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Boyhood Home of John Ford

Boyhood Home of John Ford
Jul 19, 2017

The duplex apartment building numbered 21-23 Sheridan Street was the boyhood home of John Martin Feeney (1894-1973), better known to the world by his non de plume JOHN FORD. He lived with his parents John and Abby Curran Feeney in this triple-decker building from 1905 until he graduated from Portland High School in 1914.

21 Sheridan Street was home to Patrick A. Mahoney (1866-1946) and his family, while 23 Sheridan was home to the Feeneys and the Myers. Pat Mahoney was born in San Francisco and came to Portland at the age of six, where he attended the North School. He became a call boy for the Portland Telephone Company and “was on the switch board on the occasion of the first long distance telephone call from this city to Boston in 1880” (obituary, November 1946). Mahoney became a plumber at the age of seventeen and in 1894 opened a plumbing business with Michael H. Myers. Their business was located at 73 Union Street, not far from Gorham’s Corner. Patrick Mahoney retired in 1942.

Michael H. Myers was born in Durham, Maine, and grew up on Pleasant Street, near Gorham’s Corner, the son of Thomas E. and Winnifred Naughton Myers, Irish emigrants. Myers became a plumber in the 1880s and joined up with Mahoney as aforementioned to operate Myers & Mahoney. Michael and his wife Catherine McAndrew raised their children Edward T., Mary Ruth, and Paul W. Myers at 23 Sheridan Street from the early 1900s until the 1920s, along with the John Augustine Feeney family. Edward Feeney was a plumber at Myers & Mahoney in 1908-1909. Michael retired in 1934 and died on February 16, 1940 while still residing at 23 Sheridan.

21-23 Sheridan Street was home to three successful Irish-American families who became friends and we know one household member spent his formative years here and went on to become one of the greatest Hollywood directors of all time. John and Abby Feeney removed from the address in 1917 to the other end of Sheridan, where their son Patrick had a home.

Sheridan Street was named for the famous Civil War general Philip Henry Sheridan (1831-1888), himself an Irishman, born in Albany to parents from the County Cavan.

Related sites: John Ford Statue, Portland High School, North School

Author Matt Barker
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