Early Settlers

Patrick Molloy





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 Family Genealogy   |   Land Records

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

















Molloy Family

The old Molloy House in the Post Standard, December 12, 1941. From the Onondaga County Historical Society files. Thanks to Richard Palmer for finding this picture.


This is a 1938 aerial picture of the Molloy properties on Lots 8 & 19, after nearly two decades of residential development and just before its purchase by the U.S. Government for the construction of the Army Air Base. Townline Road runs north and south near the right hand side of the photo. E. Molloy Road runs east and west, parallel to the top edge and intersects Town Line Road. In the northwest corner of this intersection is the farm of James Molloy. Just west of this farm, on the north side of E. Molloy Road, is the farm of his nephew Thomas J. Molloy which Thomas' wife Florence Cowie Molloy got back after foreclosure on the Wirt brothers in 1935. The railroad tracks just make it into the picture in the lower left hand corner. The arching white line, near the bottom edge, is a predecessor highway that was replaced by the NY State Thruway. Just above the highway, dotted with trees, is the meandering pathway of Ley Creek. Stretching along the center of the picture, the sand traps of the old Golfmore Golf Course can still be seen.


Connection to Mattydale

Between 1840 and 1869 Patrick Molloy purchased a number of parcels of land in Lots No. 8 and 19 in the town of Salina.  The Lot No. 8 purchases were from Latham Y. Avery, his wife Hannah and A. Thorp and the Lot No. 19 purchases were from D. Alvord. After Patrick's death [1880-04-10] his sons Thomas and James effectively divided the farm land between them. Thomas Molloy died in 1899 and his son Thomas J. Molloy took over his father's interests until 1912 when he decided to rent the farm out. James continued to farm his portion of the Molloy lands until his death in 1936. He had no sons and his daughters Mary and Kathie lived in the old stone family homestead until 1942 when the U.S. Government bought them out.


In 1929 the Molloy sisters donated the Stations of the Cross that were built into the walls of the then new St. Margaret's Church. Starting in 1917, until about 1933, Kathie Molloy was a Trustee and sometimes the president of the Salina School District No. 3 School Board. Although Frank Matty claimed the credit for building the brick school in Mattydale, in 1923, it was Kathie Molloy who led the project before Matty got elected to the school board in 1925.


Family History

Where did they originally come from

Patrick Molloy was born in County Wexford, Ireland in 1804 and came to America prior to 1824.


Where did they initially settle

Patrick initially settled into the Village of Salina where friends of his had previously settled. He started working in the salt industry as a salt boiler.


Property History

Upon the death of Patrick Molloy in 1880 his estate was divided among the surviving family members. The other siblings sold their shares of the Salina property in Lots No. 8 and No. 19 to their brothers Thomas and James. James wound up with the 100 acres in the southeast corner of Lot 8. Thomas had the 50 acres to the west of his brother James, that had been sold by Isaiah Sayles to his father Patrick, and just about everything in Lot No. 19 north of Ley Creek.


Thomas Molloy and his wife, the former Mary Pendergast both died in 1899. Their son, Thomas J. Molloy, took over the Salina land holdings of his father. In 1909 this Thomas was selling a registered stallion. In 1910 Thomas J. Molloy was raising mules on his Salina farm. According to the article it was "the first to be instituted in this part of the country." [1910-04-22] The article went on to describe the farm - "The farm in itself is a model. It is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Molloy, who live in the old fashioned farmhouse during the summer and who take great pleasure in keeping it up. The grounds about the house and stables are sodded and shrubs and flowers are planted about. The red and canary yellow trimmings of the immaculate stables and the yellow fences are a delight to the eyes, and its modern apparatus, wind mill, black smith shop, etc., are up to date." However, by the spring of 1912 Thomas Molloy had decided to rent his farm and held an auction to sell of all the farm livestock and equipment. [1912-04-09] During 1914 Thomas was consolidating his ownership by buying out siblings and relatives that had an interest in the property. For some reason he then transferred his interest in the property to his wife Florence Cowie Molloy.


Around 1920 Florence sold the property to the Chester Wirt and took back a mortgage. Chester Wirt entered Syracuse with a high profile divorce over his head. [1920-04-20] Wirt actually lived on the property and ran the farm and opened the Golfmore Golf Course and briefly ran a riding stable. Surprisingly the golf course continued in operation as the Great Depression set in. But after the 1934 season it closed and in 1935 Florence Cowie Molloy foreclosed and got the property back.


The Molloy properties were never subdivided for residential development. In 1942 the U.S. Government purchased the Molloy land, along with many other area farms, for the construction of the Mattydale Army Air Base. After the death of James Molloy in 1936 his daughters Mary and Kathie inherited the farm and lived there until it was purchased by the government. In 1954, the James Molloy stone homestead was destroyed by fire. The Seward U. S. Army Reserve building now occupies the location of the old James Molloy homestead. The property south of Molloy Road on Lot 19, where the Golfmore Golf Course had been located, is now used by the Marine Reserve.


Notable Facts or Events

At some point Florence Cowie Molloy packed up her two daughters and left for Boulder Co. with another married woman, Mrs. Lachlan MacLeay, and together they started a taxi business. [1918-12-08a], [1918-12-08b]. After being too successful and receiving threats from the male competitors and the Ku Klux Klan the ladies moved to Gold Hill, near Denver, Colorado, where they opened a dude ranch. [1927-02-06]



[1880-04-10] - Patrick Molloy Obit, The Daily Courier, Syracuse, NY, Saturday, April 10, 1880.


[1910-04-22] - "Breeding of Mules on Molloy Farm Nearby," The Syracuse Journal, Syracuse, NY, Friday, April 22, 1901.


[1912-04-09] - "Auction," The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, Tuesday, April 9, 1912.


[1918-12-08a] - "Syracuse Women Own Prosperous Taxi Business in Boulder Col," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, Sunday, December 8, 1918 - Picture


[1918-12-08b] - "Syracuse Women Own Prosperous Taxi Business in Boulder Col," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, Sunday, December 8, 1918 - Story


[1920-04-20] - "Chester E. Wirt, Banker at Gary, IS Defendant in Separation Suit," The Post Standard, Syracuse, NY, Tuesday, April 20, 1920.


[1927-02-06] - "Ex-Syracuse Women Open Dude Ranch," The Syracuse Herald, Syracuse, NY, Sunday, February 6, 1927.