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McNamara Weddings
Maurice Fay &
Ann McNamara

Francis Hayes &
Katherine McNamara

William Conmey &
Mary McNamara

John T. Chesire &
Ella McNamara

Alfred Leresche &
Bessie McNamara

McNamara Family History




The Nuptials of Mr. Maurice Fay
& Miss Ann McNamara
July 18, 1911

Left to right: Mrs. Yount, Mrs. Fogarty, Mary McNamara Conmey, Will Fogarty, Patrick McNamara, Maurice Fay, Ann McNamara, Frank Hayes, Kate McNamara Hayes, Agnes Fay, Sheriff Hogan, Ella McNamara Chesire, Father Powers, Bessie Breheny, Mrs. Alspaugh, Mr. Alspaugh, Miss Powers, Lottie Flaherty, Nell Brady, Mary Spellman, Ceil Dyer. Children in front are Leona Myrell and James Conmey. (I have transcribed the names as they are written on the back of the picture—probably written by Ann Fay. MKK)

Mr. Maurice Fay and Miss Ann McNamara were united in marriage last Tuesday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church. The ceremony took place at 9 o'clock a.m., Rev. Father Powers conducting the nuptial mass. The ring service was used in the adoption of the vows. The marches were from Lohengrin and Tannhauser, Miss Delia Dyer presiding at the organ. Miss Lottie Flaherty sang. Masters Earl and Clem McLaughlin served as altar boys, and Miss Agnes Fay and Mr. W. A. Hogan attended the bride and groom.
spaceThe bride carried a shower bouquet of roses and lilies. Her wedding gown was of Japan silk over point d'esprit and valenciennes lace. The yolk and collar were of all-over lace. A bridal veil of embroidered d'esprit lace was caught with a wreath of white roses and lilies. The bridesmaid was clad in a dress of embroidered white silk mull, and wore a white picture hat with plumes. The bouquet that she carried was of lilies of the valley.
spaceA wedding reception followed the ceremony at the J. W. Conmey home. It was the second occurrence of this nature to take place at the Conmey home within a month. The other was that which followed the June marriage of Frank Hayes and Miss Catherine McNamara. Mrs. Conmey is the sister of the bride. The wedding breakfast that followed the Fay-McNamara wedding consisted of spring chicken, vegetables, salads, pickles, with dessert of ice cream, angel food cake, fruit cake and bride's cake. Covers were laid for thirsty guests. The tables were bright under their trimmings of nasturtiums, cannas, coreopsis, poppies and ferns. A large white marriage ball sheltered the bride and groom and their attendants. The guests were seated to the right and left.
spaceMr. and Mrs. Fay left by auto for Cedar Rapids. Thence they went to Omaha and Kearny, Nebraska, where they will spend their honeymoon.
spaceMrs. Fay is the last of the six daughters of Mr. Patrick McNamara to take this important step. The family is well known to the residents of Anamosa and one that to them is known to be above reproach. Mr. Fay is a genial and courteous gentleman who has made a success as one of the city's business men. May the measure of their happiness be as abundant as the well wishes that go with them.

From The Anamosa Eureka, July 20, 1911.
Submitted by Laura Kendall Photo submitted by Mary Kay Kuhfittig

The Nuptials of Mr. Francis Hayes
& Miss Katherine McNamara
June 20, 1911

The marriage of Miss Katherine McNamara and Mr. Francis Hayes was solemnized at St. Patrick's Catholic church last Tuesday. The ritualistic marriage service was performed at 9 o'clock by Rev. Father Powers. Miss McNamara was a radiant June bride. Her wedding gown was of white French embroidery trimmed with French Valenciennes lace. Miss Ann McNamara, Chicago, a sister, was bridesmaid, and Mr. John Hayes attended the groom. At the conclusion of the marriage ceremony
This photo, taken several years after the wedding and submitted by Gerald Hays, shows him petting unnamed horse, John Hayes, Frank Hayes holding Marjory Hayes, Kate McNamara Hayes, Eugene Hayes, Nancy (Kairn) Hayes, Patrick Hayes, and Nell (or possibly Ceil) Hayes.
the invited guests to the number of fifty, attended a wedding breakfast served at the home of J. W. Conmey. The Conmey home was beautifully decorated with wedding bells and roses, the latter banked in profusion. The young couple left in the evening for Dubuque and other points where they will spend a week. Upon their return they will immediately go to housekeeping on the Hayes place in Cass township. The bride is a charming young lady who has been a teacher in the Oxford Junction schools. There is heard none but words of praise for her. Mr. Hayes is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Hayes. He is a young man of fine appearance, and strikes one as being possessed of those characteristics that bespeak success.

From The Anamosa Eureka, June 22, 1911.

Additional Hayes/McNamara Photos:

Eugene & Alberta Hayes. space Dr. McNamara & Ceil Hayes.

The Nuptials of Mr. William Conmey
& Miss Mary McNamara
August 1, 1906

At St. Patrick's church on Wednesday morning, August 1st, was solemnized the marriage of Miss Mary Rowena McNamara and Mr. James William Conmey, Rev. Father Powers officiating priest. The beautiful ceremony of the nuptial mass was celebrated especially for this most worthy couple and was very impressive. The bridal procession entered the church in the following order: Miss Kathryn McNamara as bride's maid and Mr. W.A. Hogan as best man led the way up the middle aisle to the altar and there separated, giving place to the approaching bride and groom. Father Powers, being in waiting, performed the beautiful ring ceremony after which the gates to the inner altar were opened and the bride and groom advanced and kneeled during the conclusion of the service. Mrs. Nellie Sullivan Kelly, of Clinton, played the wedding march and accompanied Mrs. Nellie Neville, who sang two beautiful solos, "O Promise Me," and "Ava Maria" by Luzzi.
spaceThe bride was becomingly gowned in white Persian lawn trimmed with valenciennes lace and carried white roses. The bride's maid wore white with white roses.
spaceThe decorations of the church of palms, ferns, white dahlias and sweet peas were very pleasing and a credit to Misses Agnes Fay and Kathryn Hansen, who have long been friends of the bride.
spaceAt the close of the service Mr. and Mrs. Conmey, followed by the bride's maid and best man, proceeded down the center aisle and paused in the rear of the church to receive the congratulations of the large number of friends present, after which the bridal party repaired to the parental home of the bride on First Street where a wedding breakfast was served to the relatives of the young people and Rev. Father Powers, the guests being seated at one long table. Mrs. Leresche and Miss Anna McNamara, sisters of the bride, had full charge of the breakfast and the decorations and their culinary and artistic skill were happily indicated. Sweet peas, carnations and cannas were the flowers used in decorating the home.
spaceMr. and Mrs. Conmey left on the noon train for a trip to Chicago and Milwaukee and several of the lake cities, planning to go from Chicago by way of the lake. On their return they will be at home to their friends after September 15th in the residence made ready by the groom on South Garnavillo Street.
spaceThe bride has taught for several years, is a graduate of the Wyoming high school and has had special work at Drake University, Des Moines. She is conceded by all to be a lovely young woman.
spaceMr. Conmey has won his way in the business world, is carrying on a successful dry goods and furnishing store and is an honorable and upright man.
spaceWe feel that there is a bright future before this popular young couple and tender our heartiest congratulations.
spaceThe guests from abroad present at the wedding were Mrs. F. A. Conmey, Cleveland; Mr. and Mrs. John Shields and Mrs. Breheny, Rock Island, Ill., and Mr. and Mrs. J. K. Conmey, Wyoming.

From The Anamosa Eureka, August 2, 1906.
Submitted by Laura Kendall

The Nuptials of Mr. John T. Chesire
& Miss Ella McNamara
October 1, 1900

Miss Ella McNamara was married to Mr. Cheshire, of Anamosa, this morning at the Catholic church in Oxford Junction. Miss McNamara has lived among us all her life and was for several years a most popular clerk in the employ of Mr. Fordham when he became proprietor of the store about a year ago. She was much loved by a wide circle of friends, for her always lady like deportment, sunny disposition and many other estimable qualities, and we are sorry to lose her from among us. The groom, while a comparative stranger in our midst, bears a most excellent reputation and is no doubt worthy of his charming bride. May every happiness be theirs, is the wish of their many friends.

From Anamosa Eureka, Anamosa, Iowa, 3 Oct 1901. Submitted by Mary Kay Kuhfittig.

The Nuptials of Mr. Alfred H. Leresche
& Miss Bessie McNamara
September 1, 1896

On Tuesday, Sept 1st, 1896, at Temple Hill church in this county occurred the marriage of Alfred H. Leresche, Esq. of Pleasant Ridge to Miss Bessie McNamara, daughter of P. McNamara, Esq. of this place, the Rev Father Connery officiating.
spaceThe bride was dressed in a cream brocade silk and was a most beautiful bride, as all who have the pleasure of an acquaintance with her must well know. The groom is a fine young man who has recently purchased a farm on Pleasant Ridge and erected a nice new residence thereon for their home.
spaceA wedding reception was held at the home of the bride's parents on Tuesday evening, when a large company of invited guests were entertained. A most delicious wedding feast was spread. The Wyoming cornet band furnished some pleasing music and the evening passed a joyous one to all. The bride and groom took the 11:35 train for Chicago where they will spend a week or so with friends and relatives and sight seeing. The presents were numerous and very beautiful.
spaceAmong the guests from a distance attending the wedding festivities were: The Rev. Father Connery, Temple Hill, Rev Father Connon, Miss Chesire, Mr. and Mrs. John Hansen, Mrs. Bessie Breheny, and Thomas Breheny of Rock Island, Dr. E. P. Leresche and wife of Chicago, Miss Agnes, Anna and James Gilroy of Lost Nation, and Thomas and Maggie Gorman of Anamosa.

The Journal extends most hearty congratulations to this estimable young married couple, wishing them a long and prosperous matrimonial voyage.

From Wyoming Journal, 3 September 1896.

McNamara Family History
by Kate McNamara Hayes

Patrick and Ellen McNamara family of Wyoming and their six daughters:
Kate (Hayes) standing in back. Top row: Ella (Chesire), Patrick and Ellen Kelly McNamara, Alfred LeResche. Middle row: Teresa (Hart), Mary (Conmey) —half hidden. Front: Ann (Fay) and Elizabeth (LeResche) holding baby Clive LeResche.
(Submitted by:
Mary Kay Kuhfittig.

The first knowledge we have of the name McNAMARA is that most of the ancestors came from County Clare, Ireland; as the Irish song: “my name is McNAMARA and I come from County Clare, in that little Old Isle across the sea”, would designate. The meaning of the name is: “King of the Sea”. Whether or not at one time our forefathers were mariners, I have not been able to ascertain.
My father, Patrick McNamara was born in County Clare, Ireland in March 1834, and when but 12 years old he and his older brother, Tom, came to America and lived with a family by the name of Det Walters (sic). (The 1860 US census for Upper Dublin Twp., Montgomery Co., PA shows Patrick , age 25, a farm laborer living with the Joseph Detweiler family.) They bade farewell to Ireland and as they did not keep in contact with their people, that part of their history is lost to us.
Patrick found employment with a family of Pennsylvania Dutch who lived in a colony near Philadelphia on the Wessiehickon (sic) River. They were engaged chiefly in farming and made frequent trips to Philadelphia hauling hay to market and fruit, especially grapes and apples.
When the Civil War broke out, Tom enlisted and Patrick never saw him again. He always thought Tom must have been killed in battle, as otherwise he would have come back to Philadelphia when the war was over. He also had a sister Mary who later came to this country. She married much against the wishes of Patrick. For this he was slow to forgive and when he heard from her he ignored her letter. Afterwards he repented and tried to find her but never was able to find her or members of her family.
There are many families in the states by the name of McNAMARA but none that we have ever been able to trace blood relationship:: thus we have never known any of our relatives on our father's side of the house. Patrick was practically alone until he met Ellen Kelly on the swimming beach at Atlantic City, Her name didn't stay Kelly long.
Ellen Kelly was born in County Roscommon, Ireland in December 1841. When she was quite young, her father died and somtime later her mother, Mrs. Mary Kelly, married again. Ellen and her sisters, Bridget and Bessie left Ireland and came to Philadelphia to live. Ellen made her home with her brother, Charles, until she found work. Bridget married (Bernard) Conlon of Philadelphia, and Bessie married Barney Breheny. They came to Iowa in the vicinity of Wyoming, Jones County.
Ellen was a grand cook and worked in a hotel in Philadelphia. Later she had supervision of the tables in the dining room and buying of the food for the hotel.
On January 12, 1868, she was married to Patrick McNamara (St. Malachy's, 13th ward, Philadelphia.) and they came to Jones County to visit her sister, Bessie Breheny, on their wedding trip. While on this visit, they decided to make it their future home and never returned to Philadelphia.
They selected an 80 acre tract of land in Jones County a mile and a half south of the little village of Wyoming. They bought this land from the Government and were very proud of it. This farm was paid for in cash and all the while he lived there, there was never a dollar of indebtedness placed against it. This farm was on the banks of Bear's creek. You will note that many of the pioneers chose a location along a stream of water. As a creek affords excellent fertility in meadow lands, and furnishes an ample supply of water for stock raising. Water and woods on the edge of a tract were considered ideal to choose for a home. This filled the pioneer's idea of happiness. He had the sides of the spring walled and divided it into two parts; one for drinking water and the other for cooling milk. It was about 3 feet deep, 2 feet wide and 4 feet long. There was a good outlet to the creek, thus keeping it cool and clean. Indians at one time roamed over the place, for my father found an Indian knife made of stone and which was sharpened on either side and filed to a sharp point. He also found a long rope made of braided hide which was about as thick as your thumb and interlaced so tightly that I doubt it would ever break.
Wyoming was a very small village at this time and was not incorporated until 1873. Soon after this they built a public school and part of our land was in the district so the family always had the advantage of a town school. There never was a Catholic church in Wyoming and Mass would be celebrated in the Parishoner's homes by a visiting priest. Most frequently at Mr. and Mrs. Troy's home in Onslow. They were parents of Mrs. Guy Cartano of Anamosa.
In 1874 a Catholic church was built in Onslow and the priest from Temple HIll came once a month for late Mass.
It was about this time my Grandmother, Mrs. Mary Kelly, having lost her second husband, came to Iowa to visit her daughters. She came by stage coach to Lowden, Iowa, and then overland to Wyoming. She first stopped at Bessie Breheny's home, was taken ill with pneumonia and died in two weeks without ever getting to visit my mother. She was buried in Holy Trinity cemetery in Baldwin, Iowa. Although she had changed her name from Kelly by her second mariage, her daughters not caring for their stepfather, wanted their own name on her tombstone and so her name on the stone is Mrs. Mary Kelly. After her death none of the relatives would come to visit in Iowa, for they thought it was so cold here their Grandmother's "city" constitution wouldn't stand it. Sometime in the Nineties a niece of my Mother's, Anna Clarey, came for a short visit but she is the only one who ever came West.
To Ellen and Patrick McNamara were born six (6) daughters, viz: Ella, Mary, Teresa, Bessie, Ann and Kate. The children all attended the Wyoming High School and seldom if ever were kept home for work. During inclement weather their father took them to and from school. He always was punctual and never believed in being late for any reason. Consequently, his children had a good school record.
During the summer and fall of 1883, they built a new house. This house was well built and after 45 years it was my privilege to go throught it. The walls, floors and doors were as plumb as the day they were built. Even the same graining on the woodwork was in good condition. One of my father's maxims was: “Do not buy often, but when you do, the best is the cheapest in the end.” He followed this closely when he built his home and so it has stood the test of time. Recently the paved highways between Anamosa and Maqouketa passed by the house and the necessary grading is higher than the yard, which distracts from the appearance of the place.
This home was the scene of many pleasant times. My Mother had a sister, Bessie Breheny, and an Aunt, Mrs. Margaret O'Hara, and an Uncle, Tom Murray. These families, together with the Edward Nolans, Tomothy Hansens, Michael Fays, and possibly some other friends, used to plan to all go to one home on the Sunday there wasn't any Mass. All the women would help prepare the dinner. Although there was a big crowd, it wasn't hard on any one hostess. There was also a very congenial group of neighbors living East of our home on what is known as the Pleasant Ridge Community. These famiies would congregate for dances at the different homes. The Tasker family were good musicians (for those days) and many is the time the crowd came to our home sometimes invited and often as a surprise. They named our home “Maiden's Abode” and were always assured of a welcome. We had two large adjoining rooms with good floors and double doors between which afforded ample space for musicians, spectators, and two sets for a quadrille or waltz.
Throughout the summer vacations, little groups of school friends would come out to gather flowers from the woods and nearby bluffs, to wade in the creek or picnic, and were always assured of having a lunch of fresh doughnuts, coookies, home-made bread and butter or pie. As an old friend visiting me lately said, “Every boy and girl in town knew about the wonderful baking Mrs. McNamara did and if she didn't have any on hand, always made something good before we left.”
All six of the girls attended and graduated from Wyoming High School and taught school. Bess taught only one term and Ella but a year. Ella clerked in the J.A. Bronson general store for awhile before going to Butte, Montana to clerk in a department store. Bessie took her place in the Bronson store until her marriage to Alfred Le Reche. Teresa at this time discontinued teaching and clerked in this same store until her marriage to George Hart. Mary taught in the rural schools for a couple of years and then took a teacher's primary course at Drake University, Des Moines and taught school in the primary department in Wyoming for several years. Ann taught school about 4 years and took a business course in Chicago. She worked as bookkeeper at Rock Island for John Shields and afterwards in Chicao for a group of Doctors. Kate taught in rural schools two years and then took a normal course at Cedar Falls Teachers College and taught in the Oxford Junction grammar grades. The climate did not agree with Ella in Montana so she returned ro her job at the Bronson store until her marrriage to John Chesire of Anamosa, Iowa.
Our Mother died March 3, 1900 at the age of 58 years and was buried at Holy Trinity Cemetery in Baldwin. Later the family moved to Anamosa and her remains were moved to Holy Cross Cemetery in that city. She was a very refined and kind woman and as it said in her obituary,
“None knew her but to love her,
Nor spoke of her but praise.”
After Mother's death Ann kept house for a while, but later Mary came to stay with her father. After about 3 years, father decided to sell the farm and retire. He moved to Anamosa and our home was on the corner of First and Davis Streets where the James Remley home now stands.
After about three years Mary was married to Will Conmey and Ann again kept house for a year. She then returned to Chicago. The family home was then broken and Patrick went to live with his daughter, Mary Conmey until his death, October 11,1915. He lived to be 82 years old; active and alert until two weeks before his death He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery at Anamosa.
Prior to his death Kate was married to Frank Hayes, June 20,1911 and Ann was married to Maurice Fay, July 18,1911. Patrick lived to see all his daughters married and in their own homes.
Seventeen grandsons, fourteen granddaughters, and nine great granddaughters, and five great grandsons were born. One grandson, Frank Hart, and two granddaughters, Clara and Florence Chesire are deceased.
Ella Chesire died May 3, 1918; Bessie Le Resche died July 25, 1927; her husband, Alfred Le Resche died March 16, 1928. Mary Conmey died January 22, 1937 and her husband Will Conmey died September 22, 1935.
Since there were no sons in the McNamara Family and all the daughters changed their names, with the death of Patrick, the family name is gone. My fond hope is that their grandchildren will inherit their sterling characteristics, faith and courage of this worthy couple.

Compiled by: Mrs. Frank Hayes
Anamosa, Iowa
September 22, 1937
Submitted by Mary Kay Kuhfittig

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