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Michael O'Hara

From the Biographical Review, Volume XXXIII, located at the Durham Center Museum.
Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin

MICHAEL O’HARA, farmer and boarding-house keeper at Tannersville, N. Y., was born at Croton Landing, town of White Plains, Westchester County, N. Y., February 7, 1850. His parents were John and Julia (Travers) O’Hara, his father a native of West Meath County, Ireland, and his mother of Queen’s County. His grandfather, Henry O’Hara, who was a farmer, spent his entire life in Ireland.

John O’Hara came to America when about twenty years of age, arriving here during the construction of the Hudson River Railroad. He located at Croton Landing, and followed the trade of a brick-maker, which he had learned in England. At the end of twenty-five years he removed from Croton Landing to Haines Falls, settling on a farm of one hundred and fifty acres. During his latter years he conducted a boarding-house. Politically, he was a Democrat. He died at the age of sixty-nine. His wife, Julia, and four of their six children; namely, Henry, Michael, William, and, Rosa are still living, all residents of this town. The other two children were Julia and Mary.

Michael O’Hara came to Haines Falls with his parents when six years of age, and was educated in the common schools. At the age of sixteen he went to work on a farm, continuing there until his marriage in 1878, when he purchased a small farm of two acres, on which he now lives. He erected all of the buildings here, and soon began to take summer boarders. The house is located one mile from Tannersville, on the road to Haines Falls, and is about the same distance from the latter place. It is called Tannersville Cottage, is situated on an elevation twenty-two hundred feet above sea level, and commands a view of the surrounding country. There are accommodations for thirty people, the rooms being usually occupied during the entire season.

In 1871 Mr. O’Hara married Miss Ella T. Haskins, a native of Hunter, daughter of John and Mary (McGinley) Haskins. Her father, who was a native of Ireland, came to America when a young man, and locating at Jewett engaged in farming in connection with the tanner’s trade. He died there at the age of eighty-two. Mr. and Mrs. Haskins had a family of twelve children, six of whom are living; namely, Rosa, Mary, Elizabeth, Catherine, Jane and Ella T. (Mrs. O’Hara). The mother died at fifty years of age. Mr. and Mrs. O’Hara have three children—Herbert, Mary Amelia, and John.

Mr. O’Hara is a Democrat in politics. He has been on the Town Committee several years, serving as chairman part of the time, was a member of the County Committee a number of years, and a delegate to the Congressional Convention in 1898. He was Commissioner of Highways six years, being first elected in 1893, re-elected in 1894 for two years, again 1896, and serving until 1898. The family attend the Catholic church, in which they are actively interested. Mr. O’Hara has served as a trustee, was a member of the building committee, and contributes liberally toward its support. He believes that one of the best methods of educating his children is by providing them with good books, and his home contains a well selected library. Mr. O’Hara at one time owned the Hunter Turnpike, which was later sold to the town of Hunter and is now a free road.

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