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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Frank Van Brocklin

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 639-640 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

Contents | Portraits | Illustrations | Maps

The untimely demise of Frank Van Brocklin deprived Amsterdam of one of its foremost business men and a citizen of worth, whose record was a credit to the community in which his life had been passed and to the honored name he bore. He died suddenly in his room in Hotel Knickerbocker, in New York city, January 3, 1911, a the age of thirty-one years, when in the full flush of his powers. While his career was short it was symmetrical and complete, characterized by the accomplishment of valuable results and noteworthy achievement. His manhood bore the impress of sincerity and candor and he combined in a most unusual degree social gifts with keen business ability and soundness of judgment. He was born in Amsterdam, July 29, 1880, and was a son of William S. and Margaret (Kline) Van Brocklin, the former a pioneer in the manufacture of knit goods and one of the industrial leaders of the Mohawk valley.

After completing his education Frank Van Brocklin entered his father's knitting plant and earnestly applied himself to the task of learning the business, which he mastered in principle and detail. From the first he displayed strong perceptive powers and a natural aptitude for commercial affairs, so that he soon became an important factor in the conduct of the business. He was admitted to a partnership in the firm and assumed the duties of vice president, which he discharged until his father's death in 1908. He was then made president of the company and under his able management the business grew and prospered. It was at first located at the corner of Livingston and Chuctanunda streets and in 1910 Mr. Van Brocklin purchased the property of the New Globe Electric Company in the west end of the city. He built additions to the plant, which he greatly improved, providing the best facilities for the increased scope of the business. In its control he manifested the initiative, foresight and executive force which were distinguishing characteristics of his father's business career, and closely adhered to the high standards upon which the industry was founded.

Mr. Van Brocklin was identified with the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Welcome Lodge, F. & A. M.; Amsterdam Chapter, R. A. M.; Holy Cross Commandery of Gloversville; and Oriental Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Troy, New York. He was also connected with the Amsterdam Lodge of Elks, the Antlers Club of this city, the Mohawk Club of Schenectady, the Fort Johnson Club, of which he was a member for many years, the Amsterdam Board of Trade, and the American Knit Goods Association. Genial, courteous, sympathetic and generous, he found life well worth the living, and his passing was deeply mourned by a large circle of admiring friends as well as by the members of his immediate family.

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