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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Stanton Courter

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[This information is from pp. 293-294 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Stanton Courter, a well-known manufacturer and builder of Cobleskill, N. Y., was born in this town, February 23, 1839. His father, the late Charles Courter, was for many years an influential resident of Cobleskill. His paternal grandfather, Ralph Courter, who was born and bred in Germany, came to America, and, after living a short time in New Jersey, removed to Schoharie, where he engaged in the manufacture of shoes.

Charles Courter, one of a family of seven children, spent his early life in Schoharie, but when a young man began work on his own account in Middleburg as clerk in a store. Going thence to Lawyersville, he there engaged in business until his removal to Cobleskill, in 1837. He subsequently assisted in building the Albany & Susquehanna railway, of which he was for many years a director. He also built many fine brick blocks in Cobleskill; but after the disastrous fire of 1873, in which he lost heavily, he practically retired from active pursuits, although he retained real estate interests until his death, which occurred in 1879, at the age of threescore and ten years. He was a stanch Democrat in politics, and served as one of the village trustees a number of years. His wife, whose maiden name was Helen Lawyer, was horn in Lawyersville, and was a daughter of Thomas Lawyer, a lifelong resident of that town. She died at the age of sixty-eight years. Both parents were attendants of the Lutheran church. Five of their children survive; namely, Josephine, Stanton, Henrietta, Cordelia, and Helen C.

Stanton Courter in his youth attended academies at Schoharie and Fort Plain, and was afterward graduated from the Buffalo Commercial College. Before attaining his majority he went to Chicago, where his father had been instrumental in establishing the extensive lumber firm of C. Courter & Co., which dealt in lumber manufactured in its own mills in the timber districts of Michigan. He was there for a time in the employ of that company, and going thence to Milwaukee, Wis., he was connected with the extensive railway operators, Rogers, Courter & Co., until they sold the Milwaukee & Western Railroad to the St. Paul Railway Company, when he became confidential secretary of Sherburne S. Merrill, manager of the road under the new officials. In 1864 Mr. Courter returned to Cobleskill, and for eleven years was first cashier of the First National Bank, which he and his father had established. The following three years he spent in Pensacola, Fla., looking after the lumber interests of his father in that State. The Florida property being then sold to an English syndicate, Mr. Courter again returned to his native town, and on the death of his father succeeded him in business, becoming owner of the manufacturing plant of Courter & Overpaugh. With characteristic enterprise he has almost entirely rebuilt the original works, and now has a large factory finely equipped with modern machinery and appliances. In addition to turning out vast amounts of dressed lumber and building nmaterials of all kinds each year, he manufactures furniture of all descriptions, and as a contractor for buildings has erected some of the finest residences in this part of the county. His own dwelling, on the corner of Main and Grand Streets, is a spacious Colonial mansion, with large rooms and halls and high ceilings.

Mr. Courter also built the Cobleskill electric light plant, which has proved of inestimable value as a means of lighting the village, the corporation, and the residences of the town. Fraternally, he is a Mason, belonging to Cobleskill Lodge, F. & A. M.; and to John L. Lewis Chapter, R. A. M.

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