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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Harris G. Collins

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 329-330 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Harris G. Collins, treasurer and general manager of the Gloversville Knitting Company, is the oldest son and business successor of the late Edward C. Collins, who was one of the founders and for twenty-seven years the general manager of this great concern. An extended account of the father's life will be found on another page of this work. Born in Gloversville, November 14, 1887, Mr. Collins is one of the men the city is proud to claim as a native son.

After obtaining an elementary and secondary education in the public and high schools of Gloversville Harris G. Collins attended Dean Academy of Franklin, Massachusetts, and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Schenectady. [Editorial note: RPI is in Troy, Union College is in Schenectady.] It was while he was still a student in the latter institution that his father called upon him to leave his studies and come home to take a position with the Gloversville Knitting Company as a traveling salesman. Until 1917 Mr. Collins continued on the road as a salesman for the firm, meeting with consistent and substantial success. Upon coming in off the road he went into the office to learn the executive branch of the business and a year later, in 1918, was made assistant manager of the plant, helping his father, who was general manager. He succeeded to the important position of general manager after the death of his father toward the close of 1922, and has held that post ever since. In 1923 he was made secretary of the company and a year later, treasurer. At this time the office of secretary was given to his younger brother, Ralph, so that now Harris G. is general manager and treasurer of the Gloversville Knitting Company. L. N. Littauer, one of the founders of the concern is president, and Edward S. Parkhurst, another founder, is vice president. Since the firm was organized, almost thirty years ago, the capital has been increased from fifty thousand dollars to seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, a pretty accurate indication of the growth of its business. The home plant at Gloversville employs three hundred people, while the branch establishment at Schenectady has one hundred and seventy-five employes. The product of these plants is sold to jobbers who supply the retail trade, there being no direct sales to retail merchants.

Mr. Collins was married to Miss Clara M. Colin on June 16, 1913. Mrs. Collins is the daughter of the late Joseph Colin, a former glove manufacturer of Johnstown, and his wife, Sarah (Slayter) Colin. Mr. Colin was born in Strasbourg, France, whence he came to the United States in early life and made his home in Gloversville until his death in 1899. His widow, a native of Johnstown, New York, now resides in this city.

As an active Mason, Mr. Collins is identified with the various bodies of that fraternity in this city and is also a Noble of Cyprus Temple of the Mystic Shrine of Albany. He belongs to the First Methodist church of this city, in whose activities he is prominent as a member of the official board. His connections with the Chamber of Commerce as one of its directors and with the local Kiwanis Club as vice president, indicate an active interest in those matters that make for civic progress and commercial development, nor is his support ever wanting for any worthy cause of this nature. Mr. Collins belongs to the Eccentric Club, among whose members he has many warm friends and politically he is affiliated with the republican party. In financial circles he is also known as a director of the City National Bank of Gloversville. He has succeeded because he has never hesitated to assume responsibility, nor refused to undertake a difficult piece of work. By his earnest devotion to his work he has risen to a singularly responsible and important position for a man of his age and rightly deserves to be ranked among the leading younger business men of Gloversville.

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