Patrick Madigan

Patrick Madigan
Sketch made of Patrick Madigan c1890

About Patrick Madigan and Bridget Thompson

About Patrick Madigan and Bridget Thompson

Patrick Madigan and his wife were both born in Ireland. Patrick was born April 1, 1850 in Coonagh, Killeely Civil Parish, County Limerick, Ireland, the son of Patrick Madigan (c1809-1884) and Margaret Fitzgerald (c1806-1886). Bridget, known for most of her life as Bessie, was born October 8, 1852 most likely in or near Limerick City, County Limerick, Ireland, the daughter of John (Thompson) Thomas (1831-1904) and Bridget Reidy (1831-1900). They both immigrated with their families to Chicago, Patrick in 1872 and Bridget in 1866. They married at Old St. John Church in Chicago on February 24, 1878. Together, they had seven children: Mary (Mayme) (1879-1955); Ellen [Sullivan/Madigan Blog] (1880-1966); Nanette (1881-1963); Thomas (1883-1898); Patrick (Harry) (1885-1956), John (1887-1983); and, James (1890-1909). Patrick was a laborer who died January 15, 1890 when he was only 39 and just a few months before the birth of his last child. Bessie ran a grocery store while raising the seven children as a single parent. She managed to own her own home on the west side of Chicago. She died from myocarditis on December 31, 1935.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hanging Prosecutor


The story behind the night Billy McSwiggin was killed in front of The Pony Inn:

"Back in Chicago at the beginning of 1926, Capone was in excellent spirits. Not only had he made his mark in New York, but his whiskey deal would change the face of interstate transportation. Young men with a thirst for adventure and the need for money made a good living working as one of Capone's truckers.

Klondike O'Donnell
"In the spring of 1926, Capone's run of good luck hit a snag. On April 27, Billy McSwiggin, the young "hanging prosecutor" who had tried to pin the 1924 death of Joe Howard on Capone, met with an accident. He left the home of his father, a veteran Chicago police detective, and went with "Red" Duffy to play cards at one of Capone's gambling joints. A bootlegger named Jim Doherty picked them up in his car.

"Doherty's car broke down and they hitched a ride with bootlegger "Klondike" O'Donnell, a bitter enemy of Capone. The four Irish lads went on a drinking binge in Cicero with O'Donnell and his brother Myles and ended up at a bar [this would be The Pony Inn operated by Harry Madigan] close to the Hawthorne Inn where Capone was having dinner. O'Donnell's cruising around in Cicero was a territorial insult.

"Capone and his henchmen, not realizing that McSwiggin was in the bar with Myles O'Donnell, waited outside in a convoy of cars until the drunken men staggered out. Then out came the machine guns and McSwiggin and Doherty were dead.

"Capone was blamed. Despite the blot on McSwiggin's integrity for keeping company with bootleggers, sympathy was with the dead young prosecutor. There was a big outcry against gangster violence and public sentiment went against Capone.

"While everyone in Chicago just knew that Al Capone was responsible, there was not a shred of proof and the failure of this high-profile investigation to return an indictment was an embarrassment to local officials. Police took out their frustrations on Capone's whorehouses and speakeasies which endured a series of raids and fires."

Source: Al Capone: Chicago's Most Infamous Mob Boss, by Marilyn Bardsley, Criminal Minds and Methods. http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/gangsters_outlaws/mob_bosses/capone/hang_13.html

Photo Source: AP

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