Friday, October 18, 2013

Stump the Chump

Last week a visitor asked me if I knew how the Clines (Regina O'Connor's family) made their fortune.  Hmmm.  Now that one stumped me.  I told this person that I thought her grandfather had established a business of some sort in Milledgeville, but beyond that I wasn't sure.  Not to worry; I told him I would look up the answer and get back to him as soon as I could.  In the mean time, more visitors came, I got tied up in the gift shop and, before I had a chance to turn to the ever-reliable Brad Gooch to answer our visitor's question, he had left.  So if you happen to be reading this blog, sir, here is the answer you were looking for.  After emigrating from County Tipperary (Ireland) in 1824, Flannery's great-grandfather Hugh Donnelly Treanor built a prosperous grist mill on the Oconee River in Milledgeville.  The family's good luck continued when one of his daughters, Kate, married Peter J. Cline, a successful dry-goods store owner in town.  When she died, he married Kate's sister, Margaret.  According to Brad Gooch, "Peter's wealth sufficiently trumped his oddity as a small-town Irish Catholic to allow him to buy an antebellum mansion in Milledgeville soon after the Civil War, to be unanimously elected its mayor in 1889, and to have his every movement covered in the local paper." (Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor, p. 22).
- Mark

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