William J. Reilly1,2

M, b. 20 July 1883, d. 28 June 1912
Willliam J. Reilly
(This photo was scanned from the Waterbury Evening
Democrat newspaper which published it for his obituary)
ChartsDennis Phelan Descendancy Indented Chart
Daniel Bergin Descendancy Chart
John Hennessey Descendancy Chart
           William J. Reilly was born on 20 July 1883 at Waterbury, Connecticut..3,2 He was a shop hand in November 1903 at Waterbury, Connecticut.4
     William J. Reilly resided in November 1903 at 52 Fuller Street, Waterbury, Connecticut.5
     William J. Reilly married Sarah A. Phelan, daughter of John J. Phelan and Mary E. Hennessey, on 2 November 1903 at St. Francis Xavier Church, Waterbury, Connecticut. They were joined in marriage by the Rev. J. J. Curtin.1,6,7,8 William J. Reilly was a bartender at the time of his death.2
     William J. died on 28 June 1912 at Wolcott, Connecticut, at age 28.2,9
     William's funeral was held on 1 July 1912 from his late home, 45 Walnut street to the Immaculate Conception church, where a mass of requiem was celebrated by the Rev. James Broderick. During the services and at the offertory special music was rendered by Miss Gertrude Reed. The pallbearers were Stephen Keefe, Michael Egan and George Lynch representing the local Bartenders' union, of which the deceased was a prominent member, Thomas Flynn from Dipierro's where he was employed, William Ghent, and James Noonan. The floral offerings included: Pillow, lettered "Husband" from wife; standing heart, marked "Brother", from family; pillow, lettered "Cousin", from Ryder family; basket of roses, Mrs. Margaret McCormack; plaque of roses, Mary and Ellen Reilley; crescent and star, lettered "Friend", George Lynch; large standing wreath from B.I.L; standing cross, George Prence and friends; standing cross, Mrs. McDonald and girls in gymnasium class at St. Mary's Alumni Association; standing wreath, from Laurel club; standing cross, Bantam lake club; wreath of roses, from friends at Waterbury Buckle Co; basket sweet peas, Frank Dipierro; standing cross, lettered, "Rest", D. F. Regan; heart of roses, from friends of Shepard's livery stable; standing cross, Margaret Flynn, Annie Keefe and Mamie Leary; double plaque of carnations from William Mahoney and Edward Burke; plaque of carnations Mrs. Downes and family; basket of roses, department 25, Waterbury Clock Co; plaque of carnations from Annie Finley, Josephine Wallace, and Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Miller and family, William Conners, Laura and Kitty McGinn, Kittie and Ella Masonery, Mollie Mulville, Mary and Catherine McNally, and placque of roses, Mrs. Lorsensen.10 He was buried on 1 July 1912 at New St. Joseph's Cemetery, Waterbury, Connecticut, in lot # 92.2,11


Sarah A. Phelan b. 3 Jan 1884, d. 30 Jan 1932

Obituaries and Other News Articles

     The following obituary appeared in the Waterbury Evening Democrat newspaper on 29 June 1912: John J. Downey of 29 Howard street, aged 27 years, and William J. O'Reilly of 45 Walnut street, aged 28 years, both employees of V.P. Dipierro of South Main street, wholesale and liquour dealer, were drowned in Hitchcock's pond about 4 o'clock yeaterday afternoon. James Quinn of Bridge street was with Downey and O'Reilly in the boat, and he, too, came near losing his life. The fact that he had some knowledge of the art of swimming saved him from going down with the others, neither of whom, it appears knew how to swim. This must be true since the accident happended over fifteen or twenty feet from the shore.
     The men were out delivering goods to customers from an auto truck and while this was not on their route, somebody gave then an order after they left the store and they went out there to deliver it. They borrowed a steel boat from Joseph N. Gallipeau at Camp Musical to row to the camp of William Cosgrove on the upper pond. Galipeau told them that his boat would not carry three men, but they decided to try it. With Quinn using the oars and his companions sitting in the stern of the boat they pulled out and had just turned the bend when the boat gave a lurch, letting in a large quantity of water. Before the occupants realized the seriousness of the situation the frail craft was swallowed up in the water and the men left to shift for themselves. There was no excitement and the first intimation Galipeau had of what had happened was when he heard somebody call from the direction of the bend. He and others hurried to the scene where they found Quinn almost unconscious, but there was no trace of the boat or the two other men. All Quinn could tell was that the boat went down and before he knew what was up he was in the water and somebody clinging to him by the hair of his head. He was pulled under the water, but finally freed himself from the drowning man's grasp and reached the shore almost exhausted. Quinn was taken to the Cosgrove camp, after which steps were taken to find the bodies.
     Word was also telephoned to the police station and Detectives Kenaugh and Keegan went out there with grappling irons, but when they got there Mr. Galipeau, Max Frohm, Joseph Clancy and others had found the bodies and brought them to shore. Dr. Goodenough, medical examiner for Wolcott, viewed the bodies and pronounced death due to accidental drowning. Both bodies were brought to Mulville's undertaking rooms, and when prepared for burial to-day they made a sight that would wring a tear from the most hardened. They were clean, healthy young men, and as they lay side by side on stretchers one would think they had just lain down for a short sleep and would be up and about their businesses as usual whenever the occasion demanded their service.
     Their employer knew nothing about the sad affair until Detective Dodds called at his place. Then he telephoned Hitchcock's pond and learned the particulars.
     To a reporter of the Democrat Mr. Dipierro said to-day that he couldn't believe it when he first heard it. The men had nothing to deliver out there and he had a notion that there was some mistake about the names until he talked with people at the lake. He said that Downey was a model young man. He worked for Mr. Guest before he bought the place and was with him since he took hold. He never drank intoxicants and was so prompt that he always could tell within a few minutes when he would be back after going out with an order. During the forenoon they were out through the north end and started on in the afternoon to do the other sections, but why they went to Hitchcock's pond he could not say because they took out no order for anybody at that place. O'Reilly, he said, tended the bar in his place four days in the week and on Friday and Saturday he helped Downey on the wagon. He also was sober, industrious and honest.11

Residence Records

November 190352 Fuller Street, Waterbury, ConnecticutWilliam J. Reilly resided in November 1903 at 52 Fuller Street, Waterbury, Connecticut.5


  1. [S1578] Certificate, William J. Reilly and Sarah Phelan marriage of 2 November 1903.
  2. [S827] William Reilly, William Reilly's Death Registration, Deaths in the Town of Waterbury, 1911-1914, Book 7, Page 93.
  3. [S1578] Certificate, William J. Reilly and Sarah Phelan marriage of 2 November 1903, shows the groom's age as 20 and birth place as Waterbury.
  4. [S1578] Certificate, William J. Reilly and Sarah Phelan marriage of 2 November 1903, shows the groom's occupation as a shop hand.
  5. [S1578] Certificate, William J. Reilly and Sarah Phelan marriage of 2 November 1903, shows the groom's residence as 52 Fuller.
  6. [S60] Waterbury Connecticut Street Directory, Sadie A. Reilly (wid William), 1927; Book Section P, Page 466.
  7. [S46] Sarah Reilly's Death Certificate.
  8. [S144] The Waterbury Republican, 31 January, 1932, states "widow of William Reilly."
  9. [S828] Phone conversation, Mary Ladden Rielly.
  10. [S900] The Waterbury Democrat, 1 July 1912, Page Five.
  11. [S899] The Waterbury Democrat, 29 June 1912, Page Five.