Sunday, January 26, 2014

52 Ancestors – Week 4: John Cyril “Jack” Sullivan

This is week 4 of the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge” by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.

Jack Sullivan was my great-uncle, the only brother of my father’s mother, Anna Marie Sullivan.

Jack’s parents were John H. Sullivan and Anna Maria Gleeson. He was born 9 Feb 1887 in Mitchell, Davison County, in what was then Dakota Territory and was baptized on 29 Mar 1887.[1] His father had attempted to homestead but by now they were living in town. Jack had two sisters born before him: Helena M. “Nellie” and Loretto M., and three sisters born after him: Rosemary, Ethel E. and Anna Marie. Rosemary, however, died as an infant.

He moved with the family to Anaconda, Deer Lodge County, Montana sometime before 1900.  I don’t know what brought them to Anaconda besides the mining industry that Jack’s grandfather, Jeremiah Sullivan, had been a part of back in County Cork. A lot of Irish worked in the mining industry and there were many “Sullivans” listed in census and city directory records in the mining towns of Montana.

But this is a story of Jack, or Cyril as he was known as a young man.  I’ve found some articles in the Anaconda Standard mentioning “Cyril Sullivan,” the name he was called as a young man.

As a teenager, he served as an altar boy and played baseball as a catcher.[2]

"About Amateur Baseball: Altar Boys Challenge the World,"
        The altar boys of St. Paul's Catholic church have issued a challenge to play any team of boys not under 9 years of age and not over 15 years. The game is to be played at the Mountain View grounds on the occasion of St. Paul's picnic on July 18. The game is to be called at 2 o'clock. A purse of $5 has been offered for the winning team.
        The line-up of the St. Paul's altar boys club is as follows. Catcher Cyril Sullivan; pitcher, Tony Harrity; shortstop, Billy McEachern; first base, Frank McEachern; second base James Sullivan, captain; third base, Rudie Birch; left field, Harry Clemmens; center field, William Cosgrove; right field, Victor Landers.

Later, he played on the Copper Stars baseball team as the third baseman.[3]
Amateur Baseball Clubs
      Copper Stars of Anaconda and Inter-Mountain Team of Butte to Play Sunday next.
The Copper Stars aggregation of baseball players, whose home is at Anaconda, in to try conclusions with the Inter Mountain team whose home is at Butte. The game will take place hereon Sunday next and will decide the championship of the boy's baseball clubs of the state. The Inter Mountains have cleaned up and like wise the Copper Stars in Anaconda do the business.
      The West End Sluggers of Anaconda came forward with a challenge to any club of lads from 12 to 16 years of age within the state. Frank McMullen is captain of the new team. The line-up is as follows: Frank McMullen, catcher; Toney Narity, pitcher; Bill Clamers, shortstop; Stewart McMasters, first base; Bert Eldredge, second base; Cyril Sullivan, third base; Mike McAndrews, left field; Jack McAndrews, center field; Earl Tucker, right field; Victor Laundry, substitute; Andy McMallen, waterboy, Harry Riskin, mascot.
He also worked jobs while going to school. The 1902 Anaconda City directory listed him as a messenger for the Anaconda Copper Mine Main Office and in 1905 for the Purity Department.

In 1908 Cyril went to live with his uncle, Mike Sullivan in Butte where he was listed as an electrician with Mike’s company, Sullivan Electric Co. at 142 W. Granite St.[4]  This was probably a great place to apprentice and have a place to live, too!

By 1910, he was back home in Anaconda working at the smelter as a timekeeper.[5]
But it wasn’t all work and no play. There were quite a few stories about the activities of young people in town, especially the girls, but Cyril was invited to many parties.

Mr. and Mrs. Milzner entertained at a stag dinner, given in honor of the twenty-first birthday of their son Bert at their home on Sunday last, a number of his friends. Music and stories were the features of the evening. Among those invited were Claude Smith, Otto Capps, Frank McMillan, Cyril Sullivan, Charles Fisher, Thomas Ryan, John Thomas, Joseph Hughes, Joseph Butler, Chester Raleigh, Harry Clements, Robert Davis, Thomas Hughes and Harry Rickin.[6]
However, the 1912 city directory listed both Cyril and Ethel as moving to Portland, Oregon. Earlier that year, his mother, Anna, died. Her parents, John and Margaret Gleeson, lived in Portland and probably invited Ethel to live with them. Perhaps Cyril wanted a chance at a new life in Portland as well.

By 1917 he was serving in World War I. The newspaper had an article about a letter he had written to his sister, Helena Goe.[7] He had written that “he states he has enlisted in the engineering corps at Vancouver, Washington” and “enjoys the new life and feels pretty much at home as there are six other Anaconda boys located in the same barracks.”

I don’t know much at this time about his service except he was injured in the war and wore a special shoe that had a thicker sole. I plan to investigate his enlisting in Vancouver, Washington and see what more I can find. A fire in 1973 destroyed Army records, so not much chance finding his service record. More searching in newspapers is in order.

[1] BIRTH; "Birth Record Search Site," South Dakota Dept of Health ( : accessed 25 Jan 2014), John Sullivan, 1887, file no. 604626, filed 1942; Baptism of John Cyril Sullivan, 29 Mar 1887, Holy Family Church, Mitchell, South Dakota.
[2] "About Amateur Baseball: Altar Boys Challenge the World," The Anaconda Standard, 13 July 1900, p 5, Cyril Sullivan; online images, GenealogyBank ( : accessed 7 August 2013); .
[3] "Amateur Baseball Clubs," The Anaconda Standard, 4 July 1902, p unk, Cyril Sullivan; online images, GenealogyBank ( : accessed 7 August 2013).
[4] Butte City Directory, 1908, “U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989,” index and images, ( : accessed 25 Jan 2014), RL Polk, publisher, p 728, J Cyril Sullivan.
[5] Montana, Deer Lodge, 1910 U.S. census, Anaconda, ED 13, sht 5b, dwelling 107, family 134, John H Sullivan, digital images, Ancestry ( 8 Aug 2013), citing National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.,
[6] "In Anaconda," The Anaconda Standard, 18 November 1906, p unk, Cyril Sullivan; online images, GenealogyBank ( : accessed 7 August 2013).
[7] "Anaconda Well Represented," The Anaconda Standard, 16 June 1917; online images, GenealogyBank ( : accessed 7 August 2013).

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past

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