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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Hon. William Wallace Wemple

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 152-153 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Hon. William Wallace Wemple, lawyer and lawmaker, is a prominent member of the Schenectady bar who has practiced in the city during the past thirty-eight years and had represented his district in the state assembly for four terms when elected state senator. He enjoys a position of distinction in his chosen profession and is well known as senior member of the law firm of Wemple, Peters & Wemple, his associates being Roy W. Peters and his own son, William Wallace Wemple, Jr. He was born in Duanesburg, Schenectady county, New York, on the 19th of January, 1862. He attended the district school near his father's farm and after a preparatory course at the old Union Classical Institute entered Union College, in which he completed his education. Following his graduation he turned his attention to teaching and for several years acted as principal of the village school in Scotia. It was in 1883 that he began the study of law in the office of Hastings & Schoolcraft at Schenectady, while subsequently he entered the Albany Law School, from which institution he was graduated in 1886, being admitted to the bar the same year. Through the intervening period to the present time he has practiced continuously in Schenectady and has won and maintained high standing in the profession. His mind is analytical, logical and inductive. With a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the fundamental principles of law, he combines a familiarity with statutory law and a sober, clear judgment which makes him a formidable adversary in legal combat. In addition to his professional activity Mr. Wemple is interested in numerous local business enterprises, all of which profit by his wise cooperation and counsel.

In 1894 Mr. Wemple was united in marriage to Miss M. Adelaide Quaife of Schenectady and to them have been born four children, namely: Margaret Lorraine, William Wallace, Jr., Mildred Ruth and Raymond. As a supporter of the republican party Mr. Wemple has long been an active worker in its local ranks. He was elected district attorney of Schenectady county in 1895 and reelected three years later. In 1902 he was chosen a member of the state assembly, in which body he made such a creditable record that he won reelection in each of the three succeeding years. As an assemblyman he was chosen for service upon many important committees, notably the Armstrong insurance investigating committee. Before completing his fourth term of service in the New York legislature Mr. Wemple was made the republican nominee for senator of the new thirty-first district, comprising Schenectady and Saratoga counties. He was elected and as state senator made a record which fully justified the support and confidence of his constituents.

Mr. Wemple is prominent in Masonic circles, belonging to St. George's Lodge No. 6, A. F. & A. M.; St. George's Chapter No. 157, R. A. M.; St. George's Commandery, K. T.; and Oriental Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. He is also a member of St. Paul's Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Schaugh-naugh-ta-da Tribe of the Improved Order of Red Men, the Royal Arcanum and the Exempt Firemen. He is an honorary member of Protection Hose Company and the Washington Continentals of Schenectady. For a period of five years, or until honorably discharged in 1893, Mr. Wemple served as a member of the Thirty-seventh Separate Company. In Schenectady county, where his life has been spent, he is very widely and favorably known as a leading lawyer and legislator, as well as respected and influential citizen.

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