Hosea Dugliss, looking Glass Manufacturer

Hosea/Josiah Dugliss

This page consists of various contributions and may confuse


Kindly supplied by his descendant, Capt Bruce Kinney

 Hosea Dugliss was born on Christmas Day 1793, in Birmingham, England, which was a well-known metalwork center. He first appears in New York City directories in 1820 at 5 Park Row, where it splits off from Broadway south of City Hall. By 1825, he was listed in a “looking glass store” at number 11 Park Row. Hosea Dugliss’s looking-glass shop was near the intersection of Broadway and Park Row. (It should be noted that Park Row as it appears in the city directories and Chatham Row as it appears on Dugliss’s label are one and the same street.) He remained at this address for the remainder of his career (until about 1850). By 1854, he is listed only at his home address, 232 East Broadway, as “late [recent] looking glass.” (As a “manufacturer” of looking glasses, Dugliss also made frames.)

The British-born Dugliss joined a number of ambitious émigré craftsmen in 19th-century New York City, where he became a very successful entrepreneur with a good head for business. In fact, his moneymaking ventures went well beyond the manufacture of looking glasses and frames. Like some other merchants with spare capital—such as the furniture-maker Duncan Phyfe—Dugliss was able to invest substantially in real estate. One of his properties was a six-story building on the corner of Ann Street and Theatre Alley, which in 1836 housed a couple of booksellers, a bindery, a tailor, a print colorer, a jeweler, and a printer. An article published on November 12, 1836, in Horace Greeley’s weekly journal the New-Yorker (not to be confused with today’s New Yorker magazine) names Dugliss as the owner and reports the details of a damaging fire in the building (which was attributed to a furnace in the fifth-floor bindery). In the 1860 census (when he was 66 years old), his profession is given as “gentleman” (a man of good breeding with no occupation), and the value of his real estate was $10,000. At the height of his career, and as proof of his hard-earned standing in society, Dugliss commissioned Samuel Lovett Waldo (1783–1861)—whose work included many prominent sitters—to paint his portrait.

Hosea Dugliss married (as his second wife - see family tree below)  Mary Ann Silvester in April 1828 at the Vandewater Street Church (Presbyterian) in New York City, and they became the parents of a large family of children. Mary Ann was born in New York in 1808 and died in 1864. Hosea died a few years later at the age of 73 and was buried on April 30, 1867, in the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

The following seems incorrect:

Having established himself in New York, he sent for his wife and children. His wife died mid-passage and was buried at sea. Upon being told this on the Jersey Piers, which were the Ellis Island (immigration and excise point) of the day, the father suffered a stroke and died. Young Josiah Dugliss and his sister were orphaned in a strange land. He was apprenticed and became in time a noted fine-cabinetry mirror maker, executing among other commissions the (original) New York Opera in an era when mirrors were the heart of illumination.

      Or is the main body of the article conflicted?


 Douglas S Kinney writes in My Story in The Scotsman newspaper:

I wanted, in hopes of finding kith and kin, to share the tale from the Scots Diaspora of Josiah Dugliss (Douglas) and his father's rapid passage to the New World. His father left the UK, the family story goes, rather suddenly, perhaps from England, having been told that "in a state" he sent the emptied skull of a calf to the Palace ("Brainless calf" was a favorite epithet of the day and he applied it in his note to the Crown's policies toward the Americans in the War of 1812). He left the UK in haste by ship for New York.

Having established himself in New York, he sent for his wife and children. His wife died mid-passage and was buried at sea. Upon being told this on the Jersey Piers, which were the Ellis Island (immigration and excise point) of the day, the father suffered a stroke and died. Young Josiah Dugliss and his sister were orphaned in a strange land. He was apprenticed and became in time a noted fine-cabinetry mirror maker, executing among other commissions the (original) New York Opera in an era when mirrors were the heart of illumination.

His success can be gauged by his work, a house on Fifth Avenue, the marriage of a son to the daughter of "Boss" Tweed (the Scots powerbroker in New York City) and in a large and noted family in the greater New York area, including his grandson, my maternal grandfather Robert Pohlé Dugliss / Douglas. Clan Dugliss is running a Y-Chromosome genealogical project to try to establish the male forebears of the persevering and enterprising Josiah Douglas and find our "cousins" in the Old World.


William D. Plumb, a grandson, Gives Facts About Mirror Maker.

To the Editor—Under the heading of "Questions and Answers," page 8, New York Sun of March 12, I read a question from F. T. S., Long Island, regarding Hosea Dougliss, Looking Glass Manufacturer, 15 Chatham Row.

I can shed some light on the matter for your inquirer. I knew Hosea Dougliss and his life reads like a book of fiction. His father was a butcher in Birmingham, England, in the early part of 1800, and was greatly in sympathy with the Americans during the war of 1812. So much so that he called the King of England a "brainless calf" and demonstrated his feelings by sending a calf's head with the brains removed to the King. This was considered a grave offense and he was forced to flee to this country, leaving his wife, a son and two daughters behind. The son was Hosea Dougliss. Later he sent for his family and while on the way over the mother took sick and died. She was buried at sea, and when the news was imparted to the father at Castle Garden, when the ship arrived, he was taken with apoplexy and dropped dead on the pier, leaving his three children alone in New York City.

They all obtained work, and under the guidance of one of the sisters who was older, managed to live and thrive. Hosea Dougliss had an aptitude for wood working and later made cabinets, chairs, etc., but his principal business was making looking glasses. Through thrift and concentration he finally engaged in business for himself and purchased a piece of property from the first John Jacob Astor on Chatham Row, now Park Row. The building, I think, is there today, next to and south of the Syndicate Building. It is three stories high and was long occupied by the Hitchcock Music Company. It is across from the Post Office.

Hosea Dougliss lived on East Broadway when it was one of the finest residential streets of the city. I saw Lincoln's funeral pass the house when the body was brought to New York. Directly opposite the house lived the famous William M. "Boss" Tweed. His daughter, Josie, married Fred Dougliss, son of Hosea Dougliss.

Hosea Dougliss was a fine man and did much good in his lifetime. During his life he acquired much property; some on Ann Street, running in and joining with his property on Park Row. At one time an offer was made by Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World to purchase all of the property on Park Row at Hosea Dougliss' line extending to Ann Street, to put up the World Building, and the property of Hosea Dougliss was sold by the estate, but Pulitzer failing to obtain possession of the corner of Ann Street was forced to purchase the French Hotel site and erect his building there.

Another noted piece of property Hosea Dougliss owned was the site where the Grand Central Depot is, where in his time was a farm. This sold for $75,000 after his death. He died in the late sixties. Having lived a useful life, he amassed a great fortune and was rated at the time to be one of New York's rich men.

There is a book on file in the New York Library about the old families of New York, which relates a very interesting account of this man. I loved him for I knew him intimately. My mother was his daughter Eleanor, and I am his grandson.

If you can reach your inquirer he may be interested in knowing that his looking glass was made by a man who never was ashamed to put his name on his work.

He was in business about forty-five years at the same place, and from the label on the back I would say the mirror is about 114 years old.

??Was he also a noted artist?  With a portrait in Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco?

Descendants of Hosea Dugliss

1 Hosea Dugliss aka: Josea Douglas b: 25 Dec 1793 in Birmingham, England d: 28 Apr 1867 in New York City, NY?
.. +Mary Hunt b: 15 Apr 1808 m: WFT Est. 1810-1842 d: 27 Jun 1864
....... 2 Daniel H Dugliss aka: Daniel H Douglas b: 25 Dec 1828 in prob NYC,
NY d: 02 Jul 1870 in Brooklyn, NY
........... +Eleanora Farrington b: 10 Jan 1833 m: 24 Dec 1849 in prob NYC,
NY d: 15 Jan 1927 in Brooklyn, NY
................ 3 Mary "Mamie" J. Douglas b: 26 Jan 1851
.................... +Seneca Halloway
................ 3 Ella M. "Nellie" Douglas b: 19 Nov 1853 d: 24 May 1920
.................... +Thomas E. Raymond
................ *2nd Husband of Ella M. "Nellie" Douglas:
.................... +Fernald b: Abt. 1839 m: Abt. 1882 d: 14 Oct 1900 in Havana, Cuba
................ 3 Emma Frances Douglas b: 17 May 1858 d: Bef. 17 Nov 1937
.................... +Hervey Brundage Vanderhoof b: 18 Oct 1858 in New York City, NY m: Bef. 1879 d: 1901
................ 3 Louise Halsey Douglas b: 27 Jun 1859 in Poughkeepsie,
Dutchess Co, NY d: 14 Jan 1937 in New Rochelle, Westchester Co, NY
.................... +Clinton Burnett Parker b: 25 Oct 1857 in Watertown,
Jefferson Co, NY m: 11 Jun 1884 in Brooklyn, NY d: 25 Sep 1924 in Brooklyn, Kings Co, NY
....... 2 Eliza A. Douglas
........... +Attwill (See below)
....... 2 Emma J. Douglas
....... 2 Hiram F. Douglas d: Bef. 14 Aug 1909
....... 2 Charles H. Dugliss

..........3 Charles H Dugliss, Jr
..........3 Bruce S Dugliss
..........3 Donald S. Dugliss
..........3 Robert P. Dugliss
..........3 Malcolm Dugliss
..........3 Dorothy Dugliss
....... 2 Elenora M. Dugliss d: Bef. 02 Mar 1872
........... +Plumb
................ 3 Frederick W. Plumb
................ 3 William D. Plumb
................ 3 Mary F. Plumb d: Bef. 21 Jan 1936
................ 3 Eleanora D. Plumb d: Bef. 30 Dec 1950
................ 3 Emma J. Plumb d: Bef. 03 Apr 1932
....... 2 Frederick W. Dugliss
........... +Josephine S. Tweed m: Bef. 1868 in NY
................ 3 Joseph H. Dougliss b: Apr 1868 d: Aug 1868
................ 3 Josephine H. Dugliss b: Jun 1874 d: Mar 1875
................ 3 child Dougliss b: Abt. Feb 1876 d: 24 Feb 1876
................ 3 daughter Dugliss b: Abt. Sep 1878 d: 09 Sep 1878
....... 2 Mary A. Dugliss d: Bef. 14 Jul 1902
........... +Weldon
....... 2 Rebecca T. Dugliss d: Bef. 27 Feb 1896
........... +Texter
................ 3 Elizabeth D. Texter
....... 2 Hosea W. Dugliss b: 1823 in of NY, NY d: Bef. 14 Jul 1902 in NY,
................ +?
3.Eliza Douglas
.........3 Emma J Douglas
.........3 Hiram F. Douglas
.........3 Frederick W. Douglas

*2nd Wife of Hosea Douglas:
.. +Mary Silvester m: 02 Apr 1828 in Vandewater St. Presbyterian Church, NY.
....... 2 Joseph Washington Dugliss b: 14 Feb 1839 d: 1880
........... +Elizabeth Weed d: 1880
................ 3 Charles Hosea Dugliss b: 25 Dec 1855 in NY d: 27 Jul 1931 in New Rochelle, NY
.................... +Emma Mercier Pohle' b: 22 Apr 1856 m: 03 Mar 1880 d: 18 Jan 1933
................ 3 Joseph Washington Dugliss b: Abt. 1860
.................... +Virginia Perry Goss b: in Westerly, RI d: in Westerly,RI


Joseph Fairfield ATWILL

Joseph Fairfield ATWILL was a California pioneer of 1849, and became prominently identified with early business enterprise in the City of San Francisco, where he was a leader in public affairs.  Later, for a number of years, he was engaged in the practice of law in the State of Nevada, where also was elected to judicial office, and he passed the closing period of his long and useful life as an honored pioneer citizen in Oakland, California, where he died at the age of eighty years.

Of sterling Colonial American ancestry on both the paternal and maternal sides, Judge ATWILL was born in the City of  Boston, Massachusetts, and was a son of Eben and Sarah (DODGE) ATWILL, both likewise natives of the old Bay State.  The father became a successful contractor and builder, and was still a young man at the time of his death, which occurred prior to the year 1820.  His widow, the mother of Joseph F.  ATWILL, passed away in 1856, on the day of the inauguration of President Franklin PIERCE.  She was a woman of most gracious personality, and had been acquainted with every president of the United States from General George WASHINGTON to President PIERCE. 

Joseph F. ATWILL was reared in a home of culture and received his early education in his native city of Boston.  He was the youngest in a large family of which four sons became prominent; the eldest Rev.  William ATWILL, a clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church; Winthrop, one of the editors of the New York Observer; and Eben, a business man, who died in New Orleans, a victim in one of the early cholera epidemics in that city.

As a young man, Joseph went to New York City, where he became prominently identified with the music-publishing business and the sale of musical instruments, and where he numbered among his personal friends many men of national renown, including James Gordon BENNETT, the founder of the New York Herald.  Prominent in musical affairs in the national metropolis, Mr. ATWILL formed the acquaintance of Jennie LIND, the great “Swedish nightingale”, Madam Anna BISHOP, the English singer, and many others of international fame.

While a young business man in New York, Joseph F.  ATWILL married Miss Eliza Ann DUGLISS, the daughter of Hosea DUGLISS of New York.  Miss DUGLISS, born and reared in the State of New York, was of Dutch and English ancestry.  Of this union there were born five children, of whom all but one are dead.  The eldest, Sarah Ann, was the widow of William Henry KEITH, druggist and importer of San Francisco, and of their two children the elder is Miss Eliza D. KEITH, principal of the Sherman School in San Francisco well known as a writer and public speaker, and a former grand president of the Native Daughters of the Golden West.  The other child is William Henry KEITH, a talented baritone soloist and a leading vocal teacher in San Francisco.

Eliza D. ATWILL, the second child of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph F.  ATWILL, was the widow of Henry D. REYNOLDS.  She had one child, Lillian, now the wife of Sheldon L. KELLOGG, of Alameda, and mother of one son.  Mary Josephine, the third daughter, the widow of Dr. T. H. Pinkerton, once a leading physician of Oakland, California is the only living child of Mr. and Mrs. ATWILL.  Emeline Augusta, the youngest, was the widow of John G. BLOOMER, of San Francisco.  Augusta Atwill BLOOMER of San Francisco is their daughter.  The son, Joseph F. ATWILL Jr., died at an early age in San Francisco.

The death of Judge ATWILL occurred about the year of 1893, and his widow survived him about a decade, passing away in 1903.

The discovery of gold in California drew to this state men of all classes and conditions, and among those of exceptional ability and high attainments who arrived here in 1849 was Joseph F. ATWILL.  He came by way of the Isthmus of Panama and arrived in San Francisco in October of that year. After passing a brief interval in mining camps he returned to San Francisco and became a pioneer in the  business activities of the city, where he was the contemporary and close associate of other leading men of the day, including Theodore PAYNE and C.K. GARRISON.  The Pacific Coast even in that period had appreciation of cultural agencies, including music, and Mr. ATWILL established a prosperous music-publishing and general music business, under the title of ATWILL & Company, with headquarters on Clay Street, where he went through three severe fires that damaged much of the business section of the city, but fortunately escaped having his establishment destroyed in the conflagrations.  In 1853 Joseph F. ATWILL was here joined by his family, who made the trip from New York to San Francisco in a clipper ship that sailed around Cape Horn and landed at the foot of Clay Street on Montgomery Street.  The family home was established in a house built for Mr. ATWILL on the corner of Clay and Powell streets.

As a man of exceptional ability, and as one of the progressive citizens of the period in San Francisco, Mr. ATWILL became prominent in public affairs in the community, served as a member of the Board of Aldermen and as acting mayor during the absence of C.K. GARRISON, the incumbent, and was chosen the first president of the San Francisco Board of Education.  He made investments in local real estate, and at one time owned the property on which the Palace Hotel now stands.

In the ‘60s Joseph F. ATWILL went to Virginia City, Nevada, where as has already been stated, he engaged in the practice of law and also became a judge of one of the early courts.  He finally retired, returned to San Francisco business life and later established his home at Oakland, California, where he passed the remainder of his life, as did also his wife. His family religious faith was that of the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which his brother, the Rev. William ATWILL and his wife were long identified with the Methodist Church.  Mr. ATWILL also became actively affiliated with the Society of California Pioneers, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  It was by such men as he that was laid the foundation of San Francisco’s greatness and her enduring fame.

Transcribed by Deana Schultz.

Source: "The San Francisco Bay Region" Vol. 3 page 282-284 by Bailey Millard. Published by The American Historical Society, Inc. 1924.


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