William J. Dempsey. - As commissioner of Public Safety in Oswego, Mr. Dempsey is prominent in that community,
where he has spent his entire life. He was born here, Feb. 3, 1864, the son of Joseph and Mary (Manning) Dempsey.
Joseph Dempsey, deceased, was a veteran of the Civil War. He was born in Oswego and attended the public schools.
Most of his life was spent as a market gardener and he was active in local politics, being deputy sheriff and United
States customs inspector. He and his wife were members of the Episcopal Church. He died in 1902 and she died Sept.
22, 1865. Both are buried in Riverside Cemetery, Oswego. During the Civil War Mr. Dempsey served as a member of
Company K, 147th New York Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged with the rank of captain. To Mr. and Mrs. Dempsey
were born five children: 1. Kitty L. Johnson, who died in 1894. 2. Delia M. Wagg, who died in 1903. 3. Ella A.,
who died in 1929, was a teacher in the Oswego public schools for 52 years. 4. Clara W., lives at Oswego. 5. William
J., the subject of this sketch.
The boyhood of William J. Dempsey was spent in Oswego, where he was educated. He served as deputy sheriff of Oswego
County for eight years and in 1893 entered the employ of the New York Central Railroad as a special agent. Later,
he was promoted to the position of captain of police for the railroad company, and still serves in that capacity,
having completed a service record of 38 years. He has been commissioner of public safety since April 22, 1922.
On Oct. 28, 1891, Mr. Dempsey was united in marriage with Miss Emma F. Geddes, of Brockville, Ontario, Canada.
She is the daughter of George and Mary (Beach) Geddes, both deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Dempsey were born three sons:
1. William M., born Aug. 6, 1892, married Miss Maude Clifford, of Redfield, N. Y., and they have two children,
Marceline and Julia. 2. George J., born Feb. 2, 1896, a graduate of Oswego High School and Clarkson School of Technology,
where he specialized in the study of engineering. He is now engaged in government work and resides at Oswego. He
married Miss Leatha Kenyon, of Carthage, N. Y. 3. James E., born in Oswego in 1906, died June 26, 1925. He was
a graduate of Oswego High School.
Mr. Dempsey is a Republican, a member of the Episcopal Church, and is affiliated with Aeonian Lodge, F. & A.
M.; Lake Ontario Chapter; Lake Ontario Commandery; Media Temple of Watertown; and B. P. O. Elks. His wife is an
active member of the Baptist Church, and is prominent in the work of the Eastern Star, Y. W. C. A., and is president
of the Women's Auxiliary of the Pioneer Association of the New York Central.
Mr. and Mrs. Dempsey live at 105 East 8th Street, Oswego.
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
Oswego County, NY
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