Maurice (or Morris) Hickey was a
farmer's son — the child of Thomas Hickey and Ellen Allen. He
was born in 1838 in a small thatched cottage on a farm by Lough Gur. The cottage where he was
born is not still standing, but the land is still owned by the
Hickey family today. The land has belonged to the family as far
back as anyone can remember, and the Hickeys are thought to be
one of the oldest families in the town. Lough Gur is a lake and
a townland in the parish of Knockainy in County Limerick.
Maurice was christened in the parish church of Knockainy on
December 26, 1838. He had three brothers - Patrick, Thomas, and
John; and five sisters — Mary, Catherine, Bridget, Mary, and
At age 20, Maurice left for
America. He sailed on the ship Cynosure with his younger
sister, Ellen. The passenger list shows:
7 September 1857 Cynosure Liverpool to New York
They came to Chicago in 1857 and
Maurice found work as a laborer on the railroad. His older
brother, Thomas had settled in Chicago.
Marriage certificate for Maurice Hickey and Margaret Leddin
Maurice married Margaret Leddin on
February 5, 1872 in Chicago. They had four children — Ellen,
Mary, Margaret, and Joseph. Maurice's sister, Bridget also came
to Chicago, and married John Farrell. Ellen Hickey and John
Hickey also acted as sponsors at the baptisms of Maurice's
Maurice's work on the railroad took
him to Pueblo, Colorado, to build a spur line. The couple were
saddened when their four-year-old daughter, Ellen, died there.
His daughter, Mary was born there in 1878.
1880 census, Chicago
The family returned to Chicago by 1880 and Patrick and Mary Ellen (Margaret) were born there, and baptized in Providence of God Church. The family lived at 55 Wright in Chicago. Maurice became a naturalized citizen. By 1900, they moved to 403 W. Polk Street. Mary worked as a cashier at Marshall Fields, Margaret was a dressmaker, and Joseph was a laborer like his father.
Maurice returned to Lough Gur in
Ireland only once, to see his family and friends. He died on
July 1, 1914, at the age of 76, in Cook County Hospital, and is
buried in Calvary Cemetery.
Death certificate for Maurice Hickey
Obituary notice of Maurice Hickey
(Chicago Daily Tribune, Thursday, July 2, 1914):
Maurice Hickey, beloved husband
of Margaret, nee Ledden, father of Mrs. John J. Carey,
Margaret and Joseph Hickey. Funeral Friday at 9 a.m. from late
residence, 3634 W. Polk St. to Presentation Church, carriages
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