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 Erastus Corning

Erastus Corning

Birth
Norwich, New London County, Connecticut, USA
Death 8 Apr 1872 (aged 77)
Albany, Albany County, New York, USA
Burial Menands, Albany County, New York, USA
Plot Section 31, Lot 2
Memorial ID 8660 · View Source
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US Congressman. Mayor of Albany. Successful businessman and financier. Grandfather of US Representative Parker Corning and Lieutenant Governor Edwin Corning. Great grandfather of Albany Mayor Ersatus Corning 2nd. Injured in fall, age 2. Walked with crutches for most of his life. Family moved to Chatham, New York, 1805. He moved to live with uncle Benjamin Smith in Troy, 1807. Moved to Albany, 1814. Educated by tutors and in private schools paid for by uncle. Clerked in uncle's hardware and iron store. Married Harriet Weld (1794-1883), 1819. Five children: Benjamin (1820-21); John (1823-33); Erastus Jr. (1827-97); Joseph (1829-30); Edwin (1836-71). Established Erastus Corning and Company iron manufacturing business. Principal, Albany Ironworks. Principal, Rensselaer Ironworks. Manufactured locks and other items for Erie Canal and attended its opening ceremonies, 1824. Involved in several other enterprises, including assembling several smaller lines to form New York Central Railroad. Founder, Albany State Bank. President, St. Mary's Falls Ship Canal Company, which connected Lakes Superior and Huron. Member, University of the State of New York board of trustees, serving many years as vice chairman. Speculator in western New York land, as well as land in Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa. Albany Alderman. Albany Mayor, 1834-37. New York Senate, 1842-45. Head of Albany drinking water commission that established modern reservoir and water plant, 1850. Elected to Congress as a Democrat, 1856, served March 4, 1857 to March 3, 1859. Unsuccessful candidate for reelection. Delegate, Democratic national convention, 1860. Elected again to US House, 1860, serving March 4, 1861 to October 5, 1863, when he resigned. Member, 1861 peace conference that attempted to avert Civil War. His ironworks made parts and materials for "Monitor," Union Civil War ironclad ship. Delegate, state constitutional convention, 1867. Increasingly turned business interests over to son Ersatus Jr. as his health began to fail in late 1860s. At his death $12 million fortune made him one of the three richest men in New York state. Corning Street in Albany was named for him. Corning, New York originally called Painted Post, was renamed for him by citizens of town in gratitude for bringing Erie Canal and New York Central Railroad to town.

Bio by: Bill McKern


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 4 Mar 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8660
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Erastus Corning (14 Dec 1794–8 Apr 1872), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8660, citing Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands, Albany County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .