German-born Philip Neff immigrated to the U.S. in 1918. He and wife, Augusta, settled in Fosterdale in 1923 to manage the government-controlled recreation farm known then as the Worker’s Benefit Fund. There is history worthy of sharing about the Fosterdale Recreation Farm, which will follow in weeks to come. For now, it is intriguing to know more about the immigrant who successfully built up the business to accommodate 160 guests. Neff became a Cochecton Town Justice in 1929.
Supervisor Edward Dermody, a Democrat, was candidate for his sixth consecutive term when he died on October 30, 1939. His Republican opponent was Magistrate Philip Neff. The town board, two Democrats and two Republicans, was in a deadlock to fill the vacancy. The board gave the appointment to the special election winner, Neff, two days after Mr. Dermody’s death. Neff’s Democratic opponent was Charles F. Keesler, poultry farmer. Supervisor Neff was re-elected. In 1947 he lost the Republican caucus nomination to Charles Maas, poultry farmer and justice of the peace. The vote was 44 to 34.