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Featured Family Member - James F. Cavanaugh

James F. Cavanaugh (1910 - 1973)

James F. Cavanaugh (Jim) was born in 1910 in Watervliet, NY where he attended St. Patrick's school. He graduated from LaSalle Institute in Troy in 1928. After graduation, he was trained as a draftsman in a three-year apprentice course with General Electric. Later he became drafting manager and retired from General Electric in 1973 after 25 years of service. Jim had one brother, Joseph T. Cavanaugh and one sister, Mary Cavanaugh Krieger. He married Margaret Hayes on October 11, 1932. They had six children.

James F. Cavanaugh served as mayor of Watervliet, NY from 1967 until his death in 1973. As a lifelong Democrat, he won the praise of Democrats and Republicans alike for his conscientious work in chairing the Albany County Charter commission. During his administration much progress was made in the city by Urban Renewal, housing projects, the opening of the Youth Center, the establishment of the Senior citizens Center and opening of the northern section of the Hudson River Arterial Highway. The Troy-Watervliet Bridge was constructed as well as a new firehouse. The James F. Cavanaugh Memorial Park located below the bridge on the Watervliet side was named for him. Complete renovation of the City Hall and police headquarters was also started under his administration.

He was a communicant of St. Patrick's Church, a lector and usher and member of the Holy Name Society of that church. He was a member of Watervliet Lodge of Elks, Knights of Columbus Council, past president and member of the executive board of the Watervliet Civic Chest, Inc., member of Watervliet Senior Citizen, Watervliet Rotary, past president of the Taconic Lake Association, a life member of the GE Apprentice Alumni Association, a former scoutmaster and district commissioner of the Troy Council, Boy Scouts of America.