Look up Deedy in Websters Dictionary and you will see the following definition - \Deed"y\, a. Industrious; active. [R.] --Cowper. But to me Deedy is simply my last name and not a very common one at that. My Father always said "find yourself in a strange city? Open a phone book, find a Deedy and give them a call - chances are they are a relative." So, for all the Deedy's out there hello and welcome.

Worcester's Vernon Hill neighborhood and the Irish

While continuing to look into what life must have been like for my Great-Grandparents in Worcester, Massachusetts, I came across this reference to the Vernon Hill neighborhood both sides of the family lived:

Inventing Irish America
Generation, Class, and Ethnic Identity in a New England City, 1880 – 1928
By Timothy J. Meagher
Pgs. 126 - 127

Vernon and Union Hills lay east of Main South, flanking the island to the east, as Main South flanked that district to the west. Though located deep inside the east side, the Vernon and Union Hills were not slums. The steep slopes of the hills had deflected the tide of factories, tenements, and warehouses that had overrun the Island, East Worcester, and most other east side neighborhoods, leaving the hilltops almost exclusively residential in 1900. Indeed, some of the houses built on Vernon Hill in the late nineteenth century, such as George Crompton’s “Mariemont,” rivaled the mansions of Worcester’s west side. Most of the homes on the slopes and summits of Vernon and Union Hills, however, were simple if neat cottages, substantial two-family homes, or sturdy, ample, and almost elegant three-deckers. If the eastern hills were not an exclusively wealthy area, they were, nonetheless, one of the most comfortable places in Worcester to live and certainly one of the most attractive on the east side.

The eastern hills thus attracted different types of Irishmen than the Island below or even Main South further west. As in Main South, second-generation Irish men or women headed a large proportion (40.1 percent) of the Hilltops’ Irish families in 1900. Yet while Main South had a largely skilled blue-collar Irish population, the Hilltops seemed to be especially attractive to Worcester’s slowly expanding Irish white-collar class. Over two-fifths of the Irish foreign-stock families on the hills were headed by white-collar workers. Furthermore, an even larger proportion of the Irish on the hills than in Main South lived in one- or two-family homes.

As the number of white-collar Irishmen in Worcester increased, the number of Irish families creeping to the top of the eastern hills also rose. In 1900, the Irish made up only 11 percent of the people living on the eastern hills, but the Celtic population there was growing quickly. Between 1880 and 1900 the Irish population on the Hilltops had risen by 332 percent, and in the first few years of the twentieth century some streets and blocks on Vernon and Union Hills became thoroughly Irish. Worcester’s 1904 House Directory, for example, listed an almost unbroken row of Grogans, McHughs, Cahills, and McKennys on Union Avenue from Vernon Street up the slopes of Vernon Hill to Arlington Street. Parts of Mott Street, South Street, and Penn Avenue had also become almost exclusively Irish by that year.

- Inventing Irish America: Generation, Class, and Ethnic Identity in a New England City, 1880-1928


2 Responses to “Worcester's Vernon Hill neighborhood and the Irish”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    the Crompton estate is the site used to build St vincent's hospital.the coprner,and when she retired of Providence St and Heywood St. Annie Donovan,sister of Hannah Donovan Deedy,worked as a domestic all her life fot the Crompton's and when she retired she moved 200 yards away,to 10 Wabash Ave with another sister, Catherine Shea,accompanied by Charles Crompton,the retarded son of the Cromptons(CROMPTON AND KNOWLES LOOM WORKS]  

  2. # Blogger Justin

    Jane I hope that went through. Hunt and peck with Parkinson's is slow going. Justin  

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