The O’Mara Family


Written by Anne Mason-Brothers. One in a collection by Allen Bachoroski, Local Historical Writer and author of “Tales Along the Highway of Legends”


Thomas and Margaret (Mahoney) O’Mara lived in Trinidad, Colorado from the late1870s to About 1890. The O’Mara Family Bible states that Thomas O’Mara was from Kings County (Offaly), Margaret Mahoney from Cork County, Ireland.

According to the 1900 census in Denver, Thomas O’Mara was born January, 1822 and emigrated to New York C. in 1855, his wife, Margaret Mahoney born December, 1819 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1850. Margaret had a sister, Mary, who married Michael Carroll and they lived in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. They had no children. Mary died in Denver on February 26, 1902 at the home of her sister, Margaret. Mary owned a lot of property in Plattsmouth and had a lengthy probate record. Mary Carroll’s death certificate stated that her parents were Denis Mahoney and Mary Bryne and that she was born in Ireland, birth date unknown but about 70 years old. Margaret (Mahoney) O’Mara also had a brother, John Mahoney, who had 4 daughters according to Mary’s probate Records.

Two of Thomas and Margaret O’Mara’s children were born in New York City, the oldest, Mary Ann, born July 21, 1859 and Patrick born November 15,1861. By 1863 we find them in Portage City, Portage, Wisconsin where Katherine (Kate) was born August 4, 1863 and Margaret on November 15, 1865. There were no official birth records that early, only Margaret’s birth was listed in the Catholic Church records there. It was a fluke that we found the name of the town where they were born, as it was found on Kate (Margaret’s sister) O’Mara Lynch’s death certificate in Mary Caroll’s probate record. Someone had written in the name of the town, as it was not part of the death certificate.

Next we find the O’Maras in Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1876 where Mary Ann O’Mara married Hugh Jacob Nesbitt on August 18, 1876 (the Nesbitts were from Pittston, Luzerne Pennsylvania and went to Table Rock, Pawnee Territory, Nebraska in 1859.) Their daughter, Margaret May “Etta” was born on February 25,1878 in Urbana, Ohio. Why they were in Ohio is anyone’s guess. Was that where John Mahoney and his family were living? In 1880 we find the O’Maras, Nesbitts, and Lynchs in the 1880 census in Trinidad, Colorado. They were listed as of June 8 & 14th as Thomas O’Mara 45 yrs railroad foreman, ATSE (Atchison, Topeka. & Santa Fe Railroad) born in Ireland. Thomas had a gold railroad watch which might have been given to him at his retirement. A letter was written to the AT &SF railroad headquarters in Topeka, Kansas to see if they had any employment records, but a reply was never received.

On October 24, 1880 Katherine O’Mara married Phillip Patrick Lynch (see the Lynch Family story) at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Trinidad. Phillip was born in Dublin, Ireland on May 15, 1859, the son of Thomas Lynch and Mary Catherine O ‘Reilly .In 1883 Kate and Phillip began their family’s show business careers at the Halstead Street Theatre in Chicago, Phillip was a comedian and Kate an actress.

Phillip’s father, Thomas, and brother, Thomas, were listed in the 1880 census in Trinidad, but not himself, brother, Barney, nor sister, Mary. There is a photograph of Thomas, Phillip, and Barney and two workers in front of the Lynch Shoe Store at 215 N. Commercial St, Trinidad. The county clerk at the time was Hugh T. O’Reilly, but we do not know if he was related to Mary.

On September 4,1881 Phillip and Kate’s Ist daughter, Margaret Mary “Maggie” was born in Osage City, Kansas, she was named for her grandmothers, Margaret Mahoney and Mary Lynch. Phillip’s mother, Mary was living in Osage, Kansas during the 1880 census along with her son, John (7yrs) who was born in Virginia. It is not known why they were there, possibly visiting with friends or relatives. The sponsors of Maggie’s baptism at the Church of St. Patrick in Osage on September 25, 1881 were Thomas Graham and Ellen Cahi1l. On April 24, 1883 the~ 2nd daughter, Mabel Agnes, was born in Denver. Why they were in Denver is unknown.

On September 6,1881 Margaret O’Mara, the daughter of Thomas and Margaret married John Lyman Davis in Trinidad. The following year their only child, Josephine Augusta, was born in Trinidad on Jun 28, 1882. Besides Margaret May ‘Etta, , Mary Ann O’Mara and Hugh Jacob Nesbitt had four other children: 1. William Edward born August 7, 1879 Table Rock, Pawnee, Nebraska, 2. Robert Henry April 18, 1881, Hoehne Station, Las Animas, Colorado, 3. Thomas Albert, born January 1,1883, Hoehne Station, Las Animas, Colorado, 4. Bert Wending Nesbitt, April 18, 1885, Montrose, Montrose, Colorado Mary Ann and Hugh Nesbitt moved to Camp Creek, Oregon in 1899.

By 1889 Patrick O’Mara moved to Denver and et and married Agnes Mary Tanner (her parents names?) on June 18, 1889. From conversations the Inez Nesbitt Kline, Patrick was a real character. He was a conductor on the Georgeto & Silver Plume Railroad and later an insurance salesman. Their children, all born in Denver, were’ d Henry born March 26, 1893, Frances Arthur born January 11, 1897 and Charles Leo born June 17, 1898. Edwin Henry O’Mara married Eileen Frazier in Denver on August 10, 1918. They had one daughter, Kathleen. Edwin died in Massachusetts in December, 1962. Francis Arthur married Janet Sophia Williams in Canon City, Colorado in 1930. They had one daughter Jean Ann. Francis Arthur died October, 1942. Charles Leo never married and died September 25, 1948 in Ft. Lyons, Colorado, he was a veteran of WW I. They are all buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Denver, Colorado. Patrick O’Mara died in Denver on October 31, 1914 of lobar pneumonia. They were living at 1567 Williams at the time of his death. Agnes Tanner O’Mara born 1868 in Illinois, died November 20, 1947 in Massachusetts-

On June 1, 1889 Phillip Patrick Lynch died of pneumonia in Trinidad. His wife and daughters earned a living by continuing with their stage careers. Sometime after his death the O’Mara’s, Kate and children moved to Denver and lived at 535 13th Street. On February 17, 1898 John Lyman Davis died in Denver and is buried in the Fairmont Cemetery. His wife, Margaret, and daughter, Josephine died to Needles, California. According to her death certificate, Margaret was a librarian there. An inquiry at the Needles Library and the Historical Museum did not turn up any information. The Gonzales Inquirer newspaper in Gonzales, Texas had several stories on parties given in honor of Josephine Davis from Needles, California in 1905. This was close to the birth of her 1st cousin, Maggie Lynch Mason’s daughter, Mabel, so maybe that was the reason for her visit.

Josephine Davis married George Sumner Scott on September 19,1908 in Needles, California. They
had no children that c d be found. Margaret O’Mara Davis died in Needles August 18,1919 and
is buried in Fairmont Cemetery in Denver. After many years of looking for Josephine and George Scott, their death certificate were located in the California death records. They were living at 4412 Van Ness Ave., Los Angeles, California. He is listed as a telegraph operator. He was born in Ohio on November ,1879, the son Thomas J. Scott and Sarah Jane Constable both born in Ohio. He died in Los Angeles on May 28, 957 of coronary sclerosis, arteriosclerotic heart disease, and Parkinson’ disease. Josephine died August 1,1959 of bronchial pneumonia, heart disease and acute cystitis. They are both buried in Inglewood Memorial Park in Inglewood, California. On November 22, 1902 Kate Lynch died of heart disease in Denver. The New York Clipper, one of the leading show business newspapers, had the following article on her death on December 6, 1902, Deaths in the Profession: “Mrs. Kate Lynch, a retired actress, died at her home in Denver, CO. Nov. 22 from heart disease. She was the widow of Phillip Lynch, a comedian, who died a few years ago, and the mother of Maggie and Mabel Lynch, formerly the Lynch Sisters. Mrs. Lynch began her career in Chicago with her husband, in 1883, at the Halstead Street Theatre, and retired from the profession two years ago. She leaves a father, mother and two daughters.”

On May 23, 1906 Margaret Mahoney O’Mara died in Needles, California but no death certificate was issued for her. According to Inez Kline Margaret was a very tiny lady and the Indians in Needles loved patting her on the head. Inez also said the reason she lived in Needles is because she and her husband did not get along. On August 1, 1908 Thomas O’Mara died in Denver. His death certificate states his father was Michael O’Mara, mother unknown. Margaret O’Mara Davis died in Needles, California on August 18, 1919. All are buried in the Fairmont Cemetery in Denver.

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