Irish on Parade

Phillip L. McQuillian at the Memorial Day Parade in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

Submitted by Mary Kelly Anderson, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
October / November 2003

June 1, 1907: Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.


My grandfather Phillip L. McQuillan, one of the early plumbing and heating engineers, celebrated his Irish-American patriotism by participating in the 1907 Memorial Day Parade in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. The sign on the side of the wagon reads “P.L. McQuillan, Good Plumbing.” Two of his twelve children, Ruth and Frances, are tiding in the bathtub.

Phillip was an active member of the business community in the city as well as the Ancient Order of Hibernians and joined fellow citizens who gathered to pay loving tribute to the memory of the veterans of the old Army of the Union.

Phillip’s parents emigrated from County Fermanagh to Galena, Illinois in 1840. Later, he migrated with other family members to St. Paul, Minnesota where they established McQuillan Brothers Plumbing and Heating in 1887, a business still thriving today. In 1894 Phillip and his wife Johanna Dawson from County Donegal moved to Wisconsin and he set up his own business.

He died in 1915, when he was just 55 years old, from Bright’s Disease, the same illness that had claimed the life of his uncle Phillip F. McQuillan whose daughter Molly McQuillan married a Fitzgerald and was the mother of the famous writer F. Scott Fitzgerald.

My mother Lucille was the last surviving child of Phillip L. McQuillan; she died at age 100 in 2001. I have moved back to the McQuillan house and am preparing to celebrate 100 years and three generations of McQuillans living at the same address in September 2004. ♦

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