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Mary J. Mulford

From the Biographical Review, Volume XXXIII, located at the Durham Center Museum.
Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin

Mrs. Mary J. Mulford, proprietor of the Mountain Summit House, Tannersville, is a native of New York City. Her parents John and Mary (Corson) Braden, were natives of Ireland, but came to America prior to their marriage. Arriving in New York at the age of nineteen, her father secured a position in a store. He subsequently came to Tannersville in the employ of the Edwards Tannery Company, remaining with that concern until it went out of business. After following various occupations, Mr. Braden turned his attention to farming, upon the property now owned and occupied by his daughter, Mrs. Mulford. His death occurred here at the age of seventy years. To him and his wife, Mary, were born three children—Margaret, Elizabeth, and Mary J., the subject of this sketch. Margaret resides with her sister in Hunter; and Elizabeth, who is the wife of William Stewart, is living in Sullivan County. The mother died at sixty-seven. The parents were Presbyterians.

Mary J. Braden in her girlhood attended the common schools, acquiring therein a practical knowledge of several branches of study, which have since been useful to her in a business way. In 1868 she became the wife of Samuel S. Mulford, who was born in Harpersfield, Delaware County, son of a prosperous farmer of the same name. Mr. Mulford was well educated, and when a young man he taught schools in Delaware, Schoharie, and Greene Counties. He conducted a stage line between Windham and Catskill. Relinquishing the latter enterprise, he came to Hunter, where he began the improvement of the Braden farm for summer resort purposes by first removing the old dwelling, which he replaced with a more commodious building containing accommodations for a number of guest. The success of the venture made necessary an enlargement of the house, the addition being completed in 1891, the year in which he died. He was then fifty-six years old. Mr. Mulford was widely and favorably known throughout this section as an able business man and a public-spirited citizen, ever displaying an active interest in the political, moral, and religious welfare of the community. He served as a Supervisor for a number of years, was School Commissioner for two terms of two years each, and he was an earnest supporter of the Democratic party. His judgement in public affairs was much sought after and followed. Perceiving the need of a permanent religious organization in this village, he was mainly instrumental in causing one to be established, subscribing liberally toward the erection of a church. He was a member of the Masonic order, and had occupied some of the important chairs in the Blue Lodge at Saugerties. Samuel S. Mulford was the father of three children, namely: William, Maud, and Francis, all of whom are now assisting in carrying on the hotel. William married Carrie McGee, and has four children.

After the death of her husband Mrs. Mulford became manager as well as proprietor of the hotel, and in these capacities has displayed her ability by successfully conducting both the business and domestic departments. The Mountain Summit House which is a pleasant and healthful summer home, occupies a sightly location upon elevated ground. It has ample accommodations for two hundred guests, and that their comforts are well provided for is manifested by the large number who enjoy its hospitality during the summer and autumn months. Though not a member of any religious denomination, Mrs. Mulford is a generous contributor toward the support of religious work. She is highly esteemed for her many estimable qualities.

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