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Sunday, October 26, 2014

James H. Madden - Duluth

My father was born in Flint Michigan on the 2nd of September 1924. He has three birth certificates to prove the fact, one from the state of Michigan and two from the city of Flint.

A few years before his death, we started working on his life story. The result was a series of hand done books put together for family members after his death.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I have turned those books into pdf files which can be read online.

The link below is to the first of those books, Dad's Story: Duluth. The two links following are to pages from his Jr. High year book and the newspaper that replaced his high school year book during the rationed War Years.

Dad's Story: Duluth
The Birch Log -1940
The Hilltopper- 1943

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fun Finds

While my ultimate goal is to publish my family genealogy on this blog I also continue to explore other other Madden families.

This is the first in a series of Fun Finds.

Don Madden  on his blogpost Fully Flummoxed
"I did a job I hated for 32 years. I was very good it at. I didn't want to be a quitter so I kept doing it. Now I make art.  Now my life is good. Very good."

I'm sure you will enjoy his slightly irreverent view of art, films and life as much as I did.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Francis Madden - pt. 3

After leaving Stanford, probably in April of 1920, Frank returned to Bay City.  In Dec. of that year he had an emergency appendectomy as noted in the Bay City Times of Dec. 11.

 A year later on 15 Oct 1921, Frank married Isabel Louise Haffey, the daughter of Joseph Phillip Haffey, Esq. (dec) and Mary Murphy.

After his marriage in 1921, Frank  went into the fruit transport business with his brothers.  After a brief time in Bay City, where Thomas Joseph Francis was born in 1922 they moved to Flint, Michigan (2515 Kaufman Ave.) where James Howard (1924) and Jane Marie (1926) were born.  About 1928 the family moved to Duluth where in Jun 1929 Mary Patricia arrived.  A final child John Joseph was born and died on 13 Sep 1930.

1418 Vermillion
A new business with his brothers to ship cars saw them spread between Bay city, Minneapolis and Duluth.  The business proved profitable, from Duluth they shipped cars throughout Minnesota, the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Montana by rail and truck.   See Madden Brothers. 

During their years in Duluth Frank and Isabel never bought a house.  The lived first at 1418 Vermillion Rd and later at 2516 E 6th St.

With the onset of WWII, all steel was commandeered for war work, so there were no new cars and the business became defunct.  The Poker fleet was commandeered and all the ships were sunk in the war. This was not a loss to the Madden brothers who had only leased the boats, but it did put an end to the shipping business.

Frank became the assistant manager for distribution of rationing in Duluth, spending the next four years at the task.  He did not like his immediate boss, however, so after the war he left his government job.

5636 Abbot Ave. S. Minneapolis
Taking a job as a design engineer with Northwest Airlines, Frank moved to Minneapolis,  There in 1947 they purchased their first house at 5636 Abbot Ave. S. in Minneapolis with the help of Jim's Veteran's fund.  Frank continued with Northwest Airlines to the end of his working career.  Isabel taught art in Catholic schools in the area.

I remember Grampy as a quiet, kind, mild man who was rather overrun by my grandmother.  He would often turn off his hearing aid and remain oblivious to the world around him.  He was the type of person everyone finds it hard not to like.

Frank and Isabel with Maura
Colleen and Catherine
1953 China Lake
I remember well the death of my grandfather.  As he grew progressively more ill, my grandmother felt incapable of handling the deterioration by herself, so she packed him up and moved him to our house in Fair Oaks.  She then went back to Minneapolis to pack up their belongings for a permanent move to California where three of her children were living.

Grampy's health rapidly deteriorated and he was soon in a care facility.  He was gone before Grammy could complete the move.  Although he died in Sacramento, California on 25 Nov 1866, he is buried in St. Patrick's Cemetery in Bay City.  Less than two weeks later, 6 Dec 1966 my mother's father John Edward English died in Tuscon, AZ.  Needless to say it was a sad holiday season in the Madden household.