PATRICK F. DORGAN, born May 28, 1891 in Ballybraher, Ballycotton, County Cork, Ireland; died April 08, 1969 in Providence, Rhode Island.

He married (1) Viola. He married (2) Edna Frechette (pictured above) in New York, perhaps Long Island. Edna died before 1969.

Patrick Dorgan is a colorful character. He is described as a very intelligent man, an engineer, a toolmaker, and a veteran. He was often "on the run" from "business associates".  He sometimes used an alias, Patrick Forgan, perhaps to escape his creditors. He travelled to many States and spent some time in Indianapolis, Indiana with his nephew, Francis Maguire.

Patrick Dorgan married twice.  His first wife was Viola. Nothing is known about her and there is no marriage record in Rhode Island. His second wife was Edna Frechette from New York, perhaps Long Island. Patrick lived on Long Island for some time.

There is a Violet Dorgan listed in the 1926 and 1930 Providence City Directories as a widow residing at 25 Federal Street. She said she was 41 and that her father was born in Rhode Island and her mother born in Massachusetts. She paid $26 rent. She also appears on the 1935 Rhode Island Census as residing at 23 Federal Street in Providence, RI. She did not have a "gainful occupation."

Patirck may have served with the US Navy in World War I, but I have been unable to find his military record. His father, Patrick J. Dorgan (age 56), and his two brothers, David A. Dorgan (age 22), Michael J. Dorgan (age 28) along with Richard Hartnett (age 48) and most likely a relative of his mother, Mary Catherine Hartnett, enrolled in a citizenship class conducted at a library or school during the War years 1917-1918. But Patrick F. Dorgan was not enrolled with them.

I found a PATRICK F. DORGAN on a WWI Draft Card ... but he gives a close, but not exact, birthdate to our PATRICK F. DORGAN and he says he was born in Sydney Australia not Ireland. He also says his next of kin contact is his wife (no name given!) and his sister under 12 years old living with him at that time in 1917! The funny thing is our PATRICK F. DORGAN did have a sister, Mary Catherine, who was 11 or 12 at that time! Another funny thing is ... there is no other PATRICK F. DORGAN in any other State record in Rhode Island!



Patrick signed up for the WWI Draft on 5 June 1917 in Providence, Rhode Island. He used his real name, Patrick Francis Dorgan, but he gave his birth date as July 18, 1891 and his place of birth as Sydney, Australia! He stated he lived at 443 Pine Street, Providence, Rhode Island and he lived with his wife and sister who was under 12 years old. He also stated he was a “naturalized citizen” and a salesman at the Chandler Motors Company of Cleveland located at 118 Broad Street, Providence, Rhode Island.

Baptism: May 28, 1891, Church of Ballycotton, Diocese of Cloyne. Sponsors: Thomas Smiddy(Ballybraher) and Mary Healy (His father's sister)
Burial: April 11, 1969, St. Ann's Cemetery, Cranston, RI
Occupation: Engineer

Residence at Death: 168 Whitehall Street, Providence, RI

Patrick’s Obituary appeared in the Providence Journal on 10 April 1969, page 28:

“Patrick F. Dorgan died Tuesday at his home, 168 Whitehall St. He was the husband of the late Edna (Frechette) Dorgan. Born in County Cork, Ireland, a son of the late Patrick J. and Mary (Hartnett) Dorgan, he was a 50-year resident of Providence, and a Navy veteran of Worl War I. Surving are two sisters, Mrs. Anne T. Maguire and Mrs. R. James Moriarty, both of Cranston; and two brothers, David A. Dorgan of Providence and William J. Dorgan of Cranston. The funeral will be held tomorrow at 9 a.m. from te J. F. Skeffington Chapel, 925 Chalkstone Ave., with a high requiem Mass at 10 in St. Anthony’s Church, Plainfield Street. Burial will be in St. Anne’s Cemetery in Cranston.”


I asked Francis Maguire, the nephew of Patrick Dorgan, to write some brief remembrances of his uncle.

Here is what he shared with me:




My first memory of Uncle Pat is when out of the blue he arrived at our home on Bartlett Ave, in Cranston sometime in the year of 1930, this has to be close since I remember he took care of us while Ma was in the hospital for the birth of Hope (August 5,1931).

Although I was only nine years old at the time, it seemed that Uncle Pat arrived without any warning from our parents about the new guest he just appeared and moved in, I’m sure there must have been adult negotiations prior to the move, kids wouldn’t be consulted at all.

Pat was a favorite with all of the kids as I remember and I loved him because he would always have time to tell me about what he was working on and give all sorts of advice. He was adept with tools and he repaired everything around the house, His pet project was converting an old console RCA radio into a sort of stand up cabinet and he insisted on painting it “Chinese Red”, no other tint would do. He helped me to write a letter to Ma while she was in the hospital and he also wrote a letter for my brother Bill since Bill wasn’t ready for writing at the time.

The crash of 1929 took a terrible toll on working people and I presume there were millions of people who were forced to move in with relatives the way Uncle Pat came to us. The folks told us that Pat had been working on some type of oil equipment in Mexico and had developed some illness like malaria and had been in the hospital before he came back to RI. I can’t imagine how he could recuperate in a home filled with nine kids aged one month through nineteen.

Pat left us sometime between the years 1932-1935, I don’t know when but he didn’t move to College Rd. with our family.

Our father died in1936 and I don’t think we saw much of him during the years 1936 through 1940, even though he was working in Providence. He somehow was connected with the Fay Theater and he may have had connections with Mr. Fay. I’ve always suspected that Uncle Pat was an “expert” on large industrial type oil furnaces.

Prior to 1940 Pat lived in Providence and apparently married Vi, I remember  “Aunt Vi” since we would visit with her when we were kids she was a kind and pretty lady and always handed out candy and coins. As I recall Vi lived in a large double on Broadway near downtown Providence. Pat was never there when I visited, he had probably departed for other pastures some time in the early 40’s.

The next connection with Pat was when we drove our mother to Kew Gardens, NYC to visit he and the new wife Edna. At that time I know Pat worked on or supervised the installation of large boilers because he took me to one or two installations. He and Edna seemed to be doing quite well at this juncture as their apartment was rather upscale and they dressed very nicely.

So we all were off to war in1942 and heard no more from Uncle Pat until 1947 the year our son Jim was born. We had just moved into a new small two bedroom home on the south side of Indy in August of ’47 and I think Pat called in early ’48 to ask if they could come to Indy to see us, of course I was happy to see one of my favorite relatives.

I picked them up at the train station and lo and behold they arrived with lots of bags and baggage and also “freakin” dog. So in they moved into a small bedroom with a twin bed and along side a crib with Baby Jim. This went on for many long months until the strain on our marriage reached the snapping point.

Pat, Edna and doggie finally left and I put them on a train to RI, probably early ’49.We never heard from Pat or Edna again.

Edna had been married to someone with an Italian name like Mongano, my sister Pat probably has the correct name in her archives. Edna’s son, I think “Tommy” was in the Army stationed near Quonset Point in early 1942 and he called me several time for a ride back to base, I obliged him several times until I found out he was charging the 3or 4 GI’s with him and he never offered to pay for gas. One of our finer citizens.

One more remembrance of Uncle Pat, if I would smart off to him he would say, “DON’T GET AHEAD OF YOUR TICKET”. I would be puzzled until he explained the difference between first class and other class tickets.

Over the years I think Pat would stretch his luck and live beyond his ticket only to use his last dollar to get out of town, hence all of the name changes.

Hope you can use the info Bill.