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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Hon. Alvah Fairlee

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[This information is from Vol. IV, p. 142 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Hon. Alvah Fairlee has been a prominent member of the Schenectady bar for nearly three decades and has also made a splendid record in judicial office. He was born in Albany county, New York, on the 4th of September, 1870, his parents being William and Adaline (Clickman) Fairlee. He received his early education in the public schools of Schenectady, subsequently attended the Union Classical Institute from 1887 until 1889 and then matriculated in Union College, from which institution he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1893. He then took up the study of law in the offices of the firm of Hastings & Schoolcraft in Schenectady and was admitted to the bar of New York state in 1895. Through the intervening period of twenty-nine years he has followed his chosen profession in the city of Schenectady and has been accorded a clientage that fully attests his success and ability as a legal practitioner. He maintains well appointed offices in the Hudson Theatre building and he is a member of the Schenectady County Bar Association. In 1900 he was chosen city judge and on the expiration of his four-year term was reelected, so that he served in that important capacity altogether for eight years. In 1907 the people of Schenectady elected him police justice, in which connection he continued on the bench until 1914. His decisions indicate strong mentality, careful analysis, a thorough knowledge of the law and an unbiased judgment. The judge on the bench fails more frequently, perhaps, from a deficiency in that broad-mindedness which not only comprehends the details of a situation quickly and that insures a complete self-control under even the most exasperating conditions, than from any other cause; and the judge who makes a success in the discharge of his multitudinous, delicate duties is a man of well-rounded character, finely balanced mind and of splendid intellectual attainments. That Judge Fairlee was regarded as such a jurist is a uniformly accepted fact.

In addition to his professional activities Judge Fairlee is an active factor in business circles of Schenectady as secretary, treasurer and director of the Central Realty Company, as a director of the Schenectady Building, Loan & Savings Association and as treasurer of the firm of Bins & Visscher. He is likewise president of the Humane Society. In religious faith he is a Presbyterian and in politics a republican. His home is at No. 137 Park avenue in Schenectady.

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