CAPTAIN JAMES MAHONEYBY
ELIZABETH AGNES OAKLEY
Submitted by Eileen Truesdell
James Mahoney was a carter, before he started sailing cargo ships. James and Mary made their home on Howe Island for a time, then moved to 6 Orchard Street, Kingston. They had a family of thirteen children, Mary Ellen, Anna Maria, Elizabeth Agnes, Louisa, Bridget Matilda, Catherine Jane, Margaret Ann, Teresa Carmel, Mary Bridget, Gertrude, Patrick Vincent Frances Gertrude and James Leo.
Tragedy struck and their young family of thirteen was soon down to nine. Their son James Leo, born October 10, 1885, died when an infant, although no death record has been found to this date. Bridget Matilda born October 13, 1880 died July 1, 1885.
Dark curly haired Mary Bridget born April 22, 1886 and died July 21, 1899, just four days after her grandfather James Clarke. Widowed James Clarke was living with Captain and Mary Mahoney at the time of his death. “Mother told me they had just got home from burying one when they had to bury another”, quotes Agnes. Little Gertrude born March 19, 1888 died January 4, 1890 and Frances Gertrude born April 9, 1892 died January 31, 1897. All are believed to be buried on Howe Island.
One winter day, Captain Mahoney was watching children sliding down a hill, when he asked if he could try it. Down the hill he came blazing! He was quoted as exclaiming when it finally stopped at the bottom, “Now that is an infernal machine!”.
Another time, Mary Catherine and James were sound asleep, when Mary heard a pebble hit the upstairs window. “Psst psst, Jim,” she heard. “Come on out, I’ve got some whiskey”. Well, she didn’t want Jim to go out drinking with his friends, so she quietly and calmly picked up the commode, emptying the contents on the man below. “She was never rudely awoke in the middle of the night again”, laughed Agnes.
“I remember the tugs going up the river, sometimes four at a time. The “Pilot” ran ashore one day and family members tried to persuade him not to go out on the river again this close to winter. Jim Mahoney was a hot headed Irishman and failing to persuade him not to go, the family took it upon themselves and chopped a hole in the bottom of the boat.
Captain James Mahoney was my grandfather. I began researching when I retired and I will be 87 years young on July 12, 1996. As a tribute to my grandfather, I have researched his ships and sailing days on the St. Lawrence.