July 5 – Happy Birthday H. Edmund Machold

macholdHenry Edmund Machold was born in Amsterdam, NY on July 5, 1880. His dad was P. Bernard Machold, a prominent local architect and building contractor who died in 1929. His Mom Elizabeth’s maiden name was Mehlman. She died in 1900. Today’s Amsterdam Birthday Blog celebrant was one of eight children. An industrious lad, he delivered newspapers and groceries as a boy and graduated from high school here in 1897. His initial career goal was to be a lawyer and he began studying law under a local judge named Z. S. Westbrook. He also entered Albany Law School. But after a year into his studies, Judge Westbrook died and Machold dropped law and got a job teaching in a school in Randall, NY. That’s where he met and courted a girl named Jennie Ward, whose family owned a pretty large farm in Ellisburg, NY, a western NY Jefferson County community near Lake Ontario.

The couple were married in November of 1900 and settled on the Ward farm. Machold proved to be an astute and entrepreneurial agriculturist, and within a few years had expanded the farm’s acreage significantly. The more successful he became as a farmer, the more influential he became in Jefferson County politics and the local Republican Party. By 1911, he was nominated to run for the New York State Assembly. He won that election and was reelected five times. As his Assembly seniority built up so did his power, culminating with his election as speaker in 1921…

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

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