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HVCC Emeritus Prof. Publishes Family-House History

Hudson Valley Community College Emeritus Professor Publishes Family/House History that Dates Back Three Centuries

The Staats family goes back a long way in Rensselaer County, NY – a really long way.

Thankfully, Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) Accounting professor emeritus W.L. “Bill” Staats took the time over the past three years to recount the lives of all 11 generations of his family who have occupied the family homestead since 1696.

Three Centuries on the Hudson River” is an historical account of the home, known as Hoogebergh, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The fieldstone house was built on land deeded by patroon Killean Van Rensselaer to Joachim Staats, whose father Abraham came to America in 1642.

The book recounts the lives of the earliest residents of Hoogebergh but also include Staats’ personal anecdotes about the ninth generation to live in the house, which survived the Great Depression, despite the death of his father. Staats’ widowed mother and seven children led a perilous life and survived, in part, only due to the generosity of a unwed uncle and maiden aunt.

Staats was a graduate of Van Rensselaer High School and the Albany Teacher’s College. He spent more than four decades teaching at Hudson Valley and was the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in 1994. He retired from SUNY in 1995.

More information about the book can be found at  

 Photo of Hudson Valley Community College Professor Emeritus W.L.

HVCC Professor Emeritus W.L. “Bill” Staats‌

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