James Carney

Connolly, County Clare, Ireland
Death 20 May 1892 (aged 50)
Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Burial Deadwood, Lawrence County, South Dakota, USA
Memorial ID 85762860 · View Source
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Bio originally created and added by: Ellen Bishop Added: 26 Feb 2012


James Carney was born May 10, 1846 Ireland and came to the United States with his family when he was ten years old, they settled in Lowell Massachusetts. It is at least possible that his parents were James and Bridget Carney, and that in 1860 the 13 year old James was incarcerated in Worcester Mass for Larceny. A James and Bridget with sons John and Thomas the right age and place to be siblings of James are in Lowell Mass in 1860.
James served in the Civil War probably with the 2nd or the 8th Regiment of the Massachusetts Infantry under Col Forsyth until the end of the war in 1865. I had no luck in find any Col Forsyth in any regiment from Mass.
Soon after the war he went to Montana where he engaged in mining with very good success. He received glowing reports of rich gold strikes in the Black Hills and he was attracted "hither". He is said to have come to Deadwood by walking in back of a wagon and arrived in Deadwood on February 5,1876. with all of his worldly possessions and a quarter in his pocket.
He went to Custer and stayed there a few weeks before came with the others to found Rapid City, but stayed only a few weeks. He returned to Deadwood where he got a job for "wages".
He made enough money to go into business in Gayville with William Bull, whom he had known in Helena. And may have come from Montana with him first in 1875. In 1878 the business was valued at $6000. What kind of business? Clothing? They were associated in many things, both of their houses were built in Gayville in August of 1877 . In 1878 they planned the ST Patricks Day parade in Deadwood together.
The index to Black Hills Daily Times has over 700 entries for the name Carney and most of them are for James and his family. The first mention of James Carney in Deadwood is in May of 1877 when James was elected Justice of the Peace by 5 votes in Gayville.
James was active in Deadwood politics, he was present when the name of Gayville was changed to Tojan in May of 1877 and he was a delegate to the People's Convention from Gayville.
He ran for County Treasurer, he with drew from the Miners ticket to be a Republican candidate as he supported Granville Bennett and the Miners Party supported his adversary for delegate to a convention Bartlett Tripp.
James Carney was one of the original locators of Rapid City he along with John Brennan and John Allen laid out the City of Rapid City with the aid of a pocket compass and tape line. He had come to the site with Sam Scott, John Allen, Maj. Hutchinson and Wm Nuttall on February 24, 1876. Helped build the first log cabin on the original townsite.
In 1878 several people wrote glowingly of James Carney to support his candidacy for county Treasurer, one was George H Wilson who had known James in Montana in his mining days there.
He praises his James as an upright and honorable in all of his dealings, while you might as well apply to the Shah of Persia as to Judge Murphy and the "so called" committee of working men. George was also very supportive of Seth Bullock who was running for Sheriff of Lawrence County. He is said to have been of more assistance to working miners than anyone in the Hills.
Both were praised for their efforts to help working miners and miners were encouraged to rally around the Republican candidates.
A rather puzzling article appears in the Deadwood newspaper on March 29,1879, when Jas Carney had printed a denial that he had tampered with Mr Bocher's clothing , it seem that Mr. Bocher was going to walk a 100 miles in 24 and a half hours, some kind of a challenge by which the winner got a thousand dollars. And a rumor was about that James had tampered with his clothing to prevent him from winning?
In the summer of 1880 a rumor was spread in Deadwood that James Carney had bought the vote of Charles McKinnis for $1,600, immediate denial was forthcoming.
James went on a trip in Feb of 1880 to raise money for the Irish Relief Fund. On November 10, 1880 James Carney and Annie McNamara were married by Father Gleason in the Catholic church. Annie McNamara was born in Aug of 1868 in London England, the daughter of James McNamara, so far her mother's name is unknown.
In 1880 she is a visitor to Deadwood staying with Charles McKinnis and his wife, he was the Lawrence County Recorder. She was married from his house. On November 14th, the newly weds left on a trip to St Louis from which they returned in late December of 1880.
In 1880 James was Treasurer of the Central City Irish relief committee. And was doing all he could to raise money for that committee. In 1882 he is mentioned in the Black Hills Daily Times in connection to National Land League.
The National Land League, founded under the leadership of Michael Davitt and Charles Stewart Parnell , conducted a campaign of boycott and violence that influenced the passage of the Land Act of 1881, called the "Magna Carta" of the Irish farmer. It recognized the three F's and provided a land commission to fix a "fair rent." So James continued to have an interest in his homeland.
In March 1882 James Carney and Daniel Manser bought a 5 acre plus mineral placer patent in the area near Terraville in Lawrence County. There is no evidence that he mined the claim at anytime.
Annie Carney's obituary says that James worked for the Northwestern Railroad as an appraiser. There is no specific confirmation of this from the Black Hills Daily times, but on several occasions starting in 1882 and continuing to 1891 the name James C
Some mentions of him include Sol Star. And on more than one occasion James goes on trips to the Sourthern Hills that may have had something to do with finding property for the Railroad. In April of 1884 the paper reports that James Carney and Sol Star had returned from a tour.
In 1885 the paper reports that James and John P Belding had returned from Buffelo Gap, even though Belding was a Judge and later Deputy US Marshall, he had connections to the Railroad also, lending support to the idea that James Carney did some kind of work for the Railroad.
In 1883 the Black Hills Daily Times says James Carney and John Ickes, were circulation petitions for Postmaster among their friends. He received his commisson in 1883 as postmaster of Deadwood.
The Black Hills Daily times reports that James went to Pierre on September 11, 1884 and that he was a firm believer" in the early bird racket". Judge McLaughlin helped put up his lunch? Another of the Deadwood papers little jokes I suspect. The Black Hills Daily Times reports that Jim Carney had received the commission as postmaster and was looking for a building for the office. They opoined that he was going to be in the Phoenix Block? And then as usual the paper says things that only people of the time would understand. " Jim is the first man we ever saw that is no hurry to assume the title of Nasby. He could do it today if he wished but he would rather put it off until after New Years". Nasby was the pseudonym for David Ross Lock who was a humorist who was alive at this time but the allusion is lost on me!
In October of 1884 James Carney is said by the paper to be "rusticating in Massachusetts" and would return on October 20th to Deadwood. James was on the City Council of Deadwood in 1884 and the paper reports several times of his activities concerning city business.
In Sept of 1885 his house on Falsebottom Creek burned and the house and contents destroyed. In June of 1886 the paper reports that James Carney "is not satisfied with glory and money achieved in the clothing business" and had on the previous day filed on tree claim on Hay Creek and so will try his had at arborculture.
James spent the 4th of July 1886 in Rapid City. There is no tree claim from the Bureau of Land Mangement and it is hard to imagine a busy man like James Carney spent much time growing trees!
In 1887 James was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention for Dakota Territory. In 1887, the entire Territory of Dakota applied for statehood as an undivided whole instead of as two states, but the application was refused as it had been in 1885.
This convention was in August in Aberdeen.
In 1887 he left Deadwood in December to visit his father in Massachusetts to be gone for six weeks. In January of 1888 James returned to Deadwood from Minneapolis because the Omaha line was snowed under.
A son Albert must have been born in about 1888 to Jamea and Annie Carney but the Deadwood paper doesn't even mention that a brother survived Agnes when she died. Or that James is survived by a son when he died in 1892.The Sturgis paper reports that James Carney was survived by a wife and one child. Forever after Albert Carney is mostly referred to as "brother" by the Deadwood newspaper. A rare mention of a Albert is a Catholic Fair where he got a watch in a drawing in September of 1891 and later in Dec of 1891 there is a birthday party for Brother Carney reported, no age is given for him, they call him a "little fellow".
He got "numerous and choice presents" and they played games and danced before an elegant lunch was served. Nathan Franklin and Lucille Adams who was born in 1885, were among the guests.
There is another mention of Albert Carney in the paper in June of 1894 where he is listed as participating in closing exercises at school also mentioned is Gaylord Bennett the son of Granville who would have been 11 at the time, he was a brother to of Estaline Bennett, and Joe Goldberg son of John of the Goldberg Store both of them are still in Deadwood in the 1900 census but Albert Carney is not.
James and Annie had two daughters an infant daughter born September 19,1883 and died November 24, 1883,. Agnes must have been born in about 1884, there is no report of her birth in the newspaper In April 1887 there is a mention in the newspaper that she was visiting friends.
Agnes death was extremely tragic, Her situation was a very sad indeed , she was "attacked" by dropsy, an old term for the swelling of soft tissues due to the accumulation of excess water or edema. Dr Charles Gwinn suggests the possibility that Agnes had kidney trouble, perhaps caused by a Strep infection. There would have been no effective treatment for it, since diuretics had not been invented or kidney transplant possible.
In January of 1888 the newspaper reports that James Carney and Jeff Hildreth , who in the 1880 census was a miner in Central City, had returned from Minneapolis and Jeff was going to move there and perhaps so was James Carney. That never happened but there is evidence that James spent some time in Minneapolis. Jack Cranstoun who was a traveling writer who must have known James Carney in the past came to visit Deadwood on the way to Seattle in February of 1888 and informed the newspaper that Jim Carney told him that Minneapolis was the biggest trading city he ever saw.
They traded off one piece of property for another and if they couldn't they swaped for jack knives. James had owned some cattle he got in a trade and traded them for a livery stable. He traded 1000 shares of Bullion that he got for ten dollars for 200 acres of land in Tennessee or South Carolina! James said that he expected when he went to find the land he would find it had also been traded to a dozen others who would defend it with shot guns. Never the less he had a title to it.
James Carney took Agnes to New York for treatment to New York in the Spring of 1890 and returned with her to her mother who was in ST Joseph Mo She was present at a Catholic Fair where she won a drawing, and received a doll in November of 1890.
In April of 1890 James Carney is reported to have returned from a "tour of the Continent" looking for a better location than Deadwood and the Black Hills to live. He "utterly failed" and had decided to "tie up for good". He had visited Washington DC to see Congress and work and was impressed by Senator Gideon Curtis Moody, the first Senator from South Dakota and heard a "rattling good speech" by Senator Hearst of California.
This would be George Hurst of Deadwood fame. He was favorably impressed by California and declared it the "Italy of America".
Again in the spring of 1891 James and Annie took Agnes to New York for treatment of "hip" trouble or more specifically " a diseased thigh".
Agnes had been a bright and healthy child in 1889 but by August of 1891 she was hopelessly ill and dying.
The paper reports on August 21, 1891 her parents brought her home on the train in an unconscious state, at least saving her the pain of dying. Skillful physicians had been consulted and all that medical science had suggested had been done. But as the paper said. "God wills other wise and however stern may seem the decree, the inevitable must be submitted to". Agnes Carney died September 21, 1891 at the age of eight years. It is impossible to tell what caused the Dropsy/Edema that took Agnes life, we simply don't have enough information.
The only treatments mentioned in old medical texts were things to ‘purge' the body of water and "tapping' to remove water around the lungs, we can't be sure if either of these were used to try and help Agnes.
The newspaper reports James left Deadwood for Hot Springs AK on the Elkhorn train April 21 1892
for his health, to remain indefinitely but he was returning to Deadwood when he died in ST Louis Missouri on the 20th May of 1892.
He had been to Hot Springs Ark before he was there in August of 1891 and when he was notified that his daughter was seriously ill, he met Agnes and Annie in Omaha NE and come back to Deadwood with them.
The Black Hills Weekly Journal reported James Carney's death in the May 21, 1892 edition. He had gone to Hot Springs Ark. for stomach trouble but having received no benefit there although some reports suggested he was getting better and he was returning to the Hills.
He became ill on the train and was taken to Mullanphy Hospital in ST Louis MO conducted by the Sisters of Charity, he was unable to keep food down and so "wasted away" or as the newspaper asserted, he died of "sheer exhaustion".
The newpapers were aware he was a founder of Rapid City. The paper states he had left Rapid City for Deadwood on the discovery of Gold there in March of 1878 and had been there since Black Hills Daily Journal for May 25, 1892 records the arrival of James Carney's body on the train, it had been shipped from ST Louis, three Pythian brothers had gone to Edgemont to come into Deadwood with the body.
The body was taken to the Pythian Lodge room where it lay in state all day. A handsome floral pillow with the deceased age and year of death was placed by it by DW Dwinnel.
Services had to be delayed so James brother Thomas could arrive from Massachusetts on Sunday morning. The funeral was under the joint auspice of the Knights of Pithias and Black Hills Pioneers. The later of which James was Chairman of the board at his death.
The funeral was attended by the major and all of the alderman of Deadwood plus the heads of all of the municipal departments of the city of Deadwood, the city gave him a grand going away party.
The funeral was conducted by Father Redmond of Lead and Father Santierre. No mention is made of a Wake.
James Carney is buried in ST Ambrose Cemetery in Deadwood with his wife Annie and their daughters.
Neither Annie Carney nor her son Albert are found in the 1900 census of the United States.
In the 1930 census there is an A Carney born in 1888 in South Dakota living in California, he is working in a pool hall.
Annie is in the 1910, 1920 and 1930 in Deadwood.. Annie Carney died in Deadwood the 15 of June 1943 of Senility, Heart Disease and Arteriosclerosis, she was seventy-eight years old.
The sermon for her funeral was preached by the Rt Rev Msgr. MS Roach of Lead and the Rev Fr PM O'Dowd of Deadwood, was the celebrant of the requiem of high mass. Helen Wagner was soloist. Pall bears were FJ Pierce, RE Driscoll, Porter Melton, AA Coburn, James O'Hara and George R Hunter. Rosary services were held at Buehler's funeral home. Annie McNamara Carney was buried in ST Ambrose Cemetery with her daughters and her husband who had been dead since 1892.
Albert Carney was in 1943, when his mother died an executive with Boeing in Seattle and lived in Seattle until about 1952, he came to the funeral with his grandson Steven E Hartnett the 3rd who was born October 3, 1940 and died Aug 10, 1993 in Seattle.
No obituary was found for him. So far no trace of Albert Carney after 1952 in Seattle has been found.
The story of James Carney Irish man, founder of Rapid City and a very political man of Deadwood and ends with a son who was an executive with Boeing raising what appears to be his orphaned grandson. It would be interesting to find out what any remaining family knows about this interesting man and I am working on it!

James Carney's parents are Martin Carney and Mary ( Hurley) Carney. He was born April 1842 in Gortaganiff,Connelly, Kilmaley Parish in Co. Clare Ireland. He lived in Ayer Massachusetts. May have been in Lowell at first but not sure. He had 3 brothers John( my great grandfather b 1833,Thomas b1835 and Patrick b1845. ( no record found of him in States). This information came from Kilmaley Baptimal records.I have a journal written by his niece that says he bought a piano for his family with some of money he got for gold he mined.
Albert Carney was born in abt 1886 in Deadwood. , Thanks for all the work you do. Betty Griffin.

My father's brother died,he had come to Ayer from Ireland,was very young and not satisfied with the quiet life here,so went West.
He enlisted in the U .S. Cavalry after the Civil War.There was a gold rush there,he made us many visits.He gave my mother $100 towards the first piano we had.He came here on his honeymoon.He married an Annie McNamara of St. Louis Mo. who had relatives in Deadwood.
He came East after his little boy was born. His oldest child was a girl Agnes. She had a a congenital hip disease. He brought her to New York to a very noted surgeon,but the visit did not improve her condition.
He was a Republican and became Postmaster in Deadwood. We all thought he was wonderful.He attended a Republican National Convention at St. Louis,was taken sick there and died.
Of course his brothers wanted to go to the funeral. So we went Uncle Tom. Maude Sullivan's father,my father and I.it was a sad trip.
In changing cars in Omaha,Neb. We lost my father. He was always doing unexpected things.In the melee he lost his hat and one of the delegates who rode to Deadwood with us gave him a 10 gallon hat which he had to wear into Deadwood.
I forgot to say Agnes had died many years before her father.
It was many years before we heard from Albert. The last time Maude Sullivan heard he was a clerk in the post office in the SAN Francisco post office.

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  • Maintained by: LookingForFamily
  • Originally Created by: Ellen Bishop
  • Added: 26 Feb 2012
  • Find a Grave Memorial 85762860
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James Carney (10 Apr 1842–20 May 1892), Find a Grave Memorial no. 85762860, citing Saint Ambrose Cemetery, Deadwood, Lawrence County, South Dakota, USA ; Maintained by LookingForFamily (contributor 47127361) .