This photo is Patrick J. Gearen (right). Patrick was the father of James Edward Gearen (left) and the grandfather of Ruth Harriet Gearen Ryder, our grandmother. Peggy Wilmes found this photo in an online posting. It includes John Florence “Florry” or Fleury” Gearen (center) and a boy who is probably John’s son. There is no date or location shown but it is almost certainly Sioux City, Iowa and probably around 1920. Both Patrick and James died in 1923 within one day of each other, James on January 27th age 64 and Patrick on January 28th age 84. This is the only photo we have of Patrick, so far.
|Patrick J. Gearen, James Edward Gearen, John F. Gearen and young boy|
The second framed picture was in the collection of my mother, and probably that of Ruth Harriet Gearen Ryder, her mother.
|James Edward Gearen|
Peggy found the four-generation photo in a posting by Jim Gearen of Chicago, Illinois, a grandson of John Florence Gearen. The photo is used without specific permission from Jim but we have exchanged information, documents and photos in the past, especially his email describing his family trip to Boherbue, Cork, Ireland, to visit with other of Patrick’s relatives. I know Jim would share with us.
The third photo is of John F. Gearen, Patrick’s son and James’ older brother, who established a Sioux City plumbing firm. This picture was found in an archived trade publication on Google Play Books, accompanying a story marking his election as Vice-President of the Iowa State Association of Master Plumbers. He served for many years in various state and national associations, many found in a simple Google Play search.
In his posting, Jim says that Patrick paved Chicago streets as a laborer and worked in Cudahy’s rendering plant. One federal census document describes his occupation as “stove tender”.
This information was included in an entry for John in: The History of Woodbury and Plymouth, Iowa, Counties including an extended sketch of Sioux City, their early settlement and progress to the present time, A. Warner & Co. Chicago,Ill., page 74 of 94 online (year not shown but prior to 1916).
“J. F. Gearen, Plumbers, Sioux City was born in Chicago in 1857. At an early age of sixteen years he learned the plumbing trade. In the fall of 1880 he came to Sioux City and for seven years was employed as a journeyman plumber. In the spring of 1887 he began business for himself. He has a liberal share of the plumbing business in the city. He executed the plumbing for the St. Joseph Hospital, D. T. Hedges’, J.H. Nason’s, and Mr. Fletcher’s residences, besides that many other prominent buildings. Mr. Gearen gives employment to thirteen men, and gives his own entire time and attention to his business. In 1885 he married Miss Mina Griffin, of this county. He is a member of the Broman (sic) Catholic Church, and a liberal democrat in politics”.
Although the 1857 date of birth is probably correct, the birth place statement cannot be true as James Edward Gearen was born in 1859 in Providence, Rhode Island and there is a birth certificate to document that. I think John F. (the town record shows John F. Garin) was born in Leominster, Worcester, Massachusetts in 1857. More research is needed but that probably means Patrick arrived in Boston rather than New York (although there are some indications that it was New York).
By the 1860 federal census, Patrick, Catherine Crowley his wife and their children John age 3 and James age 1 were in Bloomington, Illinois, and Patrick is shown as simply “Laborer” By 1862, I think they were in Chicago. As the Warner biography states, John was in Sioux City by 1880 but rest of the Gearens were probably not in Sioux City until after about 1885 because there is a Chicago City Direcctory entry for 1885. Ultimately, most of the family including James worked for John F. in the plumbing business. John died May 8, 1916, and management of his company was given to his son-in-law.