HISTORY OF

SARATOGA COUNTY, NEW YORK.

by NATHANIEL BARTLETT SYLVESTER

1878

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AUSTIN L. REYNOLDS.

 

Portrait of Austin L. Reynolds

 

Austin L. Reynolds was born in the town of Moreau, Saratoga Co., N.Y., on the 19th day of June, 1826, and is the fifth child of George Reynolds and Luthena Potter Reynolds, the former a native of Rhode Island, who early in life established his homestead in Moreau, where for many years he was one of the most active and energetic business men of the town. He was by occupation a farmer and lumber-man, a man of great force of character, took a prominent part in the affairs of his county, and was a member of the State Assembly in 1833. He had four sons and the same number of daughters.

One of the principal characteristics of this family was their great desire for an education, and early in life our subject availed himself of the opportunities offered by pursuing a thorough course, first as a student at the Glen's Falls Academy, and completing his studies at the Kinderhook Academy, in Columbia county. He next entered upon a course of legal studies, and thoroughly qualified himself for the bar, to which he was admitted in 1852. With flattering prospects he entered upon the practice of a profession in which two of his brothers were engaged, - James L. Reynolds, of Fort Edward, taking high rank at the Washington county bar, and Hon. John H. Reynolds, of Albany, distinguished as among the most eminent lawyers of the State. It soon became evident that his health would not permit him to remain in-doors, and he was therefore compelled to relinquish his practice and engage in the active pursuits of out-door business. He turned his attention to farming, in which he was not a novice, having had charge of his mother's estate for several years after the demise of his father. He also engaged in lumbering, and latterly in iron mining. At the age of twenty-eight he was a candidate for member of Assembly, and was defeated by the small majority of thirteen votes. He was connected with the Democratic party until the commencement of the war of 1861-65, when he joined the ranks of the Republican party. None were warmer in the support of the war for the preservation of the Union, and none have more firmly maintained the principles of the party to which he now belongs. He has held various positions in town and county. He was for seven terms supervisor of Moreau, being elected as a Democrat, previous to the war, five years in succession from a town largely Republican. He was also elected twice in succession to the State Legislature, where he served on the most important committees of the House. Mr. Reynolds was married, Sept. 14, 1853, to Mary E., daughter of Dr. Benjamin F. Cornell, a physician of large practice in the town of Moreau, where he has been held in high estimation as a practitioner for the past fifty years. Mrs. Reynolds is a lady of rare intellectual culture and refinement, of great decision of character, and possessed of those especial qualities that grace true womanhood and influence the best interests of society.

Hon. John H. Reynolds, the fourth child, and brother of our subject, was born at Moreau, on the 21st day of June, 1819. He pursued the study of law at Kinderhook, Columbia Co., N.Y., and upon his admission to the bar became the co-partner of Hon. William H. Tobey, of that village. He almost immediately assumed a front rank in his chosen profession, drawing around him the warm personal friendship of the Columbia county bar, and of the community in which he lived. While a resident of Kinderhook he was united in marriage to the accomplished daughter of the late General Charles Whiting of that place, and subsequently removed to Albany, where he became one of the strongest and most popular members of the bar of the State. Probably no lawyer of his age has argued more causes or secured a more distinguished reputation in the court of appeals and in the other higher tribunals of the State than he. During the early part of his residence in Albany he was elected a member of Congress in one of the most exciting and memorable political campaigns on record in that portion of the State. Was appointed judge by Governor Dix, where he served during the existence of the court. He died at his residence in Kinderhook, Sept. 24, 1875.

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