The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Lifestyles

July 5, 2013

A trip through the Herrity family tree

(Continued)

The first five generations of Herritys all had “Thomases.” Our first Thomas Herrity married a widow with four children, then they had three together: Sarah, Thomas “Nibs”, and my grandfather, John (1860-1901), who died of “apoplexy” on the railroad. John had three children (Thomas, John ‘Nibs’, and Irene) with his OLA-graduate wife, Mary, who came here from Chicago after The Great Fire of 1871. My father was that Tom, who miraculously became a dentist; Uncle John at one time played football with Duke Slater; and Aunt Irene remained a spinster all her life.

Irene was the one who finally marked Thomas and Catherine’s 1907 gravesites. She did this in 1976, just before getting rid of all her worldly assets “to go to the poor house,” as she called it. My daughter, Rachelle, and I often visited her there at the Clinton County Home. In fact, I unwittingly made that move possible by giving her a fifth of Irish whiskey for Christmas in 1974. Her house (then John and Mary’s old place on 11th Avenue South) was becoming a hovel from age and neglect. She had only a space heater, and it was bitterly cold; so, she drank the whole bottle in one sitting. Her heart then went into palpitations, which necessitated a trip to the hospital! Who knew she’d do that? Because the doctor wouldn’t let her go home, I got credit for saving her life, with a fifth of booze, so she didn’t freeze to death.

And so, you have met my family of Irish immigrants. They all lived relatively simple lives. “Nibs” got his name from a card game, and I think all his offspring still live in Clinton. I have been privileged to meet them too, because they went to public schools, which I’ve worked in. We weren’t so fortunate with our older Chicago relatives. No one knows why we haven’t heard from Kitty and Lol or Lee Raymond for 50 years. Time or distance can soon make family members fade into oblivion.

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Lifestyles
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  • Sawmill New event cruises into Clinton CLINTON — Three Gateway-area locations are joining together in August for a river heritage event.The event will be held Aug. 3 and will feature a Blue Heron river cruise, a Sawmill Museum tour and a de Immigrant Windmill tour in Fulton, Illinois. The

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  • Minnick Ashford director appointed to commission CLINTON —The Ashford University campus director has been appointed to a volunteer commission.Charlie Minnick, vice president/campus director of Ashford University, has been appointed by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Ser

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Summer lunch menus (July 21 to 25)

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    July 17, 2014

  • Ax throw, log climb at Adirondack lumberjack class PAUL SMITHS, N.Y. — Ax throwing is encouraged in lumberjack class. It’s also OK to dump your classmate in the lake — as long as you’re both frantically trying to stay upright on a floating log.The annual Adirondack Woodsmen’s School is being held thi

    July 17, 2014

  • Locally-grown foods look to bigger business

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    July 16, 2014

  • What happens to your online accounts when you die?

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    July 16, 2014

  • Plenty of collectibles available at auction CLINTON — A nice walnut table hit a high mark of $95 at a recent auction. A small chest freeze sold for $82.50 and the electric stove heated up for $85. A window air conditioner kept everyone cool with a bid of $45, lawn chairs sold for $20, the Plan

    July 12, 2014

  • Talent show Fair to display talent show DEWITT — Children and adults next weekend in DeWitt will compete for an opportunity to participate in the Iowa State Fair.The Bill Riley Talent Search will be held at 2 p.m. July 20 at the Clinton County Fair in DeWitt. The show is open to the public

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

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