1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

Hinsdill Parsons Papers

1890-1912

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Abstract

Hinsdill Parsons, Esq. was born on February 10, 1864 in Hoosick Falls, New York, the son of J. Russell Parsons.

Summary

Creator:
Hinsdill Parsons
Date Coverage:
1890-1912
Quantity:
2 cubic ft.

Hinsdill Parsons, Esq. was born on February 10, 1864 in Hoosick Falls, New York, the son of J. Russell Parsons. One of five sons, he attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, graduating in 1884. While in college, Parsons joined Phi Beta Kappa and Delta Psi fraternities. He attended Albany Law School and graduated in 1885; he was admitted to the New York State Bar in the same year. In September 1889, he married Jessie Mary Burchard in Hoosick Falls, NY. In the same year, Parsons also became patent attorney for the Walter A. Wood Harvester Company in Hoosick Falls, of which his father was an incorporator. He worked there until he left for Schenectady to serve as General Counsel for the General Electric Company in 1894. In May, 1901, he was given control of General Electrics legal affairs and was elected vice-president of the company. At this time, Parsons was also elected President of the Schenectady Railroad Company. During his tenure with General Electric, Parsons was involved with various company anti-trust legal issues.

Parsons served on the board of directors for the Electric Bond and Share, the Washington Water Power, and the Knickerbocker Trust Companies, as a trustee for the General Electric Investment Club, as co-president of the Bully Hill Copper Mining & Smelting Company, and was a member of the University Club and the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

In a letter dated November 22nd, 1897, Parsons divulges to Mr. W. V. Baker of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company that his two life insurance policies held by Northwestern state differing birthdates because he is unsure of his age. No mention of his mother has been found in either Parsons records or in research materials. On April 28th, 1912, Parsons died in a car accident. He is buried in Vale Cemetery in Schenectady, NY.

The Hinsdill Parsons collection contains 2 cubic feet of paper records from Parsons employment at General Electric, as well as personal and financial papers. The majority of the collection is comprised of correspondence between Parsons and various professional and personal contacts, but the collection also includes financial reports and spreadsheets from General Electric and other companies on which Parsons served as a board member or trustee. Other areas of particular interest include records of stock and bond transactions both professional and personal and several maps of areas affected by GE-affiliated railway or utilities companies.

This collection covers the years between 1890 and 1912, with the bulk of the documents dating from 1900-1912. The General Electric and other financial documents deal primarily with investments in the United States; the majority of the documents are related to upstate New York matters, although interests in other locations include Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Oregon. General Electric and Parsons were also involved in activities in Europe and Mexico. Parsons also kept records of the various clubs and organizations of which he was a member, including meeting minutes and dues records. Other personal documents include legal documents such as insurance papers and estate records, as well as general correspondence with and financial advice given to friends and family members.

These documents were discovered in the Parsons' previous residence at 21 Front Street, Schenectady. Upon the death of Hinsdill Parsons' wife, Jessie Burchard Parsons, in 1951, this residence and its contents were bequeathed to Saint George's Episcopal Church, 28 North Ferry Street, Schenectady. Saint George's sold the house in 1989, and in 2000, a Mr. Kevin Decker wrote Dr. Gerald Zahavi, University at Albany Professor of History, to inform him of the existence of these documents.

The collection is divided into three series. All three series are arranged alphabetically by subject name and are generally in reverse chronological order within each folder. Series 1: General Electric, Oct. 1900-April 1911, contains correspondence, financial records, and company reports relating to GE business matters. Series 2: Financial Investments, April 1895-April 1912, contains documents regarding Parsons personal financial matters. Series 3: Personal, June 1890-April 1912, contains all other material of a personal nature not included in Series 2. Subjects in this series include family correspondence, property rights and deeds, Parsons involvement in committees and clubs, and personal investment advice. Two significant subjects in this series involve Parsons automotive interests and family estate communications.

The collection is organized into the following series: Series 1- General Electric, 1900-1911, Series 2- Financial Investments, 1985-1912, and Series 3- Personal, 1890-1912

These documents were discovered in the Parsons' previous residence at 21 Front Street, Schenectady. Upon the death of Hinsdill Parsons' wife, Jessie Burchard Parsons, in 1951, this residence and its contents were bequeathed to Saint George's Episcopal Church, 28 North Ferry Street, Schenectady. Saint George's sold the house in 1989, and in 2000, a Mr. Kevin Decker wrote Dr. Gerald Zahavi, University at Albany Professor of History, to inform him of the existence of these documents. All items in this manuscript group were transferred to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, in 2006.

Processed by: Michelle Scott

Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on

Published: 2017-04-14 11:23:44 -0400

EAD file created, 2016

Encoded in EAD by Encoded with EADMachine by Melissa McMullen, 2016 December

Archival materials can be view in-person during business hours in our reading room, located on the top floor of the Science Library on the Uptown Campus.

We can also deliver digital scans for remote research for a fee.

Access to these records is unrestricted.

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Copyright Statement

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, The Hinsdill Parsons Papers, 1890-1912. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Hinsdill Parsons Papers).

Contents of Collection

Quantity: 0.33 cubic ft.

Arranged Alphabetically.

This series contains correspondence, financial records, and company reports relating to GE business matters. This series includes administrative correspondence within the company, as well as correspondence with other GE affiliates and outside corporations.

BoxFolderContentsDate

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1 1Birmingham Gas Co., Consolidated Electric Light Co., & Birmingham Railway, Light & Power Co.1901 May- June

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1 2Binghamton General Electric Bonds sales & communications.1901 December- 1902 January

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1 3Culver, A. I. Phone conversation memorandum re: Railroad Rate Regulating Commission1905 May 16

dafceabe45fd1ddb17e553f55d1eb04b

1 4Chicago City Railway Company. GE rebate contracts; correspondence re: contracts, Chicago mayoral bookkeeping investigation/audit, Chicago co. personnel issues; newspaper clippings re: audit, contract cancellations.1907 Febraury- 1909 May

a5005fd10a9670af2b52ff008312cf96

1 5Chicago Edison Company. Royalty contract memorandum/clarification1904 July 16

bc33d2fa16eed34cffe7da6df3f456f6

1 6Electric Properties Company. Confidential advance copy of prospectus of new Westinghouse Company1906 April

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1 7Electric Undertakings Company. Prospectus.Undated

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1 8The Egyptian Petroleum Company, LTD. Annual general meeting report1908 December 30

5517206ee40fe62209ec2bddfc29eb13

1 9GE Finances. Audit, collections/delinquent accounts, company expense statements, P&L reports, communications re: delinquent companies accounts & personnel issues, executive committee report.1905 February- 1910 February

e991794d7f59f09e98014339655d52fc

1 10GE Investment Club. Correspondence, financial reports/summaries, stock/bond purchases, minutes1904 April- 1911 April

aebaa384aaabdd5a31c68b7a654d5c7d

1 11Greene Copper. Business transactions1901 December- 1904 November

f2a2b03f12ea72da25938805b18c8c4a

1 12Hotel (unnamed). Property sale, correspondence.1904 May-June

0a7edff87ef42863704cdc6a293c0995

1 13Houston Municipal Plant. Letter re: proposed municipal plant1900 October 16

de765d1710db3c4c2abcb6da0878a5a1

1 14Hudson River Telephone Company. Proposed ordinance1902 January 31

aa71b42066b53ec9a68272918041cad1

1 15Magee, Louis J. Business correspondence, foreign companies1906 May- 1907 April

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1 16Manhattan Railway Company. Bill cancellation1903 June 15

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1 17National Electric Lamp Company. Bonds. New York State National Bank1901 July- 1911 July

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1 18Niagara County Irrigation & Water Supply Company. Legislative monitoring expense1906 March

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1 19Nicholls, William S. Personal contact, business communications.1903 July- 1904 December

cab2d5ff7021a968041fbdbc5e8e46fd

1 20Peabody, George Foster. The Otis Inclined Railway1905 May-June

ce5a952c01a22ee04ee637e4c1695ebc

1 21Proposed Incandescent Lamp Company. Company proposal.1909 December 18

afcdbfc1f035806c995d3aa126fc9fe0

1 22Schenectady Railway Company. Financial statements, trolley line, bonds1903 August- 1912 January

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1 23The Schenectady Star Printing Company. Consolidation with The Daily Union (Schenectady Union-Star). Stock purchases.1902 January- 1911 August

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1 24Standard Light & Power Company. Stock purchase & communications. United Electric Securities Company1901 October-November

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1 25Special Collection Department. GE customer debt collection1907 August- 1908 October

83726e35fcbb442346c9ed2289960f45

1 26Unnamed. Magazine advertisement, paid confirmations, communications re: viaduct licensing/right-of-way issue.1901 October- 1904 July
Quantity: 1.12 cubic ft.

Arranged Alphabetically.

This series contains documents regarding Parsons personal financial matters. In some cases, the demarcation between Parsons personal and professional financial involvement is blurred, and a number of the financial documents in this series involve colleagues at General Electric. The series contains correspondence relating to personal loans and debts, stock and bond transactions, cancelled checks and receipts, insurance and tax information, property rights information, and various companies financial statements and plans.

BoxFolderContentsDate

01de83ba3c476efdae92afc9ba13fe13

2 1American Gas & Electric Co./Electric Bond & Share Co. Stock shares communication, purchase agreements, plan & reports. Railroad rights/eminent domain1906 December- 1912 January

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2 2Brooklyn City Railroad. Stock purchases & communications1910 July- 1911 July

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2 3Cohoes Gas Light Company. Stock purchase, communication with brother Willard P. Parsons, Anson Burchard1910 February- 1911 January

5ec668cbc2a1bc34e91d67613d4e6c9d

2 4Central Colorado Power Company. Purchase agreements, financial plans, annual reports, collections letters. Financial insolvency, Knickerbocker Trust Company1906 October- 1912 March

ddc004a54807443d213592ac5fdfb16f

2 5Cincinnati Gas & Electric Company. Blueprint map Schenectady railroad route. Leases between Cincinnatti Co. & Union Gas & Electric Company1905 March- 1912 April

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2 6Carnegie Trust Company. Account book, cancelled checks, personal investments.1909 January- 1910 December

6c4a57a103c40685880be86aabefe5f9

2 7United States Mortgage & Trust Company.. Charles Coffin investments, IOUs, receipts.1903 March- 1910 November

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2 8Chicago & Milwaukee Electric Railroad Company.. Stock shares.1905 March-April

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2 9Chesapeake & Ohio Company.. Stock shares.1899 July- 1900 November

65668fd8ba8203de9408c33acdcaa04b

2 10Fisher, A.M. Debt correspondence, IOU.1908 August- 1911 February

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2 11F.J.&G. (Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville Railroad Company). . Stock & bonds.1903 April- 1904 January

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2 12Great Northern Power Development Company. . Underwriters agreements, subscription correspondence, invoice letters.1904 December- 1908 May

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2 13Grenfell Syndicate. . Subscription; Grenfell Mexican Exploration Co. (copper mine).1906 May-August

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2 14Guanajuato Power and Electric Company. . Stockholder reports, banking & loan documentation, subscription/stock communication. Stone Canon Consolidated Coal Company of Maine stocks.1899 December- 1910 November

f0cf58c5c0efabee79e54b42327d67fb

2 15Golf Club Realty Company. . Stock communications.1907 January

f07845076c2f01bea8ca5f4d58edd0ef

2 16Harrington, F.A.. Investment correspondence (New York Air Brake Co., Electric Bond & Share Co.), memorandum, news clipping.1905 March-June

f7e8a8678f6dbde6677e75acd3314ce7

2 17Huston, Ernest. . Loan correspondence.1906 November- 1908 September

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3 1Home insurance policies, tax bills. . Receipts & correspondence.1903 May- 1912 July

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3 2Home electrical inspection. . Reports, correspondence.1905 March- 1910 March

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3 3Hyatt, Marshall. . Loan correspondence.1909 November- 1911 May

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3 4Lindsay, Charles. . Handwritten paid note.Undated

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3 5The Citizens Lighting Company of Louisville. . Stock/bond communications.1901 July- 1903 March

eab7602741d9d395ad0b1231a8338f57

3 6Miller, Elmer A.. Bank note communication, Schenectady Trust Company.June 3rd 1908

f84b01fa8ac97427589a2fac082c4aaa

3 7Miller, John H. . Loan communications.1907 December- 1908 January

e6b2ac8d8c8cfc6520efd0a99a27891b

3 8National Commercial Bank. . Payments/deposits.1911 June- 1912 February

9f73d52a0964f5e1dbc1120aaa04d8b1

3 9Nicholson, James. (Parsons chauffeur). . Expense accounts. Mortgage & deed. Receipts & bills.1908 October- 1912 March

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3 10Pennsylvania Water & Power Company. . Stock communications.1911 October- 1912 April

e1acf6fdaef7a3cf33ff8c5a6eca7ffb

3 11Parsons, Hinsdill (A). . Assorted financial reports, communications, cancelled checks, receipts.1895 April- 1908 October

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3 12Parsons, Hinsdill (B). . Assorted financial reports, communications, cancelled checks, receipts1895 April- 1908 October

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3 13Philadelphia Electric Company. . Annual reports, trust & land title documents. Stock purchases, communications. Documented rumor of GE takeover1896 March- 1912 April

af486a8d3b19b005cfc20f37f4387e80

4 1Portland Gas & Electric Company/City & Suburban Railway Company of Portland, Oregon/Portland Street Railway Company.. Company consolidation (Portland Consolidated Railway Company). Stock purchases & communications, stock pool.1904 March- 1909 December

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4 2Portland-Salem (Oregon) Electric Railway Company Syndicate. . Syndicate shares communications1905 December- 1910 February

32cc452908448789d7963646477b5203

4 3Schenectady Trust Company (A). . Stock shares. Financial receipts, communications. Loans, IOUs, cancelled checks. Washington Water Power Company stocks.1902 April- 1912 April

052ff5dfe4fbf96cc38dd0db681000ce

4 4Schenectady Trust Company (B).. Stock shares. Financial receipts, communications. Loans, IOUs, cancelled checks. Washington Water Power Company stocks.1902 April-1912 March

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4 5Security Savings & Trust Company. . Stocks.1911 June- 1912 April

5c020178e005fc6008c55c922ad18952

4 6Southern California Edison Company. . Stock purchase & communication. Annual report.1911 January- 1912 April

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4 7Stanislaus Power Development / Stanislaus Electric Power Company (A).. Prospectus, underwriters agreements, financial plans. Electric Bond and Share Company. Knickerbocker Trust Company. Sierra & San Francisco Power Company.1905 September- 1912 April

df8786549ba12687b390dc1f4785642e

4 8Stanislaus Power Development / Stanislaus Electric Power Company (B). . Prospectus, underwriters agreements, financial plans. Electric Bond and Share Company. Knickerbocker Trust Company. Sierra & San Francisco Power Company.1905 September- 1912 April

4f31aa2fec1340ee332f101ed327c269

5 1The Tehuantepec Rubber Culture Company. . Mortgage bonds, life insurance. Rubber plantation investment.1901 August- 1904 November

3191246860400f8a7afcbba434fea508

5 2The Tiffin Edison Electric Illuminating Company. . Syndicate subscription.1909 October- 1911 October

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5 3Walter A. Wood Mowing & Reaping Machine Company. . Reorganization, stock/bond transactions.1895 October- 1912 January

c9be8d6f811878cd31b37f7f5fd144eb

5 4Washington Water Power Company. . Stock transactions & communications. By-laws, financial statements.1909 January- 1912 April
Quantity: 0.55 cubic ft.

Arranged Alphabetically.

This series contains all other material of a personal nature not included in Series 2. Subjects in this series range from family correspondence to property rights and deeds to Parsons involvement in committees and clubs, to personal investment advice. Two significant subjects in this series involved Parsons automotive interests and family estate communications.

BoxFolderContentsDate

edea10448905852f1c7108658838487c

5 5Automobile interests. . Parts/purchases, accidents, arrest, miscellaneous.1908-1912

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5 6Blodgett, Katherine Burr. . Investments1908 June- 1910 November

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5 7Burchard, Anson.. Communications, personal financial dealings1902 February- 1912 April

c4a1cf76942aeec752a9c87aece9c736

5 8Coffin, Charles A. (President, GE). . Land purchase in Maine title dispute, legal proceedings correspondence1911 January-1912 April

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5 9Cranston, William Jr. family correspondence.. Personal loan repayment, Farmers Loan & Trust Co.1908 November-1911 December

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5 10Copeland, William H.. Correspondence.1897 March- 1901 June

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5 11Down Town Association. Annual dues, receipts.1904 July- 1911 May

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5 12Committees & Clubs.. Knickerbocker Trust Company committee. Resumption of business, staffing/appointments, committee meeting minutes. Clubs list. Hoosac Club dues notices & payments. Cancelled checks. Miscellaneous.1904 July- 1911 December

c2f6bd7bd882a5e14c963768ec41977a

5 13Ives, J. M. . Estate dispute papers. Southern New England Telephone Company.1905 January- 1909 July

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5 14Legal documents. . Life insurance policies & correspondence, property deeds, titles, & bonds, loan payments, house & auto insurance1892 January 1912 April

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6 1Merritt, Charles H. . Personal correspondence1900 December-1903 July

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6 2The Noble & Wood Machine Company. . License contract1906 May

eac3aa44f2e7b231ab9b780f501c8dd3

6 3Parsons, James Russell Jr. (brother). . Property sale correspondence. Elevator repairs at the NY State Library. Schenectady Superintendant of Schools appointment. Death while serving as Consul General of the United States to Mexico.1895 January- 1905 December

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6 4Parsons, Willard P. (brother). . Correspondence1897 November- 1905 March

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6 5Parsons, James Russell Sr. . Life summary. Estate, legal proceedings1890 June- 1900 June

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6 6Peck, S. . Estate1913 March 1

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6 7Piping Rock Club. . Membership, dues communications1912 March-April

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6 8Potter, Nathaniel Bowditch M.D. . Financial, medical communications1904 July- 1911 January

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6 9Starr, Howard W. . Personal correspondence1905 January- 1906 May

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6 10Shearon, John & Bridget. . Property title legalities. Mortgages & deeds records.1903 June- October

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6 11Steele, Mr. & Mrs. Robert E. . Personal correspondence, medical issues1910 July- 1911 November

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6 12Van Voast, James A. . Nicholson mortgage1911 February- May

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6 13Knickerbocker Trust Company stocks communications, Board of Directors appointments & communications1908 March- 1910 September

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6 14Knickerbocker Trust Company. Deposit communications & receipts1910 December- 1912 January