Saturday, October 17, 2015

Great Grandpa McGrath's Birthday

Thanksgiving, 1963  Photo by Virg McGrath

Arthur Levi McGrath was born 139 years ago on October 17, 1876. He was the youngest child of John and Rachel (Simmons) McGrath.  He had two older sisters who married while he was a young boy.  They all lived near Henry, Illinois until about 1886 when he moved with his parents and sister Minnie Patterson from Illinois, to Cozad in Dawson County, Nebraska.  

His mother died in 1896 and his father remarried a year and a half later. Sometime before 1900, Art moved to Clay County, Nebraska near his other sister, Becky Smith.  He worked as a farm laborer for Horace Iliff in 1900.  In 1910 he was living in York County working as a foreman for the railroad.  In 1920 he was a laborer in a poultry house and living in Aurora.  His brother-in-law, Cal Negley, was also in the poultry business after having worked on the railroad.  This advertisement was one of several I saw in the Aurora News-Register, this one from 1919.    

The 1930 census has his occupation listed as a "Drayman on a Dray line", meaning he drove a delivery truck.  In 1931 he was a truck driver for the Oberg Transfer Company.  In the 1940 census, he was 63 years old with no occupation given.  

This business card was in the old trunk in the attic.  I have not yet found out when the McGrath's Service Station was in operation.

Art married Sadie Ellen Negley on October 8, 1908, 9 days before his 32nd birthday.  They were married by a County Judge in York, Nebraska.  Four children were born to them, Virgil, Alice, Orville and Violet.  At age 88 on June 19, 1965 he died in the Aurora hospital.  Survivors included his four children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren including me.

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