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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
John A. Gordon

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[This information is from pp. 132-136 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.]

Portrait of John A. Gordon

Portrait: John A. Gordon

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John A. Gordon, a prominent farmer and business man residing in Carlisle, Schoharie County, was born in Root, N. Y., February 20, 1840, son of Charles and Mary (Lyker) Gordon. The family is of Scotch origin.

Mr. Gordon's grandfather, William Gordon, came to New York from New Jersey in 1802. Settling upon a tract of wild land in the town of Root, containing ninety-six acres, he cleared a good farm, upon which he resided for the rest of his life. He served as a soldier in the War of 1812, and for many years afterward he took an active part in military affairs. His children were: David; James; Peter; John; Charles; Gilbert; William, who died young; Lydia; Margaret. Six of his sons became prosperous farmers in this State and reared families. Gilbert Gordon was a physician, and for a number of years practised his profession in Newark.

Charles Gordon, the father of John A., was a native of New Jersey. Removing to Root with his father and the other members of the family at about the age of thirteen years, he assisted in improving the homestead, which eventually came into his possession. He dealt quite extensively in cattle and sheep, sent large quantities of wheat to the Albany market, and was known as one of the most enterprising and successful farmers of his day. At the time of his death, which occurred June 22, 1880, at the age of ninety-one years, he was one of the largest land-owners in town, his estate comprising six hundred acres. In politics he was a Democrat, but took no part in public affairs beyond casting his vote. He was an active member of the Dutch Reformed church. His wife, Mary, became the mother of nine children, seven of whom lived to maturity, namely: Margaret; Gertrude; James H.; Louisa; Elizabeth; John A., the subject of this sketch; and Jane. Margaret married Charles Grantier, and is no longer living; Gertrude is the widow of Benjamin Albaugh, and resides in Carlisle; Louisa married William Colyer, and lives in Root; and Jane is the wife of Lorenzo Gardinier, of Root. Mrs. Mary L. Gordon died September 16, 1868.

John A. Gordon was educated in the district schools of his native town. He resided at the parental home until his marriage, when he settled upon a farm of one hundred and ten acres in Carlisle given him by his father. He has since occupied a prominent place among the leading agriculturists of this town. He has increased his estate by purchasing more land from time to time, being now the owner of about three hundred acres, which he devotes to general farming. Although hop culture is largely carried on by the farmers of this locality, he has never engaged in it, as he considers the dairy business far more stable; and he realizes excellent results in that branch of agriculture. He owns a blacksmith shop and hardware store, was originally one of the principal stockholders in the cheese factory, and is now the sole owner. He also owns some valuable real estate in Argusville. As a public-spirited citizen, he takes a lively interest in all movements calculated to promote the general prosperity of the town.

Mr. Gordon married for his first wife Annah E., daughter of Martin Gardinier. She bore him three children, namely: Minnie, a graduate of the Clinton Liberal Institute, now organist at the Methodist Episcopal church; Ostrom, who died at the age of five years; and another child, who died in infancy. Minnie Gordon was married on October 26, 1898, to Henry E. Terbush, a wagon-maker of Carlisle village. For his second wife Mr. Gordon married Sarah E. Hill, daughter of Bradford Hill, a prominent man of this section of the county. Floyd H., the only child born of this union, was drowned at the age of nine years.

A Democrat, but not an active politician, Mr. Gordon has rendered good service to the town in a public capacity, having filled the offices of Assessor and Trustee of the School District, and having acted as a Justice of the Peace for the past ten years. He is president of the Cemetery Association, was the first Master and is now a Trustee of Argusville Grange, No. 297, Patrons of Husbandry. He is officially connected with the Methodist Episcopal church, of which his wife and daughter are members.

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