Mary <I>Tobin</I> O'Donnell

Mary Tobin O'Donnell

Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
Death 3 Apr 1928 (aged 78)
Rock Springs, Sweetwater County, Wyoming, USA
Burial Rock Springs, Sweetwater County, Wyoming, USA
Plot PARK_112_8_3
Memorial ID 76771197 · View Source
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Rock Springs Rocket, Apr 6, 1928
Mrs. O’Donnell, Wife Of Rock Springs’ First Mayor, and D.M. Thayer, A Former Postmaster, Answered Final Summons Within Two Days; 50 Years Residence

The death of Mrs. W.H. O’Donnell, which occurred Tuesday morning at her home on B Street, marked the passing of one of the original pioneers of this city. Her life spent in Rock Springs was epochal in that it spanned the time of the very beginning of the city, when its site was but a switch on the Union Pacific railroad, to the present time.

She had been ill and confined to her home for the last nine months, suffering with infirmities due to old age. She was 79 years, 7 months and 18 days old.

Decedent came to Blairtown, then the settlement, as a bride, and was one of four white women living there at that time within a radius of many miles. Three of these, residing at Blairtown, were Mrs. O’Donnell, Mrs. Archibald Blair, now deceased, the mother of Mrs. John Hay; and a Mrs. Seymour, who was the wife of a telegraph operator at the station; the fourth resided at the switch, now Rock Springs, and was Mrs. Mary A. Clark who yet resides here.

During the immediate succeeding years after Mrs. O’Donnell came to Blairtown and Rock Springs she fulfilled that role so often carried on by women in a pioneer country, that of caring for the sick and afflicted. This was a necessity in those days in the absence of doctors, the nearest one at that time being at Rawlins.

It is a coincidence that two people who figured in the early day history of the city should pass away, fifty years from that time, within two days of each other which is true of the passing here this week of D.M. Thayer and Mrs. O’Donnell. Since their passing it has been recalled how these two, with others of that day, met the needs of the community even to the making of improvised caskets for the dead when such a need presented itself.

Native of New York

Mary Tobin was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 15, 1848. She was the daughter of James and Mary (Ryan) Tobin of Ireland. As a young woman much of her time was spent in the south where her father was a trader after the war. Later she lived in Chicago and still later came to Point of Rocks, Wyoming with her parents. She married William H. O’Donnell at Cheyenne in 1870 and came at once to Blairtown where her husband was in the employ of the Union Pacific railroad. Later, when Rock Springs became the site for a town at the terminal of the railroad, the O’Donnells came here. Mr. O’Donnell was the first mayor of Rock Springs after its corporation. Mr. O’Donnell died Oct. 12, 1906.

Mrs. O’Donnell has given much to posterity, she is survived by five daughters, one son, 24 grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. The great-grandchildren are nine boys and one girl. Her children are Mrs. A.J. Wipperman, Idaho Falls, Idaho; Mrs. Chris Juel, Ft. Collins, Colo.; Mrs. L. Enderud, Portland, Ore.; Mrs. S.E. Kellogg, Rock Springs; Mrs. H.A. Baker, Duncan, Okla.; and C.F. O’Donnell, Rock Springs. Two children preceded her in death, Mrs. Vallez and J.W. O’Donnell.

Funeral Sunday

The funeral of this pioneer woman will be held Sunday afternoon at two o’clock, from the South Side Roman Catholic Church. Interment, in charge of the Rogan mortuary will be in the O’Donnell family plot in St. Joseph’s cemetery.

At that time many of the city’s residents will pay their last respects to one of the oldest pioneers in the west.


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  • Maintained by: Angela Cable
  • Originally Created by: rocksprings
  • Added: 19 Sep 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 76771197
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Tobin O'Donnell (18 May 1849–3 Apr 1928), Find a Grave Memorial no. 76771197, citing Rock Springs Cemetery, Rock Springs, Sweetwater County, Wyoming, USA ; Maintained by Angela Cable (contributor 47277708) .