, and died at Burke, Vermont, October 19, 1868. As his father and grandfather before him, he was to follow large agricultural pursuits. He owned and lived upon an extensive farm in his native town, but his health becoming somewhat impaired, he preferred to remove to Burke, where he died at the age of sixty-seven. He married Hopestill Whipple Brown, daughter of Josiah Brown, of Kirby, Vermont. After his removal to Burke, Horace Packer, with his son, H. H. Packer, engaged in the manufacture of boots, and shoes, and continued in this business during the remainder of his life. Among the town offices which he held was that of town excise agent, a position which he retained from the date of his appointment to his death. Children:

  1. Electra, died in infancy.
  2. Halsey, died young.
  3. Eli Eleazer, born July 30, 1834, see forward.
  4. Mary C., born June, 1837, died June, 1852.
  5. Martha J., born May, 1840, died March, 1854.
  6. Horace H., born September 9, 1843, died April 13, 1904. Was veteran of civil war, prominent in Grand Army and Masonic circles; was in the boot and shoe trade forty years, first with his father; afterward alone till death; married (first) Carrie Kahill; (second) Mary W. Whillock. The last named is now living at West Burke, Vermont.
  7. Esther M., born 1846, died 1852.
  8. Arianna, born 1849, at Newark, Vermont, died at Bethel, Maine, 1884; married H. W. Bishop, a jeweller, who died 1882; after his death his widow was appointed postmistress of Bethel, and retained the office until the time of her death.

(VI) Professor Eli Eleazer Packer, son of Horace and Hopestill Whipple (Brown) Packer, was born in Newark, Vermont, July 30, 1834, and in 1910, was principal of School No. 12, Albany, New York. He received his earliest education at the Shelburne Falls Institute, in Shelburne, Franklin county, Massachusetts, from which he graduated in 1855, and later attended the academy at St. Johnsbury, Vermont, for two years. He developed a strong inclination to become an instructor and taught for two years in Vermont schools, after which, in 1858, he removed his field of effort to New York state, teaching for seven years in the schools and the academy at Whitehall, New York, then throughout five years in the Union School of Cohoes. In 1870 he was called to Albany to become the principal of its Public School No. 12, one of largest in that city, with six hundred pupils under his care in 1910. He ranks among most prominent of Albany's educators, and many hundreds of the city's best men of business owe much to him for the strengthening of character under more than common solicitude of one in his position. He has contributed frequently to educational periodicals, and is forceful in utterance as he is decisive in his thoughts. He has always been much interested in music, particularly that of the church organ, and was for a considerable time organist at Whitehall and afterward at Cohoes. He is an attendant of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, of which he has been a deacon for more than twenty years. His residence is at No. 486 Madison avenue, Albany, New York. He is a member of Masters Lodge, No. 5, Free and Accepted Masons, of Albany, New York. He visited Europe in 1901 and spent the summer. He has visited nearly every state and territory in the United States. In politics he is a Republican.

Professor Packer married, at Sutton, Vermont, July 8, 1858, Emily Hill, of that place; daughter of Amos Hill and Mary Smith, and was born July 27, 1833, at Sutton, Vermont, and died at Albany, March 19, 1905. Children:

  1. Clarence Hill, born at Whitehall, April 2, 1859; married, at Jackson, Michigan, December, 1883, Nellie Beebe, daughter of the cashier of National Bank at Jackson, Michigan, by whom:
    1. Mabel Packer, born at Jackson, Michigan, November 23, 1884, married, October 8, 1909, Roy Kenney;
    2. Ethel, born at Jackson, Michigan, June 13, 1888, died at Toledo, Ohio, April, 1908;
    3. Charles Horace, born at Jackson, Michigan, July 12, 1890;
    4. Orlow, born at Jackson, Michigan, November 11, 1892;
    5. Edwin Eli, born at Toledo, Ohio, August 20, 1895;
    6. Helen, born at Toledo, Ohio, August 26, 1897;
    7. Laura Belle, born at Toledo, Ohio, October 2, 1900.
  2. Anabel, born at Whitehall, August 12, 1860; married Clarence A. Draper, of Toledo, Ohio, October 25, 1886. For nearly thirty years Clarence A. Draper was a prominent business man of Toledo, being in partnership during this long period with M. Nugent. Early in 1910, the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Nugent retaining the store and furniture business, and Mr. Draper taking an equivalent value in property gained outside the business.

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