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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Simeon Lape

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[This information is from pp. 29-31 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.]

Simeon Lape, a thriving general merchant of Charlotteville, N.Y., was born in the town of Summit, Schoharie County, N.Y., October 19, 1827, son of Samuel and Lana Lape. His paternal grandfather, Samuel Lape, who was the grandson of a German immigrant and the father of several children that grew to maturity, was formerly a thriving farmer of Sand Lake, N.Y. Somewhat late in life he accompanied his son Samuel to Summit, and his last days were spent in this town. He was a member of the Lutheran church.

Samuel Lape, the younger, Simeon Lape's father, served in the War of 1812. He came to Summit when a young man, and, settling here upon a farm of one hundred and fifty acres, which he afterward enlarged, he became one of the most extensive farmers in this section. Though not a seeker after place, he consented to hold some of the minor town offices. Originally a Democrat in politics, he afterward became a Republican. As one of the most active and influential members of the Lutheran church, it was generally his lot to entertain the preachers, and his family was taught to believe that religious devotion was just as necessary at home as in a place of public worship. He died at the age of seventy-three, his wife surviving him several years. They were the parents of sixteen children, of whom ten died in infancy and six lived to maturity, the latter being: Luther, Simeon, John, George, Josiah, and Elizabeth. Luther and Josiah occupy the homestead. John is a resident of East Worcester, N.Y.; and Elizabeth, who is the eldest, married Abraham Harrington, of Worcester, where she resides. George, who is living in Brooklyn, N.Y., was for a time engaged as teacher in the New York Conference Seminary and in civil engineering.

Simeon Lape was educated in the common schools of Summit. Beginning industrial life as a farmer, he followed that occupation until thirty-eight years old, when, in partnership with a Mr. Decker, he purchased the general stock of goods of the store of La Monte & Co., of Charlotteville, N.Y. This copartnership lasted but about five months, at the end of which time Mr. Decker withdrew, leaving his associate sole proprietor of the establishment, which for the past thirty-one years Mr. Lape has carried on alone. As his trade developed, he enlarged his facilities and increased his stock, and for a number of years he has transacted an extensive general mercantile business. Like his father he adheres to Republican principles; and, while he invariably has refused to become a candidate for local offices, he accepted the appointment of Postmaster, which he held in all for about twenty years.

In 1848 Mr. Lape was united in marriage with Miss Lucy La Monte, of Charlotteville, daughter of Thomas W. and Elizabeth Maria (Payne) La Monte. Mrs. Lape was a descendant of John La Monte, of Coleraine, County Antrim, Ireland. Her first American ancestor was Robert La Monte, who came to this country with his mother, the widow of John, and settled in Columbia County, this State.

Her great-grandfather, William La Monte, son of Robert, served in the Revolutionary War, and was present at the surrender of General Burgoyne. He married for his first wife Mrs. Phoebe Perkins, born Goss, and settled upon a farm in North Hinsdale, N.Y. After her death he moved into the then wilderness of Schoharie County, locating in what is now the town of Fulton, where he lived to an advanced age. Mrs. Lape's grandfather, also named William, was born in Hinsdale, January 16, 1784. When a young man he settled in Fulton, but about the year 1806 removed to Charlotteville, where he acquired possession of some seven hundred acres of land. An enterprising business man, he kept a country store, and operated saw and grist mills. Being familiar with common law, he acted as legal adviser to his neighbors, pleaded their cases in the lower courts, and was several times elected a Justice of the Peace. In his religious belief he was a Methodist. He died September 5, 1847. His wife, Jane, a daughter of Thomas Stillwell, died August 25, 1863, aged eighty years. They were the parents of six sons and five daughters, all of whom married and became the heads of families.

Thomas W. La Monte, Mrs. Lape's father, was born in Fulton, August 29, 1803. He was a prominent business man of Charlotteville in his day, and proprietor of the store which is now owned by Mr. Lape. He was also active in political and religious affairs, and was one of the founders of the New York Conference Seminary. He died June 3, 1853. His wife died April 7, 1898, aged eighty-seven years. She was the mother of thirteen children: Jacob, Lucy, Elizabeth, William and David (twins), Thomas, Jennie, George, Kate, Austin, Hannah, Maria, and Julia. All the children received a good education. Thomas was for a time engaged in teaching at the Conference Seminary, but later became a Methodist minister. George, who taught school for some time in the South, became a successful paper manufacturer and the owner of a valuable patent.

In 1850 Mr. Lape joined the Methodist church, which he has since served as steward, trustee, and superintendent of the Sunday-school, also contributing liberally to its support. Mrs. Lape died October 18, 1896, leaving no children. She was a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and of the Independent Order of Good Templars.

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