The Remarkable Life of Albert Haskell, Jr.: The King of Crown City is the first comprehensive portrait of the Cortland, New York schoolboy who forged a path of his own that garnered him a reputation in New York State and the Northeast of the nation as an accomplished lawyer, politician, banker, civic organizer, supporter of higher education, and promoter of industrial expansion.As a district attorney, Haskell crossed paths with the prohibition government agents, murderers, white slavers, members of the “Black Hand” gang, and the Ku Klux Klan. He successfully prosecuted those who were part of a tubercular cattle scandal. As a state assemblyman, he was an advocate for the state’s dairy farmers during the violent milk strikes in the 1930s. Haskell co-founded a chapter of Rotary International in 1919 and played a pivotal role in the 1950s in making the place of his birth “the typewriter capital of the world.” Based on a trove of scrapbooks assembled by Haskell through his lifetime and kept by his grandchildren, this biography reveals exactly why Haskell’s life of integrity and public service merits the title of “King of ‘Crown City.’”
Martin A. Sweeney is the public historian for the Town and Village of Homer, New York and has a regular column on local history in The Homer News.
List of Figures
Chapter 1: The Formative Years
Chapter 2: The Years of Arts and Letters
Chapter 3: A Young, Aspiring Lawyer
Chapter 4: The Great Cortland Rotary Hijinks
Chapter 5: The New D.A. Goes After Bootleggers with Izzy and Moe
Chapter 6: Bathtub Gin, Bootleggers, and the Black Hand
Chapter 7: The People vs White Slavers, Faith Healers and a Murderer
Chapter 8: Haskell Takes on the Klan
Chapter 9: The Tragic Demise of Alton Howe
Chapter 10: Tubercular Cattle Scandal
Chapter 11: Another Murder Case and Retirement
Chapter 12: A Continued Career in the Law
Chapter 13: The Political Arena
Chapter 14: The Milk Strikes
Chapter 15: Civic Engagement
Chapter 16: Promotion of Economic Expansion in the 1950s
Chapter 17: “Elder Statesman” of Cortland’s Industrial Growth
Chapter 18: A Man of Faith
The Remarkable Life of Albert Haskell, Jr. adds much to our understanding of how the City of Cortland, NY developed in the 20th century. Readers will learn much about this time period and the crucial role Albert Haskell, Jr. played.
Martin Sweeney’s biography of Albert Haskell, Jr. brings the past to life through his detailed use of scrapbooks compiled by the subject, correspondences, interviews, and other primary sources. Haskell was an important contributor to his community, and Sweeney gets to the heart of the story and builds a compelling narrative that will keep you engaged.
Once again Martin Sweeney has put to great use his creative writing and investigative skills. The culmination of which is this entertaining and interesting biography about my grandfather, Albert Haskell, Jr. Not only is this volume interesting to me from a personal perspective, as I am Albert’s youngest grandchild, but the book captures the story of Central New York’s proud past as well. It has often been relayed to me that Grandpa Haskell deeply cared about the people of Cortland County, and I believe readers will agree that Martin has captured that affinity very well through his storytelling.
Albert Haskell, Jr. was my grandfather. I remember him as a humble and stoic man.
As an 11-year-old kid, I never knew the scope of his law career. This biography
was a real eye opener for me. It is a story that all readers will enjoy.
The name Albert Haskell, Jr. was known by all in Cortland County for a large part of the 20th century. As a lawyer, elected official, businessman and a public citizen, he always had the interests of his community foremost in his mind. My first employment as an attorney was in the law firm of Haskell, Foley, Meldrim and Shay. I was fortunate to be associated with the Haskell name. Albert Haskell, Jr. lived a fascinating life, and his story will be enjoyed by all.