Richard C. Derrick
Richard C. Derrick

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

RICHARD C. DERRICK was born Feb. 29, 1804 in the town of Brunswick, Rensselaer Co. His parents' names were Samuel and Abigail Derrick. He was the fourth son in a family of eleven children, four of whom are now living. His ancestors came from Holland, and were among the earliest settlers in Rensselaer County. They followed farming. His boyhood was spent on the farm and was devoted to toil. He attended the district school in winter, and learned the elementary branches. His education was practical,—was derived more from observation and experience than from books. He understood human nature and interpreted motives correctly. Mr. Derrick began life without pecuniary help. In his later years, when prosperity surrounded him, he used to remark, that when he was married and had paid the minister his fee he had but twelve dollars left to begin life with. He followed agricultural pursuits. He plowed deep, enriched the soil, raised good crops, made machinery lighten labor, and admired fine stock; his cattle, sheep, and pigs usually took the first premiums at the county fairs. He was prompt in his business engagements, making it the rule of his life to meet his obligations when due, and before if possible.

He was an earnest advocate of temperance and never used spirituous liquors in any form. He was strong in his friendships, and never deserted those to whom he was attached. He was a man of great force of character, strong in his convictions and correct in his judgments. He was fitted by nature for great emergencies. Ever industrious and economical, he managed his affairs prudently and accumulated a handsome property. He never sought public office or political honors. Formerly identified with the Whig party, upon the organization of the Republican party he became a firm supporter of its principles. During the civil war he was loyal to the core.

He became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1830, and remained a worthy communicant of that body during his life. His wife united with the church at the same time, and still remains constant in her profession. On Jan. 20, 1825. he married Joanna M., daughter of Jacob and Jane (McChesney) Derrick, of Brunswick. She was born Oct. 11, 1805. Their children are Mrs. Henry J. Abbott, Mrs. Nathan B. Betts, Mrs. Lemuel B. Hanaman, and Richard A., all residents of the town of Brunswick.

Mr. Derrick died at his home in Brunswick May 18, 1879. He lived from 1856 until the time of his death on the farm where his son Richard A. now resides,—a view of which may be seen below. He and his wife during the latter years of his life spent their summers at Round Lake, where he owned a fine cottage at the time of his death. Mr. Derrick was physically strong, tall in stature, and commanding in person. He was a fine physical type of the pioneers who planted civilization in Rensselaer County. He was an earnest advocate and liberal supporter of the Church, and every enterprise that tended to make society better. He lived long and happily, commanded the respect of all who knew him, and at death's gate laid down the burden of life cheerfully.

Residence of Richard A. Derrick, Brunswick, N. Y.

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