John Callaghan Family

Daniel Callaghan Sr. in an artist’s rendering from a photograph.

The Callaghans were one of Maple Ridge’s first families of settlers.  Daniel Callaghan Sr., his son Dan, and son-in-law Thomas Haney –  arrived in 1876 at what would later be named Haney, taking what was the most direct route from Ontario at the time – travelling to California, then up to Canada via Southern Pacific Railway and steamship, and finally to this area via Fraser River steamship.  A year later a second of Daniel Callaghan’s sons, John, joined them.

At this time much of Haney had not yet been cleared and finding one’s way through the heavy growth often required a compass.  The family lived on 160 acres of heavy bush on the former Menzies street [now 119thAve].  This land, which the government gave to them for only the cost of the paperwork, proved to be disappointing.  After clearing some of it with axes in order to grow wheat and grass for their cattle, they discovered that the grass was poor and the flour made from the wheat was substandard.  They family struggled here for a few years and then purchased 200 acres of land in Hammond for about $800.

Dan Callaghan Sr. also worked as a general building contractor and with partner James Bonson built the first municipal hall in Port Haney in 1892.  This was typical of the day – that a farmer would do a variety of outside tasks to earn cash wages.

The Callaghan siblings circa 1882. Back: Anne and John Callaghan, Front: Jeremiah Callaghan, Frank Haney, Daniel Callaghan. Jeremiah appears to have moved directly to Vancouver as there is no record of him living in Maple Ridge.

Dan Callaghan Jr., who was twenty-four at the time of the move to Haney, was born just outside of Paris, Ontario and never married.  He was one of the men who helped to dismantle, transport, and rebuild St. John’s Anglican Church.  Daniel, Dan, and John helped to build the Canadian Pacific Railway when it came through the lower mainland.  In addition, Dan worked for the government building bridges and roads, and was a councilor for one year, though he found it did not suit him.   Daniel Jr was born on March 30th, 1852 and died on July 10th, 1942.

Ann Callaghan, born August 30th, 1846, married Thomas Haney on October 14th, 1873.  When Thomas Haney had the responsibility of naming the streets in Haney, he named one after his birthplace, his wife, his family, and his wife’s family, Callaghan.  Anne Callaghan came with her family and Thomas Haney to Haney three years after she married Thomas.  Ann died on March 8th, 1931.

For 85 years the street and park named for her family was misspelled as “Calligan”.  The reason can be found on the original town-site map that Thomas commissioned where the misspelling originates.  It is likely that Thomas was unwilling to pay to have the map redrawn and instead, chose to live with the incorrect spelling.   In 2000, the name of the street and park were finally corrected and now read “Callaghan”.

John Callaghan surrounded by children and grandchildren. Rear, from left: Eugene, Joseph, Ann, Thomas and Mary Eleanor. Mary married Henry Gibbs and all four children in the picture are theirs. [P08756]

Ann’s brother John Callaghan was born in 1847, and married Margaret Theresa Berney on April 17th, 1877.  They had their first child on January 18th, 1879, Eugene John Callaghan. They would go on to add five more – a total of four boys and two girls. John Callaghan was first elected to municipal council representing Ward 5 [Hammond] in 1888 and continued in that position for several years.  He was also a school trustee in Hammond and was part of the selection committee for a location for Hammond school.  John died on November 5th 1914.