..... All Tower Bells ..... Chimes our specialty.

Julius Hanks - started the original bell foundry in 1808 on Water street in Gibbonsville, NY.  Gibbonsville, Port Schuyler and Washington became West Troy in 1836, later becoming Watervliet in 1899.  [All are located in Watervliet Township within Albany County. /CSZ/]  It was located on what is now Broadway between 14th and 15th streets, in Watervliet.  A library with a huge 1832 bell and site marker sits on the cleared site.

The first Andrew Meneely came to the U.S. from Northern Ireland in 1795.
His son, Andrew Meneely, apprenticed out to Hanks and learned the bell making business from him.

Julius Hanks moved his foundry operation to Troy as the Gurley, Hanks and Starbuck Foundry, 1825-1835.  It appears that Hanks was more interested in instrument making, which the Gurley connection fulfilled.

For continuity, the Meneely story starts below this list of Hanks bells.

Bells of both Hanks foundries, verified and in some cases, accessable ...
1824 at Sanger Masonic Lodge tower, Waterville, NY, in chime bell frame
1829 30" at Boone, IA, J Hanks 1829 on waist
1831 at Salisbury, NY, street level, across Route 29 from former 1831-1946 Baptist and Universalist Church
1831 31" in Meneely 'A' frame at Rensselaer County Historical Society, Troy, NY
1832 30" at Reformed Presbyterian Church, Middleline & Charlton Roads, Ballston, in an 1857 A-frame (don't let the frame date fool you)
1833 36" at Fonda, NY, Reformed Church tower, from Amsterdam Reformed 1868 or 1869 in a Jones A-frame

Reported but not verified:
1814 at Jefferson Academy, Jefferson, Schoharie County, NY
1815 at Hartwick College, Yager Hall, Oneonta, NY; Hartwick Seminary 1815, J.Hanks Fecit.-J.G.Knauff Executor
1817 at Auburn NY Prison, now in outer prison front yard,
1823 at Old First Church, Bennington, VT
1825 at Old Southeast Church, Brewster, NY ---(Troy Casting Co)
1830's bell for building belonging to Schoharies First Railroad
1830 or 1803 704# for Dutch Reformed Church, Schoharie County by Julius Hanks, disposition unknown, replaced by Kimberly & Meneely of Troy 1875, 1174#
1831 at Fayetteville, NC, First Presbyterian Church, recast by Oscar Hanks from 1831 fire, on top of tower chime bell frame, inscribed "I perished in the flames the 29th of May 1831" "O.Hanks Bell Foundry Troy"
1835 at East Congregational Church, Milton, MA

From Clinton Meneely Day Book transcribed by Jess Brodnax:
Line 4422: Cooperstown, 1st Pres Ch. 1823# Dec 29, 1898, originally purchased bell from Julius Hanks in 1817, after church burned in 1880's bell was later purchased from Meneely of Troy
Line 6190: Troy, St. Pauls P E Ch, 1900# Feb 23, 1900, KBS in1900, J.Hanks bell originally cast in 1830, cracked and was recast in 1900 by Meneely Bell Co. as the gift of Mary M. Thampson "Glory in Excelsis Deo", from parish history 1804-1954, page 81.

The Andrew Meneely (reds) West Troy, Watervliet foundry story

Andrew continued or re-opened the Gibbonsville foundry on Water street in 1826 as A. Meneely Bell Foundry.  Jonas V. Oothout (for monetary purposes?) became Andrew's partner in 1835, and withdrew in 1841.
Andrew was president of the village in 1839 and 1843.
Andrew took on his oldest son Edwin A. as a partner in 1849, name changed to A. Meneely & Son.
Andrew died in 1851.
His other son, George R. joined at some point.  Name changed to E.A. & G.R. Meneely.
George R. withdrew in 1874.  At some point, Andrew Ernest Meneely and Alfred Cluett Meneely, two  other sons  grandsons of Edwin, continued as Meneely & Co. of West Troy, until ceasing operations in 1950.
Andrew E. died in 1939.  Alfred Cluett Meneely died in 1949.

The Clinton Meneely (blacks) Troy foundry story

Clinton Meneely was the youngest son of Andrew and Philena Meneely.  He enlisted in the Army, served with the Union Forces in the Civil War.  He served on President Lincoln's personal staff and was mustered out.  Reports say 1875, but seems more likely to be 1865.
When he returned home, his older brothers Edwin and George had revamped the business.  This was the public reason Clinton was not included.  Conjecture runs rampant that they just didn't like him and said there was not enough business to support him.
Remember - the Jones & Hitchcock bell Foundry, later the Jones foundry a/k/a Troy bell foundry, had started in 1852 (closing in 1887).
Clinton went into business selling surplus war materials for several years.  As an aside, perhaps he should have joined with the Bannerman Island Castle group on the Hudson near Poughkeepsie.
In 1870 he obtained financial aid from George Kimberly and opened a foundry in Troy on Adams Street as Meneely & Kimberly.  They were quite successful. Their first 11 bell chime still exists at the Episcopal Church on State Street in Albany.  It is still manually played every Sunday from a 60 step climb to the clavier.
By 1880, Clinton bought out Kimberly's interest and became Clinton H. Meneely Bell Co.
About 1900, he revamped his business with his three sons, William, Wadsworth and Chester.  The company became Meneely Bell Co. until closing in 1950.

The lack of raw materials during WWII had severely restricted their business.  New bells could only be cast from melted down old bells.
There had been a bitterly contested court case involving the use of the same family name by both Foundries, causing confusion.  Troy and West Troy is one instance.  A court decreed that any business was allowed to include its family name in doing business.  There was talk that postal people were paid to misdirect mail to one foundry or another.  It sure seems that it was a possibility.

The Kehn family
All thru this were three generations of Kehns who worked for this foundry.  Pius, Chester, and Edward.  I personally knew Eddie when in his 90's.  He lived to be 100.  He (along with his brother Chester) picked up on the repair, service, and electrification of tower bells for the next 30 years.  Much hard copy and verbal information was left to me.  In his later years, he suffered from Alzheimers, but from his kitchen table with a beer or at his bedside, he would remember almost every bell and the story behind it.  You should be so fortunate.

Conversation with Bob Verdin Sr.
I am friendly with everyone in the bell business niche.  We all have our likes and dislikes.  We talked one day in 2011 about electrification of Chimes.  I don't like it but have noticed a cycle to go back to manual ringing.  Bob logically explained it that as people got older and less able to do this manually, electrification was an option not to lose them.  Now, with younger players coming along, manual playing again becomes an option, so not to do away with the manual action makes sense in any electrification process.

Meneely Family Tree

The first Meneely came to U. S. in 1795.
---This is still in process.  These old records are not easy.  There may be some minor errors and additions to be worked on.

Editor's comments:
1.  Last names omitted in the original (because they were thought to be obvious?) have not been inserted.
2.  Dates have been removed, leaving only years.
3.  Compare the
Hanke-Meneely genealogy at, which has much more detail; it includes the Hanks connections but omits descendants who might be still living.   /CSZ/

number is the generation after Andrew and Philena, dots follow to give indentation
..+ gives additional info for the previous entry of this generation - additional marriages, comments, etc.
highlighted names are those who also worked in a Meneely foundry
---WT=West Troy, TY=Troy

Andrew, one son of the 1795 emigrated Andrew Meneely married Julius Hanks  daughter  first cousin Philena

The Meneely Bell Founder Patriarch. Number and dots
1. *Andrew-WT* 1802-1851 m. Philena Hanks 1803-1887
2.. c. Eleanor S, Edwin A, George Rodney, Clinton Hanks, 2.. 2 sons, 4 daughters died in infancy

2.. Eleanor S. 1827-1853 m.0

2.. *Edwin A.-WT* 1828-1887 m. Caroline Kimberly in 1851
3... *Andrew H.-WT* 1856-1924 m. Grace Bilmeyer Young 1865-1938, in Harpers Ferry VA
4.... Edwin Andrew 1890-infancy
4.... Grace Lois 1882-1961 m/d. Park Howell, 2 sons Dickinson and Andrew
4....+ Grace Lois m. Henry Graton Gould of Worcester MA, no children, Gould adopted Dickinson & Andrew & last name
5..... Dickinson Meneely Howell, later Gould 1904-2001 m. Gladys Antha Brewer 1905-1993
6...... Paul Brewer Gould 1937-x m. Maureen Ann Connery in 1944
7....... Paul Brewer Gould JR 1967-1996
7....... Shawn Christoper Gould 1969-x
6...... Dickinson Meneely Gould Jr 1944-2006 m. Mary Joanette Veaseu 1943-x
7....... Meredith Chambers 1969-x
7....... Eleanor B.
7....... Dickinson Meneely Gould III
5..... Andrew Meneely Howell, later Gould 1907-1989 m. Edith Masury Dederick 1906-x
6...... Andrew Meneely Gould Jr 1932-x m. Diana Margaret Pasquali in 1955; div.1970
7....... Valori Anne 1956-x
7....... Lisa Catherine 1959-x
7....... Lynn Margaret 1959-1971
6...... Prescott Dederick Gould 1934-1998 m. Nancy Ann Hughes; div.1966
7....... Michael Dederick 1963-x
4.... *Andrew Ernest-WT* 1885-1939 m. Bernice Slater, no children
4.... Laurence Young 1887-1961 m. Florence E. Mitchell, no children
4.... Dorothy 1889-1965 m. Walter Rae Harrington 1885-1942
5..... Hope Cornell Harrington Miller 1915-x, no children
4.... *John Kimberly-WT* 1895-1967 m. Sarah E. Suderley 1894-1967 of Coeymans NY
5..... John Kimberly Jr 1917-1963 m. Delia Page Marshall in 1918
6...... Nancy Fitzhugh 1918[?]-x
4.... *Alfred Cluett-WT* 1891-1952 m. Dorothy Wheeler
4.... Eleanor Noel 1893-1973 m. Francis B. Quackenboss 1888-1933 of Worcester MA
5..... Nancy 1921-x m. John H.Gleasun
4.... Mary Margaret 1895-1968 m. Harold S. Dorrance M.D. of Rochester NY
5..... Mary Diana 1925-1996 m. John C. Donnelly III of Rochester NY
3... George Kimberly 1858-1935 m. Agnes T Bowen
3... 1 son died in infancy, 1 son died at age 5

2.. *George Rodney-WT* 1831-1915 m. Achsah B. Dickinson in 1856
3... Eleanor 1857-x
3... Charles Dickinson 1860-1922 m. Emily Frances Green

2.. *Clinton Hanks Meneely-TY* 1839-1923 m. Josephine E. Roof in 1862
3... *Wadsworth Meneely-TY* 1864-1930
3... Eugenia Philena 1866-x m. Samuel Snelling (1 son died in infancy)
3... *William Roof Meneely-TY* 1869-1951 m. Josephine Dater
3... *Chester R. Meneely-TY* 1876-1954 m. Elizabeth Tucker
4.... Eugenia 1902-1994 m. George B. Cluett in 1938
5..... Mary Walter Stetson 1941-x m/div. Langdon Schmidt
6...... Arthur Langdon 1964-x
6...... Chester Cluett 1966-x
4...+ Eugenia
5..... names ? Sndra Phillipi div. Susan P Westcott
6...... Kyre Alexander 1972-x
6...... Sereyna Elizabeth 1974-x
4.... *Henry Tucker Meneely-TY* 1904-1988 m. Elizabeth Schofield in 1938
4.... *Chester Brownell Meneely-TY* 1906-1956 m. Louise H Reed
4.... *Clinton Meneely-TY* 1908-1982/4? m. Sarah R. Hobart in 1938
4.... Elizabeth Louise 1913-1992 m. G. Ernest Boehme 1905-1997 in 1938
Send mail to  Carl Zimmerman  with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified by Carl Zimmerman:  11-Feb-2014
Last modified by Joe Connors:  11/20/12