There’s a few things that haven’t changed in Amsterdam in over the past hundred years. The Chuctanunda still flows into the Mohawk. The Amsterdam Free Library is still going strong. And if you need a lawyer, you can still find an attorney named Salmon in the Amsterdam phone book. Of course you may not be able to still find an Amsterdam phone book because nobody uses them any more in this age of cloud connected cell phones and contact lists.
Carl Salmon Sr. began his family’s streak of dispensing legal expertise and services in this Rug City of our’s way back in 1911. He was born in Potsdam, NY and went to school to become a teacher originally, then switched to accounting and finally the law. He had a brother Del who was already a lawyer in Schenectady who helped him begin his studies, which he completed at Albany Law and after passing the New York State Bar in 1911 he opened his first office at 31 East Main Street here in Amsterdam on December 1 of that same year.
As it turned out, these were wise professional choices. His career zoomed and he became one of our town’s most prominent and successful citizens of all time, serving three terms as Mayor in the 1920’s and also becoming Montgomery County Surrogate Court Judge. He also became a father. He and his wife Hortense gave birth to a son, today’s Amsterdam Birthday Celebrant, Carl S. Salmon Jr. on September 20, 1920.
Young Carl attended public schools here until high school and then graduated from the Manlius Military Academy. He then went to Cornell Agricultural School in 1941 for his undergraduate degree before following in his dad’s footsteps and attending Albany Law. World War II and service in the Army Air Force interrupted his studies but he returned to complete them and pass the bar and then convert his Dad’s practice into a father & son law firm in 1947…
My complete birthday post for Mr. Salmon 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.
The monthly newsletter is free. If you’d like to receive it, just make sure your name and e-mail address are included on this list.