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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Duryea Beekman

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[This information is from pp. 88-89 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Duryea Beekman, president of the First National Bank of Middleburg, Schoharie County, N. Y., was born at Seward, this county, August 9, 1840, son of Nicholas and Alida (Becker) Beekman. Of Dutch ancestry on the paternal side and German on his mother's, he is a representative of one of the oldest and most notable families in the county.

The first progenitor of the Beekman family in this country was John Beekman, an early settler in Albany, N. Y., who later removed to a farm in the Mohawk valley. William, the next in line of descent, born in 1767, was the first judge of Schoharie County, which position he held for thirty years. When a boy he was clerk to Colonel Marinus Willet. He was appointed County Judge by Governor George Clinton, and held that office until 1833. In the years 1798, 1800, 1801, and 1802 he represented his district in the State Senate. He was married July 18, 1788, to Joanna Low, daughter of Nicholas Low, and he afterward removed to Sharon, this county. His death took place at Sharon on November 26, 1845, in the house which he had built in 1802-4, and which is still standing.

Nicholas Beekman, son of Judge Beekman and father of the subject of this sketch, was born at Sharon, N. Y., November 27, 1790. He became a prominent citizen of the town of Middeburg, where for a long period he was engaged in farming and hop-growing, being one of the first hop-growers in the Schoharie valley. He served as Supervisor and in other offices, and represented the county in the State legislature of 1841. His marriage, which occurred June 16, 1811, united him with Alida, daughter of David Becker, and their wedded life extended through a period of over sixty years. He survived his wife by two years and four days, dying January 13, 1874. Of their twelve children, six survived them.

Duryea Beekman came to Middleburg with his parents when a boy. His education was obtained in the schools of this town. Since early manhood his capacity has been demonstrated in various business enterprises, and he now holds a high position in the business community. Elected president of the First National Bank of Middleburg at the time of its organization in 1880, he still remains in office. The bank is regarded as one of the best in this part of the State, and its reputation is due in chief measure to its excellent management. Mr. Beekman was for many years secretary and is now vice-president of the Middleburg & Schoharie Railroad. He is a director of the Davenport, Middleburg & Durham Railroad Company and a director of the Merchants' and Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company. In politics a Democrat, he served in the legislature of 1879, having been elected by a majority of one thousand five hundred and six votes; and he has frequently represented his party in State and other conventions. He is a member of Middleburg Lodge, No. 663, F. & A. M.

On October 19, 1859, Mr. Beckman married Elizabeth Richtmyer, a daughter of Peter and Elizabeth Richtmyer. Mrs. Beckman's paternal grandfather, Captain George Richtmyer, a native of Germany, came to America in 1745, and settled at Hartman's Dorf, in the town of Middleburg. Captain Richtmyer was subsequently an officer in the American army during the Revolutionary War. He fought at Bemis Heights, and served with distinction in every engagement that occurred in the Schoharie valley. Mr. and Mrs. Beckman have been the parents of three children, namely: Charles, who died in infancy; Dow, of whom a separate sketch appears in this volume; and William G.

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