My apologies for the lack of new content on the blog over the past few weeks. I will spare you any excuses and get right to some Clontarf history…
Anne has been learning a lot about the Clontarf Club and adding the new information in the comments of the Clontarf Club page. Click here and scroll down to read the comments. Hopefully we can compile all of these bits into a narrative telling the story of the Club. Stay tuned!
Recently we have had some visitors to the blog with ties to the Fennell family of Clontarf. Anne Schirmer shared the following photograph with me from her Clontarf genealogy collection:
Thomas and Catherine (Curtis) Fennell Family - 1922
Thomas Fennell was the son of Francis and Armeline Goulet, who were early settlers in the Clontarf area. Thomas was the youngest of eight children born to Francis and Armeline in Glencoe, Minnesota. Who are the members of this handsome family? I am unable to identify them precisely in the photo, but I will share the information I have on the children.
In no particular order (but could be roughly by age)…
- Eva “Evie” (1901-1976), married Clarence Ascheman.
- Margaret, married Henry Peerboom.
- Joseph, married Eleanor Bouta.
- Agnes “Toots”, married William Wallace.
- Martha, became Sister Marilyn, a Sister of Saint Joseph.
- Louis “Buster”, (1909-1987), lived in Benson.
- Thomas Anthony.
Please let us know if you are able to fill in any of the blanks. I will share the entire Fennell Family history from the Clontarf anniversary booklet in an upcoming post.
I wonder if the Dick Fennell who gave my grandpa John Regan the card pictured below is the same Richard Fennell, son of Thomas and Catherine? It’s a cute Valentine…
I wonder what happened to Dick Fennell? Share if you know!
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:
August 4, 1929
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?
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!
And I think we are both saying the same thing: boe-tay. I am not clear on who is who in the Bouta/Boutain family. I read up on the families in the anniversary booklet from 1978, and I quickly became more confused than ever over the spelling. For example, there is an entry on Edward Boutain, Sr. and his wife Belsimire Mercier. Then the next entry is for Thomas Bouta, “the son of Edward Bouta and Belsimire Mercier…”
But we are going to begin with another Bouta history from the Clontarf anniversary book…
Thomas Bouta – Jane Clint Family History
Thomas Bouta (sometimes spelled Boutin) arrived in the Clontarf area from the Province of Quebec, Canada in 1870. His coming here coincided with the completion of the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad as far as Benson in that year.
Thomas married Jane Clint whose father was at one time foreman and later roadmaster of the Benson division of the railroad. Thomas was foreman of the grading crew of the railroad and also helped construct the first section house in Clontarf. A Catholic service was held in this section house in 1871 by a Father McDermott (no relation to the Dominic McDermotts). The first child born to Thomas and Jane Bouta on July 10, 1876 was the first “Clontarf” child baptized in the DeGraff Catholic Church on July 28, 1876. The church was then named Our Lady of Kildare (later to be changed to St. Bridget’s). Margaret and Mrs. Oscar (Florence) Arne are the two remaining members of the Thomas and Jane Bouta Family.
Rose Bouta (a child of Thomas and Jane Bouta) married Edmund Columbe in 1898 and they had twelve children of whom five are still living viz. Edward, Rosella, Florence, Margaret who became Sister Wilma of the Order of St. Joseph, and Emma.
I wasn’t aware that there would have been a section house in Clontarf as early as 1871 – that’s even before Randall Station, the precursor to Clontarf, was established.
Just what I need, this story throws another spelling into the mix: Boutin!
I would love to hear any comments, insights, or anecdotes about the Bouta(in) names and families. Please leave a comment!
Tomorrow we will look at the hotelier Edward Boutain, Sr.