Obit Search at MNHS

I went to MNHS today on the hunt for obituaries.  I wasn’t expecting to find much, given how my last obit search went (found zip, zilch, nada), but that didn’t turn out to be the case today.  I found two McGuires and three O’Mearas!  The O’Meara obits were much more detailed and gave lots of good information, being that they were “pioneers” of Green Isle.  I would consider my Anthony McGuire a “pioneer” as well, but I guess he wasn’t an important one?  He does, however, get credit for being the first death and owning the first house in Green Isle, so that’s something? Much of this paper was incredibly damaged, and pieces of it were ripped out, so I’m pretty happy that this survived, being only a couple few inches away from a big ripped-out chunk:

Obituary of Anthony McGuire – Sibley County Independent, December 1, 1882 (photo)

We are called upon to record the first death in our young city, and the circumstances causes a gloom in our community. Mr. Anthony McGuire died at 4 o’clock, on Monday afternoon, he had been in his usual health and had been at the funeral of Mr. Davitt that day and went to cut some wood for the night. He had cut off but three sticks when he dropped down dead. Coroner Joyce was summoned and an inquest was held. Dr. Cash, of Norwood, was also summoned, when after due deliberation a verdict was given that the deceased died of heart disease.

The other McGuire obituary I found, (in a less damaged year of the paper) was for Anthony’s son, Charles:

Obituary of Charles McGuire – Sibley County Independent, October 19, 1917 (photo 1, photo 2)

On Thursday morning, October 4, occurred the sad and sudden death of Charles McGuire, at his home at 183 Genesee Street, St Paul, when he was stricken with heart failure. Mr. McGuire was an engineer on the Great Northern and came home from his run the previous day apparently in his usual good health; but during the night the Angel of Death stole in and robbed the family of their husband and father. Mr. McGuire was born on a farm near Glencoe in 1876. He came to Green Isle with his parents when but a small boy where he lived until nine years ago when he moved to St. Paul and accepted a position as fireman on the G. N. railroad and was employed there until his death. The past few years he has been an engineer.

In 1906 he was married to Miss Emma Grassinger of Henderson, who survives him, together with two sons Cyril, age 10 and David age 8. Besides his family he is mourned by two brothers, Martin McGuire of this place, Henry McGuire of Garland, Mont., and a sister, Mrs. Al. Davidson of St. Paul. Among us all, Mr. McGuire ranked always as a devoted husband and kind and indulgent father, to his friends the soul of fellowship.

The funeral was held Saturday morning at 9 o’clock at St. Patrick’s church, St. Paul, Rev. Father Quimm officiating. The remains were laid to rest in Calvary cemetery. — Green Isle Record.

I was having pretty good luck searching the Sibley County Independent, as they included news from surrounding communities like Green Isle.  In it, I also found obituaries for Mary (O’Meara) Clancy, Anthony’s second wife, and her parents, Patrick O’Meara (photo) & Margaret O’Meara (photo).  After today, I’m a little bitter that the O’Meara’s obits tell me all the things that I wish Anthony’s obit would tell me, like the counties in Ireland where they were born, and where they arrived when they came to America.  Grrr.

Obituary of Mary (O’Meara) Clancy – Sibley County Independent, November 23, 1888 (photo)

Died.- At her residence in the [village] of Green Isle, Saturday Nov 17, Mary Jane, wife of James Clancy, aged 36 years.  Mrs. Clancy leaves a large family, the youngest a baby 8 months old.  She had been sick for some time but had recovered so as to be able to get around, and her sudden death was a surprise.  Her connection with our village is something remarkable; her house was the first built; she had the first death, the death of her previous husband, Anthony McGuire; the first birth; the first marriage and she is the first woman that died.  Mr. Clancy has the heartfelt sympathies of the whole community in his sad affliction.

Then I moved on to the Green Isle Record. This paper wasn’t born until 1905, so there was no hope of finding Anthony & Mary there.  Maybe their children, though?  So I checked for the ones whose death dates I know: Margaret McGuire (1924), Martin McGuire (1937), and Henry McGuire (1857).  Both the 1924 and 1937 were nowhere to be found in the huge drawers of neatly organized microfiche (microfiches?).  What the crap?  And the rest of them only went up to 1853.  (Later research taught me that the paper was disbanded in 1853. Fair enough. But also…hey no fair!)

In summary:

I didn’t really learn anything new about McGuires today (except that Anthony was the first death in Green Isle, and that he chopped three pieces of wood before he croaked).

To do’s:

  • Figure out if and how I can get a hold of the Green Isle Record for the years 1924 and 1937.
  • Figure out what other surrounding towns I might be able to check for more write-ups about Anthony.
  • Look for an obit for Anthony’s first wife, Bridget.  Which paper(s) do I check?
  • Maybe consolidate my To Do’s?  And put them in a central place?

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