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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Leslie C. MacTaggart

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 158-159 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Leslie C. MacTaggart, proprietor of the Erie Garage of Fort Plain and a dealer in automobile accessories, is one of the younger generation of business men in the village and a comparative newcomer here. He has been in business in Fort Plain since August, 1922, when he bought out an automobile accessory business that he has since developed into his present prosperous enterprise. Born of English parentage in Lynn, Massachusetts, February 27, 1892, Mr. MacTaggart himself is an American by education and training, as well as by birth. His parents, William A. and Gertrude (Hayes) MacTaggart, came to the United States from England and settled in Lynn in 1885. The father was an electrical engineer by profession and was associated with the General Electric Company at Lynn until 1897, when he was transferred to the company's famous plant at Schenectady. There he resided until his death on February 10, 1915. His widow survives him and still makes her home in Schenectady.

As Leslie C. MacTaggart was only five years old when the family moved away from Lynn, he had all of his education in the Schenectady public and high schools. As a very young man he went out to California in quest of adventure and worked for a time in the famous orange orchards of the Golden state. Subsequently he had a varied career as a reporter for a newspaper in Riverside, California, in which connection he traveled extensively throughout the states, and as a member of the Engineering Corps of the San Diego & Arizona Railway for a year or so. Returning eventually to Schenectady, he entered the employ of the General Electric Company as a production engineer, being chiefly employed in the experimental laboratories, where he worked on X-ray tubes. In November of 1917, a few months after this country entered the World war, Mr. MacTaggart joined the American military service as a member of the Forty-fourth Balloon Company and was abroad for nine months. Following his honorable discharge from the army in May of 1919 he went back to his old position with the General Electric Company, where he remained until he came to Fort Plain. Desirous of eventually getting into business for himself, where he could direct his own policies and reap the fruits of his own labors, Mr. MacTaggart began to look about for a favorable opening. In August of 1922 he had the opportunity to purchase an automobile accessory business in Fort Plain that seemed to fulfill his requirements for a start in business life. That his judgment was correct has been amply demonstrated by his subsequent success. He has a prosperous garage, accessory and general repair business and specializes in the Raybestos brake service in a territory that embraces Canajoharie and St. Johnsville as well as Fort Plain. Since entering the automotive industry Mr. MacTaggart has leased a large modern garage to accommodate his business, which stands as a material evidence of his success in this line. The structure, fifty-six by one hundred and forty feet in dimensions, is built in accordance with the latest ideas of garage architecture and is equipped with every device that will contribute to the excellence and efficiency of the service.

Mr. MacTaggart is unmarried. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and a Shriner, belonging to Cyprus Temple of Albany, and is a member of the Fort Plain Masonic Club. His religious faith is that of the Reformed church and politically he ranks as a republican. By virtue of his splendid record in the World war he belongs to the American Legion and takes a great interest in the work that is being done along patriotic and social lines by that organization. Although he is a very young man to have progressed so far, Mr. MacTaggart has proved himself equal to every responsibility that he has assumed and can confidently look forward to a future as full of promise as his past has been of achievement.

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