Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The unmarked grave of Joseph A. Conry at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Joseph Aloysius Conry was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on September 12, 1868. He became a lawyer, and in 1896 was elected president of the Boston Common Council in 1896. He served a two-year term, and then was elected chairman of the Board of Aldermen in 1898.

A Democrat, Conry was elected to Congress in 1900. His nomination was a difficult one, for the Tammany Hall political machine opposed him bitterly. He was nominated on the 56th ballot! On August 13, 1901, he was involved in an altercation outside a hotel in New York City in which he was stabbed. (Conry, a liberal, was apparently insulted by some unionists belonging to the wallpaper hangers' guild.) The Tammany Hall political machine found Conry too much of a reformer, and he lost reelection to one of their candidates in 1902. He returned to the practice of law. He ran for Congress in 1908, but lost again.

In September 1912, Czar Nicholas II appointed Conry to be Russian Consul in Boston, and he served until 1919. Czar Nicholas II made him a member of the Knights of St. Anne. Conry was also Director of the Port of Boston from 1911 to 1916.

In 1931, he was traffic commissioner in Boston.

Just prior to the outbreak of World War II, he served as a special attorney with the United States Maritime Commission in Washington, D.C., in 1938 and 1939. After leaving government service, he remained in the city, practicing law.

Conry died on June 22, 1943, and was interred at Mount Olivet Cemetery.

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