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Schenectady County, New York: Its History to the Close of the Nineteenth Century
Chapter XXIV: Genealogy of the Fuller Family

Go back to: Chapter XXIV | Munroe Family | ahead to: Carley Family

[This information is from pp. 287-291 of Schenectady County, New York: Its History to the Close of the Nineteenth Century by Austin A. Yates (New York: New York History Co., 1902). It is in the Schenectady Collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at Schdy R 974.744 Yat, and copies are also available for borrowing. Thanks to Carol Di Crosta for data entry help with this page.]

Samuel Fuller,one of the most distinguished architects that this county has produced, according to Judge John Sanders, was a lineal descendant of Dr. Samuel Fuller of the Mayflower.

He first came to Schenectady during the French War, on the 28th day of March, 1758, and was then wholly employed in the King's service at Schenectady, Albany, Stillwater, the great carrying place, Fort Edward, Lake George and Niskayuna. He was engaged in the construction of boats, wagons, log houses and shelters for the use of the army commanded by General Abercrombie (some evidence of the versatility of his powers), until July 31st, 1758, after which period he returned to Boston, and from that place went to Halifax, where he arrived February 7th, 1759, and continued in the royal service in the navy yard there, until after the taking of Quebec by General Wolff in September, 1759, from whence he returned to Boston and thence to Schenectady, where he arrived in July, 1761, and on the 13th of the same month commenced the building of a mansion in this town, and the year following erected "The Hermitage," in Niskayuna, for our great ex-merchant, John Duncan, upon his extensive estate there. This latter building was, long after its erection, burned down, and is now replaced, at a point not far distant, upon a portion of the same domain, by a fine mansion, the residence of ex-Senator Charles Stanford.

Mr. Fuller built for Sir William Johnson the Guy Park mansion, subsequently the residence of Sir Guy Johnson, and also the Claas mansion, afterwards the abode of Colonel Daniel Claas, both gentlemen son-in-law of Sir William. He also built the now venerable court-house at Johnstown, still standing in all its early proportions, admirably preserved with great taste, and should always be saved for its old associations, and as a standing witness of the severe trials of our Revolutionary struggle. The sight of no costly court structure of the present day affords to the scholar and the historian so much of interest and association as this sound and unique structure. Here Sir William Johnson and Colonel Frederick Vischer respectively held their courts. Here Lewis, Kent, Spencer, Van Ness, Platt, Yates and Walworth, have often adjudicated causes with profound lore and noble impartiality. And here, too, the voices of Hamilton, Burr, Emmett, Van Vechten, Henry, Talcott, Cady, Reynolds, and many other distinguished lawyers, now resting from their labors, have echoed from its historic walls.

The old Johnstown courthouse should be treasured and maintained as an honorable relic of New York's most honorable days.

Mr. Fuller also built the dwelling of General Nicholas Herkimer, in the town which is now Danube, Herkimer County, and other prominent mansions in the Mohawk Valley.

He did much to alter, yet improve the old Holland style of building in Schenectady. He built the Episcopal church in 1762, (now the oldest Episcopal church structure standing in the state of New York). He built the John Glen mansion on Washington Avenue, now owned by Mr. Swartfigure, the Ten Eyck mansion, until his decease, the residence of Governor Joseph C. Yates, and the Daniel Campbell mansion, corner of State and Church Streets, now owned and occupied by Mrs. John C. Myers.

The reflecting citizen cannot but feel that Schenectady owes much to the early architectural skill of Samuel Fuller.

Jeremiah Fuller, the son and only surviving child of Samuel Fuller, born October 26th, 1766, married Mary, daughter of George Kendall, January 23d, 1790. They were the parents of fourteen children, ten sons and four daughters, all of whom reached majority except one son, Samuel, and one daughter, Anna, who died in infancy. Mr. Fuller was a man of marked decision of character, of great integrity and business energy; no one more highly estimated the advantages of a liberal education than he, or more generously prized the efforts of learned men. Born at a time when educational advantages were few, he, in a long life, saw more each day its value and social importance, and a remarkable circumstance, that of nine sons who survived him, each was a graduate of Union College, and in the various walks and professions of life, have worthily sustained its literary and practicable reputation; nor was the education of his daughters by any means neglected. As a whole, Mr. Fuller, like his father, was one of the most remarkable citizens. He died June 18th, 1839, in the seventy-third year of his age. His estimable wife, Mary, died November 9th, 1860, at the ripe age of eighty-five years, six months and nineteen days, beloved by all who knew her.

General William Kendall Fuller, the oldest surviving son of Jeremiah, was born November 24th, 1792. He was educated in the schools of Schenectady, graduated at Union College in 1810, studied law in the office of Henry and John B. Yates, then the most prominent practitioners of Schenectady County, and was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in 1814. Soon after his admission he entered into partnership with Hon. John B. Yates. In the summer of 1814 they moved to Utica, Oneida County, at that time a village of about 1,300 inhabitants; opened an office, practiced law there until the spring of 1816, when they removed to Chittenango, Madison County, then merely a hamlet of 100 inhabitants, where, and in the vicinity, the senior partner, Mr. Yates, owned large landed interests.

The public seems to have entertained the most perfect confidence in the integrity and abilities of Mr. Fuller. Soon after his settlement at Chittenango, unsolicited on his part, office clustered upon him. He seemed an idol at Chittenango, and in Madison County, then sparsely and newly settled, being only organized as a county in 1806.

All this flattering tribute from his constituents culminated in the year 1823, in his appointment by Governor Yates to the position of adjutant-general of the State of New York, serving through his whole administration, and during several months of the succeeding term of Governor Clinton, with so much acceptance, that on retiring from the office Governor Clinton issued a "general order" complimentary to Mr. Fuller's services as adjutant-general.

In 1823, at the time of his appointment as adjutant-general, Judge Fuller relinquished the practice of the law. After the expiration of his office as adjutant-general, he returned to Chittenango, and became greatly interested in the management of valuable real estate there, and in that vicinity; was a commissioner under legislative acts, to drain the Canaseraga marsh, and was one of the directors and the secretary and treasurer of the "Side-Cut" from Chittenango to the Erie Canal, which was completed under his superintendence, simultaneously with the middle section of the Erie Canal, at a much less cost than the capital subscribed. This lateral canal, with its four locks, was abandoned in consequence of the adoption of a new route for the Erie Canal, at the time of its enlargement, by which the latter was brought to the northern limits of the village.

Madison County elected him member of assembly for two successive terms (1829-30), and he was elected twice in succession a member of Congress from the twenty-third district, then composed of the counties of Madison and Onondaga, his last term ending March 3d, 1837. He died at Schenectady.

Samuel, also a son of Jeremiah, born April 16th, 1795, was a graduate of Union College, completed his medical studies in the city of New York, and established himself as a physician and surgeon in Chittenango, Madison County, in 1818, where he continued to practice with much success and reputation until 1866, when, with his family, he removed to the city of New York, where he died the following year, in the seventy-third year of his age.

George Kendall, another son, born January 29th, 1799, was liberally educated, possessed of sound judgement; clear preceptions, great moral courage and generous temper. He came to reside in Chittenango about the year 1820, and soon became the general agent and superintendent of the extensive farming, mercantile and manufacturing interests of Hon. John B. Yates at that place, and so continued until the decease of that gentleman in 1836; and so highly were his services and fidelity appreciated, that Mr. Yates left him by his will a legacy of $5,000, and appointed him one of its executors. He was engaged in the trust thus confided to him, until the final settlement of the estate, which, from unavoidable circumstances, did not occur until 1852. Mr. Fuller died at Chittenango, May 9th, 1858, in his sixtieth year, unmarried, and the only son of Jeremiah who was not a professional man.

Richard, also a son, born October 28th, 1804, was a graduate of Union College. He was a practicing physician at Schenectady, and at one time demonstrator of anatomy in the medical department of Clinton College, at Fairfield, Herkimer County. A deep thinker and student, his life of promise and usefulness was cut off by insidious disease, May 15th, 1837, at the early age of thirty-three years, much regretted by those who knew his sterling qualities.

Edward, another son of Jeremiah, born February 15th, 1807, was a liberally educated gentleman, and completing his medical studies in New York, settling at Chittenango, he became a partner of his brother, Samuel, in 1824, acquiring an excellent reputation for skill and close attention to business. He retired from the practice in 1834, and amid the comforts of an ample fortune, died January 22d, 1877, aged about seventy years, universally respected.

Charles, also a son, born April 1st, 1809, is a lawyer, residing and practicing in the city of Schenectady. Henry, another son, born February 2d, 1811, was an attorney-at-law, practicing at Schenectady for several years, and from thence removed to the city of New York, continuing his profession there until his decease, January 6th, 1875. He was interred at Schenectady.

James, another son, born July 24th, 1814, was gentleman of liberal education, sound law knowledge, courteous manners, and an extensive legal practice in the city of Schenectady, justly esteemed by the community for strict integrity, and the conscientious discharge of professional duties.

Robert, the youngest son of Jeremiah, born February 14th, 1822, also a graduate of Union College, was a practicing physician of Schenectady, of acknowledged skill and ability.

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