John J. Hartigan
City of Troy

This biography is from Troy and Rensselaer County, New York, Volume III, by Rutherford Hayner, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York and Chicago, 1925. It was submitted by Debby Masterson.

JOHN J. HARTIGAN One of the longest established and best known merchants of Troy, New York, is John J. Hartigan, who began his mercantile career in his native city in 1867 and is still actively engaged in business there, enjoying a success richly deserved and well-earned. For fifty-six years he has been identified with the dry goods business, beginning as an employee of George Bristol & Company and continuing with their successors, Church & Phalen, until he engaged in business for himself thirty-five years ago. He is a native son of Troy, and his entire business life has been spent in that city, where he has won the high esteem of his fellow citizens, not only as an eminently able and successful businessman, but as a public spirited citizen, and a man of sterling qualities of character.

John J. Hartigan is a grandson of Richard Hartigan, of County Limerick, Ireland, a farmer who lived and died in his native land. Richard Hartigan's son, Maurice Hartigan, born in Limerick, Ireland, in 1824, came to the United States in 1849 and settled in Troy, New York, where he became identified with the city's business affairs and became a successful grocer. He took an active part in local public affairs, and served as supervisor and alderman from the Eighth Ward for many years. Maurice Hartigan married, in Troy, Ellen Hogan, also born in Limerick, Ireland. Both were devoted members of St. Mary's Catholic Church.

John J. Hartigan, second of five children of Maurice and Ellen (Hogan) Hartigan, was born in Troy, New York, October 31, 1853, and there was educated, finishing in La Salle Institute. He began his business career with the dry goods firm of George Bristol & Company and with that house spent twenty-one years, 1867-1888. During that period he rose to a prominent position and when finally he decided to enter business life, it was as a man well-experienced and capable.

In 1888 he opened a dry goods store on King street, Troy, and there continued to conduct a successful business for twenty years. As the business grew he opened branch stores on Congress street, Troy, and in Schenectady and Amsterdam, New York, These branches he operated until 1909, when he disposed of them. Since that time he has devoted his entire time to the store in Troy. In 1912 Mr. Hartigan met the demands of his greatly increased business in Troy by removing to larger quarters, at No. 366 River street, his present location.

Private business affairs have not absorbed Mr. Hartigan's entire time, but on the contrary he has in a public spirited way aided in the development of his native city and is particularly interested in the work of the Troy Chamber of Commerce which he now serves as chairman of the Committee on Waterways. He is an earnest advocate of deep waterways, and is doing all in his power to arouse the people of the State of New York to the importance of deepening channels by dredging, and of counteracting the slow, but deadly work of the natural processes which convert vigorous streams into dying rivers, staggering from side to side over a grass-grown bed. He is a director of the New York State Waterways Association; a member of the Atlantic Deeper Waterways Association, in both of which organizations he is rendering efficient service. He was chairman of the harbor and dock committee of the Troy Chamber of Commerce while the barge canal, and the State dam, channel, and lock on the east side of the Hudson were being constructed, and went to Washington, District of Columbia, to further the enterprise. At a meeting of this committee with the Secretary of War and engineers, Mr. Hartigan urged the building of the locks and placing of the channels on the east side of the river. At that time they were disposed to have the locks on the west side of the river, and Mr. Hartigan urged the Secretary of War and engineers to ])lacc the locks and channels on the east side, as Troy should receive this consideration. In the affairs of the city of Troy he takes an active part. He was ])resident of the Tri-City League (Troy, Albany and Schenectady), a body which had charge of all matters of mutual interest to the three cities. In the early days of the independent telephone business Mr. Hartigan was treasurer of the Commercial Telephone Company, of Troy, and president of the Rensselaer Telephone Company, and of the Granville (New York) Telephone Company, all of which were later absorbed by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, He is now vice-president of the Troy & Albany Steamboat Company. During the period of the participation of the United States in the World War, 1917-1918, and for some time following, he served as purchasing agent for the Rensselaer County Chapter of the Red Cross and was active in all the "drives" of that period. He also served as the most efficient captain of the team appointed to raise $100,000 for the Troy Hospital; is a member of the board of directors of the Pawling Sanitarium; and vice-president of the Salvation Army Auxiliary. In community and municipal enterprises he is always one of the most active. During the Home Week and the Hudson-Fulton celebrations he served as chairman of the music committee. He is president of La Salle Institute, and fraternally is affiliated with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Politically he gives support to the Democratic party, and his religious affiliation is with St. Mary's Catholic Church.

John J. Hartigan married (first), in 1883, Elizabeth Clogan, who died in 1907, leaving a daughter, Helen, a graduate of Emma Willard's School and now the wife of Frank L. Roche, of Troy. A daughter, Frances H., died at the age of eight years. Mr. Hartigan married (second), February 1, 1910, Alice Grace, of Troy. The family residence is No. 256 Washington street, and the summer home at Crystal Lake.



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