Fun Facts About Montgomery County, NY

You might be surprised to learn about our exciting trivia…

The namesake of Montgomery County was Richard Montgomery, a career British Army officer who switched sides just before the Revolution to become a general for the Colonists. Montgomery was killed in the Battle of Quebec in 1775.

Irish-born Sir William Johnson, England’s superintendent of all Indian affairs in the northern colonies was the most influential figure in Mohawk Valley Colonial history.

Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656 at Osserneon (Auriesville). She was the daughter of a Christian Algonquin woman and non-Christian Mohawk chief. Becoming orphaned during a smallpox epidemic left her with a scarred face and impaired eyesight. After the smallpox outbreak subsided, Kateri and her people built a new settlement, called Caughnawaga (Fonda), some five miles away on the north bank of the Mohawk River. Converted and baptized in 1676 by Father Jacques de Lamberville, a Jesuit missionary. She was shunned and abused by relatives for her faith. In 1679 Kateri took a vow of chastity. She is the first Native American proposed for canonization; her cause was started in 1884 under Pope Leo XIII. The Tekakwitha Conference, an international association of Native American Catholics and those in ministry with them, was named for her. Today Auriesville is the home of Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs and Fonda is the home of the National Shrine of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha.

Arkell and Smith Sack Company, 1870s manufacturer in Canajoharie produced the first paper bag. The modern type of this bag would be a flour or sugar sack.

Susan B. Anthony taught school in Canajoharie at the Canajoharie Academy prior to joining the Women's Suffrage Movement.  She was principal of the girls' education.  Her mother's brother, Joshua Read, lived and operated an inn in Palatine Bridge.  He, along with his wife and descendants, are buried in the Palatine Bridge Cemetery.

Actor Kirk Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch, December 9, 1916 in Amsterdam.

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