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161st New York State Legislature

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

161st New York State Legislature
160th 162nd
The facade of the New York State Capitol building in bright daylight
Legislative bodyNew York State Legislature
JurisdictionNew York, United States
TermJanuary 1 – December 31, 1938
PresidentLt. Gov. M. William Bray (D)
Temporary PresidentJohn J. Dunnigan (D)
Party controlDemocratic (29–22)
SpeakerOswald D. Heck (R)
Party controlRepublican (84–61–5)
1stJanuary 5 – March 19,[1] 1938

The 161st New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 5 to March 19, 1938, during the sixth year of Herbert H. Lehman's governorship, in Albany.


Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1894, re-apportioned in 1917, 51 Senators and 150 assemblymen were elected in single-seat districts; senators for a two-year term, assemblymen for a one-year term. The senatorial districts consisted either of one or more entire counties; or a contiguous area within a single county. The counties which were divided into more than one senatorial district were New York (nine districts), Kings (eight), Bronx (three), Erie (three), Monroe (two), Queens (two) and Westchester (two). The Assembly districts were made up of contiguous area, all within the same county.

At this time there were two major political parties: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The American Labor Party and the Socialist Party also nominated tickets. In New York City, a "Trades Union", an "Anti-Communist", and a "City Fusion" ticket were also nominated.


The New York state election, 1937, was held on November 2. The only statewide elective office up for election was a judgeship on the New York Court of Appeals. The Democratic incumbent, Gov. Herbert H. Lehman's brother Irving Lehman, was re-elected with Republican and American Labor endorsement.

At the same time, an amendment to the State Constitution to increase of the term in office of the members of the New York State Assembly to two years, and of the statewide elected state officers (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General) to four years, was accepted. Also, delegates for a Constitutional Convention, to be held later that year after the legislative session, were elected.

Assemblywoman Jane H. Todd (Rep.), of Tarrytown, was re-elected.


The Legislature met for the regular session at the State Capitol in Albany on January 5, 1938; and adjourned in the evening of March 19.[2]

Oswald D. Heck (Rep.) was re-elected Speaker, with 83 votes against 55 for Irwin Steingut (Dem.) and 4 for Nathaniel M. Minkoff (Am. Labor).[3]

The Constitutional Convention met at the State Capitol in Albany on April 5;[4] and adjourned on August 26.[5]

State Senate



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

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

District Senator Party Notes
1st George L. Thompson* Republican
2nd Joseph D. Nunan, Jr.* Democrat also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
3rd Peter T. Farrell* Democrat
4th Philip M. Kleinfeld* Democrat also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
5th John J. Howard* Democrat
6th Edward J. Coughlin* Democrat
7th Jacob J. Schwartzwald* Democrat
8th Joseph A. Esquirol* Democrat
9th Jacob H. Livingston* Democrat also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention;
on November 8, 1938, elected to the City Court (Brooklyn)
10th Jeremiah F. Twomey* Democrat Chairman of Finance
11th James J. Crawford* Democrat
12th Elmer F. Quinn* Democrat
13th Thomas F. Burchill* Democrat
14th William J. Murray* Democrat
15th John L. Buckley* Democrat
16th John J. McNaboe* Democrat
17th Leon A. Fischel* Democrat
18th John T. McCall* Democrat also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
19th Duncan T. O'Brien* Democrat died on September 14, 1938
20th A. Spencer Feld* Democrat Chairman of Public Education
21st Lazarus Joseph* Democrat
22nd Julius S. Berg* Democrat committed suicide on July 20, 1938
23rd John J. Dunnigan* Democrat Temporary President;
also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
24th Rae L. Egbert* Democrat
25th Pliny W. Williamson* Republican
26th James A. Garrity* Dem./Am. L.
27th Thomas C. Desmond* Republican
28th Frederic H. Bontecou* Republican also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
29th Arthur H. Wicks* Republican
30th Erastus Corning 2nd* Democrat
31st Clifford C. Hastings* Republican
32nd Edwin E. Miller* Republican
33rd Benjamin F. Feinberg* Republican also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
34th Rhoda Fox Graves* Republican
35th Harry F. Dunkel* Republican
36th William H. Hampton* Republican
37th Perley A. Pitcher* Republican Minority Leader;
also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
38th Francis L. McElroy* Dem./Am. L.
39th Walter W. Stokes* Republican
40th Roy M. Page* Republican
41st C. Tracey Stagg* Republican
42nd Charles J. Hewitt* Republican
43rd Earle S. Warner* Republican
44th Joe R. Hanley* Republican
45th Emmett L. Doyle* Dem./Am. L.
46th George F. Rogers* Dem./Am. L.
47th William H. Lee* Republican
48th Walter J. Mahoney* Republican
49th Stephen J. Wojtkowiak* Dem./Am. L.
50th Nelson W. Cheney* Republican
51st Leigh G. Kirkland* Republican


  • Clerk: James J. Reilly
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: William F. Egloff Jr.
  • Stenographer: Robert Murray

State Assembly


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

District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany 1st George W. Foy* Democrat
2nd John P. Hayes* Democrat
3rd James J. Carroll Dem./Am. L.
Allegany William H. MacKenzie* Republican
Bronx 1st Matthew J. H. McLaughlin* Dem./T.U./A.-C.
2nd Patrick J. Fogarty Dem./T.U./A.-C.
3rd Carl Pack* Dem./T.U./A.-C.
4th Isidore Dollinger* Dem./T.U./A.-C.
5th Nathaniel M. Minkoff Am. L./Soc. American Labor Leader
6th Peter A. Quinn* Dem./T.U./A.-C.
7th Gerard J. Muccigrosso Am. L./Soc./C.F.
8th John A. Devany, Jr.* Dem./T.U./A.-C.
Broome 1st Edward F. Vincent* Republican Chairman of Public Institutions
2nd James E. Hill* Republican
Cattaraugus James W. Riley* Rep./Soc. Chairman of Military Affairs
Cayuga Andrew D. Burgdorf* Republican Chairman of Public Health
Chautauqua 1st Lloyd J. Babcock* Republican Chairman of Pensions
2nd Carl E. Darling* Republican Chairman of Revision
Chemung Chauncey B. Hammond* Republican Chairman of Penal Institutions
Chenango Irving M. Ives* Republican Majority Leader
Clinton Emmett J. Roach* Democrat
Columbia Frederick A. Washburn* Republican Chairman of Labor and Industries
Cortland John B. Briggs* Republican
Delaware William T. A. Webb Republican
Dutchess 1st Howard N. Allen* Republican Chairman of Agriculture
2nd Emerson D. Fite* Republican Chairman of Charitable and Religious Societies
Erie 1st Frank A. Gugino* Republican
2nd Harold B. Ehrlich* Rep./Am. L. Chairman of Claims
3rd William J. Butler Rep./Am. L.
4th Anthony J. Canney* Democrat also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
5th Frank Kwiatkowski Dem./Am. L.
6th Jerome C. Kreinheder* Republican
7th Charles O. Burney, Jr.* Republican
8th R. Foster Piper* Rep./Soc. Chairman of Insurance;
also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
Essex Thomas A. Leahy* Republican
Franklin John H. Black* Republican
Fulton and Hamilton Denton D. Lake* Republican Chairman of Aviation
Genesee Herbert A. Rapp* Republican Chairman of Motor Vehicles
Greene Paul Fromer* Republican
Herkimer Leo A. Lawrence* Republican
Jefferson Russell Wright* Republican
Kings 1st Crawford W. Hawkins* Dem./T.U./A.-C.
2nd Benjamin Brenner Am. L./City F.
3rd Michael J. Gillen* Dem./T.U./A.-C.
4th Bernard Austin* Democrat
5th Charles R. McConnell* Democrat
6th Robert J. Crews Rep./City F. Chairman of Affairs of the City of New York
7th William Kirnan* Democrat
8th Charles J. Beckinella Democrat
9th Edgar F. Moran* Democrat
10th William C. McCreery* Democrat
11th Bernard J. Moran* Democrat
12th Edward S. Moran, Jr.* Democrat on June 24, arrested and accused of taking bribes[6]
13th Ralph Schwartz* Democrat
14th Harry Gittleson Democrat
15th John Smolenski Democrat
16th Salvatore T. DeMatteo Am. Labor
17th Fred G. Moritt Democrat
18th Irwin Steingut* Democrat Minority Leader;
also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
19th Max M. Turshen* Democrat
20th Roy H. Rudd* Democrat
21st Charles H. Breitbart* Democrat
22nd Peter H. Ruvolo Democrat
23rd Frank Monaco Am. L./Rep.
Lewis Fred A. Young* Republican
Livingston James J. Wadsworth* Republican Chairman of Public Relief and Welfare
Madison Wheeler Milmoe* Republican Chairman of Public Printing
Monroe 1st Frank J. Sellmayer, Jr. Republican
2nd Abraham Schulman Republican
3rd Earl C. Langenbacher* Democrat
4th Pat E. Provenzano Republican
5th Walter H. Wickins* Republican Chairman of Commerce and Navigation
Montgomery L. James Shaver* Republican Chairman of Canals
Nassau 1st John D. Bennett Republican
2nd Leonard W. Hall* Republican Chairman of Re-Apportionment;
on November 8, 1938, elected to the 76th U.S. Congress
New York 1st James J. Dooling* Democrat
2nd Nicholas A. Rossi* Democrat also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
3rd Phelps Phelps* Democrat
4th Leonard Farbstein* Democrat
5th John F. Killgrew* Democrat
6th Meyer Goldberg Republican
7th William T. Middleton Republican
8th Stephen J. Jarema* Democrat
9th Ira H. Holley* Democrat
10th MacNeil Mitchell Rep./City F.
11th Patrick H. Sullivan* Democrat
12th Edmund J. Delany* Democrat also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
13th William J. Sheldrick* Democrat
14th Francis J. McCaffrey, Jr.* Democrat
15th Abbot Low Moffat* Republican Chairman of Ways and Means:
also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention
16th Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Democrat
17th Oscar Garcia Rivera Rep./Am. L.
18th Salvatore A. Farenga* Democrat
19th Robert W. Justice* Democrat
20th Walter V. Fitzgerald Rep./Am. L.
21st William T. Andrews* Democrat
22nd Daniel Flynn* Democrat
23rd William J. A. Glancy* Democrat
Niagara 1st Fayette E. Pease* Republican Chairman of Conservation
2nd Harry D. Suitor* Republican Chairman of Codes
Oneida 1st John J. Walsh Democrat
2nd William R. Williams* Republican
3rd C. Dean Williams Republican
Onondaga 1st Leo W. Breed* Republican
2nd George B. Parsons* Republican
3rd Frank J. Costello* Republican
Ontario Harry R. Marble* Republican Chairman of Printed and Engrossed Bills
Orange 1st Lee B. Mailler* Republican Chairman of Mortgage and Real Estate
2nd Charles N. Hammond Republican
Orleans John S. Thompson* Republican Chairman of Public Service
Oswego Ernest J. Lonis* Republican
Otsego Chester T. Backus* Republican
Putnam D. Mallory Stephens* Republican Chairman of Banks
Queens 1st Mario J. Cariello* Democrat
2nd Timothy P. Kirwan Democrat
3rd John V. Downey* Democrat
4th Daniel E. Fitzpatrick* Democrat
5th William F. Dailey Democrat
6th Joseph P. Teagle Democrat
Rensselaer 1st Philip J. Casey* Democrat
2nd Maurice Whitney* Republican Chairman of Taxation and Retrenchment
Richmond 1st Charles Bormann* Democrat
2nd Herman Methfessel* Democrat
Rockland Lawrence J. Murray, Jr. Democrat
St. Lawrence 1st W. Allan Newell* Republican Chairman of Civil Service
2nd Warren O. Daniels* Republican
Saratoga Richard J. Sherman Republican
Schenectady 1st Oswald D. Heck* Republican re-elected Speaker
2nd Harold Armstrong* Republican Chairman of Affairs of Cities
Schoharie Arthur L. Parsons* Republican
Schuyler Dutton S. Peterson* Republican
Seneca Lawrence W. Van Cleef* Republican
Steuben 1st Guy W. Cheney* Republican
2nd William M. Stuart* Republican
Suffolk 1st Edmund R. Lupton* Republican
2nd Elisha T. Barrett* Republican
Sullivan William A. Chandler Republican
Tioga Myron D. Albro Republican
Tompkins Stanley C. Shaw* Republican
Ulster J. Edward Conway* Republican Chairman of General Laws
Warren Harry A. Reoux* Republican Chairman of Judiciary
Washington Herbert A. Bartholomew* Republican Chairman of Internal Affairs
Wayne Harry L. Averill* Republican Chairman of Public Education
Westchester 1st Christopher H. Lawrence Republican
2nd Theodore Hill, Jr. Republican
3rd James E. Owens Republican
4th Jane H. Todd* Republican Chairwoman of Social Welfare
5th Arthur J. Doran* Democrat
Wyoming Harold C. Ostertag* Republican Chairman of Affairs of Villages
Yates Fred S. Hollowell* Republican Chairman of Excise



  1. ^ Note that the last legislative day of the regular session was March 18, and the New York Red Book gives March 18 as the end of this session. In fact, the adjournment sine die occurred at 6.16 o'clock in the evening of March 19 after a session of 32 hours and 16 minutes, until then the longest session in New York legislative history.
  2. ^ LEGISLATURE ENDS IN A RUSH OF BILLS in The New York Times on March 20, 1938 (subscription required)
  3. ^ SPEAKER HECK IS RE-ELECTED in The Evening News, of North Tonawanda, on January 5, 1938
  4. ^ Crane Pledges Convention To Renewing of Democracy in The New York Times on April 6, 1938 (subscription required)
  5. ^ SUBMISSION IN NINE ITEMS VOTED FOR STATE CHARTER; CONVENTION IS ADJOURNED in The New York Times on August 27, 1938 (subscription required)
  6. ^ E. S. Moran Jr. of 12th A. D., Brooklyn, Accused of Getting $36,000 From Taxi Concerns in The New York Times on June 25, 1938 (subscription required)


This page was last edited on 11 November 2020, at 19:34
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