AMERICAN FAMILIES of HISTORIC LINEAGE
LONG ISLAND EDITION
JAMES HARVEY DOXSEE
Fourth son of and eighth child of Archelaus and Sarah Smith Whitman-Doxsee, was born in Islip, Long Island, July 31, 1825. He was brought up on his father’s fertile and valuable farm, which his father had established as a homestead, and where his nine children were born, and which farm came into his possession. He was educated in the neighborhood schools conducted by Henry Brewster and Amos Doxsee, and spent one year at the Huntington High School. In 1848, when twenty three years old, his father died, and he continued the cultivation of the farm for his mother, and upon her death in 1870 he inherited the farm, which besides the homestead included four hundred acres of land. Besides his farming interests he established an extensive canning interest in 1865, which included the preparation of clams, found so abundantly on the southern shore of Long Island, for market, put up in various forms ready for domestic use. These products, known as, “Doxsee Pure Little Neck Clams”, and pure clam juice, clam chowder, etc., found market in all parts of the United States, and were largely exported. The capacity of the factory was over four hundred bushels of clams daily. In 1897 he established a branch at Ocracoke, North Carolina, of which his son was manager, and later the business was incorporated as J.H. Doxsee and Sons. He was vice president of the South side Bank at Bayshore, a Jeffersonian democrat, a leading Presbyterian and elder, treasurer and trustee of the church. Died august 4, 1907
LONG ISLAND EDITION
PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD
JAMES H. DOXSEE
This name is identified with the village of Islip, thousands knowing of the existence of this place only by the fact that from it is sent forth that unique but valuable article known as Doxsees Pure Little Neck Clam Juice. This is a business that has been built up from the most modest beginnings, until now Doxsees Pure Little Neck Clam Juice, Little Neck Clams and Chowder are handled by nearly all wholesale and retail grocers in the United States. These invaluable preparations are highly recommended by medical men, both for the purity of their manufacture, and their wholesome character as a food. Some of the most prominent physicians of Long Island have not hesitated to affix their names to unqualified endorsements of these articles, which are used in their family practice.
The father of our subject, Archelaus Doxsee, was a farmer, and was born on Long Island August 31,1778. Coming to Islip while still a boy, he here spent his entire life. He was an extensive land owner, and bought the farm where our subject now lives in 1834. He was twice married, Phobe Ruland becoming his first wife. She died in the year 1814, leaving five children, whose names were Moses, Henry, Mary, Charlotte and Phobe. His second wife whose name was Sarah Smith, lived to be nearly eighty two years old, and by a previous marriage was the mother of one child, Whitman. By her marriage with Mr. Doxsee she had four children, of whom our subject and his sister, Mrs. Elsey C. Cook of Brooklyn, are the only ones now, living, Phobe and Scudder having died many years ago.
James H. Doxsee, who was born July 31 1825, was brought up on the old farm, and while still young was made familiar with the work that characterizes the work of a farmer. He attended the district school of the village, and as he had a good opportunity of gaining an education, and as he was of earnest and determined character, he made rapid progress, and thus worked out for himself a very good intellectual training. Very fond of his home and its surroundings, it was seldom that he was away from the old place, so that his parents came to rely upon his steadiness and stability of character. When his father died he took charge of the farm in conjunction with his mother, and upon her death became sole owner of one of the best farms on Long Island. At that time it consisted of about four hundred and fifty acres, from which he has added contiguous property from time to time, and has also disposed of certain tracts, until now it is about the size it was originally.
Mr. Doxsee saw a business in clams even before the Civil War had closed, and in 1865 he opened out very modestly in this direction, being the first person to engage in the business of packing clams on the island. He has built up a great trade from a small beginning, and his products are now familiar all over the land. He keeps up the quality of his goods and conducts the business with judgment and success. Mr. Doxsee has been twice married, his first wife being Almira Smith, of Islip, who was the mother of four children, and died in 1865. Henry, the eldest son, who is associated with his father in the clam business, was married, in 1873, to Carrie Peters, of Poughkeepsie, and is the father of five children, Charles O., James H.,William H., Mabel and Helen. Milton and all the other children of the first union died in infancy. His second wife was Almira Smith Jennings, daughter of Henry S. Jennings, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. Her early life was passed in Brooklyn, and in Plainfield, Illinois, and she became the mother of nine children, of whom John C., Robert Lenox, Frank Cooper, Sarah Elsie and Elmira Bell are now living. James H., Fredrick Allen, Grace Eliza and Anna Jennings having died.
Our subject has been actively associated with the Democratic Party. Both he and his wife are prominent members of the Presbyterian Church, of which he has been Trustee, Treasurer, and Elder, and is commonly regarded as the mainstay of the church. The factory over which our subject presides now has a capacity of four hundred bushels of clams a day, and he pays the highest market price for all he can get. His business has grown to large proportions, and he is continually enlarging.
Mr. Doxsee is one of the solid men of the county, and lives in a beautiful home, surrounded by elegant grounds, in which are artificial lakes and fine shrubbery. He has fitted up a water power that operates from a turbine wheel that operates all sorts of machinery in the house and in the barn. A ram elevates water to a tank in the attic of the house, from which it is distributed wherever it is needed. Here the genial subject of this article lives, commanding the respect and confidence of his fellowmen, as one whose long and useful life has done much to help on the world.