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James Smythe Tooher

Male 1868 - 1959  (91 years)


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  • Name James Smythe Tooher 
    Born 15 April 1868  Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Occupation bench hand at Bissell Sweeper Co.; musician; printer; worked at newspaper as ad man 
    Died 26 December 1959  Pueblo, Colorado Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 

    • James was born in the Third Ward of Grand Rapids on April 15, 1868. His middle initial is given as “S,” which stands for “Smythe,” his Grandmother Tooher/Gemars’ maiden name. His surname at birth was misspelled as “Tooker,” as were his parents’ names on the certificate of John and Mariann Tooker [sic]. Both parents were born in Ireland, according to the birth certificate, and his father was employed as a hatter.
      James was baptized at St. Andrew’s Church on 9 Aug 1868 by Fr. B. J. Wermers. His parents’ names are given as John Tooher and Maria Anna Sharpe and his Godparents were Simon Collins and Maria Anna Bushim (sp?). Fr. Dennis Morrow, Archivist for the Diocese of Grand Rapids, translated James’s baptismal record as reading:”On the 9th of Aug. 1868 I baptized Jacobus Shmith, born on the 15th day of April 1868 of Johannes Tooher and Maria Anna Sharpe, non-Catholic spouses.  Witnesses were Simon Collins & Maria Anna Buskim.  s/Fr. B(ernard). J. Wermers."  He explained: “One could dispute my translation, because there is a great difference between "acatholicis conjugibus" (non-Catholic spouses) and "a catholicis conjugibus" (from Catholic spouses).  But why would the priest have even bothered to specify that they were Catholic?  Nearly all babies baptized were children of at least one Catholic parent.  Adding the "a" as a prefix to "catholici" is like adding "non-" to "Catholic."  A great difference, you see.  And that's why I would stand by my translation.” 

      For more work and housing info, see his father’s “Notes” section.

      28 May 1882: Confirmed at St. James Church

      1888-’90 still living in Grand Rapids, Michigan
      James married Lydia Glauz in 1899 and they moved to Pueblo, Colorado, a city of 35,000 people.

      1899-1900 Polk City Directory for Pueblo, Co: James is an Asst. Supt. for Prudential Insurance Company and rooms in the Triangle Block

      1900 Census:
      Living at 219 Jackson in Pueblo, Colorado:
      James S Tooher, born Apr 1870, 30 years old, married 0 years, born in Michigan, father born in Ireland, mother born in England, circulator, reads, writes and speaks English
      Lydia Tooher, born Apr 1876, 24 years old, married 8 months [I can read what was erased underneath the “0”], born in Michigan, both parents born in Germany, can read, write and speak English

      In The Grand Rapids Evening Press on June 27, 1903 , the following notice was printed: “Mr. and Mrs. Emil Glanz entertained with a luncheon Wednesday for Mr. and Mrs. James Tooher and son Leslie, of Pueblo, Colorado. The rooms were prettily decorated with ferns, roses and other garden flowers. Covers were laid for eleven. Mr. Tooher will return to their home Monday leaving Mrs. Tooher and son to spend the summer with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Glanz.”

      1904-’05: Polk Directory: James working as a “collr” at The Pueblo Indicator, resides at 1015 Berkeley Ave.

      1910 Census:
      Living at 1011 Palmer in Pueblo, Colorado:
      Toter, James, 41, married for ten years, born in Michigan, father born in Ireland, mother born in England, musician in the theatre business, rents a home
      Toter, Ludia, 33 years, married for ten years, has given birth to one child who is alive, born in Michigan, parents born in Aust-Italian, no career
      Toter, James [Leslie], son, 9 years old, born in Colorado

      1920 Census:
      I cannot find the family listed. I am sure the enumerator had sloppy handwriting and the indexer mis-spelled their last name. A house-by-house search of Pueblo would find them.

      1921 Polk Directory: Living at 307 Veta Ave are James S., an administrator at The Pueblo Indicator, John Tooher is a music teacher, and Leslie is listed as a resident of the home

      Grand Rapids Press, June 12, 1922: “”Returns to Native City for Musicians Convention—Returning to his native city from which he moved away 24 years ago J. S. Tooher is a delegate to the musicians convention, representing Pueblo local No. 69. In Pueblo he plays the drums in band and orchestra and is also engaged in job printing. In the days when his home was on the west side, on Scribner ave., he was drummer in the old Grand Opera house on ‘Canal st.’ under the leadership of Wilbur Force. Other members of the orchestra in which he played for eight years were Frank York, Orrie Bonney, Walter Wilkins and Jay Barrett. It is nine years since his last visit to Grand Rapids.”

      1923 Polk City Directory: James works as a “collr” for The Pueblo Indicator and has a home at 307 Veta Ave.

      1930 Census:
      Living at 307 Veta Ave. in Pueblo, Colorado
      James S. Tooher, owns the home worth $2250, he owns a radio, 58 years, widower, born in Michigan, father born in Ireland, mother born in England, advertising man for a newspaper.

      1930 Polk Directory: resides at 307 Veta Ave, between Jackson and Van Buren Sts.
      1938 Polk Directory: works as a collr at The Pueblo Indicator, resides at 211 N. Union Ave.
      1939 Polk Directory: resides at 211 N. Union Ave.
      1942 Polk Directory: working as a circulation manager at The Pueblo Indicator, resides at 211 N. Union Ave.
      1943 Polk Directory: works as an advertising “solr” at The Pueblo Indicator and resides at 211 N. Union Ave.
      1945 Polk Directory: works as an advertsing administrator for The Pueblo Indicator and resides at 206 W. 8th St.
      1946 Polk Directory: James is an administrator for The Pueblo Indicator and resides at 206 W. 8th St.
      1948 Polk Directory: works as an administrator for The Pueblo Indicator and resides at the Gaines Hotel
      1950 Polk Directory: musician, resides at 206 W. 8th St.
      Note: the photo of the building in “Multimedia” is of the Gaines Hotel in 2016, the place James lived from 1945-1950.

      Two notices of James’ death appeared: “James S. Tooher, Pueblo Star Journal, December 27, 1959, 417 W. 11th St., died Saturday after an illness of several weeks. Resident of Pueblo 61 years. Member of the Sacred Heart Cathedral. Life member of B.P.O. Elk’s No. 90 Pueblo Musicians Union. Holy Name Society and Half Century Club. Survived by his son, J. Leslie Tooher of Schenectady, N.Y.; sister, Mrs. D. H. Hoogerhyde and a niece, Mrs. John M. Bek of Grand Rapids, Mich. Funeral notice later.”

      “December 28, 1959, James S. Tooher. Rosary recitation Sacred Heart Cathedral Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. Requiem Mass will be celebrated at the church Wednesday at 9 a.m. Elks services at Roselawn.”
      The funeral director was T. G. McCarthy. James’s death certificate could not be found on Ancestry.com.

      I wonder if James paid for his parents’ and siblings’ grave markers at St. Andrew’s Cemetery in Grand Rapids?
    Person ID I1153  Moore-Bek
    Last Modified 3 May 2016 

    Father John E. Tooher,   b. 20 April 1834*, Lorrha, Co. Tipperary, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 November 1896, Grand Rapids, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Mary Anne Sharpe,   b. 4 February 1848, Manchester, Lancashire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 September 1910, Grand Rapids, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years) 
    Married Yes - date unknown 1861  unknown: Canada? Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F79  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family/Spouse Lydia Glauz,   b. April 1876, Grand Rapids? Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 May 1920, Pueblo, Colorado Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 44 years) 
    Married 23 October 1899  Grand Rapids, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
    +1. James Leslie Tooher,   b. 23 July 1901, Pueblo, CO Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 March 1990, Schenectady, NY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years)
    Family ID F81  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart


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