The 13th and last child of Anthony Canavan and Ann Hughes was Margaret Elizabeth Canavan (1864-1938). She moved from the Canavan farm to Chicago when she married John Dominic Casey (1864-1915) in Holy Name Cathedral on January 5, 1898. They had two children, Mary Catherine Casey (1900-1982) and John Dominic Casey (1907-1989), whom I knew as my uncle John.
John was a cousin of the Bowes on his mother’s side, as his mother was a sister of my father’s mother, Ellen Canavan Bowe (1861-1943). He also had the good fortune to marry my mother Mary Gwinn Bowe’s sister, Martha Burns Gwinn (1910-1987). With my uncle John’s sister marrying Patrick Columbus Lynch (1893-1962), it wasn’t long before their children, Francis Lynch, John Lynch and Patricia Lynch (Heffron), firmed up the immediate inflation of my Bowe, Casey, Lynch and Heffron universe after the Big Bang brought about by the 13 children of our progenitor Anthony Canavan and Ann Hughes. As was true of many of the men of his era, John Casey’s usual attire was more formal than is common today. His humor was plentiful, though understated.
I had great deal being the nephew of John and Martha Casey, as they were always kind and loving towards me. More importantly, they also took care to prepare me for the adult world that lay ahead. With my half-fare Chicago Motor Coach Company bus from my home on Elm Street to their home at 2512 North Lake View Avenue costing only a nickel, I would head by myself to their home for a filling dinner followed by instruction in the fine art of poker playing. They taught me important facts of life that any grown up should know, namely that a flush beats four of a kind or a straight any day of the week.
After Martha died, I would occasionally visit John on trips into the city. The inducement for my sons Andy and Pat to come along was that I would promise to take them to the car wash at Milito’s Amoco gas station on the northwest corner of Fullerton and Seminary. One day we took John with us to Milito’s one hot summer’s day. While we got out to watch the car wash through the plate glass windows inside, John said he’d rather stay in the car while it went through. Sadly, John forgot to roll the window down and he emerged at the exit with his suit completely drenched. He took it all in stride with good humor, but my guess is it was something he hoped we’d shut up about.
Not long before he died in 1989, I had a chance to ask him a few questions about the Canavan, Casey and Bowe families early on. That is the source of this interview and its constituent video clips.
Children of Anthony Canavan & Catherine Kirby
Children of Anthony Canavan & Ann Hughes