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115th New York State Legislature

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

115th New York State Legislature
114th 116th
JurisdictionNew York, United States
TermJanuary 1 – December 31, 1892
PresidentLt. Gov. William F. Sheehan (D)
Temporary PresidentJacob A. Cantor (D)
Party controlDemocratic (17-14-1)
SpeakerRobert P. Bush (D)
Party controlDemocratic (66-61-1)
1stJanuary 5 – April 25, 1892
2ndApril 25 – 26, 1892

The 115th New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 5 to April 26, 1892, during the first year of Roswell P. Flower's governorship, in Albany.


Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1846, 32 Senators and 128 assemblymen were elected in single-seat districts; senators for a two-year term, assemblymen for a one-year term. The senatorial districts were made up of entire counties, except New York County (seven districts) and Kings County (three districts). The Assembly districts were made up of entire towns, or city wards,[1] forming a contiguous area, all within the same county.

At this time there were two major political parties: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. In New York City, the Democrats were split into three factions: Tammany Hall, the "County Democracy" and the "New York Democracy". The Prohibition Party and the Socialist Labor Party also nominated tickets.


The New York state election, 1891 was held on November 3. Roswell P. Flower was elected Governor; and Speaker William F. Sheehan was elected Lieutenant Governor, both Democrats. The other five statewide elective offices up for election were also carried by the Democrats. The approximate party strength at this election, as expressed by the vote for Governor, was: Democratic 585,000; Republican 535,000; Prohibition 30,000; and Socialist Labor 15,000.

This was the first time that seats in the Legislature were contested in the courts. Previously, since Independence in 1777, seats could be contested only in the Legislature, after the beginning of the session, and it took usually a long time to come to a conclusion. Most contestants whose claims were found to be correct, were seated only a few days before the end of the session. Now it became possible to take the contest to the courts, swiftly being decided by New York Court of Appeals, before the session began. At this time, the Court of Appeals was composed of five Democrats and two Republicans, and ruled in favor of Democrats Edward B. Osborne, John A. Nichols and Charles E. Walker who were referred to in the press as "usurpers", holding their seats by fraud. Seven more seats were then contested in the Legislature.


The Legislature met for the regular session at the State Capitol in Albany on January 5, 1892; and adjourned on April 25.

Robert P. Bush (D) was elected Speaker with 65 votes against 55 for James W. Husted (R).

Jacob A. Cantor (D) was elected President pro tempore of the State Senate with 15 votes against 14 for George Z. Erwin (R).

On January 13, the Democratic senators met in caucus to discuss the scheme of unseating Republicans John H. Derby and Harvey J. Donaldson. Senator William L. Brown refused to go along with the scheme.[2]

On January 14, Senators George Z. Erwin, Edmund O'Connor and Charles T. Saxton (all three Rep.) refused to vote on a substitute Enumeration Bill, and were declared in contempt by the Democratic majority.[3]

On January 20, the Enumeration Bill was finally passed.[4] It had been due in 1885, but Republicans and Democrats could not agree on the terms. The Census Bill passed by Republican majorities in the Legislature of 1885 was vetoed by Gov. David B. Hill. In 1892, for the first time since 1885 the majorities in both Houses of the Legislature and the Governor were of the same party, and the enumeration bill was rushed through. The enumeration was needed as a basis for the re-apportionment of the Senate and Assembly districts.

On February 10, the Legislature elected James F. Crooker (Dem.) as Superintendent of Public Instruction, with 81 votes against 71 for Andrew S. Draper (Rep.), to succeed Draper on April 7 for a term of three years.[5]

The Legislature met for a special session on April 25, at 8.30 p.m., to consider the re-apportionment of the Senate districts and the number of assemblymen per county.[6]

On April 26, the Re-Apportionment Bill was passed by a vote of 17 to 1 (the 14 Republicans refused to vote) in the Senate; and by a vote of 67 to 58 in the Assembly.[7] Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Jefferson, Niagara, Oneida, Oswego, Otsego, Saratoga, Ulster, Washington and Wayne counties lost one seat each; St. Lawrence County lost two seats; Erie and Queens counties gained one seat each; and Kings and New York counties gained six seats each.

On August 5, Monroe County Judge Rumsey declared the Re-Apportionment Bill as unconstitutional and void.[8]

On September 23, Supreme Court Justice Stephen L. Mayham declared the Re-Apportionment Bill as constitutional.[9]

On October 13, the Court of Appeals upheld the Re-Apportionment Bill by a party vote of 5 to 2.[10]

State Senate


Note: There are now 62 counties in the State of New York. The counties which are not mentioned in this list had not yet been established, or sufficiently organized, the area being included in one or more of the abovementioned counties.


The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued in office as members of this Legislature. Joseph Aspinall, Martin T. McMahon, Charles P. McClelland, Edward B. Osborne, Cornelius R. Parsons and Matthias Endres changed from the Assembly to the Senate.

Note: For brevity, the chairmanships omit the words "...the Committee on (the)..."

District Senator Party Notes
1st Edward Floyd-Jones Democrat Chairman of Game Laws
2nd John McCarty Democrat Chairman of State Prisons; and of Public Buildings
3rd Joseph Aspinall* Republican
4th Patrick H. McCarren* Democrat Chairman of Commerce and Navigation; and of Public Expenditures
5th William L. Brown* Tammany Dem. Chairman of Affairs of Cities; and of Grievances
6th John F. Ahearn* Democrat Chairman of Banks; and of Public Printing
7th George F. Roesch* Tammany Dem. Chairman of Judiciary
8th Martin T. McMahon* Tammany Dem. Chairman of General Laws; and of Militia
9th Edward P. Hagan Tammany Dem. Chairman of Claims
10th Jacob A. Cantor* Tammany Dem. elected President pro tempore; Chairman of Finance; and of Rules
11th George W. Plunkitt Tammany Dem. Chairman of Miscellaneous Corporations; and of Engrossed Bills
12th Charles P. McClelland* Democrat Chairman of Insurance; and of Joint Library
13th William P. Richardson* Republican contested by C. Frederick Lamont (D)
14th Clarence E. Bloodgood Democrat Chairman of Roads and Bridges; and of Poor Laws
15th Edward B. Osborne* Democrat contested in the courts by Gilbert A. Deane (R);[11] Chairman of
Affairs of Villages; and of Erection and Division of Towns and Counties
16th John H. Derby Republican contested by Michael F. Collins (D)
17th Amasa J. Parker, Jr. Democrat Chairman of Taxation and Retrenchment; and of Public Health
18th Harvey J. Donaldson* Republican contested by Edward H. Hoyt (D)
19th Louis W. Emerson* Republican
20th George Z. Erwin* Republican Minority Leader
21st Joseph Mullin Republican
22nd Henry J. Coggeshall* Republican
23rd John E. Smith Republican
24th Edmund O'Connor* Republican
25th John A. Nichols Democrat contested in the courts by Rufus T. Peck (R);[12]
Chairman of Salt; and of Agriculture
26th Thomas Hunter* Republican
27th Charles E. Walker Democrat seated in place of Franklin D. Sherwood (R);[13]
Chairman of Internal Affairs of Towns and Counties; and of Manufactures
28th Charles T. Saxton* Republican
29th Cornelius R. Parsons* Republican
30th Greenleaf S. Van Gorder* Republican contested by Harvey Arnold (D)[14]
31st Matthias Endres* Democrat Chairman of Canals; and of Indian Affairs
32nd James T. Edwards Ind. Rep./Dem. Chairman of Railroads; and of Public Education


  • Clerk: Charles T. Dunning
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Adelbert E. Tallmadge
  • Doorkeeper: Joseph Jerge
  • Stenographer: James M. Ruso

State Assembly


The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued as members of this Legislature.

Note: For brevity, the chairmanships omit the words "...the Committee on (the)..."

District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany 1st Artcher La Grange Democrat
2nd Walter E. Ward* Republican
3rd Galen R. Hitt* Democrat Chairman of Railroads
4th John T. Gorman* Democrat Chairman of Banks
Allegany Marcus M. Congdon Republican
Broome Israel T. Deyo* Republican
Cattaraugus 1st William E. Wheeler Republican
2nd Solon S. Laing Democrat
Cayuga 1st Charles Clinton Adams Republican
2nd William Leslie Noyes* Republican
Chautauqua 1st Walter C. Gifford* Republican
2nd Egburt E. Woodbury* Republican
Chemung Robert P. Bush* Democrat elected Speaker; Chairman of Rules
Chenango Charles H. Stanton Republican
Clinton Edward Hall Democrat
Columbia Henry L. Warner Democrat
Cortland James H. Tripp Republican
Delaware James R. Cowan Republican
Dutchess 1st Obed Wheeler Republican contested by James H. Russell (D)
2nd James A. Vanderwater Democrat
Erie 1st John J. Clahan Democrat
2nd Jacob Goldberg Democrat
3rd Edward Gallagher* Republican
4th Henry H. Guenther* Democrat Chairman of General Laws
5th Myron H. Clark Republican
Essex Walter D. Palmer* Republican
Franklin Allen S. Matthews Republican
Fulton and Hamilton Horace S. Judson Democrat
Genesee Charles N. Reed Republican
Greene Edward M. Cole Democrat Chairman of Public Printing
Herkimer Henry H. Green* Republican
Jefferson 1st Harrison Fuller Republican
2nd Martin L. Willard Democrat
Kings 1st Joseph J. Cahill* Democrat Chairman of Unfinished Business
2nd William J. Plant Democrat
3rd John Cooney* Democrat Chairman of Privileges and Elections
4th John J. O'Connor* Democrat Chairman of Fisheries and Game
5th John Kelly* Democrat Chairman of Printed and Engrossed Bills
6th William E. Shields* Democrat Chairman of Codes
7th Louis C. Ott Democrat
8th James F. Quigley* Democrat Chairman of Revision
9th Laurence E. Malone Republican
10th Thomas F. Byrnes* Democrat Chairman of Federal Relations
11th George L. Weed Republican
12th Charles A. Conrady Republican
Lewis G. Henry P. Gould* Democrat Chairman of Canals
Livingston Jesse Roberts Republican
Madison Clarence W. Dexter Republican
Monroe 1st Frank M. Jones* Republican
2nd Richard Curran Republican contested by John A. Bernhard (D)[15]
3rd William H. Denniston* Republican
Montgomery George J. Gove Democrat
New York 1st Patrick H. Duffy* Tammany Dem. Chairman of Public Health
2nd Timothy D. Sullivan* Tammany Dem. Chairman of Commerce and Navigation
3rd Percival Farquhar* Tammany Dem. Chairman of Military Affairs
4th Patrick H. Roche* Tammany Dem.
5th Dominick F. Mullaney* Tammany Dem.
6th Samuel J. Foley* Tammany Dem. Chairman of Excise
7th Alfred R. Conkling[16] Republican
8th Philip Wissig Democrat Chairman of Soldiers' Home
9th William H. Walker Tammany Dem.
10th William Sohmer* Democrat Chairman of Public Institutions
11th William N. Hoag Republican
12th Moses Dinkelspiel* Tammany Dem. Chairman of Trade and Manufactures
13th James H. Southworth* Tammany Dem. Chairman of Public Education
14th William Sulzer* Tammany Dem. Chairman of Judiciary
15th Louis Drypolcher* Tammany Dem.
16th Walter G. Byrne* Tammany Dem.
17th Thomas J. McManus New York Dem. Chairman of Claims
18th Daniel F. Martin* Tammany Dem. Chairman of Electricity, Gas and Water Supply
19th John Connelly* Tammany Dem. Chairman of Insurance
20th Myer J. Stein*[17] Tammany Dem. Chairman of Public Lands and Forestry
21st Louis H. Hahlo Tammany Dem. Chairman of Charitable and Religious Societies
22nd William J. O'Dair Independent
23rd George P. Webster* Tammany Dem. Chairman of Affairs of Cities
24th James L. Wells Republican
Niagara 1st Garwood L. Judd* Democrat Chairman of Indian Affairs
2nd Levi Parsons Gillette* Democrat Chairman of Agriculture
Oneida 1st Cornelius Haley* Dem./Labor Chairman of Labor and Industries
2nd Harry S. Patten Democrat
3rd Chester W. Porter Republican
Onondaga 1st Patrick J. Ryan Democrat
2nd William Kennedy* Republican
3rd Adam C. Listman Republican
Ontario Frank O. Chamberlain* Republican
Orange 1st Howard Thornton Republican
2nd William E. McCormick Democrat
Orleans Adelbert J. McCormick Republican
Oswego 1st Nevada N. Stranahan* Republican
2nd Wilbur H. Selleck* Republican
Otsego 1st Charles Goodell Democrat
2nd Walter L. Brown* Republican
Putnam William H. Ladue Democrat
Queens 1st Solomon S. Townsend* Democrat Chairman of Internal Affairs
2nd George L. Weeks Republican contested by James A. McKenna (D)
Rensselaer 1st James M. Riley* Democrat
2nd Levi E. Worden* Republican
3rd John J. Cassin Democrat
Richmond Hubbard R. Yetman Democrat Chairman of Affairs of Villages
Rockland Thomas Finegan Democrat
St. Lawrence 1st George R. Malby* Republican
2nd John C. Keeler* Republican
3rd Lewis C. Lang Republican
Saratoga 1st Frank L. Smith[18] Republican
2nd Lewis Varney* Republican
Schenectady Alvin J. Quackenbush* Democrat
Schoharie William T. Lamont Democrat
Schuyler William H. Wait Republican
Seneca William H. Kinne Democrat
Steuben 1st Gordon M. Patchin Republican
2nd Herman E. Buck Republican
Suffolk James H. Pierson* Republican
Sullivan George M. Beakes* Democrat
Tioga Edward G. Tracy Republican
Tompkins Albert H. Pierson Republican
Ulster 1st George M. Brink* Republican
2nd Jacob Rice* Democrat Chairman of State Prisons
3rd George H. Bush* Democrat Majority Leader; Chairman of Ways and Means
Warren Howard Conkling Republican
Washington 1st William D. Stevenson* Republican
2nd William Reid Republican
Wayne 1st George W. Brinkerhoff Republican
2nd Flynn Whitcomb Republican
Westchester 1st Thomas K. Fraser Democrat
2nd William Ryan* Democrat Chairman of Taxation and Retrenchment;
on November 8, 1892, elected to the 53rd U.S. Congress
3rd James W. Husted* Republican Minority Leader; died on September 25, 1892
Wyoming Milo H. Olin Republican
Yates Everett Brown* Republican


  • Clerk: Charles R. DeFreest
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Michael B. Redmond
  • Doorkeeper: Edward A. Moore
  • First Assistant Doorkeeper: Lawrence D. Fitzpatrick
  • Second Assistant Doorkeeper: Kenneth D. L. Nivin
  • Stenographer: Thomas Hassett


  1. ^ Except New York City where the wards were apportioned into election districts, and then some whole wards and some election districts of other wards were gerrymandered together into Assembly districts.
  3. ^ SENATORS "IN CONTEMPT" in NYT on January 15, 1892
  4. ^ see ENUMERATION BILL PASSED in NYT on January 21, 1892
  5. ^ MR. DRAPER'S SUCCESSOR in The New York Times on February 11, 1892
  6. ^ THE NEW APPORTIONMENT in NYT on April 26, 1892
  7. ^ WALKER'S FIRMNESS WINS in NYT on April 27, 1892
  8. ^ APPORTIONMENT ACT VOID in NYT on August 6, 1892
  9. ^ JUDGE MAYHAM'S REASONS in NYT on September 24, 1892
  10. ^ APPORTIONMENT TO STAND in NYT on October 14, 1892
  11. ^ Deane had received more votes than Osborne, but the county canvassers did not allow 31 votes which had ink marks on the edge (which could have been made by printers' quads), and declared Osborne elected. Deane died on November 20, 1891, but the Republican Party continued his contest in the courts. On December 5, Judge Barnard ordered the votes to be counted, and instructed the County Clerk to inform the corrected result to the state canvassers. Judge Fursman ordered a stay of Barnard's decision. On December 19, Supreme Court Justice Edgar M. Cullen vacated Fursman's stay, and in the evening of December 21, Dutchess County Clerk Emans mailed the corrected result to Albany. On the same day however, Justice Ingraham had stayed Cullen's decision and Emans was accused of contempt of court. Emans traveled to Albany himself, and appeared at Deputy Attorney General Isaac H. Maynard's home at half past 8 a.m. next morning demanding to have the corrected result returned to him. Maynard and Emans went to the State Comptroller's office, and Maynard subtracted the letter from the incoming-mail pile and handed it over to Emans, explaining to the office employees that the letter had been misdirected. Subsequently, the original result was counted by the state canvassers, and Osborne was declared elected.
  12. ^ The Court of Appeals upheld the decision by the county canvassers of Onondaga County to throw out 1,252 ballots for Peck on a technicality, thus giving Nichols a majority.
  13. ^ Sherwood was at the time of election a Park Commissioner of the City of Hornellsville, and for this reason declared ineligible by the Court of Appeals. The state canvassers refused to declare any candidate elected, but Walker was seated at the beginning of the session by a vote of the Senate.
  14. ^ see SENATOR VAN GORDER'S SEAT in NYT on January 6, 1892
  15. ^ THE ASSEMBLY CONTESTS in NYT on January 10, 1892
  16. ^ Alfred Ronald Conkling (born 1850), son of Congressman Frederick A. Conkling
  17. ^ Myer J. Stein, brother of assemblyman Joseph L. Stein (in 1877)
  18. ^ Frank L. Smith , grandson of assemblyman Thomas Hewitt (in 1803 and 1804)


This page was last edited on 30 October 2019, at 02:52
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