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On This Day in History: January 11

Old-Timer’s Life Touched Three Centuries

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Old-Timer’s Life Touched Three Centuries

On Jan. 11, 1901, the Brooklyn Eagle published this story about the extraordinary long life of a Long Island resident:

“Nicholas McQuillan, who was born January 1, 1798, in the city of Drogheda, in the North of Ireland, died last night, at 7 o’clock, at the home of his nephew, Joseph H. Thompson, this village [Southold, L.I.]. Although he had attained the remarkable age of 103 with the dawn of the new century, he retained the full use of his senses up to within a few hours of his death, which came at the end of two days’ illness, due to organic throat trouble and the weakness of old age.

“Being born in 1798, the memorable year of the Irish rebellion, he saw the close of the eighteenth century, the whole of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. He came to this country in 1864, in company with his wife, Bridget, and being a weaver by trade he settled at Greenport three years later, where he carried on business for many years. Later he located at Arshamomoque, two miles east of this village, and did a good business at that place until the year 1886 when he gave up the loom to his son, Lawrence, whom he taught the trade, and went to live with Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, having lost his wife in 1879.

“Ten children were born to Mr. And Mrs. McQuillan — six sons and four daughter — [ ] whom were living and were men and women grown when their parents came to America, but not one of their children came to this country with them, although all nine [sic] finally made America their home. Out of this large family of ten, the survivors are now but four….

“Mr. McQuillan was perhaps the oldest person on Long Island, and up to Wednesday morning enjoyed excellent health and went about the place unattended. On New Year’s Day, when he was 103 years old, he played eight games of cards with Thomas C. Cassidy of Greenport as his partner against his two nephews…and Mr. McQuillan’s side won every game…”

January 11, 2012 - 12:45pm


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