Planned giving helps make sure that the history of central New York continues to touch the lives of generations to come. Please consider leaving a bequest to OHA in your will. Making a bequest is a simple process of consultation with your attorney or financial advisor. Types of bequests to OHA can include gifts of securities, trusts, retirement assets, life insurance, and cash. Those who include OHA in their estate plans are part of the Kirkpatrick Society of OHA and can receive special recognition if they choose.

For more information, contact Jon Zella, Development Officer, at (315) 428-1864, ext. 315, or

Who was William Kirkpatrick?

William Kirkpatrick was one of the best known of the pioneer residents of Syracuse who passed away in May of 1900. As a young boy, he attended the Syracuse Academy, along with other private institutions. Eventually, Kirkpatrick followed in his father’s footsteps and entered into salt manufacturing, which he continued throughout his life. Kirkpatrick’s office was right in the heart of downtown, at the Syracuse House, where the Onondaga County Savings Bank now stands.

Kirkpatrick was also active in politics, serving as a member, and later President, of the Common Council from the Fourth Ward from 1855 to 1857. He was also known for his management of financial affairs, both in private business and in the public interest.

His efforts in the public theater paved the way for his involvement at the Onondaga Historical Association, where he was an active member of the board and one time President of the organization. Upon his passing in 1900, Kirkpatrick left funds in his will to be used for an OHA building. In 1905, OHA purchased the former Central new York Telephone and Telegraph Company building at 311 Montgomery Street. The company quickly outgrew the facility and built the building that is OHA’s current home at 321 Montgomery Street.