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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Polk

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 914-915 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 Polk family of Watervliet and Troy, New York, descend from a German family who can be traced several generations in that country. The family seat was in and around Demmin, Germany. The family were agriculturists and mechanics as far traced, although there were some of them engaged in trade. The family was founded in the United States in 1858 by Frederick Polk. His sons have established the name firmly in Troy business annals, being prominent in banking, manufacturing and business life.

(I) Peter Polk was born near Demmin, Germany, and lived in Demmin most of his life. He married Sophia Reinke, in 1828. They are both buried in their native town. Children: Carl; Frederick, see forward; Louis; August; Minnie.

(II) Frederick, son of Peter and Sophia (Reinke) Polk, was born in Demmin, Germany, November 30, 1829, died at Watervliet, New York, August 28, 1900. He was educated in the German schools, learned the trade of a shoemaker, served two years in the German army, and in 1858 came to the United States. He first located in the city of Brooklyn, New York, where he followed his trade until 1862, when he removed to Watervliet, New York. This was his home for thirty-eight years, and his place of business. He was a member of Trinity German Lutheran church of Troy, which he served as treasurer the last nine years of his life. His political faith was Republican. He was well-known in the village, and bore a high reputation. He married, in Germany, February 9, 1855, Lisette, daughter of Ludwig and Elizabeth Bintham. Children:

  1. William Frederick, see forward;
  2. Katherine;
  3. Charles F., see forward;
  4. Minnie, married John Wersinger; children: Frederick and Norman;
  5. Emma, born July 24, 1870, died October 27, 1892;
  6. Frederick B., born July 27, 1878, now with Polk & Calder, druggists, of Troy.

(III) William Frederick, eldest son of Frederick and Lisette (Bintham) Polk, was born in Demmin, Germany, March 24, 1856. In 1858 he was brought to the United States, by his parents, lived in Brooklyn, New York, later in Watervliet, where he received his education in the public schools and Troy Business College. At the age of thirteen years he entered the employ of the Central National Bank, continuing with that institution thirty-six years until 1905, when the National City Bank was organized. He started with the bank as messenger boy, passed through several promotions, including both receiving and paying teller. In 1905 he became paying teller of the National City Bank, and in 1908 was, appointed cashier, the position which he now holds, 1910. Mr. Polk has other important business interests. He is a director of the Polk & Calder Drug Company, treasurer of the Orr Company, director and treasurer of Treadwell Mills, both of the latter companies now (1910) in process of liquidation. He has always been an active Republican, and in 1908-09 served the town of Colonie as justice of the peace, and since 1896 has been a member of the board of health. He holds membership in the Masonic order, belonging to Evening Star Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons; Hudson River Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; Bloss Council, Royal and Select Masters; Apollo Commandery, Knights Templar; Oriental Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, the latter three bodies located in Troy, the two former in Watervliet. From 1881 to 1909 he was treasurer of Wyoma Council, Royal Arcanum. Since 1892 he has been a member of the New York National Guard, enlisting in the junior company of the Troy Citizens corp; now a member of the New York State Chapter of the American Institute of Banking, and is trustee and treasurer of Bethany Presbyterian church. His clubs are the Colonial, of Watervliet, the Pafraets Dael and the Masonic of Troy. He married, July 6, 1881, Celestine, daughter of John and Caroline (Foster) Lundergan, the former born March 16, 1822, died June, 1900, and the latter died 1898. Children of William F. and Celestine Polk:

  1. Rollin Saxe, educated in public and private schools of Troy and State Normal College, Albany; in 1898 entered the employ of the United National Bank, and in 1901 the National State Bank of Troy, where he is now employed as an accountant; unmarried; member of the Masonic order and of the Masonic Club.
  2. John Lundergan, born March 2, 1885; educated in the public and private schools of Troy, and State Normal School of Albany and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; now assistant chemist with the New York Central Railroad Company, located at West Albany; he married, October, 1908, Annabelle Patterson, of Buffalo, New York; child, Charles James, born November, 1909.
  3. Caroline Augusta, educated in public and private schools of Troy, State Normal College of Albany, and the Emma Willard School of Troy, graduating from the latter institution with the class of 1910.
  4. Emma Lisette, died in infancy.
  5. Emma Ruth, was student of the Emma Willard School of Troy.

(III) Charles Frederick, son of Frederick and Lisette (Bintham) Polk, was born in Watervliet, New York, then known as West Troy, May 27, 1862. He was educated in the public schools of Troy. He first entered the employ of the Merchants' and Mechanics' Bank of Troy, where he remained two years. He next became associated with the Robinson Church Company, wholesale druggists of Troy, and in 1894 with the John C. Robinson Company, a corporation dealing in wholesale drugs, of which Mr. Polk became treasurer. In 1897 changes were made, and the company reorganized as the Polk & Calder Drug Company, of which he is president. The company's principal place of business is Troy, where they conduct a prosperous business in wholesale drugs. His residence is in Watervliet. Mr. Polk is a member of the Masonic order, of the Dutch Reformed church of Watervliet, and a Republican. Among other trade associations he is a member of the New York State Pharmaceutical Association. His clubs are the Colonial of Watervliet, of which he was president, 1900-06; Pafraets Dael of Troy, and the Island Golf Club. He married, June 3, 1896, Stella, daughter of James and Sarah J. (Stansfield) Moses. They have one child, Marion, graduate of Emma Willard School, class of 1908.

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