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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Willard L. Best

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 147-148 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Willard L. Best, partner of Emmett A. Glynn in the law firm of Glynn & Best, Gloversville, Fulton county, is a native of Cape Vincent, New York, his birth having occurred on July 2, 1897. His parents were Austin and Georgianna (Lowrey) Best, the former a native of Ogdensburg, New York, and the latter of Heuvelton, both places being in St. Lawrence county. Austin Best was connected with the American Express Company at Ogdensburg for a number of years as a young man and later entered the employ of the Booth Fisheries Company at Cape Vincent, with whom he was associated until his death in 1901. His widow still resides in Cape Vincent.

Willard L. Best spent his boyhood in Cape Vincent, passing through the successive grades of the grammar schools and through the high school, from which he graduated in the class of 1915. Enrolling in the Albany Law School in the fall of that year, he completed his work for the Bachelor of Laws degree in the spring of 1918, and graduated at the early age of twenty. The young lawyer obtained his first practical experience in his profession in the legal department of the Aetna Life Insurance Company at Albany, where he was employed from the time he left law school until early in 1923, with the exception of the time he spent in the military service during the World war. On February 15, 1923, he formed a partnership with Emmett A. Glynn, another Albany Law School alumnus, who was in the Aetna legal department, and the two opened offices in Mr. Glynn's old home, Gloversville. Although they have not had the benefits of long experience in their profession, the partners have worked up a good practice in the short time they have been associated in this venture and may confidently look forward to the time when theirs will be recognized as one of the leading firms of its kind in the county.

Mr. Best entered the United States army as a private in September, 1918, and was stationed at Camp Wheeler, Macon, Georgia, for some months. Shortly after the signing of the armistice he received his honorable discharge at Camp Dix, New Jersey, on December 7, 1918, and returned immediately to Albany, where he was welcomed back to his former position with the Aetna company. He belongs to the American Legion and is also affiliated with the Elks fraternal organization. During his school days Mr. Best was initiated into Gamma Chapter of Gamma Eta Gamma, a well-known national legal fraternity, among whose members he has many close personal friends. He is a Presbyterian in his religious faith and politically is a supporter of the republican party. Mr. Best is not married. Like all other ambitious and growing communities, Gloversville welcomes young business and professional men who have within them the qualities that make for leadership, for they are the "foremost citizens" of tomorrow. In attracting Mr. Best to this place the city has been especially fortunate in this respect, while he — in his turn — will have in Gloversville and Fulton County a wide scope for the exercise of his powers and ambitions.

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