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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Herbert M. Vosburgh

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 495-496 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Herbert M. Vosburgh, clerk of the surrogate court of Fulton county and practicing attorney of Johnstown, was born in the Town of Johnstown, on the 8th of June, 1886. His parents, Peter M. and Alice (Boshart) Vosburgh, were also natives of the Town of Johnstown and spent their lives in this vicinity. The father was engaged in farming in Fulton county for many years prior to his retirement in 1902 and spent the last four years of his life in this city, his death occurring in 1906. He is survived by his widow, who still resides here. Their son is a man who has risen to a desirable place in the professional world by dint of his own efforts.

Herbert M. Vosburgh obtained an elementary education in the district schools of the county and later attended the Johnstown high school and the Gloversville Business School. In 1903, at the age of seventeen, he entered the law office of Baker & Burton of Gloversville, where he was employed as a clerk and stenographer for five years and a half. At the end of that time he completed his unfinished high school education and took the civil service examination in stenography, as the result of passing which he was appointed to a position in the office of Indian affairs, department of the interior, Washington, D. C., in 1910. Like many other of the young men in the government employ in Washington, Mr. Vosburgh viewed his position merely as a stepping stone to something better and set about realizing his ambition to become a lawyer. Through his experience in the Gloversville law office he had gained a considerable knowledge of the subject and thus was able to secure his LL. B. degree at the close of three years of study, one year in the Washington College of Law and two at Georgetown University. These two Washington institutions offer courses in the late afternoons and evenings at hours that make them available to men and women in the government service and thus Mr. Vosburgh was able to prepare for his profession while holding his position in the department of the interior. After obtaining his bachelor's degree in 1914, he took a post-graduate course leading to the degree of Master of Law, in the Georgetown University Law School. In December of 1915 Mr. Vosburgh resigned his position in Washington to return to Johnstown, where, on January 1, 1916, he received his appointment as clerk of the surrogate court under Judge Calderwood. On the 9th of the following March he was admitted to the bar of New York state and has since been actively engaged in the practice of law in this city, in addition to filling his duties as clerk of the court.

On July 15, 1914, Mr. Vosburgh was married to Miss Jessie A. McFalls, the daughter of David H. and Grace (Thomas) McFalls, the former a native of St. Lawrence county, New York, and the latter of Gloversville. Her paternal grandfather was a prominent surgeon of St. Lawrence county during the Civil war period. David H. McFalls is examiner of titles, connected with the Home Title Company of Jamaica, Long Island. A lawyer by profession, he began to practice in Philadelphia, New York, and subsequently was active in that line of work in Johnstown, Gloversville, Buffalo, Ellensburg (Washington), and White Plains, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Vosburgh have become the parents of two sons: Richard Myndert, born in Washington, D. C., October 26, 1915; and Robert Dennison, born in Johnstown, December 24, 1917.

Since returning to his native city Mr. Vosburgh has taken an active part in its fraternal and religious life. He belongs to St. Patrick's Lodge, No. 4, F. & A. M. and is a member of the United Presbyterian church, which he is now serving as financial secretary. For two years he was also superintendent of the Sunday school. His political affiliations are with the republican party. Mr. Vosburgh is a lawyer of skill and integrity. He has won the respect of the other members of the Fulton county bar by his able legal work and efficient performance of the duties of clerk of the surrogate court and commands the confidence of the general public. His career is only begun and he may confidently look forward to a future as full of promise as his past has been of achievement.

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