John P. Kilfeather was a native of Fair Haven, born in 1877. Kilfeather learned the cigar manufacturing business from an early age and when 18 started his own business. At that time he was the youngest cigar manufacturer in the east. This is the public record of John P. Kilfeather, Knight of St. Patrick, opponent of organized labor, who named his signature New Haven-made cigar the Hyperion, after the theatre.-Arthur Mullen, Hyperion New Haven
“There’s real satisfaction in smoking Hyperion Perfectos – the man who has not tried them has missed a real treat. Hyperion Perfectos are made from the very finest quality of Havana tobacco, which is called in the market Vuelta Abajo. The wrapper is Connecticut broad leaf, making the most satisfying combination you could wish for. Why not ask for Hyperion Perfectos to-day and enjoy a really good smoke? –J. Kilfeather, New Haven, Conn.”
-Excerpt courtesy of Archive.org, Tobacconists’ advertising, by William Borsodi, 1910. (top) Image courtesy of WorthPoint, eBay, “Rare Hyperion antique wood cigar box J. P. Kilfeather, New Haven, CT, Factory 118,” 1910
“What this country really needs is a good five cent cigar. — New York Mail.“
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, The Hartford Daily Courant, Wednesday Morning, September 22, 1875
PART ONE: The Knights of St. Patrick
LETTER READ AT A DINNER OF THE KNIGHTS OF ST. PATRICK – Hartford, Conn., March 16, 1876.
“TO THE CHAIRMAN: DEAR SIR, — I am very sorry that I cannot be with the Knights of St. Patrick to-morrow evening. In this centennial year we ought to find a peculiar pleasure in doing honor to the memory of a man whose good name has endured through fourteen centuries. We ought to find pleasure in it for the reason that at this time we naturally have a fellow-feeling for such a man. He wrought a great work in his day. He found Ireland a prosperous republic, and looked about him to see if he might find some useful thing to turn his hand to. He observed that the president of that republic was in the habit of sheltering his great officials from deserved punishment, so he lifted up his staff and smote him, and he died. He found that the secretary of war had been so unbecomingly economical as to have laid up $12,000 a year out of a salary of $8,000, and he killed him. He found that the secretary of the interior always prayed over every separate and distinct barrel of salt beef that was intended for the unconverted savage, and then kept that beef himself, so he killed him also. He found that the secretary of the navy knew more about handling suspicious claims than he did about handling a ship, and he at once made an end of him. He found that a very foul private secretary had been engineered through a sham trial, so he destroyed him. He discovered that the congress which pretended to prodigious virtue was very anxious to investigate an ambassador who had dishonored the country abroad, but was equally anxious to prevent the appointment of any spotless man to a similar post; that this congress had no God but party; no system of morals but party policy; no vision but a bat’s vision; and no reason or excuse for existing anyhow. Therefore he massacred that congress to the last man.
When he had finished his great work, he said, in his figurative way, ‘Lo, I have destroyed all the reptiles in Ireland.’
St. Patrick had no politics; his sympathies lay with the right — that was politics enough. When he came across a reptile, he forgot to inquire whether he was a democrat or a republican, but simply exalted his staff and ‘let him have it.’ Honored be his name — I wish we had him here to trim us up for the centennial. But that cannot be. His staff, which was the symbol of real, not sham reform, is idle. However, we still have with us the symbol of Truth — George Washington’s little hatchet — for I know where they’ve buried it.
Yours truly, Mark Twain.”
-Excerpt courtesy of Archive.org, New York Public Library, “The Writings of Mark Twain,” by Mark Twain
Knights of St. Patrick. – A Gala Occasion – Their Fourth Annual Ball and Reception – Surpassing All Previous Efforts – Some of the Features of the Affair.
“The fourth annual grand ball and reception of the Knights of St. Patrick took place last night at Carll’s Opera House, and was the finest ball ever given by the Knights, exceeding all previous efforts in brilliancy and attractions, successful as former efforts of the kind have been. The stage enlarged to more than double its usual size, the same as at the junior promenade the night before, presented a fine scene both in the grand march and subsequently during the dancing. The hall was handsomely decorated for the occasion with national flags and the flag of Erin. The grand march was begun at 10 o’clock and was led by Col. John G. Healey with Mrs. Frank Craig.
Also participating in the grand march were Senator Plunkett and Miss Mary E. Kivlan, President M. Fahy and wife, ex-President McKenna and wife, City Auditor Edward McCarthy and Miss McCarthy, of New York, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. M. Geary, ex-Alderman Wm. Geary and wife, ex-Alderman Dillon and daughter, Frank Craig and Miss Kent, Bernard Dillon and sister, Mr. and Mrs. William Crowley, Michae. Healy and daughter, Daniel Healy and daughter, Bernard Clark and daughter, Richard Gallagher and lady, Edward McGowan and Miss Amelia Dobson, of New York; Mr, and Mrs. Tiernan, Town Registrar Wm. O’Keefe and wife, Thomas Brennan and daughter, John Reynolds and daughter, ex- Alderman Peter Me Hugh and daughter, John McHugh and sister, Mr. Pendergast and lady, Dr. O’Connor and Miss Lizzie Keilly.
Among the spectators were Mr. Neely of Bolton & Neely, Captain and Mrs. J. H. Keefe, Street Commissioner Doyle, Police Commissioner F. H. Hart, Town Agent James Reynolds, ex-Representative Thorn as F. McGrail, Thomas Kilbride, Charles W. Bradley, proprietor of the Florence House, Mr. John Cox, proprietor of the Surf House, Savin Rock, Professor George Eager, Mr. Frank J. Waddock, ex-Selectman Alexander Foote, Park Commissioner Andruss, Andrew C. Smith, the master builder, Mr. Alexander Troupe, proprietor of the Union, ex-Selectman F. S. Andrew, Selectman Julius Tyler, William G. Butler, the hatter, Eugene McGann, the hatter, Mr. and Mrs. John Maloney. Town Clerk Philip Hugo and wife, and many others.
Seats in the parquette circle were mostly filled, and there were several hundred in the dress circle. Thomas’ orchestra, engaged for the occasion, rendered excellent music for the light fantastic. They were stationed on the east side of the dress circle near the boxes. Mr. Flaherty was prompter. Several large circles of gas jets brightly illuminated the stage, giving effect to the many handsome and elaborate toilets of the ladies. The supper room was in the large library room on the west side of the hall on the second floor. Mr. Barkentin catered, serving several hundred with a bountiful menu.
Among the guests from out of town were General McManus of Hartford, Colonel Luke Heery of Governor Waller’s staff, Captain S. B. Home, Representative to the Legislature from Winsted, Dentist McManns of Hartford, Assessor Dooley of Hartford, Editor Scanlan of the Connecticut Catholic, Mr. O’Lena of Brooklyn, N. Y., Mr. Butler and Mr. M. W. Dorgan of Meriden. The concert preceding the march and the order of the dances were as follows:
1. Overture – ‘Crown Diamonds,’ – Auber.
2. Selection – ‘Dudes of 1883,’ – Boettger.
3. Solo, Cornet – ‘Atlanta,’ – Levy.
Grand March – ‘Prophet,’ – Meyerbeer.
Lanciers – ‘Beggar Student,’ – Millocher.
Quadrille – ‘Stradella,” – Strauss.
Waltz – ‘Skaters,’ – Waldteufel.
Lanciers – ‘Centennial,’ – Weingarten.
Waltz – ‘Vision,’ – Fohrbach.
Quadrille – ‘Gloves of Blarney,’ – Catlin.
Polka – ‘Pretty Gypsy,’ – Weigand.
Lanciers – ‘Adelia,’ – Wiegand.
Waltz – ‘Laura,’ – Millocker.
Quadrille – ‘Elfin,’ – Eilenberg.
Lanciers – ‘Cavalier,’ – Wiegand.
Galop – ‘Heigh Ho!’ – Weingarten.
Quadrille – ‘Charity,’ – Deetrich.
Waltz – ‘Dreams of Childhood,’ – Waldteufel.
Caledonians – ‘Bells of Edenboro,’ – Catlin.
Schottischs – ‘Golden Gate,’ – Rollinson.
Lanciers – ‘Iolanthe,’ – Sullivan.
Waltz – ‘Love’s Confession,’ – Waldteufel.
Quadrille – ‘Aderns,’ – Schaich.
Waltz – ‘Merry War,’ – Strauss.
Lanciers – ‘Heart and Hand,’ Lecocq…
The society numbers 58 members, composed of influential men in the community, many of whom are in responsible public or private stations. The festivities continued into the wee ‘sma hours, and joy and happiness reigned despite the fog and mist without.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Thursday, February 14, 1884
Knights of St. Patrick. – Banquet at City Hotel – Addresses by Prominent Irishmen – Patriotic Sentiments Expressed.
“The Knights of St. Patrick held their banquet at the City Hotel and were most sumptuously provided for by Harry Flynn, the genial head of the ‘City.’ At the end of the dining room where the president was seated was placed the banner of the society with the portrait of St. Patrick in the center, American flags being draped on either side of the same. At the lower end of the room was the green flag of Erin. Small flags decorated the walls of the dining hall, the whole presenting a very fine appearance.
A piano kindly loaned by Mr. Steinert was placed in the dining room, and while the banquet was in progress Mr. Eager presided at the instrument and entertained the company with some choice selections from his repertoire, the selections principally being the tunes that so much delight the Irish heart the world over.
Among those seated around the festal board were the following: Senator Joseph D. Plunkett. Town Agent James Reynolds, Colonel John G. Healey, Corporation Attorney C. T. Driscoll, Alderman James E. McGann, Alderman J. J. Kennedy, Assessor T. K. Dunn, Captain J. H. Keefe, Councilman P. McKiernan. Dr. M. C. O’Connor, M. Dillon, William O’Keefe, William Geary, Bernard Reilly, John and Michael Reynolds. Michael and Daniel Healy, Patrick McKenna, P. B. O’Brien, Street Inspector P. Doyle, F. E. Craig, City Auditor Keating, of Bridgeport, and Nicholas O Connor, of New York, secretary of the New York and New Jersey Globe Gas Light company. Both of these gentle men were recently received as members of the Knights.
The following bill of fare was observed:
Sirloin Beef, Brown Gravy.
Lamb, Mint Sauce.
Turkey, Cranberry Sauce.
Lemon Ice Cream.
Chocolate Ice Cream.
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Tuesday, March 18, 1884
Of Local Interest – Honest Money Democrats – Their Coming Grand Rally – District Attorney Fellows – The S. N. E. Telephone Company – Trolley Ride – A Pretty Scene – The Knights of Columbus – Life at Sunset Beach – Large Death Record for July – New Paper – Butchers’ Big Time
“The eloquent Hon. John R. Fellows of New York is booked to deliver address at the convention of the honest money democrats to be held at the Hyperion next Wednesday evening. No doubt there will be a big throng out to hear him.
The Southern New England Telephone company has completed the necessary arrangements for the establishment of its new department, the watch-man and burglar alarm system in connection with its telephone service. The system was devised by President M. F. Tyler originally for the First National bank building, and the service was put in operation at the bank yesterday. The system is to be extended in all directions as far as there is call for it. At the Merchants’ bank the system is also being put in.
Yesterday afternoon the infant class of the Davenport Sunday school went on a trolley ride in charge of Miss R. L. Galbralth, Miss May Pierce and Mrs. J. P. Smith. The party chartered a car which was trimmed with bunting in a very tasteful manner. Light refreshments were served to the children on the car.
The Electric Light company is putting a current into the Yale Medical school for experimental purposes.
On August 5 Supreme Secretary Colkell of the K. of C. will pay to the heirs of the late brother, John Silva, of Meriden, $1,000; to the heirs of John Houlihan of Middletown, on August 6, $1,000; heir of Thomas H. Begley of Southington, $1,000, and to heirs of Thomas O’Connell of Middletown, $1,000. The payments will complete the payment of every endowment owed by the order that will be due for two months.
A number of New Haven young men have engaged the Jewell cottage at Sunset Beach for ten days, and will take possession to-day. They have hired the yacht Cruise. The young men in the party include Erasmus Hedolin, John P. Kilfeather, Thomas F. Hussion, John J. Collins, William R. Carroll, Joseph Hussion, James Gibbons, John F. Carroll, Thomas P. O’Dea, Timothy F. Callahan and Charles F. Smith.
Registrar Preston yesterday made public his mortality report for the month of July. The death rate was the largest ever recorded In New Haven for the same month. The total number of deaths was 235. Of this number 117 were children under 6, 60 having succumbed to diarrhoeal diseases. There were 15 deaths from accidents and violence and 40 deaths occurred in public institutions. The death rate for the month of July the five preceding years was as follows: 1891, 144; 1892, 188; 1893, J92; 1894, 195; 1895, 213.
An independent Jewish Weekly will be soon published by the Post Publishing company, 124 George street. Joseph Barondess, the well known labor orator, local editor; V. E. Pomeranz, business manager. It will have correspondence with the largest cities of , Russia and Germany, as well as the latest news of the week, and will publish stories, poems and editorials. It is devoted to the Jewish interest of all classes, and will be printed in the old Hebrew type.
The sixth annual barbecue of the Retail Butchers’ association of this city will be held at Schuetzen park Wednesday, August 19. All the markets In the city are to close on that day at 11 a. m. delegates are to attend the barbecue from Hartford, Bridgeport, Meriden and the other cities of the state. The general committee is leaving nothing undone to make the affair the largest and most enjoyable of the kind in the history of the local association. In the great roast there are to be eighty sheep and twelve beeves. The dinner is to be free to all. On a platform erected in the park will be a lamb dressing match as a test of butchers’ skill.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Thursday, August 6, 1896
Nineteenth Annual Ball To be Held at the Hyperion by the Knights of St. Patrick To-night.
“The Knights of St. Patrick ball to be held at the Hyperion theater to-night promises to be in every respect an enjoyable and successful event. The sale of tickets has been unusually large attendance. The committee has left nothing undone which would contribute to the success of the occasion and the members have worked untiringly in its Interest. The indications are that the ball will far surpass in every respect any ball given before by the organization during the nineteen years of its existence. Fichtl’s orchestra will furnish music. The officers and committees of the club are as follows:
Matthew C. O’Connor, president.
C H: Conwav: first vice president.
Daniel Colwell, second vice president.
Edward J. Moriarty, recording secretary.
James J. Kennedy, financial secretary.
Matthew W. Leahy, treasurer.
Rev. John D. Coyle, chaplain.
The present board of governors is made up as follows: M. C. O’Connor, M. Dillon, J. J. Kennedy, W. F. Donnelly, T. K. Dunn, J. C. Kerrigan, P. J. Gronin,’ M. W. Leahy, D. A.. McWilliams, J. F. Luby, T. J. Kinney, M. W. Kenna, E. J. Moriarty, D. M. Sheehan, P. H. Gibbons.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. (Blue Badges.) John F. Luby, chairman; Thomas F. Maxwell, John J. Lane, Frank M. Car roll, W. M. Kenna, E. J. Moriarty, Pierce N. Maher, .Stephen H. Moore, C. H. Conway, Henry A. Spang, John D. Desmond, John F. McHugh, Michael J. Maginn, E. G. Laflin.
FLOOR COMMITTEE. (White Badges.) Frank M. Carroll, chairman, James C. Kerrigan, William J. Maher, David S. Gamble, jr., .James B. Martin, William J. Sheehan, jr., Mark A. W. McGrath, Joseph. B. Monahan, Thomas I. Kinney, James R. Maxwell, Thomas J. Fleming, John P. McCusker, James A. Moore, Matthew W. Leahy, John F. Leahy, John .F. Sullivan, Edward G. Conlan, Daniel A. McWilliams, James Cronan, James H. J. Flynn, Thomas F. Ahearn, James J. Kennedy, Willam H. Harty, William J. Butler, Frank P. Sisk, Thomas J. Leddy, Martin T. Reynolds, Michael F. Shanley, J. F. Donovan, Joseph L, Ward, Thomas, H. McCaffrey, John P. Kilfeather, Dennis B. Martin…
The theater will be prettily decorated and the boxes will present their usual handsome appearance. There will be an unusual number of out-of-town visitors present. Guests are coming from New York, Brooklyn, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Meriden, Hartford and other places in the state. The Meriden and Waterbury delegations will be among the largest of those from out of town.
The programme for the ball follows:
March – Peace Forever.
Selections’ from Fortune Teller.
Piccolo solo – Mr. Hegel.
Stars and Stripes Forever.
Two Step – ‘Up the Street.’
Promenade Waltz – ‘The Serenade.’
Lanciers – ‘Jubilee.’
Promenade – ‘Two Step.’ ‘Washington Post.’
Lanciers – ‘Brian Boru.’
Promenade – Two Step, ‘Soldiers In the Park.’
Waltz – ‘Sylvan Reveries.’
Promenade – Two Step, ‘Sarsfleld Guard.’
Lanciers – ‘A High Old Time.’
Promenade – Waltz, ‘My Wild Irish Rose.’
Waltz – ‘Artist’s Life.’
Promenade – Two Step, ‘Second Regiment March.’
Two Step – ‘Limber Libby.’
Promenade – Waltz, ‘Ma Belle Adore.’
Two Step – ‘I’d Leave Ma Happy Home for You.’
Promenade – Waltz, ‘Just One Girl.’
Waltz – Zenda.
Promenade – Two Step, ‘Under the Double Eagle.’
Lanciers – ‘Henley Regatta.’
Promenade – Two Step, ‘My Hannah Lady.’
Two Step – ‘Press Club.’
Promenade – Waltz, ‘My Queen Irene.’
Two Step – ‘Topsy’s in Town.’
Promenade – Waltz – ‘Fortune Teller.’
Lanciers – ‘International.’
Promenade – Two Step, ‘Semper Fidelis.’
Two Step – ‘Stars and Stripes Forever.’
Promenade – Waltz, ‘Rendezvous.’
Lanciers – ‘The Singing Girl.’
Promenade – Two Step, ‘Whistling Rufus.’
Waltz – ‘Tales from the Vienna Woods.’
Promenade – Two Step, ‘McAleny’s Cake Walk.'”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Wednesday, February 7, 1900
THE KNIGHTS OF ST. PATRICK – Their Twenty-Fifth Annual Ball Will Be Held To-Night – At the Hyperion Theater, Which is Handsomely Decorated for the Event – Many Guests Expected from Other Cities – Concert from 8 to 9 o’clock – Grand March Will Begin at 9.
“Arrangements are now complete for the twenty-fifth annual ball of the Knights of St. Patrick which will he held at the Hyperion theater to-night and which will be one of the social events of the season. To-day the finishing touches will be given to the decorations of the theater which will be chiefly in gold and white with smilax trimmings. There has been a large sale of tickets to Knights and their friends and there will be a large number of guests from other parts of the state and from New York.
Mayor Studley has issued an order to govern the arrival and departure of carriages. The order requires that carriages shall approach the Hyperion both in delivering and calling for passengers on Chapel street from the east.
The decorations are unusually hand some. A large canopy of gold and white will hang over the stage part of the dancing floor and the balconies and the boxes will be draped in the same colors. To harmonize with the color effects there will be lemon colored glass globes for the electric lights.
Dennis B. Martin, president of the Knights was to lead the grand march, but as he is ill it is probable that it will be lead by the first vice president, Dr. W. J. Sheehan.
The doors of the Hyperion will be open at 7 o’clock and beginning at 8 o’clock the Second regiment band and orchestra will give a concert on the floor of the theater. The grand march will begin at 9 o’clock. Among those who have accepted invitations to be present are Mayor Studley and Professor William Lyon Phelps of Yale university.
The committee who have worked hard in making preparation for the ball is as follows: James B. Martin, chairman; Francis A. Maloney, Thomas F. Fitzsimmons, Thomas I. Kinney, John L. Carroll, James Gibbons, Thomas H. Flanagan, John J. McNamara, Thomas K. Dunn, Thomas J. Fleming, John P. Kilfeather, W. A. T. Smith, John J. Sullivan, Terrence F. Dinnan, John M. Burke…”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Monday, February 10, 1902
KNIGHTS OF ST. PATRICK – Twenty-Fifth Annual Ball A Splendid Success. – All Former Occasions Eclipsed – Hyperion the Scene of Much Gayety Last Night – Magnificent Decorations – Beautiful Gowns Worn by the Ladies Present.
“Without a doubt the twenty-fifth annual reception given by the Knights of St. Patrick in the Hyperion last night eclipsed all of the many previous efforts of that organization. The spacious theater had, by the decorator’s art, been transformed into a most magnificent ball room and furnished a feast of loveliness for all those fortunate enough to be present. The splendor of the decorations were only rivaled by the beauty of the ladies present,i and the elegance of their becoming costumes. In point of decorations the scheme this year differed very materially from those of the previous balls, and the innovation in this regard, which proved so successful, will doubtless form the basis of future efforts. As has been customary, the large stage was increased by the building of a temporary dancing space over the seats in the orchestra, and this entire floor was then covered with crash. At the rear of the stage were erected a number of temporary boxes, which were sumptuously furnished with pillows and other articles. Completely overhanging this stage part of the dancing floor was an immense canopy of white and gold with smilax hangings. The balcony and proscenium boxes were elaborately decorated with the same color, the material hanging in great folds and the smilax ropings were intertwined making the effect a very unique and striking one. Several immense Irish flags were noticed here and there, all of which added tone and color to the picture.
A novel arrangement was that devised in the arrangement of lighting the building. In previous years the glare of the electric lights has been objectionable and this year each one of the several lamps was covered with lemon colored glass globes. This served to throw a diffused light of pleasing hue on the dancers and on-lookers. These incandescent bulbs were suspended at close intervals along the front of the several boxes, and also on the lines of division. Back of each of the boxes were hung vari-colored Turkish curtains, making an oriental effect.
In point of attendance it can safely be said that this year’s ball was more largely patronized than any other given by the Knights, and the guests present were not from this city alone, but from all parts of the state. Many invitations had been sent to people prominent in the many walks of life, and they responded in person. The doors of the Hyperion were opened at 7 o’clock, there was a crush for those who simply came as on-lookers to get the desirable seats in the orchestra circle and the first balcony. These several hundred seats were quickly filled. At 8 o’clock Fichtl’s orchestra occupying seats on the stage gave an introductory concert which was much enjoyed by those awaiting commencement of festivities.
The music for the dancing was furnished by the Second regiment band and Fichtl’s orchestra, both under the direction of Frank Fichtl, and they were stationed on opposite sides of the first balcony. The band played the two-steps and the orchestra the waltzes. At times both organizations joined in the encores, which greatly increased the pleasure of the dance. The programme of music was a popular one, among the pieces played and heartily encored being ‘Linger Longer’ by E. J. Hogben of this city. The Yale Boola march also made a hit.
The dance programme was an excellent one being composed of sixteen dances and a similar number of promenades. Most of the promenades were two steps but there were a few lanciers which always add to the pleasure of an event of this kind. Dancing commenced at 9 o’clock at the conclusion of the grand march. This was led by Dr. William J. Sheehan, in the absence of President D. B. Martin on account of illness. Dr. Sheehan’s sister accompanied him and following them came the members of the executive committee of which James B. Martin was the energetic chairman and their wives and lady friends. There were about one hundred and fifty couples in the march. At a given signal the band broke into the entrancing strains of a dreamy waltz and the dance was on until the early morning. Intermission began at 12:30 and continued until 1:30.
It was the consensus of opinion that this reception fully reached the expectations and desires of the executive committee in that it should be the climax of all that have gone before. Much credit is due to the committee for their excellent work of arranging so completely and thoroughly for an affair of such magnitude.
The committee was composed of the following: James B. Martin, chairman; Francis A. Maloney, Thomas F. Fitzsimmons, Thomas I. Kinney, John L. Carroll, James Gibbons, Thomas H. Flanagan, John J. McNamara, Thomas K. Dunn, Thomas J. Fleming, John P. Kilfeather, W. A. T. Smith, John J. Sullivan, Terrence F. Dinnan, John M. Burke.
The gowns worn by the ladies were probably more beautiful than on any previous occasion and many of them are deserving of more than passing notice. Among the more striking ones were Miss Sheehan, white corded silk; Mrs. Dr. H. A. Spang, striped white silk; Mrs. James B. Martin, a creation of black net over white satin; Mrs. Fitzsimmons, black lace; Mrs. Dr. J. F. Sullivan, white renaissance; Mrs. Lynch of Danbury, black lace; Mrs. John L. Carroll, black jet; Mrs. John J. McPartland, black net over white silk; Miss Walker, white silk; Mrs. Hanley, black silk, jet trimmings; Miss Simonson of New York, light blue liberty silk…”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Tuesday, February 11, 1902
THE KNIGHTS OF ST. PATRICK – Great Success of the Annual Banquet Last Night. – Their Twenty-fifth Anniversary One of the Most Successful Ever Held by the Club – Fine List of Toasts and a Most Enjoyable Dinner – Full List of Those Present.
“The twenty-fifth annual banquet of the Knights of St. Patrick was held last night in the Tontine hotel, and without an exception it was the must successful and enjoyable ever held by the popular organization. One hundred and eighty members and friends of the club gathered around many beautifully decorated tables in the Tontine, and it was after 2 o’clock this morning when the banquet came to a close. The speeches were all excellent ones, the singing that was interspersed was greatly enjoyed, and the banquet that Landlord Whitte set before the men was unsurpassed.
The pretty dining room of the hotel was tastefully trimmed with the Irish and American flags, and in the center of the south wall was a large picture of the great leader of the sons of Erin, Charles S. Parnell. The menu that Mr. White served was as follows:
Mock Turtle Soup
Filet of Beef
Roast Philadelphia Capon
The speaking began about 11:30, and all of those taking part on the toast list were enthusiastically received and ap- plauded. The ceremonies, which were opened during the passing of the coffee and cigars, were opened by the president of the club, Dennis B. Martin, who welcomed the guests present In a few well chosen remarks. He said:
‘To his honor the mayor of our city of New Haven, and to our guests of hon or: In behalf of my brother Knights of St. Patrick I extend to you a cordial welcome to this their twenty-fifth annual banquet. During the many weeks that our banquet committee has labored to complete arrangements for the several toasts an unusual amount of interest was taken by the entire Knights of St. Patrick to such an extent that as each answer to our invitations came back with a kindly assurance that it would be a pleasure to respond to a toast at our banquet I saw at once I had a task in attempting to extend to you a welcome in keeping with the kindly feeling to my brother knights. But I can assure you that before the evening is far advanced that each knight of St. Patrick will extend to you such a cordial greeting that the formality of being a guest of honor will be entirely removed and that you will feel that you are a brother Knight of St. Patrick.
Mr. Martin then introduced Senator James P. Bree as the toastmaster of the evening, and the latter responded with a fine speech in which he told of the objects of the club, the work of the Irish nation on the battlefields and of its high ideals, etc.
Mr. Bree’s speech was received with great applause and at its conclusion Senator Bree called upon Michael Dillon, one of the well known members of the club, for a song. He responded by singing the “Star Spangled Banner” and the chorus was joined in by all present.
Toastmaster Bree announced that owing to illness William A. McQuaid, of New York, who was to respond to the toast ‘Saint Patrick’s Day,’ was unable to attend and that the toast would be given by John E McPartland instead. A better choice could hardly have been made, for Mr. McPartland’s toast was full of witty sayings and was one of the most enjoyable of the evening.
Dr. William J. Sheehan was then called upon for a song, which was enthusiastically received, and at its conclusion Dr. Frederick N. Robinson, of Harvard university, responded tn the toast ‘Present Interest In Celtic Literature.’ His speech was a very strong one and contained a number of bright stories. It was, moreover, instructive to a high degree, and great credit is due the committee in having such an able speaker address the members.
Rev. John D. Kennedy, of the Hamden and Highwood churches, responded to the toast ‘Ireland’s Priesthood, Her Glory and Inspiration.’ Father Kennedy’s toast was another one that brought credit to the sons of Erin, and he was applauded for several minutes after its conclusion.
Mayor Studley was the next Speaker and the subject of his toast was ‘The City of Elms.’ The mayor’s speech was. as usual, very witty and was interspersed with a number of good stories appropriate to the occasion.
Mr. Dillon sang again at this point, and he was followed by Edward J. Moriarty, who spoke on the toast ‘The Knights of St. Patrick.’ He gave a short history of the club and told of its first banquet twenty-five years ago. At that time Francis Donnelly was the president. Mr. Moriarty referred to some of the lifelong members of the club, that is, members present who were among the charter members. Among them are Michael Dillon, Daniel S. Gilhuly, Bernard Clark, Thomas Brennan, James Reilly and others. He spoke in a clever manner of all of these gentlemen and gave a number of funny cracks at their expense. Then he took in hand the officers of the club, from the president down, and did a little ‘knocking’ to the great amusement of the members present. In conclusion Mr. Moriarty said: ‘We rejoice in this our twenty-fifth anniversary. We feel justly proud of our career of one-quarter of a century of usefulness. We have strong hopes for the future, and I ask you to join me in drinking to the health of our president and the continued prosperity of this grand and unapproachable society, the Knights of St. Patrick.’
Hon. Thomas M. Waller, of New London, spoke next on ‘The Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution of Irish Descent,’ and his toast was a grand one.
The next speaker was to have been Colonel Norris G. Osborn, but a telegram announced that he was unable to be present. His toast, ‘The State of Connecticut,’ was taken by Augustus F. Maher, of the Register, who spoke in a strong and interesting manner.
This fine toast was followed by a speech by Colonel Pickett, who respond ed to the toast ‘The Press.’
The large number present listened to a few more speeches and songs, and the banquet came to a brilliant close shortly after 2 o’clock. The following present:
At the head, table were: Dennis B. Martin, president; Mayor J.-P. Studley, ex-Governor Thomas M. Waller, Dr. F. W. Robinson, Rev. John D. Kennedy, Rev. Edward Downes, John E. McPartland, Colonel Charles W. Pickett, Dr. M. C. O’Connor, Dr. W. J. Sheehan, James A. Howarth, James Wrinn, Dr. John F. Luby, James E. McGann, J. J. Lane, Hon. J. P. Bree, Michael Dillon, E. J. Moriarty.
Others present were: John P. Kilfeather…”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Tuesday, March 18, 1902
IT WAS BARBECUE DAY – And Thousands Were At Schuetzen Park. A Fine Parade – Decorated Wagons, Cowboys, Etc. – Despite a Smart Shower There Was General Enjoyment – Feast Enjoyed by Thousands – The Winners of the Athletic Contests – Other Features.
“The seventh annual barbecue of the New Haven Retail Butchers and Grocers association, held yesterday, was a great success, and great praise is due President Frederick and his able corps of assistants for their unwearying and able work in making it so. The only drawback was St. Swithin, who with marvelous persistency in his waywardness this summer, let fall a copious and vigorous shower of rain at the very moment that the serving of the feast at Schuetzen Park began, just as this aforesaid saint has done some half a dozen times this summer just in time to cause the numerous postponements of the Coliseum races. A throne of several thousand people was already assembled at Schuetzen Park when the shower began, but fortunately the ladies or most of them found shelter in the dancing pavilion and other covered buildings in the park. Fortunately, also, the shower was of short duration, but as it occurred at a most inopportune time, it no doubt deterred hundreds from going embarking on the trolley cars for the seat of the festivities. However, after a roll or two of thunder and a few minutes of accelerated down-pour the rain ceased and thereafter, although the skies were lowering, the afternoon was devoid of further rain, and all the stream of trolley cars brought hundreds more people to the park. Hundreds in the crowds paid little attention to the shower, not minding it apparently. The roast was prepared in trenches in a big fenced enclosure adjoining the building where President Frederick and his staff of committeemen were busy attending to the multitudinous details of the occasion. Over the trenches lay meat, shoulders of beef and lamb, the fire at the bottom of the trenches gradually and slowly but surely bringing the required perfection to the roast. At two o’clock the lamb roast was all ready, and at all fourteen little openings in the fence were crowds of people ready to pass in their ticket coupons and receive in return such a wooden plate full of roast meat and fresh bread which the hurrying waiters brought. At a fifty foot long bench the carvers were at work, a dozen or more cutting the meat into suitable pieces for serving on the plates. Here among the carvers were Julius Gollery and Ollie Woods, of the Henry Frederick store on Edwards street, Antoine Reinwalter, Martin Gruener, Thomas Tolben, Charlie Potts, Mr. Hasse, John Reaumur, Henry Voelkner, D. Tormer, Conrad Rausch, Anthony Turnand, Charles Pfaff, Adam Sattig, ex-president of the association, all busily engaged in cutting up the roast. Over at the trenches in charge of the roasting was George H. Pitt, representing Bonner & Biltz, of Bridgeport, and a corps of helpers turning the big masses of meat at proper intervals and replenishing the fire with coke as fast as required. All fourteen apertures at the board fence, after the rain ceased, were besieged for hours with applicants for a share of the feast, and it was a case of constant hustling with the carvers and waiters to keep the crowd supplied. Good nature characterized the hungry things despite the dampness of the day, and the roast was declared very toothsome and appetizing. Over in the dance pavilion scores upon scores of young people and some older too, tripped the light fantastic to to the merry music of the orchestra, and here and there were stands where jolly fakirs were raking in the shekels in return for what they had to offer to the throngs that surrounded their stands. At another point hot coffee and frank-forters were sold, and the dealer was kept busy and of course King Gambrinus’ votaries found ample opportunity to quench their thirst with foaming lager.
The commercial day with the members of the New Haven Retail Grocers’ and Butchers’ association began at nine o’clock, when all stores closed and the clerks and proprietors prepared for the parade, which is always a feature of the day. The parade started at eleven o’clock and was headed by a company of rough riders, who showed plenty of skill in horseback riding. Behind them came a platoon of police and the Old Guard band leading seventeen mounted aids, attired in dark clothes and wearing sashes of the national colors. Six carriages containing the mayor and other city officials followed, and the parade proper came along behind.
The Booth Meat company was first with a tallyho and three four-horse teams containing employees.
The Coat and Apron Supply company wagons came next, for what reason was not apparent, but the display was pleasing in that the harnesses of the horses were gilded and the wagons bright in green and gold.
The Fleischman Yeast company had five wagons in line and was followed by Hugo with five trucks with decorated horses. Ploehn had two trucks in line and led the display of Miner, Read & Garrett with seven trucks. F. C. Bushnell & Co. had three trucks and J. D. Dewell & Co. had seven big trucks, each drawn by three horses. LeBrun, a Congress avenue merchant, had a delivery wagon in line following the whole sale grocers, and riding on the driver’s seat was Cornetist Heyer, playing intricate triple tongue polkas and such things.
The wholesale dealers spread themselves and were represented in the parade by creditable displays, and from a sidewalk point of view the honors must be evenly divided between the Merwin Provision company, the Strong, Barnes, Hart & Co., the Connecticut Fruit and Produce Co., and the National Biscuit Co. for originality and extent of display.
The Natonal Biscuit Co. had eleven wagons in line and the display was headed by a circus policeman, whose horse attached to his waist band held the attention of the children. The ‘Zu- zu’ clown, so familiar to the public through advertisements, was impersonated by George K. Jewell, the comedian, who is connected with the company, and the whole display bore the ear marks of Mr. Jewell’s ingenuity and originality. This display was under the direction of Manager Stewart.
The Strong, Barnes & Hart Co. display included thirty horses, and sixteen trucks all decorated. On one a live bull dressed and bedecked in ribbons of gay colors rode, calmly viewing the crowds on the sidewalk, and on another a tame lamb, also beribboned, ate from the hand of an attendant, while on a third wagon a performer entirely lacking in skill made continuous attempt to play tunes on a flute of ancient design and build.
The Connecticut Fruit and Provision Co. had eight wagons loaded with fruit. One wagon contained a load of water melons, seated on which were a half dozen colored boys busily engaged in eating melons to their heart’s content.
The New England Dairy Co. had seventeen wagons in line.
The Merwin Provision Co. carried an elaborate display of hams, bacon and bologna mounted on a six-horse truck. Their display included sixteen wagons, in one of which two live hogs were enjoying themselves. Oscar Boettger, Turney & Bomster, Dahan, Hasse, W. N. Hubbard, New Haven Public Market, Otto Dietter and others had displays in the procession.
Frederick Brothers had one of the most artistic displays in the parade. It was a display of fruit and vegetables arranged in an open delivery wagon.
Hahn’s pies were shown with eight wagons, and the H. L. Hardy & Co. showed six wagons, one of which carried a tandem team.
Henry Copperthite, successor to H. H. Olds, showed eight wagons, the New England Dairy Co. seventeen wagons and the various ice companies also large numbers.
The New Haven Beef Co. with every employee dressed in blue had three carriages and some seven trucks. Armour & Co. had four trucks in line and the display was followed by the Cudahy Packing company of Chicago with two trucks and plumed horses. The Hayt Beef and Produce company ended the wholesale meat dealers’ display with several wagons each bearing the statement that the concern was operated by New Haven men and that the desire was to furnish New Haven people with goods.
The display of the Connecticut Fruit and Produce company was commendable from every point of view. Seven trucks, all decorated, were in line, and on the second, a wagon loaded with watermelons, fifteen little ‘coons’ or picca-ninnies ate slices of the juicy fruit or vegetable, or whatever it is in the dictionary, while the procession passed the streets. The little negro boys were the envy of every child on the sidewalk, and many adults were willing to change places with them for a while. In the same display was an entire truck with luscious fruit, grapes, plums and dates. It made one feel good just to look at that wagon.
The big wholesalers were conspicuous by the plainness of their display, the majority of them contenting themselves with sending their trucks out empty, but the retailers more than made up for the discrepancy by decorating their wagons in gay colors and sending them out along the line of march. The Fair Haven Food Co., manufacturers of ‘Ready Bits,’ had Smedley’s automobile piled high with empty boxes and filled in the interior with white cloth caps bearing the words ‘Ready Bits,’ but the operators of the contrivance lost the parade and the display was not in line when the parade finally got started. The men n the wagon threw thousands of the caps out into the streets, and the small boys gathered them in and wore them, a fine advertisement for the dish. On the front seat on the vehicle was a boy who must weigh at least half a ton. His legs were as big as a flour barrel, and when he desired to look at anything he had to raise two fat hands and pull down half a dozen layers of flesh from his eyes. His voice was a high soprano. The crowds on the sidewalk decided that he was not a New Haven product, although they admired him.
A unique display was that of Conrad Rausch. It consisted of a chariot made of a flour barrel for the wheels, a soap box for the platform and a decrepd mule for motive power. The driver was a boy of tender years with a most formidable expression and a likewise forbidding looking whip. The display looked as much like a sample copy of a road roller as anything, and it made more noise than the real thing.
The parade moved as follows:
Platoon of Police.
Old Guard Band.
Marshall Steitz and 17 Aides.
Four Hacks with Committee and Mayor.
The Booth Meat Co.
New Haven Apron Supply Co.
M Monarch Laundry.
Merwin Provision Co.
Strong, Barnes, Hart & Co.
H. L. Handy & Co.
Schwaeschild & Sulzerberger Beef Co.
New Haven Beef Co.
Armour & Co.
The Cudahy Packing Co.
The Hoyt Beef and Provision Co.
New Haven Baking Co.
The Connecticut News Bureau.
Fleischman & Co.
Simon J. Hugo.
Miner, Read & Garretts.
F. S. Bushnell & Co.
J. D. Dewell & Co.
Stoddard, Gilbert & Co.
Lebrun Shoe House.
Quinnipiac H. H. & L. Co. Drum Corps.
Hasse & Schwuremund.
Tormy & Brewster.
Grosa & Blau.
William F. Hubbard.
New Haven Public Market.
New Haven Provision Co.
L. C. Pfaff & Son.
Connecticut Fruit & Provision Co.
New England Dairy Co.
J. F. Dunn.
T. E. McAviney.
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Friday, August 22, 1902
THE KNIGHTS BALL. – Hyperion A Scene of Gayety And Fashion. – Grand March Led by Dr. and Mrs. Spang – Mayor Studley Present – List of Boxholders.
The annual reception and ball of the Knights of St. Patrick was held at the Hyperion last evening. The house was thronged. Every gallant knight with his lady fair was there. And the friends of the knights with their lovely and loving partners swelled the number with their presence. The evening was stormy, but the guests arrived early and by 8:15 o’clock the seats in the auditorium were all occupied. The galleries were soon filled, and when the orchestra struck up the first concert number at 8:20 seats could only be had on the two upper galleries.
The decorations were characteristic of the Knights of St. Patrick, green of course being predominant. Bunting of green and white draped the walls, large palms and ferns adorned the niches, ropes of evergreen entwined the gallery pillars and a ribboned canopy of evergreen, studded with over a thousand incandescent bulbs cast a resplendency on the stage, that added a brilliancy to the coloring of the costumes that at times the scene was as entrancing as it was charming. Here and there Old Glory added its effulgent rays to the luminous spectacle.
The Second regiment orchestra presided over by Bandmaster Fichtl rendered the following concert previous to the dancing:
March – ‘The New Colonial.’
Hall Overture – ‘Orpheus.’
Offenbach – Xylophone solo – Selected.
G. B. Moore.
Reminiscences of Ireland – Godfrey Medley of Popular Tunes – DeWitt.
Order of Dancing.
Two-Step – The Billboard.
Promenade – King Dodo.
Waltz – Symphia.
Promenade – The Donkey Laugh.
Two-Step – Flagasama.
Promenade – Mollie Shannon.
Lanciers – The Prince of’Pilsen.
Promenade – We’re All Good Fellows.
Waltz – Silver Slipper.
Promenade – I Want to be a Lidy.
Two-Step – Didn’t He Ramble.
Promenade – In the Good Old Summer Time.
Two-Step – Ma Moonlight Lou.
Promenade – Under the Bamboo Tree.
Vilginia Reel – Selected.
Promenade – Valse Rose.
Waltz – The Chaperons.
Promenade – A Chinese Honeymoon.
Two-Step – The Troubles of Reuben and the Maid.
Promenade – My Wild Irish Rose.
Lanciers – International.
Promenade – My Dixey Queen.
Waltz – Blue Danube.
Promenade – Second Regiment.
Two-Step – Oh, Mr. Dooley.
Promenade – I Love You Dear, and Only You.
Waltz – Artists’ Life.
Promenade – A Frangessa.
Two-Step – Roger Brothers in Harvard.
Promenade – Helmet of Navare.
Two-Step – Monkey Murmurs.
Promenade – The Green Flag.
Officers: Henry A. Spang, D. D. S., president. William J. Sheehan, M. D., first vice president. John J. Lane, second vice president. John F. Sullivan, M. D., recording secretary. Charles F. Brennan, financial secretary. Charles F. Brennan, financial secretary. Thomas F. Maxwell, treasurer. Rev. John D. Kennedy, chaplain. Executive Committee. Thomas W. Lane, chairman; Edward M. McCabe, M. D.: William B. McCarthy, Timothy A. Cohane, Terrence S. McDermott, M. D., John F. Kennedy, Michael J. O’Mara, William C. Ray, Dennis J. Maloney, Charles H. Coyle, James P. Manning, Frank J. Higgins, Richard E. Carroll, William H. Nugent, James B Dunn.
Floor Committee: Edward M. McCabe, M. D., director; John J. McPartland, James R. Maxwell, Matthew C. O’Connor, M. D., John P. Kilfeather, Joseph P. Monahan, M. D., Edward G. Dugan, James’ H. Flynn, M. D., David S. .Gamble, James J. Dooley, Thomas J. Leddy, Stephen H. Moore, John J. Kelly, William B. McCarthy, Edward G. Conlan, James A. Moore, M. D., John L. Carroll, T. B. McDermott, M. D., John G. Reilly, M. W. Kenna, M. D., John C. Cronan, William J. Maher, Patrick H. Kirwin, Edward J. Cannon, Edward J. Moriarity…
The grand march was led by Dr, and Mrs. Spang. Mayor Studley looked on from the president’s box, and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the panorama.
Some of those present and their attire were as follows:
Miss Minnie Ronayne of Bridgeport, pale blue crepe de chine cut entrain, Arabian corn hue garniture. Mrs. Thomas Donnelly, elegant gown of sheer white made over with taffeta silk and chiffon, lovely lace and ornaments, pink, diamond ornaments. Box 12 – Mrs. Wllliam J. O’Keefe, black grenadine lace trimming. Mrs. James F. Toole, black spangled robe, diamond ornaments. Miss Minnie O’Keefe, white lace robe, coral ornaments…”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Tuesday, February 17, 1903
HELD LADIES NIGHT – Knights of St. Patrick Club Royally Entertained its Feminine Friends.
“Last night was ladies’ night at the Knights of St. Patrick club and those who attended were given a royal welcome. The club was handsomely decorated; with flags, bunting, potted plants and flowers. An orchestra, hidden behind a bank of palms, rendered a fine musical programme during the evening.
A fine entertainment was also rendered during the evening, the programme of which was as follows:
Reading – Miss Mae Jean Colt.
Piano selection – Miss Elizabeth Cronan.
Solo – Walter Garde.
Whistling solo – Frank Hamilton.
Solo – William Morgan, Jr.
Solo – John P. Kilfeather.
Mandolin solo – Frank Williams.
Solo – John F. Kennedy.
Solo – Dr. Sheehan.
This programme was carried out in a most artistic manner. At the conclusion of the entertainment refreshments were served and some handsome favors were awarded the ladies.
There was a very large attendance during the evening, among the gathering being Commissioner Daniel F. Kelly and wife, Mr. and Mrs. John M, Burke, Dennis Martin and wife, Thomas Donnelly and wife, and Thomas Rourke and wife.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Wednesday, January 13, 1904
The Knights of Columbus. – Honor M. F. Sullivan With a Banquet and Splendid Gift.
The Knights of Columbus honored M. F. Sullivan, the retiring deputy of district No; 1, with a fine banquet at the Momauguin last evening and a splendid gift was also presented to Mr. Sullivan, the presentation being made by Supreme Knight Edward L. Hearn. The gift was: a fourth degree charm pin set with diamonds.
The order of exercises was as follows:
Toastmaster – Daniel Colwell.
Address of Welcome – Wm. M. Geary.
Song – Selected – Dr. Wm. J. Sheehan.
‘Our Guest’ – Michael Dillon.
‘None knew him but to love him, None named him but to praise’ – Song – Selected – Joseph A. Callahan.
‘Why We Are Here’ – John J. Hogan.
‘To honor him to whom honor is due’ – ‘The Modern Knight’ – Bolton Loughrey
‘A combination and a form indeed, where ever God did seem to set His seal, to give the world assurance of a man” – The Presentation – Supreme Knight Edward L. Hearn.
‘With this emblem goes our steadfast love” – Song – Selected – Charles E. O’Connell.
‘Knights of Columbus’ – B. E. Lynch.
‘Incomparable, unrivaled” -“City of New Haven” – David K. Fitzgerald. ‘Fair as a summer morning’ – ‘District No. 1’ – District Deputy Joseph E. Ahearn.
‘Here sprung the vine, that now Entwines the Union’ ‘Our New Members’ – Rev. John D. Coyle.
‘A little raw, but filled with enthusiasm’ – Song – John P. Kilfeather.
‘The Ladies’ – Dr. M. C. O’Connor.
‘When pain and anguish wring the brow, a ministering angel thou’ – ‘State of Connecticut’ – State Deputy James Tevlin.
‘Fruitful, fair and free’ – ‘The Order In the West and Northwest’ – National Organizer James J. Gorman.
Music – First Regiment orchestra.
Brother P. S. Dunn, leader.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Friday, August 12, 1904
HONOR J. B. JUDGE. – Knights of Columbus Banquet Him at the Oneco – Present Him With Beautiful K. of C. Watch Charm – Speeches by Prominent Knights – Selections and Music Adorn Menu.
“Last evening at the Hotel Oneco a complimentary dinner was given in honor of Mr. J. B. Judge, who has recently been appointed superintendent of the Consolidated Railway company. His friends took this time to honor him. Most of the many guests at the banquet were members of the Knights of Columbus, of which society Mr. Judge is a prominent member.
The committee in charge of the arrangements were Messrs. Orwell and Fitzsimmons, who arranged a fine menu and programme of entertainment.
Selections were given by . Messrs. George Fitzsimmons, John F. Kennedy, Killigan & Murray, who are playing at Poli’s, and John P. Kilfeather. The hit of the evening was a song entitled ‘Bodelia Malone,’ composed and sung by Michael Dillon, one of the old knights.
Addresses were made by several prominent knights, including Daniel Colwell, the national secretary, and J. C. Kerrigan of Seattle, Wash. Mr. Kerrigan is one of the foremost knights of the Pacific coast and very opportunely happened to be in New Haven on a business trip. But the feature of the occasion was the speech and presentation of E. L. Ahearn. Mr.. Ahearn, on, behalf of the order, gave Mr. Judge a beautiful and very valuable fourth degree K. of C. watch charm. Mr. Judge responded, thanking the guests for their gift and evidences of friendship and good feeling.
The menu of the banquet follows:
Blue Points on Half Shell
Bisque a la Delmonico
Filet de Sole
Sweetbread Patties with French Peas
Tenderloin of Beef with Mushrooms
Roast Young Litchfield Turkey.
Music by Holt’s orchestra.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Tuesday, March 27, 1905
“Mr. John P. Kilfeather is spending a few weeks at the Branford Point house and will leave August 10 for a three weeks’ stay in the Maine woods.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Friday, July 28, 1905
“John P. Kilfeather, the cigar manufacturer, started Saturday on an extended business trip to Cuba in the interest of his business.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Monday, February 18, 1907
HORSE SHOW READY – All Arrangements for a Splendid Show by Troop A, Cavalry. SOME OF THE ATTRACTIONS – Classes and Entries for Event Which Will Have its Opening To-night.
“All arrangements and details are now completed for the Troop A horse show to be given this evening and to-morrow night at the new armory on Orange street, of Troop A, Cavalry, C. N. G.
The boxes and reserved seats for this evening have already been secured by representative society leaders. Many handsome gowns will be seen at the show. Everything indicates that this show will be one of the most successful social events of the season in New Haven…
Class VII – Gaited Saddle Horses to Be Shown at Walk, Trot, Canter, Running, Walk and Single Foot.
1. Lady, b. m., 15 hands, 8 years, D. C. Smythe.
2. Moss Rose, b. m., 15.2 hands, 5 years, George V. Barton.
3. Nina, ch. m., 15.1 1-2 hands, 6 years, G. L. Clark.
4. Nutwood, br. g., 15 hands, 7 years, Kirk & Co.
5. Gilt Edge, ch. m., 15.1 1-2 hands, 6 years, G. L. Clark.
6. Jerry, gr. g., 15.2 hands, 8 years, John P. Kilfeather.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Wednesday, February 26, 1908
GRAND OPENING FOR HORSE SHOW – Delightful Showing of Equines on the First Night of the Big Event of Troop A. – MANY WINNERS JUDGED – Hayes Q. Trowbridge Wins Pony-Saddle Class – Miss Weyher Wins on Percy Griest’s Horse.
“If the second night of the Troop A horse show at the armory on Orange street this evening proves as successful as did last evening, the first, the event will undoubtedly go down as a classic amid New Haven’s long list of equine events. The horses that were exhibited were beauties and, with one or two exceptions, were in the best of form. Society was out in force in the boxes and the galleries, and altogether the first night of the show was an unquestioned success.
The members of the troop were present in uniform and made a fine showing. In the center of the big arena the judges’ stand had been erected. In the middle of it was a table which contained the ribbons for the winners and the handsome silver cups which were given to those who captured the first prize in every event. The places were as follows: First place, blue ribbon, second place, red ribbon, third place, yellow ribbon, and fourth place, white ribbon. Each of the ribbons contained the wording: ‘Troop A. C. N. G., Saddle Horse Show, 1908.’
Down the right side of the arena the horse enthusiasts who could not stay as far away from the scene as were the boxes, lined up behind a long rope that stretched the whole length of the armory. There were many present who had never been to the building before and it was with great interest that they looked over the troop’s rooms, which were very inviting and were lighted brilliantly for the inspection.
The judging was done by J. C. Keith of New York, who was present in the regulation tile hat and dress suit all over the ring at the same time. Mr. Keith came up from New York specially yesterday for the event. His home is in Warrenton, Va. He has been frequently an exhibitor at the Madison Square Garden at the New York horse show, and many times a judge. His decision last night were fair and just from first to last. All horses were judged for their manners, quality, conformation at style of going, and suitability to the class in which they appeared…
The next class was for gaited saddle horses under 15.2, to be shown at walk, trot, canter, running-walk and single foot. It was won by Jerry, a beautiful grey gelding, 15.2, 8 years. The exhibitor was John P. Kilfeather. The horse made a beautiful showing. The other places were won as follows: Second, Giltedge, ch. m., 15.1, 1-2, 6 years, exhibitor, G. L. Clark: third, Moss Rose, b. m., 15.2, 5 years, exhibitor, George V. Barton, and fourth, Nina, ch. m., 15.1, 1-2, 6 years, exhibitor, G. L. Clark…”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Thursday, February 27, 1908
PART TWO: The Hyperion Cigar
Once A Cigar Maker: “Learning to Love the Union,” by Patricia Ann Cooper
“The cigar makers’ union also functioned as a social organization, which deepened members’ attachment to it and to each other. Each local varied, but union cigar makers did not necessarily live in the same neighborhoods or share the same ethnic, religious, or cultural backgrounds. Both the union and the workplace provided common experiences and meeting grounds upon which to form identities based on work and occupation. James Durso remembered that union meetings in New Haven had been social gatherings and that after adjournment ‘they all went to saloons, all to drink beer. Herman Baust described how many of his cigar-making companions at the F. D. Grave Company worked Saturday mornings during the summer, and afterwards went to the park for the afternoon once they received their pay envelopes. They spent the afternoon making speeches and telling stories and ‘they’d all be drunk when they went home…’
The friendships formed in the factory and the sense of solidarity reinforced by union structure and fraternal spirit drew members together and created a strong sense of belonging to a special group. ‘You have to have gone through it to know what it was all about,’ Santana reasoned as he tried to explain the spirit inside the union. ‘Developing from day to day, for years and years, it was a brotherhood… Cigar makers’ union was more like a brotherhood. Friendship and brotherhood.’ That closeness at times translated into a ‘tendency towards clannishness. They worked together, stuck together, played together.’ After work, ‘brick layers and railroad men might get together,’ one observer noted, ‘but cigar makers stayed by themselves.’ ‘We were,’ concluded Ograin, ‘a fraternity by ourselves.’
One of the union’s important symbols was the union label. Hatters, bakers, garment makers, printers, and many other craft unions adopted labels in the nineteenth century to set their products apart from non-union goods, although the cigar makers claimed to have been the first union to do so, in 1880. The blue label went on every box of cigars produced in a union shop. To have the label, a manufacturer had to agree to the bill of prices and every cigar maker and packer in his factory had to belong to the union. The label read: ‘This certifies that the cigars contained in this box have been made by a FIRST CLASS WORKMAN, a member of the Cigar Makers’ International Union of America, an Organization devoted to the advancement of the Moral, Material, and Intellectual Welfare of the Craft. Therefore we recommend these cigars to all smokers throughout the world.’ Someone from the local had to dispense labels to each factory, where one member had responsibility for seeing that they were used properly. Shop collectors had to keep accurate records on the receipt and use of all labels, which were consecutively numbered…
Members also worked to get local tobacco dealers to support union products by displaying them prominently in their stores. In New Haven, recalled Herman Baust, the committee was continuously ‘threatening the storekeepers, if they brought any non-union cigars in. We had a committee. We paid that committee so much a year to go from store to store and they’d boycott that store… Oh, the cigar makers’ union was strong, very strong…’
In New Haven, Herman Baust noted that union members obeyed the rules on buying only union products. Their motto had been ‘all for one. You had to be. If they caught you buying non-union goods, you were fined.'”
-Excerpt courtesy of Google Books, University of Illinois Press, “Once a Cigar Maker: Men, Women, and Work Culture in American Cigar Factories, 1900-1919,” by Patricia Ann Cooper, 1987
LOCKOUT POSSIBLE – Cigarworkers Claim Breach of Agreement on the Part of Their Employers. – LOCAL ISSUES STATEMENT – Declares Conditions at One Shop Are Intolerable – Trouble Arises Over This Shop.
“The following statement was issued yesterday by the Cigar workers of New Haven regarding the present situation in the trade here:
‘At a meeting of cigarmakers of this city held last night to consider the recent developments in the strike at J. P. Kilfeather‘s shop, an ultimatum presented by the Cigar Manufacturers’ association was read. This ultimatum is to the effect that the Cigar Manufacturers’ association consisting of the following firms: F. D. Grave, J. Scholl, Osterweiss & Son, Kafka & Co., Cunningham, C. B. Wirtz, W. Whalen, Geo. Boyer, J. P. Manning, Julius Laske, J. P. Kilfeather will lock out all their help, packers; cigarmakers, strippers next Monday, unless the Cigarmakers’ union of New Haven would send for an agent of the International union to settle the strike at Kilfeather’s shop, which as been in progress for the last five weeks and is endorsed by all the cigarmakers locals in this country and Canada, against the most intolerable conditions inaugurated in aforesaid shop, the cigarmakers were certainly surprised to be confronted by a sudden lockout, since they believed that the Manufacturers’ association would adhere to the following agreement arrived at between themselves and a committee of the association. Here is the agreement:
‘New Haven, Conn., Feb. 26, 1908. At the meeting of the combined committees of the Cigar Manufacturers’ association and Union 39 a difference existing in Mr. Kilfeather’s factory was discussed and a misunderstanding found to exist on both sides, the Cigar Manufacturers’ association claiming the right to weigh their stock, to which the committee of Union 39 did not object therefore we recommend that the difference should and ought to be readily settled by Mr. Kilfeather and his employees. Signed, F. D. Grave, Pres., J. F. Scholl, Sec.’
The cigarmakers of course expressed their consternation and anger in unmistakable terms at this breach of agreement bearing their own signature and especially as the committee of the cigarmakers were again ready to confer with them to settle the difficulty, without bringing on a special agent from headquarters and thereby incurring extra expense, but were practically ignored by the manufacturers. The conditions which caused the trouble in Kilfeather’s shop which are now practically being supported by the aforesaid Manufacturers’ association by their lockout declaration are in general as follows:
Mr. Kilfeather recently engaged a foreman from another city who immediately introduced such conditions into his shop as were not only unacceptable to the men employed there but positively unbearable and intolerable, as they would not only greatly reduce the men’s earnings (although not actually the prices paid per M.) but would also jeopardize and injure the high standard of New Haven boasted product of cigars which would ultimately bring the cigarmakers blue label into contempt which has always been looked upon as a guarantee of excellence of quality and make under good conditions but the system which has been introduced, if permitted to continue, would prove most disastrous to the cigar industry here as it has in other cities, where the industry has been almost annihilated thereby. Under this system the cigarmakers would be compelled on account of the limited amount of stock weighed out to them either to work in a quality of seed dippings into a ten cent cigar or lose his job, as there would be a cut throat race between the men to get out the required amount of cigars.
We therefore recognize that the fight for the interest of the cigarmakers in this city at once becomes the concern of both the retailer and consumer and we believe it to be our duty to set forth these reasons for the fight we are engaged in and endeavor to explain to the public who may feel an interest in the matter.’
-F. A. Grube, Th. Triggs, Gus Billau; Press Committee C. M. I. Union.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Saturday, March 21, 1908
REACH NO SETTLEMENT – Cigarmakers and Manufacturers to Meet Again on Friday.
“John P. Kilfeather stated last night that at the conference between the cigar manufacturers and the representative of the Cigarmakers’ union, Grand Organizer G. R. French, earlier in the day, no settlement of the strike at the Kilfeather factory was made. He said that another conference had been arranged for Friday and at that time he was confident matters would be adjusted.
From members of the union who are on strike it was learned last night that at the Friday conference the men would not insist on having the filler given them in bulk as was formerly the practice, but will take it in individual amounts.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Wednesday, March 25, 1908
SETTLE STRIKE TO-DAY – Or Lockout Will Go Into Effect, Say the Cigar Manufacturers.
“Unless at the conference this morning the strikers at John P. Kilfeather‘s cigar factory decide to return to work under the new system of shop conditions, one of which is the giving out of filler to individuals instead of in bulk, the cigar manufacturers have decided that the lockout threatened for several weeks will go into effect.
Realizing this, one of the strikers at Kilfeather’s said last night that the men would have to give in in order to keep the other men from being thrown out of employment. General Organizer G. R. French, who arrived here from Louisville the first part of the week, was said by this representative of the union to have advised giving in to the employers from the start.
The conference will be held this morning at 9 o’clock at the Kilfeather factory. A committee of the cigar manufacturers will meet a committee of the strikers, of whom Mr. French will be the spokesman.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Friday, March 27, 1908
CIGARMAKERS OBSTINATE – Manufacturers Expect Employees National Officers to Settle Trouble.
“Up to late last night no further move had been made on the part of the cigarmakers to settle the differences which led Friday afternoon to declaring of a lockout by the cigar manufacturers. In none of the principal cigar factories of the city yesterday was there any work done.
John. P. Kilfeather, whose employees were the ones to strike, stated last night that for the present at least the manufacturers would not try to bring in any non-union or outside help. He said that the manufacturers and local dealers were all well stocked up with the New Haven cigars and it would be many weeks before the supplies were exhausted. Before that, he said, he expected the differences would be settled.
The national representatives of the cigar makers are still in the city and are trying to get the men to accede to the conditions of the manufacturers. The manufacturers expect the national representatives to win their case for them.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Tuesday, March 31, 1908
SUPPORT FRENCH IN HIS FINDING – Referendum Vote Throws Down the Local Cigarmakers’ Union by a Large Majority. – SHOPS OPEN TO-MORROW – Loss in Wages During Period Men Have Been Out Estimated at $50,000 – Benefits Reached $1,500 a Week.
“The final answer of the International Cigarmakers’ union to the protest against shop conditions which gave rise to first the strike at the John P. Kilfeather factory in this city, and later to the general lockout, came last night when, on the referendum vote, the claims of the New Haven union were thrown down.
This puts an end to the matter so far as the international union is concerned, and now the men can either work in the shops in New Haven or find work in some other city. The international union no longer recognizes any of the claims and the strike benefits which have been paid for the last seven weeks cease at once. The finding of Arbitrator G. R. French of Louisville is sustained in every particular by a tremendous majority of the union menu of the country and Canada. The telegram announcing this came last night and read:
‘G. R. French, New Haven, Conn.: Finding of arbiters sustained. Notify both sides at once. G. W. PERKINS, International President.’
The opposing sides will be formally notified this morning but both heard of the decision last night. The cigar manufacturers’ association immediately took steps toward opening the factories and they will be all ready for work Wednesday morning. On that day the tobacco strippers will go to work and the following day the plants will be in full operation.
The manufacturers were greatly relieved to hear the decision. As soon as the returns came into the international office in Chicago it was seen that only one out of every hundred unions was supporting the local men here, but the manufacturers had to wait fro the formal decision before the factories could be opened.
The union men have now lost all hope of winning out as the referendum vote is the final action. They will therefore go back to work this week. In the event of any refusing to go back to work union men will be brought here from New York and the shops filled. There are 400 men out here and there are at least 1,000 cigarmakers out of work in New York and vicinity at the present time.
The strike and lockout has been a very expensive affair for everyone concerned. For the past seven weeks it has cost the international order $1,500 a week paying benefits. In wages it has cost the men $50,000 for the period of seven weeks and the loss to the manufacturers has been very large. If the union men had been willing to work during the time between Mr. French’s report and the confirmation of the finding by the international union a great part of this money would have been saved.
The trouble started three months ago when the employees at John P. Kilfeather‘s factory protested over a new method of giving out the filler for cigars and went on a strike. The Kilfeather employees received the support of the local union and finally six weeks ago the Manufacturers’ association ordered a lockout. Representatives of the International union, one of whom was G. R. French, came here and investigated the case, finding the manufacturers in the right and ordering the men to go back to work. The finding was taken before a meeting of the local union and was thrown down with only a few dissenting votes.
Following the rejection of the finding by the local union, it was referred to the international council, a body made up of the vice presidents, and president of the international union. Each one of the members sustained the board of arbitration. Then the finding, the claims on the local union, the individual letters of the members of the international council, printed together were referred to the local unions all over the country. The answers were due last Saturday and Mr. French received the result by wire last night.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New Haven Morning Journal and Courier, Tuesday, May 5, 1908
“Why Hyperion Perfectos cost 10 cents straight. First – The Havana tobacco used for filler is the finest grown on the island of Cuba – known to the trade as Vuelta Abajo, crop of 1904. Second – The binder and wrapper are carefully selected from the best Connecticut broad leaf crop of 1904. Third – Hyperion Perfectos are five inches long and weigh as much as imported cigars costing twenty-five cents each. Fourth – Every Hyperion Perfecto is hand made by the most expert cigar makers known to the craft under the most perfect sanitary factory conditions. Fifth – Hyperion Perfectos 10 cents straight are unequaled in flavor and aroma. A trial will prove to you all we claim for them. For sale at all leading cigar stands. Manufactured by J. P. Kilfeather, New Haven, Conn.”
-Excerpt courtesy of Archive.org, Tobacconists’ advertising, by William Borsodi, 1910
“Cigar talks. Uniformity of quality is the one great feature of the Hyperion Perfecto cigar. Every cigar in each box is as near alike as human hands can make them. We buy our Connecticut broad leaf and Havana tobacco in large quantities, far in advance. Even now we are still using 1904 crop which is particularly fine. Hyperion Perfecto cigars at ten cents. Will please the most particular and exacting smoker. Stop in any cigar stand and ask for Hyperion Perfecto. Insist upon having it. Your judgement will prove all we say about the quality. -Kilfeather, New Haven, Conn.”
-Excerpt courtesy of Archive.org, Tobacconists’ advertising, by William Borsodi, 1910
New Haven Famed For Other Things Than Yale – COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF HER TOBACCO TRADE – Frederick D. Grave, Well Known Manufacturer of “Judge’s Cave” – New Haven Tobacco Co. Said to Have 4,000 Accounts – Retail Shops Grow Dear to the Student Heart.
“New Haven, the ‘City of Elms,’ is best known to the trade as the center of the Connecticut Broadleaf cigar industry. Here are located eight or fair-sized factories employing from 50 to 200 cigarmakers, producing from 3,000,000 to 11,000,000 cigars annually. The sweet nut flavor and aroma of Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and binder with a blend of Havana or Havana Seed, is the popular smoke of the native sons of Connecticut, and cigar factories are kept continuously supplying the local demands.
New Haven cigars are good smokes, certainly, as evidenced by their popularity, constituting practically nine tenths of the cigars consumed in the city. All the shops are union and the price paid for making the regular ten-cent size is $16 a thousand.
As yet no New Haven manufacturer has realized the possibilities of enormously increasing the demands of Broadleaf cigars by exploiting them outside of Connecticut, but time will doubtless come when some cigar man will grasp the and secure a national distribution and reputation…
One of the newest factories, fast growing and with good prospects of piling up a big total, is that of John P. Kilfeather, 122 Meadow street. His leading brand is ‘Hyperion.’ Mr. Kilfeather is a hustler and well liked in the trade, both by wholesalers and retailers.”
-Excerpt courtesy of Google Books, BMT Publications, United States Tobacco Journal, Volume 83, 1915
CIGARMAKERS ELECT DELEGATES TO LEAGUE – Secretary Ira M. Ornburn of Connecticut Federation of Labor Heads the List.
“Cigarmakers’ Union, No. 39, of New Haven, at its last meeting elected three delegates to the annual convention of the Trades Union Liberty League of Connecticut in Meriden on June 1. The delegates named are Ira M. Ornburn, Philip Montis and J. W. Murphy. The cigarmaking business in this State is at a low ebb now and the Kilfeather factory in New Haven laid off a number of men last week.
At the headquarters of the New Haven union there was a discussion about the experiments being made with substitutes for tobacco and it was the opinion that nothing has been discovered as yet to replace the divine weed. The chemists are able to produce nicotine artificially so that it is the same as in tobacco but when this nicotine is placed in any plant other than tobacco the smoke is much inferior to that of tobacco.
For a good many years experiments were made to grow in this country a tobacco that had the same flavor as the finest Havana. The seed was brought from the most famous fields in Cuba, shiploads of soil were brought from Cuba and dumped into a tobacco field here, the tobacco planted and then they waited for results. The tobacco grown when made into cigars made a smoke that about equaled a Flora de Suffield. This led the scientists to declare that the climate was the main thing in connection with the growing of tobacco and no way has been found of transferring the Cuban climate to the Connecticut valley.
The executive committee of the union met this week but no special business was transacted. Business among cigarmakers continues to be dull and there is no indication when it will return to the normal condition. Some of the idle cigarmakers are using a corner of the hall where the striking garment workers congregate every day.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, The Connecticut Labor Press, A Newspaper for the People, New Haven, Conn., Saturday, April 19, 1919
Will Cost $500,000
“New Haven, March 25. – Bids for the construction of the new eight story store, office and loft building to be located at the corner of Meadow street and the proposed new extension of Orange street have been let to C. W. Murdock by John Kilfeather, the cigar manufacturer. The building will cost $500,000.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, The Hartford Courant, March 26, 1920
KILFEATHER MOVES WHEN UNION BLOCKS SUBSTITUTION PLAN – Cigar Manufacturer Wanted to Put Cheaper Cigar in Hyperion Box and Fool Public.
“Because the Cigar Makers union refused him privilege of making a five cent grade of cigar and place it for sale in the 10 cent Hyperion cigar boxes, which the union felt would not only be a violation of the agreement but an imposition on other manufacturers and the public, John P. Kilfeather of the Hyperion and I. C. S. cigar factory in New Haven closed the shop and is now moving it to Philadelphia where he will manufacture a non-union cigar, according to reports made by delegates of the Cigar Makers union to the New Haven Trades Council last night. Kilfeather, according to his statement, intends to keep New Haven as his headquarters and dispose of his cheaper goods here and Labor men as well as others were therefore warned to watch out for the Hyperion and I. C. S. unless the boxes bear the union label.
For somemonths Kilfeather’s stock has been lying on his hands without a market, with the result, according to the reports he has more than 100,000 now lying on his shelves. These were made under union conditions and will carry the label and Mr. Kilfeather, according to the cigar makers, evidently hopes will last long enough to allow his cheaper non-union Philadelphia made cigar, to creep into the market without notice by the smoking public that they are not the same as those made here.
In the daily Register last Friday Mr. Kilfeather had a long screed declaring his reason for removing from New Haven was because he couldn’t do business with the union men whose demands, he said, were exorbitant. The union made no demands upon him that other local manufacturers, members of the Manufacturers’ Association and Mr. Kilfeather had not agreed to. It was Mr. Kilfeather who made the demands, referred to above, and the union who refused to permit them in justice to the other manufacturers and the public.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, The Connecticut Labor News, New Haven, Conn., Friday, April 21, 1922
KILFEATHER DEEDS OVER BIG BUILDING TO BUILDING FIRM – Cigarmaker Who Broke With Union Also in Difficulties Over Use of Label.
“By quit claim deeds filed in the town clerk’s office in New Haven a few days ago, John P. Kilfeather, manufacturer of the Hyperion and I. C. S. cigars who recently closed his union ships here and moved to non-union conditions in Philadelphia, transfers to C. W. Murdock all the Kilfeather property on Meadow and South Orange streets. Mr. Murdock’s construction company built the large new building known as the Kilfeather building and while no statement can be secured as to the reason for his now taking it over, it is unofficially stated about town that Mr. Kilfeather is no longer able to carry it.
In addition to that Mr. Kilfeather is in more trouble, again with the Cigarmakers union. While he was working under union conditions he was given a large number of union cigar box labels for use on ‘dummy’ Hyperion boxes for window display purposes. These were supposed to be cancelled and destroyed when Mr. Kilfeather broke with the union but a few days ago agents of the union discovered these dummy boxes with the union label being used with display of Kilfeather made cigars which were made in Philadelphia under non-union conditions. Mr. Kilfeather has been warned by the attorneys for the union to immediately stop the practice or legal action will follow.
According to advices from Philadelphia the Kilfeather shops there are employing but a few girls and men not anywhere near the force he had here even under the long period of depression.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, The Connecticut Labor News, New Haven, Conn., Friday, September 22, 1922
TOBACCO COMBINE MAKES NECESSARY CIGAR MEN’S UNION – All Workers Who Smoke Affected By Price Control and Should Aid.
“Big combinations and trusts in the cigar industry, through their unlimited resources control much of the tobacco suitable for cigar purposes raised in this country. In some instances they directly or indirectly own considerable of the land upon which this tobacco is raised.
The number of women employed in the cigar industry is steadily increasing. The system of bunch making and rolling in the manufacture of cigars is steadily increasing. The number of shops, especially small shops, is steadily decreasing. There has been a steady, gradual crystallization of the non-union factories in the cigar industry. Millions of dollars are available for use in these combinations. These trusts maintain a chain of factories in all centers, and especially where women labor is available and cheap. Many of this chain of factories are located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, Porto Rico, Tampa and Key West. To maintain a steady outlet for their product these combinations have established a system of chain stores which exist everywhere, and extend to the limits of the length and breadth of our country. Their stores can be found upon all busy corners, in drug stores, hotels and restaurants, and in all other favorable places for the ready sale of cigars, cigarettes, and tobacco. If they can not rent a good cigar corner store, occupied by an independent dealer, they buy the whole building, and thus accomplish the effacement of the independent dealer, and the establishment of one of their stores in its place.
Organization is therefore the paramount issue with the cigar makers at this time. To accelerate organization of cigar workers should be the concern of all who desire the success of the organized labor movement. Every man can help by demanding cigars that bear the Blue Label of the Cigar Makers’ Union.
Peter Schuyler, Blackstone, Noble, White Owl and Hyperion cigars are NON-UNION made.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, The Connecticut Labor News, New Haven, Conn., September 29, 1922
SARANOFF HATS NOW NON-UNION MADE – Kilfeather Non-Union Cigars Also Flooding Market, Trades Council Hears.
“The Saranoff hat, formerly union-made and much advertised and lauded by the United Hatters and other organizations, is now absolutely non-union according to a warning received by the New Haven Trades Council at its meeting last night. Instead of telling the trade of these conditions the firm, according to a local dealer in the hats when his attention was called to the lack of the label in the new fall styles, stated the firm had told him that it was so rushed the work had to be farmed out and there was no time to get in the label. As a matter of fact, according to the warning of the hatters, the Saranoffs have broken with the union and no longer entitled to use the label.
Another attempt to befog the public was also called to the Council’s attention in the display of ‘Hyperion’ cigars in Dunham’s store on Church street where the window was filled with ‘Hyperions’ at advertised prices less than the cost of the cigar usually at wholesale. The Hyperion is made by John P. Kilfeather, who removed his union shop from this city to Philadelphia where he is making the cigars under non-union conditions. There is no suggestion of the change in display now the impression being left that the cigar is the same old Hyperion.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, The Connecticut Labor News, New Haven, Conn., Friday, October 6, 1922
Kilfeather “On Rocks,” Is Report – Former New Haven Cigar Maker, Now Non-Union, Is Doing Little.
“John P. Kilfeather, former manufacturer in New Haven of the Hyperion and I. C. S. cigars, but who removed to Philadelphia some months ago and endeavored to make the cigars under cheaper and non-union conditions, is not doing as well as he expected, according to reports received by the New Haven Cigarmakers’ Union from union officials in Philadelphia. In fact Kilfeather is doing very little and is nearly ‘on the rocks,’ according to the following report:
‘Kilfeather has only nine girls employed. Shelves filled with cigars. Another cigar firm in same building working off part of Kilfeather’s stock. Looks to me as though Kilfeather is on the rocks.’
Kilfeather left New Haven under the excuse that he couldn’t get along with the union. As a matter of fact he couldn’t because the union would not give him special and therefore unfair privileges over other cigar manufacturers.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, The Connecticut Labor News, New Haven, Conn., Friday, October 20, 1922
GET UNUSUAL ENDORSEMENT OF BLUE LABEL
“An unusual endorsement and acknowledgement of the value of the Cigar Makers Union Label was recently given by John P. Kilfeather, manufacturer of the non-union Hyperion cigar. About one year ago Mr. Kilfeather severed relations with the Cigar Makers local union, discontinued the manufacture of cigars in New Haven and opened a non-union factory in Philadelphia. During the past year Mr. Kilfeather has been endeavoring to sell the Hyperion cigar in this vicinity without the union label.
Therefore great was the surprise of local cigarmakers when Mr. Kilfeather recently presented an application for union labels for cigars alleged to have been made in this city some time ago. Seemingly giving evidence that Mr. Kilfeather believes that the union label would facilitate the sale of his product.
However the Cigar Makers say that although they appreciate Mr. Kilfeather’s endorsement of their label, they believe that he has received all the labels from them that he is entitled to.
The following correspondence between Mr. Kilfeather and the Cigar Makers local should be of interest to union men and will doubtless serve to remind them that the Hyperion cigar is still non-union made.
‘April 21, 1923. Mr. J. P. Kilfeather, New Haven, Conn. Dear Sir: We are in receipt of the following communication from you:
‘Cigar Makers Union, No. 39, City. Gentlemen: We have on hand about 25,000 Hyperion, Invincible and Realart, five cigars in a pack which were made in this factory under the foremanship of Wm. Auman. We have never received union labels for these cigars and Mr. Auman informs us that we are entitled to these under your rules. Kindly deliver same to bearer and oblige. Very truly yours, J. P. KILFEATHER.’
‘In reply we beg to state that the constitution of the Cigar Makers Union provides that ‘each local union shall furnish through the shop collector to all union shops, free of charge, as many of the labels as may be required from week to week for all cigars actually made by members of the union.’ We desire to inform you that Union No. 39 furnished your factory with all union labels applied for in accordance with the above law during the period that you operated a union shop in this city.’
‘Furthermore, shortly before you closed your New Haven factory and began the manufacture of cigars under non-union conditions in Philadelphia, Pa., a representative of Union No. 39 called at your office to count your cigars in order to ascertain the number of labels, if any, that might be due you. You refused to allow a count to be made. Subsequently you made no claim for labels till April 10, 1923, about one year after you ceased to operate a union factory and during which year, we understand, you have continuously conducted a non-union cigar factory in Philadelphia, Pa.’
‘In view of these facts, we are of the opinion that you have received all labels you were entitled to under our former agreement, which agreement you chose to terminate. Your application for union labels is therefore denied. Very truly yours, Cigar Makers Local No. 39, F. A. GRUBE, Secretary.'”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, The Connecticut Labor News, New Haven, Conn., Friday, April 27, 1923
CIGAR NAMES WITHOUT VALUE, BANKRUPT SAYS
“John P. Kilfeather, a cigar manufacturer, filed a petition in bankruptcy in United States court late today. Schedules filled with the petitions show liabilities of $666,399.75 and assets of $478,484.26. Value of real estate is given at $425,000. The trade names of the three cigars manufactured by Kilfeather are listed as being of no value.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, The Hartford Courant, October 19, 1923
KILFEATHER GOES BROKE AS END OF FIGHT WITH UNION – Cigar Manufacturer Who Tried to Impose on Public Finally Reaches Waterloo.
“John P. Kilfeather, ex-New Haven manufacturer of the Hyperion cigar, this week filed a voluntary petition in bankruptcy alleging that he owes something over $20,000 and cannot pay it. The petition marks the end of Mr. Kilfeather’s fight against the Cigar Makers’ Union, his closing of his New Haven factories and removal to Philadelphia where he attempted to make the cigars under non-union contract help and then pass them off in Connecticut as the original Hyperion but in which he didn’t succeed. Some time ago note holders assumed control of the so-called ‘Kilfeather Building,’ a magnificent structure Mr. Kilfeather caused to be erected at the height of his prosperity but which he couldn’t carry.
Kilfeather for many years back had been the one stumbling block in the path of complete accord between the union and cigar manufacturers. He finally decided he wasn’t making money enough out of his wares and asked the union to allow him to place an inferior made and quality cigar in the Hyperion boxes and pass them off on the public. As other manufacturers were keeping up the grades of their cigars during the period of depression and it would be unfair to them as well as an imposition on the public to allow Kilfeather to get away with any such stunt, the union bluntly refused to agree to the change.
Then Kilfeather pulled stakes from New Haven and in broadsides through the daily press declared the union was forcing him to remove from the city. At the time Kilfeather was so overstocked that he was employing only a couple of hands instead of the hundreds he intimated so his loss was small industrially to the city. Then the union came back with a statement of the real reason why Kilfeather was getting out and the cigars became a drag on the market. Now he is broke and admits it. Thus endeth the lesson.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, The Connecticut Labor News, New Haven, Conn., Saturday, November 22, 1924
TAX ON FILMS STARTS EXODUS IN CONNECTICUT – Distributors Move Out, But Pictures Still Appear in Theaters
“New Haven is agog over Adolph Zukor’s latest production, starring Will H. Hays in ‘Exodus.’ The cast embraced 30 embattled truck drivers and the ‘lot’ this time was the Boston post road, going this way and that way.
In short, the movie distributors cleared out, vamoosed, beat it, and made strategic withdrawal to New York and Boston, from which entrenched positions they may fulminate and litigate against the Nutmeg State.
So far the blow has not landed on that timorous little man of the cartoonists — Mr. General Public. In New Haven the motion picture theaters glimmered along. Smith and Brown did not worry. The big theater owners said nothing and sawed celluloid. The little fellows looked like undertakers. Smith and Brown took the wife and kiddies to the pictures without a thought for the future when films may be as contraband as beer, and pleasure hunters may have to go to church for amusement.
But while the trucks of Mr. Zukor and his associates rumbled along the Boston post road, lugging thousands of reels of films and office furniture to Boston and New York, the New Haven citizenry strolled down Meadow st. past the Kilfeather building, which has been such a feather in New Haven’s hat.
The building was put up for the film distributors and their exchanges. From it was sent out celluloid for the whole state. Now it is as empty as King Tut’s tomb. And who can use those specially built vaults now?
The distributors left flying their banners of defiance. Over the facade they posted:
‘This building is vacant.
The state film tax. Five hundred thousand dollar payroll lost to New Haven yearly. Five hundred and seventeen people out of work.’
Connecticut is silent over Mr. Hays’s fuss and feathers. The governor says nothing. H. R. Durant, who wrote the tax bill, says nothing. Tax Collector John J. Splain says nothing. There are quaint aspects. For instance, Mr. Durant up to three years ago was head of Zukor’s scenario department.
Mr. Zukor never expected Mr. Durant to write a scenario commencing, ‘An act providing for the imposition of a tax on films.’
There is unsubstantiated talk of ill humor between the two.
Another thing, Mr. Splain was for 30 years — and is still — employed by Sylvester Z. Poli, owner of 23 vaudeville and picture theaters in the East, many of them in Connecticut. Mr. Poli will be the hardest hit — if the tax is passed on to exhibitors — of any one in the state, and the collector of all the damage will be his Mr. Splain.
Theater men now look toward New York for developments. Mr. Hays and his henchmen have a good chance for boycotting Connecticut, or hooting or howling, or (what is most likely) of standing off till litigation has fired its last gun. The tax collector has been promised that films now showing will pay their cent a foot when the smoke blows over, and all exhibitors are keeping track of the footage for future accounting.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, New York World News Service, The Miami News, August 31, 1925
JOHN P. KILFEATHER DIES IN NEW HAVEN, CONN
“John P. Kilfeather, 59, cigar manufacturer, died at his home here yesterday as the result of a cerebral hemorrhage. He had been in poor health for some time but his condition did not become serious until he was stricken seven weeks ago.
Kilfeather was a native of Fair Haven. He learned the cigar manufacturing business at an early age and when 18 started his own business. At that time he was the youngest cigar manufacturer in the east.
Known as a great lover of music, Kilfeather was an accomplished pianist and also possessed a good voice. When a young man he had his own orchestra. He came to know many celebrated persons in the music world and was a close friend of Victor Herbert.
In 1912 he married Miss Katherine Purcell, daughter of Judge and Mrs. Henry Purcell of Watertown, N. Y. Judge Purcell was on the New York State Supreme Court bench.
Kilfeather leaves his widow and a son.
The funeral will be held here tomorrow morning with burial in St. Lawrence Cemetery.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Library of Congress, Chronicling America, Associated Press, The Boston Globe, April 20, 1936
“The expressway doomed a movie distribution center in the Meadow Street area known as ‘film row.’ Ten national studio exchanges had been located there, many of them occupying the 1923 Kilfeather Building, a seven-story structure of brick and limestone, so substantial it took three months to tear down.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the New Haven Preservation Trust, “Tomorrow is Here: New Haven and the Modern Movement,” by Rachel D. Carley, June 2008
The Once Over, by H. I. Phillips
“Connecticut is the latest state to open up a superdooper thruway. It runs along the Long Island shore and many a colonial farm and homestead were destroyed to provide it. We never see a steamshovel these days without imaging it yelling: ‘Where’s that inn where Washington slept? Let me at it!’ And every bulldozer seems to be snorting: ‘I can lick any ancient and lovely homestead in the state.’
We are a born and bred Connecticut boy, familiar with almost every inch of the coast line, and, while we admit the new super highway is wonderful, we weep at what it did to countless beauty spots. In our neck of the woods stands a white homestead built in a glade beside a trout brook by a man who chose the place ‘to get away from it all.’ We saw it yesterday, with the thruway grazing its porches, the brook invisible and a steady stream of cars roaring a few feet from what was once a quiet guest room.
Approaches to the Connecticut thruway have removed many streets in our old home town, and it saddened us to see Webster School where we went as a kid ‘gone with the blockbusters.’ The Bradley Smith candy factory, where the lollipop was born, and where we worked after school, was put into the dumpwagons, too, as well as the site of the blacksmith shop where we used to linger to watch the local village smith: and the Kilfeather Cigar ‘flatiron building,’ where we got our first cigar and the consequent dizzy spell.”
-Excerpt courtesy of the Associated Newspapers, The Once Over, column, by H. I. Phillips, “When Jumpy Friends Get To-Gaither,” January 9, 1958