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Henry Barrett Crosby

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Henry Barrett Crosby

Birth
Brattleboro, Windham County, Vermont, USA
Death
25 Sep 1910 (aged 95)
Oakland, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA
Burial
Paterson, Passaic County, New Jersey, USA Add to Map
Plot
Section 8, Lot 245
Memorial ID
View Source
OBITUARY, Paterson Daily Press, 9/26/1910.

Henry Barrett Crosby, “Father of the Parks,” died suddenly at his son’s bungalow, in Oakland at 1:40 o’clock yesterday. A stroke of apoplexy brought the end. He was in his ninety-sixth year. Only a week ago, Mr. Crosby left his home, Broadway and Straight Street, and accompanied by his son, Henry B. Crosby, Jr., went to the latter’s summer home to enjoy a brief rest. He was apparently in the best of physical health. While leaving his bedroom to go to the living room, he suffered the stroke, and before Dr. Hamilton of Oakland, and Dr. Russell, of this city, arrived, he had passed away.

Mr. Crosby was born in Brattleboro, Vt., April 13, 1815. His parents, Watson and Desire (Bangs) Crosby, were both natives of Massachusetts, and descendants of old New England families in his paternal line, Mr. Crosby traced his ancestry to Simon Crosby, who came to this country from England in 1635, settling in Massachusetts. The English pedigree of the Crosbys is traceable as far back as 1204, the sixth year of the reign of King John. Through his mother, Desire Bangs, who was a daughter of Deacon Joseph Bangs, of Hawley, Mass., Mr. Crosby was a “Mayflower” descendant. His father, Watson Crosby, was born November 7, 1776, at Cape Cod, Mass., whence he removed with his widowed mother to Brattleboro. He was a farmer and shoe manufacturer, and reared a family of nine children.

Henry’s early days were spent on the paternal farm at Brattleboro. At the age of ten he began to earn his own living by working for a neighboring farmer, Deacon Russell Hayes, the grandfather of President Rutherford B. Hayes. When he was twelve years old, the family removed to Springfield, Mass., and he obtained employment in a cotton factory at Chicopee Falls, near that city, where he remained for two years. He then entered the establishment of Amos Brothers at Springfield, with the intention of learning the papermaking trade, but owing to the introduction of machinery, was soon thrown out of work. This caused him to return temporarily to agricultural employment. He went to Woonsocket Falls, R.I., and served a six months’ apprenticeship in a machine shop subsequently being employed for eight months by a loom manufacturer in the same village. His next employment was as workman in flyers for spinning frames in a machine shop at Chicopee Falls, where he remined one year.

In June, 1834, he revisited his home at Brattleboro, whither the family had returned. He entered the academy at that place, but for lack of means was unable to remain at school long. For three years following he followed the machinist trade.

Through the influence of George Lawton, under whom he worked in the machine shop at Ware, Mass., Mr. Crosby was induced to come to Paterson and apply for employment with Samuel Colt, who was at that time embarking in the manufacture of revolving guns and pistols under his celebrated patent. He arrived in Paterson April 23, 1837, and three days later began to work for Mr. Colt in the Old Gun Mill. In this connection, he took the contract for making certain portions of the lock work for the guns. But though the enterprise looked bright at the start, he was doomed to disappointment, and once more he was obliged to look for a new field for his unrewarded energies. After the unfortunate termination of this connection, he remained for some time and decided as to his future course but finally embarked in the grocery trade with a capital of a few hundred dollars, purchasing a stock of goods, and in May, 1843, opening a store on Main Street. From the first he rightly excluded liquors from his stock.

From the very beginning, Mr. Crosby enjoyed substantial success and rapidly advanced to a position of recognized prominence in the mercantile community of Paterson. At the end of the two years his increasing trade obliged him to remove to more commodious quarters and in 1853 he opened a fine store on Main Street. From that time until his retirement from active life a period of more than thirty years, Mr. Crosby’s establishment transacted a volume of business not equaled by that of any other mercantile concern of the kind in Paterson or Passaic County, and was also known as one of the foremost of its kind in New Jersey. In 1867, he admitted his son, John Henry Crosby, into partnership and the firm then took the name of H. B. Crosby and Son. The father withdrew from active management of the wholesale department on April 2, 1888, when the new firm of Crosby, Ackerman and Van Gieson was organized. Shortly before that time, he disposed of the retail business to Cooper Hopper.

Mr. Crosby gained the name of “Father of the Parks” on account of their creation, which resulted largely from his efforts. He had a long and honored record as President of the Board of Park Commissioners. He was also one of the founders of Cedar Lawn Cemetery, and was a director of the First National Bank and Paterson Savings Institution for many years. He was one of the principal organizers of the old Board of Trade. He was also a member of the Produce Exchanges of New York City and the Chambers of Commerce of the State of New York. He took a leading part in the organization of the First Baptist Church, of which he had been a member half a century.

In his political affiliations, Mr. Crosby was always a staunch Republican. He was one of the delegates from this state to the famous Chicago convention of 1860 which nominated Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency.

He married, first, February 27, 1840, Pauline F. Hathorn, the youngest daughter of Thomas W. Hathorn, of this city. She died January 27, 1872, leaving four children: Mrs. Josephine A. Allen, now deceased; John Henry Crosby, Mrs. Annie L. Newton, and Isabelle Crosby, deceased. Mr. Crosby married, second, December 6, 1875, Harriet E. Rogers, of North Cornwall, Conn., who is descended from the Rev. John Rogers and other Puritan ancestors on her father’s side, and from prominent Huguenot stock on her mother’s. Their children are Henry Barrett Crosby, Jr., architect of this city, and Florence Lynn Crosby. There are a number of grandchildren, among them being former Congressman Henry C. Allen. One of the great-grandchildren, Alexander Murray, Jr., is a student at Yale.

Funeral services will be held at the home of the deceased, 164 Broadway, on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock. Interment will be in the family plot at Cedar Lawn. Those desiring to view the remains can do so between 10 and 12 o’clock on the day of the funeral.
OBITUARY, Paterson Daily Press, 9/26/1910.

Henry Barrett Crosby, “Father of the Parks,” died suddenly at his son’s bungalow, in Oakland at 1:40 o’clock yesterday. A stroke of apoplexy brought the end. He was in his ninety-sixth year. Only a week ago, Mr. Crosby left his home, Broadway and Straight Street, and accompanied by his son, Henry B. Crosby, Jr., went to the latter’s summer home to enjoy a brief rest. He was apparently in the best of physical health. While leaving his bedroom to go to the living room, he suffered the stroke, and before Dr. Hamilton of Oakland, and Dr. Russell, of this city, arrived, he had passed away.

Mr. Crosby was born in Brattleboro, Vt., April 13, 1815. His parents, Watson and Desire (Bangs) Crosby, were both natives of Massachusetts, and descendants of old New England families in his paternal line, Mr. Crosby traced his ancestry to Simon Crosby, who came to this country from England in 1635, settling in Massachusetts. The English pedigree of the Crosbys is traceable as far back as 1204, the sixth year of the reign of King John. Through his mother, Desire Bangs, who was a daughter of Deacon Joseph Bangs, of Hawley, Mass., Mr. Crosby was a “Mayflower” descendant. His father, Watson Crosby, was born November 7, 1776, at Cape Cod, Mass., whence he removed with his widowed mother to Brattleboro. He was a farmer and shoe manufacturer, and reared a family of nine children.

Henry’s early days were spent on the paternal farm at Brattleboro. At the age of ten he began to earn his own living by working for a neighboring farmer, Deacon Russell Hayes, the grandfather of President Rutherford B. Hayes. When he was twelve years old, the family removed to Springfield, Mass., and he obtained employment in a cotton factory at Chicopee Falls, near that city, where he remained for two years. He then entered the establishment of Amos Brothers at Springfield, with the intention of learning the papermaking trade, but owing to the introduction of machinery, was soon thrown out of work. This caused him to return temporarily to agricultural employment. He went to Woonsocket Falls, R.I., and served a six months’ apprenticeship in a machine shop subsequently being employed for eight months by a loom manufacturer in the same village. His next employment was as workman in flyers for spinning frames in a machine shop at Chicopee Falls, where he remined one year.

In June, 1834, he revisited his home at Brattleboro, whither the family had returned. He entered the academy at that place, but for lack of means was unable to remain at school long. For three years following he followed the machinist trade.

Through the influence of George Lawton, under whom he worked in the machine shop at Ware, Mass., Mr. Crosby was induced to come to Paterson and apply for employment with Samuel Colt, who was at that time embarking in the manufacture of revolving guns and pistols under his celebrated patent. He arrived in Paterson April 23, 1837, and three days later began to work for Mr. Colt in the Old Gun Mill. In this connection, he took the contract for making certain portions of the lock work for the guns. But though the enterprise looked bright at the start, he was doomed to disappointment, and once more he was obliged to look for a new field for his unrewarded energies. After the unfortunate termination of this connection, he remained for some time and decided as to his future course but finally embarked in the grocery trade with a capital of a few hundred dollars, purchasing a stock of goods, and in May, 1843, opening a store on Main Street. From the first he rightly excluded liquors from his stock.

From the very beginning, Mr. Crosby enjoyed substantial success and rapidly advanced to a position of recognized prominence in the mercantile community of Paterson. At the end of the two years his increasing trade obliged him to remove to more commodious quarters and in 1853 he opened a fine store on Main Street. From that time until his retirement from active life a period of more than thirty years, Mr. Crosby’s establishment transacted a volume of business not equaled by that of any other mercantile concern of the kind in Paterson or Passaic County, and was also known as one of the foremost of its kind in New Jersey. In 1867, he admitted his son, John Henry Crosby, into partnership and the firm then took the name of H. B. Crosby and Son. The father withdrew from active management of the wholesale department on April 2, 1888, when the new firm of Crosby, Ackerman and Van Gieson was organized. Shortly before that time, he disposed of the retail business to Cooper Hopper.

Mr. Crosby gained the name of “Father of the Parks” on account of their creation, which resulted largely from his efforts. He had a long and honored record as President of the Board of Park Commissioners. He was also one of the founders of Cedar Lawn Cemetery, and was a director of the First National Bank and Paterson Savings Institution for many years. He was one of the principal organizers of the old Board of Trade. He was also a member of the Produce Exchanges of New York City and the Chambers of Commerce of the State of New York. He took a leading part in the organization of the First Baptist Church, of which he had been a member half a century.

In his political affiliations, Mr. Crosby was always a staunch Republican. He was one of the delegates from this state to the famous Chicago convention of 1860 which nominated Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency.

He married, first, February 27, 1840, Pauline F. Hathorn, the youngest daughter of Thomas W. Hathorn, of this city. She died January 27, 1872, leaving four children: Mrs. Josephine A. Allen, now deceased; John Henry Crosby, Mrs. Annie L. Newton, and Isabelle Crosby, deceased. Mr. Crosby married, second, December 6, 1875, Harriet E. Rogers, of North Cornwall, Conn., who is descended from the Rev. John Rogers and other Puritan ancestors on her father’s side, and from prominent Huguenot stock on her mother’s. Their children are Henry Barrett Crosby, Jr., architect of this city, and Florence Lynn Crosby. There are a number of grandchildren, among them being former Congressman Henry C. Allen. One of the great-grandchildren, Alexander Murray, Jr., is a student at Yale.

Funeral services will be held at the home of the deceased, 164 Broadway, on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock. Interment will be in the family plot at Cedar Lawn. Those desiring to view the remains can do so between 10 and 12 o’clock on the day of the funeral.


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