Albert J. Akin
Albert Akin lived through all this change and sympathized with it. He took part in it, not as an original mind, inventing or discovering, but as a seer, understanding and interpreting truly, and profiting by what he saw; preparing all the time the means whereby the coming era might be made serviceable to his own well beloved community at Quaker Hill. —Rev. Warren H. Wilson
No one was as instrumental to the history and development of the Town of Pawling and Quaker Hill as Albert J. Akin. Born in 1803 to a prominent Quaker family, Akin had moved to New York City and established himself as a successful businessman before poor health forced him to return to his native Quaker Hill. Understanding that the town’s future lay in the railroad, in the 1840s Akin raised $100,000 to extend the New York Central Railroad line from Croton Falls through Pawling on its way to Dover Plains. The railroad changed the layout of the town, and in time helped to bolster its dairy and other agricultural interests.
Akin was also instrumental in the founding of the Mizzen Top Hotel, as a friendly rival to the Dutcher House in town. In addition to these commercial interests, he was instrumental in the creation of the Akin Hall, and the library that also bears his name, as well as the philanthropic Akin Hall Association. He died in 1903 at the age of one hundred.