Monthly Archives: April 2011

Happy 70th Anniversary!

Agnes McMahon and John W. Regan Wedding (April 26, 1941)


My grandparents Agnes McMahon and John W. Regan were married seventy years ago today.  While they were married at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Minneapolis, Agnes and John were both born in Tara Township in 1913.  Agnes and her family moved to Benson in 1918, and by 1924 the family was in Minneapolis. John lived in Clontarf until the mid-1930s.

Agnes and John met over a game of cribbage at Tim and Bridget (Bid) Foley’s Minneapolis home in 1939.  Agnes was Tim and Bid’s niece, and John was friends with their son John Foley (best man in the wedding photo above.)  Apparently, Uncle Tim excused himself from the game and asked Agnes to take his place.  From what I have heard of my grandpa and what I know of my grandma’s competitive streak, I imagine it was quite a game!

Agnes McMahon and John Foley were “double cousins” – Tom McMahon married Mary Foley and Tom’s sister Bridget McMahon married Mary’s brother Tim Foley.  The McMahon family were early settlers of Tara Township, Francis McMahon filed his homestead claim in 1876.  The Foleys settled about a mile away from the McMahons in Tara in 1879.  I have written about the Foley-Regan connectio…click here to read about it. 

My grandma was young when she left Clontarf (not yet six-years-old), but her memories and family stories are the foundation of my interest in the history of the town and community of Clontarf.  My grandma was proud of her Irish roots and her pioneer grandparents, and she passed that spirit on to her children and grandchildren.

Not only is this my grandparents’ 70th wedding anniversary, my grandma’s funeral was seven years ago today.  I miss our chats about the family and listening to her stories about the “old days”, but I consider myself very lucky to have had many years with her, soaking it all in. 

By the way, the bridal party consisted of Margaret McMahon Nelson (Agnes’ sister), John Foley, and Dody Fuchs (Agnes’ niece who grew up in Benson.)

Note to Margo: Still haven’t found a link between your Bridget McMahon and my relativess, but I am still digging.

Exciting News!!!!

The drawing is back! The more comments you leave, the greater your chances of winning an official Clontarf Prairie Pub T-Shirt!

Anne rescued the last of the discontinued style…limited sizes available, but these are collector’s items!

Drawings will be held each month, the next one to be at the end of April.

Comment away!


Filed under Clontarf

Going, Going, Gone!

Conlogue Family (courtesy of Leo Holl)

Ellen Kenna married Michael Conlogue on February 16, 1886 at St. Malachy Catholic Church in Clontarf.  Ellen was born in Concord, New Hampshire on June 2, 1863 and moved to Tara Township with her family in the late 1870s.  Michael Conlogue was born in Ontario, Canada in 1856 and came to America in 1884.

Ellen and Michael met while Ellen was staying with an aunt in Lakeville, Minnesota, studying to be a teacher.  The couple purchased a farm in the northwest quarter of section 14 in Tara Township, and they farmed there until Michael’s death in 1922.  Ellen sold the farm in 1923.  The following auction notice appeared in the Swift County Monitor.  It is fascinating to see the items for sale at this auction – the notice serves as an inventory of the contents of the Conlogue farm, but we can assume many other farms in the area would have had similar components.

Conlogue Auction, Tara Township 1923 (courtesy of Leo Holl)

Click to enlarge

Thanks to Leo Holl, a descendant of Michael Conlogue and Ellen Kenna, for providing the photo and auction notice!


Filed under Family Histories, Tara Township