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HON. FREDERIC BODINE.—The blood and characteristics of four distinct races are represented in the Bodine family,—the French, Dutch, Irish, and English, the paternal ancestors of Frederick having been Huguenots, who early fled from persecution in France, and, embarking for America, colonized on Long Island. A portion of this little band eventually found their way into Orange County, among whom was William Bodine, the great-grandfather of the subject of this biographical sketch, who acquired a large tract of land one mile to the west of Walden village, the homestead of later generations of the family. Among his children was. Peter, the grandfather of Frederick, who resided upon a farm in Montgomery, and married Miss Mary Millspaugh. Their children were eleven in number, one of whom was Sylvanus, born July 10, 1807, and whose death occurred in Steuben County, N.Y., in his seventy-first year. He was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Ann, daughter of John Horton, of Goshen, and had children,—Amasa and Frederic. The latter, whose portrait accompanies this sketch, was born in Montgomery, June 18, 1835, where the years of his early life were passed. These years were uneventful in character, the winter being devoted to study or teaching, while the summer brought its routine of farm employments.
In 1865, Mr. Bodine, having become weary of agricultural labor, disposed of the farm, and removing to the village of Montgomery, embarked in business enterprises. During the same year he entered the political arena as the Republican candidate for representative in the State Legislature, to which he was elected by a large majority. Here he represented his constituency with marked ability, and served on the committees on schools and colleges and towns and villages. In connection with the former he did signal service, being largely, instrumental in the introduction of the bill in behalf of the free-school system, which afterwards became a law, under which the State is now working. Mr. Bodine, in the fall of 1866, purchased a farm at Plattsburgh, N.Y., to which he removed, but the surroundings of his old home proving more congenial, he returned to Montgomery the following year and engaged in business. He has since been identified with the public interests of the township; is a director of the Walden Savings Bank, has been railroad commissioner for the township of Montgomery since 1873, and has served as highway commissioner and inspector of elections. He was appointed, in 1880, supervisor of census for the Fourth New York District by President Hayes, including the counties of Ulster, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, and Delaware.
He was in 1870 elected justice of the peace, and still fills the office. Mr. Bodine abandoned mercantile pursuits in 1877, and began the study of law with Joseph M. Wilkin, Esq. He was admitted to the bar as attorney and counselor at the general term held in Brooklyn, February, 1880, and at once engaged in the practice of his profession. In politics he is an ardent Republican, and an earnest advocate of the principles of the party. He is an active and useful member of the Presbyterian Church of Montgomery, of which he is an elder. Mr. Bodine has been twice married. He was first united to Miss Mittie Graham, June 5, 1862, to whom was born a son, Theodore. Mrs. Bodine’s death occurred Feb. 28, 1870, and he was a second time married, Nov. 16, 1870, to Mrs. Emma Decker, of Montgomery.