Thursday, October 27, 2022

'Tis the Season for Ghosts . . . of All Kinds

Halloween is the season of ghosts, so it seems appropriate to do a post about ghosts found on buildings, the telltale traces of their past uses. Recently a reader sent me these pictures of the ghosts found on 402 Warren Street, one of the buildings destined to become the Galvan Foundation's hotel, Hudson Public.

The ghosts inspired me to want to learn more about H. Hogeboom and to figure out when his law office would have been located here.

H. Hogeboom had to have been Henry Hogeboom. There were two Henry Hogebooms in Hudson history, both of whom were lawyers. The first was a New York State Supreme Court Justice and an esteemed citizen of Hudson. He resided at 116 Warren Street, and it was there that he died, in the wee hours of the morning, on September 12, 1872, at the age of 63. His obituary, published on the day of his death in the
Daily Star, ran for more than two full columns. The following is quoted from that obituary:
The announcement of his death has fallen like a pall over every avocation and interest in our community. All feel that "a good man has departed from among us," as well as that a luminary of law has been extinguished; the lips of eloquence been sealed in eternal silence; a mind munificently endowed by the God of intellect, and cultivated by careful, liberal, and exhaustive study and discipline has exchanged its contemplation of "things temporal, for that of things Eternal"; a heart large with all-embracing beneficence, warm with tenderest love for family and friend, for broad humanity, for justice, mercy and right; and alive to all the nobler, finer feelings of our nature, has at last become stilled in that dread silence which anticipated the tomb. And such being the universal feeling, our community "mourn through all its borders." The sad event engages all attention, absorbs every other interest, stills even the selfish clamor of partisan strife and imparts a becoming solemnity to every phase and department of life.
Judge Henry Hogeboom is probably not the Henry Hogeboom who had his law office at 402 Warren Street. It is more likely it was his grandson and namesake, who would have been three years old when the illustrious grandfather died. 

The second Henry Hogeboom was born in Hudson on February 16, 1869, the son of John C. Hogeboom and Clara Esselstyn. His father was a lawyer and involved in state politics, and the family lived at 810 Warren Street.

Photo: Zillow

Henry Hogeboom started his law practice here in Hudson, but in 1911 he moved to Mt. Vernon. Exactly when he had his law office at 402 Warren has not yet been discovered, but it is certain that the ghosts that survive on the building predate 1911, when Hogeboom relocated to Mt. Vernon. Although he had only lived in Mt. Vernon for nine years, his sudden death in 1920, on the platform of a subway station in New York City, was reported on the front page of the Mt. Vernon Daily Argus on August 4, 1920. The following is quoted from that report:
Former Deputy Attorney General Henry Hogeboom, until last January a civil service commissioner here, and who was well known in local political circles, died suddenly yesterday morning at 11 o'clock in the Park Place station of the subway after he had left the train there. His death came one month after the demise of the law partner, Richard J. Donovan, and whose death is believed to have caused Mr. Hogeboom such grief as to have been partly responsible for his death. He was 51 years old, and a well known attorney. 
Overtaxing of his heart following an attack of intestinal poisoning suffered a week ago is believed to have been the primary cause of death. In addition he was intensely affected after the death of his partner, and grieved constantly over it because he and his partner were like brothers. . . .
The article provides this information about the circumstances of his death.
Mr. Hogeboom had left for his office shortly before 10 o'clock and boarded a subway train from Grand Central to go to his office in the Woolworth building. At Park Place he arose to leave the train and just as he reached the door, he gasped several times and fell back. Several passengers grasped hold of him and carried him to the platform.
He died within a few seconds and before Dr. Kenner, of the Broad Street Hospital, only a short distance away, could reach there.   
What history our old buildings hold.

Gratitude to Peter Tenerowicz for providing the photographs of the ghosts that inspired this research.

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