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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
George W. Bellinger

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[This information is from pp. 169-170 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Portrait of George W. Bellinger

Portrait: George W. Bellinger

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George W. Bellinger, editor and publisher of the Cobleskill Index at Cobleskill, N. Y., was born in this town, December 18, 1843. His father, George Bellinger, was born, bred, and educated in Seward, Schoharie County, where he worked at farming until sixteen years old, and then learned the blacksmith's trade. When ready to establish himself permanently, George Bellinger came to Cobleskill, and was here industriously employed at his trade until his death, June 26, 1867. He married Miss Caroline Shafer, a daughter of Jacob Shafer, a prosperous farmer of this town, and a descendant of one of its earlier pioneers. Two children were born of their union; namely, George W., and a child that died when young. The mother is still living in Cobleskill.

George W. Bellinger received a practical education in the public schools of his district. Having become interested in the subject of photography when a young man, he had an opportunity to learn the art in 1865, when Mr. Oswald Burnett opened the first regular studio in the town on the third floor of the building now occupied by Charles H. Schaffer. Mr. Bellinger proved an apt pupil, and in a short time bought out his employer. Being a man of enterprise and good business ability, well endowed with artistic talent, he met with excellent success, and, having gained a wide reputation for superior skill, he won an extensive and lucrative patronage in this and surrounding towns. Removing to the present site of the dental parlors of Dr. L. T. Browne, he there carried on his work until the fire of 1873, which destroyed all of his equipments.

The following month Mr. Bellinger embarked in a new career. He bought the Cobleskill Index, which was established in 1865 by William H. Week and the Hon. Henry E. Abel, and during the twenty-six years that this paper has since been under his management he has kept it in a leading position among the local journals of Schoharie County. It has been greatly enlarged, its circulation increased fourfold, and its subscription rate reduced from a dollar and a half to one dollar per year. Through its columns he has been a strong advocate of all movements tending to benefit the community, and has rendered valuable aid to the Democratic party by his sound and stirring editorials. He has also been influential in establishing different organizations in the locality, among them being the Cobleskill Agricultural Society, formed in 1876, largely by his personal efforts and his "talks" on the subject in the Index. Mr. Bellinger was a member of this association's board of management from its inception to the year 1898, and during a like period he served without salary as its secretary.

He has also been secretary and treasurer of the Cobleskill Rural Cemetery Association six years, and has served two terms as one of the village trustees. He is prominently connected with the Farmers' and Merchants' Bank, of which he was one of the projectors, as a member of the finance committee; and is president of the Schoharie and Otsego Mutual Fire Insurance Company. In politics he has always been a loyal Democrat.

In the year 1871 Mr. Bellinger married Miss Minnie Moulton, the only daughter of the Hon. F. P. Moulton, an able and influential citizen of Montgomery County. Mr. and Mrs. Bellinger have two children, namely: Vernon M., teller in the Farmers' and Merchants' Bank; and Maud S.

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