October 4 – Happy Birthday George Stover

Today’s birthday celebrant comes from as distinguished a family as has ever existed in the City of Amsterdam, NY. George B. Stover was the son of Martin Stover, a trailblazing Lutheran evangelist credited with establishing many of that denomination’s churches in communities throughout the Mohawk and Schoharie Valleys. Fortunately, he decided to settle in Amsterdam.

His oldest surviving son James had fought in the Civil War and was captured early on in the conflict by the Confederates. His horrible treatment in their prison camps ruined his health and though he lived until 1890, he was a broken man physically. The second son, Martin also fought for the North in the Civil War and did so admirably. He would go on to become a highly respected lawyer here in Amsterdam and a much admired New York State Supreme Court Justice. The youngest surviving Stover boy was Charles, who became a doctor and Amsterdam’s leading medical authority for the first four decades of the Twentieth Century. That leaves today’s Birthday Celebrant, the third oldest of the Stover brothers to live past infancy, he was born on October 4, 1848 and moved to Amsterdam with the rest of his family right after the Civil War.

George’s first career was that of a respected downtown Amsterdam merchant. He and a partner by the name of Thomas Liddle opened a Men’s clothing store at 21 East Main Street in the early 1870’s. It was called Liddle & Stover’s and became a very popular destination for male apparel. Like many merchants of that era, John Sanford being the prime example, Stover and his partner saw greater financial potential manufacturing clothes versus selling them so when they heard the McCowatt & Dean Knitting Mill on the corner of Chuctanunda and Grove Streets was for sale they jumped at the chance to purchase it. With the formation of the Liddle and Stover Knitting Mill in 1886, George Stover had officially become a knitted goods manufacturer, a role in which he would spend the rest of his life…

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


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