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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Hawley B. Van Vechten

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 157-158 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Hawley B. Van Vechten, an influential and progressive young resident of Schenectady, is the editor, treasurer and business manager of the Citizens Publishing Company, with plant at Nos. 156 to 160 Barrett street, printing and publishing the only socialist and labor paper that is circulated between New York and Buffalo. He was born in Milton, Saratoga county, New York, on the 18th of November, 1885, his parents being Herman C. and Minnie F. (Hawley) Van Vechten, who were also natives of the Empire state, the former born in Rensselaer county and the latter in Saratoga county. Herman C. Van Vechten, who was successfully engaged in business as a painting contractor for many years, passed away in 1914 but is still survived by his widow, who makes her home at Johnstown, New York.

In the acquirement of an education Hawley B. Van Vechten attended the public schools of Johnstown, passing through consecutive grades to his graduation from the high school in 1903. Two years later he completed a course in a teachers training school and in 1908 was graduated from the State Normal School at Oneonta, Otsego county, New York. He had devoted his attention to the profession of teaching for two years when in 1909 he came to Schenectady, and here continued his work as an instructor for one year. Subsequently he spent a similar period as a clerk in the employ of the American Locomotive Company. It was in May, 1910, in association with Lieutenant Governor Lunn, that he began the publication of The Citizen as an independent journal. A stock company was organized in June, 1911, and because of the fact that members of the socialist party subscribed for the stock, the paper has since been a socialist organ. To its support Mr. Lunn largely owed his election as the first socialist mayor in the state of New York. The socialist organization also named the city appointments in Schenectady and Mr. Van Vechten was made city clerk, continuing in that capacity for two years — 1912-1913. During his incumbency he compiled a book of municipal statistics — a street directory containing photographs of eighty city officials, which had an extensive sale and circulation. Mr. Van Vechten was assistant editor of The Citizen prior to assuming the office of city clerk, and afterward became editor, treasurer and business manager of the Citizens Publishing Company, which issues a weekly with a circulation of two thousand. The company also does a large job business and its success may be attributed directly to the well formulated plans and hard work of its able young editor and manager. Mr. Van Vechten is likewise the secretary of the Socialist Local of Schenectady and is widely known as one of the enthusiastic and popular leaders of the party in this section. He resides at No. 115 1/2 Clinton street.

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