N. J. Comerford, a prominent citizen of Minooka and Joliet, collected obituaries and newspaper articles during his lifetime for placement in his scrapbook. Michele Roberts, historian at Three Rivers Public Library in Minooka, photocopied his books for transcription. That transcription is included on this website in a series of articles called N. J. Comerford’s Scrapbook.
- N. J. Comerford’s Scrapbook #1
- N. J. Comerford’s Scrapbook #2
- N. J. Comerford’s Scrapbook #3
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- N. J. Comerford’s Scrapbook #5
Four in Family Serve Government During War
Tuesday, February 11, 1919
There are three stars in the service flag of Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Comerford, 610 Western Avenue, representing the three sons who were in the service. Two of them have recently returned from camps. A third son, and their eldest son, Sergt. George Comerford, has been in France for several months.
Nicholas Comerford was born in 1862 in Grundy County. He attended Notre Dame University and was associated in the merchandise business with his father, George Comerford, a pioneer resident of Minooka, Ill.
In 1910, Nicholas Comerford retired from business and moved with his family to Joliet. He was later identified with the Eagle Furniture company in North Chicago street, and was also food administrator for Will county, succeeding Peter Holmstrom, the second official who held the office. Mr. Comerford served in that capacity until he was relieved of his duties as administrator when the United States Food Administration closed its headquarters in Joliet.
George Comerford was the first of three sons to enter the service and is now overseas with the A. E. . . . the training course and has since returned to Joliet, where he is again identified with the Joliet National Bank.
His younger brother, Dean Comerford, was made sergeant while in the S.A.T.C. at Dubuque College. He has received his honorable discharge from the service.
He was born in 1898 in Minooka, Ill., and finished his education in the Joliet Township high school, from which he graduated in 1916. He is completing his education in Dubuque college.
Death Claims Dean Comerford
Prominent Joliet Boy Succumbs to Long Illness at Home Here
October 1st, 1921
Served in Army
Dean Comerford, 23 years old, son of Mr. and Mrs. N.J. Comerford, 610 Western Avenue, died this morning at 6 o’clock at the home of his parents, following an illness of several months.
Born in Minooka, he received his early education at Notre Dame university, having spent four years in the Minim department of that institution.
Illness Halts Course
With his parents, he moved to Joliet 11 years ago and attended Sacred Heart School until he finished the eighth grade. He was graduated from the Joliet high school with the class of 1916 and continued his studies at Dubuque college, Iowa, and would have graduated from Illinois university in 1919 had not illness interrupted his course.
During the war he took a students’ officer’s training course at Fort Sheridan and was in the student reserve officers’ training corps at Dubuque college.
He received honors in public speaking in his high school class and was chairman of the 1916 Field day program. He was a member of the J.T.H.S. basketball team of 1916 and was captain of the 1918 Dubuque college team. He was specializing in chemistry at the state university.
Shortly after his discharge from the army he became ill. He was one of four members of his family engaged in war work. His father was food administrator and his two brothers were in service.
Surviving him are his parents, three brothers, George, John and Thomas, and two sisters, Helen and Lucille.
The funeral will be Monday morning at 9:30 o’clock from the home to St. Raymond’s church. Burial will be in Mt. Olivet cemetery.
Hold Funeral of Dean Comerford
October 3, 1921
With Joliet and visiting priests on the altar; solemn requiem high mass was celebrated in St. Raymond’s church at 10 o’clock at the funeral of Dean Comerford, former high school athlete, who died Saturday at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. N.J. Comerford, 610 Western Avenue.
The Rev. Francis Scanlan, pastor of the church was celebrant, the Rev. Thomas O’Brien, of Morris, deacon and the Rev. Thomas Tormay, assistant pastor at St. Raymond’s, subdeacon. The Revs. Joseph McMahon, of Minooka, A. S. Olszewski of Holy Cross, P.L. Kennedy and Joseph Morrison, of St. Patrick’s, were on the altar.
St. Raymond’s choir, assisted by Mrs. Henry Odenthal, William Odenthal and Dr. John Limacher, sang the mass.
Pallbearers were Joseph Lennon, Louis Lagger, Charles Hossack, Donald Fraser, Joseph Wallace and John Murray. Burial was in Mt. Olivet cemetery.
The boy had been ill since shortly after his discharge from service two years ago. He was captain of the 1916 basketball team of the high ……….
The Notre Dame Scholastic
October 15, 1921
Dean Comerford, one of the three Comerford brothers who were in the Minim for several years, died October first at his home in Joliet, Illinois, after an illness lasting since his discharge from the service. Dean was well-known to the sisters priests of the University, where the charm of his boyish personality had endeared him to many. To his parents, Mr. and Mrs. N.J. Comerford, we offer sincere condolence.
$2,500 Given to Athletic Field in Son’s Memory
October 19, 1921
In memory of his son, Dean, an athlete, N. J. Comerford, 610 Western avenue, has contributed $2,500 for the development of an athletic field in connection with the St. Raymond’s church.
The money has been presented to the Rev. Father Francis Scanlan, pastor of St. Raymond’s church, and will be used in equipping an athletic field for boys and girls on St. Raymond’s grounds.
Dean Comerford, who died October 1, was a member of the 1916 high school basket ball team and captain of the Dubuque college team in 1918.
Announcement of the gift was made last night at a banquet tendered St. Raymond’s city league champions by a committee of Joliet business men headed by Francis Dunne and William Lowery.
Joliet Boy is Elected Head of Ball Team
Dubuque, Iowa – June 14, 1919 (Special to the Herald News)
Dean Comerford, a Joliet boy, was chosen captain of the 1919-1920 basketball squad of Dubuque college in this city.
Comerford, a veteran of the squad was unanimously the choice of his mates.
An extensive schedule has been outlined by the mentor and as Dubuque has suffered but two defeats within the last three years, they expect to go thru the schedule without mishap.
Comerford, who temporarily captained the team last year, after Mulvey’s injury was all state guard.
The Joliet boy has been twirling for the college team this season and has been pitching some good ball.
Previous to his entrance at the Dubuque institution, Comerford played left guard for the Joliet high school when they won the championship of the northern Illinois.
He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. N.J. Comerford, Western avenue, Joliet.
Morris, August 10, 1921 – Harold Higgons, who would have been 23 years old next Saturday, died last evening at 8 o’clock in Ottawa. He is the oldest son of William Higgons, and has resided in Morris all his life. Illness was caused by a strain received almost a year ago. His mother died ____ years ago. Besides his father, he is survived by his step-mother and two brothers, Vincent and Arthur, of Morris.
Athletic Field Gift in Memory of Soldier-Son
The New World, October 28, 1921
The nucleus of a fund for the establishment of an athletic field in connection with the St. Raymond’s church, has been contributed by N. J. Comerford, 610 Western avenue, in memory of his son, Dean, world war veteran from St. Raymond’s parish, whose funeral was held recently. The gift from Mr. Comerford was a check for $2,500 presented the Rev. Francis Scanlan, pastor of St. Raymond’s church. Dean Comerford was prominent in athletics in Joliet, and later at Columbia college, Dubuque and at Illinois university.
The funeral Mass for the young man was celebrated by the Rev. Father Scanlan with the Rev. Thomas P. O’Brien of Morris as deacon, and the Rev. Thomas Tormey sub-deacon.
St. Raymond’s choir, assisted by Mrs. Henry Odenthal, William Odenthal and Dr. John Limacher, sang the Mass. Pallbearers were Joseph Lennon, Louis Lagger, Charles Hossack, Donald Fraser, Joseph Wallace and John Murray. Burial was in Mt. Olivet cemetery.
Death of Thomas Comerford, Prominent Will County Resident, is Mourned
August 29, 1925
(Special to the New World)
Thomas Comerford, aged 65, prominent Joliet citizen, died Thursday, August 20, at his home, 113 D’Arcy avenue, after several months’ illness. Mr. Comerford was born at Minooka, Ill., March 7, 1860, where he lived up to five years ago when he moved with his family to Joliet. He was among the first born at Minooka. His father, George Comerford, was the founder of Minooka and was Minooka’s first postmaster, appointed by President James Buchanan. Thomas Comerford was postmaster at Minooka during President Wilson’s administration. He was a foremost Catholic and contributed much toward the upbuilding of St. Mary’s church, Minooka. Recently, he was active in establishing the new Catholic cemetery. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Holy Name Society.
In 1885 he married Margaret Ellen Coulehan of Minooka, who died in 1910.
Surviving him are two sons, George A. and Joseph Comerford, and five daughters, Mrs. Frank Feehan, Mrs. John J. Henneberry, Frances, Florence and Clare Comerford, all of Joliet. N.J. Comerford, of , is a brother. A sister, Mary, died while a pupil at St. Mary’s Academy, Notre Dame, in 1889.
The funeral took place Saturday morning at St. Patrick’s church where Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated, Rev. John Mulligan being celebrant, Rev. P. J. Hennessy, pastor St. Mary’s church, deacon; Rev. Daniel Harnett, assistant at St. Raymond’s, subdeacon; Father Harnett preached an eloquent sermon, taking for his text, “Thy Will Be Done.” St. Patrick’s choir rendered a special program, Miss Leona ___son and Mr. Martin Gleason, of _____port, soloists. Burial was at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Minooka.
Pallbearers were: _______ Brady; _______ McEvilly; _______ McDonald; _______ Kaffer; _______ ________; _______ Feehan
George Comerford Laid to Rest
Died December 3, 1891
“As one by one the leaves fall, One by one the good must die.”
______ proof were needed to establish the fact that Mr. Comerford was beloved and respected by his neighbors and associates, that proof was conclusive on Saturday morning of last week, when every road leading to the village of Minooka was thronged with carriages wallowing through mud and mire, slowly conveying sad faced men and women on their way to pay their last tribute of respect to the memory of him whose kindly heart, blameless life, manly character and gentlemanly bearing had, not only won their love, but commanded their admiration, confidence, and esteem. Forgotten then were creeds and nationalities. Catholic and Protestant, foreign born and native, the rich and poor, the old and the young commingled their sorrows together around the beautiful casket wherein reposed the mortal remains of him who in life was a model citizen, husband, father and exemplary christian and upon whose emaciated countenance lingered a pleasant lifelike smile, which seemed to recognize each friend and assure them that since life’s ______ drama had passed all was well with him.
Springing from the better class of the Irish peasantry, he was the eldest son of William and Nancy Comerford and born on a farm in Wexford County, Ireland, Aug. 3, 1826. Blessed with a fine intellect and physique, coupled with a studious desire for wisdom, he improved every opportunity within his reach to improve his active mind. After mastering the curriculum of the common school, he determined to prepare himself for holy orders in the Catholic church of which he became a communicant in his early boyhood, but his parents came to the United States and he accompanied them hither in 1847 and located at Rochester, N. Y., and in 1849 the entire family came to Illinois, the father taking a contract to build a section of the then Chicago and Galena, but now the N. W. Ry., and in 1851 upon the commencement of the building of the then Chicago, LaSalle & Rock Island, now the C. R. I. & P. Ry., his father became a contractor on that road and did the grading on the first section west of Minooka, and purchased the fine farm southeast of that village. George aided and assisted him in completing these contracts and upon the establishing of a railroad office at Minooka he became the local agent for that place and was the first postmaster of Minooka.
In 1853, he met with a railroad accident which deprived him of a part of one of his feet, rendering him a cripple for life. In 1854 he was united in marriage with Miss Catherine Smith, a very estimable lady, of Buffalo, N. Y., who still survives and is a sister to George T. Smith, the grocer. He then resigned his position as railroad agent and entered into the grocery business and drifted into general merchandise and continued in that business until about four years ago when he turned the business over to his second son, Nicholas J. Two sons and one daughter were born to them, Thomas, Nicholas J., and Mary. The latter was a beautiful young lady and finely educated, but desiring to perfect herself in music, in which she was already adept, she went to St. Mary’s of the Lake at South Bend, Indiana, for that purpose, but died of membranous croup at that place after a few days illness, in her nineteenth year. This was a sad, sad blow to her parents who justly idolized her. Both sons are happily married – Thomas lives upon the old homestead just west of Minooka and is a farmer, while “Nick” is a successful merchant and lives in the village. Ever methodical, George Comerford arranged his worldly affairs some time before his death and divided his real estate, which was fairly large, between his wife and children by absolute conveyances.
It was bootless to mention the many offices of trust held by Mr. Comerford. Suffice is to say that he was easily the foremost citizen of Minooka in every public enterprise which would redound to the welfare of the village and people at large, either educational, charitable, church or state. His manner of greeting his friends and acquaintances was cordial and peculiarly happy. He had been afflicted with Bright’s disease for several years, but was not confined to his home but a few weeks prior to his death, and died as he had lived, calm and collected. Just as the clock struck two on Thursday morning, Dec. 3rd, his spirit took its flight back to God, who gave it. So peaceful and painless was his death that his friends, who, were all by his death bed, scarcely knew when it occurred. He died with a smile on his lips. Died, did we say? No, thank God.
“He is not dead, he did not die,
His soul has merely gone to rest,
In that retreat prepared on high,
For those whom love of God hath blest;
For, death is but an endless sleep,
Surcease from labor, care and pain,
Where angels bright their vigils keep,
And rest and peace forever reign.”
December 3, 1891
Mr. George Comerford died at his residence in Minooka, Ill., on the 3rd inst. He was highly esteemed and honored as an upright citizen and a model Christian, and his exemplary life was fittingly crowned by a peaceful and happy death. He was the father of Mr. N. J. Comerford, of the class of ’83, to whom the sincere sympathy of all at Notre Dame is extended in this great affliction.
Former Postmaster of Minooka is Taken by Death
Joliet Herald, August 21, 1925
Death Claims T. Comerford
Former Minooka Postmaster Succumbs to Long Illness, Rites Saturday
Thomas Comerford, 65 years old, former Minooka postmaster, died at his home, 113 D’Arcy avenue, yesterday afternoon following an illness of several months.
Mr. Comerford was born in Minooka, March 7, 1860, and resided in that village until five years ago, when he disposed of his farm holdings and moved to Joliet.
During the administration of President Wilson, Mr. Comerford was postmaster of Minooka, an office which his father, George Comerford, held many years before under President James Buchanan.
Father Founded Minooka
The father was the founder of Minooka, and was the village’s first station agent when the Rock Island railroad was put thru the town in 1852.
In 1885 Mr. Comerford was married to Margaret Ellen Coulehan, a member of a well known Minooka family. Mrs. Comerford died in 1910.
Surviving are two sons, George A. and Joseph Comerford; five daughters, Mrs. Frank Feehan, Mrs. John J. Henneberry and the Misses Frances, Florence, and Clare Comerford, of Joliet; and one brother, N. J. Comerford, Western avenue. A sister, Miss Mary Comerford, died while at St. Mary’s academy, Notre Dame, in 1883.
Funeral services will be held from the home at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning to St. Patrick’s Catholic church, 30 minutes later. Burial will be in St. Mary’s cemetery, Minooka.
Plan Comerford Service Saturday
Burial in Minooka Grave After Services in Joliet
Morris Herald, August 20, 1925
Funeral services for Thomas Comerford, former prominent Minooka resident who died in Joliet yesterday, will be held at the home in Joliet at 9 o’clock Saturday morning and at St. Patrick’s church at 9:30 o’clock. Burial will be made in St. Mary’s cemetery at Minooka.
Mr. Comerford was born at Minooka, March 7, 1860, where he lived all his life up to five years ago when he sold his farm and moved with his family to Joliet. He was among the first born at Minooka and from his boyhood he was actively identified with the early growth and development of his native town and the surrounding country.
His father, the late George Comerford, was the founder of Minooka and was its first station agent when the Rock Island railroad was put through the town in 1852. He was also Minooka’s first postmaster, receiving his appointment from President James Buchanan. Mr. Comerford was postmaster at Minooka during President Wilson’s administration. He was a prominent and active member of the Catholic church and was the means of establishing the new cemetery near the Catholic church at Minooka, the old parish cemetery being at Dresden, several miles distant.
He was a member of Morris Council, Knights of Columbus, a member of the Holy Name society and belonged to the Modern Woodmen of America. He was universally esteemed and honored by all classes, a good and friendly neighbor and a true and useful friend – a type of manhood characteristic of his day and time. The Comerford farm home just outside Minooka was noted for its hospitality and for years was the mecca of many Joliet friends.
In 1885 he married Margaret Ellen Coulehan, a member of a prominent Minooka family who died in 1910.
Surviving him are two sons, George A. and Joseph Comerford; and five daughters, Mrs. Frank Feehan, Mrs. John Henneberry, Frances, Florence, and Clare Comerford, all of Joliet. N. J. Comerford, of Western avenue, Joliet, is a brother. A sister, Mary, died while a pupil at St. Mary’s academy, Notre Dame, in 1888.
Death Calls a Pioneer
Mrs. Catherine Comerford Passes away at Her Home in This Place
Mrs. Catherine Comerford, widow of the late George Comerford, mother of N.J. and Thomas Comerford, and one of the pioneers and best citizens of Grundy county received the final summons at her home in Minooka last Saturday morning, August 1, 1903, and with steadfast faith and hope passed through the mystic veil that curtains earth from eternity. Mrs. Comerford has been remarkably healthy throughout her life until about two years ago when her bodily infirmities began, but she was not seriously ill at any time until last Thursday morning when acute intestinal trouble developed and baffled medical skill to heal. The gravity of the disease was at once apparent and a telephone message was hastily sent to the son, N. J., who was at Mr. Clemens, Mich., and who arrived here Friday morning to be present in the last hours. The other son, Thomas, was also at the bedside, with other relatives and friends. Mrs. Comerford retained her mental faculties unimpaired to the last and within a few minutes of her death inquired after the welfare of friends, an unselfish characteristic of her life and nature which shone out as a virtue even in the last hours. Her illness was not marked by very severe pain and in the early morning hours she peacefully slept into death.
Mrs. Comerford was born Catherine Smith in County Wexford, Ireland in 1824 and came with the family to this country in 1852 when they settled at Lockport, New York. There in 1855 she became the bride of George Comerford and she ten came to Minooka where her husband was already located. Since then she had resided here continuously. The husband died here in 1891.
Beside the two sons, N.J., who is a prominent merchant here, and Thomas, the well-known and well-to-do farmer, there was one daughter, Mary, who died while attending St. Mary’s college at Notre Dame, Indiana, in 1882. The decedent was a sister of George T. Smith, the well-known Minooka merchant, and also of Mrs. E. Kinsella and Mrs. William Coulehan, of this place, and Mrs. Ellen O’Toole, of Tipton, Ind. Two brothers, John and William Smith, died in Lockport, N. Y., a few years ago.
Mrs. Comerford was a fine _____ of the true christian character of righteous living and charitable deeds, who taught goodness and virtue by example rather than be precept a mother venerated by her children and friend, loved by those who knew her and a citizen esteemed by all. Truly she died full of years and honor and her life of simplicity, and faith is well worthy to receive the crown of glory.
The funeral occurred Monday morning at 10:30 o’clock from St. Mary’s Catholic church in this place. Requiem solemn high miss was celebrated by Rev. Father Joseph McMahon, with Rev. D. Dunne, of Joliet, and Rev. Thomas Walsh, of Joliet, as deacon and sub-deacon. The concourse assembled was the largest that ever gathered in Minooka and was a fitting testimony to the esteem in which the deceased was held, Rev. Dunne preached the funeral sermon and paid an eloquent tribute to the life and character and good works of the dead. The church choir sang and was assisted by a quartet from Joliet composed of Mrs. Anton Schager, Miss Lulu Maher, Anton Schager and Frank Zarley. The pall bearers were John W. Dwyer, John Talbott, Martin Clennon, John Carlin, J. P. McEvilly and Edward Brady. Little Mamie Comerford, daughter of Thomas Comerford and Helen, daughter of N. J. Comerford, acted as flower bearers. The ushers were W. H. Kaffer and D. A. Hennebry.
The interment was in Dresden cemetery a beautiful commitment service at the grave side being conducted by the clergy.
Sons, Daughters Given Estate of Thomas Comerford
Under the will of Thomas Comerford, who died here Aug. 20, his entire estate, consisting of approximately $30,000 in personal property and a homestead at 113 D’Arcy avenue, is to be divided equally among his four daughters and three sons.
Frances and Florence Comerford and their three brothers, Clare, Joseph and George, live at the D’Arcy avenue address. Mrs. Mary Feehan, another daughter of the testator resides at 141 Illinois street, and the other daughter, Mrs. Margaret Henneberry, lives at 315 Hunter avenue.
The will was admitted to probate upon waiver of notice. George Comerford is named in the instrument as executor.
Kathryn Kaffer Dies Victim of Pneumonia
Unknown Newspaper, December 21, 1918
Miss Kathryn Kaffer, 18 years old, who has been seriously ill during the last week, died Thursday evening at 10 o’clock in the home of her parents. Mr. and Mrs. William H. Kaffer, 912 Western avenue. Her death occurred as the result of a cold which she contracted Saturday and which developed into pneumonia.
Besides her parents, she is survived by three sisters, Anna, Mary Louise and Margaret, and two brothers, John and Robert Kaffer, of Joliet.
Miss Kaffer was born May 9, 1900 in Minooka. She was educated in the Minooka public schools and attended the Minooka high school for two years. She moved to Joliet with her parents in 1915 and finished her high school education at the Joliet township high school, from which she was graduated with the class of 1917.
For the last three months, she attended St. Joseph’s college, Dubuque, Ia., and was called home in November by the serious illness of her sister, Miss Margaret Kaffer, who recently underwent an operation.
Kathryn Kaffer was well known among the younger set of Joliet and took part in several of the amateur theatricals staged in Joliet. She was a member of the cast of Katcha Koo.
Funeral service for Miss Kaffer will be held Saturday morning at 9:30 o’clock from the home to St. Raymond’s church at 10 o’clock. Burial will be in Mount Olivet cemetery.
First Funeral From New Catholic Church
Unknown Newspaper, December 22, 1918
The funeral of Kathryn Kaffer, which was held from the home, 913 Western avenue, Saturday morning, at 9:30 o’clock to the church at 10 o’clock, was the first funeral to be held in St. Raymond’s new Catholic church. Solemn mass was sung by the pastor. The Rev. F. E. Scanlan acted as celebrant, the Rev. Phillip Kennedy, pastor of St. Patrick’s church, as deacon, and the Rev. J. P. Morrison, assistant pastor of St. Patrick’s church, sub-deacon. The Rev. Joseph McMahon, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic church, Minooka, was present in the sanctuary, as master of ceremonies.
St. Raymond’s choir sang, and solos were rendered by Miss May Ingoldsby, who sang “Thy Will Be Done,” and by Martin Gleason, who sang, “Flee As a Bird.” A delegation of International Harvester officials from Aurora attended the funeral in a body. Relatives and friends from Chicago and Minooka were also present.
Pall bearers, all of whom were cousins, were: John and Dean Comerford, John Coonan, Leo and Earl Kaffer, and James Tyrell of Chicago. Burial was in Joliet Catholic cemetery.
Helen Kaffer Dies Few Days After Cousin
Unknown Newspaper, December 27, 1918
Helen Kathryn Kaffer, 11-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. Kaffer, 1000 Oneida street, died Friday morning at 5 o’clock after an illness of more than a year.
She was born in Billings, Okla., July 29, 1907, and three years later moved with her parents to Minooka, where they made their home until two years ago. Miss Kaffer is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. M. L. Kaffer, two brothers, Earl and Leo, and two sisters, Olive and Madeline. Funeral services will be from the home at 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon to St. Patrick’s church at 2:30 o’clock. Burial in Mount Olivet cemetery. She was a cousin of Kathryn Kaffer, who died last week.
Mrs. A. Meers Dies in Chicago
Operation Fatal to Prominent West Side Social Leader and Charity Worker, Four Children Survive
Mrs. Anna Scott Meers, wife of Enesha Meers, 704 Western avenue, died yesterday afternoon at 5 o’clock in Wesley Memorial hospital, Chicago. Mrs. Meers had been slightly ailing for the last months but it was a week ago that her illness forced her to undergo an operation.
She was taken to the Chicago hospital last Thursday and underwent an operation for abdominal trouble Saturday. She came thru the ordeal of the operating table successfully and her condition Sunday showed improvement. Surgeons at the hospital held out every hope for her recovery.
Relatives at Bedside
Monday morning her condition was disappointing to her physicians, and the family called to her bedside. Yesterday she sank rapidly and died late in the afternoon. With her when she died were her husband, her children, her brother, Thomas, and other relatives.
Mrs. Meers occupied a prominent position in social circles of Joliet. As president of the Visitation and Aid Society, she took active charge of this organization’s charity work and social functions. She was known as a tireless and enthusiastic charity worker and a charming hostess. The recent charity ball given by the Visitation and Aid society was directed by Mrs. Meers.
January 26, 1921, Newspaper Unknown
Kaffer – Mrs. M. L., age 47 years, died at 9 a. m., Jan. 26, 1921, at her residence, 1000 Oneida St. Besides her husband she leaves two sons, Leo and Earl, and two daughters, Olive and Madeline, all of Joliet, three brothers, Richard, John and Henry Talbot, of Troy, six sisters, Mrs. John Ingoldsby, Mrs. John Dillon of Joliet, Mrs. Frank McHugh, Manhattan, Mrs. Frank Oaks, Minooka, Misses Loretta and Stella Talbot of Joliet. She was a member of the Third Order of St. Francis. Funeral from home Friday at 9:30 a. m. to St. Patrick’s church at 10 o’clock. Burial in Mt. Olivet.
December 31, 1910, Newspaper Unknown, Page 8
We regret to chronicle this week the death of Mrs. Margaret Comerford, wife of Thomas Comerford. On the evening of the last day of the year just closed this good woman, reclining in her easy chair, surrounded by her husband and children and near relatives, calmly and peacefully breathed back her life to Him that gaveth Mrs. Comerford, formerly Miss Margaret Ellen Coulehan, was in her forty-eighth year and though she was in declining health for some time she attended to her home duties up to almost the time of her death. Prior to the funeral the home was thronged with friends who came to extend their sympathy to the bereaved family and view the remains of their much beloved friend, who peacefully reposed in a handsome couch casket surrounded with many beautiful floral offerings. Here one was want to linger at the bier and list to hear the angels sing so heavenly were the surroundings.
The funeral took place Monday morning to St. Mary’s Catholic church, where Rev. Joseph McMahon offered requiem high mass in the present of a large congregation. The church choir, assisted by Joliet talent, rendered a special music service. The Misses Walsh and McEvilly and Mrs. Dunne rendered the sad “Good Night” in a remarkably sweet tone of voice. Joseph Jaeger, in splendid voice, sang “One Sweetly Solemn Thought” with feeling effect. Nothing could be said more fitting the character of the deceased than that said by Father, in his beautiful and touching tribute, when he said: “Mrs. Comerford was a Christian woman in the highest sense of the term – a practical christian woman, a loyal and devoted, and a tender mother and a true and constant friend,” and moved his hearers to tears in speaking of her edifying death. The remains were interred in Dresden cemetery. The pallbearers were Michael Brannick, Chas. McEvilly, Edward Coulehan, George Coulehan, Thomas Coulehan and Frederick Coulehan. The flower bearers were Thomas McEvilly and Chas. Brannick. The servers on the altar were Masters George and John Comerford, all nephews of the deceased.
Deceased leaves to mourn her death her husband and children, Mary, George, Frances, Margaret, Florence, Clare and Joseph; two brothers, William and Alex Coulehan and one sister, Mrs. James McEvilly, and a large circle of warm friends who deeply sympathize with Mr. Comerford and family in their sad bereavement.
John McKearnan, of Muskegon, Mich., an old Minookaite, was here Monday to attend the funeral of Mrs. Comerford. Mr. McKearnan is the proprietor of a large church and school factory in his home town.
A large number of Joliet and Morris people attended the funeral of Mrs. Thos. Comerford Monday. Many spoke of attending her wedding at the Comerford home 24 years ago.
Crowds Attend Comerford Rite
The funeral of Mary Agnes Comerford, fifth child of N.J. and Anna Frances (Kaffer) Comerford, took place from St. Patrick’s church Saturday morning at 9:30 o’clock. There was a large attendance of the relatives and friends of the family residing in Joliet and Minooka, their former home, and many from Chicago, Morris, Streator, Storm Lake, Ia., Green Bay, Wis., Tipton, Ind., and elsewhere, were present.
A solemn requiem high mass was celebrated with the Rev. Father Joseph McMahon of St. Mary’s church, Minooka, as celebrant. Rev. H. G. Van Pelt of Sacred Heart church as deacon and Rev. Thomas O’Brien of St. Patrick’s church, as sub-deacon. Beautiful hymns and chants were sweetly sung by a special choir under the direction of Mrs. Henry Odenthal.
Mary Agnes Comerford was born in Minooka, Ill., Sept. 13, 1899. Her death is the first break in the family circle. She attended the Minooka Public school two years and then spent four years in St. Angela’s academy in Morris, followed by two years in St. Mary’s academy in Joliet. In her the charms of face and loveliness of character were combined in a rare degree. She was ever a favorite with all her associates in school and church and social circles.
The illness which claimed this young maiden in death began three weeks ago as a cerebral affection and while there was no acute suffering, the attending physicians held out no hope from the first. Later partial paralysis supervened and the patient passed into a condition of coma two weeks ago and so remained until death, which came at 3:30 o’clock Thursday afternoon, August 21.
Besides the parents there survive three brothers, George, John and Dean and two sisters, Helen and Lucile.
Miss Mary Comerford, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. N. J. Comerford, is very seriously ill at her home in Joliet. For several weeks, she has had a low run of fever, but not until a few days ago, did her condition become serious and alarming to her relatives. A specialist, Dr. Crofton, of Chicago and other physicians are caring for her, but her case seems to puzzle all of them. Mary was born here, and lived here until a few years ago, so has many friends in Minooka, who hope she will soon recover her health and strength.
Thirty Years Resident Buena Vista County
John Connell, Successful Farmer of Community, Passes Away Monday
Storm Lake, Buena Vista County, Iowa, Thursday, September 24, 1925
John O. Connell, prominent and well known throughout Buena Vista county, and one of the progressive farmers of the community, passed away at the Swallum hospital in Storm Lake Tuesday morning of this week, while on the operating table for the second time within the past few weeks and his death came as a shock to all in the community.
Mr. Connell had been in ill health for some time, and on Monday, July 27, he entered the local hospital for an operation. He was under the care of a special nurse for eight weeks, following the operation, and was recovering most satisfactorily. A second operation was necessary, however, and on Tuesday morning of this week he again entered the hospital. Dr. T. F. Keeffe, a specialist from St. Joseph’s hospital of Sioux City, was performing the operation. Mr. Connell’s heart was unable to withstand the anesthetic, however, and he passed away while on the operating table.
John Olin Connell was born in Will County, Ill., November 26, 1858, and died in Storm Lake Tuesday, September 22, 1925, at the age of 66 years, 9 months and 27 days.
He grew to young manhood in his native county, and received his education in the district school and later took a high school course.
On January 5th, 1886, he was united in marriage to Mary Kinsella of Minooka, Grundy county, Ill., and in 1894 the family came to Buena Vista county, locating on a farm southeast of Storm Lake, and they have since resided here, being among the well and favorably known residents of the community.
Mr. Connell was township trustee for several years, and he also served as township collector and township clerk while residing in Illinois. In community affairs he was always deeply and helpfully interested and he gave his support to many measures for the public good. His industry and thrift, and capable management and keen business judgment, made him most successful in the agricultural world.
A resident of the county for more than 30 years gained him a very wide acquaintance, and no man of this section of the state was held in any higher regard than was Mr. Connell. He was interested in all matters of general progress, and by his death Buena Vista county has lost one of its best citizens.
Mr. Connell was a devout member of the Modern Woodmen lodge.
He is survived by his wife; six sons Dr. Andrew Connell, of Aurelia; James, Clarence, Francis, Charles and John Connell and four daughters, Mrs. Frank Carney, Clara Connell, Helen Connell, who is teaching in Fergus Falls, Minn., and Evelyn Connell, and four sisters, Mrs. M. J. Pickett of Chicago; Mrs. M. F. Riley of Wilmington, Ill., Miss Ellen Connell of Minooka, Ill., and Sister Mary Clarence of Union City, Indiana, besides other relatives and hosts of friends. One brother, Charles Connell, died several years ago.
Funeral services will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic church on Friday morning at nine o’clock. The requiem high mass will be said by the Very Rev. Father Cooke, V. E. Interment will be in the local Catholic cemetery.
The pall bearers will be E.P. Wright, O.A. Duffy, P.J. Toohay, Mike Toohey, P.J. Gaherty and John O’Boyle.
Among those from out of town who will be in attendance at the funeral will be Mr. and Mrs. N. J. Comerford of Joliet, Ill.; Dr. N. J. Pickett, Mr. and Mrs. M. J. Pickett, George A. Comerford of Joliet, Ill.; Mr. and Mrs. Leo Clennon of Joliet, Ill.; Mr. and Mrs. M. J. Hopkins and Richard Malloy of Omaha; Mr. and Mrs. E. P. O’Connor of Fort Dodge; Miss Ellen Connell of Minooka, Ill.; Paton J. Toohey of Chicago.
Numerous friends in Buena Vista County join in sympathizing with the family in their bereavement.
John Connell Dies in Iowa
Newspaper Unknown, Sept. 22, 1925
Nicholas J. Comerford, 822 Western avenue, received a telegram today informing relatives in Joliet, of the death of John Connell, of Storm Lake, Iowa, formerly of Troy township.
Thirty years ago Mr. Connell was a prominent farmer in Troy township and from Troy he went with his family to Storm Lake, Iowa, where he has been engaged in farming and truck raising.
Mr. Connell is a first cousin of Mrs. Martin Schuster, Buell avenue and Mr. Connell’s wife, formerly Miss Mary Kinsella is a first cousin of N. J. Comerford’s. The Connell family is also related to Mrs. Martin Kennedy, Miller avenue.
Death of Miss Nellie F. Talbot, of Minooka, Illinois
Minooka Advertiser, August 3, 1893, Page 10
No news was ever received with more surprise or created such profound sorrow in this community as that which on last Sunday conveyed the sad intelligence of the death of Miss Nellie Talbot, daughter of Mrs. Ellen and the late Thomas Talbot. The sad event occurred at the Woman’s hospital, Chicago, where deceased went for the purpose of having a tumor removed from her right side. The operation was performed on Thursday by the eminent surgeon, Dr. Byford and was pronounced a success, the patient improving steadily till Sunday morning when paralysis of the stomach set in, which admitted no possible recovery.
The true Christian resignation in which she awaited the dire results of the operation was now maintained in a greater degree for the final summons. As the Angelus was ringing the mid-day hour, the beloved one with an angelic smile bade her loving mother and sisters a fond farewell and her pure spirit took its flight back to Him that gave it.
The remains were brought to Minooka by the late night train the same day, thence to the family home two miles north of the village. Sad indeed, was the return of this young lady to the home which she in the full bloom of youth left but so recently; to the home of which she brought sunshine and happiness.
That her every acquaintance is almost as intensely grieved as her nearest relatives, is an evidence of the love and esteem in which she was held. Truly, Miss Talbot’s true Christian spirit coupled with a light hearted disposition made her endearing to all. While awaiting burial the family residence was thronged with friends from far and near who assembled to pay the last tribute of respect to the departed one and sympathize with the mother, sisters and brother, and with him for whom she was soon to become a life companion.
The funeral took place Wednesday from St. Mary’s Catholic church which was crowded to the doors and beyond with friends of all creeds.
Requiem high mass was celebrated by Rev. Father McMahon, the choir from St. Patrick’s church, Joliet, contributing much to the solemn and impressive ceremony. During the service Rev. Father Dunn, of Joliet, preached an eloquent sermon and concluded with a beautiful and merited tribute to the memory of the deceased and her estimable family. Services over, the funeral cortege proceeded to St. Patrick’s cemetery, Joliet. At the grave Father McMahon pronounced the last sad rites, then, at the side of her father who had preceded her to the city of the dead but a short year, was laid to rest all that, remained of the beloved Nellie, whose sad and humanly speaking, untimely death, has cast a sadness over all that time alone can remove.
Beautiful floral offerings were tendered by many loving friends and by the church choir of which Miss Talbot was a member. A beautiful gates-ajar, “From Lou” told its own sad story. The flowers were borne to the church and to the grave by the Misses Maggie Foren, Katie Brannick, Agnes McEvilly, Thresa Baltz and Mamie Kenney, dear companions of Nellie’s. The pall bearers were Wm. Kaffer, James Foren, James McEvilly, Wm. Green, Henry Brannick and Nicholas Comerford.
Thomas J. Kelly
Oct. 12 – Thomas J. Kelly, oldest merchant in Joliet, and three-time mayor of Joliet, aged 74 years.He came to Joliet in 1848.
Ann O’Connor is Dead
Miss Ann O’Connor, aged 85 years, died in a hospital in Chicago.The funeral was held in Chicago last Saturday. She had been housekeeping for Father McMahon thirty years, and most of that time in Minooka. She had undergone several operations for cancer. This estimable woman leaves many friends to mourn her loss.
The wedding of Miss Anna Kelly, daughter of Mrs. James Kelly to Nicholas Briscoe, son of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Briscoe, took place on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at the St. Mary’s Catholic church. The bridesmaid was Miss Frances Gorman, of Sydney, and the groom was attended by his brother. After the wedding a reception was given at the home of the bride’s mother. They will remain on a farm.
Prominent Man is Buried
(Contributed by N. J. Comerford)
Thomas Comerford, Mrs. E. Kinsella and Mrs. John Brannick have returned from Chicago where they attended the funeral of B. H. Sullivan of Plankinton, South Dakota, who died of heart trouble in a Chicago hospital and was buried from the home of his brother, Roger C. Sullivan, on Washington Boulevard, to St. Matthew’s church. Interment at Mt. Carmel cemetery.
Mr. Sullivan was well known in this community, he and his wife (who is a cousin of Mr. Comerford) having visited here. He was one of the most widely known men in his adopted state, Dakota, and in contrast to his brother, who is a Democrat of national reputation, Mr. Sullivan was a power in the Republican party. He was delegate to many national Republican conventions and was one of the famous “Forty Thieves”, that secured General Harrison’s nomination at Minneapolis in 1888. He was surveyor general of Dakota, under President Harrison and was a member of the Dakota state legislature several terms. Mr. Sullivan is survived by his wife, Mrs. Mary Comerford Sullivan, and daughter, Clare. Mrs. Sullivan lived in Morris up to 1882 when she married Mr. Sullivan and went west.