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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
George W. Murtaugh

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 50-51 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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George W. Murtaugh has built up an extensive and profitable enterprise as a coal dealer of Ilion since embarking in business on his own account in 1903. He was born in Lockport, Niagara county, New York, on the 29th of January, 1880, his parents being William and Catherine (Hanley) Murtaugh, the former born in Frankfort, Herkimer county, this state, on November 11, 1846, and the latter in Lockport, New York, in 1849. James and Catherine (Rail) Murtaugh, the paternal grandparents of George W. Murtaugh, were natives of Ireland, whence they emigrated to the United States in the early '40s and settled in Frankfort, New York, where they spent the remainder of their lives. James Murtaugh became well known throughout the community as a successful surgeon. His son, William Murtaugh, was in early life associated with the Gates Match Company of Frankfort for a number of years and subsequently ran boats on the Erie canal. For a time he was identified with the Remington Arms Company at Ilion and also with the smelting works at Lockport, New York, but for more than thirty years past he has been engaged in the coal business in Frankfort, where he is accorded an extensive patronage as a dealer in fuel and is widely known as a substantial and respected citizen. His wife departed this life in Frankfort, New York, on the 6th of June, 1886, at the comparatively early age of thirty-seven years. They were the parents of three sons, two of whom died in infancy. William Murtaugh, father of George W. of this review, was married the second time, in 1887. They had one son, H. Frank, who is now a resident of Frankfort, New York. He was married to Miss Margaret McTiernan and has two children, twins, George Richard and Janet Mary, who were born on May 17, 1921.

George W. Murtaugh obtained his education in the public schools of Lockport and Frankfort and when a youth of about sixteen years became associated with his father in the coal business at the latter place. In 1899, however, he secured a position with the Remington Arms Company, by which he was employed until 1903, when he embarked in the coal business on his own account in Ilion, where he has continued to the present time and has developed a large patronage. A merited reputation for fair dealing and honorable business methods has been a potent factor in his success.

On the 24th of January, 1906, in Gloversville, New York, Mr. Murtaugh was united in marriage to Miss Nellie Tyrrell, who was born there on July 31, 1880, her parents being Benjamin and Amelia (Van Dresser) Tyrrell. The birth of her father occurred in the vicinity of Gloversville, while her mother is a native of Cobleskill, Schoharie county, New York. Benjamin Tyrrell, who was employed as a glove cutter in the glove factories, passed away in Gloversville, where his widow still makes her home. Their family numbered one son and three daughters, namely: Howard B. Tyrrell, a resident of Gloversville; Mrs. George W. Busquet and Mrs. Clyde Burton, who also live in Gloversville; and Mrs. Nellie (Tyrrell) Murtaugh. The last named gives her political allegiance to the republican party and is a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church in Ilion.

Mr. Murtaugh is also a republican in his political views and during one year served as a member of the electric light commission of Ilion. He belongs to the Chamber of Commerce and also to the Fish and Game Club, the latter connection indicating his chief form of recreation. He is a communicant of the Annunciation Roman Catholic church of Ilion and fraternally is identified with the Knights of Columbus in Ilion, Ilion Lodge No. 1444 of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, E. S. Walker Council No. 335 of the Royal Arcanum in Ilion, and the Knights of the Maccabees at Frankfort. His genuine personal worth has won for him the stanch friendship of many.

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