Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

William B. Gourley

New Jersey

William B. Gourley, according to a November 23, 2004, Irish News article about his death in 1935 notes that Gourley was a "noted lawyer and democratic leader, statesman, poet and lecturer" and was a native of Gilford, Ireland. Gourley emigrated to the United States with his parents when he was still a child. "While working as a bobbin boy in a jute mill factory, he used his nights for reading and study." He went on to become a lawyer in Passaic County, New Jersey.

Gourley was Prosectuor of the Pleas, and in 1886 was elected to the state assemly. He served as chairman of the State Democratic Committee from 1893 to 1908 and was a member of the National Democratic Committee from 1900 to 1908. [Source: Eamon Phoenix, "Noted northern lawyer dies in US; on this day/November 23, 1935," Irish News, November 23, 2004, p. 6]

Gourley was one of the founders of the Passaic County Bar Association in 1889. []