June 8 – Happy Birthday Luther Dean

LdeanIts too bad Luther Dean has been dead for just over a century because he’d make a helluva candidate for any major city office. Listen to this resume. He was born on the South Side when it was still called Port Jackson on this date in 1842. His dad was a shoe salesman. After finishing his studies at the Amsterdam Academy, he went to work as a clerk in Gardiner Blood’s dry goods store. After four years of doing that, he became a bookkeeper for the Farmers’ Bank.

Apparently everyone in town loved Dean because he was such a personable, hard-working young man. After four years at the bank, he was ready to go into his own business and he and a partner named John Larrabee purchased a small local hardware store. By the time he sold the business 14 years later he had grown it into the largest hardware store in Amsterdam, one that would continue to prosper for the next eight decades under the name of Larrabee’s.

Dean, his brother-in-law and a New Jersey cousin then started the…

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

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