Edward Coburn Waterman
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.

EDWARD COBURN WATERMAN—As proprietor of the hardware store formerly owned by Schuyler A. Hull, and established about 1880, by W. H. Lewis & Son, and exclusive agent for the Ford automobile at Berlin, New York, Mr. Waterman has won a secure place for himself in the community. He was born at Troy, New York, July 2, 1881, son of F. Irving and Elnora (Nichols) Waterman. His father, who was a prominent salesman of Troy and covered a large territory, died at the untimely age of forty-seven years, leaving a wide circle of business and personal friends. From him Mr. Waterman doubtless inherited a great deal of his mercantile and administrative ability.

Mr. Waterman received his education in the public schools, and after graduating from the Troy grammar schools, at the age of twelve years, was obliged to begin his business career at once. He had no difficulty in forming a connection with J. M. Warren and Company of Troy. Entering the service of this firm as an errand boy, he soon developed unusual ability and became a salesman, maintaining this connection until 1900, when he decided to learn the hardware business "from the ground up," and accordingly, entered the employ of Landers, Frary and Clark, of New Britain. Later, to further become posted in this line, he spent three years with the Stanley Rule and Level Company, also of New Britain, Connecticut. From 1900 to 1905 he devoted his energies to learning the hardware business from the manufacturing end, and having acquired a thorough knowledge of the trade during this period and becoming acquainted with conditions in many parts of the country, was engaged by the Clark Witbeck Company, to open up a wholesale territory in Northern and Eastern New York State. In 1910 he left the Clark Witbeck Company in order to accept a position with the Simmons Hardware Company, of St. Louis, Missouri. Naturally energetic, never sparing himself, and working early and late to further his firm's interests, Mr. Waterman's health, being unable to stand the strain, failed, and at the end of 1918 he suffered a complete breakdown, which was hastened by a serious accident which he sustained at that time. He was forced to resign his position and to give up all work in that year, and his employers and associates with whom his relations had always been of the most satisfactory and agreeable nature, were extremely sorry to lose him and especially in such circumstances. Warned by his physicians that he had only a short time to live, he came to Berlin in March, 1916, with his family, determined to make a desperate attempt to regain his health and strength. After spending a few months in Berlin, he was able to return to his former vocation, that of salesman for the Simmons Hardware Company. In October, 1920, he decided to establish himself in business at Berlin. He had an opportunity to purchase the S. A. Hull Hardware Store, and immediately invested his capital in the venture. He met with an immediate success as the proprietor of this business. His long and intimate acquaintance with the hardware trade and his instinctive knowledge of the best methods of advertising and displaying his goods for sale enabled him to increase the yearly volume of sales very substantially after he assumed control of the establishment. He is still managing the affairs of the store, and has since become the exclusive agent for the Ford automobiles in the town. He deals only in goods of the highest quality and established reputation, and he makes a point of carrying a full stock of all staple articles, so that he may be able to fill his customers' order with the least possible delay. His health is now fully recovered and he feels a particular affection for the town of Berlin, considering that here he was able to overcome the illness which threatened his life. He is an ardent supporter of all progressive movements and takes an active part in all local activities for the betterment of the public welfare and the increase of business prosperity.

In politics Mr. Waterman is a Republican, and a firm supporter of constructive policies. He is a Mason, and belongs to the Star Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, at Petersburg; St. George Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, at Schenectady; Apollo Commandery, Knights Templar, of Troy, New York; and Oriental Temple, Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He was one of the organizers of the United Commercial Travelers of Schenectady, and is the first past senior counselor of this lodge. During his years as a salesman, he made scores of friends and acquaintances in many dift'erent places, and among them all, the news of his renewed health and business prosperity has been received with sincere pleasure.

Mr. Waterman was married twice. His first wife was Marian Parker, of Meriden, Connecticut, and she is survived by one child, John Parker Waterman. In 1912 he was married to Florence L. Stilson, daughter of George R. and Emma Cole Stilson, of Oneida, New York, and they have two children: Edith Charlotte, born March 1, 1915; and Edward Stilson, born April 18, 1917.

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