Biography of Thomas Francis Cooney

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Members of the Providence bar join with the laity in advancing the favorable professional reputation attained by Thomas Francis Cooney in his achievement of success during a period of practice that already approximates thirty years.

Born in Cranston, Rhode Island, October 21, 1873, Thomas Francis Cooney is the son of James and Bridget (Sheil) Cooney, his father deceased, and the mother making her home with her son. From the public schools of Cranston he passed to La Salle Academy in Providence. From the academy he went to Boston University Law School. He was graduated, June 6, 1900, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws cum laude, and received an additional honor by election as president of his class.

In the year of his graduation from law school Mr. Cooney successfully passed the tests given by the Rhode Island Board of Bar Examiners, and he was admitted to practice at Providence, conducting an office as an individual for about a year. He then entered into partnership with James A. Cahill, forming the firm of Cooney & Cahill, which continued until the death of Mr. Cahill in 1918, since which time he has been associated with his cousin, John J. Cooney under the firm name of Cooney & Cooney. Mr. Cooney won as one mark of distinction as a lawyer recognition for able handling of the Michael Hand will case, one of the most noted in the legal annals of Rhode Island. This case was on trial for three months, and it constituted a record one in point of time consumed in its hearing.

In his politics a Democrat, Mr. Cooney has twice been the Democratic candidate for Congress from his district, in 1908 and 1910.

Mr. Cooney is a member of the Catholic Club, and one time president thereof. He is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus, of which he is a fourth degree member, and with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. His religious connection is with St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church at Cranston, of which he is a trustee.

Thomas Francis Cooney married (first), June 30, 1904, Elizabeth A. Reilly, of Providence, who died July 19, 1912, leaving three children: Thomas S., born May 4, 1905; Elizabeth M., born November 5, 1906; and Theresa A., born June 9, 1910. Mr. Cooney married (second), November 5, 1913, Elizabeth W. Hayden, of Pascoag, Burrillville.

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