Henry C. Windeknecht
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.

HENRY C. WINDEKNECHT—As United States postmaster at Rensselaer, New York, Mr. Windeknecht has been associated with the post office for the past sixteen years, receiving his first appointment as carrier in 1907. He was born in Albany, New York, December 21, 1881, son of Henry and Barbara (Holler) Windeknecht. While he was still a boy his parents moved to Rensselaer and he has been a resident of that city ever since.

Henry C. Windeknecht received his education in the public schools of Rensselaer, and after his graduation from the grammar grades proceeded to the Rensselaer High School, where he completed the full four years' course, graduating in 1897. When his school days were over Mr. Windeknecht was somewhat undecided as to the best field of business activity to which to devote his talents. He was offered a position with the "Rensselaer County Herald" however, and accepted it, believing that the connection would be agreeable and that he would thus acquire valuable experience, even though he might later enter some other occupation. In this opinion he was entirely correct. He remained with the paper for three years and his relations with the officers of the company were always extremely satisfactory. His future in the newspaper business would have been secure and prosperous, but during his association with the Rensselaer County "Herald" his attention was drawn to the work of a machinist. He had a natural aptitude for mechanical work and finally decided to enter the service of the General Electric Company, at Schenectady, and later of the Boston & Albany railroad, to become an expert machinist. He therefore resigned his position with the "Herald" to the regret of all his associates, and entered the General Electric shops, at Schenectady. He found the work in the shops agreeable and interesting and made rapid progress, soon acquiring an unusual knowledge of all the details of repairing and maintaining the various machines in a state of efficiency. His endeavors and successes in the mechanical line were suddenly terminated by an accident, on March 12, 1907, and on July 1, 1907, he was appointed carrier, serving until 1918, when he was appointed assistant United States postmaster at Rensselaer. In order to accept this position he left the railroad and has since devoted himself entirely to government postal service. He threw himself into his work as assistant postmaster with the greatest energy and enthusiasm, and found it an ideal occupation. He made a study of postal service and its development, especially in the United States. His fidelity and devotion to his duties and the extent of his knowledge of the postal system brought him general recognition, and finally, on May 1, 1922, he was appointed United States postmaster by President Harding. This office he still holds, and he maintains the utmost efficiency and care in every department of the post office at Rensselaer. His services to the community are deeply appreciated by his fellow citizens, and he is everywhere regarded as one of the most capable and self-sacrificing men who have held this Federal office at Rensselaer. He is a very active member of the National Association of Postmasters.

In politics Mr. Windeknecht is a staunch Republican. He is a vigorous supporter of the policies of his party, and believes in progressive legislation, designed to increase and to promote public welfare and prosperity. Mr. Windeknecht is a member of the fire department and has served for the past eight years as president of the J. N. Ring Fire Company. A great believer in conservation and the prevention of losses to life and property occasioned by fire, Mr. Windeknecht has been tireless in his efforts to promote the strength and efficiency of the fire department, and has been a leader in the securing of additional and adequate equipment and proper fire inspection, especially for schools and hospitals, where children and the sick would be in serious danger in case of fire. He was the principal promoter of the "old home week" celebration, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the J. N. Ring Fire Company, which occurred May 15, 1922, and was attended by a record gathering. He is one of the most active members of the local board of trade, and is enrolled on all the important committees. In religious faith Mr. Windeknecht is a Presbyterian. He is a Mason and holds membership in the Greenbush Lodge, No. 337, Free and Accepted Masons; Greenbush Chapter, No. 274, Royal Arch Masons; Temple Commandery, No. 2, Knights Templar; and Cypress Temple, Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Mr. Windeknecht takes the greatest interest in all Masonic activities and gatherings.

Mr. Windeknecht is unmarried.

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