Michael P Mahoney

Condensed from an article by Jim Reis in Pieces of the Past Volume 3 pages 83-85 and reprinted here with his permission.

Michael P Mahoney was born March 17, 1842, a native of York, Ireland, came to the United States in 1865 at the age of 23.  He once owned a blacksmith shop in Cincinnati, a 160 acre farm in Point Pleasant in Clermont County, Ohio and land at Turtle Creek in Kentucky.  Somehow his business dealings always failed.  Mahoney had married his wife Margaret Ann, in Columbus Ohio in 1885 where his was a prosperous building contractor.  He eventually had trouble collecting money and could not complete several construction projects and as a result he borrowed heavily. Eventually he could not pay back the loans. Mahoney moved his wife and five children first to Bellevue, then to Newport where they lived at 116 E Front Street, and he worked as a blacksmith.  They had been there for 20 years.  When he lost that job he went to Louisville to work.

At 1:30 pm on April 17, 1914, Michael P Mahoney fired a gun at Mayor John Purroy Mitchel of New York City.  In the confusion that followed, word spread that Mitchel had been shot, but it turned out that the mayor was not injured.  Just as Mahoney fired at the mayor, a passerby, H Duncan, walked between the gunman and the Mayor's car.  The bullet glanced off Duncan's arm and struck Frank Lyon Polk, Mitchel's chief counsel, in the chin.  While some people went to the aid of Polk, others including Mitchel, jumped the would-be assassin.

They wrestled the gun from his hand and pushed him toward a city hall police station.  He told police he was David Saloshin, but printed on his collar and underwear was the name David Rose.  On April 18 they identified him as Michael P Mahoney of Newport.

Interviewed at her home in Newport, Mrs. Mahoney said her husband had left Newport five years ago and the last she had heard from him was a letter that had been written from Pittsburgh.  She described him as "an old man with the blood of a young man in his veins.  He was always ambitious and, even when he met reversal after reversal at the age of 70, he still hoped for success."  She added that when he was away from home he always went by the name of David G Rose.

Police said Mahoney had lived in a rooming house on East 15thStreet in New York for the previous five months.  Mahoney said he had gone to city hall to shoot Mitchel two days earlier, but because there were women nearby he backed off because he didn't want to upset the women.  Mahoney faced up to 20 years in jail if convicted on the charge of intent to kill, but speculation was that Mahoney would never stand trial because of his mental condition.  And the seriousness of the incident was reduced when it was evident that the injuries to Polk were not life threatening.

Mahoney was ordered held for observation and bail set at $25,000.  He laughed and said "Why not boost it a little.  The more the merrier."  He also told the court he could not afford an attorney and did not one appointed for him.  The judge said he would assign him nonetheless.  There are indications that Mahoney was never tried.

In 1916 the Newport city directory lists Margaret and her children at 116 E First but no Michael.  But by 1918 a Michael Mahoney is listed again living a6 116 E First, working as a blacksmith.  He appears in the 1920 census but disappeared from the city directories a few years later. Michael died April 10, 1925 and Margaret died July 6, 1940 and her obituary makes no mention of her husband.

Children of Michael P Mahoney and Margaret

1. William J-born Aug 1888 in Columbus Ohio; died May 1, 1964
2. Mary-born Jan 1890 in Columbus Ohio
3. Joseph M-born Nov 1893 in Columbus Ohio; died June 7, 1962
4. Matthew J-born June 1895 in Newport; died Nov 2, 1926
5. Catharine-born Feb 1898 in Newport

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