Saturday, September 15, 2007

Martin Munroe's Papers - Michael J. and Sadie

This picture is of Michael John Munroe and
his sister Sarah (Aunt Sadie) taken in
Akron, OH in the 1950s

michael munroe wrote on 9/15/2007:
I asked about Sadie because one of the great sadnesses of my father was that my Grandad reported making a bonfire of Martin Munroe's personal papers after his death. I don't know if any further explanation was ever given for the motivation for the bonfire.

[Munroe's of Galway and Delaware p.4] ". . .So much that we do not know might have been revealed to us had my father not made a bonfire of his father’s (Martin’s) papers when he and his sister Sadie were moving out ofthe family home after his father’s death.[7]. . ."

[Munroe's of Galway and Delaware p.16] ". . . My father was a good steady worker after he grew up, and he never missed a day’s work, however ill he might feel, if he could drag himself out of the house in the morning. Being male, he was allowed privileges, particularly as he grew up and became, as he did, the financial mainstay of the family in his father’s old age.

The two men talked a lot apparently, since my stories of Martin came mainly from my father. After all, for twelve years, from Bridget’s death in 1898 to Martin’s in 1910, they lived together, the only two men in the house, though there was always at least one girl there as housekeeper—Kate, until her marriage, and Sadie throughout this period.

Only occasionally did a story regarding Martin’s temper slip from my father, as, for example, on an occasion when my son Stephen made a remark I considered insolent and I raised my hand to strike him. "Don’t do that, John," my father interrupted. "The boy is too big for that. My father hit Pat and he ran away. . ."

[ footnote Munroe's of Galway and Delaware p.24] 7. Martin’s Letters from his brothers, his passport, and his naturalization papers were all destroyed in this fire."

It could have been a desire for finality, or could indicate how difficult he had been during his lifetime, I really don't have any indication at all.

However, since my Grandfather was not one to keep a lot of paper around, and as I doubt that he could have suspected, at that time, that he would have a son with a great interest in history, - it could have been much like school children making a bonfire of their school papers at the completition of a term. . ."

michael munroe

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cathedral Cemetery - Margaret Cordone

On Friday June 1, 2007 Paul E. Brown wrote with this news:

"A call today to Cathedral Cemetery, Wilmington, was interesting and informative. Very quickly the woman in the office confirmed that Martin was indeed buried there.

[Martin Munroe] is in a three grave plot in which 5 are buried. In the old days they allowed double interments. . . Here is the information that she did give today:

There are two Martins there, one buried in Nov. 1910 which would be our great grandfather, and another buried in 1900 which is probably Martin and Bridget's son. Bridget is there buried in 1898 and William (another son?) and surprise surprise Margaret Cordone buried in May, 1911 (the *mystery daughter?).

*Margaret Monroe the fourth child of Martin Munroe born in 1877 in Wilmington, Delaware: Absolutely nothing had been known of the life or whereabouts of Margaret until this discovery. Now, if only we had some idea where Maggie got the name "Cordone" and why she died at the young age of 33 and why her siblings never told the next generation anything about her.

Frank P. Monroe

(Frank Monroe and his grandson Bob)

On Tuesday 2/20/2007 Bob Monroe wrote:

". . .I knew & spent more time with Grandpap than either of my sisters. I would walk with him to the bus stop when he was leaving after a visit. We never knew when he was coming or when he was going to leave. He would stay for two or three days and then leave.

I always gave up my bed for him and slept on the floor during that time. I always liked him . He would always tell me "Bobby, A man is only as good as his word"

[Frank Monroe d.1947] was struck by a car as he was stepping from a curb in Ambridge. He was taken to the Rochester Hospital and passed away a short time later. He passed away in the hospital. Uncle Mike was at the funeral and I sat with him.

Grandpaps daughter Mary Louise
[youngest child of Frank Monroe d. 1937] was killed in an automobile accident her senior year in high school. The accident happened in Meadville, Pa. My grandfather said very little about his family. Never heard him mention his Dads name. . ."

Michael John visits Akron, Ohio 1950

(This picture is from Akron, Ohio in 1950. Michael, Bob and Willis in the back row Emma and Mary are two of the women in the middle row and Marian and Sadie are in the front row.)

On Monday 2/19/2007 Bob Monroe also wrote:

"I remember Uncle Mike coming to visit my grandfather. We did not have a car at the time They would ride the bus from Rochester to Beaver Falls. We were living at 1511-5th ave when I first met my Uncle Mike.

At a later visit, when we owned a car we traveled to Akron ,Ohio and Uncle Mike saw his sister Sadie & her husband Charley. I believe his sisters name was Sadie. I have a picture somewhere of the two of them from that visit & when I locate it I will send it to you and you will be able to share it with others."

Frank P. Monroe

On Monday 2/19/07 Bob Monroe wrote:

" The picture of Frank Monroe is my grandfather; it was taken when we lived at 1405-2nd ave. in Beaver Falls. I recognize the birdbath & the three stall garage in the background.

My dad purchased that home from Timothy & Ann Hartnet who lived in the home behind us. My grandfather looked at that property with my dad & I learned that my grandfather said it was a good buy for $2,800. That was in 1940."

Emma Young Monroe and Charles Young

(Emma Young was the wife of Willis K. Munroe)

On Thursday May 3, 2007 Bob Monroe wrote:

"This picture was taken in the back yard of the last home my dad & mom owned. It was taken probably in 1958. The address is 510-8th ave.-Beaver Falls, Pa. It was in an area called Patterson Hgts. We had moved from 1405-2nd ave to this home.

I can remember how good my mom & dad felt moving into this home. The home on 2nd ave was a good home for the family; it was tough neighborhood. The block that we lived in had Italian families, Polish families, German families, Irish families and we had probably one of the first displaced families from Europe after World War 11.
I can remember how the kids would get into fights and the parents would not get involved in them."

George Green

On Wed 10/18/2006 John Davis wrote:

". . .Mom has corrected me in a couple of details. (1)

George was a Master Machinist, and not a Master Mechanic by trade, although I’m sure you see the overlap as you must understand the nuances of machine art. I think what amazes me the most is that he could MAKE any tool he needed.

Wow, Talk about teaching a man to fish,….teach him how to make tools and he can have unlimited dreams.

The other correction (2)is that he did make a telescope and ground the lenses by hand; But no recollection of binoculars’ or the Navy. I may have that memory crossed over with something else. Mom recalls that on many occasions some members from the Fells Planetarium would come down and they would gather in the back yard. . ."

On 10/22/2006 John Davis added:

". . .Going thru my Grandfathers’ old tool box was a magical mystery ride. It was a revelation deconstructing his dreams and hopes of using this and that odd fixture or tool. Ancient bunson burners and pipe fittings, odd metals and chisels, files and believe it or not I found at least 15 pencils that were 3 inches in length or less. I guess growing up in the Great Depression, you used EVERYTHING until it was completely spent. . ."

Grandmother Mae Green

On 10/14/2006 John Davis mentioned in an email:

"I will always treasure my memories with him and of the stories I heard from my Aunt Sarah, Uncle Ernie, Mary (Mae) Green –my Grandmother and of course my Mom and Dad, Bob and Marie Davis. Add to that list, my Mom’s sister Geri Buckwalter (just had knee surgery last week-and I know she is disappointed she can not be there) and Paul Brown and Betty Brown-Campanella. The list is endless.

One quick recollection, I remember my Grandmother Mary (Mae) Green – Daughter of Mary Munroe Brown, telling me that just after the influenza pandemic of 1915-18, where they (The family of Mary Munroe Brown and Rubin Brown) lost several children.

My Grandmother was taken ill. She told me John would come over and sit at the foot of her bed and read stories to her.

She was probably 18 or 19 then, John would have to had been 5or 6 years old.

(based on the assumption that this was just after 1918 – say 1919-1920 ?)"

Monday, September 10, 2007

Granddad - Michael J. Munroe

When my grandfather turned the TV to one of the prize fights, I could tell that my grandmother was angry. She didn't exactly stamp around but the atmospher chilled and I noticed that she no longer addressed questions to my grandfather. She now would only communicate through me.

The TV room in their city row house was less a room than it was a wide hallway between a formal sitting room and the dining room. The dining room had french doors with lace curtains, a row of window seats and on the window sills were her African violets.

I think my grandparents had color TV before we even had a black and white set. The TV sat on a big mahogony side table that was in the space in front of the open staircase to the second floor. My grandfather used pieces of broken glass to scrape off the old finish. Today we would use a flat scraper or a sander. In my grandparents house, the steps to both the second floor and to the third floor were always beautifully finished.

The shows my grandmother loved to watch with me and Granddad included, Queen For a Day, Art Linkletter, Laurence Welk, and Jackie Gleason. My grandfather loved Jimmy Durante and his prize fights.

Granddad had lots of stories. He had grown up in the rough side of Wilmington leaving school in the sixth grade. When he left school, he continued to leave each morning with his lunch pretending to go to school for some time until his parents found out. He had worked at many jobs such as taking cows to pasture, working on a hack taking people into Wilmington, working in a glass factory, shining shoes and a rolling mill.

In the end, his father helped him get a seven year apprenticeship at Lobdells where he took up the trade of a molder. A molder was one step below a pattern maker who would have been just below an engineer. It was a skilled job with great responsibility as the rolls he poured were the among the largest being made at that time. Lobdells made chilled iron rolls for the paper industry and this work was a very good occupation. At Lobdells, he got the nick name Pete. He started out as "little Pete" until the original Pete left and granddad became known simply as Pete. My granddad worked at Lobdells until he retired and there are several stories from that period of his life that will have to wait until later.

michael munroe
June 23, 1999