The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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July 5, 2013

A trip through the Herrity family tree


The 1860 Census shows eight people living in their tiny house, and the same was true in 1870. The first entry lists several Jennings — related to Catherine; their sons, John and Thomas (‘Nibs’) Herrity, and daughter Lulu are listed later. “Nibs” was the last Thomas in that line, but his brother John (1861- 1901) had two sons — my dad, Thomas Henry Herrity, DDS (1889-1963); and my uncle — the one we call John “The Baker” Herrity (1892-1976) — and one daughter, Irene Herrity (1894-1980). In 1907, the first Thomas and his wife Catherine, died of pneumonia at age 75, just days apart.

By 1920, Tom’s son “Nibs” Herrity was still running the bar, but it soon went out of business, as the new viaduct to “South Clinton” cut off easy access by railroaders. For the rest of his life, however, “Nibs” continued to live down the street in the tiny house his parents built when there were just nine homes in Clinton.

I recently got a 1902 picture of the Herrity Saloon, with “Nibs” and children Lulu, Charles and Oliver next to him. For history’s sake, I wish he’d been in it. It was near that same time that a photograph of the Herrity Bakery was taken about three blocks north and my dad, Uncle John, Grandma Mary (Walsh) Herrity and Vinnie Roeder’s uncle are all pictured. My Grandma Mary started Herrity Bakery (see above) in 1901, shortly after Grandpa John died at age 40. The young widow had three children to raise (pre- Social Security!). Her bakery was on the alley, on the west side, in the 800 block of Fourth Street.

A few years ago, a lady from our McFadden-Jennings ‘tree-branch” came to Clinton on a genealogical hunt from Washington State, wishing to see her ancestral roots. We took her down to the family homestead (torn down in 2010), and videotaped her with Cousin Annabelle, (who still lived there then), documenting that the tiny house was home to four generations of Herritys between 1858 and 2011: Thomas I, his son Thomas, his daughter, Lulu, and her niece, Annabelle (Herrity) Gundlefinger.

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