Tom Mueller, a frequent contributor to the Flashbacks of St. Louis Park Facebook page, has shared the history of his mother’s family, the Doyles, with the SLP Historical Society. Here are some highlights from this old Irish family.
Michael Doyle was the son of Daniel Doyle, who was born in Ireland in around 1818. Michael was born in Indiana and married Honora Carney, whose parents were also born in Ireland. Michael and Honora had 12 children, all born in St. Thomas, Le Seuer County, Minnesota. In 1909 the family moved to Minneapolis – Michael was apparently not cut out to be a farmer. Throughout the coming years, several members of the Doyle clan spent time in the Park.
- Mary “Mayme” Doyle Mosher was born in 1880 and lived briefly at 2640 Birchwood, which became Vernon in 1933. The house was built in 1922, and her father Michael died there in 1923. Mayme was described as “kind, honest, good-hearted, and at times, a bit crotchety.” Her husband Fred, a Minneapolis fireman, was “a happy-go-lucky type and very kind to the small nephews and nieces, though not above teaching the male tots how to swear and chew “snoose.”
- Margaret Doyle was born in 1882 and married William Burgoyne in 1903 in Minneapolis.
- Daniel Doyle was born in 1893 and married Rose in 1916.
- Cornelius “Neal” Doyle: see below
- Catherine Doyle was born in 1888. Married and divorced at a young age, Catherine was a nurse in Indianapolis for 30 years, but spent her last years at the Texa-Tonka Nursing Home in St. Louis Park.
- Honora “Nonie” Doyle Muckerheide was born in 1890. Her family lived at 2633 Webster Ave. in the Park until about 1966; that house was built in 1929. Nonie’s husband Martin was a brakeman with the Great Northern Railroad.
- Norah Bridget “Bea” Doyle was born in 1891 and died in 1909 at the age of 18.
- John Doyle and his sister Anastasia “Stasia” purchased a home at 2601 Toledo Ave. in about 1923 – the house was built in 1920. Brother Leo and their father Michael may have lived there as well. None of them are listed here in the 1933 phone book, the earliest there is. John was a plumber and married Julia Dow in 1934. He is described as the life of the party, a “professional Irishman,” and a “needler.”
- Helen Doyle Dyke was born in 1896. She joined the Navy during World War I and in 1921 she married James Dyke, a Canadian. James decided to become an American citizen in the 1960s, and laws of the day required that Helen had to be processed as well, which she “greatly resented,” having been born in Minnesota and served in the military. In 1925 the family summered in a home they had built at 3700 Vernon Ave. on a lot they had purchased on a speculative basis. That is now the location of the Burlington Coat Factory.
- Stasia Doyle was born in 1998 and remained single. She worked with Mrs. Renner in the St. Louis Park (County) Welfare Department. Stasia had health problems, and was described as being “jolly and loved by all, even though she could at times be a bit querulous.” After living with brother John at 2601 Toledo, in the late 1930s and early ‘40s she and brother Leo lived in sister Nonie’s “little house” which was on the lot next to the Muckerheide family home at 2633 Webster.
- Leo Doyle was born in 1900. He may have lived at the 2601 Toledo house in the ‘20s but by 1933 he was at Nonie’s “little house” at 2633 Webster. “Leo slept on the porch way into the winter. He would heat bricks and put them in the bed.” Leo opened a flower shop before World War II but went into war production work during the war. In 1943 he married a woman whose parents were born in Finland. Leo worked 25 years at the Foley Manufacturing Co.
- William E. Doyle was born in 1902 and married Lucille in 1940 in Wisconsin.
The sibling with the most connections to St. Louis Park was Neal:
Cornelius “Neal” Doyle was born in 1886 and came to Minneapolis with his family in 1909. In 1913 he joined the Minneapolis Fire Department, where he worked until 1951. In 1913 he married Mary “Mayme” Healow, and they lived in Minneapolis, where their first three children were born: Carol, Quentin, and Cyril. Sometime between 1923 and 1925 the family moved to 2612 Toledo Ave. in St. Louis Park. When Highway 100 was built in the ‘30s the house had to be moved a bit to the east, but “they remained on practically the same property.” That house is now numbered 2616 Toledo. Neal and Mayme had three more children while in the Park: Beverly, Mary Lou, and Patricia.
Upon Neal’s retirement he became active at the VFW in St. Louis Park, which he loved. On great story starts with the time he was playing poker at the VFW with some of the carnies that had come to town for a fundraising carnival. Mayme awoke at 4am to find Neal missing and “walked in with ‘fire’ in her eye to match her red hair,” pulling Neal, son Cyril, and son-in-law Pete Mueller out of the club. The men were relieved – they were winning big and afraid to break up the game fearing retribution from the carnies. But even the tough guys were no match for Mayme. Neal died in 1958 and Mayme in 1971.
Just before World War II, Neal and Mayme’s daughter, Carol, and Neal’s brother, Leo, opened The Blossom Shop flower shop at 17th and Nicollet. When World War II came Leo and Carol went into war production in New Brighton and Neal and Mayme ran the shop until a buyer was found.
Neal and Mayme’s children:
- Carol was born in 1916 in Minneapolis and lived with her parents on Toledo. She worked as her uncle John’s secretary in 1938, and she and her uncle Leo bought a flower shop in downtown Minneapolis called the Blossom Shop. When World War II came, Leo and Carol went into war production in New Brighton and Neal and Mayme ran the shop until a buyer was found. In 1951 Carol married Peter Ruppe and in 1955 they built a house next to her parents at 2612 Toledo where they lived for several years.
- Quentin was born in 1918 in Minneapolis and died shortly after birth.
- Cyril was born in 1920 in Minneapolis and married Agnes Wirtz in 1939. Cyril was in the Navy and wounded at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked but later returned to active duty in the Pacific. Their address is listed as 1848 Natchez in 1949, which isn’t an address, but is 1648 Natchez in 1951, which was built that year. Cyril and Agnes’s children are Patrick, Michael, Timothy, Peggy, and Mary. The family’s home was on Blackstone Ave. in St. Louis Park.
- Beverly was born in 1925 in St. Louis Park. She met future husband Peter J. “Pete” Mueller at the family’s Blossom Shop and they married in 1943. Pete served in World War II and ironically in 1946 the young family lived in veterans’ housing at 3700 Highway 100, the site of Aunt Helen’s summer house and now now the site of Burlington Coat Factory. Tom has shared rare photos of the Quonset huts used for temporary housing, Pete was a member of the St. Louis Park Fire Department. Beverly and Pete’s children are Peter J., Thomas, Katherine, and Barbara, and their home was on Cambridge Ave. The Mueller family has strong, fond memories of growing up in the Park. Pete died in 1988.
- Mary Lou was born in 1928. In 1947 she lived with her parents and worked at the Federal Reserve Bank. In 1949 she lived with Cyril and Agnes on Natchez. In 1950 she married Richard Roby. Their children are Maureen, Daniel, and John.
- Patricia was born in 1929 in St. Louis Park and married Thomas Harold Hodne, Jr. in 1948. Before she married she also lived with Cyril and Agnes on Natchez. Their children are Thomas Harold III, Kevin, Mark, Joanne, Christina, Hans, and Katrina.
Neal Doyle with grandchildren. House on the left is 2601 Toledo, where several family members lived.