The Usual Suspects

Every time I look at a page in the McDermott General Store ledger, I recognize more of the customer names, and I could even tell you a little bit about them (at the very least I could tell you about their shopping habits!)

Saturday August 1, 1885 saw many of the regular customers at McDermott’s store: Frank McMahon, Timothy Cain, Richard McGraw, Martin McAndrew, Mrs. Jane Kenna, John Regan, and Michael Shea.  John Casey (we have heard from his descendant on the blog) spent $4.60 on a variety of items including four cups and saucers (.40) and a sack of flour (2.50).

While all other staples regularly appear in the ledger, flour is rarely purchased.  Does anyone have an idea why this is the case?  I wonder if there was a flour mill somewhere nearby where the residents of the Clontarf area bought their flour?

Two names in the ledger on this day that I know nothing about are Patrick Lynch and Patrick Daily.  Does anyone know about either of these two two families?

One more thing about the McDermott ledger…

Although I don’t have a complete copy of the ledger, I am curious where the French residents of Clontarf did their shopping, since their names very seldom appear.  It could very well be that I am missing those pages, but it seems curious to me that they never show up.  Any ideas on this topic?

I will announce the winner of the drawing tomorrow.



Filed under McDermott's General Store

9 responses to “The Usual Suspects

  1. Mary (Conroy) Voorhees

    Regarding Martin McAndrew, listed on McDermott’s ledger, he was married to my grandfather’s sister, Bridget Conroy. My grandfather, John Conroy, and his sisters, Bridget McAndrew and Catherine Darrington all lived near each other in Tara Township in 1900. Some say it was over a debt owed. Others say it was over Mr. McAndrew’s propensity to beat up on his wife. Whatever the reason and being the Irishmen they were, the Conroy brothers (there were 5 of them) decided to handle the situation themselves. To make a long story short, one dark night on the trail from Benson to Tara Township, Mr. McAndrew ended up blinded and the Conroy brother-in-law, Patrick Darrington, ended up in Stillwater State Penitentiary. The McAndrews subsequently moved into Benson and Catherine Conroy Darrington moved from Tara to Stillwater to be near her husband. The incident was never spoken of while I was growing up, but gradually two generations later, we pieced the events together. A sad but true chapter in our Conroy family history.

    • Mary,

      This story is so fascinating, and what is cool is how you all are piecing it together all these years later. I think it was definitely a dramatic event in Tara Township – things like this just didn’t happen! I am adding to my list to post the article from the newspaper that talks about the trial that took place following the shooting.

      Did your grandfather John Conroy have a brother Patrick?

      Thanks for sharing your story…we will hear more about this event in the future!

      Thanks again and hope you are having a good weekend!


  2. Mary D'Agati

    My great grandfather was Patrick Darrington. He spent ten years in Stillwater prison. The story is that the youngest Conroy brother did the shooting that blinded McAndrews. My GGrandfather being in his fifties, was charged, convicted and remained quiet to protect the other family members. During his stay in prison his daughter was burned to death, his youngest child was sent to a boarding house and his family lost their farm. My grandfather, Thomas Martin Darrington, put himself through college and then dental school. After Patrick was released from prison he returned home. Shortly after he was hit by a train .H

  3. Mary D'Agati

    I would love to see the newspaper articles about the trial.

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Mary! I have a transcript of the newspaper article…let me dig it up. I have been meaning to search the old papers for mention of this incident, but haven’t gotten around to it. Your comment is a good reminder! I never knew how long your great-grandfather was in Stillwater, and I never knew about the other tragic events in the family. Did your great-grandmother stay on the farm in Tara long after Patrick was sent to Stillwater? Where did they move when they left the farm? Did Patrick know they were going to shoot McAndrew? I will be in touch about the newspaper article…

      Thanks again — Aine

  4. Mary D'Agati

    My ggrandmother did not stay on the farm. I believe one of the Conroy brothers took it over. She moved to Owatonna. I do believe that the Conroy brothers and my ggrandfather were guilty of something. The story is that the youngest brother was hiding under a blanket in the wagon and shot McAndrew. Did they all know? It is a sad story. In prison Patrick worked making hemp on large machines. He came out of prison deaf. It probably led to his being struck by the train. He heard it coming when it was too late.

  5. Mary D'Agati

    By the way, I was named after my mother, Mary. She was named after Mary Conroy, Catherine Conroy Darrington’s mother. I wonder if Mary Voorhees gets her name the same way.

  6. Mary D'Agati

    I didn’t realize your mom was the person who shared my Grandfather’s letter from prison with our family. It meant so much to us and gave us insight into who he was. Mary D’Agati

  7. Mary

    Do you know anything about The House of the Good Shepherd in Ramsey, Mn.? My great aunt Agnes Darrington was an “inmate” there during the time her father Patrick was imprisoned. I wondered what this place was? Thanks, Mary D’Agati

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s