The recent battle for Speaker of the United States House of Representatives left many astounded that it took so many votes to reach a conclusion. However, Saratoga County once went through a situation that makes the House of Representatives battle look like very small potatoes. [Read more…] about 361 Votes: Saratoga County’s 1898 Leadership Battle
When The Yeggs Hit Upstate New York
It was late on Wednesday, January 19th, 1910, and Police Chief W. R. Bronner was making his evening rounds through the quiet village of Mohawk, in the town of German Flatts, Herkimer County, NY, making sure all was safe for both business and residents.
Somewhere near the intersection of Main and Washington streets, he encountered four men who engaged him in conversation as they all walked along. Before he could resist, he was relieved of his pistol, gagged, and brought into the Masonic Hall billiard room that the Yeggs had broken into earlier in the evening. Once inside, Bronner was bound with wire taken from pictures on the wall. [Read more…] about When The Yeggs Hit Upstate New York
Ben Brotherson’s Bank Scheme
Around 1800, Philip and Catharine Brotherson arrived in Blue Corners on the western edge of Charlton in Saratoga County. Over the next 40 years, their five children grew to maturity, the last being Benjamin Kissam Brotherson, born in 1819.
At the age of sixteen, Benjamin was hired as a clerk for the dry goods merchant James Winne in Albany, New York. During his time in Albany, he was known as an upstanding young man of good moral character. Three years later, in 1838, he moved to the city of New York and took a job at Union Bank, where he would work for the next twenty years. [Read more…] about Ben Brotherson’s Bank Scheme
Medical Practice in 19th Century Schenectady
Very little is documented about medicine in Schenectady County during the 19th century. There are few hospital records to review; Ellis Hospital was not founded until 1885; and the Schenectady County Medical Society did not meet between 1843 and 1869.
We can however, glean some insight into this period from old newspapers, a wonderful book on the 134th NY Volunteer Infantry, minutes of the Schenectady Common Council, and old stories from the Efner Center and the Schenectady County Historical Society library. [Read more…] about Medical Practice in 19th Century Schenectady
John Taylor: New York’s ‘Only’ Speaker of the House
What do you suppose history will say about politicians of current times? Hindsight is often different from what was presumed by contemporaries. But for John Taylor, who became New York’s first Speaker of the House of Representatives, that does not seem to be true. He was always seen as a man of high standards, even if those high standards irked some people in his own political party. [Read more…] about John Taylor: New York’s ‘Only’ Speaker of the House
Laura Smith Ellsworth: Devoted Spiritualist
These days clairvoyant is not a term that is often used in describing a doctor’s ability to diagnose disease. Yet, in the last half of the 1800s it was not uncommon to seek out a “clairvoyant physician” when a person was concerned about changes in their health.
Laura Smith Ellsworth, a self-proclaimed spiritualist, medium and clairvoyant physician who would devote her life to spiritualism, grew up in Charlton, in Saratoga County, NY. The daughter of Henry and Jane Smith, the youngest of their three children, Laura was born in 1862 and baptized in September of the same year at the Charlton Freehold Presbyterian Church. [Read more…] about Laura Smith Ellsworth: Devoted Spiritualist