Roadhouse Characters

Daisey Churco





McGrath Genealogy  |  Upperchurch Connections  |       Old Mattydale          |  What's New  |  Contact



McGrath Genealogy  |  Upperchurch Connections  |       Old Mattydale          |  What's New  |  Contact

















Daisey Lawler Churco


Daisey Churco’s maiden name was Lawler. The 1900 Census index seems to be a head of household index and each Lawler family in Onondaga County had to be searched individually. In spite of this, Daisey was not found in any of these Lawler families.  James Churco, 23, was boarding at 601 Montgomery St. He was born in New York while his father was born in Ireland and his mother in France. Churco gave his occupation as a Commercial Traveler (Salesman) in Liquor.



The Cecil Hotel on lower James Street (128) was sold, some months earlier, by Alfred E. Aldridge, Jr., to James F. Churco. Miss Daisey Lawler was the housekeeper and she stayed on after the sale to Churco. James Churco and Daisey Lawler were married on May 8, 1906, by Alderman Frank Matty, but they kept it to themselves for a while [1906-06-14].


1910 - Churco – Cecil Hotel and its troubles

Frank Churco had the honor of being the first hotel owner in Syracuse arrested under the new Excise law. Saloons were to close promptly at midnight under the new law but the police found persons still drinking in his establishment early on a Sunday morning. He was also charged with “running a disorderly house,” but it was the excise law violation that could have cost him his license [1910-06-20]. The next day when he entered a plea of not guilty the charges had changed to staying open late and maintaining stalls, both of which were in violation of the new excise law. [1910-06-21] By the time he got to trial in November he was down to the single charge of maintaining stalls [1910-11-29]. The prosecutor had many more violators of the new excise law lined up and was ready to go to trial, but the jury gave him a setback when they acquitted Churco [1910-12-03].   



Sometime after this battle with the law, Churco went into business with a partner to form the firm of Churco & Hayes and they became proprietors of the old Sabine restaurant on East Genesee Street. In May 1912, Churco came down with pneumonia and was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he died after four days, on Wednesday, May 22nd. His estate was valued at $28,000 and his wife Daisey got $18,000 of it [1912-05-23], [1912-05-28], [1912-11-14].



Despite the fact that she had $18,000, Daisey did not make an appearance in the headlines of the local newspaper during this time period.



William Leahy was running Ortan’s old roadhouse in May 1915. By May of 1917 Leahy was gone and Daisey Churco was running Orton’s old place [1917-05-29]. That was the month when she was arrested for running a disorderly house. Daisey pled not guilty and was released on bail. The outcome of charges was not found but by October 1918 Daisey had moved out. That was when a chicken thief, named Joe Boylan, was found living in the “unoccupied hotel known as Pard Orton’s place” [1918-10-29].



Prior to the arrival of Frank Churco, when Daisey was the housekeeper at the Hotel Cecil, she was working for Alfred E. Aldridge. Somehow they got back together and they were married on February 14, 1919, in Scranton PA. Aldridge had taken over the Winchester hotel after his father died in March, 1918. When the couple returned to Syracuse they took up residence at the Winchester [1919-02-17].



The marriage didn’t last very long and Aldridge and Churco divorced after only 16 months of marriage [1920-06-25].


After 1920

After her divorce from Aldridge, Daisey disappeared from the headlines of the Syracuse newspapers.


[1906-06-14] – “Wedding Kept From Public,” The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Thursday, June 14, 1906. This was Daisey Lawler’s first appearance in the papers.

[1910-06-20] – “New Excise Law May Close Up Cecil Hotel,” The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Monday, June 20, 1910.

[1910-06-21] – “Churco of Hotel Cecil Pleads Not Guilty,” The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Tuesday, June 21, 1910.

[1910-11-29] – “Trying Churco of Hotel Cecil in Co. Court,” The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Tuesday, November 29, 1910.

[1910-12-03] – “Won’t Peddle Jury’s Secrets, Says Fournier,” The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Saturday, December 3, 1910.

[1912-05-23] – “James F. Churco Expires After Short Illness,” The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Thursday, May 23, 1912.

[1912-05-28] – “Wife May Attempt To Break Will Of James F. Churco,” The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Tuesday, May 28, 1912.

[1912-11-14] – “Mrs. Churco’s Share $18,000,” The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Thursday, November 14, 1912.

[1917-05-29] – “Indict Keepers of Road Houses; Both Arraigned,” The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, Tuesday, May 29, 1917.

[1918-10-29] – “Claims Frank Matty Donated Chickens,” The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Tuesday, October 29, 1918.

[1919-02-17] – “Weddings,” The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, Monday, February 17, 1919.

[1920-06-25] – “Wife Granted Divorce From A. E. Aldridge,” The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, Friday, June 25, 1920.