Red Mill Museum Village
Altogether, the various members of the Mulligan family operated the quarry for over 115 years, employing family as well as outside laborers, many who also emigrated from Ireland.
Francis, Patrick, and Terrence Mulligan arrived in Clinton between 1837 and 1842, from the town of Belturbet in Cavan County, Ireland. Initially, they worked as day laborers burning lime at the quarry In 1844 they purchased a lot on Halstead street and built a three family home, one section for each of the brothers and their respective families. In 1848, the brothers were able to purchase the limestone quarry with a down payment of $100. Their older brother, James, arrived in Clinton that same year, followed by his wife, Catherine, and his five children in 1850. However, in 1855 there was a parting of the ways. The bothers sold the quarry and Francis, Patrick, and Terrence moved west. James Mulligan remained in Clinton leasing the quarry from Gulick, the new owner and continued the business. Records say that James operated three kilns, employed four men and produced twenty-five thousand bushels of lime annually. Business was of- ten done on a barter basis and stone was exchanged for everything from livestock to liquor. When James died in 1862 the quarry business passed to his children and the business was renamed M.C. Mulligan and Sons. Michael,
James s youngest son, headed up the operation not only burning lime but quarrying and selling limestone as well. He ran the business on a cash basis and by 1866, was able to raise enough money for a down payment and brought the quarry again under Mulligan ownership. Michael expanded the quarry business by cutting and storing ice for sale in the summer, and by buying coal from the railroad to sell during the winter season. Always the consummate business man, Michael exchanged gravel for the rail beds in trade for cheaper rates on his coal shipments. Michael built a home for his family on Center Street and became a town leader. He sat on the Council and helped to found the first Catholic Church in Clinton. The stone for the foundation of the Town Hall and Library on Main Street was donated by Mulligan, and after the great fire of 1891, Mulligan stone was used to rebuild the town of Clinton.
( photo captions )
- The Mulligan family, back row: James, Mary Beatrice, Margaret and Michael Jr. Center row: Mary and Michael front row: Lillian and Kathryn.
- James Mulligan looking across the river toward downtownClinton.
- The Mulligan family, back row: Bernard, Michael, Jr. Mary Beatrice, James Front row: Margaret, Mary, Michael, Kathryn, Lillian.
- Michael Mulligan