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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
James W. Rynex

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 107-108 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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James W. Rynex, who has to his credit the unusual record of forty-one years of continuous connection with the police department of Schenectady, received steady promotion therein until appointed chief of police, which position he has filled most acceptably for the past two decades. He represents a family that has long been established in Schenectady county. His birth occurred at Duanesburg, New York, on the 7th of January, 1857, his parents being Edward P. and Janet (Clogston) Rynex, both of whom were natives of Princetown, Schenectady county, this state. The father, who followed the trade of blacksmithing and horseshoeing for many years, had passed the eightieth milestone on life's journey when called to his final rest in 1914. The mother passed away in 1889, at the age of fifty-two years.

In the acquirement of an education James W. Rynex attended the public schools of Duanesburg and Rotterdam and after putting aside his textbooks devoted his attention to farm work until about twenty-three years of age. Subsequently he took up his abode in Schenectady, where he was employed as assistant shipping clerk in the Brandywine mill for three and one-half years, on the expiration of which period he joined the police department of the city. He began as a patrolman on the 18th of October, 1883, was made mounted man eleven years later and on the 20th of June, 1898, was appointed detective sergeant. It was on the 19th of September 1904, that he was appointed chief of police and he has been at the head of the department ever since, his record being marked by the utmost efficiency and faithfulness. Never at any time during his long connection with the police department has he requested promotion, but this has come unasked as he has demonstrated his ability and fitness in the discharge of the work assigned him.

On the 17th of January, 1877, Mr. Rynex was united in marriage to Miss Alice J. Gregg and they have a daughter, Edna. The family home is at No. 1306 State street in Schenectady. In Masonry Mr. Rynex has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, belonging to New Hope Lodge, A. F. & A. M.; Cyprus Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of Albany; and Gehomecobe Grotto, M. O. V. P. E. R. He also belongs to the Shriners Club and to the Masonic Club and is likewise identified with the Royal Arcanum, with St. Paul Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, with the Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection, a branch of the Odd Fellows and with the Red Men. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the First Reformed church. He is very fond of horses, delighting in a fine specimen of the noble steed. He is a man of proven ability and well calculated to inspire all with his splendid character and manly qualities.

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