Hoosick Township Historical Society

Edith Craig Reynolds By Nick Montfort

Edith Craig Reynolds was born on the date of December 9th, 1875 in Walworth, England. She went to school in London and went to Edinburgh University. Edinburgh University is one of the most prestigious university's in the United Kingdom. Edinburgh University attracts many students from all over the world. Aside from Edith Craig Reynolds, many other prestigious people have had schooling there such as J. K. Rowling the writer of the Harry Potter Stories.

In the year 1900 Edith Craig Reynolds married Reverend Aeneas Craig who was a reverend for the Established Church of Scotland. The Established Church of Scotland for over three centuries has been the church for most of the people who live in Scotland. During this time Edith became very involved in her husband's beliefs. Mrs. Reynolds and Aeneas Craig had two children. Sadly the two children died at the ages of two and twelve years of age. Reverend Aeneas Craig passed away in the year of 1922.

The turning point in Mrs. Reynolds' life was when she came to the United States to attend and speak at the Northern Baptist Convention. Mrs. Reynolds' decided to stay in America and she became the Pastor for the First Baptist Church in Ellenburg Depot, which is located near Plattsburgh. Once again another important step in Mrs. Reynolds' life is when she came to Hoosick Falls, New York to become the Pastor at the First Baptist Church in Hoosick Falls, which is now run by David F. Hall. The Hoosick Township Historical Society reports that Mrs. Reynolds was the first female minister in New York to be fully ordained. Mrs. Reynolds was the first female to hold the role as Chaplin of the New York State Legislature.

Mrs. Reynolds remarried a man named Marcus T. Reynolds in the year 1928. Marcus was a very successful businessman, and his father was a member of congress. Soon after they were married, Rev. Reynolds retired from ministry. The Reynolds went to St. Petersburg Florida for the harsh winter months. While in St. Petersburg Revered Reynolds would fill in at local churches. Sadly Rev. Reynolds was plagued with another loss when her beloved husband Marcus died on June twelfth 1956. Rev. Reynolds would soon go on and prevail even with the numerous losses during her lifetime.

Mrs. Reynolds soon went on to play a huge role in the town of Hoosick Falls. Mrs. Reynolds made significant financial contributions that have left a lasting effect on our town. She gave money to over twenty-five different organizations in Hoosick Falls. She has made many things possible such as things that save lives. Her generous financial gift made the Rescue Squad and the North Hoosick Fire Department possible. Mrs. Reynolds also helped to develop the Hoosick Falls Little League, the VFW, and the Health Center. Those are just to name a few. In 1965, she gave a numerous amount of money to develop the community pool. The following year she gave money to build the Skating Rink with money that she received from a New York grant. In 1967, Mrs. Reynolds was awarded an honorary degree from Sage graduate school in Troy N.Y. She was awarded an L.H.D. An L.H.D. stands for Doctor of Humane Letters.

Edith Craig Reynolds then died on September 3rd, 1971, but her death would not be the end. Instead her death was the beginning of a scholarship foundation. The Edith Craig Reynolds foundation is for high school seniors who live in Rensselaer County. The student must plan to attend a two year or a four year college or university. They must be a citizen of the United States, and carry on where Edith left off, by being involved in two extra curricular activities and have a high standard of citizenship. That wasn't enough and Mrs. Reynolds wasn't finished. Mrs. Reynolds started the Reynolds Foundation which, to this day, still gives funds to local organizations each year.

Many people have asked me who Edith Craig Reynolds is, and what has she done for our community? I always answer, "What hasn't she done?" Mrs. Reynolds has created many things that not only 1, but many, if not all my friends and family enjoy. She has made it possible for me to hang out and swim with my friends in the summer. She has made the little league field possible. The little league field is very important to me, because about three years ago when I moved here playing baseball was a great way to make new friends, and all those people I played baseball with are now some of my best friends. So I must thank Mrs. Reynolds for that. Also she is keeping me, my family and friends safe, by making sure the Rescue Squad and the North Hoosick Fire department were possible. There are many other things she has done for us, but I hope by doing this I can already spread the word that Edith Craig Reynolds has done so much for us and we don't know it. I don't know how to skate, but winter is right around the comer. Thanks to Mrs. Reynolds we do have a skating rink. Maybe once winter comes I'll go try something new and once again thank Mrs. Reynolds for it.

Nick Montfort - Hoosick Falls Central School - Winning Essay Contest
December 2006