Biography of Joseph L. Gurney
Oswego County, NY Biographies





Joseph L. Gurney, who is superintendent of the New York State Armory at Oswego, is a veteran of the World War, and has a wide acquaintance throughout Oswego County. He was born at Volney, Oswego County, Jan. 29, 1894, the son of Frank and Lucy (Fox) Gurney.

Frank Gurney was born on a farm near Saratoga, in Warren County, N. Y., and his wife is a native of Jefferson County. She is a graduate of Oswego State Normal School and was a teacher in the schools of Warren County before her marriage. Mr. Gurney has been interested in general farming practically his entire life, and now resides at Scriba. He was the youngest of a family of 12 children and his father and five of his brothers served throughout the Civil War. Mr. Gurney is a Republican, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Grange. The father of Lucy (Fox) Gurney, Alden Fox, also served during the Civil War. To Frank and Lucy (Fox) Gurney were born seven children, as follows: 1. Nettie, lives at home. 2. Lila E., who died in 1926. 3. James Lindley, who died in 1893 at the age of ten years. 4. Harriet G. Baker, lives at Durhamville, N. Y. 5. Joseph L., the subject of this sketch. 6. Alice G. Lovell, lives at Rochester, N. Y. 7. Blanche Taylor, lives at North Syracuse, N. Y.

Joseph L. Gurney grew up on his father's farm near Scriba and attended the public schools. In 1914 he came to Oswego and spent six months in the employ of the Diamond Match Company. He then worked in the shops of the Oswego Candy Company for one year and was employed for a time by the Oswego Milling Company. On March 14, 1916, Mr. Gurney enlisted in the New York National Guard as a member of Company D, Third Infantry. On July 5 he was sent to the Mexican border and while on duty there contracted typhoid fever. Upon the return of his company to New York Mr. Gurney resumed his former employment with the Oswego Milling Company, but in February, 1917, he enlisted in the service and was sent to Spartansburg, S. C., where he remained until May 1, 1918. His company then sailed for overseas duty and Mr. Gurney saw active service throughout the remainder of the war period. He was seriously wounded in action and sailed for America after his discharge from a hospital in England in December, 1918. He was discharged in March, 1919, but reenlisted in October of the same year as a sergeant in the New York National Guard, with headquarters at Oswego. He was promoted to second lieutenant on July 10, 1920, became first lieutenant July 23, 1921, and on Jan. 28, 1930, was promoted to the rank of captain. He resigned his commission, however, on Feb. 18, 1930, in order to accept the position of superintendent of the New York State Armory at Oswego. At that time he became sergeant of Company D, 108th Infantry.

On June 8, 1921, Mr. Gurney married Miss Grace V. Greenwood, of Oswego, the daughter of Alfred G. and Mary E. (McLaughlin) Greenwood. Both were born at Oswego. The former died in 1928. Mr. and Mrs. Gurney have five children: 1. Ruth E., born March 24, 1922. 2. Lawrence G., born June 26, 1925. 3-4. Franklin Joseph and Georgiana, twins, born Sept. 23, 1928. 5. Doris Lucille, born Nov. 18, 1930.

Mr. Gurney is a Democrat, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and belongs to the Knights of Pythias.

Mr. Gurney is an expert marksman and in 1930 was awarded second place with a score of 95.66 at a meeting of the 108th Regiment at Camp Smith.

From:

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


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