Tag Archives: McDermott

Tara Township Roots: The Shea-Dailey Family

I received a comment a couple of weeks ago from Ian, who is a descendant of Margaret Shea and Thomas Dailey.  He was curious if I had any information on these families.  Here’s an excerpt from his comment:

I was wondering if in your research you have come across any information on residents in Clontarf by the name of Shea or Dailey.

I am a descendant of Thomas E. Dailey, (born July 1, 1854 ?; died in December 1925 in Great Falls, Montana), married Margaret Shea at Clontarf, Swift county, MN in 1882.

I do not know however if my ancestors lived in Clontarf or in Benson (or somewhere in between). We have an album of photos dating from the end of the 19th century. Many are studio photos from the R. E. Brandmo photo studio in Benson. Judging by the quality, number and their clothing, they were relatively well to do.

It appears that Thomas and Margaret had a number of children in Benson/Clontarf area before moving to Montana; Francis Veronica (my great grandmother, married Patrick Kenny and moved to Montana as a school teacher), as well as Agnes, Michael, Thomas, Alice and Mary Ellen.

I recognize the Shea family name from the plat maps in Tara Township, and I’ve encountered Michael Shea in a couple of places – notably the Clontarf Township records and the McDermott General Store Ledger.  The 1880 US Federal Census indicates that Maggie Shea, age 21, is living with her parents (Michael and Alice) and siblings (James-20, Thomas-19, Nancy-16, John-15, Mary-13, and Alice-9.)

The first six of the Shea children were born in Wisconsin, and in 1860, the young Shea family was living in Alto, Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin.  The family includes James Shea, aged 70 – presumably Michael’s father (Ian – your great-great-great grandfather?)

In 1880 Thomas Dailey lived in Marysland Township (south of Tara) with his younger sister Julia; Thomas farmed and Julia kept house.  Margaret Shea and Thomas Dailey were married at St. Malachy Catholic Church on August 30, 1882.  The witnesses were John Cahill and Mary Dailey.  In 1900 the Dailey family lived in Benson, Minnesota where Thomas Dailey’s occupation is listed as “fire insurance.”  By 1910, the family has moved to Great Falls, Montana.

On the 1886 Tara plat map, , the Shea family owned the south half of section 32.  Michael, the father had 80 acres, son James another 80, and son Thomas, 160.  On the 1902 map, no Shea names are found, but Margaret Dailey’s name appears on the 80 acres once belonging to her father.

Please share any information you might have on these families…feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly by sending  an email to clontarfhistory@gmail.com.

A couple of messages:

  • Ian – I would check with the Swift County Museum for more information on the Dailey family.  Let me know if you would like copies of census showing the Shea and Dailey families – I can send them to you if you don’t have them.
  • Margo – remember when you asked me about the Shea family and possible connections to the McGeary family…were they in Fon du Lac county in Wisconsin?
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It’s 1884 at the McDermott General Store

Judging from the records I have, business was anything but brisk in January 1884 at the McDermott General Store in Clontarf.  It stands to reason…January on the prairie could be (and is) brutal.  Most people came in to pick up the essentials: coffee, tea, oil, and tobacco.  There were a few purchases that stood out to me…

January 8th

  • James Flynn bought a buffalo robe ($4.50) and a cap ($3.30)
  • One pair overshoes ($1.75) was charged to Frank McMahon’s account by Tim. Cain

January 29th

  • Rev. Anatole Oster purchased 4# F.G. tobacco ($1.00)
  • William Purcell picked up 1 candy pail (.20)

January 31st

  • Frank McMahon parted with .60 for 1# wax candles
  • Charles Maguire purchased 1 bottle peppernuts (.25) and 1/2# tobacco (.15)

There were a couple of interesting transactions that could relate to some type of building or works project in Tara Township.  Patrick Foley, who was Tara Township clerk, was given $40.00 by a Swift County order.  On the same day, James Conaty was given $40.00 cash.  I know that Simon Conaty was responsible for building the current  St. Malachy’s in the 1890s, but I don’t know anything about James.  Any ideas?

 

On January 24th Tom and Jackie Doherty left the following comment.  I wanted to post it here to make sure everyone saw it, even if you don’t read the comments.  Enjoy!

In the 50′s and 60′s, everyone in attendance eagerly awaited the big event. It usually happened about midnight. Earl Gilbertson and Otto Sluter (sp?) would dance cheek to cheek on the dance floor. Any newcomer’s would really “gawk” at the scene. Afterwards, the two men would get lots of grins, laughs and applause. Earl’s wife was Jeannie Christopherson (Ma Pete’s daughter).
Also regarding the Clontarf Club – Before George Gilbertson sold to Lyle Kesting, there was a card room in the back part of the club. They had poker games that would last for days non stop. Some players would go for a day or two and then take a break and then come back. George was said to have played 4 straight days before he bit the dust one time.
Also – George used to tell me about the time my uncle Andy Doherty, went broke playing poker there. George then gave Andy some money to go and get him and the rest of the players something to eat. Andy took the $20.00 and drank most of the money up. He returned to the game with the food that he had enough money to buy – a box of animal crackers. George used to laugh so hard telling the story, he would be crying.

Thanks for a great story, Tom and Jackie!

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Roy Perrizo: 41 years as Clontarf Postmaster

Since we are on the topic of the Perrizo family, let’s take a look at Roy Perrizo’s (son of Bruno and Melinda) story from the 100th anniversary booklet:

Prior to entering the U.S. Army in 1918, Roy Perrizo was a rural mail carrier at Clontarf. After he retired from service. he was employed at the Farmers State Bank of Clontarf. In 1925 he purchased the McDermott General Store and operated it until May of 1964 when he sold it to Victor Haroldstad who sold the business to Robert Fennell in 1965.  Roy Perrizo and Winifred McDermott were married in 1926 and in 1928 Winifred McDermott Perrizo died. Roy Perrizo was postmaster of Clontarf from 1926 until 1963 when he retired. He was a charter member of the American Legion, the V.F.W. organization, and the Benson Golf Club. He became a member of the Knights of Columbus in 1916.

In 1931 he married Rose Hughes of Tara Township. They had three sons, Richard, Burton, and Robert. Mrs. Rose Perrizo lives in Clontarf at the present time (1978).

Mark Becker, who so generously shared some Perrizo family photographs (click here to view the photographs), told me that his mother (Winifred Fiala Becker) was particularly fond of Uncle Roy and Aunt Rose and has warm memories of her Perrizo cousins.  Mark recalled many trips to Clontarf to visit Aunt Rose.

Next time we will take a look at Mr. McDermott’s ledger…

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Snow, snow, snow…

We are in the midst of a blizzard here in Saint Paul, and throughout Minnesota.  I have lost count of how many inches of snow have fallen and how many miles per hour the wind is blowing.  At this point, I don’t even care.  I am safe and warm in my condominium with a batch of chili on the stove and a pan of johnny-cake just out of the oven.

Swift County is under a blizzard warning, and I can’t even imagine what it must be like out on the prairie.  I don’t know how you all do it today, much less how our great-great-grandparents who settled in Clontarf and Tara Townships in the late 1870s managed.  I know there are some fantastic stories and legends out there about Clontarf residents coping with the treacherous winter weather.  Please share these stories – leave a comment!

On the third of December 1883, Mr. McDermott made a special delivery to a Mrs. Forster (or Fortser?) – I don’t recognize the name.  Any ideas about who she was?  At any rate, she had quite an order…

  • 1 Mallard coat ($3.50)
  • 67 yards cotton flannel (($1.04)
  • 10 yards shirting ($1.25)
  • 4 spools (.20)
  • 5 rolls batten ((.85)
  • 1 shovel (($1.00)
  • 1 skirt (.75)
  • coffee (.50)
  • baking powder (.20)
  • sugar (.50)
  • prunes (.25)
  • kerosene oil (.08)
  • D apples (.25)
  • coffee pot (.40)
  • arithmetic (.50)
  • needles (.03)
  • 2 copy books (.20)
  • comb (.25)
  • soap (.25)

That’s quite a list!  Not sure what “D apples” are…dried apples?  This list looks a bit like it is for someone who is going to stay in for a while.  Maybe a blizzard was on its way to Clontarf?

Stay warm.

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Odds and Ends

I would like to share some feedback I have received on a couple of recent posts:

First Communion Photo

Jackie Byrne Doherty and Alice Molony Bird have been pondering the 1929 First Communion photo I posted on October 20th.  They have identified Alice’s father, Leo Molony, as the altar boy holding the cross, and they believe the other altar boy to be Leo Cameron.

Jackie and Alice don’t think this photo is of the 1929 First Communion, because they are unable to locate Kathryn Molony (name misspelled on Church listing) – they have a photo of Kit’s First Communion, so they know who they are looking for!

Please take another look at the photo (click on it to enlarge) and let me know if you recognize any of the children…maybe we can get the correct date.  I was wondering if this could this be a Confirmation group? That would make a bit more sense for the number of people in the group, since by the 1920s, the First Communion groups were becoming rather small.  In 1928, there were only eight: Donal Regan, Edward Daniel, Rose Reardon, Catherine Perrizo, Dorothy Langan, Anna Mae Mikkelson, Bernice Daniel, and Dorothy Hargreaves.  The next time there was a First Communion at St. Malachy’s was 1931 when 38 children were in the group.  Take a look and see if anyone looks familiar…

McDermott General Store Ledger

Margo Ascheman was doing exactly what I do when I look at the pages from the store ledger – trying to match people up to her family tree.

She was interested in the family of frequent shopper Francis McMahon.  He was my great-great-grandfather who came from County Fermanagh, Ireland in 1856.  He settled initially in the Red Wing, MN area, but married Catherine McAndrew from the Ellsworth, WI area.  There were some McMahons in Wisconsin.  Margo’s great-grandfather McGeary married Bridget McMaha(o)n in Monchas, Wisconsin.  Not sure if that is near Ellsworth…need to do a bit more digging on that…

Does anyone have any information on the Galvin family?  Margo, where did Maurice and his wife live?

Now for something new…

I was looking through some obituary clippings I had received from Marlys at the Swift County Historical Society, and I found this tidbit (sorry it is crooked):

Swift County News May 18, 1922

Maybe Margo can tell us how this McGeary is related to her?  Sad news from the Gossons as well.

No one guessed who bought the broom suspiciously close to Halloween in 1883.  You still have time to compile some entries in the September/October drawing.  Every comment is an entry in a drawing for an official Clontarf Prairie Pub T-Shirt!  There will be two winners announced early next week…

Happy Halloween everyone!  Oh, if you have any memories from Halloween in Clontarf, share them!  I bet you guys had  some tricks up your sleeves…

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McDermott General Store: Late October Business

During the last week in October of 1883, the McDermott General Store was busy with customers settling their tabs and selling butter (and other products) for credit on their accounts.  For instance, on October 6th Patrick Langan sold a 211-pound hog @ 6-cents a pound.

I gather hunting was on the minds of several Tara residents, including Frank McMahon who purchased 2# shot (20-cents) and 1/2# powder (20-cents) and Tim Galvin who picked up 1 box caps (10-cents) and 1/4# powder (10-cents).

In preparation for the cold season fast approaching, people bought lots of yarn, no doubt to create scarves, hats, and mittens to ward off the winter chill.  More kerosene oil was purchased as well, to shed a little light on the long, dark evenings spent knitting or crocheting.  Thomas O’Brien would stay warm that winter in his 2 suits of scarlet underwear.  They better have kept him warm, he paid$4.75 for the two pairs!

The biggest ticket item sold that week was a $7.00 shawl purchased by Stephan Owens on October 23rd.  He also received some sort of “cash advance” from Mr. McDermott as “cash – $2” was added to his total bill.  I wonder what that could have been for?

With Halloween just around the corner, I had hoped to see some purchases that would indicate a celebration of some sort.  Maybe the peck of apples John Maher bought for 50-cents were for a rousing game of bobbing for apples?  There was one suspicious purchase made toward the end of the month.  In order to protect the good names of her descendants I will keep her identity to myself, but it’s interesting that Mrs. X just had to have a new broom on October 29th…

Psst…I left a clue to the woman’s identity…care to guess?

 

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A Path to Tara Township

 

State House - Concord, New Hampshire (1816)

 

The Patrick Foley family lived just a few blocks from the New Hampshire State House in the Fisherville neighborhood of Concord during the 1870s.  This was before the family settled in Tara Township.  The four Foley children – Timothy, Margaret, Mary, and John – were baptized at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Concord.  Patrick worked at the Concord Axle Works, as well as in a machine shop.

 

St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church Concord, NH

 

Patrick Foley was able to read and write English, which were unique skills among immigrants from County Cork, Ireland during this period (he immigrated in 1864.)  I knew that Patrick had served as a Tara Township clerk for many years, and I learned in Concord last week that Patrick served as secretary and president for both the St. Patrick’s Benevolent Society and the Catholic Temperance League.

By the 1886 Tara plat map, Patrick Foley owned 80 acres in section 16 and 240 more in section 21.  Matthew Quigley, who also came from Concord, was sandwiched  in between, owning 80 acres in the northeast quarter of section 21.

When Patrick Foley died in October 1913, his pallbearers were, according to his obituary, “Thomas O’Brien, James Flemming, D.F. McDermott, J.L. Doherty, John Gossen, and James O’Donnell.”  All men were either Tara neighbors or fellow pioneer settlers in Clontarf.

I will have more to say about other Tara pioneers who came from Concord once I sort through my research!

 

Photographs taken by Regan McCormack

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