Michael Ward ROONEY, son of Thomas ROONEY and Ellen WARD.
Born 25 Jan 1844 Ireland, died 12 Dec 1918 Padua, Stearns Co, MN, 74 years, buried 14 Dec 1918 Padua, Stearns Co, MN
Most of this narrative was from a June 7, 1937 interview of Margaret Murphy Rooney by Dorothy Hansmann:
Michael Rooney was born in Ireland. His mother died in Ireland while Michael was an infant. When he was three years of age his father, Thomas Rooney, and an Aunt, Katherine Rooney, brought him to Wakefield Township, Quebec, Canada. His father was employed in the woods near Ottawa, Canada for about seventeen years. He decided to take up farming and heard there was much land being given away in the United States and in 1855 he removed to New York City and a few years later to St. Anthony, MN where he was employed until about 1863 when they came to Stearns county and settled on a homestead in Raymond township.
[The 1900 and 1905 census say Michael arrived in the U.S. in 1867. This would be about the same time as the other Rooney's in Minnesota. The 1910 census says it was 1847, which makes no sense.]
Thomas Rooney and his son Michael Rooney took adjoining claims and during the winter Thomas Rooney went to live at the home of his son. A claim jumper came through the country and finding the log cabin unoccup ied moved his family in and laid claim to the property.
In 1872, the grasshoppers came and destroyed all the crops and Michael Rooney left his father on his homestead and went to Montana to hunt buffalo. The hides were worth $30 each and the government granted them permission to shoot a certain number.
In 1896, Michael Rooney and Margaret Murphy were united in marriage at the Assumption Church in Eden Valley. Margaret was born in Ottawa, Canada of a family of eight children. To Michael and Margaret were born four children that eventually lived on their own farms in Raymond township near Padua, MN.
The Rooney families were the first to settle in Raymond township. They erected a church and a school building in Padua. The original church structure was sold to Michael Rooney and a new church was erected in 1886. (This church burned down in 1943 and the present church was then built).
Michael Rooney served on the school board and as assessor for several years. He died in 1918, at age 74 years, and is buried in St. Anthony's cemetery at Padua.
Cause of death: Dyspepsia.
When my Mom was doing Rooney family history in the '70s and 80s, she and I would go to the Pope Co Historical Museum in Glenwood and look for family obituaries. Hugh M. Rooney was one of those obits she sought out and took great delight in reading, especially about his time in Montana. She seemed to agree with everything in the obit ... she told me that Hugh and her Dad were such good friends, went to Montana together, etc. I'm not certain of the year but my grandfather did purchase various Lots of land in downtown Billings so I could probably trace it that way. My Mother was not certain how many times her Dad went to Montana ... there might have been several expeditions. There was one tintype of my grandfather, Michael Rooney (sitting), and Hugh M Rooney (standing). The tintype itself has gone missing but we have a print made from it [included in her email]. My Mother thought it was made during their Montana travels or could it have been just before they left?
Further notes I have, possibly from my visit with Ambrose Rooney in June 1975, shortly before he died: Michael arrived in the U.S. November 9, 1865, age 21. He was granted citizenship December 16, 1872. He purchased Montana land (near Billings, I believe) October 8, 1883 and had his Montana tax bills mailed to Minnesota in 1887. He got married on April 14, 1896 at the age of 52. Ambrose Rooney said his father used to return to Montana to shoot Buffalo to live on.
Married 14 Apr 1896 Eden Valley, Meeker, Minnesota, USA
Assumption Church, Eden Valley (22 years married) to:
Born 13 Apr 1861 Templeton, West Ottawa, Quebec, Canada, died 20 Dec 1948 Padua, Stearns Co, MN, 87 years, buried 22 Dec 1948 Padua, Stearns Co, MN
Margaret was born in 1861 in Ottawa, Canada. She's in the 1881 census in Quinnville, Canada with her parents and sister Honora (Hannah, Anna) and brother John.
She first shows up in the U.S. with her sister Bridget and husband Bernhard (that spelling) Lynott in the June 1885 census in Minneapolis, Wards 1-5, age 23. (The Lynott's first show up in the June 1880 U.S. census, living in Washington County, Minnesota, having just arrived a few months before.) However, Margaret is back in Canada in their 1891 census (age 29, it says), living with her parents and brother John in Templeton.
In the 1892 Duluth city directory, "Maggie Murphy" is boarding with her sister Bridget and husband Bernard Lynott as well as sister Hannah and brother William at at 2118 West 4th Street in Duluth. She's only there that one year in the 1890's.
It's possible that she worked for one of the priests in either the French church near East Hennepin in Minneapolis or the predominately Irish congregation of St. Anthony of Padua parish just a mile or two north of there, between 1885 and 1891 when she's first here from Canada, or between 1892 and 1895 when she's back from Canada and before going to Manannah.
(St. Anthony of Padua in northeast Minneapolis is where William Martin and Catherine Rooney were married in July 1867 and where Sarah Rooney and John Darcy were married in May 1869).
Margaret is next in 1895 in Manannah Township, Meeker County, with the Rev. John McDevitt, a Catholic priest (he's 53, born in Ireland). One would assume she's his housekeeper. "John" is incorrect - the reverend's correct name is Hugh.
In the 1900 census she had 2 children of which 2 are alive. It says that she arrived in the U.S. in 1892. That date would be incorrect, given the 1885 census, but it may be correct following her having gone back to Canada so would make sense. In the 1910 census it says she had 5 children of which 4 are alive (the one who died must have been born between 1900 and 1910), and again that she arrived in the U.S. in 1892.
Upon her marriage to Michael Ward Rooney, they made their home on the farm he had homesteaded in 1871. Michael died in 1918 and Margaret continued to make her home there until 1939, when she went to live with her daughter and son-in-law, Mr and Mrs Mathias Majerus. She died at her daughter's home in 1948, following a three-week attack of flu.
1. Francis Joseph ROONEY
Born 29 Jan 1898 Raymond Twsp, Stearns Co, MN, died 19 Oct 1956 Padua, Stearns Co, MN, 58 years, buried 22 Oct 1956 Padua, Stearns Co, MN
Baptismal sponsors: George Rooney, Bridget Rooney.
Died of coronary Thrombosis.
St. Michael's Hospital, Sauk Centre, MN
2. Mary Genevieve ROONEY
Born 13 Jan 1900 Raymond Twsp, Stearns Co, MN, died 16 sep 1960 Padua, Stearns Co, MN, 60 years, buried 20 sep 1960 Padua, Stearns Co, MN
Baptismal sponsors: Thomas Rooney, Mary Rooney.
The had no kids. She was 39 when married.
3. Ambrose Michael ROONEY
Born 4 May 1902 Raymond Twsp, Stearns Co, MN, died 22 Jun 1975 Sauk Centre, Stearns Co, MN, 73 years, buried 25 Jun 1975 Padua, Stearns Co, MN
Ambrose attended St John's University and worked briefly in Minneapolis before returning to the family farm his father had homesteaded in 1875, where he spent the rest of his life. He died in St Michael's hospital, in Sauk Centre. He had been a victim of iron diabetes for 10 years and underwent surgery in1966 in Minneapolis and in 1970 in St Cloud.
4. Helene Bernadette ROONEY
Born 1 sep 1904 Raymond Twsp, Stearns Co, MN, died 8 sep 1997 Lagunitas, Marin, CA, 93 years, buried 13 sep 1997 Padua, Stearns Co, MN
Helene attended St Benedict's Academy at St Joseph, MN, St. Catherine's College in St Paul, and State Teachers College at Bemidji. She had been a successful teacher for several years before her marriage. Helen and her husband and Geraldine moved from Detroit to California October 14, 1973.
Helen B. Felling, 92, of Woodacre, Calif., died Monday, Sept. 8, 1997, in Kaiser Hospital, San Rafael, Calif.
Funeral services were held Sept. 13 in St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Padua, with the Rev. James Statz officiating. Interment followed in the parish cemetery. Helen Felling was born on Sept. 1, 1904, to Michael and Margaret (Mruphy) Rooney on a farm near Padua. She attended the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, St. Catherine's College, St. Paul, and teacher's college in Glenwood. She taught in rural one-room school houses until her marriage to Edwin Felling in 1936. After their marriage, they moved to Detroit, Mich., where she was active in church activities in St. Dominic's parish. During World War II she took a job to help with the war effort. Later she worked for the post office and in the 1960's, she helped spearhead President Johnson's war on poverty. She worked for the Poverty Program in Detroit as a senior counselor until she retired at age 70. In 1974, Helen and her husband moved to Woodacre, Calif. Edwin died May 18, 1976. Helen continued to live in California, but spent most of her summers in Padua. She lived in Woodacre until age 91 and has since lived with her daughter Geraldine and son-in-law Joseph Walsh in Lagunitas, Calif. She was a member of St. Cecilia's Parish in Lagunitas. Survivors include: eight children, Edwin and wife Ann, and Michael, all of Marathon, Fla., Bernard and wife Barbara, Jerry, Geraldine Walsh and husband Joseph, all of Lagunitas, Mary Bommarito of Grosse Pointe, Mich., Daniel and wife Suzette of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and John and wife Christi of Woodacre, C alif: 18 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Mary Majerus; and brothers, Francis and Ambrose Rooney. Pallbearers were Edwin, Michael, Bernard, Daniel, David and Jerry Felling; Joe Walsh and Richard Rooney. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Padua. Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral Service, Sauk Centre.