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Subject: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Limerick influence in Chicago
Date: Sun, 03 Sep 2006 18:21:54 +0000


Limerick immigrants were found to be most concentrated on the westside of Chicago and were the leading county group in every parish there except for Sacred Heart (founded in 1872) where a sizeable Clare colony existed. Fr. Michael Corbett, S.J., a native of Co. Clare, was pastor at this parish from 1873 to 1886.

Bro. Mulkerins in his history of the Jesuit parish of Holy Family (12th & May sts.) [Holy Family Parish: Priests and People, 1923, Chicago, Universal Press] mentions Thomas McEnery as being one of the first Limerick men to have settled on the westside about 1848. McEnery, who was a native of the Parish Castlemahon, is credited with having established the colony of Limerick people in the neighborhood of Polk and May streets. McEnery was an influential figure in the politics of the westside though he never accepted a public office himself.

Limerick people were also the leading group on the southside especially around the Union Stockyards. On the northside, they represented the largest county group only in St. Columbkille's parish, and they were almost equal in number to the Co. Kerry immigrants there, each accounting for about 20% of the parishioners.

Of the districts in Co. Limerick, heavy emigration was noted from the Union of Newcastle, especially from the parishes of Abbeyfeale, Ardagh, Dromcolliher, Kilmeedy. A large number of emigrants were also noted from Castlemahon, Bruff, Galbally, Glin, Hospital, Knockaderry, Murroe, Knockainy, Rockhill, Doon, Feenagh, Ballylanders, Ballingarry and Askeaton.

Over a hundred years ago, the Irish-American newspaper in Chicago, the Chicago Citizen commented on the astounding number of former Limerick residents in the city noting in its edition of March 4, 1894,

"...Limerick men are ubiquitous among us. Throw a brick in the City Hall and you will probably hit one of them. In the neighborhood of the Jesuit Church you will find a grand colony of them. Go out to the Stockyards and you will fancy yourself in Garryowen-na-Glora."

Among the many prominent Limerick immigrants to Chicago, the Citizen mentioned:

"...from Limerick City, the Rev. Thaddeus Butler, the Rev. Patrick T. Butler of Immaculate Conception parish, also police captains' Hayes and Ward, and Alderman Thomas Carey.
...from Scart Mills, State legislator Michael McInerney from the Stockyards, and Patrick and Thomas McInerney, undertakers.
...from Cappamore, M. W. Ryan, County Clerk; Cornelius J. Coffey, deputy coroner, and his brother John Coffey who started the "Western Catholic," born in Oola. Dr. Thomas O'Malley, medical officer of the Catholic Order of Forresters.
...from Pallas, John C. King, lawyer; Con Griffin, brickmaker of 22nd st. and Center ave., P. F. Ryan, dry goods man of the westside, and his brother E. F. Ryan, lawyer and John F. Ryan.
...from Cross, States Attorney Terence Ryan of Kane County, and his sisters, Mesdames Ryan of the Sacred Heart Convent, Taylor street.
...from Ballyneety, Mrs. A. Plamondon, nee Higgins; from Ballinagard--County Commissioner Pat Carroll; from Adare, Askeaton and Newcastle: "Black Bill" Fitzgerald, South Town Assessor, Tom Fitzgerald, Democratic Boss of the 12th ward, and Timothy E. Ryan, westside assessor.
...from Shanagolden--Fr. Hodnett of St. Malachy's parish, M. F. Barrett, deputy coroner, Michael Lynch of the excise, and the parents of James O'Hare, contractor. From Rathkealey--County Commissioner Bradley.
...from Newcastle--the father of Police Captain Hartnett of the Harrison street station, the Madigan brothers, dry goods merchants, John W. Enright, and John O'Brien, Superintendent of Bridges. From Ballymahon--Michael Scanlon, father of attorney Kickham Scanlon, James Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, fruit dealer Michael Corry, William Meade, contractor John E. McMahon who arrived in Chicago in 1848 and helped build the first railroad to West Chicago, Sgt. Maurice Moore, and policeman Mike Ahern.
...from Kilteely--the father of the Casey's, westside furniture men, Pat E. Guerin of the excise office; from Herbertstown, William Kirby and Thomas Dwyer, fruit dealer; from Hospital--Chief of Police Hickey, Ald. Reardon, the parents of Ald. W. F. Mahoney and of Steve Griffin, Clerk of the Circuit Court, also the Rev. P. O'Brien of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.
...from Boher, Justice John M. Moore fo 39th and State st.; from Bruff, Justice James Dooley, Denis Smith, paste manufacturer, Ald. Denis Coughlin and the Rev. J. M. Scanlon of Holy Name parish; from Garryspillane--Alderman Michael Bailey; from Croom--the mother of Michael C. McDonald, politician, nee Tierney; from Emly--Rev. J. D. Condon, Ald. Tom Purcell (whose flour and feed store was located at the corner of 12th and Clinton sts.) and coal dealer John Adams.
...from Galbally, John Cooke, brewer; from Ballylanders, Ed Powell and his brother Ald. George Powell; from Kiltinane--Thomas C. Courtney, building contractor, and P.H. Duggan, Superintendent of the Stockyards; and from Kilfrush--John F. and James Gubbins of Exelsior Machine and Boiler Works, South Canal street."


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