Reardon Dress-up

May 29, 2010

Harvey Reardon, Left, and Friend

An undated tintype, from about 1914, of Harvey and a friend (or a brother?) in dress-up costume, probably ready for a “theatrical.”


Reardons gather in Arcadia, Wisconsin, about 1946

While the nature of the occasion is in doubt, there must be significance in the corsages worn by all the women in the picture. From left: Bill Reardon, Ann Reardon, Ed Reardon, Eileen Reardon, Catherine Reardon, Ethel McLaughlin?, Michael McMahon, Marie Kelly, Margaret McMahon, Tom Reardon, Catherine Ellen Reardon, Frances Birmingham Reardon, Bud Reardon, Judy Reardon FitzGibbon.

Marie Kelly

April 15, 2010

Marie Lucille Kelly, 1893-1981

Marie was the daughter of Mary A. Reardon and John M. Kelly. She was born in River Falls, Wisconsin, became a kindergarten teacher in Minneapolis, and is buried in St. Bridget’s Cemetery, River Falls.

Marie spent most Christmas holidays during the 1950s with the family of her first cousin, Blanche Reardon Cannon (daughter of Mary A. Reardon’s brother Neil) in Wilmette, Illinois. One year, she and recently married Pat Reardon (Blanche’s brother Frank’s son)  and his wife Peg Mejerle joined the Cannons for the holiday. Also present was Blanche’s sister, Nellyebelle. Blanche was introducing Peg to the assembly when inspiration struck. Marie, as so often, was busy in the kitchen and when Blanche and Nellyebelle opened the door and saw her, they told Peg that Marie was the maid. Marie played it to the hilt. Peg treated Marie like the maid, not like a new cousin. The charade went on. Finally, the truth came out. Peg NEVER forgot the incident. Even though she laughed about it, the story stayed fresh in her memory as late as the 1900s.

Catherine Ellen Reardon LaChapelle, 1930-2010

Catherine (Cathy) Ellen Reardon LaChapelle was born Aug. 15, 1930, in Arcadia, Wisconsin,  to Edmund and Catherine, an only sister to Francis and Thomas. She attended St. Aloysius Grade School, graduated from Arcadia High School and graduated from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee.

Married to James Michael LaChapelle in 1954, Catherine delivered their first four children (including a set of twins) in a two and one-half year period and the next three were soon to follow. She relished being a mother. While in Milwaukee, she taught elementary school and then moved into Adult Basic Education for disadvantaged adults pursuing GEDs at the Milwaukee Area Technical College. She earned her MS in Adult Education Administration and Supervision from the University of Wisconsin.

When the family moved to the Chicago area, she became a Dean of the Lifelong Learning Institute at Harper College. Later, she served as the executive director of the Dupage Senior Citizen’s Council. As a member of the Board of Alexian Brothers Medical Center, she helped spearhead the establishment of their hospice program.

Catherine realized a lifelong dream of retiring to her grandparents’ lake property and settled into a rich life in the north woods of Rhinelander, Wis. She served as president of the Institute for Learning in Retirement, where she planned curriculum and taught classes on opera appreciation. She played various roles in the local chapter of the American Association of University Women. Catherine forged lifelong friendships wherever she found herself. In the spirit of her deep faith, she always volunteered at her current local parish and she was a devoted activist in ecumenical, global, political, social justice, educational and civil rights initiatives.

Finally, as her health deteriorated, Catherine became an active, joyful, participant in the community life at the Commons on Marice, in Eagan, Minn., where, on Feb. 13, 2010, she died, surrounded by her adoring husband, James, her beloved children, Mark, Mary, James, Paul, Suzanne and Andrew; in-laws and granddaughters. Catherine reassured her loved ones that she’d had a remarkable life and looked ahead to joining those who went before her including daughter, Jane.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday May 22, Church of the Assumption, 51 W 7th St, St. Paul MN( Internment at Calvary Cemetery, Arcadia, will be at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 23. Memorials to Catherine R. LaChapelle College Scholarship Fund, Wells Fargo Center, 90 S 7th St., Minneapolis MN 55402.

–The Arcadia News- Leader

Edmund Cornelius  and Catherine McLaughlin Reardon, Wedding Photograph, August 6, 1924

Edmund (1895-1948), known as Ed, son of William and Nellie O’Keeffe Reardon, married Catherine (1897-1990), daughter of Orin Homer and Ellen Cannon McLaughlin of Rhinelander, Oneida County, Wisconsin, on August 6, 1924 in Rhinelander. They lived in Independence, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, and later moved to nearby Arcadia. Their three children were Francis, Thomas, and Catherine Ellen.

From a postcard, Main Street, River Falls, about 1905

The William and Bridget Murray Reardon family arrived in Wisconsin in 1866 with their family, Bridget (just married to Thomas Stapleton), Alice, Neil, Mary, Ellen, and James. They settled briefly in Balsam Lakes, Polk County, where William died suddenly. The next year, they moved to a farm in Kinnickinnic Township in St. Croix County, where River Falls was the nearest town.

Here is a summary of where the expanding family lived in the area.

Bridget Reardon and Tom Stapleton, Neil Reardon and Nellie O’Keeffe: the two couples divided William Reardon’s land in Kinnickinnic and farmed there. Tthe Stapletons still have a presence in the River Falls area today but the William Reardon offspring moved away by about 1920.

Alice Reardon married Dennis McMahon and moved to Stillwater, Minnesota.

Mary Reardon married John M. Kelly and remained near River Falls. Their only child, Marie, unmarried, became a kindergarten teacher in Minneapolis.

Ellen Frances “Nell” Reardon married Patrick Kilty and lived in Stillwater.

James Reardon married Hannah O’Keeffe (sister of Nellie, William’s wife) and lived in Kinnickinnic and later on 4th Street in River Falls. Their son William Leslie, “Les,” Reardon had three boys who lived at least for a time in the River Falls. Their daughter Alice became a teacher elsewhere in Wisconsin.

Nellie (Ellen Ann) O’Keeffe, circa 1868

Nellie O’Keeffe was born in Brattleboro, Vermont, in 1863, probably at the home of Margaret O’Connor Moynihan (Mrs. Humphrey Moynihan), sister of Julia O’Connor O’Keeffe. The Moynihans moved to River Falls, Wisconsin, by 1869, the O’Keeffes a year or so later. Nellie became Mrs. Neil Reardon in 1889.

Dakota Relatives, 1930

March 31, 2010

The Frank Reardons visit the Dan O’Keeffes in Pierre, Summer, 1930

From left: Alice Breene O’Keeffe, Lauretta Varty Reardon, Betty Reardon, Helen Wickersham Reardon, Agnes O’Keeffe, Daniel V. O’Keeffe, Daniel J.  O’Keeffe, Pat Reardon, Frank Reardon.

In 1930, Dan O’Keeffe was a lawyer in Pierre, SD, Frank Reardon was a bank cashier in Hoven, SD, and Lauretta, wife of Paul Reardon, was a teacher in Bowbells, ND, on the Saskatchewan border.

Reardon’s Farm, July 4, 1915

Reardon women and girls pose at Reardon’s farm including, probably, Stapletons, Kellys, Kiltys and, certainly, Reardons. The woman in back, center, with gray hair is Nellie O’Keeffe Reardon. Directly in front of her is Nellyebelle (hairbow), whose arm is around Alice Reardon. Behind Alice is Judy Reardon (plaid skirt) with Blanche to the right in gray-looking dress. The five women and girl farthest to our left are probably Stapletons with Margaret fourth from left in back and Dorothy the young girl. Marie Kelly may be second from right. No doubt we are missing a paired picture of the Reardon men and boys.

Neil and Nellie O’Keeffe Reardon with Bill

William John “Bill” Reardon was the first child born to Neil and Nellie O’Keeffe Reardon, August 3, 1890, at River Falls, Wisconsin. Seven more children followed: Paul Allen, Francis Leo “Frank”, Edmund Cornelius, Julia, Harvey, Blanche, and Nellyebelle.