From The Omaha Daily Bee, August 4, 1908


Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Cavanagh

Will Go Back to Galway

More than fifty-eight years after they left their old home in Ireland, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Cavanagh, 5056 North Twenty-fourth street, will visit it again.

They will leave about August 31 on the long journey to the scenes of their childhood.

“I don’t expect we’ll see a soul we know,” said Mr. Cavanagh. “All of them are gone by this time, though it’s quite possible I’ll run across some of the boys I used to play with about the quay and wharfs of old Galway, for the people over there are not great to leave their homes and where they are born they generally stay like a tree rooted in the ground.

“Of course, the city will be changed. There’ll be tram cars and electric lights and all kinds of modern improvements that we knew naught about when my wife and I left there in the ’50s. And there’ll be steam cars runnning all over the dear old isle and steamships spouting smoke in the harbor where I knew naught but sailing vessels.

“I know the house where I was born is standing, and not changed in these sixty years, except that they’ve put a new roof on it lately. It is a stone house, and my father and grandfather and great grand-father were all born in it.”

“Mr. and Mrs. Cavanagh live in one of the prettiest places in Omaha. Their commodious cottage painted green as a shamrock, sits in the midst of a big yard at the corner of twenty-fourth and Brown streets. The lawn is beautifully kept; there is a grove of peach and cherry trees and a big grape arbor. Flowers are everywhere. The place has a 165 foot front on Twenty-fourth street and extends back 605 feet, giving room for a pasture for three cows and a big garden. A hired man and woman do the work.

Mr. and Mrs. Cavanagh were married July 9, 1846, and have lived together, therefore, sixty-two years. They have five living children and may grandchildren. They both came from families of the good old size. Mrs. Cavanagh was the daughter of Captain William Burke, for thirty-two years an officer in the British army. She was one of ten children, while Mr. Cavanagh was one of thirteen. Coming to America as a young couple, they farmed in Iowa in the early ’50s. They then moved back to Cincinnati and later lived in Minneapolis before coming to Omaha thirty years ago. Both are still in excellent health, though near the fourscore mark. Mr. Cavanagh is head of the firm of P. Cavanagh & Son, representing the American Beet Sugar company.

The former Cavanagh home and farmyard in Gortroe, later occupied by the Cahill family.

Editor’s Note: Patrick Cavanagh was a son of John Cavanagh & Catherine Browne of Gortroe, and a brother of Archdeacon Bartholomew Cavanagh of Knock. We are grateful to Patrick & Suzette’s great-great-grandson Charles Cavanagh of Philadelphia, his daughter Kate (Bygrave) and son Chip, who brought this article to our attention.

Note: The above piece originally appeared in our Summer 2019 Newsletter.

Visit to Old Irish Home: Kavanaghs of Gortroe, 1908

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