Born in Pittstown, New York in 1824, Charles Backman amassed a fortune as a young man in New York City, moved to Orange County and founded Stony Ford Farm in Campbell Hall in 1864. He was the first to recognize the potential greatness of the sire Hambletonian, who stood in nearby Chester. Backman scoured the country in search of mares for his breeding establishment and though he did not care for racing, he became an expert on breeding. He purchased many of Hambletonian's offspring, including Messenger Duroc, Electioneer and others. With the reputations of Electioneer and Green Mountain Maid, Backman's farm became a mecca for the "sealskin brigade," a group of well-to-do New York City horsemen, and many visits from former U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant. From 1862 to 1900 Backman was known as "a breeder's breeder." He died June 30, 1900.
Published in the Harness Racing Museum's 1994 book, The Immortals