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Henry S. De Forest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Henry S. De Forest
Henry S. DeForest.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 23rd district
In office
March 4, 1911 – March 3, 1913
Preceded byGeorge N. Southwick
Succeeded byJoseph A. Goulden
Mayor of Schenectady
In office
In office
Personal details
Henry Schermerhorn De Forest

(1847-02-16)February 16, 1847
Schenectady, New York
DiedFebruary 13, 1917(1917-02-13) (aged 69)
Schenectady, New York
Political partyRepublican
Lucie E. Van Epps
(m. 1876; his death 1917)
EducationEastman Business College

Henry Schermerhorn De Forest (February 16, 1847 – February 13, 1917) was a U.S. Representative from New York.

Early life

Henry Schermerhorn DeForest was born in Schenectady, New York on February 16, 1847. He was the third son of Sarah (née Vedder) De Forest and Obadiah Lansing De Forest,[1] who was first elected deputy sheriff on the Know Nothing ticket, and then three terms as the Democratic sheriff of Schenectady in 1855.[2]

His paternal grandparents were Jacob De Forest and Anna (née Lansing) De Forest.[2]

He attended the Union Classical Institute in Schenectady and graduated in 1864 from Poughkeepsie's Eastman Business College.[3]


DeForest was a farmer, and specialized in the production of broom corn. He was also successful businessman, with interests including real estate, which made him the city's largest landlord. He was also a building contractor, with his company constructing more than 1,000 homes in the Schenectady area. In addition, he was active in banking as a board of directors member for the Citizens' Trust Companies. After the advent of the automobile, DeForest owned a Pierce dealership in Schenectady.[3]

He served as Schenectady's City Recorder from 1883 to 1885. He served as Mayor from 1885 to 1887 and 1889 to 1891. As Mayor he successfully advocated for General Electric to locate in Schenectady when it was formed from the mergers of several other companies, including Edison Machine Works, which had moved to Schenectady in 1886. As a result of his efforts, the expanded GE located in Schenectady in 1892.[3]

DeForest was elected as a Republican to the Sixty-second Congress (March 4, 1911 to March 3, 1913). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1912 to the Sixty-third Congress.[3]

He was an unsuccessful candidate for nomination in 1914 to the Sixty-fourth Congress and for election in 1916 to the Sixty-fifth Congress.[3]

Personal life

On September 6, 1876, DeForest married Lucie E. Van Epps (1849–1930), the daughter of Harmonus Van Epps.[2] Together, they were the parents of two daughters:[2]

  • Beulah DeForest, who married William Howard Wright.
  • Pearl DeForest, who married George Kellogg Morris.[4]

DeForest died in Schenectady on February 13, 1917 and was interred in Vale Cemetery in Schenectady. His widow died on September 5, 1930.


  1. ^ The Vedder family in America, 1657-1985. E.H. Vedder. 1987. p. 74. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Reynolds, Cuyler (1911). Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs: A Record of Achievements of the People of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys in New York State, Included Within the Present Counties of Albany, Rensselaer, Washington, Saratoga, Montgomery, Fulton, Schenectady, Columbia and Greene. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 449. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e "DE FOREST, Henry Schermerhorn - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  4. ^ General catalogue of graduates and former students of the Lawrenceville School; 1810-1910. Lawrenceville School. 1910. p. 113. Retrieved 8 August 2019.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
George N. Southwick
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 23rd congressional district

March 4, 1911 – March 3, 1913
Succeeded by
Joseph A. Goulden

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

This page was last edited on 17 April 2021, at 21:48
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