Category Archives: Vestry

Albany’s Butterfly Station

Not Erynnis brizo, but a related species, E. martialis, the Mottled Duskywing, photographed in the Albany Pine Bush, August 2021

The vestry portraits in St. Paul’s archives make dull browsing.  Vestrymen in the 19th century tend to look alike: serious middle-aged businessmen who we imagine had few interests in life other than their businesses and their families. But among those formal portraits there is one who stands out in three dimensions, with a passion for nature that suggests a person we would really like to know more about. That man is William Washington Hill, St. Paul’s vestryman and a noted collector of butterflies and moths. A few years ago, I wrote about Hill and his business partner (and fellow St. Paul’s vestryman) John Woodward, promising to say more about Hill’s passion for lepidoptery. With the publication of an article in spring 2020 about Hill’s collecting in the Adirondacks,[1] it is time to fulfill that promise, with particular focus on his work in the Albany Pine Bush.

William Washington Hill (1833-1888)

William Washington Hill’s natural history pursuits began with fishing, a life-long avocation. This developed into a hobby of collecting plant specimens, and later into an enthusiasm for insect collecting. Hill’s interest specifically in moths and butterflies may have been spurred by a display at the Albany Institute in October 1874. For several years, local businessman Otto Meske had been collecting lepidoptera in the Albany Pine Bush, and on this occasion he displayed over 3,000 specimens, many of them collected in the city of Albany or in the nearby Pine Bush. At the opening of the exhibit, State Entomologist Joseph A. Lintner delivered a lecture, describing Meske’s efforts and praising the care with which the specimens were prepared, identified and labeled.

Lintner had accompanied Meske on many of these collecting trips, and described a particularly telling incident.

I cannot forbear from earnestly commending the zeal displayed by Mr. Meske in the prosecution of his favorite pursuit. It bears with it its own reward, in the keen enjoyment which it affords him. On one occasion, when we were passing a day together in that almost unequalled entomological collecting ground, Center Station, midway between Albany and Schenectady, on the pine barrens, where an abundant insect fauna would not be looked for, and had met with eminent success in the capture of an unusual number of rare, beautiful and new forms, culminating in my friend’s netting a perfect specimen of Sesia gracilis[2], he turned to me, trembling with emotion and his face glowing with enthusiasm, exclaiming : “What is making money compared with this !”[3]

Meske’s enthusiasm and Lintner’s praise must have captivated Hill. Here was another Albany businessman who had found a challenging and exciting avocation. Hill soon joined Meske and Lintner in their collecting expeditions, both in the city and the Pine Bush. And this trio became a quartet when they were joined by Albany physician James Spencer Bailey[4].

Hill continued to fish every summer in the Adirondacks, that passion now supplemented by collecting moths and butterflies.[5] During the rest of the year, Hill was busy here in the Albany area, initially in and around the city, but then in the Pine Bush with Bailey, Lintner and Meske. The quartet “made excursions in the vicinity of Albany and finally Centre was hit upon, as an extraordinarily productive locality and here collecting was carried on with such vim and persistency that the place became known as ‘Butterfly station.’ Enormous quantities of ‘sugar’ were prepared and used, and thousands of moths paid the penalty.”[6]

Our best information about these jaunts comes from Dr. Bailey, who wrote:

Center is situated on the line of the New York Central Railroad, mid-way between Albany and Schenectady. The road in reaching this point traverses a distance of eight miles from Albany, and attains an elevation of 315 feet above tide-water.

During the warm months there are two daily trains stopping at this station, going east and west, and are so arranged as to give the scientist the advantage of the first half of the day on the ground. The place itself is not in the least attractive, consisting of but a few dwellings erected for the accommodation of the Railroad employes [sic].

It is among the pine barrens and seemingly unfertile and inhospitable soil where is found so much to interest and instruct the student, for here he can commune undisturbed with nature, and at each step find his pathway strewn with objects of interest. Center has a world-wide reputation botanically and entomologically. The collecting ground is embraced in a tract of one thousand acres, which civilization has never disturbed, but has allowed to remain in its primitive condition. It is now owned by a community of Shakers, living in close proximity.

The entomological tract is situated on the south side of the Railroad, and lies on both sides of the road leading to Sloans, any great divergence from which will not prove successful to the collector. It is unnecessary to traverse this road more than one mile, which brings you near to Mount Brizo, which is a bold projecting sand mound rising abruptly nearly to the height of 100 feet above the surrounding country on the east and gradually sloping to the west.[7]

These place name require some clarification, even for those who know the area well. The whistle-stop at “Butterfly Station” is now known as  Karner[8], and the road of which Bailey speaks would have taken the collectors a mile or so to the west-southwest. [9]

Detail of a 1895 atlas, showing roads between Centre Station at Karner and Sloan’s (the hamlet of Guilderland)

The identity of the dune near which they collected is a bit more difficult to determine.  It has been suggested that that it is the one on the northwest corner of Old State Road and New Karner Road[10], now much reduced in size by sand mining. “Mount Brizo” is a name that I’ve never found outside this account, and I think it is likely that it was invented by Bailey and the others in reference to a species they collected there, Erynnis brizo.[11]

A label from the W.W. Hill Collection (credit: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution)

While he was not formally trained, Hill was quite disciplined, labeling each specimen with the date and location in which he had found it. Following his death in 1888, Hill’s children donated his carefully preserved collection of 10,000 specimens representing more than 3,000 species to the New York State Museum. A catalog of the collection published in the Museum’s Bulletin lauded his significant contributions to the field of entomology.[12]

Hill’s collection is still intact, forming a part of the New York State Museum’s holdings. Between 1917 and 1921, his collection (along with those of Bailey, Lintner, Meske and Erastus Corning) was on display at the Museum and the Albany Institute during “Butterfly Week.” A 1921 article promised “Butterflies In All Colors of Rainbow,” and described in detail the “annual event eagerly anticipated in Albany.”[13]

[1] Edward Pitts, “Butterfly Effect: the lasting impact of hobbiest W. W. Hill,” Adirondack Life, May-June 2020, 57, 59, 61. Some of this material (and a reproduction of St. Paul’s portrait of Hill) has since been published in Pitts’ book, Beaver River Country: An Adirondack History (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2022).

[2] The Slender Clearwing, now called Hemaris gracilis.

[3] J.A. Lintner, “Mr. Otto Meske’s Collection of Lepidoptera,” Transactions of the Albany Institute, volume VIII (Albany: J. Munsell, 1876), 218. Lintner read this paper at a meeting of the Institute on 20 Oct 1874.

[4] “Dr. James S. Bailey,” Albany Morning Express 2 Jul 1883; “James Spencer Bailey,” Papilio, volume 3, number 7 (Sep 1883), 166-167; “Dr. James S. Bailey,” Report of the Ontario Entomological Society for the Year 1883 (Toronto: C. Blackett Robinson, 1884), 82; “Biographical Sketch of Dr. James S. Bailey, of Albany, N.Y.” Transactions of the Medical Society of the State of New York for the Year 1884 (Syracuse: by the Society, 1884), 388-391.

[5] Pitts, 59.

[6] J[ohn] B[ernhardt] Smith, “William W. Hill,” Entomologica Americana, volume 3, number 12 (March, 1888), 235-236. Quoted in full in “List of the William W. Hill Collection of Lepidoptera,” Appendix A in 23d Report of the State Entomologist on Injurious and Other Insects of the State of New York 1907, Museum Bulletin 124 (Albany: University of the State of New York, 1908), 61-63.

[7] James S. Bailey, “Center, N.Y., Entomologically Considered,” The Canadian Entomologist, volume IX, number 6 (June 1877), 115-116.

[8] The station was located on what is now the grounds of Green Trucking Supply, on Railroad Avenue Extension, in Colonie, New York.

[9] “Sloan’s” is now known as Guilderland, near the corner of Western Avenue and Foundry Road. Originally named Hamilton or Hamiltonville, in the 19th century this was the site of a glass works, and briefly, an iron foundry. By the 1870s, it was informally known as Sloan’s, for the hotel kept there by Henry Sloan.

[10] Robert Dirig and John F. Cryan, “The Karner Blue Project: January 1973 to December 1976,” Atala, volume 4, numbers 1-2, 1976, 22-26.

[11] The Sleepy Duskywing. In 1877, Bailey reported collecting the species at Centre, referring to it as both Nisoniades brizo and Thanaos brizo. Those names have since been subsumed under Erynnis brizo. “Brizo” is Greek for to nod or slumber.

[12] “List of the William W. Hill Collection of Lepidoptera,” Appendix A in 23d Report of the State Entomologist on Injurious and Other Insects of the State of New York 1907, Museum Bulletin 124 (Albany: University of the State of New York, 1908), 61-117.

[13] “Butterflies In All Colors of Rainbow,” Times Union 2 Mar 1921.


An unusual offer from School #9

Offer to St. Paul’s Vestry from the Trustees of School #9 11 Oct 1838

Among the miscellaneous papers in St. Paul’s old records (now safely housed at the New York State Library) is an inconspicuous half-sheet that gives us an interesting window onto public education in Albany 180 years ago.

It reads:

It is hereby agreed that if the Vestry of St. Paul’s Church will cause to be placed in the large room of the School Building No. 9 corner of Dallius & Ferry Streets the necessary desks & benches for said room, under the direction of Mr. Hughes[1] the Teacher of the District School No. 9, then the Trustees of the said District No. 9 will give to the said Vestry or their successors, the free use of said room for the purpose of a Sabbath School for the term of five years from the 1st day November 1838.

Oct 11/38

H.S. Van Ingen[2] for himself & for Stephen B. Gregory[3], (as authorized by him), Trustees of School Dist. No. 9 Albany

In 1838, the city of Albany had provided public education for less than a decade. As described in an excellent blog post by Fr. Kevin McGrath, O.P., it was only in 1830 that Albany organized public school districts. The effort was expanded in 1838 (the year this offer was made) with the construction of eight new schools, among them School #9, on the northeast corner of South Ferry and Dallius Street (now known as Dongan Street).

School #9, a three-story brick building with room for 210 students[4], was directly across Dallius Street from St. Paul’s church on South Ferry Street. While the city had been able to erect the new schools, it appears that it was not able to furnish them all. So the school trustees then turned to St. Paul’s, hoping to be able to obtain the necessary furniture at minimal cost.

Such an offer could certainly not be made today, when public institutions steer well clear of any financial arrangements with places of worship. But in a different time, with a looser interpretation of the Establishment Clause, the offer made sense for a fledgling school system that was short on funds.

When they made this offer, were Mr. Van Ingen and Mr. Gregory aware that St. Paul’s was overwhelmed with debt, and was being pressured by its creditors to sell the Ferry Street building? They may well have been, because there had been rumors about the sale of the building as early as 1836[5]. In fact, St. Paul’s vestry decided to sell the building at a meeting on January 14, 1839, three months after the trustees’ offer. By July 1839, St. Paul’s had left the South Ferry Street building, and was worshipping with St. Peter’s Church on State Street.

Although the offer was never acted upon, we have a hint that St. Paul’s intended to accept it. A cryptic penciled note[6] also in our archive reports a meeting immediately after the January 14, 1839 vestry decision that mentions “contributors for fitting up the Sunday School Room.”

[1] William H. Hughes was a teacher in School #9 for thirty-seven years, starting in 1834. No wonder that, a few years before his retirement in 1871, The Albany Evening Journal reported that neighborhood children knew the South Ferry Street school as “Hughes’ school.”

[2] Harmanus S. van Ingen was one of Albany’s earliest fire chiefs, the Chief Engineer of the Tivoli Hose Company, Albany’s only hose company as late as the Great Fire of 1848. On his retirement, the company was renamed the Van Ingen Company.

[3] Stephen B. Gregory was a businessman, a partner in the firm of Gregory, Bain & Co., merchants in china, glass and earthenware.

[4] George Rogers Howell and Jonathan Tenney, Bi-centennial history of Albany: History of the county of Albany, N.Y., from 1609 to 1886 (New York: W.W. Munsell & Co., 1886), 696.

[5] Albany Argus 02 Feb 1836.

[6] The full text, also on a half sheet of paper reads: “Minutes read. An amendment to the resolution of the vestry that it was expedient to sell St. Paul’s Church was moved, viz,. after the words to sell St. Paul’s church provided $4000 was not raised by a com. appointed by the members of the congregation at a meeting held in the church Monday 14 Jany. On motion of S. DeWitt Bloodgood the following resolutions were passed. Resolved that the names of the contributors for fitting up the Sunday School Room be entered on the minutes together with the expense of the same.”

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.


Albany and the New York Times

Would you be surprised to learn that the plan to create the New York Times was made here in the city of Albany? And that two of the three principals involved were then members of St. Paul’s vestry? Well, both statements are true, and here is the story.

Albany in 1848

Albany Harbor in 1856 (credit: Albany Group Archive)

The Albany in which the plan for the New York Times was hatched was a bustling place, sitting at the crucial intersection of the Erie Canal and the Hudson River. Goods from the American Midwest flowed into Albany through the Erie, Champlain and Oswego canals, and were transferred at the canal basin for shipment to New York City. This flow supported large numbers of wholesale and retail businesses. According to the 1840 census, Albany had 53 commission house, 35 importing houses, 440 retail dry goods stores, 612 grocery and provision stores. And because those goods had to be paid for, there was also a busy financial connection between Albany and New York City, already then the financial center of the country. Albany’s population was also growing quickly: from 24,000 in 1830, the population had reached almost 34,000 by 1840 and would exceed 50,000 by 1850.

Albany Basin in the 1850s (credit: Albany Group Archive)

St. Paul’s vestry elected in 1848 was representative of this thriving business environment. The two wardens were businessmen with ties across the state and region: William H. DeWitt, a dealer in lumber, and John Tweddle, a malt and hops merchant. Both of these businesses involved major trade across the state and throughout the region, and an especially strong connection with New York City. Two of the vestrymen were also major businessmen. Four vestryman were involved in banking and finance; only two were professionals (one a doctor, the other an attorney).

Bank Note Brokers

Of the four vestrymen involved in banking and finance, two were bank note brokers. At that time, regional banks could issue paper currency. Currency issued by Albany banks was accepted at full value here, but only at a reduced value in New York City; the reverse was true for currency issued by New York City banks. Bank note brokers made their money by buying Albany bank notes at a discount in New York City and carrying them back to Albany where they were redeemed at full value; they could then purchase New York City bank notes at a discount in Albany, and redeem them at full value in New York City. One of our vestrymen reported routinely carrying $20,000 in cash on the steamboats between the cities in this operation.

These two bank note brokers, members of our vestry, were Edward B. Wesley and George Jones. Both were New Englanders, both born in 1811, who had come to Albany for business. And it is they who were instrumental in establishing the New York Times.

Edward Barton Wesley

Edward Barton Wesley

Born in Leicester, Massachusetts, Wesley came to New York City as a young man. He found employment with a steamboat line that ran between New York City and Albany and quickly learned that he could make extra money by speculating in goods (fish, butter, eggs, vegetables, “nearly everything in the market”) in the New York markets, and shipping them to Albany where he sold the produce for a profit. From this beginning, he moved into brokering bank notes. By 1845, he had set up a brokerage partnership in Albany with Norman S. Washburn. That same year, he was elected to St. Paul’s vestry for the first time.

George Jones

George Jones

Jones was born and raised in East Poultney, Vermont. As a teenager, he worked as a clerk and errand boy in a local grocery store. There Jones became friends with Horace Greeley, who was a printer’s apprentice in a newspaper operated by the owner of the grocery store. Like Wesley, Jones went to New York City as a young man. After other business experience, in 1841 he found employment with his friend Horace Greeley, working in the business office of Greeley’s New York Tribune. Here he met Greeley’s editorial assistant, Henry Jarvis Raymond, who was destined to become the third principal in the founding of the New York Times.

In 1842, George Jones moved to Albany, at first running the Albany News Depot, a news agency selling newspapers from New York City and other major cities of the United States and England, as well as magazines and books. In about 1847, he sold the News Depot, and started brokering bank notes, using a desk in the offices of Edward. B. Wesley. It was shortly after this that Jones was elected to St. Paul’s vestry for the first time. Jones had several personal connections to members of St. Paul’s: he also rented office space from Leonard Kip (a member of the church, and brother of William Ingraham Kip), and one of his closest friends was banker Edward E. Kendrick, our treasurer and a member of our vestry.

All Three in Albany in 1850

So, by January 1850, both Wesley and Jones were in Albany, working as bank note brokers in the same office, and serving on St. Paul’s vestry (they were both reelected in April 1850) and the vestry’s finance committee. Jones’ former colleague Henry J. Raymond was also in Albany, having recently arrived as a newly elected member of the New York State Assembly.

New York State Capitol, 1860 (credit: Albany Group Archive)

Jones and Raymond had discussed creating their own newspaper during their time together on the Tribune in 1841 – 1842, but nothing had come of these plans. Thurlow Weed, politically powerful owner of the Albany Evening Journal, had offered to sell his newspaper to Jones and Raymond in 1848; that offer fell through when one of Weed’s partners refused to sell his shares. Jones and Raymond again discussed the newspaper idea during the legislative session of 1850, but the time seems not to have been right.

Across the Icy Hudson in 1851

The plans only became concrete in early 1851, with Raymond again in Albany, in this legislative session having been elected Speaker of the House. There are two stories about how the discussions were renewed, and both involve a walk across the ice-covered Hudson River, from Albany to the Hudson River Railroad station in Rensselaer.

Across the Icy Hudson (1850)

According to one account, Jones and Raymond were walking across the Hudson to meet Raymond’s father’s train. “When half way over,” Raymond again suggested a new newspaper. Jones responded that he was doing well in his bank note business. Raymond pointed out that a bill was pending in the Assembly which would make the business far less profitable and suggested (jokingly, perhaps) that it would be in his interest to see that the bill passed, if it would encourage Jones to join in his venture.

According to the other account, it was Jones and Wesley who were crossing the Hudson in order to buy copies of the New York newspapers when Jones asked Wesley to join him in his plans with Raymond.

Founding of the New York Times

Whatever the sequence of events, the bill on bank note brokers did pass, and both Wesley and Jones joined Raymond. The original partnership was known as Raymond, Jones & Co., with Jones and Wesley each putting up $20,000 in cash to begin production. The company’s Articles of Incorporation were signed by Raymond, Jones and Wesley. The first issue of the new newspaper, then known as the New York Daily Times, was issued on September 18, 1851, with Henry J. Raymond as editor, and George Jones as business manager.

First edition New York Daily Times, 18 Sep 1851

Jones’ and Wesley’s later roles at the New York Times and St. Paul’s Church

When Jones resigned after only six weeks’ due to bad health, Edward B. Wesley became the Times business manager, and served in that role for most of the newspaper’s first ten years. At the end of his long life, he was angered that Jones was given more credit than he as a founder of the newspaper. Jones, he argued, may have had a larger role in the initial founding, but he (Raymond) was the one who built it up over a decade and ensured its survival.

Edward B. Wesley was on St. Paul’s vestry for a total of seven years, from Easter 1845 until Easter 1852. He lived the rest of his life in New York City, and died there in 1906 at the age of 95, his obituary in the New York Times describing him as “The Dean of the Speculators.” He would be pleased to know that it also gave him full credit as a founder of the Times, as well as the Union Trust Company.

George Jones

After his resignation, George Jones was not involved with the newspaper for many years. When Raymond died suddenly in 1869, however, he returned to the Times and was its publisher for twenty years.

As long-time publisher of the New York Times, Jones deserves considerable credit for its success. In 1870 – 1871, he supported and encouraged the Times’ investigative journalism into the abuses of Tammany Hall. Jones refused a bribe of $5 million (the equivalent of well over $100 million today) by the city controller, Richard B. “Slippery Dick” Connolly, to stop the attacks.

Thomas Nast cartoon, showing Richard B. Connolly and William M. Tweed

George Jones was on St. Paul’s vestry for a total of eight years, from Easter 1848 until
Easter 1856. He also lived the rest of his life in New York City, and died there in 1891.


Although Wesley and Jones were not Albany natives, and lived here for less than twenty years, we can take pride in  the role our city played in bringing them together in business and in the vestry room of St. Paul’s Church. The next time you pick up a copy of the New York Times, remember the thriving business, financial and social connections between the city of Albany and New York City in the 1850s that brought the newspaper into being.


The Windows of St. Paul’s: Epiphany

“The Adoration of the Magi” (Photo courtesy of the Gelman Stained Glass Museum)

This window, titled “The Visit of the Wise Men to the Manger Cradle,” was given in memory of Andrew Barton Jones and of his wife, Alice Tucker Jones by their children, and dedicated on Trinity Sunday, May 18, 1913. The window was designed by Frederick S. Lamb and executed by J. & R. Lamb, New York.

“The Adoration of the Magi,” detail (Photo courtesy of the Gelman Stained Glass Museum)

Andrew Barton Jones (19 May 1840 — 29 May 1909) was a St. Paul’s vestryman  from 1892-1902 and warden 1902-1909. He became a partner in the Hudson Valley Paper Company in 1875, and the firm remained in the hands of the Jones family until its acquisition by Lindenmeyr Munroe in 2012.  Andrew Jones and Alice Tucker Jones (13 May 1843 –10 Jun 1891) had five children, one of whom was also a long-time member of the congregation.

Andrew Barton Jones

Sydney Tucker Jones

Sydney Tucker Jones

Like his father, Sydney Tucker Jones (1878-1958) was a St. Paul’s vestryman and warden, serving forty years in those roles, most of them as senior warden. He married  Gwenola Smith, and the couple’s daughter Alice Tucker Jones married George A. Taylor, St. Paul’s rector from 1932 until 1948.

George A. Taylor

George A. Taylor

Mr. Starkey’s “high-church notions” divide St. Paul’s

William Ingraham Kip’s year-long medical leave (1844-1845) worked well for him and for the people of St. Paul’s: he returned in good health, and spent another eight years as our rector. Today’s post is the story of his successor’s medical leave, which ended badly and precipitated a crisis that almost destroyed the congregation.

When Kip resigned in December 1853, the vestry named as his successor Thomas Alfred Starkey, then the rector of Christ Church, in Troy, New York. Starkey arrived in February 1854. Fourteen months later, in April 1855, Starkey submitted his resignation because of ill health. He withdrew it “at the urgent request of the congregation.”[i] Then again, three years later, in April 1858, Starkey submitted his resignation because of ill health. This time, the vestry offered him a six-month leave of absence. Starkey accepted, and traveled to Europe.

Thomas A. Starkey

Thomas A. Starkey

Previous histories end the narrative neatly, if not happily: Starkey returns from his leave in early October 1858, announces that his health is still fragile and again submits his resignation. The vestry reluctantly accepts the resignation, and a few months later announces the call of the new rector, William Rudder. This is the account given in a 1877 sketch of the congregation’s history[ii], and followed by all historical essays since that time. The vestry minutes support this version, containing only their offer of a leave of absence, followed by his resignation in November.

But this neat version is incomplete, and hides the story of a significant dispute within the congregation that tells us much about the church and the times. To understand it, we need to return to the long, successful tenure of William Ingraham Kip. In his farewell sermon at St. Paul’s, preached December 11, 1853, he said:

We have Brethern (sic) been at peace among ourselves. There has been no party strife within our borders, even among the exciting times which for some years marked our church; but Pastor and People have been in one mind in all that concerns the welfare and progress of the Church. It is to this that we owe our prosperity and Oh remember Brethern (sic) that so it must always be, if you would not decline and relapse into feebleness.

The “exciting times” to which he refers was the period of the 1830s and 1840s, when the English Oxford Movement’s “Tracts for the Times” were distributed in the United States. As the Episcopal Church sought to balance its theology in light of renewed interest in Catholic theology and liturgy, Kip wrote a series of lectures which he presented at St. Paul’s on Sunday evenings in the winter of 1843 and later published as The Double Witness of the Church. The lectures, relying on both scripture and tradition, distinguished the American Episcopal Church from the protestant denominations on one side and the Roman Catholic Church on the other. As Kip wrote in the Preface:

[The author] believes that this work will be found to differ somewhat in its plan, from most of those on the claims of our Church, which are intended for popular reading. They are generally written with reference merely to the Protestant denominations around us. The public mind, however, has lately taken a new direction, and the doctrines of the Church of Rome have again become a subject of discussion. The writer has therefore endeavored to draw the line between these two extremes – showing that the Church bears her DOUBLE WITNESS against them both – and points out a middle path as the one of truth and safety.[iii]

John Henry Hobart, Bishop of New York 1816-1830

John Henry Hobart, Bishop of New York 1816-1830

The Tractarians had little influence on Kip, who saw their works as supporting the high church theology to which he already subscribed. The Double Witness, while occasioned by the Tractarian controversy, restates the position of Kip’s mentor, Bishop John Henry Hobart, who summarized his theology when he wrote “My banner is, EVANGELICAL TRUTH, APOSTOLIC ORDER.”[iv]

Thomas A. Starkey

Thomas A. Starkey

Thomas A. Starkey was also a high churchman, but one of a very different sort. While the press described him as moderate high churchman, that term had acquired a new meaning, one much affected by the distinctive theological, devotional and social views of the Oxford Movement. Starkey described the movement glowingly in his 1877 sermon at St. Paul’s:

The period of my rectorship of this parish which extended from February 1854, to the autumn of 1858, was embraced within a very interesting and exciting portion of our general Church History. The long-continued stagnation in English and American Church life had been disturbed twenty years before by what is known as the “Oxford tracts movement.” In the old diocese the controversies, growing out of local causes had terminated two years before in the election of Bishop Wainwright, whose bright but brief Episcopate cheered the hearts of Churchmen, only to deepen the disappointment at its premature close. In the autumn of 1854, the same year in which I became rector of St. Paul’s, Dr. Potter, of St. Peter’s church in this city, was consecrated for the vacant seat; and I believe that I only reflect the general judgment when I say, that rarely has a difficult choice been justified by a wiser administration. It was a day of controversy, and at times, of strong and even angry feeling; but it was also a day of generous self-devotion and of brave endeavor for the church’s sake. The old stagnation had been completely broken and a new life stirred throughout all her borders.[v]

The fuller story of Starkey’s resignation is omitted from all church sources, but it was considered newsworthy by the popular press, allowing us to piece it together from newspaper accounts. The first article comes from the Albany Morning Express of October 26, 1858.

In St. Paul’s Church Sunday morning [24 Oct 1858], immediately after the reading of the Ante-Communion service, the Rev. Mr. Starkey came before the chancel and addressed his congregation. He remarked that six months ago the Vestry kindly gave him leave of absence for a period of time to enable him to regain his health. He left his congregation harmonious in feeling and united in action. After an absence of six months, and a return to his labors, he found a great charge in his temporal charge – his congregation distracted, and a want of harmony existing in the Parish. In view of his state of health and the condition of his congregation, he felt it his duty to resign his charge, and as Pastor he bade them farewell. His remarks and his determination were evidently unexpected to a large majority of his congregation, and were received with manifest surprise and emotion.[vi]

Thomas A. Starkey

Thomas A. Starkey

This news was so exciting that it was picked up by the New York City newspapers. The next day’s New York Evening Post gives a dramatic account of the previous Sunday’s events with the headline “Church Excitement in Albany: Dr. Starkie Declines to Preach,” quoting reports from the Albany Daily Knickerbocker of the previous day:

During Mr. Starkie’s absence his high-church notions have been so canvassed as to lead to some considerable feeling in the church, and he resolved to sever his connection with the church. This took place in a sudden manner on Sunday morning. “Without a moment’s notice to anybody, he walked into the church and informed the congregation that he could no longer act as their pastor. Having done this he retired and left the congregation to go home without a sermon. The reasons for resigning Mr. Starkie promises to lay before the senior warden –Mr. Tweddle—when the senior warden returns from Europe, which will be in a day or two.”[vii]

We may never know which “high church notions” were so vigorously debated (the now-archaic sense of canvassed.) The first option is that they refer to elaborate ritual practice, such as sung services, incense, sanctus bells and chasubles. In this period, however, the high church party was only beginning to be influenced by ritualism. Even twenty years later, when ritualism had spread widely, it was written that Starkey “is inclined to High Church views, but is not a ritualist in the broad sense of that term.”[viii] Starkey may however have been following ritual practices that would not surprise us at all, but that were then highly controversial. Many of these related to treating the communion table as an altar: by placing a cloth or flowers on it, or by using candles during daylight services. Another practice much debated was that of the celebrant turning to the communion table while reading the communion service, with his back to the congregation. The Book of Common Prayer directed that the minister stand at the liturgical north end of the altar (to the left, from the congregation’s point of view) during the service, as Kip is shown doing in the 1847 portrait by William Tolman Carlton.

Wm. Ingraham Kip at St. Paul's altar (from an 1847 portrait by William Tolman Carlton)

Wm. Ingraham Kip at St. Paul’s altar (from an 1847 portrait by William Tolman Carlton)

A second possibility is that these notions were theological, and related to one of the most contentious disputes of the time: the relative weight to be given to justification by faith as contrasted with baptismal regeneration.

And a third possibility is the notions had to do with social outreach. The only activity during his rectorship that Starkey described in in his 1877 sermon was a social ministry, the establishment of St. Paul’s Church Home, a home for “homeless and aged women” [ix]. Social ministry was an interest of the high church faction in both England the United States, but not of the old-style Hobartian high churchman. Starkey tells us that the Home did not survive his departure, suggesting that the ministry was not supported by the congregation.

While the vestry minutes of November 1, 1858 record the vestry’s acceptance of Starkey’s formal resignation, they do not describe the issues that led to his resignation. What is clear is that Starkey’s resignation, did not end the dissension in the church. The Albany Daily Knickerbocker continues, accurately predicting the further problems to come:

The resignation of Mr. Starkie will, of course, increase the bad feeling existing at St. Paul’s. The result will be a grand division and a new church. Who will succeed Mr. Starkie at St. Paul’s remains to be seen. Some vote in favor of the Rev. Mr. Rudder. The friend of Mr. Starkie will be opposed to this – some of them looking upon Mr. Rudder as a sort of intruder, invited to Albany to make mischief. How the matter will finish up will be known when the senior warden arrives.[x]

William Rudder had been engaged as an interim in June to preach until August 1, 1858; in August, that contract was extended until December 1. During this period, Rudder was assisted by  Starkey’s curate, Frederick P. Winne.

Frederick P. Winne

Frederick P. Winne

Rudder is vague about how he came to be called as interim from St. John’s Church, Quincy, Illinois, where he had been rector from 1857 until 1858. In his 1877 sermon he says that in 1858 he found himself in Albany as a result of “an accident on a western railroad,”[xi] was invited to preach at a friend’s church (presumably St. Peter’s, whose rector was Thomas Clapp Pitkin) where a member of St. Paul’s search committee heard his sermon, and invited him to fill St. Paul’s pulpit until Starkey returned.[xii]

William Rudder

William Rudder

The Rudder faction made their feelings known publicly. An undated newspaper clipping reports the gift on November 10, 1858 of a portable communion set service by “some of the congregation, who had listened with pleasure and profit to his impressive discourse.” A letter from the fourteen men is quoted, as is Rudder’s response. The fourteen include only one vestryman, Edward E. Kendrick, the cashier of the Bank of Albany. Interestingly, they also include four employees of the Bank of Albany, two of them Kendrick’s sons.

By late December 1858, chaos reigned, as the Albany Morning Express reported:

For several months past the Vestry of St. Paul’s Church has been engaged in a most unpleasant controversy, and as a matter of course, the members of the congregation have become implicated in the difficulty, there being two factions or divisions in the Church, directly antagonistic to each other. Since the commencement of the troubles, we have purposely refrained from alluding to them, nor do we intend now to recapitulate them at length. The questions in dispute between the two parties having become matters of public interest, we have therefore concluded to refer thereto. The origin of the division we do not know with certainty, Of its existence there can be no doubt, in fact it is not disputed. The resignation of the Rev. Mr. Starkey, and the reason therefor, is not unknown to the public. From that time, the difficulties increased, one faction being very desirous of calling the Rev. Mr. Rudder, and the other as much opposed to it. The cause of this opposition we do not intend to discuss. It is sufficient to know it exists. Frequent meetings of the Vestry were held at some of which the belligerent manifestations were made by and between the members. If we are not misinformed – and our authority is undoubted – language was frequently used and epithets indulged in that were far from creditable to those having the temporal management of a Church of God. So bitter were, and arethe feelings between the parties, that charges of direct falsehood have been made, without the least hesitation, and complaints preferred that de do not feel at liberty to allude to. On Monday evening meeting of the Vestry was held to choose a Rector, and a motion to select the Rev. Mr. Rudder was negatived, four of the members being in favor of it and six opposed to it. So the Church remains without a head, and the warfare continues. The result will undoubtedly lead to the secession of one of the two factions from the Church, and perhaps may even result in its dissolution entirely. – Such a state of affairs is certainly to be regretted, and very discreditable.[xiii]

This impasse was resolved during April 1859. That month, there was a major turnover in St. Paul’s vestry, with only one warden and three vestrymen reelected. Among the three continuing vestrymen was Edward E. Kendrick (a member of the Rudder faction that gave the communion service), who was elected junior warden. It is likely that Kendrick and the other three who were returned were the four who had voted for Rudder in December. The congregation also elected six brand-new vestrymen. On April 30, 1859, William Rudder was called as rector; he accepted the call in May, and became rector on June 1, 1859.

Edward E. Kendrick

Edward E. Kendrick

St. Paul’s had somehow been able to find a way through this crisis, with no sign of a major defection by the Starkey faction. Provided with a supportive vestry, Rudder was able to serve as rector until 1863. While Starkey’s Church Home for Women did not continue, Rudder did initiate a successful ministry to the deaf, and shepherded the congregation through the financial crisis of 1862 and the decision to move to Lancaster Street.

[i] “Our City Churches – IV. St. Paul’s (Episcopal) – J. Livingston Reese, Pastor,” Albany Evening Journal, January 28, 1871.

[ii] “Historical Sketch of St. Paul’s Parish: From a Sermon by the Rector,” pages 9-17 of The Semi-centennial Service of St. Paul’s Church (Albany: The Argus Press, 1877), 14.

[iii] William Ingraham Kip, The Double Witness of the Church (New York: D. Appleton, 1844), x.

[iv] John Henry Hobart, An Apology for Apostolic Order and Its Advocates (New York: T. and J. Swords, 1807), 272

[v] “Sermon of the Reverend Thomas A. Starkey, D.D.” pages 55-63 of The Semi-centennial Service of St. Paul’s Church (Albany: The Argus Press, 1877), 56-57

[vi] “Resignation of the Rev. Thomas A. Starkey,” Albany Morning Express, October 26, 1858.

[vii] “Church Excitement in Albany: Dr. Starkie Declines to Preach,” New York Evening Post, October 27, 1858.

[viii] “Rev. Thomas A. Starkey,” Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, November 22, 1879, 204.

[ix] “Sermon of the Reverend Thomas A. Starkey, D.D.,” 61.

[x] “Church Excitement in Albany: Dr. Starkie Declines to Preach”

[xi] “The Sermon of the Reverend William Prall,” pages 32-42 of The Semi-centennial Service of St. Paul’s Church. (Albany: The Argus Press, 1877), 33.

[xii] “The Sermon of the Reverend William Prall,” 33-34.

[xiii] “St. Paul’s Church,” Albany Morning Express, December 29, 1858.

Daniel Manning’s Funeral

Daniel Manning

Daniel Manning

In its almost 190 years, St. Paul’s has had a number of distinguished members, men and women who have played important roles on a local, statewide or national stage. But we can claim only one member whose image appears on United State currency. As owner and editor of the Albany Argus, as president of Albany’s National Commercial Bank, as chairman of the New York State Democrat Committee, and as Secretary of the Treasury, Daniel Manning is among the most prominent who have sat in our pews.

Daniel Manning was born in Albany in 1831. He began work at age 11 as a “chore boy” at the Albany Atlas. The Atlas merged with the Albany Argus in 1856, and Manning rose through its ranks, first as a reporter, then editor, and finally owner in 1873. Through this period, he also made political contacts, and was a member of the New York delegation at the Democratic conventions of 1876 and 1880.

Daniel Manning

Daniel Manning

By the 1884 Democratic convention, Manning had become chairman of the New York delegation. He championed Grover Cleveland as a presidential candidate, and successfully fought for his nomination in the Democratic convention. During the election, as chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee, Manning made certain that ballots were properly counted, ensuring Cleveland’s victory in the State. His appointment as Secretary of the Treasury was not purely a political gift. As a board member of Albany’s National Commercial Bank beginning in 1873, and its president since 1882, Manning had become knowledgeable about fiscal policy, and had presented Cleveland with a plan for improving the Treasury Department. Contemporary reports suggest that he was among the most competent and intelligent of cabinet members during Cleveland’s first term. By 1886, there was even talk within the party of proposing Manning for nomination as president in 1888.

James Hilton Manning

Manning’s health had been poor for some time, and in early 1887 he resigned his position and returned to Albany. He died on Christmas Eve 1887 at the family home on Lancaster Street, just one block from the church. Daniel Manning had attended St. Paul’s for about thirty years, but had only been confirmed and become a communicant at Easter 1882. His son, James Hilton Manning was a St. Paul’s vestryman for twenty years, from 1883 until 1903.




St. Paul's Chancel, Late 19th century

St. Paul’s Chancel, Late 19th century

St. Paul's, Late 19th century

St. Paul’s, Late 19th century

St. Paul's Nave, Late 19th century

St. Paul’s Nave, Late 19th century

St. Paul's Nave, Late 19th century

St. Paul’s Nave, Late 19th century


Daniel Manning’s funeral, held the afternoon of December 27, 1887, was the grandest ever held in the Lancaster Street building. The New York Sun for

Charles S. Fairchild

Charles S. Fairchild

December 28, 1887 reported that “[I]t was the most distinguished gathering of men Albany has ever seen at a funeral of one of her sons. “ President Garfield and five of his cabinet arrived that morning in a special train car. A sixth cabinet member arrived separately; only one cabinet member missed the event.

Among the cabinet was Manning’s successor as Secretary of the Treasury, Charles S. Fairchild, who, in another St. Paul’s connection, was a vestryman here from 1873 to 1878. To date, Manning and Fairchild are the only two members of St. Paul’s who have served in a presidential cabinet.

Here is the original telegram from Daniel S. Lamont (Cleveland’s private secretary and a Daniel Manning protégé) to James H. Manning describing the plans of the presidential party.

Daniel Lamont Telegram

Daniel Lamont Telegram

Daniel Lamont Telegram

Daniel Lamont Telegram

Delegations arrived from New York City, Brooklyn, Tammany Hall, the Democratic party, and the U.S. Treasury Department. Delegations from Albany included the Directors of the National Commercial Bank, the Typographical Union, the local Masonic lodge, and city and State officers.

Funeral Invitation

Funeral Invitation

Not just the prominent and politically connected came. People from the city and the region packed the streets, and made it difficult for sleighs carrying dignitaries and family to reach the church, as described in the New York Times for December 28, 1887:

The funeral of ex-secretary Manning to-day was the most notable, with the exception of that of Grant and Lincoln, ever seen in old Albany. Not only the citizens of this city filled the streets and packed those adjacent to the church, but people flocked in from the surrounding country in large numbers and added to the density of the throng… The crowd about the church was dense, and choked the entire street for more than a block. The police with difficulty kept passageways open to admit the various bodies.

The service was conducted by St. Paul’s rector, J. Livingston Reese, who also preached the sermon.

William Prall

William Prall

A dozen other Episcopal clergy were present, including St. Paul’s curate William Prall (who would later become St. Paul’s rector), Bishop William Croswell Doane,

William Croswell Doane, Bishop of Albany (courtesy Library of Congress)

William Croswell Doane, Bishop of Albany (courtesy Library of Congress)

the rectors of all the Albany parishes, the president of Hobart College and a group of canons and honorary canons from the Cathedral of All Saints. Music was provided by St. Paul’s choir, led by choirmaster George Edgar Oliver, who had composed new music for the event.

The twelve pallbearers were men with national reputations, including a U.S. Senator, a former U.S. Senator, a Congressman (and former Speaker of the House), and a judge of the New York Court of Appeals. Six were bankers, two of whom had served at high levels in the U.S. Treasury; most held powerful positions in the Democratic Party.

The New York Times  for December 28, 1887 continues, “As the cortege left the church and the great crowd which had been held together broke away the ponderous City Hall pealed forth in faint refrain and the bells of other churches tolled in unison. Many, curiously inclined, followed the president’s sleigh, disregarding the solemnity of the occasion.”

Here is Manning’s tombstone in the Albany Rural Cemetery.

Manning Memorial, Albany Rural Cemetery

Manning Memorial, Albany Rural Cemetery

The Easter after his death, Daniel Manning’s widow presented a brass cross and two vases to St. Paul’s. “Mrs. Manning has many tender memories of St. Paul’s Church. Not only was the late Secretary one of its earnest memories for many years,

Manning Memorial Cross and Vases

Manning Memorial Cross and Vases

but she was married to Mr. Manning by the present rector, Dr. Reese, at its altar. When the Secretary lay upon his death-bed among the last sounds he heard on earth were the sacred chants of the choir of St. Paul’s wafted through the windows of the room in which he died, and was its rector who preached the funeral sermon.”


Here is a recent photograph of the cross and vases, still in use at St. Paul’s, and the resolution from St. Paul’s vestry, thanking Mrs. Manning for the gift in memory of “our beloved and distinguished brother in Christ.”

Vestry Resolution

Vestry Resolution

Manning Memorial Cross and Vases

Manning Memorial Cross and Vases

In other memorials, an engraving of Manning appeared on the U.S. silver certificate issued in 1886 and 1891. And closer to home, Daniel Manning may now be most remembered as the person for whom Manning Boulevard was named.

Manning Diamond Back $20 Silver Certificate

Manning Diamond Back $20 Silver Certificate

Manning Boulevard (courtesy Albany Group archive)

Manning Boulevard (courtesy Albany Group archive)

Mrs. Hawley’s Legacy — J. Montgomery Mosher

In our account of the legacy of Elizabeth Maria Starr Hawley, we come now to her great-grandson, J. Montgomery Mosher.

J. Montgomery Mosher

J. Montgomery Mosher

Jesse Montgomery Mosher was born 12 Oct 1864, the son of Jacob Simmons Mosher and Emma Starr Montgomery Mosher, and named for his maternal grandfather. The Moshers were from Coeymans; Jacob and two of his brothers, Cornelius Duel Mosher and Francis Gillette Mosher, were all doctors. Cornelius’s daughter (and little Montie’s childhood playmate) Clelia Duel Mosher, also became a physician, and as a professor of medicine at Stanford was an influential advocate for women’s health.

Mosher spent a peripatetic early childhood with frequent moves caused by his father’s career. Both of his parents died when he was in his teens: his mother in 1879 (when he was 15) and his father in 1883 (when he was 19), leaving the family in “straitened circumstances,” and with much of the parenting of younger siblings devolving on his younger sister, Gertrude.

Jesse Montgomery Mosher was baptized at St. Paul’s 19 Nov 1865, and confirmed here on Easter 1882. He attended Albany Academy, and graduated from Union College in 1886 and from Albany Medical School in 1889. During summers while in medical school, he worked in the pharmacy of a mental hospital. Mosher wrote his thesis on a psychiatric topic and upon graduation worked in mental hospitals until 1895; he took a European tour that year to update his training in other medical specialties, returning to Albany in June 1896.

While conducting a private practice, Mosher also edited the Albany Medical Annals. He was named an instructor in neurology in the Albany Medical College in 1896 and began clinical teaching at Albany Hospital in 1898. During this period, he conceived a novel idea for improvement in the care of the mentally ill:

“This idea was: that it having been definitely established that insanity was not merely an aberration of the mind, but rather a symptom of disease of the brain, whether functional, toxic or organic; therefore, these unfortunate victims of disease should be so considered and so treated. They should be sent neither to the “Poor House,” as was the custom in Albany in those days, nor to an Insane Asylum, which was so overcrowded and its medical staff so small that the individual patient could receive but little personal attention and treatment; but rather to a well-equipped, general hospital, where they could obtain treatment by the most modern methods.” [Albany Medical Annals, Volume XLIII, Number 1 (January 1922), page 526]

Mosher had to fight many years for a psychiatric ward in the hospital, facing opposition from physicians, administrators, and politicians. He succeeded in 1901, with the establishment of Albany Hospital’s Pavilion F, the first psychiatric ward placed within a general hospital in the world. It was to become a model for psychiatric wards in other cities in the United States, and later around the globe.

J. Montgomery Mosher

J. Montgomery Mosher

Like his father, J. Montgomery Mosher was elected a vestryman at St. Paul’s, and served from 1906 until his death in 1922. St. Paul’s Year Book for that year contains an unusually warm tribute to Mosher, praising both his professional dedication and his commitment to community organizations, including St. Paul’s, which his great-grandmother had joined more than ninety years earlier.

In Memoriam J. Montgomery Mosher, from 1922 St. Paul's Year Book

In Memoriam J. Montgomery Mosher, from 1922 St. Paul’s Year Book

We have now reached the fourth generation of the legacy of our Mrs. Betsy Hawley. The next post will primarily concern J. Montgomery Mosher’s younger siblings, Gertrude Mosher Knight and  Gouverneur Frank Mosher, with an appearance by another of Betsy’s descendants.

Mrs. Hawley’s Legacy — Emma Starr Montgomery Mosher

In a previous post, we began looking at the legacy of Elizabeth Maria Starr Hawley, who became a member of St. Paul’s Church in 1831. She and and all four of her children were active members of the young congregation.

This time, we follow her descendants to the next generation: the children of her daughters Lydia Amelia Hawley and Mary Ann Hawley , both of whom, as we have seen, were communicants of St. Paul’s.

Mary Ann Hawley (1817 — 1911) married William Janes (born 1906) in St. Paul’s Church on April 5, 1843. Of their three children, Julia Maria Janes (1848 — 1933), who joined the Sisterhood of the Holy Child Jesus as Sister Julia  will became important to our story in relation to one of her younger cousins.

Our main story, however, follows the descendants of Lydia Amelia Hawley (1814 — 1880), who married Jesse H. Montgomery (1810 — 1840).  The couple  had two children, Emma Starr and Lydia Amelia. Both daughter were communicants of St. Paul’s by 1858 and both were married at St. Paul’s in the mid-1860’s.

Emma married a young physician from Coeymans, Jacob Simmons Mosher, and it is their descendants who will fill much of the rest of our story. When the young couple was married at St. Paul’s in December 1863, Emma might have hoped for the quiet life of a physician’s and academic’s wife in Albany, but, with the Civil War still raging, this was not to be. The next year, Jack was appointed volunteer surgeon in the Army of the Potomac and sent to Virginia. In June 1865, Emma and their first child were living with her mother.

Jacob Simmons Mosher

Jacob Simmons Mosher

Even the end of the war did not make things easier. Jack was appointed Assistant Medical Director of New York, and assigned to Washington, D.C. The family’s longest stay in Albany was from 1869 until 1873, when Jack served as Superintendent of a hospital for disabled soldiers here. During this period, Mosher was also a vestryman of St. Paul’s Church. This respite ended when he was named Deputy Health and Executive Officer for the Port of New York. The family lived in New York City from 1873 until they returned to Albany for good in 1876.

Through all these moves, Emma retained her connection to St. Paul’s: three of her four children were baptized at St. Paul’s . But the constant moves and child-bearing took their toll; the next entry in our records is that of the death of Emma Starr Montgomery Mosher on June 28, 1879, when she and her newborn infant were buried from St. Paul’s.

Jacob Simmons Mosher finished a distinguished career as physician, teacher and administrator in Albany. He was among the earliest faculty of the Albany Medical College and  one of the founders of the Albany School of Pharmacy, where he was also professor. He died in 1883 and was buried from St. Paul’s.

Albany Medical College 1897 (credit: Albany Group Archive)

In the next posts, we will follow the lives of three of Emma and Jack’s children, each of whom made important contributions locally, nationally and internationally, extending the legacy of our Mrs. Betsy Hawley.


The Font and Caroline Gallup Reed

St. Paul's Font

St. Paul’s Font

Of all the articles regularly used in our services, very few are more than a century old.  Two silver chalices and a paten dated 1839 are brought out for special occasions. But every time we gather, we see the font, reminding us of the long history of this congregation.

We do not know when we acquired this font, although already in the 1920’s we had had it “for many years.” Here is a snapshot from 1958, showing the font in the Lancaster Street church, in a baptistry of marble and mosaic, below a mural of “Christ Blessing a Child” and next to the marble  and mosaic lectern, now placed in the narthex of the Hackett Boulevard building.

Baptistry of St. Paul's Church, Lancaster Street

Baptistry of St. Paul’s Church, Lancaster Street

We do not know who made it. But we do know who arranged for its purchase, and therein lies a story.

In the Lancaster Street church, St. Paul’s kept a gallery of photographs of important persons: warden and vestry, rectors,  curates and major donors. Among these latter, is a portrait of “Mrs. Sylvanus Reed, through whose efforts the font now in use was presented to the Parish.”

Caroline Gallup Reed

Caroline Gallup Reed

Caroline Gallup was born in Berne, Albany County, August 5, 1821. She moved to Albany with her family in 1832, when her father,

Albert Gallup

Albert Gallup

Albert Gallup, became Albany County sheriff, a position he held until 1835. In 1837, Albert Gallup was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The family’s association with St. Paul’s seems to have begun just after Albert Gallup’s single term ended in 1839. Caroline’s mother, Eunice Smith Gallup, became a communicant of St. Paul’s in 1840, and Albert Gallup began a three-year term as vestryman the same year.

Caroline’s early education was in St. Peter’s school, and the school run by the estimable Misses Carter, four “Irish ladies of culture and refinement” who were also St. Paul’s communicants. She then attended the Albany Female Academy, graduating in 1839.  Caroline became a communicant of St. Paul’s in 1841.

In 1851, Caroline was married at St. Paul’s to Sylvanus Reed in a service conducted by our rector, William Ingraham Kip. Sylvanus had also grown up in this parish. His father was Sylvester Reed, a St. Paul’s vestryman from 1839 until 1839.

Sylvester Reed

Sylvester Reed

Sylvanus had the distinction of being the first person from St. Paul’s to enter the ministry.

The Rev. Sylvanus Reed

The Rev. Sylvanus Reed

By the time of their marriage, he was rector of the newest Episcopal congregation in Albany, the Church of the Holy Innocents on North Pearl Street.

After their marriage, Sylvanus and Caroline lived in Albany for eleven years and all four of their children were born here. Two of these children may be of interest to you. Caroline’s son Sylvanus Albert Reed became an engineer, and designed the first modern metal airplane propeller. Caroline’s daughter Mary Geraldine was a well-known artist; she married Francois Millet, son of the painter Jean-François Millet. In 1862 Sylvanus accepted a position of minister at St. George’s Chapel, and the family moved to New York City.

Sylvanus’s health failed soon after the move, and in 1864 Caroline founded Mrs. Sylvanus Reed’s English, French and German Boarding and Day School for Young Ladies. Within a few years, it became on the of most prestigious schools for women in New York City, providing the daughters of the the city’s upper crust with a rigorous college-level education not then generally available to women in this country. The school attracted faculty of the highest caliber, and seems to have been particularly successful in providing employment to women, who found it difficult to find other academic appointments.

George William Warren

George William Warren

In another St. Paul’s connection, George William Warren, who had been our organist for twelve years between 1848 and 1860 (and likely the organist at Caroline and Sylvanus’s wedding),  taught choral singing and solfeggio, and gave private piano lessons at Mrs. Reed’s School.

Sylvanus died in 1870, but Carolyn continued as head of the school until 1890, and as a Visitor until 1894. when it became the School of the Sisters of the Church. Caroline Gallup Reed died in 1916.

Course of Study Collegiate Department 1883

Course of Study Collegiate Department 1883

We may never know  what efforts Caroline Gallup Reed exerted to bring this font, to St. Paul’s, but its presence in our nave serves as a reminder of our long history, and of our connection to an interesting family with an important role in women’s education.

Medal Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of Mrs. Reed's School

Medal Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of Mrs. Reed’s School