A good friend of mine happens to also be a Facebook friend of mine too and he’s always posting these political comments that are designed to get the conservative right side of his FB Friends list arguing with the liberal left side. Early on, I noticed two different folks named “Adler” both claiming to be from Amsterdam, participating in one of those discussions and that name sounded familiar. So I decided to research it a bit and sure enough it led me to another Amsterdam birthday and another interesting story about our city’s intriguing past.
Back in 1871, an Austrian-Jewish immigrant named Isaac Adler opened up a clothing store on East Main Street in Amsterdam, NY, which would become the go-to destination for men’s apparel in this city for the next half-century. In 1891, Isaac brought his son, Julius Adler into the business and renamed the store Adler & Son. Isaac died in 1902 and for the next 26 years, Julius kept the business going. At one point he made two of the store’s salesmen, Frank Swan and Jack Kyser partners in the venture, cleverly forming the advertising acronym ASK in the process.
By 1928, Julius was ready for a change of careers and he closed the store and became the local underwriter for New York Life Insurance Company. His only son Ivan would attend both Union College and Columbia University before returning to Amsterdam and joining his father in the insurance business. Ivan also married a Catholic girl from Canajoharie named Mary Sullivan. The couple would have three boys. The oldest of those boys, James Adler was born on August 9, 1939 and is today’s Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant…(more to come)
My complete birthday post for today will appear in the new second edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam, NY Birthdays, which will be available before the 2016 Holiday season. I also distribute an Amsterdam, NY Birthday Blog Monthly Newsletter that includes the full birthday posts for three of the twenty-to-thirty people whose birthdays I recognize each month. Each newsletter also includes an Amsterdam Birthday Quiz that will test your knowledge and memory of people and events in your hometown.
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