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Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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and George I Amsdell, vice-presidents; Jonas H. Brooks, cashier;
Joseph S. House, assistant cashier.

National Exxkange Bank. — This bank was organized in 1838 as the
Albany Exchange Bank, with capital of $311,100, and privileged to in-
crease it to $10,000,000. It was among the earliest associations under
the general banking act passed in April of that year. Its first board
of directors was composed of John Q. Wilson, who was elected presi-
dent, George W. Stanton, Alfred Douglas, Galen Batchelder, Fred-
erick J. Barnard, Lansing G. Taylor, John Thomas, Robert Hunter,
Oliver Steele, Henry Greene, John M. Newton, James McNaughton,
Giles Sanford, Samuel Stevens, Robert L. Noyes. Soon after organ-
ization, and before business was commenced, John Q. Wilson and
Robert Hunter resigned as directors, and Ichabod L. Judson and Gay-
lor Sheldon were appointed to fill the vacancies. A vacancy thus
occurring in the office of president, George W. Stanton was elected
president and filled the office until his death in April, 1841.

Some unfortunate speculations in the early histoi-y of this bank and
the loss of money through other bank failures, weakened its credit so
that at the outbreak of the Civil war its stock was offered at seventy
cents on the dollar. Careful management by its officers, however,
averted serious trouble, and when, in 1865, the affairs of the institution
were wound up preparatory to forming it into a national bank, a
creditable showing was made. On January 4, 1865, it became the
National Albany Exchange Bank, with a capital of $300,000. Chaun-
cey P. Williams, who had acted as receiver of the former bank, was
appointed cashier; William Gould, president; William G. Thomas,
vice president. Mr. Gould was succeeded as president by Ichabod L.
Judson; he by Chauncey P. Williams. He died May 31, 1894, and the
office was filled by John D. Parsons, jr., the present president. In



371

1875 Theodore L. vScott succeeded Mr. Williams as cashier; he died in
February, 1881, and was succeeded by Jonas H. Brooks. The latter
was succeeded in 1891 by John J. Gallogly.

In view of the expiration of the charter of the bank on the 10th of
January, 1885, the directors decided to not apply for the extension of
its corporate existence, but recommended the formation of a new
national banking association. Under direction of C. P. Williams,
Lansing Merchant and A. V. De Witt the institution was given its
present organization, the National Exchange Bank of Albany. The
present paid up stock is $300,000; the surplus, $60,000.

Merchants' National Bank. — This institution was incorporated under
the name of the Merchants' Bank January 19, 1853, with capital of
$350,000. The first board of directors was John Tweddle, Billings P.
Learned, Richard Van Rensselaer, Matthew J. Hallenbeck, (nlbert L.
Wilson, Maurice E. Viele, Henry P. Pulling, Joseph N. Bullock, John
Sill. The bank began business at No. 59 State street April 7, 1853,
with John Tweddle, president; John Sill, cashier. On April 22, 1865,
the institution was organized as a national bank with its present title.
In 18(;i it was removed to its present quarters, No. 458 Broadway. In
187G Richard Van Rensselaer became president, and was succeeded by
the present incumbent, J. W. Tillinghast in 1880. Nathan D. Wendell
was made cashier in 1864, and was succeeded by J. Irving Wendell in
1880. Nathan D. Wendell became vice-president in 1880 and held that
ofifice until his death in 1886, when he was succeeded by John G. Myers,
the present incumbent. The present capital and surplus of this bank
is $400,000.

Union Bank. — This institution was first organized under the general
banking law as the Bank of the Union, June 8, 1853. It began busi-
ness January 1, 1854, at No. 35 State street, with a capital of $250,000.
The first board of directors was composed of Billings P. Learned, Gil-
bert C. Davidson, William N. Strong, Chauncey Vibbard, Amos P.
Palmer, Charles Coates, George H. Thacher, William L. Learned,
John H. Reynolds, Daniel D. T. Charles, Alfred Wild, Le Roy Mowry
and Adam Cottrell. Billings P. Learned was the first president of this
bank, holding the position from the date of its organization to the time
of his death, April 16, 1884, when he was succeeded by his son, Bill-
ings P. Learned.

John F. Batchelder was the first cashier, holding the office until his
resignation in 1857, when he was succeeded by Adam Van Allen, who
resigned in 1861, and was succeeded by Amos P. Palmer.



372

In the early part of the year 1865, the stockholders of the Union
Bank decided to abandon their organization under the State law, and
organize under the National Bank act; and March 8, 1865, it was au-
thorized to continue business, under the title of the Union Bank of Al-
bany, for twenty years. At the expiration of its charter, March 8,
1885, by agreement with the stockholders, this bank was satisfactorily
closed and its affairs liquidated in full. Shortly after its organization
as a national bank, a bank building was erected at No. 446 Broadway,
which was occupied until the expiration of its charter. The last cashier
was James C. Cook, who held this position from 1870.

Bank of the Capitol. — -This was one of the four banks that failed in
1861, to which allusion has been made; one of them has been described.
The Bank of the Capitol was incorporated in 1853, with a capital of
$300,000. The first directors were Thomas Schuyler, M. H. Read,
John G. White, Adam Van Allen, A. D. Shepard James Van Nostrand,
Matthew Vassar, Alfred Noxon, and Noah Lee. The latter was chosen
president, and was succeeded by Thomas Schuyler, and he by John G.
White. Horatio G. Gilbert was the first cashier, and was succeeded
by John Templeton. The bank failed May 18, 1861, when M. H. Read
was appointed receiver.

The National Bank was another of the four failures and went into
operation in 1856, with a capital of $600,000, and the following directors:
William E. Bleecker, Albion Ransom, James C. Kennedy, Richard J.
Grant, Samuel W. Burnett, Charles Adams and Robert C. Martin.
William E. Bleecker was chosen president, and Robert C. Martin,
cashier. Both of these officers remained in their positions until the
failure of the bank May 33, 1860. James Edwards was appointed
receiver.

The Bank of the Interior was the fourth one of those which failed in
1861 and was incorporated in 1851. Josiah B. Plumb was its principal
founder and was elected president, with John F. Batchelder, cashier;
both men were in office at the time of the failure, May 1, 1861. Orlando
Meads was made receiver.

First National Bank. — This bank was organized January 26, 1864,
and began business on the 25th of the next month. It was the first
bank in Albany organized under the national system and became the
financial agent of the government for receiving and disbursing its funds
in this vicinity. Thomas Schuyler was the first president, and Adam
Van Allen the first cashier. The directors were Thomas Schuyler,



373

Garret A. Van Allen, Matthew H. Read, Charles H. Adams, and Frank
Chamberlain. Matthew H. Read was chosen president in 18G9 and
continued such until his death in 1883, when he was succeeded by Adam
Van Allen. He died in ISSi aud was succeeded by Garret A. Van
Allen. The present cashier, S. W. Rowell, has handed in his resigna-
tion to take effect May 1, 1897, and up to the date of this writing his
successor has not been appointed. The directors besides Mr. Van Allen
are William M. Whitney, C. S. Merrill, John M. Bailey, Horace S. Bell,
Noel E. Sisson and John A. Dix. The capital of the bank is $300,000;
surplus, $100,000, and it has paid to stockholders since its organization,
$750,000.

The Hope Bank. — Organized and incorporated under the general
State law, began busines in 1863 with $100,000 capital. James Hen-
drick was president and William Young, cashier. It was continued
under these officers until 1874, when it was discontinued and the stock-
holders paid in full. In the same year it was succeeded by the Hope
Banking Company, of which Mr. Hendrick was president. This in-
stitution was discontinued in 1877.

Albany County Bank — This institution was incorporated under the
State banking law, and commenced business May 15, 1871, in Tweddle
Hall building. Removed to present building corner State and South
Pearl streets, January 16, 1883. Capital, $200,000. Its first board of
directors was composed of Jacob Learned, B. W. Wooster, Theodore
D. Smith, A. W. Brumaghim, Royal Bancroft, Elvin Taylor, Francis
N. Sill, Cornelius Smith, Joseph Mann, Henry A. Fonda and John
Templeton. Jacob Learned was president from 1871 to 1878, when he
was succeeded by B. W. Wooster. John R. Cornell now holds that
office. John Templeton was the first cashier. The present cashier is
Wm. N. S. Sanders with George C. Lee, assistant. James Moore is vice-
president. Directors, John R. Carnell, James Moore, Jacob Leonard,
James Mix, Seth Wheeler, Lansing Hotaling, Albert V. Bensen, Clif-
ford D. Gregory, John J. White, Frank C. Herrick. The capital of
this bank is $250,000.

The Park Bank of Albany was organized in 1889 with capital of
$100,000. It has been prudently conducted and now has a surplus of
$25,000. The officers are Grange Sard, president; Robert C. Pruyn,
first vice-president; James D. Wasson, second vice-president; Charles
H. Sabin, cashier.



Tlie Albany Savings Bank is the second oldest savings bank in this
State and was organized through eiTorts of William James, Charles R.
Webster, Jesse Buel, John Townsend, and Joseph Alexander, who
petitioned the Legislature for an act of incorporation. The act was
passed March 25, 1820. The first officers of the institution were
Stephen Van Rensselaer, president; William James, first vice president;
Joseph Alexander, second vice-president; John Townsend, third vice-
president; Charles R. Webster, Jesse Buel, Thomas Russell, Volkert
P. Douw, William Durant, Douw Fonda, Simeon De Witt, Peter Boyd,
John Spencer, John L. Winne, William McHarg, Matthew Gill, Har-
manus Bleecker and Sylvanus P. Jermain, managers, none of whom
received directly or indirectly, pay for their services. The first meet-
ing of these officers was held May 16, 1820, at the Chamber of Com-
merce room, when Sylvanus P. Jermain was appointed secretary; and
a short time after, John W. Yates was made treasurer.

The first deposit was made June 10, 1820, the money being received
at the New York State Bank, with which the Savings Bank had made
arrangements for the safe keeping of its funds. The deposits received
this day amounted to $527. The first depositor was Joseph T. Rice, a
silversmith. The arrangements made with the New York State Bank
continued until 1828, when a contract was made with the Commercial
Bank to keep and invest the funds of the Savings Bank. In 1872 the
business of the Savings Bank was conducted in the rooms formerly
occupied by the First National Bank. It occupied its own building,
No. 89 State street, in May, 1875, but is about to remove to a new
structure, corner of Maiden Lane and North Pearl street.

Mr. Van Rensselaer was succeeded as president, in 1840, by John
Townsend; in 1854, by Gerrit Y. Lansing; by Rufus H. King in 1803;
by Harmon Pumpelly, in 1867; by Henry H. Martin, in 1882. J.
Howard King is now president, with Marcus T, Hun, vice-president.

John W. Yates was succeeded as treasurer, in 1844, by James Taylor;
by Visscher Ten Eyck, 1861; James Martin, 1869; Henry H. Martin,
1874; Theodore Townsend, in 1882.

This institution is one of the strongest in the State and has always
had the confidence of the community. Its deposits have increased from
about $14,000 in the first year until its assets now amount to nearly
$20,000,000, with a surplus of about $2,350,000.

Tlie Albany City Savings Institution was incorporated on March 29,




GEN. SELDEN E. MARVIN.



375

1850, and began business in the Albany- City National Bank build-
ing, No. 47 State street. The first trustees were Erastus Corn-
ing, sr , John Taylor, James Maher, Lansing Pruyn, James Kidd,
James McNaughton, John V. L. Pruyn, William Humphrey, Watts
vSherman, John T. Norton, James Goold, Samuel Pruyn, Henry H.
Martin, John Knower, John McKnight, William Boardman, John G.
White, Ellis Baker, Christopher W. Bender and Thomas Noonan. The
first president was Erastus Corning, sr. , who was succeeded by his son,
Erastus Corning. Selden E Marvin now holds that position. Watts
Sherman was the first treasurer and was succeeded by Henry H. Mar-
tin. In 1874: Amos P. Palmer took this office and was succeeded by
Russell C. Case. The present treasurer is William S. Hackett. John
E. Walker and Horace S, Bell, vice-presidents. The deposits and sur-
plus amount to $2,740,582.71. The present trustees are : Selden E.
Marvin, Rodney Vose, George I. Amsdell, Francis H. Woods, Charles
R. Knowles, James W. Cox, jr., John E. Walker, John E. Palmer, Geo.
H. Thacher, E. De L Palmer, Albert Hessberg, Horace S. Bell, Ed-
ward J. Gallien, J. H. Brooks, John Bowe, P. N. Bouton.

The Mechanics' and Fanners' Savings Bank was incorporated April
12, 1855, and commenced business in the Mechanics' and Farmers'
Bank building. Thomas W. Olcott was its first president. He was
succeeded by his son, Dudley Olcott, who still holds the office, Both
Thomas W. and Dudley Olcott held the office of secretary, of which
the present incumbent is George G. Davidson. Charles Newman is
vice-president, and Horatio N. Snow, accountant. The surplus on
July 1, 1896, was $357,085.67. The deposits are nearly $2,000,000.

The Albany Exchange Savings Bank was incorporated in April, 1850,
with James McNaughton, president, and Joseph M. Lovett, treasurer.
The office of president has been held by William G. Thomas, Isaac A.
Chapman, John E. McElroy, and William Dalton, the present incum-
bent. In 1860 Chauncey P. Williams was elected treasurer. The
present treasurer is Abraham V. De Witt, John DeWitt Peltz is first
vice-president, and Jarnes McKinney second vice-president.

The National Savings Bank was incorporated May G, 1868, and began
business in June of the following year. The first president was Eras-
tus Corning, sr. , who was succeeded by John H. Van Antwerp in 1872;
he has held this position ever since. Albert P. Stevens was the first
treasurer, and he also has held the office to the present time. John G.
Myers and G. A. Van Allen are vice-presidents. On January 1, 1897,
its deposits and surplus reached the total of $8,443,594.56, exhibiting



376

a continuance of growth, year by year, measuring the confidence
reposed in it by its depositors in a most assuring and satisfactory man-
ner to its officers and trustees. Economy in its administration is
evidenced by the fact that its president, Mr. Van Antwerp, has from
the first declined holding the presidency as a salaried position.

Tlie Home Savi)igs Bank, located in its new building, No. 13 North
Pearl street, in this city, was incorporated May 10, 1871. William White
was the fir.st president, holding the office up to the time of his death in
January, 1882. He was succeeded by JohnD. Capron, who held the
office until May, 1891. Peter Kinnear was then chosen to succeed
him, and held the office until January, 1896, when he was succeeded by
the present incumbent, James Ten Eyck, of the firm of Bacon, Stickney
& Co., also past grand master of Masons in this State. Edmund L.
Judson was treasurer from the organization of the bank up to the time
of his death in April, 1890, when he was succeeded by the present
incumbent, John D. Capron. The other officers are David A. Thomp-
son, first vice-president; John H. Farrell, second vice-president; and
Samuel L. Munson, secretary. The deposits on January 1, 1897,
amounted to $1,604,204.23. The surplus on the same date was $91,-
719.80.

The Albany County Savings Bank was incorporated April 30, 1874,
with Jasper H Pratt, president; who was succeeded by the present in-
cumbent, Jasper Van Wormer. John Templeton was the first treasu-
rer, and was succeeded by William N. S. Sanders, the incumbent. Al-
bert V. Bensen has been secretary from the incorporation. Seth
Wheeler, James Mix and F. C. Curtis are vice-presidents. Amount
due depositors January 1, 1896, $4,359,892.45; surplus, $200,226,33.

MANUFACTURES.

While Albany has gained a high position as a center of political in-
fluence, in art and educational affairs, and in the character of its financial
institutions, it has also attained prominence through the number and
importance of its manufacturing industries.

The iron industry in its various branches is one of the oldest and most
important in the city. What is now the Townsend Furnace and Ma-
chine vShop Company was established in 1807 by John and Isaiah Town-
send, who were succeeded in 1838 by John Townsend alone, who was
followed in 1849 by Franklin and Theodore Townsend. In 1856 Frank-
lin Townsend became sole proprietor, and in 1867 admitted George P.




JOHN H. VAN ANTWERP.



377

jaekson to a partnership. In 1871 Rufiis K. Townsend, grandson of
Isaiah, took his father's place in the business, and in July, 1882, upon the
death of Mr. Jackson, became sole proprietor. Rufus K. Townsend died
in December, 1895, and his father (Franklin) again assumed control of the
business and organized a stock company with the above title and the
following officers: Ledyard Cogswell, vice-president ; John T Brady,
secretary and treasurer; Ezra Loughren, superintendent.

The iron foundry of Isaiah Page & Son was established by the senior
member of the firm in 1832, and occupied its present site in 1850. Will-
iam B. Page became a member of the firm in 1883, and two years later
Isaiah Page died. For more than fifty years this establishment has
conducted a successful and honorable business.

The car wheel works now operated by Hon. John Boyd Thacher
and his brother, George H. Thacher, jr., merit notice. This busi-
ness was founded by George H. Thacher in 1852, and during many
years some of the leading railroads in the country, including the
New York Central, were supplied with wheels from this foundry. The
Albany Saw, Steel and File Works, conducted by E. F. Decker & Bros.,
was established by Pruyn & Lansing (Robert H. Pruyn and Charles B.
Lansing) in 1855. This lirm was succeeded in 1879 by Lansing & Co.,
and they by the present firm in 1892. The name of the works sufficiently
explains its character. Other iron industries have been conducted by
Storks & Pruyn (established 1848), and operated later by Prince & Ott;
Sullivan & Ehler, steam engines; James McKinney & Son, the Albany
Malleable Iron Works, E D. Ransom & Co., and others.

During many years Albany was the headquarters of stove manufac-
turing in the United States, and the industry is a prominent one at the
present time. Stoves were made here as early as 1827 by H. Nott cSc
Co., and from that time onward the industry rapidly advanced. The
great establishment of the Perry Stove Co. was started in 1837 by
Treadwell & Perry and for fifty years carried on a large business. For
reasons that need not be entered upon here the business was placed in
the hands of Selden E. Marvin as receiver in 1895.

Rathbone, Sard & Co., manufacture the celebrated Acorn stoves and
ranges, and have branches in Chicago, Detroit, and Aurora, 111. The
business was estabhshed in 1835 by Gen. John F. Rathbone, who is
still president of the company. George Sard is vice-president and man- '
ager, and Edward Bowditch, secretary and treasurer. About 700 men are
employed in Albany and 500 in Aurora. The Littlefield Stove Com-



378

pany was organized in 1865 by D. G. Littlefield, who is now president
of the company, with H. C. Littlefield, as treasurer. D. G. Littlefield is
the inventor of the first successful base-burning stove. Among other
firms that have been represented in this industry are the Albany Stove
Company, organized in 1868 ; the Ransom Stove Company, Carroll &
Co., the Albany Co-operative vStove Company, and several individuals.

The brewing industry in Albany had its inception in the early years
of the city's existence, and before the granting of the Dongan charter,
Arent Van Corlaer making ale here in 1601. In 1695 Ren C. Corlaer
and Albert Ryckman were "authorized and directed to brew, for the
use of the Common Council, three pipes of beer at ^10 I3.f." Another
early and prominent brewer was Harme Gansevoort who died in 1801.
At about the same period a Mr. Gill was producing 150 barrels a year
and boasted of the great quantity. At the present time there are
manufactured in the city approximately half a million barrels of malt
liquors annually. Robert Dunlop was an early brewer, as were also
John McKnight, and Andrew Kirk, the latter on the site of the present
Capitol City Brewery. Among the leading brewers of ale and lager in
the city at the present time is the Beverwyck Brewing Company, which
had its inception in a plant established in 1845 by James Quinn; this
brewery now has an annual product of 100,000 barrels of lager and 80,-
000 barrels of ale. The Albany Brewing Company had its inception in
1797 and now has a malting capacity of 150,000 bushels and produces
more than 100,000 barrels of ale and porter annually. The Taylor
Brewery was started in 1822 and is still in successful operation. The
Fort Orange Brewing Company was formed in 1839 and was succeeded
by the present Capitol City Brewing Company. In 1843 William Ams-
dell founded the ale and porter brewery now conducted by his son,
George I. Amsdell, the annual capacity of which is about 100,000 bar-
rels. Other brewers of importance are Quinn & Nolan, the Hinckic
Brewing Company, the Dobler Brewing Company, and the Hedrick
Brewing Compan)', all of which are comparatively large producers.
Intimately connected with this industry is the malting interest, in which
John G. White and his son, Andrew G., John Tweddle, J. W. Tilling-
hast, Thomas McCredie, William Appleton, Story Brothers, William
Kirk and others have been prominent.

The lumber industry, which is both manufacturing and mercantile in
character, has for many years been a prominent factor in the business
interests of the city. The Swedish traveler, Kalm, noted the fact that



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GEORGE 1. AMSDELL.



379

vast quantities of wliite pine existed in this region in 1749, from which
the early merchants and others sawed valuable lumber. The Patroon's
early saw mills, on the creek that bears his name, have already been
mentioned; they were in charge of Barent Pieterse Coeymans and Jan
Gerritsen for a time, and in 1763 the former bought a large tract of
land twelve miles south of the city, on which mills had already been
built. In De Liancourt's notes of travel in 1795, he places timber and
lumber first among the exports from Albany. In 1840 there were
eighty-four saw mills in operation in Albany county; but the sale of
local lumber soon became only a small part of the traffic of this city.
In early years lumber was rafted and boated on the upper Hudson and
the Mohawk from Northern and Central New York and here loaded on
sloops and sent down the river. Two lumber yards were early estab-
lished, one at the foot of South Ferry street and the other between
Ouackenbush street and Lumber street (now Livingston avenue). With
the opening of the canals the business received a great impetus. Lum-
ber was brought here in immense quantities and the wharves were
used for its temporary storage. These soon became inadequate and
slips were cut from the canal towards the river and the lumber piled
along their banks. In the course of time the Lumber District, as it is
termed, occupied about one and a half miles of river front and contained
numerous slips running east and west. There were also erected large
sawing and planing mills and other wood working establishments. In
1840 the receipts of lumber and timber were 124, 173,383 feet of the
former, and 784,310 of the latter, valued at over $2,000,000. This
quantity was increased in 1850 to 425,095,430 feet of lumber and 3,039,-
588 of timber, valued at $6,80(5,213 The highest value in boards and
scantling received was recorded in 1853, the figures being $6,299,017.
In 1860 the valuation was a little more than $5,000,000. In 1870 the
receipts of sawed lumber by canal were 415,000,000. In 1880, 362,000,-
01)0. After that time the quantity was considerably increased for a
few years. The trade was at its height from 1880 to 1885, when about
■"ii 10,000, 000 were annually received by about thirty- five to forty firms.
During that period by far the larger part of the receipts were from



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