Monday, April 9, 2018

Flummoxed by House Numbers

The stained glass over the door at
228 Allen Street indicates its
original number was 84
The decision to change the house numbers on east-west streets in Hudson in 1888 in order to establish "hundred blocks" is the bane of the local historian's existence. Every address referenced before 1888 needs to be converted to figure out if the building still survives and where it is located. Last week, I had to admit that I had gotten the conversion of 142 Warren Street wrong. Today, I have to admit I got it wrong again. But I have an excuse this time. I was misled by Cornelia Skinner's obituary and the Hudson city directory for 1917. According the obituary, Cornelia Skinner's childhood home, where she resided well into adulthood, was in 1917 occupied by Dr. George E. Swift. The 1917 city directory has Dr. Swift residing at 314 Warren Street. The estimable Hudson Tap Record confirms the conversion of 142 Warren to 314 Warren. The obituary also says that Cornelia's father's dry goods store was located where, in 1917, Condit Boice Snyder had his music store. The 1917 city directory gives the address of Snyder's store as 316 Warren Street.

After I published the post "More About the Skinners," I heard from Robert Dobay of Source Adage. As a current owner of 314 Warren Street, he has been on his own quest for information about the Skinners and was happy to learn the location of Sarah and Cornelia's school. He sent me this advertisement for their father's dry goods store, which appeared in an 1895 publication called The Hudsonian, a rich historic reference heretofore unknown to me.

There's no mistaking it. Henry Skinner's dry goods store was located in the building that is now 314 Warren Street, whose pre-1889 address was 148 Warren Street--or as indicated in the 1862 Hudson city directory 144.

This raises the question of where the Skinner homestead was. All indications are that the Skinner family lived just downstreet from Henry P. Skinner's dry goods store, but that would be Captain John Hathaway's legendary Palladian house, which once stood where the Hudson Supermarket is now. Was there a connection between the Skinners and Captain John Hathaway?

Photo: Historic Hudson  
Cornelia Skinner's obituary reveals that her mother's name was Phoebe Bailey Hathaway. Could she have been Captain John Hathaway's daughter?

John Hathaway did have a daughter named Phoebe, but she was twelve years older than Phoebe Bailey Hathaway and married a man named Beekman. Anna Bradbury and an article that appeared in the Hudson Evening Register in 1867 indicate his name was Theophilus E. Beekman. Other records found at suggest his name was Fletcher Beekman. Phoebe Hathaway who became the wife of Henry Skinner was the daughter of John's brother, Bailey Hathaway. John and Bailey's mother's name was Phoebe, and apparently both sons named one of their daughters after their mother. What seems even more extraordinary than cousins sharing the same name is that both Phoebe Hathaways had daughters they named Cornelia and Sarah--Cornelia A. Beekman (1815-1873) and Sarah H. Beekman and Cornelia Skinner (1843-1917) and Sarah R. Skinner (1829-1913).

Back to being flummoxed by house numbers, the Hudson city directory for 1862 shows Mrs. T. E. Beekman living at 140 Warren Street and H. P. Skinner living at 142 Warren Street. Very likely the two numbers indicate the same house.

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