Hinsdill Parsons Papers, 1890-1912
- Hinsdill Parsons
- Hinsdill Parsons, Esq. was born on February 10, 1864 in Hoosick Falls, New York, the son of J. Russell Parsons.
- 2 cubic ft.
- English and English
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, The Hinsdill Parsons Papers, 1890-1912. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Hinsdill Parsons Papers).
Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access:
Access to these records is unrestricted.
Access to this record group is unrestricted.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
- Scope and Content:
The Hinsdill Parsons collection contains 2 cubic feet of paper records from Parsons employment at General Electric, as well as personal and financial papers. The majority of the collection is comprised of correspondence between Parsons and various professional and personal contacts, but the collection also includes financial reports and spreadsheets from General Electric and other companies on which Parsons served as a board member or trustee. Other areas of particular interest include records of stock and bond transactions both professional and personal and several maps of areas affected by GE-affiliated railway or utilities companies.
This collection covers the years between 1890 and 1912, with the bulk of the documents dating from 1900-1912. The General Electric and other financial documents deal primarily with investments in the United States; the majority of the documents are related to upstate New York matters, although interests in other locations include Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Oregon. General Electric and Parsons were also involved in activities in Europe and Mexico. Parsons also kept records of the various clubs and organizations of which he was a member, including meeting minutes and dues records. Other personal documents include legal documents such as insurance papers and estate records, as well as general correspondence with and financial advice given to friends and family members.
These documents were discovered in the Parsons' previous residence at 21 Front Street, Schenectady. Upon the death of Hinsdill Parsons' wife, Jessie Burchard Parsons, in 1951, this residence and its contents were bequeathed to Saint George's Episcopal Church, 28 North Ferry Street, Schenectady. Saint George's sold the house in 1989, and in 2000, a Mr. Kevin Decker wrote Dr. Gerald Zahavi, University at Albany Professor of History, to inform him of the existence of these documents.
The collection is divided into three series. All three series are arranged alphabetically by subject name and are generally in reverse chronological order within each folder. Series 1: General Electric, Oct. 1900-April 1911, contains correspondence, financial records, and company reports relating to GE business matters. Series 2: Financial Investments, April 1895-April 1912, contains documents regarding Parsons personal financial matters. Series 3: Personal, June 1890-April 1912, contains all other material of a personal nature not included in Series 2. Subjects in this series include family correspondence, property rights and deeds, Parsons involvement in committees and clubs, and personal investment advice. Two significant subjects in this series involve Parsons automotive interests and family estate communications.
- Biographical / Historical:
Hinsdill Parsons, Esq. was born on February 10, 1864 in Hoosick Falls, New York, the son of J. Russell Parsons. One of five sons, he attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, graduating in 1884. While in college, Parsons joined Phi Beta Kappa and Delta Psi fraternities. He attended Albany Law School and graduated in 1885; he was admitted to the New York State Bar in the same year. In September 1889, he married Jessie Mary Burchard in Hoosick Falls, NY. In the same year, Parsons also became patent attorney for the Walter A. Wood Harvester Company in Hoosick Falls, of which his father was an incorporator. He worked there until he left for Schenectady to serve as General Counsel for the General Electric Company in 1894. In May, 1901, he was given control of General Electrics legal affairs and was elected vice-president of the company. At this time, Parsons was also elected President of the Schenectady Railroad Company. During his tenure with General Electric, Parsons was involved with various company anti-trust legal issues.
Parsons served on the board of directors for the Electric Bond and Share, the Washington Water Power, and the Knickerbocker Trust Companies, as a trustee for the General Electric Investment Club, as co-president of the Bully Hill Copper Mining & Smelting Company, and was a member of the University Club and the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
In a letter dated November 22nd, 1897, Parsons divulges to Mr. W. V. Baker of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company that his two life insurance policies held by Northwestern state differing birthdates because he is unsure of his age. No mention of his mother has been found in either Parsons records or in research materials. On April 28th, 1912, Parsons died in a car accident. He is buried in Vale Cemetery in Schenectady, NY.
- Acquisition information:
These documents were discovered in the Parsons' previous residence at 21 Front Street, Schenectady. Upon the death of Hinsdill Parsons' wife, Jessie Burchard Parsons, in 1951, this residence and its contents were bequeathed to Saint George's Episcopal Church, 28 North Ferry Street, Schenectady. Saint George's sold the house in 1989, and in 2000, a Mr. Kevin Decker wrote Dr. Gerald Zahavi, University at Albany Professor of History, to inform him of the existence of these documents. All items in this manuscript group were transferred to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, in 2006.
- Processing information:
Processed in 2009 by Michelle Scott.