Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys,
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Edward Wren [poss. descendant of Edward III],
mar 1stly, 24 Oct 1871
[Tarbert RC par records],
NOT 22 Oct,
to Maggie Kinnane [Margaret M., born 1849,
dau of James Kinnane, boot and shoe maker, of Co.Tipperary]. |
She is listed as of Tarbert at marriage.
They emigrated to the US, landed New York. Arrived in US on 1 Sept 1873 [obituary].
Moved first to Lancaster, Ohio, there as at 1874.
He started dry goods business with a partner. Partner took over this business.
He settled in Springfield, Ohio, in 1877 [obituary].
He started dry goods business with his Kinnane in-laws as partners 1877, Kinnane and Wren, South Limestone St, Springfield, Ohio.
He ran successful dry goods business and general store, became very wealthy.
He built a residence, "Mount Pleasant", North Limestone Street, Springfield, Ohio (built by 1885).
The partnership with the Kinnanes dissolved in 1892. He set up as the "Edward Wren Company", South Limestone St, Springfield, Ohio.
Maggie dies, 1897:
He is listed as merchant, living Springfield, Ohio, at 2nd mar.
He mar 2ndly, 9 July 1898 [Listowel RC par records], [GROI], him age 48, her age 24, to Josephine Hickie [born 28 May 1874].
They both came from the Ballylongford area.
She had also emigrated to America but they went back to Ireland to marry.
They lived Springfield, Ohio.
Living "Mount Pleasant", North Limestone St, Springfield, at dau's death 1900.
He built "The Cliff House" in Ballybunion, Co.Kerry, for her mother after her husband died 1901.
Their wealth helped a number of her siblings move to US.
Wren's store moved 1903 to a new building, Wren's Department Store, East High St, Springfield, Ohio. This was Springfield's first department store.
They left Springfield and moved late 1911
Rockaway, Long Island, New York
and in 1912 he built there a new house at the beach.
He still ran business in Springfield and on E coast.
Obituary 1917 still lists the Wren residence at "Mount Pleasant", North Limestone Street, Springfield, Ohio. Must be some of his family living there.
He worshipped at St. Raphael Catholic church, Springfield.
He also had summer home in the White Mountains, New Hampshire.
Edward dies, 1917:
He died evening of Thur 25 Oct 1917 at his home, Rockaway, Long Island, New York, age 68 yrs, NOT Fri 26 Oct.
See obituary, Daily News, Springfield, Ohio, Friday, October 26, 1917. This describes him as "merchant prince, former resident of Springfield and founder of the Edward Wren company's dry goods store in this city".
See obituary, New York Times, October 28, 1917.
Daily News obituary says body brought from NY back to Springfield, and funeral St. Raphael church, Springfield, Mon 29 Oct 1917.
He must have been bur temporarily in Springfield, and then the body taken back to NY in Feb 1918.
He was bur 26 Feb 1918 in the new Wren Mausoleum that Josephine built in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery (Catholic), Hawthorne, NY. The Wren Mausoleum is near grave of Babe Ruth.
Wren's Department Store
It was apparently sold for $1 m. This is $10-50 m in today's money.
Josephine's obituary says "she left Springfield about 1925", and travelled widely, living at times in Washington, D.C., in London, and in Ottawa, Canada.
She apparently is much mentioned in the society pages of the day. The family called her "Brammy".
The house in Rockaway, New York was sold 1930.
[Lucev, 2006] says she took up residence in the Blackstone Hotel, New York City, and summered in Southampton, Long Island.
She lived in her last years at the New Weston Hotel (Madison Ave and 49th or 50th St), New York (see map).
Josephine dies, 1949:
She died New York, Sun 4 Sep 1949, age 75 yrs.
See obituary, Daily News, Springfield, Ohio, Monday, September 5, 1949.
Funeral Wed 7 Sept in St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York,
bur 7 Sept, Wren Mausoleum, Gate of Heaven Cemetery, NY.
Edward had issue by 2nd wife:
The Wren family.
(Left to Right): Edward Wren, Josephine Hickie, Ursula, Angela, Malcolm.
At the house in Rockaway, New York.
The Wren Mausoleum, Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, NY.
Photo courtesy of Jenny Wren.
See full size.