Thomas E. Reardon
Thomas E. Reardon (1853–1940) was the eldest son of two immigrants from County Cork, Ireland—Patrick B. Reardon (1814–1893) and Mary Murphy Reardon (1826–1870). With his parents, Patrick had come to New Brunswick, Canada, in 1821, around the age of seven. Later, in 1842, he settled down to farm at Troy township in Wills County, Illinois. He married Mary there on June 8, 1850. The couple and most of the children stayed in Troy for the rest of their lives.
Thomas was an exception. Born in November 1853, he told the 1940 Census that he had a fifth-grade education. He may have been a bartender in Chicago in 1870, but certainly by 1880 he was in Denison, Texas, working as a carpenter and boarding on West Woodard Street in the home of Huey P. Heard, a widower with two daughters.
Four years later, the 1891 Denison City Directory showed Thomas as a partner with Joshua E. Howard in Howard & Reardon, real estate and insurance agents, upstairs at 406 West Main Street. Howard had run a drug store with Dr. Daniel H. Bailey, but they had gone separate ways. Howard & Reardon would be at this address for fifteen years. In 1891, Reardon was rooming at 517 West Chestnut Street, in the home of Russell S. Legate, longtime head of First National Bank. At this moment, however, Legate was cashier of that bank's short-term precursor, City Bank of Denison.
If Howard & Reardon had a stable location, Thomas E. Reardon seemed to move from one rented room to another. In 1896, he lived on the second floor of the National Commercial College Building at 500–506 West Main. The 1900 Census had him boarding at the "lodging house" of Callie Redwood (widow of George Redwood) and her son-in-law Thomas Moody, a stenographer, at 327 West Gandy Street. He was still there a year later, in 1901.
By 1907, Thomas Reardon and Joshua Howard had ended their partnership and sold the building at 406 West Main. Joshua's new office was at 228 West Main, while Thomas established his own "real estate, general insurance and notary public" firm at 106 North Rusk Avenue.
By 1907, too, Thomas Reardon had moved back to the former Legate home at 517 West Chestnut. Some time after the murder of Hattie G. Haynes (wife of Dr. William F. Haynes) in 1892, Russell and Anna Legate had bought the old Haynes home and had it moved from its location in south Denison to 310 West Gandy, next door to the Denison Public Library. Other people came and went as owners of the Chestnut Street house, but Thomas Reardon remained a constant lodger. Thomas, who never married, lived there for the rest of his life. In 1938, he occupied an office upstairs at 303 West Woodard Street. This was the Munson Block.
Thomas passed away on May 12,
1940. Ever a
Catholic, he was buried in Calvary Cemetery.
Irish American Research
Elaine Nall Bay