James Grant Wilson and John Fiske, eds., “Olney, Richard,” Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1901), 7: 207.
OLNEY, Richard, statesman, b. in Oxford, .Mass., 15 Sept., 1835; was prepared for college at Leicester academy, Worcester county, and was graduated at Brown in 1856. He was also graduated at the Harvard law-school in 1859, and in the same year was admitted to the bar in his native state. In 1874 he served with success as a member of the Massachusetts legislature. Mr. Olney was in the successful practice of the law in Boston, until called to the office of attorney-general of the United States by President Cleveland in March, 18093, and on the death of Judge Gresham in June, 1895, he became secretary of state, continuing in office until 4 March, 1897. Mr. Olney then resumed the practice of law in Boston. Brown and Harvard gave him the degree of LL. D.