Saturday, July 5, 2014

In Passing

If it weren’t for a passing mention in a business report regarding the board of directors of an East Chicago bank, I wouldn’t have known anything about Charles Creahan’s death—well, other than to assume that a man born in 1892 would certainly no longer be with us. Just as had occurred with other Kelly family descendants such as his cousin, Lyman Fulk, any news of Charles’ last days was wrapped in silence. There was nothing to find online—no obituary, no burial record through Find A Grave or other such websites.

I tried seeing if I could flush those details out of hiding by searching for any information on the last days of his wife, Mabel. I have a tentative location for her own death—the area around Dayton, Ohio—but even she fell through the cracks when it comes to obituaries available online or through the Montgomery County library’s obituary index. And really, if it wasn't our Mabel who moved to Ohio to reside with an as-yet unnamed daughter, this may well turn out to be a search for a woman who ends up being someone else with the same name.

It was one of those newspapers that did get included in an online archive that provided me my only hint as to what became of Charles Creahan. Thankful that had included The Hammond Times in their collection, I was able to locate this one entry. Note how Charles’ name and date of his death were sandwiched in between what is otherwise an extraneous list of names of former business associates in this Sunday newspaper mention on January 12, 1958—so you won't miss the point, as I almost had done, I've highlighted the pertinent phrase. This was not an easy find—nor does it help me discover just where it was Charles Creahan passed away, or even where he was buried.
Riley Banks Elect Four New Directors

            Four new directors have been elected to the boards of the First National Bank and the Union National Bank in East Chicago.
            They are Edwin J. Carlson, president of the Indiana Forge and Machine Co.; Edgar J. Higgins, president of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of East Chicago; Thomas J. Leyden, executive vice president of Riley Company, and Ivy J. Shuman, executive vice president of the two banks.
            The new directors replace Charles A. Creahan, retired former president of the Calumet Foundry and Machine Co. of East Chicago, who died Aug. 26; Oliver E. Mount, presently an industrial consultant and former secretary-treasurer of American Steel Foundries, who now lives in Franklin, Tenn.; John J. Block, who retired Dec. 31 as a vice president of Riley Company after 41 years’ service, and Joseph S. Walkowiak, who retired Dec. 31 as vice president of the Union National Bank after 43 years of service.


  1. It's a puzzle that an important businessman would not have a more readily available obituary.

    1. Exactly what I was thinking, Wendy. On the other hand, this may be a case of a couple of seniors who chose to move from their hometown to live closer to grandchildren...or the sun ;) ...and thus ended up in a place where they were not as well known.

      Of course, another side of the equation may be the holdings in various online newspaper archives. Perhaps a Chicago paper noted his passing in the business section, but Chicago newspapers are notoriously missing from most online collections (except for their own, which come at a price, of course).

      I've looked in three states' records to try and find Charles, without any trace so far. Someday...maybe....

  2. Just goes to show, you got to pay attention to what you read!! I might have missed that death date!

    1. It was such a blip flying by, I may have missed it the first time around, myself! Why I'm a fan of slow reading...

  3. Replies
    1. Agreed. I'm glad I have at least that. But it may take a trip back east before I can actually locate the obituary associated with that date. It's odd how some newspaper articles are so readily obtainable online, and others seem to be hidden in a black hole.


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