March 6, 2021
Written by 
Luke F. McCusker III

Connor Healy: an Irish leader and his trade

Connor Healy (pictured) was born in County Sligo, Ireland in 1853, during the years of the Great Hunger. He immigrated to Baltimore in 1872, and began a long career with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, where he began as a laborer, as many illiterate Irish did.

Connor married the former Mary Ann Hussey, a distant relative, at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in 1876. Her parents had also been married at St. Peter’s, on August 31, 1859, and Mary Ann was baptized there on April 29, 1860. Connor and Mary Ann established a home at 903 McHenry St., bordering the Mount Clare shops: it was a two and 1⁄2 story house just five doors down from Mary Ann’s parents. They raised two children there, and later lived at 421 S. Poppleton Street with several relatives. They eventually purchased a three story Italianate rowhouse at 1605 W. Lombard St., just west of Union Square. A native Irish speaker, Connor became literate and naturalized. He was promoted to engine inspector with the B & O, and spent years working at the Riverside rail yards, south of Locust Point, where he inspected locomotives like the Q-1aa Mikado, built in 1911. He continued as an engine inspector into 1930, at 77 years of age, and was the head of a home that included nine, including grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The Healy family attended St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church. Connor passed away on August 31, 1932 and was laid out at home. His funeral Mass was held at St. Martin’s, and Connor was buried at St. Peter’s Cemetery, where his father-in-law Isaac Hussey had been buried 49 years earlier.

Connor Healy, 1917

(Photos and information courtesy of Christine Balmert Marshall, his great-great granddaughter)

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