Deighan, Bennet

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    Introduction
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    All Canadian Deighan's are related. Bennet's great grandparents (William & Elizabeth Deighan) came from Ireland to PEI. Elizabeth was the daughter of an Irish Lord but her family was not happy about the marriage so William and Elizabeth left Ireland and landed in Freetown PEI. Their son, William, married a Goodwin from Bedeque (Jimmy & Ally Goodwin's sister), and had 6-7 children. They lived in the woods half a mile from a spring with water. William H. Deighan (Bennetts father) married Susanna Whelan from Freetown. Susanna's mother was from Shamrock and married Patrick Whelan (also from Freetown). Susanna's sister Agnes is still alive (at time of interview), at age 103. The Whelans moved to Boston (Susanna's parents, sister Agnes and one brother Johnny).
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    William H Deighan worked on the railroad work but when laid off he turned to farming. Acquired 100 acres of farmland. Had twelve children; Bennet was the oldest. At age of 19 Bennett went out West. Eventually moved to Winnipeg; got a job in a music store as a shipper. World War I- Bennett unable to join because of health (poor hearing). Two brothers went to Boston and his father called Bennett home and work on the farm in 1917-1918. Bennett married 1919, and had four children.
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    Bennett and his wife [Rosella] farmed for 37 years. They raised their family in Bredalbane, a "good Presbyterian village". The farm had been left to his brother Jack who had no interest in farming. Bennett bought the farm off Jack. Bennett discusses connection to the McKeever family, his son Loyola (1928-2010) and his granddaughter Michelle.
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    Discusses heirlooms (or lack of), old photos, deeds to the properties.
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    Entertainment: Bennett recalls the popular song, "Frozen Charlotte". Recalls lots of singing and dancing (waltzes and step dances). Bennet's father was a fiddler. Wife, 86 [at time of interview], was living in the Sacred Heart Home in Charlottetown, while Bennett stayed in their home alone. Years earlier they had divided their home. Now his son Loyola, and his family, were living on the other side of the house. Bennett's brother Jack preferred played sports over farming.
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    Brother Jack sold the 200 acres to Bennett and then left for Toronto, so Bennett farmed two farms for two years. Then Jack sold the farm to Bennett. Went to a lawyer in Toronto to sign the deed. They remodelled the house and barn (adding 25 feet to the barn). Main part of the house was built in 1892, and finished in 1893/1894. Bennett was born in October 1893. Speaks of farming, milking cows, growing potatoes and sweet potatoes, keeping hens and roosters, selling at the market, traveling by wagon. Stories about livery stables in town and farming without tools and machines.
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    Original Deighan settlers lived in Upper Freetown, Summerfield Parish. Original house is still there ("first house on right going towards Freetown"). Recalls lots of trains, such as the train from Charlottetown to the boat to mainland. Train through Emerald Junction, Kinkora, Albany, to Cape Traverse and the railway went through Bennett's farm. Emerald had a bank, a doctor and two stores: [Albert] Craig's General Store (Craig's house still there) and Peter Hughes Store. Country stores were fully stocked from groceries to clothing. The popularity of cars meant people could drive to the city so country stores died out. Emerald also had a post office run by Frank Murphy. Bennett discusses local families (McCarville's and Murphy's) and Emerald's early doctors (Dr Johnson and Dr McGuigan).
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    Changes in Emerald, with cars and loss of railroad, meant Emerald faded, whereas villages like Kinkora bloomed. Bennett discusses people, (John P Smith, Ada Smith, Theodore McKeever, Pat Morris, the Wish Murphy, Eddie McCarville) and places (Newton, Kinkora, Kelly's Cross). Bennett recalls going to school in Emerald and his first school teacher, Katie Trainor from Maplewood. Other teachers were Maggie Ann MacDonald, Peter F. Hughes, and Father Smith. Discusses Ethel Duffy who stayed with them to go to school in Emerald.
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    Emerald had a BIS (Benevolent Irish Society) Hall, with lots of concerts, meetings with lots of members. Held a BIS Conference every March 17th, St Patricks Day. They had a play every year and lots of Irish musicians. Bennett's father was a member of the BIS his whole life. The original hall was torn down, and they built a new hall but eventually the youth lost interest and the Society in Emerald faded away.
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    Bennett remembers his grandfather, "a staunch man" who could predict the weather according to the moon and the stars.
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    Bennett speaks of his daughter, Sister Mary Deighan, a nun who worked in Algeria, Japan, the Netherlands and Toronto. Discusses local Irish communities and their Ireland County associations. Mention of Pauline Trainor and Bill Trainor, the Minister of Fisheries for PEI [end of conversation is cut off].