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Biography of Robert Decker, Columbia Co., New York

This biography of Robert Decker is from the "History of Columbia County, New York",  pages 434-7.  The book was originally published 1878, but I believe this biography to be about 1894. 

This Robert Decker was a grandson of Nicholas Decker, who apparently was son of either Abraham Decker and Anne Brusee, or Jurien Decker and Marytje Schuts.

Robert Decker, a retired agriculturist, living on the farm of one hundred and fifty acres in the town of Claverack, District No. 7, where he has made his home for twenty-six years, first saw the light of day in the town of Taghkanick, August 27, 1818.  His grandfather, Nicholas Decker, and his father, John N. Decker, were both farmers of Columbia County.  The former died in the town of Livingston, a little more than fifty years ago, at seventy-two years of age.  He married Hanna Rossman, daughter of John Rossman, and by her had six sons and three daughters, of whom the only one now surviving is Rufus, who, at the age of nearly eighty years, remains on the old farm in Livingston.  The wife of John N. Decker was Mary Melius, daughter of Conrad Melius, of Claverack.  They reared four sons and five daughters.  Only one of them is now living, Robert, the subject of this brief record, who was the second child and eldest son.  The mother died in 1852, aged fifty-five; the father, eleven years later, in 1863, at sixty-nine.  Their graves are in the Lutheran churchyard.  The grandfather had accumulated a good property, and Mr. John N. Decker left an estate of ten thousand dollars.

Young Robert pursued his elementary studies in his boyhood at the district school.  Having an active mind and being fond of reading, he has since continued to add to his store of useful information, being specially interested in governmental matters, social and political economy, and current events.  Having reached manhood, he remained on the home farm, and was married first in 1841 to Elizabeth Van Deusen, who became the mother of three sons, and died after six years of married life, leaving three children.  He married for his second wife Mary S. Van De Boe, of Claverack, by whom he had three children, two daughters and one son.  She died January 8, 1892, at sixty-eight years of age, and was buried in the Martindale cemetery.  The living children of Mr. Robert Decker are as follows:  Walter R., a farmer in Livingston, who has a wife and two daughters;  Myron N., who is married and resides at Ashley Falls, Mass.;  Anna E., wife of William B. Wilson, in the town of Hillsdale, and mother of two children by this marriage and one by a former;  Wallace P., a former teacher, who now resides at home with his father, and manages the farm, married Mrs. Lizzie A. Becker, whose maiden name was Martin, and they have one son;  Emma C., a young lady, unmarried, living at home, is devoted to the care of her father.  Mr. Decker's brother Henry, who was a volunteer soldier in the Civil War of 1861-65, after about three years of patriotic service in the ranks, came home to die.

Mr. Robert Decker has now nearly rounded out his seventy-sixth year.  Having spent much of his life in toilsome activity as a practical tiller of the soil, it is not strange that he begins to feel the infirmities of age creeping upon him.  He still enjoys, however, a fair measure of health and the use of his mental faculties unimpaired.  His many years have given him a large experience that has ripened his judgment, so that his counsel is of great value in many practical matters.  In politics he is a straightforward Republican, and he is a faithful member of the Lutheran Church.  He is of German ancestry, and inherits many sterling traits of character.


February 6, 2002