The History of New York State
Biographies, Part 34

Editor, Dr. James Sullivan

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam



A member of Arnold Colonial family and a direct descendant of Roger Williams, president of the colony of Rhode Island, the late Judge Arnold was a native and lifelong resident of New York State, where, during an active career of more then thirty-five years, he achieved notable success as a teacher, lawyer, judge, financier, and editor. A member of the New York bar for some three decades, he was engaged in the practice of his profession with unusual success, first for some twenty years in his native town, Cooperstown, Otsego County, New York, ands later to the time of his death in 1920, in Albany In the latter city he had also been during the last ten years of his life the publisher of "The Knickerbocker Press," a newspaper of honorable record which Judge Arnold revived to even increased prosperity and influence by his able, progressive and fearless management. A sincere believer in a free press, it was his constant aim that his newspaper should print only reliable, clean news and advertisements, should comment in its editorials fairly on the issues of the day, and criticize fairly, but fearlessly, whenever criticism became necessary, should serve the general welfare and protect the public interests. In achieving and maintaining these high journalistic ideals he was eminently successful, and his newspaper became one of the leading publications of the country, and its fame and influence reached far beyond the confines of Albany and New York. In many other directions, too, Judge Arnold was prominently and effectively active and he took a leading part in the civic, fraternal, social and religious life of the community.

Lynn J. Arnold was born in 1864, in Otsego County, a son of Mr. and Mrs., Joseph Caswell Arnold, and a lineal descendant of William Arnold, one of the original proprietors of Providence, Rhode Island. He was educated at Richfield Springs Seminary and at the New York State College for Teachers, from which later he was graduated in 1884. He then taught school at Wappingers Falls, taking up at the same time the study of law. In 1890, he established himself in the practice of law as a member of the firm of Pierce & Arnold, of Cooperstown. Not only did he build up a

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large and important law practice, but he also became extensively interested in finance and business. He was elected an officer and eventually president of the First National Bank, of Cooperstown, which institution prospered greatly under his able and careful guidance. He was also one of the organizers of the International Milk products company and had been instrumental in obtaining the franchise for the old Otsego & Herkimer Railroad. In May, 1910, Judge Arnold came to Albany and became interested in the old "Press-Knickerbocker-Express." This paper then represented the consolidation of three Albany newspapers, the oldest of which had been founded in 1842 as the "Daily Knickerbocker," became later known as the "Albany Daily Knickerbocker," and finally as the "Albany Knickerbockers." In 1877 it was consolidated with the "Sunday Press" and was for some time known as the "Daily Press Knickerbocker." Eventually this newspaper absorbed also the "Albany Morning Express," founded in 1847, after which the publication bore for some years the title under which Judge Arnold bought it. Soon after he assumed control. The name was changed to "the Knickerbocker Press," as which it has been known ever since. At the time he became the publisher, the newspaper has fallen into a decline, but as president of the Press Publishing company Judge Arnold produced a newspaper that soon drew support from every community of "The Capitol District," a phrase which was coined by Judge Arnold in 1910. He used it in order to readily designate the great farming and industrial district of Central and North-eastern New York of which Albany is the center. At that time the cities of Albany, Troy, Schenectady, Watervliet, and Cohoes, were more frequently fighting each other from petty jealousy than cooperating with each other as their best interest demanded. Not only did Judge Arnold desire to bring about this most needed cooperation, but he also recognized that, in order to find support for a newspaper of the high type visioned by him, it would be necessary to weld into virtually one community these five cities and their outlying farming districts. This object he fully accomplished and many times the cities and communities of the Capitol District have united on common issues. In Albany, Judge Arnold continued his law practice, first as a member of the firm of Arnold, Bender & Hinman. When Mr. Hinman was elected to the Supreme Court Bench in 1918 the firm was dissolved, and since that time to the time of his death, Judge Arnold was a member of the firms of Arnold, Bender & Ford, and Arnold, Searle & Snyder. To mention in detail the many causes which Judge Arnold ably and effectively supported, would practically mean the writing of the history of New York and the United States for the decade of 1910-1920. Among them, however, should be especially mentioned his advocacy of a deeper Hudson; a settlement of the Albany-Troy trolley strike of 1916; his support of governor William Sulzer during the latter's impeachment; and again his support of the five Socialist members of the New York Assembly, when their removal for disloyalty was attempted in 1920. In the latter two instances he acted not because of his agreement with the political views of those whom he supported, but purely out of his sense of public duty, and because he considered the impeachment and removal proceedings both harmful to the public interests and unconstitutional. His attitude on these two matters, based entirely on ideals and running counter to his personal interests, was typical of Judge Arnold, who never considered the cost, when once he had become convinced firmly of the need and correctness of his attitude. Until 1919, when he was succeeded by his eldest son, Lynn J. Arnold, Jr., he was president of the Press Publishing Company.

Judge Arnold was also one of the most active members and at tone time vice-president of the Albany Chamber of Commerce. Other organizations in which he held membership included the Sons of the American Revolution; the Union league club, of new York City; the Cooperstown Country Club; the Otsego Golf Club; the Albany Club; the Albany Country Club; the Fort Orange Club; the Wolfert's Roost Country Club; the Albany yacht Club; the Troy Union Club; and Cooperstown Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons. In politics he was a supporter of the Republican Party and its principles, while his religious affiliations were with the Protestant Episcopal Church, in which he was prominently active for many years, having been a vestryman of Christ Episcopal Church, of Cooperstown.

Judge Lynn J. Arnold married, in 1890, Euretta Babcock, of Haverstraw, New York. they were the parents of three children: 1. Lynn J., Jr., a sketch of whom follows this. 2. Robert R. 3. Margaret E. R. The family home in Albany was located at No. 40 Willet Street.

Judge Arnold died there suddenly after a short illness, May 27, 1920. He was laid to rest in the family burial plot at Burlington Flats,

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Otsego County. Expressions of regret and sympathy and tributes to his many fine qualities came to his family from many prominent men in various parts of New York State. The most touching, perhaps, and at the same time the most appropriate was the following tribute of ex-Governor Martin H. Glynn, a rival of Judge Arnold in the field of journalism:

Judge Arnold was a rugged man, with a rugged man's strength, a rugged man's determination to hew to the line no matter where the chips might fall. He was a competitor of mine in business and in the journalistic field he and I had many a joust. He was a good fighter--the world loves a good fighter--and I found him a fighter chivalric and fair. In a pre-eminent degree he had the quality that has pushed the world along the highway of progress--the quality of enthusiasm for the cause he espoused and a determination to see it through to the end. This is the most potent characteristic a man can have and Judge Arnold had it in a magnetic degree. He was a good lawyer and a good newspaperman and it takes a versatile and vibrant combination to make that kind of a man. He was fearless and bold yet both just and kind. His instincts were fine, his purposes good.

Beneath that great physical ruggedness of his, behind that adamantine determination of mind, there beat a kindly heart responsive to the calls of misery, answering the wails of poverty and distress. He helped many a good cause, he helped many a deserving person; and never reckoned the cost. That trait always characterized Judge Arnold--he never reckoned the cost. Once he appraised his cause just, nothing could swat him, nothing swerve him. That's the sort of man who does things--admirable, when in the right and even when in the wrong lovable from the ardor of his enthusiasm and fire of his zeal.

Some poet has said: "the eye is the window of the soul,"--and when life ran fair and smooth, when justice held the scales with unquivering arm, when the spirit of manhood soared above the day's sordid care. When wit sharpened colloquial controversy and humor mellowed the tension of strife, I have never seen a more kindly glitter, a more fetching light in any man's eye that I often beheld in Judge Arnold's.


Becoming connected immediately after his graduation from college in 1914, with "The Knickerbocker Press," the Albany newspaper published by his father, Mr. Arnold has continued ever since then in the newspaper publishing business. Under his father's friendly and inspiring guidance he acquired a most thorough knowledge of every branch of the business and gradually rose to positions of ever-increasing responsibility, until, in 1919, he was made president, in succession to his father, of the company owning and publishing "The Knickerbocker Press." Upon his father's death in 1920 the entire management of this paper devolved upon him and he has met the many responsibilities connected with it with great success and ability. In recent years he has also been the directing head of the "Albany Evening News," with offices at Nos. 18-22 Beaver Street, Albany. Not only has Mr. Arnold continued to maintain these two papers on the high plane of efficiency and journalistic ideals established by his father, but under his capable and progressive management they have steadily grown in prosperity and prestige. Naturally he occupies a leading position in the business life of New York's capital as well as in civic, religious and social affairs, and he is considered one of the most successful and useful of the younger generation of Albany's business men.

Lynn J. Arnold, Jr., was born at Cooperstown, Otsego County, New York, June 25, 1891, the eldest son of the late Judge Lynn J. Arnold, a sketch of whom precedes this, and Euretta (Babcock) Arnold. He was educated in the public schools, at the Hill School, Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and at Sheffield Scientific School, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, from which latter he gradated in 1914 with the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. In the same year he took up newspaper work and became associated with his father, the publisher of "The Knickerbocker Press." Of this paper he became successively advertising manager, directing manager and general manager. In 1917, he was elected secretary, and in 1919 president of the company controlling the ownership and management of this publication, and in the latter position he has continued since then. Closely identified and fully in sympathy with the ideas and ideals of his father, he has carried on the latter's work with notable success and has proven himself a worthy successor of his able and highly respected father. The two publications of which Mr. Arnold is the publisher are the leading newspapers in Albany and the adjoining districts and compare favorably in every respect with the best metropolitan newspapers. Both have an honorable and long continued record, that of "The Knickerbocker Press," having been given in considerable detail, down to its acquisition by the older Mr. Arnold, in the article describing the latter's life and career. Sine then this newspaper was still further strengthened by consolidating with it, in 1921, "The Argus." The latter was founded in 1813 as "The Albany Argus" and, in 1817, was consolidated with an even older paper then known as the "Albany Gazette and Daily Advertiser." The latter resulted from the consolidation, also in 1817, of the "Albany Gazette," founded in 1771 and revived in 1784, and of the "Albany Advertiser,"

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founded in 1815. After the 1817 consolidation the paper was known for a considerable number of years as the "Albany Argus and Daily City Gazette," which name eventually was abbreviated to "Daily Albany Argus." In 1856 it was consolidated with the "Albany Evening Atlas," founded in 1840 and the new paper was then known as "The Atlas and Argus," until, in 1865, it became "The Argus," as which it continued until its consolidation, in 1921, with "The Knickerbocker Press," since which time only the latter name has appeared at the head of this famous and historic New York newspaper. Mr. Arnold's second newspaper property is also the result of a consolidation. In October, 1992, Mr. Arnold founded the "Albany Evening News," under which style it continued until February 6, 1925, when its present name was adopted as the result of its absorption of the "Albany Evening Journal," the latter dating back to 1830. During the World War, Mr. Arnold served with the 53d Depot Brigade, holding the rank of second lieutenant and being stationed at Camp Dix. Ever since his college days he is a member of Delta Psi Fraternity. He is also an active member of the Albany Chamber of commerce, while his clubs include the Yale and St. Anthony clubs of New York City, and the University, Albany Country and Wolfert's Roost County clubs of Albany. While at Hill School, Mr. Arnold was on the track and football teams, and at Yale was also member of the track team and played guard on the varsity football team in 1912-1913.

His recreation is hunting and fishing, although interested in all outdoor sports. In politics he is a supporter of the Republican Party and its policies, while his religious affiliations are with the Protestant Episcopal Church, and more particularly with St. Peter's Episcopal Church, of Albany.

Mr. Arnold is unmarried and makes his home at Albany.

FRANK L. Christian, M. D.

As superintendent of the New York State Reformatory at Elmira, Chemung County, New York, Dr. Frank L. Christian hold a position in the government of the State which is of vital importance. A strict disciplinarian, yet humane in his judgment, a student and writer of considerable note on the subjects of criminology, eugenics, and penology, he is a competent judge of human nature, and as such has proven an ideal incumbent for the office.

Frank L. Christian was born in Waterloo, New York, February 23, 1876, the only child of John and Maria (Hayes) Christian. Completing his preliminary education in the public school of his native place, he then entered the University of New York from which he was graduated in 1898, and subsequently matriculated at Cornell University, being a member of the first class of the latter institution in 1899. For the next three years he served as interne at Bellevue Hospital, during which time he was assistant instructor in surgery at Cornell University. After completing his interneship, he became resident surgeon in the Eastern New York Reformatory at Napanoch, where he remained until 1901 when he came to Elmira as senior medical officer in the Reformatory and on July 10, 1911, was made assistant superintendent. On the 15th of September, 1917, Dr. Christian was appointed superintendent of reformatories at which time there were two institutions of that character in the State, and the conduct of his administration during these eleven years has met with the most sound approval.

In October, 1918, Dr. Christian enlisted for service in the World War, joining the Twenty-second Infantry, subsequently being transferred to the Atlantic Disciplinary Barracks, and later assigned to duty at Fort Leavenworth prison where he remained until his honorable discharge from the service, since which time he has been identified with the Reserve Corps. Professionally he holds membership in the American Medical Association; the Alumni Association of Bellevue Hospital; the Society of Medical Jurisprudence; the Eugenics Society; and also belongs to the American Prison Association; and the Elmira Academy of Medicine. Dr. Christian was surgeon attached to the first expedition to Galveston, Texas, in September, 1900, when that city was engulfed by a tidal wave. He is identified with the Masonic fraternity and since 1898 has been a member of Seneca Lodge, No. 115, Free and Accepted Masons. His devotion to duty, his civic spirit, his enterprise, integrity and ability are well known and have met with a rich return for personal esteem.


Rarely is encountered a man of more interesting or varied career than jack Vasill, of Amsterdam. Native of another land, he came to the United States, here attained to economic independence, and is not owner and proprietor of a well-known hostel-

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ry. He had a broad experience on the sea, as naval hand and hand abroad ships of Great Britain. His activities as a citizen of the United States have brought to him the respect of all those around him, and he is today regarded as one of the influential name of his community.

Jack Vasill is a native of Greece, but by preference a citizen of the United States. He was born in Egina, March 25, 1877, son of George Vasill and Effimia (Pappos) Vasill. His father, a priest and for many years a teacher in Greece, gave to him a solid foundation of academic instruction before he had entered the schools of his native city, and from these schools he received still further training. As a young man his adventures began. His Travels were extensive, and were he of the desire to write of the, the volume resulting could not fail to be of interest. For some time he worked before the mast on English shipping, visiting many ports; then as steward in the United States navy for three years, visited still others. Meanwhile, he had decided upon the United States in which to build up a business career. For eight years he conducted a restaurant, in Amsterdam, New York, and found in this a considerable profit, due wholly to the skill of management and economy which he brought to the undertaking. At the end of that period he had gathered together a certain amount of money, and in 1919 became proprietor of the Hotel Warner, Amsterdam, Nos. 101-03 East Main Street. This hotel has eighty-eight wholesomely ventilated rooms of pleasing dimension, excellently furnish in the best of modern taste. Heating is by steam, and the chambers have an unfailing flow of hot and cold water. The rates are low for a house of its excellent comforts, yet high enough to insure a fair income on Mr. Vasill's considerable investment--one dollar and a half per day and up. As hotel operator he is in a position to perform a good office, or a bad one, for his community, in as much as travelers are much influenced by the comforts, or discomforts, of their transient accommodations; and to say that his influence in this way for the good of the community is large is to be conservative. In other manners also, as a citizen of average opportunities aside from this greater one, his influence is felt for the benefit of Amsterdam. A Democrat, he gives his support freely to the principles of the party. During the war he was of valued assistance in the loan campaigns of Liberty Bonds, and in the drives of the American Red Cross, doing all things within the scope of ability for speedy culmination of hostilities. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Loyal Order of Moose, and is a member of the New York State Hotel Association. He is a communicant of the Greek Church, of Schenectady.

Jack Vasill married, in his have Egina, Greece, January 1, 1910, Helen Apostalakis, daughter of George and Elizabeth Apostalakis, and their children are: 1. Nicholas, born in 1911. 2. Elizabeth, born in 1913. 3. Effie, born in 1915. The family dwells in Hotel Warner.


The History of New York State, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1927

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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