have been admitted during the past year. The whole num
ber admitted since the organization of the school is 3663.
Cohoes was one of the first villages in the state to de
mand an improvement on the old system of district schools,
and a special law, passed in 1850, enabled it to enjoy the
advantages of free schools before other places in the
The interest thus manifested among the
citizens in regard to educational matters has since con
tinued, and the public schools have always been among
the most creditable institutions of the place.
The principal facts in the history of the system, and the
erection of the earliest school houses in the village have
been elsewhere mentioned. There are now in the city under
the control of the Board of Education, 31 schools, thus
arranged: primary 25, intermediate 4, grammar 1, high 1.
Eight buildings are occupied, of which seven are the pro
perty of the city. They are as follows:
State Yard school. On Saratoga street. Built about
1835. Is of wood, one story high, 32 by 20 feet.
Columbia Street school. Corner of Main and Columbia
streets. Built 1856. Is of brick, two stories high, 60 by
30 feet. It has been enlarged during the past year, and its
capacity doubled at an expense of $5,000.
West Harmony school. Mangham street. Built 1859-
1863. Is of brick, two stories high, 80 by 40 feet.
Egberts High school. White street. Rented of the
trustees of Egberts Institute in August, 1868. Is of brick,
three stories high, 38 by 36 feet.
256 HISTORY OF COHOES. 1876.
East Harmony school. School street. Built 1869. Is
of brick, two stories high, 43 by 28 feet.
White Street school. Built 1871. Is of brick, three
stories high, 66 by 40 feet.
Pleasure Ground school. Corner Bowery and Elm
streets. Built 1873. Is of brick, two stories high, 70 by
Lincoln Avenue school. Lincoln avenue north of Spring
street. Built 1875. Is of wood, two stories high, and 46
by 26 feet.
The seating capacity of these schools is 1950. The value
of the buildings belonging to the city is estimated at $50,000
and that of the lots on which they are situated as $40,000.
There are now employed 38 teachers, as follows:
State Yard. Miss Alice Murray.
Columbia Street. Miss Sarah Runkle, Miss Etta A. Hal-
stead, Miss Mary A. Winney, Miss L. H. Bowman, Miss E.
M Connel, Miss Wright, Miss O Reilly.
West Harmony. Miss Agnes L. Bromley, Miss M. J.
O Reilly, Miss Jennie M. Chisholm, Miss Kitty McMartin,
Miss Minnie Stiles, Miss K. E. Hayden, Miss E. L. Murray,
Miss Katy Doyle.
Egberts High school. Mr. Oliver P. Steves, Miss Ella
A. Page, Miss Anna E. Brewster, Miss Mary E. Robbins,
East Harmony. Miss Mary E. Hall, Miss Nellie Valley,
Miss Louisa Robinson.
White Street. Miss E. L. Hastings, Miss Elizabeth
Humphreys, Miss Belle Z. Van Der Werkar, Miss S. Ella
Thomas, Miss Frank Mclntyre, Miss Sarah Lawrence, Miss
Anna T. Hayden.
Pleasure Ground. Miss Emma Monk, Miss Harriet J.
Monk, Mrs. De Graff, pro tern., Miss Susie Flagler.
Lincoln Avenue. Miss Ida Van Arnum, Miss Clara
Brown. Music teacher, Mr. Otis R. Greene.
HISTORY OF COHOES.
The Egberts Institute building on White street was leased
in 1868 by the Board of Education, from the trustees of the
Institute at a nominal rent, on condition that an academic
department, or high school be always taught therein. The
Egberts High School was then organized, succeeding the
academic department of Egberts Institute. The teachers
of this department from its organization, have been as
Rev. Alexander B. Bullions, principal from July, 1864, to Feb., 1865.
Feb., 1865, to July, 1866.
Sept., 1866, to July, 1868.
Oct., 1868, to May, 1869.
Aug., 1869, to July, 1870.
Aug., 1870, to Dec., 1870.
Assistant Oct., 1872, to June, 1873.
Aug., 1873,to March, 1875.
April, 1875, to July, 1876.
Mr. Charles P. Evans,
Rev. A. J. Bingliam,
Mr. W. H. Nellis,
Mr. Robert Hardie,
Mr. E. H. Torrey,
Mr. Oliver P. Steves,
Miss Emma Osterhout,
Miss Ella A. Page,
Miss Mary L. D. Wilson,
Miss Ella A. Page,
Evening schools are taught during part of each year in
the buildings on the East and West Harmony, Columbia
and White streets, with an average attendance of 500.
During the year ending Feb., 1876, 2,443 pupils attended
the day and evening schools some portion of the year, as
In school building No. 1 First Ward, 233
"2 " " 612
" 3 Third Ward, 459
"4 " " 337
" 5 Fourth Ward, 489
"6 " " 101
"7 " " 65
" 8 Fifth Ward, 147
Concerning the expense to the tax payers of maintain
ing the schools, the following extracts from the last annual
report of Mr. Hubbard, president of the Board of Education,
will be of interest :
" I think there is not another instance where a city has
grown so rapidly as Cohoes, and greatly increased school
accommodations have been required, that the cost of the
construction of its school buildings has been paid solely
from the taxes raised annually. For the erection of new
258 HISTORY OF COHOES. 1876.
school houses, in other growing cities, money has been raised
by the creation of a bonded debt. . . .
In 1875, the per capita expense on the number of children
enrolled during the year was $9.35; on the average attend
ance $24.79. I have not the reports of the following cities
for 1875, but by reference to their reports for the year prior
(and it is, I think, fairly presumable that their expenses
have not since been diminished much), I find the expenses
of maintaining their schools as follows :
On No. Enrolled. On Ave. Attendance.
Albany, $14.93, $27.14 per capita.
Kingston, 20.28, 29.92
Saratoga Springs, 13.46, 26.04
Syracuse, 18.05, 25.74
Troy, 14.35, 26.39
Utica, 16.14, 25.96
Cohoes in 1874, 9.41, 24.50
The following table shows the number of children of
school age resident in Cohoes, in different years, according
to the census:
1855, 1110. 1872, 9200.
1860, 1605. 1873, 9504.
1865, 4055. 1874, 9547.
1870, 7679. 1875, 9607.
1871, 8259. 1876, 8879.
Cohoes has suffered from few disastrous fires. Those
which have occurred have been at rare intervals, and in
nearly every case have been confined to the buildings in
which they originated. For the good fortune of the place
in the latter respect it is indebted to a fire department, which
from its earliest days, has been well organized and efficient,
and to the existence in later years of a valuable system of
water works. The first organization of the fire department
and the substitution of steam for hand engines, have been
related elsewhere, as being the most important facts in its
history. The department is at present constituted as fol
lows : Martin Redmond, chief engineer ; John G. French,
1st ass t ; Patrick Hogan, 2d ass t ; Elbert E. Richmond,
3d ass t.
1876. HISTORY OP COHOES. 259
Alden Hose Co. No. 1. James Barter, foreman. Or
ganized June 22d, 1860. First foreman, Daniel Simpson.
Geo. H. Wager Hook and Ladder Co. Wm. Maby
foreman. Organized Oct., 1865. First foreman, Bernard
Chas. H. Adams Steamer Co. Jas. A. Stimson, cap
tain. Organized June 17, 1867. First captain, L. Vreden-
Daniel E. Mclntosh Hose Co. M. Platz, foreman.
Organized Oct. 10, 1867. First foreman, Chas. N. Green.
Robert Johnston Steamer Co. Organized Feb. 25th,
1868. First foreman, Daniel Simpson.
Edwin Hitchcock Hose Co. Michael Larkin, foreman.
Geo. Campbell Hose Co. Wm. Dewar, foreman. Re
organized in July, 1870, from the old Cataract Engine Co.
Two companies, the Howarth Engine Co., M. Thornton
capt., and the Nolan Steamer Co., Jas. Wilson capt., are
not in active service. The former was organized in 1870,
and for some time took charge of the Old Mohawk engine,
their quarters being in the engine house on Johnston avenue.
It was relieved from duty by the common council in Nov.,
1873, until suitable accommodations could be provided.
For the latter company no apparatus has yet been obtained.
The buildings occupied by the different companies were
erected as follows :
Campbell Hose House, Cataract alley, 1848
WaTerHoT&i, Co. } House, Oneida St. cor. Canvass 1867
Hitchcock Hose House, Main st. near Columbia, 1 869
Alden Johnston ave. cor. Garner st, . 1869
M Intosh " " Oneida st. near Canvass 1873
260 HISTORY OP COHOES. 1876.
Cohoes Lodge, No. 116. Symbolic Masonry. Organ
ized Oct. 21, 1846, and chartered Feb. 5th, 1847, the mem
bers at the time being as follows: Ebenezer Wadsworth,
W. M. ; Geo. Abbott, Sr. W. ; John B. Harrison, Jr. W. ;
Wm. Orelup, Jr. sec y; Reuben White, treas. ; Geo. C.,
Griffin, Sr. D. ; Elbridge G. Mussey, Jr. D. ; Stephen Doty,
Tyler; David Wilkinson, Orson Parkhurst, Lewis Valley
Darius Parkhurst, Jas. Murray, John Sanderson, Isaac F.
Fletcher, Sylvanus Twist. The rooms of the fraternity were
first located in the second story of the building on the north
east corner of Oneida and Mohawk streets, then owned by
John McDougal, and were afterwards moved to Lansing s
building, corner of Factory and Mohawk streets, and still
later to Silliman s building, Remsen street. The Masonic
Hall in Johnston s Block has been occupied since August,
1871. Present officers: Albert Ten Eyck, W. M.; Ch arles
S. Travis, S. W. ; Richard D. Christie, J. W. ; Rodney Wil-
cox, treas.; Paul Game, sec y; Alfred Gould, S. D.; James
Aitkin, J. D. ; James Barrie, Sr. ; and Anson Tabor, Jr. M. of
C. ; William Warner, Charles Nealy, stewards; Rev. W.
II. Meeker, chaplain; A. S. Targett, organist; Daniel Mc-
Intosh, marshal; Kendall Hodgson, tyler; Wm. Clough, Geo.
T. Carter, Benjamin Smith, trustees.
Cohoes Chapter, No. 168. Capitular Masonry, instituted
in 1858. Present officers: David Gould, high priest; James
Aitkin, E. K.; Richard D. Christie, E. S.; William Clough,
treasurer; M. Van Benthuysen, sec y; John McNiven, C.
of H.; G. H. Billings, P. S.; Henry Mills, R. A. C.; Joseph
Eccles, M. 3d V.; Kendall Hodson, M. 2d V.; Martin Gil-
more, M. 1st V.; George H. Howarth, tiler; Rev. W. H.
Meeker, chaplain; Benjamin Coveney, organist.
Mohawk Council No. 29. Cryptic Masonry. Organ-
1876. HISTOKY OF COHOES. 261
ized 1867. Present officers: L. D. Sanborn, T. I. M. ; W. H.
Aiken, R. I. D. M. ; Benjamin Coveney, I. P. C. W. ; George
Neil, recorder; H. Levison, treasurer; Joseph Chadwick,
Capt. G.; Geo. Waterman, Jr., Cond. C.; Rev. Geo. C.
Thomas, chaplain; Thomas Hatcher, steward; James Du-
Union Board of Relief (Masonic\ of Lansingburg,
Waterford and Cohoes. Regular meetings, third Friday
at Waterford, Lansingburg and Cohoes, consecutively.
A. Ten Eyck, president; Geo. E. Shumway, vice president;
R. D. Christie, treasurer; John E. Gage, secretary.
Spartan Lodge No. 210, I. 0. of 0. F. Organized in
1843, surrendered its charter in 1867, and was reorganized
March 11, 1869. Present officers: James W. Clark, N. G.;
G. G. Black, V. G.; Chas. E. Simons, R. S.; Chas. S. Sault,
per. sec.; J. Hiller, treasurer.
Cohoes Encampment, No. 71, I. 0. of 0. F. Organ
ized July, 1872. Present officers: Albert Porter, C. P.;
George Dean, H. P.; Chas. E. Simons, S. W.; G. G. Black,
J. W. ; James W. Clark, scribe ; Nathan Shaver, treasurer.
D. J. Johnston Lodge, I. 0. of G. T. Organized April
28, 1868. Present membership, 105. Officers: Deputy G.
W. C. Templar, T. C. Collins; W. C. T., Geo. Mather; L.
H. S., Ella Rowe; R. H. S., Mrs. Wm. Fletcher; W. Y. T.,
Mary Ferris; W. R, S., H. M. Connelly; W. A. S., Ada
Rhodamere; W. F. S., Jas. H. Crossingham; W. treas., Mrs.
Margaret Leah ; W. chap., T. C. Collins; W. marshal, Wm.
Efnor; W. dep. marshal, Eva Frisbie; W. B. G., Lydia
Crossingham; W. O. G., Chas. Welles; P. W. C. T., Chas.
St. Bernard s Teetotal Abstinence Benevolent Society.
262 HISTORY OF COHOES. 1876.
Organized May 10, 1868. Present officers : Edward Welch,
president ; Wm. Healey, treasurer ; James Caffrey, record
Temperance Brethren. Organized 1870.
D. J. Johnston Temple of Honor.
C. H. Adams Zouaves. Organized Sept., 1870. Pre
sent officers : captain, J. A. Stimson ; lieutenants: 1st, E.
J. Clute ; 2d, E. McCready ; sergeants : orderly, E. J. Fos
ter ; 2d, John Egan ; 3d, P. J. Cannon ; 4th, Thomas Hig-
gins ; 5th, W. H. Nolan ; corporals: first, John Grey ; 2d,
H. Tanner ; 3d, James Neary ; 4th, Frank Egan ; 5th, H.
McMurray. Membership of company 50, of staff 12.
Third Separate Co. Infantry National Guard S. N~. Y.
10th Brig. 3d Div. Captain, P. R. Chadwick ; 1st lieu
tenant, J. W. Brooks ; 2d lieutenant, Samuel Sault ; num
ber of enlisted men 115.
St. Vincent De Paul Society. Organized 1865 ; William
Acheson, president ; Wm. Healey, treasurer ; Patrick
Healey, vice president ; Edward Flanigan, secretary ; num
ber of members 40.
N. G. Lyon Post 43, G. A. E. Organized Oct. 14,
1867, with thirty members and the following officers : com
mander, A. T. Calkins ; senior vice com., Silas Owens ;
junior, Malachi Weidman ; adjutant, Le Roy Vermilyea ;
quartermaster, Geo. VanDer Cook. Present officers : com
mander, John Nolan ; senior vice, Chas. Me Collough ;
junior vice, George Norton ; chaplain, M. Redmond ;
quartermaster, P. G. Tymerson ; officer of the day, J.
Helmerick ; delegate, M, Redmond ; alternate, Charles
The Friendly Society of the Sons of Scotia, Organized
1876. HISTORY OF COHOES. 263
February 12th, 1869. First officers : William Whitehill,
president ; John Me Ewan, secretary. Present member
ship 80. Present officers : John Campbell, president ; John
Buchanan, 1st vice president ; Robert Taylor, 2d vice presi
dent ; Malcolm Me Niven, chaplain; James Hay, treasurer ;
Andrew M. Browne, financial secretary ; James D. Scott,
recording secretary ; trustees : James Lamb, John Holmes,
John Me Ewan, Andrew M. Browne and James Aitken.
Egberts Lodge, Knights of Pythias, No. 56. Instituted
June 3d, 1871. Officers: P. C., Geo. Greason; C. C., Chas.
P. Craig; V. C., Malcolm McPhail; R. C., A. Hoben; F.
C., Jas. Delve; B. K, E. A. Mills. Present officers: P. C.,
Malcolm McPhail ; C. C., Thomas Page ; V. C., John
Groves; P., Anthony Fairchild; K. of R., D. J. Sollinger;
M. F., David Williams; M. E., Adam T. Stebbins; M. A.,
John Hilton; J. G., John M. Geer; O. G., Henry Roberts.
Trustees : Thos. Page, Jno. N. Geer, Edward Buckley.
St. Jean Baptiste Society. Organized Aug. 10, 1871,
L. St. Charles, treas.
The Cohoes Medical Society. Organized August, 1874,
with the following officers : president, Dr. J. W. Moore;
vice pres t., Dr. L. Boudrias; secretary, Dr. J. D. Feather-
stonhaugh; treasurer, Dr. C. E. Witbeck. Present officers :
pres t., L. Boudrias; vice pres t, Jas. D. Featherstonhaugh;
sec y, O. H. E. Clarke; treas., John U. Haynes; censors,
Joseph W. Moore, Thos. S. Parker, Chas. E. Witbeck.
Present membership, 13.
St. George s Cohoes Benevolent Society. Organized
June, 1875, with the folio wing trustees: Wm. Clough, Wm.
Warner, Thos. Higgins, Lees Wrigley, Wm. H. Gwynn.
St. John s Brotherhood. Organized Feb. 22, 1876, with
the following officers: Pres t, Robert Weir; 1st vice pres.,
JohnHorrocks; 2d vice pres t, James Tubbs; 3d vice pres t,
Michael Andrse; recording sec y, M. Van Benthuysen;
financial sec y, Daniel M. Adams; treas., Reuben Lee; pre-
264 HISTORY OF COHOES. 1876.
center, Samuel Horrocks; organist, Harry J. P. Green. Pre
sent membership, 50.
The Cohoes Boat Club. Organized July, 1876, with
the following officers: president, Win B. Benedict; secre
tary, Geo. H. House; treasurer, Geo. H. McDowell; captain,
F. Hastings; lieutenant, Wesley Miller. There are at pre
sent 16 members. A boat house, 15 by 50, has been erected
by the club on Adams s Island, near Mr. Adams s house.
St. Joseph s Union. Julian Thibadeau, treas.
Assessed Valuation of Property in Cohoes.
1848 $421,452.00 1872 3,010.030.00
1858 1,501,346.00 1873 3,098.630.00
1868 3,249,701.00 1874 3.462,608.00
1870 2,894,335.00 1875 3,606,419.00
Years. Inhabitants. Years. Inhabitants.
1830 150 1855 6,106
1835 750 1860 8,800
1840 1850 1865 8,795
1845 2029 1870 15,373
1850 4229 1875 17,482
The last census in detail is as follows :
Total Pop. Voters.
Natives. Naturalized. Total.
1st Ward, 6,415 274 629 903
3d " 3,233 359 280 639
3d " 5,041 459 559 1,018
4th " 2,793 310 267 577
17,482 1,402 1,735 3,137
No. of dwellings 1,761, No. of families 3,246.
1 Private census showed 9,765.
JLHE following record of deaths except those occurring prior to
1847 lias been taken from the columns of the Cohoes Advertiser,
Cataract, Daily News, and tlie Troy Times.
In the limits of the present work it is of course impossible to give
little more than .simple announcements of deaths, except in the case of
individuals who have been prominently connected with the history of
Cohoes. In almost every instance where an extended notice is given
it consists of an abridgement of the obituary article published in one
of the above papers at the time.
Dec. 18, Canvass White, aged 44. Canvass White was born in
Whitestown, N. Y., Sept. 8th, 1790. His health, from his infancy,
was always delicate, and being unable to share with his brothers the
severe labor of farm life, his earlier years were passed as clerk in a
country store at Whitestown. His mechanical ingenuity and inventive
genius were apparent at an early age, and were turned to practical ac
count in the improvement of many utensils in use on the farm. In
1811, he was compelled on account of poor health to take a sea voyage
from which he returned the following year. Soon after, he entered
the army with the rank of lieutenant, and saw some months of active
service. At the close of the war he returned to his duties as clerk,
but his strong taste for mathematical and scientific pursuits rendered
this life an irksome one, *nd he soon left it, to pursue his studies in
Fairfield, and afterwards in Clinton. In the latter place he was en
gaged for a short time in chemical manufacturing, but this proving
unsuccessful, he returned home, and assisted in the management of
the farm. In the spring of 1816 he joined the corps of engineers for
the Erie Canal under Benj. Wright, whose confidential friend and as
sociate he soon became. Mr. White had a most kindly and winning
disposition, which won for him the esteem and friendship of all with
whom he came in contact, and when in 1817, he made the acquaint
ance of Grov. DeWitt Clinton, it was but a short time before that gen
tleman entertained the highest regard for his personal qualities and
the utmost confidence in his professional abilities. Little was then
known in this country of the actual details of canal navigation and as
the information given in English books was vague and unsatisfactory,
Mr. White went to England in the autumn of 1817, at the solicitation
of the governor, to examine in person the English canal system.
During his stay of several months abroad he traveled over 2000 miles
on foot, studying closely the construction of every canal, gate, lock
and culvert. On his return he brought with him drawings of the
most important structures, and the model of the first boat which was
built for the Erie Canal. 1
Considerable difficulty was experienced by the canal commissioners
in procuring a cement suitable for use in the construction of locks and
it was finally proposed to import the needed article from England, at
considerable expense. Mr. White gave his attention to the matter,
however, and after repeated experiments, succeeded in manufacturing
from a stone found in Madison Co., an hydraulic cement which exactly
answered the purpose, and on which he obtained a patent in 1820. He
was interested in its manufacture for several years subsequent. Mr.
White s share in the construction and development of the Erie Canal
was an important one. As regards authority he was second only to
Mr. Wright, and every plan or measure of importance was submitted
to his judgment before being acted upon.
It was while he was engaged in the construction of the canal that
Mr. White s attention was called to the eligibility of this locality as
the site for a great manufacturing town. In 1825 he devoted himself
to the formation of a company to develop the remarkable water power
of the place, and with the assistance of Governor Clinton, succeeded in
interesting a number of capitalists in his enterprise. The result was
the incorporation of the Cohoes Co., in March, 1826, Mr. White was
the first president of the company, and acted as its agent. Though
necessarily away a large portion of the time while engaged on other
works, he devoted a good deal of his personal attention to the laying
out of plans for the development of the company s resources and the
formation of a manufacturing town. He was succeeded as agent by
his brother Hugh White, in 1830, though continuing to have an active
part in the direction of the company s affairs. He never had a resi
dence in Cohoes, but while engaged here, boarded in Troy. From the
completion of the Erie Canal, until the time of his death, Mr. White
was constantly employed in different parts of the country in public
works of importance. Among the principal works which he planned
or superintended during these years, may be mentioned the Susque-
hanna and Schuylkill Canal, the improvements of the Schuylkill Navi
gation Co., the New Haven and Farmington Canal, theLehigh Canal,
(1827-1828), the Delaware and Raritan Canal (1830), and the Delaware
breakwater. Mr. White was induced to take a contract for the com
pletion of the latter structure, and by the mismanagement of others
was a loser to a large amount.
In 1834 his failing health compelled him to leave business, and he
went to Florida, hoping that the climate would have a favorable effect
upon his disease, which was consumption, but the step had been taken
too late, and within a month after landing, he died, on December
18th. His remains were brought north and interred at Princeton, N. J.,
where his family were residing at the time. The estimate in which
Mr. White s professional abilities were held by his contemporaries, may
be seen by the following remark of Henry Clay, addressed to a gentle
man who was seeking an engineer for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal :
" Get Mr. Canvass White ; no man more competent, no man more
i This boat, which was called the "Chief Engineer of Rome" in honor of Bcnj.
Wright, was launched upon the canal between Whitcstown and Rome, amidst the
greatest rejoicing of the people of the neighborhood. The model was kept in Mr.
White s family lor fifty years and then presented to the Buffalo Historical Society.
capable. And while your faitli in his ability and fidelity increases,
your friendship will grow into affection. " It was also said by Gen.
Bernard, U. S. engineer, " as a civil engineer he had no superior ; his
genius and ability were of surpassing magnitude." Mr. White s
gentle disposition, and the kindly charm of his manner, had endeared
him to all whom he chanced to meet, and his early death was mourned
by a large circle of friends.
Nov. 27, Joseph Mudge, aged 57. " Removed to Cohoes in 1833,
from Ipswich, Mass , and being a first-class mechanic, he made needles
for the first knitting factory started in America, by Egberts & Bailey.
He was a man of education and could speak several languages fluently.
He invented a system of stenography. His daughter, Caroline Augusta
Smith Mudge, who was married to E. G. Mussey, June 8, 1845, was
the first female who learned to knit on machines run by water power."
Biographical and Historical Account of the name of MUDGE in
June 29, Levi Silliman, aged 59. He was born in Fairfield, Conn.,
in the year 1786. His ancestors came from Holland in the latter part
of the 17th century, and settled in Fairfield, on a place which still
bears the name of Holland Hill. About the year 1810 Levi moved to
Albany, N. Y., and in 1816, was married to Clarissa Clark. He was
a carpenter by trade, and was associated for some years with Jonathan
Lyman, then a prominent builder in Albany. Afterward he was super
intendent of the Townsend Furnace, and subsequently one of the firm
of Rathbone & Silliman, in the furnace in Eagle street. In the year
1835 he formed a partnership with Jonas Simmons, Sen., and under