The Reardon Family: Long Journey to Clontarf

Each week we will profile a family with its roots in the Clontarf area.  Since there has already been some interest, we will start with the Reardon family.  The following was taken from an entry in the Swift County History book published in 1979:

Henry and Bridget Reardon

Henry Reardon and his wife, Bridget, were both born in Dublin, Ireland.  They both left Ireland at the time of the potato famine, about 1845.  They went to Australia separately and met and were married in Melbourne, Australia.  Then they left for America and landed in New York where they stayed for a time.  In a few years they decided to move west and bought horses and a wagon which took them as far as the Mississippi River.  Here they hired a boat which took them north to Minnesota.  They settled first in Credit River, Prior Lake area in 1855.

In 1876 they and several other families moved to Clontarf Township, in Swift County.  Henry and his wife Bridget settled in Section 2 of what is now Tara Township.  Henry made several trips to and from Credit River moving other families to the Clontarf area.

Henry and Bridget had the following children: Andrew, Robert, John (Catherine Hogan), Henry (Sarah Byrne), Hannah (Michael Donovan), Mary(Long), Meg (Vorwick), Bridget (Ledwidge), and Thomas (Bridget McElgunn).

From this information, the Reardons arrived very early in Clontarf, before the colonization efforts by Bishop Ireland had begun in earnest.  The Reardon family is typical of many of the immigrant settlers in that Clontarf was not their first stop in America.  The Reardons had quite a journey – Dublin to Melbourne to New York to Credit River to Clontarf.

Dominic McDermott, who ran the first lumber yard in Clontarf and a general store also came from Credit River.  I believe Father Oster, the first parish priest in Clontarf, was in Credit River for a time as well.  Do you know of any other Clontarf families who came from Credit River?

Just a note – Tara Township was originally part of Clontarf Township.  It became its own entity in 1878.  Tara is west of Clontarf.

If you are a Reardon from Clontarf, we would like to hear from you!  Please add a comment.



Filed under Clontarf, Early Settlers, Family Histories, Irish

2 responses to “The Reardon Family: Long Journey to Clontarf

  1. Hello,
    What year is represented by the photo of the Clontarf MN railroad depot?
    My relatives were in the area around 1900.


    • Anne Schirmer

      Good question! You will see a shadow of a tall structure cast onto the depot…that was another elevator just to the south of the depot! Wayne Klucas answered my question about the two elevators when he said Peavey Elevator (the shadow caster) bought out the other (Cargill or Northwestern by name) and had it moved closer and attatched to the Peavey. When the Elevator had spontaneous combustion occur, and the Elevator burned to the ground Sept. 28, 1948, it was a huge fire since it was actually two structures on fire. It was never rebuilt… Marge (Reardon) Klucas, Mel’s wife, told me there was a third smaller elevator to the north of the crossing at Clontarf and it was called the Monarch Elevator. I’m hoping to come across some documentation somewhere sometime that validates this.. Wayne didn’t give me a year when the two elevators were joined, but he remembered watching it, I believe. Wayne just passed away 3 yrs. ago or so. I’ll ask around to see if someone can answer your question. When we were gathering pictures for the 125th celebration here in 2003, we found a picture of the two elevators from the opposite angle(!) in Anna Shinnick’s collection (loaned to us by Tom Connolly’s family).We also have an aerial shot of the town of Clontarf from an airplane(!) and we can see the cattle pen where cattle were held till the train came to take them to market.. May I ask who were your relatives?

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