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The Boss

By David Dayton McKean
This Web version, edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

Like their neighbors in the boisterous, brawling Horseshoe, the Hagues had come from Ireland. Both had been born in County Caven, but they had not met until they separately arrived in Jersey City. John Hague was tall, fair, sober, and dignified. He had fled from Ireland to Italy to escape arrest for a conspiracy against the British Government, and no love was ever lost upon the English in the Hague household. In Italy he served in the Italian wars of liberation under Pius IX. When the wars were over he went to Jersey City, where other County Caven people had settled. Ill luck pursued him, as it usually pursues the unskilled and uneducated. He worked at various jobs at first, and then for some years as a blacksmith in the yards of the Erie Railroad. He had no taste for this hard and dirty work, and he was happy when Dennis McLaughlin, the Democratic leader in the Horseshoe. induced Edward F. C. Young, the president of the First National Bank of Jersey City, to give him a job as a bank guard. He appears to have been dominated by his more aggressive wife, and to have been glad to get on his resplendent uniform and to go down to the bank where he could pass the time of day with the customers. He retained the bank job until his death in 1899, but Mrs. Hague lived until 19122 to see her son grow up to become the first citizen of Jersey City.


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