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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Leo W. Begley

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 470-471 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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The city of Schenectady is proud to number among her native sons and representative young lawyers Leo W. Begley, who, as attorney and counselor, maintains offices at No. 409 State street. He was born on the 10th of July, 1891, his parents being John and Mary (Laffy) Begley, the former a native of Ireland and the latter of Boston, Massachusetts. John Begley was brought to America by his parents when about five years of age and obtained his education in the schools of New York city and Jersey City. He became a cut stone contractor and in 1890 removed from Albany to Schenectady, where he established the Mohawk Stone Yard, which he conducted successfully throughout the remainder of his life, passing away in May, 1920. His widow, who still makes her home in Schenectady, is well known and highly esteemed here.

Leo W. Begley pursued his education in the grade and high schools and in Union University and prepared for a professional career as a student in the Albany Law School, which is the law department of Union University of Albany, New York. That institution conferred upon him the degree of LL. B. in 1915 and on the 19th of September, 1916, he was admitted to the bar. Following his graduation from the Albany Law School he entered the office of Judge J. J. McMullen, with whom he remained until he enlisted for service in the World war on the 5th of May, 1917. He went to the First Officers Training Camp and received the commission of second lieutenant of infantry but forfeited that to become a flying cadet. On the 31st of October, 1917, he went overseas, where he served until February 12, 1919, acting part of the time as first-class sergeant and subsequently as second lieutenant in the air service. He now holds the rank of second lieutenant in the Reserve Corps. Lieutenant Begley did duty with the Two Hundred and First Aero Squadron, which was later changed to the Four Hundred and Ninety-seventh Squadron and which numbered many aces.

It was in May, 1919, that Lieutenant Begley returned to Schenectady, where he has been successfully engaged in law practice to the present time. He holds membership in both the Schenectady County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association. Until January 1, 1924, he was first assistant corporation counsel of Schenectady. While a student in law school he acted as confidential clerk to Governor Glynn and was also an attache of the trial court of impeachment. Mr. Begley was confidential clerk of the last constitutional convention in 1915 and at the present time is minority leader of the state assembly, making an excellent record in the legislature. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party.

Fraternally Mr. Begley is a fourth degree Knight of Columbus and he is a devout communicant of the Catholic church. He likewise belongs to two Greek letter societies Delta Chi, a legal fraternity, and Sigma Kappa Delta, a high school fraternity. His further membership connections are with the Schenectady Historical Society, the Schenectady Boat Club, the Chamber of Commerce and the American Legion. He resides at No. 910 Albany street in Schenectady.

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