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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Jared Van Wagenen

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[This information is from pp. 207-208 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.]

Jared Van Wagenen, a well-known and prosperous agriculturist of Lawyersville, Schoharie County, owning and occupying the valuable estate known as Hillside farm, was born January 13, 1835, near Sharon Hill, in the neighboring town of Seward. Son of Rynear Van Wagenen, he is of Dutch ancestry, being a lineal descendant of Aart Jacobsen Van Wagenen, who emigrated from Wageningen, Holland, a town not far from the Rhine, to Bergen, N. J., in 1650, and whose name, with that of his wife, Annetji Gerrits, was recorded as a member of the Dutch church of Kingston, Bergen County, June 24, 1661.

Conrad Van Wagenen, grandfather of Jared, was born January 15, 1752, in Somerset County, New Jersey, whence in early manhood he removed to Charleston, Montgomery County, N. Y., as one of its earliest settlers. He took up unimproved land, and, having cleared a portion of it, devoted himself to general farming, in conjunction with which he operated a small tannery. He subsequently came to Schoharie County, and, buying a farm near Sharon Hill, resided there until his death, at the venerable age of ninety years. Tradition says that he was present as a guard at the execution of Major Andre on October 2, 1780, at Tappan.

Rynear Van Wagenen with his numerous brothers and sisters was brought up on a farm, spending his earliest years in Charleston, N. Y., and completing his education in the district schools of Sharon, whither he accompanied his parents when a boy. On reaching man's estate he bought land in Cobleskill, where for a number of years he was engaged in farming. His death occurred at the home of his son Jared, in the seventieth year of his age. He was quite active in local matters, serving his fellow-townsmen in various offices besides that of Justice of the Peace, which he held several terms. In politics he was a strong adherent of the Democratic party. His wife, Emily Goodyear, was born on Hillside farm, then owned by her father, Jared Goodyear, who was born and reared in Hampden, Conn. Mr. Goodyear on removing to New York became a pioneer settler in a small town near Ithaca, which was named Goodyears. On account of malaria he left that place, and coming to Schoharie County bought two hundred acres of woodland in Cobleskill, and here spent the remainder of his life. He erected a log house for his first dwelling, and then began the improvement of his property. He cleared a considerable tract of his land, and, being an energetic, progressive man, he was very successful not only as a farmer, but as one of the most popular tavern-keepers of this vicinity. Four sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Rynear Van Wagenen, and three of them survive, as follows: Jared, of Lawyersville; Albert, of Boston, Mass.; and James, who resides with his brother Jared. Both parents were members of the Reformed church.

Jared Van Wagenen lived at home until nine years old, when he became an inmate of the household of his uncles, Willis and George Goodyear, who brought him up, their home being the farm where he now resides. He attended the district school and assisted in the farm labors until the death of his uncles, and since that time has had entire charge of this magnificent farm of two hundred and fifty acres, one of the finest in its improvements of any in this section of Schoharie County. He makes a specialty of dairying, keeping a herd of thirty or forty cows, and manufactures a fine grade of butter, which he sells to special customers in this vicinity. A few years ago Mr. Van Wagenen built his large barn, three stories in height, one hundred and thirty by eighty-seven feet, with all modern equipments, including an engine and two silos of two hundred tons capacity.

He has been an active member of the Cobleskill Agricultural Society; also of the New York State Agricultural Association; and is vice-president of the Farmers' and Merchants' Bank. In politics he is a loyal Democrat, and has been Supervisor of the town two years. He contributes liberally toward the maintenance of the Dutch Reformed church, of which he and his family are members, and in which he has held many of the offices.

On November 18, 1858, Mr. Van Wagenen married Loraine McNeill, the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Brazillia McNeill. Her mother is still living, a capable woman of eighty-six years. Mr. and Mrs. Van Wagenen have one son living; namely, Jared, Jr., born May 14, 1871; and have been bereft of one, Albert, who died at the age of fifteen years. Jared Van Wagenen, Jr., obtained his elementary education in Lawyersville, and after his graduation at the Cobleskill High School took the Bachelor's degree in 1891, and the Master's degree in 1896 at Cornell University, where he has since taught in the Dairy Department. He is now assisting his father on the home farm. He married Magdalena Lamont, the only child of E. W. Lamont, a prominent farmer of this town. Two children have been born of this union; namely, Sarah Lamont and Loraine McNeill.

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