Patrick Joseph Carney Jr.
Born July 24, 1856 - Died June 22, 1949
Clunefad, Ireland - County Roscommon
Patrick J. Carney Jr. - History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925 George M. Carney www.schenectadyhistory.org. 19 Dec. 2011. Web.
"Michael Carney is the second of three sons born to Patrick Carney by his first wife, Mary (Ward) Carney, the others being John and Peter Carney. Before leaving his native Ireland for America Patrick Carney had married a second time, and this wife, Bridgett (McDounough) Carney accompanied him to the New World. Seven children were born to this second union: Thomas, Eugene, Philip, Patrick, Elizabeth, Catherine and Bridgett. Eugene and Thomas, both deceased, were priests, the former in charge of St. Bernard's church of Cohoes, New York, and the latter stationed in Omaha, Nebraska. One daughter, Elizabeth, has also passed to the great beyond. In the Old Country Patrick Carney was a farmer, but after coming to Ilion he worked for E. Remington & Sons. He died here at the age of eighty-three. Michael Carney, father of George M. Carney, married Bridgett Crosby, an Irish girl, who came to America with her husband's people in 1868, at the age of nineteen, her birth having occurred on March 17, 1849. Their wedding, which was celebrated April 19, 1868, was the first to take place in the old church edifice of the Church of the Annunciation, Ilion. The marriage thus solemnized was destined to be a long and happy one and in 1919 Mr. and Mrs. Carney had the privilege of celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary."
Patrick J. Carney Jr. Obituary
Ilion - Patrick Carney, 92, a retired Remington Typewriter Company employee, died June 22, 1949 in a Schenectady Hospital after a brief illness. He was born July 24, 1856 in Ireland and at the age of 11 he came to Ilion with his parents Patrick and Bridget Carney. He was retired from the Typewriter company about 30 years ago.
Mr Carney married Margaret Loftus in Frankfort more than 60 years ago, she died about 10 years ago. Since then he has resided with his son, J. Edward Carney, 22 West River St., Ilion and a daughter Miss Mary Carney, 14 Eagle St, Schenectady. Besides the son and daughter he leaves several grandchildren including Dr. Theodore Carney, Boston; John and Joseph Kennedy, Schenectady, Mrs. John O'Hallahan, Chicago; Mrs. Paul Clayton and William Kennedy, California; Robert Kennedy, Oregon and four in NYC.
Funeral will be tomorrow morning from the McGrath Funeral Home in Ilion and later from the Annunciation church. Burial will be in St. Agnes Cemetery here.
My memories of my life in Ilion, New York
I, Patrick J. Carney was born in Clunefad, County Roscommon, Ireland, July 24, 1856, to Bridget McDonough Carney and Patrick Carney.
We came to America on a steamer when I was eleven years old. We were eighteen days at sea, during which we encountered terrible storms so that the waves were mountainous. Some of the passengers were cursing, some were praying, and the latter were more effective for we arrived safely in Boston harbor. Because we had relatives in the big city of Ilion, (population 1300) we headed for that beautiful town in the Mohawk Valley. My father secured work at once for Remington and Sons.
My schooling was brief, ending abruptly when I was to speak in an assembly. The principal of the school, Virgil Curtis, was one of the finest men who ever lived. He talked to me, a tall, lanky greenhorn, like a father, urging me to pattern myself after that estimably prosperous gentleman, John Giblin - better known as "Lord Giblin". My teacher was forever keeping me for whispering and I finally complained to Mr. Curtis, who changed my seat. After that, I pursued my studies-in peace. That fateful day when I was to speak before the class, a minister and some other visitors, I was completely stage struck and couldn't utter a sound. In humiliation, I returned to my seat and could have rattled off every word of it -- but the opportunity had gone by and with it my hope of an education, for I left school forever when only 13 years of age.
To me then it seemed wonderful to get a job in the Drop Shop of the Remington Arms scratching scales for a dollar a day. Instead of learning my ABC's, I was learning how to forge guards, which were examined and then finished by Jay Miller.
Another step in my progress was catching barrels for Bill Onions in the rolling mill of the Remington Arms. In all, I gave twenty years of my life in the service of the Remingtons.
The Remingtons, Samuel, Philo and Eliphlet made Ilion famous throughout the entire world. At first, they made all sorts of agricultural tools, plows, hoes, shovels, rakes and forks besides the guns. They were worth $6,000,000 so they divided it, each taking $2,000,000.
A man by the name of Shoals conceived the idea of a typewriter and the Remingtons agreed to finance it, so they invested fifty thousand dollars (and more) in it. Some said it was a crazy man's fancy. The first typewriters were built up on Otsego Street, in one of the buildings of the Remington Arms Co. They sold for $100-125 and the company was turning out 400 a day, year in and year out.
At that time, I was working in the Drop Shop, dropping type bars under Mr. Barlow and Fred Eichler. I was paid $1.25 a thousand, and at first, earned up to $1.75 a day -- finally working up to $2.50. The most I ever earned was $32 a week and I only got that once. One of my best friends was my boss, Frank A. Baker. Mr. Jenne was superintendent at that time.
They bought eight houses on North Street and were going to put up a big building, but for some reason it never materialized. One of the stockholders, Joseph Carney (no relative of mine) objected to it. Instead, they bought the Remington Agricultural Works on Clark Street and moved the works down there.
The typewriter was a regular gold mine. Besides making 400 machines a day, they also made portables, using tin that came from Belgium and cost very little. They made 75 or 80 of these a day sold them for $5.00 each. It was generally believed it cost about fifty cents to make one - and also repairs cost two or three dollars, so it was a regular bonanza.
Before all this prosperity, they had made Philo Remington believe they couldn't sell the typewriters and got him to sell it to Wyckoff, Seamans and Benedict. Old Tom Richardson was said to have received $10,000 for making the deal. Wyckoff invested $40,000, Seamans and Benedict each $10,000. Where the latter two raised the money, no one knows, because they were both poor men. Benedict was a farmer from Fort Plain (old Alex Bauregard trusted him for meat.) They hired John Calder, a Scotchman to be manager - and when he got in the saddle, he fired all the old bosses and replaced them with his own kind. The Aligners struck. Someone convinced W-S & B, it would put an end to strikes if they gave a bonus of $100 each year to every man who had worked there 10 years or more. The plan was put into effect and together with a hundred others, I received $50 in gold on the 4th of July, and $50 at Christmas - and a beautiful pin. A bonus like that is like a snowball. Every year more were becoming eligible and the result was it was cut out entirely. I can't say Calder was responsible, but he didn't help the people of Ilion.
He brought a German from Syracuse as superintendent and laid off men and put women on the jobs "because it was cheaper'" he would say, "this is the way we do it in "Syracoose"!
John Hoefler tried to get the typewriter and it was a lucky day for Ilion he didn't for he would only have hired Germans and made Ilion a second Germany.
The Remingtons, Samuel, Philo and Eliphlet made Ilion famous throughout the entire world. At first they made all kinds of agricultural tools, plows, hoes, shovels, rakes and forks besides the guns. They were said to be worth $6,000,000 so each received $2,000,000 when they sold out. Philo's son-in-law, Col. Watson C. Squires was Financial Secretary - and the company was forced into bankruptcy. Men were thrown out of work, and the shop was closed for a couple of years. The receivers sold it to Hartley and Graham, who had been agents during their prosperous years. The new company was reorganized, under the name of Remington Arms Co. Hartley Dodge was one of the stockholders who helped finance it.
The three Remingtons died - Eliphlet an object of charity after having made Ilion famous the world over. It was rumored that Eliphlet had given $100,000 to Syracuse University - and when he lost all his money, some prominent men wrote to ask if they could give him the interest, so he could take care of himself - but the Board of Directors said that was impossible. Some charitable men - Charlie Harter, John A. Giblin, Sam Russell and Mr. Benedict contributed enough to take care of him until he died.
During the time the Remingtons were financially embarrassed, they gave orders to their employees to get things at company stores and instead of cash being used, they had orders. The government put a stop to that practice - and that forced them into bankruptcy.
Philo Remington had built one of the finest mansions in the Mohawk Valley - and the people of Ilion were very proud of it.
Clarence Seamans thought Ilion was too small for him after he made a million, so he and his wife moved to New York. Mrs. Seamans was a very pretty girl but poor and she worked setting type 10 hours a day for old Eliphlet in the Ilion Citizen "a great prohibition newspaper". It was a great change from that, to becoming mistress of a mansion with countless servants. Old Phil Marhafer was employed there for years. Seamans himself told of the time he built his mansion in New York someone asked if a charitable institution were being built - and he said, "no, a private residence." The man said, "the fellow who is building such a huge place must be a damn fool" and Seamans said, "I guess you're right". He gave $30,000 to Ilion for a library.
When Benedict died, the New York papers described him as a "patron of the arts" - a far cry from the days when he was a poor boy on the farm at fort plain. He had been a graduate of Hamilton College and got a job as bookkeeper. After making his money, like Seamans, Ilion was too small for his royal giblocks, so he too went to New York. He married a young girl (she married him for his money) after his first wife died. He gave the hospital $10,000 but rumor said he took back $5,000.
Wyckoff was from Ithaca. I don't know what happened to him. The Remingtons had spent over $50,000 developing the typewriter.
When the typewriter was closed, I secured a job in Frankfort in the West Shore Shops at $1.35 a day - 10 hours a day. I had to walk to Frankfort everyday - but rode back on the train.
In 1868, Ilion had no streetcars and the population was 1300 - and the cars didn't appear until about 1875. At first, they only ran until 9:00 --- so, when I began courting the prettiest girl with rosy cheeks in Frankfort - Maggie Loftus, many's the time I walked home.
A year previous to my marriage, I was offered a job in a hammer shop in Buffalo, but my desire to see America urged me farther West. And I journeyed on to Nebraska, 240 miles west of Omaha, I obtained work as a waiter in the Nicolette House - one of the leading hotels in Minneapolis. I also had a swim in the "father of waters" - the Mississippi. When my year was up, I headed for home and my ladylove. I offered her my heart and all my worldly goods ($25-00). She told me I was crazy to think of marriage - and she'd consider me when I showed promise of settling down. In a year, I saved $350 and she consented so "I made her a lady of fashion, and in fact, I made her my wife." We were married by Father Hyland, Thanksgiving Eve 1883. We had a small flat in Mrs. Green's house on Canal Street for $5.00 a month rent. Our honeymoon was short and sweet from Frankfort to Ilion. We built our home on West River Street to the right of my father's, while Mike built his to the left. Our marriage was blessed with six children, Margaret, Edward, Joseph, Anne, Thomas and Mary.
In all, I worked 24 years in the Drop Shop of the typewriter dropping type bars. (In fact, I was the only one who did that work.) I was paid $1.25 a thousand - and at first earned $1.75 a day. With the help of my two boys - Ed and Joe - who came down after school each day, I made $2.50 - but only once did I receive $32.00 for a week's work - a fabulous salary in those days.
One of the best friends I ever had was my boss, Frank A. Baker. I had asked Mr. Jenne for a job when I decided it would be better to work in Ilion rather than Frankfort, and he said they had all the help they needed. Fortunately, I met Frank Baker and told him what Mr. Jenne said. He told me go back again - and evidently Frank spoke to Jenne - because he told me to start work the next day under a Mr. Barlow.
One Fourth of July, I went on a picnic at Palmer's Grove, so I took the packet. When I went to pay my fare with a fifty cent shinplaster, a gust of wind blew it into the Erie Canal, "Stop the boat" I yelled, and was put off on the bank. By pegging stones at it, I brought it over to the bank where I was able to reach it. After drying it in the sun, I was off once more on foot and felt rich indeed with fifty cents to spend all at one time.
Life was pleasant in those days. A man could get a job anytime - and if he lost one job, by night could have another.
No account of Ilion would be complete if I didn't say a word about some of my good friends who lived on River Street. First, I shall mention the Morans, for a finer family never existed and their friendship has been one of the most valued possessions in my long life. Mrs. Moran was indeed a gentlewoman - and she gave her finest qualities to her daughters - Annie, Lizzie, Kate and Alice. They made living on River Street very pleasant and happy. Across the road was Mrs. McGarry - always cheerful and jolly. Mrs. Pierce down the street was another good neighbor. All in all, Ilion was a good place to live. A man could get a good day's pay, have a pleasant home and enjoy good friends.
One of my earliest recollections of Ilion was my first encounter with a darky. In Ireland, a Negro had never set foot - so the first one I ever saw frightened me out of my senses, since I was sure it was the devil who had come after me. One hot Summer day, I went for a cooling swim in Steel's Creek - a good half mile from home. Old Louie Moore and his two-daughters, who were as black as coal, came along and naturally stopped to watch me swim. My fright must have been apparent - and old Louie stuck out his big red tongue and rolled his eyes. Never pausing for breath - or clothes, I grabbed them and ran the fastest race of my life to escape. Old Louie and the girls rolled on the grass roaring with laughter. Old Louie was a great fiddler and was quite a character in town where he played at the dances.
Utica was given five or six parks by Thomas R. Proctor and he and his wife gave thousands of dollars to the people. Every year they had "Proctor Day" - with a big celebration, and everything was free. You seldom see rich men doing that today. One time, when there was very little work, Mrs. Proctor ordered a building to be taken down brick by brick, so it would give many men work for a long time.
Another prominent man in Utica was Roger Rock - married to my aunt Catherine. He worked in a livery stable for a Mr. Butterfield - later becoming very prosperous and very high hat. One day he stopped to listen to an auctioneer - Jimmy Hove - and when Jimmy saw the dignified Roger in the doorway, he strummed on the old accordion that was up for bids - much to the amusement of the crowd, and chagrin of the lordly Roger and chanted:
"Many's the day you lived on corn meal- Roger Rock"
Utica boasted of two hotels, the Baggs and Butterfield, known from New York to San Francisco. Some of the shinning lights who frequented them were the Baker brothers, who founded the Saturday Globe, also some leading Republicans, among them the famous lawyer Roscoe Conkling, he died in the blizzard of '88 when a cabdriver demanded $25.00 for carrying him a couple of blocks, and he refused. (The snow came up to the second story of some of the small houses in Ilion.)
One of the saddest days of my life was the one when my daughter Margaret died and left seven little orphans. It was the 17th of September, 1922.
I have been in many different cities in my time, New York, Chicago - Minneapolis - Cincinnati - St. Louis and Omaha, and now I'm in the big city of Schenectady, where I intend to stay until the Master calls me home, when I will bid goodbye to this world of joys and sorrows.
(This article appears, as authored by Patrick J. Carney Jr., over sixty years ago.
Created and maintained by Aileen Carney Sweeney, great granddaughter.)
Created and maintained by Aileen Carney Sweeney - Class of 1974
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