Clontarf Today

Every week Anne shares what’s happening in Clontarf – comings and goings, news and notes, bits and pieces.  Think of it as an old-fashioned newspaper column…

July 10, 2011     

The Annual St. Malachy Summerfest!

September 9, 2010

  • Anne will be representing Swift County at the National Association of Towns & Township’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. next week! Anne has been township clerk of Clontarf for ten years.  Congratulations!!!!!
  • Virgil Thielke, 72, passed away earlier this week.  His funeral is Friday at Our Redeemer’s Luthern Church.  Obit was in West Central Tribune Thursday.  He was mayor, chief of police, and a firefighter when he lived in Clontarf.

August 19, 2010

Scroll down to the comments to read Anne’s news on recent Clontarf events!

July 29, 2010

  • There is a crane in Clontarf today to assemble a new leg tower to Johnson Fertilizer.  Anne is there right now taking pictures…
  • A great-grandson of Simon Conaty was in town on Monday to check out his great-grandfather’s handiwork.  Simon Conaty was the head carpenter on the building of the present-day St. Malachy Catholic Church in 1896.  Great-grandson appreciated the fine state of the Church.     (more to follow on this story…)

July 22, 2010

  • This past week three ladies vacationing in Starbuck stopped in at Clontarf to see if they could find information on Conlogue relatives.  Unfortunately, they didn’t run into Anne, but Scott and Marilyn directed them to the Prairie Pub for the Wednesday special.  If you are out there ladies, read this, and get in touch with us!
  • Last summer, three Kelley siblings visited Clontarf seeking information on Gilronans and Kelleys.  I wonder if this is one of their Kelley ancestors?
  • Dave & Deann (Chamberlain) Johnson will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on August 15th at the Parish Hall in Clontarf, 1-4pm.

37 responses to “Clontarf Today

  1. Anne Schirmer

    Johnson’s 50 Anniversary Party was wonderful, with lots of photos on display, a flat screen tv with photos and some classy music in the background….Lovely day.
    Cian (KEE-an) Wayne Klucas was born to Amanda (Kent) and Nathan Klucas Tues. 8/17/2010 at 8 pm at Rice Hospital at Willmar, MN. Grandparents are Tammy Ascheman, Jon & Caroline Klucas, & Keith & Marlene (Brandt) Kent, all from Clontarf, MN.
    Living greatgrandparents are Alice Klucas, Dorothy Kent, and Clara Brandt. This is the second grandchild for Keith & Marlene in 6 months, and the 3rd for Jon & Caroline. Amanda’s brother, Charlie & wife Ani (Vantassel) Kent had son Jax Corrigan Kent March 1. Nathan’s sister, Dawn & hubby Aaron Johnson, had a boy, Roderick Johnson, and Nathan’s step-sister Beth Deitchman and Justin Stelzer had a boy, Arnie.

  2. Anne Schirmer

    Happy New Year! We’ve had a typical December – Snow, with sleet & rain, and then a slight thaw, and what do you know – more SNOW! Now with the new year we get some really really cold temps. . I don’t know how the pioneers ever survived this weather…
    The Prairie Pub at Clontarf had a special event on Jan. 1, (Sat.) 2011. It had entertainment that started at 2 pm (old time music) that was family entertainment, and then later the music changed to modern music. Many bars were closed for the new year after hosting New Year’s Eve parties, so some of the other bar owners were glad to come to Clontarf! It was a good event, as I hear. (I had to work my shift in Benson.)
    The newest Clontarfling was born January 2 in Willmar to Wade & Merrilee Ascheman! His name is Joseph Donald. “Joey”. Congratulation Wayne & Donna (Klucas) Ascheman on getting a new grandchild!
    Merrilee is a cousin to Chad Ness. Chad married Amanda Klucas, Bill & Char’s daugher, and Chad & Amanda live in Clontarf with their kids.
    The first wedding of a Clontarf connection will be Corey Fennell, Steve & Rhonda’s son. Steve’s dad, Bob, turned 80 in 2010. Corey’s wedding won’t be here in the area, but Mpls. ain’t that far! We wish Corey & Greta the best!
    I met another of Bob Fennell’s grandkids Fri. She came to work at Meadowlane as an CNA. We hadn’t met before, but I recognized her name when they told me who the new employee was for night shift. So then, I even explained to her how she and I are connected (not related by blood, but by marriage). The I explained how she was related to some of the residents! Clara Brandt said one day about people in Clontarf “Throw a stone at one and you hit them ALL”.

  3. Anne Schirmer

    If you have been watching ANY weather patterns on tv, you will see we here at Clontarf, MN, have had ENOUGH snow, the last blizzard being March 12, so we are ready for the warmer temps, even though it means flooding! More so the Benson residents that live near the golf course… Check for articles on that topic…
    There is a new home under construction in the city limits of Clontarf!
    It is just west of town on County Road 22…we are all anxious to see it “come to life.” Construction just started the end of Feb. during a brief warm spell (3 days).

  4. Anne Schirmer

    Mulligan Stew will be served at the Prairie Pub in Clontarf March 17.
    Decorations are going up. Fine brews are on tap.
    It’s going to be a grand day!
    Parade in Benson Saturday starting at 3 pm. Should be fine weather for a parade, too.
    And another gathering of the Irish & Irish wannabees at the Prairie Pub in Clontarf.

  5. Anne Schirmer

    Step into the Prairie Pub and read the names on the board for each day of the month.. the new house under construction is roughly 1/2 done. looks great! 3 rummage sales Fri & Sat.! Snow is nearly gone! yeah!

  6. Anne Schirmer

    Feb. 14, 2011 Agnes (Ascheman) Schirmer was crowned Valentine Queen at GoldenLiving Center – Meadowlane in Benson, MN. She looked lovely in a red top, gold cape, tiara, jeweled septer, and red roses. Her sisters-in-law Berniece (Sherman) Ascheman and Evelyn (Sherman) Ascheman were there with the others who came for the event.

  7. Anne Schirmer

    “Jack” Ascheman passed away Fri. early morning April 8,2011. He is the oldest of Alfred & Vina (Newell) Ascheman.

  8. Anne Schirmer

    Ellard Chamberlain, Jr., passed away Monday, April 11 at 2:15 am at his home. see obit at or
    We miss his presence in our community. Fr. Bill Sprigler did a wonderful eulogy, and John Chamberlain, the 3rd son, gave a memorable “report” of why “Everybody loved Ellard”. In the beginning of his “report” he said he himself was “Raymond” in the family because he lived next door to his mother & father for 25 years! Then he changed it over to “Every loved Ellard”.

  9. Anne Schirmer

    Scott at the Prairie Pub in Clontarf, has started a new event this winter. It is an Acoustic Event – bring your guitar, and show off a little – or a lot! He has 2 of these events and I hear it has been a hoot. The next one is scheduled for April 30.
    There is a Hog Wild Ride scheduled for Sunday on Memorial Day weekend. This will be the 3rd annual ride. They depart from the Prairie Pub at 11 am and return about 4-5 pm and have a feed and charity auction with proceeds going to the Clontarf Fire Dept.

  10. Anne Schirmer

    Dorothy Kent, 87, passed away in her residence at West Wood Manor at Benson on Sunday, May 15. Obituary in the West Central Tribune ( and
    Dorothy is survived by all her children: Keith, Bruce, Scott, Kathy, Debbie, Barb, Kevin, & Karen; and all their spouses and all the grand and greatgrand children. Preceeded in death by her husband, Chuck.

  11. Anne Schirmer

    Memorial Day was observed in the traditional manner at the cemetery at Clontarf today with children doing recitations, band members playing music, and the military (National Guard) giving a 21 gun salute. Our local veterans marched with the Fire Truck leading the ensemble of participants to the cemetery from the Hall. Afterwards everyone was invited to the Hall for rolls and coffee and fellowship. The children were treated at the Fire Hall to hotdogs and pop. Thanks to everyone who comes to our annual event at Clontarf on Memorial Day.

  12. Anne Schirmer

    Mason Schirmer of Clontarf and Lisa Mehr of Richmond were married at Rockville’s Catholic Church – St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception – May 21, 2011. The presider at the service was Fr. Steven Verhelst of Willmar, formerly pastor at the Catholic Area Parishes (Benson, Clontarf, DeGraff, Murdock, & oratory at Danvers). Mason used to be a mass server for Fr. Steve at Clontarf. Mason & Lisa will live at Cottonwood, MN, were Mason is city clerk/administrator since March 2011. Congratulations!

  13. Anne Schirmer

    The Catholic Area Parishes in the area of Benson, Clontarf, DeGraff, Murdock, and Danvers was titled the Area Faith Community of St. Isadore, the Farmer in March or so of 2011 by the Bishop at New Ulm, MN.

    • Anne Schirmer

      Correction. That name “change” occurred six months or so before April 2011…about Oct. 1, 2010.

  14. Anne Schirmer

    Dan Birhanzel married a gal in the cities June 11. He is the son of Lonny Birhanzel, formerly of Tara Twp. (graduated from Benson High School 1966.). I think his folks were Charley & Isabelle (Palmer) Birhanzel. Ron & Laurie Kent went to the wedding and tool Ron’s mother, Cecelia (Becker) Kent, with them. Cele had her 91st birthday in April. You GO, girl! Cele & Clara (Bouta) Brandt have been known to fish off the dock at the local lakes…They are lawn neighbors here in Clontarf…

  15. Anne Schirmer

    St. Malachy Church at Clontarf will have it’s Summerfest July 10, 2011….

  16. Anne Schirmer

    Summerfest here in Clontarf used to be a big turkey dinner with all the fixings and games galore (including BINGO under the tent) and would be a 6 hour event with an auction. But those type of events require a lot of man power (people power), and our congregation is dwindling. This is now billed as a fund raiser. The congregation members supply a host of hot dishes and cold salads and desserts for those who attend. There will be a silent auction on those items supplied by the members (handcrafted, restored, gift certificates, etc) My supplied item(s) will be photos (mostly 8X 10s) of local farm sites available for purchase/donation. They make great gifts!

  17. Anne Schirmer

    The Swift County Fair held at Appleton, MN, every year was Aug. 17-21, 2011. Lots of 4-H members were busy getting their projects completed for judging the 17th. The local paper had a few pictures. Hopefully, we’ll see more in next week’s paper. Today (25th) is the monthly meeting for the Swift County Historical Society at 2pm.

  18. Anne Schirmer

    Winifred “Wini” Fiala Becker passed away. Read obit at She was daughter of of Belle Perrizo and Frank Fiala (only child). Wonderfully written obit, with a hint of humor, I believe. No one else was ever “crowned” Miss Hay Bale! Any no other obituary I’ve ever read mentioned Clontarf 7 times. I’m sorry I never met the lady. Belle had a sister named Winifred, so now I understand why I was confused on a few things,,,

  19. Anne Schirmer

    Ted Kellner’s wife, Arlene (Larson) passed away. Ted had attended school in Clontarf. Leon Fernholz, a brother of Theresa Doyle, passed away. Also Harold Ziegler, Mike Collins, and Helen (Jensen) Hargreaves..
    Helen was married to “Bill” Willard Hargreaves. Coincidentally, on a Fri. night a couple weeks ago, the Hargreaves homeplace house (vacant) burned and fire departments were called. That location is east of Clontarf on 22, then first left after you cross the Chippewa River. second place on the left. A grove remains, and the charred structure (2 story home built of textured cement block – not bricks – cement block! Aggie thought Leland “Lee” and Rose (Fennell) Hargreaves built it….

    • Thanks, Anne, for keeping us posted. It is sad to see so many passing on. Is it usually arson when vacant places burn down? That has happened a few times this month here in the city. Are you ready for December? Talk soon – Aine

  20. Anne Schirmer

    Louise Byrne Bouta passed away Dec.4, 2011, in the cities. See obit in
    Baby news: Dawn (Klucas) & Aaron Johnson had a new baby: Tori Alice Johnson
    Baby news: Corey Fennell & wife have a new little tax deduction, too.
    Baby Steven has 3 middle names. They are the first names of the soldiers that were with Corey’s group when they died in Iraq. Proud Great Grandpa Bob Fennell gave the news at coffee Fri. after Mass.

  21. Anne Schirmer

    Mason Schirmer has a new job. He is city clerk/treasurer at Freeport, MN. A retired gentleman came into his office and commented on his name: “Schirmer…are you related to those in Sauk Center?” No. “Are you related to those at Clontarf?”…Yesss. “Do you know Anne Schirmer?” Yesss…How do you know these names? To which he responded “Oh, I’m from that area. My folks were Woody & Annabelle Andersen – I’m the oldest. My sisters were friends of the Ollendick girls. Kathy w/Lucy. Judy w/Rita. Carol w/Anne”….needless to say, Mason was quite surprised… (I think he mentioned he had visited the clontarfhistory blog.)

  22. Stacey Boutain

    This is so much fun to read. Thanks for keeping things posted. I will keep checking the blog. Clontarf is a great place to have grown up. Happy 2014!!

    • Anne Schirmer

      Thanks, Stacey! My brother, Peter Ollendick, died Dec. 27, 2013 and his funeral was Jan 4, 2014. My granddaughter, Hillary Rose Schirmer, was born Feb. 12, 2014. Then my sister, Rita (Olendick) Schmidt died from cancer March 4, 2014. A Memorial was held at St. Malachy Church for them May 10 and their ashes buried at the cemetery here, so my year was a mix of old memories and new joy. I hope to re-energize this blog about Clontarf because people like you are getting on board! GREAT!

  23. Desi

    This site is awesome 🙂

  24. Anne Schirmer

    Thanks, Desi! I’ve had a lot on my plate in 2014, but Clontarf and my friends here have my heart – even tho I’m not one bit Irish! I don’t know how to post pictures. Annie McCormack (in the cities) has been doing that. Her mother is Eileen (Regan) McCormack. They have been to Clontarf 10 times, I swear, collecting information and sharing pictures. It’s been fabulous!

  25. Barbara A. O'Connor

    I am a decendant of Michael and Anne Maloney, parents of Margaret, Bridget (or Agnes) William (born in Clontarf app 1880, Peter and Michael. Michael was buried in Clontarf as an infant. I cannot find any information on them and have looked everywhere. Can you help me? I have some data and can relay it to you if you request it. Thank you very much. Barbara O’Connor.

    • Anne Schirmer

      Thank you, Barbara. So sorry for the delay. I spend too much time on FB! Can you give me dates you referred to? Have you visited Clontarf? Where are you living? Where have you gotten information? Swift Co Historical Society? St. Malachy is now a part pf St. Isadore Area Faith Community, with the office in Benson. Now all six parishes in Swift County are part of that AFC.

      • Anne Schirmer

        I noticed too late! Sorry for the delay. I got away from this for quite a while. Please contact me on FB (my icon is a pink elephant) or else I wil look for ore from you here later this year,,,,

  26. Shelley Cameron

    Ann I just discovered this today!! How awesome this is for you to do….I know it takes work so many thanks!! Shelley Cameron

  27. Anne Schirmer

    Hey Shelley! Nice ro see you comment here! Clontarf is getting a new fire Hall! The shell is up, 3 doors empty onto Clontarf’s main stret ( Grace Ave.) so now we wait for the electrician to do his work. We have a lovely new door on the Hall. Johnson Fertilizer has a new name: Glacial Plains. Pretty big operation!

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