Pueblo County, Colorado
John W. Finlan
Contributed by Jean Griesan
John W. Finlan was born in Ontario, Canada on August 28, 1858. His parents were William and Mary (Kennedy) Finlan. John’s father was engaged in agricultural pursuits. John was the oldest child, and he had three younger sisters. John attended school in Canada. He worked on his father’s farm until he moved to Leadville, Colorado in 1879.
In Leadville, John worked in the mining industry for three years. He also worked in construction for the railroads. In 1888, John moved to Pueblo. He worked for twelve years for the Gallup Saddlery Company. While in Pueblo, John met and married Margaret M. “Maggie” McDonald. They married in Pueblo County on February 9, 1892. Maggie was also Canadian born, having been born in November 1861. To this union were born two daughters, Marie J. and Anna Josephine Finlan. Marie was born on October 29, 1893. Josephine was born on August 28, 1895.
Following his position at the saddlery, he worked for five years as the secretary and treasurer for the Star-Journal. He later became a member (or partner) of the Taylor-Finlan Mercantile Company, successfully managing its affairs for about five years. He then sold his interests in the company in Pueblo, and moved to Vineland, a small community east of Pueblo. In Vineland, he opened a mercantile business which he established in 1914. The years following this were successful ones for his business.
While in Pueblo and Vineland, John Finlan became increasingly involved in the community. He was a democrat, though he never became involved in politics. He was Roman Catholic by faith. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Knights of the Maccabees, and the Woodmen.
In 1918, the book, “History of Colorado,” by Wilbur Fisk Stone was published. The following article appeared in that book about John W. Finlan.
JOHN W. FINLAN.
John W. Finlan, who conducts a mercantile business in Vineland, and has built up a considerable trade in his line, was born in Ontario, Canada, August 28, 1858, his parents being William and Mary (Kennedy) Finlan. The father followed agricultural pursuits throughout his life and both he and his wife have passed away, In their family were three daughters besides our subject who was the oldest in order of birth.
John W. Finlan was reared under the parental roof and received his education in the Dominion. He assisted his father with the work of the farm until he came to Colorado in 1879, locating in Leadville, where for three years he was connected with mining. He was also engaged in railroad construction work for some time and in 1888 went to Pueblo, where for twelve years he was in the employ of the Gallup Saddlery Company. Subsequent to this he held for five years the position of secretary and treasurer of the Star-Journal. He later was a member of the Taylor-Finlan Mercantile Company, successfully directing the affairs of this enterprise for about five years, at the end of which time he sold his interests in Pueblo. He is now conducting a mercantile business in Vineland which he established in 1914, and as he follows reliable methods and carries complete and representative lines of goods his success has increased from year to year.
On February 9, 1892, Mr. Finlan was married to Miss Margaret McDonald and to this union were born two daughters, Marie and Josephine. In his political affiliations Mr. Finlan is a democrat, interested in public affairs, although he has never aspired to office. His religious faith is that of the Roman Catholic church, of which he is a devoted communicant, and fraternally he belongs to the Knights of Columbus, in which he has attained the fourth degree, the Knights of The Maccabees and the Woodmen. He has made many friends since coming to Vineland and all who know him speak of him in the highest terms of praise, for over his career there falls no shadow, either in his business or private life.
"History of Colorado", edited by Wilbur Fisk Stone, published by The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. (1918), Vol. II, p. 398
By 1920, the Finlan family had moved back into Pueblo where John ran a general store. Both of the daughters, Marie, now 26, and Josephine, age 24, were still single and living at home with their parents.
Sometime before 1930, the Finlan family headed west to California. The 1930 census shows John as the head of household in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California. He was once again the owner of a grocery store there in Los Angeles. Their daughter, Marie, had married to Allen C. King in 1925. Josephine was single and living at home in 1930, 32 years old. She married later in the year to Leonard Bardet.
John died in Los Angeles on May 14, 1937. His obituary follows this.
FINLAN, May 14 (1937), John W. Finlan, beloved husband of Margaret Finlan, loving father of Mrs. Allen King and Mrs. Josephine Bardet.
Rosary this evening at 8 o’clock in the chapel of Cunningham & O’Connor, 1031 South Grand avenue. Funeral Monday at 8:45 a.m. from the chapel of Cunningham & O’Connor. Requiem mass at St. Kevin’s Church at 9:30 a.m. Interment, Calvary.
“Deaths,” Los Angeles Times, May 16, 1937
Margaret lived just a few months longer than her husband, John. She died on November 24, 1937. They were buried in Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California. Her obituary is as follows.
FINLAN, November 24 (1937), Margaret M. Finlan, loving mother of Mrs. Allen King and Mrs. Josephine Bardet.
Rosary this evening at 8 o’clock at the chapel of Cunningham & O’Connor, 1031 South Grand avenue. Requiem mass at St. Kevin’s Church at 8:30 a.m. Interment, Calvary Cemetery.
“Deaths,” Los Angeles Times, November 27, 1937
1. Federal census records from 1900, 1910, and 1920 from Pueblo County, Colorado.
2. Federal census records from 1930 from Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California.
3. “John W. Finlan,” “History of Colorado,” Volume II, page 398, edited by Wilbur Fisk Stone, published by the S. J. Clarke Publishing Company in 1918.
4. “Colorado Marriages, 1858 – 1939,” an index compiled by the Denver Public Library in conjunction with the Colorado Genealogical Society in 2004.
5. California Death Index (CADI) listing for John W. Finlan, provided online at http://www.vitalsearch-ca.com/gen/ca/_vitals/cadeathm.htm.
6. California Death Index (CADI) listing for Margaret M. Finlan, provided online at http://www.vitalsearch-ca.com/gen/ca/_vitals/cadeathm.htm.
7. California Death Index (CADI) listing for Marie G. (Finlan) King, provided online at http://www.vitalsearch-ca.com/gen/ca/_vitals/cadeathm.htm.
8. California Death Index (CADI) listing for Anna Josephine Finlan Bardet, provided online at http://www.vitalsearch-ca.com/gen/ca/_vitals/cadeathm.htm.
9. Death notice for John W. Finlan, Los Angeles Times, May 16, 1937, ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times (1881 – 1985).
10. Death notice for Margaret M. Finlan, Los Angeles Times, November 27, 1937, ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times (1881 – 1985).
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