Letter - Mona's Herald 28th September 1881



To the Editor of Mona's Herald

Geneva, Ontario County,
State of New York, U.S., Sept. 10th 1881.

Respected Friend:- Believing that you feel deeply interested in all that pertains to the prosperity and success of Manxmen in foreign lands, with your permission, and the indulgence of the intelligent readers of the Herald, I will in this letter add a few items in addition to what I have written in former letters on this subject. And I am happy to say, with the Razor Strop Man, there are more of the same sort left - viz., successful Manxmen. Some six months since I happened to hear accidentally that a Manxman was living 52 miles from Geneva, in the vicinity of Syracuse. I took the liberty to write to him, having ascertained his name and place of residence. I shortly afterwards received a letter from the gentleman, signed John Mylcraine, which fully convinced me that there was no counterfeit about that good old Manx name. In the letter I was strongly urged to visit him as soon as I had an opportunity, he promising to meet me at the depot with his carriage to convey me to his home. Very soon after my return from my late visit to Ohio I felt under obligations to respond to the kind invitation of my friend, but did not inform him of my coming. I left home by the early train and arrived in the City of Syracuse in good season. I then took a street car and rode a mile, then walked a mile to Mr M.'s residence which I found by a little inquiry. I was necessitated to introduce myself as we were strangers to each other ; but received a warm welcome from the members of the family, Mr M. being not at home. He, however, was soon sent for. I met him at the door, took him by the hand, and greeted him with the very best Manx language I could command. I need not assure you that my old friend was glad to see me. He regretted very much that I had not informed him of my coming, as it was his purpose to meet me at the depot with his carriage. We sat down and had a long, old-fashioned Manx chat until summoned to come and partake of a bounteous dinner. And here let me say that we had not seen each other for upwards of 54 years. He had known me when I was an apprentice in Ballaugh, and he had been in the shop where I worked. John Mylcraine served an apprenticeship as a joiner in Ballaugh, and came to America 40 years ago. He worked for some time at his trade in the City of New York and other places, got married, and settled near Syracuse, forming a co-partnership in the manufacture of salt. He is still engaged in the same business; and I was happy to hear that by industry, sobriety, and moral integrity he had accumulated an ample fortune, sufficient, I was credibly informed, to purchase and pay for one of the best farms located in the sea girt Isle. I was happy to be informed that he was a man of irreproachable character. So much for a Ballaugh boy. As I had to return to my home in the afternoon my stay was rather limited, but I intend to extend my visit before long. After dinner my kind friend got ready his carriage and took me two miles to the city, where I took the train for Geneva. Mrs M. is an excellent Scotch woman, full of kindness. They have no children of their own. After my next visit I may have something more to say in regard to my countryman.

A short while ago I took up Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, and while perusing its contents my eye was attracted by a noble-looking photo. of the Hon Geo. B. Corkill, United States District Attorney, District of Colombia - the City of Washington being head quarters. He will, of course, be the principal man to prosecute Guiteau, the assassin, who attempted to take life of the President. I think you will admit the Attorney's name sounds very Mankish (if I will be permitted to coin a word). Now for a brief sketch of the Corkhill family, &c. The family was originally from Kirk Andreas but later from Ramsey, from whence they emigrated to America in the year 1822, consequently they were amongst the Manx pioneers to this Western world. The family landed in Baltimore, and travelled westward and settled on the Ohio river, near Steubenville, Jefferson county, Ohio. As there were no canals or railroads in those days, it must have been a long tedious journey. The father purchased a small farm adjoining the village in 1829, and died March 3rd, 1840. There were in the family the mother, two sons, and an unmarried daughter. In the fall of 1849 the widow, two sons and a daughter moved to the state of Iowa, and settled near Mount Pleasant. Mrs Corkill died some years since at an advanced age. William, the father of US District Attorney died about a year since. Thos. E. Corkill, now the Rev Thos. E. Corkill, studied for a doctor when they resided in Ohio; on his removal to Iowa his mind and affections were drawn towards the Christian ministry, and for upwards of 25 years he has been a successful physician of souls, and one of the most prominent Methodist preachers in the Iowa Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was elected as a delegate to the General Conference of the Church twice, and for many years has held the responsible office of Presiding Elder. He has also taken a prominent part in the Educational and other enterprises of Church and State.

In conclusion, permit me to invite my Manx friends to visit the Editorial sanctum of my friend, John C. Fargher, publisher of the Mona's Herald, and there they can see the picture of the Hon. Geo. B. Corkill, United States District Attorney of Washington. And here let me jog their memory. My beloved countrymen, if you have not already subscribed and paid for the Mona's Herald, do so immediately. I want to have you posted in regard to what transpires in America, but more especially in reference to the prosperity and success of your countrymen; while you will rejoice with me to hear of so many being highly honoured in the land of their adoption, By your permission I will subscribe myself a Shan-Manninagh.

Philip Craine

The Corkill family is I think that of William Corkill & Jane Kaneen

[Genealogy Index]
  other letters etc

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2009