James Delaney (mayor)
James J. Delaney, Sr. was born in Castlerea, County Roscommon, Ireland on August 26, 1896.[the former source, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~coleen/anchorage_census.html, is incorrect per family records.] He came to Anchorage, Alaska in 1916 to work on the railroad for the Alaskan Engineering Commission (known after its 1923 completion as the Alaska Railroad). In 1929, he married Nancy Marie Dillon (born March 5, 1896 in Aghamore, County Mayo, Ireland). The Delaneys had three children: Nancy, James, Jr., and Loretta.
In 1929, Delaney was elected to the first of three consecutive terms as Mayor. His first year in office, he successfully petitioned the General Land Office for the title to the land that would become Merrill Field. The field abutting downtown which was serving as an airstrip at that time was later renamed the Delaney Park Strip. The Park Strip remains a popular recreation and event spot even today.
Delaney died April 20, 1970 and was buried in Anchorage Memorial Park; Nancy would survive him by 16 years, dying in Anchorage on December 29, 1986.
|Mayor of Anchorage
Oscar S. Gill
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