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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
William Courtney

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 151-152 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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One of the best known merchants in Little Falls is William Courtney, the proprietor of the dry goods establishment of W. & F. Courtney, which has been filling an important place in retail circles of this city for the past fifteen years. Mr. Courtney is a native son of Little Falls, and was born on the 27th of November, 1872. His father, Patrick Courtney, was born in Dingle, Ireland, and following his emigration to the United States in young manhood he was long connected with the New York Central Railroad as division superintendent. He passed away in Little Falls, on April 12, 1884. His wife, Mrs. Bridget (Fitzgerald) Courtney, was likewise a native of Dingle, Ireland, and came to America with her people as a young woman. She and her future husband had spent their childhood together. Mrs. Courtney had attained the age of sixty years when she departed this life, in Little Falls, in the spring of 1898.

William Courtney was educated in St. Mary's school of his native city and in the Little Falls Academy. At the early age of eleven he obtained his first position with John McCauley, a dry goods merchant, for whom he worked for a year. He went from the establishment of Mr. McCauley to a dry goods store conducted by T. & J. Dasey, in whose service he remained for twenty-seven years. He and his brother, Frank P. Courtney, then formed a partnership under the name of W. & F. Courtney and went into business on their own account. Frank P. Courtney died some two years after this business was established, but his name still appears in the style of the firm, which has never been changed. William F. and Robert Courtney, the two sons of William Courtney, are now associated with him in managing the store.

William Courtney is a member of the board of education and the local Chamber of Commerce. Fraternally he is identified with the Knights of Columbus, which indicates that his religious faith is that of the Roman Catholic church, and he is also affiliated with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Royal Arcanum. He gives his political allegiance to the democratic party.

In Little Falls, in July, 1898, Mr. Courtney was united in marriage to Miss Loretta McGuire, who was born in Little Falls, of Irish parentage. William Courtney, Jr., the elder of the two sons born to this couple, first opened his eyes to the light of day in Little Falls, on May 1, 1900. He attended St. Mary's School, following which he pursued a business course in St. John's College of Danvers, Massachusetts. He is now associated with his father and brother in the dry goods business in Little Falls. On August 18, 1922, he was married to Catherine Carrig of Little Falls, daughter of Bartholomew and Mary (Martin) Carrig, and they have a son, William Courtney (III), born June 21, 1923. Robert, the younger son of Mr. Courtney of this review, was born in Little Falls, on August 17, 1902, and was educated in St. Mary's School. Later he entered Tufts College Medical School of Boston, but owing to ill health was obliged to give up his plans for a professional career. Returning to Little Falls, he joined his father in the dry goods business.

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