Ancestral Journeys

Genealogical research and thoughts

Patrick H. Leddy

Posted by dwsuddarth on 12 July 2011

Recently, I decided to take a break from the Suddarth line and have been conducting research on one of my relatives on my mother’s side of the family.  Although not a direct ancestor, he has turned out to be one my favorites.

Patrick H. Leddy is my great-grandfather’s brother.  His parents, Andrew and Margaret Leddy, both from Ireland, came to the U.S. in the mid 1800’s.  Settling first in Milford, Worcester County, Massachusetts and then in Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania, they had five children: Mary A., born about 1855 in Massachusetts; Patrick H., born about 1857 in Pennsylvania; Margaret C., born 16 August, 1859 in Pennsylvania; Thomas Francis (my great-grandfather), born 15 November 1861 in Pennsylvania; and Barnard A., born 18 December 1864 in Pennsylvania.

The family moved to Amboy, in Lee County, Illinois sometime before 1870.  Around 1879, Patrick had gone to Leadville, Lake County, Colorado where he worked in mining.  In 1888, he had moved to Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri, where he continued his career in mining.  While living in Joplin, his brothers Thomas and Barnard joined him and together, they owned and operated the Golden Slipper Mine.  Patrick founded the town of Central City, Missouri (now a part of Joplin), which was destroyed by fire on 30 January 1900 at a loss of $10,000.  Insurance on the town was $5,000. Patrick must have found a way to rebuild, however, as the town is mentioned as in the ‘Biographical Record of Jasper County Missouri’, published in 1901.

Newspaper article about fire that destroyed Central City, MO
Missouri State Tribune, Jefferson City, Missouri
Page 4, Column 5
February 3, 1900

Patrick was also actively engaged in the Joplin community, taking part in the preparation of the Joplin exhibit of minerals for display at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.  In addition, Patrick was a member of the Benevolent Order of Elks and helped organize the lodge at Joplin in 1899.

After moving to Joplin, Patrick married Rebecca Adiline Thomas, on 24 May 1899, in Nevada, Vernon County, Missouri, just North of Joplin.  Rebecca (known as Addie) was born in Wisconsin and had been living in Cherryvale, Montgomery County, Kansas with her family at the time.  Patrick and Addie had two children, Thomas A., born October, 1899, in Arkansas, and Margaret A., born around 1902 in Missouri.  Their son Thomas died before 1910.  A death record has been found for a ‘Son R. A. Leddy’, died 30 June 1900 at the age of 8 months.  I believe that the ‘R.A.’ stands for Rebecca Adiline, and that this is Patrick and Addie’s son Thomas.

By 1910, Patrick had moved his family West, to Fresno County, California, where he once again was engaged in mining, this time for gold.  According to the 1910 Fresno County, California census, he was working on his own account.  In 1912, the United States was in the middle of a Presidential election, with Woodrow Wilson for the Democrats running against Republican Howard Taft and Teddy Roosevelt, nominated by the Progressive Party, also known as the ‘Bull Moose Party’.  Voter registration rolls for California show that Patrick was registered as a Democrat for the general election, held on 5 November, so he most likely voted for Wilson.  Wilson went on to win the election, capturing 40 out of 48 states.

By this time, Patrick had left mining and in 1912 was working as a newspaper man.  By 1916, he had opened a store in the town of Shaver Lake, California, just Northeast of Fresno.  Around 1925, Patrick moved further out of the city, to Big Creek, where he was a storekeeper at Camp 21.  The Big Creek project was a major undertaking, building dams and powerhouses in the Sierra Nevada mountains in order to generate power for the growing area.  He is enumerated on the 1930, Fresno County, California census living in ‘Big Creek and Powerhouse 1′ and working as a merchant in the commissary building.  According to voter registration lists, he had retired by November of 1930.

By 1934, Patrick had disappeared from the voter registration lists.  His wife, Rebecca (Addie), had moved back to Fresno and was living at 1845 Hammond in the city.  A death record has not been found for Patrick, but I believe he died between 1930 and 1934, as the last voter registration list he appears on is for 1930 and his wife his listed in 1934 (I have not found a list for 1932).  Addie continued to live at the address on Hammond through at least 1944 and most likely up until her death.  She died in Fresno on 21 May 1949 at the age of 82.

My research into Patrick continues.  I would like to find out more about him and get an even better picture of his life.  He seems to me to have been an adventurer, working at various times in his life as a miner, a newspaper man, and a storekeeper.  Although not a direct ancestor, Patrick continues to intrigue me.

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