James Durkin

Photo added by Debbie

James Durkin

  • Birth 18 May 1885 Hollandale, Iowa County, Wisconsin, USA
  • Death 29 Sep 1930 Mason County, Illinois, USA
  • Burial Astoria, Fulton County, Illinois, USA
  • Memorial ID 85740415

The Marker of my Grandfathers headstone finally placed on this page would not be possible without the help of Mr. Edd Marks. I had been jumping thru 3 Counties that I knew my Dad lived. For this, my utmost gratitude.

Never knew James Durkin, he was murdered 29 Sept 1930 justa month before my Dad was born...30 Dec 1930, he was still missing, although, a trapper had found bloody clothing and they were identified by my Grandmom. She also expressed to Law Enforcement her belief that he had been murdered. Her fears were correct. I have only been to his grave once, and that is when my Grandmom Faye passed away. His Parents are Thomas and Brigit, however on several Census forms, his Mothers name is spelled *BREGET* OR *BREGIT* Also, James birth date is stated as 1875 AND 1885 on legal documents.

As stated above, James and Faye Durkin had one child, a son. Who happens to be my Dad. For reasons I wish not to disclose, the Parkers and the Durkins parted ways. It took me 51 YEARS to find James Durkins family! Imagine talking to blood relatives, seeing photos, and the Durkins I have spoken to and keep in touch with are just wonderful!!

One comment: "the family-younger generations-never knew what had become of James"

I am his only Granddaughter, and have only seen a photo of him once, in a Detective Magazine "Case of the Missing Chef" I was around 8 or 9, but to this day, I still think my Dad looks almost identical to HIS Dad!
James has 2 grandsons, however one joined him in Heaven in 1964 and 5 great-grandsons, (one is a namesake by
middle name) and 1 great-granddaughter.Sons still are the majority born in the family.

Family members have told me that James Durkin was a strong man who made his own way. He did not conform to what others thought. Once he made a decision he stuck with it. I know that his family owned Dairy Farms in Wisconsin, and were pretty wealthy. You have to remember 1930 the U.S. had just entered the Great Depression, yet newspapers at the time described James Durkins sister laying her fur coat on the wooden floor so that "Infant Durkin" may lay upon it at the Courthouse during the Murder Trial of Roy Gilmore, the man who shot my Grandfather, while he slept.

There is ONE known photo of my Grandfather, and sadly the person that had it has also passed away. I'm working on getting that photo or copy of as it would mean so much.

There is much mystery to the man that was my Grandfather, James Durkin. I still have not found out what his middle name is. His ACTUAL date of birth is really 1875, why it was listed as 1885, well, I guess that is something I will never find out. I HAVE, however, found HIS family, and looking at new photos I received from a Navy buddy of my Dads there is no mistaking the family link. My Dad looked just like his Dad....and when I saw the photo of my Great-Grandfather, well, I and one of my brothers have a strong likeness to him, eyes, nose..strange how genetics works, isn't it?

There was a story on this crime in one of the True Crime magazines that were popular...the cover had a photo of my Grandfather and the story was titled "Case of the Missing Chef"

Parents Thomas Durkin, SR and Bridgett *Breget*

Several other children, including a Thomas JR.

Family Members






  • Created by: Debbie
  • Added: 26 Feb 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 85740415
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James Durkin (18 May 1885–29 Sep 1930), Find A Grave Memorial no. 85740415, citing Oak Grove Cemetery, Astoria, Fulton County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Debbie (contributor 47704615) .