Cartan Devlin Building

Devlin, Patrick (1834-1893)

Patrick Devlin (1834-1893) was born in Clonoe, County Tyrone, Ireland. On March 27, 1864, he married Honorah “Hannah” Driscol (c. 1835-1911), another Irish immigrant, in Middlesex Count, NJ. They subsequently had four children – Patrick (1865), Mary (1866), John (1871) and Margaret (1882).

The 1860 census appears to list Patrick as a single man in South Amboy, and the 1870 census lists him in that city with his wife and first three children. He was in Matawan as early as the winter of 1875/6 – in April of 1876 he asked the Matawan Journal to publicly thank townsfolk for “charities conferred upon him during the winter.”

Patrick was employed as a flagman with the Central Railroad at the Matawan. In December of 1881, trains belonging to the Keyport and New York Railway and the Central Railway collided and fireman John Conover was killed, and Patrick was seriously injured. Two doctors examining him described his injuries as a severe scalp wound, two broken ribs and internal injuries that were possibly fatal. An inquiry was carried out – the signal for one train to proceed given by Patrick was questioned. The newspaper, however, characterized him as “a very faithful and sober Irishman, stationed at the junction for the past four years.”

While he obviously survived this, he wasn’t as lucky twelve years later when he was struck and killed by a train.Devlin Death

Patrick and his wife are buried in the St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Keyport.

Patrick J Devlin (1865-1934)

The Matawan School District, in their July 1877 report in the Matawan Journal, had this to say about 12-year-old Patrick:

“Patrick Devlin has made the most rapid advancement in the whole course of study. He excels in mathematics and will make a mathematician of the highest order. In short, he has a mind that works most rapidly, and an excellent memory. He never forgets, and at once will grasp the most difficult problem, and what is most favorable he has a constitution that will endure almost any amount of study.”

Patrick did indeed excel. Lawrence Cartan (1832-1903) (see separate entry on this family) established a grist and lumber mill in Matawan in 1860. Patrick worked for them early on, and in 1889 the firm was reorganized as Cartan & Devlin Co, jointly owned by Lawrence’s son Lawrence Rennselaer “Rens” (1873-1942) and Patrick. Large pine and oak trees originating from the Delaware River area were brought up Matawan Creek on rafts to the sawmill and were used for shipbuilding and home construction – many of the mid to late 19th century homes in Matawan most likely were built using lumber from Cartan & Co. The business expanded to the sale of coal, then the primary source of home heating. The office and yard expanded and eventually occupied a large portion of Mill Street behind the Episcopal Church.


Patrick was appointed Matawan Postmaster in 1915 and held this position for eight years.

He married Mary Louise McGonegal (1868-1944) on February 6, 1893 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Keyport. They subsequently had five children:

Raphael Charles Devlin (1893-1957) like his father served as Matawan Postmaster and an Army veteran of WWI, serving overseas with the 78th Infantry Division. He ended his career as a battalion sergeant major. After graduating from Georgetown University, he served as the Commander of the town’s American Legion Post.

Gerard Augustus Devlin (1897-1971) was a local dentist who also served in the US Army in 1918.

Frank L Devlin (1902-1928) graduated from the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery like his brother Gerard. He had been practicing dentistry in Denver for five years when he died at 26 years of age.

Henry Stafford Devlin (1905-1959)

Margaret Devlin Sickels (1907-1984)

Patrick died April 19, 1934 and is buried in the St. Joseph’s Cemetery with his wife and other family members.

Click Here to View Descendant Report for Patrick Devlin: Descendants of Patrick Devlin 

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Barry Orr


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