John F. Rathbone was born in Albany, N.Y., October 9, 1819. He was educated in the Albany Academy and the Brockport Collegiate Institute. His father died May 13, 1833. The following year he united with the Baptist church in Brockport, and within a year thereafter he left school and became a clerk in Rochester, N. Y. ln 1837 he returned to Albany, first in the employ of Jared L. Rathbone, and then becoming clerk in Joel Rathbone's foundry in the south part of the city. In 1840 he went into business with S. H. Ransom, with Joel Rathbone and Jared L. Rathbone as special partners. In 1845 he built a stove foundry in Albany, which with the additions since made is one of the largest in the world. He is now at the head of the firm of Rathbone, Sard & Co. Early in 1861 Mr. Rathbone was appointed brigadier-general of the 9th Brigade of the National Guard, State of New York, and on the opening of the Albany depot for New York State volunteers, he was appointed its commandant. On being relieved from the command General Rathbone was highly complimented, not only by the adjutant-general, but by the commander-in-chief, Governor Morgan. In 1867 General Rathbone resigned his position as commandant of the 9th Brigade. January 1, 1873, he was appointed adjutant-general by Gov. John A. Dix, with the rank of major-general and served with credit to himself and advantage to the State. He is one of the founders of the Albany Orphan Asylum of which he has been president and trustee for many years; president of the Board of Trustees of the Dudley Observatory, also of the Mutual Fire Insurance Co. of Albany; one of the Park Commissioners, and trustee of the Albany Rural Cemetery; and president of the Board of Trustees of the Albany Academy. He was for fifty years the superintendent of the Emmanuel Baptist Sunday school and is president of the Board of Trustees of the church. He founded the Rathbone Library of the University of Rochester, of which he is a trustee, and contributed 840,000 to its funds.
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