This obituary of my wife’s great great grandfather was published on the front page of the Streator Daily Free Press in Streator, Illinois, on Saturday, January 10, 1903.
JOHN GROGAN DEAD
PROBABLY THE VICTIM OF MINE ACCIDENT.
Was Working in a Shaft at Kenmare, N.D.—Father of Knox College Football player.
Mrs. John Grogan received a telegram last night about 6 o’clock from her son, Anthony, at Kenmare, N.D., stating that her husband was dead and saying that he and his uncle, also named Anthony Grogan would leave for Streator tonight with the remains.
Although no particulars of the death of Mr. Grogan have yet been obtained it is thought likely that he was killed in a mine. Last September he and his son Anthony went to Kenmare to take up a land claim, Mr. Grogan’s brother following a month later. The man now dead had been a miner in Streator and he received work in that capacity as a miner at Kenmare, the son being employed as a “top-man” at the same place.
Mr. Grogan was about 56 years of age. He was born in the County Mayo, Ireland, and in early manhood was married to Sabina Brennan. In 1872, or thereabouts, the husband came to the United States and found employment on a farm in Eagle township, he being joined about a year later by his wife and their son Martin, the only child of the couple who was born in the Emerald Isle.
Mr. Grogan and family made their residence in Eagle township until 1887, when they moved to Streator to give the children the advantages which the city afforded in an educational way, the husband and father finding employment in the mines.
There were born to Mr. & Mrs. Grogan thirteen children, of whom are surviving ten—Anthony, of Kenmare of N.D.; Thomas and Patrick, of Streator; John, who is a student at Knox College, Galesburg; Delia, of Chicago, and Nellie, Joseph, James, Edward and Hugh of this city.
The first born of the children Martin died in 1896 in Sioux City, Iowa, through which locality he was then traveling. A daughter, Mary, passed away in Eagle township at the age of 9 years and a third child died in the same locality at birth.
Mrs. Bridget Grogan, mother of the children and now well up in the seventies, has made her home for a number of years with her son at 310 West Stanton street. Her husband, John Grogan, father of the subject of this sketch, died in this city about 7 years ago.
Besides the brother Anthony, of Kenmare, Mr. Grogan is survived by two other brothers, Martin and Thomas, in Ireland, and a sister, Mrs. John Forkin of West Stanton street.
The deceased at the time of his death was a member of Division No. 12, Ancient Order of Hibernians, and when he left Streator he also belonged to Local No. 800, U.M.W.of A., but it is not known whether or not he continued as a member of that organization. He carried $1,500 insurance in the Toilers’ Fraternity, but since some of the executive officers of that society merged—or attempted to merge—it with the Western Union Life Insurance Co., his family has paid his assessments to the latter corporation.
Of the surviving children of the decedent, the most widely known is John, the student at Knox college, who is an all-round athlete and is one of the best football players in the United States.