Portrait of Thomas C. Morgan


Thomas O. Morgan was born at Chatham, Columbia county, N.Y., August 19, 1809. His father, William Morgan, came there from Hartford, Conn., and was always respected as a man of intelligence and integrity; but his financial means were small and his children numerous so that their education was limited. Thomas was brought up as a practical manufacturer of leather, and when he was seventeen years of age he went to Hudson, N.Y., with Mr. Annibal, where he gained a more thorough knowledge of the business. From thence he went to Troy and entered the employ of John Gary, where he remained several years, and by strict economy had soon accumulated sufficient to embark for himself. All of his employers and associates had great confidence in him and always kindly remembered him.

About 1832 he removed to Waterford, in this county, where he established himself as a manufacturer, and became very successful in his business.

April 17, 1838, he married Frances Allida Van Denburgh, a daughter of Gysebert Van Denburgh, of that place, a very estimable lady, who yet survives him.

At an early age young Morgan became interested in military affairs, and after his arrival at Waterford he soon became an officer of the local militia; and by his intelligence and adaptation to lead he was soon promoted to the office of colonel of the One Hundred and Forty-fourth Regiment, which position he held with credit to the service until 1840. He was often relied upon to serve in various town and offices, and the duties were discharged to the satisfaction of his neighbors. In the fall election of 1846, before this county was divided into assembly districts, he was elected to the Assembly upon a ticket associated with Joseph Daniels, of Greenfield. Although not a public speaker, he discharged his duties in the Legislature of 1847 with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents, and his official integrity was never questioned. In politics he adhered to the Whig party until it ceased, when he became an active and earnest Republican.

He was genial and outspoken, and always despised hypocrisy in every form. He was very confiding, and adhered to his old friends in preference to forming new ones. He left no children to survive him, but his many friends yet remember him, and will be glad to see him properly remembered and honored. He died at Waterford, March 5, 1871.

As he left no children, and as his wife is a descendant of two of the oldest families in this county, it seems proper that they should be remembered in this connection.

WINANT VAN DENBURGH was brought up at Half Moon, about two miles north of Waterford. Early in the last century, when a boy about four years old, the Indians made an attack upon the house of his parents, when the child was hid in the smoke-house and charged to remain quiet until morning at the risk of his life. The little fellow is supposed to have remained quiet, for he was found the next morning in safety.

After arriving at manhood, and before the Revolutionary war, he removed to Schaghticoke, opposite Stillwater village (then in the Saratoga district), where he owned about one thousand acres of land, and maintained a ferry across the river. After the surrender of Burgoyne's army they marched south from Schuylerville, and crossed at this ferry on their way to Boston as prisoners of war.

GYSEBERT VAN DENBURGH, one of the sons of Winant, was born on this farm, April 8, 1770, and married Sarah, daughter of Hendrick Van Schoonhoven, who then resided about two miles above Waterford. Mr. Van Schoonhoven was born there, April 7, 1727, and his grandfather, Guert Van Schoonhoven, was one of the first settlers of this country, as will be seen elsewhere.

Gysebert Van Denburgh had many children besides Mrs. Morgan, and among their descendants are Mrs. John Sheldon, of Schuylerville, and Henry C. Van Denburgh, the present supervisor of the town of Waterford, and of the board of supervisors of this county.




Transcribed from the original text and html prepared by Bill Carr, last updated 2/7/00.

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