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James C. "Dutch" Cornell, who served as the Wilson School District clerk and as the district treasurer, died Sunday (July 27, 1997) in Briody's Health Care Facility, Lockport. He was 85.

Cornell, a resident of West Lake Road, was born in Ransomville, attended Wilson Rural School and was a 1931 graduate of Wilson High School, where he had been class president.

He also graduated from Niagara University in 1936 and worked briefly for the Union Carbide Co. in Niagara Falls and the former Hinchcliffe Vinegar Co..

During World War II, Cornell served as a civilian employee of the Army at Fort Niagara, where he administered the work-release program for German prisoners of war.

After the War, he became a partner in O'Connor & Cornell, certified public accountants, and started branches in Youngstown and Lockport. He retired as head of accounting after 37 years.

Cornell specialized in providing financial services to several regional school systems, including Wilson Central School. He served as Wilson Central's district clerk from 1942 to 1967 and as the district's treasurer from 1968 to 1990.

He obtained corporate donations to help start Niagara County Community College and the Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Niagara and Orleans counties.

Cornell was a charter member of the Wilson Lions Club. As a member of 55 years, he served as president and district governor. He also was an exempt member of the Wilson Volunteer Fire Company, a member of the Wilson Historical Society, Executive Committee for the Wilson Centennial Celebration, Lockport Chapter of the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks, the Knights of Columbus, Holy Name Society of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, Tuscarora Club of Lockport, Niagara University Alumni and New York State Retired Employees Associations.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, the former Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Linick; two sons, James Jr. of Boston, Mass., and Kevin; two daughters, Kathleen H. Evans of East Rochester and Barbara Young of Longmeadow, Mass.; and seven grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. in Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 359 Lake St. Burial will be in North Ridge Cemetery, Cambria.

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