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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
John Carmichael

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 573-574 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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John Carmichael, who was an active factor in business circles of Amsterdam for a period covering about three decades, enjoyed the distinction of having been chosen the first mayor of the city in 1885. He spent the evening of life in honorable retirement and was in the eighty-second year of his age when called to his final rest. He was born in Albany, New York, on the 27th of September, 1821, his parents being David and Allison Carmichael. In the acquirement of an education he attended Albany Academy until 1835, when he accompanied his parents on their removal to Galway, Saratoga county, where he continued his studies in the Jersey Hill School until 1837. In the latter year he entered Johnstown Academy and in 1838 became a student in Union College, from which he was graduated in 1842. In the last named institution he was a classmate of John H. Platt. Returning to his home in Galway, he lived with his parents until 1860, when he came to Amsterdam and here embarked in the malt business, to which he devoted his attention with good success until the time of his retirement in 1889.

Mr. Carmichael was twice married. He first wedded Miss Laura Whiteside of Galway, New York, who passed away in 1870, leaving two children, John and Daniel. For his second wife Mr. Carmichael married Henrietta Stewart of Amsterdam, who survives him, together with their two daughters: Elizabeth Anna; and Helen Stewart, the wife of Gilbert T. Sugden of Lockport, New York.

A stalwart democrat in politics, Mr. Carmichael was made the first mayor of the city of Amsterdam in 1885, being elected by a majority of seven hundred and eighty-three. His constituents placed him on the ticket for reelection in 1886, but he was defeated by the republican candidate. He made a splendid record in the mayoralty, and it was written that he discharged his duties in a manner which won for him the admiration of his fellow citizens. In his demise the city of Amsterdam sustained the loss of one of her representative and highly honored residents.

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