Tuesday, January 21, 2020

John Quackenbush - American Computational Biologist And Genome Scientist

John Quackenbush (born January 4, 1962) is an American computational biologist and genome scientist. He is the Professor of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, Professor of Cancer Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), as well as the director of its Center for Cancer Computational Biology (CCCB). Quackenbush also holds an appointment as Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics in the Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).

A native of Mountain Top, Pennsylvania, Quackenbush attended Bishop Hoban High School in Wilkes Barre, graduating in 1979, after which he attended the California Institute of Technology, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physics. He went on to earn a doctorate in theoretical particle physics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1990.

After working two years as a postdoctoral fellow in physics, Quackenbush was awarded a Special Emphasis Research Career Award from the National Center for Human Genome Research (the predecessor of the National Human Genome Research Institute), and subsequently spent the next two years at the Salk Institute working on physical maps of human chromosome 11, followed by another two years at Stanford University developing new laboratory and computational strategies for sequencing the human genome.

In 1997, Quackenbush joined the faculty of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Rockville, Maryland, where his focus began to shift to post-genomic applications, with an emphasis on microarray analysis. Using a combination of laboratory and computational approaches, Quackenbush and his group developed analytical methods based on the integration of data across domains to derive biological meaning from high-dimensional data.

In 2005, Quackenbush was appointed to his current positions at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and the Harvard School of Public Health. Four years later, he launched the DFCI’s Center for Cancer Computational Biology (CCCB), which he directs and which provides broad-based bioinformatics and computational biology support to the research community through a collaborative consulting model, and which also performs and analyzes large-scale second-generation DNA sequencing.

A leader in the fields of genomics and computational biology, Quackenbush’s current research focuses on the analysis of human cancer using systems biology-based approaches to understanding and modeling the biological networks that underlie disease. This has led him and his colleagues to make fundamental discoveries about the role that variation in gene expression plays in defining biological phenotypes.

In 2010, Quackenbush and his colleagues at DFCI's CCCB, together with investigators at National Jewish Health's Center for Genes, Environment and Health, University of Pittsburgh's, Dorothy P. and Richard P. Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Disease, Boston University's, Section for Computational Biomedicine and the Pulmonary Center, and the University of Colorado Denver, Genomics Core Facility received an $11 million grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to launch the Lung Genomics Research Consortium. This project, funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), will add genetic, genomic, and epigenetic data to a collection of clinical biological samples developed by the NHLBI's Lung Tissue Research Consortium. The consortium aims to use genomic technologies and advanced data-analysis tools on available patient lung-tissue samples to gain new insights into pulmonary disease and thus develop more effective, personalized treatments.

John Quackenbush discusses creating an information ecosystem for personalized genomic medicine. 2014 Bio-IT World Keynote, John Quackenbush, Ph.D., CEO, GenoSpace; Professor, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard School of Public Health.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Old Dutch New York Bible 1741 Owned by Harmon Quackenbush

Pieter Quackenbush and wife Maria were New Netherland settlers - Pieter owned and operated the Albany brickyards. The old Dutch Bible belonging to my ancestor Harmon Quackenbush is displayed at this site (Pieter's great grandson) Bible as of this date housed at Schaghticoke, New York - Diver Library.

Harmon Quackenbush's Bible which was purchased of Harmon Grosbeck and Genet Winney in l775 can be viewed at this site. Original date of Bible 1741 written in Dutch. Harmon's son Jacob Quackenbush born 1771 inherited this Bible which today is at the  Schaghticoke, New York Library.

* Info from the web- The marriage record of Magdalena Quackenbosch and Jonas Volkertz Douw is the first entry in the registers of the Albany Dutch Church which have been preserved.

Pieter W. Quackenbush (a grandson of Pieter ref. above) and Volckert A. Douw-descendant of Volckert Janse, were partners in the business of making rum during the French and Indian War Period and beyond. Thanks to an Albany excavation project we learned that the Distillery was located outside of the City of Albany next to the Hudson River. In those times rum was not to be sold to soldiers inside of the city limits and this was a perfect location. Rum, which was made in large wooden vats with portions of "river water" and molasses (a by product of sugar) fermented 12 -14 days. Rum was one of the main beverages drunk in the mid l700s. British soldiers were issued a quart of rum per day for every four soldiers. It has been recorded that soldiers were drunk a good portion of each day. Rum was also used in punch which men, women and children drank. Drinking rum was considered "good for health". The Quackenbush-Douw facility could produce about 250 gallons of rum per day!

Rum depended upon the African Slave trade....the slaves worked the Sugar Plantations. Resolved Waldron (MANHATTAN SEEDS OF THE BIG APPLE) was once an overseer of workmen in Brazil prior to relocation in New Amsterdam where he lived with his family on the corner of Broadway and current day Wall Street. His first position was as night sheriff under Director General, Pieter Stuyvesant. Later he moved to Harlem. Resolveert Waldron spoke Dutch, English, Portuguese-once acting as interpreter for the Negroes of Cornelius Steenwyck, Govert Loockermans and Thomas Hall in court.

Thanks to the wonderful vision of Charles L. Fisher (1949-2007) the New York State Museum's first Curator of Historical Archealogy and his many colleagues. Along with the Museum I offer my sincere thanks to The Bender Family Foundation, Alan Goldberg, The Alan Goldberg Charitable Trust, George McNamee, and Hartgen Archeological Associates, Inc. as well as all who contributed to the Charles L. Fisher Fund.

This Bible printed in Holland originally owned by Peter Ackart was purchased by Harmon Quackenbush of Schaghticoke, New York 28 May 1775 and is housed at the Arvilla Diver Memorial Library of Schaghticoke, New York. Harmon was married to Judith Morrel about l764. The Bible (image below) was purchased of Harman Groesbeck and Genet Winney, the two Elders of the Church at that time for the sum of four pounds, two shillings, zero penny which is paid by the said Harmon Quackenbush. On the inside cover: handwritten 1738 December 5 Harmon Quackenbush was born, Departed this life the 15th of May 1824. Page directly after face plate lists the birth of his wife 1739 April 26 and followed by all the children, 1759 December 22 then is born my eldest daughter, Alida. Alida married Daniel Bradt (AnthonyBradt & Rebecca Van Der Heyden ) and their daughter Judah Bradt born17 Nov. 1786 married William G. Waldron at Schaghticoke 9 May 1804. They had 14 children - the family resided in North Creek, New York.

Harmon Quackenbush was Author Gloria Waldron Hukle's grandfather 7 generations back.

Children of Harmon beginning with eldest daughter Alida born Dec. 22, 1759.

Harmon Quackenbush and wife Judah Morrall Quackenbush are Alida, above and Elizabeth born 1761 Aug. 28, son Sybrant was born Sept. 11 , 1763, son Daniel born 1765, Aug 27th, son John born 1767 June 18, daughter Nellie who eventually married Peter Benway was born 1769, August 19th, Harmon and Judith's son Jacob was born 1771 November 15th. Jacob married Ann Grosbeck and it was Jacob who inherited the Bible. Jacob Quackenbush died December 16th 1847 as recorded in this Bible. Harmon and Judith Quackenbush last born daughter was Catherine born 1774 January 15. Also recorded is Maria Benway born 1789 Sept. 20th.

Born l775, January 28th Ann Groesbeck (believed to be daughter of Harmon Groesbeck) Ann and Jacob Quackenbush married as written in the Bible 1793 June 30th.

1794 June 9th daughter Agnes Quackenbush was born, 1796 daughter Judy was born November 26th. It is interesting that her name is written as Judy an not Judith. In 1799 a son Thomas was born July 15th. 1802 Feb 8th Maria born, 1804 a daughter Catherine on Sept. 18th, 1808 Nellie (daughter of Jacob & Ann Quackenbush) 1814 Nicholas on June 9th, This child must have died young because a second Nicholas is listed as born 1817 January 19th. Images & transcriptions thanks to Ruth Urdwary Ft.Crailo DAR.

Ann Groesbeck wife of Jacob died 27 Sept. 1851. 

Source: Author Gloria Waldron Hukle, New York Historical Book Series by Gloria Waldron Hukle. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes (Grace Humiston Quackenbush) Takes On The NYPD

When an 18-year-old girl went missing, the police seemed content to let the case grow cold. But Grace Humiston, a soft-spoken private investigator, wouldn’t let it lie.

Unlike in Mike Dash’s recent tale of a mysterious cold case, detectives knew right away the identity of a body found in Harlem on a cloudy spring day in June 1917. She was 18-year-old Ruth Cruger, who had been missing since February 13. She’d left her home on Claremont Avenue that morning wearing a blue velvet coat, a black hat adorned with a flowered ribbon, white kid gloves and her new graduation ring from Wadleigh High School. She walked toward 127th Street with a pair of ice skates dangling from her wrist and was never seen again.

The morning after Ruth disappeared, her older sister, Helen, searched for clues in their neighborhood. She recalled Ruth mentioning a motorcycle shop a few blocks away where she could get her skates sharpened. Helen arrived at the store around 9:30 and found it closed. She returned an hour later and this time the front door was padlocked. Finally, at 2:30 p.m., the shop was open. Inside she found several women waiting to have baby carriages repaired and a man hunched over a bicycle.

“Did my sister leave her skates to be sharpened yesterday?” Helen asked.

The man replied that a young woman had left a pair of skates to be sharpened in the morning and returned for them later.

“What kind of skates were they?”

“They were fastened on shoes like you have on,” the man answered.

“Was she a dark and attractive girl?” Helen asked.


Helen rushed home to recount the encounter to her father, Henry. He called the police and spoke with a detective, who reasoned that the shop’s owner, Alfredo Cocchi, had initially been absent from his counter because he had repair jobs in the neighborhood. The detective insisted that the Cocchi was a “respectable businessman” but agreed to pay him a visit, and afterward wrote a report that consisted solely of the line, “I searched the cellar.”

The New York Police Department seemed content to let the case grow cold, but Ruth Cruger quickly became a national fixation. The victim’s profile—young, white, attractive, from a respectable family—revived interest in “white slavery,” the idea that the thousands of girls who vanished every year in New York and other large cities had, one way or another, entered the “sporting life,” or prostitution. After a sensational 1907 case in Chicago, a frenzy over white slavery erupted; Americans lived in a state of fear equivalent to the atomic bomb scares of the 1950s or the early post-9/11 terror alerts. Newspapers printed daily “agony columns” listing the names of missing girls, and Progressive Era reformers crafted lurid narratives to rouse the public’s interest, books with titles like The Black Traffic in White Girls that read like porn for puritans.

Most reformers harbored nativist sentiment and warned that the large influx of immigrants,
particularly those from Southern and Eastern Europe, were changing the character of the country. They argued that such men—mainly Greeks, Italians and Jews—acted as “panders” in the red-light districts, organizing the kidnapping, rape and sale of young girls to enterprising madams. The white slavery phenomenon peaked in June 1910, when Congress passed, and President William Howard Taft signed, the White Slave Traffic Act—better known as the Mann Act after its author, Congressman James Robert Mann. The Mann Act forbade the interstate transport of women for “immoral purposes” without specifying the exact meaning of the phrase (which ultimately allowed the government to investigate anyone it found objectionable for any reason, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Charlie Chaplin and Jack Johnson).

The advance of the automobile changed the business of prostitution. More “sporting girls” made house calls, and red-light districts across the country began to shut down. Public opinion shifted as well; prostitutes were no longer considered victims, but simple-minded girls of questionable character and dubious acquaintance. The New York Police Department suggested that Ruth Cruger fit this profile, saying she “wants to be lost” and presenting scenarios that might explain her motive for running away. One witness spotted a girl matching Ruth’s description climbing into a taxicab with an unidentified man; another suspect, whose name was never released, was believed to have “met Miss Cruger several times without the knowledge of her parents.”

Meanwhile, Alfredo Cocchi fled back to his native Italy—an escape the Cruger family suspected was aided by police. Exasperated, Henry Cruger posted a $1,000 reward for information about the case and hired an lawyer-turned-investigator named Grace Humiston, who had gained notoriety the previous year by battling to save the life of a man on Sing Sing’s death row. (She would eventually prove he had been convicted on falsified evidence and secure his release). Before that, she had gone under cover and infiltrated turpentine camps in the South, where she discovered entire families working under slave labor conditions.

At age 46, with black hair coiled in a bun and a tendency to speak sotto voce, Humiston seemed more like a librarian than a crusader for justice. When a reporter for the New York Times visited her office at Madison Avenue and 42nd Street, she was on the phone with her mother, asking her to water her plants. “It was like dropping in at Baker Street and having Holmes throw the pipe, the violin and the hypodermic out of the window and begin to discuss how many strawberries make a shortcake,” the reporter noted. “Frankly, so far as appearances go, Ms. Humiston is badly miscast in the role of sleuth extraordinary, or as the program might say—‘Mrs. Sherlock Holmes.”

Humiston spent 15 hours a day on the case, working pro bono, interviewing Harlem residents who might have noticed suspicious activity around Cocchi’s shop. One man recalled seeing Cocchi emerge from his basement around midnight on February 13, covered with dirt and appearing “nervous.” Another spotted Cocchi the following night, again “dirty and nervous.” On this evidence, Humiston went to Cocchi’s shop, determined to get into the cellar.

Cocchi’s wife appeared at the door wielding a brick. “I’ll split your skull with this brick if you try to come in here,” she said.

Humiston reported the threat to Police Commissioner Arthur Woods, who granted her a search permit. On June 16, she enlisted the help of Patrick Solam, a close friend of the Cruger family and the general foreman for Grand Central Terminal. Solam started in the main basement room, directly beneath the shop. A cluster of benches, toolboxes and chests of drawers created a triangular work area. Solam noticed that one chest along the southeast corner of the room slanted slightly, protruding an inch beyond the others. He asked two assistants to help move it.

They discovered that the concrete floor beneath had been smashed with a hatchet or axe and then sliced with a saw. They took turns digging, removing layers of ashes, cinders, dirt and chips of broken concrete. Farther down, embedded in the dirt, they found a pair of dark trousers with pinstripes and stains, and beneath that a large sheet of rubber, carefully arranged to prevent any odor from rising to the surface.

Three feet down, the pit sloped to the west. A shovel struck something hard. Solam lowered himself into the hole and felt a sharp knob—the exposed hip of a body. They pulled the body up, inch by inch, and swept away the dirt. A piece of hemp rope nine feet long was knotted tightly around the ankles, cutting into the flesh. A towel looped around the neck. The feet bore shoes and stockings, both brown, and the blue of a velvet coat had faded to slate. Kid gloves still concealed the hands, and a black hat lay smashed deep inside the pit. The final discovery was a pair of ice skates, covered with mottled blood.

The victim’s skull had been crushed from behind, just above the left ear. Humiston confirmed that the clothes were those worn by Ruth Cruger the day she disappeared. She convinced Henry Cruger not to go into the basement, and he later identified his daughter by her graduation ring. An autopsy revealed a deep gash in Ruth’s abdomen extending to her spine, carved with the blade of her own skate—an injury that classified the case, in the parlance of the times, as a “ripper.” Otto H. Schultze, medical assistant to the district attorney, determined that the killer inflicted the wound after the blow that crushed Ruth’s skull but before her death.

Italian officials refused to extradite Alfredo Cocchi, but he was arrested in Bologna and confessed to the assault and murder of Ruth Cruger. “I had never seen Ruth Cruger before she came to my shop to have her skates sharpened,” he said. “From the very beginning Ruth did all in her power to attract my attention. I felt something strange when her dark, penetrating eyes fixed on mine. I was still more disconcerted when she came again to get her skates. An overpowering attraction for the young woman seized me. What happened afterward seems like a dream.” He was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Humiston wasn’t finished. She publicly accused the NYPD of negligence, and a subsequent investigation by Police Commissioner Woods revealed a longstanding, mutually beneficial relationship between Cocchi and the department. If an officer arrested someone for speeding he would send the offender to Cocchi, suggesting that the repairman was able to compromise cases for a small fee. Cocchi would collect the fee, keep a portion for himself and kick back the rest to the officer.

Next she gave a series of interviews intended both to rehabilitate Ruth’s character and lay the groundwork for the next phase of her own career. “I started out with the conviction that Ruth Cruger was a good girl,” she said. “I knew that one of her training and character never would figure in an elopement or anything of that kind. Working on this conviction of mine, I knew that the police theory of ‘waywardness’ was all bosh.” She suggested that Cocchi had intended to force Cruger into prostitution and urged the city to renew its efforts against white slavery: “What I think is needed is a bureau that would prevent girls from getting into the hands of these beasts, rescue them if they were already snared, and then cure them of their moral ailment. Do you know that no girl of the streets, if rescued before she reaches the age of 25, ever continues her shameful trade?”

In July 1917, Humiston was named a special investigator to the New York City Police Department, charged with tracing missing girls and uncovering evidence of white slave traffic. At the same time she formed the Morality League of America—a throwback to the anti-vice organizations prevalent in the years leading to the passage of the Mann Act. Hundreds of families sought her help in locating their missing daughters and sisters. The Cruger murder brought Grace Humiston national renown, but she, along with scores of other prominent Progressive Era reformers, was eventually lost to history. Later newspaper recollections of the Cruger case fail to mention “Mrs. Sherlock Holmes” at all.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine Original Story by By Karen Abbott smithsonian.com August 23, 2011

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Reynier van Quackenbosch, Son Of Pieter

Reynier and Lysbeth had the following children: Adrian, Benjamin, Dievertje (a twin), Claas (a twin that died in infancy), Claas (probably died in infancy). Lysbeth Jans Masten died about 1690.

Reynier married a second time in New York on Sept. 13, 1692 to Claesje (Claudia) Jacobs Stille, who was baptised in New York on Feb. 11, 1672 and was the daughter of Jacob Cornelis Stille (known as Jacob Woertendyke or Somerdyke in the records), and Aaltje (Alida) Fredericks. Together, Reynier and Claesje had the following children: Jacob, arritje, Johannes, and Claas (mentioned once only in "Annals of Albany), and Abraham.

Reynier van Quackenbosch came to New Netherlands with his father (Pieter van Quackenbosch) from Oestgeest, near Leiden, Holland. He probably lived in Albany prior to his first marriage, which occurred in New York city, Feb. 11, 1674, after which he settled in the vicinity of Schenectady. It is told traditionally that the wife and infant of one of the Quackenbush ancestors were slain by the Indians in Schenectady, and if this be true the coincidence of dates and other circumstances would indicate that Lysbeth Hasten and her son Claas (17) were the victims. Their names do not appear in the list of those slain on the night of Feb. 8, 1690, when occurred the memorable burning of Schenectady, and the Secretary of New York State, Hon. John Palmer, reports that there are no records in his office referring to this incident; but the Indians are known to have committed many depredations about that time of which no records have been preserved.

Reynier Quackenbosch and his wife Lysbeth Jans Hasten are named as "members of the Church of Jesus Christ at NewAlbany"in the year 1683, and three of their children were baptized there, as were probably the other two, but this is uncertain owing to the destruction of the Albany church records covering the period between 1630 and 1683. After the death of his first wife Reynier lived in NewYork, as indicated by his marriage there Sept. 13, 1692, to Claasje Jacobs Stille, and the baptism of all their children in the New York church.

He is next heard of at Canastagione, on the north branch of the Hohawk river, where he and his brother Johannes owned farms. This district is thus described in Schuyler's"Colonial New York " :The settlement at Canastagione, on the north bank of the Hohawk river, was somewhat distant from another of the same name on the south side near Niscayuna. It was made by seven farmers, Jean Fort, Jean Rosie, a Frenchman often employed as an interpreter on the missions to Canada, Dirk Arentse Bratt, two brothers—Jan and Reynier Quackenbosch, and the brothers Gerrit Ryckse and Haas Ryckse Van Vranken.

The farms were located on the interval along the river, each having about the same frontage ; behind was an unbroken forest. The nearest neighbors were across the river, some three miles distant, and at Half Hoon, on the same side about five miles below. The settlers chose the wilderness, where they could hold their lands in fee, rather than settle on the Manor of Rensselaerwyck under long or perpetual leases.

In 1703 Jean Fort sent a petition to the Governor for some of the wild land back of his farm, but was not successful. Three years later the seven farmers joined in an agreement to procure what Fort had individually sought in vain. They entered into an agreement with Col. Peter Schuyler to procure for them a patent from the Governor for a tract of land one mile in depth lying back of their farms, for which they stipulated to pay him £50 on delivery of the patent. The instrument was signed by the several parties except Fort, whose wife signed her own name " Margaret, ye wife of Jan Fort, Liberte." The paper is still preserved uncancelled by one of the descendants of Schuyler. The patent was granted on April 20, 1708, and the next year the parties released to each other one seventh of the whole.The settlement, being on the borders of civilization, was not safe from the incursions of unfriendly Indians, and of their savage allies, the Canadian French. Gradually the Rosies, the Bratts and the Quackenbosch's withdrew to safer localities.

Reynier Quackenbosch died between the years 1708—the date of the Canastagione patent, and 1711, when it is recorded that his widow Claasje married Jacob Koning.

Reynier, son of Pieter, was born in Holland about1658 and died between1708 and 1711. He first married in New York, on February 11,1674 to Lysbeth (Elizabeth) Jans Masten, "maiden from Flushing in New Netherlands, who was baptized in New York on June 3, 1657, and was the daughter of Jan Masten.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Arthur And Helen Quackenbush - The Quackenbush Store, Eugene, Oregon

"If you can't find it, go to Quackenbush's. They will have it." The statement was true. Anything and everything from jewelry to silver and exquisite china, pots and pans to toys, farm tools and iron stoves to Basque figurines, Viennese glassware, German clocks, Oregon myrtlewood, Indian baskets, wheelbarrows, even buggies. Name it and somewhere in the delightful labyrinth floors, laden counters, packed shelves, and crowded passages, it would be found.

Singing overhead are the antique change carriers; an early period scales serves the customers. An informal office in plain view on the balcony views the store while messages are called back and forth between office and salespeople, adding to the general informality and friendliness of the pioneer establishment. 

The store, a landmark in Eugene, Oregon for almost seventy years, was founded in 1903 by J. W. Quackenbush and his son, Arthur. It was called J. W. Quackenbush & Son. Opened as a hardware store, it soon spread out into all areas of merchandise. 

When Arthur Quackenbush was married in 1922, his wife became a partner in the enterprise and the store grew rapidly as it developed and emphasized its unique characteristics. The couple operated the business together until January 1970, when Arthur Quackenbush died, soon followed by the death of Mrs. Quackenbush in September 1972.

"Trust, not hardsell a customer" was the slogan of the store and the policy built a large clientele in the community. 

In 1971 the store was doomed to demolition by the Urban Renewal Agency. Persuaded by the Lane County Historical Preservation Committee and the Lane County Historical Society, Mrs. Quackenbush rehabilitated the threatened building. With her assistance, the structure with its many distinctive and unique features was "saved." It is presently being operated by a corps. of old-time employees who are maintaining its former charm and friendliness.