FRANCIS K. GAFFNEY was horn in New York City in 1871. At the age of seventeen he became the youngest fireman,
probably, on the New York & New Haven Railroad. After stoking over its rails for a year or more, he was placed
in charge of a switch engine in the yard. He left the railroad and went at stationary engineering in New York City
for three years. Then he accepted a position in Jacksonville, Fla., and set up two engines for the Street Railroad
Co., thus driving out the old mule tramway from the city of Jacksonville. At the completion of this southern plant
he returned to New York and assisted at the erection of the large Allis engines for the Lexington Avenue cable
road. From there he was ordered to Detroit to assist at the building of the plant of the Detroit Citizens' Street
Railway. He was then employed as engineer of the plant after it was completed, later as chief engineer in charge.
This plant was at that time one of the largest in the West. After two years services here, in which time he was
married, he resigned and came east, accepted a position with the Kingston Consolidated Traction Co. as chief engineer.
He was in this position for five years, then accepted a position as chief engineer for the Queens Borough Gas &
Electric Co., New York City, also in charge of the new construction at this plant. After the completion of this
new work he went in the employ of the Ploy Engineering Co., of New York, and took charge of the electrical end
of the construction of a new hydro electric plant on the Neversink River. At the completion of this work he went
with the Public Service Corporation of New Jersey as chief of their Morristown Division. He was then employed as
electrical construction expert for the New York & New Jersey Tile Co., and is now identified with the Orange
County Lighting Co. Under his management the plant has largely improved.
The History of Orange County New York
Edited by: Russel Headley
Van Deusen and Elms, Publishers
Middletown, N. Y. 1908
Orange County, NY
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