History of Warren County, H. P. Smith
Chapter XXV: History of the Patent and Town of Queensbury - Part 6
This transcription was produced through the use of Readiris Pro 11 OCR software. Contributed by Tim Varney.
Present Mercantile Interests. - Page 442 The village of Glens Falls has always been by far the most important mercantile center of the county, but not until the close of the war did it exhibit significant signs of growth as a manufacturing locality, excepting in the one branch of the manufacture of lumber and lumber products. About that time, however, the manufacturing interest received an impetus which has not lost or lessened its influence down to the present day. The early and defunct business interests have been already sufficiently detailed in the preceding pages of the town history.
There are at present no fewer than fifty-four mercantile establishments in the village - all apparently prosperous. The oldest establishment at present conducted is the furniture store of C. M. Wilmarth, which was started in 1841 by his father and grandfather, M. L and Leander Wilmarth. At first it was only a miniature chair factory on Warren street, the first in the section. J. L. Kenworthy (hardware and crockery) established himself here in about 1842 or '43, in company with Noble Peck. The two remained together until Peck's death in 1862, since which time Mr. Kenworthy has been alone. He has been a resident of Glens Falls since 1831. George Ferguson is proprietor of a dry goods and Yankee notions house on Glen street. The business was started about 1850 by his father, Henry Ferguson. From 1856 to 1870 George Ferguson and his father conducted the business together. In February of the latter year Henry Ferguson died, and his son, the present proprietor, assumed, and has since retained, sole control of the establishment. The furniture store of Bullard & Loomis was initiated in 1860 by H. Colvin, in Exchange Place. Colvin was burned out in 1864, and immediately recommenced business across the street. In 1875 he took Charles E. Bullard into partnership with him. In 1876 Henry Swan bought Colvin's interest, and the firm was thereafter Bullard & Swan until 1879. Then Mr. Bullard was alone until the fall of 1882, when John R. Loomis acquired an interest, which he still retains. The Crandell Block, which they occupy, was built with reference to their business. They occupy about 15,000 feet floor room. They are also furnishing undertakers. George H. Bassinger opened a jewelry store on Glen street, nearly across from his present store, in 1860. He was burned out in 1864, and immediately reopened, farther south. He came into his present place in 1872. De Long & Sons began the hardware business here in 1861. They were also burned out in the great fire of 1864, after which they came to their present quarters. The members of the firm respectively are Z. I. De Long, T. S. De Long and J. B. De Long. M. Snyder, manufacturing confectioner, started here in 1862, Page 443 at 68 Glen street; moved to his present store, 22 Warren street, in 1879. D. Peck & Company conduct a large wholesale and retail grocery business at 85 and 87 Glen street. The business was established in 1864 by D. Peck and F. Byrne under the name of Peck & Byrne. Mr. Byrne retired in 1871, and Mr. Peck continued alone until 1882, when his brother, H. F. Peck, came in with him. In the spring of 1885 W. M. Peck, son of D. Peck, entered the firm. These three gentlemen are now the proprietors. They supplied forty hotels with provisions during the year 1884. They carry a stock ranging in value from $20,000 to $100,000. L. P. Juvet, proprietor of a jewelry store at No. 68 Glen street, established himself on the opposite side of the street in 1865. He moved into his present quarters in 1867. He is the inventor of the celebrated Juvet time globe. William Cronkhite & Son first opened their grocery and dry goods store in October, 1865. William Cronkhite built this store after the great fire of 1864, and his son, H. O. Cronkhite, came in with him at that time. The senior member of this firm came to Glens Falls as early as 1853, and with his brother, Eli P. Cronkhite, opened a grocery store here. In 1854 his brother withdrew, and he remained alone until 1865. A. Wurtenberg first established his business, dry goods and carpets, in 1867 at No. 18 Warren street. From there he subsequently moved to 104 Glen street. He came to his present location, 112 Glen street, in March, 1883. The firm name was Rothschild & Wurtenberg for the first ten years. Crittenden & Cowles, dealers in books, wall paper, shades and stationery, started in 1868 at No. 98 Glen street, and in 1876 moved to 96 Glen street. The members of the firm are Horace Crittenden and Benjamin S. Cowles, jr. Leggett & Bush, druggists, No. 109 Glen street, began business in Glens Falls in 1870. The individual members of the firm are George H. Leggett and John W. Bush. Joseph W. Leggett and Elizabeth H. Leggett, father and mother to the senior member of the firm, were in the town of Chester early in the century, the former reaching there as early as 1798. He died there in 1871. His widow survives him. S. B. Whitney and W. W. Rockwell began dealing in boots and shoes here in 1871, under the present firm name of S. B. Whitney & Company, 89 Glen street. D. E. Peek, dealer in clothing, hats, etc., established his business here in 1871. He bought out Brown & Hotchkiss a year or two before that. He has always been alone. A. White, merchant tailor and dealer in gents' furnishing goods, began business in the Cosgrove Opera House in 1871; came to present place in October, 1884. F. C. Wilson began the sale of green groceries on Warren street in 1871. He came to his present location in 1876. D. W. Sherman started a furniture here in 1872. In 1877 he changed his wares to general merchandise. In February, 1885, his sons, William A. and Henry L. Sherman established partnership relations with him, the firm name now being D. W. Sherman & Sons. W. H. Robbins and D. P. De Long established a dry goods business in 1872 in their present location, 108 Glen Page 444 street. There has been no change of place or proprietorship. The Vienna bakery and restaurant, now in the hands of Charles T. Sewell, was established in 1877 by S. & M. E. McLaughlin. In 1883 Mr. Sewell bought out S. McLaughlin, who had been sole proprietor for about two years. S. D. Kendrick, proprietor of a large wholesale and retail drug store, and also of a planing-mill, and sash, blinds and door factory, has been associated at various times with Levi Wing, C. M. Peck and Lyman G. Willson. He came here in 1873. Ezra Hartman opened a boot and shoe store here in 1873, having bought in a half interest with John E. Potter. Mr. Potter soon went out, and the firm name became Hartman & Freeman in about 1875. Charles E. Everest became associated with Mr. Hartman in 1876. The firm style is now Hartman & Everest. J. W. Haviland began the manufacture and sale of harnesses in Glens Falls in 1874, having George Wells for a junior partner. Mr. Haviland purchased Wells's interest in 1880. In 1874 T. C. Stillwell bought an interest in the hardware business of W. W. D. Jeffers. In 1876 Jeffers withdrew and was succeeded in the firm by J. W. Allen. Jeffers had been in the business since 1868. The firm title is now Stillwell & Allen. E. M. Silver opened a clothing store here in 1874. He came into the present building, No.1 Warren street, in 1880. Isaac Smith has been the sole proprietor of an extensive grocery establishment since May 18th, 1875, in the Cosgrove Opera House. He was burned out in 1884, and immediately removed to his present quarters, 99 Glen street. R. N. Peck was in the drug business here first in 1870. The beginning of the present enterprise, however, dates in 1875. Haviland and Ferriss are the proprietors of a wholesale and retail drug store which was first opened in 1876 by R. F. and Willis H. Haviland. The latter went out in 1881, and the vacancy was filled by George M. Ferriss. The firm are also largely interested in a lumber, sash, door and blind factory, and in hardware. M. & J. Cohen opened their present clothing store, at 80 Glen street, in 1877. George H. Thomas started a hardware store at No 55 Glen street in Glens Falls, in the year 1877. H. Thomas acquired an interest in the business in 1879. After various removals, and after being burned out on April 28th, 1884, they removed into their present quarters September 1st, 1884. H. Thomas and J. L. Kenworthy both learned their trade of Noble Peck. Coolidge & Bentley (F. B. Coolidge and W. F. Bentley), dealers in clothing, hats, caps, etc., began business in 1878 on the corner of Warren and Glen streets, and removed to their present site in 1880. Mr. Coolidge was associated with A. J. Pearsall from 1872 to 1878. Stephen Bentley, grandfather to W. F. Bentley was an early settler in the town, and now lives about two miles from the village. C. A. Hovey deals exclusively in fruits. He opened a grocery at No. 20 Warren street in 1880. In the winter of 1884 he removed to his present location, 101 Glen street, and abandoned the general grocery business for his present stock. O. C. Smith, in company with E. C. Quinlan, started a grocery trade in 1880, at the present Page 445 stand of O. C. Smith, who has been sole proprietor since the withdrawal of Mr. Quinlan in October, 1884. S. G. Boyd began dealing in books, stationery, wall paper and fancy goods in about 1869 or 1870. The present proprietors, P. P. Braley and E. C. Boyd, bought him out, in March, 1880. In the fire of April, 1884, he was burned out, but immediately rebuilt on the same site and commenced their occupation of the new store in the following October. J. Lieberman established a clothing and "gents' furnishing goods" business here in 1880. In 1883 L. Sonn acquired a half interest in the concern and the firm name became Sonn & Lieberman. M. B. Sweeney & Bro., groceries. In 1880 this trade was established by M. B. Sweeney and Daniel O'Leary under the firm title of M. B. Sweeney & Co. In June, 1881, Mr. Sweeney purchased O'Leary's share in the business and a few days later took his brother, G. A. Sweeney, into partnership with him. The trade in boots and shoes now conducted by Long Bros., was originally established in about 1879 or 1880 by Herrick & Freeman, an Albany jobbing house. After about six months experience there they sold out to C. W. Long who remained alone until March, 1885. In that month he associated himself with his brother, D. R. Long. The building which C. W. Long formerly occupied on the same site was destroyed by the fire of April 28th, 1884. The present firm of general merchants known as Havilands & Gilbert, and consisting of Charles W. and John G. Haviland, and F. W. Gilbert, was formed in March, 1881, being successors to Coolidge & Lee who formerly occupied the same site. W. F. Bissell opened a music store in Bay street, in 1882. James E. Thompson, who occupies part of the store of Long Bros. commenced dealing in jewelry in November, 1882. J. Raub, jr., has dealt in dry goods and fancy goods at No. 74 Glen street since June, 1883. The drug store now conducted by C. L. Doty on Bay street was first opened in 1882, by S. W. Lambie. Mr. Doty bought him out in 1883. C. P. Schermerhorn, merchant tailor and gents' furnishing goods, has been sale proprietor of the business since April, 1883, when he established it. M. H. Bitely began dealing in groceries in July, 1883, in the store still occupied by him. George E. Adams, dealer in hardware, bought out J. A. Underwood in February, 1883; Underwood had had charge of the business about four years prior to this transfer. Powers & Day, grocers, went in together in the spring of 1883. Mr. Powers was, the previous year, with C. A. Hovey, and Mr. Day bought the latter out. Keene & Hovey established the business about 1881. The members of the present firm are J. S. Powers and H. N. Day. Calvin Day, father to H. N. Day, came from Massachusetts to the town of Chester about 1845. He moved to Glens Falls in 1852 and died in 1881. The firm of I. N. Scott & Son, general merchants, was formed in January, 1884, succeeding the firm of Holman, Haviland & Co. I. N. Scott was the "Co." The business was first conducted by Holman & Haviland. Crandell & Mores, dealers in groceries, bought out Charles A. Hovey, Bay street, in 1884. H. Page 446 D. Sanford purchased his store of F. A. Mitchell in 1884, Mitchell's business, was then about a year old. G. F. Bayle & Co. (dry goods and millinery) began business in March, 1884. The junior member of the firm is W. T. Marsh, of Saratoga. The Glens Falls crockery store was first opened March 31st, 1884, by the present proprietor, A. F. Stewart. . The Rochester clothing company alias Henry Schwartz & Co., began to deal in ready made clothing in November, 1884. Martine, Rice & Co., dealers in teas, coffees and spices, established their business in December, 1884. W. H. Rice is the active manager of the trade. N. S. Cronkhite, dealer in books and stationery, bought out I. J. Keeler in 1884. Keeler had established the business in the fall of 1883. L. F. Baker, boot and shoe merchant, bought out E. A. Stevens, January 1st, 1885. Stevens had been here about two years previous. Willis J. Kendrick opened a store for the sale of drugs, chemicals, and medicines, on the 12th day of January, 1885. S. A. Barrows came here from Troy in April, 1885, and opened his present grocery store at No. 57 Glen street.
Henry M. Day
Hotels. - Glens Falls, being a convenient station for summer visitors en route for Lake George, and having been used therefor "time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary," has always been more or less famous for the number and excellence of its hotels. The early taverns, and, indeed, all those that are now dead, have received sufficient mention a few pages back, and therefore all that is required here is a sketch of the hotels at present receiving guests.
The site on which the Rockwell House stands has been occupied for hotel purposes since the opening of the present century. In 1802 John A. Ferriss erected the original hotel here, and by the aid of various landlords, most prominent among whom is the well-known Peter D. Threehouse, the Glens Falls Hotel became deservedly celebrated among the traveling public as a desirable place to stay. Threehouse was followed, among others, by Rogers & Brown, Richard W. Higby, A. B. Tubbs, and Wait S. Carpenter. In the fall of 1852-'53, Carpenter, last above named, having purchased the premises, tore down the old structure and erected on its site a large, substantial brick building. Carpenter played well the part of "mine host" until the great fire of 1864 consumed his hotel and effects, when he decamped. The ground for a number of years lay idle. In 1869, in order to forestall the apprehended occupation of the eligible site by a proposed row of stores, a number of gentlemen procured a contribution of fifteen thousand four hundred dollars for the purchase of the lot and the erection of a first-class hotel. The purchase being effected, the premises were offered to any person or firm who could assume the responsibility of building thereon a hotel which would reflect credit upon the village. The offer was accepted in the spring of 1871, by H. J. and George H. Rockwell, who redeemed their undertaking in a manner of which they and their fellow-townsmen have reason to be proud. The construction of the building Page 447 occupied all the interim between the 26th of March, 1871, and the 31st of January, 1872. In October, 1871, Mr. C. L. Rockwell took the place of George H. Rockwell. On the 12th of the ensuing February the Rockwell House was opened for business, and on the 22d of the same month a grand infair attested to the people of Glens Falls, at once the singular adaptability of the new proprietors to the business they had undertaken, and their enterprising determination to employ their talents most worthily. The hotel in front is four stories high, with a Mansard roof and Swiss towers. It extends one hundred feet in length by forty-five feet in depth. Projecting in the rear is an ell one hundred and forty feet long, forty feet wide, and three stories high. There are several parlors, seventy-two sleeping rooms, and a capacity for about one hundred and fifty guests. When the house is filled, the labor of thirty-seven employees is continually required. In round numbers, the cost of the building was sixty thousand dollars, and of the furniture, purchased in Boston, twenty thousand dollars. The crockery and silver ware was purchased in Albany and the carpets in New York city. The iron work used in the construction of the building was furnished by the American Corrugated Iron Company, of Springfield, Mass. The spacious pleasure grounds in the rear of the building, together with the complete catalogue of all the modern appliances, conspire to make this public house homelike and comfortable, the architect was M. F. Cummings, of Troy; the carpenters were Krum & Adams; brick masons, Holman & Pike. James Camp laid the stone work; and the painter and glazier was S. P. Jackman. The proprietors for the first six years were H. J. & C. L. Rockwell, but in 1873, upon the withdrawal of the senior member of the co-partnership, Mr. C. L. Rockwell, the present manager, assumed the control of the business. According to the exceptionless testimony of those who have been entertained by Mr. Rockwell, there is not a better hotel in the country. Hotel proprietors, like poets, are born, not made, and Mr. Rockwell has not mistaken his calling.
The site of the American House is also of considerable antiquity as the foundation ground for a hotel. The old building was destroyed by fire on the 5th of August, 1879, and the present structure completed in the following July. George Pardo the present proprietor, bought out Noble Clark in November, 1865, and has remained the landlord to the present. Clark had been in this hotel about three months when he sold to Pardo.
The Nelson House Bay street, deriving its name from the proprietor, John S. Nelson, who has kept the house since 1870, will accommodate about twenty-five guests.
McSweeney & Lynch have kept the Mansion House for seven or eight years.
The remaining hotel is the Fitzgerald House, near the depot, kept by Daniel Fitzgerald, who fitted up the hotel from a former private residence.
Banks. - The Glens Falls National Bank was organized as a private banking Page 448 company in 1851, under the name of the Glens Falls Bank. The first officers and directors were: B. P. Burhans, president; Abraham Wing, vice-president; Billy J. Clark, Walter Geer, Keyes P. Cool, D. G. Roberts, Bethuel Peck, James Buell, Pelatiah Richards, Benjamin Ferris, Halsey Rogers, Byron Rice, Dan'l H. Cowles. In 1865 it was reorganized under the National Bank Act, as the Glens Falls National Bank, with the following officers and directors: B. P. Burhans, president; Abraham Wing, vice-president; Pelatiah Richards, Benjamin Ferris, Thos. S. Gray, Zenas Van Dusen, Alonzo W. Morgan, D. G. Roberts, Dan'l H. Cowles, J. C. Finch, N. E. Sheldon, Chas. Rice, S. L. Goodman. Prior to the reorganization, i. e., May 31st, 1864, the corporation suffered in common with the greater portion of the business population of Glens Falls, from the devastating fire which then visited the village. Business continued, however, without any serious interruption, until the re-organization, when, of course, it assumed a new phase.
The first cashier was E. J. Blacke. In 1853 he resigned, and was succeeded by John Alden, who filled the position creditably until 1862, when he died. William A. Wait, who was elected to fill the vacancy thus caused, has performed the duties incident to the office with unremitting diligence and distinguished ability to the present time: The other changes in office are indicated by the following chronological statement: -
1867, Jeremiah W. Finch elected vice-president, vice Abraham Wing resigned on account of failing health; 1870, January: James C. Finch died; Hon. Halsey R. Wing died; February: Pelatiah Richards died; 1873, Abraham Wing, late vice-president, died June 13th ; Dr. N. Edson Sheldon died July 3d; 1875, Benj. Ferris died Feb. 15th; June 16th, death of Hon. Benjamin P. Burhans, president of the bank from its original organization; Jeremiah W. Finch elected president, and Stephen Brown, vice-president. The present officers and directors are as follows, the dates of the election of the respective directors following their names: -
J. W. Finch, president, (elected director in 1866); Stephen Brown, vice-president, (elected director in 1873); Dan'l H. Cowles, (1851); Alonzo W. Morgan, (1856); Zenas Van Duzen, (1858); S. L. Goodman, (1863); Henry Crandell, (1870); Joseph Fowler, (1871); Fred. O. Burhans, (1871); John P. Bowman, (1871); Dan'l J. Finch, (1873); T. S. Coolidge, (1873); Dan'l Peck, (1873); William A. Wait, cashier; John E. Parry, teller.
First National Bank of Glens Falls. - This banking company was originally organized in January, 1853, under the title of the Commercial Bank of Glens Falls, in what was then known as the Sherwood Building, erected about 1841 or 1842, on the site of the present structure. The bank purchased it of W. S. Sherwood for $2,800, and lost it in the great fire of 1864. The present building was erected in the same year at a cost of $18,000. Architect, Walter Dickson, of Albany; builders, D. C. Holman; original capital unchanged, $136,400. Page 449 It was reorganized as a national bank in April, 1865. The officers have been as follows: President, William McDonald, from the organization; Augustus Sherman from November, 1858 to December, 1884; present president, Jerome Lapham. Vice-presidents, Bethuel Peck, from the organization; Augustus Sherman, from February, 1855; Linus B. Barnes, from November, 1858; James Morgan, from February, 1861; Jerome Lapham, from November, 1873 to 1884. Cashiers, Isaiah Scott, from organization; Fred A. Johnson, jr., from April, 1859; Emmett T. Johnson, from January, 1865 to and including the present. The original board of directors consisted of: Lewis Hunt, James C. Clark, William W. Rockwell, Bethuel Peck, Keyes P. Cool, James Morgan, Hermon Peck, William H. Warren, Quartus Curtis, Augustus Sherman, Erskine G. Clark, Joseph Russell, William McDonald. Other members of the board at various times are as follows; Jeremy Rockwell, elected September, 1853; William A. Fonda, February, 1854; Isaiah Scott, July, 1854; Levi Hatch, February, 1855; Enos Howland, ditto; Henry Ferguson, ditto; Ruliff Kipp, February, 1856; Ira Harris, ditto; Charles R. Richards, ditto; Daniel Sweet, February, 1857; U. G. Paris, February, 1858; Linus B. Barnes, August, 1858; James Morgan, ditto; Alexander Robertson, January, 1859; Henry Crandell, February, 1860; Jerome Lapham, ditto; Samuel Pruyn, Gustavus A. Austin. Nathaniel Barker, Charles Fowler, February, 1861; Lifelet Harris, October, 1861; William H. Gayger, February, 1862; Daniel V. Brown, February, 1864; William McEchron, February, 1865; Martin Coffin, August, 1867. The present directors are Jerome Lapham, M. A. Sheldon, William McEchron, A. B. Abbott, Z. I. De Long, Samuel Pruyn, Ruliff Kipp, D. W. Sherman, Martin Coffin, W. E. Spier, William H. Gayger, Jonathan M. Coolidge, Byron B. Fowler.
Glens Falls Insurance Company. - The first movement toward the formation of an insurance company in Glens Falls was in 1849, when a number of the prominent citizens of the place united their abilities and energies and secured the corporation of what was called the Glens Falls Dividend Mutual Insurance Company. Probably none of those who originally moved in the matter supposed that they were laying the corner stone of a corporation that would ultimately count its property by the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and its business by millions, and make Glens Falls a familiar name throughout the United States.
The following were the signers of the original call for the purpose of formation: J. H. Rice, D. G. Harris, E. H. Rosekrans, Abraham Wing, Bethuel Peck, Charles Rockwell, E. S. Vaughn, A. Sherman, E. H. Hopkins, George Cronkhite, A. N. Cheney, D. McNiel, Billy J. Clark, J. G. Haviland, L. B. Barnes, James Hurley, J. B. Cool, W. S. Carpenter, H. R. Wing, D. H. Cowles, John H. Walker, J. J. Perine. On the 15th day of February, 1850, at the first meeting of the company, the following were elected directors: F. D. Hodgeman, Page 450 E. H. Rosekrans, Thomas Archibald, Charles Rockwell Stephen Goodman, Bethuel Peck, William Cronkhite, Albert Cheney, Pelatiah Richards, L. B. Barnes, Abraham Wing, William H. Wells, Billy J. Clark. Following close upon their election the board of directors held a regular business session on the 4th of March, 1850, and chose the following officers: President, Bethuel Peck; vice-president, Pelatiah Richards; secretary, R. M. Little; treasurer, A. N. Cheney; attorney, E. H. Rosekrans. The company then commenced the prosecution of business in a single room of the old Exchange Building, on the corner of Glen and Exchange streets. They shortly afterward removed to a single room in D. H. Cowles & Co's building, on the corner of Warren and Ridge streets, which they occupied until their final removal to their own building on Glen street. Dr. Holden, in his excellent history, states that the building had been "twice enlarged to meet the requirements of the constantly increasing business which has accompanied its increase of years. During the early years of this company, while in its swaddling clothes, the transaction of its business was not necessarily diffused into the hands of as extensive a corps of assistants as at present, and many of our citizens will recall the fact that for some years the secretary (now president) was 'boss and all hands,' not only transacting all the inside work but the outside business as well. Even after the name of the Glens Falls Dividend Mutual Insurance Company had become well and favorably known over a large extent of territory as an honorable and efficient corporation, the whole office work was done by the secretary and one clerk, and that with the accommodations and palatial surroundings and office furniture which would not have brought twenty-five dollars in the market."
In 1864, by reason, it seems, of the general and increasing prejudice against State mutual insurance companies, which had almost universally met with disaster through reckless and unscrupulous management, it was proposed to reorganize the Dividend Mutual Company into a joint stock company. The plan was accordingly executed and the company started on its auspicious career with a paid up capital of $100,000, and as much more subscribed. So rapid was the growth of the business that in 1868 the capital was increased by actual payment to $200,000. Following are the more prominent members of the boards of directors since the original formation of the company: D. H. Cowles, Hermon Peck, Lewis Hunt, Alexander Robertson, Joseph Parry, George Clendon, S. B. Lee, T. S. Gray, O. Cronkhite, James W. Schenck, Alonzo W. Morgan, Thomas Potter, Isaac J. Davis, Walter Phelps, jr., John Alden, D. G. Roberts, F. A. Johnson, jr., O. Richards, Jerome Lapham, B. F. Bancroft, Charles Fowler, Augustus Sherman, J. C. Greene, E. Andrews, M. W. Fish, H. S. Rankin, F. O. Burhans, H. R. Wing, Asahel Wing, James Morgan, Isaac G. Parker, R. M. Little, Stephen Brown, Ruliff Kipp, Samuel Pruyn, A. J. Pearsall, T. S. Coolidge, J. L. Cunningham, Harvey Brown, M. B. Little, Joseph Fowler, E. Alliger, D. C. Holman, Joseph F. King, W. A. Wait, Page 451 John A. Sheldon. Since the formation of the new company the following have held the offices prefixed to their names in the order in which their names are written: Presidents: Bethuel Peck, Pelatiah Richards, A. W. Morgan and R. M. Little. Secretaries: R. M. Little, A. N. Locke and J. L. Cunningham. Treasurers: A. N. Cheney, F. A. Johnson, jr., Alexander Robertson, Jerome Lapham and F. A. Johnson. The present officers are as follows: president, R. M. Little; secretary, J. L. Cunningham; treasurer, F. A. Johnson; general agent, R. A. Little; board of directors: Daniel H. Cowles, Frederick A. Johnson, Jerome Lapham, Augustus Sherman (deceased since election), Moses W. Fish, Fred O. Burhans, Russel M. Little, Stephen Brown, Melville A. Sheldon, Thomas S. Coolidge, Harvey Brown, Meredith B. Little, Joseph Fowler, Dewitt C. Holman, Joseph E. King, William A. Wait, Alson B. Abbott, B. F. Bancroft, J. L. Cunningham, Orange Ferriss. The Western Department is at Chicago, Ill., J. L. Whitlock being manager. The total premiums paid to the company since its organization amount to $6,163,069.56; dividends (cash) $350,000; losses $3,332,087.10; stock owned by directors personally $72,180. As Dr. Holden justly says, "prudence and firmness have ever been the predominating traits of this sound old company; its risks have been carefully selected and a powerful resistance always opposed to fraud."
The foregoing mention of the business interests of Glens Falls would be scarcely complete if the establishment of S. R. Stoddard, the widely-known artist and publisher, was neglected. Mr. Standard came to Glens Falls in 1864, having then just attained his majority, from Troy where he had been employed in the celebrated car works of Eaton & Gilbert, as an ornamental painter. Within six months from the time he entered that establishment, so great was his artistic ambition and natural genius in that direction, he was engaged upon the finest work, taking the place of a painter who had received more for a day's work than young Stoddard did for a week. From the time of his advent to Glens Falls he followed the business of sign and ornamental painting, giving his spare hours to landscape and portrait work. He learned the art of photography, with a view of thus securing by his own use of the camera broader opportunities to study the beautiful in nature, his artistic genius turning naturally more to landscape than to portrait work. As his collection of photographic negatives increased, embracing many of the grandest scenes in the Adirondack region and about Lakes George and Champlain, the prints began to be called for by tourists and others, and Mr. Stoddard finally gave lip shop work and devoted himself entirely to landscape photography, landscape and portrait painting, and latterly to the publication of books and maps. His first publication was called Lake George, a historical and descriptive guide, which appeared in 1873. This was soon followed by Ticonderoga, Past and Present, a similar work on that historic region. In 1874 he published The Adirondacks Illustrated, a work of value as a guide book. Since then the Page 452 last named work and the Lake George book have been revised and re-published annually, meeting with a large sale. These books are written in a pleasant, entertaining vein to brighten the common monotony of the guide books, and have been commended by the press of the country. In 1880 Mr. Stoddard published his Map of the Adirondack Wilderness, of which one of the leading journals of the country said: "It is the most complete map of the Adirondack region ever published." In the fall of 1880 he made a plane table survey of Lake George, and in the next year issued his map of Lake George, of which it is sufficient to say that it was approved and adopted by the State engineer and surveyor to accompany the report on public lands in 1883.
Present Manufacturing Interests. - As observed in another page, the manufacturing interests of this place have grown to their present respectable proportions mainly since the late war. Something of an impetus was given to the lumber trade, it is true, when the feeder was first made a navigable channel in 1832, but this was confined to one branch of industry, and had little or no effect in starting up the other interests which now exist here. Glens Falls has, however, become not only a village of considerable present importance as a manufacturing center, but promises more richly of the future than its past ever indicated would be possible. The difficulties and obstacles to its attaining importance in this respect are transitory, its resources are various and well nigh inexhaustible, and its water power tremendous. Being the gateway of the Lake George region, it receives considerable wealth from the open-handed visitors of summer who stop here a day or a night on their way to the waters which the fancy of J. Fenimore Cooper has immortalized. Before the opening of the railroads, the transportation of the products of the various manufactories was greatly facilitated by the Glens Falls Transportation Company, which was incorporated soon after the opening of the feeder. The president for the first six years of its existence was John Keenan, who organized, and, it has been said, almost constituted the company. The capital stock at first was $50,000. The object of the formation of the company was the more convenient and expeditious shipment of products to New York. The company owned at first twenty-five canal boats, and did an extensive business. In those days there was a large tanning interest in the county, and the company was largely employed in the transportation of hides and leather. The business naturally suffered something of a decline after the completion of the railroads. Upon John Keenan's retirement from the presidency he was succeeded by S. L. Goodman, and the latter by Thomas Coolidge. The present president is Samuel Pruyn.
The Lumber Industry. - The reader has already been given, in Chapter XVI, a general description of this business as developed in the county at large. By far the greater part of it centers at Glens Falls and vicinity. Many of the citizens of this town have devoted their energies to the up-building of the industry Page 453 and have secured ample fortunes. Companies have been organized embracing in their composition men of character, influence and force, and enormous mills have been built with all the accessories for carrying on the work on a large scale.
The firm to which succeeded the Morgan Lumber Company was organized in the fall of 1865, and was then composed of James Morgan, A. M. Adsit, William McEchron and Jonas Ordway, under the firm name of Morgan, Adsit & Company. They purchased what were then known as the Cheney mills, comprising all of the milling property on the south side of the river at Glens Falls, including a vast amount of real estate along the river, the limestone and marble quarries of that property and the dock property on the canal. Previous to 1865 Messrs. Morgan and McEchron had been doing business for several years, but owned no mill property, hiring their sawing done at the Cheney mills; still earlier Mr. Morgan was engaged in lumber operations alone. Mr. Adsit died in the spring of 1871, and in the succeeding fall J. Underwood bought his interest and the firm name changed to James Morgan & Co. Mr. Morgan died August 1st, 1873, and in the following January his interest was sold to what was then the Albany house, who had sold the lumber of the firm (W. H. Weaver & Co.) and William F. Spier, and the style was changed to the Morgan Lumber Company; thus it has remained. Mr. Underwood's interest was bought by the remaining partners on the first of January, 1880.
Extensive improvements were inaugurated from the beginning of the first named firm and continued to recent times; the mills were enlarged and improved until they were practically rebuilt, and are now among the largest in the county, and for years the company have done the largest business. About two hundred and fifty hands are employed, in the manufacture of lumber and lime, the same company owning and operating a marble mill. Their operations include the manufacture of staves, wood for burning lime, and other minor products. Their lumber is sold largely in New York. The original cost of the mill property was $200,000. The present members of the company are William McEchron, Jonas Ordway and William E. Spier, of Glens Falls, and W. H. Weaver & Co., of Albany.
Mills similar to those above described are situated on the north side of the river directly opposite and are now owned and operated by the Glens Falls Co., comprising J. W. Finch, Samuel Pruyn and D. W. Finch. We are unable to give a further description of these mills, the firm having declined to furnish necessary information.
On the north side of the river at the State dam, a little above Glens Falls, are the mills of Zenas and Nelson W. Van Dusen, which are the largest under one roof in the county and one of the best in the State. This mill is new, having been finished within the past year; the mills previously occupying the site were taken down to make room for the new ones. There are two hundred and Page 454 fifty saws, and the property is estimated to be worth $250,000. The output from these mills in 1884 was 150,000,000 feet, which was sold largely in New York. A smaller steam mill was erected in 1880 near by the one described, for working up the refuse of the larger mills. The Van Dusens also own some 60,000 acres of timber lands in Warren, Essex and Hamilton counties. These are now the prominent saw-mills of this town and represent a vast industry.
Among those others who have been conspicuous in the lumber industry in this town may be mentioned Augustus Sherman, Abraham Wing, Jerome Lapham, and others whose names appear in connection with the business interests of the town.
The Lime Business. - The manufacture of lime has for many years been only second in this town to the lumber industry. The quantity now manufactured at Glens Falls is equaled in no other place in the country except Rockland, Me., while in point of quality it stands at the head. The rock in the quarries here yields when properly calcined from ninety-five to ninety-eight per cent. of the purest and whitest lime to be found on the continent. The lime-producing rock is embraced in an area of about one hundred and fifty acres, beginning at the head of the falls and extending in a narrow belt eastward on both sides of the river for about half a mile, the strata dipping slightly towards the south and disappearing. Above, below and on the north it breaks suddenly off, giving place to a rock of entirely different character. Lime was first burned here as early as 1820 by Pownell Shaw simply for home consumption. It was first manufactured for shipment (to Troy) by Keyes P. Cool, in 1832. The business was continued by K. P. Cool and Sons (J. B., Hiram M. and Alvin) until about 1861, when the Jointa Lime Company, organized in about 1858, purchased all their property, including their canal boats known as Cool's six day line. The Jointa Lime Company was first composed of John Keenan and Halsey R. Wing; but at this time Leonard G. McDonald was admitted partner and new purchases of lime rock were made. The business was continued without change of ownership until 1871 when the Keenan and Wing interest (i. e., the 2/3 part of all real and personal property including bills receivable and book accounts) was sold for the sum of two hundred thousand dollars to Leonard G. McDonald, Walter McDonald, Joseph Fowler, and S. L. Goodman, and thus it continued until the spring of 1876, when Leonard G. and Walter sold out and a new firm was organized composed of Joseph Fowler, S. L. Goodman, Charles Fowler and T. S. Coolidge. Since then there has been no change.
S. L. Goodman
The Morgan Lime Company was formed in 1868 and composed of James Morgan & Company, Harmon R. Leavens and Thomas S. Coolidge. They built two kilns that season and two the next, and thus they ran till 1876 when the two-thirds owned by Leavens and Coolidge was purchased by the then Morgan Lumber Company, and later they built a fifth kiln and have so run Page 455 till this time. Since May 1st, 1884, they have been permitted to furnish six-thirtieths of the lime.
The Sherman Lime Company was formed about the year 1862 and was composed of Augutus Sherman, D. W. Sherman and H. G. Lapham. Augustus Sherman died in the fall of 1884, but his interest remains in the estate; otherwise there has been no change in the company.
The Glens Falls Lime Company was formed about the year 1863 and composed of K. P. Cool and Hiram Wilcox. In 1865 James C. Clark was admitted to an interest in the company. He died in 1866 or 1867 and his interest was sold to F. W. Robinson, The firm continued thus until 1880 when the business was purchased by the Glens Falls and the Jointa Lime companies and the Glens Falls Lime Company was discontinued.
The Glens Falls Company was formed about 1866, or 1867, and was first composed of J. W. Finch, Samuel Pruyn and the Jointa Lime Company. Soon afterward the interest of the Jointa Company was sold to the other members and D. W. Finch was admitted; thus the firm remains.
In 1881 the Lime Companies of Glens Falls purchased the lime works of R. W. Lowber, at Ball Mountain, Washington county, and still own them jointly.
On the 6th day of April, 1871, the contract then existing under which the Jointa Lime Company, Sherman Lime Company and Glens Falls Lime Company were governed in the sales of lime was abrogated and a new and similar contract was made for ten years from that date, in which all the companies then making lime here were made parties and shared in the lime that should be manufactured and sold in proportion as they owned kilns, as follows to-wit, Jointa Lime Company, ten parts; Sherman Lime Company, six parts; Glens Falls Lime Company, four parts; Morgan Lime Company, four parts; and thus was it continued not only the ten years but by mutual consent it has been recognized as binding during the four years since its expiration. In the spring of 1876 the Jointa Lime Company sold to the Glens Falls Company three kilns, and in the winter of 1880 the Glens Falls Lime Company's kilns and property were purchased by the Glens Falls and Jointa Lime Company, thus leaving but four companies in the combination. In 1884 two kilns were added to the total of twenty-eight and the addition conceded to the proportion of the Morgan Lime Company, and from May 1st, 1884, the proportions have been upon the following basis: Glens Falls Company, ten parts; Jointa Lime Company, eight parts; Sherman Lime Company, six parts; Morgan Lime Company, six parts.
In this connection the following letter written to a correspondent by Dr. A. W Holden, in 1884, will be found of interest and value, even at the risk of some slight repetition: -
"Geologically speaking the Glens Falls marbles, of which there are two Page 456 strata, the upper or gray, which is highly fossiliferous, and averages from about two to four feet in thickness, and the lower or black which ranges about eleven feet in thickness - belong to the Trenton limestone group, and in some places (at Sandy Hill and the Big Dam) are overlaid by the Utica shales, but not here at Glens Falls. There are two marble saw-mills, one on either side of the river, their product forming a very considerable item of our industries and exports, in the shape of huge sawed and squared blocks, for canal locks, foundation walls, etc., sawed slabs polished for ornamental inside work for dwellings and public buildings, such as bases, fire jambs, mantel-pieces, etc., also largely for flooring and tiles.
"Another product of the various quarries, where about one hundred men are employed, is cut stone for various architectural purposes, such as capitals, friezes, pilasters, plinths, coping, horse-blocks, door-steps, window-sills and caps, etc., the entire product varying according to commercial demand, from $100,000 to $300,000 per annum.
"In regard to the lime industry here, we have on both sides of the river thirty kilns, divided between four companies, which for purposes of sale are consolidated much after the manner of a stock company, of which each is expected to produce and place in the hands of their joint factors to sell or put on the market in thirtieths according to the following ratio, the numerators representing the number of kilns owned by each: - Glens Falls Company, ten-thirtieths; Jointa Lime Company, eight-thirtieths; Sherman Lime Company, six-thirtieths; Morgan Lime Company, six-thirtieths.
The kilns are all of the kind formerly called "patent," but the patent having expired, they are now called "perpetual," because the fires, so long as the kilns are operated, are kept going night and day; they are fed from the top daily (or oftener) and drawn from the bottom as often. The capacity of the kilns varies from two hundred and fifty to three hundred barrels each. The bulk is not materially changed by burning. According to fuel and conditions of temperature, it takes from sixty to seventy-two hours to burn the entire contents of a kiln. Under the old method by which the contents of a kiln were first burned, then the fires extinguished and the contents drawn, it took from six to ten days. The average daily product of each kiln is one hundred barrels, and the total consolidated product 600,000 barrels per annum. This amount fairly represents the annual proceeds of this industry for the last twenty-five years. Of this for the last few years, over one-half, or about 300,000 barrels, are shipped by rail, something like 100,000 barrels being shipped by cars in bulk; the remainder being exported by canal. Of this over one-third goes to the New England States, one-third to New York State at large and the west, and the remainder to New York city; the balance to the Middle States and south. The number of hands employed is roughly estimated at from four hundred to five hundred, varying largely with the season of Page 457 the year and demand. About one thousand barrels per year would cover the home demand and sales. About thirty thousand cords of wood (the fuel used) are annually consumed in this manufacture. This is principally the waste product of our lumber saw-mills, really little cord wood being used and that of an inferior sort. The barrels and casks, with the exception of putting on the hoops, are all made by machinery, the staves and heading being also furnished from what would be waste material from the saw-mills, the estimated cost being about twenty cents each. Until about twenty-five years ago this industry continued gradually to increase in value and importance from its first inception about seventy years ago.
J. L. Dix
The oldest manufacturing business now in Glens Falls is the foundry and machine shop of J. L. & S. B. Dix. The business was established about the year 1844 by James Wells. In 1848 Hopkins & Dix bought out Wells, and continued the business until 1854, when Henry M. Lewis came into the firm. In about a year, however, another change altered the firm name to Hopkins, Dix & Clendon. In 1856 Hopkins withdrew; in 1869 Hopkins succeeded Clendon; in 1874 S. B. Dix, son to J. L. Dix, succeeded Knox. J. L. Dix came here about 1820 with his father, Samuel Dix, a lumberman, who died in 1857. (See biographical sketch herein.)
The Glens Falls Paper Company was incorporated as a stock company with a capital stock of $24,000 in 1864. The president was Mark A. Cushing; the stockholders were E. H. Rosekrans, Albert N. Cheney, Ransom M. Hawkins, John P. Sherwood, Mark A. Cushing, and A. T. Harris, the last named being the treasurer. They built their first mill of wood, but it was destroyed in July, 1883, by a fire caused by the explosion of a boiler, whereupon the present mill was constructed of brick. Just before the fire the company was re-organized and purchased the water-rights of the Morgan Lumber Company, which became stockholders in the paper company. The new mill cost $185,000. The sole product of the factory is the material on which newspapers are printed. Sixty or seventy men are employed. The mill has a capacity for making ten tons of paper daily. The pulp is made at Palmer's Falls and at Ticonderoga. The president is W. E. Spier.
The Glen Shirt Company was formed in 1879, by Joseph Fowler and D. L. Robertson. The present factory, which is operated by steam, was built in 1881-'82. The annual products are about $250,000 in value. About three hundred hands are employed in the shop, while work is sent out to no fewer than five hundred more.
A shirt factory which has become one of the prominent manufactories of the place, was started in May, 1876, by W. E. Spier, and was known as the Glens Falls Collar Company. Two years later James L. Libby became connected with the business and the firm name changed to Libby & Spier; this style was changed January 1st, 1883, to James L. Libby & Co., the present Page 458 style, the firm being composed of James L. Libby, Charles A. Libby, Charles A. Gilbert and Theo. Franklin. About six hundred hands are employed in their extensive building on Park street, while about 1800 people are carried on their pay roll. The capacity of the factory is about two hundred shirts and six hundred dozen collars and cuffs daily. Charles A. Gilbert is the manager.
The Clark Colored Brick and Terra Cotta Company, a stock company, was formed in the fall of 1879. It received its name from T. M. Clark, the founder. The products of the company's industry were pressed brick and terra cotta and fancy tiles. The enterprise was unsuccessful and went into the hands of a receiver, but was re-organized in the spring of 1884 under the name of the Glens Falls Terra Cotta and Brick Company, with a capital of $45,000. Since the reorganization J. M. Coolidge has been and is now the president of the company, and Charles Scales, secretary and superintendent. They manufacture now red and buff brick and tiles.
The Glens Falls Company, a partnership composed of J. W. Finch, D. J. Finch and Samuel Pruyn, manufacture lumber, lime and marble. This is a large and powerful organization, but we have been unable to obtain details of their operations.
The Glens Falls Hub and Spoke Company, under the management and proprietorship of S. Williamson and his son, J. M. Williamson, was purchased by them in 1883 of the Jointa Lime Company and E. R. Bain. The Jointa Lime Company had had a controlling interest in the business since its beginning, but had always been associated with some partner. E. R. Bain's interest was begun about six years before he parted with it. The capacity of the mill, which is contained in seven different buildings, is represented as follows: About twenty-five sets of hubs, seven hundred spokes, fifteen thousand staves and ten thousand curry-comb handles daily.
D. C. Holman and D. W, Sherman, own and conduct a brick-yard and tile-works near the village. H. R. T. Coffin has also, in two separate yards, a brick yard and a tile yard.
The soil in the vicinity of Glens Falls consists of limestone strata for a depth of twelve feet, and below that an excellent limestone is obtained which is valuable for building purposes. Up to 1884 large quantities were shipped to Albany. Goodman & Coolidge are and for years have been largely interested in the quarries here.
James Palmeter had a carriage-factory many years ago on the site of the Catholic church, and was there for many years.
Joubert & White (Edward Joubert and James H. White) began the manufacture of light carriages at their present, location as early as 1860. Light-work is a specialty. They are the inventors and patentees of the celebrated Joubert & White Buckboard, which is shipped all over the country. The firm employ about thirty hands.Page 459
For five years after 1874 Nelson La Salle, in company with three others, manufactured all kinds of wagons and carriages in Glens Falls, under the name of the Union Carriage Works. In 1879 La Salle joined George Ferriss about two years in the same business, after which he came to the present site in company with E. J. Dickinson. In 1881 Dickinson withdrew, and LaSalle now conducts the business alone. Twelve hands are employed.
William B. Griffin and Freeman E. Wood, under the firm name of Griffin & Wood, began to make carriages in 1882, in the old shop of the Morris Brothers. They do light and heavy work.
P. W., E., M. J., J. T., and R. T. Cashion, under the name of Cashion Brothers, commenced light and heavy work in carriages in 1883. They employ eleven hands.
Glens Falls Academy. (1) - This academy owes its origin to the enlightened public spirit of the citizens of this village, who, desiring to afford their youth the opportunities for training furnished by the best English and classical academies, took measures to found such an institution, and at a meeting of citizens held on the 24th day of February, 1841, the following named gentlemen were elected members of its first board of trustees: William Caldwell, Halsey Rogers, John J. Harris, Hiram Barber, John R. Thurman, Walter Geer, jr., Alonzo W. Morgan, Russell M. Little, Elmore Platt, Billy J. Clark, Jonathan W. Freeman, George Sanford, Bethuel Peck, Julius H. Rice, Henry Ferguson, Enoch H. Rosekrans, Alfred Fisher and George G. Hawley; the officers of the board being: president, Billy J. Clark; secretary, Enoch H. Rosekrans; treasurer, George Sanford; collector, Russell M. Little.
1. Contributed by Prof. D. C. Farr.
The board of trustees decided to erect at once a suitable building for the accommodation of the proposed school, and the following trustees were appointed a building committee: Alonzo W. Morgan, Walter Geer, jr., and Jonathan W. Freeman. The present academy site was secured and the academy building was erected during the spring and summer of 1841. This building, with a large addition made in 1870, comprises the structure at present in use.
Presidents. - During the forty-four years of its existence the academy has had but three presidents, as follows: Billy J. Clark, 1841-'51; Bethuel Peck, M. D., 1851-'63; Rev. A. J. Fennel, D. D., 1863 to present.
Trustees. - The institution has been fortunate in the men who have been its guardians, many of the best citizens of this and adjoining towns serving at different times as members of the board. In addition to the gentlemen constituting the original and present boards, the following have served the institution as members of the board of trustees at different times: Jonathan W. Fairbanks, Jonathan Burr, Albert N. Cheney, Daniel H. Cowles, Sheldon Benedict, Henry Ferguson, Dwight Hitchcock, N. E. Sheldon, M. D., Lewis Hunt, Zabina Ellis, J. R. Thurman, Ezra Benedict, William A. Fonda, Halsey R. Wing, Alexander Page 460 Robertson, Rev. A. J. Fennel, Stephen L. Goodman, Daniel V. Brown, Isaac Mott, Jerome Lapham, George Rugge, Martin Coffin, Stephen Brown, Z. I. De Long. William McEchron, Wallace W. Rockwell, Austin W. Holden, M. D., Henry J. Lapham, Frederick A. Johnson, Jarvis A. Underwood. The board at present (1885) is constituted as follows: Rev. A. J. Fennel, D. D., Hon. Jerome Lapham, Jeremiah W. Finch, H. S. Crittenden, Hon. F. A. Johnson, Rev. Fenwick Cookson, Melville A. Sheldon, William McEchron, A. W. Holden. M. D., John L. Cunningham. William A. Wait, and Daniel C. Farr.
Instructors. - The trustees have always endeavored to secure as teachers only such as were liberally educated and were in thorough sympathy with the object of the academy in holding up a high standard of scholarship and culture as the end to be reached by its students. Most of its principals have been college graduates and a number of them have been eminent as educators. The following is the list of principals who have served the institution since its foundation: Thomas S. Farnsworth, Elbridge Hosmer, L. R. Satterlee, George Rugge, William McLaren, sr., Rev. Jason F. Walker, Edson Fobes, Warren P. Adams, Rev. John Babcock, James A. Russell, Alson B. Abbott, Charles W. Hall, William A. Holman, James S. Cooley; and associate principals, William McLaren, jr., and Frances A. Tefft.
In this connection should be named the very able preceptress, Miss Dora Wilson, who served the academy with great acceptance during the entire period covered by the principalship of the following: Messrs. Russell, Abbott, Hall, Holman and a portion of Mr. Cooley.
Students. - The value of any educational institution is shown by the character of its students as exhibited in after life; judged by this standard Glens Falls Academy can truly be considered a successful institution, since it can number upon its roll of students such names as Algernon Paddock, late United States Senator from Nebraska, together with his brother, Frank Paddock, esq., an eminent lawyer of New York city; Hon. Frederick Johnson, Member of Congress from New York; the late Rev. Edgar Goodspeed, D. D., of Chicago, pastor at the time of his death of the largest Baptist Church in America, and his brother and successor, Rev. Thomas Goodspeed; Hon. Daniel E. Sickles, former Member of Congress and major-general in United States army; Lemon Thompson, a prominent business man of Albany, a graduate and trustee of Union College; John Bentley, esq., a leading lawyer of Denver, Col., and former United States commissioner of pensions; Charles Hendley, who has been one of the secretaries of the last five presidents; Rev. Sheldon Jackson, D. D., for many years district secretary for the Presbyterian Church of the Rocky Mountain District, and at present in charge of an educational institution at Sitka, Alaska Territory, where he holds an important position under the government; Herbert S. Underwood, one of the editors of the Springfield Republican, and a large number of others, who either in professional or business life have secured an enviable reputation.Page 461
Donors. - Besides the liberal donations at the founding of the academy in 1841 and its enlargement in 1870, it has received substantial gifts from many of its generous friends either in the form of contributions to its general fund or in establishing scholarships or prizes, among whom are the late Augustus Sherman, Hon. Stephen Brown, Mrs. Halsey R. Wing, Han. A. B. Abbott, Dr. A. W. Holden, Daniel J. Finch, Hon. F. A. Johnson, Daniel Peck, S. A. Parks, Samuel Pruyn, Joseph Fowler, and B. B. Fowler.
Alumni Association. - Its graduates have ever manifested a commendable interest in the prosperity of their alma mater, and in 1882 formed an alumni association to which one day of commencement week is regularly devoted. The orations before this body have been in 1883 by Rev. F. M. Cookson; in 1884 by Dr. John E. Bradley, of Albany; in 1885 by Hon. F. A. Johnson.
The presidents of the association have been John A. Dix, class of '79; James A. Holden, class of '80; George M. Watkins, class of '81.
Present Condition. - Since 1878 the academy has been under the joint management of Daniel C. Farr and Frances A. Tefft; during this time there have been fifty-six graduates. During the same period it has prepared students for Williams, CornelI, Wells, Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith Colleges. Others of its graduates are filling important positions in the professional and business worlds. The standard of scholarship has been steadily raised and it is believed that its course of study both as regards completeness and thoroughness will compare favorably with that of the very best academies of the country.
The library and apparatus, to which additions are constantly being made, are intended to meet the needs of the institution in the varied departments of literature and science. The two literary societies afford good opportunities for literary culture in addition to the regular instruction in those subjects. While the institution is in no sense sectarian, it aims to be eminently Christian, and its managers believe that sound morality and practical Christianity are grand essentials in any course of training.
The field from which its students are drawn is increasingly large; while it has a large home patronage, a goodly number of its students are from widely different localities. A very large proportion of its students pursue their entire academic course here, covering from four to five years, which enables them to obtain a solid and symmetrical training. Judging from its present outlook this academy is destined to a long and substantial career, holding a position among the very first of the successful academies of the day.
Young People's Christian Union of the M. E. Church. - This association, which promises to be of great benefit to the community, was organized June 1st. 1884. Its design may be generally stated as the advancement of the cause of religion; the assistance of the pastor in his work; the promotion of social and literary culture among young people, and the making of the church a home to all who come. Rev. H. C. Sexton is president of the Union, and Page 462 the following are the other officers: C. B. Thompson, first vice-president; Miss Margaret McEchron, second vice-president; N. R. Courley, recording secretary; Mrs. C. W. Long, corresponding secretary; C. F. West, treasurer; Miss Maggie Sexton, editress. Executive committee, C. W. Haviland, chairman, Rev. H. C. Sexton, Miss Margaret McEchron, Mrs. C. W. Long, Miss Maggie Sexton, Fred H. Bullard, C. B. Thompson, N. R. Gourley, C. F. West, Sherman Williams, Hollis Russell.
The Rockwell Corps. - This military organization, otherwise the 18th Separate Company, N. G. S. N. Y., was originally organized in Saratoga county as the 5th Separate Company of the 10th Brigade, November 17th, 1876. It then embraced no Warren county members. The first captain was Fred Gleesettle, of Saratoga county (South Glens Falls). He held the office until January 17th, 1880, when he resigned, and Dr. J. S. Garrett, of Glens Falls, was elected to fill the vacancy on the 2d of February. In 1881 the original term of service of the company expired, and Dr. Garrett recruited a new company from Warren county, and the organization and headquarters were transferred accordingly in January, 1882. The present officers of the corps are: Dr. J. S. Garrett, captain; Willis F. Bentley, 1st lieutenant, commission dated January 29th, 1884; John F. Morehead, assistant surgeon with rank of 1st lieutenant, February 12th, 1884; John H. Leonard, 2d lieutenant, April 20th, 1879. The membership is now fifty-eight men and the organization is in an efficient condition.
Public Buildings. - The growth of the village in population and the increase in the wealth of the population, created a demand for a public hall or place of popular amusement which met with a response in 1869. Daniel Keefe and Mr. Amer then erected a beautiful building and called it the Cosgrove Opera House, but afterwards (about 1876) re-christened it the Cosgrove Music Hall. It retained this title until 1884, when it was burned. D. F. Keefe and D. C. Holman rebuilt on the site after the fire, giving the new structure the name of the Armory Block It is three stories high, fifty feet, front and seventy-five deep and is of brick. The ground floor is occupied by stores, while the basement is used for corporation purposes. The second and third floors are occupied by the armory and quarters of the Rockwell Corps, a billiard parlor, etc.
Prior to the erection of this building the only hall in the place was the union Hall, adjoining the site of the Cosgrove Music Hall. It was built soon after the great fire of 1864.
The Glens Falls Opera House was erected in the summer of 1871 by Coffins & Lasher, of this place, on the old Daniel Peck estate. Its front on Warren street is occupied by the village post-office and stores, the second and a part of the third stories are devoted to offices, while the rest of the third story contains two large halls elegantly furnished. The Opera House proper extends back in the rear, and has besides the usual appurtenances of a hall arranged Page 463 for the reception of theatrical and operatic troops, all the conveniences for parties and festivals. It has a seating capacity for sixteen hundred persons.
The Fountain. - The fact that the village is provided with a handsome fountain is due more, perhaps, to Meredith B. Little than to any other one person. In 1872 he circulated a petition to the village trustees, to which he obtained about two hundred signatures, asking that they, in their capacity of commissioners of the water-works, would erect a fountain in the center of the village, at the expense of the corporation, or its taxable property, which should be both a credit and ornament to the place. This was presented to the board of trustees, who thereupon authorized the said Little to act as a committee to select and report a design. This was done in the winter of 1872 and '73, and the trustees, acting as commissioners, accepted such plans and estimates and made an appropriation from the proceeds of the sale of water bonds to cover its cost. In the mean time a new election took place and Mr. Little was chosen one of the new board of trustees. In the spring of 1873 the work was commenced, and being vigorously pushed, was completed about the time of the commencement of summer travel in the month of June following, Messrs. Little and William Wait of the board of trustees acting as a committee of construction. It is situated at the central part of the village, near the intersection of Ridge, Warren and Glen streets, and when in full play, is a most conspicuous object of attraction. The diameter of the basin is twenty-one feet, the rim being of iron, the bottom of cement. Its depth is about three feet. The base of the pedestal is of Glens Falls marble, two and a half feet in height, octagonal, with three projecting buttresses. The fountain proper, with ornaments, is about fifteen feet high above the water level. There are a number of jets and attachments, which give a pleasing variety to its play. The entire outlay expended in its construction was nineteen hundred dollars. The cost was considerably enhanced by its being built over a nest of five immense cisterns, into which the waste material of the fountain flows, thus creating a large reservoir of water, which can be resorted to in case of great emergency, such as a fire, or obstruction in the water-works.
Horse Railroad. - The subject of a street horse railroad to connect Glens Falls with Fort Edward has been more than once agitated. In December, 1862, the project was discussed and measures adopted for its consummation. A meeting of citizens of the villages directly interested was held at Sandy Hill, at which committees from each village were appointed to further the object. The gentlemen selected for Glens Falls were Augustus Sherman, Jerome B. Lapham and Isaac Matt. A stock subscription was opened at the meeting and about $5,500 subscribed within half an hour. The first estimated cost of the line was about $33,000. Consent of the villages was obtained to lay the track, and a company organized with the following board of directors: Z. Van Duzen, Augustus Sherman, Jerome B. Lapham, D. V. Brown and Alex Robertson, of Page 464 Glens Falls; William Colman, U. G. Paris, Charles Stone, jr., and O. Richards, of Sandy Hill; George Harvey, Daniel Underwood, F. D. Hodgeman and George Bradley, of Fort Edward. The officers chosen were Daniel Underwood, president; Jerome B. Lapham, treasurer; Isaac Mott, secretary.
Further estimates of the cost of the road reached $45,000. Of this amount $31,500 was finally subscribed, largely in the town of Queensbury. This subscription was still further increased and everything indicated the early completion of the enterprise. But the condition of general financial affairs and other local causes, led to the abandonment of the project. During this present year (1885) however, the subject is receiving such renewed attention as promises its early accomplishment. (1)
1. While this work was passing through the press, during the summer and autumn of 1885 a street railway company was organized (the subject having been previously agitated at various times), and the line opened between Glens Falls and Fort Edward on Saturday, September 26th, 1885. This event occurred at so late a day that this mere mention is all that can here he given of the enterprise.
Plank Road. - In the year 1847 the Glens Falls and Lake George Plank Road Company was organized, the object being clearly indicated by its name. The first board of directors and its officers were as follows: Billy J. Clark, president; D. H. Cowles, secretary and treasurer; Abraham Wing, Cyrus Burnham, D. G. Harris, W. S. Carpenter, George Sanford, Pelatiah Richards, Thomas S. Gray, and John R. Thurman. The capital stock has always been $24,000. The road has been well maintained and of great utility. The present officers are: Joseph Fowler, president; A. B. Abbott, vice-president; L. S. Coolidge, secretary and treasurer; D. H. Cowles, superintendent. The board of directors embraces the above names with those of Daniel Ferguson, F. O. Burhans, Thomas Cunningham, H. G. Lapham and William B. Gurney.
The Fire Department. - The Glens Falls Messenger and Advertiser of Friday, January 2d, 1835, contained the following brief description of a disaster which gave the first impulse to the organization of a force to protect the citizens of this village from the ravages of fire: -
"FIRE. - On last Friday evening, about 8 o'clock, the Marble Mill, belonging to N. Nunn & Co., together with the machinery, was destroyed by fire. Loss estimated at $2,000." This fire, no doubt, created in that early period much excitement, and stimulated the citizens to some exertion in the right direction, for soon afterward the following notice appeared in the Messenger and Advertiser: -
"GLENS FALLS, January 8th, 1835.
"At a meeting of the inhabitants of this village at Messrs. Rogers & Brown's for the devising and adopting of measures to prevent damage and loss by fire, John A. Ferriss was chosen chairman, and Thomas Cotton secretary.
"On motion, Resolved, That a vigilance committee of three be appointed to examine the apparatus of stoves and fire-places of the whole village, and to Page 465 cause such alteration as safety may require; and that J. A. Ferriss, Henry Spencer, and Lewis Numan, be said committee.
"Resolved, That three fire-wardens be appointed, who shall take command (in case of fires), in the order following, viz.: Alonzo W Morgan, first; but in his absence Bethuel Peck, second; and Abram Wing, third of said fire-wardens.
"Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to convey the hooks and ladders when and where useful in extinguishing fire, and that F. L. Curtenius, Sidney Berry, and K. P. Cool be said committee.
"Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed, whose duty it shall be in case of fire alarm, to provide axes to be used at buildings on fire, and that A. T. Prouty, H. J. Cool, and Hermon Peck, be said committee.
"Resolved, That Dilwin Gardner, Henry Spencer, and Walter Geer be a committee to take charge of property for safety, when exposed to loss by fire.
"Resolved, That every house owner be earnestly requested to furnish a ladder to ascend his building in case of fire.
"Resolved, That the interest and safety of the village require that each householder procure one or more fire buckets.
"Resolved, That J. L. Curtenius, A. W. Morgan and Abram Wing be a committee to superintend the making of a reservoir for a supply of water to extinguish fires.
"Resolved, That we pledge ourselves to each other to carry the foregoing resolutions into effect, and that the same be published in the Warren Messenger.
John A. Ferris, Chairman.
"Thomas Cotton, Secretary."
As before suggested, this little incoherent organization, with its committee laboring under duties prescribed by resolutions, with its lack of penal sanction for neglect of duties, and with the willing hearts and ready hands of its members and "committees," constituted the rudimentary germ of a fire department of which Glens Falls is justly proud. Just how much active services they rendered cannot be told, but the movement had begun, the perils of fire realized, and the means of defense against it compassed. On the 20th of July, 1839, only a few weeks after the original incorporation of the village, a resolution was adopted by the "city fathers" that in addition to the $150, which by law they were entitled to raise, the sum of $200 be taken "to defray the expenses of making preparations to guard against fire," etc. Under date of October, 1841, in the village records is found a statement that David Roberts was ordered to get two good pumps for wells, and Henry Spencer to procure such hooks, ladders, etc., as might be needed. In November, 1841, the wells were deepened. Thus we see that the people in those days were alive to the over-ruling necessity of guarding in every way against losses by fire. The records are full of similar resolutions and enactments precautionary against this dreaded element.Page 466
The first meeting to organize a company was held in the basement of the building now owned by Judge Rosekrans, and formerly known as the Brick Row, and the following is the article of organization adopted at this place: -
"The undersigned, citizens of the village of Glens Falls, in the county of Warren, for the purpose of organizing an efficient fire engine company in said village, hereby enlist and associate ourselves together for such purpose, and stipulate and agree, that we will conform in all respects to such rules, regulations and ordinances as from time to time may he passed and ordered by the board of trustees of said village for the regulation and government of such company.
"(Signed) L. S. Steele, William Briggs, E. C. Crosby, David Redington, Charles Carpenter. L. C. Hamilton, M. L. Wilmarth, George J. Tillotson, D. G. Roberts, Hiram Roberts, J. R. Taylor, Abel Corbin, J. H. Hitchcock, George A. Swain, Merritt Griffin, Gardner Corey, Ira Scott, R. R. Tierce, H. Holbrook."
Of the nineteen persons who signed the above call, only six are now living. Of that number three are now residents of Glens Falls - M. L. Wilmarth, D. G. Roberts, and Abel Corbin. The other survivors are located as follows: Charles Carpenter, at Newark, N. J.; George Tillotson (brother of John Tillotson, of this village) at Muskegan, Mich.; and L. C. Hamilton, at Argyle, Washington county.
On the 19th of May, 1842, a village meeting was called for the purpose of raising funds to buy an engine, or engines, and buckets. On the 26th of the same month the sum of $350 was voted, and each house owner requested to furnish two good buckets for use at fires. Dwight Hotchkiss was appointed a committee to secure the purchase of an engine. On the 20th of August, 1842, a resolution was adopted to buy an engine of Button & Co., of Waterford, at $300, and two joints of hose at seventy cents a foot; that a fire company be formed with an initial membership of twenty, and the power of increasing the number to thirty-two, on the approval of the village trustees. The resolution further provided that the proposed company should convene for practice at least once a month for seven months in each year.
The First Fire Company was organized June 27th, 1842, and was called "Glen's Falls Fire Company, No. 1." The following are the names of the original members: William Briggs, Lewis Steele, Henry E. Fickett, L. C. Hamilton, M. C. Wilmarth, D. G. Roberts, E. Fitch, Abel Corbin, George A. Swain, Merritt Griffin, Ira Scott, H. Holbrook, Enos C. Crosby, David Redington, Reuben Pike, Charles Carpenter, George J. Tillotson, Hiram Roberts, J. R. Taylor, J. H. Hitchcock, H. M. Cool, Gardner Long, R. R. Tearse, Henry Spencer. The following were elected as the first officers of the company: Foreman, William Briggs; first assistant, Lewis S. Steele; second assistant, D. G. Roberts; engineer, E. C. Crosby; first hoseman, L. C. Hamilton; second Page 467 hoseman, C. Carpenter; third hoseman, J. H. Hitchcock; axmen, D. Redington, A. Corbin.
The following persons were shortly afterwards added to the list of original members: K. P. Cool, George G. Hawley, D. V. Brown, L. L. Arms, H. R. Wing, O. Ferriss, Jerome Lapham, C. M. Gilchrist, Rufus Boyd, J. H. T. Norris, Isaac Buswell, Alexander Robertson, Benjamin C. Starbuck, Frederick A. Johnson, jr., Daniel Peck, B. F. Lapham, George Norton, W. W. Weed, D. M. Jenkins, A. N. Locke, S. P. Jackman, O. L. Baldwin, Herman Goodman, Isaac Crandell, John H. Austin, David Norton, Joseph Mead, Jacob Daggett, A. M. H. Pierson, M. B. Little, W. H. Norris, Levi Lord, Eugene E. Norris, Zabina Ellis, J. H. Martin, Daniel H. Cowles, Henry Gayger, John M. Clements, Albert T. Harris, William Doty, Albert Hall, A. Welch, G. T. Lewis, William T. Norris, A. F. Smith, Gideon T. Mead, Marcus C. Rich, Marvin J. Seymour, O. B. Smith, J. C. Eastwood, Henry Knox, Martin Eastwood, L. M. Burpee, Charles Loveless, George Willard, Legrand Spooner, Ed. Brown, Daniel G. Norris, 2d, M. W. Arnold, M. L. Buswell, Sanford Martindale, Joseph Darby, A. L. Stoddard, Orville Adams, James Johnson, A. Spooner, C. H. White, H. D. Spicer, W. M. Fish, William A. Wait, T. S. Wait, T. S. De Long, Oscar S. Kenworthy, Frank James, H. Holcomb, Edward Joubert, Levi J. Groom, James Bullard.
The First Engine came from Salem, N. Y., June 29th, 1842, but not working satisfactorily it was rejected by the trustees of the village. July 25th an engine arrived from Button's Works, Waterford at a cost of $400, and working to the entire satisfaction of all, was accepted and placed on duty. It was a small, insignificant looking affair, had brakes on the ends, the water being supplied with buckets, but did good service on many occasions.
In a few years this machine was thrown aside and the engine afterwards in possession of "Jerome Lapham No. 3" was received from Button & Son, Waterford. The first engine, after remaining in obscurity for several years, was again brought out, and a company of boys formed to run with it, under the name of "Young America No. 3," and the old machine used more for a plaything than for actual service. In speaking of this engine the Glens Falls Republican says in connection with a notice of a fire at Luzerne, December 31st, 1873: -
"While the fire was in progress we learn that inquiries were made for the fire engine once owned by the village. Investigation revealed the fact that the pumping power of the engine had been taken out and used by a citizen to force water to his residence; two of the wheels did duty for a while on a cannon carriage, and the cannon having burst one day, the disabled gun, wheels and all, was dumped over the falls; the other two wheels served as running gear for a cart, but the fate of the box, brakes, ropes, hose-cart, hose nozzles and other appurtenances and attachments of the defunct machine is enveloped in painful mystery.Page 468
"This engine once belonged to the fire department of this village, and was the first machine used for 'Old Defiance Engine Company No, 1.' Some fourteen years ago it was sold to Luzerne for $125, and the citizens of that place repaired their prize, formed a company, built an engine house, and for nearly four years kept the 'department' in good working condition. Then one or two leading members of the force moved away, the owner of the land upon which stood the engine house concluded he would use the building for his individual benefit, and so turned the old engine out of doors, where its venerable frame stood exposed to the blistering summer sun and the chilling blasts and frosts of winter until the disintegration above recorded occurred - and then came the end."
The records show that on the 28th of May, 1845, a hook and ladder company was formed, to contain not more than thirty members, and to assemble once a month for practice, etc. The members were: Orange Ferriss, James C. Clark, L. G. McDonald, D. McNeil. B. F. Shattuck, L. B. Palmeter, W. Geer, jr., John C. Higby, L. L. Armes, Thomas J. Strong, E. S. Vaughn, Charles Rockwell, M. W. Perine, Abijah Western, Henry Spencer, jr., Marvin R. Peck, William Rogers, George Champlain, O. Cronkhite, H. M. Cool, D. C. Hoyt, William R. Locke, Sidney T. Rogers, A. C. Geer.
Although the first above described company was the first organized effort of the village authorities, ex-officio, to incorporate a fire department, the resolutions set forth were in direct response to a movement set on foot by private citizens as such, in the preceding June.
The Second No. 1 had side brakes; could work about twenty-six men, and threw two streams. For several years this was the only machine in the village and was considered a sacred property.
The writer is permitted to make extracts from a speech delivered by Mr. M. L. Wilmarth, at a firemen's supper on New Year's eve, 1861, in which many of the following facts occur: -
The first engine house was a barn (to use a Dutchman's expression) then owned by Mr. Lewis Pixley, Bridge street, on the site now occupied by Leavens's livery. The second was likewise a barn, on the premises of Mrs. D. V. Brown, Elm street. The third was built expressly for an engine house, and was located on Warren street, and now used by George Champlain as a boot and shoe store. This building being entirely too small, the company was again called upon to change its quarters to Exchange street, and from thence to Church street, where the great fire of 1864 found it, and did not leave it. The first uniform consisted of a painted coat and patent leather cape hanging down over the neck and shoulders, and was one of the most contemptible things of the kind ever invented by mortal man for a fireman's rig.
By the great fire of 1864, which laid the greater part of the village in ashes, the old engine quarters were destroyed. For a year afterwards meetings were Page 469 held here and there, and the engines were placed in horse-sheds and storehouses. In 1865 the engine-house on Ridge street was erected.
The first foreman was that estimable citizen, William Briggs. who served us four years; second, D. G. Roberts, one year; third, Hiram Roberts, one year; fourth, Lewis C. Hamilton, one year; fifth, G. T. Lewis, two years; sixth, Lyman Gates, one year; seventh, William T. Morriss, three years; eighth, M. J. Seymour, one year; ninth, Daniel Peck, one year; tenth, B. F. Lapham, two years; eleventh, M. B. Little, one year; twelfth, the present incumbent, Mr. J. H. Norriss.
The Third No. 1. - Finally, in 1862, the new "Defiance" was received from Waterford and cost $1350. Built for a prize engine, it received the well-merited encomiums bestowed upon it. At a fireman's muster at Whitehall, August 20th, 1873, this company received the first prize of $200. This company was badly crippled by the enlistment of its members in the army in 1861. Moreover, the company was located in 1865 in a remote part of the village, which had the effect of diminishing its numbers. A majority of the members of this company met November 13th, 1874, and reorganized under the name of -
J. L. Cunningham, Hose Company No. 1. - The officers of this company were as follows: - Foreman, John H. Leonard; first assistant, Ed. F. Clark; second assistant, Joseph W. Suprennant; secretary, E. T. Spencer; treasurer, Aaron F. Pike; first pipeman, Ransom S. More; second pipeman, Hiram W. Norris; third pipeman, Fred E. Knox; fourth pipeman, Herbert W. Austin; first hydrantman, Charles L. Taft; second hydrantman, James W. Schermerhorn; propertymen, Enos Traver, Albert Trew.
A new hose carriage for this company was built by Button & Son, of Waterford, N. Y., at a cost of $700. It was received January 20th, 1874.
The company's meeting room in the South street engine house has been newly papered and painted. It is prepared to purchase new furniture and a carpet some time during the coming winter. The organization now numbers twenty-six members. John Suprennant is foreman; J. T. Sprague, first assistant; John Leonard, secretary and treasurer.
Cataract Engine Company No. 2 was organized October 1st, 1852, with William Briggs as foreman and L. C. Hamilton as first assistant. "Cataract" was sold to parties in Whitehall in 1873. A couple of months later this company received "old Defiance" engine from Company No. 1, and subsequently the name was changed to M. B. Little Company No.2. John Feeney was the first foreman after this change of name, and John Morris was first assistant. In the early part of 1873 M. B. Little Hose Company was organized. Andrew Robillard is the present foreman of the Engine Company, and Daniel McCarthy holds a similar office in the Hose Company.
Jerome Lapham, Engine Company No. 3 was organized September 13th, Page 470 1865, with Henry Wicks as foreman and Charles Roberts as first assistant. After the introduction of the water works in 1873, this company disbanded and organized as a hose company with the same name. S. B. Whitney was the first foreman and William H. Van Cott first assistant.
In April, 1875, the James McDonald Jr. Hook and Ladder Company was organized. B. S. Cowles was the first foreman; first and second assistants, Fred Chitty and T. S. Barnes, respectively; secretary, Frank G. Hicks; treasurer, C. W. Cool. On the 6th of January, 1881, the name of the organization was changed to D. J. Finch Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, at which time W. F. Bentley was chosen foreman, and William Manley, assistant. The company disbanded on the 20th of April, 1882, and reorganized forthwith with W. F. Bentley, as foreman; Erving Simmons and Charles Clements as first and second assistants, respectively. The "Hook's" truck and ladders are stored in the South street engine house.
In 1879 a brick hose tower was erected in the rear of the brick engine house, which constitutes a valuable addition to the appliances of the department. Measures are in the initial stage of prosecution to procure for the use of the department a new chemical, new grenades, etc., and looking toward the completion of and embellishment of all the contrivances of the department, especially for the extinguishment of fires in the beginning of their progress.
Following is a list of the chief engineers of the department since its organization, effected in 1872: William McEchron, for one year ending 1873, D. C. Holman, Henry Nesbitt, George Conery, M. B. Little, George Conery, S. D. Kendrick, George Cokey, and the present chief, W. H. Van Cott. The present officers of the several companies are as follows:-
Hook and Ladder: Foreman, Charles H. Clark; first assistant, C. E. Perry; second assistant, Beecher West; secretary, Charles J. Clements; treasurer, John E. Parry.
Lapham Hose: Foreman, W. H. Van Cott; first assistant, George Roberts; second assistant, James Knight; secretary and treasurer, John Wandell.
Cunningham Hose: Foreman, William O. Capron; assistant, William B. Stevens; secretary, George H. Orton; treasurer, George Thomas.
M. B. Little Engine: Foreman, Lewis Robillard; first assistant, Michael Murphy; second assistant, Patrick Cronin; secretary, William Roach, jr.; treasurer, Louis Vancelette; foreman hose, James Moran; assistant, Daniel Mulcahy.
In 1861 M. L. Wilmarth delivered an address (from which we have drawn liberally), in which he gave the following statement of the capital invested in the fire department at that date: -
"In engine house, $1,800; in engine Defiance No. 1, $900; in engine Cataract No. 2, $1,200; in Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, $150; in 1,100 feet leading hose, $1,000; cistern in front Presbyterian Church, $250; in three Page 471 large wells, $400; in five small wells, $200; in articles not enumerated, $100; making the sum total of $6,000 - a sum sufficient to purchase and stock a small farm."
A comparison of the capital invested with the value represented by the department property to-day would dwarf the figures in the above extract into insignificance. The water-works alone, although utilized for various purposes now, were built with a view to subdue the fiery element, and cost about $90,000. A computation of the amount of water which can be thrown on a burning building in a certain time to-day would show an equally ludicrous disparity between what could be done in 1861 and in 1882.
The fire wardens of 1861 were superseded by the chief engineer and assistants in 1874, when the new village charter was adopted. William McEchron was chosen first chief of the department.
Water-Works. - According to the natural precepts of municipal economy, the water supply of a village or city is always intimately associated, not only with the daily duties of the housewife, but with the sterner and more imperative demands, in emergencies, of the fire department. Glens Falls is not exempt from the action of this law. Through apprehension of possible conflagrations it was that the water-works were ever constructed, and through the action of the same motive power have the continual improvements been superadded until the system has attained almost its maximum approximation to perfection. The primitive water-works, of course, consisted of a village well, just as the primitive fire department consisted of the men and women of the entire village, armed with buckets and home-made ladders.
The first indication discovered of a movement for the building up of a water supply system, is the publication of an item in the Glens Falls Messenger and Advertiser of the 16th of January, 1835, which read as follows: -
"A meeting of the subscribers for making a 'Village Well' is requested at Rogers & Brown's Hotel this evening, to choose a committee to superintend its construction."
On the 11th of June, 1839, at the second meeting of the first trustees of the village subsequent to its assumption of corporate privileges, it was resolved to construct one public well in front of the Glens Falls Hotel, where the public fountain now stands, and one near Allen's tavern. Furthermore, a meeting of the taxpayers was held at the former hotel, on July 20th, when an appropriation of $200 was voted for the purpose. From this time until 1860 the village authorities increased by annual resolutions, etc., the water supply of the place, and prosecuted the construction of cisterns, wells and culverts with aldermanic iteration. In 1861 there had been invested in a cistern "in front of the Presbyterian Church, $250; in three large wells, $400; and in five small wells, $200." In 1864 the trustees were empowered to proceed under the act of the Legislature, passed in 1863, to take steps toward procuring pure water and to Page 472 petition the Legislature for an increase of the sum devoted to the construction of water-works from $30,000 to $60,000. In the following year a surveyor was appointed to ascertain the practicability of obtaining water from Half-way Brook, and $300 voted to make a similar investigation relating to Forge Pond. These ever renewed investigations indicate the state of the public feeling in the matter for years before the consummation of their projects was achieved. In January, 1866, it was voted to build nine cisterns and a reservoir in the rear of Cronkhite's store, at a cost of $2,985.00. The cisterns and the Forge Pond water-works were thereupon immediately constructed. But the system was not yet satisfactory. During all these years the village had been rapidly growing in population, in the number and beauties of its buildings, and in the extent and wealth of its business enterprises and public institutions. Meanwhile, while the number of inhabitants was continually on the increase, the danger from fire, the need of water for domestic purposes, and consequently the demand for a modern and improved water supply system, were increased and multiplied. The call was too imperative to be resisted. In 1871 H. M. Harris was appointed a committee to investigate the Holly Water-Works system, of Peoria, Ill., another committee visited Greenfield, Mass., on a like errand, the conclusion from these and other reports being that a supply of water two hundred and fifty feet above Glens Falls, with pipes of proportionate size, would afford ample protection against fire.
The Glens Falls Water-Works Company was incorporated by legislative sanction May 10th, 1871, with a capital of $100,000. The first members of the company were as follows: Augustus Sherman, Enoch H. Rosekrans, William H. Rockwell, Daniel H. Cowles, L. G. McDonald, Thomas S. Coolidge, Ruliff Kipp, James Morgan, Charles M. Gilchrist, Stephen Brown, Daniel Peck, F. A. Johnson, jr., Stephen L. Goodman, George Conery, Joseph Fowler, and Martin Coffin. The first meeting of this corporation was held in July following. Action was delayed ten days after the beginning of that month to enable the citizens to organize a company, and subscriptions to the stock were obtained to the amount of $21,500. John Salter was employed as engineer at a stipulated salary of $400 a month for all help, etc. In October, however, he was superseded by J. P. Coleman. In November Messrs. Keenan and Lapham were appointed to purchase land, water courses and rights. The work progressed without interruption, and in 1872 rules for the government of the company and the conducting of the works were adopted. At the present time the village is bountifully supplied with pure water, an ample system of mains and hydrants, and a thoroughly efficient organization.
Police. - At the time of the re-incorporation of the village (1874) it was divided into three police districts. Number one embraced all that portion west of Glen street; number two, all of Glen street above Park, Ridge street from Glen, and all between Ridge and Glen streets; number three, all east of Glen Page 473 and Ridge streets. On the 15th of June, 1874, a special election was ordered held on the 29th, to vote upon the question of raising the sum of $1,800 to pay a police force. The vote was in the negative; and in the report of the board of trustees for that year it is stated that "soon after your board assumed its duties, a police force was organized and maintained until the money ran out." Upon the decision of the special election, police duty was ordered stopped and the equipments returned to the clerk. Another meeting was held on the 13th of July, at which a resolution was passed that $500 be raised for police purposes. This appears to have been a temporary arrangement on the part of the trustees. At the election of March 16th, 1875, it was voted that the sum of $2,200 be raised for police purposes. An effective force has been maintained ever since and now comprises four officers.
French Mountain. - This hamlet could hardly be dignified by the title of community prior to 1825. At that time there was but one tavern there, kept by Udney Buck. There were no stores. There were no factories of any kind. There was no post-office, and there were only two dwelling houses. Of these two, one was occupied by John Devine, and the other by a Mr. Pulver. Valentine Brown, grandfather of George Brown, was the eldest of the five sons of Benedick Brown. They located between Glens Falls and French Mountain. Valentine Brown built the first saw-mill in the county north of Glens Falls. They were Quakers. There are not now many descendants of Benedick Brown in the county, though they were formerly so numerous as to furnish the name Browntown to a settlement between the outlet of Glen Lake and the village of Glens Falls. Another early settler hereabouts was one Eggleston, who lived before 1800 within a mile west of the site of French Mountain on the farm now occupied by James Hillis. Eggleston built a frame-house of very singular construction, having a chimney in the center built of 199 loads of stone, and containing a fire-place for each of the four rooms on every floor of the house. This house was torn down about 1855. Simeon Jenkins, another early settler, came before 1810 to a farm east of French Mountain. He has many descendants in town at the present day. Jacob Odell settled in the first decade of the century on a place just east of French Mountain. Descendants of his are also living in town. Indeed, his grandson, Jacob Odell, now lives on the old homestead.
The tavern kept by Udney Buck came into the possession of David Vaughn about 1831. George Brown succeeded Vaughn in 1846, and remained a famous landlord until 1884, when, on his removal to Caldwell, Louis Brown (no relation), the present 'proprietor, became his successor. The hotel formerly, in the days of stages and tally-hos, did a great deal of business. The old building was torn down about the time the new plank road was built and the present one erected in its place. For seven years the County Fair Association held their meetings at this place. (See biography of George Brown herein).Page 474
All but three of the houses now standing in the village of French Mountain were erected by George Brown. He built in 1857 the store now occupied by Merritt Codner, and kept it himself until 1884. He had a tin shop in the upper part of this building all the time he kept the store, and in connection with his dealing in general wares and merchandise kept a hardware and iron store in connection with it. His son Valentine Brown did a considerable business in the manufacture and sale of gloves in that building, too. The tannery of Pearsall, Little & Hall was erected by Brown in 1877. This company purchased it of him in 1882. There was a saw-mill run in connection with it. This firm now owns all the hotel and factory property formerly held by George Brown. The brush-back factory was started in 1882 by Charles Steinburgh, who used the building for the manufacture of spools. He was followed by Olef Abel, who was in turn succeeded in the summer of 1882 by the Messrs. Reed. They immediately converted the establishment into a brush-back factory.
The post-office was established here in 1852, when George Brown received the appointment as postmaster. He held the position until the winter of 1882, when he was succeeded by the present postmaster, John N. Hall.