Daniel Family: Pioneer Clontarf Settlers

The Daniel family is an example of the settlers who came to Clontarf before the railroad and before it was even Clontarf.  These families were truly pioneers.

This entry in the Swift County History book has an interesting bit at the end.  I wonder if the French-speaking residents of Clontarf would travel to Benson to hear these sermons on Sundays? 

Isadore and Celemia Daniel

Isadore Daniel and his wife, Celemia arrived in the Clontarf area by oxcart in 1870 having moved here from Waverly, Minnesota, where many French-Canadians had settled earlier.  Homesteading on a farm in Hoff Township, Isadore and his wife would trade farm commodities such as eggs and milk for moccasins and beadwork made by the Indian families living along the Chippewa River.  Isadore and Celemia Daniel had eight children: Joseph, Elisabeth, Rosalie, Helen, Delma, Eugene, John, and Mena.  John married Clara Chevalier.

John and Clara Daniel had a daughter Adrance, who married George Gilbertson.  George and Adrance farmed in Hoff Township and in 1950 they opened the Clontarf Club which they operated for ten years.  The Clontarf Club is still in existence (in 1979).

It might be mentioned that the original members of the family of Isadore and Celemia, along with the many French-Canadians who moved into this area in the 1870’s were French-speaking.  For that reason the first priest in Clontarf in 1878 was also French in background, Father Oster, and when the first church was built in Benson by Father Oster in 1881, the sermons were principally in French.

I  bet Anne might have a few things to add about the Daniel family history…

And if you have anything to contribute, please comment on this post!


Filed under Clontarf, Early Settlers, Family Histories, French

3 responses to “Daniel Family: Pioneer Clontarf Settlers

  1. Anne Schirmer

    Johnny & Clara (Chevalier) Daniel raised 2 daughters – both adopted. Lucille was tall with red hair, and so, had the name Big Lu. She married John? Chamberlain and had 4 sons and a daughter she named Clara Mae. Lu died at Revillo, SD, but is buried at Clontarf. Lu’s sister Laura “Adrance” or “Addie” married George Gilbertson. They had no children.
    George and Patrick Regan opened the Clontarf Club at the site where Pat had operated a garage/blacksmith shop just east of the tracks in Clontarf. Now THERE’S a topic! The CLONTARF CLUB.
    Mike Langan told me last year that if he could have one wish, it would be to go back in time to the era of the Clontarf Club in its heyday – 1950-1969….
    I wonder if people have pictures of the interior of the Clontarf Club? There was a lot of dancing and dining going on there…it was a Mecca!

    • Do you have any pictures of the Clontarf Club, interior or exterior? That is a great idea for a blog post! I remember Donald and Gerald Regan telling us about how one of their uncles, Jack Regan, came back to town and helped Pat work on the place to turn it into the Clontarf Club. I agree with Mike – it would have been something to see it in its hey day!

  2. dennis daniels

    My grandfather, Ernest (Cush) Daniel and my grandmother, Leah (Chevalier) Daniel had eight children: Melvin (my dad), Edwin, Leonard, Lawrence, Pearl, Isabel, Gloria, and Berniece. My uncle Lenny is still alive and sharp as a tack. He may have some of the answers for which you are looking. I looked at the alter boys from 1920, and none of them look like my dad.

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