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Patrick J Cronin

Birth place or City of origin:
State of origin:
Last known City: Portland
Last known State: OR
Start/Birth date: 1840
Death/End date:

This long standing company was founded in Portland by P.J. Cronin in 1878, at 123 Front Street.
Patrick Joseph Cronin was born in Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, about 1840. Immigration to
the US occured about 1860, probably to Vermont; based upon calculations derived from the 1900
Federal Census. He was married to Margaret C. Martin on 27 Nov. 1869 at Brattleboro, Vermont.
She was born 15 Aug. 1847 -1849 [all records differ]. The obituary of Margaret concurs with the
facts given in the 1900 Federal Census for Oregon . The obituary states that Margaret moved
with her husband from Vermont to California via the Isthmus of Panama. Their eldest son
Ambrose M. was born in California, Dec. 1871, according to the aforementioned census record;
however, not all records agree on the birthplace. Son John W. was born in Vermont [?], Feb.
1875. Katherine Eleanor was born in Oregon, Feb 1880. William B., born Oregon Feb. 1882,
Joseph P., born Oregon, May 1884 [records inconsistent], and Mary G., also born an Oregonian,
Jan 1885. Patrick and family moved to Portland in 1877 where P.J. set up his business. They
were listed in the 1881 City Directory of Portland as a Harness and Saddlery manufacturing firm
at 213 Front Street. The Federal record shows that between June 1, 1879 and June 1, 1880, Cronin
employed 4 persons, 3 were male. By 1900 all the sons and daughters, except the youngest, were
employed in the family business.
Few adverse events are recorded in regard to this company. One outstanding record concerns a
call to the fire company, 24 February 1895 at 1:55 am to “145 Front Street, a 2 story brick, owned
by the Hunsacker Estate, and occupied by P.J. Cronin as a saddlery store, cause unknown, loss
$907.54; insurance $8400”. A New York Times article printed 24 April 1914 reported that the P.J.
Cronin Company lost an appeal with the Customs Department to lower the duty on saddles from
35 cents to 20 cents, the same rate charged “bovine hides.”
At the onset of WWI, the Cronin Company, as well as the George Lawrence Company, John
Clark, and WH McMonies, all had contracts with the US Government to supply the model 1916
Artillery Harness. A.M Cronin III made it clear that the company stayed in business for many
years, but gradually converted their inventory to include mostly automotive tires and accessories
in the years beyond the turn of the 20th Century.
A catalog No. 6 exists, possibly from 1906, but these numbers are sometimes arbitrary, and often
carry no connection to the year of publication. This catalog carries a full line of saddles, chaps,
cuffs, whips and all forms of team harness. It is notable that they are resellers of the P. Sharkey
Horse Collars. A particular maker mark was not noted in the catalog, but a trademark was
recorded on each page.
Patrick J. Cronin died of asthma at age 63, 4 September 1903, and is buried in Riverview
Cemetery. Only a few weeks before, his son John W. died in San Francisco. In the same plot at
Riverview lies his wife Margaret, who died 5 July 1930.
The P.J. Cronin Co. continued under the same name and was managed by the eldest son,
Ambrose M. Cronin. He and his wife, May (Warden) Cronin lived in the Garden Home area of
Washington County. The Company was still in the harness business in 1915 and 1920, as P.J.
Cronin & Co., at 129 First Street, but also listed “Auto Accessories” at its second store at 100 N.
10th Street, in 1920. The harness company as we know it disappeared from the City Directories as
of 1923 but continued as auto supply under Ambrose M. Cronin Jr., at least until 1930. The
name continues on in Portland under the name of THE CRONIN COMPANY [2008], a wholesale
supplier of flooring material under the leadership of Pat Cronin, and another, ELECTRICAL
DISTRIBUTING INC., under the direction of A. M. (Bubby) Cronin III. [2008]
[The author has seen the Cronin trademark on snaps of a pair of roping cuffs some years ago, and
more recently, a saddle mark that surfaced in France.]
[This company in the saddle and harness business from 1878 until circa 1923]
Website of THE CRONIN COMPANY, Portland, Oregon 2008
Portland, Oregon City Directories, 1881- 1930
1870 Fed Census for California, searching for Patrick Cronin- no match found for that year.
1880 Fed Census for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland
1900 Federal Census for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland [birthdates, places, and emigration dating]
1910 Federal Census for Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland
Reports of the Chief Engineer: Fires and Alarms, 1 Jan to 31 Dec 1895, Portland. (Reprinted by Genealogical Forum of
Oregon Quarterly, Vol. 46 #4, June 1997)
The New York Times- 24 April 1914
Representatives, Vol 4, Series 6, p4712. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1922
Interview with AM Cronin III, 21 February, 2008, Portland, OR
P.J. Cronin Catalog No. 6 (courtesy of AM Cronin III)
Index and inventory of Riverview Cemetery, Portland, Oregon, Genealogical Forum of Oregon/ Julie Kidd
Obituary of Patrick J. Cronin , THE OREGONIAN, 6 Sept. 1903
Vermont marriage record, pedigree supplied by Ambrose Cronin III

Research by Richard and Dorothy Egan


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