NEW LEBANON, N.Y. (NEWS10) –The 25th Governor of New York, Samuel Tilden, rests in the Cemetery of the Evergreens in New Lebanon, New York. His memorial was placed in 1895 in a large memorial circle.
“Samuel Tilden is New Lebanon’s most famous homeboy,” said Elizabeth Sheffer-Winig, town historian for New Lebanon. “He was born here, and his father was into politics.”
Tilden’s father was friends with the eighth president of the United States, Martin Van Buren. That friendship encouraged Tilden to go into politics.
Tilden was known as a reformer, and his opposition to the Tammany Hall gang propelled him to the governorship in 1875. Previously he was elected to the New York State Assembly and Senate.
In 1876 he ran for the presidency on the Democratic ticket against Rutherford B. Hayes. Initially, it was thought Tilden had won the election, but there was contention in four states.
Tilden retired from politics and moved to New York City, where he practiced law until his death in 1886 in Yonkers. After his death, his body was moved to the Cemetery of the Evergreens in his hometown of New Lebanon.
In 1895 his granite monument was placed at the Cemetery. Attached to the granite memorial was a 400-pound bronze wreath. In the 1960s, the wreath was stolen but recovered and stored until it could be repaired. In the spring of 2020, the wreath had gone missing again.
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