Tag Archives: Fennell

Valentine’s Day…Clontarf Style

I don’t see a mad dash for chocolates and fancy cards at the McDermott General Store on the days building up to Valentine’s Day in 1884.

Typical of the winter months, business was relatively light, with only a few Clontarf residents picking up necessities like tobacco, tea, and sugar. The folks from Tara, or even the rest of Clontarf Township, didn’t seem to make it into town very often in January and February.

February @ McDermotts (click image to enlarge)

February @ McDermotts (click image to enlarge)

I don’t know how the pioneer settlers of the Clontarf area celebrated Valentine’s Day. Valentines were exchanged in the nineteenth century, but since mass-produced greeting cards were not yet widely available, we can speculate that homemade cards were the norm and exchanged among family and friends.

Here’s an example of the type of Valentine that would have been seen around Clontarf in the 1920s. This one was given to my grandpa, John Regan, from his Clontarf classmate Dick Fennell:

Dick Fennell to John Regan

By the late 1930s, my grandpa was “courting” a fellow Tara native Agnes McMahon. The two grandchildren of original Tara Township settlers had reconnected in Minneapolis and were married in 1941. I thought I would share a couple of the Valentines they exchanged in those early years:

Agnes to John

Agnes to John (inside)

John to Agnes

John to Agnes (inside)

Have you saved any special Valentines? If your answer is “yes”, today is the perfect day to pull them out and take a stroll down memory lane….

Were there any events or programs in Clontarf to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Maybe a special dinner or dance at the Clontarf Club? Leave a comment and share your memories!

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Filed under McDermott's General Store, Valentine's Day

Excuses, excuses…

My apologies for the lack of new content on the blog over the past few weeks.  I will spare you any excuses and get right to some Clontarf history…

Anne has been learning a lot about the Clontarf Club and adding the new information in the comments of the Clontarf Club page.  Click here and scroll down to read the comments.  Hopefully we can compile all of these bits into a narrative telling the story of the Club.  Stay tuned!

Recently we have had some visitors to the blog with ties to the Fennell family of Clontarf.  Anne Schirmer shared the following photograph with me from her Clontarf genealogy collection:

Thomas and Catherine (Curtis) Fennell Family - 1922

Thomas Fennell was the son of Francis and Armeline Goulet, who were early settlers in the Clontarf area.  Thomas was the youngest of eight children born to Francis and Armeline in Glencoe, Minnesota.  Who are the members of this handsome family?  I am unable to identify them precisely in the photo, but I will share the information I have on the children.

In no particular order (but could be roughly by age)…

  • Eva “Evie” (1901-1976), married Clarence Ascheman.
  • Margaret, married Henry Peerboom.
  • Joseph, married Eleanor Bouta.
  • Agnes “Toots”, married William Wallace.
  • Martha, became Sister Marilyn, a Sister of Saint Joseph.
  • Edward.
  • William.
  • Louis “Buster”, (1909-1987), lived in Benson.
  • Thomas Anthony.
  • Edna.
  • Richard.
  • Mary.

Please let us know if you are able to fill in any of the blanks.  I will share the entire Fennell Family history from the Clontarf anniversary booklet in an upcoming post.

I wonder if the Dick Fennell who gave my grandpa John Regan the card pictured below is the same Richard Fennell, son of Thomas and Catherine?  It’s a cute Valentine…

I wonder what happened to Dick Fennell?  Share if you know!

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Filed under Clontarf, Family Histories

Altar Boys: Corrections & Additions

I heard from several readers about the identity of the altar boys pictured below (you may also want to check out the earlier post here.)

 

Altar Boys, 1920

This is how the individuals were previously identified:

Father Patrick Kenney at very back

Back row: Melvin Klucas, unknown, Howard Regan, Robert Reardon (between two rows)

Middle row: Lewis Fennell, Clarence Hargreaves

Front row: ? Flynn, Donald Reynolds, Richard McMahon

Right off the bat, a few of you commented that Melvin Klucas was incorrect as he didn’t become Catholic until he married, and besides was only about five-years-old in 1920 (per Bob Klucas and others.)  Now that altar boy is unknown…could it be Melvin Daniel?

A Clontarf insider, who prefers to remain anonymous, thought the next boy in the back was a McCarthy (Joseph, Emmet, or John perhaps?), and agreed with Howard Regan and Robert “Bud” Reardon.

Next row, I believe everyone was OK with Lewis Fennell, but it was believed that Clarence Hargreaves was too young in 1920, but it could be an older brother (Leonard?).

Regarding the Flynn boy in the front row, I heard from Linda who is researching her husband’s Flynn roots, and she said that possibly it is Jeremiah Flynn.  There was some disagreement with Donald Reynolds (too young), and it was suggested that the middle boy in the front could be either Fred or Walter “Frenchie” Chevalier.  There was universal approval on the identity of Richard McMahon.

There you have it.  Any thoughts in light of the new information? We’ve never heard from any McCarthy or Hargreaves descendants with roots in Clontarf…

 

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Altar Boys Identified and Shopping in Clontarf

Altar Boys

No one had anything to say about the altar boy photo from last time, so here it is again, this time with most of the boys identified…

St. Malachy Altar Boys 1920

Father Patrick Kenney at very back

Back row: Melvin Klucas, unknown, Howard Regan, Robert Reardon (between two rows)

Middle row: Lewis Fennell, Clarence Hargreaves

Front row: ? Flynn, Donald Reynolds, Richard McMahon

We are only missing the identity of the boy second from the left in the back row, and the first name of the Flynn boy in the front.  Any ideas?

From what I have heard, Father Kenney was a popular priest in Clontarf.  Any stories about him?  Please share by leaving a comment/reply.

McDermott General Store: November 1883

Just have a couple of pages from the November 1883 store ledger.  Let’s see what who was shopping…

November 5th

  • Priest Safleur: $2.15 for coffee, tea, sugar, and two stove pipes (.40)
  • John Gallagher: stocked up on some staples, including tea, coffee, matches, soap, nails, tobacco and then came back a bit later for 5 yards of denim (.60) and 4 skein of yarn (.48)
  • John Regan:  sold Mr. McDermott $4.05 worth of butter and received cash back
  • Mrs. James McGeary: lantern globe (.20), 2 yards blue denim (.40), 2 yards shirting (.28), 3 yards sheeting (.27), and thread (.05)
  • James Kent: sugar (1.00) and can of tea (.65)
  • William Duggan: 8 yards sheeting (.80), 3-1/2 yards flannel (.63), thread (.05), pins (.05), and elastic (.05)

November 8th

  • Mrs. John Casey: sugar (.50), 2# currants (.20), matches (.10), salt (.10), and nails (.10)
  • Industrial School: 4 dozen eggs (.80)
  • John Regan: sugar (1.00), kerosene oil (.30), Japanese tea (.45), 5# nails (.25), 4# prunes (.40)
  • John Regan, put on James Kent’s account: 2# nails (.10)

McDermott paid out about 12-1/2 cents per dozen eggs (see earlier post) and it looks like he charged the folks at the Industrial School 20-cents per dozen.

A fair amount of sewing would be done by Mrs. McGeary and Mrs. Duggan.  I didn’t realize elastic had been invented by 1883.  What do you suppose Mrs. Duggan was making with all that sheeting?

Anything stand out to you about these purchases?

 

I will get back to the family histories in upcoming posts.  Let me know if you have any suggestions for information you would like featured on the blog.

 

Remember to add your memories of the Clontarf Club
by clicking here and leaving a comment/reply!

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