Monday, January 30, 2017

Mark Mathias Connell 1876 - 1957

   This is the 10th and last post following the family of George and Johanna Cussen Connell of Lodi, Wisconsin.
   Mark Connell, youngest of George and Johanna Cussen/Cushing Connell, was born in Lodi, Wisconsin in 1876. His father died just one year later. I think that Mark was living with his mother in Lodi then Portage until the mid 1890s, but I can't definitively locate him between 1880 and 1910. In 1910 I think he has just arrived in Seattle, since his occupation is listed as farmer, but he's living in a hotel in the city. By 1917, he was living in Burke, an unincorporated location that I cannot find on any map, where he runs a store. He married Loretta Hanson there that year. There was a post office there from 1907 to 1925, of which Mark was the postmaster in 1918. By 1920, they had moved to Eastside, Oregon (near Coos Bay) where Mark was a grocer. By 1930, Loretta and Mark were living in Pomona California, 50 miles east of Los Angeles, where they were running a pool hall and cigar store, which they did for many years. Mark passed away in 1957.  Loretta Connell Walters, remarried, passed away in 1990.  Mark and Loretta had no children.

Margaret Ann Connell 1869- 1951

   Maggie Connell was born in Lodi in 1869. I'm guessing she stayed in Lodi until at least 1885 and, at 16, was one of the two girls still at home with her widowed mom that year. She married John Michael Gorman, probably in about 1893, the year before their first daughter was born. I have lots of unanswered questions about Maggie. Why was she in the Spokane, Washington area where she appears to have started her family?  John Gorman was born in the Wyoming Territory in about 1868, making it likely that Maggie met and married him out west, but I think it unusual that a single young woman would venture so far on her own. Since John was a railroad conductor, perhaps they met far from Spokane. Their first child, Mary Elizabeth, was born in 1894 and Patrick in 1896, both in Hillyard, near Spokane. Theresa was born in April of 1898 in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, about 90 miles northeast of Spokane.  John was killed in an accident near Bonners Ferry just four months later and is buried back in Spokane. In 1892, the Great Northern Railway began service in Bonners Ferry, and John was a railroad conductor.  Also it's likely that John had a brother, Patrick, close to his age, who was an assistant roadmaster - a roadmaster having responsibility for a section of track - for the Great Northern Railway, stationed in Bonners Ferry in 1896. I believe their kids were close in age, so perhaps John had moved with his brother to that town, where Maggie would have some help with family while he was away from home on the trains.

   In about 1902, Maggie brought her family north into Canada. In 1906, 37 years old, she married John Bastian, a 34 year old immigrant from England, in Michel, British Columbia, what used to be a small coal mining town. I can't find Maggie and kids in the 1900 US census or in the 1901 British Columbia census, so I'm not sure what brought Maggie to Canada. Maggie and John (Bastian) had a daughter in 1909.  By 1911, they had moved about 200 miles east and may have been running a boarding house. Five years later, Maggie is again a widow, now living in Edmonton.  Daughter Mary, now 22 years old, is no longer at home.  I only find sporadic traces of Maggie after this. In 1924, she returned to the United States with her almost 16 year old daughter, also named Margaret Bastian. Their destination was Portage, Wisconsin. I can't find Maggie again until 1940, when 71 year old Maggie is living with her oldest daughter, Mary Gorman Gaul in the Los Angeles area.  She (Maggie) passed away and is buried in 1951 in Los Angeles county.
   In 1916, Mary was living elsewhere in Edmonton.  She was a nurse in what appears to be a Catholic institution, together with many sisters/nuns, nurses, orderlies and children (orphans?) under the age of 6. In about 1931, Mary married Fred Gaul, a retired orange grower in Los Angeles county. He was thirty years older than she. How a young nurse in Alberta, Canada meets a widower in southern California, I don't know. They lived in his San Dimas home. Fred had retired by 1920 and I see that he and Mary seemed to travel frequently - to Hawaii, Singapore and Brazil together. She made at least one trip to England after his death. Fred passed away in 1951. Mary passed away in 1988.
   Patrick married Leonora McCafferty in Alberta in 1927. Their only son, Jack, was born in 1929.  Patrick developed a brain tumor and died in 1932. Leonora remarried Dominic Meehan, a railroad conductor with the Canadian National Railway, around 1940. Their son James was born in 1942. Jack went on to become a journalist, newspaper editor and author.  An alumnus of Notre Dame College in Saskatchewan, among his books are a best selling biography of Notre Dame's founder, Pere Murray and the Hounds and an autobiographical novel, Snow in the Vineyards. Jack passed away in Calgary in 2009 at the age of 80. He married and had a family, but I have no details.
   I have found no more information on Theresa Gorman.  My last trace of her was as an 18 year old living with her mother and family in Edmonton in 1916.
   Margaret Bastian, Maggie's youngest daughter, immigrated to the US with her mom a month before her sixteenth birthday, in 1924.  They were on their way to Portage, Wisconsin, where Maggie's mom had passed away the year before, near where she had grown up in Lodi. The only record I've found of daughter Margaret is of her living in a boarding house for women in Milwaukee in 1930.  She worked as a stenographer for a printer.
   Nowadays, we think of nothing of coast-to-coast families. Maggie lived quite the adventure, from a farm in Lodi, to the railroads of the Pacific Northwest, to coal mining in British Columbia, to city life in Edmonton, back home to Wisconsin, and her remaining years in a comfortable quiet (no kids) home in southern California.