Holyoke Man’s Sudden Death

by Laurel | January 18th, 2012

Maurice Lynch

Maurice Lynch

18 January 1902

Water Commissioner Maurice Lynch Dies of Heart Failure

While Measuring Wood on a Lot in Granby, Eight Miles From His Home.

Maurice Lynch, 64, one of the best known business men in Holyoke, died suddenly on a wood lot in Granby, about eight miles from Holyoke, yesterday morning at 11 o’clock. The news was brought to Holyoke about noon by a woodchopper who was in the party measuring wood, and who notified relatives of the sad occurrence. The news spread with startling rapidity, and though at first his family hoped that the report had been exaggerated, it was fully confirmed later in the afternoon. Mr Lynch was in the best of health and spirits yesterday morning, and the blow therefore fell with greater force. Death must have been practically instantaneous. as Mr Lynch, was seen by those in the lot to pitch forward and fall to the ground, where he at once became unconscious,and expired in a few moments. Medical Examiner Franz pronounced the death to be due to heart failure. As soon as the news reached Holyoke the body was sent or and brought to Dillon’s undertaking rooms, and in the evening taken to the family home on Dwight street.

Maurice Lynch was one of the most prominent figures in Holyoke business life, and had had to do with the erection of scores of Holyoke mills and business and public buildings. Blunt and outspoken in manner, be said freely what he thought, but he seldom, if ever, laid up anything against those with whom he differed most sharply. One of the last buildings the city erected, the Springdale school, was built by him; and he had the contract for the brick work on Holyoke’s fine city hall years ago. The Parsons No. 2 paper mill on Sargent street was one of the largest buildings erected by him in Holyoke, but only one of many. His was a forceful personality, that carried respect even when its opinions failed to convict, and his originality and fertility of ideas and plans ultimately resulted in securing for him a leading position in the business life of Holyoke. Democratic by nature, he never was ashamed of his humble beginning, when as a boy of 10 or 12 he sold apples, at the gate of the Lyman mills. In politics he was often an interested participant, and had served the city as water commissioner for several terms, being elected a little over a year ago for a three-year term by the board of aldermen. He was a. member of Holyoke’s first city government, representing ward 5 in the old common council under Mayor W. B. C. Pearsons in 1874, with John O’Connell and J. A. Sullivan, and in 1876 as alderman from that ward. Again in 1882 he was a councilman from that ward under Mayor Roswell, P. Crafts, his fellow-councilmen being Thomas Pendergast and Michael O’Keefe. This closed his record as a member of the city government, but be served with distinction on the water board previous to his last election continuously from 1886 to 1891.

With almost tireless energy Mr Lynch won by hard work all that be had obtained. From necessity not a highly educated man himself, he valued education
highly, and saw to it that each of his large family was given a good .education, so that of the family, one, John J. Lynch, is the principal of one of the largest grammar schools of the city; another, Patrick M., a civil engineer; another, Thomas J., a lawyer, with an office on High street, and Maurice, who is now at borne, is a graduate of a technical school, and a younger son is now at Brown University. Indeed, there are few families in Holyoke whose home life has been so happy and who have been as firmly united by bonds of mutual affection and esteem.

Maurice Lynch was born in Acres, Kerry County, Ire., in 1837. coming to this country in 1847, and to Holyoke the same year. He sold apples when a boy at the Lyman mill gate, and later learned the bricklayer’s trade of George Bosworth. After a short experience in the grocery business he went into the building and contracting business, being associated with several people, the firm name being at times Lynch & Shea, Lynch and Morrissey and Lynch & Fitzgerald. In company with Thomas and Michael Lynch the present firm of Lynch Bros brick company was formed, which not only contracts for and builds, but also has a brick-yard and manufactures brick. He was a member of the Sacred Heart Church, and faithful in the performance of his church obligations. Besides a widow, he leaves one brother and a sister and eight children. The sister is Mrs Jeremiah Dowd; his brother, Michael, lives in South Hadley Falls, and the children are Mrs Mary E. O’Reilly, wife of Dr P. T. O’Reilly, Lizzie at home, Patrick M., John J., Thomas J., Maurice, Michael and Joseph.

From The Springfield Republican.

One Response to “Holyoke Man’s Sudden Death”

  1. Bob Judge says:

    I love these old obituaries. He died a year before my Irish immigrant great-great grandfather died in S. Hadley Falls. And he was born in Ireland about the same time as Lynch was.

    My great-great grandfather was a laborer all his life, although he was able to buy a house in South Hadley Falls. But look at what Lynch accomplished. It is interesting to try to guess why Lynch succeeded so quickly in America, although an immigrant, while other Irish families needed more than one generation to do so.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Suggested Holyoke Books

Mountain Park -- The Holyoke destination we all loved.

Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College, Postcard History by Donna Albino. Many Holyoke women have attended Mount Holyoke. Author also maintains an amazing MHC website based upon her personal collection.

Holyoke - Chicopee, A Perspective

Holyoke-Chicopee: A Perspective, by Ella Merkel DiCarlo. DiCarlo, a former Transcript columnist offers a fascinating compilation of her essays. Published in 1982, this out-of-print book is worth looking for in the aftermarket.


Holyoke, by Craig Della Penna. The first Holyoke book in the Arcadia series, published in 1997.

Belle Skinner Collection

Belle Skinner Collection, by Ruth Isabel Skinner. Published in 1933, this book is long out of print but copies are still available in the aftermarket.

Mitch Epstein: Family Business

Mitch Epstein: Family Business Published in 2003, available in the aftermarket. Epstein's furniture.