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G. V. S. QUACKENBUSH
Excerpted from the book
Troy’s One Hundred Years 1789-1889
Published in 1891 by William H. Young, 7 and 9 First Street, Troy, NY
The earliest established retail dry goods house now in the city is that of G. V. S. Quackenbush & Co. Few of its first patrons are living to tell of its beginning on the east side or River Street, one door north of State Street, sixty-seven years ago. Then it was seated as it is now in the business center of the city. Its removal on October 1st, 1856, to the south-east corner of Third and Albany streets, was looked upon as a mistake of the circumspect proprietor, but the marked changes in the growth of the city which later followed confirmed his foresight and sagacity.
The large and finely-lighted four-story store is a creditable monument to his enterprise. The business being wholly that of the sale of dry goods, the stock of the different departments, both wholesale and retail, comprises silks, woolen, cotton, and other dress fabrics, prints, cloths, linens, muslins, underwear, hosiery, laces and embroideries, shawls, cloaks, haberdashery, carpets, curtains, and other products of the loom and needle. An elevator carries buyers from floor to floor. The spaciousness of the salesrooms is one of the striking features of the well-ordered establishment. Situated at the intersection of Third Street and Broadway, two of Troy’s principal thoroughfares, it is of easy access both to city shoppers as well as country customers.
The founder of the store, Gerrit Van Schaick Quackenbush, engaged in the dry goods business in 1824 with William C. Miller, under the name of G. V. S. Quackenbush & Co., at No. 202 River Street, next door north of the dry goods store of Knox & Morgan, opened in May, 1827, in the building on the north-east corner of River and State streets. The site was originally occupied by a two-story frame dwelling first the residence of Zephaniah Anthony, who, on October 27th, 1792, sold it and lot 70 to Moses Bears for 350 pounds, who converted the building into a tavern, which was burned in the fire of 1820, when Amos Allen was the landlord of the house.
On the dissolution of the partnership, on April 28th, 1826, G. V. S. Quackenbush and Edwin Smith formed the firm of Quackenbush & Smith. On the withdrawal of Edwin Smith, on March 7th, 1828, G. V. S. Quackenbush continued the business until 1837, when he and William Lee as G. V. S. Quackenbush & Co. became associated in it. The firm, from 1839 to 1841 had a branch store at No. 3 Franklin Square, which was conducted under the name of William Lee & Co. In 1841, the store at No. 202 River Street was conducted under the name of Quackenbush & Lee. From 1842 to 1865, G. V. S. Quackenbush had the management of the business. On February 1st, 1865, he, his son Gerrit, and Samuel Lasell, who had held a clerkship under G. V. S. Quackenbush for a number of years, and William H. Sherman, who had likewise held a similar position in his store from 1848, entered into partnership under the name of G. V. S. Quackenbush & Co. In 1868, Frederick Bullis became a copartner.
On the death of Gerrit Quackenbush, on May 8th, 1869, the four surviving members of the firm continued the business under the same name. Gerrit V. S. Quackenbush died on June 10th, 1872, aged 71 years. On February 1st, 1873, Samuel H. Lasell and William H. Sherman succeeded to the business, which they have since conducted under the name of G. V. S. Quackenbush & Co.