Additional light is
thrown on the settlement of Albany by A. S. Mercer (66):
Hackleman took the claim located in the eastern part of city, and hired
H. N. Smead to hold the claim adjoining on the west, land on which the
main business portion of the town is now (1875) located......
“... The first frame house was the large two
story building on the corner of Second and Washington streets now (1875)
occupied by Mr. George Monteith as a boarding house. It was commenced in
1849, and after the frame was up, and the roof on, abandoned until the
summer of 1850, (because everybody went to the gold mines) when it was
completed. In the spring of 1849, nearly all the settlers in the county
went to California, to work in mines. Mr. John Burkhart and wife was the
only family in the place, they were left in charge of the claim during
the absence of the Messrs. Monteith in the mines. Mr. Burkhart arrived
in 1848 and took a claim a few miles east of town, but lived in the village
for some time...
“About 1851 Andersen Cox and Harvey Gorden
purchased an interest in East Albany of Mr. Hackleman, a plot of some 60
acres laid out into lots, and situated on the river front between Parker and
Morris’ warehouse and Cherry’s foundry...
“Rev. R. C. Hill was the first school teacher
in the town, opening a private school in the pioneer log house during
the winter of 1851—52. He was also the first minister of the gospel, and
the first practicing physician. On
Sundays he preached in the log school house, and when called to see a
patient during the week, on school days, he left the largest scholar in
charge, and mounting an Indian pony rode the five or ten miles, as the
case required, left the necessary medicine and returned to his pupils.
The Doctor is still with us (1875), and besides preaching to his regular
congregation, enjoys a large and remunerative practice in his medical
“… The present (1875) population is 2,900
... The city is scattered over a large area, being a mile and a half up
and down the river, and extending back from the water front something
more than half a mile ... There are seven church edifices ... two school
houses ... and a college building.
“... The business of the city is mostly
confined to Front and Broadalbin streets. There are some sixteen
substantial fire-proof brick business houses, on two adjoining blocks,
with the remaining frontage all built up in wooden buildings. Front
street lies back from the river some 300 feet, and between this street
and the river most of our manufacturing establishments are located....”