Henry J. McCormick, legal advisor for the Northern New York Utilities, Inc., with offices at 58 Public Square,
Watertown, N. Y., has taken an active and prominent part in the interest of that Company and its predecessor, Watertown
Light & Power Co., (now a part of the Niagara Hudson System) in the hydro electric development of the water
powers of the North Country and the expansion of the electric industry by means of electric transmission and distribution
lines to the towns, villages, industries and farms throughout Northern New York.
He was born near Canton, St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., February 28, 1877, the son of Michael and Mary (Moore) McCormick.
Both parents were natives of Ireland and emigrated to the United States with their respective parents when small
children. Michael McCormick was born at Thurles, Tipperary, Ireland, in 1840, and landed with his parents at Castle
Garden, New York City, in 1844. Mary (Moore) McCormick was born at Togher, near Dunmanway, County Cork, Ireland,
in 1850 and arrived with her parents in America in 1852 after landing at Montreal, Canada. They were united in
marriage at Canton in 1869. They became well known residents of Canton, St. Lawrence Co., N. Y., taking active
part in the community life in the neighborhood of their farm home. The welfare of their seven children, the church,
the school and the farming industry had their undivided and untiring labor throughout a long life.
Patrick McCormick, the father of Michael McCormick, was one of the pioneer settlers of the Village of Canton, arriving
there from Ireland about 1839, some years before bringing his family from the Old Country. During the gold rush
of '49 he went to California with a party of prospectors and lost his life on the overland return trip to New York,
after having met with success in the gold fields.
Like many other Canton boys, Henry J. McCormick deems himself most fortunate in his birthplace for from his earliest
years, from its site on the Village hill, the towering and impressive walls of Richardson Hall of St. Lawrence
University were ever beckoning on the sky line. His early education was received at Pierce Corners country school,
afterward graduating from Canton High School and later attending St. Lawrence University from which he received
the degree of Bachelor of Arts in the Class of 1898. He then taught school for one year at Altoona, Clinton Co.,
N. Y., and in 1899 came to Watertown and read law in the offices of Purcell, Walker and Burns, being admitted to
the New York Bar in 1901. He likes to recall among his memories of early years in Watertown, that he was a member
of the old Red and Black Watertown Football Team, which among its series of victories, defeated Ogdensburg for
the championship in the great games of 1899 and 1900, at which time the city and the whole countryside thought
and talked football, attended the games and backed the team to the limit.
Mr. McCormick was associated in practice with the firm of Purcell, Walker and Burns for one year, after which he
went as Division Claim Agent for the New York Central Railroad, remaining with that Company for several years.
He became legal advisor in 1912 for the Watertown Light & Power Co., which two years later was reorganized
as the Northern New York Utilities, Inc., retaining Mr. McCormick as legal advisor.
In 1905, Mr. McCormick was united in marriage to Miss Anna Yager, daughter of George and Julia (Galvin) Yager,
natives of Watertown, N. Y. Mr. George Yager, now deceased, was the son of Paul and Anna (Shaad) Yager, well known
German pioneer settlers of Watertown, who were natives of Germany, being born at Naumburg, Germany, and emigrating
to the United States in about 1853. Mrs. Julia Yager still resides at Watertown.
To Mr. and Mrs. McCormick were born four children: 1. Muriel Pauline, graduate of Vassar College, Class of 1927,
who married Asa M. Rouse and now resides at Syracuse; 2. Richard, graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
Class of 1930, now chemical engineer with Firestone Laboratories at Akron, Ohio; 3. Henry J., student; and 4, Paul
Politically, Mr. McCormick has always been an independent in activity, although nominally affiliated with the Democratic
He and his family are members of St. Patrick's Church, Watertown, and he belongs to the B. P. O. E. No. 496, and
the Black River Valley Club. He is director of the Chamber of Commerce and of the Beebee Island Corporation.
During the World War, Mr. McCormick was active in various campaigns and drives and at all times gave freely of
his time and fiances.
The North Country
A History, Embracing
Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Oswego, Lewis
and Franklin Counties, New York.
By: Harry F. Landon
Historical Publishing Company
Indianopolis, Indiana 1932
Jefferson County, NY
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