Monthly Archives: November 2018

Veterans Day 2018

United States Flag (St., Paul’s 1918 Year Book)

Tomorrow is Veterans Day, which this year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The Armistice took effect at 11:00 am on November 11, “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” in 1918. The most famous veteran of that “war to end all wars” from St. Paul’s was T. Frederick H. Candlyn, but for this centennial observance, let us remember all of St. Paul’s sons and daughters who served in that war, and particularly the two who gave their lives. A complete list, shown below, was published in St. Paul’s Year Book for 1918.

Members in Military Service, page 1 (St. Paul’s 1918 Year Book)

Members in Military Service, page 2 (St. Paul’s 1918 Year Book)

Members in Military Service, page 3 (St. Paul’s 1918 Year Book)

Here is what we know about the two who died during the war, a sailor and an infantryman:

Frank W. Silverwood

Frank W. Silverwood (1897 — 1918)

Frank W. Silverwood was born in Albany April 26, 1897, the son of Emily and Leonard Silverwood. He enlisted in the Navy in May 1918, and in August was assigned to the naval training station in Pelham Bay Park, the Bronx. He died of influenza in the Naval Hospital at Pelham Bay Park on October 9, 1918, one of ten sailors who died of bronchopneumonia there that day. October 9 was not an unusual day. During early October, at the height of the influenza pandemic, an average of ten men died of influenza in that hospital each day.

Roelif Hasbrouck Brooks

Our rector, Roelif H. Brooks, officiated at Frank Silverwood’s private funeral service on October 12, and he was buried at Graceland Cemetery here in Albany.

 

 

 

 

William S. Wilson

William S. Wilson (1888 — 1918)

William S. Wilson was born in Albany October 6, 1888, the son of William and Catherine Mullen Wilson. He was inducted into the Army in Albany on October 5, 1917. He served in Europe starting in April 1918 as a private in Company L, 325th Infantry and was killed in action in France October 10, 1918 during the Battle of the Argonne Forest. Originally buried in France, his remains were reinterred in the Albany Rural Cemetery in 1921.

These two young men, then, died one day apart, and only one month before the Armistice ended hostilities.

 

Woodward & Hill at St. Paul’s

During the nineteenth century, St. Paul’s vestry included many members who worked in finance or who owned large businesses. I have told the story of vestrymen Edward Barton Wesley and George Jones, two of the three men who organized the New York Times in 1851. But among our congregation during the three decades after the Civil War was another pair of partners, long-time members of the vestry with a particular distinction. Their company, then known as Woodward & Hill, is still in business today.

Daily Albany Argus 17 Oct 1871

Nathaniel Wright started the firm in 1819, producing carriage hardware. In the early 1850s. Wright took on two young clerks, and by 1854 William W. Hill and John Woodward, Jr. (both then still in their early 20s) had become Wright’s partners under the name Nathaniel Wright & Company. When Wright died in 1860, Hill and Woodward formed a partnership as Woodward & Hill, continuing in the manufacture of carriage hardware and trimmings.

William Washington Hill (1833-1888)

William W. Hill and Jane Woodward (the sister of his partner) were married at St. Paul’s in 1855 and both were confirmed in this church in 1860. The couple’s three children were baptized here in 1860 and 1862. William was a member of our vestry from 1869 until his death in 1888. Hill was also an avid naturalist, who made a significant contribution to that field by collecting and identifying moths and butterflies in Albany’s Pine Bush as well as in the Adirondacks. I will have more to say about Hill’s avocation in a later post.

John Woodward (1830-1895)

John Woodward’s family also had a long connection with this parish. His parents, John Woodward, Sr. and Harriet Hill Woodward, had both been communicants since 1858. Woodward himself became a communicant in 1865, was on the vestry from 1866 until 1891 and then served as warden from 1891 until his death in 1895. The partners in Woodward & Hill, then, were a part of St. Paul’s lay leadership for a total of almost 45 years.

After Hill’s death in 1888, Woodward continued this business, still called Woodward & Hill, in partnership with his son Walter M. Woodward and William W. Hill’s son, Erastus D. Hill. The younger Hill retired about 1894, and since 1902 the firm has been known as The Woodward Company. You might enjoy this photo of the company’s parade float from the early 20th century.

Woodward Company Float

Still known as the Woodward Company, the firm now has its offices in Colonie. Carriage hardware having gone the way of the buggy whip, they long ago gave up that line of business, and moved into the manufacture of a wide variety of fasteners. In 2019, the Woodward Company will celebrate 200 years in business, making it arguably the oldest continuously operating business in this city.