Dennis R. McLaughlin (1851-1925)

Dennis R. McLaughlin was the second American-born child of Ann McKinney and '40 Acres' McLaughlin

Dennis McLaughlin is one of four members of the McLaughlin-Major family who married an O'Hara. His wife was Mary O'Hara, (1851-1905) sister of Edward H. O'Hara, onetime publisher of the Syracuse Herald, whose son, Edward A. "Bud" O'Hara later also was publisher of the Herald.

Mary O'Hara McLaughlin's first cousin Michael J. O'Hara married Anna J. Major, and another cousin, Elizabeth (Michael J. O'Hara's sister) married Cornelius McLaughlin (brother of Dennis).

The other O'Hara-McLaughlin union was between Harry McLaughlin, son of Dennis and Mary, and Bridget O'Hara, who apparently was not related to the other O'Haras.

Besides Harry, Dennis and Mary McLaughlin had eight other children.

About a year after Mary O'Hara McLaughlin died [obituary below], Dennis married again, to the widowed Bridget Quinn O'Brien (1866-1922), who had four children by her first marriage. Dennis moved to Syracuse and became a building contractor, constructing many houses in the Burnet Park area.

Children of Mary O'Hara and Dennis R. McLaughlin:

1. Edward J. McLaughlin (1874-1933) m. Mary Ellen Carrigan (1872-1931).
As a young man Edward J. McLaughlin worked on a farm and then like many Skaneateles residents worked for awhile at the McLaughlin-owned Glenside Woolen Mills Eventually he took a job as engine and turbine inspector for Aetna Insurance Comany, a position that required him to do a lot of traveling. He worked out of the Syracuse office, so he left Skaneateles and moved his family to the city.

2. Anne McLaughlin (1877-1962) m. Michael "Mickey" Major (1879-1962)
This is the second connection between the Skaneateles McLaughlins and the Skaneateles Majors, the other being the marriage of Rose McLaughlin to John W. Major.

3. Catherine "Kitty" McLaughlin (1878-1951) m. Henry Slater (1871-1911)

4. William McLaughlin (1881-1959) m. Eloise Munson Briggs.

5. Harry McLaughlin (1885-1967) m. Bridget O'Hara (1890-1917)

6. Arthur McLaughlin (1887-1971) m. Florence Sullivan (1887- ) on July 25, 1911 in Syracuse.

7. Clarence McLaughlin (1890-1984) m. Agnes Reilly (1892- )

8. Leo McLaughlin (1893-1979) m. Mayme Gleason (1898- )

9. Grace McLaughlin (1896-1912) died at the family home, 235 Whittier Avenue, Syracuse. Her newspaper obituary listed the cause as "heart trouble."

Children of Bridget F. Quinn O'Brien McLaughlin by her first marriage:

1. Marie O'Brien (1891- ) m. Leon N. Briggs (1889-)

2. Edward J. O'Brien (1893- )

3. Anna M. O'Brien (1895- ) m. V. A. Dickinson

4. James F. O'Brien (1897- )

More about Dennis R. McLaughin:

Dennis R. McLaughlin was the second of eight children born to James "40 Acres" McLaughlin (1821-1911) and his wife, Ann McKinney (1822-1888) after they emigrated to the United States in 1848.

His older brother was James McLaughlin Jr., who was instrumental in expanding the family's teasel business. Dennis worked with James, first promoting teasels, then later as the master mechanic at another, related family business, the Glenside Woolen Mills.

However, in 1909 Dennis McLaughlin changed careers, moving to Syracuse where he started a contracting business, specializing in building houses.

What follows are obituaries and various newspaper items I found about Dennis McLaughlin and his family:

Skaneateles Free Press, May 6, 1876
Dennis McLaughlin arrived home this week from Philadelphia whither he had been to enter some samples of teasels at the Centennial Exposition.

Skaneateles Free Press, March 9, 1878
Dennis McLaughlin sailed from New York for Leeds, England, last week Saturday. He was accompanied by Patrick Connors, late bookkeeper for J. McLaughlin & Sons.

Skaneateles Press, August 10, 1878
Dennis McLaughlin who has been in England during the past five months, arrived home Thursday morning.

The above items indicate Dennis McLaughlin, in the late 1870s, was working in the family's teasel business, which, I believe, was connected with Summit View Farm. The events reported in the next two newspaper items may be part of the reason he left the farm for work at the family-owned Glenside Woolen Mills.

Skaneateles Press, July 9, 1881
Dennis McLaughlin of this village had two lower ribs broken on the left side and Patrick Flynn of Skaneateles Falls sustained a fractured collar bone by the capsizing of a load of hay at the latter place last Monday forenoon.

Syracuse Morning Standard, August 25, 1881
SKANEATELES, August 24 – On Wednesday of last week Dennis McLaughlin, of this place, started to ride home from a field about half a mile from his home, on a horse with sores on his shoulders, which must have been irritated, for he immediately reared back with his rider under him. Mr. McLaughlin had both bones in his right leg broken below the knee. Drs. Earl and Sargent reduced the fracture.

Mr. McLaughlin was thrown from a load of hay on the 4th of July and had three ribs broken, from which he has not fully recovered, and last spring he had a heavy block of timber fall on him while at work in a flume at Skaneateles Falls in the old iron works and had a narrow escape with his life.

Skaneateles Free Press, April 26, 1895
Dennis McLaughlin, boss mechanic at the Glenside mills, has rented the house vacated by Rockwell Grant.

Rockwell Grant and family have moved from his father’s to Sennett, where he has purchased a farm of his father-in-law, Deacon Tanner.

His son's adventure was short-lived
In 1904, Dennis McLaughlin's 17-year-old son, Arthur, hopped on his "wheels" (I'm assuming that's how bicycles were described at the time), and joined two friends on an ill-advised teenaged adventure.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, June 24, 1904
Dennis R. McLaughlin, of Mottville, reported to Chief of Police Cleary yesterday that his son Arthur, aged 17, had left home with two other boys, all on wheels and that their plan was to ride to Rochester, sell their wheels and go to the St. Louis fair. Lieutenant Klubertans received a telephone message later last night saying the three boys were under arrest at Syracuse.

Syracuse Post-Standard, June 25, 1904
John Mulrooney, Edward Feeley and Arthur McLaughlin, who ran way from their homes at Mottville Wednesday and were arrested at the Central station Thursday, were turned over to their parents yesterday and taken home.

Not mentioned is what became of the boys' wheels, which may have been sold for the money needed for train tickets. A year later the Dennis McLaughlin family were forced to deal with two tragedies that happened in a two-week period.

Syracuse Journal, July 25, 1905
MOTTVILLE – Miss Loretta L. Havens of Syracuse, guest of Miss Anna McLaughlin at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis McLaughlin, last Friday night died unexpectedly and suddenly. The remains were removed to her home in Syracuse Saturday afternoon.

Mary O'Hara McLaughlin dies

Skaneateles Press, August 10, 1905, reprinted from the Syracuse Herald SKANEATELES, August 4 – Mrs. Mary O’Hara, 54, wife of Dennis McLaughlin, died suddenly yesterday afternoon at her home in Mottville. She had only just recovered from a serious illness from pleuro-pneumonia when she was greatly shocked by the death of Miss Loretta Havens of Syracuse, who, while a guest at the McLaughlin home two weeks ago, suddenly expired in a hammock.

Since that time Mrs. McLaughlin had been unable to sleep well. Wednesday, however, she passed a peaceful night and yesterday was feeling better than usual. At noon her daughter prepared food for her, of which she partook with relish. A few minutes later she became drowsy and sat down in a chair.

Her daughter was unable to arouse her and summoned Mrs. Moreland, a neighbor, who, seeing the seriousness of Mrs. McLaughlin’s condition, telephoned Drs. Brown of Mottville and Clark of Skaneateles. When the former arrived, he administered powerful stimulants, but Mrs. McLaughlin never regained consciousness, dying about 1:45 p.m.

Mrs. McLaughlin was born in Willow Glen fifty-three years ago and had always resided in the town of Skaneateles. She was the mother of eleven children, nine of whom, with her husband, survive. She leaves also two brothers, Edward H. O’Hara of Syracuse and Daniel C. O’Hara of Buffalo, and two sisters, Misses Ella and Kate O’Hara of Skaneateles.

Mrs. McLaughlin was very domestic and warmly devoted to her husband and children.

Dennis McLaughlin remarries
A year after the death of his wife, Mary O'Hara McLaughlin, Dennis remarried. His bride was Bridget Quinn O'Brien (1866-1922), widow of James O'Brien Jr., who died in 1896. The new Mrs. McLaughlin had four children by her first husband.

Skaneateles Democrat, August 23, 1906
It is said by friends of Dennis McLaughlin of Mottville that he was married on Monday morning last to Mrs. Bridget O’Brien of Solvay. When Mr. McLaughlin bade his fellow workmen goodbye last Friday, he is said to have told several of his more intimate friends that when he returned to his home he would bring a helpmeet [helpmate] with him.

The bride is well known in Mottville and Skaneateles, she being the daughter of John Quinn. Her first husband, James O’Brien, died about ten years ago, while Mr. McLaughlin has been a widower more than a year.

Moves to Syracuse
Three years later Dennis McLaughlin packed up, left Mottville (in the town of Skaneateles), and moved his family to Syracuse where he began a new career.

Skaneateles Free Press, March 2, 1909
Dennis McLaughlin, a native of Skaneateles and a life-long resident of this town, tomorrow moves his family to Syracuse, to make his home in that city, and will for the present engage in building houses there. Mr. McLaughlin for the past twenty-four years occupied the position of master mechanic at the Glenside woolen mills, filling the place with satisfaction to the company and with credit to himself. He and his family take with them the good wishes of a host of friends in Skaneateles.


Skaneateles Press, August 2, 1910
Dennis R. McLaughlin, formerly of this town, now a Syracuse contractor, is erecting a modern two-family house at the corner of South Salina and Lyndhurst streets in that city for F. E. Stone of this village.

A year later a man named James G. Smith got himself a farm at what seems a ridiculously low price. I'd love to know what happened to this property over the next 100 years.

Skaneateles Free Press, February 17, 1911
James G. Smith has bought of James McLaughlin Jr. the former Dennis McLaughlin farm of 60 acres, just west of the village, for $6,500.

Daughter Grace McLaughlin dies
Dennis R. McLaughlin suffered another family tragedy in 1912. He also would go on to outlive his second wife.

Syracuse Journal, Monday, October 7, 1912
Miss Grace M. McLaughlin, daughter of Dennis R. and the late Mary McLaughlin, died early Sunday morning at her home, 235 Whittier av., aged 16 years. She had been suffering from heart trouble for ten days.

Besides her father, she is survived by six brothers and two sisters.

The funeral will be held from her late home at 6:30 o’clock Wednesday morning and a half and hour later from St. Lucy’s Church. Burial will be made at Skaneateles.

Bridget McLauglin passes away

Syracuse American, October 8, 1922
Mrs. Bridget O. McLaughlin, wife of Dennis McLaughlin, No. 135 Whittier avenue, well known resident of the West End, died suddenly yesterday afternoon while sitting on her front porch. Heart trouble was the cause.

Besides her husband, she is survived by two daughters, Mrs. L. N. Briggs and Mrs. V. A. Dickinson, and two sons, Edward and James O’Brien.

Funeral services will be held at the home Monday morning at 9 o’clock and half hour later in St. Lucy’s Church. Burial will be at Skaneateles.

Dennis McLaughlin dies at home

Skaneateles Press, April 24, 1925
Dennis R. McLaughlin, a retired building contractor, died at his home, 135 Whittier ave., Syracuse, Monday, April 19, 1925 on his 74th birthday, after a long illness.

He was born in Skaneateles, and was the son of James McLaughlin Sr. He had lived in Syracuse for the past eighteen years and was head of the contracting firm of D. R. McLaughlin & Sons. Before going to Syracuse, he was master mechanic of the Glenside Woolen Mills for seventeen years.

He is survived by two daughters and six sons, Mrs. Anne McLaughlin (Michael) Major, Mrs. Cathrine (Daniel) Ryan, Edward J. McLaughlin, William D. McLaughlin, Harry J. McLaughlin, Arthur L.McLaughlin, Clarence F. McLaughlin and Leo J. McLaughlin, all of Syracuse. Also two brothers, John and Cornelius McLaughlin of Skaneateles 14 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. (Another daughter, Grace McLaughlin, died in 1912, at the age of 16.)

Funeral services were held in St. Lucy’s Church, Syracuse, Wednesday morning. Burial was made in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Skaneateles.