Rutherford Hayner
City of Troy

This biography is from Troy and Rensselaer County, New York, Volume III, by Rutherford Hayner, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York and Chicago, 1925. It was submitted by Debby Masterson.

RUTHERFORD HAYNER, editor-in-chief of this "History of Troy and Rensselaer County," has devoted his spare hours for nearly two years to writing and editing it and for some twenty years before in gathering fugitive data and compiling authorities on local history, and spent all of his working years in newspaper work, a major part in the city of Troy, New York. Born on the farm of his maternal grandfather, Abram Fredericks, in Clarendon, Orleans County. New York, September 21, 1877, Rutherford Hayner, oldest of four children of Nelson McChesney and Frances Adella (Fredericks) Hayner, passed his boyhood days in the village of Schaghticoke, Rensselaer county. New York, where he received his early education in the public schools.

Mr. Hayner is a descendant of earliest settlers in Rensselaer County, the Hayners being in the first group of colonists from the Rhine Palatinate located in the present town of Brunswick, and the McChesneys were early Scotch-Irish settlers in the same town, while his mother's ancestors were of the earliest New England stock. At the time of their marriage both his parents were school teachers, and afterward his father was for years a merchant in Schaghticoke and served for twenty-five years as justice of the peace. After occupying many spare hours of his boyhood as a newsboy and grocer's clerk, the youth left the high school grades in the Schaghticoke school at fifteen years of age to learn the printer's trade in the office of the "Schaghticoke Press," the first weekly published in that village. When, two years later, the newspaper plant was moved to another community and two citizens decided to start the "Schaghticoke Sun," the young printer performed the mechanical work and assisted in news gathering. Going to Cambridge and then to Whitehall as a printer, he turned to reporting, and for two years was local editor of the "Whitehall Times." Seeking the field of daily journalism after editing a weekly at Cambridge, he became a reporter for the 'Troy Morning Record" in 1S97, and late in 1900 joined the staff of "The Troy Times," with which he has since been associated in various capacities, serving as reporter, news, country, city, sports, and radio editor at dififerent times, while for ten years during its publication he was editor of "The Troy Times" Saturday art section, a pioneer in the field of illustrated dailies. He has done much special writing and correspondence for newspapers and periodicals.

With the temperament and characteristic of the newspaper man, accepting each shifting activity as "all in a day's work," his has been an ever-changing interest, believing that to get most out of life one should be able to do many things, all as well as physical and mental limitations permit. In connection with the art section, Mr. Hayner took up press photography in which he became quite proficient. A penchant for the artistic has been further pursued in painting, drawing, engrossing and lettering, and many handsome, bound memorials, honor rolls and testimonials attest to his skill and taste. Since 1915 he has been the publicity representative of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and when the radio broadcasting station W H A Z was installed at the institute in September, 1922, he undertook the work of arranging its programs and has since been its program director and announcer. Beginning the memorizing of literary selections in youth for the improvement of memory, he found linguistic facility in dialects, and on many occasions has entertained various assemblages with a fund of readings and humorous recitations.

In the anonymity of newspaper writing Mr. Hayner has always found satisfaction, and with his interests centered in his work and his home, he has never sought preference in politics or public affairs. Content to be a reporter—an outside observer—and being other wise too much occupied, he has never become a member of fraternal or social orders, but has been identified only with organizations more or less in his line of work. He was one of the charter members and president of the Troy Newswriters' Association and edited its elaborate Troy Week and Hudson-Fulton issues of "The Reporter." He is vice-president of the Troy Press Club, member of the Troy Society for Spoken English, was first secretary of the Troy Parent-Teacher Association, and was secretary of the Troy Publicity Association during its existence, and was chosen a member of the Troy Centennial Historical Committee. For twenty-five years he has been a member of the Troy Central Young Men's Christian Association. In religion he is of the Unitarian persuasion, and in politics a Republican.

Mr. Hayner married, at Chester, Vermont, June 24, 1903, Mabelle E. Beard, daughter of Warren and Eliza (Stickney) Beard. Mr. and Mrs. Hayner are the parents of two children: Dorothy, born April 11, 1907, and Warren Nelson, born March 6, 1920. They reside at their small farm home, "Sunny Outlook," adjoining West Sand Lake, a hamlet near Troy.

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