Friday, February 17, 2012

Suing A Railway On Behalf Of Her Son – Mary Toole

B. 3 May 1846 in Ireland
M. 7 Jan 1867 in Henderson, Minnesota
Husband: Patrick McGuire
D. 14 Dec 1904 in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Mary Toole was born in an unknown part of Ireland on May 3, 1846 to Timothy Toole and Hanora Coleman, probably their oldest child. She was born about the time of the potato famine, and it's likely the reason Timothy left for America in December of 1849. Hanora and Mary came over nearly 4 years later, arriving in July of 1853.

The Tooles settled in Ohio, possibly the Cincinnati area. It's believed that Mary didn't attend school, as she was illiterate. Sometime before 1865, the family moved to Sibley County, Minnesota and lived on a farm in the town of Green Isle, which was an Irish immigrant community. By this time, Mary had two siblings, a brother Thomas and a sister Margaret, both born in Ohio. They lived next to a family headed by a man named Dominick Toole; it's not known how Dominick was related to Timothy.

On January 7, 1867, Mary married an Irish immigrant named Patrick McGuire iin Henderson, Minnesota. He was a widower with three children. The family lived in nearby Scott County at the time of the 1870 census. They were listed back in Green Isle in 1880. Mary had five children born between 1871 and 1881, four daughters and one son.

It was said that Mary's family often searched the roads for items that fell off of people's carts so they could resell the things at a profit. The family knew which roads near their farm had ruts and sharp turns, and did their collecting there. The family trait of bargain hunting was passed on to some of Mary's descendants for generations to come.

In 1882, Mary's husband died, leaving her to try and manage the farm. She gave it up in about the spring of 1886 and moved to Minneapolis. Her widowed mother was already living there with Mary’s sister Margaret, and for a time, Mary and her children moved into their house.

Not long after Mary settled in Minneapolis, she was faced with a horrible tragedy. There were train tracks only about 130 feet from their house. It was said that on a few occasions, Mary’s 10-year-old son John got too near the trains and was chased back to the house by a railroad worker. On September 2, 1886, Mary and the children were preparing to move. John helped pack by making wooden boxes and he needed a board for a box lid. So he crossed the tracks and walked to a coal yard to get a scrap of wood. On the way back, he came too close to a freight train, which first hit him, then as he scrambled to get out of the way, he fell right under the wheels.The train accident cost both of his legs and his left arm.

Mary went to a personal injuries lawyer who successfully prosecuted a case against the railway company, and John was awarded $13,000 in damages. John lived with his mother for the rest of her life, and later he lived with his sister Margaret, becoming a peddler. He disappeared from the records after 1916. It's not known when and where he died.

During the years following John’s accident, Mary suffered a couple more tragedies. In 1890, her mother died of dysentery, and in 1893, her daughter Alice passed away at age 14. In early winter of 1904, Mary died at the age of 58 of pneumonia. She was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery.

Children:
1. Julia A. McGuire – B. 30 Mar 1871, Washington Lake, Minnesota; D. 18 May 1922, St. Paul, Minnesota; M. Louis Martin La Brie (1868-1911), 1 Jun 1891, Minneapolis, Minnesota

2. Margaret McGuire – B. 7 Aug 1873, Washington Lake, Minnesota; D. 19 Oct 1923, Minneapolis, Minnesota; M. Harry Albert Whittaker (1873-?), about 1902

3. John McGuire – B. 19 Feb 1876, Washington Lake, Minnesota; D. after 1916

4. Alice McGuire – B. 1 Apr 1879, Washington Lake, Minnesota; D. 1893, Sibley County, Minnesota

5. Johanna McGuire – B. 3 Sep 1881, Washington Lake, Minnesota; M. William Henning (1877-1904), 25 Apr 1899, Hennepin County, Minnesota

Sources:
Death certificate of Mary McGuire, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dec 1904
Passenger list of the ship Queen of the West, 17 Dec 1849
Marriage certificate of Patrick McGuire and Mary Toole, Henderson, Minnesota, 7 Jan 1867
Declaration of Intent to become a U.S. Citizen of Hanora Toole, Sibley County, Minnesota, 16 Oct 1873
1870, 1880, 1900 and 1910 U.S. Census
1865 Minnesota State Census
City Directories for Minneapolis, 1887-1917
Interview of Hazel Swenson and Florence Maxwell, 1978
Birth certificate of Julia McGuire, 23 Jun 1871, Washington Lake, Minnesota
Death certificate of Julia La Brie, 19 May 1922, St. Paul, Minnesota
Marriage certificate of Louis La Brie and Julia McGuire, 2 Jun 1891, Minneapolis, Minnesota
"Ends Life in Cell at Rondo Station," St. Paul Pioneer Press, 5 Mar 1911
Newspaper column about St. Paul court cases, Minneapolis Tribune, 15 Jan 1889
Death certificate of Margaret Whittaker, 22 Oct 1923, Minneapolis, Minnesota
World War I draft registration card index
Minnesota marriages index, 1849-1950
St. Brendan's cemetery inscriptions, Green Isle, Minnesota
Letter from Hazel Swenson, 30 May 1977, Minnesota

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