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Denis M. Hurley (March 14, 1843 - February 26, 1899) was a United States Representative from New Yorkmarker, 1895-1899.

Hurley, a Brooklynitemarker, was born in Irelandmarker.

Denis Michael Hurley was the son of Michael Hurley and Catherine Cusick of the city of Limerick, County Limerick, Ireland, and immigrated to the USA in 1850. He had a brother named Patrick, and two sisters named Mary (one apparently died in infancy. source: Family History Report prepared by the Limerick Archives.) According to the book of eulogies delivered on the floor of the US House of Representatives in 1899 (because Congressman Hurley died at the very end of his final term of elected office, so was commemorated publicly by his peers), he was a self-made man who rose from being a poor orphan boy to being a Congressman. Some of this persona presented to the public was a bit of political spin--Congressman Hurley was not an orphaned boy--his mother died the same year as his wife--only his father had died young, in the early 1860s. The Congressman was an early proponent of the metric system (from his days doing weights and measures on the New York City docks) and voted in favor of the US's entry into the Spanish-American War. He was a member of the US House for the Republican party and represented Brooklyn, NY, for several terms in the late 1890s.

Denis M. Hurley's wife, née Catherine Mortell was from Dutchess County, NY, was herself an Irish immigrant from the County Cork/County Limerick border, and was several years his senior. She died at age 50 from complications of diabetes in Brooklyn, NY, in 1889, several years before Denis M. Hurley entered Congress. Their only surviving daughter, Mary Catherine, universally known as Minnie, acted as Congressman Hurley's hostess in Washington DC, and eventually married attorney William Nathaniel Roach Jr., son of North Dakota US Senator William N. Roach, Sr., grandson of Dr. Vladimir Liebermann (one of the Washington, DC, physicians, who attended at the deathbed of Abraham Lincoln), and stepbrother of Hollywood writer Channing Pollock. Congressman Hurley, who began his working life as dockworker in New York City and who gradually made his way up to running his own dredging company, was a devout Roman Catholic, a devoted family man, and fairly florid and Victorian in his written prose style (preserved in letters to his children). In addition to his daughter, he had three children who died young (Catherine Hurley, and two sons both called Robert Emmet Hurley), and four surviving sons: James Edward and Denis Michael Jr., who both went into business; John Patrick, assistant District Attorney of Brooklyn, NY; and Arthur Leo, a New York State Assemblyman. The Congressman's namesake grandson, attorney Denis M. Hurley (1898-1980) was Corporation Counsel of New York City during the administration of Mayor Impellitiere in the 1950s as well as lawyer for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brooklyn. The Congressman's great-nephew, Dr. George A. Sheehan (1918-1993), also profiled in Wikipedia, was a New Jersey cardiologist who gained fame as the author of the celebrated running book "Running and Being".

Congressman Hurley died in Virginia, where he had gone from Washington, DC, to rest from the strains of ill health and the disappointment of losing his seat in Congress in the November, 1898, election. His body was transported back to Brooklyn, NY, and his funeral was front page news in a number of the local papers in Brooklyn. He was buried with his wife, mother, aunt, cousin, and infant children in a large family grave at Holy Cross Roman Catholic Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.


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