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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Timothy Dasey

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 366-368 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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During his lifetime Timothy Dasey was very active in civic affairs as mayor of Little Falls and a leader in the democratic party in this section, as well as a prominent merchant and a veteran of the Civil war. He was born in Cork, Ireland, on April 24, 1848, and when he was five years old came to Little Falls with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Dasey, who made their permanent home in this city. Timothy Dasey was a lad of thirteen when the fatal shots were fired on Fort Sumter, and in true boy fashion he thought of little else from then on except the battles which were being fought hundreds of miles to the southward. Knowing that he could not possibly hope to enlist as a full-fledged soldier, he secretly aspired to be a drummer boy and twice ran away from home to carry out his cherished ambition. Both times he was caught and brought back to the parental roof with many rebukes, but at last his father saw that the boy was not to be turned back from his purpose and gave his consent to the enlistment. As a drummer boy in the One Hundred and Twenty-first New York Regiment he rode out of Herkimer on a southbound train on September 1, 1862. He had not long been in the field, however, before he cast aside his drum and seized a musket, taking his place in the ranks of privates where war was grim business rather than a pretty parade. His first winter was spent with his regiment at White Oak Church, Virginia, where he had a long siege of typhoid fever. After his recovery he participated in a number of the hard fought engagements in Virginia and was wounded in the right hand at Petersburg in such a manner that he could no longer serve in the army. The boy who had so gaily gone away from home that bright September morning in 1862 came back to Little Falls a, man in body and spirit, with experience far beyond his tender years. Before going to the war young Timothy had attended the public schools of the village and worked in the mills for a time, so it was to mill work that he turned upon his return from Petersburg. Shortly he took up the carpenter's trade, in which connection it is interesting to note that he worked under William Dorr in the construction of the present St. Mary's church.

On April 1, 1876, Mr. Dasey embarked upon the enterprise with which he was associated the rest of his life — the dry goods business conducted under the firm name of T. & J. Dasey, his brother, the late John Dasey, being his partner in the concern. His superior business ability was soon demonstrated, as the patronage of the store increased steadily from the very start, until his establishment became one of the foremost of its kind in this section, a position it still holds.

A firm believer in the principles of democracy, Mr. Dasey was many times the candidate of his party for public office. In 1911 he was nominated for county treasurer and made a splendid run in an election at which not a single democrat was chosen. One of his first public offices was that of supervisor from the town of Manheim, this before Little Falls was incorporated as a city. While acting in this capacity his proposal that a substantial sum be set aside for good roads work was promptly vetoed by his confreres, who regarded his suggestion as little short of revolutionary. Happily this farsighted man lived to see the day when a goodly share of the board's business is that of furthering the good roads movement. In 1896 the merchant was made mayor of Little Falls for the first time. He served through 1897 and 1898 and made an enviable record. His administrations were businesslike, devoid of wasteful expenditure and extravagance, and enjoyed the support of the conservative and substantial element in the community. In 1909 Mr. Dasey was elected mayor again, holding office through 1910 and 1911. He also served on the board of public works, where, as elsewhere, he displayed his deep interest in the civic welfare. For thirty-five years the late mayor was trustee of St. Mary's church and for a period also acted as treasurer for the church. He was also a member of the Holy Name Society of St. Mary's parish. To the end of his life Mr. Dasey treasured his memories and associates of Civil war days, belonging to the Army of the Potomac, Galpin Post, G. A. R., of Little Falls, and to the Herkimer County Veterans' Association. For some years he was a director in the National Herkimer County Bank and he was associated with the Merchants' and Manufacturers' Association of Little Falls. His other affiliations were with the Little Falls Lodge of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Columbus and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. In 1911 Mr. Dasey was forced to retire from active business life by failing health, and on February 1, 1913, his active career came to an end.

In early manhood Timothy Dasey was united in marriage to Miss Johanna Casey, who was born in Limerick, Ireland, and came to this country with her parents as a child. Her father, the late Edward Casey, was associated with the old gas company of Little Falls, which has been succeeded by the present Utica Gas & Electric Company. Timothy and Johanna (Casey) Dasey became the parents of three children, two sons and a daughter, namely: Kate, the wife of Harvey P. Sharp of Little Falls, the assistant secretary of the Homer P. Snyder Manufacturing Company, Incorporated; Rev. James J. Dasey, pastor of St. Luke's church of Schenectady, New York; and Charles Timothy, of whom extended mention is made below. Mrs. Johanna Dasey, who has attained the age of seventy-nine years, still makes her home in Little Falls.

Charles Timothy Dasey is one of the leading merchants of Little Falls and a popular business man. As proprietor of the T. & J. Dasey dry goods store, on Main street, he is known throughout the surrounding territory and enjoys a large volume of trade which has always been accorded that house during its long history covering nearly half a century. He was born in Little Falls, on the 26th of August, 1883, and has succeeded his father in the business life of this city. In the acquirement of an education he attended St. Mary's Academy of Little Falls. He then joined his father as bookkeeper in the latter's dry goods store, where he set about learning the buying and selling features of the business as well as caring for the accounts. When his father's health failed in 1911, the young man took over the active management of affairs, which he held until Timothy Dasey's death, early in 1913, since which time he has continued the business under the old firm name of T. & J. Dasey, becoming the sole owner of the establishment. He handles dry goods of all kinds, as well as ladies' and children's ready-to-wear garments, and enjoys the liberal patronage of the people of Little Falls and vicinity. As one of the leading dealers in his line he carries a large stock of excellently selected goods whose reputation for quality and reliability has contributed in a large measure to the success of his store.

Mr. Dasey is a director of the Herkimer County Trust Company of Little Falls, the leading financial institution of this section of the country, and a member of the local Chamber of Commerce. During the recent war he was very active in war work and was particularly effective as one of the men who made the Liberty and Victory Loan drives a success in Herkimer county. He remains true to his father's teachings in his adherence to the democratic party, while his fraternal affiliations are with Lodge No. 42 of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and with the Knights of Columbus, in which he has attained the fourth degree. Since early youth he has been a member of St. Mary's Roman Catholic church. For recreation and diversion from his business cares and responsibilities this merchant turns to outdoor life — fishing, hunting and the other sports that take one into the open air, exercising the muscles as well as resting the mind.

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