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Subject: Biography of James Mellen Punderson of Hudson
Author: Joseph R. Punderson
Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2002
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Punderson, Mellen, Talman, Taylor, Capron, Jenkins, Soare

"James M. PUNDERSON is a prominent coal dealer in the city of Hudson, N.Y., where he was born in 1822. His father Frank PUNDERSON was 40 years a druggist in this place, where he passed his entire business life and died in 1860 a the age of 63. Frank Punderson's father Ebenezer PUNDERSON, who was a native of Norwich, Conn., in 1797, just as the last century was drawing to a close, and about the time of his son's birth, came to Dutchess County, N.Y., and opened a store at Red Hook. Ebenezer's wife was Mary CAPRON, and they had 4 girls and 3 boyus, all of whom lived to adult life except one son and 1 daughter. The eldest bore a biblical name, Ephraim, and became an Episcopal rector in Ohio - the 2nd bore another Bible name Ebenezer, which was also his father's and became a Cleveland merchant. The PUNDERSON Family came from Yorkshire England, the first immigrant reaching these shores about 1638 within 20 years of the landing at Plymouth Rock, and settling in New Haven, Conn., where at least two of his descendants may still be found. Grandfather Ebenezer lost his wife while still a middle aged man; but he lived to become an octogenarian, dying in his 81st year.
The maternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch was Dr. John TALMAN, who was born on Long Island, and became one of the very first settlers in Husdon, where he married - in 1785, during Washington's administration - a Miss JENKINS, of Providence, R.I; and they reared one son and 4 dtrs. The doctor was an able physician, and a man of such commanding presence that it was said those external qualities twice won his election as Mayor. He attended to the duties of his profession for half a century, and was the chief founder of the Episcopal Church, in which he became Senior Warden. Dr. TALMAN built his first home on the corner of 2nd Avenue, and it was the 3rd brick house erected in the town. He also lived in the 2nd oldest brick dwelling in Hudson, one belonging to a Mr. JENKINS, on the Thomas JENKINS estate, opposite the Worth House, where the Doctor died.
James M. PUNDERSON was educated in the Hudson public schools, and brought up in the banking business, beginning when he was only 15 years old, and working in Rochester and Buffalo as teller and cashier until he was nearly 30. So successful was he in this line that he began business for himself as a broker in the latter city, where he remained 4 years, till 1855, when he came to Hudson, where he has since resided, his present home being 259 Union St, corner of 3rd. Since 1879 he has been in the coal trade. For half a century he has been a Freemason, having been a charter member of Washington Lodge in Buffalo, of which he was chosen the First Warden; and he also belongs to the Commendery of Knights Templars. In politics he was formerly a Whig of the Henry Clay stamp, but subsequently he became a strong Republican, though never holding office with wither party.
Mr. Punderson was married Jan. 28, 1852 to Mary L. MELLEN, daughter of Lovett R. and Lucretia (TAYLOR) MELLEN. Mr. MELLEN was from Pittsfield, Mass.; and his wife was born in 1795 in Hudson, whither her father, Robert TAYLOR came from Newport, R.I., among the earliest settlers, and destined to become a prominent mfr. as well as a foremost citizen. One infant son and daughter Mr. & Mrs. PUNDERSON have lost, and they have 5 children living. The eldest, Russell Mellen, lives at home and is unmarried. Frank Talman PUNDERSON, also unmarried, is a commercial traveller. James H. lives in Indian River in Florida. Louise M. is still a young lady at home. John Whitman [Whitney] is at St. Paul, Minn,m in the mardware trade, and has two interesting children, whose mother's maiden name was Soarl [SOARE]. Mrs. James M. PUNDERSON is a very pleasant and amiable lady, whom time has touched very gently, she and her husband being a very active and intelligent couple, in the fullest enjoyment of life's evening anfter the heat and the burden of the day"

From: Biographical review: Columbia County, New York. Boston: Biographical Review Pub. Co., 1894, pp. 91-93.