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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Richard Hurley

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 148-151 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Portrait of Richard Hurley

Portrait: Richard Hurley

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Richard Hurley, one of the prominent members of the legal profession in Little Falls, is a native son of this thriving little city, which has been his home throughout his life. Born on the 18th of November, 1865, he is the youngest child of Richard and Ellen (Sullivan) Hurley, both of whom were natives of the Emerald Isle. The father came to America as a young man of eighteen and located in Little Falls, where he met, for the first time, the young lady who was destined to be his wife. She, too, had spent her childhood in Ireland and crossed the Atlantic as a young woman. The young couple were married in this city and became the parents of seven children: Mary, James, Ellen, Thomas, Edward, John and Richard, of whom Richard alone survives. Edward and John were married and their families are living in Little Falls today.

As a boy Richard Hurley attended the parochial school in Little Falls and later the Fairfield Seminary at Fairfield, about eight miles north of this city. During part of the time he was studying at the seminary he supplemented his slender resources by teaching. After leaving school he entered the employ of the late Michael Reddy of Little Falls and remained with him for six years as an iron moulder. It was, therefore, after considerable experience in the work-a-day world that Mr. Hurley took up the study of law. He began by securing a position as clerk in the law office of the late Senator Albert M. Mills, one of the brainiest lawyers and best orators in the country in his day, and there Mr. Hurley remained for sixteen years. During his spare moments in the evening the young man read law until he had prepared himself for the bar examinations and was admitted in the courts of the state of New York, April 29, 1892, and in the Federal May 11, 1905. Some of the most important cases prosecuted by Mr. Hurley were over-time cases against the state of New York for lock-tenders on the Erie canal. He represented about sixty-eight claims and the cases were in the courts for about twenty-three years and tried several times, and finally determined by the court of appeals of the state of New York and on each occasion Mr. Hurley was successful. Later he became associated with the late C. J. Palmer, who was also a very able lawyer and a good speaker. Since the latter's death Mr. Hurley has continued the practice of law in the same location, but alone. He is generally conceded to be a lawyer of first-rate abilities and enjoys one of the best practices in the city.

Mr. Hurley is a fourth degree Knight of Columbus, which indicates that his religious faith is that of the Roman Catholic church. He votes with the republican party. During the World war he served on the questionnaire board and was prosecuting attorney in the interest of the government, handling many cases arising out of the war-time conditions.

Mr. Hurley was married in Little Falls to Miss Lillian Agnes Reddy, who was born here in August, 1867, and is the daughter of the late Robert and Melicia Reddy. The first of the family to come to this country from Ireland was Mrs. Hurley's grandfather, Michael Reddy, who arrived in America at an early age and here was married to Jane Gisner, an American-born young lady of English descent. Mr. and Mrs. Hurley are the parents of three sons: Michael Reddy, Robert Donald and Richard James. The oldest boy was in the United States air service during the World war as a gun instructor in airplanes and was stationed at Kelly Field, Texas, and at Wright Field, Ohio. He is now operating an automobile gas and oil distributing station in Little Falls. Robert Donald Hurley enlisted in the Marines during the World war, but the armistice brought an end to hostilities before he was sent overseas. At present he is a contractor engaged in the building of good roads throughout the country. As a short story writer he is a person of no mean ability and a number of his stories have appeared in the magazines — one of them, a story of country life, being published in the Outing Magazine. Like his two older brothers, Richard James Hurley is a graduate of St. Mary's high school of Little Falls. He is preparing to follow his father in the legal profession.

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