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NEWSLETTER LANSINGBURGH HISTORICAL SOCIETY
P.O. BOX 219,
LANSINGBURGH, NEW YORK 12182-0219
www.lansingburghhistoricalsociety.org our webaddress email@example.com our email address
On Tuesday night May 14th the Rensselaer County Legislature concluded it proceedings with a memorial statement honoring Gordon Wayne Brown for his many contributions to the Lansingburgh school community and our community in general. It states a condolence message to his immediate and extended family who will be invited to a presentation ceremony in June. This year’s LHS GALA and silent auction will be a memorial to honor our friend and colleague Gordie Brown. The GALA will take place on October 17th at the Veterans of Lansingburgh Hall on First Avenue and 121st St. A team of fund raising volunteers will be canvassing members, businesses and friends of LHS in the near future for donations and reservations for the event. Auction donations this year are running somewhat higher in value than in the past. Make and pay for your reservations early because this year only prepaid guests may attend. We Were Burghers Once, a Facebook group for and about people who have roots in Lansingburgh have teamed with the LHS to sponsor a benefit clam steam on August 10th. The Burghers have generously offered to donate proceeds to the LHS. The clam steam was conceived and planned by Jim Norton and Kay DeRosa. We Were Burghers Once is a great way to reconnect with old friends, learn about interesting places in the Burgh, and even learn about the history of Lansingburgh through photos and stories of its past. It has more than 500 members. It is free to join by going to their Facebook page and you will enjoy the daily exchange of memories and info about the Burgh. See more about the clam steam below.
EVENTS AND PROGRAMS
SUNDAY JUNE 2nd OPEN HOUSE , at Melville House. In conjunction with the New York State Path through History Weekend, we are holding an open house. Historical society officers and trustees will answer questions on the restoration of our headquarters, the history of Lansingburgh, and especially on Herman Melville. The attic museum will be open. Light refreshments will the served.
SATURDAY JUNE 8th PORCH
cents to $25! Kitchen and household items, local post cards, antique & collectible glass and
china, antique tools, iron trivets, collectible soda, beer & m& other perennial plants. No junk!
Proceeds benefit the restoration of the historic 1786 Herman Melville house. If you wish to
donate items for the sale call 235-4041 medicine bottles, quality modern gift items, hostas,
SATURDAY AUGUST 3~ INAUGURAL HERMAN MELVILLE BIRTHDAY FEST WILL BE HELD AT THE MELVILLE HOUSE 10 AM.
Dennis C. Marnon, Administrative
Officer, Houghton Library,
SATURDAY AUGUST 10- CLAMSTEAM at the Veterans of Lansingburgh Pavilion
Jointly sponsored by We Were Burghers Once and the LHS. All proceeds benefit the LHS. Raw clams, hamburgers, hotdogs, sausage and peppers, clam chowder, beer and soda available through the day. Dinner consisting of steamed clams, ½ barbequed chicken, baked potato, corn-on-cob, watermelon, tossed salad, rolls. You may bring munchies, salads, or desserts to share. 50/50 raffle. $35 (in advance) for each reservation to Kay DeRosa. Contact Maria Chalifoux firstname.lastname@example.org or Kay DeRosa email@example.com for more details. This promises to be a fun filled afternoon with opportunity to renew old acquaintances, catch up on what’s new, talk about the time you tried to fill the well at the old Lansingburgh High School, etc. Hope to see you there!
In February we received an email inquiry
from someone in the
Even more interesting is the story of
this man who enlisted
Three brothers of Philo were also Civil
War soldiers. Demerest died in a Union hospital in
Philo reenlisted in the US Army in 1871.
The early 1870s were a period of serious economic depression in the
The Springfield MA Republican newspaper reported May 25, 1866 that a Superior Court Grand Jury offered several indictments, among them Philo Snyder on a charge of polygamy. On May 30th of that year Philo entered a plea of guilty to the polygamy charge.
Also in May 1866 he was tried in
Philo married once again in 1870 to Mary Hendricks Wheeler, the widow of Albert B Wheeler who died in Virginia in 1864 serving the Union. She had been receiving a pension for Albert’s service at the time she met Philo. For whatever reason the marriage to Philo ended in divorce in 1872. The divorce reinstated Mary’s pension.
He married Catherine Taylor in Troy. She was the widow of Alpheus David Lynch who died from combat injuries in July 1864 in Washington DC. Catherine was granted a pension as Alpheus’ widow. She later married Philo Snyder which was grounds to have the pension benefit withdrawn. Philo did not continue to live with Catherine which seemed to be a pattern of his behavior with others of the six wives he accumulated over his lifetime. When the pension office learned of the remarriage they sent investigators to question Catherine, Philo, the minister who performed the marriage, neighbors, friends and just about anyone who knew the couple or the children born to Catherine. When questioned about the marriage Catherine stated in her deposition that she could not remember ever having been married to Philo Snyder. Rev. Sheldon, who married them stated that he clearly remembered marrying them, stating the date and location of the ceremony. Friends could not remember the names of the witnesses but s few recalled that one of the witnesses was now dead and that the other had moved away.
There were four children of Alpheus David Lynch that would be beneficiaries of his pension provided there was no legal remarriage. The file goes on for 127 pages of depositions, court testimony, and decisions of the Pension Office. The end result was that the pension was reinstated to benefit the four children all under the age of sixteen, until each reached that age. Catherine’s marriage was judged illegal because it was not consummated (or at least that’s my interpretation of the legalese in the documents).
In 1880 he was tried for bigamy in New York and served time in the NYS Penitentiary at Dannemora in Clinton County. But that was not the end.
Philo went on to marry Alice Bennett in Troy in 1882 according to the NY Vital Records Index. That appears to be the last of the six marriages. He apparently was abusive to his wives and went to prison for that in September 1882.
He died on March 26, 1894 in Lansingburgh. He lived on Fifth Avenue near 108th Street at the time of his death. His death certificate indicated he’s buried in the Village Burying Ground at 107th Street and Third Avenue.