Van Auken, Solomon J.

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY
(Redirected from Solomon J. Van Auken)


Solomon J. Van Auken was born in Knox on July 3, 1845. He was the son of Ira Van Auken (ABT 1818- : AFT 1880) and Elizabeth Quackenbush (January 19, 1823 - Abt 1865). His brothers and sisters were:[1]

  • Mary Emeline Van Auken (12 OCT 1843 - 10 SEP 1907) married Alonzo Ketcham
  • Margaret J Van Auken (1847 - BEF 1 JUN 1900) married John Simon Secor
  • Elizabeth Van Auken (ABT NOV 1849 - )
  • John P. Van Auken (ABT 1854 - )
  • Caroline Van Auken (ABT 1857 - )
  • Jacob I. Van Auken (1859 - 1926)
  • William Van Auken (ABT 1864 - )



Marriage & Children

Solomon J. Van Auken married Marietta (Mary Etta) Armstrong (May 31, 1850 - June 23, 1889), the daughter of Theodore Armstrong and Louise Torry (11/29/1819-12/30/1909). Their children were:

  • Louisa Van Auken (November 1, 1872 - February 24, 1945) married Garret A. Keenholts (November 14, 1871 - September 6, 1924). Their daughter, Marietta Keenholts (Feb 11, 1894 - ) married Ralph E. Comstock (April 29, 1891 - June 8, 1967)


Solomon J. Van Auken Monument - Knox Cemetery
Solomon J. Van Auken Grave - Knox Cemetery
Jacob I. Van Auken Grave - Knox Cemetery
Garret A. Keenholts Grave - Knox Cemetery
Ella Ober Keenholts Grave - Knox Cemetery

Solomon Van Auken died March 21, 1928.

Solomon J. Van Auken
July 3, 1845
March 21, 1928
His Wife
Born May 31, 1850
June 23, 1889

Jacob I. Van Auken
1859 - 1926

Garret A. Keenholts
Nov. 14, 1871

His Wife
Born Nov. 1, 1872
Died Feb. 24, 1945

Ella Ober Keenholts Born Aug. 12, 1895 Died Oct 16, 1899


Mary Etta Armstrong Van Auken Obituary - Altamont Enterprise — June 29, 1889
Solomon J. Van Auken Obituary - Altamont Enterprise — March 30, 1928


When death called Solomon J. Van Auken from this world, Albany county lost a dependable citizen and the town of Knox and the surrounding territory a true and loyal friend. A heavy loss is felt throughout the country for "Old Sol" was a friend of the needy and a loyal supporter of the righteous.

Mr. Van Auken was born in the town of Knox and the surrounding always lived in that town. Up on the hill, as Knox is sometimes termed, was dear to him and every person residing there was a friend of Sol's. Always willing to help, no matter what was in the way, was one of his attributes. Every farmhouse and citizen was known personally to him, and there is not a highway in this section that he has not driven over.

Always a strong and sturdy Republican, Mr. Van Auken was leader in his community in political matters. He could always be depended upon to deliver the vote, and several will attest to his calling on them at all hours, day and night, to talk politics and solicit their support. For many years he was the deputy sheriff in town, and was known by all as "Sheriff." He filled the office with grace and dignity and there was no mischief when the sheriff was about. His fearlessness... was known by all, and many tales are told of his strength and grit in wrestling matches. Although a short man in stature, he was the biggest man in controlling his fellow citizen, and his advice and experience was always solicited.

Mr. Van Auken was always a farmer, and his farms were the envy of all. A tireless and indefatigable worker, he prospered and he put back into the soil much of that he took out.

Known by all neighbors as a lover of horses, and the breeding of horses, which was his main hobby and enjoyment, many a prize has he taken at the country fairs year after year. So much so that exhibitors knew something was lacking is Solomon J. was absent.

The horses he handled were always the finest. This was perhaps his chief enjoyment; it was his hobby, and never was he happier than when about his steeds, or in showing them to his friends or exhibiting them at country fairs. We doubt if there be a person in the county who has taken more blue ribbons for horses than this man.

The raising of sheep was also another hobby with him. He introduced this custom to the Helderbergs at an early age, and his flock of 100 of more were the envy of the countryside.

Mr. Van Auken in his business and his social contacts, established a wide and ever increasing circle of friends, who liked him for his quiet dependability, his willingness to aid, and his sincerity and straightforwardness.

A sturdy son of the Helderbergs has answered the call, but his name, deeds, loyalty and sterling qualities are embedded in the history of the Town of Knox, and linked with the strength of the hills he loved, and will never fade.

Altamont Enterprise - March 30, 1928

—The funeral of Mrs. Solomon J. Van Auken, who died at her residence in Knox, about two miles west of this village, on Sunday, the 23d inst., was largely attended from her late residence at 1, and from the Lutheran church of Knox, at 2 p. m., on Tuesday. Mrs. Van Auken had been out of health for some eight years past, and had been a constant sufferer for the past three months. The cause of her death was a chronic inflammation of the stomach. She was an estimable Christian lady, possessing many graces of mind and heart, and leaves a large circle of relatives and friends. A husband and daughter survive her. The interment took place at the Knox Cemetery.

Altamont Enterprise - June 29, 1889

Additional Media

Menands, New York, Albany Rural Cemetery Burial Cards, 1791-2011
about Garret A Keenholts
Name: Garret A Keenholts
Birth Date: 14 Nov 1871
Birth Location: Altamont, New York
Death Date: 6 Sep 1924
Age at Death: 52
Death Location: Albany, New York
Section number of burial: 109
Lot number of burial: 108

OBER—At rest, Friday, June 31, 1901, Mary Ella Posson, wife of Edwin W. Ober. Funeral Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock at her late residence, No. 70 Dove street, Albany.

Altamont Enterprise - June 28, 1901

1869 — At the residence of the bride's parents, Aug. 21, 1869, by Rev. E. Vedder, of Gallupville, Edwin W. Ober of Albany, to Miss Mary Ella, daughter of John Posson, of Knox, Albany Co., N. Y. :

Altamont Enterprise - February 12, 1954

KNOX - Mrs. Ella Ober of Albany has been visiting her father, John Posson, the past week.

Altamont Enterprise - August 21, 1886

KEENHOLTS—Aug. 12th to Mr. and Mrs. Garret Keenholts, of Albany, a daughter.

Altamont Enterprise - August 16, 1895

Garrett Keennolts and wife of Albany, spent Sunday with their father, Solomon J. Van Auken.

Altamont Enterprise - April 19, 1907

Mr, Garret Keenholts, and wife, who have been occupying roqms in Mr. Jacob H. Esass' house for several months, moved to Albany on Wednesday. Mr. Keenholts is employed as bookkeeper for the Hudson Valley Paper Company on Broadway.

Altamont Enterprise - August 19, 1892

Auction Sale - At S. J. Van Auken farm, Knox, N. Y., will be held on SATURDAY, APRIL 14, at one p.m. The following property will be sold: Farm implements, plows, cultivators, seeder, drill, fanning mill, reaper and binder, cutters, wagons, harness, sleighs, farm wagons, etc., hay, grain, and other articles. Victrola, porcelain lined ice box. Order of LOUISA KEENHOLTS, Executrix, estate of Solomon J. Van Auken.

Altamont Enterprise - April 6, 1928

Mrs. Geo. Letts, of Hyndsville, died Saturday, Aug. 10th, (1907). The funeral was held from the Hyndsville M. E. church on Tuesday and the remains, accompanied by undertaker Hellenbeck, were brought here and taken to the Knox Cemetery for interment. Mrs. Letts was in her 64th year and is survived by her husband, and five children by a former husband, Mrs. Elizabeth K. Bouck and Mrs. Harvey Machesney, of Hyndsville, Elmer Ketcham, of Shutters Corners. John C. Ketcham, of Fulton, and Mrs. Earl D. Baxter, of Sharon Srings. She also leaves four brothers, John P., Sol. J., William and Jacob Van Auken and one sister, Mrs. John Kline, of Albany.

Altamont Enterprise - August 16, 1907

1860 United States Federal Census about Solomon J Van Auken Name: Solomon J Van Auken Age in 1860: 14 Birth Year: abt 1846 Birthplace: New York Home in 1860: Knox, Albany, New York Gender: Male Post Office: West Household Members: Name Age Ira Van Auken 42 Elizabeth Van Auken 37 Mary E Van Auken 16 Solomon J Van Auken 14 Margaret J Van Auken 12 John P Van Auken 6 Caroline Van Auken 3 Jacob J Van Auken 1

"United States Census, 1880," Solomon J. Vanauken, Knox, Albany, New York, United States
name : Solomon J. Vanauken
event: Census
event date: 1880
event place: Knox, Albany, New York, United States
gender: Male
age: 34
marital status : Married
occupation : Farmer
race or color (original) :
ethnicity (standardized) : American
relationship to head : Self
birthplace : New York, United States
birthdate : 1846
spouse's name : Maryette Vanauken
spouse's birthplace : New York, United States
father's name :
father's birthplace : New York, United States
mother's name :
mother's birthplace : New York, United States
page : 112
page character : D
entry number : 4000
nara film number : T9-0807
gs film number : 1254807
digital folder number: 004242014
image number: 00433
Household Gender Age Birthplace
self Solomon J. Vanauken M 34 New York, United States
wife Maryette Vanauken F 29 New York, United States
daughter Lucy Vanauken F 9 New York, United States


  1. Family Files