Samuel Wilkinson

The following was submitted by J Schrade (, and was copied from "Commemoritive Biographical Record", published by J. H. Beers Co. Chicago, Ill. - 1896.

Samuel Wilkinson

Altho the subject of this sketch is at present living a retired life, having given up active business, he may be justly considered Kerhonkson's most prominent citizen. He has taken a leading part in the development of the town, which, when he first saw it, in 1841, contained only five small dwellings, and the large residence, then newly built, of Cornelius Decker. An energetic, reliable businessman, his enterprise and business have contributed to the prosperity of the community. He was the first Postmaster of Kerhonkson, being appointed by Millard Fillmore, and he later held the same position under Lincoln's administration.

Mr. Wilkinson is of English birth and descent, his ancestors having lived for many generations in the Parish of Almondsburg (LDS records show this to be Almondsbury) , Lingards Township, Yorkshire, England. His grandfather, who was a shepherd there, had three children: Joseph, our subject's father, born September 26,1788; Abraham, who was a farmer, and a daughter whose name is not given. Joseph Wilkinson became the foreman of a cotton factory. He married Miss Betty Haigh, who was born at Slaithwaite England, July 20th,1792, daughter of William Haigh, who was a hotel keeper and farmer. Our subject was one of a family of eight children, their names and dates of birth as follows: John, Nov 6th, 1812; William, April 3rd, 1815; Salome, Jan. 10th, 1818; James, April 27th, 1820; Hannah, Nov. 17th, 1822; Samuel, June 24th, 1824; Joseph, Feb. 25th, 1827; and William, September 9th,1829. of this family, John was a manufacturer of woolen goods in England and died in 1892. William the second son, died in infancy, and the youngest, who was given the same name, only lived until 1834. Hannah also died in childhood. Salome married John Shaw, a woolen manufacturer, and died in 1890. James, who was a mason finisher, a skilled workman, died in 1893. Joseph, who became a shoemaker, came to America, located at High Falls, Ulster Co., N.Y. and served his adopted Country gallantly during the War of the Rebellion, recieving a severe wound in battle. He died in Muncie, Ind., 1892. Our subject's father died in 1867, his mother in 1852.

After attending the schools of his native place up to the age of 12, Samuel Wilkinson was apprenticed to a tailor at Meltham, where he remained four years. In November 1841, he sailed for America, arriving at New York on the 23rd of December following, and there remained until the next spring when he came to Saugerties, Ulster Co., New York. During the year following he worked at his trade there and in other places in Dutchess and Columbia Couties, in 1843 settling in Kerhonkson and engaging in the tailoring business. About 1847 he also formed a partnership with A. D. Whitaker in the conducting of a general merchantile business, and in 1863 he sold his interest in this firm and bought a gristmill and farm of John J. Hoornbeek which he operated about 10 years. In 1865 he again engaged in a general merchantile business in Kerhonkson, which he still retains and from 1879 to 1892 he also had an interest in a store in Ellenville, which was carried on for a short time under the firm name of Moore, Wilkinson & Co., and then for about twelve years under the style of Wilkinson & Denman (now Grant & Holmes). they dealing in dry goods, clothing, boots and shoes, and other commodities.

On July 10th, 1847, Mr. Wilkinson married Elizabeth Decker, who was born Nov. 7th, 1830, a daughter of Cornelius Decker. They had six children, all of whom are living except one son, John J. Wilkinson, who was born August 4th, 1857, and died November 16th, 1885. Alice, the eldest, born Dec. 14th 1848, married Dr. George Lathrop, of Livingston Manor, Sullivan Co., New York; Adele, born Oct. 7th, 1850, married John E. Decker, a mason and farmer; Salome, born Nov. 13th,1852, married M.E. Stanton, a butcher, of Wurtsboro, Sullivan Co., New York; Webster, born June 8th, 1855 is a merchant at Hurleyville, Sullivan Co.; Melbourne, born Aug. 11th, 1860, is a merchant at Kerhonkson.

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