Ackerly, Alfred

From: Yaphank As It Is and Was
Beecher Homan



Alfred Ackerly was born in Patchogue, Suffolk County, September 16th, 1818.

He came to Yaphank, December 9th, 1843, and began his apprenticeship with Tunis Whitbeck, a wheelwright.

He is fifty-six years old, but looks, much older. Like Hawkins Gerard, his daily worth is daily substantiated and it can never be said of him that, his every-day life and examples have guided souls astray.

In the death of Mr. Smith, he suffered the loss of a Christian friend and confidant; indeed, he lamented much his tragic end.

His is the blended features of benevolence, consecration, and sincere piety. His heart is so evidently in consolidation and in unison with his missionary spirit, the warm- hearted Christian man, and not the egotist, wins the esteem of all.

During the great revival of 1853, in Yaphank, he found peace in a Saviour's love, and bowed before the God of his fathers. He has since been a supporting pillar of the Church; in fact, one of the most supporting.

Many affairs of the Yaphank Presbyterian Church are trusted with him - and the, minds of its members rest un-alloyed by fears of his abusing their confidence, so unbounded is their faith in his honesty and integrity. Mr. Ackerly wears the garb of every-day Christianity, and dons no pharisaical robes to make good impressions, and indulges in no crocodile tears to melt the hearts of the worldly.

He prays with unassuming earnestness and a heart over-flowing with Godly and philanthropic love. He is a representative Yaphanker, because, if there is any external and internal virtue in the place, he is a representation of that limited morality.

His habits are regular; and it would not be difficult to meet him on weekdays, or on the Sabbath. He seldom deviates from the beaten routine of his business and habits.

Mr. Ackerly is a friend to every man, woman and child, and is an earnest advocate of the Golden Rule. He knows how to touch the hearts of sinners. Unlike many coworkers in the same vineyard, he never startles his hearers with a dreadful catalogue of crime attached to their individual selves, except those guileless ones within the partial walls of the church He shuns egotism in his walks with men, thus escaping the rock upon which so many Christians split.

He was for years the chorister of the Yaphank Presbyterian Church and Superintendent of the Sabbath-school. The former position he probably would have occupied to this day, but the church, growing more aristocratic, he gave way to an imported bellowing machine.


He is a wheel-wright by profession, and is considered an excellent workman. After he was married he came to Yaphank and mastered his trade in his brother-in-law's shop. After he became a journeyman, and anterior to his permanent residence in Yaphank, he worked as a ship mechanic in Drowned Meadow-Port Jefferson.

His patrons know him, and his work meets satisfaction. Men that wish a job done on which reliance can be placed carry it to his shop

A movement was set on foot in 1872 to establish a carriage factory in Yaphank, and Mr. Ackerly was conspicuous as one mover. It is a work still in contemplation, and one the vicinity is incomplete without.

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