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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
William B. Kniskern

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[This information is from pp. 323-324 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.]

William B. Kniskern, an energetic farmer and one of the most popular young men of Blenheim, N. Y., was born in Fulton, this State, September 6, 1868. He is the son of Rufus and Helen M. (Best) Kniskern, and is of the fifth generation in descent from Johannis Kniskern, his pioneer ancestor, who was the original owner (as early as 1775) of the farm on which he resides with his father and mother. This is the line Johannis (1), Joseph (2), Christopher (3), Rufus (4), William B. (5)

The grandfather, Christopher Kniskern, son of Joseph, succeeded to the ownership of the homestead, and was an industrious farmer. He married Olive Dornburgh. Their children were: Hamilton, who resides in Blenheim, and is a cooper by trade; Angeline, wife of Joseph Fink; Adeline, who married S. L. Perry; Mary, who married William S. Hager; Elizabeth, who is unmarried; Rufus, the father of William B.; Caroline, who married Jeremiah Zeh; and Martha, who married a Mr. Shaffer.

Rufus Kniskern was reared on the ancestral farm, which he inherited in turn, and here he continues to make his home. Devoting himself to its cultivation during the active period of his life, he gave particular attention to carrying on a dairy and raising hops, making the most of his opportunities for success. He married Helen M. Best, daughter of William and Nancy (Hagadorn) Best, of Fulton. Rufus Kniskern is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and his wife is a Lutheran.

William B. Kniskern acquired a public-school education. From his youth he has worked upon the homestead farm, which for sometime he cultivated jointly with his father. He now crops about twenty-five acres, has fifty acres of excellent pasture land, and keeps from twelve to fifteen cows. He has relinquished the growing of hops, preferring to devote his energy to general farming and dairying.

Mr. Kniskern married Mary C. Hanes, daughter of John Hanes, of Fulton. They have one son, Harold. Politically, he is a Democrat. Although frequently solicited to accept nominations to town offices, he has generally declined, but has rendered valuable service to the party as a member of the town and county committees, and was a candidate for Supervisor in 1898. He attends the Methodist Episcopal church.

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