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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Rev. Joel Loucks

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 60,63 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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In the exercise of the high functions of a holy office the Rev. Joel Loucks has accomplished much in the upbuilding of his fellowmen. He is a man of high attainments and ripe scholarship and one to whom specific recognition should be made in this connection. Joel Loucks was born on January 7, 1853, in the eastern part of the town of Palatine, his parents being Conrad Kilts and Lavina Maria (Patten) Loucks. His paternal grandfather, Henry J. Loucks, was born in Stone Arabia, New York, on June 30, 1791, participated in the War of 1812, and died in the town of Palatine, this state, on the 8th of October, 1865. In early manhood he wedded Catherine Kilts, whose birth occurred at Stone Arabia, New York, on November 18, 1787, and who departed this life in the town of Palatine on March 28, 1864. Their son, Conrad Kilts Loucks, was born at Stone Arabia, this state, on the 15th of July, 1821, and became an agriculturist by occupation. John Patten, the maternal grandfather of Rev. Joel Loucks, was born in Hallsville, New York, on December 23, 1801, and died in the town of Palatine on July 22, 1878. He was a farmer by occupation and was one of a family of seven brothers, the eldest of whom, Abram Patten, went west and was head of the Patten family. He became a grain dealer, and his son, James A. Patten, succeeded him in the grain business and some years ago cornered the wheat market. On the 13th of February, 1824, John Patten, the grandfather of the Rev. Mr. Loucks in the maternal line, wedded Miss Elizabeth Hatmaker. Their daughter, Lavina Maria, who became the wife of Conrad Kilts Loucks, was born in the town of Palatine on December 23, 1828, and passed away on August 24, 1909.

Joel Loucks obtained his early education in the district school at Palatine, New York, subsequently spent three years as a student in Fort Plain Seminary and Collegiate Institute and then matriculated in Rutgers College of New Brunswick, New Jersey, from which he was graduated on the completion of a four-year course in 1881, the degree of Master of Arts being at that time conferred upon him. He next entered the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, from which he was graduated in 1884. His average standing at Rutgers College for the period of four years was ninety-six, and he was eligible to the Phi Beta Kappa society. He was elected master orator of his class to deliver the oration at commencement three years hence. On June 24, 1884, he was ordained to the ministry at South Branch, New Jersey, where he served as pastor of a church for eight years and then retired, owing to his health. About a year later he turned his attention to farming, being thus engaged at the old homestead in the town of Palatine for a period of eight years and also caring for his aged parents. On May 1, 1907, he purchased a home in Canajoharie, where he has since resided, but he still owns the farm, now renting the property.

On October 8, 1885, at Sprout Brook, New York, Rev. Joel Loucks was united in marriage to Miss Anna B. VanDeusen, daughter of Justus V. R. and Nancy (Judd) VanDeusen. Peter Abram VanDeusen, the great-great-great-great-grandfather of Mrs. Loucks, wedded Esther Weber, daughter of Walfred and Annetre (Coose) Weber, the former a descendant of William the Silent, who was ancestor of the royal families of Holland, Germany and England. Abram Nassau VanDeusen, son of Peter Abram and Esther (Weber) VanDeusen, and great-great-great-grandfather of Mrs. Loucks, was the father of Isaac VanDeusen (I). The last named wedded Miss Fitche Burgart, and their son, John VanDeusen, was born on March 19, 1737. John VanDeusen, the great-grandfather of Mrs. Loucks, married Miss Catherine Hollenbeck, and they became the parents of a son, Michael VanDeusen, whose birth occurred at Great Barrington, Massachusetts, on the 27th of January, 1778. Michael VanDeusen, the grandfather of Mrs. Loucks, was an agriculturist by occupation and became one of the early settlers of the Sprout Brook section. To him and his wife, who bore the maiden name of Christina Allen, was born a son, Justus V. R. VanDeusen, whose birth occurred in the town of Canajoharie on February 8, 1815, and who passed away on the 28th of March, 1897. Justus V. R. VanDeusen was a manufacturer of woolen yarn and at the time of his death was engaged in the production of honeycomb foundation, an invention of his eldest son, C. C. VanDeusen. Both Mr. and Mrs. C. C. VanDeusen were killed in a railroad wreck at Battle Creek, Michigan, on October 20, 1893, leaving two daughters, Fannie M. and A. Mabel VanDeusen. The latter was reared by Rev. and Mrs. Loucks and is now the wife of Professor L. W. Bills, superintendent of schools of Herkimer, New York. Mrs. Anna B. (VanDeusen) Loucks, who was born at Sprout Brook, New York, on July 5, 1860, is the youngest of five children. One brother, E. S. VanDeusen, has been for years attorney and land-tax agent for the New York Central Railroad and resides in Utica, New York. One other living brother, Justus A. VanDeusen, resides at the VanDeusen homestead at Sprout Brook, New York.

Rev. Joel Loucks is an important factor in the town for good and both he and his wife have given liberally of their time and means to uplift work and the general betterment of the moral condition of the village of Canajoharie and surrounding country. He secured thousands of names in several townships in order to bring the temperance question to a vote of the people, giving his time and paying his own expenses. For three terms, or six years, he was notary public. He is identified with the democratic party but is an independent voter and takes great interest in all national affairs. The Rev. Mr. Loucks is a retired minister of the Dutch Reformed church. Personalities like the Rev. and Mrs. Loucks are indeed among the priceless assets in the wealth of any community.

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