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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Melvin W. Lethbridge

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 487-488 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Melvin W. Lethbridge, an honored veteran of the Spanish-American war, is widely and favorably known, owing to his activities as a member of the New York National Guard, with which he has long been prominently identified. For eighteen years he has been armorer at the state armory and is also filling the office of deputy sheriff of Montgomery county. His residence in Amsterdam covers a period of forty-four years and he is familiar with the events which have shaped the history of the city and directed its course during that time, bearing his part in the work of upbuilding and development. He was born March 17, 1866, at Hope Falls, in Hamilton county, New York, and his ancestors were patriots who proved their loyalty to America by heroic service in the Revolutionary war. His father, William R. Lethbridge, was born in Wayne county, and his mother, Francelia E. (Dean) Lethbridge, was born in Edinburgh, Saratoga county, New York. The father followed the occupation of farming, and both were representatives of old and highly respected families of the Empire state.

Melvin W. Lethbridge received a public school education and afterward mastered the trades of carpet weaving and carpentering. He came to Amsterdam in 1880, when a boy of fourteen, and secured work in the carpet mills, in which he was employed for seventeen years. In 1897 he accepted a position at the state armory and in 1906 was made armorer, in which capacity he has since served. Mr. Lethbridge has always been keenly interested in military affairs and was one of the organizers of what is now Company G, one Hundred and Fifth Infantry, which on September 3, 1888, was mustered into the state service. When the United States became involved in war with Spain he offered his aid to his country, joining Company H, Second New York Volunteer Infantry, May 2, 1898, of which he was made quartermaster sergeant, and served until the close of that conflict, receiving his honorable discharge on December 1, 1898. He then returned to Amsterdam and resumed his work at the armory. Mr. Lethbridge served for ten years as corporal and sergeant and for fifteen years as private and clerk of his company and on October 13, 1913, was commissioned second lieutenant by brevet, and placed on the retired list and received the state medal for twenty-five years of faithful service in the New York National Guard. The medal is made of gold and Mr. Lethbridge and Captain George Hughes are the only men in Amsterdam who have achieved this distinction. During the World war Mr. Lethbridge was detailed by the adjutant general of New York to assist the quartermaster department in transferring all regimental property from the state to the United States government. He had many other responsibilities and discharged his duties with characteristic thoroughness and efficiency.

On September 16, 1903, Mr. Lethbridge was married to Miss Louisa Myers, a daughter of Harmon and Amelia (Coton) Myers of Duanesburg, New York. Mr. Lethbridge is liberal in his political views, voting according to the dictates of his judgment, and stands at all times for progress, reform and improvement in public affairs. Since 1916 he has been deputy sheriff of Montgomery county and zealously performs the tasks assigned him, never faltering in the face of danger and bending every energy toward safeguarding the interests intrusted to his care. He is connected with the Spanish-American War Veterans Association and along fraternal lines is identified with the Masonic order, being a life member of Artisan Lodge, No. 81, F. & A. M., and Amsterdam Chapter No. 84. Mr. Lethbridge is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being affiliated with Amsterdam Lodge, No. 134. Measured by the standard of usefulness his life has been a successful one, and his friends are legion. He is also a member of several historical societies and the National Geological Society.

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