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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Bessie Tina Ecker

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 638-639 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Among the women who have achieved a place of distinction in the business and professional life of Herkimer is Miss Bessie Tina Ecker, secretary and treasurer of the West Canada Lumber Company and an official in a number of other Herkimer county concerns. She was born in Bethel, now Deck, New York. Her father, William Alvaro Ecker, was a native of the same place, and died in Mohawk on April 12, 1912, at the age of seventy-one, his birth having occurred on the 4th of December, 1840. He was the son of Levi and Tina (Sliter) Ecker. Miss Ecker's mother, who bore the maiden name of Sarah Elizabeth Shoemaker, was the daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Wright) Shoemaker, and was born in Fox Hollow, New York.

Bessie Tina Ecker attended the district school of Deck and the high school at Mohawk, after which she prepared for a business career by a course of study at the Fairfield Military Academy, from which she graduated in 1898. The first position which this ambitious young woman held was that of stenographer for Hadley Jones, an attorney of Little Falls, for whom she worked a year. After spending another year in legal work in the office of H. A. DeCoster of Little Falls, she went to the Utica Gas & Electric Company as cashier and stenographer, where she was employed for two years. In 1903 Miss Ecker came to Herkimer as private secretary to Mr. Strobel, a position she has held ever since. Meanwhile, she has been gradually extending her interests until she is connected officially with a number of business enterprises of this community. She is vice president and secretary to the Herkimer County Realty Corporation, director of the Herkimer Milk Company, director of the Herkimer County Realty Corporation, and holds a similar position in the West Canada Lumber Company, of which she is also secretary and treasurer. Another local concern in which she owns stock is the Pulmonol Corporation of Herkimer, which manufactures "Pulmonol," a tonic and remedy for colds, bronchitis and similar ailments. Miss Ecker also has an interest in Gaundawaneh Park, located in the town of Ohio (formerly Wilmurt), containing one thousand acres of land, including four beautiful lakes.

It needs only a glance at this list of enterprises to convince one that Miss Ecker is a woman of unusual ability in the business field and is gifted with enviable powers of accomplishment. She has made for herself a high place in the esteem of her associates and fellow townsmen who regard her as one of the substantial and worthwhile citizens of the village.

Miss Ecker is very active in the work of the republican party and the Herkimer county organization of the New York State League of Women Voters, of which she is secretary. She is also a member of the Daughters of the Revolution, General Nicholas Herkimer Chapter of Herkimer, New York, and a member of the Business and Professional Women's Club of Herkimer. Her religious affiliations are indicated by her membership in Christ Episcopal church.

Miss Ecker has a great aunt, Mrs. Lina Ecker Filkins by name, who was one hundred and nine years old on May 4, 1924. On this day Mrs. Ecker, the mother of Miss Ecker, took her for an automobile ride. She is in possession of all her faculties, and can see without glasses, but is a little deaf.

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