Amasa J. (Amasa Junius) Parker.

Landmarks of Albany County, New York online

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Saratoga street and began the manufacture of wrought iron pipe in the
winter of 1873. Mr. Benton died soon afterward and the mill was
rented to Albert Smith and James Morehead, who formed a partner-
ship as Albert Smith & Co.; this partnership was dissolved May i,
1874, Mr. Morehead retiring. A. G. Curtis, of Troy, purchased an in-
terest and took charge of the manufacturing. The business was success-
ful until 1876, at which time a pipe combination was formed which
leased the mill from the firm for the purpose of closing it. Thereupon
Albert Smith & Co. sought a new location and in July of that year Mr.
Curtis bought the ground formerly occupied by the old Ten Eyck axe
factory and the firm began the erection of a new rolling mill. Three
months later the new plant was in operation with greater capacity than
the old one. From that time until 1880 the business continued with
moderate success, all branches of the iron business being in a depressed
condition. At this time James Morrison bought Albert Smith's inter-
est and the firm name was changed to A. G. Curtis & Co. New life
was infused into the concern, prosperity returned to the iron trade, the
plant was enlarged, new machinery was added and an era of pronounced
success began. On January 25, 1883, Mr. Curtis died in Florida, and
the firm was organized as Curtis & Co., consisting of HCnry Aird, Mary
M. Curtis and John Donn. Mr. Aird became associated with the firm
January I, 1878, as foreman, and soon mastered every detail of the
business; in recent years the establishment has been practically under
under his direction. The value of the annual product is more than

The works of the Cohoes Iron Foundry and Machine Company were
commenced by William T. Horrobin in 1868 where they are still situ-
ated. In 1877 the business passed to Robert Johnston, and from him
to his son, David J. Johnston. He died in October, 1894, and the busi-
ness Is now in his estate. Jerome Garland is general manager. F"rom
sixty to ninety hands are employed in the manufacture of cotton ma-
chinery and several kinds of special machines.

Campbell & Clute Machine Shop. — The firm of Campbell & Clute
was formed January i, 1863, by George Campbell and John Clute,
both practical mechanics. They are still in business on the same spot


whereon they began, making a specialty of knitting machinery. Mr.
Clute has perfected a machine for knitting silk, and another for knitting
a peculiar worsted fabric. From thirty to sixty hands are employed.

Tubbs & Severson started a machine shop in 1873. Mr. Severson
retired in 1878 and Mr. Tubbs continued the business. After several
other changes the firm of Harrobin & Vincent was formed and took
the shop, but recently failed. The firm is now Tubbs & Hall. The
building occupied by them was built by Harris Brothers in 1868. Gen-
eral machine work is carried on.

What is known as the old Lansing mill is now occupied by the Tioy
and Cohoes Shirt Company, of which George E. Gardner is president ;
Joseph A. Leggett, vice-president ; James A. McPherson, jr, secretary;
George H. Morrison, treasurer. The company has been only recently
formed and manufactures the Cycle and T. & C. brands of shirts, col-
lars and cutis.

The Cohoes Furniture Company, C. R. Trost, proprietor, was estab-
lished in 1879, and soon became an important industry. A large busi-
ness has been done in the manufacture of desks, as well as in furniture
for household use.

Besides these various important industries a considerable business is
done in the manufacture of paper boxes, sash, doors and blinds, knit-
ting needles, cotton batts, etc. On the island are located the Rensse-
laer Scale Works, the Cascade Knitting Mills (operated by G. H. Mc-
Dowell & Co.), the Continental Knitting Company, the Wilson Box
Company, and some other minor establishments, all of which contribute
to the wealth of the city. The island was formerly in the Fourth ward
of the city, but in 1895 was made the Sixth ward by itself

Cohoes was without banking facilities until 1859, when what is now
the National Bank of Cohoes was organized with capital stock of $100,-
000. The first officers were Egbert Egberts, president ; James M. Sill,
cashier; l^gbert Egberts, Daniel Simmons, T. G. Younglove, William
Orelup, jr., William G. Caw, W. F. Carter, J. G. Root, John Sill and
C. H. Adams, directors. The institution was made a national bank
May 31, 1865. Its capital was increased from $100,000 to $250,000 in
August, 1872. In March, 1862, Murray Hubbard was chosen cashier




in place of Mr. Sill. In March, 1869, Mr. Adams was made president,
Mr. Egberts having died. In 1893 Mr. Adams was succeeded by D. J.
Johnston, and the latter was followed January 12, 1895, by John L.
Newman. Murray Hubbard was succeeded as cashier December, 1895,
by George R. Wilsdon. This bank now has a surplus of about $100,000
and profits of over $60,000.

The Cohoes Savings Institution was incorporated in April, 1851, by
Charles A. Olmstead, Truman G. Younglove, Egbert Egberts, Hugh
White, Daniel Simmons, I. D. F. Lansing, H. D. Fuller, VV. F. Carter,
Abram Lansing, Joshua Bailey, William N. Chadwick, Tennis Van
Vechten, Andrew D. Lansing, Harmon Pumpelly, Edward E. Kendrick,
William Burton, Joshua R. Clark, Jeremiah Clute, and Miles White.
The institution began business August 15, 1853. Egbert Egberts was
chosen president; T. G. Younglove, treasurer, and Edward W. Fuller,
assistant treasurer. The bank has now on deposit about $1,740,000.
The president is William T. Dodge, who succeeded William Burton ;
and Charles R. Ford, treasurer.

The Manufacturers' Bank of Cohoes was organized March 21, 1S72,
with a capital of $ioo,ooo, and the following officers: President, Will-
iam E. Thorn ; vice-president, J. V. S. Lansing ; cashier, N. W. Frost ;
directors, William E. Thorn, J. V. S. Lansing, D. H Van Auken, George
Campbell, J. W. Himes, Jacob Travis, D. J. Johnston, N. J. Clute, Will-
iam Moore, Alfred Le Roy, P. R. Chadwick. Business began July 8,
1872 Mr. Thorn was succeeded in the office of president by J. V. S.
Lansing, and the latter was followed by George Campbell, the present
incumbent. William Moore is vice-president, and Le Roy Vermilyea,
cashier. This bank has undivided profits of nearly $100,000.

The Mechanics' Savings Bank was incorporated in March, 1873, and
opened for business soon after in the rooms of the Manufacturers' Bank.
The first officers were as follows: President, Robert Johnston ; first vice-
president, John Clute ; second vice-president, William Stanton ; secre-
tary, William S. Smith; treasurer, Abner J. Griffin; assistant treasu-
rer, Leonard J. GroesbTck. The institution has had a career of pros-
perity. John Clute succeeded Mr. Johnston as president, and William
Stanton succeeded Mr. Clute as first vice president; Rodney Miller
succeeded Mr. Stanton as second vice-president. Le Roy Vermilyea


succeeded William S. Smith as secretary, and James S. Ciute succeeded
Mr. Goesbeck as assistant treasurer. Mr. Griffin still holds the office of

The first newspaper in Cohoes was the Cohoes Advertiser, a Whig
organ, which was started February 9, 1847, by Alexis Ayres and Will-
iam H. S. Winans ; Mr. Ayres was the editor. One year later the lat-
ter retired and Isaac D. Ayres took his place. The Cohoes Journal and
Advertiser succeeded the Advertiser in F"ebruary, 1848, with Ayres &
Winans, publishers, Mr. Winans, editor. On January i, 1849, this
paper was succeeded by The Cohoes Cataract, a Republican paper, pub-
lished by Stow, Silliman & Miller (Chauncey Stow, Horace B. Silliman,
Stephen C. Miller); the two latter acting as editors. In March, 1849,
Mr. Stow retired and Silliman & Miller continued until September,
185 I, when they sold out to J. H. Masten, who continued the publication
until July 15, 1 87 1, with the exception of two years and five months
when it was under control of A. F. Onderdonk and A. S. Baker. On
the date last named Mr. Masten sold out to William Bean, who with
A. E. Stone, were the proprietors until the paper suspended publica-
tion December 31, 1881. Its publication was resumed October 20,

1883, by William Seaport, who continued until August, 1884, when it
finally suspended. The Daily Dispatch was started by Mr. Seaport in

1884, as an independent paper, and continued it until September, 1885,
when J. & M. Wallace, the present proprietors, purchased the estab-

The Cohoes Daily News was started September 22, 1873, by Edward
Monk. On June i, 1874, he took as partner Samuel Sault, but July
22, 1879, J. H. Masten purchased Mr. Sault's interest. Mr. Monk retired
April 2, 1 88 1, and Mr. Masten continued the publication until October,
1884, when he .sold out to W. K. Mansfield. On June 1, 1896, a stock
company was formed with a capital of $5,000, and J. D. Leversee,
president ; W. K. Mansfield, secretary ; W. S. Clark, treasurer. The
News supports the Republican party, is ably conducted and has a large

The Cohoes Republican was started July 15, 1892, by the Republican
Publishing Company. This is a daily Republican organ and is ably
edited by John Spence.


The Sunday Regulator was established Maich 2, 1S79, with Williams
& Webb, proprietors, and John Spence, editor. On August 14, follow-
ing, Samuel Sault purchased Mr. Williams's interest and Mr. Spence
gave up the editorship. Samuel Sault left the office in November,
1880, and William Webb continued the publication until his death in
the fall of 1 88 1. Alexis Wager then took his place as publisher and
on January I, 1882, purchased the establishment. He continued until
December, 1894, when he sold out to the present publisher, Mitchell
Rosenthall. The Regulator is Republican in its politics.

There is a large French element in the population of Cohoes and
there have been several newspapers printed in their native tongue.
Among these have been the Journaldes Dames, a literary paper edited
by Virginie Authier, which existed for about six months in 1875-6 ; the
L'Avenir National, a Democratic organ, started in Troy and removed
to Cohoes October 15, 1875, under management of Louis G. Le Boeuf,
and discontinued August 11, 1876; the La Patrie Nouvelle, a Repub-
lican paper, started February 16 1876, by the Authier Brothers, and
and the Journal de Cohoes, started January 3, 1877, by Pierre Lucas
with Arthur E. Valois, editor, which was suspended a few months
later. The existing French paper is the L'Independent, which was
started December 22, 1894, by L. H. Bourgengnon. It is a Republican
organ and is successful.

Cohoes has had the usual number of more or less ephemeral publica-
tions to which only a brief reference is necessary. The Cohoes Weekly
Democrat was published for four months from January 27, 1866, by
Michael Monahan. A second paper with this name was started Sep-
tember 17, 1870, by D. Cady and John H. Atkinson ; James F. Kelly
bought Cady's interest in the following November, and in August,
1873, Mr. Atkinson retired, Mr. Kelly continuing until February 21,
1879, when the establishment was burned and the paper suspended.
The Cohoes Independent was published for six months from July 4,
1872, by Robeit Johnston and Charles S. Pease. The Cohoes Daily
Bulletin, the second daily in the city, began June i, 1875; 't was
Democratic and was conducted by J. H. Atkinson and J. Barlow
Luddy ; the paper suspended December 13, 1875. The Cohoes Daily
Eagle succeeded the Daily Bulletin on January 22, 1876, with David

Williams, proprietor, and J. Barlow Luddy, editor; it was discontinued
May 26, 1876. The Northern Herald, a Sunday paper, was first issued
by Williams & Egan, September 3, 1876, and suspended April 30,
1877. The first number of the Cohoes Daily Courier, a Democratic
organ, appeared July 10, 1877, under the management of William
Keeden, who was succeeded by James F. Kelly in the following Oc-
tober, who published it in connection with the Weekly Democrat, be-
fore mentioned. He sold the paper to William Webb and John Spence
April I, 1878, but it passed back again into his hands February 15,
1879 On the 2 1 St of that month the plant was partially burned and
a removal was made to what became theTubbs machine shop and there
tiie paper was published until May 17, 1879. The Cohoes Daily
Times, Democratic, was first issued from the Democrat office, August
4, 1879, with James F. Kelly, Dr. O. H. Clark, and John Scott, pro-
prietors. Dr. Clark and Lucius Maynard were editors; the paper sus-
pended the following November. The Daily Eagle, independent, was
started by Lucius Maynard September 12, 1879, and sold at a penny;
it lived only a few months. The Cohoes Leader (Sunday) commenced
publication September 14, 1879, with Spence & Aitkin, proprietors,
John Spence, editor ; it suspended in June, 1880. The first issue of
the Weekly Register, Democratic, was published November 29, 1879,
by Clark & McNiven, Dr. Clark, editor. It suspended in March, 1S80.
The Weekly News made its first appearance April 10, 1880. and was
published for one year by Monk & Masten. The Daily Regulator was
published for six months in connection with the Sunday Regulator, be-
ginning April 19, 1880, by Webb & Sault. The Cohoes Sunday Re-
publican, A. Craig and A. K. Miller, proprietors, Mr. Miller being
editor, was published from June 27, 1880, to November of the same
year. The Cohoes Sunday Globe, independent, Patrick White, pub-
lisher, was issued for six weeks from August 21, 1881. The Cohoes
Daily Herald, independent, appeared May 20, 1 882, with Monk &
Duffy, proprietors and editors, but suspended January 27, 1883.

S/. Johiis Episcopal Church. — This parish was organized May 2, 1 83 1
David Wilkinson and Hugh White were chosen wardens, and Hezekiah
Howe, Otis Sprague, Albert S. Wilkinson, James Faulkner, John Van-


derwerken, Matthias Williams, Samuel H. Baldwin, and Luther M.
Tracy, vestrymen The first church edifice (it was also the first one in
Cohoes), was consecrated on May 12, of the same year. It stood on
the south side of Oneida street, between Mohawk and Remsen streets,
the land being donated by the Cohoes Company. During the first ten
years the pulpit was filled by clergymen from Waterford, after which
time Rev. David I. Burger became its first rector. In April, 1863,
steps were taken toward the erection of a new church, the corner stone
of which was laid June 9, 1870, on a site at the intersection of Can-
vass and Mohawk streets The building was of gray stone, the entire
cost being $60,000. This beautiful structure was burned September
6, 1894, and on June 3, 1895, the corner stone was laid for a new
stone edifice on the same site, which building is now in process of

Reformed Church. — The Reformed Dutch church of Cohoes was or-
ganized on the first Wednesday of November, 1837, with twelve mem-
bers. On the 19th of that month the Consistory was constituted by
the ordination of John Vanderwerken, Abram Weidman, and Daniel
Simmons, elders, and William Renwick and James Safely, deacons. In
May, 1838, Rev. William Lockhead was called as pastor of this church
and the Waterford church. The first church edifice was completed in
1839, and in January, 1840, Rev. John Van Buren was called to the
pulpit. In April, 1859, the first house of worship was demolished and
a new structure was erected on the site and dedicated April 1 1, i860,
the cost of which was $30,000. Rev. Charles N. Waldron, who began
his pastorate in 1849, served the church for thirty years. This society
is now strong and has a large membership.

First M. E. Church. — This society was organized in May, 1839, un-
der Rev. Elias Crawford, pastor, and Rev. Charles Sherman, presiding
elder of the district. Meetings were held for a year in a school house
and in dwelling houses, and in 1840 the first house of worship was built
where the Clifton mill was afterwards located. This was a small wooden
building and sufficed for the congregation until 1848, when a new brick
church on Remsen street was erected at a cost of $12,000, the site
having been donated by the Cohoes Company. This church was used for
about ten years, when the growth of the society demanded a more com-


modious building. In May, 1859, it was voted to tear down the church
and erect a new one on the site. This was completed and dedicated
February 22, i860.

First Baptist Church — Baptist meetings were held in Cohoes as early
as 1S38, and in January, 1S39, John Duncan, a licentiate of the Still-
water church, was secured as regular preacher. His labors were suc-
cessful and on April 29th of that year a call for a church organization
was issued. At a council held May 25, 1839, such an organization was
approved, including the ordination of John Duncan as pastor. For
the greater part of the year services were held in the dining room of the
Harmony boarding house, after which a meeting place was found in a
building on Mohawk street. In January, 1840, land was obtained of the
Company and a small church erected. This was used for ten years,
when a second church was built on land of the Company on Mohawk-
street facing White street, for which a perpetual lease was granted ;
this church was of brick, and determined effort was necessary to pay for
it. It was finally completed and dedicated April 28, 1852. In 1846 a
brick parsonage was erected. The society now began to grow rapidly
and by 1872 a larger church became a necessity. About $10,000 was
accordingly expended in rebuilding to meet the requirements. The
church is now in a prosperous condition.

The Presbyterian Church. — The First Presbyterian church of Cohoes
was organized August 10, 1839, by a committee from the Presbytery
of Troy. Fourteen persons assented to the faith, and Levi Silliman
and Timothy Bailey were chosen elders, and Maltby Howell, deacon.
Services were held in Mr. Silliman's dwelling and afterwards in their
church edifice on the corner of Remsen and Factory streets. The ed-
ifice which formerly stood on the site of the new church was built in
1849, and enlarged in 1869. A lecture room was erected in 1865 and
enlarged by a two story addition in front in 1877 ; this was a gift by
H. B Silliman. The parsonage adjoining the church was erected in
1865. A splendid new stone edifice is now in course of erection, to
which Mr. Silliman has contributed about $60,000, and the society has
raised $25,000 for a chapel and church house for social purposes. The
corner stone was laid in June, 1896, and the edifice will be completed
in 1897. The congregation is large and the society active.


St Jaine!, M. E. Church. — What was known as the Park Avenue
M. E. church was organized in 1876 with twenty-nine members. Dur-
ing the pastorate of Rev. A. C. Rose, on March 29, 1881, the society
disbanded and on April 6 of that year a new church was organized
with the name of St. James. A new edifice was built on the corner of
McElwaine avenue and Walnut street.

St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Chinch. — The first pastor of this
church came to Cohoes in 1847, ''"d under him the Catholics began
public worship in a dilapidated dwelling. On November 18, 1847, the
corner stone of a church was laid on land given by the Harmony Com-
pany. The church was completed under the ministration of Rev. Ber-
nard Van Reath, who remained here six years. He was succeeded by
Rev. Thomas Daily, and he in 1855 by Rev. Thomas Keveny, who
continued until the time of his death in 1882. Soon after his arrival the
lots west of the church were purchased for$i,200 and a pastoral residence
erected. Three other lots were soon afterward added to the property.
The land for the Catholic Cemetery was purchased in 1857 and improve-
ments begun. In 1859 Sisters from the Mother House of St. Joseph,
in Carondelet, Mo , came here and established schools in connection
with the parish. A residence was purchased for them on Mohawk
street. When the time came that a larger church was needed, land
was purchased opposite the old edifice and there on August 15, 1863,
the corner stone of the present church was laid. The old church was
remodeled into a school building, with a hall above for the Young
Men's Literary Association. To better accommodate the schools and
the Sisters, the house occupied by the pastor was improved and the
Sisters transferred thither, while in the rear of the Sisters' house an
academy was built for young ladies of the congregation, and in rear
of the new church a fine house was erected for the clergy. On Febru-
ary 2, 1876, a fierce gale of wind struck the city and among other dam-
age done by it was the destruction of the steeple of this church and
eight of the nine bells in the chime. R}' vigorous effort a new
steeple higher and more beautiful than the first was completed in the
following year. This church ccst about $100,000.

St. Joseph's French Church. — On August 23, 1868, Rev. L. H. San-
gon was sent to Cohoes by Bishop Conroy to establish a French church.


He was successful and on October 9 the corner stone of a house of
worship was laid. The building was dedicated December 12, 1869,
with the above name. A pastoral dwelling was built in 1871. The
church was not substantially built and in June, 1874, it was demolished
and on August 23 of the same year the corner stone of a new edifice
was laid. The building is of stone and brick. When Rev. L. M. Dugast
assumed the pastorate in 1879 he found about sixty children of French
parentage attending a school with a single lay teacher. At his request
the Sisters of St. Ann's, of Lachine, near Montreal, established them-
selves in this parish, and in November a fine brick convent was opened
for them, which cost $17,000. The attendance is very large. Soon
afterward a school for boys was opened in a brick edifice erected for
the purpose. Several other societies have been established in connec-
tion with the church, all of which contribute to the general welfare of
the French population.

Church of St. Agnes, Roman Catholic. — A temporary house of wor-
ship was erected for this church and opened in November, 1878, and
Rev. John F. Lowrey was sent to take charge of the congregation in
September of that year. A parochial residence was built soon after-
ward, and the lots opposite were purchased as a site for the permanent
church. The old church was subsequently burned and the present
edifice erected. A farm was purchased for a cemetery and dedicated
September 26, 1883.



This town derived its name from the first Patroon, Stephen Van
Rensselaer, to whom a charter or grant of land, known as Rensselaer-
wyck, embracing, with other lands, tiie county of Albany, was made
in the year 1630.

The first settler in Rensselaerville was Apollos Moore, a veteran of
the Revolutionary war, who immigrated from Pittsfield, Mass., and
settled upon a piece of land about two miles east of the site of the
present village of Rensselaerville. He came on foot, while his wife rode
a horse (which cost five dollars) and carried all their goods. Mr. Moore
became a leading citizen, was a justice of the peace, supervisor, and
finally a judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Albany county, which
last office he held until he was seventy years old. He was a man of
marked character, of much learning, and made an able judge.

In 1787 Josepli Lincoln, John Rensier and several brothers named
Hatch settled in the northern part of the town, and soon afterwards
one of the Hatch brothers built there the house which was known for
many years thereafter as the " Hatch house," while a little way south
of where the village of Rensselaerville now stands was erected the
store-dwelling house and small tannery of Peckham and Griggs. This
was at that time known as " Peckham's Hollow," and was on the farm
afterwards owned by a Mr. Lester (now Joseph Pullman's). It was
here the Hon. Rufus W. Peckham, the elder, the noted lawyer and
judge, was reared and spent his boyhood days while teaching school.

The first settler in what grew to be the village of Rensselaerville
was Samuel Jenkins, who came there P'ebruary 22, 1788, and in the
following April erected the first dwelling house and a little later the
first grist mill.

1 By Norman W. Faulk, esq.

Another pioneer, vvlio came to the southwestern portion of tiie town in
1790, settling near the village of Preston Hollow, was Capt. Daniel Shay,
at that time a well known personage, being no other than the leader of
the famous " Shay's Rebellion " in Massachusetts. His son, Daniel

Online LibraryAmasa J. (Amasa Junius) ParkerLandmarks of Albany County, New York → online text (page 46 of 138)