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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Chauncey W. Hinman

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[This information is from pp. 363-364 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.]

Chauncey W. Hinman, attorney-at-law and Justice of the Peace, residing at Schoharie, N. Y., was born in Middleburg on June 4, 1835, son of John S. and Margaret (Pausley) Hinman. His grandfather, Justus Hinman, by occupation a mechanic, was a native of the State of Connecticut. He removed to Kinderhook, Columbia County, in this State, among the early settlers, and he lived there during the remainder of his life. He died at the age of eighty-one. His wife, who was before her marriage Alice Spencer, was also born in Connecticut. She lived to be eighty years of age, and reared a family of eight children. Of these only one son, Franklin by name, is living. Both parents were members of the Baptist church.

John S. Hinman was born in Kinderhook, and was brought up in that town. When a mere boy he left home, and for some years subsequently he journeyed from one place to another, until at length he settled in Middleburg and carried on wagon-making, later engaging in the practice of law. He became an attorney of some note, and continued practice for a quarter of a century. He was also justice of the Peace for many years. In politics he was a Democrat. His death occurred at the age of fifty-six. His first wife, Margaret, the mother of Chauncey W. Hinman, was the daughter of Frederick and Christiana Pausley, the father a lifelong farmer and during his last years a resident of Middleburg. She was born in Schoharie, and died at the age of thirty-three. Of the six children born to her, four are living, the record being as follows: Chauncey; Charles; Helen, who is the widow of William Bouck; and Mary Jane, who is the wife of Jacob L. Zimmer, of Wright. Mrs. Margaret Hinman was a devoted member of the Methodist church. The second wife was a sister of the first, and she was the mother of John, Justice, Albert, Alice, and Catharine, of whom John and justice are living. She died at the age of fifty-eight.

Chauncey W. Hinman attended the public schools until sixteen years of age, when he left home and went to work in Franklinton and Livingstonville, where he remained for a short time. He subsequently worked in Utica and elsewhere in Oneida County, in Albany, and in Ohio, as a clerk, and then returned to Middleburg, where he learned the harness-maker's trade, and subsequently carried on business until 1862, when he enlisted in Company D of the One Hundred and Thirty-fourth Regiment as a private. He was in active service, and through successive promotions rose to the rank of Second Lieutenant and finally to that of First Lieutenant. He was at Chancellorsville and at Gettysburg, and at Tilton, in the fall of 1864, was taken prisoner by the rebel forces. He was carried to Andersonville, and there for six months endured horrors worse than those of open warfare. From being a solid, well-built man weighing one hundred and sixty-eight pounds, he became reduced to a mere skeleton, and escaped death only by the fortunate circumstance of his release. He saw thousands of men breathe their last in the prison, victims of starvation and disease. The daily rations, which were never varied, were one-half pint of corn meal, the same quantity of beans, and one spoonful of molasses or two ounces of meat. To this was added, once in three days, a small tablespoonful of salt. Thirty men of Mr. Hinman's company shared the horrors of prison life with him.

With peace came his release and subsequent discharge from the army. Returning then to Middleburg, Mr. Hinman began the business of harness-making, but in 1867 he came to Schoharie and began the study of law. Two years later he was admitted to the bar, and at once formed a partnership with his brother, which continued until 1871. Since that time Mr. Hinman has been alone. He is the second oldest lawyer in practice in the town. For eight years he has been a Justice of the Peace and for many years a trustee of the Union School.

Mr. Hinman was married in 1872 to Alice ver Plank, who was born in Wright, a daughter of Alanson ver Plank and one of a family group of five children. Of this union six children were born, as follows: Nellie M., Douglas A., Herbert W., Mabel, Alice, and C. Ford. Nellie M., who is a graduate of Vassar College, is the assistant principal of the Union School. Douglas is a graduate of the Albany Law School and a practising lawyer in Berne, Albany County. Herbert W. is in business with a florist in Saratoga Springs. Mabel, who was educated at the Young Ladies' Seminary at Binghamton, is now in Europe. Alice is a student in the Union School, Schoharie. C. Ford Hinman is studying law in his father's office.

Mr. Hinman is an Odd Fellow of To-wos-scholer Lodge, No. 546. He is a member and trustee of the Stock Growers' Association. He has a general law practice, and also acts as pension attorney. In politics he is a Democrat. Mr. Hinman and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and he is a trustee of the society. Both he and his wife have been teachers in the Sunday-school.

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