NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people
in the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
The name of Riley has been identified with many important events in the history of the United States. Many of the name have been prominent in all walks of life.
(I) Edward Riley was a native of county Cavan, Ireland. In early manhood he emigrated to the United States, but after a residence of several years here returned to his native land, where he married Catherine Smith, and resided there for several years. About 1849 he again emigrated to the United States, taking up his residence in Boston, Mass., where he remained one year, removing from there to Schuyler Falls, N.Y., whence he spent the remainder of his life. He was a farmer by occupation, a Democrat in politics and a member of the Catholic church.
John B., see forward.
(II) John B., son of Edward and Catherine (Smith) Riley, was born Sept. 9, 1852, in Schuyler Falls, N.Y. After attending the public schools he received his later education in Plattsburgh and Keeseville academies. At the age of seventeen years he began teaching school, which occupation he continued several years, and in 1875 he was elected school commissioner of Clinton county, which position he held until 1881. He read law with Hon. Smith M. Weed, and in 1879 was admitted to the bar, and has since been engaged in the practice of his profession in Plattsburgh. He served as president of the village of Plattsburgh during the years 1885-86, and during the latter year was appointed superintendent of Indian schools of the United States. He resigned this position in 1889 when he was appointed chief examiner of the New York State Civil Service Commission, which position he held until 1893. From 1893 to 1897 he filled the post of United States counsul-general at Ottawa, Canada. During 1902-03 he served as corporation counsel for Plattsburgh. In the fall of 1909 he was elected county judge of Clinton county, N.Y. For the past ten years he has held the post of president of the local board of managers of the Plattsburgh State Normal School, and still (1910) retains same. He is a trustee of the Catholic Summer School of America, and has served as chairman of the executive committee. He is a trustee of the Champlain Valley Hospital. In 1909 he was a member of the New York State Lake Champlain Tencentennary Commission for the celebration of the discovery of the lake. Mr. Riley has always been interested in the cause of education, and was one of the founders of the Clinton County Teachers' Association, of which he was for some years president and secretary. During his service as school commissioner Mr. Riley participated in the meetings of the New York State Teachers' Association, also the State Association of School Commissioners and City Superintendents, where he earnestly advocated reform in the method of licensing teachers, which has since been adopted. He also takes an active interests in public affairs, and is considered one of the public-spirited, representative citizens of the city of Plattsburgh. He stand high in the estimation of his fellow citizens, who have delighted to honor him. He has won a high place in his profession.
Mr. Riley married, Sept. 25, 1883, in Plattsburgh, Genevieve, daughter of the late Matthew Desmond.
aged at the present time (1910), respectively, twenty-three, sixteen, fourteen and twelve years.
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