Michael F. Blake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Michael F. Blake
Municipal Court Judge (New York City)
In office
January 1, 1908 – 1928
Personal details
Michael F. Blake

(1858-08-01)August 1, 1858
New York, New York
Died(1929-07-31)July 31, 1929
Brooklyn, New York
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Mary W. Blake
ChildrenJoseph A. Blake, Francis L. Blake, Roswell P. Blake Walter J. Blake, Laura Brown, and Mary Blake[1]
MotherElizabeth Blake
FatherMichael Blake
RelativesJames W. Blake (brother), John Blake (brother), Mary Blake (sister), three other siblings[2]
EducationColumbia Law School

Michael F. Blake (August 1, 1857 – July 31, 1929) was the chief clerk of the New York City Board of Aldermen from 1892 to 1907 and a Municipal Court Justice in New York City from 1908 to 1928.[3][1]

Early life[edit]

Blake was one of seven children born to Michael and Elizabeth Blake, who were both from County Westmeath in Ireland. He was born in his family's home at 312 East 18th Street, just off Second Avenue in New York City.[2]

Blake was a schoolmate of Charles F. Murphy and James A. Foley, who both later became prominent in Tammany Hall, the dominant force and political club in New York City politics for many decades.[2]

Prior to politics[edit]

As a young man, Blake headed west and was a news reporter before acquiring control of the Seattle Star. After several years he sold his stake in that newspaper and returned to New York City, where he wrote political articles for the New York Herald and became the city reporter for The New York Sun.[1]

Political career[edit]

Blake remained in touch with Murphy, who rose to prominence in Tammany Hall, and became a district captain and then a district leader for Tammany.[1] He then went to Columbia Law School, and graduated in 1886.[4] After graduating, he studied law under Justice Abraham B. Tappen of New York Supreme Court.[3] In 1889 Blake was appointed deputy clerk for the New York City Common Council, also known as the Board of Aldermen.[3][5][6] In 1892 he became the chief clerk with a salary of $5,000,[7] and afterward was re-elected by the aldermen annually.[8] In 1893, Blake became member of the Tammany Society.[9]

He resigned his chief clerk position in 1907 to run for election as a City Court judge, a post which he won and held for 20 years before retiring in 1928.[1]


Blake died on July 31, 1929. He was survived by his wife Mary W. Blake; sons Joseph A. Blake, Francis L. Blake, Roswell P. Blake and Walter J. Blake; and daughters Laura Brown and Mary Blake.[1] He was also survived by siblings, including James W. Blake, a part-time lyricist who was famous for the words to the 1894 song, The Sidewalks of New York.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Michael F. Blake, Ex-Justice, Dead – Former Jurist of Municipal Court for 20 Years Succumbs in Brooklyn at 71 – Once a Political Writer – Chairman of Tammany Hall Committee Entered the Party asa District Leader". New York Times. August 1, 1929. p. 27. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Jas. W. Blake Dead — Wrote Famed Song — Author of 'Sidewalks of New York' Succumbs at 72 in St. Vincent's Hospital — Smith His Benefactor — In Later Days of Adversity the Former Governor Saw to It That He Was Provided For". New York Times. May 25, 1935. p. 15. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c The Brown Book – A Biographical Record of Public Officials of the City of New York for 1898-9. New York, N.Y.: Martin B. Brown Company. 1899. pp. 45–46. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  4. ^ "Candidates From Columbia – More Than Forty Local Nominees Were Graduated from the University". New York Times. November 3, 1907. p. 16. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  5. ^ "The Disposition of the Patronage". New York Times. January 1, 1891. p. 8. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  6. ^ "City Hall Statesman Meet – Brown of the Second District Gets the Prize Chairmanship". New York Times. January 6, 1891. p. 6. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  7. ^ "Among the Politicians". New York Times. January 6, 1892. p. 8. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  8. ^ "Dividing the Plums by Lot – Twenty-Eight Aldermen and Only Fifteen Bits of Patronage". New York Times. December 23, 1892. p. 6. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  9. ^ "New Members of Tammany Society". New York Times. December 19, 1893. p. 4. Retrieved December 5, 2018.