Patrick Joseph Meehan

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Patrick Joseph Meehan

Birthplace: Ballinrobe, County Mayo, Ireland
Death: July 29, 1911 (51)
Roxbury, Massachusetts, United States (Stomach Cancer)
Place of Burial: West Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of James Meehan and Ellen Meehan
Husband of Mary Ann Meehan
Father of Dorothy Genevieve Williams; James Joseph Meehan; Gertrude Marguerite Hamilton; Mary Ethel Connelly; William Frederick Meehan and 3 others
Brother of Elizabeth Ellen Jones; Martin Meehan; William Joseph Meehan and Michael G Meehan
Half brother of John Joseph Meehan; Bridget Garrabrandt; James John Meehan; Thomas Meehan; Anne Marie Rotenberger and 1 other

Managed by: Laura Ann Sullivan
Last Updated:

About Patrick Joseph Meehan

He was an avid reader and his house was full of books-histories, classics, and encyclopedias. He was a baker in the Army and said he was a good target for the Indians when he opened the oven door-he fought Geronimo in the Indian wars-he evidently sympathized with the Indians because he always subscribed to the Indian and Negro missions. He opened his own bakery on Dorchester Ave. in Ashmont in about 1904 but had to give it up in 1910 due to illness and worked for a bakery in Thompson Square in Charlestown till a few months before his death. He is buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery in West Roxbury. He planned his own funeral, picked out his pallbearers and told his wife not to wear black. He chose St. Joseph's because it was real country then and it reminded him of Ireland.

Granddaughter Mary Reilly:

Born in 1859, married in 1889, only lived 48 years, he died in 1911. (Patrick Meehan was born 17 Mar 1863 in Ballinrobe, Ireland) His wife Mary Ann Meehan (Joyce) was born in 1862. (04 Aug 1862) Died in 1948 (1955) She lived 86 years (88 years), which was a ripe old age for a person from her era. Mention longevity in family. Brendan born in 1900 lived 96 yrs, died in 1996, and was 10 years old when his father died. In 1890 their first-born child, a son named James was born.

Brought up in Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo was a baker as was his father before him. In my habit of eliminating possibilities of people in history, I picture him as a town baker. Towns were so small at that time and trades people were so few and far apart. Also, keeping in mind that his bakeshop was there during the pre-civil war days in America.

My mother often talked about the bake shop in Dorchester, and about accompanying her father and brother Jimmy every morning at 5 o’clock, hot summers and frigid winter mornings to put large dough out which her father had prepared the evening before and left to rise, into loaves for baking. All this before school started. On Saturdays my grandfather, baked massive amounts of beans in pots. They supplied the neighbors with the home baked beans, which Jimmy and my mother Nellie would deliver on foot by means of pulling an old fashion wagon, loaded with the beans.

Patrick Meehan also baked doughnuts for his customers. In those days doughnuts were cut separately, put into a large pot of boiling lard, a few at a time, turned over during the process to make sure they were evenly cooked and then drained.

I am familiar with the process of cooking the doughnuts because when I was a child my mother would often cook doughnuts for us, using the same method. They were always a treat!

During the years Jimmy often helped with the actual making of the baked goods, thus he learned the trade under the tutelage of his father. A talent, that he put too good use in his adult years. I believe that my mother was doing this when she was about 10 years old (she was actually 7) as she was 14 when her father died. (she was 10 when he died) Jimmy was only about 1 yr older then her. Nellie and Jimmy started doing this work in about 1897. (Nellie was only ten years old when her father passed, Nellie was born in 1891 and her father died in 1911.)

The bakeshop required a lot of work as any small business does. The Meehan family was taken care of during this time, but judging from my mother’s accounts, they did not have any extra money and lived very simply. My mother told us in very cold weather her mother would put several pages of newspaper under their clothes, against their backs, to keep them warm. Schoolrooms were not always heated and houses had warm kitchens. Bedrooms were fiercely cold, beds were warmed by red bricks, which were heated in the kitchen oven and then put under the canvas at the foot of the bed. Thus, the Meehan family made do as did all the Irish immigrants in their new world. They were hard working people and ingenious in their methods of survival.

When Patrick Meehan became ill they apparently sold the bakeshop. They then moved to Charlestown, buying a house on Bunker Hill St.

My mother always talked about taking care of her father’s leg and that he spent a prolonged time sitting in a chair with his leg elevated. Which he sometimes alluded to as the cancerous leg. He had some form of cancer because in later years I was riding in the back seat of someone’s car with gram and mother when my grandmother told my mother that she had donated some money to a cancer fund in memory of Patrick.

Patrick Meehan was a learned man and was an avid reader. He also had very good penmanship. Aunt Mamie Connolly once told me that he was a protégé of John Boyle O’Reilly who was a well known, Irish American writer. O’Reilly however had poor penmanship. Patrick Meehan hand wrote his writings.

John Boyle O’Reilly also joined English army, as did Patrick Meehan. Aunt Gert writes about him at this time he was a baker in army, was at the time, they fought the Geronimo. He left the English army and joined the American army

Patrick Meehan was once awarded an artifact from the King of England, for his excellent penmanship. Aunt Mamie said that when he went through customs, men confiscated the award.

My mother and her sisters always were affectionate in their reminiscent of their father. My mother inherited his love of reading. Uncle Bill in his inimitable way of referring to just about anything always said that in his house there were always books ad that they even had an encyclopedia which he referred to as an unicyclopedia.

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Patrick Joseph Meehan's Timeline

March 17, 1860
Ballinrobe, County Mayo, Ireland
March 6, 1890
Age 29
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
July 18, 1891
Age 31
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
May 6, 1893
Age 33
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
May 10, 1896
Age 36
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
May 10, 1896
Age 36
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
May 28, 1899
Age 39
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
August 21, 1901
Age 41
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
November 13, 1903
Age 43
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States