Retrospect: The Irish were among our pioneer settlers
First of three parts
Lannon was mostly Irish, including its namesake, William N. Lannon, who was born in Ireland on Oct. 20, 1814, and died in Lannon Springs on April 18, 1897. Today his surname appears on a Wisconsin State Historical Society marker near Lannon Village Hall, but to note the product that also bears his name: Lannon Stone.
The name also graces Lannon Elementary School, Lannon Road, Lannon Estates, Lannon House, Lannon Stone Products Co., Lannon Tank Co. and Lannon Welding, not to mention Lannon Village Hall, Lannon Post Office and the Lannon Police Department and Fire Department.
William N. Lannon’s homestead, Lannon Springs, however, is no more. Lannon Springs was a vast tract of land that stretched from St. James Catholic Church north and east across Highway 74 almost to the Bug Line Trail. It was named for the three springs that were on his land. Lannon’s post office stood near the Willow Springs intersection and its new traffic roundabout, whose centerpiece is a raised platform built of shaped Lannon Stone donated by the Halquist Stone Co.
Some of Lisbon’s Irish (and Scotch-Irish) immigrants on the west side of Town Line Road sported some typical Irish family names: Pendergast, Salmon, Hanafin, McLaughlin, Carberry, McCann Maas and Connell.
So did those across the street in and around Lannon: DeLany, McCarthy, McCarty, Keating, Kennedy, Walsh, Murphy, Gill, Guilfoy, Guilfoyle, Newman, Harmon, Cawley, Brogan, Burke, Quirk, Gaynor, Lonergan, Higgins, O’Neill, Kennan, Higgins, Hanafin, Boyl, Flanagan and many others.
The vast majority were were Catholics, and they built St. James Catholic Church in 1846-47 on land donated by Lannon and James Brogan.
Before St. James was established, the Brogan cabin, just north of today’s Whiskey Corners Tavern, served as the Irish Catholics’ meeting place. The first masses were held there in 1842.
Today this cabin is a center piece at Old Falls Village (Pilgrim Road and Highway Q). It was moved there in 1981 and restored the following year by the Knights of Columbus.
St. James’ cemetery became the major burial ground for the Irish, but a significant number were also interred at Sunnyside Cemetery, Union Cemetery on Town Line Road and Sussex’s Rose Hill Cemetery.
Many of the early priests at St. James had Irish surnames: Fathers Colton, Doughtery, Dumphy, McGrowan, Hagerty, O’Connor and Fitzgibbon. Father Francis Finnegan was the longest serving Irish pastor, 25 years, from 1942 to 1967.
Another large Irish community grew up in northern Lisbon around Highway Q (County Line Road) and old Highway J (today’s Highway 164) and in the Lank Five area. St. Columba's Church (now defunct) just across Lisbon’s northern border served this community.
So did the church’s cemetery across the street. The names on the headstones are distinctly Irish: Discoll, Shehan, McCartan, Kelly, Dunn and others.
Both of these Irish enclaves founded Catholic churches just over the border from Lisbon, making Lisbon the only town in Waukesha County that does not, and never did have, a Catholic church.
Germans eventually took over both neighborhoods, but to this day, the Irish are still a major part of the diverse communities that make up Sussex-Lisbon-Lannon.
Next week we’ll take a look at some Irish bigwigs: McCarty, Lannon, Carberry, Grogan and Harmon.
Retrospect: Lannon and Carberry leave Irish legacy in Lisbon, Lannon
Second of three parts
Lannon originally called his 220-acre land claim Lannon Springs. Willow Spring Learning Center and the new traffic roundabout mark a part of his holdings.
Lannon was born Oct. 20, 1814, in Louth, Ireland. He ran the water-powered Merton flour mill (today the Merton Feed Mill) for a while before he began farming and quarrying his land. He earned a little side income as the local postmaster.
His first wife died shortly after they married (around 1850). He remarried an Irish lady, Ann Gallagher, soon afterward. They had five children – three sons and two daughters – William P., Eliza, John, Mary and Andrew, in that order.
Only their fourth child, Mary E., married. She had one child, who died at 2. Without grandchildren, no offspring of William N. Lannon remain. He died April 13, 1897, at 82. Ann died May 17, 1916.
The oldest son, William P., lived the longest, dying Nov. 29, 1937, at 78. He had a home on Mill Road, east of Whiskey Corners.
William N. Lannon lived to see the community that grew around the triangle intersection of Main Street and Good Hope and Lannon Roads get his name in 1890.
Another Town Line Road Irishman, Patrick James Carberry, has a Lisbon subdivision road named after him in the Plainview area. He was reputed to be 100 years old when he died, but he was actually 97 years, 8 months and 15 days old, still the oldest Lisbon resident at the time.
He was born March 6, 1818, in Ireland and travelled to the United States in 1840, settling first in Brooklyn, N.Y., before moving to Vermont. Sometime between 1846 and 1848 he arrived in Wisconsin, rtavelling via the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes to Milwaukee.
He set out to to claim some homestead land, settling on a parcel in east Lisbon across the Town Line from today’s Menomonee Park. He started with 40 acres of government land at $1.25 per acre, but later increased his holdings to 120 acres.
He and his wife, Ann Coughlin of Brooklyn, suffered many privations in their pioneer years. They had four children, their only son, John, who grew up to become a medical doctor, and three daughters: Mrs. Katherine Tague, who lived on the home estate; Mrs. Edward McMonigle of Wakonda, S.D.; and Mrs. James McGovern of Rochester, Minn.
Carberry died Sunday, Nov. 21, 1909, at his Lisbon homestead, where his daughter, Katherine, had taken charge as the woman of the house after Ann’s death 30 years earlier.
The newspaper account of Carberry’s death reported he had been an exemplary citizen, with the strictest integrity throughout his long life. In his last years, people frequently sought him out to talk over old times.
Friends from around the Midwest – including Minnesota , Chicago and Milwaukee – attended the Requiem High Mass funeral at St. James presided over by the Rev. Paul E. Scheidel. Unable to attend was a nephew, Eugene Carberry, who was at West Point, N.Y. Patrick James Carberry was laid to rest in the family plot in St. James Cemetery.
Carberrys still live in the area. Several of them have been active in Hamilton student sports.
Small-time farmer Thomas McCarty grows into Menomonee power
Last of three parts
Dennis McCarty was born about 1800 in County Cork, Ireland. He arrived in North America in the 1820s, landing in Quebec. By 1830, he had moved to Buffalo, N.Y., where he married the Irish-born Sarah Judge. Born in 1817, she was considerably younger than her husband.
Her brother, Charles, came here from Ireland in the 1850s and later served in the Civil War, ending his days at Soldiers Home in Milwaukee.
In the fall of 1842, the McCarty family immigrated to what is now downtown Lannon at Lannon and Good Hope roads, but not before bringing their first son, Thomas, into the world. (The couple had four more children: two daughters and two more sons.)
Dennis built a 16- by 22-foot log cabin on his 80-acre claim. The roof was made of 3-foot long red oak shingles, while the floor was built from bass wood. The cabin had just one door and one window. The biggest thing in the cabin was a massive fireplace for heating and cooking.
Thomas was only 4 years old when he came to Lannon and just 9 when his father died in February 1848. Dennis' body was buried at St. Dominic's Catholic Church in Marcy, but in 1862 it was unearthed and moved to St. James Catholic Church Cemetery, which had become the McCarty family church and cemetery.
His widow, Sarah, later married a James Fox, with whom she had another daughter. She died Dec. 3, 1891, and was buried next to her first husband, Dennis, at St. James.
After his father's death, Thomas McCarty became the man of the house at the tender age of 9 and carried on the work of his late father's farm.
He attended the District Schools of Lannon and Menomonee Falls. By experience and observation he became a well-informed man, going through all the hardships and trials of pioneer and frontier life.
His farm grew to 240 acres around both sides of Lannon Road south of Good Hope Road. The Town of Menomonee was the forerunner of today's Menomonee Falls and Lannon, and he became political power in Menomonee politics, starting with his election in spring 1869 as a Democrat to the post of town assessor.
Later that year, he campaigned successfully for a seat in the State Assembly, representing Menomonee, Lisbon, Oconomowoc, Delafield Pewaukee and Brookfield. Once there, he was instrumental in changing county boards from appointed to elected bodies. He served just one term, but was elected a for in 1877..
In between his two terms in Madison, he spent 14 years as the Menomonee town chairman, plus a few terms on the Waukesha County Board, serving two terms as county chairman, when he presided over the construction of a new county jail.
McCarty did not marry until he was 55 years old – in 1894, three years after his mother died – when he married a neighbor, Mary Ann Boyle, daughter of John and Catherine Boyle. The couple had no children
He died in 1907 at 69. He was buried in the McCarty family plot at St James Catholic Church. The Rev. Paul F. Scheidel officiated.