Philip Francis O'Hanlon, M.D. (1863 - 1930) MP

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Place of Burial: New York, New York, New York, United States
Birthplace: New York, New York, New York, United States
Death: Died in New York, New York, New York, United States
Occupation: Physician, surgeon, Coroner's Physician
Managed by: Erica Isabel Howton, (c)
Last Updated:

About Philip Francis O'Hanlon, M.D.

From The Virginia O'Hanlon House -- No. 115 W. 95th Street

Dr. Philip F. O’Hanlon was making a name for himself in the medical community.  O’Hanlon’s family had a medical tradition—both his father and grandfather practiced medicine on East 18th Street.  He earned his medical degree from New York University in 1886 and immediately became House Surgeon at Gouverneur Hospital until 1887.  In 1891 he was appointed Medical Examiner in the Insurance Department of the State of New York.    But after 1895, when he became the City’s Coroner’s Physician, Philip F. O’Hanlon’s name became a household word.

The doctor and his wife, the former Laura Lincoln Plumb, had one daughter, Laura Virginia, who was born in 1889.  The year after receiving his position in the Coroner’s Office, he leased No. 115 West 95th Street.

The following year he broke the sensational Geldensuppe Murder Case by detecting an obscure clue that resulted in the unraveling of the murder mystery, leading to the conviction of the murderer.    The case had all the scintillating and gruesome trappings of a crime novel—a dismembered corpse, a menage-a-trois, and shocking extra-marital affairs.  The New York Journal called it “a murder, most foul, deliberate, mysterious and terrible.” 

The case firmly established Dr. Philip F. O’Hanlon’s reputation and renown.

The same year that O’Hanlon was instrumental in solving the Geldensuppe Case, he was forced to tackle another difficult question.  Little 8-year old Laura Virginia O’Hanlon—known as Virginia to the family—faced a problem that summer.  Her school friends chided her for believing in Santa Claus.

When she asked her father if, indeed, Santa existed, he deftly passed the onus of an answer to The New York Sun.   So, relying on her father’s professed unswerving faith in the veracity of the newspaper, little Virginia penned a letter to the editor:

Dear Editor: I am 8 years old.  Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.  Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun it’s so.” Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus? Virginia O’Hanlon 115 West Ninety-Fifth Street

Sources

  1. 1870 United States Federal Census (see attached document)
  2. 1900 United States Federal Census (see attached document)
  3. 1910 United States Federal Census (see attached document)
  4. 1920 United States Federal Census (see attached document)
  5. 1930 United States Federal Census (see attached document)
  6. "New York, Marriages, 1686-1980," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F6QX-CXF : accessed 16 Dec 2013), Philip F. O'Hanlon and Laura Lincoln Plume, 13 Aug 1888.
  7. Who's who in New York City and State (Google eBook) L.R. Hamersly Company, 1911 - New York (State). Page 714
  8. http://daytoninmanhattan.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-virginia-ohanlon-house-no-115-w.html
  9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_O%27Hanlon#Virginia.27s_identity_
view all

Dr. Philip F. O'Hanlon's Timeline

1863
September 13, 1863
New York, New York, New York, United States
1870
1870
Age 6
Bay Ridge, Kings, New York, United States

1870 United States Federal Census
Name: Philip Ohanlon
Age in 1870: 38
Birth Year: abt 1832
Birthplace: Ireland
Home in 1870: New Utrecht, Kings, New York
Race: White
Gender: Male
Post Office: Bay Ridge
Value of real estate:
Household Members:
Name Age
Philip Ohanlon
38
Mary A Ohanlon
28
Francis Ohanlon
7
George Ohanlon
4
Mary Ohanlon
2
Catharine Luhy
18
Jane Owen
13
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: New Utrecht, Kings, New York; Roll: M593_963; Page: 294B; Image: 593; Family History Library Film: 552462.
Source Information:
Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
Original data:
1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
Minnesota census schedules for 1870. NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

1888
August 13, 1888
Age 24
New York, New York, New York, United States

"New York, Marriages, 1686-1980," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F6QX-CXF : accessed 16 Dec 2013), Philip F. O'Hanlon and Laura Lincoln Plume, 13 Aug 1888.

1889
July 20, 1889
Age 25
New York, New York , New York, United States
1900
1900
Age 36
New York, New York, New York, United States

Household
Relation to head Name Age
Head Philip G O'Hallon 38
Wife Flaura L O'Hallon 37
Brother George S O'Hallon 26
Daughter Virginia F O'Hallon 11
Servant Irene Comfort 25

1910
1910
Age 46
New York, New York, New York, United States

Household
Relation to head Name Age
Head Philip F O'Hanlon 47
Wife Laura L O'Hanlon 46
Daughter Laura V O'Hanlon 20
Servant Mathilda Christensen 28
Servant Alma Schmidt 16

1920
1920
Age 56
New York, New York, New York, United States

Household
Relation to head Name Age
Head Philip F O'Hanlon 57
Wife Laura V O'Hanlon 56
Daughter Laura V Douglas 30
Granddaughter Laura V Douglas 5
Servant Erna Fridse 20

1930
1930
Age 66
New York, New York, New York, United States

Household
Relation to head Name Age
Head Phillip O Hanlon 67
Wife Laura O Hanlon 66
Daughter Laura Douglas 40
Granddaughter Laura Douglas 16

1930
Age 66
New York, New York, New York, United States