My great great grandfather John Cain moved to Wisconsin when he was a young boy. He lived with his mother’s parents Winifred and Denis Conely in Chilton for a few years, but, by the time he was about 17 years old he was on his own, employed with a logging mill in Oconto.
He spent most of his life working as a river driver, also known as a “river pig,” one of the men who worked the cut logs down the river.
Then one day, while going about his job something unexpected happened.
Eerie coincidence? Hmmmm. Happy Halloween!
Oconto County Reporter; Volume: 34 Issue: 29 Date: 1905-05-26 p1c3; http://ocnews.co.oconto.wi.us/
Earlier this year I wrote about David Brooks of Cherry Valley, New York regarding the fire that destroyed the family’s home and belongings in July of 1866. I ended with the hope that this was the extent of the family’s trials. Unfortunately that hope was squashed when I found this newspaper article:
David Brooks, aged 70, a tinner of Cherry Valley, committed suicide a while ago by hanging himself to his bedpost during a temporary fit of insanity.1
I tried to find more about this sad event, and a couple more articles showed up, each with a slightly different account in them 2, 3:
David Brooks was John Brooks’ brother. I do not know if they kept in touch when they both left Albany, with John moving to Vermont, and David heading to Cherry Valley, NY. There was no family history passed down in our family regarding either of the brothers.
David was survived by his wife Margaret, who died about 1891 and five children Sarah, Jennie, Andrew, Benjamin, and Charles.
1. 1882-10-1 Utica Weekly Herald, Utica, New York, page 5, column 2 [http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html].
2. 1882-10-12 The Radii, Canajoharie, New York, page unknown [http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html].
3. 1882-10-10 The Canajoarie Courier, Tuesday, page unknown [http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html].
This was such a sad and touching story that I had to share it.
George Dennis Cain born in Oconto, Wisconsin in 1882, was the fourth child born to John and Carrie Cain. His middle name appears to be in honor of his great grandfather Dennis Connelly. Like the rest of his siblings he grew up in the City of Oconto. And when he was old enough he married a young women by the name of Estella ___ . Sometime about 1900 he moved his family to Forest County, Wisconsin (Leona / Soperton). Estella and George had at least three children together: Milton, Marion (Mae) and Pat, (This was apparently not Estella’s first marriage though, as she had an 8 year old son Thaddeus who lived with them in 1920.)
Unfortunately for George he inherited that CAIN family bad luck, which appeared when he developed stomach cancer in 1925 and by the end of the year it killed him. He was only 42 when he died, another young death for the CAIN line.
His daughter Mae took his death very hard:
NOTE: I don’t know if the above article has the surviving child incorrect, or if it his obituary that is wrong, but something is amiss regarding the matter. In the 1920 census a child Thaddeus is listed as a stepson and Milton is the only child listed as George and Stella’s, so Marion and Pat must have been infants, 4-1 years of age, in 1925. I don’t know who George, jr. is.
I recently ran across an interesting entry in the Rhode Island death index at ancestry.com, (in my never-ending quest to find a death record for Martin Cain). The entry stated:
||9 Mar 1855
So it looks like Martin and Winifred still had Connelly family living in Rhode Island other than one or two of Winifred’s siblings.
I believe that this gentleman is possibly Winifred’s uncle. It would be nice to see Irish church records to confirm this, maybe I can find a church record in Rhode Island. There are two facts that support the theory: first he is two years older than his possible brother Dennis (so the age fits nicely for them to be brothers), second the close seeming relationship of Michael and Martin, (after all Martin is providing the information for the death registration and his wife was a Connelly).
Of course this news isn’t mind blowing, but it adds a little more interest to the family tree. I would love to find out more about this possible brother. Dennis and Winifred did name one of their children Michael.
I’ve done some research into the Irish records that I have access to and so far no luck on being able to hone down any details on Michael. Rhode Island records are pretty sparse also, he doesn’t appear to show up in the 1850 census. Which means he could have arrived after 1850 and died shortly after making his way to America. This record also appears to indicate that he was single at the time of his death, otherwise I believe one of his children or his wife would be providing the information for his death registration, but that is mere speculation at this point.
I did notice that he is another Irish relative who died a little on the young side.
1 Ancestry.com. Rhode Island, Deaths, 1630-1930 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.