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Patrick McMullen

                                                  [Father of Col. McMullen.]
Patrick McMullen was born in 1792 in Limerick, Ireland, and died in Winfield, Kansas in 1880. He married Ellen McGirl who was born in Ireland and died in California. They emigrated to the United States in 1831. The family moved to Wisconsin in 1847, where Patrick received a 40 acre farm from the government.
Patrick and Ellen McMullen had seven children: Joseph P., who was born on August 1, 1831, in New York City; Matilda, who was born in 1833 and died in 1913; Mary, who was born in 1834 and died in 1905; John Cornelius, who was born in 1836 and died in 1922; Alexander, who was born in 1837 and died in 1913; Helen, who was born in 1840; and Jane, who was born in 1842.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 3, 1877.
Col. McMullen has gone to Wisconsin. His father (Patrick McMullen) will return with him. [Note by RKW: The wife of Patrick McMullen, Ellen, came with her husband and son, but the newspaper made no mention of this.]
Kathleen McMullen Janisse reported: “On October 19, 1877, Patrick and his wife traveled to Milwaukee by railroad (This was the first time they had seen a train or traveled on one.) In Milwaukee they decided to go to a theater as they had not been in a theater since attending one in London.”
Arkansas City Traveler, November 28, 1877.
AN OLD IRISH GENTLEMAN. We had the pleasure of an hour’s conversation with Mr. (Patrick) McMullen, father of J. C. McMullen of this place, whose age is ninety years. He was a resident of this country before LaFayette came to our relief; left New York City when the Astor House was yet unfinished, and saw Wisconsin grow into a State. His mind is active still, and he readily refers back to events that have transpired sixty years ago. It is a surprise and wonder to him to see the growth this country has made in seven years. In speaking of his sons, now forty years old, he calls them his boys, and thinks they are getting old enough to look out for themselves.
Winfield Courier, February 21, 1878.
There are in Winfield perhaps the oldest couple in the State. Mr. (Patrick) McMullen, father of J. C. McMullen, who is ninety-six, and his wife, who is over eighty. Mr. McMullen thinks nothing of walking up town each day, and is as hale and hearty as a man of sixty.
Winfield Courier, July 8, 1880.
In Memoriam. At the residence of his son-in-law, E. P. Kinne, Esq., Father (Patrick) McMullen, whose aged face was familiar to most of our citizens a few weeks since, departed this life at 4 p.m., July 3rd, 1880.
His life in many respects has been memorable. Born about the close of our War of Independence, he had met and conversed with many of the great men of the past. In 1814 he saw George III at Windsor Castle, and frequently heard William Pitt, Fox, and other celebrated men of those days speak, when England was at war with her neighbors on the continent. He was a man grown when Waterloo was fought, and read the news spread through London by the Rothschilds that Wellington was defeated so that they could buy up at a great discount British consols.

In the early part of this century, he made several trips across the ocean to this country as chief officer’s clerk, and his children have in their possession the log-book kept by him during these voyages.
He visited Jackson’s memorable battle ground at New Orleans, before the cotton bales were removed, and though he was a subject of Great Britain, no one in all this land rejoiced more than he at the result of this conflict. He said “his heart fairly leaped for joy” when the news was communicated by the pilot who came aboard their vessel to take them into port.
About 1818 he settled in New York, and at the time Lafayette made his first visit to this country, had one of the best livery stables in the city. It was his pride and boast that he was one of those that welcomed the great friend of our Revolution to our shores, and he regarded it as the grandest moment of his life when he passed under that living arch of flowers that read “Welcome to Lafayette.” He often spoke of the old wall that partially surrounded New York, after which Wall street was named, as being “out on the common,” but now the busiest spot on this continent. He was present when the foundation of the Astor House was laid, and often saw such men as Webster, Clay, and Benton sup their coffee in its saloons, and heard them tell their jokes as they rode in his four-in-hand to Long Island or Rockaway. Those were the happy days of coaching, when people were not destroyed in over crowded steamers.
An incident in his career will illustrate how different the practices then from those of our times. Having lost all his earthly possession by the big fire in the city, and being reduced in an hour from affluence to penury, he was asked in after years why he had not insured. He said he had hardly heard of insur­ance, and on making inquiry of his neighbors, found that not one in a hundred was insured. Having lost all, he removed with his young family to Lewis County, New York, where some of the citi­zens of Cowley County knew him forty years ago as an old gentle­man bowed down with the might and toil of years.
In 1846 he went to Chicago, “but the lands adjacent and even the village itself, were too swampy for farming;” hence he passed off to northern Wisconsin and settled in Sheboygan County, where his youngest son now resides on a valuable farm purchased by him of the government thirty-three years ago.
In his extreme old age he came to Kansas to spend the last few months of his life among his children here. From the first he was enraptured by our broad and fertile prairies, and it was his common remark, that if these farms only had a “sugar bush” on them, they would be the finest in the world.
But few men have been blessed with a better constitution, or more happy and contented disposition. With an implicit faith in an over-ruling Providence and the promises of a Redeemer, he bore all the adversities of life in the spirit of a Christian philoso­pher; with his deep abiding love for God and his fellow man, he saw blessings where others saw nothing but trials, and whenever, through his long life’s journey he could alleviate human suffer­ing by a kind or encouraging word or by any aid in his power to bestow, it was his delight to grant it. The last thirty years of his life was a blank in his memory, almost wholly forgetting the events of this period, his mind returning in great force to the early days of his boyhood and early manhood.

Surrounded by his children and grandchildren, with the beautiful prayers of his boyhood upon his lips, he died without a struggle. When too feeble to speak, he recognized by a bow the impressive emblem of a dying Savior almost in the last moment of his life. While we miss him, we believe his work was fully done and that he is now living in that Hereafter toward which he had turned his face for so many years with as much hope, trust, and asperance as he ever looked toward his earthly habitation.
[Note by RKW: Patrick McMullen was buried in St. Mary’s Catholic cemetery in Winfield, Kansas. His wife, Ellen McGirl McMullen then moved to California where she died.]


Cowley County Historical Society Museum