February 19 – Happy Birthday John Keyes Warnick

Currently home to a dentist’s office, this East Main Street edifice was at one time the headquarters of Amsterdam’s First National Bank and the site of John Warnick’s death

John Keyes Warnick could have been the poster child for Amsterdam’s WASP community back at the turn of the Twentieth Century. Born on February 19, 1840, his Connecticut grandfather fought in the American Revolution. He attended Hobart College, graduating in 1859. He did not serve his country during the Civil War but instead returned to Amsterdam to study law under the tutelage of a local judge named Samuel Belding. He then moved to New York City to practice law there for a bit. When he returned to Amsterdam, he became a bookkeeper at the William K. Greene knitting firm. The Greene mills were located on the eastern side of Market Street, bordering the Chuctanunda Creek. They began where the Kirk Douglas Park is now located and extended up Market for about 350 feet. Warnick also married Ann Tooker, whose bloodline included the Veeder family that founded Amsterdam and the Kellogg’s of linseed oil fame here in the city.

When William K. Greene died in 1870, his sons Henry and E.P. brought in Warnick as a partner. By 1886, both of Greene’s sons were also dead and with Warnick now running the show, the company…

I’ve already started work on the second volume of “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays” and the rest of John Warnick’s story, including how he died will be featured in it. I will be sharing the complete posts of some of the Volume II birthday celebrants in future issues of the Amsterdam Birthday Blog Newsletter. If you are not yet a newsletter subscriber, you can sign up for free here.

Also born on February 19th was this Amsterdam orphan who became a WWII hero.

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