121st New York State Legislature

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121st New York State Legislature
120th 122nd
The facade of the New York State Capitol building in bright daylight
JurisdictionNew York, United States
TermJanuary 1 – December 31, 1898
PresidentLt. Gov. Timothy L. Woodruff (R)
Temporary PresidentTimothy E. Ellsworth (R)
Party controlRepublican (36-14)
SpeakerJames M. E. O'Grady (R)
Party controlRepublican (80-70)
1stJanuary 5 – March 31, 1898
2ndJuly 11 – 16, 1898

The 121st New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 5 to July 16, 1898, during the second year of Frank S. Black's governorship, in Albany.


Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1894, 50 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 were made up of entire counties, except New York County (twelve districts), Kings County (seven districts), Erie County (three districts) and Monroe County (two districts). The Assembly districts were made up of contiguous area, all within the same county.

At the New York state election, 1895, the state officers and state senators were elected to an exceptional three-year term (for the sessions of 1896, 1897 and 1898), so that the election of these officers would be held, beginning in 1898, in even-numbered years, at the same time as the gubernatorial election.

At this time there were two major political parties: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The Socialist Labor Party and the Prohibition Party also nominated tickets.


The New York state election, 1897 was held on November 2. The only statewide elective office up for election was carried by Democrat Alton B. Parker. The approximate party strength at this election, as expressed by the vote for Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, was: Democratic 555,000; Republican 494,000; Socialist Labor 21,000; and Prohibition 20,000.


The Legislature met for the regular session at the State Capitol in Albany on January 5, 1898; and adjourned on March 31.

James M. E. O'Grady (R) was re-elected Speaker, against Thomas F. Donnelly (D).[1]

On April 25, Congress declared that the Spanish–American War had begun four days previously. Many New Yorkers volunteered to fight for the independence of Cuba, among them Assistant U.S. Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt and Assemblyman William A. Chanler.

The Legislature met for a special session on July 11;[2] and adjourned on July 16.[3] The Legislature enacted a Metropolitan District Elections law which took the organization of elections in New York City out of the hands of the metropolitan police force, then headed by Chief William Stephen Devery, and placed them instead in the hands of a State Superintendent of Elections, appointed by the Governor, and confirmed by the Senate. A few minutes after the law was passed, John McCullagh, Devery's predecessor as head of the metropolitan police, was appointed to the office. The Legislature also appropriated money to an additional war fund; and enacted a Soldiers Vote law, expecting it being necessary to take the vote of the New Yorkers engaged in the Spanish–American War in the field during the next state election.

State Senate[edit]


  • 1st District: Richmond and Suffolk counties
  • 2nd District: Queens County
  • 3rd District: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Ward of Brooklyn, as constituted in 1894
  • 4th District: 7th, 13th, 19th and 21st Ward of Brooklyn, as constituted in 1894
  • 5th District: 8th, 10th, 12th and 30th Ward of Brooklyn, and the annexed former Town of Gravesend, as constituted in 1894
  • 6th District: 9th, 11th, 20th and 22nd Ward of Brooklyn, as constituted in 1894
  • 7th District: 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th Ward of Brooklyn, as constituted in 1894
  • 8th District: 23rd, 24th, 25th and 29th Ward of Brooklyn; and the annexed former Town of Flatlands, as constituted in 1894
  • 9th District: 18th, 26th, 27th and 28th Ward of Brooklyn, as constituted in 1894
  • 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st District: Parts of the City of New York, defined geographically by their bordering streets, regardless of Wards or Assembly districts
  • 22nd District: Westchester County
  • 23rd District: Orange and Rockland counties
  • 24th District: Columbia, Dutchess and Putnam and counties
  • 25th District: Greene and Ulster counties
  • 26th District: Chenango, Delaware and Sullivan counties
  • 27th District: Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties
  • 28th District: Saratoga, Schenectady and Washington counties
  • 29th District: Albany County
  • 30th District: Rensselaer County
  • 31st District: Clinton, Essex and Warren counties
  • 32nd District: Franklin and St. Lawrence counties
  • 33rd District: Otsego and Herkimer counties
  • 34th District: Oneida County
  • 35th District: Jefferson and Lewis counties
  • 36th District: Onondaga County
  • 37th District: Oswego and Madison counties
  • 38th District: Broome, Cortland and Tioga counties
  • 39th District: Cayuga and Seneca counties
  • 40th District: Chemung, Schuyler and Tompkins counties
  • 41st District: Steuben and Yates counties
  • 42nd District: Ontario and Wayne counties
  • 43rd District: 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 17th and 18th Ward of Rochester; and the towns of Brighton, Henrietta, Irondequoit, Menden, Penfield, Perinton, Pittsford, Rush and Webster, in Monroe County
  • 44th District: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 15th, 19th and 20th Ward of Rochester; and the towns of Chili, Clarkson, Gates, Greece, Hamlin, Ogden, Parma, Riga, Sweden and Wheatland, in Monroe County
  • 45th District: Genesee, Niagara and Orleans counties
  • 46th District: Allegany, Livingston and Wyoming counties
  • 47th District: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 15th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th Ward of Buffalo
  • 48th District: 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 16th Ward of Buffalo
  • 49th District: 17th, 18th and 25th Ward of the City of Buffalo; and all area in Erie County outside Buffalo
  • 50th District: Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties

Note: In 1897, New York County (the boroughs of Manhattan and Bronx), Kings County (the borough of Brooklyn), Richmond County (the borough of Staten Island) and the Western part of Queens County (the borough of Queens) were consolidated into the present-day City of New York. The Eastern part of Queens County (the non-consolidated part) was separated in 1899 as Nassau County. Parts of the 1st and 2nd Assembly districts of Westchester County were annexed by New York City in 1895, and became part of the Borough of the Bronx in 1898.


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

District Senator Party Notes
1st Richard Higbie* Republican
2nd Theodore Koehler* Democrat
3rd Frank Gallagher* Democrat
4th George W. Brush* Republican
5th Michael J. Coffey* Democrat
6th Peter H. McNulty* Democrat
7th Patrick H. McCarren* Democrat
8th Albert A. Wray* Republican
9th Julius L. Wieman* Republican
10th John F. Ahearn* Democrat
11th Timothy D. Sullivan* Democrat
12th Samuel J. Foley* Democrat
13th Bernard F. Martin* Democrat
14th Thomas F. Grady* Democrat
15th Frank D. Pavey* Republican
16th Louis Munzinger* Democrat
17th Charles B. Page* Republican
18th Maurice Featherson* Democrat
19th John Ford* Republican
20th Jacob A. Cantor* Democrat Minority Leader
21st Charles L. Guy* Democrat
22nd J. Irving Burns* Republican
23rd Clarence Lexow* Republican
24th William C. Daley* Republican
25th Charles Davis* Republican
26th John Grant* Republican
27th Hobart Krum* Republican
28th Edgar T. Brackett* Republican
29th Myer Nussbaum* Republican
30th LeGrand C. Tibbits* Republican
31st George Chahoon* Republican
32nd George R. Malby* Republican
33rd Walter L. Brown* Republican
34th Henry J. Coggeshall* Ind. Rep.
35th Elon R. Brown Republican elected to fill vacancy, in place of Joseph Mullin
36th Horace White* Republican
37th Nevada N. Stranahan* Republican
38th William Elting Johnson* Republican
39th Benjamin M. Wilcox* Republican
40th Edwin C. Stewart* Republican
41st John S. Sheppard* Republican
42nd John Raines* Republican
43rd Cornelius R. Parsons* Republican
44th Henry Harrison* Republican
45th Timothy E. Ellsworth* Republican President pro tempore
46th Lester H. Humphrey* Republican
47th Charles Lamy* Republican
48th Simon Seibert* Republican
49th George Allen Davis* Republican
50th Frank W. Higgins* Republican


  • Clerk: James S. Whipple
  • Sergeant-at-Arms: Garret J. Benson
  • Doorkeeper: Nathan Lewis
  • Stenographer: Edward Shaughnessy

State Assembly[edit]


District Assemblymen Party Notes
Albany 1st William L. Coughtry Republican
2nd James B. McEwan* Republican
3rd George T. Kelly* Democrat
4th George W. Stedman Republican
Allegany Almanzo W. Litchard Republican
Broome 1st Charles E. Fuller* Republican
2nd Edgar L. Vincent Republican
Cattaraugus 1st George A. Stoneman Republican
2nd Girvease A. Matteson* Republican
Cayuga 1st Elias Q. Dutton Republican
2nd George S. Fordyce Republican
Chautauqua 1st Frederick R. Peterson* Republican
2nd S. Frederick Nixon* Republican Majority Leader
Chemung John H. Holbert* Republican
Chenango Jotham P. Allds* Republican
Clinton Edmund J. Pickett Democrat
Columbia Robert Hoes* Republican
Cortland David W. Van Hoesen Democrat
Delaware Delos Axtell Republican
Dutchess 1st John A. Hanna* Republican
2nd William A. Tripp Republican
Erie 1st Anthony J. Boland Democrat
2nd Henry W. Hill* Republican
3rd William Maloney* Democrat
4th John C. Mohring Democrat
5th Henry Streifler Democrat
6th Nicholas J. Miller* Republican
7th John K. Patton Republican
8th E. Freeman Baker Republican
Essex James H. Pierce* Republican
Franklin Thomas A. Sears* Republican
Fulton and Hamilton Daniel Hays Republican
Genesee John J. Ellis Republican
Greene Sylvester B. Sage Democrat
Herkimer E. LaGrange Smith Republican
Jefferson 1st Walter Zimmerman* Republican
2nd Cornelius J. Clark* Republican
Kings 1st Henry S. Griggs Democrat
2nd John McKeown* Democrat
3rd Thomas H. Cullen* Democrat
4th David Floyd Davis Republican
5th Abram C. DeGraw Republican
6th William R. McGuire Democrat
7th Francis P. Gallagher Democrat
8th Thomas J. Farrell Democrat
9th John J. Cain* Democrat
10th Samuel M. Hubbard Democrat
11th Joseph A. Guider Democrat
12th Charles C. Schoeneck Democrat
13th Bartley J. Wright Democrat
14th August F. Schmid Democrat
15th Harry H. Dale Democrat
16th Edward C. Brennan* Republican
17th Henry Marshall* Republican
18th George Tiffany Republican
19th Frederick Schmid* Democrat
20th Otto Wicke Democrat
21st John E. Reisert Democrat
Lewis Addison L. Clark Republican
Livingston Otto Kelsey* Republican
Madison Robert J. Fish* Republican
Monroe 1st James B. Perkins Republican
2nd James M. E. O'Grady* Republican re-elected Speaker;
on November 8, 1898, elected to the 56th U.S. Congress
3rd William W. Armstrong* Republican
4th Jacob S. Haight Democrat
Montgomery Richard Murphy Republican
New York 1st Daniel E. Finn* Democrat
2nd James Oliver Democrat
3rd Dominick F. Mullaney Democrat
4th Patrick H. Roche* Democrat
5th William A. Chanler Democrat did not attend the special session, due to
engagement in the Spanish–American War;
on November 8, 1898, elected to the 56th U.S. Congress
6th Timothy P. Sullivan* Democrat
7th John F. Maher Democrat
8th Charles S. Adler* Republican
9th N. Taylor Phillips Democrat
10th Julius Harburger Democrat
11th John J. O'Connor Democrat
12th Joseph Schulum* Democrat
13th Patrick F. Trainor* Democrat
14th Jacob Fritz* Democrat
15th Thomas Smith Democrat
16th Benjamin Hoffman* Democrat
17th John F. Brennan Democrat
18th Charles P. Dillon Democrat
19th Solomon C. Weill Democrat contested in the courts;[4] election vacated after his death;[5]
died on April 28, 1898[6]
Perez M. Stewart Citizens Union seated on July 11, by order of the Court of Appeals
20th Cornelius F. Collins Democrat
21st Thomas J. Murray Democrat
22nd Henry Hachemeister Democrat
23rd Mark J. Lowenthal Republican
24th John B. Fitzgerald* Democrat
25th John A. Weekes, Jr. Republican
26th Charles S. Sinsheimer Democrat
27th Francis E. Laimbeer* Ind. Rep.
28th Joseph I. Green* Democrat
29th Alfred F. Seligsberg Gold Dem.
30th George W. Meyer, Jr.* Democrat
31st Albert E. Crabtree Democrat
32nd Thomas F. Donnelly* Democrat Minority Leader
33rd John J. Egan Democrat
34th Lyman W. Redington Democrat
35th Richard H. Mitchell Democrat
Niagara 1st Dow Vroman Democrat
2nd Henry S. Tompkins Democrat
Oneida 1st John Williams Republican
2nd Louis M. Martin Republican
3rd John E. Mason Republican
Onondaga 1st William G. Cottle Ind. Rep.
2nd Edward G. Ten Eyck* Republican
3rd Joseph Bondy* Republican
4th John T. Delaney Republican
Ontario Robert B. Simmons Republican
Orange 1st Louis F. Goodsell* Republican
2nd Daniel P. Shultz Democrat
Orleans Dennis W. Evarts Republican
Oswego 1st Louis P. Taylor* Republican
2nd Thomas M. Costello* Republican
Otsego Leland M. Cowles Republican
Putnam Emerson W. Addis* Republican
Queens 1st George L. Glaser Democrat
2nd Cyrus B. Gale Democrat
3rd George Wallace Republican
Rensselaer 1st Benjamin O. Brewster Republican
2nd William Hutton, Jr.* Democrat
3rd Michael Russell Republican
Richmond Charles J. Kullman Democrat
Rockland Irving Brown Democrat
St. Lawrence 1st Ira C. Miles* Republican
2nd Martin V. B. Ives* Republican
Saratoga George W. Kavanaugh* Republican
Schenectady John C. Myers Democrat
Schoharie George M. Palmer* Democrat
Schuyler Charles A. Sloane Republican
Seneca William V. Van Rensselaer Republican
Steuben 1st Edward D. Cross Republican
2nd Hyatt C. Hatch Republican
Suffolk 1st Erastus F. Post* Republican
2nd Carll S. Burr, Jr.* Republican
Sullivan George McLaughlin* Republican
Tioga Daniel P. Witter* Republican
Tompkins Theron Johnson Republican
Ulster 1st Jacob H. Tremper Republican
2nd Charles J. Ackert Democrat
Warren Taylor J. Eldridge* Republican
Washington Charles R. Paris Republican
Wayne Marvin I. Greenwood Republican
Westchester 1st Jared Sandford Democrat
2nd William J. Graney Democrat
3rd John Gibney Democrat
Wyoming Daniel P. Whipple Republican
Yates Miles W. Raplee* Republican



  1. ^ PROCEEDINGS IN THE ASSEMBLY in NYT on January 6, 1898
  2. ^ FEW ASSEMBLYMEN ABSENT in NYT on July 12, 1898
  3. ^ PROCEEDINGS IN THE SENATE in NYT on July 17, 1898
  4. ^ For more information see THE CITIZENS' UNION WINS in NYT on November 10, 1897; CITIZENS' ELECTION APPEALS in NYT on March 1, 1898
  5. ^ Weill died before the final decision was taken by the Court of Appeals, two weeks after his death the case was still pending in the Appellate Division, see NINETEENTH DISTRICT VOTE in NYT on May 13, 1898
  6. ^ DEATH LIST OF A DAY; Solomon C. Weill in NYT on May 1, 1898


  • The New York Red Book compiled by Edgar L. Murlin (published by James B. Lyon, Albany NY, 1897; see pg. 133–177 for senators' bios; between pg. 136 and 137 for senators' portraits; pg. 404 for list of senators; and pg. 712–716 for senate districts)
  • Official New York from Cleveland to Hughes by Charles Elliott Fitch (Hurd Publishing Co., New York and Buffalo, 1911, Vol. IV; see pg. 338f for assemblymen; and 364 for senators)
  • Public Service by James S. Barcus (The Globe Publishing Co., New York, 1898; see pg. 164 for senators; 165–168 for assemblymen; 168 for senate employees; and 169 for assembly employees; has also maps of senate and assembly districts)
  • THE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS in NYT on January 5, 1898