December 24 – Happy Birthday Arthur Carter

carterHe became Mayor of Amsterdam, New York during the depths of the Great Depression and set a record by winning five consecutive terms as the City’s chief executive. He is the guy responsible for getting the Robert Trent Jones-designed Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course built with WPA funding and he’s also the guy who founded Amsterdam’s WCSS Radio Station. Any of those feats would be a pretty successful lifetime achievement for a resident of this City. The fact that he accomplished all three, make Art Carter a nominee for one of the Rug City’s most productive citizens ever.

He was born in Kidderminster, England on Christmas Eve of 1897. His father was trained in carpet making which explains why the family moved to Amsterdam in 1906 and settled in the East End neighborhood of the City. The future mayor had no desire to follow in his father’s career footsteps so after serving a military hitch during WWI, he got a job in a grocery store and married a local gal named Lorraine Conrad in 1923. He was a political animal at a young age, getting knee deep in the affairs of the City’s Democratic Party and becoming a loyal East End operative of party boss Mike Wytrwal. His first three attempts to become Mayor were unsuccessful but he did secure a government job with the New York State Department of Audit & Control in 1926. It was while working in that position that he first met then New York State Governor Franklin Roosevelt.

By 1933 the entire World was in the midst of an economic meltdown …

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

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