Martin Glynn, New York’s First Irish Catholic Governor

Posted on December 3, 2022 by Albany Diocesan Cemeteries under Historic St. Agnes Cemetery, Stories of our Dearly Departed
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From the “Stories of our Dearly Departed” series from Kelly Grimaldi, Historian and Associate Director for Albany Diocesan Cemeteries.

Albany Diocesan Cemeteries’ “Stories of our Dearly Departed” is a series featuring stories and photographs of those who are buried within our 20 upstate NY cemeteries.

Our hope is that people will enjoy reading about the lives of our community members just as much as we enjoy learning about them from the families we serve and in the information we find throughout our archives. There are so many fascinating stories buried within these Sacred Grounds!

Governor Martin Glynn Private Mausoleum

Glynn family private mausoleum in St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands, NY

Martin Glynn, New York’s first Irish Catholic governor rests in a private mausoleum located next to Michael Nolan, Albany’s first Irish, Catholic mayor. Glynn’s wife Mary and their only child, the infant Ruth, rest with him along with members of Mary’s family.

Portrait of Governor Martin GlynnGovernor Martin Glynn came from rural Valatie, New York where his Irish immigrant parents owned a saloon.  He put fair wages and safe working conditions at the top of his political agenda. Glynn knew first-hand the plight of working men and women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Within 15 months of taking the office of governor, he successfully established the State Employment Agency, workers compensation benefits, Department of Food and Marketing to help farmers profit from their labor and made enormous strides in the improvement of transportation systems (highways and canals) statewide.  He cut the fat in state government programs and proved himself to be well adept at managing state finances.  His deep budget cuts actually made for a more progressive and fiscally sound New York State during his brief reign October, 1913- December, 1914.

Governor Glynn was an ethical man of good judgement and compassion.  Tragically he died by his own hand after having suffered for most of his life from pain caused by an injury to his lower spine before he entered college.  The pain was often so severe Glynn was rendered an invalid for weeks at a time. His death certificate notes his death was caused by suicide by firearm.  His bereaved, devoted servants and the attending physician knew of the cause but out of deep love and respect for him, Glynn’s cause of death was kept a secret for a long time.


Governor Glynn’s story is one of many featured in our beautiful 160 page coffee table book “These Sacred Grounds: 150 Years of St. Agnes Cemetery”.


Do you have a story of an ancestor and/or loved one buried in one of our cemeteries that would be interesting to highlight in our “Stories of our Dearly Departed” series?

We are looking for stories of those buried within the following 20 cemeteries:

St. Agnes, Menands  •  Most Holy Redeemer, Niskayuna  •  Holy Sepulchre, Rensselaer  •  Our Lady of Angels, Colonie  •  Immaculate Conception and St. Patrick’s in Watervliet  •  Our Lady Help of Christians and Calvary in Glenmont  •  St. Agnes, Cohoes  •  St. Patrick’s, Coeymans  •  St. Anthony’s, Glenville  •  St. Jean de Baptiste, St. John’s, and St. Mary’s in Troy  •  Sts. Cyril & Method and Holy Cross in Rotterdam  •  St. Joseph’s, Waterford  •   St. John the Baptist and St. Mary’s in Schenectady  •   St. Mary’s, Coxsackie

If you have a story to share, contact Kelly at 518-350-7679 or [email protected].

Albany Diocesan Cemeteries

Albany Diocesan Cemeteries are operated for the religious and charitable purposes of the Roman Catholic Church through the burial and memorialization of the faithful departed.

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