James B. Daley

From the Biographical Review, Volume XXXIII, located at the Durham Center Museum.
Transcribed by Celeste MacCormack. 


JAMES B. DALEY, of Prattsville, attorney-at-law and a Civil War veteran, was born in Ohio, township of Richfield, March 7, 1845, son of Daniel and Mary Ann (Champlin) Daley. His paternal grandfather, Joseph Daley, and his great-grandfather, Obadiah Daley, were life long residents of Columbia County, New York, and the latter was the son of Joseph Daley, first, who came from New England to Chatham, N.Y., where he cleared a farm. Joseph Daley, second, Mrs. Daley’s grandfather, was a prosperous farmer, and noted for his physical strength and power of endurance. He married Hannah Son. Her father was an early settler in Columbia County, and she inherited a part of the Son farm. The grandparents died at the age of eighty years. They reared a large family of children, and none are now living.

Daniel Daley, James B. Daley’s father, followed the blacksmith’s trade in Chatham for a time, and moving from there to Lebanon Springs, N.Y., he carried on the wagon-making business for some years, finally retiring to a farm in Chatham, where he died at the age of seventy-seven. He was widely known among Odd Fellows, having been a member of that order for many years; and he also had a large number of friends and acquaintances outside of that fraternity. His wife, Mary Ann, was born in Chatham, daughter of William and Mary (Kenyon) Champlin. Her father, who came to the State from Rhode Island, taught school in New York City prior to settling upon a farm in the town of Chatham. He had a family of six children. Daniel and Mary Ann Daley were the parents of ten children, six of whom are living; namely, William C., George, James B., Henry, Sarah, and Charles. William C. and George Daley are practising law in Chatham, and a sketch of each will be found in the BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW of Columbia County. James B. is the subject of this sketch, Henry is a lawyer residing in Coxsackie, N.Y.; Sarah is the widow of Nathan C. Hagerborn, late of Stillbrook, N.Y.; and Charles is residing at the homestead in Chatham. The mother died at the age of seventy-two years. The parents were Baptists. They, were highly esteemed for their many excellent qualities, and obituary notices of each were published in the county newspapers.

Having supplemented his common-school studies with a course at the Lebanon Springs Academy, James B. Daley turned his attention to educational pursuits, teaching schools in Columbia and Rensselaer Counties, New York, and in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. His law studies were pursued in the office of his brother George, and after his admission to the bar in 1872, he began the practice of his profession in Prattsville. In the spring of 1873 he returned to Chatham, where he was in business one year, at the end of which time he removed to Windham, Greene County, and for the succeeding eight years was a member of the firm of Daley & Talmadge, who transacted an extensive general law and real estate business. After the dissolution of that partnership he once more returned to Prattsville, where he has practised continuously to the present time. His Civil War services were performed in Company B, Ninety-first Regiment, New York Volunteers, with which he participated in a number of engagements, including the battle of Five Forks; and he witnessed the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox Court House.

In June, 1878, Mr. Daley was united in marriage with Lucy Tyler, who was born in Roxbury, Delaware County, daughter of Henry and Deborah (Hull) Tyler. Her father was a wealthy farmer. He eventually removed from Roxbury, his native town, to Prattsville, where he spent the rest of his life. Henry Tyler died at seventy-three, and his wife died at seventy. They reared three children: Lorinda, who married John Erkson, a leading merchant of Prattsville; Lucy, who married Mr. Daley; and Annie, who married Homer B. Van Cott, of Norwich, N.Y. Mrs. Daley was a graduate of the Fort Edwards Institute, and prior to her marriage she taught music at the institute in Ellenville. She died in 1896, age forty-six years. As a member of the Methodist Episcopal church she took an active interest in religious work, and was sincerely respected for her estimable character and rare intellectual qualities. She left four children; namely, Mamie, Emma, Ethel, and James, aged respectively sixteen, fourteen, twelve, and ten years.

Politically, Mr. Daley is a Republican. He has served with ability as a trustee of the village and of the Cemetery Association for a number of years, and acts as a notary public. His literary talents are highly appreciated in Prattsville and vicinity, and his frequent contributions to the various county papers upon different subjects are widely read. His more notable writings are: a series of articles describing his war experience, published in the Catskill Examiner; another series devoted to Western life, printed in the Hunter Phoenix, and a number of articles upon legal subjects, which have been bound with the law journal for preservation. Mr. Daley attends the Methodist Episcopal church.


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