IRISH-IN-CHICAGO-L ArchivesArchiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2007-12 > 1197964756
From: Nan Brennan <>
Subject: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] W.J. Onahan City Controller obit 1919 b CoCarlow @1836
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2007 01:59:16 -0600
What a productive and distinquished life.
Note that wife's grandfather was Judge Jeremiah Sullivan
Her March 11,1902 obit follows.
Chicago Tribune Jan 13, 1919
W. J. ONAHAN, 62
OF CHICAGO, DIES
WILLIAM J. ONAHAN, a resident of Chicago for sixty-two
years and one of the best known Catholic Laymen in America,
died yesterday at the residence of his daughter,
MRS. DANIEL V. GALLERY, 1254 Macalister place.
He was 83 years old.
Mr Onahan was born in County Carlow, Ireland, in 1836.
In early childhood he was taken with his family to Liverpool,
where he lived until he came to New York in 1854. In 1856
he moved to Chicago. He first worked as a clerk in the Rock Island
at Taylor and Wells Streets, but soon entered the commission business
In 1863 he was appointed a member of the school board by the
common council, as was the method then, and in 1869 he was
electe city clerk for two years. In 1879 he was appointed
city Collector by the elder Carter Harrison, holding the office for
several terms, and afterward was controller under Mayors
Creiger and Roche. in the '80s he was a member and president
of the public library. In 1898 he became president of the Home
Savings bank, remaining in that position until 1905.
In conjunction with a number of archbishops and bishops, he formed
the Irish Catholic Colonization society, which placed Irish emigrants
on farms in Nebraska and Minnesota. Pope Leo Xiii recognized
his services by conferring on him the dignity of papal chamberlain
Notre Dame university awarded him the Laetare medal.
Mr Onahan was married in 1860 to MARGARET G. DUFFY,
whose family settled in Chicago in 1842. Six children were born of
marriage, only one of whom survives--Mrs Gallery, with whom he lived.
The funeral will take place tomorrow at St Patrick Church.
Obituary Mrs William J Onahan March 11, 1902
MRS WILLIAM J ONAHAN. CHICAGO, died yesterday afternoon
at the family residence, 47 Macalister place. Death came after a
lingering illness, following a paralytic stroke, with which she was
sticken on Dec 11.
Mrs Onahan, who was the wie of former City Controller Onahan, formerly
was Miss Margaret Gertrude Duffy. Her parents were among the early
of this city, and her grandfather, JUDGE JEREMIAH SULLIVAN, was one
foremost members of the local judiciary. Mrs Onahan was born in Boston
in the early '40s, and came to this city with her parents when she
was a young
girl. Arrangements for the funeral will be announced later.
(Funeral 10am THursday at Jesuit Church, west 12th St per March 12
Daughter Mary Gallery died in Jan 1931.
In the 1870 Chicago census, they had one daughter, Mary, age 4, born
In 1880, Mary J was13, no other children living with them, Mary
Duffy, MIL age 66
was living with them at 37 Macallister St, dist 80.
In 1900 they had a servant, Jeremiah Crapps livingwith them.
Son in Law, "well known Chicago attorney" Daniel V Gallery died
suddenly in May 1938.
Residence 1612 Chase. Funeral St Jerome's to Calvary. See Daniel
Gallery obit posted separately.