William and Bridget Come to America


Our story begins with a monument, a tombstone in western Wisconsin. In St. Patrick’s Cemetery, St. Croix Co., are many large, colorful tombstones on the graves of immigrant Irish and their families. One such stone, an obelisk, white, maybe 9 ft. tall, has a weathered inscription which reads:

William Heffron


Aug. 7, 1868

Bridget O’Haire

wife of Wm. Heffron


Mar. 17, 1894


80 yrs

A native of Parish

of Kilmore, Co. Mayo


William and Bridget Heffron and their five children left Ireland during the famine years and came to the United States. During the first twelve or so years in this country they lived in several places, including Vermont, Ohio, and Kentucky. Three more children were born during this period, as well as two grandsons. About 1860, they and their family settled in St. Croix County, Wisconsin. They became a part of the community of Erin Prairie, an Irish immigrant settlement (usually called “Erin”). Over the next few years, several other Irish immigrant families from Kilmore Parish and the adjoining Kilcommon Parish, Co. Mayo, also settled in Erin. William and Bridget had 64 grandchildren, most of them were raised in St. Croix Co., many in Erin. Beginning in the 1890’s, their descendants began to disperse, some going to the frontier in North Dakota, some to Vancouver, B. C., and several to the urban area of the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Still others went west to California and Washington. William and Bridget had 103 great-grandchildren, most of them were born outside of St. Croix Co. When great-great-grandchildren began life, St. Croix Co., for most, had become an unknown part of the world. Today, the several hundred living descendants of William and Bridget are spread from Boston, Mass., to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and from the snows of North Dakota and Montana to the sunshine of southern Florida.

The following is the story of William and Bridget Heffron and their descendants. But first, a diversion backwards in time. William and Bridget came to America from Co. Mayo, Ireland, but why did they leave Ireland? The explanation requires an excursion into local Irish history, Irish geography and Irish customs.


The Irish are not the same as the English. They are two different peoples, ethnically, linguistically, historically, and, since the reformation of the English Church, religiously. Irish are descended from the ancient Celtic people who once populated much of western Europe. Their language is Gaelic, a Celtic language. The English and their language are of Germanic origin and came to the British Isles with the fall of the Roman Empire and the invasion of the German tribes. While England was once a Celtic land, they were subjected to rule by the Romans, invasion by the German “barbarians”, Vikings, and finally the Normans. The Romans never quite got around to invading Ireland. The Germanic tribes also did not invade Ireland and thus the Celtic fringe of Europe was preserved in Ireland. The Viking invasion was devastating to much of Ireland but they were unable to conquer or destroy the Gaelic culture.

With the English invasion of Ireland in 1169, over 7 centuries of English oppression, colonization, and subjugation began. When the English Reformation began under Henry VIII, and new era of terror began, culminating in the Cromwellian invasion of 1650 when the Irish were slaughtered and the survivors were transported to the west of Ireland.

Origin of Heffron Family.

Although William and Bridget Heffron lived in Kilmore Parish, Co. Mayo, before coming to America, the family name is not indigenous to the area. The Heffrons’ that live in the area today claim that the family came to Co. Mayo from Co. Tipperary during Cromwellian times (mid seventeenth century). During that period, the English, under Oliver Cromwell’s armies, drove most of the Irish speaking people from east of the Shannon River to the western parts of Ireland, (“to Hell or Connaught”). The more productive areas of Ireland were appropriated and given to the English colonists or members of Cromwell’s army, the Irish were killed or removed to the western province of Connaught.

Kilmore Parish, Co. Mayo.

Kilmore Parish, where William and Bridget Heffron lived, is a civil parish in the northwest corner of Co. Mayo, Ireland, It consists of the Mulllet Peninsula and several offshore islands, all lying west of the town of Belmullet. Belmullet is within the adjoining Kilcommon Parish, a large area of bog land and mountains east of Belmullet. These two civil parishes, Kilmore and Kilcommon, make up the area called Erris Barony. Most of the population of Erris is concentrated within a 10 to 15 mile radius of Belmullet, the largest town within the Barony. Much of the land in Erris is mountainous and unsuitable for farming but near Belmullet there are some farms, many of them dairies. Some commercial fishing is done from the coastal area of Erris. It is an isolated section of Ireland, not served by railroads, and with roads which are marginal, even by Irish standards. Tourism is a minor part of the economy. Many people who live there today are Gaelic speaking.

During the first half of the nineteenth century Erris, like the rest of Ireland, was in the midst of a population explosion. The 1841 census of Ireland showed about 8 million people, a population density greater than that of China. The result was extensive destitution, especially in the rural west of Ireland. Travelers from Europe were appalled at the poverty, many finding it the worst in Europe.

The land was owned by a few landlords who leased it to the Irish peasants. As the population grew, the arable land was divided and subdivided into smaller and smaller parcels. The potato became the only practical food for the people because it took less land to support a family with potatoes than with any other crop. Wheat and other grains were raised to sell to pay the rent. The peasants existed largely on potatoes and buttermilk. The grain was exported to England and Europe. In some places the Irish lost the knowledge to cook other foods or

even to bake bread. The intense competition for land resulted in very high rents, sometimes 100% higher than in England.

Prior to about 1820 there were no roads into Erris from the surrounding Baronies. This isolation kept the population low and concentrated in the easily farmed land. When roads were built from Castlebar and Ballina, population increased in Erris. Extensive reclamation of bog land made more land available. Population grew rapidly and farm production in the area increased. Between 1822 and 1835 the production of oats and barley in Erris increased from 80 tons to 1800 tons.

Bellmullet was established in 1822 and became the major market town of the area. Binghamstown, on the Mullet Peninsula, was also a market town. Fishing supplemented the agricultural economy. The 1841 census showed Erris had a population of about 30,000 people and Belmullet had a population of 637.

“Life in Erris was primitive but there was some gaiety and prosperity. On Sundays, market days, and holidays the men wore frieze coats, red or black, with corduroy or pilot cloth trousers, gaudy waistcoats and felt hats; the women had stuff gowns, looped up to show a red or black flannel petticoat, and caps with gay ribbons; on special occasions both wore shoes and stockings.” (The Great Hunger, by Cecil Woodham-Smith, p311)

The Potato Famine In Erris Barony

The potato crop of 1845 was infested with a previously unknown disease, potato blight, which came to Europe from North America. In Ireland that year the blight destroyed over half of the potatoes. In 1846 the total destruction of potatoes occurred. The 1847 crop was not damaged by blight but there were very few potatoes planted because the seed potatoes had been consumed as food. The 1848 potato crop was again completely destroyed. The four years beginning with the harvest in 1845 and ending with the harvest of 1849 are generally known as the famine years. About one fourth of the population of Ireland died or emigrated during these years. The country was reduced to such destitution that emigration continued for decades afterward. Probably a million Irish people left Ireland during the famine, many settling in North America.

Erris Barony, like the rest of western Ireland, was particularly hard hit by the famine. The following are examples of descriptions of the area by relief workers who visited Erris Barony during the famine.

“The failure of the potato brought ruin: frieze coats, red flannel petticoats, gaudy waistcoats and gay ribbons were sold, and many thousands of the inhabitants of Erris were reduced to a state which the Commissariat officer…declared was the lowest and most degraded he had ever met with, even among the Ashantees or wild Indians. Cabins in Erris were cut out of the living bog, the walls of the bog forming two or three sides; entrances were so low that it was necessary to crawl in on all fours, and the height inside–four to eight feet–made it almost impossible to stand upright. Large families, sometimes more than eight persons, lived in these ‘human burrows’; they were ‘quiet harmless persons, terrified of strangers'” (Ibid., p. 311)

A Quaker relief worker from York, England, James Hack Tuke, visited Erris Barony in 1847. The following description was written by him in a letter to the Society of Friends in Dublin. “I must be allowed to dwell at some length upon the peculiar misery of this Barony of Erris, and the parish of Belmullet, which I spent some days in examining…. This barony is situated on the extreme northwest coast of Mayo, bounded on two sides by the Atlantic Ocean. The population last year was computed at about 28,000; of that number, it is said that at least 2,000 have emigrated…and that 6,000 have perished by starvation,

dysentery, and fever. There is left a miserable remnant of little more than 20,000; of whom 10,000, at least, are, strictly speaking, on the very verge of starvation. Ten thousand people within 48 hours journey of the metropolis of the world, [London] living, or rather starving, upon turnip-tops, sand-eels, and sea-weed; a diet which no one in England would consider fit for the meanest animal which he keeps.”

Evictions became widespread throughout Ireland in 1847 and Erris Barony was not spared. “The most notorious example, however, was supplied by the unhappy district of Belmullet, in Erris, on the estate of a Mr. Walshe. He lived at Crossmolina, and was a magistrate, but had taken no part in relief work during the famine. The inhabitants of three villages were evicted by Mr. Walshe, with the help of a company of the 49th Regiment; their houses were thrown down and they were turned out, in the depth of the winter, to exist as best they might. The largest of these hamlets was Mullaroghe, on the peninsula of the Mullet:…a woman who had been evicted made a statement…. She had been, she said, ‘living in Mullaroghe with her husband, when young Mr. Walshe and two drivers came, about ten days before Christmas (1847)…the second day the people were all turned out of doors and the roofs of their houses pulled down. That night they made a bit of a tent. or shelter, of wood and straw; that the drivers threw down and drove them from the place…. It would have “pitied the sun” she said, “to look at them as they had to go head formost under hail and storm.’ They implored the drivers to allow them to remain a short time as it was so near the time of festival (Christmas) but they would not….’ Mullaroghe was ‘literally a heap of ruins’ wrote James Hack Tuke; the Townland assessment book showed that, in 1845, 102 families were rated there, but only the walls of three houses now stood…. Two more hamlets on Mr. Walshe’s land, Tiraun and Clogher, were destroyed in the same way: the inhabitants were driven out with the help of troops and their cabins demolished. The people, timid by nature, were stunned. Tuke saw ‘miserable objects lingering helpless and bewildered round the ruins of their homes, while outside their few possessions disintegrated in the rain. Between Mullaroghe and Clogher, Mr. Hamilton…set up a ‘feeding station’ where more than three hundred persons gathered ‘in various stages of fever, starvation and nakedness’; many, too weak to stand, lay on the ground; the worst…did not appear; they were too ill to crawl out of their hiding-places and shelters.” (Ibid, p. 319-320)

Disease caused by famine also took its toll in Erris. Famine dropsy, resulting from long continued famine, resulted in swelling first of the limbs, then of the body. A Quaker relief worker describe children in Belmullet “who had previously been emaciated, now exhibited frightful swelling, though most of them were to weak to stand” (Ibid, p. 194)

Fishing was a supplemental food industry in the west of Ireland, especially in Erris. The famine nearly destroyed the industry even though the need for fish increased. Boats and equipment were sold or pawned to buy food or pay rent. Fishermen on the public works were afraid to leave their jobs and return to fishing, public works being a more reliable source of income with which to feed their families. The sever winter (of 1846-47) made it impossible to leave the harbors for weeks at a time. Fishermen weakened by hunger and disease were physically unable to row their boats out to the fishing grounds. As a result, the amount of fish available as food decreased even as the need increased.

The Famine Emigration.

William and Bridget Heffron and their five young children left Erris Barony during the famine, sometime during the years of 1846 to 1848. The port by which they left, their first destination in North America, and the ship which brought them are all unknown. About a million Irish made the Atlantic crossing during the famine years and much is known of the conditions of this trip. Since

Ireland and Canada were both part of the British Commonwealth, passage to Montreal was cheaper than to the U. S. Also, the U. S. restricted entry to the Irish people, making legal entry very difficult. Many Irish landed in Canada, then made their way across the U. S. border.

The famine emigration began in the spring of 1846. the first to leave were not the destitute but the comfortable farmers, many of whom left from Westport, Co. Mayo in April and May. The first ship landed in Quebec on April 24, 1846. These immigrants were described as well-to-do, healthy and with a little capital. By August of 1846 the situation had changed. The potato had failed completely and destitute people crowded on board sailing ships in an attempt to reach Quebec before ice closed the St. Lawrence River. Some were sent by landlords anxious to clear their land of people. Others used all their money to secure passage. They often arrived in Quebec without the 6 pence needed for steamer passage to Montreal.

During the winter, fever had added to the misery in Ireland and by Feb., 1847, the headlong flight to get out of Ireland began. Many left directly from western ports of Ireland. Three thousand left from Sligo that winter. Bands of as many as 700 people passed through Mayo to emigrate, some from Ballina, Westport, Killala, and other small ports. Ships were overcrowded, under provisioned, and had no medical personnel or supplies. The result was disaster.

Ships entering the St. Lawrence were required to stop at the Grosse Isle quarantine station, 30 miles downriver from Quebec. The first ship to enter the St. Lawrence in the spring of 1847 arrived on May 17. She carried 241 passengers, 84 with fever. (The quarantine hospital on Grosse Isle was built for 150 patients.) Four days later, May 21, eight ships arrived with a total of 430 fevered people. Three days later, 17 ships arrived, all with fever on board. By May 29, 36 ships with 13,000 immigrants on board were waiting at Grosse Isle. By May 31, there were 40 ships extending 2 miles down river. There were about 1,100 cases of fever on Grosse Isle, and probably as many on board ships waiting to be taken off.

By July there were 2,500 sick people at Grosse Isle. Members of the staff caught typhus and many died. Twelve of the fourteen on the staff were sick at one time. Patients overflowed the hospital into sheds and finally outside on the ground. Many waited for days to be taken off ships.

Overcrowding at Grosse Isle made it impossible to hold all the sick and boatloads of fevered patients were sent upriver to Quebec and Montreal. Hundreds of sick were landed on the wharves of Montreal with no medical aid available. Fever sheds were built at Point St. Charles, near Montreal. Conditions soon approached those at Grosse Isle.

By fall, when ice closed the river and immigration stopped, thousands had died at Grosse Isle and Montreal, not only immigrants but also doctors, nurses, priests, nuns, and others who came to help. At Grosse Isle a monument has the following inscription:

In this secluded spot lie the mortal remains

of 5,294 persons, who, flying from pestilence

and famine in Ireland in the year 1847 found

in America but a grave.

A second monument on Grosse Isle, a Celtic cross has two inscriptions which read;

Sacred to the memory of thousands of

Irish immigrants who to preserve the

faith suffered hunger and exile in 1847-

48 and stricken with fever ended here

their sorrowful pilgrimage.

Thousands of the children of the Gael were

lost on this island while fleeing from

foreign tyrannical laws and an artificial

famine in the years 1847-48. God bless

them. God save Ireland.

Near Point St. Charles in Montreal is a stone which is inscribed;


preserve from desecration

the remains of 6,000 immigrants

who died from ship fever

A. D. 1847-48

this stone

is erected by the workmen

Messrs. Peto, Brassey, and Betts

employed in the construction

of the

Victoria Bridge

A. D. 1859

Most of the immigrants who arrived in Canada entered the U. S. where economic opportunity was greater and they were not subject to the laws of the hated English. The U. S. and some state governments tried to keep them out. The people of the U. S. viewed the flood of Irish immigrants with resentment. They were destitute, diseased, uneducated, unskilled, and Catholic. Many were old and infirm. Many of those who arrived in Canada entered the U. S. by simply walking across the border. Those whose ships arrived in the U. S. usually landed at New York or Boston. Some who were turned away at these ports were landed by small boats on the shores of New England. Boston and New York, and some other cities, soon had large populations of Irish paupers settled in ghettoes.

William And Briget Heffron In America

William and Bridget Heffron were in the U. S. by July 1, 1848, when their daughter, Margaret, was born in Rutland, Vermont. Their next child, John R., was born about 1852-1853, probably in Kentucky. Their youngest son, Thomas, was born in Ohio in Dec., 1856. Their oldest daughter, Mary, was married to Patrick Kane somewhere in the U. S. and their first son, Owen Kane, was born about 1857 in Ohio and their second son, William Kane, was born about 1858, in Kentucky (Paducah?). During this period the family were most likely moving from place to place, where ever they could find employment. Large numbers of Irish were employed at this time in construction of railroads and canals. Many were employed in lead mining in southern Wisconsin, (including many families which eventually settled on farms in St. Croix Co., Wisc.). Lumbering along the St. Croix River, both in Wisconsin and Minnesota, also provided the Irish immigrants with employment during this period.

Land records show that William and Bridget Heffron bought land in Emerald Township in May, 1859, and in Erin Prairie Township in June, 1864. Their oldest son, David Heffron, bought land in Erin Prairie in Aug., 1861. Their son William Heffron was listed on the membership certificate of the St. Croix Co. Old Settlers’ Assoc. as being a resident since 1860. The family is not listed on the 1860 St. Croix Co. census.

This information, even though very incomplete and inconclusive, suggest that the family may have landed in Quebec, was ferried to Montreal, entered the U. S. via the Lake Champlain-Hudson River waterway, worked in several places including Vermont, Kentucky, and Ohio before finally moving, via the Ohio, Mississippi, and St. Croix Rivers, to St. Croix Co., Wisc., about 1860.

Other Emigrants From Erris Who Settled In St. Croix Co., Wisc.

In St. Patricks Catholic Cemetery, Erin Prairie Township, are tombstones with the following inscriptions;

KANE–John Kane (1810-1882). Owen Kane (1831-18__) Kilmore Parish

GARRITY–Edward Garrity (1834-____). Katherine Garrity (1837-1878)

Kilmore Parish.

EARLY–Anthony Early (1843-1899). Kilmore Parish

LALLY–John Lally (1834-1881). Kilmore Parish

Thomas Lally (1846-1879). Bilmullet

LAVELL–Thomas Lavell (1815-1870). Phillip Lavell (1844-1877)


McANDREW–Harry McAndrew (1878-1912). Belmullet

STEPHENS–Alice Stephens, wife of Thomas Stephens, (1831-1866)


COUGHAN–Bridget Coughan O’Malley (1833-1885), wife of Thomas O’Malley, Kilmore Parish

In the Catholic Cemetery, Hudson, Wisc., is a tombstone which reads;

BARRET–James Barret, died Jan. 4, 1884, age 64. Kilmore Parish

In addition to these people, other Irish families of St. Croix Co. were known to have come from Erris Barony. These include two other Heffron families. The first, William Heffron and wife Mary Menahan were in Kilmore Parish in 1860 and 1863 when their two sons, David and Anthony were baptized. This family was in Erin Prairie Township in 1870 and in Stanton Township in 1900, where they are listed on the census records. William and Mary and three of their children are buried in St. Bridget’s Cemetery, Stanton Township, St. Croix Co., Wisc.

The other Heffron family, Catherine Gerrity Heffron, widow of Richard Heffron, and their son John Heffron and their daughter Grace Heffron Niland, lived in Erin Prairie and were from Belmullet. John’s granddaughter, Mary Knudson, lives in New Richmond, Wisc.

A Stevens family of Glen Castle, Kilcommon Parish, Erris Barony, also were immigrants to St. Croix Co. These were the nine children of Thomas Steven’s, an Englishman from Lancashire, who went to Erris Barony early in the 19th century. Evidently all of this family left Glen Castle during or after the famine because none of that name are found there now.

Many families of the same names as listed above are still found in Erris Barony. (Conspicuous by their absence are any members of the Stephens family.) Several other family names are found in the records of both St. Croix Co. and Erris Barony, including Gallagher, O’Hare, O’Malley, Padden, O’Riley, Walsh, Gaynor, and Phillips. Many of these can be assumed to have migrated from Erris Barony to St. Croix Co. The migration of these families took place both during the famine years and for several years afterwards.

Erin Prairie And Emerald Townships.

As the names suggests, these two townships in St. Croix Co. were settled primarily by Irish immigrants. The first Irish land claim in Erin Prairie was by John Casey in 1854. About 20 Irish families settled there in 1855. William Fleming was the first Irishman to settle in Emerald Village in 1858. Erin Prairie became the hub of the Irish rural community and at one time had a population of several hundred, nearly all of them Irish or children of Irish. Several stores were located there. St. Patricks’ Catholic Church and Cemetery were the hub of the social life of these Irish Catholic people.

Erin Prairie was described in the Northwestern Chronicle by a writer who found that, since he could not afford to visit Ireland a visit to Erin was the next best thing.

“The prosperity the Irish settlers on this prairie–and there are none others–have attained to within a few years, is wonderful, indeed, and refutes so thoroughly the ignorant and too frequently malicious slanderers–who taking some barroom loafer as a model, judge the Irish people from this low standard–that I have felt proud and happy to listen to many a settler’s story of early trials and ultimate success.

Twelve years ago the first Irish settlers came into Erin Prairie with little or no capital, but brave hearts and strong arms; now the Irish have not alone possessed themselves of every acre of this fine prairie for six miles square, but they have spread out into the townships of Emerald, on the east, Hammond on the south, Warren, southwest, Richmond, west and Star Prairie, north.

In most instances the Irish who moved from Erin Prairie into those other townships bought improved farms, for which they paid from twenty to thirty dollars an acre; they did not go in quest of better land than they had where they first settled, for it would be impossible to find such; but, in order to have room to farm on a larger scale and they got ready purchasers in their neighbors, who remained, and were also anxious to enlarge their farms.” (History of the Irish in Wisconsin in the Nineteenth Century, by Grace McDonald, p. 107)

The Irish who settled together in “Irish” communities, such as Erin Prarie, retained much of the customs from the old country. (“They change their sky and not their mind who cross the sea”.) Some spoke only Gaelic because they thought it traitorous to learn the English language. They had frequent community functions for dances, christenings, weddings, wakes, and other events which were an excuse for a party. Wakes in particular were large social gatherings, where food and whiskey were served, stories of leprechauns, fairies, and ghosts were told, and Irish keeners bewailed the dead with their lamentations and dirges. (Ibid, p. 251)

All that remains today of Erin Prairie is the St. Patricks Catholic Church and Cemetery and one store, Erin Corners, which is intermittently open. When the railroad came through St. Croix Co., Erin was bypassed and soon disappeared. New Richmond, to the west, became the closest market town of to the farmers of Erin Prairie Township.



1. WILLIAM HEFFRON, born about 1808, Kilmore Parish, Co. Mayo, Ireland, married BRIDGET O’HARE in Ireland, died Aug. 7, 1868, Erin Prairie, St. Croix Co., Wisconsin. Bridget was born about 1814 in Ireland and died March 17, 1894, Erin Prairie. Both are buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Erin Prairie. William and his family left Ireland during the famine years and were in the U. S. by July 4, 1848, when their daughter, Margaret, was born in Rutland, Vermont. Their son, John R., was born in 1852 or 1853, possibly in Kentucky. Their last son, Thomas, was born in Ohio in Dec., 1856. Two grandsons were born to them during this period, both sons of Mary (Heffron) and Patrick Kane. The first, Owen Kane, was born about 1857 in Ohio. The second, William Kane, was born about 1858 in Kentucky, possibly in Paducah. Land records show that William and Bridget Heffron bought land in Emerald Twp., St. Croix Co., in May, 1859 and in Erin Prairie Twp. in June, 1864. Their son, David, bought land in Erin Prairie Twp. in Aug., 1861. They are not listed on the 1860 St. Croix Co. census but records of the Old Settlers Assoc. of St. Croix Co. show that the family was in St. Croix Co. in 1860. They settled on land in section 12, Erin Prairie Twp. about 1864. Mary and Patrick Kane settled on land in adjoining section 1. After William’s death in 1868, the family continued living on the same land and eventually the youngest son, Thomas, took over the family farm and added much more land and improvements to it. Bridget Heffron died on March 17, 1894, within 24 hours of her brother, Edward O’Hare. Their obituary in the St. Croix Republican, March 22, 1894, is:

“Two old residents-a brother and sister-of the town of Erin died almost within 24 hours of each other. The first was Mrs. Bridget Heffron, 79, who died at the home of her son, Thomas, on Sat., Mar. 17, 1894, at 3:20 P. M. Early the following day her brother, Edward O’Hare, 91, departed. Both were born in County Mayo, Ireland, but had emigrated to this country and become residents of the town of Erin Prairie years ago. Mr. Patrick Heffron of New Richmond and Mr. J. R. Heffron of Cylon are sons of the former”


2. Mary Heffron, born Dec. 1836, Bellmullet, Co. Mayo

3. David Heffron, born about 1837, Ireland

4. Rose Anna Heffron, born May, 1839, Ireland

5. Patrick Heffron, born about 1843, Ireland

6. William Heffron,born May 1, 1844, Ireland

7. Margaret Heffron, born July 4, 1848, Rutland, Vt.

8. John R. Heffron, born about 1852, possibly in Kentucky

9. Thomas Heffron, born Dec. 25, 1856, Ohio.



William and Bridget Heffron had three daughters and five sons. (Since the oldest, Mary, was 20 years older than the youngest, Thomas, it is probable that there were other children who died young.) Five children were born in Ireland, one each in Vermont, Kentucky, and Ohio. Five of these eight lived from about 1860 until their deaths in St. Croix, Co. One daughter, Rose Anna Heffron Lumphrey, (#4), lived in Stillwater, Minn., from about 1866 until 1882. Then she and her family moved to Stanton, St. Croix Co., where she lived the rest of her life. One son and one daughter left St. Croix County with their families late in their lives. These were Patrick Heffron, (#5), who went to Vancouver, B. C., Canada, with his wife and most of their children and Margaret (Heffron) Gerrity, (#7), who moved with her husband and children to Ray, N. D., about 1902. (Margaret Gerrity also lived briefly in Minneapolis when first married)

All of the second generation were farmers for some part of their lives, but two apparently found other occupations before they died. Patrick, (#5), was a landlord on the 1880 census and a sawmill laborer on the 1900 census, and in 1892 was a merchant in New Richmond. John R., (#8), ran a hotel in New Richmond and was listed as a railroad laborer on the 1910 census. As young men, both William, (#6), and John R., (#8), worked as raftsmen, probably on the St. Croix River where pine logs were gathered into rafts to be floated to the lumber mills. Evidently none of the sons served in the military during the American Civil War, though the three oldest were of the age where they could have served.

Seven of the eight children had children of their own, producing a total of 64 grandchildren for William and Bridget (possibly a few more who died in infancy). The spouses of each of the eight children were either Irish emigrants or children of Irish emigrants with one exception. The exception, Joseph Lumphrey, husband of Rosa Anna Heffron, (#4), was of French-Canadian ancestry.

On June 12, 1899, a tornado struck New Richmond, an event known as the New Richmond Cyclone. The business district of New Richmond was totally destroyed, as were many of the farms both south and north of New Richmond. The death toll was 119 people, property damage was several million dollars. Two of William and Bridget’s sons, Thomas and Patrick, were caught up in this storm. The widow of a third son, Katie Heffron, was killed. Several of the grandchildren were also present, some of them lost much of their property. In some cases the grandchildren and their families left St. Croix Co. because of the damage caused by the storm, and lived in other areas. Thus some of the descendants of William and Bridget Heffron were born and raised elsewhere as a result of the New Richmond Cyclone.

2. MARY HEFFRON, born Dec., 1836, Belmullet, Co. Mayo, Ireland, died April 22, 1910, Erin Prairie, Wisc. She married Patrick Kane in 1854. He was born about 1826 in Ireland, quite likely in Kilmore Parish, Co. Mayo. He died June 8, 1899, in Erin Prairie and both he and Mary are buried in St. Patricks Cemetery. Mary and Patrick Kane are listed on the 1870 and 1880 census in Erin Prairie with their family. These census records give their birthplace as Ireland, their son, Owen’s, birthplace as Ohio (1856) and their next son, William’s, as Kentucky. The obituary of Mary (Heffron) Kane, in the St. Croix Republican reads:

“Mrs. Patrick Kane passed away peacefully at 8 P. M., April 22, 1910. The funeral was held at the Immaculate Conception Church in New Richmond on Tuesday morning. Solemn High Mass was celebrated by Father Hyacinthe, assisted by Rev. Father Cleary of Minneapolis and Father Walsh of Erin.

Mrs. Kane, whose maiden name was Mary Heffron, was born in Belmullet, County Mayo, Ireland in Dec., 1836, and when eleven years of age came with her parents to America. In her eighteenth year she was married to Patrick Kane, who was also raised in County Mayo, Ireland. Mr. and Mrs. Kane were among the early pioneers in St. Croix County and lived there until called to their eternal home.

Mrs. Kane is survived by eight children and four grandchildren, all of whom were with her the last days. She was buried in Erin cemetery beside her husband and two sons.

The community has suffered the loss of a kind and loyal friend and the family a loving and devoted mother.

Mrs. Gerrity, Mrs. Kane’s sister, arrived from North Dakota in time to attend the funeral. Misses Florence and Rosetta Heffron and Kate Gerrity of St. Paul also attended the funeral of their aunt.”


10. Owen Kane, born about 1856-57, Ohio

11. William Kane, born about 1857-59, Kentucky

12. John H. Kane, born about 1860, Wisconsin

13. Jane Kane, born 1863, Erin Prairie

14. Anna Bridget Kane, born 1865, Erin Prairie

15. Rose Kane, born April 7, 1866, Erin Prairie

16. Mary Agnes Kane, born 1868, Erin Prairie

17. Margaret E. Kane, born 1876, Erin Prairie

18. Patrick J. Kane, born 1876, Erin Prairie

19. James H. Kane, born June 14, 1880, Erin Prairie

3. DAVID HEFFRON, born about 1837, Ireland, died March 5, 1892, near Boardman, St. Croix Co., Wisc. buried St. Patricks Cemetery. He married Catherine Hayes (1839-1899). She is buried in the Boardman Cemetery. They apparently had no children. David and Catherine are listed on the 1870 St. Croix Co. census in St. Joseph Twp. where they farmed. He was 33 years old, she 31, both born in Ireland. The 1897 St. Croix Co. Plat Book shows that they owned land in section 30 and 31 of Richmond Twp. and section 36 in St. Joseph Twp., a total of about 230 acres. David’s obituary in the Hudson Star and Times, March 11, 1892, is

“Suspicious Death of St. Croix County Man

David Heffron, an old resident of St. Croix County living near Boardman, died Sat. morning at 3 O’clock under suspicious circumstances. He had sold a load of wheat Friday at Boardman and returned to within one half mile of home. Here he met a man and the two sat and talked. During the conversation the man, unknown, took a bottle from his pocket and gave Heffron something to drink. Mrs. Heffron, hearing her husband talking loud, went to see what was the matter. Before she reached them, the other man left. Heffron showed signs of intoxication and soon after went into a stupor from which he never rallied. No intoxicants are sold at Boardman and the drink the other man gave him is supposed to have been the only one he had. A post mortem was held and the case investigated.”

David is buried near his parents and the tombstone reads:

“David Hefferon, died Mar. 5, 1892, aged 55 years, erected to his memory by his beloved wife Katie Hefferon”

Katie Heffron, widow of David, was killed in her home, just a few miles southwest of New Richmond, by the New Richmond Cyclone. She evidently was the first fatality of the tornado which destroyed all of the buildings on her farm. (The New Richmond Tornado of 1899, by Anna P. Epley, p. 31)

4. ROSE ANNA HEFFRON, born May, 1839, Ireland, died Aug. 12, 1913, Stanton Township, St. Croix County, buried Immaculate Conception Cemetery., New Richmond. She married Joseph Lumphrey (1830-1885) in Stillwater, Minn. on Aug. 28, 1866. Joseph Lumphrey was a French-Canadian who worked as a lumberman on on the St. Croix River and in the lumber mills at Stillwater, Minn. He was also a guard at the state prison in Stillwater. They lived at Fifth and Hickory in Stillwater, a house which is still standing (Jan., 1984). In 1882 the family bought a farm (possibly from her brother, John R. Heffron)about 3 1/2 miles east of New Richmond. Three years later Joseph died leaving a widow and five young children, the oldest 13 years of age. Rose Anna continued to live on the farm with her sons until her death in 1913Her obituary in the St. Croix Republican reads:

“Mrs. Rose Lumphrey died at her home in Stanton yesterday morning (Aug. 12, 1913) of cancer, aged seventy-four years. Mrs. Lumphrey was born in Ireland and for many years resided in Stanton. In fact she was one of the pioneers of that town. There are surviving her one daughter, Mrs. Thomas Burns of St. Paul and three sons, Joseph, William, and Thomas. The funeral will take place from the Church of the Immaculate Conception in this city Thursday at 9:30 A. M. The ReverendFather Boyce will officiate.”

Children, all born Stillwater, Minn.

20. Margaret Lumphrey, born Aug. 4, 1870

21. Francis (Frank) Lumphrey, born 1872

22. William Henry Lumphrey, born Jan. 30 1874

23. Joseph Peter Lumphrey, born June 20, 1876

24. Oliver Thomas Lumphrey, born Dec. 21, 1878

25. Rose Lumphrey, born July 21, 1881

5. PATRICK HEFFRON, born about 1843, Ireland, died Jan. 8, 1912, Vancouver, B. C., Canada. He married Mary Alice Dean, daughter of Anthony and Catherine (Lavell) Dean, on Oct. 26, 1868, in Hudson, Wisc. She was born in 1854 in Ireland and died July 29, 1916, in Vancouver. Both are buried in Mt. View Cemetery, Vancouver. In the 1870 St. Croix Co. census, Patrick and Alice and daughter, Katie, lived in Erin Twp. where he was a farmer, aged 28 and his wife was 18, both born in Ireland. In the 1880 census, they lived in Hammond Village with five children and two servants. He was listed as a “landlord”, age 37, his wife aged 27. In the 1900 census, they lived in New Richmond with their six youngest children. His occupation was “sawmill laborer”, born 1843 and emigrated in 1858. Patrick was in the New Richmond Cyclone and his experience was recorded:

“I left the Willow River Co.’s lumber yard and started for home. When I got about to the center of the wagon bridge I saw that to go further meant certain death, and ran back and went into the mill. This place appeared to be but a poor refuge, so I thought to make the Central depot. I traveled about half the way when I saw that the cyclone was coming directly toward me. I then ran back and into the shingle yard, and tried to cross a wire fence, but was so exhausted from running that I dropped down beside it. I lay there and saw the cyclone pass about eight rods away, and fully expected to be taken up with it. It appeared to be a solid wall, composed of boards, trees, cattle, horses and human beings. I lay there about half a minute. When I arose the smoke stack at the mill was just being carried off. I thought from the terrible roaring sound that the cloud was making a channel through the earth, grinding up all the rocks in its path.” (Epley, op cit, p 151-152)

About 1907 Patrick and his wife and younger children moved to Vancouver, B. C., where some of his older children had all ready moved. Patrick died in Vancouver on Jan. 8, 1912, and his obituary in the New Richmond News, Jan. 13, 1912, is:

“Patrick Heffron, Early Pioneer, Dead at Vancouver.

Moved out there four years ago-survived by large family

Word was received her Thursday. night that Patrick Heffron, an old time resident of New Richmond and a pioneer of St. Croix County for fifty years, died Mon. at his home in Vancouver, B. C.

Mr. Heffron visited his daughter, Mrs. J. T. Martin, here about a year ago. He caught a cold then and his health was never good after his return.

Patrick Heffron was born in County Mayo, Ireland, and came to America with his parents at the age of three. He came to St. Croix County fifty years ago, settling in Erin Prairie. Thirty seven years ago he moved with his family to Hammond and in 1884 moved to New Richmond where he made his home until four years ago when he went west, most of his children being in the west.

Mr. Heffron is survived by his widow and the following daughters; Mrs. J. T. Martin, Mrs. P. F. Newell, misses Mary, Rhoda, Grace, Clarice, and Lucille. A brother, Thomas Heffron, and two sisters, Mrs. Rose Lumphrey, New Richmond, Wisc. and Mrs. Daniel Garrity of Wheaton, N. D., also survive him.

The funeral was held in Vancouver today where burial was made.

Mr. Heffron was a man of sterling qualities, a good citizen and a man whom everyone respected. His long useful journey through life is ended, much to the regret of his many friends.”

Patrick’s widow died in Vancouver and her obituary in the New Richmond News, Aug . 5, 1916, is:

“Mrs. Alice Dean Heffron, for many years a resident of New Richmond, widow of the late Patrick Heffron and mother of Mrs. James T. Martin of this city, died Sat., July 29, at Vancouver, B. C., where she had resided for a number of years. The funeral took place on Monday in that city, her remains being interred beside her husband who died in Jan., 1912.

Five weeks previous Mrs. Heffron had suffered a stroke of apoplexy. Then the day before she died a third stroke from which she did not rally.

Mrs. Heffron was born in Co. Mayo, Ireland, Jan. 1, 1853, came to America with her brother, Edward, at the age of 14 and was married to Mr. Heffron nearly 48 years ago. They lived in Erin a number of years, then moved to Hammond and six years later located in New Richmond, and resided here in the brick house on the N. W. corner of Third and Arch St. until nine years ago when they moved to Vancouver.

The decedent was the mother of eleven children, nine of whom survive: Mrs. Katie Martin of New Richmond, William of Idaho, Mrs. P. F. (Alice) Newell and misses Mary, Rhoda, Grace, Clarice, Lucille and Thomas of Vancouver, all of whom were with their mother when the end came but Mrs. Martin. Surviving also are three brothers: Edward of Washington, Patrick of Mississippi, and Anthony, a retired English Army officer in Auckland, Australia, and one sister, Catherine, of Spokane, Wash. Her father was Anthony Dean, her mother Catherine Lavelle”


26. Catherine (Katie) Heffron, born April 29, 1870

27. William Heffron, born 1873

28. Alice Heffron, born 1875

29. John E. (Little John) Heffron, born 1877

30. Peter Heffron, born 1879

31. Mary (Mamie) Heffron, born 1882

32. Rhoda Heffron, born 1884

33. Thomas Francis Heffron, born Aug. 9, 1887

34. Grace Heffron, born June 23, 1889

35. Clarissa Heffron, born Sept. 26, 1891

36. Lucille Patricia Heffron, born 1894.

6. WILLIAM HEFFRON, born May 1, 1844, Ireland, died Nov. 6, 1906, in in Hudson, Wisc., married Elizabeth Henry, daughter of John and Jane (Stephens) Henry on April 13, 1879. (Jane Stephens Henry was the daughter of Anthony Stephens who was born in Glen Castle, Kilcommon Parish, Co. Mayo, Ireland). Elizabeth Heffron was born Oct. 1, 1862, near Boardman, Wisc., and died Jan. 6, 1939, Hudson, Wisc. William and Elizabeth are both buried in Hudson Catholic Cemetery. William and Elizabeth farmed in the Three Lakes area of Warren Twp. (in the NE quarter of section 6) where most of their children were born. They were on a farm adjacent to Elizabeth’s parents. William had purchased this land in 1870, sold it to his brother, John R. Heffron, in 1873, and repurchased it from John in 1880, about the time he was married. About 1900 William and Elizabeth move to the Hudson Prairie area, in section 26 of Hudson Twp., where they lived for several years and the younger children were born. This area is known locally as the badlands because of the topography which makes it unsuitable for raising crops. William evidently raised draft horses on this farm. After William died the family moved into Hudson (about 1912). In the 1870 St. Croix Co. census, William is listed as a 22 year old raftsman, born in Ireland, and living with his mother and two younger brothers, John and Thomas, in Erin Twp. In the 1880 census, William and wife Elizabeth lived in Warren Twp. with their son Thomas. William was 34, Elizabeth 17 years old. In the 1900 census, they lived Warren Twp. In the 1905 state census, they lived in Hudson Twp. In all census records his occupation was listed as farmer According to a letter written by his nephew, Pat Gerrity, William served in the Sioux Indian wars in the Dakota Territories in 1864-1865 where he took supplies from Bismarck to Fort Union (near the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers). At one point he was forced to swim the Missouri to escape the Indians who destroyed the wagon load of supplies. William Heffron died in Hudson in 1906. His obituary in the The Hudson Observer, Nov. 9, 1906, is:

“The funeral of William Heffron who died this week was held at St. Patrick’s Church yesterday, the Rev. Father Barney officiating. A large concourse of sorrowing friends followed the remains to the cemetery.

The late Mr. Heffron was a resident of the German settlement, where he has occupied a farm for many years. Prior to his residence there he lived in Warren, he being an old timer of this county.

He is survived by his wife and a very large family, 13 or 14 in all.

The deceased was a man of excellent standing among neighbors, and his passing will leave a big gap among them.”

Elizabeth Heffron died in 1939 in Hudson and her obituary in the Hudson paper is:

Mrs. Heffron, Native of St. Croix Co., dies here at 76

Mrs. Elizabeth Heffron, a native of St. Croix Co. and a resident of Hudson for many years, died at her home on 7th St. at 1:15 A. M., Friday, Jan. 6. She was taken critically ill on New Years eve when she suffered a stroke. Death came at 76 years, 3 months and 5 days.

Elizabeth Heffron was born Oct. 1, 1862, on a farm near Boardman, Wisc. She was the second child of a family of 7 born to John Henry and Jane Stephens Henry, both of whom emigrated from Canada to settle on a farm in this country. Her childhood days were spent on the home farm and in 1878 she was united in marriage to William Heffron. Fourteen children were born to this union. Mr. Heffron passed away in 1906.

Of the 14 children, Thomas and William preceded their mother in death. The survivingchildren are John, Elizabeth (Mrs. Carl Rinehold), and Earl of Sunnyside, Wash., Gertrude (Mrs. F. C. Mode) and Ida of Fresno, Cal., Jane (Mrs. A. D. Bell) of Bayport, Minn., David of St. Paul, Anne (Mrs. T. B. Falck) of Buchanan, N. D., Gladys (Mrs. Frank Bonnes) of Chicago and Henry, Robert, and Helen who reside in Hudson, where Mrs. Heffron made her home since 1912.

In addition to her children, Mrs. Heffron is survived by 20 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren; also 3 sisters, Mrs. Ida O;Keefe of Hudson, Mrs. Jane Tobin and Mrs. Agnes Ryan of Boardman, and one brother, James Henry who still resides on the family farm. Another brother, John Henry and one sister, Mrs. Anne Scott preceded, her in death.

Funeral services were held at St. Patricks Church in Hudson, Msgr. Owens officiating, at 9 O’clock Mon. with interment in the CatholicCemetery.”


37. Thomas Edward Heffron, born April 23, 1880

38. John A. Heffron, born Sept, 19, 1881

39. William J. Heffron, born Nov. 27, 1883

40. Ida Heffron, born Nov. 19, 1885

41. Gertrude Heffron, born Sept. 4, 1887

42. Jane Heffron, born Aug. 27, 1889

43. Elizabeth Heffron, born March 4, 1891

44. David F. Heffron, born Nov. 27, 1893

45. Anne Heffron, born Oct. 27, 1895

46. Henry Charles Heffron, born May 7, 1897

47. Robert M. Heffron, born Nov. 29, 1898

48. Earl George Heffron, born April 20, 1900

49. Gladys Heffron, born April 28, 1903

50. Helen Heffron, born April 12, 1906

7. MARGARET JANE HEFFRON, born July 4, 1848, Rutland, Vt., died Jan. 25, 1917, in Ray, N. D. She married Daniel Gerrity about 1871. He was born about 1847 in Ireland and came to America in 1864 or 1865. He died near Ray, N. D. on Feb. 4, 1912. Both are buried in Ray Catholic Cemetery. The 1870 St. Croix Co. census lists Margaret Heffron, domestic servant, in the home of C. A. Coon in Hudson City. The 1880 census lists Daniel Gerrity, age 33, and Margaret Gerrity, age 31, in Erin Prairie Twp. with nine children and gives Daniel’s birthplace as Ireland in 1847, Margaret’s as Vermont in July, 1848. The 1910 census in Wheelock Twp., Williams Co., N. D.,lists Daniel, age 63, born Ireland, Margaret, age 61, born Vermont, and three of their children, (Margaret, Age 32, John, age 27, and Alice, age 15). Margaret’s obituary is in The Ray Pioneer, Feb. 1, 1917:

“Mrs. Daniel Gerrity, one of the old and respected residents of Williams County, passed away very peacefully at her home in Ray, Jan, 25th, on the fifth anniversary of her husband’s burial, after several weeks of intense suffering. The funeral services were held at St. Michael’s Church, Mon. the 29th. Solemn High Mass was celebrated by Rev. Father Van Gills.

Mrs. Gerrity was the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Heffron and was born at Rutland, Vt., July 4, 1848. When a young girl she came with her parents to St. Croix County, Wisc., and in her 25th year was married to Daniel Gerrity and lived in the vicinity of New Richmond and Hudson, Wis., until 1902 when they came west and took up a homestead where they were compelled to endure the usual hardships imposed on early settlers.

The friends who came to pay their last earthly tribute and follow Mrs. Gerrity’s remains to her final resting place in the little cemetery of this city, beside her husband and youngest daughter, was a mark of the high esteem in which she was held by the community.

Mrs. Gerrity is survived by three sons and five daughters, also four grandchildren, all ofwhom will greatly mourn her loss.”

The obituary of Daniel Gerrity is printed in The Ray Pioneer, Feb. 2, 1912.

On Tuesday morning of last week at his residence four miles Northwest of Wheelock, occurred the death of Daniel Gerrity, one of the pioneer residents of Wheelock Township, Williams Count, N. D.

Early last spring he was taken ill with asthma and kept gradually failing till about Thanksgiving time when he suffered most patiently till his death on January 23rd. Mr. Gerrity was born in Sept., 1847, in Mayo county, Ireland, and came to America when he was about the age of 18 years.

He made his home in Minneapolis, Minn., up till and for five years after his marriage, at the age of 25, to Miss Margaret Heffron of Erin Prairie, Wisc. After that he moved with his family to St. Croix Co., Wisc., and lived in the vicinity of Erin Prairie, New Richmond, andHudson, until June of 1902, when he came west and took up a homestead. The family came two years later and have since resided here.

He is survived by his wife and nine children, three sons, two of whom are married and living near home, and six daughters; also one brother who resides in Holyoke, Mass.

The funeral services were held in St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Ray, Rev. Father Mullen of Williston officiating, and were largely attended by his family and kind friends and neighbors. His body was laid to its final rest in the Ray cemetery.

Mr. Gerrity was a highly respected citizen of the community, besides a kind loving husband and father.

His long hard struggle through life is ended much to the regret of his sorrowing family who will greatly mourn his loss.”


51. William Francis Gerrity, born 1875, Minneapolis.

52. Mary Agnes Gerrity, born 1876, St. Croix Co.

53. Margaret Gerrity, born 1878, St. Croix Co.

54. Patrick Gerrity, born May 1880, St. Croix Co.

55. John Edward Gerrity, born 1882, St. Croix Co.

56. Delia Gerity, born 1885, St. Croix Co.

57. Kathyrn Gerrity, born 1888, St. Croix Co.

58. Rose Gerrity, born 1892, St. Croix Co.

59. Alice J. Gerrity, born July 6, 1894, St. Croix Co.

8. JOHN R. HEFFRON, born about 1852-53, probably in Kentucky, died March 15. 1915, in Emerald, St. Croix Co., Wisc. He married Bridget Henry, daughter of Patrick and Bridget (Keating) Henry. (Patrick Henry was a fatality of the New Richmond Cyclone). She was born about 1860 and died Sept. 22, 1898, in childbirth with their ninth child. John R. and Bridget are buried in Holy Rosary Cemetery, Cylon Twp. St. Croix Co. In the 1970 St. Croix Co. census, John was 18 years old, lived in Erin Twp. with his mother and two brothers, William and Tom. His occupation was raftsman, his birthplace Ireland. In the 1880 census he was a farmer in Erin Twp., age 27, born in Wisc. His wife, Bridget, was 23, also born in Wisc. In the 1900 census, John was a farmer living in Emerald Twp. and born in Kentucky. His nine children were living with him but his wife was deceased. In the 1910 census, John lived alone in Richmond Twp., his occupation was “railroad laborer”, his age 57, his birthplace Kentucky. John R. Heffron’s obituary in a New Richmond paper is:

“John Heffron Drops Dead in Emerald

John Heffron, one of the pioneers of St. Croix County and father of Mrs. John E. Gallagher of this city, dropped dead in Emerald Monday noon.

John Heffron had been working for Frank Meath in Emerald, but a few days ago went to Emerald Village. He complained of being sick, but was up and about. He had just called for his mail at the Emerald Post Office, and he said then he was not feeling well. He stopped to pump a pail of water, and fell to the ground and died just before he reached the hotel where he was staying. Heart trouble was the cause of death.

The remains were brought to the home of his daughter in this city, and will be taken this morning to Cylon, where the funeral will be held from Holy Rosary Church, the Rev. Father P. Rice officiating.

Save his sister, Mrs. Daniel Gerrity, who resides in the west, Mr. Heffron was the last of that generation of the Heffron family. His wife died 18 years ago. Surviving are the following sons and daughters. David and William in Minneapolis and John in Erin Prairie, Mrs. John E. Gallagher of New Richmond, Mrs. Gus Nelson of Minneapolis, Florence of St. Paul, Rosella,Margaret, and Gertrude of Minneapolis.

Mr. Heffron was born in Ireland some 60 odd years ago, but came to America with the family when a boy.

Years ago he owned a farm now occupied by Mike Dunbar in Cylon and afterwards had a farm in Emerald. In the early eighties he conducted the Cottage Hotel in New Richmond on the site now occupied by the Commercial on W. Third St.”

Despite the discrepancies in the records concerning his birthplace, Kentucky is most likely correct. The early census records are known to be less accurate than the 1900 and 1910 census, both of which list Kentucky as birthplace. When he died, his wife, brothers, and all but one sister were already dead, which could explain inaccurate information in his obituary. After his wife died in 1898, John was not able to keep his family together and some of his younger children were raised in an orphanage.

Children, all born in St. Croix County

60. David Heffron, born 1878

61. Mary Loretta Heffron, born Aug. 6, 1880

62. William Heffron, born Jan. 26, 1883

63. Agnes Heffron, born June 3, 1885

64. Florence Heffron, born April 18, 1888

65. Rosella Heffron, born March 10, 1893

66. Margaret Heffron, born July 2, 1896

67. Gertrude Heffron, born Sept. 30, 1897

68. John Heffron, born Sept. 22, 1898

9. THOMAS HEFFRON, born Dec. 25, 1856, in Ohio, died Oct. 22, 1912, Erin Prairie. He married Anna Gavin on May 15, 1895. She was the daughter of John and Anna (Hughes) Gavin and was born in 1868 and died in 1934. Both are buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Erin Prairie. On the 1870 St. Croix Co. census, Thomas was listed as a 14 year old farm laborer living with his mother and two brothers in Erin Prairie Twp. In the 1900 census he lived in Emerald and was listed as born in 1856 in Ohio, his wife, Annie, born in 1868 in Wisconsin. In The History of the Saint Croix Valley, 1909, by Augustus B. Easton, is the following description of Thomas Heffron:

“Thomas Heffron is a native of Ohio, born in Dec. of 1855, son of William and Bridget (O’Hare) Heffron of Ireland…. Thomas received a good education in the public schools of Erin township, afterward taking up farming on his father’s place until 1872, when he bought 160 acres adjoining the forty acres purchased by his father. In 1876 he added another forty acres, and in 1904 still another forty, making in all 280 acres, nearly all of which he broke and developed. He also made many important improvements. In 1892 the old homestead burned to the ground, and Mr. Heffron erected a modern farmhouse at a cost exceeding $3,000. He has also built barns and out buildings. Upon this place he does a general diversified farming, up-to-date in every particular. He breeds registered Shorthorn cattle, Poland China hogs, Black Spanish fowls and other livestock, aside from raising all his own horses.

Mr. Heffron was married May 15, 1895, to Anna Gavin of Hammond, Wis., daughter of John and Anna (Hughes) Gavin, who were born in Roscommon County, Ireland, coming first to the state of Conn. and later to Hammond, where they were among the most prominent farmers in the township. Mr. and Mrs. Heffron have been blessed with five children…..Mr. Heffron is astaunch Democrat and a communicant of the Catholic Church. He is a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters, and the Modern Woodmen. He has been treasurer of School District No. 1, and a director of the same for two years. He is agood citizen, highly thought of throughout the community. He is a strong believer in education, a kind husband and loving father.”

Thomas Heffron was in New Richmond during the New Richmond Cyclone of 1899 and his experience was recorded in History of the New Richmond Cyclone by Mrs. A. G. Boehm.


Mr. Heffron’s experience is almost past belief; but those who have seen the awful power of the cyclone and believe in God’s mercies and miracles must credit the story. Mr. Heffron was driving through Main street, holding lightly to his horses’ reins, when the storm struck; the horse and buggy and Mr. Heffron were picked from the street, carried through the air over several dwellings and set down upon the street again with horses and man unhurt, and the buggy free from damage.

Thomas Heffron’s obituary in a local paper reads;

“Thos. Heffron succumbs to Sudden Summons

Stricken while plowing in field on his farm in

Erin Prairie, dies late in afternoon.

Thomas Heffron, proprietor of the Cottage Hill Stock Farm, one of Erin Prairie’s best known and most prosperous farmers, died at his home late yesterday afternoon of uremic coma.

Mr. Heffron was at work in the field some distance from the house plowing. Shortly before noon he fell from the sulky. Six hours later he was dead. John E. Reddin and other neighbors saw the team standing in the field: the faithful steeds having come to a halt when the familiar hand no longer guided them, but as Mr. Reddin said afterwards he was too far away to note that Mr. Heffron had been stricken and was lying on the ground helpless.

When at 12:30 Mr. Heffron had not returned to the house for dinner, his wife sent one of her sons to look for him. The boy found his father in the field. He had partly regained consciousness. He recognized his son and tried to talk to him, but was unable to make himself understood. The youngster was frightened and hurried home to tell his mother. Mrs. Heffronsummoned assistance and John Padden was the first neighbor to arrive. Mr. Heffron was carried to the house and medical assistance summoned from New Richmond. Everything possible was done for him, but he succumbed to the inevitable shortly after 5 o’clock.

Mr. Heffron was 58 years old. He was the youngest of a large family of brothers and sisters. The late Patrick Heffron who died recently in Vancouver was a brother. John Heffron, who was working on a nearby farm when the decedent was stricken, is a brother, and Mrs. Lumphrey of Stanton is a sister. He leaves a wife and family.

The funeral will be held at St. Patrick’s Church in Erin Prairie, Thursday morning, the Rev. Father Walsh officiating.”

After the death of Thomas, the family farm was sold. His widow and five children moved to River Falls, Wisc., where some of the children attended college.

Children, all born in Erin Prairie

69. Della Bridget Heffron, born Feb. 15, 1896

70. Anna Alma Heffron, born Aug. 16, 1897

71. William Bernard Heffron, born Oct. 4, 1898

72. Mary Helen Heffron, born Oct. 18, 1899

73. John Raymond Heffron, born Feb. 11, 1903



William and Bridget Heffron had 64 grandchildren, (28 grandsons, 36 granddaughters) excluding a few who died in infancy. Most of them were born in St. Croix County, Wisc., the exceptions being the first 2 children of Mary (Heffron) Kane (born before the family arrived in Wisconsin). the children of Rose (Heffron) Lumphrey (who were born in Stillwater, Minn., but lived in St. Croix County from about 1882 onward), and the first son of Margaret (Heffron) Gerrity (who was born in Minneapolis).

This generation was a product of St. Croix County. All but one lived in St. Croix Co. for some part of their lives. About 25% lived there all of their lives. The rest left, usually as young adults, for other areas. Four of Mary Kanes children settled in Seattle, two in North Dakota and two in Minneapolis. Rose Lumphrey’s daughter settled in St. Paul. Patrick Heffron’s family, except for his oldest daughter, settled in Vancouver, B. C. but many left there for California and the Orient. William Heffron’s children settled in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth, Minn. and in Washington, Oregon, North Dakota, and California. Margaret Gerrity’s family all went to North Dakota but some of her children left there for California and other western states. All of John R. Heffron’s children left St. Croix Co., and were scattered from Minneapolis and St. Paul to Missouri, Texas, Iowa, and Montana. Tom Heffron’s children settled in Wisconsin and Minneapolis.

Those who left St. Croix Co. retained their ties to their original home. Most visited St. Croix Co. as adults, even after many years living in other areas hundreds of miles distant. Pat Gerrity (#54) wrote from North Dakota in Dec. 1956, ( 5 months before his death)

“As far as traveling is concerned we are too old for any more of it but would I ever love to cross the bridge at Hudson and travel over the territory I spent my happy days in.”

The first grandchild born was Owen Kane (#10), born about 1856-57 in Ohio. The last born was Helen Heffron (#50), born April 12, 1906 in St. Croix County. Clarrisa (Heffron) Wallace (#35), who died Oct. 18, 1989, in Burlingame, Cal., was the last survivor of these 64 grandchildren.

Many of the grandchildren were school teachers. At least 11 of the granddaughters and 2 of the grandsons taught for some part of their lives. The longest teaching career was 60 years by Anna Bridget Kane (#14). The Irish of St. Croix Co., like Irish in other sections of the U. S., were strong in their support of public schools. They encouraged their children to become educated and many became teachers. In the late 1890’s, the seven public schools in or near Erin Prairie were conducted by Irish Catholic teachers. (History of the Irish in Wisconsin in the Nineteenth Century, by Grace McDonald, p. 219)

About half of the grandsons were farmers for some part of their lives. At least two served in France during World War I. These were William Bernard Heffron, (# 71), and Henry C. Heffron, (# 46)

Twenty nine of the grandchildren had children of their own, producing a total of 104 great-grandchildren (again excepting a few who died in infancy). Mary Loretta (Heffron) Gallagher (#61) had the most children, 13. At least 20 grandchildren never married or were married only briefly. Six grandchildren died before the age of 25.

Children of Mary (Heffron) and Patrick Kane, (#2)

10. OWEN KANE, born about 1856-57 in Ohio, died 1909 in Erin Prairie, Wisc., buried St. Patricks Cemetery. He married Mary Ellen Hennessey, daughter of Dennis and Margaret (Murphy) Hennessey. She died June 22, 1888, age 26, of quick consumption, leaving two young daughters. He was a farmer in Erin.


74. Mary Elleanor Kane, born July 1, 1886, St. Croix Co.

75. Margaret Kane, born May 16, 1888, St. Croix Co.

11. WILLIAM KANE, born about 1858, Kentucky, (Paducah?), died 1929, buried St. Patricks Cemetery. He married Jane Lally, daughter of John and Kate Lally. She died in 1925, age about 55. William Kane lived on the farm which had belonged to his parents. He sold the farm and moved to New Richmond about 1915.


76. Bernadette Kane, born 1909, Erin Prairie.

12. JOHN H. KANE, born about 1860, Wisconsin, died Sept. 25, 1884, in Grand Forks, N. D., buried St. Patricks Cemetary., Erin Prairie. He went to Normal School in River Falls, Wisc. in 1881, then taught school in Erin Prairie. In the fall of 1883 he moved to North Dakota to teach, probably the first grandchild to leave St. Croix Co. He was in North Dakota but one year before he died at age 24.

13. JANE (JENNIE) KANE, born 1863, Erin Prairie, died March 6, 1948, San Mateo, Cal., buried Calvary Cemetery, Seattle, Wash. Jenny was a nurse for her brother-in-law, Dr. Walter Scott, in Ray, N. D. and then moved to Seattle, Wash. There she made her home with her sisters, Anna B. Kane (#14) and Margaret Kane (#17), on Capital Hill. At the time of her death she lived in San Mateo, Cal., with her niece, Mary Gen (Scott) Steiss (#77)

14. ANNA BRIDGET KANE, born 1865, Erin Prairie, died May 13, 1943, Seattle Wash., buried Calvary Cemetery, Seattle. Anna taught school for several years in St. Croix County before moving to Seattle. She began teaching in Seattle in September, 1901, and retired in June 1940. She taught at several Seattle schools, including Green Lake, Horace Mann, Denny, Minor, and Brighton, the last of which she served as principal. Then followed 28 years as principal at Colman School. She and two of her sisters lived on Capital Hill in Seattle where they raised their nephew and niece, Walter and Mary Gen Scott.

15. ROSE KANE, born April 7, 1866, died Dec. 13, 1936, in Minneapolis, buried, Owatona, Minn. She married Dennis Virtue. At the time of her death, Rose was an Executive Secretary for Seton Guild-Girls Welfare Club in Minneapolis, a position she held for about 25 years. Before that she worked for American Grain Separator Co. in Minneapolis. She had lived in Minneapolis for about fifty years.

16. MARY AGNES KANE, born 1868, Erin Prairie, died Feb., 1914, Ray, N. D., buried Catholic Cemetery, Ray. She married on April 23, 1901, Dr. Walter Byron Scott of Crystal, N. D. (1873-1943). In 1903 they moved to Ray where he was a physician and pharmacist. Mary Agnes attended school in New Richmond, Wisc, then went to Normal School in River Falls. She taught school in New Richmond before moving to North Dakota. After her death, he continued to live and practice medicine in Ray, N. D., where he is remembered as a pioneer doctor. Their two children were raised in Seattle by their aunts.

Children (2 infants b. and d. 1905 and 1907)

77. Mary Genevieve Scott, born Feb. 17, 1909

78. Walter Scott, born May 12, 1911

17. MARGARET E. KANE, born 1872, St. Croix Co., died July 9, 1927, Seattle buried Calvary Cemetery, Seattle. Margaret was a school teacher at Washington School in Seattle and lived on Capital Hill with her sisters, Jane and Anna, and their niece and nephew, Mary Gen and Walter Scott.

18. PATRICK H. KANE, born 1876, St. Croix Co., died Oct. 1920, Minneapolis, buried St. Patricks Cemetary. Erin Prairie. Pat was a salesman for P. J. Owens Implement Co. in Minneapolis.

19. JAMES H. KANE, born June 14, 1880, St. Croix Co., died March 12, 1935, in Olympia, Wash., buried Calvary Cemetery, Seattle. He married Agnes Hagan and she died Jan. 10, 1964. James went to law school at the Univ. of Minnesota. After receiving his law degree he moved to Seattle in 1903 and practiced law there for 32 years. He was associated with two law firms during that time, Stratton & Kane and later Bogle, Bogle, and Gates. He was a director of Superior Portland Cement Co., Bellingham Coal Mines, First National Bank, and at the time of his death was representing Union Oil Co. at legislative hearings in Olympia. He was president of King County Bar Assoc. and held office in the Knights of Columbus. He and his family lived on Capital Hill in Seattle.


79. Mary Caroline (Ceci) Kane, born Dec. 1, 1913

80. Catherine Kane, born March 10, 1917,

Children of Rose Anna (Heffron) and Joseph Lumphrey, (#4), all born Stillwater, Minn.

20. MARGARET LUMPHREY, born Aug. 4, 1870, died 1875, age 5 years, Stillwater, buried St. Michael’s Cemetery, Bayport, Minn. (She was the only grandchild to never live in St. Croix Co.)

21. FRANCIS (FRANK) LUMPHREY, born 1872, died Nov. 23, 1898, in Stanton, Wisc, buried Immaculate Conception Cemetery, New Richmond. He was a farmer in Stanton.

22. WILLIAM HENRY LUMPHREY, born Jan. 30, 1874, died Aug. 18, 1937, in Stanton, Wisc., buried St. Bridgets Catholic Cemetery, Stanton. He married on Nov. 24, 1914, Anna Gleason at St. Bridgets Church, Stanton. As a young man William worked in the pineries of Wisconsin. Later he had a farm near Stanton where he farmed for several years.

Children, all born Stanton, Wisc.

81. Francis Lumphrey, born Sept. 30, 1915.

82. Genevieve Lumphrey, born Aug. 28, 1917

83. Anna Rose Lumphrey, born March 30, 1921

84. Joseph E. Lumphrey, born Jan. 14, 1923

23. JOSEPH PETER LUMPHREY, born June 20, 1876, died Nov. 3, 1946, New Richmond, buried Immaculate Conception Cemetery, New Richmond. He was a farmer in Stanton for many years and was killed in a car-train collision near New Richmond while on his way to church.

24. OLIVER THOMAS LUMPHREY (Tom), born Dec. 21, 1878, died June 15, 1962, buried Immaculate Conception Cemetery, New Richmond. He and his brother. Joseph, lived and farmed on the farm that their parents had homesteaded near Stanton.

25. ROSE LUMPHREY, born July 12, 1881, died Feb. 22, 1958, in St. Paul, buried Calvary Cemetery. St. Paul. She married Thomas Burns (1871-1956) on Nov. 8, 1911, and they lived in St. Paul for 48 years where he was a policeman.

Children, born St. Paul, Minn.

85. Rose Mary Burns, born Dec. 6, 1912.

86. Thomas Burns, born Nov. 24, 1915.

87. John Burns, born March 9, 1920.

Children of Patrick and Alice (Dean) Heffron, (#5) all born St. Croix Co.

26. CATHERINE E. (KATIE) HEFFRON, born April 29, 1870, died Oct. 14, 1953, New Richmond. She married in Feb., 1892, James T. Martin (1862-1916). Both are buried in Immaculate Conception Cemetery, New Richmond. Katie was the only one of Patrick Heffron’s children who did not go to Vancouver, B. C. She and her family lived in Echo, Minn. for a short time where they owned a hotel. They then moved back to St. Croix Co. where they lived the rest of their lives. Most of their children, as adults, left Wisconsin, many going to California.


88. Elizabeth (Bess) Martin, born 1893

89. Ambrose Martin, born Sept. 11, 1894, Echo, Minn.

90. Fredrick Martin, born Nov. 24, 1895, Echo, Minn.

91. Marion T. Martin, born 1897

92. Oren Martin, born Jan. 22, 1900

93. Lucille (Sally) Martin, born 1902

94. Walter James Martin, born Jan. 12, 1905

95. Charles (Pat) Martin, born June 9, 1906

96. Katherine M. (Coty) Martin, born 1908

97. Carmen Martin, born 1909

98. Zeta P. Martin, born 1912

99. Robert Philip Martin, born Dec. 18, 1913

27. WILLIAM (WILLY) HEFFRON, born 1873, died _______. He married first to Clara Lidbohm (divorced) and second, to a widow in Idaho who “had a potato farm with a big crop of potatoes”. After he and Clara were divorced, she remarried and their children took their step-fathers name, possibly Westphal, and may have lived in Arizona. Willie lived in Idaho in 1916 and also worked for a short time in Los Angles before he remarried in Idaho.


100. Harold Heffron

101. Dean Heffron

28. ALICE E. HEFFRON, born 1875, died about 1952 in Los Angeles. She married Peter F. Newell in New Richmond (He was born in Stanton). Peter’s family owned a store in New Richmond which was destroyed by the New Richmond cyclone. (Patrick Newell was killed by the cyclone). They lived in Marshfield, Wisc., for a few years and then went to Vancouver, B. C. where Peter worked for the Calgary Milling Co. In about 1916-17 they moved to Los Angles where he was the veterans representative for the Knights of Columbus during and after W. W. I. He later sold life insurance and died about 1931. They have a large number of descendants in the Los Angeles area.


102. Martin Newell, born Aug. 25, 1899, Marshfield, Wisc.

103. John Dean Newell, born Sept. 16, 1900, Marshfield, Wisc.

104. Donald Newell, born Aug. 3, 1903, Marshfield, Wisc.

105. Alice Newell, born April 5, 1906, Vancouver, B. C.

107. Mary Newell, born Dec. 4, 1909, Vancouver, B. C.

108. Catherine Newell, born April 9, 1912, Vancouver, B. C.

109. Peter Newell born Aug. 31, 1915, Vancouver, B. C.

29. JOHN E. (LITTLE JOHN) HEFFRON, born 1877, died Nov. 3, 1901, Ellensburg, Wash., buried Immaculate Conception Cemetery, New Richmond. John was a switchman for the Great Northern Railroad. On a Saturday layover in Ellensburg, he was in a saloon with a friend. The friend, Ed Smith, a locomotive fireman, was drinking and John tried to restrain him. Smith shot John three times and he died the next morning.

30. PETER HEFFRON, born 1879, died 1882 of diphtheria. He is buried in St. Patricks Cemetery, Erin Prairie.

31. MARY (MAMIE) HEFFRON, born 1882, died about 1975 in Port Alberni, B. C. She married Robert Smith and they lived in Vancouver, B. C. They were divorced and she lived in Port Alberni at least by Oct. 1965.


110. Donald Smith, born before 1920

32. RHODA HEFFRON, born 1884, died about 1950-51 in Los Angeles. She left Vancouver, B. C., and worked for the Dollar Steamship Co. as a cabin attendant. She married Harold Laycock who also worked for Dollar. They lived for some time in Shanghai, China. They were divorced and she then lived in Los Angeles, part of the time with her sister, Alice Newell.

33. THOMAS FRANCIS HEFFRON, born Aug 9, 1887, died in Vancouver, B. C. on Jan. 9, 1955, buried Mt. View Cemetery. He married Virginia Dow (she died before him) and they lived in Vancouver where he was a warehouseman and was a Canadian citizen.

34. GRACE B. HEFFRON, born June 23, 1889, died Jan 21, 1964, in Burlingame Cal. She lived most of her life in Vancouver, B. C., where she worked as a sales clerk in a department store and had a religious goods store. She was a bookkeeper for 40 years for Catholic Charities. She moved to Burlingame about 1962 where she lived with her sister, Clarissa.

35 CLARISSA HEFFRON, born Sept. 26, 1891, died Oct. 18, 1989, in Burlingame, Cal., the last survivor of the 64 grandchildren of William and Bridget Heffron. Clarissa was born in New Richmond, Wisc., and lived there with her family until about 1907. She survived the New Richmond cyclone of 1899, a storm which took the life of one of her friends who had accompanied her to the circus that day. About 1907 she moved with her family to Vancouver, B. C., where she finished her education and began work for her brother-in-law, Peter Newell. In about 1920 she began her long employment with the Dollar Steamship Line and was a private secretary to Mr. Dollar. She spent most of her time in the Orient, working in the company office in Shanghai, China. It was in Shanghai that she married Ronald Wallace, a Scotsman who been born in Shanghai and who was a freight agent for the American President Lines. In 1941, she, Ronald, and Susan were on leave from their work in the Orient, visiting friends and family in New Richmond, Vancouver, and San Francisco, when Ronald’s health failed. (He had been wounded in WW I when his plane was shot down in Europe and he never fully recovered). He died in San Francisco on Aug. 11, 1941. Because of the “troubles” in the Pacific, Clarissa returned to the Orient without 3 year old Susan. She was in Manila on Dec. 8, 1941, when the Japs attacked. She recalled later spending that time under a table in a cafe as the bombs fell nearby. When Manila fell to the Japs, Clarissa was imprisoned in a P. O. W. camp. After two years of near starvation conditions, she was repatriated in exchange for Japanese civilians held by the Canadians. She was returned to the U. S. on board the ship Gripsholm with other prisoners. After the war she returned to Shanghai, along with Susan, ut was forced out of that city when it fell to the communists in 1948. She was transferred to Hong Kong, then to Manila, and retired in 1950. She moved to Burlingame, Cal., and lived in her home there until her death, one day after the latest San Francisco earthquake and three weeks after her 98th birthday.


111. Susan Wallace, born Feb. 23, 1938.

36. LUCILLE HEFFRON, born 1894, died Oct. 5, 1965, in Vancouver, B. C., buried Mt. View Cemetery, Vancouver. She married Douglas Cook and they lived in Vancouver, B. C.

Children of William and Elizabeth (Henry) Heffron, (#6) all born St. Croix Co.

37. THOMAS EDWARD HEFFRON, born April 28, 1880, died July 5, 1919, Hudson, Wisc., buried Hudson Catholic Cemetery. He married Minnie Evans in on May 9, 1913. Tom and Minnie moved from the Hudson area to Garrison, N. D., to farm. He had influenza during the epidemic of 1918 and never fully recovered. They moved back to Hudson shortly before his death.


112. Dorothy Heffron, born 1918, probably in Garrison, N. D.

38. JOHN A. HEFFRON, born Sept. 19, 1881, died June 30, 1947, Yakima, Wash., buried Sunnyside, Wash. He married on Feb. 2, 1906, Maude Nicolai, daughter of Henry and Elvie (Stickney) Nicolai, in Big Bend, Wisc. John first worked for W. C. Bradley on the Hudson Prairie. He left St. Croix County about 1901, moving to Big Bend, Waukesha Co., where he worked for H. E. Nicolai. He enrolled at the Univ. of Wisc, Madison, in the fall of 1902, and finished the agriculture course in the spring of 1903. He and his brother, Will, went west to Santa Anna Cal., arriving there on June 21, 1903, and went to work for Mr. J. T. Riatt. Because of ill health he left Santa Anna in late 1903 or 1904 and returned to Big Bend. When H. E. Nicolai left Big Bend for Sunnyside, Wash., in 1905, John bought his farm and store and married Maude Nicolai in Feb. 1906. In 1909, they sold all of their property in Big Bend and moved with their family to Sunnyside where they bought a dairy. From 1913 to 1918 they lived in Lower Naches, Wash. on a farm. In 1918 they moved back to Sunnyside where they farmed in partnership with H. E. Nicolai. John was active in several business’s in Sunnyside, was a State Senator in 1931 and 1932 and was a member of the Sunnyside City Council and the Sunnyside School Board. He also served on the draft board during World War II.


113. Lyle William Heffron, born Oct. 29, 1906, Big Bend, Wisc,

114. Ethel Elvie Heffron, born Dec. 10, 1907, Big Bend, Wisc.

115. Carroll Eugene Heffron, born May 9, 1910, Sunnyside, Wash.

116. John Wesley Heffron, born Aug. 5, 1917, Lower Naches, Wash.

39. WILLIAM J. (WILL) HEFFRON, born Nov. 27, 1883, died April __, 1915, near Poplar, Cal., buried Hudson Catholic Cemetery. He married Helen Whitaker in 1909. He moved to California in 1903 where he worked on a dairy for about 11 years. He was electrocuted while working.

40. IDA HEFFRON, born Nov. 19, 1885, died Sept. 13, 1957, Duluth, Minn., buried in Hudson Catholic Cemetery. She was married for a short time and was a school teacher in Duluth for many years before retiring.

41. GERTRUDE HEFFRON, born Sept. 4, 1887, died Sept. 14, 1963, Portland, Ore., buried Gethsemani Cemetery, Portland. She married (1) Earl Lennon of Yakima, Wash. and (2) Fred Mode. Gertrude taught school in Wisconsin and then moved west in 1910 to help her brother, John, and his family. After Earl died in 1918 (influenza epidemic) she returned east and lived in Bayport, Minn., and worked in the button factory in Stillwater. When the factory closed she again went west. She and Fred lived in Portland Ore., for 27 years where he worked in the bottling dept. of the Blitz Weinhard Brewery. He died March 5, 1965, age 72.

42. JANE HEFFRON, born Aug. 27, 1889, died Dec 24, 1958, Bayport, Minn. buried St. Michael’s Cemetery. She married Adolphus (Duff) Bell in Aug. 1917. He died Oct. 27, 1984, age 93. He was a guard at Minn. State Prison in Bayport. Jane was an excellent seamstress and during the depression she supported the family with this talent. During WW II she worked at Andersens in Bayport and later was a salesperson, then a buyer, in a department store in Stillwater.

Children, all born in Bayport. (one daughter b. and d. 1921)

117. William Bell, born March 8, 1919

118. John (Jack) Bell, born April 4, 1924

119. Joe Bell, born Feb. 7, 1929.

43. ELIZABETH GERMAINE (BESS) HEFFRON, born March 4, 1891, died April 18,

1958, Sunnyside, buried Sunnyside. She married Carl Rinehold (____-1951). Bess moved to Sunnyside in 1910 to help her brother, John, and his family. She worked for J. B. George in his store before she was married. She was a clerk at the J. C. Penney store and then was the librarian at the Sunnyside Public Library for 11 years prior to her death. Carl was a mechanic at C. Speck Motors.

Children, both born in Sunnyside

120. Betty Lou Rinehold, born 1918

121. Margaret Rinehold, born 1925

44. DAVID FRANKLIN HEFFRON, born Nov. 24, 1893, died July 14, 1958, St. Paul, buried Calvary Cemetery, St. Paul. He married (1) Stella Lomnes and (2) Agnes B. Gray. Dave worked for the railroad in Hudson. In 1924 he moved to St. Paul where he operated a barbershop and owned three taverns. Agnes was killed in a car wreck on Sept. 5, 1975.


122. Jean Heffron, b. 192-_

123. Michael Heffron, born June 15, 1935, St. Paul

124, Patricia Heffron, born Nov. 16, 1939, St. Paul

45. ANNE HEFFRON, born Oct. 27, 1895, died Nov. 27, 1983, Jamestown, N. D. buried Buchanan, N. D. She married Tom B. Falck on Feb. 16, 1926. He died Oct. 14, 1970, in Buchanan. Anne attended college in River Falls, Wisc., and then moved to North Dakota to teach school. After she married she and Tom farmed in Buchanan, N. D., where she lived until moving to Jamestown a year before her death.


125. Tom Falck, born

126. James W. Falck, born Dec. 24, 1928, Edgeley, N. D.

127. Neil R. Falck, born June 1, 1930, Jamestown, N. D.

46. HENRY CHARLES HEFFRON, born May 7, 1897, died Aug. 8, 1953, Hudson, Wisc., buried Hudson Catholic Cemetery. Henry was a veteran of W W I. After returning from the service he was employed in railroading for many years. In 1928 he began work for International Harvester Co. and worked for them until 1941. At the time of his death he worked for Oligney Trucking Co. and he was the mayor of Hudson.

47. ROBERT M. HEFFRON, born Nov. 29, 1898, died April 20, 1961, in Minneapolis, buried Hudson Catholic Cemetery. He married Lena Kerschinski on July 26, 1924, in Hudson. (She died July 2, 1985, in Hudson, age 82). Robert served in the U. S. Army in 1918 and 1919, and in the National Guard for 15 years. He was employed as a machinist at Omaha Car shops in North Hudson until 4 years before his death. He make at least one trip west to Wash. State and was in Sunnyside, Wash. in 1919 when his brother, Tom, died in Hudson.


128, Gale Heffron, born Oct. 23, 1925, Hudson

129. William Heffron, born Aug. 20, 1930

130. Robert J. Heffron, born June 1, 1932

131. Mary Jane Heffron, born Aug. 16, 1934

132. Joan Heffron, born Aug. 26, 1936

48. EARL GEORGE HEFFRON, born April 20, 1900, died Sept. 8, 1966, Toppenish, Wash., buried Sunnyside, Wash. He married in St. Paul Augusta Nellson(?) and was divorced about 1921. Earl left school about 1916 and worked on a farm until 1921. He then moved to St. Paul where he worked 11 years for Bray Ice and Fuel delivering ice. When electric refrigerators replaced ice boxes, his job disappeared. In 1932 he moved west to Sunnyside, Wash., where he worked for his brother, John, on the farm. About 1950 he began work in construction as a millwright. After his health began to fail he worked for a few years as a bartender.

49. GLADYS HEFFRON, born April 28, 1903, died April 8, 1959, Chicago, buried Hudson Catholic Cemetery. She married Frank Bonnes (1896-1967)in 1925 in Hudson. Gladys and Frank lived in Chicago where she was a telephone operator.


133. Margaret Ann Bonnes

134. Elizabeth Jane Bonnes

50. HELEN D. HEFFRON, born April 12, 1906, died Sept. 23, 1965, Hudson, buried Hudson Catholic Cemetery. Helen was born just 6 months before the death of her father and was the youngest of the 64 grandchildren of William and Bridget Heffron. She finished high school in 1925 in Hudson and then was employed in St. Paul for several years. She returned to Hudson about 1936. She was employed by the Tri-County Building and Loan Assoc. and at her death was Secretary-Treasurer and director of that organization. She was also a stockholder and secretary of the Star-Observer Publishing Co. and secretary of the Hudson Insurance Agents Association.

Children of Margaret (Heffron) Gerrity and Daniel Gerrity (#7)

51. WILLIAM FRANCIS (WILL) GERRITY, born July 22, 1874, Minneapolis, died May 10, 1955, Ray, N. D., buried Ray, N. D. He married Pearl Nelson (1884-1933) on Feb. 8, 1908, in Ray. Will took up a homestead near Wheelock, N. D., in 1902 and lived there until moving to Wheelock in 1948. He and Pearl had no children but raised 2 orphan children. His nephew, Daniel Gerrity, wrote the following story in 1970, repeating a story told to him by Pat Gerrity;

That fall, I believe it was 1929,…(Uncle Bill) went to Williston and bought a brand new Chrysler car, which he wrote a check in full payment for…on the Ray bank. One of their neighbors called my Aunt…the next morning and told her she heard the Ray bank was broke and closed for good…. That meant his check would be no good and he would have to give the car back, plus all the rest of the money he had in the bank was gone too…. As soon as he was told he dressed and went and got a revolver he kept in their bedroom in his coatpocket and headed for Ray. Sure enough when he got to the bank the shades were pulled and the door locked. So he kept pounding on the door until someone peaked out, and they called through the door that the Bank was closed and wouldn’t be opened. But my Uncle said he just wanted to have one word with the banker and they talked it over among those in the bank and being my Uncle at one time had served on the Bank Board, they decided to let him in. When he walked into the bank they were auditing the bank and he said there was money just stacked on one table. That’s when he said he pulled his gun out and his bank statement showing the amount of money he had in the bank, and he said he wasn’t leaving without every penny of it. They tookone look at his nasty looking gun and the banker said we will give you it if you never mention it to anyone as long as you live. He said all he wanted was his money and it would never be mentioned. They dated hiswithdrawal as the day before when the bank was still open. He said he walked out of the bank with more bills than his pockets would hold and headed for home like the Devil was after him…”

52. MARY AGNES (MAE) GERRITY, born March 27, 1876 (1877?), St. Croix Co., died July 10, 1928, Wheelock, N. D., married Herman Redlich (1877-1951). Mae graduated from River Falls Normal School and was a school teacher in Wisc. and N. D. before she was married. She and her family lived on a farm near Wheelock, about a half mile from her brother, Will.


135. Clifford Redlich, born Oct. , 1913,

136. Walter Redlich, born Dec. 3, 1918.

53 MARGARET E. GERRITY, born June 16, 1878, St. Croix Co., died April 12, 1947, St. Paul, buried Resurrection Cemetery, St. Paul. Margaret lived most of her life in St. Paul where she was a clerk. She lived for a time in Hollywood and Los Angeles where she was a private cook.

54. PATRICK HENRY GERRITY, born May 1, 1880, St. Croix Co. died May 28, 1957, Williston, N. D. He married Elizabeth Carr of Baldwin, Wisc. on Oct. 5, 1910. (She was b. Sept. 15, 1880, d. Nov. 13, 1968) Pat homesteaded 7 miles west of Ray, N. D., in 1906. About 1918 he moved with his family back to Wisc. because he had suffered a severe injury which made farming difficult. In 1924 they returned to Ray and about 1929 he sold his farm. During the depression, he worked for the W. P. A. writers project, writing of the history of Williams Co.,N. D. He lived in Ray and Williston and worked as a clothing salesman until retiring in 1956.


137. Florence Gerrity, born Dec. 4, 1911, Ray, N. D.

138. Francis (Pat) Gerrity, born March 3, 1913, Baldwin, Wisc.

139. Daniel Leo Gerrity, born May 28, 1915, Ray, N. D.

140 Bernard Gerrity, born March 18, 1918, Ray, N. D.

141. Robert Gerrity, born Aug. 2, 1920, River Falls, Wisc.

55. JOHN EDWARD GERRITY, born 1882, St. Croix Co. died Nov. 10, 1930, Great Falls, Mont., buried Ray, N. D. John lived in Yakima, Washington, in 1928, then in Great Falls, Mont., and in Ray. He worked as a rancher.

56. DELIA BRIDGET GERRITY, born Jan. 9, 1885, St. Croix Co., died Sept. 24 1953, Los Angeles, married Tim Coleman. He died Sept. 21, 1952, age 74. Both are buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, L. A. They moved from Williston to Los Angeles in Aug. 1924. He was a home builder and also worked on commercial buildings, such as Union Station in downtown L. A. They lived in Inglewood, then in the 1930’s and ’40’s they lived in Lincoln Heights, and in 1946 moved to Compton, and in 1950 to Lynnwood. Tim was also a cabinet maker and played the violin.


142. Daniel Coleman, born July 3, 1918, Williston, N. D.

143. Evelyn Coleman, born Feb. 9, 1920, Williston, N. D.

57. KATHYRN GERRITY, born 1889, St. Croix Co., died Aug. 28, 1965 in St. Paul, buried Resurrection Cemetery, St. Paul. She married Leslie R. Leonhardt (1888-1967) and they lived in White Bear, Minn., where she worked for Webb Publishing Co. and he was a mail carrier. After they retired they moved to St. Paul.

58. ROSE CLAIRE GERRITY, born Feb. 19, 1892, St. Croix Co., died March 30, 1968, Williston, N. D., buried St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Williston. She graduated from Williston High School in 1911 and was employed by the Williston Herald for 16 years before moving to Los Angeles in the late 1920’s, where she worked as a secretary. She returned to Williston frequently and in 1963 returned permanently. She had a large home in Williston and her sister Margaret lived in it for a time before she left Williston.

59. ALICE TERESA GERRITY, born July 6, 1894, St. Croix Co., died May 16, 1915, Ray, N. D., buried Highland Cemetery, Ray. Alice died during her senior year of high school of measles and pneumonia. She had taught school some while she was in high school.

Children of John R. and Bridget (Henry) Heffron, (#8) all born St. Croix Co.

60. DAVID HEFFRON, born April 28, 1879, died May 27, 1974, Dickenson, N. D., buried St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Dickenson. He was a farm laborer and lived in Ray and several other places in N. D.

61. MARY LORETTA HEFFRON, born Aug. 6, 1880, died Jan. 13, 1963, San Marino, Cal., buried St. Patricks Cemetery, Erin Prairie. She married John Edward Gallagher (1874-1953) and they lived on a farm in Erin Prairie. After several years they left the farm and acquired a hay and grain business in New Richmond. They lost this business to a fire about 1923. They lived in Minneapolis for several years where he operated a moving business until his death. Mary Gallagher made her home with some of her children for several years before her death and in 1960 was in Pasadena, Cal. She had 13 children, the most of any of William and Bridget’s grandchildren. She probably has more descendants than any other member of this generation.


144. Marion Gallagher, born March 3, 1904, Erin Prairie

145. Frances Mary Gallagher, born May 31, 1905, Erin Prairie

146. Daniel Layton Gallagher, born Sept. 12, 1906, Erin Prairie

147. Genevieve Mercedes Gallagher, born April 1, 1907, Erin Prairie

148. Margaret Gallagher, born April 1, 1907, Erin Prairie

149 Thomas Gallagher, born Nov. 24, 1910, St. Paul

150. Kathleen Gallagher, born May 12, , St. Paul

151. Helen Rose Gallagher, born June 30, 1914, New Richmond

152. John Edward Gallagher, born 1915

153. Florence Gallagher, born Dec. 18, 1916, St. Paul

154. Dorthea Gallagher, born June 13, 1919, New Richmond

155. Daniel Joseph Gallagher, born July 13, 1921, New Richmond

156. Jeanne Gallagher born Nov. 27, 1924, St. Paul

62. WILLIAM HEFFRON, born Jan. 26, 1883, New Richmond, died July 9, 1973, Trenton, Mo., buried Resthaven Memorial Gardens, Trenton. He married Alma Mae Jackson on April 5, 1919, in Trenton. She was born in 1900 and died March 9, 1973, in Trenton. William went to Trenton in 1918 as a steam shovel operator. He began work for the Rock Island Railroad on Dec. 23, 1919, and retired 38 years later. He was a fireman.


157. Kathleen Heffron, born Dec. 8 1919

158. Helen Heffron, born May 10, 1922.

63. BRIDGET AGNES (AGGIE) HEFFRON, born June 3, 1885, died Nov. 6, 1970, Red Wing, Minn., buried Spring Garden Cemetery, Red Wing. She married Gustaf W. Nelson on Oct. 18, 1911, in Belle Creek. He died Feb. 11, 1964, in St. Paul, age 80. Bridget and Gus lived in St. Paul and Belle Creek until 1931 when they moved to Red Wing. They moved back to St. Paul in 1943 and after his death she returned to Red Wing. He was a carpenter.


159. W. Walter Nelson, born ______

160. Marjorie Nelson, born May 17, 1917

161. Delores Nelson, born ______

162. Alice Nelson, born Aug. 3, 1921

64. ROSELLA (DODY) HEFFRON, born March 10, 1893, died Feb. 11, 1960, St. Paul, buried Calvary Cemetery, St. Paul. She married Victor Huber and they lived in St. Paul where she was a waitress.

65. FLORENCE HEFFRON, born June 17, 1895, New Richmond, died July 19, 1942 Dallas, Texas, buried Hillcrest Mausoleum, Mt. Vernon, Texas. She married Edward M. Holton and they owned Holton Auto Supplies in Dallas.

66. MARGARET L. (MARGE) HEFFRON, born July 2, 1896, died Jan. 11, 1972, Missoula, Mont. She married William Parent in 1920 in Iowa. He died in 1935. Marge lived in St. Paul in 1960 but moved to Missoula in that year, evidently residing with her sister, Gertrude Ballard.

67. GERTRUDE HEFFRON, born Sept. 30, 1897, died Jan. 3, 1979, Missoula, Mont. She married Charles Ballard who died May 28, 1975, in Missoula. He was a machinist for the Great Northern Railroad and they lived in several places in Montana, including Glendive and Whitefish.

68. JOHN HENRY HEFFRON, born Sept. 22. 1898, died Oct 6, 1973, Crosby, Minn. buried Resurrection Cemetery, Mindota, Minn. He married Bertha C. Kelly on July 13, 1921. She died in April, 1971. John and his family lived in St. Paul where he worked for Koppers Co. Later he moved to Crosby, Minn..


163. John Kelly Heffron, born Sept. 12, 1924, St. Paul

164. Margaret Alice Heffron, born March 25, 1928, St. Paul

165. James William Heffron, born Dec. 18, 1930, St. Paul

Children of Thomas and Anna (Gavin) Heffron, (#9) all born Erin Prairie

69. DELLA BRIDGET HEFFRON, born Feb. 15, 1896, died June 27, 1950, Amery, Wisc., buried Amery Cemetery. She married Alvin A. Mahre on July 23, 1919, in New Richmond. Della was a school teacher before she was married. She and Alvin lived in Clear Lake, Wisc. where he owned a drug store and she sold insurance.


166. Ruth Mahre, born May 11, 1920, Amery, Wisc.

167. John A. (Bud) Mahre, born Oct. 19, 1923, Amery, Wisc.

70. ANNA ALMA HEFFRON, born Aug. 16, 1897, died Sept. 7, 1947, Clear Lake, Wisc., buried St. Patricks Cemetery, Erin Prairie. Alma went to school in River Falls, Wisc. and the Univ. of Minnesota. She taught in the high schools of New Richmond and Hudson, Wisc. and in Glencoe, Excelsior and Minneapolis, Minn. At the time of her death she was teaching at St. Thomas Military Academy in St. Paul and at Miller Vocational High School in Minneapolis.

71. WILLIAM BERNARD HEFFRON, born Oct. 4, 1898, died March 10, 1948, New Richmond, buried Immaculate Conception Cemetery, New Richmond. He married Katherine Stevens on March 12, 1923. She was the daughter of Patrick T. and Margaret (Lally) Stevens and she died Nov. 27, 1983, in New Richmond. Bernard was a veteran of W W I, serving as a wagoner in a supply company with the 128th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Division in the Alsace sector, the Ainse Marne, the Oise Aisne, and the Meuse Argonne. He wrote the following letter on Oct. 31, 1918, eleven days before the armistice which ended WW I;

“We are still at the battle lines giving the Huns a good licking. This makes the fourth front we have been on so far and it doesn’t look much like a rest yet. There was some talk about us going back for the winter, but I guess it has all blown over, for it will not be long now until we have the Huns licked.

My home for the last six months has been moving from one woods to another and sleeping in a wagon with a canvas over it to protect us from the rain and wind. I have not been able to sleep very well for the last few weeks on account of the German airplanes. Just about nine O’clock every night we hear them coming and they always make it a point to have plenty of bombs. A few nights ago they came so near that I left my wagon and started to run for a dug-out. It was quite dark and I ran into a nest of barbed-wire entanglements and there I was all tangled up. All of the time I was trying to get myself out, I was waiting for a Hun bomb to drop on my head, but as luck was they held them all until they passed over, and then they dropped them one after another a short distance from where I was standing. They also sentover a great number of shells but they don’t seem to frighten us as much as those wicked bombs.”

After his discharge in 1919, he worked as a salesman for the Wrought Iron Range Co. until about 1940. The last 5 years of his life he worked in construction in Canada, Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, and Iceland, returning to New Richmond shortly before his death. Today there are many of his descendants living in St. Croix County.


168. Marjorie Ann Heffron, born May 16, 1924, Janesville, Wisc.

169. Lois May Heffron, born April 17, 1927, New Richmond

170. Thomas Patrick Heffron, born June 21, 1929, Mason City, Iowa

171. Francis Anthony Heffron, born Dec. 29, 1931, New Richmond

172. Katherine Agnes Heffron, born Sept. 23, 1933, New Richmond

173. Bernadette Shirley Heffron, born Oct. 9, 1935, New Richmond

174. Maureen Joy Heffron, born Nov. 30, 1940, New Richmond

175. William James Heffron, born May 19, 1942, New Richmond.

72. MARY HELEN HEFFRON, born Oct. 18, 1899, died April 7, 1970, Glendale, Ariz., buried Resurrection Cemetery, Shorewood, Minn. She married on Dec. 27, 1926, Robert T. Haley. Helen was a school teacher and Robert was a salesmanager for Minnegas Co. in Minneapolis

73. JOHN RAYMOND (RAY) HEFFRON, born Feb. 22, 1904, died Feb. 21, 1958, in Wapaca, Wisc., buried Green Bay, Wisc. He married Joy Eyler on July 15, 1939, in Minneapolis. He went to school in River Falls, St. Thomas college in St. Paul, and the Univ. of Minnesota where he received a B. A. and a Masters degree. He taught school at Franklin Jr. High in Green Bay from 1930 until 1949 except during the war years. He was then a civilian employee at the Army Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio. Joy lives in Green Bay.


176. Kathleen Heffron, born July 12, 1940, Green Bay, Wisc.

177. Mary Ellen Heffron, born Nov. 21, 1943, in Dayton, Ohio