Friday, July 19, 2013

John O'Hora and His Daughters Part 3--Anne

     John O'Hora died sometime around 1872.  I've scoured the burial records of Holy Family and St. Mary's Catholic Churches in Auburn with no luck; no obituary either.  John is listed in the Auburn City Directory for 1871 and 1872, but in the fall of '72 Catherine begins to appear on the lists of the Overseer of the Poor; it was all downhill from there.  Catherine had of run-ins with city police and was arrested several times, for petty larcenies and disorderly conduct.

     In 1884 two young men were arrested at her home and charged with stealing chickens, one of them was John Shea, the grandson we met yesterday, the other was William Travers, the son of her second daughter Anne.  All concerned were enjoying a chicken dinner when the police raided the place.

     Anne was born April 15th of 1851 in Aurelius, the third child of John and Catherine.  Two weeks later she was baptised at Holy Family RC Church, my great, great grandfather James O'Hora was her godfather, his soon-to-be wife Maria McGarr was godmother.  Anne worked in the mills in Auburn as a young teenager, and like Mary, she married at a ridiculously early age--17.  Her husband was 23 year old Michael Travers, an Irish immigrant.  Michael may have been related in some manner, Anne's O'Hora grandmother's maiden name was Travers.  Her first child, a daughter named Catherine after her mother, was born two years after the marriage but lived only  four months.  William Travers was born a year later, and a year after that, another son, John.

     Michael Travers ran a saloon and sometimes walked on the wrong side of the law.  He was arrested several times on violations of the excise laws, aka selling hootch illegally.  Anne died in May of 1873, which would have been very close to the time of her son John's birth, she may have contracted "childbed fever" and died as a result.  Her obituary was very brief:
       May 15th , 1873, Anne, wife of Michael Travers, aged 22 years and 1 month.  Funeral will take place from St. Mary's church Sunday 16th? at 9 o'clock am.

     Michael was arrested for assault seven months after Anne's death and again in February of 1875 for once again violating the excise law.  Something much worse than that occurred that same year, this from the Auburn newspaper:
Dr. Gerin
 Feb 13 1875--The Coroner's inquest in the case of Callahan O'Connor, mentioned in our last issue, was concluded last evening at six o'clock.  The testimony of Drs. Gerin and Creveliug, who conducted the post-mortem, was to the effect that O'Connor's death was caused by rupture of the bladder.
     The testimony of several witnesses, who were present at the den of Travers, on the evening when deceased was injured in wrestling with that individual, confirmed O'Connor's ante-mortem statement, and the jury found as their verdict, that--

     Callahan O'Connor came to his death on the 11th inst., in the city of Auburn, from injuries received at the hands of Michael Travers, on the evening of February 8, at his saloon on North street. Coroner Foster will issue his warrant this morning for the consignment of the prisoner to Auburn Jail, to await action of the grand jury.

     Michael had really done it now.  Looked like he'd be going up the river for quite awhile this time, but somehow he got off and in 1880 he could be found living with his new wife, a widow named Ellen Lillis who was about ten years older than he.  He did however loose his liquor license, not that he troubled too much with liquor laws.

     In May of 1888 Michael's 14 year old son John was playing with some other boys in the train yards, not exactly the ideal playground.  While there, John was hit by a passing train.  The sad story was printed as follows:
     May 18, 1888 Tuesday-- A lad of fourteen years, giving his name as John Travers, and who lived with his mother at 176  1/2 Van Anden Street, was terribly injured at the Southern Central yards, last evening.  He was taken to a house in the neighborhood and an officer summoned from the City Hall. Roundsman Roseboom had the lad placed in a hack and taken to the residence of Dr. Parker. That gentleman, arriving a little later, made a rapid examination of the injuries and decided to send the boy to the city hospital. To this the boy objected, thinking his mother would have to bear the expense and asked to be taken home. But, on being informed there would be no expense, he willingly submitted and was driven to the hospital.               
     During all the journey the lad bore his severe pain with the greatest fortitude and patience. He said he had not been run over but after having alighted from a coal jimmy, he was standing on the track and a car struck him and knocked him down. At the hospital the injuries were thoroughly examined and pronounced fatal by Dr. Parker. The pelvis is fractured, the left foot badly lacerated, the rectum tore from its attachments and pushed into the body, the tissues in the pelvis lacerated terribly and his leg badly marked. The boy's terrible sufferings ended in death this morning.

     Of course the story is a bit sensationalized. John didn't live with his mother at all, he lived with his father and step-mother, and I highly doubt a child in that much pain and probably going into shock was worrying about medical expenses.  That left only one child of Anne's alive, William, and he was no prize.  You recall he was the one arrested with John Shea at Grandma O'Hora's place for chicken stealing.  Check out this article from two years before his brother's death:
     May 19, 1886 Auburn--Willie Travers, the incorrigible, as to whom Recorder Gulon was reported to be in a dilemma, the other day, was finally committed to the orphan asylum. Yesterday morning he got away to see the circus and has not been seen himself since that time.
And this: 
     1895--William Travers was arrested this afternoon on a warrant charging him with assault in the second degree. The
complainant is Elizabeth Ferris, a resident of Delevan street who alleges that Travers, who bears a -hard reputation, struck her over the head yesterday with a piece of iron which he grabbed from a

     Elizabeth Ferris was in fact William's aunt, another daughter of John O'Hora, we'll get to her tomorrow.  William lived to be 57 when he fell through a hay mow to the  floor 12 feet below and was killed.  He never married, Anne O'Hora Travers left no descendants.


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