Richardson Harrison Thurman
Richardson Harrison Thurman

Information on this page is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, published in 1880.

RICHARDSON HARRISON THURMAN. Richardson Harrison Thurman was born at Warrensburg, Warren Co., N. Y., July 12, 1811. His grandfather, Richardson Thurman, was born May 1, 1755, and died April 6, 1806. He was a nephew of John Thurman, Jr.,* the proprietor of the Thurman Patent, in Warren Co., N. Y. James Low Thurman, his father, was also the owner of a large amount of real estate, and was a prominent citizen of Warren County. He was sheriff of that county, appointed by Governor Clinton, March 16, 1818, and served as a member of the Assembly, for the district composed of the counties of Warren and Washington, in 1820. He was a lieutenant in the war of 1814, receiving his commission, dated April 30, 1814, from Daniel D. Tompkins, Governor of New York, and participated in the battle of Plattsburgh. He was a personal friend of De Witt Clinton, Daniel D. Tompkins, and Aaron Burr.

His mother's maiden name was Catharine Cameron; she was a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, and came to Warrensburg, N. Y., when fifteen years of age. Of a family of ten children (five sons and five daughters), two of whom died young, the subject of this sketch was the third son.

R. H. Thurman's early years were spent mainly in Warrensburg and Lake George, in attendance upon the common schools, and in the store of George Pattison. His father died Nov. 13, 1826, when Richardson removed to Keeseville, Essex Co. (January, 1827), where, in the employ of Forsyth & Peabody, Pope & Ball, and successors,he remained until Sept. 1, 1831, when he came to Troy.

The first five years of his residence in Troy were passed in the employ of Silliman, Grant & Co., and White, Baker & Monell, merchants; and in 1836 he became associated in business with Alsop and Jared S. Weed (and afterwards with Alsop and Henry Weed), which interest he sustained with Alsop Weed until 1854, when the firm was dissolved. Thenceforward, and until 1863, Mr. Thurman continued on his own account.

Having an aptitude for banking, all through his business career he was more or less identified with banking and financial institutions. He assisted in organizing the Union Bank of Troy, in 1851, with which he was officially connected for many years. He was mainly instrumental in founding the First National Bank of Troy, in 1863, and has been one of its directors and its cashier since its organization. In 1867 he, with Thomas Coleman, Lyman Bennett, Harvey Smith, and Otis G. Clark, organized the Starr Knitting Company of Cohoes; has served as its secretary and treasurer, and is now one of its largest shareholders.

Mr. Thurman married, May 18, 1836, Catharine L. M. Van Buskirk, daughter of Philip Van Buskirk, then of Troy. The result of this union has been two children, Harriet L. and Sarah, the former being deceased. Gifted in an eminent degree in all that pertains to trade and com- merce, and thoroughly posted in all the rules governing or laws bearing upon monetary matters, the result of practical experience, close observation, and the study of years, it is not to be wondered at that his career has been a marked success.

* John Thurman, Jr., uncle to R. H. Thurman, was born in New York, Feb. 27, 1732, and died at Bolton, N. Y., Sept. 27, 1809, from injuries received by being gored by a bull.

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