Biography of Joseph P. Brennan

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JOSEPH P. BRENNAN, Son of Patrick and Catherine Brennan, was born at Saratoga Springs, N. Y., January 29, 1870. His father was a lifelong resident of Saratoga Springs, and during his whole life took a deep interest in its welfare. He was a member of the board of trustees and of the board of education, and was prominent in politics in the earlier period of Saratoga's history. He died in 1898.

Joseph P. Brennan was educated in the public schools and the High school at Saratoga Springs, graduating from the latter in the class of 1888, and carrying off the prize for oratory in that year. When a student in the High school he evinced a marked aptitude for those studies best calculated to develop the logical forces of the mind, and after graduating, naturally turned toward the study of law. With this objectin view he entered the office of Hon. John Foley, who was then State senator of the district, whare he read for some time. He then entered Yale College and graduated from that institution with distinction in the class of 1891, receiving the degree of LL. B. While in Yale College he attained the distinction of being elected to the Book and Gavel society and became one of its most prominent members.

In the fall of 1891 Mr. Brennan was admitted to the bar and in the spring of 1892 he was nominated by the Democratic party for justice of the peace.. He was elected and began the duties of his office January 1, 1893.

Although he assumed the duties of this office when scarcely twentytwo years of age, he showed from the first that ability and fidelity which has placed him in the front rank of Saratoga's public men. The officp of justice of the peace is an important one in Saratoga Springs, as the incumbent is, ex officio, a member of the town auditing board, the work of which is important to taxpayers, and the conscientious regard which he constantly showed for the interests of the taxpayers were for him the strongest commendation.

When the war broke out between the United States and Spain in the spring of 1898 this young lawyer left his desk, books and the practice he had already acquired by hard work, zeal and ability, and volunteered as a private in the United States service. He left Saratoga Springs with Company L, 2d N. Y. Volunteers, May 2, for Camp Black, N. Y.; thence to Chickamauga Park, Ga.; then on to Tampa, Fla. While at Tampa, Fla., although a private, he was selected from his company to go north to Saratoga Springs after recruits. This service he executed with promptness and success and returned to his, company at Tampa with twenty-eight recruits to fill the quota of his company. He was soon after promoted to the rank of corporal, which position he filled with credit and honor as long as the regiment was in service.

In the fever stricken camps of Florida this lawyer and soldier was attacked with malaria. At Camp Hardin, in Troy, N. Y., where his regiment was stationed preparatory to being mustered out, he succumbed and was taken to the hospital, from which he was discharged as convalescent. On his arrival at Saratoga Springs with his company he was again taken down with fever and was confined to his bed with a more violent attack.

While serving with his company at Fernandina, the Democratic party of Saratoga county, without his knowledge, honored him with the nomination for member of assembly, and while the whole Republican ticket was elected in this county, Corporal Brennan ran over 1,000 votes ahead of his ticket, cutting the majority of the Republican assemblyman down to one-half of what the other candidates got.

Mr. Brennan is a young man of fine presence and graceful manners; is thoroughly educated and has an excellent knowledge of the law. Bright, brainy and popular, he has before him a future of much promise and great usefulness.

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