HON. DANIEL JOSEPH KENEFICK, former Justice of the Supreme Court, now of the law firm of Kenefick, Cook & Mitchell, is eminent in public and professional life and has won forensic and judicial honors early in his career.
Mr. Kenefick was born in Buffalo on the 15th of October, 1863, and is a son of Michael and Mary (O'Connell) Kenefick, both of whom were born near the city of Cork, Ireland. They came to this country in the later '50's and settled in Buffalo, where they were married. After attending Public School No. 4 in Buffalo, Daniel J. Kenefick entered High School, from which he graduated in 1881. He then entered the law office of Crowley & Movius, pursuing his legal studies with that firm and their successors, Crowley, Movius & Wilcox. October 16, 1884, he was admitted to the bar. He engaged in his profession in Buffalo and had entered with success upon the initiatory period of practice when on the 1st of January 1886, he was appointed to a clerkship in the Law Department of the city. He held the position a year, resigning at the beginning of 1887 to accept the appointment of Second Assistant District Attorney under the late George T. Quinby. In this office he continued for five years. January 1, 1893, he was appointed First Assistant District Attorney. When Mr. Quinby resigned the District Attorneyship in the fall of 1894, Gov. Flower chose Mr. Kenefick to fill the unexpired term. The same year he received the Republican nomination for District Attorney and was elected by a large majority, taking office in 1895. In 1897 he was reelected and served until he was appointed to the bench. While District Attorney Mr. Kenefick gained a high reputation as a capable official and an able trial lawyer. He had served the first year of his second term as District Attorney, when, on the 30th of December, 1898, he was appointed by Governor Black to fill the unexpired term of Supreme Court Justice Hamilton Ward, deceased. Judge Kenefick entered upon the duties of the bench on the 1st of January, 1899. In the fall of that year he was nominated by the Republican Judicial Convention for Justice of the Supreme Court, and was elected for a term of fourteen years by a plurality of 25,000. During his term of service he performed the duties of his office with impartiality and perfect probity, and showed excellent judgment as well as sound knowledge of the law.
In June, 1906, Martin Carey, the senior member of the law firm of Bissell, Carey & Cooke, removed to New York City. Judge Kenefick was invited to fill the vacancy. He consented, and on his resignation from the bench the firm became Kenefick, Cooke & Mitchell, its personnel consisting of Daniel J. Kenefick, Walter P. Cooke, James McC. Mitchell, and Lyman M. Bass. This firm continues the succession of one of the most famous law firms of Western New York. Many years ago it was Bass, Cleveland & Sicard, the late George J. Sicard becoming one of the members. This association was succeeded by Bissell, Carey & Cooke, the predecessor of the present firm, which is one of the leading law partnerships of Buffalo and enjoys a very large general practice, both as counsel for important interests and in the trial of civil cases.
Mr. Kenefick is one of Buffalo's representative Catholic laymen, and is a member of Holy Angels' Parish and of the Knights of Columbus. Among social organizations he belongs to the Buffalo and Saturn clubs.
June 30, 1891, Mr. Kenefick married Maysie Germain, daughter of Victor and Ella Germain of Buffalo. Their children are: Daniel, born in 1892, and Theodore, born in 1898.
SOURCE: Memorial and Family History of Erie County New York; Volume I