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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Captain Ernest D. Hendricks

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 662-663 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Captain Ernest D. Hendricks, division engineer of the eastern division of the state of New York and a World war veteran, is one of our citizens who is entitled to honors for his achievements in times of peace as well as on the field of battle. Wherever he has found work to do he has done it well, earning the respect and confidence of his associates and contemporaries, as well as proving himself a man of ability. He was born in Ulster county, New York, on the 16th of December, 1879, son of D. Brodhead and Sarah E. (Eygnor) Hendricks, who likewise claimed that county as their birthplace. His father was a manufacturer and engaged in the production of hay presses at Kingston, Ulster county, for many years. He still lives there, although he has now retired from active business life. Captain Hendricks' mother died many years ago, in December, 1899.

Until he had finished his education Ernest D. Hendricks made his home in Kingston, where he attended the public schools and the Kingston Academy, graduating from the latter in 1898. He received his scientific training in Cornell University, where he obtained his C. E. degree in 1903. He has been engaged in the active practice of his profession as a civil engineer for over twenty years, during which he has worked in many states, including North Dakota, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Montana of the far west. For some time he was connected with the work of constructing the famous Hudson tunnels leading into New York city, and he also had valuable experience on some of the Jersey City engineering projects. In 1906 this young engineer was appointed to the post of assistant engineer for the state of New York and has worked his way up through various steps to his present office of division engineer for the eastern division of the state, which he has held since 1919. Captain Hendricks is an engineer of both wide experience and ability and is well qualified to assume the responsibility for the various engineering undertakings in his section of the state.

As his military title indicates, Captain Hendricks has seen active service in the military forces of the United States. In 1917 he entered the American army as a first lieutenant and was promoted to the rank of captain before being sent overseas with the Seventy-eighth Division. During the year he was in France he was with the British army at the battle of Flanders and with the Americans in the famous conflicts at St. Mihiel and the Argonne. He escaped with but a few "scratches" but was gassed while in action at the front. The following citation, couched in military terms, tells the story of Captain Hendricks' bravery:

"For distinguished and exceptional gallantry at Grand Pre, France, on the 30th of October, 1918, in the operations of the American forces; in testimony whereof, and as an expression of appreciation of his valor, I award him this citation.

"Awarded March 21, 1919.

"(Signed) John J. Pershing, Commander-in-Chief."

He was honorably discharged from the army May 19, 1919, and shortly resumed his position in Albany.

On the 17th of December, 1908, Captain Hendricks was married to Miss Anne Adams Muench, daughter of Godfrey and Anne (Adams) Muench and a native of Johnstown. Mrs. Hendricks' parents were both New Yorkers by birth. Her mother died in 1890, and her father, who was formerly in the furniture business in Johnstown, passed away in 1889. Captain and Mrs. Hendricks have two children: Francis Adams, born December 20, 1909; and Jane Elizabeth, born April 6, 1922.

While Captain Hendricks' work has required his spending so much of his time in Albany that he maintains a residence there, at No. 380 Quail street, he has always kept his legal residence in Fort Plain, and he is identified with a number of fraternal and social organizations of that vicinity, among them Fort Plain Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of the Masonic order; Fort Plain Masonic Club, and the Little Falls Country Club. In Albany he is known as a member of the University and Aurania Clubs, and he is also identified with the Van Schaick Country Club. He belongs to the Dutch Reformed faith and politically supports the republican party. Another organization in whose work he takes a keen interest is the American Legion. In connection with his professional activities Captain Hendricks maintains membership in the American Society of Civil Engineers, through which he follows the progress that is being made in engineering science in all parts of the country.

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