Charles J. Knapp

Charles Junius Knapp
Charles J. Knapp.jpg
Charles J. Knapp
Charles Junius Knapp

June 30, 1845
Pepacton, New York
DiedJune 1, 1916 (aged 70)
Binghamton, New York
Resting placeDeposit, New York
Alma materHamilton College, Clinton, New York
OccupationPolitician and banker

Charles Junius Knapp (June 30, 1845—June 1, 1916) was a politician and banker from Deposit, New York. He served in the New York State Assembly and in the United States House of Representatives. He was indicted in the failure of the Binghamton Trust Company, the Knapp Bros. Bank, and the Outing Publishing Company.


Charles J. Knapp was born on June 30, 1845, in Pepacton, New York (the town is now submerged under the Pepacton reservoir) near the town of Deposit, New York. His family moved to Deposit in 1848, where his family owned the Knapp Bank. Knapp's father, Charles Knapp, was a banker and a Republican politician (he served in both the New York State Assembly as well as in the United States House of Representatives).[1] He graduated from the Delaware Literary Institute (then the Franklin School) of Franklin (village), New York in 1863[2] and Hamilton College (Class of 1866) in Clinton, New York (where he was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity[3]) and joined the family Knapp Bank.[4][5] He married Charlotte Augusta Ford of Binghamton, NY on 16 February 1871 and had seven children with her. He died on June 1, 1916, in Binghamton, New York and is buried at the Laurel Bank Cemetery in Deposit.


Knapp was a member of the New York State Assembly (Delaware Co.) in 1886 and 1888. He was elected as a Republican to the 51st United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1889, to March 3, 1891. While in Congress, he was a member of the House Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures.

He was an alternate delegate to the 1900 Republican National Convention. He also served as the President of the Board of Education and the Board of Supervisors of Delaware County New York.[6][7]

Knapp came from a banking family and he started his career as a banker with the family-run Knapp Bank of Deposit, New York. Later, he became the President of the Binghamton Trust Company of Binghamton, New York. He was also the President of the Outing Publishing Company of Deposit, New York.[8]

The Binghamton Trust Company failure[edit]

On April 8, 1909, the Binghamton Trust Company suspended its operations and the private banks owned by the Knapp family in Deposit and Callicoon, New York failed without warning largely because of large loans made by the Knapp Banks (over $700,000 on a deposit base of $650,000) headed by Charles P. Knapp (nephew of Charles J. Knapp) to The Outing Publishing Company, of which Charles J. Knapp was the President, and loans made by the Binghamton Trust Company to the Knapp Banks.[7] Investigations revealed that the Knapp Bank was being bailed out by the Binghamton Trust Company of which Charles J. Knapp was the President. As a result, the Binghamton Trust Company also failed. Both Knapps were charged with criminally transferring money to an institution that they knew to be insolvent. Charles P. Knapp was sentenced to up to two years for his role in the failure. Charles J. Knapp was indicted, and was acquitted in 1913. Most Knapp family members declared bankruptcy. The building that housed the Knapp Bank currently serves as the home of the Deposit Historical Museum.[9][10][11][12][13][14]


  1. ^ Charles J. Knapp at Political Graveyard
  2. ^ Delaware County History, Delaware Literary Institute Graduates, 1836-1908, retrieved November 25, 2013
  3. ^ Epsilon, Delta Kappa (1900). "Catalogue of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity".
  4. ^ U.S. House Historian, Biography, Charles J. Knapp, retrieved November 25, 2013
  5. ^ Hamilton College (Clinton, N.Y.) (1890). "Hamilton literary magazine".
  6. ^ Hamilton College (Clinton, N.Y.) (1890). "Hamilton literary magazine".
  7. ^ a b "KNAPP BANKS FAIL; BIG LOAN TO OUTING; Binghamton Trust Co. and Private Concerns Backed Magazine for About $700,000. DEPOSITS ABOUT $3,900,000 Trustees of Trust Co. Believe It Will Resume -- Outing Publishing Co. Will Continue Its Work" (PDF), The New York Times, April 10, 1909
  8. ^ "Charles J. Knapp" (PDF), The New York Times, June 2, 1916
  9. ^ "BANKERS ARE INDICTED.; Charles P. and Charles T. Knapp Arraigned in Binghamton After Failures" (PDF), The New York Times, October 3, 1909
  10. ^ "BANKER GETS PRISON TERM.; Charles P. Knapp Convicted In Connection with Binghamton Smash", The New York Times, June 25, 1910
  11. ^ Deposit Historical Museum, Town of Deposit, retrieved November 25, 2013
  12. ^ Honesdale (Pennsylvania) Citizen, Auburn for Knapp, June 29, 1910
  13. ^ William B. Dana Company, The Commercial & Financial Chronicle, Volume 96, Part 2], 1913, page 1598
  14. ^ The Northeastern Reporter, Gregory v. Binghamton Trust et. al., 1916, page 1080

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Silas S. Cartwright
New York State Assembly
Delaware County

Succeeded by
David L. Thomson
Preceded by
David L. Thomson
New York State Assembly
Delaware County

Succeeded by
George O. Mead
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Stephen T. Hopkins
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 17th congressional district

Succeeded by
Isaac N. Cox