Patrick (Packey) McCafferty









April 24th, 1896 in Cleveland, Ohio

November 30th, 1922 to Helen Rose Gill

December 17th, 1962 in Cleveland, Ohio

Holy Cross Cemetery

Written Records

















            April 24, 1896 in Cleveland, Ohio (certificate has errors on date, parents, and gender)


April 26, 1896:  God parents for baptism:  Pat Garvey (uncle) and May Loftus (aunt);  baptizing priest - Fr. E. O'Callaghan (certificate lists name as Patrick Charles McCafferty)

Cleveland Directory: 

In 1910 lived with Grandmother on Alger

                1918--Owned home on 67th St. before getting married; had a telephone

                Built homes:  10808, 10902, and 10904 Bernard--lived in one, then the other.  Also built 3364 W. 105th and helped Joe build 3360 W. 105th.

Military Records: 

Served in Army in WW1, 5 Cons Balloon Company AS to Discharge Private 19 Jan 1918. American Expeditionary Forces 16 March 1918 to 1 Dec 1918. Honorable discharge 15 Dec 1918.



A samping of a few jobs on which he worked: 

·         Remodeling:  St. Ignatius Grade School, Church tower at St. Ignatius, St. Ignatius    High School Gym, St. Patrick (Bridge), St. Aloysius, John Carroll University, tunnels of St. Joseph Academy, St. Stephen, St. Colman, Ascension, shrine at OLA, St. Joseph Convent

·         Houses:  Scherz, Barry Funeral Home, K of C (E. 30th), John W. Gill, Bernard Avenue, Frank McCafferty (formerly John's), about 20 in St. Patrick Parish in Westpark, and various other homes on Cleveland's West Side

·         Miscellaneous:  Smith and Lustig, Tower Candy, Parmadale (swimming pool), Whitey's Paint, Misch's Car Wash, Liquor Bldg., W. 117th Office (Geraldine), warehouse between Clifton and 117 Detroit, round towers in the flats, steps and chimneys on West Side, cut out curbs for city for new homes

·         Bought warehouse ("The Yard") for $3500 (once a foundry that he remodeled after a fire destroyed much of it; rebuilt it and laid a cement floor).  Prior to this he rented space on W. 140th.

Social Security Number:

#284-03-7887 on 12/16/'36


Married Helen Gill at St. Colman Parish on November 30, 1922


Obituary (From the Universe Bulletin, the Plain Dealer was on strike)

Father Robert McCafferty, assistant at St. Monica Parish, offered requiem Mass for his father, Patrick J. McCafferty, last week Thursday in St. Ignatius Church.  Burial was in Holy Cross.  He died last week Monday after a long illness of more than  four months.  He lived at 3364 W. 105 St.  Mr. McCafferty, father of 10, was active in the Holy  Name Society and the Cleveland Council Knights of Columbus.  His children also include St. Joseph Sister Marie Joseph, a teacher at St. Bridget School, Dr. Francis, a physician, and Dr. John, a dentist. He leaves other sons, James, Baltimore; Patrick Jr., Thomas and Joseph; other daughters, Mrs. Mary Murray, Chatham, N.J. formerly with Catholic Charities here, and Mrs. Rose Haffner, and 35 grandchildren

The Person






























There was only one Patrick Garvey McCafferty; there will never be another.

                He was the only left handed bricklayer on Cleveland's West Side.  His education lasted until the seventh grade when he had a clash with a teacher, went home for lunch, and never came back.  It was not unusual at this time for kids to drop out and start working at an early age.  He was brilliant at math; he could figure out any job to the penny.  As a teen, he owned a motorcycle and rode it on the planked roads; someone was heard one day to remark:  "Get women and children off the street; here comes Packey Garvey”.  (His mother had been hospitalized  in 1896 and he was brought up by his grandmother, Ellen Garvey.)  He considered himself "From the Angle" although much of his life was spent on 67th Street (Alger) and 65th to 67th, known as Cheyenne.

                Packey joined the army January 14, 1918 (#133645) and received basic training at Kelly Air Force Base in Texas.  He belonged to the 5th construction Battalion Company  He was sent to England to build hangers; he didn't stay too long when he discovered the English were being paid $1.00 an hour and the Americans $1.00 a day.  He made friends with an English family, and spent time with them and also visited Derry.   Later, when caught, he put in time in the guardhouse, although this incident is not recorded on his discharge papers.  He received a bronze button and was discharged shortly after the war ended November 29, 1918.  He was extremely patriotic.  Any national holiday, the flag HAD to be flown.

                In his late teens and early twenties he boxed (possibly using the ring name Packey West) and also played football for Tidds and Erin Brew.  When he was married in 1922 he moved his bride, father (James McCafferty), and uncle (Pat Garvey) into the house he had built on Bernard.  Uncle Pat had helped carrying the hod, and it’s possible James did too.

                A hard worker, he amassed a fortune in the twenties, only to loose all of it in the depression.  The houses he built during the depression were sold for $4950; two bedroom brick veneer.  During the depression he paid back to others every cent he owed, when others were not doing so.  And of course, by this time the family had grown considerably. 

                Packey minded the cold winters of Cleveland.  Like others in outdoor work he wore layers of clothes, long before it was fashionable. When jobs were scarce he'd hit the rails looking for work elsewhere.  This took him to the wheat fields of S. Dakota, the mining area of Arizona, pipe covering in West Virginia, the arsenal at Ravenna, and he even traveled to New Orleans and South America.  He had many trades to offer:  cement finisher, carpenter, bricklayer, mason contractor, general laborer, and even wrecking (had a wrecking company for a few years).

                He joined the K of C and was very active in it.  His three great values were religion, education, and his kids; he encouraged all of them to go to college, even knowing he would have to foot a few bills.

                He was Irish, although he didn't stay in the Irish ghetto where he grew up.  He insisted on the T in his name, and also told us to introduce ourselves by telling people "who you are".  He was undemonstrative but you knew how he felt.  His wife, Helen, was a saint.  She had to "draw his bath", lay out his clothes ("where's my rule";" who took my cap?"), put up with him coming in for supper at any time of the night, take care of the kids, and also take care of the financial and secretarial part of the family business (Wilson Construction Company).

                Saturdays were spent at the warehouse, usually with a few of the kids helping out.  There were always tools and tool bags--in the truck and at the "Yard".  He liked to hunt (near Wellington), and couldn't let a day go by without reading the obituaries (Ironically, when he died and was waked, there was a newspaper strike so his obit did not get in.)  He didn't go out much--except on Sunday evenings to the Gills to play cards and on Saturdays to the West Side Market where he purchased many a bargain (nothing like a whole case of spinach or 15 pounds of bacon, etc.); the last stop of Saturday evening was Stone's pub on 25th after the shopping was completed or Kilroys on W. 105th.  These places were the first ones where we had cokes.  Also if you were having a beer with Packey, he'd always insist on paying for it.

                He liked to eat corn beef and cabbage, steak, pot roasts, oysters  etc. and egg and salt in his beer: he made his own during Prohibition.  Dr. Scherz was the family doctor; when the first child was born (Pat, Jr.) Packey  paid the doctor before the birth and was also there for the birth.  It is said that he remarked about his offspring: "His face looks like a broken doll."  His recreation consisted of going to wakes.

                His health gradually deteriorated (heart attacks, cancer) and he had to slow down considerably.  But that didn't keep him from going to auctions (where he purchased 10,000 window frames, and another time a store window, mannequin and all).  He enjoyed the grandkids visiting and would take them to Bert's.

                When meeting someone, the usual questions were the typical Irish ones:  Who's your father?  Are you Irish?  Where do you live?  His advice to his own kids (and grandkids too) was" don't work with your hands" (which meant work with your education and brains).   It was not uncommon for the whole neighborhood to know when he went to work since he would gun up the truck's motor.  It seemed that if he had to get off to work early, there's no reason for others to be able to enjoy peace and quiet.


Famous Stories

                Packey built a house for Uncle John W. Gill and Aunt Clara.  He didn't like changes to be made once plans were completed.  Aunt Clara, every time she came out to see the house, had other changes she wanted.  Packey took this just so long.  By the time they were working on the inside of the house, he devised his plan.  The last thing to go on the outside of the house was the steps, thus not permitting Aunt Clara to go inside to make additional changes.  

                Pat Jr. went to the Almira Theater and was accused of sneaking in.  His father  took him back to the show.  Packey talked to the manager and asked what happened.  The man again accused Pat of  not paying.  Packey said:  "What is the cost?"  "A nickel."  Then he said, "Here's your nickel", started to hand it to him but then, threw it  to the apartment across the street.  (Story by Pat Jr.)


                Your dad and I did quite a bit of hunting together.  One trip I recall  was a two day trip to Orville, Ohio.  There were six of us in one car, two dogs, and all our guns, gear, blankets, etc.  We were really jammed.  We had really good luck.  We hunted rabbits during the day and the six of us got about 30 rabbits.  Then we went coon hunting that night, but didn't stay out long because we lost our coon dog.  The dog was back at the house when we got there.  The house was owned by Mr. Countryman and was vacant at the time.  So we rolled up in our blankets on the floor.  We had a good fire going.  It was nice and warm, but the fire also brought the bed bugs out and believe me they were hungry.  We took our blankets outside and shook the bed bugs off.  Then we sat around the stove the rest of the night.  We hunted a few hours the next morning and added a few rabbits to what we had.  Then we started home.  On the way home, your dad thought he had been shot because he felt something warm running down his arm. He thought it was blood.  But it wasn't.  One of he dogs thought his arm was a fire plug but all in all it was a good trip and we had a lot of fun.    (Uncle Joe Knittel)


                 One day on his way back home to the rectory from church, Father John Ciolek was stopped by Packey McCafferty.  He was crying.  It was right after the death of the twins (probably about the year 1937).  He stated that he was upset --about the twins--and that he wished he could have 12 more kids.                                                                                              (Father John)


                If you were one of the boys chosen to go the Warehouse on Saturday, you never knew when you would get home.  You didn't dare tell Dad you had a date or a baseball game, or for sure you would not arrive home on time.


                Before setting up the clothes lines   Mom would ask Dad if he would be going to work.  More than once he said no, but then insisted on all the lines and clothes coming down so he could take his truck out of the garage.  Often it was 8 to 10 lines filled with clothes.


¨       Birth Certificate

¨       Baptism

¨       Cleveland Directory

¨       Census of 1900, 1910, 1920

¨       Military Records

¨       Obituary

¨       Marriage License

Packey McCafferty and his 10 children


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