Sunday, January 25, 2009

James Fitzgibbon

Fitzgibbon, Jas., was born in the little town of Middleton, near Cork, Ireland, on June 28, 1843. His father, Daniel Fitzgibbon, died when James was four years old. His mother's maiden name was Hannah Crowley, and one year after her husband's death she decided to come with her children to America, settling upon Springfield, Massachusetts, as their home. It was in that city that James was reared, and there he received the rudiments of his education. He afterward attended school for several years in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and also in this latter city he was apprenticed and learned the trade of a machinist.

When nineteen years of age he went to Hartford, Connecticut, and entered the Phoenix Iron Works as a machinist. From the Phoenix he went to the Hartford and New Haven sops, where he remained four and a half years working at his trade. He came to St. Louis in April, 1868, and was appointed foreman and superintendent by his uncle, Morris H. Fitzgibbon. He acted in this capacity until 1873, when he set up in business for himself.

Mr. Fitzgibbon does a building and general contracting business, and among the important buildings he has constructed are C.H. Turner's building, Third street; Hoyle building, Sixth and Locust; Patrick Burns' building, Christy between Sixth and Seventh; Bannerman building, Sixth and Christy; J.S. Sullivan building, Seventh and Christy; H. Liggett building, Twentieth and Chestnut; Central Distillers' buildings and warehouses; Columbia building, Eighth and Locust; Puritan building on Locust; Channing Flats; Paramore Flats; D.R. Garrison, row of houses; Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company, row of houses; Lackman School; Concordia Club Hall, and fine residences for the following named gentlemen: P.C. Murphy, Albert Mansur, Dr. Bronson, J.H. Tiernan and Marcus Bernheimer.

Mr. Fitzgibbon was married in April, 1874, to Miss Mary Jane Keating, daughter of Patrick Keating, at one time the first and most prominent real estate dealer of the city. He was a friend of many of the old real estate holders of the city, such as the Mullanphys, and as such had the management of their real estate. The couple have four children living: Francis Keating, Eugene, Edward and Louise.

Mr. Fitzgibbon's success in life is largely due to a sound business sense and the fact that he has never trusted important business to a subordinate, but has given all his work his personal supervision.
-Old and new St. Louis

James D. Fitzgibbon was a pitcher with the Empire Club and served as one of the club's field captains in 1870. According to Al Spink, he was playing with the club by 1868, shortly after arriving in St. Louis, and had previously been a member of the Charter Oak Club of Hartford, Connecticut.

In 1867 while Mr. Fitzgibbon was a member of the Charter Oaks he went with his team to the Capitoline grounds in Brooklyn to meet the Excelsiors of that city. The Charter Oaks in that game faced the pitching of...Arthur Cummings, the first man in America to use the curve ball and the real inventor of that sort of thing...

Mr. Fitzgibbon is now an old man but wonderfully alive and active. Two years ago he visited Hartford and while there asked about the Bunce brothers, Henry and Fred, who had played on the Charter Oaks with him. He found they had become bank presidents. Calling on one of the brothers, the president of the Phoenix Bank at Hartford, Mr. Fitzgibbons was recognized instantly, called by name and given a hearty reception by a fellow player who had seen him but twice in forty years.
-The National Game

I have information that was passed along to me that Fitzgibbon died in January of 1930 but I haven't been able to verify the date of death.

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