Roadhouse Characters

Lizzie Gannon





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

















Lizzie Gannon

Revised: October 15, 2014


An Early Lizzie Gannon Sighting?

Lizzie was not found in the 1870 or 1880 census for Onondaga County. In 1880 there was a 15-year old Lizzie Gannon living with her parents John (60) and Mary (55) Gannon on Second St, Port Jervis-Deer Park in Orange County, NY. She had four siblings: Eddie (22), Mary (17), Thomas (13) and Bernard (11). The parents were both born in Ireland and all the children had been born in NY. Her father was a Baggage master and her brother Eddie was a grocer. All the other children were in school. Lizzie’s age is within two years of agreeing with her age in the 1900 census, where she gave her age as 37. However, there is no way of knowing if this is the same Lizzie. No records were found under Lizzie or Elizabeth in the 1892 NY census for all counties in the state.


Lizzie in Utica

The earliest that a Lizzie Gannon showed up, in connection with liquor or saloons, was 1894 in Utica. Elizabeth Gannon, No. 44 and 46 North Genesee St., Utica, NY, was denied her application for a license from the Board of Excise. [1894-12-04]


Lizzie at the Watering Trough

"Finally they reached the place of Lizzie Gannon's, just out of the city limits on the Cicero plank. The resort was formerly run by Billy Ide, who was driven out after the shooting affair which occurred at a dance held there." [1895-01-31] Lizzie Gannon was arrested under an indictment for selling liquor on Sunday. George Schilly bailed her out for $200. [1895-02-02]


LaFayette Hotel?

By January 18, 1897, Lizzie had a liquor license for the hotel at 1632 N. Salina St. It might have been named the LaFayette Hotel.


Lizzie Buys The Central New York Hotel From Brady

In March 1898, Tom Brady sold his road house to Lizzie Gannon. [This date was inferred from the 1899-02-25 article about the fire] Lizzie and Tom Brady practically traded places. She left 1632 N. Salina and went to Rose Lawn. Brady left Rose Lawn and went to 1628 N. Salina. His place was called the St. James Hotel, just like his old place on S. Franklin St.


Sue Ferrara, in The Family of the Wizard, (p. 87), has Brady losing the place at a property auction in 1894. According to her, it was purchased by George Zett and in 1897 Zett sold the property to Lizzie Gannon. However, Brady appears to have continued operating the road house, even after losing the ownership of the property. In May 1896, fighter Tommy Ryan was training at Brady’s place for a big fight.


The January 18, 1897 newspaper listed the holders of liquor licenses in Onondaga County. Thomas Brady had one for an establishment in the town of Salina. Lizzie Gannon had a license for 1632 N. Salina St. In September 1897 the Rose Lawn property was still listed on the tax rolls under Tom Brady’s name. In searching the newspapers, from 1894 to 1898, there were no mortgage sales found involving Brady’s property.


On the evening of February 24, 1899, Lizzie Gannon’s road house, in the old Baum homestead on the Cicero Plank Road, called Rose Lawn, burned to the ground. [1899-02-25]


Lizzie Back In Syracuse

According to the 1900 census, Lizzie was running a boarding house at 235 West Washington St., Syracuse, NY. Her occupation was listed as “Hotel keeper.” In 1903 Lizzie Gannon was picked up for “street strolling.” She was also investigated for her involvement with an underage girl named Bertha Topp, for whom she had rented a room.


And Then She Was Gone

Lizzie was not found in the 1905 NY census. She was also not found under the name Lizzie or Elizabeth in the 1910 or 1920 census – including ALL states. Lizzie appeared from out of nowhere and ran a couple road houses on the Cicero Plank Road and a hotel at 1632 N. Salina, for about five years, then she ran a boarding house in the city of Syracuse, did a little “street strolling,” and then POOFFF! She was gone. 



1900 NY Onondaga Syracuse WD14  T623-1137-126A

Elizabeth Gannon, 37, b. July 1862, S, NY, Ireland, Ireland

[1894-12-04] – “Board of Excise,” The Morning Herald, Utica, NY, Tuesday, December 4, 1894.

[1895-01-31] - "Stole Lynch's Watch - Michael Dolan Makes a Full Confession," The Daily Courier, Syracuse, NY, Thursday, January 31, 1895.

[1895-02-02] – “Hard Lines For Elizabeth,” The Evening Herald, Syracuse, NY, Saturday, February, 2, 1895.

[1899-02-25] - "Old Road House Burned," The Syracuse Evening Herald, Syracuse, NY, Saturday, February 25, 1899.