Tag Archives: Kent

Return to the Reardon Family

Jim from Minneapolis, a reader of the blog with a connection to the Reardon family, sent me a copy of a typed history of the Henry Reardon family. The history was written by Ada E. Johnson. At the end of the five-page document is this note:

Written by Ada E. Johnson, I am now 90 years old and wrote this history at the request of my Grandchildren and great Grandchildren and I have at this time 28 Great Grand Children, Eleven Grandchildren and Two Great great grandchildren and two more in a couple of months.

Ada’s history is valuable, especially for its details of Henry and Bridget Reardon’s early story prior to arriving in Tara Township. We have touched on their story in previous posts on the blog. Jim’s grandfather had a  sister who married into the Reardon family. This branch of the family is addressed in a later addition to the history made by E.B.:

John, born in 1856, was married to Catherine Hogan and they had a son James born in Tara township in 1883. James married Catherine McDonough in 1912 at St. Marys Catholic Church in St. Paul. They had 6 children. Their first, a son Raymond died of diphtheria at 15 mo. Five daughters followed: Gertrude, Florence, Rose, Marjorie, and Eleanor. All were born and raised in Clontarf.

John died in 1934–James died in 1963. Both are buried in the family plot in St. Malachy’s cemetery, Clontarf, Mn. John’s brother Robert and James’ son Raymond are buried beside them.

Catherine “Kate” McDonough Reardon doesn’t get much attention in those paragraphs, but that’s OK…Jim sent some pictures!

Catherine McDonough and James Reardon wedding - 1912

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Kate and James were married at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 3, 1912. The couple is seated in the center with the bride’s brother George McDonough on the left and Irene Reardon on the right.

Raymond Reardon - 1914

The couple’s first-born and only son, Raymond died of diphtheria at fifteen months. According to Jim, the family’s home was quarantined during the illness and James’ aunt Mary Donovan came to prepare the baby’s body for burial. Only Mary, Kate, and James were present at the burial.  Diphtheria was highly contagious, so people must have kept their distance until the incubation period was over.

Kate and James lived at the Jack Kent (also known as “Lockwood”, in Tara?) place before moving to the Hurley place (in Clontarf?). Apparently, James’ father John Reardon lived with the couple for a time – click here to read John Reardon’s obituary. I wonder where in Clontarf this photo of Kate was taken?

Kate Reardon - 1937 - Clontarf

When I get to the Swift County Museum in April, I will look up a few more Reardon obits, so I can find out some details on James and Kate’s lives.

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Clontarf Goes Green in 1899

These days it seems everyone celebrates St. Patrick’s Day. Target’s shelves are stocked with strings of  shamrock lights, pot of gold window decals, sparkly green headbands, and leprechaun costumes complete with a long red beard and top hat. Bars put up tents to accommodate the revelers, while the restaurants add corned beef and cabbage specials to their menus. The fountain at the White House is turning green, and I heard even Niagara Falls will be dyed green (is that even possible?)

Let’s put aside the more commercial side of St. Patrick’s Day for a moment and take a look at the March 17, 1899 celebration in Clontarf – the last St. Patrick’s Day of the nineteenth century. By 1899, the children of the original Irish settlers in Clontarf were beginning to marry and start families of their own. Most of this first generation of Clontarf Irish-Americans married fellow Irish-Americans, thus Clontarf’s Irish identity remained strong. A new Ancient Order of Hibernians hall had just been completed in 1899 and would be the venue for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

The March 10, 1899 edition of the Swift County Monitor outlined the events planned in Clontarf for Friday March 17th:

It is fitting the day began with High Mass, since the feast day of the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, was a holy day in Ireland where attendance at Mass was obligatory. Dinner followed in the Hall. Corned beef and cabbage? Perhaps, or maybe roast turkey or chicken. I am sure there were plenty of potatoes, carrots, and other root vegetables as well.

Outdoor sports and listening to a lecture by Father Cahill (anyone know who he was?) must have worked up an appetite. The ladies of Clontarf were back in the kitchen to put on a supper before the dramatic presentation hit the stage. I was interested in learning more about the play, “Shaun Aroon” and a Google search brought me to a newspaper article from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada from 1896. Click here to take a look – it provides a bit more background on the play. It seems “Shaun Aroon” was a popular play by American Charles Townsend. The article says it was considered a “new Irish play” in that it avoids perpetuating stereotypes of the Irish that prevailed in American culture (inebriation, forever fighting the British, etc.)

The cast features familiar names from Clontarf and Tara: Kent, Foley, Hurley, McDonald, Purcell, O’Neill, Maguire, and Donohue. When the play was over, “the floor will be cleared and a dance given.”

I imagine the people of Clontarf had a great time in 1899. How does this St. Patrick’s celebration compare to ones you remember in Clontarf? Any plans for this year?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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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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First Communion 1929 – or is it?

August 4, 1929 First Communion Clontarf, MN (click to enlarge)

The 1929 First Communion at St. Malachy’s in Clontarf took place less than three months before Black Tuesday, the day the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began.  The 1920s had already been a tough decade for farmers and farming communities throughout the Midwest, but things were about to become even more difficult.

This photo is dated 1929, but I am not convinced that is the correct year.  There are too many children in the photo when compared to the  list of those receiving their First Communion at St. Malachy’s in 1929.  Perhaps children from other area churches came to Clontarf to receive their First Communion, but it was recorded in their respective church record books…just an idea.

Here is the list as it appears in the St. Malachy Sacramental record book:

First Communion

August 4, 1929


Patrick McMahon

Patrick Foley

Bernard Fennell

Charles Kent

Gabriel Burns

Patrick Reynolds

Howard Cameron

Harold Duresky

Genevieve Bouta

Dorothy Aschmann

Marjorie Reardon

Eleanor Goulet

Margaret Sullivan

Laverne Bouta

Catherine Molony

Theresa Burns

Bernice Fennell

Eileen Sullivan

Dorothy Cameron

recorded by Lawrence Lynch (page 104)

If you recognize anyone in the photo, that could help us identify it correctly.  I have the listings for all the First Communions, so we could match it up.  You can enlarge the photo by clicking on it.  You can get a really good look at it if you click again to magnify.  Let me know if you see someone you know!

Do you have a First Communion story you would like to share from Clontarf?

 

 

P.S.

I dropped the ball for the September drawing, so I will combine September and October into one contest, with two winners.  So…comment away and build your entries!

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Let your fingers do the walking

City directories are a great tool for researching individuals who lived in larger towns and cities in the United States.  City directories are the city equivalent to the country atlas (plat map), and a precursor to the telephone book.

On my recent trip to New Hampshire, I found looking through the Concord city directories to be a highlight of our research.  I would like to share some of what I found, as it pertains to early settlers in the Clontarf area.  If you were to go to the Salem, Massachusetts Historical Society, there is no doubt you would find similar information on the Casey, O’Neill, Langan, and Freeman families.

 

1872 Concord City Directory Advertisements (click image to enlarge)

Concord City Directories

available at the New Hampshire Historical Society

1867

Kenna, John, blacksmith, Concord Railroad, house Jefferson

1872

Foley, Patrick, laborer, h. Crescent, Fisherville

Kenna, John, blacksmith, Concord Railroad, h. Main

Kent, James, stone-cutter, h. 227 State

Quigley, Matthew, dresser, A. Harris & Sons, h. Tremont (Boscawen)

1874

Donovan, Michael, stone-cutter, boards 225 State St.

Foley, Patrick, laborer, h. Spring, n. Centre, Fisherville

Kenna, John, blacksmith, Con. RR , h. Main, opp. Abbott Downing factory

Quigley, Matthew, woolen dresser (rest same as 1872)

Regan, John, laborer, h. Church, Fisherville

1876

Duggan, Wiilliam, stone-cutter, house Church

Foley, Patrick, laborer, D. Arthur Brown, h. Spring n. Center, Fisherville

Quigley, Matthew, woolen dresser (rest same as 1872)

Regan, John, laborer, h. Church, Fisherville

1878

Foley, Patrick. laborer, (rest same as 1876)

Quigley, Matthew, overseer, (rest same as 1872)

Regan, John, laborer, h. Church, Fisherville

In the 1880 Concord city directory, they are all gone.  “They” meaning the early settlers of Clontarf and Tara.  Michael Donovan had left a few years earlier – his obituary states that he came to Swift County in 1875.  Michael Donovan’s obituary also says that a brother living in Concord, NH survives him.  His name was Daniel Donovan and he appears consistently in the directories I studied.

In fact, most of “our guys” left brothers behind in Concord.  I only  know about men since women were not listed unless they were widowed.  I believe John Kenna had a brother Martin (who mysteriously changed the spelling of his last name to Kennar at some point), John Regan had a brother Jeremiah (Jerry), and Patrick Foley had a brothers Andrew and John.

So, this means I could still have some cousins in the Concord area.  Funny I didn’t come across any while I was in town.  And Leo, if you are reading this, you could have some more Kenna cousins as well!  Not to mention those of you who claim Michael Donovan as an ancestor.

Something I am curious about…those who are occupied as stone-cutters only show up once or twice during this period of time.  I know that William Duggan and James Kent had several children each who were born in Concord.  Do you suppose their work kept them away from home, so they didn’t always appear in the directory?  Would they have had to be “on the road”, traveling from quarry to quarry all over New Hampshire?  There was a lot of stone to be cut – New Hampshire is known as the Granite State, after all.

That’s all for our detour to New Hampshire.  We will come back to Minnesota this week, with another page from McDermott’s ledger and maybe something about a First Communion class at St. Malachy.

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Arbuckles: 19th-century Starbucks?

Business was a little slow during the first week of October in 1883 at McDermott General Store.  I suppose the farmers were busy harvesting –  no time to drive into town and shop.

However, there were several  interesting transactions on October 1, 1883…

  • Patrick Conroy collected on 17-cents worth of butter he sold to Mr. McDermott.
  • James Kent stocked up on needles (.05), 4 yards cotton flannel (.52), one spool (.05), hose (.20), and 5 yards Irish Frase (?) (1.40).  Looks like someone was going to do some sewing!
  • Michael Shea (by Tom) purchased one pound of Japanese tea for 60-cents.
  • M. Chinnery sold almost 11 dozen eggs (10 and 9/12 dozen to be exact) for $1.60 and bought 3 lace front shirts for $6.00.
  • John Cusick bought, among other items, six pounds of Arbuckles’ Coffee for$1.00.
  • John Regan paid the balance on some kerosene oil (.12), and added a pair of sox (.50) and 3 pounds of oat meal (.15).

In one of the entries, granulated sugar is specified.  I wonder what the regular sugar that other people bought was? Brown sugar? Any insight into sugar in the 1880s?

Also, can anyone figure out what type of fabric James Kent bought?  It looks like Irish Frase…I have no idea about that.

The history of Arbuckles’  Coffee is fascinating.  It was around a long time before Starbucks, but I wonder about the similarity in the names?

I would love to hear your comments/ideas…

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This-n-That

Where did the month of September go?  I will announce the September drawing winner later this weekend.  Stay tuned!

Anne had some info on the Roll descendants, read her comment here.  She also had something to say about Jim Gosson here.  Make sure you read all of Anne’s comments…she has tons of great information!

I just received this obituary from Marlys at the Swift County Historical Society.  Mary (Owens) Gosson lived in Section 10 of Tara Township.

Swift County News June 16, 1921

Many of the pall bearers have been mentioned already as residents of section 10 and neighboring parts of Tara.  Neal Regan, James Duggan, William Kenna, David Kent, and John Green.  I am not sure if I mentioned this when I wrote previously about the Gosson family, but I remember Donald and Gerald Regan telling me that when their uncle Jim Duggan was a young man he had a crush on Margaret Gosson.  Jim Duggan never married.  I wonder if Margaret Gosson did?

I am headed to New Hampshire next week, and while there I plan to do a bit of research.  If your family came from Clontarf from New Hampshire and I have not mentioned them, please let me know.

Have a good weekend!

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