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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
James I. Casey

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 661-662 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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In the memorial annals of the city of Utica and throughout the Mohawk valley generally, there are few names held in higher regard or in better memory than that of James I. Casey, a prominent attorney of the city of Utica, who died at his home there, suddenly, in the summer of 1924. It is but proper and fitting, therefore, that in this definite history of the region in which he had so long and so uprightly gone in and out among his friends, his life as an open book, there should be presented some slight tribute to that good memory.

James I. Casey was a member of one of the old families of the Mohawk valley and all his life was spent here. He was born in the pleasant village of Mohawk, on January 22, 1871, and was a son of Dr. James E. and Mary (Bellinger) Casey, the latter of whom was a daughter of Colonel Frederick Bellinger, a distinguished officer of the American troops during the War of 1812. The Bellingers are of sterling Dutch stock and have been represented in the valley since Colonial days. One of Mrs. Mary Bellinger Casey's ancestors was Colonel Michael Meyers, concerning whom further mention is made elsewhere in this work, who was fatally wounded in the battle of Oriskany during the war of the Revolution. The late Dr. James E. Casey was for many years engaged in the practice of medicine at Mohawk and in that vicinity, and the memory of his good life is there kept green. He had two sons, the other, Dr. Fred B. Casey, also now deceased, having also been a practicing physician at Mohawk. The Caseys of this line are descended from that Robert Casey who was one of the participants in the "Boston tea party".

Reared in Mohawk, James I. Casey received his preparatory schooling in the excellent schools of that village and was graduated with the first class that was graduated from the Mohawk high school after it had become an accredited high school. Early giving his thought to study for the practice of law, he then entered Cornell University, and in 1891 received from that institution his Bachelor degree. Following this he entered the university's law school and was there given his degree in law in 1895. Thus equipped for the practice of the profession to which he had devoted his life, Mr. Casey opened an office in Mohawk and was there engaged in practice for eight years, serving for much of that time as attorney for the village board. In 1903 he moved to Utica and became associated with the law firm of Jones, Townsend & Rudd. On February 18, 1913, the Hon. Thomas S. Jones died, and Mr. Townsend and Mr. Casey formed a partnership under the name of Jones, Townsend & Casey. The Hon. William Townsend died on December 23, 1919. Mr. Casey continued a general practice of law and was also local attorney for the New York, Ontario & Western Railroad Company. In 1923 he changed the location of his offices from the rooms long occupied in the City National Bank building to rooms in the Mayro building, and was occupying offices in the latter building at the time of his sudden death from a heart attack with complications, on the morning of Sunday, June 8, 1924. He was at that time associated in practice with Earl E. Jones, David B. Lisle, Thomas L. Wilder and Samuel Sloan.

Mr. Casey was essentially what is pleasantly referred to as "a great home man", his family and fireside providing for him his full ideal of comfort and pleasure, though he ever maintained close social relations with the community. He was one of the charter members of the Yahnundasis Golf Club of Utica, which was being organized about the time he became a resident of Utica, and he took much pleasure in the outdoor relaxation afforded in his participation in the privileges of that organization. His church affiliation was with Westminster Presbyterian church, and by political faith and practice he was a republican, ever taking his part in all movements having to do with the promotion of better local government. He was a member of the board and a director of the Homeopathic Hospital of Utica and took much interest in the development of that excellent institution.

On November 27, 1901, in Utica, James I. Casey was united in marriage to Miss Gertrude Middleton Hunt, who was born in that city and who is a daughter of the late lamented Dr. James G. Hunt, concerning whom further and fitting mention is made elsewhere in this volume, and who was of stout Colonial and Revolutionary stock, the blood of General Herkimer being in this line of the Hunts, who take descent from the Rev. Robert Hunt, who came from Northampton in 1660 and settled in the Connecticut colony. To James I. and Gertrude M. (Hunt) Casey were born three children: Two daughters, Dorothy Middleton and Virginia V. S. Casey, the latter of whom is still at home with her mother; and a son, Robert Hunt Casey, who is pursuing his studies in Princeton University. Dorothy Middleton Casey, who was graduated from Smith College in 1924, married Don Prentiss Moak and is now living in Los Angeles, California. Since the death of her husband Mrs. Casey has continued to make her home at Utica, residing at No. 2500 Genesee street, where she is very pleasantly situated.

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