2d sess. United States. 64th Cong..

Michael F. Conry (late a representative from New York) Memorial addresses delivered in the House of Representatives of the United States, Sixty-fourth Congress, second session. Proceedings in the House March 2, 1917. Proceedings in the Senate March, 2, 1917 online

. (page 1 of 3)
Online Library2d sess. United States. 64th Cong.Michael F. Conry (late a representative from New York) Memorial addresses delivered in the House of Representatives of the United States, Sixty-fourth Congress, second session. Proceedings in the House March 2, 1917. Proceedings in the Senate March, 2, 1917 → online text (page 1 of 3)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook





64th Congress)
2d Session J


I No. 2142


( Late a Representative from New York )






Proceedings in the House
March 2, 1917

Proceedings in the Senate
March 2, 1917





o« or ^.

FEE 21 igjg


•• Page

^ Proceedings in the House 5

^> Memorial addresses by —

i* Mr. John J. Fitzgerald, of New York 5

k Mr. James R. Mann, of Illinois 6

.' Mr. Murray Hulbert, of New York 9

Mr. John J. Eagan, of New Jersey 29

Mr. George W. Loft, of New York 30

Mr. William S. Bennet, of New York 6,32

Mr. Isaac Siegel, of New York 35

Mr. Champ Clark, of Missouri 37

Mr. Daniel J. Griffin, of New York 38

Proceedings in the Senate 41




Proceedings in the House

Friday, March 2, 1917.

Mr. Fitzgerald. Mr. Speaker, it becomes my sad duty to
announce the death of Hon. Michael F. Conry, a Repre-
sentative from the State of New York. Because of the
unusual condition of the public business at this time it is
impossible to ask the House to adjourn out of respect to
his memory. But it is proposed that recess be taken for
a brief time as a mark of our esteem.

Mr. CoNRY was just finishing his eighth year of service
in this House. He had won the respect and the admira-
tion of all the Members for his diligence, his industry-,
and for the manly qualities that characterized him.
Taken ill but a few days ago, much to the sorrow of his
many friends, he rapidly grew worse, and died but a
brief while ago.

It will not be possible, Mr. Speaker, to ask that a time
be set aside during this session of Congress to afford
Members an opportunity to pay trilnite to his memory.
So that Members maj' have an opportunity to pay suit-
able tribute to his public services I ask unanimous con-
sent that all who desire may extend remarks in the
Record to the memorj^ of the deceased for 15 calendar

The Speaker. The gentleman from New York asks
unanimous consent that all Members have the privilege of
jjrinting remarks on the life, character, and public serv-
ices of Mr. CoNRY in the Record for 15 calendar days.
Is there objection? [After a pause.] The Chair hears

Mr. Fitzgerald. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Conry's loss is keenly
felt by his colleagues from the State of New York and by


Memorial Addresses: Representative Conry

many other Members who were closely associated with
him in the House. Laboring, as he did, under severe
physical disability, eveiyone admired the courage with
which he attended so faithfully to his duties. All, I am
sure, entertain the deepest sympathy for his widow and
children, who have lost so devoted and faithful a husband
and father. Our country has lost a devoted and faithful
servant; we have lost a loyal friend.

Mr. Mann. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. Fitzgerald. Certainly.

Mr. Mann. As it is not likely, as the gentleman has
stated, that there will be any opportunity for Members,
except by printing in the Record, to express their opinion
respecting Mr. Conry and his public services, I desire to
say now that Mr. Conry had earned and had received the
respect and all affectionate regard of all the Repub-
licans in the House. Of course it goes without saying that
he had the same in reference to the Democratic Members
of the House.

I think there were few men in the House for whom the
Members entertained a higher personal regard than for
this man, who, overcoming physical disabilities, always
had a smiling way about him which endeared him to
everj'body who met him.

Mr. Bennet. Mr. Speaker, will my colleague yield to me
for just a sentence?

Mr. Fitzgerald. Yes.

Mr. Bennet. What has been said by my colleague [Mr.
Fitzgerald] and by the gentleman from Illinois [Mr.
Mann] expresses so fittinglj' the feelings on both sides of
the aisle that I have no desire or intention of attempting
to add anything to it, except to say that it voices the feel-
ings of the entire delegation from the State and county
from which our colleague came.


Proceedings in the House

Mr. Fitzgerald. Mr. Speaker, I oft'er the following reso-

The Speaker. The Clerk will report the resolutions.
The Clerk read as follows :

Resolved, That the House has heard with profound sorrow of
the death of the Hon. Michael F. Conry, a Representative from
the State of New York.

Resolved, That a committee of Members of the House, with such
Members of the Senate as may be joined, be appointed to attend
the funeral.

Resolved, That the Sergeant at Arms of the House be authorized
and directed to take such steps as may be necessary for carrying
out the provisions of these resolutions, and that the necessary
expenses in connection therewith be paid out of the contingent
fund of the House.

Resolved, That the Clerk communicate these resolutions to the
Senate and transmit a copy thereof to the family of tlie deceased.

Mr. Fitzgerald. Mr. Speaker, I ask for a vote on the

The Speaker. The question is on agreeing to the resolu-

The resolutions were unanimously agreed to.

The Speaker. The Clerk will report the next resolution.

The Clerk read as follows:

Resolved, That as a further mark of respect, this House do now
stand in recess until 8 o'clock p. m.

The Speaker. The question is on agreeing to the resolu-

The resolution was unanimously agreed to; accordingly
(at 7 o'clock and 7 minutes p. m.) the House stood in
recess until 8 o'clock p. m.

The House reassembled at 8 o'clock p. m., on the expi-
ration of the recess.

The Speaker. The Chair announces the following com-
mittee to attend the funeral of the late Representative



Memorial Addresses: Representative Conry

The Clerk read as follows:

Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Caldwell, Mr. Flynn, Mr. Dale of New York,
Mr. Maher, Mr. Griffin, Mr. Riordan, Mr. Loft, Mr. Farley, Mr.
Dooling, Mr. Carew, Mr. Patten, Mr. Hulbert, Mr. Bruckner, Mr.
Oglesby, Mr. Smith of New York, Mr. Driscoll, Mr. Gallivan, Mr.
Tague, Mr. Gallagher, Mr. Taggart, Mr. O'Shaunessy, Mr. London,
Mr. Hicks, Mr. Rowe, Mr. Swift, Mr. Haskell, Mr. Chandler of
New York, Mr. Siegel, Mr. Bennet, Mr. Fairchild, Mr. Dunn, Mr.
Treadway, Mr. Danforth, Mr. Mott, Mr. Park, Mr. Piatt, Mr. San-
ford, and Mr. Husted.

Saturday, March 3, 1017.

Mr, KiTCHiN. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Commit-
tee on Ways and Means I present the following resolution.

The Speaker. The Clerk will report the resolution.

The Clerk read as follows :

House resolution 551

Whereas death has again invaded our ranks and removed from the

scene of his earthly activities our friend and colleague, the Hon.

Michael F. Conry, of the State of New York:

Resolved, That in his death we experience a keen sense of
personal loss. As a Member of the House for four terms, and
many years a member of this committee, he discharged at all
times with distinguished ability and patriotism the duties devolv-
ing upon him;

Resolved, That in his death the House and the committee have
lost a wise, diligent, patriotic Member and the district he repre-
sented a citizen and a public servant devoted at all times to high
ideals and prompted by those lofty purposes and motives which
make for the very best tj'pe of American citizenship;

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be spread upon a
page of the record of this committee to be set apart for that
purpose, and that a copy of the same be presented to the House
by the chairman of this committee for printing in the Congres-
sional Record; and

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions appropriately en-
grossed be transmitted by the clerk of this committee to the family
of the deceased.

The Speaker. Without objection, these resolutions will
be spread upon the record.



Address of Mr. Hulbert, of New York

Mr. Speaker: Michael Francis Conry has gone to his
last reward. No more shall we hear his sweet voice along
the corridors and through the tunnel leading from the
House Office Building to the Capitol humming the refrain
of "Genevieve," "Mother Machree." "The End of a Perfect
Day," or a song composed by himself upon the trip made
by a congressional party to Honolulu last summer — all his
favorites, with which he always sought to ease each be-
labored step, never knowing, as he expressed it, what it
was to be without pain, as he attempted to hurrj"^ along in
the performance of his duty, which he discharged with
unerring fidelity to the trust reposed in him by an ad-
miring constituency.

Born at Shenandoah, Pa., April 2, 1870, of poor but
respected parents, when but a boy working in the coal
mines Conry met with an unfortunate accident, in which
his ankles were crushed, rendering him a cripple for life,
thus preventing him from pursuing further that occupa-
tion. But it gave him the unlooked-for and unexpected
opportunity of attending and being educated in the public
schools of his native town, following which he taught
school for seven years, and then entered and worked his
way through the University of Michigan. Graduating
from that institution in 1896, he received the degree of
bachelor of laws, and began the practice of law at Scran-
ton, Pa.

Mr. Conry was too modest and unassuming to take more
than a conscientious pride in his own success, yet too
proud to complain of any misfortune.


Memorial Addresses: Representative Conry

Probably few of his colleagues ever knew he had once
been nominated as the Democratic candidate for, and,
upon the face of the first returns, elected to Congress
from the State of Pennsylvania, but the certificate was
subsequently issued to his opponent.

Thereafter Mr. Conry moved to and took up the practice
of law in New York City, where he soon attracted atten-
tion as an orator of marked ability.

It was but natural that one of his humble origin, always
considerate of the welfare of the toilers, should have allied
Mmself with the Democracy of Tammany Hall, in which
he became an ardent and enthusiastic colaborer and at-
tained deserved popularitJ^

After serving for two years as an assistant corporation
counsel of the city of New York he was elected to the
Sixty-first, Sixty-second, Sixty-third, Sixty-fourth, and
Sixty-fifth Congresses, and at the time of his death was a
member of the Committee on Ways and Means.

Mr. Conry was a man of great intellect and a diligent
student; he possessed the talent to analyze an intricate
problem until he had mastered its evei-y detail, and acted
onl}' after the fullest deliberation; and while not so active
upon the floor of the House as many of his colleagues, due
to his physical infirmities, his counsel and advice were
eagerly sought, and he gave a great deal of attention and
deep thought to pending legislation, and his influence was
a potent factor in its consideration. Aside from his atten-
tion to tariff and revenue matters which were originated
in the committee of which he was a member he found
time to organize and practically lead the successful oppo-
sition on the Democratic side to the Clarke amendment to
the Philippine bill, upon the termination of which, after
a continuous session of 13 hours, on May 1, 1916, he suf-
fered a physical collapse which compelled him to take to
his bed for several weeks, and which he prophesied " was


Address of Mr. Htlbert. of New York

the beginning of tlie end." He also delivered a carefully
considered and well-prepared speech in support of the
retention of the pneumatic postal tubes in New York,
which is but one e^^dence of his readiness and eagerness
to promote or protect the interests of the city of New
York, which he in pai-t and so ably represented, whenever
it became an issue.

During my brief service in Congress we had become
warm personal friends, inseparable companions, and I
never knew a more considerate, faithful, and devoted

And friendship is the rarest and sweetest flower that
grows in the garden of life; its soil is the human heart;
it is planted by honest thought, nurtured by tears of sym-
pathy, and kept alive by the breath of good wishes. Any-
one who possessed the friendship of Congressman Conry,
and they were legion, might have applied the acid tests
of a chattering tongue, a wind of adversitj-, a bit of good
fortune, or a breath of slander, only to find that it was
untarnished by any or all. It was pure gold.

My heart goes out to his wife and three little daughters,
who have lost a devoted husband and loving father, while
not only the people of the fifteenth congressional district
but the city. State, and Nation have lost a statesman in
the hour of our countiy's peril.

Though I was one of the last to leave his bedside when
his spirit had taken its final departure, I shall never be
able to realize that he is other than " absent," for such a
noble character as his but echoes :

There is no death.

The stars go down to rise upon a fairer shore
And bright in heaven's jeweled crown
They shine forevermore.

And ever near us tho' unseen
The dear immortal spirits tread,
For all the boundless universe is life.
There are no dead.


Memorial Addresses: Representative Conry

I include the following newspaper articles on my late-
colleague, Michael F. Conry :

[From the Washington Post, Saturday, Mar. 3, 1917.]

Death of M. F. Conry — House H.^lts Session for Hour When
News is Received — At Work Until Last Week — Succumbs at
Providence Hospital from Heart and Kidney Trouble — De-
mise May Mean Republican Organization of Next House — Was
Tammany Hall Man

The House stopped work for an hour yesterday when announce-
ment was made of the death of Representative Michael F. Conry,
from the fifteenth district of New York. After an illness of six
weeks of kidney and heart trouble Mr. Conry died at Providence
Hospital here shortly before 5 o'clock in the afternoon. The body
will be taken to New York to-day, and funeral services will be
held in that city next Tuesday.

Mr. Conry, prominent in the affairs of this Congress, had been
elected to succeed himself in the next House. He was a Democrat,
and the vacancy created by his death may result in an advantage
that will give the Republican side the necessary single vote
required to organize the House and elect a Speaker.

Mr. Conry was rounding out his fourth consecutive term in the
House. He was 47 years old. He was a native of Shenandoah,
Pa., and in his youth, following the occupation of a miner, sus-
tained an injury that lamed him for life. He taught school for
seven years and afterwards studied law in the Michigan Univer-
sity. He is survived by a widow and three daughters.

In the House Mr. Conry' was regarded as the leader of the New
York delegation. He was known as the closest friend of Charles
F. Murphy, chief of Tammany Hall. He was a member of the
Ways and Means Committee, and until last week, though ill,
worked hard with his colleagues in connection with the framing
of the revenue bill and other legislation.

[From the Washington Evening Star, Saturday, Mar. 3, 1917.]

Representative Conry Dies at Hospital Here — New York Mem-
ber III Only' a Week — Funer\l Services Tuesday' — House
PAY'S Its Respect

Representative Michael F. Conry', of New York City, died at
Providence Hospital yesterday afternoon after an illness of a


Address of Mr. Hllbert, of New York

week. Funeral services will be held in New York City Tuesday.
Mr. CoNRv had been aware of an approaching illness for several
weeks, but had continued at his work up until the time it was
necessary for him to go to the hospital a week ago. The physi-
cians found he had a combination of heart and kidney trouble.

His death was announced to the House late yesterday afternoon
by Representative Fitzgerald, of New York City. As the announce-
ment came at a time when the public business of Congress was in
a congested condition, all the House could do in respect to the
late Member's memory was to recess from 7 to 8 o'clock. Repre-
sentative Mann and Representative Bennet made brief speeches,
in addition to Representative Fitzgerald's remarks, telling of their
admiration for Representative Conry's many line qualities.


The New York Member was especially valuable to the Ways and
Means Committee and was looked upon as a leader in the New
York City delegation in the House.

As it was known he was one of the closest friends to Charles F.
Murphj-, the head of the Tammany organization, Representative
Conry's political advice was considered valuable. His work in
Congress was of the quiet kind, as he rarely made a speech. How-
ever, he exercised great influence, and his death will make a great
gap in the power of the Democratic organization in the House.

He had been reelected to the next House, which would have
made his fifth consecutive term. He was 47 years old, born in
Shenandoah, Pa., in 1870. His first work was in a coal mine;
later he became a teacher, and then attended the University of
Michigan, graduating in 1896 with a degree of bachelor of laws.
His practice in New York City brought him into prominence, and
he became assistant corporation counsel of that city, a post he
held for two years. He was elected to the House first for the
Sixty-first Congress and for the succeeding Congresses with large
majorities. A wife and three children survive him.

[From the Washington Herald, Saturday, Mar. 3, 1917.]

Representative Conry Succumbs to Malady — " Tammany Hall "
Congressman Dies at Providence Hospital

Michael F. Conry, Democratic Representative of the fifteenth
New York district in the House, died at Providence Hospital here
last night of kidney trouble.


Memorial Addresses: Representative Conry

He had been ill only a few days, although his health had been
bad for several years. He was 47 years old, and is survived by a
wife and three children.

Representative Conry was one of the leaders of the so-called
Tammany group of House Democrats. He had been in Congress
for eight years, and had been reelected to the Sixty-fifth Congress.
His death materially lessens the Democratic chances to control
the next House.

The House, despite the congestion of legislative business and
the short time remaining for work, took an hour's adjournment
last night out of respect to the memory of Representative Conry.

Representatives Fitzgerald, of New York; Mann, of Illinois; and
Bennet, of New York, paid glowing tributes to the dead Member.
The body will go to New York to-day, and a congressional com-
mittee will attend the funeral, to be held Tuesday.

[From the Washington Times, Saturday, Mar. 3, 1917.]

If House Does Sing, 'twill Be a Tribute — " Mike " Conry,
Genial, Sweet-Voiced Congressman, Dies as Session Ends — ■
Led in " Good-by " Songs — Members Recess in Midst of Tasks
When News of Death is Told

[By Theodore Tiller.]

Probably there'll be a song or two in the House of Representa-
tives late to-night or in the early morning hours as this session
passes into history. In the lower body there is generally a let-
down of business just before the gavel falls, and, somehow, the
fellows begin to hum an old-fashioned tune, the chorus swells,
and soon half the membership is singing.

It is the mellowing influence of the time for good-bys, the relief
from overwork, an outcropping of the sentimental among men
who are soon to break pleasant associations, and who at heart are
still just boys.

But if they sing to-night there will be a missing voice — and that
is why this story is written. " Mike " Conry — genial, whole-
souled, lovable " Mike " Conry — is dead, or has " crossed over,"
as Uncle Joe Cannon, who dislikes the word " death," would say
if he were writing a story about the passing of a colleague.


Address of Mr. Hulbert, of New York


In former years Congressman Conry has been there to sing as
the last hours of a Congress slipped by. He had a voice as clear
as a bell and a heart as tender as a child's. He was lame — was
" Mike " Conry — but he'd limp toward the well of the House and
soon you'd hear him above the rest as his tenor would blend in
harmony with other Members who had good voices and sang with
feeling under the thrill of good-by scenes.

"Auld Lang Syne," "Tenting To-night," "Old Black Joe,"
" Suwanee River " — the old favorites, with sometimes a verse of
" Home, Sweet Home " — were among the songs they sang, while
CoNRY-'s voice keyed true to every note.

Or perhaps they'd sing an Irish ballad — something that carried
one back to the memories of green hills and clear lakes, to blue-
eyed lassies, to cottages where old-fashioned mothers crooned the
lullabies that have always put little children to sleep, and to a
little isle whose national heart has been as big as the great


And then, too, " Mike " Conry's voice was heard above the rest,
but it had a sort of quaver in it and his eyes had that far-away
look that comes when one's feelings are deeply stirred.

Maybe the Members of the House will not get a chance to sing
at all before the adjournment comes sine die. But if Conry were
here he'd want them to, and now he is dead and the body is on
the way to his New York home " Mike " Conry would not have
them refrain from song because of that.

This story might have been told in a few words — but the writer
felt it was worth a bit more than that. In these final hours of an
epochal session of the National Legislature it can not be amiss to
turn a moment from practical things and record that sentiment
still exists, that there is not a Member of the House who doesn't
miss Michael Conry to-day, and that if the songs of yesterday are
sung again some of his colleagues will seem to hear once more the
lead of Conry, of New York.


Persons who have never seen the end of a session in the House
of Representatives probably can not appreciate what adjournment
means to the Members of the lower body. In the Senate there is

92438«— 17 2 [15]

Memorial Addresses: Representative Conry

^ '

always dignity, real or assumed. The farewells are grave, matter
of fact, although doubtless sincere. In the House the scenes are
entirely different.

House Members somehow are closer in their friendships. The
complexion of the lower Chamber is constantly changing. Men
come and go every two years. The leader of to-day may be the
vanquished of to-morrow. But during his term he has formed
friendships that are as true as steel and associations that are hard
to break.

Final adjournment in the House is much like the graduation day
in a high school or a college. The young fellows assemble in
class for the last time. Each one knows that never will they all
meet together again. New faces are sure to appear and old faces
are certain to be missed. It is a breaking of the ties that bind.

So with the House of Representatives, with its membership that
comes " close from the soul of a great people." The end of busi-
ness comes, the tension is relaxed. Members are saying good-by —
perhaps for a day, perhaps forever; and then away over in a
corner a song is begun, a hush falls over the crowded galleries,
the membership joins in, the Speaker withholds the gavel, there
is no word of reproof, and moisture dims the eyes of those who
appreciate the note of pathos in it all.

Thus they have sung in the past and thus they will sing in the
future. But " Mike " Conry's voice will never lead them again.


" Mike " Conry, beloved of every Member of the House, died
last night at Providence Hospital. The end came quickly, unex-

The House stood in recess for one hour when the death was
announced by Congressman Fitzgerald, dean of the New York
delegation. The crush of legislation prevented a longer recess,
but the tribute of the House was none the less sincere. Tears
stood in the eyes of Mr. Fitzgerald as he told his colleagues that
Michael Conry had answered the final roll call.

Should they sing as the sands of the Sixty-fourth Congress run
low, there'll be a tribute to Conry in that, and there'll be proof
once more of the fact that the mabers of national law have in them

1 3

Online Library2d sess. United States. 64th Cong.Michael F. Conry (late a representative from New York) Memorial addresses delivered in the House of Representatives of the United States, Sixty-fourth Congress, second session. Proceedings in the House March 2, 1917. Proceedings in the Senate March, 2, 1917 → online text (page 1 of 3)