Genealogical history of Hudson and Bergen counties, New Jersey

Biography of Walter Christie of Bergen County

Walter Christie is descended from the same American ancestor as Cornelius Christie (see sketch on page 106), James Christie, of Aberdeen, Scotland, the emigrant, who had ten children or more of the second generation, one of whom, William (2), married Catharine Demarest and by her had ten or twelve children. One of these was “Captain James,” and another was Peter W. Christie (3), who married Belitie Westervelt, by whom he had several children, one of whom Ralph P. Christie (4), born at Schraalenburgh, October 12, 1783, died June 15, 1873, married Catharine Westervelt, born October 7, 1787, died April 26, 1848. They resided at Schraalenburgh and had three sons: Cornelius R. and Doweh, who were apprenticed to the trade of mason. Cornelius R. Christie (5) married Annie Christie. One of their children was Walter Christie, the subject of this sketch. Walter Christie (6) was born at Schraalenburgh, near the South Church, November 16, 1863, and still resides on the old homestead of his paternal grandfather, Ralph Christie, purchased by the latter March 31, 1808, from Wiert Banta. The locality is now known as the Borough of Bergenfield, of which Walter Christie is now the Mayor. For many years after his purchase from Banta, Ralph Christie conducted a tannery on the farm, and when his sons, Cornelius and Doweh, reached the age of sixteen he apprenticed them to the harnessmaking trade, which they successfully followed until the breaking out of the Civil War

Walter Christie attended the public schools of his district, and succeeded his father as a farmer, having inherited the homestead. He still conducts the farm, and has, in addition, built up a thrifty real estate and insurance business. He has also managed with great success a number of large and important estates, for several of which he has acted as executor. In all these connections, Mr. Christie has gained an honorable standing as a man of ability, integrity, and enterprise.

He has also been prominent and influential in public affairs, having served for eight consecutive years as Collector of Taxes for the old Township of Palisade, which embraced the territory lying between the Hudson River on the east and the Hackensack River on the west, in Bergen County. In March, 1897, he was elected Mayor of the Borough of Bergenfield, and served two years, declining a renomination in 1899, and was succeeded by Mr. Van Valkenburgh, the present Mayor. On the 15th of March, 1900, he was elected a member of the Board of Chose Freeholders of Bergen County by the largest majority ever given any candidate for any office in Palisade Township. Mr. Christie has discharged every duty with satisfaction and credit, not only to himself but to all his constituents, and is widely respected and esteemed for those qualities which mark the successful man, and for that public spirit, methodical devotion, and genial good nature which have characterized his life. He is a member of Lodge No. 3,638, Knights of Honor, of Tenafly, N. J., and a regular attendant at the Christian Reformed Church.

Mr. Christie married Maria Van Wagoner, daughter of John Van Wagoner, Jr., of Kinderkamack, Now Etna, N. J.

Source: Harvey, Cornelius Burnham, Editor; Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey, New York: The New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Company, 1900.

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