Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - James Keefe - Civil War Vet of Clinton County, Ohio

This may be the most informative obituary I've ever seen for anyone connected to my family! The obituary was published in the Clinton County Democrat in Wilmington Ohio on January 13, 1916. James Keefe's mother was Johanna Creedon and his brother Timothy Keefe was the executor of my 3x great-grandfather Patrick Creedan's will. While I don't know the exact relation to my Creeden family, the two families seemed close and the Keefes were mentioned as being related to Patrick Creedan's daughter Julia in her obituary published in 1918.

On last Friday morning, January 1916, was written the final chapter in the life of one of our foremost citizens, when we consigned to their last resting place the mortal remains of a man, who, during a long and useful lifetime, was loyal to his God, his country and his fellow men. James Keefe was born November 16, 1844, in Macroom, County Cork, Diocese of Cloyne, Ireland. He was a son of John and Johanna Creedon Keefe, to which union were born six children—Patrick, who died while serving his country during the Civil War; Timothy, who died several years ago in Wayne township, Clinton county; James, the subject of this sketch, and three daughters, Mary, Julia and Honore, all of whom have preceded their brother into the Eternal Kingdom.

At the age of thirteen James Keefe, with his parents, emigrated to America and, landing at New York, went from there to Xenia, Ohio, and later came to Wilmington. Modern conveniences of travel were then unknown and the only conveyance obtainable for the trip to Wilmington was an ordinary road wagon. Upon arriving here the Keefe family located in the old home of the late Sheriff Smith, where James grew to manhood under the loving and watchful tutelage of his parents, acquiring those:sterling qualities of mind and heart which he displayed throughout his earthly sojourn. He received a good common school education, attending the school located where now stands the Friends Church. On the 10th of August. 1862, his patriotism led him to enlist and take up arms against the foe of his beloved country and for three years he faithfully and valorously served under the Stars and Stripes and was honorably discharged at Camp Dennison on June 17, 1865. 

The following year, 1866, James was united in marriage to Ann Shea, daughter of Michael and Margaret Shea, which union was blessed with five children, Mrs. Joseph Kuebler, John Keefe. Mrs. Thos. McDermott, Miss Honore and James M. Keefe, all of whom mourn the loss of a kind and
loving father. The early years of Mr. Keefe's married life were spent on the farm, but, upon moving to Wilmington, he was appointed street supervisor by the council, which position he capably held until 1910, when forced to retire by Ill health. Although endowed with a rugged constitution, he suffered in late years  from heart trouble, which, coupled with his advanced age, brought about his dissolution, and on Monday morn, January 3, 1916, at 8:30 he fell asleep in the Lord.

James Keefe was a kind and genial man, endowed with a keen intellect and an abundance of that ready wit found in so many of his race. To know him was to be his friend, for he was honest and charitable in his dealings with his fellow men. He will be missed by his immediate family, also by his few remaining comrades of the G. A. R., and last, but not least, by the members of St. Columbkille church, which he attended for over 50 years. "For God and Country" would be a fitting epitaph to inscribe on his monument, for he loved and served God from the days of his youth, and to his country he gave the best years of his life. At 7:30 Friday morning, after the G. A. R. had paid their last respects in his home to their deceased comrade, the remains were escorted to St. Columbkille church, where funeral services were conducted by Rev. Martin A. Higgins, his pastor, after which interment was made in Sugar Grove cemetery.

Farewell. dear father, your love for us 
Was tender, kind and true, 
And memory's surine will long preserve 
The warmest spot for you. 
Now gathered round your silent grave, 
While tears of sorrow roll, 
The fervent prayer springs from our hearts,
                                                          -God rest your noble soul."
Mrs. Keefe and family wish to express their heartfelt gratitude to all their friends for the assistance and sympathy extended them in their dark hour of sorrow, and also to Rev. Martin A. Higgins for his eloquent and consoling funeral sermon, and lastly to the G. A. R. for the honor accorded their deceased loved one. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Hannah Creeden

This obituary was published in the Clinton County Democrat on March 7, 1918.

  Mrs. Hannah Creeden, aged 85 years, an old resident and one of the most highly respected women of the community, passed away Thursday afternoon at her home on Sugartree street, her death following a long illness. Mrs. Creeden came from County Cork, Ireland, with her husband when they were young in life and experience. Her husband died in New York soon after their landing leaving her with four little children. In a strange land she fought the battle of life single-handed, earning a living for herself and little ones. She came to Wilmington in 1864 when her children were small and has since resided here. She leaves four daughters, Mrs. John Haley, Mrs. Mary Gorman, Mrs. Will Sliker and Mrs. Richard Egan, twelve grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren. Her funeral took place Saturday morning from St. Columbkille church, of which she was a devout member, solemn requiem high mass being conducted by Father Ertel assisted by Father Conroy, of Jamestown, and Farther Martin Malloy, of Loveland. This is the first occasion on which solemn requiem high mass has been celebrated in the new church.

I've always thought this was such an incredible story. Hannah's husband was Timothy Creeden and they were married in Clondrohid Parish, County Cork on Feb. 28, 1854. Hannah's maiden name was also Creeden. What the obituary doesn't mention is that her daughter Hannah (Mrs. Richard Egan) was born on the ship they came over on! Hannah and Timothy also had a son named Daniel who supposedly died during their voyage to the US.

I don't know the exact connection between this family and other Creedens in Clinton County, but I would guess that Hannah went from New York to Clinton County due to family ties. She must have been an incredible woman to raise her four daughters on her own after losing her husband and son.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Military Monday - Letter From Soldier Wounded in WWI

I've posted several times about the colorful military career of my great-grandfather's brother Edward Creeden. Edward enlisted in the US Army in 1904 from Salt Lake City, Utah. He listed his residence as Pueblo, CO and birthplace as Celina, OH.

Edward served in the Army until 1910 when he enlisted in the Marines at San Francisco, CA. His paperwork as a sharpshooter was transferred from the Army to the Marines. In October 1911, he mysteriously deserted his post in the Marines and reenlisted in the Army a few weeks later. He was honorably discharged from the Army in January 1915.

In August 1917, Edward joined the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. The Canadian records showed that he was wounded in France in April 1918 and lost his right leg due to a wound from a shell fragment in Arras, France.

An article in the Celina Democrat published on July 26, 1918 details a letter he wrote to his brother Joshua during his recovery. I found the article on the Chronicling America site

Edward Creeden, who has been in a war hospital in England as a result of a gunshot wound received April 20, while in service in France, has written an interesting letter to his brother Joshua, in care of his brother Charley in this city. He has been serving with the Canadian expeditionary forces, and is probably now on his way back to Canada minus his right leg. He has seen much army life, having served in the Phillippins, at Honolulu and along the Mexican border-- thirteen years in all. His letter shows he would like to be back in the war game. He has the proverbial American cheerfulness and fighting spirit, and takes his medicine that way. His friends, however, are sorry to hear of his misfortune.

I had wondered if Edward kept in touch with the family at all, so the article at least solves that mystery. It must've been quite a shock for them to get the news of his injury. I have a long list of places where Edward served, but I didn't know he served in Honolulu or the Mexican border.

I don't know if Edward got his wish to continue with his military service, but it seems unlikely. He was discharged from the Canadian forces as being medically unfit for duty in 1919. He listed his proposed next residence as St. Louis, MO, but I haven't found any records for him there so far.

A possible entry in the census places him in Sedgwick, KS in 1920 and from newspaper articles and his death certificate, I know he died in Newport, KY in 1937. I'm still trying to solve the mystery of what happened to Edward between 1919-1937.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Jeremiah Coakley

The following obituary was published in the Wilmington Clinton County Democrat on January 5, 1887. Jerry Coakley was very active in establishing the Catholic Church in Wilmington, Ohio and was present at the first mass said there in 1852. I posted a shorter obituary for him from the Clinton County Republican earlier this month.

JERRY COAKLEY, one of the old residents of the place, died last Friday at his home on Locust street, after an illness of several months, of no especial disease, but a general wearing out. Mr. Coakley was nearly eighty-seven years old and was born in Ireland. He left County Cork thirty years ago and came directly to Wilmington, where he has since resided. He was a hard-working, peaceable man and a good citizen. Funeral services were held in the Catholic Church on Sunday, and deceased was buried in Sugar Grove Cemetery.

It's interesting that the obituary states that Jerry came directly to Wilmington around 1857. I believe that my 3x great-grandfather Patrick Creedan arrived in Wilmington in 1849 and had been married to a Mary Coakley, so it's possible that they were related. Both Jerry and Patrick were present at the first mass in Wilmington in 1852, so they definitely knew each other. I'm still looking for that definite link between the families.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Sister Mary Felix/Julia Creedon

Sister Mary Felix was the sister of my 2x great-grandfather Timothy Creeden. Her name was Julia Creedon before she took her religious vows with the Sisters of Charity in Cincinnati in 1872. This article appeared in the Wilmington Clinton County Democrat on February 28, 1918.

Mr. and Mrs. John P. Georges, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kuebler and Miss Julia Haley were in Cincinnati Monday to attend the funeral of Sister Mary Felix, a sister of charity connected with a religious order in that city. Sister Mary's surname was Creedon and she was related to the Keefe, Haley, and Regan families of this county.

Sister Mary died on February 22, 1918 of pneumonia and is buried at the Sisters of Charity cemetery in Mount St. Joseph, Ohio. I'm wondering if she was still in touch with some of the Creeden family, but many of them had moved on or passed away before her. It's good to know that she was still in touch with family from Clinton County.

I found two more articles about Sister Mary in the Clinton County Democrat that provided more names. These articles were a great find since I finally have some proof of links between my Creeden family and other families in Clinton County. I had noticed before that there were quite a few Creedens in Clinton County and they were all from the same area around Macroom and Clondrohid in County Cork, Ireland.

The above article was in the Clinton County Democrat on July 27, 1899, a few months before Timothy Creeden's death. An article about Timothy's illness said Timothy was visited by his niece, Mrs. Isabelle Regan and from the July 1899 article, the Regan family was in touch with Sister Mary too. Rosa Belle Regan was the daughter of Timothy's sister-in-law Elizabeth Matson, although I'm wondering if there is a Creeden link to them too. Mamie Regan was the daughter of Rosa Belle and Thomas Regan.

There is a Kate Regan in the 1880 census living with her parents Bat. and Julia Regan in Clinton County. In later census records, Kate is living with her brother Patrick Regan and it doesn't appear that she ever married. She might be the Aunt Kate mentioned in the article.

Mrs. J. P. Georges is mentioned in both articles. From records on FindAGrave, she was Louise Catherine Kuebler Georges and was the wife of John Peter Georges. Louise was the daughter of  Francis Xavier Kuebler and Janie Eulia George. Francis was the brother of Joseph P. Kuebler who was married to Julia Keefe. According to the 1915 History of Clinton County, Julia Keefe's grandparents were John Keefe and Johanna Creedon, so there is at least one link between the Creedons and Keefes. Johanna Creedon would be about the right age to be an aunt of Sister Mary Felix, but that's just a guess.

I couldn't find any records for Samuel Creeden, so that one's a mystery for now. I think the Miss Julia Haley mentioned in the first article may be a granddaughter of John Haley and Catherine Creedon. John's parents were Dennis Haley and Julia Creedon. Catherine was the daughter of Timothy Creedon and Hanora Creedon and they were married in 1854 in Clondrohid Parish, County Cork, Ireland. This Timothy died in 1865 shortly after the family arrived from Ireland.

Clondrohid Parish is where Julia was baptized and it's interesting that a Honora Creeden was a sponsor at her baptism. Timothy and Hanora's marriage record and Sister Mary's baptism records were found on the RootsIreland site. The rest of the information on these Creedons is from trees available online, so I'll have to do more investigation to verify the information.

One more article about Sister Mary Felix appeared in the Clinton County Democrat on July 8, 1914.
Mrs. J. P. Georges is mentioned again along with Miss Leonie Regan. Leonie was another daughter of Rosa Belle and Thomas Regan. The Sisters of Charity told me that Sister Mary worked at St. Mary's Hospital in Pueblo, CO from 1888-1902 and St. Vincent's Hospital in Santa Fe, NM starting in 1905. They didn't have any other information on her assignments, so it's possible that she was working in Fayetteville in 1914. That was only one county over from Clinton County.

These articles provide more evidence that Timothy Creeden and Sister Mary Felix were brother and sister and also provide some good clues on the links to other families in Clinton County, Ohio. I'd love to hear from anyone researching the Haley, Keefe, Regan, or Creeden families from Clinton County.