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Buchanan County MOGenWeb Project

County coordinator and webmaster: Sharlene K. Miller, CG

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Biographies of Buchanan County Residents:

John Bloomer

Transcribed by Danielle Thompson

From the History of Buchanan County and the City of St Joseph and Representative Citizens


CAPT. JOHN BLOOMER. Few citizens of St.Joseph were better known than the late Capt. John Bloomer, whose death took place on November 3 1900, and few indeed are recalled with more sincere respect . Capt. Bloomer was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, near Omagh , May 15 1835 , and was the son of Michael and Ann ( MCSHERRY ) Bloomer

A sister of Captain Bloomer had found a home at Litchfield Connecticut, and when he had accumulated enough capital to carry him across the Atlantic he joined this sister and very soon found remunerative work on the neighboring farms. Three years later he moved to Dodge County , Nebraska , where he entered and improved a farm for three years and then sold it in order to settle at St.Joseph , Missouri , which was then becoming a great freight depot . Captain Bloomer came to this city in 1859 and being a man of courage and physical strength, both being necessities in those dangerous days, he was engaged very quickly for freighting across the plains to Denver, some 800 miles distance. He engaged in work for the government at first but later began freighting for himself and continued in the business until the close of the Civil War.

In 1866 Captain Bloomer first became a member of the St.Joseph police force; in 1868 he was appointed street commissioner; and in 1887, when the new city charter was adopted and the metropolitan police system was inaugurated he was made police sergeant. In March, 1888 he succeeded the late Captain BROYLES to the captaincy, and this position he held until his death, with a fidelity to the interests of the public, which earned for him the esteem and gratitude of his fellow citizens . He was unswerving in the line of duty and made police force under his administration a credit to his management and an honor to the city.

In 1858, in Nebraska , Captain Bloomer married Abbie O`REILLY , who was formerly a resident of New York City , and they had nine children , of whom six are now deceased . The children living are three daughters; Fannie (Mrs. B. O`CONNER), of St.Joseph; and Abbie and Anna, who live at home. These children were all given superior educational advantages and were prepared to take prominent positions in society. The family are members of the Catholic Church.

Captain Bloomer was a liberal contributor in support of the various benevolent enterprises of the Catholic Church, of which he was devout member, and was always ready to give generously to advance the best interests of the city in any direction. A beautiful monument marks the spot in Mount Olivet Cemetery where his remains lie, and his memory will long be cherished by his family and many friends.

His widow, one of the highly esteemed residents of St.Joseph lives in a comfortable home at No. 1502 South 14 th. street.