125 years ago today, on the morning of June 14, 1897, St. Paul’s rector broke ground for St. Paul’s Chapel of St. Andrew on the corner of Western Avenue and Main Street. Our brothers and sisters at St. Andrew’s Church, the direct descendant of that chapel, will be celebrating that event, as well as the anniversary of the building’s consecration in November this year. I wanted to take the occasion to tell something of the back story, telling how St. Andrew’s came to be.
Freeborn Garrettson Jewett, Jr.
The story begins 6 years earlier in 1891, when St. Paul’s curate, Freeborn G. Jewett, proposed organizing a chapel for St. Paul’s in Albany’s Pine Hills neighborhood. The first meetings took place in July 1892 in rooms belonging to the West End Savings and Loan Association on the south side of Madison Avenue just west of Ontario Street. St. Paul’s chapter of the Brotherhood of Saint Andrew was tasked with supporting the new chapel, which thus took their name. Later that year, in November 1892, the chapel moved to a former school building on Ontario Street, near the southeast corner of Hamilton Street. By early 1893, both Morning Prayer and Communion were regularly celebrated.
1892 Sanborn Map showing former schoolhouse, the first home of the Chapel of St. Andrew
George Lynde Richardson
The chapel building on Ontario Street was soon a busy place, with a Sunday School, a reading room, a room for boys’ activities and a sewing room. St. Andrew’s Chapel also participated with aid organizations to distribute food to the needy in the area. At this point, Jewett had been elected rector of St. Paul’s, and he delegated oversight to his curate, George Lynde Richardson. St. Paul’s curates who later served as minister-in-charge of St. Andrew’s were John Hale Griffith and Frederick St. George McLean.
John Hull Griffith
The Ontario Street building was hardly ideal, and planning soon began for a permanent building for the Chapel. In November 1896, St. Paul’s purchased lots on the southeast corner of Western Avenue and Main Street. Over that winter, contractors Gick & Sayles were retained, with construction due to begin the next spring.
Frederick St George McLean
And so it came to pass on that June afternoon in 1897, that the Rev. Mr. Jewett turned the first shovelful of soil, starting construction of St. Paul’s Chapel of St. Andrew. In the next few months, I’ll bring the story forward, first to the consecration of the building, and then to St. Andrew’s establishment as a separate parish in 1899.
Nelson F Park and Josephine Kells (Albany Times Union, 30 Dec 1961)
A new contribution to St. Paul’s archives arrived in today’s mail: a newspaper photograph originally published in December 1961, showing St. Paul’s rector, Nelson F. Parke and the parish’s long-time secretary, Mrs. Josephine Kells.
The occasion was Mrs. Kells’ retirement after 35 years. The accompanying article lists all the rectors with whom she had served: Arthur Raymond McKinstry (1927-1931), George A. Taylor (1932 – 1948), Oliver D. Carberry (1948 – 1954), F. Graham Luckenbill (1954 – 1958) and Nelson F. Parke (1959 – 1962).
Josephine MacLean MacKenzie was born in Nova Scotia in in 1896, and must have come to St. Paul’s in about 1927. She was married to William Edward Kells at St. Paul’s in 1939. Mrs. Kells was an active member of this parish for 40 years. Here she is a few years after her retirement, helping to arrange the furniture in the Blue Room of St. Paul’s new building on Hackett Boulevard.
Knickerbocker News 18 May 1966
The Times Union quotes Father Parke’s assessment of Mrs. Kells’ place at St. Paul’s:
Mrs. Kells stands for so many things in the parish that are good and productive and helpful that she will be long remembered as a pillar of strength. The major part of her adult life has been spent in this office — she has stood by in feasts and famines, in years of plenty and lean years… She has been efficient, trustworthy and always ready with a sympathetic ear to hear both the joys and sorrows of a long, long line of parishioners in the course of 35 years. She is beloved by all the people of St. Paul’s.
Today I’d like to share another find from the church archives: a small card, advertising a Book Social to be held in our Parish House in November 1906.
I’d never heard of a Book Social, but I’ve found that that around the turn of the century, they were a common way of attracting book donations for a library. As the announcement explains, the “admission fee will be a book suitable for the library of the Sunday School.”
In some cases, book socials were designed to create a new library, but that was not the case here. St. Paul’s had had a Sunday School library for many years. We know, for instance, that the former librarian, Ira Porter, Jr. had served for an impressive 45 years.
In 1906, St. Paul’s Sunday School had been a thriving part of its outreach for most of the church’s 79 years. In 1907, the Year Book reported attendance of 225, plus another 39 on the “cradle roll.” There were 26 teachers and 7 officers, including two librarians.
The Social was sponsored by the St. Paul’s Guild, a group “composed of young people of the parish” which had only been organized that year. In 1907, the Guild listed 36 members, most between the ages of 18 and 25. The month after the Book Social, the St. Paul’s Guild also sponsored a Christmas entertainment for the Sunday School.
Unfortunately, we don’t know any details about the entertainment the Guild provided. The tableau would have consisted of a classical or religious scene, depicted by costumed performers. Might the music have been provided by organist Robert H. Moore, who was also pianist for the Sunday School?
We do know the event’s location: the Parish House, which at that time was the rooms on Jay Street that had been donated by Van Antwerp in 1883. You can see the exterior in these two photos, the first from 1920, the second from 1964, just before the Parish House (and church) were demolished.
St. Paul’s Jay Street Parish House, 1920
St. Paul’s Church Jay Street Facade May 1964
It is likely that this event was one of the many new projects initiated by St. Paul’s energetic young rector, Roelif Hasbrouck Brooks, then in his first year at the parish. In a sermon that fall, Brooks urged the congregation “to repair and beautify their church by memorial gifts.” Completion of those enhancements was still years in the future, as was a renewal of parish social programs.
Roelif Hasbrouck Brooks
But one change initiated by Brooks had already been accomplished. Two months before this Book Social, St. Paul’s chorus of men and women with four soloists had been replaced by a choir of men and boys.
St. Paul’s Choir, during the rectorship of Arthur R. McKinstry (1927-1931)
On Sunday morning, October 23, 1910, the Albany Argus dedicated half of the front page of its second section to a long piece on St. Paul’s Church. Titled “A Church at Work: Social Service at St. Paul’s,” the article described St. Paul’s in glowing terms as “a Centre of Social Service in Albany,” with detailed descriptions of fourteen parish activities.
The congregation that the newspaper describes is certainly energetic. But what is most impressive is that this description could be written of St. Paul’s in 1910. Only ten years earlier, a New York Times columnist had described St. Paul’s as “a church in Albany that is the very reverse of rich and marked by the signs of decrepitude sometimes incidental to advanced age.”
This transformation may be attributed in large part to the parish’s new rector, Roelif Hasbrouck Brooks. When he arrived in Albany in 1906, Brooks immediately began a program of rejuvenation, starting with a campaign to repair and beautify the church.
By late 1907, that effort was well under way with major enhancements to the church nave and a new enthusiasm for parish outreach.
Since then [late 1906] two windows had been put in place, two were now being constructed, a baptistery had been erected, the chancel enlarged, the organ reconstructed, two tablets had been erected and the credence table rebuilt. Meantime the Sunday-school had doubled its offerings for missions, the parish had met its apportionment and had also made various gifts for charities.
The 1910 Argus article describes the motivation behind all this new activity. It seems likely that the following, connecting St. Paul’s efforts to the guilds of the medieval English church, must have been written by Brooks himself.
The church at work nowadays is an interesting development in Christianity, and one of the most active an interesting examples of it in Albany is St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
The old and original idea of a church was a collection of people who paid a minister to preach the gospel on Sundays, and a Sunday-go-to-meeting place in which to congregate and listen to the minister’s preaching, But very far back in the history of the Church of England the development of the church at work is interestingly chronicled in a history of the English guilds, in which it is set forth in very early English that: ‘The pouere men of the parisshe of seynt Austin begunnen a gylde in helpe and amendment of here pouere parisshe churche.’ So it came about that the help and amendment of parish churches soon made them a meeting place on other days than Sunday, and as the guilds grew the temporal purposes of the churches broadened.
Now the calendar of the month for such a church as St. Paul’s would include a list of activities happening on nearly every day of the week to astonish an old-fashioned churchman of the once-a-week variety.
Here are the highlights from the social services listed in the 1907 Argus article:
Services are held on the first Sunday of each month, and literary and social meetings are occasionally held. As the missionary resides 100 miles away, his visits arc necessarily short and infrequent, and it is not deemed wise to undertake to do too much, but the results of the mission work, even under such restrictions, seem to be highly satisfactory, and the mission itself is one of the most peculiar and interesting agencies tor good connected with St. Paul’s.
St. Mark’s Chapel. The article describes the work of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew organizing a chapel in Pine Hills that grew into St. Andrew’s Church. After St. Andrew’s became an independent parish, the Brotherhood turned its attention to “the new Delaware avenue section that has grown so enormously in the last year or so.” As we have seen in an earlier post, the chapel survived only for a few years more, closing in summer 1913 when they lost the lease.
The results of attendance at the Sunday school and the afternoon service have justified the opening of the chapel. Sunday school is held on Sunday afternoon at 3:15 and a service with sermon or address at 4:30. The building, which was formerly a storehouse. has been remodeled and made comfortable, heated by a hot-air furnace and lighted by electricity. Undoubtedly as the district grows the chapel will grow until St. Mark’s will become a church by itself.
St. Paul’s Cadet Corps. This must have been short-lived effort. I have been unable to find other references to it in Albany newspapers of the 1910s and 1920s.
St. Paul’s Cadet Corps came into existence last November and grew to a body of 50 well-drilled soldier boys under command of Major Charles B. Staats of the Tenth Regiment N. G. S. N. Y., who has drilled them Friday afternoons at 4 o’clock. The purpose of this organization is to teach the boys of the parish the life of the soldier. The boys are taught the setting-up exercises at the beginning, and later on will go to the State armory for drilling and instruction in the manual of arms. Through this corps it is hoped to produce a lot of boys who will have a soldierly bearing, who will walk erect and have a knowledge of the life a soldier in all its varied aspects.
The first meeting of the corps this season was last Friday, and there is a fine outlook for the year.
The Men’s Guild is a sort of club for service, which has an annual banquet, an annual “moonlight excursion,” and regular meetings at which addresses were made during the year by the following: Judge Randall J. LeBoeuf, on “Alaska,” Police Justice John J. Brady, on “Juvenile Delinquents,” State Forest, Fish and Game Commissioner James H. Whipple, on ”The Preservation of Our Forests,” Prof. Jesse D. Burks on the “The Mountain People of the Philippines,” Major R. R. Biddell, “War Reminiscences.”
Parish Aid Society. This group provided work for women in sewing aprons, towels, dusters and other small items at home. The society gave the materials, and then offered the finished product for sale to members of the church. The Society also organized a “woman’s exchange” in which women could advertise willingness to care for children or the elderly, or to make baked goods.
The church school of St. Paul’s is 84 years old. Among the children who learned their lesson of the day at St. Paul’s were the late Bishop Satterlee and the present bishop of Los Angeles. The kindergarten was substituted for the primary department two years ago and with the full kindergarten equipment of chairs, tables and materials. The work among the children has been especially successful. The enthusiasm and loyalty of the school grows, and the “mite box” offering for mission was the largest of any school in the diocese last year.
An Altar guild sounds ecclesiastical rather than energetic, bur the Altar guild of St. Paul in the course of Iast year held five regular meetings and a number of entertainments that raised the balance due of the amount pledged toward the improvement of the chancel in commemoration of the eightieth anniversary of the founding the parish. It held a linen sale, a rummage sale and gave two plays, beside furnishing flowers for the altar and distributing them to the sick at the close of the services.
A church periodical club is a bright idea. As this little paragraph of the club urges: “The matter of sending a periodical, a paper or a magazine to some distant point to a missionary or to a mission station is a very simple and inexpensive thing. All the society asks is that your send a paper or magazine after you are through with it and pay the postage. The expense is slight. The pleasure and the delight you may give a missionary may not be measured. Why not begin with the New Year and use this simple means of making some on happy?
Girl’s Guild. Apparently, the St. Paul’s chapter of the Girls Friendly Society (which a few decades later became one of the most dynamic of the parish’s activities) had not yet been organized.
Meetings of the Girls’ guild are held every Friday evening from September until June, and last year lessons were given for five months by Miss Hills, of the Albany Academy for Girls.
Weekly meetings of the mothers were held during last winter and four dozen garments made for the Child’s hospital, the season closing with social evening and refreshments.
What does a junior auxiliary do? That of St. Paul’s church held 15 meetings last year, dressed 30 dolls for mission boxes, and gave a cake sale.
The Woman’s Auxiliary to the board of missions, St. Paul’s branch, sent boxes to North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, and to nearby villages in this State.
Parish House: These activities refer to the older section of the Parish House, built in 1883. The portraits are now a part of St. Paul’s parish archives.
The demands of the future of the church will lie in the direction of an enlarged parish house where work among young people may be carried on efficiently, and this has been ensured by the purchase of vacant lots adjoining the church property. One of the interesting features of the parish house is the emphasis of the personal element in the making of a church by the collection of portraits of the men who have helped to make the church from the beginning portraits of rectors, wardens, vestrymen, uniformly framed and hung on a line about the four sides of the room, the parish family from 1827 to 1910.
Systematic Giving: this supplemented income from pew sales and rentals. A campaign to add $100,000 to the parish endowment and to free the pews did not start for another ten years.
Systematic giving enables St. Paul’s to carry on its activities without financial handicap. Each subscriber sends to the rector a pledge card containing the amount pledged per week and the name and address of the subscriber. A package of envelopes bearing the date of the Sundays in the year is then sent to the subscriber and these are then placed upon the offertory plate, with the amount pledged inclosed.one for each Sunday, as each Sunday of the year rolls around. The amount pledged by each subscriber is a confidential matter between the subscriber and the rector.
The article also briefly mentions that the church library has a circulation of upward of 900 books, a summer school cooking class and Christmas dinners for the poor.
The Argus article ends with a final statement of the theological motivation for these activities:
St. Paul’s ought to be a centre from which those forces which count in the Christian life should go forth and be identified with the institutions of our city which have as their aim the good and the welfare of our fellow men. We are thankful that there are men and women in St. Paul’s who count it a privilege to be of service to humanity in its largest and broadest sense. There should be no narrow parochialism nor spirit of sectarianism among us, but rather breadth of mind and Christian charity.
 “Topics of the Times,” New York Times 21 Jan 1900.
 “Tablet Unveiled in St. Paul’s, Albany N.Y.,” The Churchman, volume 96, number 16 (26 Oct 1907), page 649.
 Brookes may have been referring to the guild established in 1380 in the parish of St. Augustine, Norwich.
As we dig out our cars and driveways from yet another Albany snowstorm, I wanted to share a story from a snowy winter 90 years ago. This tale is told in the memoirs of Arthur R. McKinstry, St. Paul’s rector between 1927 and 1931.
In those years, McKinstry tells us, Albanians stored their cars from December until April because of the cold and snow. For transportation, most used trolleys and taxis, renting a car and driver for special occasions.
St. Paul’s rectory was next door to the church, so you might think that McKinstry’s transportation needs would be minimal. But he was also vicar St. Stephen’s in Elsmere. Sundays meant two trips to Delmar: one in the morning for the service and one in the afternoon for the church school. And of course he would be regularly called on for visits to parishioners, weddings and funerals.
For winter transportation, McKinstry relied on the Albany Motor Renting Corporation, whose garage was located conveniently just up Lancaster Street from the church. This firm offered a variety of services, including taxis, weekend excursions in the country and limousines for weddings, funerals and other special occasions. They boasted that their fleet included the popular Cunningham Car, manufactured in Rochester, New York.
In his frequent trips with these drivers, McKinstry learned that they had nicknames for the ministers they frequently transported.
When I begged my informants to tell me what they called me, the chauffeurs balked. However, after much persuading they consented to reveal my nickname. They said, “When you came to the city we didn’t know very much about your terminal facilities. The first funeral we had at St. Paul’s Church was in the dead of winter, a very cold day, and after getting the congregation nicely seated, we all went off to a speak-easy. We had expected you to last at least thirty minutes. But you fooled us. You lasted only fifteen minutes, and we got bawled out by our employers. So we call you “Two Minute Charley.”
Arthur R. McKinstry, All I Have Seen: The McKinstry Memoirs by the Fifth Bishop of Delaware 1939-1954 (Wilmington, Delaware: Serendipity Press, 1975), 36-37.
After leaving Albany, McKinstry had quite an illustrious career, including connections with two presidents. As rector of St. Mark’s, San Antonio, he conducted the wedding of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson. And with the intervention of President Franklin Roosevelt (whom he had come to know quite well during his Albany years) he was offered the rectorship of Washington D.C.’s St. Thomas Church, Du Pont Circle. McKinstry declined that offer, but ended his career with another Du Pont connection, as the fifth bishop of Delaware.
In our first 193 years, no St. Paul’s rector has been a native of Albany, and very few have maintained their connections to this city after leaving Albany for retirement of for their next assignment. And, as far as I knew, the only rector to be buried in Albany was J. Livingston Reese – St. Paul’s rector for a record 27 years – who is buried in Albany Rural Cemetery.
J. Livingston Reese monument, Albany Rural Cemetery
Thomas A. Starkey
I was corrected a few weeks ago in a post by Paula Lemire, the Albany Rural Cemetery historian, about a second St. Paul’s rector resting there: Thomas Albert Starkey, our rector from 1854 until 1858. I was surprised: of our rectors in the 19th century, he was among those with the weakest ties to this city. He was rector at St. Paul’s for four years, and for at least six months of that period was on sick leave and not living here. True, he was also rector at Christ Church, Schenectady for four years. Most importantly, he left St. Paul’s under difficult circumstances, with the congregation in turmoil over his “high-church notions” and hopelessly divided over selection of his successor. Since he went on to become the bishop of Newark, I assumed that he was interred there.
All in all, Thomas Starkey seems one of the least likely of our early rectors to have been buried in Albany. But I had forgotten that his second wife, Julia Rathbone, was an Albany native, and member of a prominent local family. Her brother, John Finley Rathbone, was founder and president of the Rathbone Stove Works. Mr. Starkey’s grave is in the Rathbone plot of the cemetery, next to his wife, and surrounded by other prominent members of the family. Following his funeral in East Orange, New Jersey, Starkey’s remains were brought to Albany, where graveside services were conducted by Bishop William Croswell Doane. Among the assisting clergy was our rector, William Prall, whom Bishop Starkey had ordained to both the diaconate and priesthood.
Gravestone of Thomas Alfred Starkey, Albany Rural Cemetery
Inscription on gravestone of Thomas Alfred Starkey, Albany Rural Cemetery
A brief biographical sketch of Bishop Starkey
Thomas A. Starkey
Thomas Albert Starkey was born in 1818, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was educated as a civil engineer, and worked in that profession in the Pottsville, Pennsylvania area. In 1844, Starkey married Sophia Elizabeth Jackson and the couple had one child, Kate. He was ordained in Pottsville in 1848, and served as a missionary in that region for the next two years.
Thomas A. Starkey was next rector of Christ Church, Troy from 1850 until his call by St. Paul’s, Albany in 1854. Starkey seems to have been troubled by poor health. He twice requested leaves of absence for that reason while at St. Paul’s. The first was withdrawn at the request of the vestry; the second request for leave, and his resignation six months later, were both granted on grounds of his poor health. He later served at churches in Detroit, Washington D.C. (that appointment also ended by his poor health), and New Jersey.
Thomas A. Starkey
Thomas Starkey was elected the second bishop of Northern New Jersey 30 October 1879 and consecrated at Grace Church, Newark on 8 January 1880, serving that diocese (renamed the Diocese of Newark in 1886) until his death in 1903. Sophia Jackson Starkey died in 1869. He married Julia Rathbone (the widow of James C. Kennedy) in 1877, and she survived him, dying in 1916.
On this last Sunday of Advent 2019, with Christmas Day just three days off, I’d like to share a few items from Christmases past, found in St. Paul’s Memory Book, a series of four large scrapbooks lovingly compiled by Mrs. Grace McKinlay Kennedy in the 1940s.
Starting with the most recent, here is the cover for the 1945 Christmas bulletin
Christmas Service Bulletin 1945
And a snapshot from the same year of the Christmas morning service in the Lancaster Street chapel. That’s the rector, George A. Taylor, reading the gospel. The two servers are his sons, Tucker Taylor and Frank Webb “Webbie” Taylor.
Christmas Morning Service 1945
Taylor was rector from 1932 until 1948.
George A. Taylor
Next, two Christmas cards from the family of Arthur R. McKinstry, rector from 1927 until 1931.
Arthur R. McKinstry
McKinstry Christmas Card 1927
McKinstry Christmas Card 1930
The cards, from 1927 and 1930, show the four children, ready for Christmas morning.
And finally, a ticket from the Sunday School Christmas festival of 1880.
Sunday School Christmas Festival 1880
I’ve been unable to find any information about the event, but we know a bit about the location. Tweddle Hall (built by former St. Paul’s senior warden John Tweddle), was on the northwest corner of State and Pearl Streets in downtown Albany. Three years after the Christmas Festival, the structure burned, and was replaced by the Tweddle Building.
Tweddle Hall, northwest corner of State and Pearl Streets (image credit: Albany Institute of History and Art)
This ticket was given to Mrs. Kennedy by Mrs. Mary A. Halse, aunt of St. Paul’s organist Raymond Sherwood Halse.
St. Paul’s has honored its former rectors in many ways. The building on South Pearl Street had a marble wall plaque for William Linn Keese on the nave wall. Portraits of William Ingraham Kip, Richard Bury and Thomas A. Starkey hung in heavy oak frames in the parish hall of the Lancaster Street church. And David C. Lithgow’s oil portrait of Roelif H. Brooks is still displayed in our parish library.
J. Livingston Reese
John Livingston Reese, our rector during the last third of the 19th century, was honored in several ways: with an oil portrait (now, sadly, much in need of restoration), a Tiffany window (The Good Shepherd, now in our vesting room), and a memorial book, published by the church’s vestry. It is this last, the only memorial volume for a rector published by the vestry, that I would like to tell you about today.
Reese was born in Philadelphia in 1838, and graduated from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1861. He first served at St. Paul’s, Lockhaven, Pennsylvania. Even as a young man, he must have been an impressive figure. In a brief history of that church, he was described as “aristocratic” and “a veritable patrician, with a keen analytical mind, and eloquent, born to command.”[i] This aristocrat was in command here from 1864 until 1891, far longer than any other rector, and that quarter century surely left his imprint on the parish.
Photo of Memorial Service at the Grave of J. Livingston Reese in Albany Rural Cemetery, 25 Jun 1911
One of Reese’s legacies was financial: in his will, he left a portion of his large estate to St. Paul’s, with the stipulation that, beginning ten years after his death, the interest be used “for church purposes.” This bequest initially was $16,062.33. In 1909, when St. Paul’s was first able to draw interest from it, that sum had risen to $22,094.31.[ii] In a period when endowments were the main source of church income, the Rev. J. Livingston Reese Fund was an important source of income. As late as 1931, the principal had not decreased, this at a time when the St. Paul’s Endowment Fund was only $3,200.00![iii]
In Memoriam: Rev. John Livingston Reese, D.D.[iv], in addition to a brief biography, contains a description of his funeral, a tribute from the Bishop of Albany, William Croswell Doane, and the full text of two memorial sermons, preached on the Sundays following the funeral. The first of the memorial sermons was preached by Walton W. Battershall, rector of St. Peter’s Church, Albany. The second was by our then rector, Freeborn Garrettson Jewett, Jr., who had previously been Reese’s curate.
Freeborn Garrettson Jewett, Jr.
The funeral, held here in 1899, while not to be compared to that of Daniel Manning, was certainly impressive. Almost a thousand people visited as he lay in state. For the service, the church was full and forty clergymen attended. For the occasion, St. Paul’s choirmaster, George Edgar Oliver, composed a new hymn tune to the text “Now the Laborer’s Task is O’er.”
George Edgar Oliver’s setting of “Now the Laborer’s Task is O’er”
Our copy of the book was donated in 1937 by Lillian Bassett Wolverton. Mrs. Wolverton was the sister of James Frederick Bassett, who grew up at St. Paul’s, was ordained deacon with the support of our vestry, and served as J.L. Reese’s curate from 1881 until 1883.
Frederick J. Bassett
[i] “Fiftieth Anniversary of St. Paul’s Church, Lock Haven, Pa,” The Church Standard, volume 89, number 22 (7 Oct 1905), 731.
Another recent acquisition for the archives is this photograph of St. Paul’s rectory at 5 Greenway North, Albany.
St. Paul’s Rectory, 5 Greenway North, Albany (1948)
This photo was published in the Albany Times Union for February 28, 1948, when the church purchased the house for its new rector, Oliver D. Carberry. The Lancaster Street rectory was rented to Lena B. Henning, who ran a boarding house there. In 1951, St. Paul’s sold the former rectory to Mrs. Henning for $10,500, and used the proceeds to pay off part of the mortgage on the Greenway North house.
Carberry, whose tenure lasted from 1948 until 1954, was to be the only St. Paul’s rector to live at 5 Greenway North. When his successor, F. Graham Luckenbill, was called in 1955, the vestry sold the Albany rectory and bought a house at 65 Burhans Place, Elsmere.
Even long-time members of St. Paul’s may not be aware that our building contains a Tiffany[i] window. Because “Christ the Good Shepherd” is in the vesting room, only clergy, servers and altar guild are able to see it regularly.
“Christ the Good Shepherd” window
We have mentioned before that ten of the Lancaster Street nave windows (most of them the work of J. & R. Lamb Studios) were moved to the narthex of our current building in 1966. Unfortunately, less than forty years later, the windows’ supports were found to be unstable, and they were sold, replaced by contemporary stained glass. So it is that only the Tiffany “Christ the Good Shepherd” remains of windows from the Lancaster nave. Windows from the Memorial Chapel on Lancaster Street, however, can still be found in our chapel.
J. Livingston Reese
This window is a memorial to John Livingston Reese, rector of St. Paul’s from 1864 until 1891. Those twenty-seven years make Reese St. Paul’s longest-serving rector. A history of the church where Reese served before St. Paul’s described Reese, “known years afterward as the aristocratic rector of St Paul’s Church, Albany,” as “[t]all, well-built, a veritable patrician, with a keen analytical mind, and eloquent, born to command.”[ii] He must have been an imposing figure indeed, and perhaps more respected than loved by many. Reese left a sizable endowment to St. Paul’s, which provided significant income to St. Paul’s in the early twentieth century. He is buried in Albany Rural Cemetery.
J. Livingston Reese monument, Albany Rural Cemetery
Helen Louisa Hewson Wilson
Funds for the window were raised by a committee of women of the parish, chaired by Helen Louisa Hewson Wilson. It was unveiled on November 12, 1899 in a service with a special musical program, overseen by organist and choirmaster George Edgar Oliver.[iii]
George Edgar Oliver
Albany Times Union 11 Nov 1899
The original design included a panel of equal size with images of two adoring angels that stood above the image of the good shepherd.[iv] In 1964, the angel window (with all of the windows not moved to the Hackett Boulevard building) was auctioned by New York State, and sold to Chapman Stained Glass Studios in Albany.[v] The windows fate after that sale is not known.
[ii] “Fiftieth Anniversary of St. Paul’s Church, Lock Haven, Pa.” The Church Standard, 7 October 1905, 731.
[iii] “Tribute of Love: the Reese Memorial Window in St. Paul’s Church,” Albany Times Union 11 Nov 1899. See also an almost identical article “In Memory of Dr. Reese” in the Albany Evening Journal 11 Nov 1899, 10.