Thursday, April 18, 2013

Milan Family Monument at St. Joseph's Cemetery

This lovely monument at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Sandusky honors the family of Thomas Milan. The cross and seats on each side of it resemble a church altar. Several monetary gifts were given by the Milan family towards the stained glass windows at Holy Angels Church in Sandusky.

Hewson L. Peeke wrote in his book A STANDARD HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO, that Thomas and Cecelia (Rowan) Milan were natives of County Galway, Ireland. They came to the United States in 1848 and settled in Ohio. Mr. Milan found employment with the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad. Mr. and Mrs. Milan left their three children, Thomas, Patrick, and Margaret back in Ireland with Cecelia's sister Nora. In 1851, Nora (sometimes Honora) Rowan brought her sister's three children to America.

Sons Thomas and Patrick J. Milan were both associated with various railroads. Thomas was with the National Railways of Mexico and later he became president of the Vera Cruz and Pacific Railway. Thomas also was a captain in the Texas State Militia. He never married. Patrick J. Milan was associated with the Rio Grande and Eagle Pass Railway, the Central Railway of Georgia, and was in charge of the Pan American Railway for some time.

Mrs. and Mrs. Thomas Milan, their sons Thomas and Patrick, daughter Margaret are all buried in the family lot at St. Joseph's Cemetery. Mrs. Ryan's sister Honora Rowan, and Mrs. Patrick J. Milan are also buried in the family lot. The individual stones are arranged in two rows to the west of the main monument in Section C of the cemetery.

The inscriptions for the individual stones are:

Their Son
Thomas Milan

Their Son
Patrick J. Milan

Thomas Milan

Cecelia Milan

Their Daughter
Maria Milan

Margaret Wife of
Patrick J. Milan

Honora Rowan

While it appears that there are no direct descendants of the Milan family who remain, this monument reminds visitors to the cemetery today of the hard work and determination the Milan family showed in uprooting the family from Ireland to make a new life in the United States. The male members of the Milan family made an important contribution to the railroads in the United States and in Mexico. I am sure that Mr. and Mrs. Milan were eternally grateful to Honora Rowan for her role in caring for the children in those early years.

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