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This biography is from Landmarks of Albany County, New York, edited by Amasa J. Parker of Albany, N. Y., Syracuse, N. Y.; D. Mason & Co. Publishers, 1897.

Matthew Hale

Hon. Matthew Hale, born in Chelsea, Vt., June 20, 1829, is a descendant of Thomas Hale (married Joan Kirby), a yeoman of Watton at-Stone, Hertfordshire, England, who died in October, 1630. Thomas Hale, Jr., born at Watton-at-Stone in 1605, came to America in 1637 and settled in Newbury, Mass., where he died December 31, 1682. His son Thomas was born in England, November 18, 1633, died in Newbury, October 22, 1688, leaving a son. Dr. Thomas Hale, a physician of Haverill. Mass, who died in 1732. Moses Hale, son of Thomas, was born in 1703, settled in New Hampshire and died in 1762. His son Nathan, born in 1743, served in the Revolution as colonel of a New Hampshire regiment and died on Long Island, a prisoner of war, in 1780. Harry Hale, a son of Col. Nathan, was born in 1780, settled in Chelsea, Vt., was many years clerk of Orange county, member of the Legislature, state bank commissioner, captain of militia, a merchant, mill owner and farmer and died in 1861. He married, first, Phoebe Adams, who bore him eleven children. By his second wife, Luciuda Eddy, he had seven children, the youngest being Matthew. She was a direct descendant of Miles Standish and John Alden of the Mayflower, through a son of Standish, who married a daughter of John and Priscilla (Mullens) Alden.

Matthew Hale attended the Bradford (Vt.) Academy, was graduated from the University of Vermont in 1851, and read law in Elizabethtown, N. Y., with Kellogg & Hale (the latter being Hon. Robert S. Hale, a member of Congress and Regent of the University, and Matthew's elder brother). Admitted to the bar at Salem, N. Y., in 1853, he began the practice of his profession in Poughkeepsie with his brother Henry, and continued with Gen. A. B. Smith. In 1859 he removed to New York city and became a partner of Lot C. Clark. Returning to Elizabethtown, N. Y., in December, 1863, he formed a partnership with Judge A. C. Hand (his father-in-law and one of the first justices of the Supreme Court elected under the constitution of 1846) and Richard L. Hand, under the firm name of Hand & Hale.

Mr. Hale was elected a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention of 1867 and served on the judiciary committee of that body. In 1867 he was elected State senator. In 1868 he removed to Albany and with the late Samuel Hand and the late Nathan Swartz, formed the law firm of Hand, Hale & Swartz which, on the admission of Charles S. Fairchild, became Hand, Hale, Swartz & Fairchild. This was dissolved in 1875. Afterwards Alpheus T. Bulkeley and Hon. Esek Cowen were his partners. The present firm of Hale, Bulkeley & Tennant consists of Mr. Hale, Alpheus T. Bulkeley and Albert C. Tennant.

In 1883 Mr. Hale was the Republican candidate for justice of the Supreme Court and in that year the University of Vermont conferred upon him the honorary degree of LL. D. He is a distinguished writer and speaker and eminent lawyer, and was one of the organizers of the New York State Bar Association, of which he has been president.

He has been counsel in many important cases, and within the last year has successfully argued in the Court of Appeals a case involving the effect of the civil service provision in the Constitution of 1894, in which he obtained a decision giving full force and effect to such provision as against an attack made by the superintendent of Public Works; also a case in favor of the Adelphi Club of Albany, in which it was held that the license law of 1892 did not apply to social clubs; also the Albany Police case, in which an act, passed by the Legislature in 1895 making a total change of the Albany police force, was held to be unconstitutional and void.

He was a charter member and trustee of the Fort Orange Club, is a trustee and vice-president of the Albany Savings Bank, member of the Reform Club of New York city, and at one time was vice-president of the Commonwealth Club of New York and president of the United Chapters of the Phi Beta Kappa. In politics he is Independent and has been for many years. He is one of the executive committee of the National Municipal League, is president of the Citizens' Association of Albany: president of the Albany Vigilance League; president of the New York State Civil Service Reform League and of the Albany Association on the same subject.

In 1856 he married Ellen S., daughter of Hon. A. C. Hand. She died in 1867, and in 1877 he married, second, Mary, daughter of Col. Francis L. Lee, of Boston, Mass., by whom he has three daughters and two sons.

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