Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Lena LaRock Houlihan Perkins story


This is another story related to me by Barbara Perricelli.

If I ever met Aunt Lena, I’ve forgotten. I do have a photo around here somewhere with Lena and her 2nd husband, Welser Perkins, taken in Aunt Nellie’s driveway.  The same place as your photo of Bea Marney.


“ Aunt Lena married Frank Houlihan, [Francis “Frank” Robert Houlihan] on 8 July 1903.  Lena 1881 – 1961, was 22.

But her family did not approve, so decided to take matters into their own hands.  Big bro Joe LaRock hired someone to murder a bum, with the proviso that evidence would be left, so that Frank Houlihan would be found guilty of murder.  All went accdg to plan, except either John or your ancestor Frank found out about the scheme, thought it terribly unfair, so warned Frank Houlihan, just in time for him to escape to Canada, by the skin of his teeth.  [As a result, although he occasionally sneaked back into the US, Frank lived out his life in Canada.]


Meanwhile, back in Oburg, Lena was pregnant, and did not feel she could live with her family, after this betrayal.  She accepted an invitation to move in with Frank Houlihan’s widowed mother.  I am not sure, but think they said it was a house on Albany Ave, right behind the one where your mother lived on Mansion Ave, but 2d from the corner on Albany.


For months, the LaRock’s were denied access to Lena.  When they heard that she had given birth, they began to get worried.  Finally, one or more of the LaRock brothers broke into the Houlihan house and kidnapped Lena and her baby.  It turned out that Mrs. Houlihan was vindictive!  She had been trying to pay Lena back for the murder scheme, by trying to slowly starve Lena and the baby to death.  I don’t know if you knew, but Marge Fladd had a glass eye.  Marge said her loss of sight in that eye was due to this malnutrition, as a newborn infant.


Eventually, Lena divorced Frank & remarried, before moving to Rochester, to get away from the whole sordid mess.  Marge said that her mother put her in a church school, and then walked her to and from school every day, year in and year out, because Lena was so afraid Frank would show up and kidnap Marge off the street.  The school faculty had strict instructions to keep a close eye on Marge and be on the lookout for any strange men lurking around the playground.


I don’t seem to have Marge’s birth date in my computer, but I think it was ca 1903. [Margaret “Marge” Houlihan was born on 9 December, 1903 in Ogdensburg, NY at 77 Green St. (between Morris & Hamilton.]  Since Lena was pregnant when it happened, you could probably use that date to find something in local newspapers to verify the “Houlihan the Murderer” tale.”


If my dates are correct; Lena’s Marriage on  8 July 1903 and Marge’s birthday of 9 December, 1903 means Lena was 3 – 4 months pregnant before wedding.



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