Harold F. Delaney

Harold F. Delaney

Harold Francis Delaney was born in Florida in November of 1895.1 His birth certificate has not been found, but we can date the birth based on data contained in the 1900 census returns. Harold F. Delaney was the last child born to Margaret (Montgomery) Delaney and John Francis Delaney. It is likely that Harold was born during one of the frequent trips made by the Delaney family to Micco, Florida, where John Delaney maintained a residence at his orange "plantation."

We know relatively little about Harold's early years, but by the 1920s he appears to have been working for Tex Rickard on the new Madison Square Garden project in New York City. In her 1936 book about Tex Rickard, "Everything Happened to Him," Maxine (Hodges) Rickard tells her readers that she was introduced to Tex in the mid-1920s by her Uncle Harold who was working in some capacity on the project.2 Although the book does not provide Harold's last name, he was the brother of Bernadette Marie Delaney who married Jesse Thomas Hodges. Bernadette and Jesse Hodges were Maxine's parents. Thus, Harold Delaney would have been an uncle to Maxine Hodges.

At the time of his death, Harold was working as a clerk for the U.S. Post Office.3 Harold F. Delaney was seriously injured in an automobile accident on the Sunrise Highway at 127th Street in Ozone Park, New York, on March 10, 1931.4 He died at 10 a.m. on March 13, 1931 in Jamaica Hospital from shock due to rupture of the diaphragm and hernia of the stomach. The death certificate, signed by his father John F. Delaney, lists him as single and a resident of Flushing, New York.

An article about funeral arrangements, published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle the day after Harold's death, incorrectly attributes the cause of death to a "fractured skull" during the auto accident.5 This article provides some additional information about the accident, which occured on March 10, 1931, including the fact that Harold was a passenger in the car driven by George Barnitz of 4108 159th Street in Flushing, NY. The car driven by Barnitz struck another vehicle, injuring Sydney Williams and Bertha Williams.

Burial took place on March 16, 1931 at Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.6

1 U.S. Census, 1900.
2 Everything Happened to Him: The Story of Tex Rickard by Mrs. "Tex" Rickard [Maxine Rickard, Tex's widow] with Arch Oboler, Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York, 1936, pp. 310-311 and p. 322.
3 Death Certificate, Department of Health of The City of New York, Queens, #2117, March 14, 1931.
4 Ibid.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Saturday, March 14, 1931, p. 4.
6 Grave 110, Range 39, Section B. His mother and father are also buried in this grave, but only Margaret's and Harold's names appear on the gravestone.

Harold F. Delaney - Son of John Francis Delaney and Margaret (Montgomery) Delaney
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Photo courtesy of
John O'Connor