Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hudson and History

Because of the renovations going on there now, Gossips has been giving a fair amount of attention to our beautiful Beaux Arts Columbia County courthouse, designed by Warren and Wetmore. That attention inspired Bob Weinman to share this picture, which he came upon recently while straightening up.

These guys, in their overcoats and fedoras, may look like extras from a prequel to The Godfather, but they're not. This is the 1936 Columbia County Board of Supervisors, and in the front row, third from the left, is Weinman's own grandfather, George J. Weinman. The others are: [Row 1] Richard E. Cullen, Howard M. Hallenbeck, Weinman, Allen E. Phelps, J. P. Lasher (Chairman), Frank M. Briwa (Clerk), Edward West, Harry George; [Row 2] Sterling Wyckoff, Milton V. Saulpaugh (Sheriff), Joseph R. Veit, George Spaulding, Fay Van Duesen, A. Parker Boice, H. Delavan Stickles, Samuel E. Swift, L. Proceus Hover (Superintendent of Highways); [Row 3] James W. O'Neill, Hugh Potter (County Treasurer), Edward C. Johnson, Grant A. Miller (County Clerk), Ralph Hamm, Morton L. Fingar, William B. Daley, Jr., John McHugh, George B. Van Valkenburgh, Frank L. Kent, Sherwood B. Speed (County Attorney).

Note the original front door of the courthouse. Wouldn't it be grand if we could have that back?

To put this picture in the context of history, here are some things that happened in the world in 1936:

  • On January 20, Edward VIII succeeded his father as king of England, and eleven months later, on December 11, he abdicated, so he could marry American divorcee Wallace Simpson.
  • Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, was first published.
  • The 11th Olympic Games took place in Berlin. Adolf Hitler opened the games, and African American Jesse Owens gained international fame by winning four gold medals.
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected for a second term as President in a landslide victory over Republican Alfred M. Landon.


  1. The Supervisors in 1936 were much better dressed than the public officials of today.

    -- Jock Spivy

  2. That door and the door on City Hall back would be great. And yes, more style in clothing.

  3. I'm not sure exactly who accurate this is, but:

    In 1936 the average cost of new house was $3,925.00. Average wages per year were $1,713.00. The cost of a gallon of gas was 10 cents. The average cost for house rent was $24.00 per month. A loaf of Bread was 8 cents and a pound of Hamburger Meat was 12 cents. A Studebaker Car cost $665.00

    Oh, and that was also the year the Spanish Civil War broke out. I wonder what these supervisors thought about that?