Note: John grew up in Brattleboro, Windham County, VT. where he lived most of his life, except for a few years after his marriage when he lived in Worcester, Ma.
John was a well-known brick mason and building contractor. He worked in Brattleboro, on the "New" Richardson Bldg., next to the American Bldg, while still "75 yrs young" the summer of 1924. (info from an article in a local paper, celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary, July 14,1874 , printed on July 15, 1924 as the anniversary celebration was referred to as "yesterday".)
He was also contractor on the Herrick Bldg built several yrs prior to 1924, and built for himself two apartment buildings on Canal St. which he had recently sold. All in Brattleboro. He did work for Rudyard Kipling on his home "Naulakha" located a few miles from Brattleboro and is now an Historic Building restored by the Landmark Trust. When the work for Kipling was completed and John requested his payment, the frugal Kipling offered him an autographed volumn of his courant best seller instead. John O'Connor declined saying the previously agreed upon sum would suit him.
John was a member of the Holy Name Society of St. Michael�s. He was also known in the local newspaper as the "Irish India Rubberman" which they so dubbed him, his having had survived some harrowing accidents (i.e. lightning strike).
John often asked his wife Mary, to tell him about "the old place" , as Mary was born and raised till the age of 14 in Ireland, and a Gaelic speaker and he was not. Mary did not enjoy talking about "home" as much as John did hearing about it... he also enjoyed belting out an old Irish ballad while about the house.
Family history has it 5-10 yrs before their marriage, John went to NYC to meet Mary off the boat... he escorted her back to VT. to her new position as housemaid for a family in nearby Putney, VT.
Mr and Mrs John O'Connor were proud of their son John James, who graduated from Brattleboro High School in 1895 and went on to study at the University of Vermont, where he graduated from in1888. John J. O'Connor MD, died just two months into the new century, in Feb of 1900 of what the family called "consumption" (TB) after caring for a patient with it.
The reason given in the family as to why Maurice and his family settled in Brattleboro, is that the work on the train tracks they were working on, stopped there in Brattleboro. It is thought that the "brothers" had gone on to Chicago from there to find more work" possibly on the railroad. They have not been heard from since. (It is now believed that it may have been Catherines brothers who moved on as they had emigrated with her in July of 1846. See notes on Catherine Martin.
Brattleboro Daily Reformer Apr 6, 1936
Dies In Hartford Former Brattleboro Brick Mason and
Contractor, Aged 86, Was at
Home of Son, George.
John O'Connor, 86, formerly a resident of Brattleboro for many years, well-known contractor and brick mason, died Saturday afternoon at the home of his son, George, in Hartford, Conn. His death followed a short illness.
Mr. O'Connor was born in Brattleboro June 17, 1849 a son of Maurice and Catherine (Martin) O'Connor. He married on July 14, Miss Mary Heffron of Putney. The couple lived in Worcester, Mass., a short time before coming to Brattleboro. They remained here until about six years ago, when they went to Hartford to live with their son. Mrs. O'Connor died in Hartford May 7, 1931.
Mr. O'Connor was for many years active in his trade as contractor and brick mason and built several local buildings, including business blocks. He was a member of the Holy Name society of St Michael's Roman Catholic church. Members of the society will meet this evening at 7:30 o'clock at Fleming's funeral chapel to recite the office of the dead.
Mr. O'Connor leaves two sons, Charles and George, both of Hartford: one daughter, Katherine, wife of Francis G. Weeks of Agawam, Mass: two grandchildren, Mildred and Daniel O'Connor of Hartford , and two sisters, Miss Mary O'Connor and Mrs. Johanna Heffron , both of this town . Three sons, Dr. John O'Connor, Edward and Maurice O'Connor, have died.
Funeral services with requiem high mass will be held at St Michaels Roman Catholic church tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock. Burial will take place in St Michael's cemetery.
April 7, 1936
Funeral services for John O'Connor, formerly of Brattleboro, who died Saturday in Hartford, Conn. were held this morning at 9 o'clock at St Michael's Roman Catholic church. Rev. Thomas Connor officiated, celebrating requiem high mass. The choir which assisted in the service was composed of Mrs Bernard Dunlevy, Miss Marie Long, Rio Charland and Danel J Stolte. Miss Long sang Austin's O Salutaris at offertory. The quartet rendered Pie Jesu. At the close of the service Mr. Stolte rendered Nearer My God to Thee. The bearers were John Grady, Nicholas Baker, Hob Long. P. M. Ferriter, Thomas Austin and Patrick Fleming. The burial took place in St. Michaels's cemetery. Those present from out of town were Mrs. Katherine Weeks, Agawam, Mass; Mr. and Mrs. Charles O'Connor and daughter Mildred, Mr. and Mrs. George O'Connor and son, Daniel, all of Hartford, Conn.
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