William Montgomery Delaney

William Montgomery Delaney

Born in March 1883, William Montgomery Delaney was the second of John Francis Delaney's and Margaret (Montgomery) Delaney's children.1 I have not yet located a copy of William's birth certificate. His nickname was "Montie."2 William's middle name comes from his mother's surname before marriage.

The first glimpse we have of William M. Delaney is from the 1900 U.S. Census. He is 17 years old, employed as a "clerk - insurance," and living with his parents and six siblings in the family home at 188 Lexington Avenue in Brooklyn, New York.

By 1910, William is married and living with his wife Florence E. (Merklee) Delaney, and her parents, Cornelius Merklee and Josephine (Aube) Merklee, at 629 East 28th Street, Brooklyn, NY.3 The census indicates that William's trade or profession was "sheet writer" and that the nature of the business was "horse racing." I was quite amused when I first came upon this census information because for many years William's father, John F. Delaney, was a horse racing enthusiast who had made his living as one of the most prominent bookmakers in the Brooklyn and New York City area. William, who was about 28 years old at the time, and his wife Florence, who was listed as being about 30 years old, had been married for five years, which would place the date of that event at about 1905. At the time this census was taken, William and Florence did not have children.

A death notice published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper on Monday, October 14, 1912 reported that William M. Delaney had died on Saturday, October 12, 1912 at his residence, 625 East 28th Street in Flatbush (Brooklyn, NY).4 The address of his residence would indicate that he had been living next door to his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Cornelius and Josephine Merklee. The notice also stated that he had been the husband of Florence E. Delaney (nee Merklee) and that the funeral was to be held on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

William's obituary was published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle the day of his funeral, Tuesday, October 15, 1912.5 We learn several pieces of information about William Delaney from the obituary. He had been born in East New York and "Most of his life he had lived at Nicco, Fla., where his father had an orange plantation." The Nicco, Fla. reference is most likely a mistake or typographical error. The property that his father, John Francis Delaney, had owned was actually in Micco, Florida. The obituary also mentioned that William "was formerly well known in racing circles, and was a cousin of William F. Delaney, Democratic leader of the Twentieth Assembly District."

1 1900 U.S. Census - Brooklyn, NY ED387 23rd Ward Page 240 Sheet 9.
2 William's nickname is written on the front of a picture taken of him as a young boy (see photograph on this page). The photograph, now in the possession of my cousin John Albert O'Connor, was part of William's sister Maude Lucille (Delaney) Cahill's collection. The writing is clearly Maude's, based on other documents that I have seen and, thus, the information should be very reliable.
3 1910 U.S. Census - T624 Roll 985 ED 998 Ward 32 Sheet 7B Brooklyn, NY. Note: The Ancestry.com index has William under the surname spelled as Delany (i.e., without the second letter "e.")
4 Death notice for William M. Delaney, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Monday, October 14, 1912, p. 18 (Vital Records column).
5 Obituary for William M. Delaney, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Tuesday, October 15, 1912, p. 3.

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Page created: February 13, 2010

Picture of William Montgomery Delaney - Young Boy - Probably 1890s
William Montgomery Delaney


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Photo courtesy of John A. O'Connor