Buddington Sharpe
City of Troy

This biography is from Troy and Rensselaer County, New York, Volume III, by Rutherford Hayner, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York and Chicago, 1925. It was submitted by Debby Masterson.

BUDDINGTON SHARPEA representative of a pioneer family of Rensselaer County, New York, Mr. Sharpe has many business and social connections with the life of the county. He was born on the old Sharpe homestead at North Greenbush, Rensselaer County, July 27, 1874, son of Marshall H. and Mary (Van Husen) Sharpe.

His great-great-great-grandfather, Nicholas Sharpe, came to North Greenbush in the latter part of the seventeenth century and established the homestead, where Mr. Sharpe was born. In those days, Rensselaer County was still to a great extent virgin territory; the forests, which have since been so sadly depleted, harbored many forms of wildlife since driven westward towards the prairies or annihilated by ruthless hunters, the Five Nations still flourished, and the dangers of Indian fighting were not yet past. Adventurous and sturdy, Nicholas Sharpe cleared his land, built himself a home, and set to work to cultivate the soil. His efforts were well repaid and in the course of time, surrounded by his wife and children, he became prosperous and enjoyed a position of influence in the rising community. Throughout the many years that followed, the Sharpe homestead was handed down from father to son, until at length it came to Mr. Sharpe, upon the death of his father, Marshall H. Sharpe, of further mention.

Marshall H. Sharpe was the son of John G. and Hannah (Horsford) Sharpe. He spent his life as an agriculturist, giving his personal care to the management of the family homestead and serving the community for many years as justice of the peace. His wife, Mary (Van Husen) Sharpe, was the daughter of Henry and Catelene (Sprigstein) Van Husen. She was a representative of an old Dutch family that settled in New York in the early days of Dutch colonization. Like her ancestors, Mrs. Sharpe was a devoted member of the Dutch Reformed church, and to her deep religious training and wise guidance, Mr. Sharpe owes no small part of his present success and influence. Their son, Buddington Sharpe, is of further mention.

Buddington Sharpe received his preliminary education in the district school of North Greenbush, and during his spare time and in the summer vacations, he helped his father with the work of the farm. Beginning as a little lad, he helped with the lighter tasks, such as chopping and arranging kindling wood, feeding chickens and gathering eggs, and driving livestock to and from the pastures. As time passed and his strength increased, he became expert at the more difficult tasks of farming and learned to plough a straight furrow, in the days when agricultural machinery was still a rarity, to sow his grain evenly, and to harvest the ripe sheaves of golden grain in time for Thanksgiving. Side by side with his agricultural training, he carried on his academic studies and after his graduation from the district school, proceeded to the Troy Business College, where he acquired a thorough training in business methods and commercial subjects. When his days at the business college were over and his studies were completed, he returned home and until his father's death, he devoted himself to the work of helping him in the management of the homestead.

After his father's death, Mr. Sharpe decided to enlarge his interests and, having a thorough knowledge of the country round about and being an excellent judge of land values, he established himself in the real estate and insurance business. This venture prospered and before long he was obliged to open a main office at Troy, and this office he still maintains in addition to his office at Rensselaer. He has been instrumental in developing many favorably situated properties at Troy and Rensselaer, and his judgment in regard to the real estate market and the probable future of property in this neighborhood is regarded with the highest respect by all ranks of the business world. In addition to his real estate and insurance business, Mr. Sharpe has the exclusive agency for the Ford Motors at Rensselaer and makes a specialty of dealing in their farm and harvesting machinery. As one who has seen the great growth of American agriculture, which is due in no small part to the use of farm machinery, and who realizes the fundamental importance of farming to a nation such as ours, Mr. Sharpe takes the greatest interest in farming problems and work. He is always ready to advise those who come to him for machinery as to the best type of tractor or harvester for their needs, and he has established a record for the sale of Ford farm machinery in this county.

Mr. Sharpe has never given up the old homestead, and still manages it. He has, however, converted it from a general farm to a dairy farm, and his herds of pure blooded, prize-winning cattle never fail to excite the admiration of passers-by on the roads skirting the farm, or of visitors at the agricultural shows or county fairs where they may happen to be on exhibition. The milk and cream and other dairy products from the Sharpe farm are renowned for their excellence, and the present beauty and fertility of the property bear eloquent testimony to the wisdom and care devoted to the soil by the five generations of thrifty proprietors who preceded Mr. Sharpe. The smooth pastures, trim fences, gentle streams, and sleek cattle offer a decided contrast to the scene that must have greeted the eyes of a visitor to North Greenbush in the year when Nicholas Sharpe drove the first stakes for his dwelling, and reflect the great advances that have taken place in America since those early days.

In politics Mr. Sharpe is a Republican. He was elected sheriff of Rensselaer County in 1918, and served in that capacity for three years. He had previously held office as county supervisor from the town of North Greenbush, having been elected to that office in 1907 and having served continuously for the next eight years. At the present time Mr. Sharpe's business interests occupy the whole of his time and his political interests are confined to those of an unofficial member of his party and a voter. He takes an active interest in State and national issues however, and is a vigorous supporter of the present administration at Washington, especially in regard to matters affecting the welfare of the agricultural community. He believes in the movement for better roads, better transportation facilities, and increased standards of agricultural production. The work carried on by the United States Government through the Department of Agriculture finds in him a ready advocate, and he follows with the deepest interest the efforts of the government to check the spread of insect and fungoid pests which destroy our crops, and to prevent their importation from any foreign port by a rigid quarantine for seed and plants coming from suspected areas. Among all memibers of the community, Mr. Sharpe is recognized as a vigorous and public-spirited citizen, and his influence in matters pertaining to his chosen fields is widespread. He is a member of Silver Brook Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Wynantskill, New York; the Kiwanis Club; and the Chamer Club. In religious faith, Mr. Sharpe follows his mother, and attends the Brimmer Grove Dutch Reformed Church. He has served the church in the capacity of librarian for thirteen years, and is always ready to lend his assistance to any work undertaken by the congregation of which he is a member, or by the church in general.

Mr. Sharpe married, on February 20, 1902, at Rensselaer, New York, Jennie Garrison, daughter of Frank and Mary Lillian Garrison. Mr. and Mrs. Sharpe have two children; Andrew Garrison, who was born at Rensselaer, July 20, 1906; and Lodema, born September 5, 1911, and died at the age of seven years.



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