James Knox Polk Pine
City of Troy

This biography is from Troy and Rensselaer County, New York, Volume III, by Rutherford Hayner, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York and Chicago, 1925. It was submitted by Debby Masterson.

JAMES KNOX POLK PINE—Few men were more prominent or more widely known in the enterprising city of Troy than the late James Knox Polk Pine, a dominant factor in business and financial circles, who won a well-deserved popularity during the period of his active association in business enterprises. In him were united many characteristics which go to constitute success in large affairs. Characterized by foresightedness and singleness of purpose, he built up one of the leading industries of the city, and was an active factor in the control of forces which contributed in large measure to the progress and success of every movement which had for its object the general good.

Members of the Pine family were originally early settlers of the State of Connecticut, whence they removed to Long Island, New York, locating in Hempstead, which for many generations thereafter was the family home. James Pine, the progenitor, and his wife, Hannah, were the parents of James (2) Pine, born about the year 1650, who married and had issue, one of whom was James (3) Pine, born about 1690. He married Grace Carman, and among their children was James (4) Pine, born in 1723, married Mary Buckhout, and among their children was Joshua Pine, born in 1781, in Hempstead, Long Island, died near Hoosick Corners, New York, this last-named, Joshua Pine, being the first member of the family to settle in Rensselaer County. He married Betsy Cottrell, and among their children was James (5), of whom further.

James (5) Pine, father of James K. P. Pine, was born in Hoosick, Rensselaer County. New York, February 9, 1815. He was educated in the schools of his birthplace, and upon arriving at a suitable age secured employment as clerk in a store, then became a merchant, an insurance agent, a lawyer, practicing for a short period of time, and an employee of the Walter A. Wood Company, manufacturers of farming machinery and implements. In all these employments and undertakings he gained valuable experience in the varied problems, the solution of which brought him subsequent success and recognition. He brought out a number of useful patents of various kinds, which he manufactured in the plant that he built, and of which he was the sole owner, in Troy, and applied them to different implements. He continued in business until advancing age compelled him to retire from active pursuits. He was a Republican in politics, and on November 4. 1900, in his ninety-tifth year, went to the polls and voted, in company with his sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons, four generations thus voting together. Mr. Pine married Sarah Ouderkirk, born February 14. 1810, died in May, 1893. Children: Alvina Elizabeth, became the wife of Calvin E. Wright, of Chicago. Illinois: J. Leroy, and James Knox Polk, of whom further. The father of these children died in Troy, New York, in 1913.

James Knox Polk Pine was born in Hoosick. Rensselaer County, New York, November 21, 1841. By attendance at the public schools of Hoosick, and Ball's Academy, Hoosick Falls, he acquired a practical education which qualified him for an active career. In 1860, when nineteen years of age, he took up his residence in Troy, where he secured a position as a clerk with the firm of Coon and Van Valkenburgh, collar manufacturers. Early realizing the necessity of going into business on his own account, he began saving, and two years after he had entered this firm he had accumulated sufficient capital to engage in business on his own account. He then became a member of the firm of Cole. Dyer and Pine, engaged in the manufacture of collars. There were several changes made in the firm, but Mr. Pine always retained his interest, forseeing the importance of the industry in the service of which he had entered, and in 1880 becoming the senior partner of Pine and Hamblin. When his partner, Myron Hamblin, died, Mr. Pine conducted the business alone for the succeeding ten years, meeting with such marked success that in 1884 he was enabled to erect a factory in Lansingburg: six years later the United Shirt and Collar Company was incorporated, including the entire business. It was generally recognized that in his services lay in great part the explanation of Troy's predominance in industry in Northern New York. Because of his business acumen and his integrity of character, upon the incorporation of the People's Bank of Lansingburg, in 1889. Mr. Pine was chosen to fill the highest oftice, that of president, and he was also chosen to serve as a member of the board of directors of the Troy City National Bank, which was succeeded by the Security Trust Company, of which he was a vice-president. He was too a trustee of the Troy Savings Bank, the Samaritan Hospital of Troy, the Leonard Hospital, the Young Men's Christian Association, and the Young Women's Christian Association, also a director of the Troy Brick Company and of the Ostrander Fire Brick Company. Mr. Pine stood high in the Masonic order, having attained the thirty-second degree in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, and being a member of the various bodies of lodge, chapter and commandory of the York Rite. He was a Presbyterian in religion, and served as elder in the First Presbyterian Church, of Lansingburg. He was a Republican in politics, and held memberships in the Troy, Riverside, Rensselaer and Republican clubs.

Mr. Pine married, on June 22. 1865, Clara M. Adams, of Troy, daughter of Warren L. and Pamela (Hamblin) Adams. Children: Charles LeRoy, married Grace Kellogg; Kate, became the wife of John A. Kimberly, of Neenah, Wisconsin; Bessie Hamblin; Clara Louise, became the wife of the Rev. A. M. Eriggs, of New Jersey; and Warren Adams, who married Marie Lockwood, of New York. The death of Mr. Pine, which occurred at the Pine summer home at Lake Bomoseen, Castleton, Vermont, September 17, 1919, removed from Troy a man who was held in the highest esteem, the following testimonials attesting this fact. Businessmen and financiers indicated their respect in the following excerpt taken from a memorial adopted by the board of directors of the People's Bank of Troy:

We know that to our bank he gave the best that was in him. He regarded it as a public trust which he was under sacred obligations to fulfill to the best of his ability. And this was characteristic of the man. Whatever he gave his mind or hand to—to that he gave his whole-hearted support. He was a Christian citizen in the truest and highest sense—whose life was spent in the careful discharge of his duty.

He was one of the old-fashioned men age did not wither nor decay. He was charming to look at. Neat and elegant in appearance he was erect and slender as a young man. Courteous and dignified in his manners, his presence commanded respect, yet did not repel, for his kindliness of expression bespoke him ever to be what he always was—the courteous gentleman of the old school. He was one of those happy men of whom it is said that old age brings only maturity.

In life we honored and respected him. So, in death, let these words and these thoughts be inscribed on the minutes and records of our bank, in testimony of our love and regard for him, and as a memorial of the sincere sorrow we feel that he will no longer be with us to counsel and advise.

The following testimonial was adopted by the directors of the Security Trust Company, of Troy, at a meeting held on September 19, 1919:

On the seventeenth day of September, 1919, at his summer residence at Lake Bomoseen, Vermont, James K. P. Pine, First Vice-President of the Security Trust Company of Troy and president of the United Shirt and Collar Company, departed this life at the age of seventy-eight years.

For over half a century Mr. Pine has been actively identified with the commercial, political, and religious interests of our city. In January, 1881, Mr. Pine was elected a director of the Troy City National Bank, and continued in that capacity until it was succeeded by the Security Trust Company of Troy in 1902, when he was elected one of its vice-presidents. At the time of his death he was its senior vice-president. For many years he has been conspicuously and successfully identified with Troy's leading industry and was president at the time of his death of one of its most prominent manufacturing corporations.

Mr. Pine was a man of sound judgment, of quiet and firm determination, of broadand genial charity, of the strictest integrity, interested in public and private benevolences, devoted to his church, active and influential in all movements for the betterment of city government, and a man of intense nationalistic patriotism. We deplore his loss. This record is made to testify to our appreciation of his manly virtues.

At a meeting of the board of trustees of the Troy Savings Bank, held in October, 1919, the following resolutions were presented, adopted, and ordered spread upon the records, and an engrossed copy sent to the surviving members of the family:

The passing away of James Knox Polk Pine has broken an association with this bank extending over twenty-seven years.

Before coming into the Bank, he had already won a place of distinction in the industrial life of the city of Troy and of old Lansingburg, and he brought into the bank a wealth of experience in afifairs large and varied.

His equipment for the contest of life was built by himself alone, and on a deep and broad foundation. His achievements were in other fields, yet we prized his alert judgment on financial questions. His clear intelligence, wide knowledge of things of the world, and masterful way of approaching an intricate problem were very helpful in the work of his associates. His character, courage and sense of duty helped to make him an ideal Trustee and servant.

To the sorrowing members of his family and to his business associates we extend our heartfelt sympathy.

J. E. ANTHONY, Secretary.

The following- is quoted from the Troy "Times" of September 18, 1919:

James K. P. Pine, who died at Lake Bomoseen, Vermont, yesterday, was a foremost figure in the industry with which he was identified and which is so great a factor in promoting prosperity in the community. Mr. Pine had long held prominence in commercial and financial affairs, and was identified with various interests in a way that brought him into connection with many useful activities. In church, social and fraternal relations he exemplified uprightness and kindliness that won respect and esteem, and he passed away after a career that stamped him as a citizen whose worth is recognized and whose death brings sincere regret to all who knew him.

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