Biography of Henry Purcell


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Purcell, Henry, son of Michael and Susan (Keon) Purcell, was born in Wilna in 1848. He was reared and educated in the county, having the advantages of the Antwerp Academy and the Watertown High School, from the latter of which he graduated in 1871. While attending school he taught winters to earn money to defray his educational expenses. He commenced the study of law with John C. McCartin in the spring of 1872, and the following fall was elected school commissioner of the Second District of the county and served in that capacity three years, continuing his law studies in the mean time. He was admitted to the bar in January, 1876, and the following three years was with the law firm of McCartin & Williams asassistant. Hethenbecamethe law partner of the late Charles A. Sherman, which association continued until the death of Mr. Sherman. In the fall of 1881 he was elected city recorder and served the four succeeding years. He was city attorney during the years 1887 and 1888. He was appointed county judge by Governor Flower in January, 1892, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Judge John C. McCartin. He was a member of the Board of Education from 1885 to 1897. He is now vice-president of the National Bank and Loan Company of Watertown and a trustee of the Jefferson County Savings Bank. In 1894 he formed a law partnership with John N. Carlisle, which continued until the 1st of May, 1897, when he associated himself with the late Senator Mullin and George H. Walker, the surviving members of the firm of Mullin, Griffin & Walker, who were the attorneys for the N. Y. C. & H. R. Railroad Company. This firm continued until the death of Senator Mullin, Sep tember 1, 1897, and a short time afterward the present firm of Purcell, Walker & Burns was formed, which still has charge of the business of the Central Railroad in Jefferson, Oswego and Lewis counties, in addition to a large general law practice.

Our County and it's people
a descriptive work on Jefferson County, New York
Edited by: Edgar C. Emerson
The Boston History Co., Publishers, Syracuse, N. Y. 1898