Cead Slan, or, A Farewell to Archives Month

By Kevin Grace

-Not your colloquial Irish farewell, mind you, because that would have us skipping out when it is our turn to buy a round of drinks, and you just know we would never do that!  Rather, a farewell to Archives Month in Ohio and its 2012 Program for Heaney lecturetheme of “Ethnic Peoples of Ohio.”  In southwest Ohio, the focus has been on Irish heritage and the Celtic contribution to our culture.  From businessmen and women and Civil War soldiers to civic leaders and politicians, to writers and artists, Cincinnati and this corner of the state have been greatly enriched by the Irish.

In addressing this theme in October, we were very fortunate that it coincidentally embraced the annual Niehoff Lecture at the Mercantile Library, presented by Irish poet and Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney.  It could have been happenstance, of course, but more likely cinnuint, or destiny to youse guys.  On Saturday evening, October 20, Heaney spoke before an enthralled audience at the Westin Hotel as part of a lecture series that has helped mark the Mercantile as the center for literary life in Cincinnati. Continue reading

Irish Cincinnati-Mike Mullen and Ward Politics

By:  Kevin Grace

As the election season draws to a close over the next couple of weeks, it seems appropriate to consider the story of Mike Mullen, perhaps corrupt in the eyes of muckraking journalists, but certainly beloved among his own kind – and isn’t that always the case when it comes to urban politics? A jaded opinion, you say?  Maybe, I respond, but certainly one that is backed by the boisterous heritage of American city life.  And, so in the spirit of Archives Month in Ohio and the democratic system of government, here we go… Continue reading

Celebrating Archives Month and the Peoples of Ohio-Procter & Gamble Irish Connection

By Kevin Grace

An early Irish immigrant to Cincinnati, Alexander Norris was born in Caledon, County Tyrone, Ireland in 1771.  The date of his arrival in Cincinnati is uncertain, but it was before 1819 when he first appears in a city directory as a chandler.  Norris came to the Queen City with his family, which included his daughter, Elizabeth Ann, who was born in Ireland in 1811.  After establishing a successful tallow business, Norris moved in the local social circles of candle makers, where Elizabeth met and married another Irish immigrant, James Gamble, in 1833.  The couple had ten children, and further joined business interests when Elizabeth’s sister Olivia married the widowed William Procter.  Alexander Norris persuaded his sons-in-law, both of whom were involved in the animal fat business, to join together and form a mutual manufacturing enterprise. Continue reading

Stealing St. Patrick: Another Moment in Archives Month and the Cincinnati Irish

 By Kevin Grace

St. Patrick's Day ParadeIt has its roots in the fact that, historically, German and Irish Catholic congregants were often at odds in Cincinnati.  On Mt. Adams, where both Irish and German working-class families lived, there were two Catholic churches, Church of the Holy Cross for the Irish, Immaculata Church for the Germans.  Holy Cross parish was established in 1873 to serve the Irish immigrants on the hill and Immaculata was dedicated in 1860, fulfilling a promise made to God by a fearful and distraught Archbishop John Baptist Purcell when he crossed the Atlantic on stormy, tossing seas.  With a German congregation, Immaculata was part of Purcell’s adroit handling of the ethnic differences in the 19th century  Cincinnati archdiocese. Continue reading

The Irish and Archives Month

By Kevin Grace

UC’s celebration of Archives Month in Ohio, sponsored by the Society of Ohio Archivists, continues with another event, slated for Thursday, October 18.  The Archives & Rare Books Library will join with the Elliston Poetry Room for an afternoon program of Irish-American poetry.

Poetry Reading Flyer

 

Archives Month in Ohio and the Cincinnati Irish

By Kevin Grace

Mollie GilmartinThis week’s posting to acknowledge the “Peoples of Ohio” theme of Archives Month, and the Irish in southwest Ohio is the tragic tale of young Mollie Gilmartin.  Born in County Sligo, Mary “Mollie” Gilmartin was the object of affection from her family’s parish priest, Dominick O’Grady.  Seeking to end the unwanted attention, her family decided a new life in America would be best for Molllie, so in September 1893, they sent her to Chicago where her brother Michael was a priest. The intent was for Michael to look after her while she built a new life for herself, but O’Grady followed her across the ocean. Continue reading

Archives Month Celebrates the Peoples of Ohio

By:  Kevin Grace

Archives Month PosterEvery October, the Society of Ohio Archivists sponsors “Archives Month in Ohio” in order to bring awareness to the rich historical materials contained in the state’s libraries, museums, and historical organizations.  The intent is to make citizens aware of these holdings, and to see further use of them by students, scholars, and teachers.

The theme for Archives Month this year is “Peoples of Ohio,” celebrating the ethnic and racial diversity in the Buckeye State.  In Cincinnati, the focus is on Irish Americans with exhibits and presentations planned that explore the Irish culture both in the Queen City.  Once again, an image from the holdings of the Archives & Rare Books Library has been selected for the statewide poster – a photo of Lance Underwood of the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums Corps, performing at the 2012 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Cincinnati. Continue reading

Archives Month in Ohio Kicks Off in October

By Kevin Grace

Every year, the Society of Ohio Archivists sponsors “Archives Month in Ohio” in order to bring awareness to the rich historical materials contained in the state’s libraries, museums, and historical organizations.  The intent is to make citizens aware of these holdings, and to see further use of them by students, scholars, and teachers.

The theme for Archives Month this year is “Peoples of Ohio,” celebrating the ethnic and racial diversity in the Buckeye State.  In Cincinnati, the focus is on Irish Americans with exhibits and presentations planned that explore the Irish culture in the Queen City.  One event that is scheduled is an afternoon reading of Irish American poetry in the University of Cincinnati’s Elliston Poetry Room, located in Langsam Library on the north end of campus.

Irish-American Poetry Reading Flyer

 

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