William Henry Dwyer1,2,3,4

M, b. 14 August 1884, d. 28 November 1913
William "Bill " Dwyer
FatherMartin J. Dwyer5,6,7 b. c 1842, d. 22 Nov 1912
MotherElizabeth Claffey8,9,10 b. c 1852, d. 26 Mar 1914
Relationship1st cousin 3 times removed of Taryn Lynn Phelan
     William Henry Dwyer also went by the name of Bill.
     William Henry Dwyer appears as William Dwyer, age 14, in the census of 2 June 1900 at 33 Lafayette Street, Waterbury, Connecticut,in the household of Martin J. Dwyer as his son, along with Elizabeth Claffey, Martin J. Dwyer Jr., Edward Dwyer and John J. Dwyer; The census shows that Elizabeth had 11 children, 6 of whom were alive in 1900.2 William Henry Dwyer was a brass worker in 1906 at Waterbury, Connecticut.11
     William Henry Dwyer resided in October 1906 at 210 South Leonard Street, Waterbury, Connecticut.12
     William Henry Dwyer married Elizabeth Anna Cunningham, daughter of Hugh Cunningham and Anna Hyde, on 24 October 1906 at Waterbury, Connecticut. They were joined in marriage by Jno Fleming, Assistant Priest.13,14,15,16
     William Henry Dwyer resided in 1910 at 16 Washington, Waterbury, Connecticut,17 and was employed by a confectionery at 818 Bank Street, Waterbury, Connecticut.18

     Bill was a professional baseball player, according to the Waterbury Directory of 1910.17
     Upon further research, it was discovered that Bill was a minor league baseball player as well as a manager. The teams that he played for are as follows:
     1906-Olean Refiners of the Interstate League
     1907-Franklin Millionaires of the Interstate League
     1908-Toledo Mud Hens of the American Association
     1908-1911-The Des Moines Boosters of the Western League
     1912-The Lincoln Railsplitters of the Western League
          The first two seasons he was on a Level D which was equal to a rookie status. After that, he played on the highest level which was A.
     His Batting Stats overall average for the 7 seasons that he played were:
     BA.278
     OBP.278
     SLG-.231
     OPS-.508
     TB598
     His Fielding stats for 6 seasons were as follows:
     Ch-284
     PO-262
     A-15
     E-7
     Fld%-.975
     RF/G-9.23
          He played first base and batted as a lefty.
          Bill also managed several teams. In 1909 and 1911, he was manager of the Des Moines Boosters and won the pennant of the Western League. In 1912, he was manager of the Lincoln Railsplitters. The 1912 Final Standings of the Western League were: Wins-83, Losses-81, %.506, GB-17.19
     William Henry Dwyer, age 26, appears in the census of 15 April 1910 in 14 Washington Street, Waterbury, Connecticut,in the household of Sarah Cunningham, his wife's sister, with Elizabeth Anna Cunningham and Anna Elizabeth Dwyer. Sarah's other siblings were also living at this address. They were Mary, John, Hugh, and Margaret (all single).20
     William Henry Dwyer resided in 1911 at 757 Baldwin Street, Waterbury, Connecticut.21

     Bill was a ball player, according to the Waterbury Directory of 1911.21 He was a ballplayer.22
     William Henry Dwyer resided in November 1913 at River Street, Waterbury, Connecticut.23

     William Henry died on 28 November 1913 at Waterbury, Connecticut, at age 29 from pulmonary tuberculosis lasting 365 days with a secondary cause of cardiac asthenia. Thomas E. Parker, M.D.
Arthur J. Lunny, Undertaker.24,4
     The funeral of William Henry Dwyer took place on 1 December 1913 at St. Francis Church, Waterbury, Connecticut. The following article appeared in the Waterbury Democrat Newspaper:
     The funeral of William Dwyer was largely attended this morning at 9 o'clock from his late home, 443 Riverside street, to St. Francis Xavier's church, at 9:15, where a solemn high mass was celebrated by Rev John P. Kennedy as celebrant: Rev. R. J. Keenan of Rockford, Illinois, a classmate of the deceased at Niagara college, deacon; and Rev. J. J. Curtin, master of ceremonies. Mrs. P. J. Boyce rendered "O Salutaris" at the offertory and "Beautiful Land On High" after the service. Burial was in New St. Joseph's cemetery and the bearers were George F. Mulligan, Peter Lawlor, Terrence Coughlin, James Fitzpatrick, William Lallier, and Richard Conway. The floral tributes were many and varied, including a pillow from the family, lettered "Husband and Father", basket of chrysanthemums from Miss Mary and Hubert Cunningham; wreath, Mr. and Mrs. John Gill; broken heart, Mother Madden of Denver, Col; pillow inscribed "B.A.C." from the Brooklyn Athletic Club; basket, Mr. and Mrs. George Mulligan; standing wreath, Mr. and Mrs. John Sullivan; wreath, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Kelly; wreath, Steele and Johnson Co; wreath from Wooster pool parlors, and flat pieces from the following: Mr. and Mrs. Robert Palmer, Mr. and Mrs. John Cunningham, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Legge, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Tracy, Mr. and Mrs. John Gladney, Mrs. John Doyle, Mrs. Edward Chapman, the Misses May Flood and Anna Brennan, Edward M. O'Brien, Katherine and Elizabeth Galvin and Saxe and Floto.25
     Bill was buried on 1 December 1913 at New St. Joseph's Cemetery, Waterbury, Connecticut.26,25

Family

Elizabeth Anna Cunningham b. c 1880, d. 1948
Children

Obituaries and Other News Articles

     The following article was written in the Lincoln Nebraska News under the heading Diamond Dope on 11 May 1910. It was taken from the Des Moines Register:
     Although Bill Dwyer is in the city, he will not be in the game this afternoon. The slugger is not entirely recovered from his operation. Dwyer did not have appendicitis as was first reported , but had a severe operation on his chest for the removal of a tumor. He was struck in the chest with a batted ball with terrific force and the growth was the result. He was in a New York hospital for several weeks and was in poor condition when he was discharged, but he is rapidly getting back into shape now.27
     The following article was written in the Lincoln Nebraska News under the heading Diamond Dope on 12 May 1910. It was taken from the Des Moines Register:
     Bill Dwyer was out in uniform and will probably get into the game in the near future. His popularity with the crowd was attested by the cheering which greeted his first appearance.3
     The following article was written in the Lincoln Nebraska News under the heading Diamond Dope on 23 December 1911. It was taken from the Des Moines Register:
     Smiling Bill Dwyer has been selected by Charley Comiskey to manage the Des Moines club in 1912. This announcement means that the Prodigals are to have capable leadership. Smiling Bill piloted the Des Moines team which copped the '09 pennant and with the bunch of players Comiskey has promised to turn over to Des Moines for the next season, Bill and his band will bear watching every day of the race. Every fan in every city in the league is the friend of Smiling Bill and will wish him success.28
     The following article was written in the Lincoln Nebraska News under the heading Diamond Dope. on 19 March 1912. It was taken from the Des Moines Register and Leader:
     Bill Dwyer, formerly manager of the Des Moines baseball club, who has played first base for the locals for the last four years, was presented with a gold case Hamilton watch by his admiring friends last night in the pool and billiard hall of Boyd & Boyd on Mulberry street, opposite the Polk County courthouse, where he was engaged in a quiet game unmindful of the impending surprise.
     Desirous of presenting the former Booster manager with a fitting remembrance before he leaves for Lincoln, Neb. this evening to take up his new duties as manager of the Links, Bill's friends, laid a clever plot, which was carried to a successful climax with the assistance of County Attorney Guthrie who presented the watch after confronting Mr. Dwyer with a mock writ accusing him of having been "guilty of the crime of conduct becoming a good baseball player."
     According to the statement of County Attorney Guthrie, ""the said Bill Dwyer on or about September 1, 1908, and up to about September 1, 1911, did willfully and unlawfully steal, take, and carry away certain bases to the number of 108 from Omaha, Sioux City, Denver and several other cities to the grand jury at this time unknown. And it is further alleged that the said Bill Dwyer is also guilty of unlawfully catching flies, the exact amount and number being to the grand jury at this time unknown. That the said stealing of bases and catching of flies was contrary to and in violation of Spaulding's rules."
     After solemnly reading the above document, the county attorney declared that, in view of the fact that Mr. Dwyer had pleaded guilty to the charges, he must be sentenced to serve time, and thereupon the gold watch was presented. Although surprised, Bill was not nonplussed and responded with a witty speech which was lustily applauded.29
     The following article appeared in the Waterbury Republican newspaper 28 November 1913:
     
                                        DEATH CLAIMS BALLPAYER
                    "Bill Dwyer, Crack First Baseman, Dies After Long Illness.
     "Bill" Dwyer, perhaps one of the most widely known baseball players in this part of the country, died early this morning at his home on Riverside street.
     While his death was expected by his relatives and friends for several weeks, it is with regret that Waterbury loses this clean cut young athlete, and the shock of his death is felt more so by his family and relatives because his brother, Edward, of 542 East Main street, died Wednesday night. Bill Dwyer, as he was familiarly known to his friends, had a wide circle of friends on account of his ability as a ball player and he was regarded as one of the cleanest players in the game. He first played baseball in this city with the Brooklyn Athletic club, when the team played games in the City league at the old Rye lots, and from this league he rapidly graduated to semi-professional baseball. He was playing manager for the Des Moines club and to this club he brought a pennant in 1911. Later he took the management of the Lincoln, Neb. nine. He played and managed the Lincoln club until two years ago, when tuberculosis forced him from the game. Later he was placed in a sanitarium in Hartford. He did not show much improvement there and his savings were quickly diminishing. Then he was taken to the sanitarium in Wallingford and his friends hearing of his financial condition arranged for a benefit last summer and something like $300 was realized from the event. The Brooklyn baseball team of which club he was a member, opposed the Hamilton parks, while several local boxers contributed to the affair. The funeral arrangements have not been announced.30
     In addition, the following article was found in the Hartford Courant on 28 November 1913:
                    Des Moines Manager Dies At Waterbury
     Des Moines, Ia. Nov 28.-William Dwyer, manager of the Des Moines Western League team, when it gained the championship in 1909, died at Waterbury, Conn. today, according to a message received here. Tuberculosis was given as the cause of death.31
     A fitting tribute was found in the Waterbury Evening Democrat on 28 November 1913:
               BILL DWYER DEAD
     One of the most popular players in this city
     "Bill" Dwyer is dead. The hero of many a nerve racking battle on the baseball diamond has played his last game and has been drafted to a higher league, where perhaps they play the game with golden bats, silver balls, gloves of costly leather, masks of ethereal alloy; where the paths are studded with diamonds and cushions borrowed from the hearts of clouds to alleviate the strain on tiring old Atlas. No umpire is needed there, the fans all sit on billows of light, while soul inspiring music flows over all. Waterbury almost to a man knew Bill Dwyer. He was one of us, in that family circle as it were! a big grown up boy who never forgot his friends and always forgave his enemies. Bill was a product of the Brass City, went out and represented it, made Waterbury his heritage, so that it is only reciprocation on our part when we speak in endearing terms of a faithful old friend, old in the sense of acquaintanceship alone.
     Bill first began to win his spurs while identified with the Brooklyn Athletic club. He was a catcher then, but during his last baseball years graduated into a manager and first baseman. The City Amateur league was Waterbury's pet child at the time and Bill was doing the catching for the B. A. C. team at the time. There is little use now in extolling his ability, this has been done in the past and will be in the long future. He was a born ball player and essayed the game as men of his caliber only can. It was an institution with him and Bill was trying for a scholarship and valedictorian at the same time. How well he succeeded is a matter of history.
     Lingering for a moment on the memories conjured up by the association of the name of the deceased with the once famous City league, we might add that Bill also played on the Washington Hill nine, which was managed by George Mulligan at the time. George and Bill were the pride of Washington Hill in those days and whenever these two boys got together in after years there was sure to be a fanning bee. "Remember, George?" Bill would say, and then George would interrupt, "Yes, indeed, Bill, but they're beginning to be effaced from memory's walls, don't you think?" and then would both sit still for a few minutes and silently to themselves play the old games over again. Their brains had intercourse with the things of the dim past and the results were always pleasing to both alike. From here Bill went out to Des Moines, where he was playing manager, and in 1911 brought a pennant to that city. His name that season was on everybody's lips; it was Bill Dwyer in the homes of the rich, it was Bill Dwyer in the study of the clergy. It was Bill Dwyer among the middle class, and down in the Ghetto where baseball is food to the starving, the name of the Waterbury boy was honored in almost a sacred manner. His path had been strewn wth roses, but as he advanced he allowed the blooms to lie where they were, hoping they would be of material benefit to anyone who might care to follow. He was an exponent of the golden rule and success in all its forms had to follow.
     Two years ago, the most dreaded of all diseases--tuberculosis---found a new victim in Bill and the beginning of the end was recorded. He fought against the disease as he had fought for baseball, but the odds were against him, and early this morning, while the grey streaks of dawn were stealing over Center square and the night was giving way to day, Bill Dwyer died. Died as he had lived, and his soul, big hearted and true, began its flight upwards to Him that gave it. And so Bill Dwyer passes out. Where other ball players in his class were a part, he was the whole; where others were an arc, he was the circle; he was an amulet to baseball and baseball to him. Bill Dwyer stood for all that was good in baseball and in his death the game loses a friend that cannot be replaced, for Bill was a man with a capital M.31

Census Records

DateLocationMemo
190033 Lafayette Street, Waterbury, ConnecticutWilliam Henry Dwyer appears as William Dwyer, age 14, in the census of 2 June 1900 at 33 Lafayette Street, Waterbury, Connecticut,in the household of Martin J. Dwyer as his son, along with Elizabeth Claffey, Martin J. Dwyer Jr., Edward Dwyer and John J. Dwyer; The census shows that Elizabeth had 11 children, 6 of whom were alive in 1900.2
191014 Washington Street, Waterbury, ConnecticutWilliam Henry Dwyer, age 26, appears in the census of 15 April 1910 in 14 Washington Street, Waterbury, Connecticut,in the household of Sarah Cunningham, his wife's sister, with Elizabeth Anna Cunningham and Anna Elizabeth Dwyer. Sarah's other siblings were also living at this address. They were Mary, John, Hugh, and Margaret (all single).20

Residence Records

YearLocationDetails
October 1906210 South Leonard Street, Waterbury, ConnecticutWilliam Henry Dwyer resided in October 1906 at 210 South Leonard Street, Waterbury, Connecticut.12
191016 Washington, Waterbury, ConnecticutWilliam Henry Dwyer resided in 1910 at 16 Washington, Waterbury, Connecticut.17
1911757 Baldwin Street, Waterbury, ConnecticutWilliam Henry Dwyer resided in 1911 at 757 Baldwin Street, Waterbury, Connecticut.21
November 1913River Street, Waterbury, ConnecticutWilliam Henry Dwyer resided in November 1913 at River Street, Waterbury, Connecticut.23

Citations

  1. [S1357] Certificate, William Henry Dwyer and Elizabeth Anna Cunningham marriage of 24 October 1906, shows groom as William Henry Dwyer.
  2. [S283] Martin Dwyer household, 1900 United States Federal Census, New Haven, Connecticut, population schedule, Waterbury, ED 434, sheet 2, dwelling 19, family 39.
  3. [S1224] William Dwyer, Diamond Dope, unknown date, 12 May 1910.
  4. [S1484] William Dwyer, William Dwyer's Death Registration.
  5. [S283] Martin Dwyer household, 1900 United States Federal Census, New Haven, Connecticut, population schedule, Waterbury, ED 434, sheet 2, dwelling 19, family 39, shows son of Martin Dwyer as William Dwyer.
  6. [S1357] Certificate, William Henry Dwyer and Elizabeth Anna Cunningham marriage of 24 October 1906, shows father of the groom as Martin Dwyer.
  7. [S1484] William Dwyer, William Dwyer's Death Registration, shows his father as Martin Dwyer.
  8. [S283] Martin Dwyer household, 1900 United States Federal Census, New Haven, Connecticut, population schedule, Waterbury, ED 434, sheet 2, dwelling 19, family 39, shows mother of William Dwyer as Eliza Dwyer.
  9. [S1357] Certificate, William Henry Dwyer and Elizabeth Anna Cunningham marriage of 24 October 1906, shows mother of the groom as Elizabeth Claffey.
  10. [S1484] William Dwyer, William Dwyer's Death Registration, shows his mother as Elizabeth Claffey.
  11. [S1357] Certificate, William Henry Dwyer and Elizabeth Anna Cunningham marriage of 24 October 1906, shows the occupation of the groom as brassworker.
  12. [S1357] Certificate, William Henry Dwyer and Elizabeth Anna Cunningham marriage of 24 October 1906, shows the residence of the groom as 210 South Leonard.
  13. [S1357] Certificate, William Henry Dwyer and Elizabeth Anna Cunningham marriage of 24 October 1906.
  14. [S284] Sarah Cunningham, 1910 United States Federal Census, New Haven, Connecticut, population schedule, Waterbury, ED 484, sheet 1A, dwelling 1, family 1, shows the couple as being married for 3 years.
  15. [S286] Elizabeth Dwyer household, 1930 United States Federal Census, New Haven, Connecticut, population schedule, Waterbury, ED 2473, sheet 6B, dwelling 8, family 23, shows age at first marriage as 25.
  16. [S1484] William Dwyer, William Dwyer's Death Registration, shows that he is married.
  17. [S164] Connecticut City Directories, Waterbury, 1910: William J. Dwyer; Section D, Page 118.
  18. [S164] Connecticut City Directories, Waterbury, 1910: William J. Dwyer; Section D, Page 118; a ballplayer and confectionery.
  19. [S1210] Bill Dwyer's Baseball Stats, online www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=dwyer-001wil.
  20. [S284] Sarah Cunningham, 1910 United States Federal Census, New Haven, Connecticut, population schedule, Waterbury, ED 484, sheet 1A, dwelling 1, family 1.
  21. [S164] Connecticut City Directories, Waterbury, 1911: William J. Dwyer; Section D, Page 124.
  22. [S1484] William Dwyer, William Dwyer's Death Registration, shows occupation as a ball player.
  23. [S1484] William Dwyer, William Dwyer's Death Registration, shows his residence as River Street.
  24. [S1208] William Dwyer, Des Moines Manager Dies At Waterbury, 28 November 1913, says cause of death was tuberculosis.
  25. [S1218] William Dwyer, This article has no title. It begins with "The funeral of William Dwyer....", 1 December 1913.
  26. [S1484] William Dwyer, William Dwyer's Death Registration, shows burial as New St. Joseph's Cemetery.
  27. [S1224] William Dwyer, Diamond Dope, unknown date, 11 May 1910.
  28. [S1224] William Dwyer, Diamond Dope, unknown date, 23 December 1911.
  29. [S1224] William Dwyer, Diamond Dope, unknown date, 19 March 1912.
  30. [S1235] William Dwyer, Death Claims Ballplayer, 28 November 1913.
  31. [S1208] William Dwyer, Des Moines Manager Dies At Waterbury, 28 November 1913.
  32. [S1465] Anna E. Dwyer Baptismal Record: Baptisms and Marriages, St. Francis Xavier Church, Waterbury, Connecticut; 1907, Page 172; shows that she is the daughter of William Dwyer, 19 December 1907, Saint Francis Xavier Church.
  33. [S1214] The Waterbury Republican-American, 24 March 1993, Page 8B, shows that she is the daughter of the late William Dwyer.