Albert Ebenezer Powers was born on December 5, 1816 in Lansingburgh, N.Y., to William and Deborah (Ball) Powers. In 1834 Powers entered the Rensselaer Institute and remained for just four months.
In 1839 Powers married Frances Elizabeth Hanford, daughter of William Hanford. By 1841, Powers had entered the oil cloth manufacturing business that had been started by his father. On October 1, 1857 Powers married Lucy Clark Allen, daughter of Reverend Joseph Allen, and in 1861 was appointed a trustee of the Institute.
Powers served as acting president of the Institute from 1887 to 1888, following the death of William Gurley.
Excerpt from Nason, Henry B., ed. Biographical Record of the Officers and Graduates of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1824-1886. Troy, NY: William H. Young, 1887, pp. 92.