Biography of Henry J. Cookinham
Oneida County, NY Biographies





HENRY J. COOKINHAM, son of John D. and Diantha L. Cookinham, was born at Prospect, Oneida county, New York, October 1, 1843; was educated in the Prospect Academy and Whitestown Seminary; was a student in the law department of Hamilton College, also in the law office of United States Senator Roscoe Conkling, at Utica, and was admitted to the bar in 1867. He immediately formed a partnership with Arthur M. Beardsley for the practice of his profession in Utica. In 1874 Francis M. Burdick, now dean of the law school of Columbia College, was admitted to the partnership. This partnership was dissolved by the retirement of Mr. Cookinham in 1880, when he formed a partnership with James S. Sherman and John G. Gibson. Later Mr. Gibson retired from the ñrm and Richard R. Martin was admitted as a partner. Later the firm became Cookinham, Sherman & Cookinham, the junior partner being Mr. Cookinham's eldest son. In 1908 Mr. Sherman was nominated and elected vice-president of the United States, and gave up his law practice. The firm then became Cookinham & Cookinham, consisting of the father and two Sons, Henry J., Jr., and Frederick H., which firm has continued to the present time.

In 1873 Mr. Cookinham was elected special surrogate of Oneida county, and in 1880 was a member of the Assembly of the State of New York, and served on important committees. In 1884 he was the candidate of the Republican party for representative in Congress, but was defeated, owing to a division in that party caused by the quarrel between James G. Blaine, then Republican candidate for the presidency, and Roscoe Cortkling, of Utica, United States senator from New York who opposed Mr. Blaine's nomination and election. In 1894 Mr. Cookinham was a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention, and was a member of the committees of judiciary, suffrage, and privileges and elections. At the adjournment of the convention he was appointed chairman of a special committee to prepare an address to the people of the state, explanatory of the new constitution. He was a member of the board of commissioners for the erection of a new court house in the city of Utica for Oneida county, and for several years served as its chairman. He is a member of the State Bar Association, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Bar Association of Oneida County, the Utica Law Library Association, and for several years was its president, the Oneida Historical Society, the Sons of the Revolution, the American Scenic and Historical Preservation Society, and was for many years a director of the Young Men's Christian Association, and is a member of several other clubs and organizations. He was for many years a director and counsel for the United Glass Company, and is at present a director of the Utica Industrial Company, Troy Public Works Company and New Hartford Canning Company, Limited. He has been engaged in many important suits in the United States courts, and was retained to argue, in the Supreme Court of the United States, the case of the United States against Rothchilds, a test case involving duties upon leaf tobacco, and was counsel for the importers in the cases in the United States courts involving the question of countervailing duty on 'wood pulp imported from the Dominion of Canada. He is author of a memorial volume of President James A. Garfield, "Recollections of the Oneida County Bar" and "History of the Judiciary of Oneida County."

In September, 1872, he married Mary Louise, daughter of General Richard U. Sherman, and sister of James S. Sherman, vice-president of the United States. They have six children, one daughter and five sons.

From:
History of Oneida County, New York
From 1700 to the present time
of some of its prominent men and pioneers.
By: Henry J. Cookinham
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago 1912


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