SCHENECTADY COUNTY -- William H. "Bill" Buell, a reporter at The Daily Gazette for more than four decades, will become the new Schenectady County historian in May.
The County Legislature unanimously approved the appointment Tuesday evening, effective May 1. The part-time position, which pays $12,000 annually, had been vacant since Edwin D. Reilly Jr. of Niskayuna died last August.
Buell, who has worked for The Gazette as a sports writer and later a feature and news writer since 1978, will be retiring from the paper as of April 26 to spend more time pursuing his long-time interest in the Schenectady region's history. He will continue to write occasional freelance stories for The Gazette.
"I look forward to taking on the role of Schenectady County historian on May 1, and helping the residents of the county as well as our visitors get better acquainted with our long and fascinating history," Buell said.
He also hopes to bring more internet presence to the office.
"We hope to have an improved website that will provide people with plenty of information about Schenectady's past, and let them know what there is to see and do around the county these days," Buell said. "In addition, I will be making occasional presentations on local Schenectady history, writing a few short books on particular aspects of that history, and will collaborate with our wonderful group of municipal historians already serving our county."
As a sportswriter from 1978 to 2001, Buell covered tennis, bowling and boxing, including Mike Tyson heavyweight championship fights in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Starting in 2001, as a feature writer he wrote about local history, religion, the arts and politics. In 2018, he won a New York Press Association award for a series on the history of the General Electric Co.
Buell is also the author of "Schenectady County: A Bicentennial History" in 2009, and "Historic Albany: City and County" in 2012. A native of Glenville, he is a graduate of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, Schenectady County Community College and the University at Albany, where he studied history. He lives in Schenectady.
He is a volunteer docent at the Schenectady County Historical Society and a former volunteer at the Saratoga National Historic Park in Stillwater.