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THE QUINNS OF DONEGAL
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Francis Phillip Quinn

My Grandfather

Francis Phillip Quinn was my grandfather, and the one I know the most about.
 
He was quite an interesting character, from what I've been told.  I really wish I could have known him, I think he would have been a great person to know and talk to.
 
What follows is the information we have been able to locate:
 
Francis Phillip "Frank" Quinn, born 12 April 1858, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Died: 29 July 1938, Westcliffe, Colorado
Buried: 5 August 1938, Silvercliffe Cemetery, Silvercliffe, Colorado
 
He first married a lady by the name of Sarah O'Brien, an immigrant from Ireland.  She had been living in Boston, Massachusetts for several years.  It is not known whether Frank had went to Boston and met her there, or if she had moved to the Minneapolis area.
 
From bits and pieces we have been able to find, Frank and Sarah had 3 children, all boys.  A gravesite has been located for one of them - the St. Anthony Cemetery of Minneapolis.  The gravestone reads: "Frank Phillip Quinn, Jr. Died at 10 months old in 1887."  Nothing has ever been found concerning the other two children.
 
Census reports containing Frank and Sarah say that they had no children, so it is assumed that they all died.   Frank and Sarah were married for 20-22 years. No record of a divorce has been located.
 
His second "marriage" was to Lillian Frances Maltais Duffy. No record of a marriage has ever been located, and the family has always doubted that they ever did get married.  The best we can come up with is that they were living together in 1912.
 
Frank and Lillian had three children: Virginia Sylvia, Eugene William, and Phyllis Marie Jean.  
 
Frank was originally named Francis Phillip, but changed his name to Frank(according to census reports) at a fairly early age.  In some census records, he is listed as Franklin Phillip.  He owned a house painting business in Creede, CO in 1890-92 called Quinn Bros. Painting.  A picture is on file with the Denver Public Library - Western History Section.
 
He was also a cook, bricklayer, timber cruiser and gold prospector.  Frank platted out and founded the small town of Arapaho, Colorado.  According to records, he was also involved in the platting of the town of Hugo, Colorado.
 
Along with being all of this, Frank was also known as a definite card player, rode shotgun on a stagecoach from Dodge City to Deadwood and Lead, and basically a nomadic type of person.
 
Frank apparently moved whenever the mood struck him, just picking up and changing locations many times.  He has been tracked to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where the family lived for many years, then on to Monte Vista, Colorado, Del Norte, Colorado, and finally Westcliffe, Colorado.  From what we know about him, this was in search of gold.
 
Even in his younger years, he would disappear from Minneapolis for a period of time, and then reappear on records scattered around the state.  We have found information that located him in Boston, Massachusetts, and from bits and pieces we have picked up, he was pretty much all over the mountains of Colorado several times throughout his life before finally settling in the state.
 
All in all, Frank was a very mysterious person.  Even his obituary tried to cover his tracks.  It stated that he was born in Kentucky, although no records have ever been found that even placed him in that state at any time in his life.  His own son wasn't sure where he came from - he believed it was either County Cork, Kentucky, or Boston.
 
It was not until an old family letter was uncovered that we were able to place his birth as Minneapolis, MN.  (This letter also helped us place the origin of the family as County Donegal, Ireland.)
 
And, scattered in the middle of all of this, there is possible evidence that there could have even been a third wife by the first name of Kathleen.  My father could remember his dad singing the Irish song "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" many times, and said that the song had a very special meaning for his dad.  Dad's personal feeling was that it might have been connected to a lady named Kathleen that meant a lot to his father.
 
It's VERY possible there are descendants of Frank out there somewhere that we know nothing about.  If you feel you might be connected, please email me!

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