Profile of Hon. Edward J. Hand

Amsterdam, NY


From: "Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association, the Twenty-Fifth Annual Meeting, Buffalo, 1924," Vol XXIII, Quarterly Journal Vol. VI, 1925, published by the New York State Historical Association, 1925.

Hon. Edward J. Hand, city clerk of Amsterdam, died at St. Mary's Hospital, December 6, 1922, following an illness of over a month.

Mr. Hand was born October 25, 1866, in the town of Glen, the son of John and Jane E. (Bennett) Hand. His parents moved to Buffalo when he was a small child, and some years later they settled in Amsterdam. Mr. Hand attended the district school and the Amsterdam Academy.

As a young man he worked in the Merchants Bank, then located on East Main Street. After leaving the bank, he was associated for several years with Tunis Peck in the manufacture of Brooms. This partnership was dissolved in 1892, and for a time Mr. Hand was connected with the Amsterdam office of the Union Special Machine Company. Subsequently for fifteen years, he was located in Buffalo, where he was associated with the extensive stone and cement business of his uncle, Lewis J. Bennett. In 1908 he returned to Amsterdam and for a time he was connected with the offices of S. Sanford & Sons, and also with the Amsterdam City National Bank as an expert accountant.

Mr. Hand was named as city auditor by Mayor James R. Cline when that official took office in 1914. He served as auditor and private secretary during the four years of Mayor Cline's administrations, and was reappointed by Mayor Conover for the next two years. May 15, 1920, he resigned as auditor and the following month he was named as city clerk to fill the unexpired term of Thomas J. Hazlett, deceased. He was reappointed city clerk in 1921 and held the position until his death.

In politics Mr. Hand was for many years a staunch Democrat. In 1892 he was elected to the assembly where he served one year. In 1920 he served as a member of the Democratic State committee for Montgomery County, from which position he resigned before the expiration of his term.

Mr. Hand was a member of Highland Lodge, No. 835, F. and A. M. of Buffalo, and of Ismalia temple, Order of the Mystic Shrine, Buffalo, and of the Buffalo consistory of the Scottish bodies. In 1913 he became a member of the Masonic Club of Amsterdam. He was also a member of Amsterdam Lodge, No. 101, B.P.O.E., and of the Schenectady Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

The surviving relatives are his wife, formerly Miss Margaret Mabon, whom he married in September, 1905, in Buffalo; his mother and several cousins all of Amsterdam.

In the death of Mr. Hand, the city lost a capable official and a popular citizen. His make-up was characterized by a desire to do his work well, and the affairs of his public office were conducted with that end in view. As an official he felt that he held his position to serve the public. He liked people and people liked him, because by both word and act he was always ready to show his good feeling.

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