Who was who, Albany, 1900

Someday soon I’ll relate the fascinating story of Dr. William Henry Johnson, a free black man who long ran a highly respected barber salon on Maiden Lane in Albany, from which he made contact with all the leading figures of abolition and the Underground Railroad. He led groundbreaking changes in New York State law, and worked tirelessly for equality for African-Americans. But for today, I just want to share his recitation, under the title “Business Notice,” of some of the leading businesses of the day in Albany in 1900.

John G. Myers’ princely department store on North Pearl street rivals anything of its kind here or elsewhere. Wm. W. Williams & Son’s is the place to find diamonds. A.B. Van Gaasbeek carries a first-class stock of mattings, oil cloth, rugs and carpets. Mrs. Harriet Chapman, 136 South Swan street, has one of the best and well-equipped boarding-houses. G.H. Mayer, 48 North Pearl street, deals in furniture and wall paper of every description. Talmadge, the Tailor, 42 Maiden lane, is first-class in every respect. Marsh & Hoffman, 79 to 83 North Pearl street, carries a fine stock of jewelry and bric-a-brac. Tebbutt & Sons, funeral directors, 84 and 86 North Pearl street. J.R. Nangle, 93 Second street and 67 and 70 Quay street, coal and wood dealer. For fine cigars and tobacco, “Payn’s,” corner Maiden lane and James street. Winchell & Davis, 504 and 506 Broadway, and 25 James street, wholesale wine and liquor merchants. Killip & Marks, 1 to 5 North Pearl street, carry a full line of men’s furnishing goods. The Cigar Smoker’s Headquarters is located at 23 Steuben street. The Thompson Cottage, 61 Hamilton street, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., first-class boarding, Mrs. Eva T. Marshall, proprietress. St. James Café, 6 James street, Peter A. and Fred P. Elliott, proprietors. W.H. Sample, 40 South Pearl street, carries a full line of cutlery. Jas. D. Walsh, plumbing and sanitary engineer, 40 Sheridan avenue. Frank Smith, druggist, Clinton avenue and Lark street. William E. Drislane, North Pearl street, carries a full line of groceries. White & Griffin, tailors, 523 Broadway. John Doyle, 12 James street, plumbing and draining. William Blasie, hot and cold baths, 389 Broadway. George A. Bailey, 112 State street, represents the Equitable Life Assurance Society, of New York. C.G. Craft & Co., clothiers, corner Maiden lane and James street. Henry Russell, the flour merchant, 42 State street. Walker & Gibson, wholesale druggists, 74 and 76 State street. The Ten Eyck is a first-class hotel, located corner Chapel and State streets. The Kenmore, on North Pearl street, affords first-class accommodations. Stanwix hall, corner Broadway and Maiden lane, does a large business. Keeler’s Hotel, corner Broadway and Maiden lane, is one of the finest hotels in the State, complete in every particular. Mr. Douw Fonda, of State street, carries a full line of drugs. G.W. Luther & Sons, anthracite and bituminous coal, 45 Columbia street. Chas. G. Stewart, The Travelers’ Insurance Company, of Hartford, Conn., No. 7 First street, Troy, N.Y. Garry Benson’s Turkish baths are fine, located on State street …

The Albany Business College is a good educational institute. Its methods of education is excellent and commendable. It is a treat to look in to Annesley’s Art Store, on North Pearl street. His accommodating assistants are most courteous gentlemen; none more so than Messrs. David Coleman and A.J. Boylan. The beautiful half-tone illustrations which grace the pages of this little volume is the distinctive work of the Albany Engraving Company, Maiden lane . . .
Captain Slattery’s Arcade Hotel is one of the best in the city. B.W. Wooster’s Sons’ furniture is commended to purchasers. Patrick Maher’s popular smoking and spellbinding emporium attracts general attention. Christopher Keenholtz is a most accomplished guide and lecturer at the State capitol. He will show you and explain everything appertaining to the State capitol without apparent trouble. “Jake” Doyle is a joker, but he does not know it. Gentlemanly Sam Mcalindin is a peach, courteous and accommodating. He has exclusive charge of William H. Keeler’s wine room. Charles Parrott is his first lieutenant. Miss Catherine Riley, principal cashier of that hostelry, is highly esteemed by the patrons of the restaurant. Miss F. Coughlin looks after the cash in the main dining-room. Happy William Stroby is ever present, and has general oversight. Frank Settley has charge of the ladies upstairs ordinary. George Taylor, the veteran, is the general superintendent at night, with Ed. Cooper who looks after the dining-room at night and Miss J. Lyons at the desk. Mr. Keeler is fortunate with the continuous service of his first hotel clerk, Mr. Dexter Brazil. There is no more competent gentleman for that position than he. Mr. Chas. Mann, who has general charge in Mr. keeler’s absence, is a thorough hotel man, and an adept in hotel and business technicalities. Young John Keeler, who is following close in his father’s footsteps, is studying the hotel business, and some day he will be a full-fledged hotel keeper. Bernard Quinn, the “Silver King,” of Maiden lane, is a study and knows all about books and stationery.

It does go on.

For more on William Henry Johnson, look here, here and here.


  1. Pingback: The Autobiography of William Henry Johnson – Hoxsie!

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