Warren County Historical Society Presents …
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August 8, 2012
H & F Binch Brothers and the Robin Hood Legends
The Connection between Glens Falls and the Robin Hood legend may be tenuous BUT that connection is still represented by the former H & F Binch building at 211 Warren Street.
This 1893 Romanesque style building, designed by local architect Ephraim B Potter, has had connections with many owners – local and distant. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
The building, prior to 1916, housed the Peyser Collar and Cuff Company. In 1916 the building, with backing of Saratoga Springs financiers, was acquired by Herbert and Francis Binch who’d emigrated to the USA circa 1908. The Binch brothers came to Glens Falls from the United Kingdom where their family had a history working in lace mills, including Herbert and Francis.
- Peyser Collar Factory
The Peyser building was remodeled with the façade changed to “H & F Binch;” the H & F standing for the brothers’ first names in birth order with Herbert born in 1863, Francis 1870.
A 1926 letter (copy) exists showing one brother, at least, had an interest in family genealogy. Research shows the Binch family has a long and varied history.
In 1942 H & F Binch was sold to Leon Birnbaum owner of the Native Textiles Company of Highgate New Jersey, thus the new name came to Glens Falls.
1962 saw the business sold to Indian Head Mills, a textile company. Within a short period Indian Head sold the textile businesses to Thyssen-Bornemisza. Within 8 – 10 years that company sold it to the Hanson Trust of United Kingdom. That division was later named Carisbrook Industries who owned the business and building until it sold to a “new” Native Textiles. This company was defunct by 2005. The current owner is a local businessman Gerard Nudi, a commercial real estate investor and recent past owner of Warren Electric Supply.
Herbert and Francis had two brothers, Wallis Eli Binch (1866) and Alonzo Walter Binch (1873). Their parents were Walter and Mary Binch; the family, in 1881, resided at 12 Terrace Street, Radford, Nottingham England.
Currently the building is mostly vacant. Various development plans have been proffered but no solid direction has emerged. Some space is rented to various businesses.
The connection mentioned at the beginning? Wallis Eli Binch was elected Lord Mayor of Nottingham in 1939, prior to that, in 1934 Wallis Eli Binch was elected Sheriff of Nottingham.
Wallis Binch Lord Mayor Nottingham 1940
Special thanks to the Nottinghamshire Government Archives of the United Kingdom; specifically to Peter Lester, Archivist, Nottinghamshire Archives, whose research of public offices held by Wallis Eli Binch was invaluable.
© August 7, 2012, Warren County Historical Society.
Prepared for Warren County Historical Society by Gary Evans. 31 May 2011
Peyser photos from: Chapman Museum Collection.