Excerpt from “History of the North Country
by Harry F. Landon; Published 1932

Transcribed for internet by Anne M. Cady


The following biography is extracted from the “History of the North Country – A History embracing Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Oswego, Lewis and Franklin Counties, New York” by Harry F. Landon.  This massive history consists of three large volumes with hundreds of short biographies.  As time permits, I will be transcribing the entries with ties to Saint Lawrence County and putting them online. 


Nettie (Earl) Olmstead

As superintendent of the St. Lawrence County Home, at Canton, Mrs. Olmstead is well known in St. Lawrence County.  She was born at Ogdensburg, NY, the daughter of William and Elizabeth (Daniels) Earl.


William Earl was born at North Augusta, Canada, of American parents.  He became a member of the Ogdensburg police force and for many years was overseer of the poor in Ogdensburg.  He died in 1906 and his wife, who was born at Waddington, St. Lawrence County, died in 1925.  Both are buried at Ogdensburg.  There were eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Earl:  1. Elisha, who died in 1889, was principal of Morristown High School for many years.  2. John W., lives at Canton.  3. Philena, married Charles Meade, lives at Canton.  4. Grant, lives at Mountain View, N.J.  5. F. D., M.D., lives at Ogdensburg.  6. Nettie, the subject of this sketch.  7. Herbert, deceased.  8. Edgar, deceased.


Nettie Earl attended the public and high schools of Ogdensburg and is a graduate of Ogdensburg Commercial College.  She spent five years as stenographer and bookkeeper for the McCormick Harvester Company, at Ogdensburg.  She was also employed by Skillings, Whitney & Barnes, lumber dealers, of Ogdensburg.  On Jan 1, 1914, she became matron of the St. Lawrence County Home, and served in that capacity until the death of her husband, March 12, 1921, at which time she took over his duties as superintendent of the poor, being the first woman in the State of New York to hold an office of this kind. Mrs. Olmsted has proven most capable and efficient and also hold the office of Commissioner of public welfare.  She is a member of the New York State Association of Social Welfare Officers.


In 1906 Nettie Earl was married to Harlow A> Olmstead, who died in 1921, and is buried in Ogdensburg.  He was the son of Lorenzo and Dorothy (Godsell) Olmsted, the former a native of Parishville, St. Lawrence County, and the latter, of England.  Both are buried at Ogdensburg.  Mr. Olmstead had served throughout the Civil War with a company of New York Infantry.  To Harlow A. and Nettie (Earl) Olmstead were born two daughters:  Elizabeth, a graduate of Canton High School, class of 1931, attends St. Lawrence University; and Dorothy, a graduate of Canton High School, class of 1931, attends the New York School of Agriculture.  Mr. Olmstead was a Republican, a member of the Methodist Church, and belonged to the Masonic Lodge, B. P. O. Elks No. 772, and Knights of Pythias.


Mrs. Olmsted is identified with the Republican party in politics.  She is a member of the Methodist Church, Grange, and Order of Eastern Star.


Samuel Daniels, Great grandfather of Mrs. Olmstead, served throughout the Revolutionary War, and is buried at Waddington, N.Y.


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