Retired In Good Health After Attending Theater With One of His Daughters—Absence at Breakfast Starts Inquiry.

     William Horgan, president of the M. J. Connell company, died at an early hour yesterday morning, at the family home, Granite and Idaho streets.  His death has caused universal regret.  He retired on Wednesday night in good health.  He had attended the performance at the Grand, given by local talent, and his youngest daughter was his companion.  He enjoyed the performance, and before he retired he chatted cheerfully with his children, not once uttering a complaint of ill health.

     A few hours after midnight—it is thought that the hour was about 2 o’clock—Miss Eleanor, the oldest daughter, was awakened by a sound similar to a moan coming from her father’s room.  She went in and her father complained of a severe pain in his chest.  After a few minutes, however, the pain left, and the young lady bade her father goodnight and retired to her room.  She went into her father’s room a few minutes later to satisfy herself that all was well there, and hearing him breathing naturally, she retired thinking the trouble was past.

     The family had entered the dining room at 7 o’clock—all except the father, who by the way, was usually the first to arrive in the dining room.  Miss Eleanor went to the room and the sight that met her gaze was crushing.  Her father lay upon his bed in the attitude of rest, dead.  It had, it is thought, been hours since the reaper had entered to claim his victim. A physician was summoned, but as life was extinct, all he could do was to state his opinion as to the probable number of hours Mr. Horgan had been dead.

     Heart failure was assigned the cause of death.

In Good Health for a Year

     Mr. Horgan had been in the enjoyment of unusual good health for the past year, excepting a brief spell of indisposition.  In fact, ever since he came to Butte his health had been good.  His sudden taking off came as a great surprise.  He was 60 years old last November, and was a native of Ireland.  From Ireland Mr. Horgan came to the United States with his parents when he was 12 years of age, and in Wisconsin he received his education.  He engaged in business in Cincinnati until 1868, excepting those years he spent in the service of his country on the battlefield.  He served with honor and distinction in the war, and in 1869 he moved to Memphis, Tenn., where he lived for 30 years, until he came to Butte in August, 1899.  In his southern home he was at the head of a large mercantile establishment, and in that city his children were reared.  In the spring of 1899 his wife died there.

    Ten days after his arrival in Butte, Mr. Horgan assumed charge of the Connell company, and since that date he remained closely in his office, attending strictly to the business of the large establishment.  He had not been here two months before every other business man in the community was aware that in their midst had come one who was a business man with ideas that with profit might be used as patterns by other business men.

Drops Into Western Ideas

     It was soon known that Mr. Horgan was not only a competent, capable, shrewd business man, but that he was rapidly adopting the western idea of things generally and making himself popular with everybody; he made friends everywhere he went.  It was soon his pleasure to be intimately identified with the Business Men’s association, and in this body he was a recognized leader, and in everything that pertained to the welfare of the community in which he and his estimable family made their home he was foremost.

     Mr. Horgan was regarded by all as a gentleman, a scholar and a Christian.  Of his home life only words calculated to convey the most endearing impressions may be said.  He loved his family as only a good, honorable father can, and he was the adored one in the family circle.  His life was clean; his ways were honorable his acts were at all ties commendable, his impulses generous and refined; his kindness was a trait most remarked upon, and his business relations with his employees were most amicable.  His employees regarded him as a good friend, nothing less than that.

Family That Survives Him

     Six children survive him—W. D., Edward, Misses Eleanor, Viola, Louise and Julia.  Mr. Horgan had attained considerable literary fame in his southern home, where many magazine articles from his pen received flattering mention.  He had fitted himself for the priesthood, and he also devoted much time to the study of the histrionic art.  He was a student, a deep thinker, a man of scholarly attainments.

     The funeral will be held tomorrow morning from St. Patrick’s church, and it will be private.  The body will be placed in a receiving vault, and it is planned later to remove the body to Memphis, where Mrs. Horgan is buried.  Edward Horgan was in Memphis yesterday.  He will arrive in Butte on Sunday, a day late for the funeral.  Mr. Horgan was a member of the Catholic Knights of Columbus, the Royal Arcanum and the A. O. U. W.

Date: Friday, January 23, 1903  
Anaconda Standard
Anaconda, Montana
Volume: XIV  Issue: 135  Page: