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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.

Noel E. Sisson

Noel E. Sisson was born in the town of Berne, Albany county, N. Y., on the 23d day of January, 1821. In those days in the country it was always a hard struggle for a livelihood, and Noel, appreciating this fact, and being slender in physique and not very robust, at the early age of fourteen left the farm and parental roof, with consent of his parents, and went to work in a store at Hunter s Land, where his employer, who had been a schoolmaster, promised him teaching in books and instruction as his compensation.

The boy soon found, however, that the promised instructon was mainly confined to the manual labor he was expected to perform in the store and daily chores.

He remained in this place about a year; but during this period young Sisson employed all his spare time at his books.

The next few years of his life were spent in working, going to school and teaching school; always striving to get an education and better his condition in life. With this end in view, at the age of twenty-four, in 1845, he did what so many others have done, and what so many are still doing; he came to the city to Albany, full of ardor and full of hope, with a firm determination to succeed in life.

At this time the method of taking pictures by photography was in its infancy, and Mr. Sisson, after carefully studying the process and becoming familiar with the art, entered into the business at the corner of Maiden Lade and Broadway. Subsequently he enlarged his business and dealt in photographers' supplies, etc., and built up a large trade, which he continued at this place with great success for fourteen years.

About this time Mr. Donald MacDonald, a sturdy, worthy Scotchman and friend, had just returned from a visit abroad, where he had found his brother making gas meters, and believing that it would be a profitable venture to enter into in this country, he came to Mr. Sisson, his old friend, and asked him to loan him a thousand dollars. Mr. Sisson, knowing Mr. MacDonald to be an honest, worthy man, and wishing to aid him, kindly advanced the sum required.

A little later on, another loan was applied for and freely given. Mr. MacDonald had started his manufactory in a small shop on Lancaster street, employing but a few men. The business grew, but money was wanted, and Mr. MacDonald came to Mr. Sisson and asked him to take a half interest in the business and furnish the necessary capital.

The arrangement was made and the firm of D. MacDonald & Co. was formed in 1859, and still continues. The elder MacDonald is dead, but his son has succeeded to his father's interest.

The little shop of 1859 has grown to a fine stately building, running through from Lancaster to Chestnut street, in 1897 giving employment to some 300 men.

Mr. Sisson has twice married; his first wife was Miss Emaline Griffin, daughter of Dr. Griffin, of Middleburgh, N. Y. He has two children: a daughter, Eleanor, the wife of Mr. Daniel C. Bennett, and a son, Frank N. Sisson. The second wife was Miss Anna Bogardusof Albany. Mr. Sisson has long resided at 92 Lancaster street, in one of the pleasantest residences in Albany, with large grounds in the rear, where in the summer time it is his delight to spend a portion of his time in his well culti- vated garden and among his beautiful roses and flowers.

Mr. Sisson is a director of the First National Bank of Albany, and of the Commerce Insurance Company of Albany. He is also president of the Gas Light Company of Bath, Steuben county, N. Y., and a charter member of the Fort Orange Club of Albany.

Mr. Sisson is a plain, quiet, unostentatious man, with habits of industry and perseverance, genial manners, sturdy honesty and square dealings in all his business affairs; whose word among his associates is always as good as his bond; thrifty and saving in the early period of his life, and when in after years well earned competency came, generous and liberal to old friends and worthy charities; a man of keen perception and far seeing intuition in business affairs that has made him a valued adviser to many friends, and a wise counselor to his associates in the companies and corporations with which he has been officially connected; upright character, honesty and integrity, all these are happily united and firmly welded in the life and character of the subject of this sketch.

Now in his after years, when his sun has passed the meridian, and he looks back along the paths of his labor and life's work with supreme happiness and contentment, how pleasant must be the satisfaction to him that he has not lived in vain; that while making himself and his family happy and prosperous, he has also contributed to the happiness and prosperity of others; that he has been instrumental in giving honorable employment to thousands of men, with fair and reasonable remuneration, and that by so doing he has largely aided in making many happy homes and contributed to the prosperity of the city of his adoption.

This, in brief, is the story of Mr. Sisson's life, and it presents a fruitful chapter to the young men of the present age, full of useful lessons and instruction for their benefit and guidance.



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