For the descendents of Richard Dearie and his son John Russell

George Dearie 1841 – 17 January 1903

Clerk, bartender, and hotel proprietor.

George was the eldest son of Richard Dearie and Elizabeth Hogg. His parents married in London in 1838 and he was born in 1841. His Confederate army papers say he was born in London. The 1880 US census says he was born in Pennsylvania. His burial papers say he was born in Philadelphia.

His mother Elizabeth Hogg was his father Richard’s second wife and George had 5 half brothers living in New Orleans with whom he kept in contact. He had four sisters: Maria, Annie, Bessie and Mary and his mother had 3 more children born in the UK who all died as babies. He also had an older half sister Jessie:  his mother, Elizabeth Hogg’s daughter, who was 5 years old at the time of her mother’s marriage.

His father was a wine merchant, customs house agent, and innkeeper, and George worked with him as an adult.

We know very little about his childhood. They were still living in America when his sister Bessie was born in 1843.  By 1844 we know that his mother was staying with her mother who taught at a school called Belgrave Lodge in Chiswick, (part of London now but still a village then.)  Between June and October 1844 his mother gave birth to his brother Donald who died 4 months later. By 1845 they were back in America for his sister’s Mary’s birth.

In 1846 they were back in London. Between 21 June and 19 November 1846, when his brother Archibald was born the family lived at 60 Warren St, London, and from at least December 1850 to March 1851 they lived at Guildhall Chambers in the City of London, but on the night of the census George aged 10 is not there.  At this time both Mary and Bessie can be found at a boarding school in Croydon; but it is not known where George was educated. During 1851 and 1852 they lived at 10 King Square in Islington, and from 1852 to 1855 at Nichols Square in Hackney.

His half brother Jack was born at 115, Nichols Square a result of a relationship between his father and his half sister Jessie.

He may have accompanied the family to Glasgow where his father ran three pubs. In March of 1856 his oldest sister Maria married Henry Bury at St. Mary’s Church in Glasgow. 

In May of that year when he was 14 his father was fined a huge sum for running an illicit still and by March 1857 he was in debtors prison.

There is a photograph taken in 1859 of George marked Bromley Kent; but this is copy made in Bromley at a later date. Is it possible that he stayed in America with relatives and didn't come to England with his parents?

Eventually released from prison his father Richard left for America with Bessie and Mary to return to New York on 15 August 1859. Neither George, Maria and Henry or Elizabeth his mother are on this passenger list.


The Civil War

George must have returned to America, if he had ever left, because on 10 May 1861, aged 20, he enlisted as private in the 5th Louisiana Infantry at Camp Moore in New Orleans.

His occupation was given as clerk.  The records show him present on the muster roll from May 1861 to February 1862. On May 24 1862 he is listed as missing at New Bridge Va .

He was captured at Bottoms Bridge, Virginia on 24 May 1862 and sent to Fort Columbus, New York Harbour from Fort Monroe and exchanged at Aitkin’s Landing, Virginia in August 1862.

His description says he was born in London, is aged 21, 5 feet 5 and a half inches tall, light hair, grey eyes and a fair complexion.

From August to October 1862 he is absent detached with the division ordinance train.  He is present again from November 1862 but absent without leave in May and June 1863.

In August the roll shows him to be missing since July I, (the first day of Gettysburg).  He was captured at Berlin Virginia on I July 1863 and paroled at Fort Mc Henry, Maryland on 6th July 1863 and sent to Fort Delaware.

The confederate army records of September to December 1863 list him as having deserted to the enemy. In this he was not alone as by the end of 1863 two fifths of the Southern army were absent.

He may have said he was born in London to get better treatment. Researches in London can find no record of his being born there. It is more likely that he was born in the North, and may have felt a conflict of interests by this time.

The death registers for Luzerne County show George Dearie aged 60 dying on 17 January 1903 at Wilkes-Barre of liver complications which would fit with what we know of his bar tending back ground. The records of Wilkes-Barre City Public Cemetery show that it was the undertaker who gave the information at his burial and there are no details of his birth date or place, occupation or address. The cemetery register shows him buried in plot 216.

Wilkes-Barre Record, January 19, 1903, page 7. DEATH OF GEORGE DEARIE The Death of George Dearie, a well known Scotchman of this city, occurred on Saturday morning at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John McMurtrie, corner Sullivan and Sambourne Streets, aged about 60 years. Mr. Dearie was taken ill some weeks ago while residing at the Rhoads hotel at Harvey’s Lake. Deceased was the youngest son of Richard Dearie, who kept a hotel at West Market street and Public Square, for many years. The subject of this notice took great interest in the local Caledonian Club, being a charter member of that organization. Three sisters, Mrs. Robinson of Brooklyn, Mrs. Kluff of Philadelphia, and Mrs. Fox who resides in Europe, survive. Mr. Dearie was a widower and had no children. The funeral will take place this afternoon at 2 o’clock from the residence of John McMurtrie. The members of the Caledonian Club will attend. The internment will be private.

Wilkes-Barre Times January 19, 1903 FUNERAL OF GEORGE DEARIE The funeral of the late George Dearie took place this afternoon from the home of his friend John McMurtrie, corner of Sullivan and Sanbourne streets, and many friends were present to pay a tribute of respect to his memory. Noticeable among the gathering was a large body made up of the Wilkes-Barre Caledonian club, of which organization deceased was for many years a member, and from whose members the pall bearers were selected. The service was conducted by John MacMurtrie, chaplain of the Caledonian club, D. B. Murray acting as high chief. After the service the remains were interred in the City cemetery. The pall bearers were: John Munroe, Alex. Dick, A. K. Lindsay, Alex. Mann, Sr., and Alex Mann Jr., and George Mitchell. The sisters of the deceased, who live respectively in New York and Philadelphia, sent two large bouquets.

Wilkes-Barre Times January 20, 1903 GEORGE DEARIE’S FUNERAL The handsome flowers that covered the casket of the deceased were from Dr. Taylor of Washington street and Mr. Seibel of the Wheelmen’s club (1), and not from the sisters as stated in our report of the funeral yesterday.

Wilke-Barre Times January 31, 1903, Those Who Died the Past Month Cirrhosis of liver - George Dearie, 60 years, 26 Sullivan street.

All documents transcribed by Claire Grey

Right: The only photograph we have of George as an adult shows him bearing a strong likeness to his half brother Jack. He wears a sad expression, which seems to suggest that he had disappointments in life, but there are also strong laughter lines around his eyes. The photo has been edited which creates an odd hair shape and may have been part of a larger group picture. Could it have been of the Caledonian Club?
Above: Public Square in Wilkes-Barre, the corner of the west side of Public Square and West Market Street in 1880, possibly a restaurant and bar. Below: No. 57 in 1887; listed as Dearie's Hotel in 1889.

Notes. (1) The Wheelman's Club was a large and popular bicycle club.

Many thanks to the historians of Wilkes-Barre who contributed to this page.

Below: 26 Sullivan Street, the home of George's friend John McMurtrie, where George's funeral took place. Photo. 2011.
Above:The Exchange Hotel on the east side of Public Square in 1877.
Left: George lived at Bristol House on the South side of Public Square in 1891 when he was a bartender. Photo. from 1895.

New York and Wilkes-Barre.

When George's father Richard returned to New York he appeared on the tax lists as a distiller in 1865 and 1866. A George Dearie appears with a Richard Dearie in the same tax lists in 1866 as distiller, making whisky, at an address which appears to be Broadway 54 and 55. George kept in touch with his sister Annie in England; she recalled him arriving in the U.K. in fine style, but having to work his passage back to America as a stoker.

A George Dearie appears on the 1870 census at Harrisburg, his occupation is " hotel clerk", and his name is written after the other children of the family, so this could be him. The head of the household is John Dearie " hotel keeper", although this John does not appear to be the correct age to be George's Uncle. However it seems to be the same family that we find on 10 July 1880, going by ship to Glasgow with Richard Dearie, and Mrs. Mary Cluff, Mrs. John Dearie, Miss Lizzie Dearie and Miss Tillie Dearie. George moved to Wilkes-Barre where he was a clerk in 1871. On 1 May 1876, Richard applied for a licence for a restaurant. The Dearie's resided at the Exchange Hotel on the east side of Public Square in 1875, 76, & 77.

Richard is recorded as selling wines and liquors on the corner of Market or at Public Square from 1873/74 to 1882/84, with George at the same addess.The 1880 census shows George unmarried and running a saloon. Richard died in 1883 in Wilkes-Barre, and was buried in a plot owned by George. The register shows George , a clerk, living at "Cor Sqr.", short for Corner Square. The following year in 1884 George is listed as "liquors" at 57 Public Square. In 1887 number 57 was re-built. George is recorded as proprietor of Dearie's Hotel at 57, Public Square in 1889. The 1889 Wilkes-Barre directory also records Elizabeth McCastline, widow of Andrew, George's sister boarding at Dearie's Hotel.

The 11th schedule of surviving veterans taken in 1890 show George to be resident at Pittston, Luzerne, Pennsylvania. Notes include: "Length of service 2 years 6 months", "Not discharged" and "No disability". The record is crossed out with the note "Confederate". The only existing photograph of his father Richard was taken in Pittston. The Pittston City Directory of 1890 records George Dearie, running a saloon at 43, South Main Street. He must have moved his business to Pittston. However the Wilkes-Barre City Directory of 1891, shows George Dearie, back to being a bartender, boarding at Bristol House which was on the South side of Public Square, and at John Munro's hotel at the northeast corner of South Main and South Streets. In 1894 he is boarding at 152 S. Main.

The Wilkes-Barre City Directory of 1895, shows George Dearie, removed to Philadelphia. At some time between 1880 and 1903 George was married and his wife died.

View Wilkes_Barre in a larger map

Wilkes-Barre Record, Tuesday January 20, 1903, p.4

TO THE CITY CEMETERY The remains of George Dearie were yesterday interred in the City Cemetery, after the Caledonian Club chaplain, John MacMurtrie, conducted services at the home, corner of Sullivan and Sambourne Streets. Many Scotchmen attended. The pall bearers were: John Munro, Alexander Dick, A. K. Lindsay, Alexander Mann, Sr., and Alexander Mann Jr., and George Mitchell.


Left: Harvey's lake was a summer resort in the mountains, also known as the Shawanese Lake in the 1890s.
Left: George's moved to the Rhoads Hotel at Harvey's Lake.

From a report by the board of Fish Commissioners, in Pennsylvania, we know that on May 1897 George and Byron Rhoads were stocking the lake with fish. This would have attracted fishermen to the lake and the hotel.

"Dept. of fisheries, 1897 European Brown Trout Fry

May 16, 1896 George Dearie, Shawanese, Luzerne County, 1200 fish

May 16 Byron E. Rhoads, Shawanese, Luzerne County, 1200 fish"

"Dearie's Corner" Public Square in Wilkes-Barre, the corner of the west side of Public Square and West Market Street today , photographed in May 2011. The name Dearie was associated with this corner for nearly 25 years.

Right: Plot 216 of Wilkes-Barre Cemetery. No grave stone has been found for George.