NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people
in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
This name is of Scottish origin and does not appear in America previous to the eighteenth century. It has borne no inconsiderable part in the settlement of various locations of the United States, and is still worthily borne by leading citizens in various walks of life. In northern New York it was early planted and is still found in considerable numbers.
(I) Peter Hepburn, probably a son of Patrick Hepburn, was born at Abbeymilne, Scotland, and was a resident of Stratford, Conn. as early as 1736, in which year the town granted him permission to erect a warehouse on the wharf. This would indicate that he was interested in shipping, and probably in a mercantile business. He died at Stratford in 1742. His wife, Sarah Hubbell, of Newtown, Conn., was born Sept. 12, 1711, daughter of James and Patience Hubbell, formerly of Stratford and later of New Milford, Conn.
Joseph, mentioned below.
Peter, born April 28, 1732.
George, May 12, 1735.
Sarah, Jan. 24, 1737.
(II) Joseph (1), eldest child of Peter and Sarah (Hubbell) Hepburn, was born Oct. 11, 1729, probably in Stratford, and resided there in that town, where he married, Nov. 1751, Eunice, daughter of Judson and Eunice (Lewis) Burton, and granddaughter of Solomon Burton, an early resident of Stratford.
Joseph, mentioned below.
Silas, born February, 1756.
Lewis, October, 1763.
Patrick, February 1766.
George, September, 1768.
(III) Joseph (2), eldest child of Joseph (1) and Eunice (Burton) Hepburn, was born in July, 1752, in Stratford, and made his home for many years in Hotchisstown, now Westville, a suburb of New Haven, Conn. He removed to Middlebury, Vermont, where he was a farmer.
He married Hannah Lobdell, born June 4, 1755, daughter of John and Ruth (Sherwood) Lobdell.
Patrick, born 1775, died 1850 in West Parishville, New York.
Almena, born 1778.
Roderick, 1780, died in Madrid, N.Y., 1871.
Betsey, born 1782.
Villeroy, 1783, died in Colton, N.Y., 1847.
Marcia, born 1786.
Joseph, born 1794, died 1795.
Pliny, born 1796, died in Colton, 1866.
Zina E., see below.
(IV) Zina Earl, youngest child of Joseph (2) and Hannah (Lobdell) Hepburn, was born in 1798, in Middlebury, Vermont, and died in 1874 at Colton, N.Y. With his brother Pliny he took up a farm at what was known as Hepburn's Point, on the St. Lawrence river, four miles below the village of Waddington. They were dispossessed in 1823 because they were unable to make payment upon their contract of purchase. At the time of dispossession they had on hand 800 bushels of wheat, 1,200 bushels of oats and 1,6000 bushels of corn, together with a good stock of cattle. They were rich in everything a farmer can produce, and yet the obtaining of money was impossible. No railroads were in existence and their only market was Montreal, with which there was no established communication. The only way of getting their grain to Montreal was to load it upon rafts and take them down the river. About two out of three rafts were destroyed by the rapids in the river, and such means of reaching the market were almost prohibitive.
They moved to Colton, N.Y., purchased from George Parish adjoining farms, and transported with them enough grain to last them for about two years. In addition, the sale of grain enables them to hire help, and in exchange for materials to build houses and barns, and clear sufficient ground to obtain a start in life.
Zina E. Hepburn was a prominent member and officer in the Universalist church, held many local offices, and was prominent in the administration of the affairs of the town.
He married, in 1829, Beulah Gray, born 1807 in Madrid, N.Y., died 1900 in Colton, daughter of Uel Gray, a farmer of Madrid.
1. Chloe I., born 1830, died in Colton, 1866. 2. George W., born 1832.
3. Cordelia A., born 1834, married 1860, Dr. C. B. Fisher, died in Colton, 1873.
4. Edwin B., born 1837.
5. Hawley S., born 1840, died at Ogdensburg, 1910.
6. Henrietta B., born 1843.
7. Alonzo B., mentioned below.
8. Herbert M., born 1849.
(V) Alonzo Barton, fourth son of Zina E. and Beulah (Gray) Hepburn, was born July 24, 1846, in Colton, N.Y. After attending the public schools he prepared for college at St. Lawrence Academy, Potsdam, N.Y., and Falley Seminary, Fulton, N.Y. In 1867 he matriculated at Middlebury College, Vermont, from which he was graduated in 1871 with the degree of A.B., and subsequently received the degree of L.L. D.
After leaving college he became professor of mathematics at St. Lawrence Academy, and was subsequently principal of the Ogdensburg Educational Institute. He was admitted to the bar and engaged in the practice of law in his native town. He was appointed school commissioner for the second district of St. Lawrence county, and resigned this positon to take his seat in the New York assembly in Jan. 1875. This position he filled for five consecutive terms, serving on various committees, including those on railroads, insurance, judiciary, and ways and means, besides other important committees. During this service he gave much attention to canals, railroads, insurance and other commercial and financial interests. As chairman of the insurance committee he introduced and secured the passage of many important measures, including the law prohibiting the forfeiture of life insurance policies after the payment of three annual payments, and establishing a surrender value for policies upon application. In 1879 he was chairman of the special railroad investigating committee of the assembly, known as the Hepburn committee, which was instituted at the instance of the New York Chamber of Commerce, New York Board of Trade and Transportation, and other commercial bodies of the state, which led to the act creating the present Board of Railroad Commissioners. In 1880 Mr. Hepburn was appointed by Governor Cornell superintendent of the State Banking Department, and his administrations of force was singularized by the improved service to the public and great credit to himself. As a direct result of the exceptional ability shown by his three years service in this position, he was designated as receiver to wind up the affairs of the Continental Life Insurance Company, of New York City. Subsequent to this he was appointed National Bank Examiner for the cities of New York and Brooklyn, and again demonstrated his exceptional ability as a financier, especially in the notorious Sixth National and Lenox Hill Bank frauds, securing the conviction of the principals in those frauds, and the retribution of misapproprieted funds. His appointment by President Harrison as Comptroller of the Currency was a natural and happy recognition of his ability and rectitude, and it was justified by his course in that positon. His suggestions are forceful attitude in relation to the issues of credit currency by the national banks and in the avoidance of the use of claring house and other makeshifts, produced most excellent results.
Upon his retirement from the office of comptroller, Mr. Hepburn was made president of the Third National Bank of the city of New York, and continued in that capacity unti its consolidation with the National City Bank in 1897, when he became vice-president of the reorganized institution. He resigned therefrom to become president of the Chase National Bank, of New York, in 1899, in which position he still (1910) continues. Under his management this institution has increased its capital from $1,000,000 to $5,000,000 and has a surplus of $5,000,000, with undivided profits amounting to over $2,500,000. All of the above increase was from earnings solely. The deposits of the Chase range from $110,000,000 to $125,000.000.
Throughout the world, Mr. Hepburn is recognized as a leading authority on economical and financial questions, and his opinions are frequently sought. His strong character, great mental acumen and invincible will power, combined with thoroughly systematic methods, have made him one of the prominent men of his time. He is the author of "The History of Coinage and Currency," a work requiring much labor, and an invaluable authority in its field; also of "Artificial Waterways and Commercial Development." He is a frequent contributor to periodicals and magazines on economic subjects, and his articles evince a wide range of literary research.
In 1906 St. Lawrence University, of Canton, N.Y., conferred upon him the degree of D.C.L. Mr. Hepburn's social popularity is co-equal with his standing as a business man, and he is identified with many clubs and associations. He is a director of the Banker's Trust Company, Columbia Trust Company, Fidelity Trust Company of Newark, (New Jersey), New York Life Insurance Company, First National Bank, First Security Company, Chase National bank, American Agricultural Chemical company, American Car and Foundry Company, America Cotton Oil Company, Safety Car Heating & Lighting Company, Union Typewriter Company, United Cigar Manufacturers' Company, Sears, Roebuck & Company of Chicago.
He is a member of the following clubs:
University, Metropolitan, Union League, City, Barnard, Economic and Academy of Political Science. He is a member of the St. Andrews' New England, Pilgrims, Burns, and Germanistic socities. He is a trustee and treasurer of Dela Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and the New York Chamber of Commerce.
He is an enthusiastic sportsman, and a member of the Long Island Country Club, the Blooming Grove Hunting and Fishing Club, and other sportsmen's associations.
He married (first) Dec. 10, 1873, Harriet A. Fisher, of St. Albans, Vermont, who died Dec. 28, 1881. Mr. Hepburn married (second) July 14, 1887, Emily L. Eaton, of Montpelier, Vermont.
Children of first marriage:
Harold Barton, died at the age of sixteen years.
Charles Fisher, born 1878, residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
There are two children of the second marriage: Beulah, born 1890 and Cordelia, 1894.
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