James Richard Healy (also spelled as Healey or Haley), the son of James Healy and Mary Lyons, was born in Red City, Fethard, County Tipperary, Ireland, in February 1838. He immigrated to America in 1858, at the age of nineteen, through the port of New Orleans, and worked his way to St. Louis, Missouri. On 1 June 1861, he enlisted at St. Louis in the Missouri Militia, Company B, 7th Regiment of Missouri Volunteers. He was honorably discharged on 24 June 1862 at St. Louis with a medical disability.

He married three times and had thirteen biological children and one “adopted” child. The name of one wife is unknown as well as the date of the marriage, but it was from this union that Healy became unofficially the adoptive father of Elizabeth (Byrne) Healy born about 1858.

On 11 October 1863, James married Mary Pollard in St. Louis. Information on her family is unknown. The couple had two children: Anastasia (Annie) S., born on 25 July 1864, and Mary Rose, born on 22 November 1866.

Mary (Pollard) Healy died sometime before 1877. On 6 September 1877, James Healy married his third wife, Ellen Freeman, at St. Anne’s Normandy Catholic Church. Ellen, birth date unknown, was the daughter of Patrick Freeman and Mary Slowey. James and Ellen Healy had eleven children:

    • James Jr., born on 25 August 1877
    • Francis Joseph, born on 12 February 1879
    • Emily Isabelle “Belle,” born on 20 July 1880
    • Thomas George, born on 26 April 1883
    • Peter Richard Kendrick, born on 18 November 1884
    • John Ambrose and William Steven, born on 26 December 1886
    • Ellen Theresa, born on 26 November 1889, died on 8 December 1889
    • Ellen Theresa (Laide), born on 20 July 1891
    • Laura Spencer, born on 9 January 1894
    • Male child born and died in 1898
James Richard Healy
James Richard Healy/Healey/Haley
Photo in the collection of Ellen Hegeman
Used with permission

Since Healy’s marriages and the baptisms of several of his oldest children took place at St. Anne’s Normandy in North County, he probably lived in the county during the years 1862–1890. In June 1890, he purchased a home on Easton Ave in Kerry Patch, an Irish neighborhood in St. Louis City.

Healy did not have a skill. He grew up in a rural county in Ireland, so most likely learned farming. Until he enlisted in the militia in St. Louis, he probably took any unskilled work he could find. After his discharge from military service, he worked for St. Louis City cleaning streets. James then worked for the Parks Department as a landscaper. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) in St. Louis and belonged to the Ransom Post No.131.

His third wife, Ellen, died on 27 March 1926, and James Healy died on 13 October 1926. Calvary Cemetery is the final resting place for Ellen and James in St. Louis.

(Sources include censuses, passenger lists, family documents, church and civil marriage records, church baptismal records, Archdiocese of St. Louis burial records, Missouri death certificates, Missouri History Museum digital databases, and deeds.)

Written by Ellen C. Hegeman
February 2018

© 2018, St. Louis Genealogical Society

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Last Modified: 25-Oct-2018 22:21