- Jennifer Donovan
Discover Downtown Gloversville Blog
Finding Family History in Gloversville
When the temperature is below zero and the wind chill makes it even colder, it’s hard to find the motivation to go exploring outside. Despite the chill in the air, discovering Gloversville and its history can still be done as there are many social media and websites dedicated to the history and culture of the Glove city.
I recently took advantage of these resources as I have discovered my great-parents were married and living in Gloversville in the early to mid-1900s. It is amazing to walk the streets of Gloversville and see some of the same buildings they saw such as the Glove Theatre (built in 1914) and the Gloversville Public Library (constructed in 1904). Many postcards depict that time period, and several are housed at the library’s resource room.
The family didn’t know much about George Erwin Conkling, and we only have two photos of him. One is taken of him working as a blacksmith. I found a wedding announcement that was published in a Gloversville paper in February 1913: “George E. Conkling and Miss Susie Edwards, both of Gloversville, were united in marriage yesterday at 5:30, at the parsonage of the St. James Lutheran Church. Rev. Joel E. Grubb, the pastor, performed the ceremony and Mr. and Mrs. Conkling Departed for a short wedding trip with the best wishes of a large circle of friends. The bridegroom is employed by John Myers, a coach maker, on Montgomery Street and the bride is a popular and well known woman of this city. They were attended by Mr. and Mrs. A.A. Blue.”
Through the Gloversville U.S. City Directories that can be found online and at the Gloversville Public Library’s Resource Room, I discovered George E. Conkling lived at 124 Fremont Street from 1913 to 1918 and worked at 9 Montgomery Street. I couldn’t find anything more on Susie in Gloversville and could only imagine that she worked in a nearby factory such as Zimmer and Son Glove Factory on South Arlington Avenue until she gave birth to my grandfather in 1913 as her obituary noted she worked as a glove worker in various local places.
While there is still to be known about their Gloversville years, walking the streets, meeting people and researching online and in person with local resources have filled in the gaps.
If you are interested in the history of Gloversville or your family’s history in that city, you may want to make an appointment to visit the Gloversville Public Library’s Resource Room for a great first step in your detective work. Fulton County Real Property Tax Service Agency’s Image Mate Online service is another tool that can help give history of buildings. The Fulton County Historian may also be of assistance and her office information can be found at this website. Gloversville’s history can also be found at the city's website. Facebook pages Gloversville History and Pictorial History of Gloversville have great photos to view of Gloversville's past.
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