April 3 – Happy Birthday William Barclay Charles

William_Barclay_CharlesThough he himself was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1861, former Amsterdam Congressman William Barclay Charles had a bloodline that connected him directly to a significant figure of the American Revolution. He was the Great Grandson of Artemas Ward, who was one of George Washington’s Generals during the War against England and a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress.

Charles migrated to the U.S. when he was 23-years-old and tried his hand at ranching in both Texas and Mexico. He switched careers after a couple of years, moving north, starting a family. and eventually settling in Amsterdam in the 1880s. He operated a textile brokerage business, buying and selling cotton and wool, two raw materials that were much in demand by the carpet and knitting mills that had clustered in Amsterdam at that time.

His company prospered and he soon gained a position of prominence in both Amsterdam’s business and political circles…

You can read the rest of my story about this Amsterdam businessman and politician in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

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