|Wedding 28 June 1893|
28 June 1943
On 28 June 1893 Michael Joseph Connery and Alice Fleming were joined in marriage by Fr Michael Fleming, the brother of the bride. The ceremony took place in the home of the bride’s sister Mrs Thomas (Mary Ann) Walsh in Port Huron, Michigan. Witnesses were Kate Connery, sister of the groom, and John Dority both of Chicago. [i]
The couple returned to Chicago where MJ was a saloon keeper at 161 N Paulina and resided at 191 N Paulina.[ii] In 1893 Chicago was home of the World’s Fair or the Columbian Exposition and excitement abounded. This was the era of Daniel Burnham, Marshall Field, and George Washington Gale Ferris inventor of the Ferris Wheel. The 500 foot Ferris Wheel dominated the landscape of the fairgrounds built on the city’s lakefront. Marshall Field’s new store was a shopping mecca and the new Mrs Connery was a patron for many years.[iii]
As the young couple established their home on the west side of Chicago, they became members of St Columbkille Parish in Chicago. It is of note that there was also a Michael M Connery family, married in 1892, living in the same parish. Both families began having babies baptized in the same time frame and same parish making identifying children difficult. Children came to the family Mary Elizabeth, Kathleen Frances, Leo, and Alice Josephine, were all baptized at St Columbkille.[iv]
Around 1902 MJ built a two story, ten room stone home at 1993 Washington Blvd and the family became members of St Mel Parish where Pauline Jeanne, Thomas Joseph, John Clement, Eleanore Virginia, and Elizabeth Mary were baptized.[v] All of the children were born over a period of 24 years.
The family grew up and moved on as families do but the house on Washington Blvd remained a hub of activity.The two oldest daughters, who entered the Order of St Dominic in Adrian, MI, returned home often as their teaching positions permitted. Three of the daughters, Pauline, Eleanor, and Elizabeth were married from that house. Kathleen never left as her choice was to remain single and work with her father in the travel business. Several of the grandchildren came to the house as the first stop after leaving the hospital. Others returned to be baptized at St Mel. The oldest son Leo died at age seven and was buried from St Mel.[vi]
Over the years MJ changed from saloon keeper, to restaurant owner, to owning several bowling alleys, to realtor, to finally owning his own Real Estate firm, M J Connery Real Estate established around 1915. [vii] Eventually travel and insurance businesses were added to the real estate business. MJ moved his family several times between 1893 and 1902 but after the house was built they remained in the home at 1993 (re-numbered in August 1909) Washington Blvd until after his death in 1953.