~ William Wall  and Kate Brown, Chicago, Illinois ~

(Their story starts below their pictures)

*William Wall   Born: unknown Died: unknown *Kate Brown Born: unknown Died: unknown
William Patrick Wall    

 Born: April 17,1873          

Died: November 16, 1899

Mary Ellen Wall  

 Born: February 15,1876  

Died: April 5, 1947


William Wall, my great-great grandfather, is still a bit of a mystery to me. As told by my grandmother, he was Irish, and came from Canada, location unknown. I have found him in Chicago, Illinois, as early as 1865 in the city directory working at a livery stable, and as a carriage driver. Along with William, I have found a relative, most likely a brother, named John H. Wall, who also worked with horses. John H. Wall (b. 1830 or 32 in Canada, died 5/14/1887 in Chicago) was married to a woman named Mary (Phelen, I believe), and had three children, Kate (b. 1862), William (b. 1864) and Nellie (b.1866), two of whom were William Wall Jr.'s Godparents at his baptism, at Old St. Patrick's church.

    William met Kate Brown and was married to her on May 5th, 1872 in Chicago. Kate was said to have come over from Dublin, Ireland with her uncle Tom Brown, when she was 16. My estimate would put occurrence some time in the 1860's. Kate's mother's maiden name was Birmingham/Bermingham. I believe that Tom probably worked for the railroad, like his relative, RJ Brown, and Kate probably traveled with him to live there. 

    Kate and William had a son named William Patrick Wall , and a daughter Mary Ellen Wall (dates above). William's Godparents were listed as William Wall and Katie Wall, his cousins. Mary's Godparents were listed as John Wall and Mary Brown. Mary Brown was married to Kate's brother(?), RJ Brown, who was a railroad worker, and they lived in Ohio. 

    Tragically, when his youngest child was three (as told by my grandmother), William Wall was kicked by a horse and died from his injuries, although I can not find a death record on him. I have however found a coroner's inquest record on a man named William Wall who died from drowning in the Chicago River, apparently from suicide. The date is Sept. 27th, 1876, and this is three years earlier than I would expect, if Mary Ellen was in fact three when he died.

    The picture to the right shows William, Jr. after the death of his father. On his finger, he is displaying his fathers ring, and in the picture is a bail of hay and his father's hat. 

     After William's death, Kate probably stayed in Chicago for a while. Kate was sick a lot (cause unknown) and a few years later, when Mary Ellen was about eleven years old, Kate went to live in Ohio, with RJ and Mary Brown, so that they could care for her. For an unknown reason, William Jr. stayed behind in Chicago, probably living with his Uncle John Wall.

William Wall is the man seated in this photo on the left. John H. Wall may be the man standing on the right and standing on the left is William's friend and/or brother-in-law, Thomas Brown. The seated man on the right is unknown. Click on picture to view enlargement.

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Photo corners from Light Impressions