J. CLARENCE RASBACH, Cashier of the First National Bank of Canastota, an experienced financier, a
public-spirited and popular citizen, was born in Herkimer, February 2, 1849. On his father's side he is of German ancestry. His family name, which was formerly spelled "Raschbach," meaning "swift brook," has been changed until it has reached its present form. The great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, Marks Rasbach, was born in Germany, June 20, 1769; and it is believed that he came to the United States about 1790. He was married in Herkimer, January 31, 1796, to Elizabeth Devendorf, of Herkimer, by whom he had four sons, of whom Adam M. was the first born. Marks Rasbach was one of sixteen signers to a call extended in 1802 to Rev. John P. Spinner from the Dutch Reformed churches at Herkimer and German Flats. Rev. John P. Spinner was the father of General Francis Elias Spinner, an American financier, born at German Flats, now Mohawk, Herkimer County, N.Y., in the year just mentioned; was a member of Congress from 1855 to
1861, and Treasurer of the United States from 1861 to 1875, during which period his signature upon the paper money of the United States was probably the most familiar autograph in the world.
Adam M. Rasbach, grandfather of our subject, was born near Herkimer, May 11, 1798. He married Elizabeth Balde, the daughter of Henry Balde, of Herkimer County, who was a native of Germany, and was educated at Amsterdam, in Holland, and in company with two brothers came to the United States, one of the brothers, John, dying of yellow fever during the voyage. Henry, with the other brother, William, safely reached the land of promise, where they lived and prospered many years. Adam M. Rasbach died in 1826, leaving his wife with three children. She died April 1, 1891, at Herkimer, N.Y., in the ninetieth year of her age. Of the three children left by Adam M. Rasbach, David H., the father of our subject, was born at Herkimer, January 1, 1821, and now lives at Canastota, N.Y. M. W. Rasbach, a brother of David H., is a fur-dealer in the Far West. David H. Rasbach married Sarah Getman, of Herkimer, daughter of James and Nancy (Campbell) Getman, the former of whom was accidentally killed by the caving in of a gravel bank, and left his wife with two children: Sarah, mother of our subject; and Elizabeth, wife of Elias VanValkenburg, of Little Falls, N.Y. J. Clarence Rasbach has two sisters: Mary E., wife of Legrand Colton; and Fannie E., a single lady, living with her parents. His brother, Frederick, died in 1873, of typhoid fever, at the age of twenty-six. He had been a student at Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y., and, though not a graduate, was a well-informed and energetic young man, and had filled several important positions in banks and with large business firms, having acted as book-keeper, teller, and cashier. At the time of his death he was cashier for the extensive house oŁ John Crouse & Co., of Syracuse, N.Y.
J. Clarence Rasbach was educated at Canastota High School, and in his eighteenth year entered the Canastota National Bank as messenger and clerk, his father being Cashier of the bank at the time. Afterward he became teller, and later an Assistant Cashier and a Director, and still later Cashier, being promoted to this latter position in 1887. At the organization of the First National Bank of
Canastota, N.Y., in 1890, he was made its Cashier, which position he still holds, at the same time remaining Cashier of the old Canastota National Bank, thus being Cashier of two national banks at one time, and giving perfect satisfaction in the performance of the responsible duties of both places. Mr. Rasbach was married September 13, 1871, to Belle M. Moot, daughter of Colonel Daniel B. and Nancy (Nellis) Moot, both of whom are now deceased, the former dying in his eighty-eighth year, and the latter when seventy-eight. They left three sons and two daughters, namely: Bloom D. Moot, of Oneida; Melancthon N., a farmer of Clockville, Madison County; Theodore G., a farmer of Cotton's, Madison County; Elizabeth M., wife of C. S. Hutchinson, of Syracuse, N.Y.; and Mrs. Rasbach. Mr. and Mrs. Rasbach have one daughter, an accomplished young lady, who in 1893, at the age of eighteen, was graduated with high honors from the Canastota Academy, being the valedictorian of her class.
Mr. Rasbach and his family are active and consistent members of the First Presbyterian Church of Canastota. He has been an elder, a Trustee, and the Treasurer of his church for some twenty-four years, and likewise superintendent of the Sunday-school. He is also Treasurer of the village of Canastota, and Acting Treasurer of the Cemetery Association. In politics Mr. Rasbach is a Democrat, having on the occasion of his first election to the office of Treasurer of the village overcome a strong Republican opposition, and the last time being elected by the universal suffrages of the people, the Republican candidate having withdrawn. He has always taken a deep interest in all movements in his village calculated to promote the public weal, especially in educational matters. Both Mr. and Mrs. Rasbach are prominent and influential people in society, and are highly esteemed by a large circle of friends.
The portrait of Mr. Rasbach forms a fitting accompaniment to this sketch.
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