07 August 2018

Acute Delirium, then Death While on Vacation for J. Flahive

Base of Jeremiah's tombstone. Image by Stephanie Lincecum.Jeremiah Flahive was born in County Kerry, Ireland, one of at least eight children of Patrick and Elizabeth Flahive. When he immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts in May of 1886, Jeremiah P. Flahive provided a birthdate of 6 April 1869. This differs from the one sculpted on his tombstone – 28 April 1870.

Jeremiah became a naturalized citizen of the United States on 5 October 1895 while still at Boston. He also, on 8 September 1897, married Margaret / Margarita C. Devlin there. She was born about 1874 in Ireland.

Jeremiah and Margaret had two sons in Boston before heading south to Macon, Bibb County, Georgia some time between 1900 and 1902. It was also around this time that Jerry's middle initial became J.

Three more sons were added to the family over the next five years or so. All five sons follow:

  • John Patrick (b. 1898)
  • Joseph Jerome (b. 1900)
  • Edward Leroy (b. 1902)
  • Hugh Gregory (b. abt 1905)
  • Jerome J. Jr. (b. 1907)

Tragedy struck the family in January 1909. "Little Jerome" died on the 4th, even though he "had only been sick one week and although everything known to medical science was done to spare his life." The death notice went on to add, "While he was only 18 months old he had succeeded in entwining himself about the hearts of his parents."

Sculpture atop base of tombstone for J. J. Flahive. Image by Stephanie Lincecum.Six months later, while surely still grieving little Jerome, the rest of the Flahives set out on a family vacation. Their entire itinerary is unknown to me, but it seems the journey began with the plan to return to Boston and visit a couple of Jeremiah's brothers. Unfortunately, the "father dear" did not live to see Boston or his brothers again.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
Friday, 9 July 1909 - pg. 9 [via GenealogyBank]

Deaths and Funerals

The funeral services of the late Mr. Jerry J. Flahive were held yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock from St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Rev. Father Madden officiating.

...Interment in St. Joseph's cemetery.

The large following of friends, embracing many of every class of citizens, attested the high esteem in which Mr. Flahive was held. The floral tributes were many and beautiful.

The death of Mr. Flahive was peculiarly sad. With his wife and four boys he had sailed from Savannah on the Nacoochee for a pleasure trip to Boston and eastern resorts, and had anticipated a pleasurable trip with those he held most dear.

He became violently ill on the ship, and while everything that could be done with medical skill and loving hands on board, the ship was stopped at Vineyard Haven, that a physician from the Marine Hospital could be secured. This was done by wireless telegraphy, and the physician had him carried by steam launch to the Davis Sanitarium, reaching there at 5 o'clock Sunday morning. He was given every possible attention, but died at 5:55 on Monday morning.

Mr. Flahive  is survived by his wife and four sons, John P., Joseph A., Edward L., and Hugh Gregory; a mother and five brothers; one sister living in Summerville, Mass., and one sister, Mrs. A. F. Devlin, of Macon.

While other newspaper items published regarding the death of Jerry Flahive cited a cause of "acute delirium," the death register of the town of Tisbury, Dukes County, Massachusetts for the year 1909 stated Jeremiah J. died – at the age of just 39 years – of Alcoholism.

Jeremiah, Margaret (d. 1915), and sons Joseph (d. 1958), Hugh (d. 1942), and Jerome were all buried in a section of Rose Hill Cemetery that was purchased by the Roman Catholic Church in the late 1890s known as St. Joseph's.

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