Monday, February 20, 2012

The Battered Wife – Julia A. McGuire

B. 30 Mar 1871 in Green Isle, Minnesota
M. 1 Jun 1891 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Husband: Louis La Brie
D. 18 May 1922 in St. Paul, Minnesota

Julia McGuire was born on March 30, 1871 in Green Isle, Minnesota to Patrick McGuire and Mary Toole. She was their first child, although her father had children from an earlier marriage. The family would grow to include two younger brothers and three younger sisters.

Julia’s early life changed at age 11 when her father died. Her mother was forced to give up the family farm and move to Minneapolis, where Julia’s grandmother already lived. Julia helped the family by earning money as a seamstress when she was 16. Then she became a cook in a restaurant, which was where she met her husband, Louis La Brie, a waiter. They were married on June 1, 1891.

Julia McGuire at about age 20

Between 1892 and 1910, Julia had three sons and six daughters. Two of the boys died as infants, but all of the girls survived. The family moved around between the twin cities until they bought a house in St. Paul in 1906.

Married life was very difficult with Louis as a husband — he was known to get violent with Julia and the children. In March 1911, after Julia was beaten one evening, the family had Louis arrested, and he committed suicide by hanging himself in his jail cell. She was left with the house only half paid for. She also had several very young children; her youngest was only 4 months-old. The older children got jobs to support the family, while Julia continued to stay at home.

Julia with daughter Hazel in about 1918

In about 1919, Julia opened a lunchroom in Minneapolis. Four of her daughters helped in the restaurant, but she kept it for only about a year. In her early 50s, her health was declining. She had gained weight and probably had high blood pressure. On May 18, 1922, Julia died of a stroke at her home in St. Paul. She was buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Paul.

Julia's daughter Elsie standing in front of her mother's lunchroom, 1920

1. Frank R. La Brie – B. 12 Jun 1892, Minneapolis, Minnesota; D. 7 Nov 1937, Shakopee, Minnesota; M. Anna Dorthea Oelrich (1899-1996), 28 Mar 1921, Nicollet County, Minnesota

2. Minnie Louise La Brie – B. 3 Sep 1893, Minneapolis, Minnesota; D. 20 Jul 1950, Los Angeles, California; M. James John Bolheres (~1886-1941), 17 Jun 1918, St. Paul, Minnesota

3. Louis La Brie – B. 10 Feb 1896, Minneapolis, Minnesota; D. 1896

4. Florence Ruth La Brie – B. 18 Mar 1897, Minneapolis, Minnesota; D. 27 Oct 1982, Gardena, California; M. William Frederick Maxwell (1872-1941), ~1919

5. Lillian Anna La Brie – B. 24 Sep 1899, Minneapolis, Minnesota; D. 30 May 1978, Hennepin County, Minnesota; M. Gustav Otto Fritz (1885-1954), 5 Jul 1932, Grant County, Minnesota

6. Hazel Helen La Brie – B. 14 Nov 1901, St. Paul, Minnesota; D. 15 Nov 1996, Hennepin County, Minnesota; M. Axel William Swenson (1897-1985), 26 Oct 1920, Minneapolis, Minnesota

7. Julia Eleanor La Brie – B. 9 Apr 1904, St. Paul, Minnesota; D. 26 Dec 1992, Santa Maria, California; M. Albert E. Ibsen (1901-1971), 13 Feb 1923, Hennepin County, Minnesota

8. H. George La Brie – B. 1 Jan 1908, St. Paul, Minnesota; D. 2 Oct 1908, St. Paul, Minnesota

9. Elsie Margaret La Brie – B. 4 Nov 1910, St. Paul, Minnesota; D. 20 Sep 1989, Costa Mesa, California; M. (1) Unknown; (2) John M. Toohey (~1918-?), 2 Jun 1935, Los Angeles, California; (3) Arthur Welch Alexander (1912-1989)

Birth certificate of Julia McGuire, 30 Mar 1871, Green Isle, Minnesota
1880, 1900, 1910 and 1920 U.S. Censuses, Minnesota
City directories for Minneapolis and St. Paul, 1887-1922
Marriage certificate of Louis La Brie and Julia McGuire
"Ends Life in Cell at Rondo Station," St. Paul Pioneer Press, 5 Mar 1911
Death certificate of Julia La Brie, 18 May 1922, St. Paul, Minnesota
Letter from Hazel Swenson, 30 May 1977
Death certificate of Frank La Brie, 8 Nov 1937
Minnesota Marriage Records database
Death certificate of Anna La Brie, 23 Sep 1996
Social Security application of James John Bolheres, 26 Nov 1937
Death certificate of James John Bolheres
Marriage certificate of James Bolheres and Minnie La Brie, 17 Jun 1918
Birth record of Minnie Louise La Brie, 3 Sep 1893
Funeral memorial card of Minnie Bolheres, 23 Jul 1950
California Death Records index, 1940-1997
Death Certificate of William F. Maxwell, 21 Jul 1941
Letter from William Swenson, 14 Nov 1997
California County Marriages, 1850-1952

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