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THOMAS J. DELANEY. To become distinguished at the bar requires not only capacity, but also sound judgment and persevering industry. These qualifications are combined in no gentleman at the Greene County bar to a greater extent than in Thomas J. Delaney. A careful and accurate adviser, and an earnest and conscientious advocate, his success at the bar has been achieved by the improvement of opportunities, by untiring diligence, and by close study and a correct judgment of men and motives. Like so many of the eminent men of the present day his early career was not a very auspicious one and gave no hints of the honor that was to come to him in later years. He was born in the city of New Orleans May 10, 1859.
A son of James Delaney, who lost his life while serving for the South in the great civil strife of 1861, being fatally wounded at the siege of Corinth. He was a native of Ireland, but became a citizen of America in 1850, first making his home in the city of Brooklyn, and in 1859 removing to New Orleans, in which city his widow still resides. To their union a family of five children were given, the following of whom are living: Mary (Kearney), of Springfield, Missouri; Jennie (Beven), of McComb, Miss., and Thomas J.
The education of Thomas J. was acquired in Mary’s College, New Orleans, in which institution he enjoyed excellent instruction and made the most of his opportunities. In April, 1874, he came to Springfield, Missouri, and took up the study of law in May, 1878, with F. S. Pfefferman, but gave it up for a time to engage in railroading, which he continued until October of the same year, at which time he entered the Law Department of the Washington University of St. Louis, from which he graduated with first honors in 1880, in a class comprising forty-two members, many of whom are now prominent attorneys of Missouri. Mr. Delaney entered upon the practice of his profession in St. Louis as a partner of Brillian A. Hill, but on account of ill health left that city in April, 1881, and came to Springfield, having been married in St. Louis in December, 1880, to Miss Cordie Boyd, daughter of Hon. S. H. Boyd, of this city. Since he has made his home at this place he has been actively engaged in the practice of law, and gives attention to both civil and criminal practice. He has been a life-long Democrat, has taken a deep interest in politics, and in 1882 was elected by his party to the office of city attorney of Springfield, serving that year and during 1883,. In the latter year he was appointed prosecuting attorney of Greene County, which position he filled until 1885, when he refused to be renominated. After the defeat of Cleveland in 1888, he was appointed assistant United States District Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, and under Harrison’s administration he tendered his resignation. In 1890 he was elected a member of the State Central Committee, representing the old Thirteenth District, and in 1892 he was elected to the same position to represent the new Seventh District. For a number of years he was associated in the practice of his profession with his father-in-law, Hon. S. H. Boyd (from 1885 to 1890), and the firm proved a strong one and became widely and favorably known. He and his wife have one child living, James Boyd, who was born July 2, 1882.