US GenWeb


This biography is from Landmarks of Albany County, New York, edited by Amasa J. Parker of Albany, N. Y., Syracuse, N. Y.; D. Mason & Co. Publishers, 1897.

George I. Amsdell

George I. Amsdell is of English descent, and on his mother's side traces his ancestry to the Pilgrim band of the Mayflower. His father, William Amsdell, was born in Cambridge, England, in 1797, came to America in 1818, and in 1820 settled in Albany, where he died in 1870. He was a brewer and maltster. His wife, Abigail Millard, was born in New Paltz, Ulster county, N. Y., in 1803.

Mr. Amsdell was born in Kinderhook, N. Y., September, 1827, and received his education in the public schools of Albany and at boarding schools in Chatham and Bloomingdale, N. Y. When fifteen years of age he entered the brewery of John Taylor in Albany and later was employed in the brewery of Reed Brothers, of Troy. In these two establishments he laid the foundations of a successful brewer and maltster, which he supplemented by six years' experience from 1845 to 1851 in his father's brewery in Guilderland, Albany county. In 1851 he formed a partnership with his brother, Theodore M., under the firm name of Amsdell Brothers, and started the nucleus of his present brewery on the end of the lot bounded by Jay, Dove, and Lancaster streets in Albany. In 1856 they erected the present malt house, which with the brewery, stables and storage buildings has frontages of 354 feet on Jay and Lancaster streets and 150 feet on Dove street, the main building being five stories high. The capacity of the plant is about 360 barrels of ale daily and 135,000 bushels of malt per annum. George I. Amsdell personally superintended the malt department and his brother acted as brewer until 1870, when their business had increased to such extensive proportions that both thenceforward devoted their energies solely to the management of the concern. In October, 1892, the firm was dissolved, George I. Amsdell becoming the sole proprietor, and in this capacity he has since conducted with uniform success one of the oldest and largest breweries and malt houses in the capital city, having also a large distributing depot in New York, on Thirty-fourth street, since 1883, which is in charge of his son, George H.

Mr. Amsdell has always been an ardent Democrat and was for four years alderman of the Ninth ward, but excepting this has steadfastly declined public office. He is, however, actively identified with several important institutions of the city, being one of the founders and a director of the Capital City Insurance Company, a trustee of the Albany City Savings Institution, and a director and vice president of the Albany City National Bank. He was a member of Co. B, Albany Continentals, and later of the Tenth Regiment N. Y. N. G., serving altogether twelve years.

Mr. Amsdell has twice married. September, 1847, he married Miss Esther J. White, of Albany, by whom he had six children, four sons and two daughters. In August, 1875. he married Miss Dora C. Roraback, of Albany.



Send comments or suggestions to:
Debby Masterson

Go Back to Albany County Biographies
Go Back to Home Page