Ilion Alumni Pharmacists

Carney Family

November 2020

By Aileen Carney Sweeney

Carney Pharmacey Ilion NY
Shown above are pharmacist siblings, George M. Carney and his sister Gertrude (Carney) Tracy IHS 1909,
owners of Carney's Pharmacy. This building was located on the corner of Central Avenue and West Canal Street. It housed a drugstore from the 1880s up to 1955. Dr. Eugene Draper sold the building to his drug clerk, pharmacist Sarah Carney, in 1902. Sarah turned the business over to her younger brother, George Carney when she married in 1906. Samuel Swann operated the pharmacy in the 1930s, and Robert Mulvey was the last owner in 1955.

Sarah (Carney) Maloney - IHS Alumnus

Sarah (Carney) Maloney was born August 29, 1875 the third child of Michael and Bridget (Crosby) Carney. Sarah graduated from Ilion and College of Pharmacy. Sarah was the original owner of Carney's Pharmacy in Ilion. She sold it to her brother, George Carney, in 1909. She married James Maloney of Taunton, Ma in 1906. The couple moved to Douglas City, Arizona and resided there according to 1910 census. She and her husband settled in Glendora, CA, as druggists, for Cub Pharmacy (located at Cub Building, owned by Frank Chance, first baseman for Chicago Cubs). They divorced in the 1920s. James Maloney moved to San Francisco and married Helen Gordon. He died in 1930. Sarah stayed in Glendora and never remarried. She died as the result of an automobile accident in California, shortly after a visit from her brother George, his wife Jane, and sons Bill and Bob.

Western Druggist, Volume 26 - New York Board of Pharmacy - Google Books
Maloney—Carney wedding - Ilion Citizen June 26, 1906 -
Pacific Pharmacist Volume 5 1911 - Google Books
Injury Fatal To Sister Of 3 Uticans - Utica Daily Press December 22, 1948 -
Sarah (Carney) Maloney - findagrave


George M. Carney IHS Alumnus

George Carney was born April 24, 1887, the son of Michael and Bridget (Crosby) Carney. He was educated in the Ilion school system. He graduated from the Buffalo College of Pharmacy and five years later, he received a diploma from the Albany College of Pharmacy. He returned to Ilion and went to work for his sister, Gertrude Carney, in the drug store she was conducting under the name of Carney & Company. He later bought out his sister's interests and became the sole proprietor of the Carney pharmacy on Central Avenue.

He biography was included in this book, History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925 George M. Carney.

"Since then, Mr. Carney has been the proprietor of the Carney pharmacy, which enjoys an enviable reputation as a drug store of the first rank and commands a liberal patron age from the people of the village....Mr. Carney stands at all time for progress and civic advancement and has been willing to devote no inconsiderable amount of his own time and energy to helping maintain those institutions and movements that promote the welfare of the community. In this connection he has served on the board of education and on the board of directors of the Ilion Hospital."

By 1933, the Carney pharmacy was sold to B. Swann. The Mulvey family later purchased the business and operated it under the name Mulvey's Pharmacy.

George Carney opened a new pharmacy, Carney's Oneida Square Pharmacy, in Utica.

George M. Carney died May 26, 1951 in his home, after a brief illness. He was 64 years old. Mr. Carney was a communicant of St. Francis de Sales Church, its Holy Name Society, Utica Council 189, Knights of Columbus, the Fourth Degree Assembly, the Nocturnal Adoration Society and the First Friday Club. He was a charter member of Ilion Council Fourth Degree K. of C. and its faithful navigator for many years; past president of the Ilion Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Ilion School Board and past president of the Ilion Exchange Club. He was a vice-president of the Ilion Saving and Loan Association and a director of the Manufacturers National Bank of Ilion for many years and a member of the New York State and American Pharmaceutical Societies. He was survived by his wife Jane (Hartford) Carney, three sons, John H., William D. and G. Robert Carney; two sisters, Mrs. (Mary Carney) Frank Sweet and Mrs. Bernard (Gertrude Carney) Tracy; three grandchildren, two nieces and a nephew, all of Utica.

His sons John Carney IHS 1931 and George Robert Carney were also pharmacists.

Senior Annual IHS 1909 - page 12 - Gertrude Carney - The New York Heritage Digital Collection - Ilion Free Public Library Yearbooks Collection
Longtime Pharmacy in Ilion - German Flatts By Susan R. Perkins, Caryl A. Hopson Carney pharmacy building page 114
The Pharmaceutical Era - Volume 390 - 1908 - Google Books
History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925 George M. Carney -
George Michael Carney - findagrave
George Robert Carney - findagrave


Gertrude (Carney) Tracy - Ilion Senior Annual 1909 Yearbook
Gertrude Carney - Senior Annual 1909 Yearbook


Gertrude (Carney) Tracy and Bernard Tracy - IHS 1909

Gertrude Beatrice (Carney) Tracy was the youngest child of Michael and Bridget (Crosby) Carney. Gertrude graduated from Ilion High School in 1909. She also was a graduate of Buffalo State Teachers College and later the Albany College of Pharmacy. Miss Gertrude Carney has passed the state examination in pharmacy. The June 19, 1919 edition of "The Ilion Citizen" reported "Miss Gertrude Carney has passed the state examination in pharmacy." She married Bernard E. Tracy, an IHS 1909 classmate, in 1921. The couple moved to Utica in 1922 and opened Tracy's Drug Store on Genesee Street, near Hopper Street. They operated the business until retiring in 1958.

Gertrude Beatrice (Carney) Tracy died on February 8, 1970, in a local hospital. Gertrude was a member of St. John's Church, the Catholic Woman's Club, the Christ Child Society and the Women of the Rotary. Besides her husband, she left a daughter. Mrs. Robert J. (Rosemary) Shean of Schenectady. The funeral was held at the Doyle Funeral Home and from St. John's Church. She was buried in St. Agnes Cemetery, Ilion NY.

Senior Annual IHS 1909 - page 8 - Gertrude Carney - The New York Heritage Digital Collection - Ilion Free Public Library Yearbooks Collection
Miss Gertrude Carney - Ilion Citizen June 19, 1919 -
Mrs. Grace B Carney - Herkimer Evening Telegram February 9 1970 Her first name was incorrect in the obiturary -
Gertrude (Carney) Tracy - findagrave


Bernard Tracy - Ilion Senior Annual 1909 Yearbook
Bernard Tracy - Senior Annual IHS 1909


Bernard Tracy - IHS 1909

Bernard Tracy, husband of fellow pharmacist, Gertrude Carney, was born in Utica and later moved to Ilion. He graduated, along with his wife, with the Ilion Class of 1909. Bernard remained a proud Ilion alumnus. In 1982, he was featured in The Utica Daily Press May 3, 1981 edition in an article titled "Tracy's Prescription Is Work".

Bernard Tracy, who is still a working pharmacist in Utica, turned 90 years old yesterday, and as a special gift he received the promise of immortality.

Family, friends, and fellow Rotarians gathered for a special birthday party yesterday afternoon at Harts Hill Inn to honor the druggist, and to announce the creation of 'The Bernard E. Tracy Award,' a $50 scholarship to be awarded annually through the Utica Rotary Club to a high school student excelling in science.

The announcement of the award was meant to be a surprise, and that's how it struck Tracy: some tears after all the laughter generated by grandchildren, other relatives and "friends as they recounted anecdotes about him.

Tracy thanked them all reminiscing, about the days when his grandmother first came to Utica from Albany on a canal boat, when Charles Lindbergh addressed a gathering from the rear platform of a train at Union Station, and "ending it all with his high school yell from Ilion High Class of 1909.

Two-years later, he was an apprentice pharmacist at Carney's Drug Store, where he met his future bride, Gertrude Carney, also a pharmacist. Together, they operated Tracy's Drug Store on Genesee Street from 1930 to 1958, when his wife decided it was better to stay home and Tracy went to work for others.

His wife died in 1970, and he's still working at Emma's Pharmacy on Oneida Street.

IN AN INTERVIEW, Tracy said he earned his degree from the University Buffalo School of Pharmacy in 1915 but since then the profession has changed radically, and "you probably don't have to know as much as before."

"Back in the old days," he said, "we used to make up prescriptions from scratch using herbs and chemicals, but now everything is specialty stuff prepackaged from the big pharmaceutical companies, and all you do is hand them out."

Over the years, he said, he has probably dispensed a quarter million prescriptions, and his eye glasses have grown thick trying to decipher doctor's handwriting. "Half of them should be sent back to school to learn penmanship," he said.

But aside.from that and a slight hearing loss, he says he feels fit and only once or twice in his life has he had to fill a prescription for himself. "A few years ago," he said, "I had a touch of pneumonia and needed an antibiotic. But that's about the only time I can remember."

OF COURSE, he said, people today use a lot more drugs than when he started out. Back then, a little sulpher and molasses in the spring and fall was enough to keep most people feeling fine.

You could make that at home, but a lot of over the counter tonics were popular, too, such as Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compoumd, castor oil, and Swamp Root,-which was supposed to "be good for the kidneys."

Narcotics were barely heard of, he said, or understood "Opium and cocaine used to go into a lot of prescriptions until a law was passed in 1913 regulating their use. "Tracy's Prescription Is Work" - Utica Observer Dispatch - May 3, 1981 -

A few weeks later, Bernard's rendition of the Ilion Class of 1909 yell made an encore appearance at the 100th Anniversary of the Ilion Alumni Association dinner which was held in 1987. The following Utica Observer Dispatch article was written by Martin Tyksinski.

'Lickity Rack,' Utican Gives Ilion Cheer - Martin Tyksinski

ILION - When the dinner was over and most of the speeches had been made, they asked the oldest among them to come to the podium.

BERNARD TRACY of Utica stepped forward with a sprightly gait that belied his 90 years. Probably --- more than anything else his "Class of 1909" cheer typified the spirit of more than 300 who gathered at last night's 100th reunion of the Ilion Alumni Association.

Lickety, Tickety, Rickety rack!
Rah for the colors, gold and black!
Boom-a-racka! Boom-a-racka Sis boom-a-rein!
Ilion High school! Nineteen-nine!

That spirit and pride in the gold and black showed in the attendance, "about three times the usual at the annual affairs" Edward Bowers, association President said.

"We had to cut off ticket sales by the first of May." Bowers said, "We reached the capacity of the place Knights o fColumbus and couldn't handle any more."

It was a chance to renew old friendships, make new ones and talk about the good old days.

Most of the old-timers agreed that discipline has changed greatly since they were in school.

"This permissive philosophy hadn't come around yet." Tracy said. "Parents backed the teachers then."

"It was strictly do as you're told," he remembered. "Bucking got you nowhere."

"We did exactly what the teachers said," Helen Warner of Utica, Class of 1912, said. "We loved our teachers and felt we were learning. We were happy."

"Once and a while we would do something like skip school." Warner recalled. "But if we did we had to serve time."

FOR STUDENTS at Morgan Street School where Miss Loretta Douglas was principal, serving time meant filling out her "whispering papers," Warner said.

"When it was complete, you could go home." Warner said. "But that could be five or six o'clock, especially for me because I was bad in arithmetic. And I had my share of whispering papers."

JOSEPH BAKER, a mathematics teacher and high school principal in the district for 35 years until 1958. said that discipline was easier then. "It's pretty near impossible now." he said.

"In those days, the law meant that a teacher or principal stood in place of the parent and could do anything a reasonable parent could do" Baker said.

Current Superintendent Joseph Fusco said " that teachers and administrators now have to contend with a lot more as far as student behavior."

The drug culture and substance abuse was unheard of in their time," Fusco said. "And we have to compete with a lot more today. Television has a negative effect on students because it takes so much time away from studies and reading. "

On permissiveness in the schools, Fusco said "I don't know if it's so much schools that are permissive as it is society."

But despite the changes, Fusco said the quality of education in Ilion schools has remained excellent.

"I think Ilion schools have always been outstanding, and that they are still are outstanding," Sarah Costello, Class of 1920 and a former elementary teacher at West Hill School said. 'Lickity Rack,' Utican Gives Ilion Cheer - Utica Observer Dispatch - May 24, 1981 -


Bernard Tracy died June 23, 1987 at the age of 96. He was predeceased by his wife, Gertrude Beatrice (Carney) Tracy, in 1970. Bernard Tracy was self employed and the owner of Tracy Drug Store in Utica and had been a practicing pharmacist for 60 years, retiring in 1982. He was a graduate of the University of Buffalo, was a member of Rotary in Utica, a former member of the Knights of Columbus in Ilion, the Mohawk Pharmaceutical Society, and a Navy Veteran of W.W.I. In 1982, he moved to Schenectady to be near his daughter, Rosemary Shean. He was survived by a daughter, Rosemary Shean, of Schenectady; five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held at the Jones Funeral Home, 1503 Union St. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Helen's Church in Schenectady. Interment was in St. Agnes Cemetery in Ilion.

Senior Annual IHS 1909 - page 13 - Bernard Tracey - The New York Heritage Digital Collection - Ilion Free Public Library Yearbooks Collection
Bernard Tracy - findagrave


John Carney IHS 1930

John Carney 1930 Ilion High School Mirror Yearbook
John Carney - 1930 Ilion High School Mirror

John H. Carney, was born March 20, 1913 in Ilion, son of George M. and Jane Hartford Carney. John attended Ilion schools and graduated in 1930. He graduated, as valedictorian, of the class from Albany College of Pharmacy. In 1941,John married Antoinette McGuinness in Ilion. After graduation, he was worked with his father in the Oneida Square Pharmacy until 1954. He was then employed by the former Dan J.Sullivan Drug Store on Genesee Street until its closing in 1968. Since that time he was a relief pharmacist at Randall's, Emma's and the Brodt Pharmacies.

John Carney Albany College of Pharmacy Graduation 1934
John Carney - Albany College of Pharmacy Graduation 1934


John Carney Albany College of Pharmacy Yearbook 1934
John Carney - Albany College of Pharmacy Yearbook 1934

John Carney died on Saturday, May 15, 1976 at age 63. He lived at 1611 Holland Ave., in Utica, NY. He was the father of the Rev. Michael J. Carney, associate pastor of St. Mark's Church, North Utica, died Saturday, May 15, 1976, in St. Elizabeth Hospital. He was a member of St. Francis de Sales Church, Utica Council, Knights of Columbus and its fourth degree assembly, the Nocturnal Adoration Society, the state Pharmaceutical Association and the Mohawk Valley Pharmaceutical Association. Besides his, wife and Father Carney, he left a daughter, Mrs. William (Joan) Capanna, New Milford, Connecticut and two brothers, William D., Rochester and G. Robert, (also a pharmacist) Utica. The funeral was at 10 Wednesday from the Doyle Funeral Home and at 10:30 from St. Francis de Sales Church. Burial was in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Whitesboro.

Mirror 1930 - page 12 - John Carney - The New York Heritage Digital Collection - Ilion Free Public Library Yearbooks Collection
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences - Photographs 1934
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences - Yearbook 1934 Page 38
George "Robert" Carney - brother - Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences - Yearbook 1949 Page 23
John Carney Obituary The Observer Dispatch - May 17, 1976 -
Lone Girl Graduate in Pharmacy and Some Prize Winners Albany Evening News - June 7, 1934 -
Awarding Pharmacy College Honors Albany NY Times Union 1934 - 4619.pdf - June 28, 1934 -
Ilion Alumni Slate Banquet The Evening Telegram - June 24, 1955 -
John Hartford Carney - findagrave
George Robert 'Bob' Carney - findagrave
Gertrude Carney Page 8 - Senior Annual IHS 1909 - Ilion Yearbook Collection -
Bernard E. Tracy Page 13 - Senior Annual IHS 1909 - Ilion Yearbook Collection -

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November 27, 2020 - Modified March 27, 2021