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Knox Town

Knox Town Hall is located on Town Hall Road off of Berne-Altamont Road (Route 156). The postal mailing address is PO Box 116, Knox NY 12107; phone: 518‑872‑2551. Mail deliveries through the town are handled by the Altamont (12009), Delanson (12053) and Schoharie (12157) postal facilities.

About the time of its sesquicentennial in 1972, the town historian and residents, in search of a theme for celebration, self-proclaimed Knox as the "Pillbox Capital of the World." From 1806 to 1906 as many as six facilities were in operation making these boxes which were distributed to the makers of patent medicines. The boxes were made from basswood. Men, women, and children were employed to perform the various steps in the box-making processes. Tins and glass replaced the basswood boxes beginning in the early 1900s.


Knox was erected from Town of Berne in 1822. At that time the house of Henry Barclay was used for town meetings.

Soon after the end of the American Revolution, settlers began to come in from New England. Among the very first of these were Samuel Abbott and Andrew Brown, from Connecticut.

In 1831 Alexander Crounse moved into Knox from an adjoining town and erected a tannery on the main road through the town west of Knoxville, and for many years did a large business manufacturing leather goods.

Gideon Taber was a pioneer and one of the first shoemakers in the town. He was a native of New London, CT, and a son of Quaker parents. Because of his non-combatant beliefs he went to Canada during the Revolution. After the war he returned to Knox and went among the families as an itinerant shoemaker, according to the custom in early times. He was thrifty and subsequently established a small tannery, where he made leather for his own trade and for harness making. He was elected justice of the peace in 1822, and eventually served in the State Assembly.

Nathan Crary began the manufacture of basswood pill boxes early in the century (1806), supplying some of the largest pill makers in the country.

Among the more prominent families who came into the town or were already settled here about 1825 and 1850, were those of Malachi Whipple, Dr. Erastus Williams, Egbert Schoonmaker, Frederick Bassler, Potter Gage, Alexander Crounse, Charles Chesbro, David Van Auken, Perez Frink, Henry Denison, P. Witter, Isaac Barber, Daniel Chesebro, John Gallup, Wright Skinner, Dow Van Derker, Henry Williams, Cyrus Chapman, Henry Dane, Daniel Gallup, Joseph Gallup, Samuel Russell, Gurdon Gallup, and the Seaburys.

  1. Amasa J. Parker, editor, Landmarks of Albany County New York, D. Mason & Co., Publishers, Syracuse, 1897.
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