Greetings from the Emerald Isle. I posted the following on the Meagher genealogy forum in response to a query re the General's descendants. I was advised by the site administrators to post it to the California page also.
THOMAS BENNETT MEAGHER
Thomas Francis Meagher III (known in the USA as Thomas Bennett Meagher) was born in Waterford, Ireland in April 1854, the only one of General Meagher’s two children to grow to manhood. After his mother’s death when he was but one week old, he lived in the family home at the Mall, Waterford, with his grandfather and maiden aunts. Nothing more is known of him until the early 1870s when his stepmother, Elizabeth Townsend Meagher, took him to New York, where they lived at East 23rd Street—in the house she had shared with Meagher prior to the latter’s departure for Montana. This house belonged to Samuel L. Barlow, the husband of Libby’s sister.
Thomas Bennett entered West Point Military Academy on 1 September 1872. On entry to the Academy he was 18 years old and looked forward to a military career. While he resembled his father in face, feature and physique to a remarkable degree, and was very bright, he lacked application and his tastes were not military. His medical examination at West Point indicates that he was 5’ 8?” tall (a little over the average). He had 20/20 vision, his vaccination was bad and he was an occasional smoker. His academic record shows that he had very little French and Mathematics and, though he was very studious, he was not attentive to Regulations and had been awarded twenty-eight demerits. It was no surprise, therefore, when he was discharged from the Academy just over four months later for being deficient in French and Mathematics. (The other subjects taken in first year were the Use of small arms and Tactics of Artillery and Infantry). It was not unusual for students to be discharged. Out of ninety-five cadets who entered the Academy in 1872, twenty-four were discharged and five resigned.
After he left West Point, he lived in New York for some years and was a familiar figure at gatherings of Irish nationalists. He inherited his father's political opinions, became a member of the Napper Tandy Club of Clan-na-Gael and his associations were all Irish. He was a young man of fine presence and good manners, but was of a retiring disposition. His resemblance to his father was so striking that many of the veterans of 1848 and of the Civil War knew him, on sight, for a son of the General.
Young Meagher, after remaining some years in New York, had a falling-out with his stepmother and they parted company. There were rumours that Thomas Bennett contemplated an acting career but that was short-lived. Libby remained in New York, sharing her widowed father’s mansion on Fifth Avenue with him; her widowed sister, Caroline; Caroline’s five young children; and seven servants. Thomas Bennett married Mary Lavinia Carpenter, a native of Sacramento, on 6 February 1884 in New York and their son, another Thomas Francis Meagher, was born in Manhattan at the end of that year. The young family moved, eventually, to San Francisco where Thomas Bennett was employed in the San Francisco mint as a civil servant. A son, Gerard Clarence Meagher, was born in San Francisco but he lived only one year.
Thomas Bennett had married well. His wife was a member of one of San Francisco’s most respectable and respected families, the Badlams, and she and Thomas lived with his wife’s sister, Sarah Badlam Winans, at 926 Clay St, San Francisco. Thomas Bennett gained, through his marriage connections, an entrée into San Francisco high society. An entry in the 1888 San Francisco Society Directory shows that he was a member of the Pacific Yacht Club. This very elite and exclusive club, comprised of top society members in San Francisco, was organized on July 1st 1878, for the purpose of encouraging and fostering an interest in yachting on the bay. It had its headquarters in Sausalito, California, across the bay from San Francisco and Thomas Bennett sailed across by private boat (there were no bridges at that time).
After his wife’s death in 1893, he continued living at this address as a boarder with his wife’s aunt, Sarah Winans. He was employed later in some capacity with the Fellowship of Eagles, of which he was a member, and worked for that group in Manila, Philippine Islands, where he died on 29 November 1909. Irishmen in the East who knew him had lost all knowledge of him and the news of his death from pneumonia, following an attempted suicide, came as a complete surprise.
The funeral in Manila was a tribute worthy of the respect in which he was held in the American community of the Philippines. Present were representatives of the United States Army, the Insular Constabulary, Representatives of the Philippine Assembly, the Manila Lodge of Eagles with their members and regalia, the local branch of the Knights of Columbus and the Municipality of the City of Manila. The American business community was also represented. The residents paid evident respect to the remains as the cortege passed through the streets of the old historic Spanish city. Numerous wreaths adorned the casket of the deceased and among the most prominent and significant was a wreath depicting an Irish Harp, worked in flowers with the figures ‘48,’ with a simple card attached … bearing the words ‘from the Clan-na-Gael’.
He was buried in the Cemetario del Norte in Manila and in December 1910, a monument to his memory was unveiled in the cemetery. A letter to the Waterford News of 17 February 1911, on behalf of the monument committee, reported as follows;
Irish-Americans and other friends in Manila erected a beautiful Celtic cross as a fitting mark of respect to a good Irishman, a good American, and a worthy and loving friend. All of the participants in this brotherly and kindly sentiment to Mr. Meagher were mainly actuated by the merits of the deceased gentleman; his kindliness, his patriotism, and his means, were in evidence whenever the occasion called for it in his lifetime. The children of the great very often bask in the sunshine reflected from their parents, but in the case of the late T. F. Meagher it was the exception. It was a long time before the writer, and many others, too, were aware that he was the only son of one of the great Irish heroes of history … The unveiling of the monument took place on Thursday, December 15th, 1910. Most Rev. Dr. Harty, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila … dedicated the cross and made a … touching address to those assembled.
TFMII (The above Thomas Bennett) had two sons, Thomas Francis Meagher III and Gerard Meagher. TFMIII married Edna Hayes and they had two children: James Francis Meagher of Napa City, CA and Helen Meagher Carr of Vallejo, CA. The above James Francis had at least two children, James Timothy Meagher (born 1944/45) and Karron (sic) Marie Meagher (born 1942/43) of Napa CA. The above Helen Meagher Carr had at least one child, John L. Carr (born 1939/40) of Vallejo CA—see letter dated 30 June 1946 from Edna Meagher to Prof. Robert G. Athearn of the University of Minnesota. John L. Carr is the current owner of the grave in which TFMIII is buried. TFMIII bought this plot in 1913 and had the bodies of his wife’s relatives exhumed from two other sites and re-interred there. This grave is at Saint Helena Cemetery, 2461 Spring Street, St. Helena, California, 94574. TFMIII is buried in lot 19, block 22. Cemetery records indicate that he died 2 March 1943, at age 58. The cause of death was pneumonia and residence at time of death is recorded as Vallejo, CA. He is buried next to Edna Hayes Meagher (1891-1979). Only one other Meagher is included in this grave and that is Gerard Meagher.