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Monday, August 19, 2013

Family - James Howard Madden

(6 Mar 1865 Albany, NY - 20 Apr 1923 Chicago, IL)

My father was named James Howard, but it was a surprise when I found that his great uncle also had the middle name Howard. In fact, my father knew little of his family background.  His Madden grandparents died when his father was still a child and both Madden Great-Uncles died before my father was born.  Aunt Nell might have been able to fill in family detail, but my father had no fond memories of family chats and no family details seem to have been passed on to others.

James was the youngest child of James Madden and Anna Fitzsimmons.  Like his brothers he grew up working on the docks on the Hudson River.  He left Albany and joined his brother Thomas in Bay City sometime in the early 1880s. In 1886 he is listed as a lumber inspector with  Dolsen, Chapin & Co. He is boarding at 223 S. Monroe, the same address as Thomas.

By 1893 he had moved on to Ashland, Wisconsin, the 1893 directory lists his occupation as logger.   All indications are that he and Thomas and most likely John did at least some business together throughout their lifetime.  There are referrals in some records to the "Madden Bros."  However, on the death of his brother Thomas, James did not step in to run the shipping business, the working together seems to have been on specific projects and not in joint ownership of a business.

James married Lillian McGillen in 1898.  She was the daughter of James McGillen and Johanna Ketinge.  I have found records for three children.  Virginia Ketinge was born Nov 1906 and died in Chicago in June of 1911.  Judith Elnor was born in Wisconsin in 1912 and died in Duluth in August of that year.  Betty A was born about 1915 in Duluth.  She is living with her parents in Chicago in 1920 and with her mother in 1930 and 1940.  I have found no further records that I can prove are hers.

Like his brother John, James became involved in politics.  In 1906 he ran for Congress in the 10th district in Ashland.  He lost the nomination by just a few votes. As the newspapers of the time pointed out, the cost was considerable.

By 1910 the family had moved to Duluth where James continued in the lumber business.  This was another connection to my father, his grand-nephew, as he grew up in Duluth, again totally unaware that family had lived there before.    In 1920 James was listed as the head of a lumber company in Duluth.  The family was living at 721 First Street.

James died on 20 Apr 1923 in Chicago.  He had been living at 358 Garfield Avenue there.  The newspaper notice included a posting to Meninomee, Michigan.  I don't know why, so I explored just a bit and found a Jerry Madden, born in Canada, father born in Ireland who is the owner of a lumber company.  Is this another connection.  Or is this just a coincidence.  (I'll save this for another post)

James was buried in Appleton, Wisconsin on 22 April 1923.   Lillian lived in Chicago for another eighteen years.  She died there on 13 Mar 1941.


  1. Bay City Directory for 1886-1887: Embracing A Complete Alphabetical List Of Business Firms And Private Citizens, A Directory of the "City And County Officers, Churches And Public Schools, Benevolent, Literary And Other Associations, And A Complete Business Directory of Bay City, to which is added a complete directory of West Bay City and Esserville. (Detroit: R.L. Polk & Co., 1886). Madden James H, lumber inspector Dolsen, Chapin & co, bds 223 S Monroe
  2. Provo, UT:, 2000. Original data: Ashland, WI, 1888-89. Ashland, WI: R. L. Polk & Co., 1888. Ashland, WI, 1890-91. Ashland, WI: R. L. Polk & Co., 1890. Ashland, WI, 1891-92. Ashland, WI: R. L. Polk & Co., 1891. Ashland, WI, 1893. Ashland, WI: R. L. Polk & Co., 1893: James H Madden City: Ashland State: WI Occupation: logger - boards Chequamegon Hotel
  3. 1905 Census - : accessed 24 Dec 2012, J H Madden household
  4. The Daily Northwestern 6 May 1906 and 16 Nov 1906
  5. Bureau of the Census RG29 Micropublication T624 --1784 rolls, Thirteenth Census of the United States 1910, Population Schedules (Washington, National Archives and Records Administration), Duluth, St. Louis, MN Roll 725 SD 5 ED 155 pg 14B and 15 A
  6. Bureau of the Census RG 29 Micropublication T625 Fourteenth Census of the United States 1920, Population Schedules (Washington, National Archives and Records Administration) Duluth, St. Louis MN, Roll858; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 103
  7. Chicago Death Records MADDEN  JAMES  HOWARD   M/W 6012435 1923-04-20 COOK  CHICAGO  23-04-23
  8. Chicago Tribune 22 April 1923: Vol 82 No. 16 pg 10
  9. The Daily Northwestern Tues 24 Apr 1923

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