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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Grandparents

You know about William C. from "Oshkosh."
Add that he was deaf like his son and grandson.
We know so little about his wife, Katharine
Other than she died young in 1911.

According to the 1880 census
She was called Katie; had six siblings.
Her parents were from Prussia, or so they said.
Katie was born in 1868, married at twenty

To a man ten years her senior.
Bore two sons quickly, none thereafter.
Was a pillar of local society, elegantly dressed.
Bequeathed a long, thin face to future generations.

A greater mystery is Eugene F. Cooney.
Father born in Ireland, mother in Illinois.
Mom said he was at the Chicago Board of Trade
When trading grain futures was the whole business.

Eugene married Mary Costello in 1899
When she was already twenty-four;
The only Costello daughter to marry.
Marie Eugenie arrived the same year.

They were a family for the 1910 census
But separated some time later.
Gram said she became a milliner;
Owned her shop in Chicago.

My mother said that her father
Drowned in Lake Michigan near the dunes
While on an outing with friends.
She never saw him after her parents separated.

Gram, or Mame, as she was called
Was my only living grandparent.
Married again to a cigar manufacturer
She was a delight to visit, with matchless Irish humor.

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