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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Platt

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 615-617 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.]

This name, sometimes written with one t and sometimes with an additional e, means: "An open, level piece of land." The family name is frequently found in England. In the records of the Heraldry office in London it is called "the ancient and honorable family of Platt." The first ancestor of the greater part of those who bear the name in the United States was Richard Platt, who came from the middle of England. He came to America in 1638 and settled at New Haven, Connecticut, but in 1639 threw in his lot with the seventy-six who formed themselves into a church organization, August 22 of that year, and founded the town of Milford, nine miles west of New Haven. He was chosen a deacon of the church in 1669. He is on the list of free planters, owned muc land, and was a man of consequence. He died in 1684. His estate inventoried six hundred pounds sterling. His wife Mary is recorded as dying January, 1676. He left one of his heirs a legacy "towards bringing up his son to be a scholar." He was married in England, and is first recorded in Milford, November 20, 1639, as having "four in family." He probably brought four children from England with him: Mary, John, Isaac and Sarah, for the first baptismal record is of Epenetus, baptized July 12, 1640. Subsequently were baptized, Hannah, October 1, 1643; Josiah, 1645; Joseph, 1649. John settled in Norwalk, Connecticut; Isaac and Epenetus at Huntington, Long Island; Josiah and Joseph remained at Milford, the first home of the family. Mary married (first) Luke Atkinson; (second) Thomas Wetmore; Sarah married (first) Thomas Beach; (second) Miles Merwin; Hannah married and resided in Norwalk. It is from Richard and Mary Platt that the Platts of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Waterford, New York, descend, but the connecting links have not yet been found. Frederick, who follows, is of the third generation in America, but will be treated as the first of the line that follows.

(I) Frederick Platt, who is the head of the Saybrook branch of the Platt family, and the first ancestor of the Waterford family that can be named with certainty, is believed to have settled at Killingworth, Connecticut, about 1690. There are no very early records. He married ———— Fox, of New London, Connecticut. Children:

  1. Samuel, settled in Putchaug, now Westbrook, Connecticut.
  2. Ebenezer, settled in the same locality; married Dorothy Post.
  3. Obadiah, see forward.
  4. Mary, married Samuel Stevens, of Killingworth.
  5. Lydia, married David Kilsey.

(II) Obadiah, third son of Frederick and ———— (Fox) Platt, was born in 1709. He located in the western part of the town of Saybrook, called by the Indians "Pettipaug," now Winthrop, Connecticut. He died at the age of sixty-four. He married Hannah Lane, of Clinton, Connecticut. Children:

  1. Captain Dan, see forward.
  2. Joseph, born 1740; was a soldier in the French and Indian war.
  3. Noah, born 1742; married (first) Lucretia Chapman; (second) Mrs. H. Wright.
  4. Hannah, married William Hill.
  5. John, born 1746; married Lucy West; had five sons and seven daughters; he lived to be ninety-one years of age.
  6. Elizabeth, married Benjamin Burr; she lived to be ninety years of age.
  7. Sarah, married Isaac Post; died at age of seventy-eight.
  8. Mary, born 1753; married Michael Spencer; died at age of seventy-eight.
  9. Lydia, born 1756; married Josiah Post; died at age of eighty.

(III) Captain Dan, son of Obadiah and Hannah (Lane) Platt, was born in 1735. He served in the revolutionary army, where he gained his rank. He married, January 12, 1763, Jemima Pratt, and died aged eighty-eight years. Children:

  1. Dan, see forward.
  2. Jemima, died at age of twenty years.
  3. Hannah, born 1769; married John Lane.
  4. Joseph, died young.
  5. David, born 1777; married Lydia Wilcox.
  6. Sarah, born 1781; married (first) George Havens; (second) Bela Stannard.
  7. Lucretia, born 1785; married Gaylord Coan.

(IV) Deacon Dan (2), son of Captain Dan (1) and Jemima (Pratt) Platt, was born in Madison, Connecticut, June 21, 1764, died aged over seventy-eight years. He married (first) Catherine Lane, December 20, 1787; (second) Mrs. Cynthia Evarts, of Madison. Children:

  1. Joseph, see forward.
  2. Jemima, married Jonathan Scranton.
  3. Hezekiah Lane, married Sarah Mills.
  4. Dr. Dan, born 1795; married (first) Abby Lathrop; he married twice afterwards, and located at Key West, Florida.
  5. Catherine Lane, born 1797; married (first) John Buckingham; (second) Gilbert Gaylord.
  6. Austin, born 1799; married Eliza Henchman.
  7. Abigail, married Jeremiah Russell.
  8. Ezra, died in New York, aged twenty-five years.
  9. Eunice, born 1805, unmarried.
  10. Harriet, died in New York, aged twenty-three years.

(V) Joseph, son of Deacon Dan (2) and Catherine (Lane) Platt, was born in Madison, Connecticut, in 1789. He studied law and was an associate in legal practice with the father of Chief Justice Waite. He married Lydia Pratt. Children:

  1. Joseph Curtis, see forward.
  2. William Henry, married Emily Mabel Hopkins, of Naugatuck, Connecticut; children:
    1. George Hopkins, married Frances Elowell;
    2. Amelia Lydia, died young;
    3. William Henry, married Ida F. Drury;
    4. Emily M., married Dr. L. C. Millspaugh;
    5. Catherine S., married Albert E. Jenkins.

(VI) Joseph Curtis, son of Joseph and Lydia (Pratt) Platt, was born in Saybrook, Connecticut, September 17, 1816, died in Scranton, Pennsylvania, November 15, 1887. He was a merchant of Fairhaven, Connecticut, but later a manufacturer of iron. In 1846 he removed to Scranton and became one of the members of Scranton and Platt, iron manufacturers, a firm which finally grew into the great Lackawanna Iron & Coal Company. They were among the very first to use coal in this country for smelting purposes. The enterprise and success of the company resulted in the building up of the city of Scranton. Mr. Platt married, April 2, 1844, Catherine Serena Scranton, died in Scranton, Pennsylvania, July 4, 1887, daughter of Jonathan Scranton, of Madison, Connecticut. The earlier Scrantons had settled in Pennsylvania and the city of Scranton was named in honor of the family, who were potent factors in its foundation and development. Mr. Platt was public-spirited and influential. His "Reminiscences of the Earlier History of Scranton," an address delivered before the Lackawanna Institute of History and Science was a valuable narrative of enterprise and venture, showing how the foundations of the city's prosperity were laid. He was instrumental in giving the city its present name, Scranton. Children:

  1. Joseph Curtis, see forward.
  2. Ella Jemima.
  3. Frank Elbert, of Scranton; married Elizabeth Augusta Skinner; children: Joseph Curtis, Margaret S., Philip S., and Leonard.

(VII) Joseph Curtis (2), son of Joseph Curtis (1) and Catherine Serena (Scranton) Platt, was born at Fairhaven, Connecticut, January 9, 1845. He was graduated at Phillips Andover Academy, class of 1862, and at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, in 1866, with the degree of civil engineer. Later in life he was a member of the board of trustees of this institution. His early life was spent in Scranton, where he added to his knowledge of civil that of mining engineering. He also was interested in iron manufacture. He stood high in his profession, and as consulting engineer had charge of the construction of the Franklin Furnaces in New Jersey, then considered a very large and important iron manufacturing plant. In 1875 he removed to Waterford, New York, where he died July 7, 1898. He was in active business in Waterford as a manufacturer for nearly twenty years. He was president of the Mohawk and Hudson Manufacturing Company, formerly the Eddy Valve Company, and owner of the Button Boiler Company. He retired from active business life in his last years and returned to his profession of civil and consulting engineer and in preparing technical essays for the scientific journals. He was a successful man in both his business enterprises and his profession. He was a man of the highest principle, and followed his convictions with outspoken candor. He was a Republican in political belief, although not active in party work. He was outspoken in his condemnation of the liquor traffic, and almost singlehanded fought the curse in his town. Notwithstanding that, it was said that he had the respect of the saloon men to a greater degree than any man in Waterford. He was a member of the Presbyterian church and took a deep interest in its welfare and work. He was a trustee, chairman of the finance committee and for several years superintendent of the Sunday school.

He married, December 8, 1869, Katharine Judd Jones, of Penn Yan, New York, born April 28, 1847, daughter of Ebenezer Backus Jones, born in Troy, New York, September 5, 1808, died May 24, 1892, and his wife, Lucy (Judd) Jones, born in Rhinebeck, New York, 1812, died September 1, 1889. Mr. Jones was in the iron business at Penn Yan a successful man of high character. He was a son of Ebenezer Backus, of Troy. Lucy Judd was a daughter of Uri Judd, of Woodbury, Connecticut. Children of Joseph Curtis and Katharine (Kate) Judd (Jones) Platt:

  1. Frederick Joseph, born at Franklin Furnace, New Jersey, July 23, 1871; he was graduated at Cornell University with degree of civil engineer, class of 1892, and is a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity of that institution; he married Jessie Blair and has sons: Joseph Curtis, Austin Blair, Frederick. Mr. Platt is an electrical and civil engineer, located in business at Scranton, Pennsylvania.
  2. Llewellyn Jones, born at Franklin Furnace, New Jersey, July 23, 1873, died July 15, 1876, in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
  3. Elbert Scranton, born December 26, 1876; graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; resides in Troy; married Angelica Schuyler Thompson, and has a son, Elbert Scranton.
  4. Edward Howard, born November 5, 1878, died in infancy.

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