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SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Family/Local History > 11093
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Manuscripts by Subject - Family / Local History - #11093

Title:  Hugh Henley Warren Family                
Dates: 1885-1932

Collection Number:   MSS 11093    

Quantity: .25 feet plus artifacts
Abstract: Collection consists of biographical information, a family bible, booklet, news clippings, photographs, post cards and artifacts. Warren was born in Dublin in 1872 and came to America in 1885. He joined the North Dakota infantry and fought in the Philippines during the Spanish-American war, and lived in Mandan, Valley City and possibly Jamestown, ND, until his death in 1932.

Provenance: The collection was donated by Mike Hartnett, Warren’s grandson, on August 22, 2011. The collection was processed, and this finding aid was created by Emily E. Schultz in July 2011. Several items were added to the collection by Liz Styer, Warren’s granddaughter in August 2011. The graduation diploma, several publications, and additional artifacts were donated by Mike Hartnett in June 2014.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.


Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.  

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Transfer:  Artifacts were offered to the Museums Division in July 2011 and June 2014.

Written by Michael Hartnett and Elizabeth (Liz) Styer, Grandchildren of Warren

Background: Our grandfather and grandmother had three daughters. The oldest, Arabella, married and had one child, Michael. The middle daughter, Katherine, had one son, Warren. The youngest daughter, Virginia, had five daughters, Kathleen, Mary, Ann, Elizabeth and Patricia.

The daughters and their husbands are gone, as is our cousin Warren. Now we grandchildren are getting older and wondering what to do about family memorabilia.

We’d like to give it, share it, to the people of North Dakota, the state that forged our family.

Hugh Henley “Jack” Warren was born in Dublin [November 26] 1872 and came to America in 1885 with his uncle, George Bannon. George and his brother William started the Bannon & Co., department stores in St. Paul.

Although he was born in Dublin, the family was English. His father, Edward W. Warren, was an architect hired to restore St. Patrick’s Cathedral (which was Church of England, not Catholic) in Dublin.

As was the tradition at the time, the oldest son would take over the family business and younger sons were expected to do such things as enter the military or the clergy.

But young boys in that era were enchanted by tales of America, particularly the American West, and so Jack came to America with his uncle. He began working for the Northern Pacific Railroad December 1, in 1889 as a “call boy” in Fargo. He later was a fireman in Jamestown and eventually was promoted to engineer August 1, 1901.

He joined the North Dakota infantry and fought in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War, and was honorably discharged.

He met Catherine “Kate” Moran; and converted to Catholicism, although he never told his parents back in Dublin. They married May 23, 1902 in Valley City and had three daughters, Arabella, Kathleen and Virginia. All are now deceased.

[In the 1910 census, the family’s home was listed as Esmond, Benson County, ND. By 1915 they were living in Mandan, Morton County, ND].

Around 1914 he was in a horrific train accident. (Decades later, we were told that the Mandan Tribune ran a headline, “H. H. Warren Killed in Train Accident” but he wasn’t). He did, however suffer numerous injuries – broken bones and back, and was in a coma. He was not expected to live.

According to family lore, a family friend, a nun, came to the hospital and prayed in his room. Before she left, she put a religious medal around his neck. Shortly after, he came out of the coma and eventually had a complete recovery. So complete was his recovery, he fathered his third child, Virginia, in 1920, when he was 49 years old. He died in 1932 of a cerebral hemorrhage, while walking home from the railroad roundhouse.


Box 1:
1 Biographical information, news clippings, and discharge papers, 1898-ca. 1932
2 “Remember the Maine” booklet, ca. 1898
3 Family bible, printed in 1885, given to Warren in 1892
4 Post cards, ca 1930
5 Photographs, 1907-ca. 1920s
11093-01         Hugh Henley Warren portrait in uniform, ca. 1898
11093-02         Warren family in Ireland, 1907
11093-03         Probably Sioux Indians outside Northern Pacific Railway station, Mandan, ND, ca. 1920s
11093-04         Train engine that Warren was injured while riding in (before accident), ca. 1914 (digital prints)
11093-05         Train engine that Warren was injured while riding in (after accident), ca. 1914 (digital prints)
6 Mandan High School diploma, graduation program, and news clipping about a theater performance, Arabella Warren, 1923

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