Legacy of Husteds recalled

Col. William H. Husted and family certainly left their mark on Broadalbin.

Col. William H. Husted and family certainly left their mark on Broadalbin.

Broadalbin Historian Gordon Cornell ticked off a list of accomplishments and achievements Monday as he talked about next week’s visit by Husted’s great-granddaughter, Jocelyn Pannett, and her husband, Mervyn.

Pannett, he said, has done extensive research on her ancestors and will be the featured speaker at the April 15 meeting of the Broadalbin Kenyetto Historical Society.

Col. Husted spent only seven years in Broadalbin, summering here from his home in Brooklyn. According to a New York Times story from July 26, 1890, Husted died July 24 in Amsterdam of a self-inflicted shotgun wound.

A corner’s inquest didn’t determine if he shot himself on purpose or by accident but “some persons profess to believe that Mr. Husted committed suicide owing to ill health,” the paper reported.

Cornell said Husted’s family followed him to Broadalbin, and his daughter, who never married and was known as Miss Kitty Husted, continued to summer in the village until 1921.

He said the family contributed much to the village. They built a pond and park, bought a swinging suspension bridge for Maple Street to make it easier to get to the railroad station and knitting mill.

They built a reading room, an Episcopal chapel on Maple Street that was razed in 1981, and a large stone wall in the village.

Cornell said the family was instrumental in getting the railroad to Broadalbin and even paid for the first station.

When the old knitting mill burned to the ground, they helped finance the construction of a new one.

“They did a lot to make our village better,” Cornell said.

“The Husteds were summer people. When they came to town it was kind of like seeing the first robin. You knew it was going to be nice for a while,” Cornell said.

“Any time there was a big Republican rally the Husteds were big in supporting that, and if there was a parade they’d decorate their house and yard with Japanese lanterns to add to the festivities,” he said.

While Cornell is well-versed in the colonel and his family’s local accomplishments, he said he envisions next week’s meeting as an opportunity to learn from the Pannetts, and, in turn, to show them the village and share what information is available here with them.

The historical society’s meeting is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, in the auditorium at Broadalbin-Perth High School.

The meeting is free and open to the public. He said society members are hoping for a good turnout as a show of appreciation to the Pannetts, who are traveling here from their home in England.

Categories: Schenectady County

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