"Josie" Patton Mahoney Autobiography
My grandmother was Margaret Josephine
Patton. She was born in Emmetsburg on June 14, 1882. Shortly before her death in
September 1972, she dictated her family history to my Aunt Mary. The document
was transcribed using the same wording and punctuation as in my aunt's original
version. The footnotes were added by me and are used to clarify or embellish
parts of the story..... Jim Mahoney ,
following was dictated to Mary Fleming by Margaret Josephine (Josie) Mahoney in
1972 shortly before she died in September 1972 at the age of 90. Mary was
Josie’s second child and only daughter.
“Mary asked me
to write something about her grandparents who had died before I moved to Boone
in August 1910. My father, Mike Patton and Catherine Joyce were married in
Prairie du Chien,
on June 4, 1865.
Both were born in
but never met until they came to
. Pa was 35 at the time and Ma would be 20 on June 24th. Pa worked
for the Milwaukee Railroad and my mother was a maid in the home of a wealthy fur
trader whose home is now one of the show places in Prairie du Chien. The man she
worked for later became an official in some foreign country. I don’t remember
just what but I know she got a letter from him at the time but I was too young
to remember what it was about.
, three children were born to them. Mary Jane (Mollie) born on April 19 1866,
Sarah Ann, February 22 and John four years after Mary Jane on her birthday.
Sometime after that they moved to
Palo Alto County
and began farming in
. Catherine Elizabeth (Lil) was born in May 1872, Helen Honore (Nellie) born Feb
24, 1879. Sometime later they moved to Emmetsburg. Matt Patton was born between
Lil and Nellie as was William and I was the youngest of the 8 born June 14,
Milwaukee Railroad, in order to get the town to move from its original location
Des Moines River
a mile or two west, made wonderful offerings like a store sight for any store
that would move. Two blocks in the center for the Courthouse. Every church was
given a block of ground and the location for two cemeteries. When the Patton’s
moved into Emmetsburg, they bought 3 blocks of ground and moved the farm in with
them. Three blocks of ground adjoining were owned by some
concern that did nothing with the ground so the eight Patton’s had plenty of
play room. The Milwaukee RR ran east-west thru the town and soon the Burlington
RR ran a diagonal line. Soon after the
and I don’t know what railroad has it now.
in the Patton family
Ann died in May 1885 at the age of 17. Quick consumption it was called then, now
it is TB.
who was working for the Burlington RR in
, died at age 24 of appendicitis.
died at age 31 of pneumonia in 1909.
who had married Merrill Mobrey died in
at age 45 and was buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in
. Her husband died two years later and is buried beside her.
Mother’s two brothers, Pat and Matt Joyce, each owned general stores in the
new town. Later the parents, Martin and Mary Joyce moved to Emmetsburg with
their daughter who was born in the
. All three are buried in E’burg. Pat Joyce was the father of Joe Joyce who
later lived in
Joe’s brother Will died of TB in E’burg and is buried there in the Joyce
lot with two daughters who died in infancy.
Joyce was shot by the Sheriff of Palo Alto County in his store. Father Smith,
and Pat Joyce were the two that saved the Sheriff from a mob which had gathered
to hang him.
Matt Joyce had married Ella Healy of
and they had five small children. Matt, twin girls Kittie and Mary, Tom and
Robert. Aunt Ella’s parents took her back to
to live after the funeral in E’burg. They sent Matt and Tom to
Matt became a lawyer and Tom a doctor who went from the Mayo Clinic to
Tom gave every Saturday to work in the county home and died very suddenly after
his return home one Saturday. He was married and had two daughters but I have
forgotten their names.
two girls and I roomed together in
where we were attending the State Teacher’s College. That was the name at the
time 1901-1902. Kittie died shortly after of TB and Mamie married a farmer boy
who was attending the college and moved to a farm in
where she later died of TB. The oldest boy, Matt, became a famous lawyer in
. He was US Attorney for
at the time of his death.
The youngest boy, Bob, joined the Passionist Order but died of TB in
before he was ordained. After that Aunt Ella had Uncle Matt’s body removed
from E’burg and buried in
with the rest of the family.
mother had other brothers, too. Will did odd jobs around E’burg but every
Christmas sent the Patton’s a barrel of apples. A brother, Austin, was killed
San Luis Obispo
He was riding a small machine while inspectin the railroad when an engine of a
late train hit his machine. He had a wife and family. Uncle Will married late in
life and the couple left E’burg and no one heard anything about them. Uncle
Matt worked on a boat on the
before coming to
. My Uncle Tom Joyce was killed while working for a new railroad being built
somewhere out west. He left a wife and baby son living in
. Tom was buried in E’burg as his wife went to live with her people. Lil, Bill
and I stopped to see them once when we went out to Mitchell to see Matt Patton.
had two sisters besides Lottie, the one born in
. One joined the Sisters of Mercy and was known as Sister Mary Anastasia. She
taught school in
. My mother heard of her death while at church when Father Smith asked for
prayers for her. Uncle Pat Joyce got the news and as he and Ma were not on
speaking terms, he told Fr. Smith to make the announcement. (Pat had kept the
sheriff from the mob) The other sister, Ann, married Henry Cassidy and they
where they ran a toll road before the Civil War. Some friends of Henrys’ got
him drunk one night and when he came to he was in the Confederate Army. Sometime
after that they moved to
where they lived for many years. There was ten children born to this family,
two dying in infancy. The oldest, Mary, was married to Charley Howard before the
twins were born. The family met at Mother’s funeral and had a picture taken. I
think I gave that picture to Madeline to show her Passionist friends in DM,
because Father Charles Cassidy was in the group. Aunt Ann died very suddenly.
After breakfast she put on water to heat before doing the family wash. She had
died before the water was hot. There were three girls in the Cassidy family;
Mary, Kit, and Celia. Boys were Ed, Pat, Jack, Will (Father Charles), Charley,
Frank and Tom. (Two sets of twins)
and Jack were railroad men in
. Jack lost an arm when he fell off a train when it stopped suddenly. He was
walking on the top of the cars as the brakemen had to do in those days. Pat went
to South America, made money but couldn’t get back into the
because he left without getting a visa. Before he died, he sent his sister Mary
Howard who had lots of bad luck, all his valuables including money. Mary had
married Charley Howard who was a telegrapher at a town outside
and from him she learned telegraphy and when he was taken sick, she was able to
run the station. The Howard’s had three children, 2 girls and a boy who was
badly burned from a candle lighted Xmas tree and died soon after from pneumonia.
Mary Howard and her brother Tom visited here in Boone one day when I bro’t Lil
home from the local hospital and had Mrs. Harris as a nurse for her.
Cassidy Twins, Charley and Celia were born August of the same year 1882 in which
I had been born June 14. Charley drowned in
while staying at a hotel in
. The next morning he was missing and the empty boat was there. As far as I know
they never found the body. Charley’s picture is in my Kodak album with him is
Cassidy was a tramp printer and often came to E’burg and worked for a time in
the shop of the Democrat. Once he came here to show colored pictures at the
Princess Theater. He looked me up. He didn’t know my married name and under
‘attorneys’ he found Mahoney whose wife was Josephine. Then he phoned me and
later came up to the house. That was the last I ever heard of him. In my Kodak
album is a picture of Celia Cassidy, Bessie Howard and me sitting on the steps
in E’burg. Celia Cassidy visited me in Boone once. Later she went to
and then disappeared.”
ARE ADDITIONS MADE A WEEK BEFORE SHE DIED
of mother. Two brothers, Ned and Tom Joyce. Ned was a farmer, a high type of
person, lived west of town. Mrs. Ned Joyce was in on the beginning of 4H and
received several commendations from
. She had 3 daughters and 5 sons. Her daughter, Kate, taught school and attended
city institute for two weeks every summer and stayed at the Patton’s. Ned was
a director of a school and Lil in either the Joyce or
schools. Kate Joyce Brennan had dinner at Aunt Lil’s funeral. Her husband was
the man who had the beard and came with Father Farrelly to Dad’s funeral.
is a story of some relatives of Brennan’s being in jail. ‘Down comes the
courthouse or out comes John Henry. We’ll take it down brick by brick’. Tom
Joyce was single, ran a saddlery, dressed well, was crippled. He would take the
Patton’s out for buggy rides on Sundays.
mother and Mrs. Sammin were first cousins. James, a shoemaker, was about the
smartest man in E’burg. Once a season he would run the family out and they had
to hide under the porch. He was a devil! The wife’s fault because she didn’t
stick up for herself. Sammin went to Algona with
. Every famous person who came to Chautauqua always went to see Sammin.
Henneberry Kelly was a secretary to a congressman who promised he would send
seeds---Sammin said he didn’t want seeds, he wanted statistics.
Xmas eve, in whispers, Pa told Ma there was a prisoner in the haystack. He
wouldn’t turn him in on Xmas eve and in the morning he was gone.
died in 1901. That summer and fall I went to
. They reduced the wages from $45 to $40 when they got me instead of a man. They
gave a big party for the man they ran out for making love to his aunt!!!
of mom’s students wasn’t 100% but he took care of her horse.
were Martin Joyce and Mary Maxwell Joyce. Sisters of Catherine Joyce Patton were
Ann Cassidy, Lottie Joyce, and Sister Anastasia. Brothers were Pat, Matt,
William and Tom. Cousin was Mrs. Kate Maxwell Sammin, mother of Joe, Nell and
Nettie. Father’s relatives were all on the McDonnell side; Anthony, Alex,
Terry (married Sarah), Mike, John from
, Mary from
. Terry and wife and Mike are buried in the cemetery next to the Patton’s.
Family Timothy and Mary
Hickey Mahoney were married in
, moved to
. Two children died in infancy; one is buried in
, the other died in Boone and is buried in the Herron lot before Mahoney’s had
Frank, George, Harry, Ed, Dora, Mary, T.J.; All except Will are buried in Boone.
Dora married Pete Reilly and Mary Ellen (Mayme) married Alfred Murphy.
Josephine Patton, daughter of Michael and Catherine Joyce Patton, was born on
June 14, 1882 in
. Graduated from Saint Mary’s Academy in June 1900. Attended Iowa State
Teacher’s College for three quarters. Left on advice of a doctor who said I
had heart trouble. On the advice of my brother, Matt who was working in
, I consulted his doctor Egloff who said my trouble was anemia. I had my first
blood count in his office. At the time they took the sample from the lobe of the
ear. Dr. Egloff had me take medicine that was supposed to be from beef blood. It
I returned from Mason City, the County Supt. Of Schools, Anna Donovan, called me
and asked me to take the principalship of a two room independent school at
Rodman, Iowa where they had just run the man principal out of town. I had one
boy in that school who was older than I but I taught 6-7-8 grades there for two
years. The second year, Mary Crowley taught the primary room. The evening
passenger train didn’t stop at Rodman but Father Costello, the assistant
priest at Assumption parish, took the matter up with the supt. Of the railroad
and the train stopped at Rodman on Sunday nights and let us off. We got a ride
back to Emmetsburg on a freight train late Friday p.m.
nest year I taught 5th grade in
, then took 5th grade in E’burg, then 7th and 8th
grades. In 1910 I came to Boone at the request of Supt. Meredith who had been
Supt. in E’burg when I was teaching there. I taught 7th grade at
until January 1911 when I was made Principal at
after Gracie Tucker was elected
of Schools at the November election. The one at
won the election after running against the one at Page. The law has been
changed since then.
school until June of 1913 when I married T.J. Mahoney on June 30. I have lived
here since except for time in
1917-19 when T.J. was discharged from the Army after World War I. While living
, Mary was born Nov. 29, 1918 in our apartment on
just across the street from the
(1769 was the number, Imperial Apts.) Aunt Mollie came to
to care for John while I would be in the hospital. That was the time of the
first flu epidemic and they wouldn’t take pregnant women as they said it meant
death to both mother and child so Mary was born in the apartment under the care
of a woman doctor whose office was in the same bldg. this doctor gave us our
first small Xmas tree which I put in the umbrella stand in our hall and
decorated it with bits of cotton. When John saw it he said, ‘Oh, see the
five of us left
. T.J. went on to Boone but Maty was sick and I and the two babies and Mollie
stayed. When the doctor came he said the baby would be ok but he said the mother
had the flu and should be in bed so we stayed another week. Aunt Helen had taken
Helen Ferguson and Muriel to live with her while Mollie was in D.C. with me, so
now she had a houseful but not for long as Mollie and the girls could return to
their home in LaGrange. T.J. came back to
to go home with me and the two babies. When T.J. went to
, we divided the living room at 815-12th so Grandma and Grandpa
Mahoney could have a downstairs bedroom and Aunt Dora and Uncle Pete took over.
They moved to 815 because the house on
had no furnace and you couldn’t get hard coal for heating the stove.
the meantime Uncle Pete had bo’t the corner house on Story and they moved
there taking Grandpa with them as Grandma had died in Sept. 1918. Earlier that
year T.J. was sent out to interview the governors of
to find out how the draft was being taken in those states. John and I came with
him. While there, the Henry Hermans took us out to the country to see the damage
on some farms after the cyclone which struck in May of that year. The Hermans
had just built the brick house on south Story now owned by the Mandershields and
she took us all thru’ it. She said there was criticize for building as this
time but she said she wanted the house while the children were still home and
not after they left.”