In 1945 a newspaper in Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, reported the death of John T Heenan, “one of the most outstanding figures” in the settlement of Treverton.
According to the lengthy report, he was born in Ireland but settled in the USA as a young boy. He worked for a railroad company for many years but also operated a hotel. The business was subsequently managed by his son Harry and a daughter.
I’ve found the family in some of the census returns for Pennsylvania. Interestingly there is no mention of John T Heenan as a hotel owner – they all record him working for a railroad company. In the 1910 census however he is living with his mother in law in Market Street, Zerbe Township, and she is listed as manager of a hotel. So I wonder if this is the same hotel that the obituary refers to and the family ended up buying it?
In the 1910 census the family consists of
- Mary A Foulds, widow, born Pennsylvania, aged 77, manager of hotel
- John T Heenan, aged 46, born in Ireland
- Lilian Heenan, daughter, aged 48 born Pennsylvania
- Harry T Heenan, grandson, aged 17, born Pennsylvania, colliery labourer
- Mary C Heenan, granddaughter, aged 14 born Pennsylvania
- Margaret E Heenan, granddaughter, aged 10 born Pennsylvania
- Charles J Heenan, grandson, aged 5 born Pennsylvania
The 1920 census sees them at the same residence
- John T Heenan, aged 69, occupation of station agent for railroad, born in Ireland
- Lilian Heenan, aged 60 born Pennsylvania
- Mary Heenan, aged 24, single, teacher in public school, born Pennsylvania
- Margaret Heenan, aged 20, single, no occupation, born Pennsylvania
- Charles Heenan, aged 15, born Pennsylvania
- Mary A Foulds, aged 88, widow, no occupation, born Pennsylvania
The 1930 census gives us a little more information. The family is still at 21 Market Street
John T Heenan, Age at marriage is 25, Immigration year 1880, occupation of agent and operator for Reading R R Station
Charles Heenan, born 1905 occupation of baggage agent at Reading R R station
By the 1940 census, the family composition has changed slightly.
The daughter Margaret is now married and has children of her own, all living at the address of her parents
John T Heenan, aged 76, occupation of agent for railroad
Lilian Heenan, aged 78
Harry Heenan, son, aged 47 – no occupation noted
Charles Heenan, aged 40, occupation of restaurant proprietor
Ralph Ceraing, son in law, occupation of plasterer
Margaret Ceraing, daughter
The obituary notice refers to Charles Heenan as serving in the army. He had earlier served in World War 1 as a private with the 103rd Engineers. His service record indicates he served between 11 July 1917 and 19 July 1919. He clearly spent part of that in France because he is listed as a passenger on the troop ship Boken which sailed from Bordeaux on 18 April 1919, for New Jersey.
He was drafted for World War 2 in 1942 while living in Market Street. He was described as unemployed at the time.