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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published by Chapman Publishing Co., in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM V. DOLPH is a true type of the American self-made man, and has passed his entire life in this section of the state. At present he is residing in Montour Falls, where he is very popular, and from July 18, 1889, to April 1, 1895, occupied the position of Postmaster. He has also been Justice of the Peace, discharging the duties of the office with great credit to himself.

Chester V. Dolph, the father of our subject, was also a native of Schuyler County, his father, Grandfather Joseph Dolph, having located in this county in 1802, when it was known as Tompkins County. In 1814 the latter made his home in the town of Hector, where he was one of the earliest settlers. By trade he was a surveyor. He was born near New Haven, Conn., and for a time also lived in Schenectady, departing this life December 21, 1827, when advanced in years. The race is very long-lived, the great-grandfather of our subject, Abdah A. Dolph, living to be ninety-one years of age. He, too, was born in the Nutmeg State, and subsequently lived in Ashtabula County, Ohio. For many years he was engaged in general merchandising, but during the last twenty years of life lived retired. The Dolph family is of German extraction, and our subject comes of a somewhat noted ancestry. Generations ago Charles Dolph, of the same branch, raised a company of soldiers and defended Saybrook against the English.

The father of our subject married Miss Elizabeth Steele, a native of Tompkins County. Grandfather Steele was born in Bucks County, Pa., of Irish parents. The grandmother was taken to Ithaca, or where that city now stands, in 1804, when it contained but four houses and the country round about was nothing more than a wilderness. Mrs. Elizabeth Dolph, who died January 22, 1884, became the mother of five children. Joseph Norton, now living in Portland, Oregon, is a member of the law firm of Dolph, Nixon & Dolph, the firm comprising his son, son-in-law and himself; he is known more particularly as Senator Dolph, as he served two terms in the United States Senate. William V., of this history, was the second of the family. Cyrus A. is a very prominent and able attorney of Portland, Oregon. Roselia is the wife of Rev. James H. Ross, a retired minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. John M., who graduated with the Class of ‘72 from Syracuse College, is now a resident of Port Jervis, this state, where he is Superintendent of Schools; he is a very able instructor and is much liked by his pupils and those under his charge. In addition to farming, the father owned and operated a steam sawmill, which was located in the woods. He was a Democrat up to 1848, when he joined the Free-soil party. After the organization of the Republican ranks, however, he again changed his views, and thereafter voted for its candidates.

William V. Dolph was born October 6, 1837, in the town of Catharine, this county, at which time it formed a part of Chemung County. His boyhood days were passed on the old homestead, which estate is now in his possession. He was a very apt pupil, and in attending the district schools gained a good knowledge of the common branches taught. For twelve years, from 1854 to 1866, he taught school with fair success. Following in his father’s footsteps, he is also a Republican, tried and true. He has taken a great interest in public matters, holding the office of Justice of the Peace for sixteen years, and has also been Pension Attorney, being very successful in presenting claims. Mr. Dolph possesses a wonderful memory, and with his keen, analytical mind would have made a brilliant lawyer, had he made that profession a study. He was appointed Postmaster July 18, 1889, and such satisfaction did he give to his fellow-townsmen that he was retained in office until 1895, or for a period of six years.

March 22, 1860, Mr. Dolph and Miss Hattie E. Reed were united in marriage. The latter was the daughter of John A. and Margaret (Houness) Reed, and was born March 22, 1839. She survived her union about two years, departing this life May 20, 1862, leaving a daughter, Delia, who followed her to the land beyond about four months later. Mr. Dolph afterward married the twin sister of his first wife. Miss Eliza D. Reed, the ceremony which made them one being solemnized December 5, 1863. His second wife died April 19, 1890, leaving two daughters: Augusta, born July 4, 1870; and Rose E., June 7, 1876. One child died in infancy. Both daughters are well educated and accomplished young ladies, and move in the best circles of society in Montour Falls, and the eldest daughter is house-keeper for her father.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published in 1895. 

View additional Schuyler County, New York family biographies here: Schuyler County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Schuyler County, New York here: Schuyler County, New York Map

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