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Biography of Patrick Francis Cunningham

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PATRICK FRANCIS CUNNINGHAM-Son of a father whose worthy name he bears, and whom he has emulated in the trade of masonbuilder, Patrick F. Cunningham has come to be one of the most important of the contractor-builders in the Greenfield region. As senior member of the well-known firm of Cunningham & Liston (William J. Liston), he has, together with his partner, left the impress of skill and excellence of workmanship upon many public, quasi-public and private buildings in the capital town of Franklin County, and in towns within a radius of twenty-five miles of Greenfield. Mr. Cunningham’s firm has made an enviable reputation for itself and seeks consistently to maintain it, honesty of material, durability of construction and attractiveness of design being the elements that have spelled success for their numerous business enterprises.

Patrick Francis Cunningham, Sr., father of Patrick Francis Cunningham, was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1845, and died in Turners Falls, in 1910, at the age of sixty-five years. At the age of eighteen years he came to America, landing in Boston. Perhaps his most notable work as a stone mason and builder was his part in the construction of the Hoosac Tunnel on the Fitchburg Railroad, now a feeder of the Boston & Maine system. From Boston he came to live in Turners Falls, and in that town he followed his chosen trade, always as foreman of the works. Coming to America with him were his brothers, William and David. Mr. Cunningham, Sr., married Mary Murphy, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Buckley) Murphy, born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1847, and died in Greenfield, November 4, 1919, at the age of seventy-two years. Children born to them: i. Catherine, married Thomas F. Barry, brush manufacturer, of Newark, New Jersey, and has children, Ruby May, Daniel C. z Mary, married George Campbell, a paper maker, in Turners Falls, and has children, Madeline, Lynett, George and William. 3. Patrick Francis Cunningham, of Greenfield. 4. Ellen (deceased), married Philip Neddo. 5. Elizabeth, married Leo Robert Duress, manager of the Greenfield Baking Company, and has children, Donald C., born in May, 1908, and Winthrop L., born in January, 1912.

Mr. Cunningham was born in Turners Falls April 22, 1872, and received his education in the schools of that town. He early began to learn the trade of brick mason, and after entering upon his career of journeyman he followed the trade in Turners Falls until 1911, when he came to Greenfield, and here he continued to work at his trade for ten years. In 1921, having determined to enter the status of employing contractor, he formed a partnership with William J. Liston, and the firm became Cunningham & Liston. A gratifying volume of business came to them almost immediately upon their launching out as contractors. They have since done an extensive business; evidences of their exemplary work are to be seen in Greenfield and a large vicinity in school houses and other public buildings and numerous residences. They employ a force of ten journeymen and assistants, and the firm is virtually never without a commission to be executed for exacting patrons. Mr. Cunningham has practically devoted all his time to the development of his business, and has eschewed public office and membership in fraternal organizations. He has never married.

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