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
Emanuel Honsinger, immigrant ancestor, born in Germany, about 1750, was educated in his native land, and when a young man came with other German people to this country before the revolution. He settled in Dutchess county, N.Y., and afterward removed to Alburgh, Vermont, where he spent the later years of his life and where he died. He was a thrifty farmer. He married Mary Masten, a native of Canada.
(II) James Honsinger, son of Emauel and Mary (Masten) Honsinger, was born at Alburgh, Vermont, Dec. 1, 1795, and died at Champlain, N.Y. June 3, 1862. In 1820 he settled in Canada, and during the next three years conducted a farm that he owned there. In 1823 he sold out this property and bought land at Champlain, Clinton county, N.Y., built a log house, in which he made his home while clearing the land, and followed farming there for a period of forty years, a mile and a half east of the village of Champlain. He was for a number of years lieutenant of a company in the state militia.
Originally a Whig, he became a Republican after the Whig party went to pieces. He and his wife were members of the Methdist church.
He married, in March, 1818, Margaret Chilton, born July 14, 1794, in Alburgh, daughter of John R. and Nancy Chilton.
Children, all but the eldest born in Champlain:
William S., of whom further.
(III) Dr. William S. Honsinger, son of James Honsinger, was born at Alburgh, Grand Isle county, Vermont, Dec. 23, 1820. He attended the pulic schools at Champlain, and worked on his father's farm until he was eighteen years old. From 1838 to 1841 he was a student in the academy at St. Albans, Vermont. He commenced the study of medicine in the office of Dr. Churchill, of Champlain, teaching the winter term in the public schools in the meantime. He graduated from the medical college at Castleton, Vermont, in June, 1846, with the degree of M.D., and began to practice his profession in association with Dr. Churchill. After a year at Champlain he located at Saranac, and in the spring of 1848 he settled in West Chazy and continued there until his death, having an excellent practice and winning high rank in his profession. He had to ride as far as Plattsburgh on the south, the state line on the north, and even into the Canadian towns and westward from the lake to the distant hills. He made something of a specialty of pulmonary and kindred diseases, and was called frequently by other physicians in consultation, especially in cases of this kind. He was one of the most skillful and successful surgeons of his day in this section.
During the civil war he was called to Alexandria, Virginia, to attend soldiers from this vicinity.
Dr. Honsinger invested extensively in real estate and owned several fine farms and raised some of the most valuable stock in the country. His cattle won many premiums at the annual county fairs of this section.
He was a staunch Republican, and for several years was county school commissioner when the duties of that office were such that the schools were reached only on horseback. He declined to accept any public office that would interfere with his practice. He was a member and past master of Northern Light Lodge, No. 505, Free Masons, and represented his lodge several times in the Grand Lodge.
He married, Nov. 15, 1848, Louisa A. Hedding, born in Chazy, April 2, 1818, died in her seventy-ninth year, daughter of Judge William Hedding. Her father was a brother of Bishop Elijah Hedding, who entered the ministry before he was of age, advance rapidly in position and infuence, elected bishop of the Methodist church in 1824, and fourth bishop of this country, and died in 1852. Bishop Hedding preached often in this section in 1801, when he was assigned to the Plattsburgh circuit with Rev. Elijah Chichester. Judge William Hedding was well known in this county, a prominent merchant, and a leader in politics and public affairs. James Hedding, father of Judge Hedding, was a native of Dutchess county, N.Y., removed to Vermont, and thence, in 1802, to West Chazy, where he settled on what was afterwards called the McDonough place on Cumberland Head, removing in 1805 to West Chazy.
Dr. Honsinger died July 18, 1895.
Children, born at West Chazy:
Eva I., died young.
Lyman L. (both mentioned below).
(IV) Dr. Willis T. Honsinger, son of Dr. William S. Honsinger, was born at West Chazy, Aug. 6, 1854. He attended the district schools and academy, and the Friars College at St. John's, Quebec. He began the study of medicine under his father's instruction, then entered the medical college at Burlington, Vermont, from which he graduated at the head of his class. He then attended Bellevue Medical College, New York City, and lectures in other colleges. He began to practice in 1875 in partnership with his father, under the firm name of Dr. William S. Honsinger & Son. They continued together until 1889, when the senior partner retired. The junior partner continued to practice alone for ten years, and in 1899 he also retired, after twenty-five years of arduous but successful experience. He sometimes responds to emergency calls and joins in consultation when his advice is sought by other physicians. He kept well abreast of the advance guard in medical research and had the reputation of being the best-read doctor in the county.
Like his father he made agriculture an avocation for both pleasure and profit. He has a farm of twenty-four hundred acres of land in North Dakota, all under cultivation, and raises wheat, oats and barley. He is a director in the Moorehead National Bank of Moorehead, Minnesota. He also owns large mining properties in Canada, and for the past three years has been largely interested in the silver mines at Cobalt, Ontario. He has a farm of four hundred acres in Beekmantown, N.Y., near Lake Champlain, and a farm of one hudnred and thirteen acres in Chazy. At his Beekmantown farm he formerly had a notable herd of Holstein cattle. He raised stock from the cow Mercedes Julip Pietertje, which made an official record at White Bear Lake, Minnesota, of twenty-nine pounds five and seven-tenth ounces of butter in seven days. A yearling bull from this cow, known as Milk and Butter King, he sold for $1,500, and the purchaser sold him later for $10,000, the highest price ever paid for a bull. The sire of Milk and Butter King was Aagia Cornucopia Johanna Lad. A long list of the registered stock of this farm might be given. Dr. Honsinger finally had to sell his herd and discontinue the cattle-breeding business on account of his other business.
He is a Republican in politics, and represented this district in the state assembly in 1894-96. He has been a member of the Northern Light Lodge of Free Masons since 1879.
He married, Sept. 26, 1877, Henrietta, daughter of John and Lavina (Aldrich) Dunn, of West Chazy. Her father was a native of England; her mother was born in West Chazy, daughter of John and ____ (Slosson) Aldrich.
1. William O., born at West Chazy, July 10, 1878; married Ann James, born at Port Henry, N.Y.; child, Louisa Henrietta, born April 9, 1903.
2. Elsie M., born at West Chazy, Oct., 1880; married McKenzie Stewart; children: Mildred, born April 20, 1903; Charles Thurlow, June 21, 1908.
3. Grace L., born Oct., 1885; married Morris J. Knapp; child, Kenneth Honsigner Knapp, born Sept. 1, 1908.
(IV) Lyman L., son of Dr. William S. Honsinger, was born in West Chazy, May 25, 1857. He received his early education in his native town, and later attended the Troy Business College. He studied pharmacy under his father's direction, and for some time hard charge of his father's drug store. He left home and, for a short time worked in Boston, returning to West Chazy, where he followed farming. In 1894 he went to Plattsburgh in the employ of his brother, Dr. Willis T. Honsinger, then a partner in the firm of Honsinger & Jerry, dealers in agricultural implements, carriages, harness, etc. In 1896 he became a partner in the same line of business, under the firm name of H. E. Jerry & Company, at West Chazy. The firm also sold agricultural machinery and implements. The firm was dissolved in 1899 and the business discontinued.
Since 1900, when Mr. Honsinger resumed business, he has been engaged in the same line of business and has been very successful.
He is a Republican in politics.
He married, Oct. 6, 1886, Cynthia Dewey Corbin, born at Hemmingford, province of Quebec, Canada, daughter of William T. and Mary (Stearns) Corbin.
Children, born at West Chazy:
Louise L., Nov. 2, 1889.
Hazel, March 31, 1894.
Ruth, Nov. 11, 1895.
Doris, May 18, 1897.
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