This page conforms to the XHTML standard and uses style sheets. If your browser doesn't support these, you may not see the page as designed, but all the text is still accessible to you.


Bringing the heritage of Schenectady County, New York to the world since 1996

You are here: Home » People » BRGSS Home » Biographies » John G. Empie

Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
John G. Empie

Index to All Biographies | Index to Biographies by County: Greene, Schenectady, Schoharie | Portraits | Search by keyword

Go to previous biography: Rev. Hugh O'Neil | next biography: Alonzo Wakeman

[This information is from pp. 193-194, 197 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.]

John G. Empie, who has been actively identified with the agricultural interests of the town of Seward, Schoharie County, for more than thirty years, is the owner of a well-improved farm lying about one mile from the village of Hyndsville. He was born in Sharon, N. Y., January 5, 1836, a son of Peter Empie, Jr. He is of French and German ancestry, and the descendant of one of the earliest settlers of Schoharie County — his great-grandfather, John Empie, having removed in early manhood from Stone Arabia, Montgomery County, to the town of Sharon. A hard-working pioneer, John Empie cleared a farm from the wilderness, and there passed the remainder of his life.

Peter Empie, Sr., grandfather of John G., spent his seventy-seven years of life on the old homestead in Sharon, Schoharie County, working as a farmer through boyhood, early manhood, and old age. He cleared off wood, cultivated the soil, and in course of time erected substantial frame buildings in place of the original log house and barn. His wife, Katie Lehman, was born in Sharon. She was a daughter of John Lehman, whose father was one of the original settlers of that place. Of their eight children, none survive.

Peter Empie, Jr., son of Peter, Sr., was born and brought up on the old farm in Sharon, and received his education in the pioneer schools of his day and generation. Following in the footsteps of his ancestors, he chose farming as his life occupation, and on reaching manhood purchased land near the parental estate, and was there successfully engaged in his independent calling until his decease, at the venerable age of eighty-three years. He was a Democrat in politics, greatly interested in public affairs, and served his fellow-townsmen as Assessor for a number of years. Both he and his wife were members of the Reformed church. He married Maria Empie, who was born in Sharon, a daughter of a later John Empie than the pioneer. Peter and Maria Empie had seven children; namely, Norman D., Jane E., John G., Peter H., Anna S., Harvey L., and Dewitt C.

John G. Empie acquired a practical education in the common schools of Sharon and at the Carlisle Seminary. He subsequently taught school several terms, both in Sharon and Seward, but in 1867 gave up his position at the teacher's desk to take possession of his present fine estate of one hundred acres, which was formerly known as the Falk farm. From year to year he has made marked improvements on the place, having erected within the last quarter of a century all the buildings that are now on it and cleared off much of the wood. He has a large part of the land under cultivation. He carries on general farming in all its branches, and in past times he raised vast quantities of hops, which proved a valuable crop.

In politics Mr. Empie affiliates with the Democratic party. He has served acceptably in various local offices, including those of Supervisor, Commissioner of Highways, and trustee of his school district. He has also been secretary and trustee of the People's Cemetery Association of Sharon ever since its organization in 1867.

On June 30, 1858, Mr. Empie married Miss Nancy C. Borst, who was also born in Sharon, as was her father, Peter G. Borst, a lifelong farmer of that place. Mr. and Mrs. Empie have two children — the Rev. Alfred R. and Edward J. The Rev. Alfred R. Empie was graduated from Hartwick Seminary, and is now preaching in Maryland, Otsego County, N. Y. He married Miss Anna Skinner, and they have one child, Lillian. Edward J. Empie married Miss Anna Nellis, and is the father of two children — Everett and Nancy Ella. Mr. and Mrs. John G. Empie are members of the Lutheran church, in which he has been Deacon, Elder, and secretary.

Go to top of page | previous biography: Rev. Hugh O'Neil | next biography: Alonzo Wakeman

You are here: Home » People » BRGSS Home » Biographies » John G. Empie updated March 31, 2015

Copyright 2015 Schenectady Digital History Archive — a service of the Schenectady County Public Library