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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Willard R. Pratt

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[This information is from Vol. III, p. 436 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Willard R. Pratt, a capable young attorney of Utica, where he has been active in practice for the past nine years, is a member of the well known law firm of Lewis, Pratt & Fowler. He was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on the 24th of May, 1889, and supplemented his early education by a high school course at Kewanee, Illinois. Following his graduation in 1907 he enlisted in the navy, and as a sailor in the Merchant Marine he visited various parts of the globe, while subsequently he became attached to marine headquarters in Washington, D. C. Ambitious to prepare himself for a professional career, he decided to take up the study of law in the national capital and in the fall of 1909, though still in the navy, he matriculated in the National University Law School, which at his graduation in 1911 conferred upon him the degree of LL. B. He was discharged from the navy in the same year and in the fall came to Utica, New York, where he obtained a clerkship in the office of the law firm of Lee & Dowling, with which he continued until 1915. Mr. Pratt was admitted to the bar of New York in 1913 and two years later formed a partnership with Miles Comstock of Utica, practicing as senior member of the firm of Pratt & Comstock until 1917, when the relationship was discontinued. He then became associated with Lewis G. Fowler as senior member of the firm of Pratt & Fowler, which on the 1st of May, 1920, became Lewis, Pratt & Fowler by the admission of William E. Lewis. Mr. Pratt is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is highly regarded in professional ranks of his adopted city. While he was well grounded in the, principles of common law when admitted to the bar, he has continued a diligent student of those elementary principles that constitute the basis of all legal science, and this knowledge serves him well in many a legal battle in the interests of his clients.

On the 29th of November, 1911, Mr. Pratt was united in marriage to Miss Marion C. Ryan, daughter of Colonel John T. Ryan, a prominent citizen of Washington, D. C., and vice commander of Kit Carson Post of the Grand Army of the Republic. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Pratt are three in number, as follows: Willard Roger, Jr., born May 29, 1913; John Leo, born March 25, 1915; and Frank Graham, born March 19, 1917.

Mr. Pratt is widely recognized as a public-spirited and progressive citizen whose aid and influence are ever found on the side of advancement and improvement. He gives his political support to the republican party and in 1913 was a candidate for the office of special city judge. Modest in demeanor, he is nevertheless recognized as a deep student and a representative member of the bar, honored by his colleagues and contemporaries in the profession by reason of his comprehensive knowledge of the law and his close conformity to the highest ethical standards of the profession.

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