I posted this photo last Sunday for Mother’s Day because it features two special moms in my family (my great-grandma and grandma). I am sharing it again today because of what is behind them: the house.
This photo hung on the wall above my grandma’s kitchen table for years. Grandma would often glance at the picture and smile while we chatted, played cards, or had something to eat. The photo sparked Grandma’s memory, and a family story or tidbit from her past, relatable to the current activity or conversation, would follow. Regardless of what the memory was, Grandma would always have this to say in conclusion: “You know, your grandpa’s family moved into that house several years after this photo was taken, and that is where he grew up.” Grandma loved making that connection.
Recently my mom and I came across a folder in our Clontarf archive labeled 300 Cashel Street, the address of the house in the photo. The folder includes notes, hand-drawn house plans, photographs, and copies of property deeds. Nearly twenty years ago, we began looking into our Clontarf, Minnesota roots with the ultimate goal of writing a book. We love to research and have done tons of it throughout those years but have not yet written the book. There are many explanations (excuses?) for this, but the scale of the project is somewhat overwhelming.
So, we decided to start small. We will use the house on Cashel Street to tell part of the story. We are not sure what this project will look like, but we are motivated to take the excellent research we have done out of the archive and shine a light on it. What can this little house on Cashel Street tell us about early twentieth-century life in a Minnesota railroad community? Stay tuned to find out!
In the 1970s or 1980s, my mom embroidered the saying, “Mother is another name for love,” and placed it in a green-painted frame as a Mother’s Day gift for her mom. I can see it hanging on grandma’s wall, and I remember when I was young, considering the idea that my mom could possibly love her mom as much as I loved both of them.
I have shared this photo several times, but it is my favorite for Mother’s Day.
My great-grandmother Mary Foley McMahon is with her seven children outside of their Clontarf, Minnesota, home. My grandma(Agnes) is standing on the chair before her mother.
“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” — Abraham Lincoln
I am getting old. I’m not saying this because I am over fifty and my hair is gray, but because I said this to friends last weekend when we were planning a night out:
“Let’s go somewhere quiet…so we can chat.”
Turns out my friends had the same idea and the four of us spent a lovely Saturday evening gathered around Ace’s dining room table, catching up, laughing, and snacking on chips and guacamole, chocolate-covered pretzels, and brownies. The evening was low-key and comfortable and felt old-fashioned (the Hamm’s may have added to the nostalgia).
My mom often reminisces about the regular family dinners, get-togethers, and card parties of her youth. Often hosted by her parents, John and Agnes (McMahon) Regan at their South Minneapolis home, the evenings and Sunday afternoons were sometimes held at McMahon and Regan cousins’ homes peppered throughout the city.
Here are a few snapshots of my Irish American family around the table. The common denominator of these photos is the McMahon family – three generations of descendants of Francis and Catherine (McAndrew) McMahon. Once the McMahons moved to Minneapolis from the Clontarf area in western Minnesota, they branched out making matches with those of non-Irish heritage. Names like Fuchs, Freitag, Nelson, Oien, and Bebus joined the McMahon family tree. My grandma Agnes was the only of her siblings to marry fellow Irish American (and Clontarf native) John Regan.
My grandma Agnes McMahon Regan is on the right, resting her head in her hand, next to my grandpa John Regan. The others are identified only as, “Foley girls – Aunt Bid and Uncle Tim’s.” Aunt Bid was Bridget McMahon. Mom says this is most likely is at Aunt Bid’s kitchen table. Maybe the others are Kit, Cecilia, or Loretta Foley?
Rose McMahon is on the left, with her sister Mary McMahon and husband Will Herr. Could this be at Mary and Will’s fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration in Bristol, South Dakota? Written on the back is, “Eileen and John Regan may be at next table.” Mom can help me out with this.
From left: Fran Fuchs Lainsbury, Dody Fuchs Abbott, and their mother, Mary McMahon Fuchs at the table in the Foley house in Benson. That’s my Aunt Mary (actually a great aunt, but always just Aunt Mary to us). I think Aunt Mary looks so cute here. I only remember her when she was twenty years older.
Some members of the McMahon family gathered at the wedding of Mary Fuchs (possibly). From the bottom left: Frank, John, Aunt Rose McMahon, Ella (John’s wife), Benie Oien, Rose “Dodo” McMahon Oien. I bet Frank’s wife Bertha took the photo unless Frank had a penchant for handbags (“Frank, hold my purse for a minute while I take a picture.”) I wonder where John and Agnes are sitting? And who is that guy standing on the left, behind the table, like he is in the picture?
Does anyone else wish we could step into old snapshots like these and stay for a moment, just long enough to catch Bertha asking the table for a smile and to hear John laughing? And maybe even long enough to pull Dodo aside and ask her why old Aunt Rose is sitting between John and Ella.
Note: Mom told me that the guy at the left behind the table is her cousin Jim Nelson. So, if this was a modern photo, he would have squeezed himself in somewhere to be part of the shot! Also, mom thinks this may have been Dodo and Bernie’s wedding (that would explain Bernie’s natty ensemble.
When we moved my grandma from her apartment, there were dresser drawers full of neat little bundles of fabric, remnants from decades of sewing projects. Tucked into one of the drawers was an embroidery hoop holding a once-taut piece of muslin. Work had begun on the piece but was interrupted.
Mom could tell by the signature brown stitches that this was Minnie’s handiwork. Was it abandoned when she had to go to the hospital in October of 1945, where she would pass away? It is likely that is why my grandma would hold onto an unfinished embroidery project for nearly sixty years. That’s why Mom and I have kept it for twenty more years. I can picture Minnie smoothing the fabric and tightening the hoop, threading the needle, and eventually slipping the needle through the cotton and setting the work down for the last time.
This is an embroidery pattern that was also floating around in Grandma’s things:
Now, I am off to bake a spice cake. For me, molasses, nutmeg, and cloves combine to create an olfactory time machine. In a couple of hours I will be enjoying an afternoon cup of coffee and a slice of spice cake with Minnie.
My mom and I have this photo labeled “Old Foley,” but that was just a guess. I think it is time to revisit this lady in her pretty cloak.
If she is an “Old Foley” could she be related to this guy?
Or maybe she’s an “Old Crowley” and related to Patrick’s wife, Mary Crowley. I made a case for this some years ago…
The photo appears to have been taken at a studio in San Francisco. I don’t know of any Foley or Crowley connections to California. My family’s westward journey ended in Tara Township, Minnesota (at least for a couple of generations). But then there is so much we don’t know…
I need some help from my mom on this one. I know that is my great-grandpa Tom McMahon on the right, with his daughter Agnes (my grandma) standing in front of him. Who are the rest? Could they be Tom’s brother Frank (left), his wife Agnes McGraw McMahon and their children? Their oldest, Richard, was the same age as my grandma. That could be him in the cap by his dad. Three girls followed him in age: Florence, Eileen, and Gertrude, but I can’t quite tell.
And then there is the lady next to Tom. Could it be his sister Kate? She may have still been in Clontarf.
Subtract about seventeen years from the gentleman standing on the left above and do you get the one standing on the left below?
I believe this one is from the 1930s. My grandma on the left with her sister Rose and Eileen McMahon, possibly one of the little ones in the first photo.
One more, just because I noticed how my grandma was holding two fingers on her right hand with her left hand and it reminded me of this cute photo.
Mom – please set me straight on dates, identifications, etc.
On Saturday, they are holding an auction at the former St. Malachy Catholic Church building in Clontarf, Minnesota. They are selling pews, windows, plant stands, and anything else that lacks “religious significance.”
I was interested in the half of the old confessional that was stored in the sacristy. They removed it from near the entrance when more room was needed to accommodate the new, larger caskets. I am out of luck; they aren’t selling it. Not sure how it is more religiously significant than the pews which held the devout parishioners week in and week out for over a century…
A report of the Dedication of the “new” St. Malachy’s Church appeared in the December 15, 1896, edition of the Benson Times. The event was a big deal, not just for Clontarf Catholics, but the pomp and ceremony must have intrigued everyone in the area. I wonder if it is the most people who have ever been in Clontarf at the same time? I’ve included a copy of the newspaper article, but it’s not great, so I also added a transcription below.
According to the article, the builders left the plaster ready for fresco painting. I wonder if it was ever done? Did Tim Reardon tell us that there was some painting on the ceiling that was covered up by the 1960s remodeling? My memory fails at the moment. Does anyone know if they ever got a bell?
The Beautiful and Impressive Ceremonies Witnessed by a Large Crowd Tuesday Morning.
Tuesday was a gala day for the Catholics of Clontarf in particular, and of Swift County in general. It brings the occasion of the dedication of the new church at that place. For a number of years the members of St. Malachi’s [sic] parish have had in contemplation the erection of a new edifice of worship, but owing to the stringency of the times, it has yearly been deferred, until early last spring when the contract was let and the work pushed until there now stands in the little town a church which is a credit to the congregation and a standing monument to the untiring efforts of its beloved and respected pastor, Rev. Father Oster.
The building is a substantial frame one, 40×100 in the main with a 20 foot ceiling, with a large and well-arranged sanctuary and sacristy in the rear end. There is a seven foot basement under the entire building, in which is located the heating plant, which is of the latest improved pattern. A very noticeable feature in the church is an alcove just back and above the main altar, in which are placed the statues of the Sacred Heart and adoring angels, the opening being beautifully draped with rich curtains. The roof of the alcove is of colored glass which throws mellow light upon the figures, giving the whole a beautiful appearance. In the front end of the building is located a gallery, which reaches across the entire width, and about 20 feet deep. This will be for the use of the choir and is reached by a winding staircase from the front entry. The plastering has been left in what is known as the “floated” condition, so that at some future time it may be frescoed. Besides the main altar, there are two side ones, which stand on either side of the building inside of the communion railing. The windows are of beautiful colored leaded glass and are the fights of individuals or societies, the names of the donator appearing on each window. Taken as a whole the interior presents a pleasing appearance. On the exterior rises a gracefully modeled steeple, the top of which towers high above the building. In this, provisions have been made for a large bell, which no doubt, will be placed therein at no great distant day. The accompanying cut gives a much better idea of the appearance of the building than words could convey. The church will comfortably seat 500 persons, and will accommodate this congregation for years to come.
The day of the dedication of this building to the purposes for which it was erected was an ideal one, and an early hour delegations from Murdock, DeGraff, Benson, Danvers, Hancock, and in fact from the entire surrounding country, began arriving, and by 10:30 fully 1,000 persons were gathered in and about the building. At the time stated the dedication procession started from the main altar, headed by Father O’Connor of DeGraff who acted as master of ceremonies for the day, followed by six altar boys, Bishop Cotter, of Winona, and a number of priests coming next. A tour of the outside of the church was made and the regular ritual work of the church for such occasions gone through with. On returning, the litany was recited and the interior of the building blessed.
After the dedication ceremonies had finished, the Blessed Sacrament was brought from the old church to its new abode in solemn procession. This was one of the most imposing events of the day: the bishop clad in his purple robes, the priest in vestments, surrounded by altar boys in bright gowns carrying colored lanterns and candles, made a scene which will not soon be forgotten by those who witnessed it.
After this came the solemn high mass, which was celebrated by Rev. Oster, Father Kane acting as deacon, Father Egan as subdeacon and Father O’Connor as master of ceremonies. The music was furnished by the combined choirs of Clontarf, Benson and Murdock; Chas. Maginnis presiding at the organ, and assisted by a string orchestra. The fact that the day was the 40th anniversary of the ordination of Father Oster made this mass the more impressive, and many a silent prayer was offered, asking that the life of the “grand old man” might be yet spared for many years. The following priests, in addition to those mentioned above, assisted at the mass: Rev. Gauvreau, of Beardsley; Rev. McDavitt, of Mannanah; Rev. Boland, of Litchfield; and Rev. O’Brien, of Graceville.
At the close of the mass Bishop Cotter took the pulpit and read the 83rd Psalm, which he used as his text. On opening, he paid a glowing tribute to the life and work of Father Oster. He told of his work in the pioneer days of Minnesota, how he had visited and ministered to the sick and those in want when such services called for long tiresome rides over unsettled country, and that he had never been wanting where duty called. The bishop congratulated the members
Of the parish in their good fortune of having such a man as Father Oster to lead and teach them. Assuring them that if they would but follow his counsel they would certainly reach the goal for which all christians are striving. After further congratulating the congregation on the completion of their beautiful house of worship, he proceeded with his sermon, and for over an hour held the vast audience spell-bound and all were loath to have the discourse come to a close. Bishop Cotter is a sound reasoner, a profound scholar and a finished orator, and it is indeed a treat to hear him. At the close of the sermon he gave a few words of advice in regard to the financial management of the church affairs. The services of the day then closed with a solemn benediction.
While the bishop and priests were administering to the spiritual needs of the congregation, the ladies were busy preparing for their temporal needs, and by the time services were over, they had a bountiful dinner in readiness in the old church, and to this place a grand rush was made. The sum of 25 cents was charged and it is needless to say that the ladies realized a neat sum for their efforts.
It was expected that Arch-bishop Ireland would be present, but just at the last moment he was called to Chicago.
Sketch of Rev. Oster.
This article would be incomplete without giving something of the life and work of the pastor who has spent so many years in building up the Clontarf parish.
Rev. Anatole Oster, the senior pastor in charge of the Clontarf parish and also the Benson Catholic church is very favorably known to most of our readers. He is highly esteemed, not only by the members of his several parishes, but by all who know him regardless of religious affiliations, for his many estimable qualities and deep religious convictions, He was born in Alsace Lorraine about 63 years ago. He spent his early childhood in France, where he commenced his studies for the priesthood. He came to this country in early manhood and finished his studies under the venerable Bishop Creaton [sic], the first Catholic bishop of St. Paul, by whom he was ordained to the priesthood 40 years ago; the festivities of the dedication of this new church being the 40th anniversary of the celebration of this first mass. He has spent all the years of his ministry in Minnesota and was identified with the growth and development of the early settlement of the territory as well as the state since its organization. He shared in the privations of the early settlers and missionaries, and has seen and rejoiced at the development and growth of the state as well as the church of which he is a conspicuous member. He has seen the latter institution grow from a society of only three priests to minister the religious wants of its members in Minnesota and the Dakotas, to the proportions it now assumes, viz: An archbishopric at St. Paul, with five suffragan bishoprics located at Duluth, Winona, St. Cloud, Sioux Falls and Jamestown, N.D., respectively, and a working corps of nearly 500 priests, besides numerous hospitals, houses of refuge, and institutions of learning, two of which latter institutions are located at St. Paul, being St. Thomas college and the HIll seminary, which ranks with the best in the country.
In all of the work incident to this tremendous growth and development, Rev. Oster has taken a very conspicuous part, and always with great credit to himself and his church. He is a man of deep and scholarly attainments, and an exemplary citizen as well as a model minister of the gospel. He has been located at several different points in this state during his ministry, and has built a number of other churches as well as the dedicated one on Tuesday. He came to Swift county in the early part of 1878 and has since resided at Clontarf, also having charge of the Catholic Church in Benson, and those at Danvers and Hegbert.
The inscriptions on two of the windows at St. Malachy’s were a mystery to my mom and me. We wondered about Axier and Milmoe. We know so many of the old Irish family names from our research into Tara Township, the village of Clontarf, and the railroad, but are much less familiar with the non-Irish families and those from Hoff Township.
Following are short profiles on the Axier and Milmoe families, based on some general Ancestry.com info and the St. Malachy’s account books. If anyone has anything to add to this, or has information on any of the other window donors, please leave a comment and let me know!
THE FAMILIES BEHIND THE WINDOWS
Charles Axier Family
The Axier family called the Clontarf, Minnesota area home for less than twenty years, but, like so many families, they made their mark on the town, the Church, and the community. The most visible contribution is the stained glass window at the “new” St. Malachy Catholic Church (1896).
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE AXIER FAMILY IN THE UNITED STATES
Charles and Marie Axier were born in France in about 1830 and 1836 respectively. They came to the United States around 1849 and were married in 1856. In 1865, Charles is in the Illinois State Census living in Prairie du Rocher in Randolph County. Information is limited from this census, but the Axier family consists of three people and their livestock has a value of $25. Swift County records indicate that Charles Axier was a veteran of the U.S. Civil War.
In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, the Axier family lives in Hoff Township, Pope County, Minnesota. Charles is 51 years old and Marie is listed at 35 years old. Their daughter, Julia (21) is listed in the household of Father Oster in Clontarf working as a domestic servant. The 1885 Minnesota State Census list Charles (age 55) and Marie (age 40) still in Hoff Township in Pope County
Charles and Marie moved to town, appearing in Clontarf in the 1895 Minnesota State Census living near the Church and rectory. Charles (64) and Marie (55) are employed as gardeners (due to their location and close association, likely for St. Malachy’s).
By 1900, like Father Oster, the Axiers are no longer living in the Clontarf area. Julia married August Boucher on May 8, 1900, in Swift County and the couple shows up in the 1900 Census in Otsego Township in Wright County. Julia is the stepmother to August’s two children – Emma (7) and Arthur (18). Charles (70) and Marie (60) live with the Boucher family in Otsego.
In 1905, Charles 64) and Marie (55) have relocated to Anoka in Anoka County (per Minnesota State Census). Charles is employed as a laborer and Marie has no occupation listed. Charles dies in 1909 and is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Anoka, Minnesota. His gravestone states that Charles was born in 1835. (Note on the accuracy of ages: Census data is sometimes unreliable due to family members reporting information who don’t know the correct age, language barriers, mistrust of the census-taker, and simply individuals not wishing to reveal their age.)
Marie moves back to Julia’s home in Otsego. Julia’s husband, August, passes away on September 13, 1916 and by the 1920 Census, Marie (84) and Julia (64) are living alone at the house. Marie died on January 31, 1927, and is buried next to her husband in Anoka’s Calvary Cemetery. The date of birth given on her stone is January 13, 1936.
STAINED GLASS WINDOW
8/8/1896 – Charles Axier partial due to window fund $10.00
10/12/1896 – $5.00
SAMPLES OF OTHER AXIER FAMILY CONTRIBUTIONS
10/25/1879 – Grave Yard Fund C. Axier $1.00
6/15/1886 – Peter Pence collection Mrs. Axier $.15
6/16/1886 – Charles Axier Church dues $29.00
7/3/1887 – Dues Charles Axier $5.00
6/2/1896 – To friend’s (Mrs. Axier) offering $.50
Milmoe and Mockler Families
John MIlmoe was born in Ireland about 1830. In 1870, he appears in the US Federal Census living in ward two of Oshkosh, Wisconsin with his wife Anna and family. John is employed as a blacksmith. Anna Angel was also born in Ireland around 1828 and after coming to the US, married Daniel McCarthy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1845. McCarthy passed away in 1851. John and Anna married about 1855, creating a family of children from Anna’s first marriage and children of their own.
By 1880, the family has relocated to Hoff Township in Pope County near the village of Clontarf, where John is now a farmer. Anna Milmoe passed away in 1890 at the age of 62. Her death may have inspired the lovely stained-glass window at St. Malachy simply inscribed, Milmoe.
John and Anna’s daughter Mary married William Mockler of Hoff Township in 1886. The couple lived near the Milmoe farm, as well as other active St. Malachy’s parishioners – Goulets, Chamberlains, Chevaliers, Daniels, Axiers, and Milmoes. The ladies of these families are among those responsible for a second window donated by the Ladies of Pope County. Mary Milmoe Mockler was mentioned a number of times in the financial records of the church. She organized her friends and family in raising funds for multiple windows at Saint Malachy’s Church.
In 1900, John Milmoe is living with his daughter Mary Mockler, who is widowed with three small children aged 8-13. John Milmoe died in 1911. He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Hayward, Sawyer County, Wisconsin amongst Mockler family members.
MILMOE IN THE EARLY ACCOUNTS BOOK
9/17/1878 – Collection/pew rent – $5 James
MOCKLER IN THE ACCOUNTS BOOKS
10/6/1878 – Collection/pew rent – $2.00 John
4/13/1886 – C/P – $5.00 Edward
7/9/1887 – C/P – $15.00 Edward (T. Goulet and Isidore Daniel each gave $5.00)
Information in this article is from census data from Ancestry.com and the St. Malachy Financial Records, copies in Eileen McCormack’s files. These copies and the information contained here do not represent the complete financial record. Eileen McCormack made the copies when the books were at the parish house in Clontarf, 2004-2005. The books are now located at St. Francis Catholic Church in Benson, Minnesota.
Eileen R. McCormack and Aine C. McCormack, March 9, 2022
Anne Schirmer, the local Clontarf historian, has put together a book of St. Malachy’s photos and Clontarf history. Let me know if you would like to purchase a copy! Last time I checked, they were $15 – shipping may be extra. Anne organized a “History Open House” in Clontarf in March and is planning on hosting another event soon. Leave a comment and I will get in touch. Thank you!
When sunlight streams through the muted colored panes of glass, the church is filled with subtle warmth, comfort, and beauty. It is all about the windows at St. Malachy’s Catholic Church in Clontarf, Minnesota.
The following is an informational listing on the windows of St. Malachy’s. The details are there: size, cost, payment, dates, and donors. If you are interested in any of these windows, go to Clontarf, Minnesota this Saturday, May 21st at 9am for the auction!
THE WINDOWS OF ST. MALACHY’S
The most striking feature of the 1896 St. Malachy Catholic Church building is the beautiful stained glass. The windows give character and a sense of elegance to the simple frame church. Father Oster wanted to put Clontarf and St. Malachy’s on the map, to represent the thriving, prosperous community it had become in less than twenty years. A St. Malachy parishioner (or group of parishioners) paid for each stained-glass window. Inscriptions of the donor’s name(s) appear on most of the windows.
Who made the windows?
Father Oster hired Brown & Haywood of St. Paul, Minnesota to design and manufacture all the stained-glass windows in the church. In the 1890s, Brown & Haywood was one of the most sought-after stained-glass studios in Minnesota, employing some of the top artists in the region. Many civic buildings and churches throughout Minnesota featured their stained glass, including St. Mary’s in Waverly, Minnesota. The company moved from St. Paul in 1898, shifted its focus, and was later sold to the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company.
How much did they cost?
An account of the full window charges from Brown & Haywood from November 13, 1896, appears in the financial book on the date of payment, December 27, 1896. The amounts listed represent windows and installation.
FOUR Front Windows (“Duplex” style on either side of façade)
-Jos. Daniel – paid $21.60 (December 8-9, 1896)
-J.B. Daniel – paid $21.60 (December 8-9, 1896)
ROSE Window (on front of building)
-Eugene Daniel $9.50 56×56 12/9/1896 (no inscription)
TRANSOM Window (above front door)
-Simon Conaty – Contractor/builder on project $5.20 57×28 12/9/1896 (inscription)
AGONY IN THE GARDEN (above and behind placement of the original altar)
-The only window depicting a scene at St. Malachy’s
-No specific information was found in the account books for this window
Information in this article is from copied pages from the St. Malachy Financial Records from Eileen McCormack’s files. These copies and the information contained here do not represent the complete financial record. The excerpts were copied by Eileen McCormack when the books were at the parish house in Clontarf, 2004-2005. Record books are presently at St. Francis Catholic Church in Benson, Minnesota.
Eileen R. McCormack and Aine C. McCormack, March 9, 2022
Actually, they were already in Clontarf, they just needed a better church. Parishioners were filling up the small 1878 church building every Sunday and Holy Day, and for baptisms, weddings, and funerals in between. Clontarf needed a church to reflect the success of the growing community that began as a small colony just twenty years earlier.
Clontarf is an Irish place name and St. Malachy is the first Irish-born saint to be formally canonized, but the parish was built by Irish and French-Canadian residents. The two groups did not always get along, but they were united in faith by Father Anatole Oster, a native of France.
There are LOTS of names listed below…if you see one you recognize, let me know about your connection to Clontarf, Minnesota.
PLEDGES AND PAYMENTS: CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW ST. MALACHY CHURCH
So much can be learned from looking through the account books. Sure, we see how much folks contributed to the construction, but we also gain an understanding of how important the church was to the residents of Clontarf and the surrounding townships. They were invested in the church and the community, they had a stake in its success. This can be seen in the money pledged and the hours of donated labor.
Letting Go of the Old
Part of the preparations for the new church was dealing with the old one. They would need the old church for mass while the new one was constructed and they wanted the new building in the same spot, so…move the church!
On July 3, 1893, Nels Erickson was paid $82.00 for “moving the church 117 feet east @ 70 cents per foot…” Later that year on October 14th, Erickson was paid $26.00 for “wages at mason work.” An entry dated November 2, 1895, reads: “On Nov. 2 the following men worked banking old church 3 hrs: Wm. Shinnick Jr., Rich. Bulger, Wm. Purcell.”
Pledged Donations (noted in account book)
1892 – D. F. McDermott $100, H. Ernst $20, Edward Mockler $20, J.W. Flynn $25
1893 – Charles Axier $25, J. O’Donnell $50, R. O’Brian $5, John Kent $10, Father Oster $345 (“to bldg. fund”), Louis Chamberlain $5
1894 – Michael Donovan $100
1895 – Frank Casey $10, Andrew Riordon $20, Thomas O’Brian $10, Michael Halloran $5, Sam Daugherty $20, John Gosson $25, Joseph Daugherty $5, Henry Riorden Jr. $10, P.A. McCarthy $5, John Hanlon $5, Richard McGraw $60
1896 – James Kent $10, Patrick Chenery $50, Mrs. Reen $25, Jane Kenna $25., John Sullivan $25, Edward McGinley $20
1897 – Ernest Goulet $20, Napoleon Camiri $20, William Kenna $10., Patrick Foley $25, Martin McAndrew $10, James McDonald $5, John McDonald $5, Patrick Langan $10
(See below for a list of pledges recorded June 8 – 10, 1896 as received and recorded at the Bank of Benson.)
Everyone Pitched In
Much of the construction was completed by the men of Clontarf. They helped with digging foundations, hauling, framing, and finishing. Although they were not paid, the labor is accounted for in the financial records. Various individuals appear throughout the records listed by name, date, hours worked, and type of work they contributed.
Payments to Contractor
7/10/1896 – Simon Conaty payment $100 (Contractor/builder on the project)
8/7/1896 – L. F. Young for drawing contract and bond $5.00
8/7/1896 – Simon Conaty payment 1st part of contract $400
8/29/1896 – Simon Conaty Part payment on $500.00 (from D. F. McDermott note to St Malachy?) $300
9/24/1896 – Simon Conaty payment $294
10/5/1896 – Simon Conaty payment $206
12/10/1896 – Simon Conaty payment of $220 “For rails and wainscoting”
1/18/1897 – Simon Conaty payment of $600
6/28/1897 – Simon Conaty payment of $876.01
Thomas Beagan – foundation/concrete & mason work, in 7/10/1896 entry is a listing of work in the basement with measurements
The following list of pledged donations to the building fund may show some duplicates from the above list. Beware of spelling inconsistencies – all names are transcribed directly from account book.
Wm Duggan $60
James Kent $50
Jer Riordon $20
Roger O’Brien $10
Thomas Sullivan $25
Peter Harrison $35
M J Connolly $10
John Hughes $50
Thomas Shea $40
Robert Riorden $20
John Riorden $20
Henry Riorden Jr. $35
John Regan $60
Timothy Galvin $60
John Gosson $50
John Gaughan $15
Laurence Daugherty $30
M. H. Mear $15
John Mear $15
P.H. Mear $15
James McGowan $10
Thomas O’Brien $35
John Gallagher $20
James Fleming $20
M. Fenton $25
J. Conroy $25
L. Doran $20
H. Riordan $40
A. Maguire $10
J. Chevalier $25
George Goulet $15
? Callaghan $35
Andrew Riordan $20
P. H. McCarthy $15
John McDonough $15
T.J. Purcell $15
J.M. McDonnell $10
V. Riley $10
John McDonnell $10
Dan E. McDonald $10
Maurice Galvin $15
Joseph Thornton $24.62
Frank Faneufsen $25
Information in this article is from copied pages from the St. Malachy Financial Records from Eileen McCormack’s files. These copies and the information contained here do not represent the complete financial record. The excerpts were copied by Eileen McCormack when the books were at the parish house in Clontarf, 2004-2005. The record books are located at Saint Francis Church in Benson, Minnesota.
Eileen R. McCormack and Aine C. McCormack, March 9, 2022