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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Walter S. McNab

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 110-111 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Walter S. McNab, well known as a corporation attorney of Schenectady, where he has been actively engaged in law practice for the past fourteen years, is highly esteemed as a leading and influential young citizen who has represented his district in the state assembly through a period of five consecutive years. His birth occurred at Troy, Rensselaer county, New York, on the 11th of January, 1885, his parents being Duncan and Sarah (Osborne) McNab. The father, a native of Scotland, crossed the Atlantic to the United States when twenty-two years of age and took up his abode at Troy, New York. Before he had become a naturalized American citizen he enlisted in the Union army, serving throughout the entire period of hostilities between the North and the South as a first-class fireman in the navy. Throughout his active career in civilian life he was employed as foreman in the blast furnaces of the Burden Iron Company of Troy, where he passed away on the 18th of May, 1900. His wife, a native of Lansingburg, New York, died on the 3d of July following. Their family numbered ten sons and one daughter.

Walter S. McNab obtained his early education in the public schools of his native city and continued his studies in the Union Classical Institute of Schenectady, which later became the Schnectady high school. Following his graduation therefrom in 1904 he matriculated in Union College, which in 1908 conferred upon him the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. His professional training was received in the Albany Law School, from which he was graduated with the degree of LL. B. in 1910, being admitted to the bar in September of that year. The city of Schenectady has been the scene of his professional activity through the intervening years to the present and he has built up a practice of large and lucrative proportions, maintaining well appointed offices in the Parker building. He has assisted in the organization of a number of corporations in the city and enjoys an enviable reputation as a corporation lawyer. His name is on the membership rolls of the Schenectady County Bar Association.

In August, 1911, Mr. McNab was united in marriage to Miss Rebecca Henning, daughter of John L. and Jane (Hulbert) Henning. Her father, who was born near Belfast, Ireland, emigrated to the New World as a very young man. While plowing one day in the fields he had unearthed an American paper which told of the wonderful opportunities to be enjoyed on this side of the Atlantic. Ambitious to avail himself of such, he crossed the ocean to New York and subsequently located in the city of Albany, where he learned the trade of bricklayer, while later he was employed as a laborer in the construction of a large hotel at Saratoga. Afterward he entered the office of Judge John L. Hulbert, his future father-in-law, with whom he studied law and with whom he eventually became associated in practice. The legal profession claimed his attention throughout the remainder of his life and he gained a gratifying degree of success therein, becoming widely recognized as the most prominent attorney of Saratoga. He had reached the age of fifty-five years when called to his final rest in 1908. He is still survived by his widow, Mrs. Jane (Hulbert) Henning, who is a native of Saratoga Springs, New York. Mr. and Mrs. McNab are the parents of two children: Jean Henning, whose natal day was June 3, 1912, and Duncan Scott, born October 18, 1913. The family residence is at No. 129 Glenwood boulevard, Schenectady.

Mr. McNab is a stanch republican in politics and has membership in the Schenectady County Republican Club. He was chosen to represent his district in the state assembly in 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918 and 1919, constituting five consecutive years of efficient and valuable service as a member of the lawmaking body. As a legislator he was instrumental in the passage of a law which permitted the building of Western Gateway bridge at Schenectady. A public-spirited citizen whose efforts are ever exerted on the side of progress and improvement, he was one of the organizers of the Kiwanis Club in Schenectady and served as its first president. At the time of the World war he assisted in the organization of the Home Guard, which later became Company E of the State Guard. Mr. McNab likewise had charge of the Red Cross drives, was one of the Four-Minute men, participated in the Liberty Loan drives and in fact, did everything in his power to further the interests of the government in the struggle for world democracy.

In fraternal circles Mr. McNab is widely known, belonging to St. George's Lodge, F. and A. M., of which he is past master; St. George's Chapter No. 157, R. A. M.; St. George's Council No. 74, R. and S. M.; St George's Commandery No 37, K. T.; Oriental Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.; Schenectady Lodge No. 480, B. P. O. E.; Champion Lodge No. 554, I. O. O. F.; and Truth Lodge No. 388, K. P. He is likewise a member of two Greek letter societies — Alpha Zeta and Beta Theta Pi, the latter a college fraternity. Mr. McNab occupies the presidency of the Masonic Club and is also identified with the Schenectady Boat Club and the Schenectady Shrine Club. He has served as captain of the football team of the Union Club. In religious faith he is a Presbyterian. His wife is prominent among the members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Eastern Star and Amaranth bodies, and both enjoy an enviable social position in their adopted city.

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