The First C.E.’s – Aaron Olmstead

Aaron Olmstead earned a B.N.S. and a C.E. degree from RPI in 1837.  He taught at private high schools for a while and then attended Yale Law School.  He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1843.  Aaron practiced law alternately in New York City and Saratoga from then on.  What’s curious about Aaron Olmstead is his stint as a tannery owner in Essex County from 1847 to 1856.  Aaron’s brother Levi purchased land for the tannery in what would become known as Olmsteadville in the town of Minerva.  The tannery business flourished there for a period of time because of the availability of hemlock bark, which was used to cure the leather.  The Olmstead’s, originally from Saratoga County, were apparently taking advantage of a money making opportunity.  After the tannery was sold, Aaron went back to practicing law in New York City.  He returned to a law practice in Saratoga Springs in 1867 and lived there for the rest of his life.

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