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Bancroft, Almon C.
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Bancroft, Almon C.
Contributed by Barbara
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Source: Past and Present of Pike County, Page 449-450


Almon C. Bancroft, whose beautiful home is one of the fine residences of the county, is classed to-day with the substantial citizens, having five hundred acres of valuable bottom land. His success is creditable and his business ability unmistakable. He was born in Massachusetts, May 8, 1860, and is a son of Harvey and Lydia (Gaines) Bancroft, both of whom were natives of the old Bay state. In 1864 the father came with his family to Pike county, locating on the river bottom south of Kinderhook, where he carried on farming on a small scale. He and his wife were members of the Baptist church, and he is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, while his political faith was indicated by the support which he gave to the republican party. His wife died in 1873 and he afterward married Amelia Mays. His death occurred in 1892; and his second wife is now living near Kinderhook. There were born of the first marriage five sons, namely: Almon C.; George, who is living in Leadville, Colorado; Lester, who resides in Canon City, Colorado; Charles, who makes his home in Trinidad, that state; and Lewis, who is likewise living in Colorado.

Almon C. Bancroft was a public-school student in Pike county between the ages of six and thirteen years. He then left home and went to live with Timothy Colvin, with whom he remained until twenty years of age, when he started out upon an independent business career. He spent one summer in the west on a cattle range in New Mexico and Texas, being at that time only nineteen years of age. After leaving Mr. Colvin he worked by the month for one season on the farm, and then went to work on the railroad with a bridge gang, being thus employed for a year and a half. He was afterward employed by the month for some time for about two years, when he began farming on his own account, making his first purchase of land when thirty-four years of age. He thus became the owner of one hundred and nineteen acres on the river bottom, which constitutes the nucleus of his present extensive possessions, for as the years have gone by he has placed his money in the safest of all investments-real estate-until he is now the owner of five hundred acres of very valuable land, most of which is bottom land, and is very rich and productive. The farm is well improved and well fenced, and in its midst stands a beautiful two-story residence about thirty-two feet square. It is surrounded by a well-kept lawn; and the house is one of the best in this part of the county Mr. Bancroft gives his attention to the cultivation of the fields and also raises some stock, and in his work his indefatigable energy and honorable purpose stand as strong and resultant elements.

In 1882 occurred the marriage of Mr. Bancroft and Miss Della Lewton, who was born in Pike county in 1862, and is a daughter of Daniel and Christina (Decker) Lewton. The father's birth occurred in Pike county, Illinois, and he was a son of Daniel Lewton, who came here from Pennsylvania, casting in his lot with the early settlers. The mother was also born in this county, her parents located in pioneer days, having removed to this state from Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Bancroft now have two sons: Harry, born April 17, 1890; and Lewis, born January 20, 1892.

Mr. Bancroft is a member of Kinderhook lodge, No. 353, A. F. & A. M., also of Barry chapter, No. 88, R. A. M. He likewise belongs to Kinderhook lodge, No. 757, I. O. O. F., in which he has passed all of the chairs, and he is a member of the Modern Woodsmen camp at Kinderhook, and the Pike County Mutual Association, while his wife belongs to the Eastern Star. Both are devoted Christian people, holding membership in the Baptist church, in the work of which they take an active and helpful part. Mr. Bancroft is a democrat, but without aspiration for office, preferring to give his undivided energies to his business affairs. He has been dependent upon no outside aid or influence, but has placed his faith in the sure and dependable qualities of close application and unfaltering diligence, and his life exemplifies the term, dignity of labor, and shows forth the sure rewards of persistent, honorable effort.

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Submitted: 05/17/09

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