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


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.


Filed under Family Histories

9 responses to “Return to the Reardon Family

  1. Francis Reardon

    Irene was my aunt. Jim and Katie Reardon I remember well.

  2. Jim from Minneapolis

    Hi Francis….can you tell me any interesting stories or memories of Katie? I only met her a couple times very late in her life so any recollections of her Clontarf days would be cherished. Thanks.

  3. Jim from Minneapolis

    By the way, great post Aine, thank you very much! 🙂

  4. Anne Schirmer

    Great idea! More people/famiies should have their photo taken with the church in the background! I love it! Even after a baptism!….Speaking of babies, Ryan James Beyer was born recently and his mommie’s dad is the son of Marge (Reardon) Klucas.

  5. Francis Reardon

    Cracker McCarthy was a business man in DeGrafe Minn
    Pat was the blacksmith in Clontarf. Francis Reardon

  6. Pingback: Wedding Photo « 100 Years Ago Today

  7. Thank you for this interesting website. I have learned that my father’s family lived in Clontarf and/or Benson. My father, Leo Francis Reardon (3/2/1892 – 8/25/1965), was born in Shakopee. His parents were John and Mary Reardon; Mary’s maiden name was Condon, and her family was from Shakopee. My father also had a sister named Mary, who lived much of her life in Excelsior.
    Here is some information that I summarized in an introduction to my father’s novel manuscript:


    The author of this book, my father Leo F. Reardon, was a lawyer, newspaperman , oil tycoon, real estate developer, playwright, contest promoter, and political operative. He was born on a farm in Minnesota. The family later moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, and he graduated from the Jesuit­ run St. Boniface College with a degree in classics. His law degree was from the University of Montana. In addition to English, he was knowledgeable or fluent in several languages, including Latin, Greek, Spanish, German, and French (the language in which his college education had been conducted). Without formal instruction, he played three musical instruments – piano, guitar, and harmonica. As an adult, he lived in Montana, Texas, Florida, New York, Michigan, and Indiana and was married three times.

    Though my father wrote nonfiction books, newspaper stories and editorials, essays, fund-raising vehicles, and many plays (with one play produced on Broadway in 1934), he never had a novel formally published. He worked on a semi-autobiographical novel called “The Unbeliever” for about 40 years, rewriting it many times to include his latest life experiences. I read the manuscript as it existed in 1964, one year before he died. By then, he had written my oldest brother Mark into a World War II subplot and had also mentioned me (I did not come along until 1947, when he was 55.)

    Several years after I left home to be on my own, I asked my mother to send me the manuscript. She said that, in downsizing her household , she had thrown it away, along with a dozen of his plays. I suppressed my anger, feeling fortunate to at least have read it before it was lost, and I just let it go.

    In 1976, on a visit to the Library of Congress, I checked the card catalogue to see if it had a copy of my father’s history of the 1926 hurricane that devastated Miami, The Florida Hurricane and Disaster. They did have it, and when I flipped that card over, I saw a card under his name for The Unbeliever. Amazed because it had never been published, I called it down, and it turned out to be a hardbound, typeset book that was submitted to the Library of Congress for copyright purposes in 1928. The booklike form is probably explained by my father’s ownership of a publishing company in the 1920’s. We copied the book on the Library’s coin-operated photocopy machines.

    This is a copy of that copy. I hope that you enjoy this story. Only about eight copies exist, and fewer than eight people have read it. So it is like our private novel. I would be interested in any comments you might have about it.

    George Reardon Houston, Texas February 8, 2014

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