His parents were Edward C. Colgan and Bridget (McHugh) Colgan, both of whom were born in Ireland and died in Cincinnati. John was the youngest of nine children, six of whom died in infancy or early childhood. On a death card which I found at the Cincinnati Department of Health, the cause of death for John was listed as “inanition”.
|John A. Colgan death record|
On the 1880 census, taken on 10 June 1880, Edward Colgan was listed as being 45 years of age and working as a bookkeeper. His wife Bridget was 35 and a homemaker, and also living in the home were the following children: Catherine age 16, Charles age 11, Barbara age 9 and Clara age 7. (Clara died the next year of smallpox at the age of 8.) Obviously John was not yet born at the time the census was taken. This particular census year doesn’t indicate if those listed owned or rented their homes, though if someone was a boarder, that was noted. The Colgan family was not shown to be boarding at the home on Mill Street.
It would certainly seem like Edward would have been able to adequately provide for his family. What caused the baby to die of starvation? And how did these parents handle the loss of yet one more of their children?