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Cohoes in Albany County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Horace B. Silliman

His Life and Legacy

 
 
Horace B. Silliman Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, March 18, 2011
1. Horace B. Silliman Marker
Inscription. Horace Brinsmade Silliman was born in 1825. He was educated in Albany Academy, graduated from Union College in 1846 ( a member of Phi Beta Kappa) and later received honorary degrees from Union and Hamilton Colleges.
Silliman first became a druggist, opening a shop on Remsen Street in Cohoes. In 1849, Silliman and Stephen C. Miller established a newspaper, the Cohoes Cataract, for which Silliman was publisher until 1851. Silliman amassed a large fortune in the mill supplies business during the Industrial Revolution. He was a stockholder in several mills in Cohoes, served on a committee that developed a plan for a new reservoir and reliable water system for Cohoes, was first president of the C.H. Adams Steamer (Fire) Company and was a Trustee of the First National Bank in Cohoes.
Silliman's selfless civic contributions were many and included: organizing a school district in Cohoes in 1849; improving the community cemetery grounds; assisting in the distribution of relief to the poor; establishing a soup kitchen; and, supporting the Cohoes and other chapters of the YMCA.
During the Civil War, Silliman took a prominent role in the war effort and in fundraising for soldiers' relief during and after the war. He also led fundraising efforts to assist victims of the great Chicago fire of 1871 and the San Francisco earthquake
Horace B. Silliman Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, March 18, 2011
2. Horace B. Silliman Marker Detail
Silliman in 1890
1906.
Silliman's infrastructure contributions included: coordinating the purchase of a fire engine for the Harmony Company; procuring water for additional industrial power; assisting in establishing the Cohoes Hospital; and, helping fund construction of its two large additions and permanent equipment. Silliman was one of the first officials elected in 1870 when Cohoes became a city, serving as Trustee of the Waterworks Sinking Fund. Because of his importance as a community leader, Silliman delivered the address at the dedication of Cohoes' new City Hall in 1895.
Silliman contributed to Cohoes through both philanthropy and public service. He dedicated his life to promoting pride in this city and making it a better place to live for his and future generations. His greatest gift to the city was the Silliman Memorial Church, constructed in 1896 to memorialize his parents' founding of a Presbyterian Church in Cohoes. The Romanesque revival church stood proudly on this spot until being demolished in 1998.
Horace B. Silliman died on May 4, 1910 at 84, leaving an astounding legacy of selfless contributions to Cohoes as well as capital funding and scholarships for Hamilton College, Union College, and Mount Hermon Academy, building the Silliman Lodge in New Jersey (a home for girls, affiliated with the Christadona settlement house in New York City), and, establishing
Horace B. Silliman Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, March 18, 2011
3. Horace B. Silliman Marker Detail
Silliman Memorial Presbyterian Church was a historic Presbyterian church located at Cohoes in Albany County, New York. The complex was built in 1896-1897 and consisted of a church, a church house, and a manse. The Romanesque style church was a square structure constructed of brownstone and brick with an engaged tower at each corner. It featured various gables and turrets on the roof covered in slate. The church house was a two and one half story, Richardsonian Romanesque style building. The manse was a two story stone residence with a Tudor arch doorway. The complex was demolished in 1998.
Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Philippines. In tribute of him it was said: "He dedicated his entire life to the performance of deeds of charity and benevolence ... a man whose every thought and deed was productive of good"
 
Erected 2004 by Spindle City Historical Society.
 
Location. 42° 46.477′ N, 73° 42.028′ W. Marker is in Cohoes, New York, in Albany County. Marker can be reached from Mohawk Street near Ontario Street, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. The marker is in Silliman Memorial Park which is on the west side of Mohawk Street directly opposite Cohoes City Hall. The park is the former location of the Silliman Memorial Church. . Marker is in this post office area: Cohoes NY 12047, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cohoes City Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); First Power Mill for the Manufacture of Knit Fabrics (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Egberts & Bailey Mill (about 500 feet away); The Erie Canal (approx. 0.4 miles away); Cohoes - Waterford Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Cohoes Mastodont
Horace B. Silliman Marker in H.B. Sillliman Memorial Park image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 6, 2011
4. Horace B. Silliman Marker in H.B. Sillliman Memorial Park
(approx. 0.4 miles away); White Homestead (approx. half a mile away); Cohoes Mastodon (approx. 0.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Cohoes.
 
Also see . . .  Silliman Memorial Church, Cohoes, NY On Peter Sefton's Lost Landmarks of Upstate New York. (Submitted on April 1, 2011, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.
 
Silliman Memorial Church image. Click for full size.
New York State Historic Preservation Office
5. Silliman Memorial Church
The Church was built by Horace Silliman as a gift to the city of Cohoes in honor of his parents. The church's cornerstone was laid on April 25, 1896; the completed structure was dedicated on May 6, 1897.
Silliman Memorial Presbyterian Church Cornerstone image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, March 18, 2011
6. Silliman Memorial Presbyterian Church Cornerstone
This cornerstone is on display in the Silliman Memorial Park
Horace B. Silliman Memorial Park image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, March 18, 2011
7. Horace B. Silliman Memorial Park
These corner signs in the park replaced the previous temporary signs. The Spindle City Historic Society purchased the new signs and organized a re-dedication ceremony and reception in September 2010.
Horace B. Silliman Memorial Park, Cohoes, New York image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 6, 2011
8. Horace B. Silliman Memorial Park, Cohoes, New York
The marker is in the background in front of the brick building on the right and next to the lamp post.
Horace B. Silliman Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, November 30, 2011
9. Horace B. Silliman Marker
December visitors to the Silliman Park will enjoy the Christmas decorations on display, however they may have a difficult time spotting the Silliman marker because the Toy Soldier's Guard Shack is standing over the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 1,303 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.   4. submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.   5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.   8. submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.   9. submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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