Marilyn Carroll Biggins, Carolynn D'Antino, Mickey Carroll Varro, Carroll Witherell Fultz Gartner, and Patricia Gubbins Stilz contributed to this family history.
Index Chicago Map 1940 Census Family Tree Descendants Letter from Judge Lyons Home Page
Ed Born in 1906
Chicago, Near West Side, 1906-1907. Edward William Carroll was born at home on February 11, 1906. The U.S. flag had 45 stars, the most recent one being for Utah. The President was Theodore Roosevelt.
Edward was half Swiss and half Irish. His maternal grandmother, Kathryn Meyers Starke, lived in St. Francis of Assisi Parish at 609 S. Canal (1420 S. Canal Street after 1909) at the intersection with Barber Street. St. Francis of Assisi Parish, at 813 W. 12th Street (Roosevelt Road), was a German parish opened in 1853. His maternal grandfather, George Starke, had died in 1895. Both were born in Switzerland.
Edward's paternal grandparents, Edward and Catherine Higgins Carroll, lived in St. Charles Borromeo Parish at 1165 W. 13th Street (2146 W. 13th Street after 1909). Edward and Catherine Higgins Carroll were born in County Limerick, Ireland. Edward had worked as a laborer. Edward died of nephritis on April 26, 1906, two months after Edward William was born. He was 70 years old.
On September 14, 1907, Edward's sister Genevieve was born. Two years later, on December 28, 1909, Genevieve died of tubercular meningitis.
On September 14, 1908, Edward's grandmother Catherine Higgins Carroll died at age 62 of nephritis and heart disease.
On October 31, 1909, Edward's sister Emma was born premature (6-1/2 months). Seven days later, on November 7, 1909, Emma died of inanition.
On December 15, 1916, Edward's brother Thomas Jerome was born.
Ed was a White Sox fan. In 1917, Ed was 11, and the White Sox won the American League pennant when they defeated the Red Sox, 2-1, in Boston. They went on to win their second World Series title by defeating the New York Giants, 4-2. In 1920, eight White Sox players were suspended by Charles Comiskey for their part in the 1919 World Series fix. In 1921, after only two hours of deliberation, the jury in the "Black Sox" trial returns a verdict of not-guilty, but later the players were banned for life by Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis.
On February 8, 1919, Edward's sister Loraine was born.
Sometime between 1920 and 1925, Edward's family moved two blocks north to 2730 W Jackson Boulevard, still in Precious Blood Parish.
Edward also played handball. Judge Lyons writes that "in high school we also indulged in the old Irish game of handball, a sport we played and kept us friends for the next 35 years." They played with two other high school classmates, Frank Gill and Daniel Egan. After high school, they continued playing at the Midwest Athletic Club, the YMCA, and the Lake Shore Athletic Club. "Your Dad also starred in this sport--receiving many tournament trophies and medals. He was very handsome a popular with all the ladies"
On August 13, 1925, Edward's brother Thomas Jerome died at age 8 of rheumatosis.
Walter J. Kohler, Sr. and Herbert V. Kohler, Sr. provided major support to Admiral Richard E. Byrd and his exploratory expeditions to Antarctica. Five Kohler "electric plants" were donated for Byrd's first Antarctic trip in 1929. Two model K units provided power at the base camp of Little America. Although the Kohler generators remained dormant at the camp for five years following that expedition, after merely drying out the spark plugs and priming the engines, they were used to power the second expeditions in 1934. It was during his second expedition that Byrd spent six months alone at a remote outpost during the Antarctic winter, relying on Kohler generators for his sole source of power for heat, light and communications.
At one time, Admiral Byrd was on his way to Kohler, Wisconsin, to speak with employees. Edward Carroll met Admiral Byrd in Chicago and had breakfast with him. Admiral Byrd was godfather of Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., who was born in 1939.
Bunny Born in 1907
Chicago, Near West Side, 1907-1908. Henrietta Margaret Mary Kenny, who was called Bunny, was born on New Year's Eve, December 31, 1907. The U.S. flag had 45 stars, the most recent one being for Utah. The President was Theodore Roosevelt.
Bunny was the only child of James and Charlotte McDonald Kenny, who were married on January 23 of the year she was born. They lived at 1004 W. Lake Street (2350 W. Lake Street after 1909) in St. Malachy Parish on the Near West Side of Chicago. St. Malachy was an Irish Catholic parish located a block east and a block south at 2248 West Washington Boulevard. It opened in 1882. Bunny's father James was a railway mail clerk. He was age 36 when Bunny was born. Bunny's mother Charlotte was from Wisconsin. She was age 21 when Bunny was born, 15 years younger than her husband.
Bunny was baptized by Father T. V. Shannon on February 2, 1908, at St. Malachy's Church. Godparents were Patrick Hughes and Annie Bowman.
Bunny was seven-eighths Irish and one-eighth Scottish. Her maternal grandparents, Daniel and Ellen Flannery McDonald, lived in Wisconsin. Daniel was a second generation American of Scottish and Irish descent. Ellen was a second generation American of Irish descent. Bunny's paternal grandparents were James and Mary Hartigan Kenny. James was a teamster. He died three years before Bunny was born. Mary was born in Ireland. She had died in 1879, 28 years before Bunny was born.
Chicago, Austin, 1908-1934. In 1908, the family moved three miles west, from St. Malachy's parish to St. Thomas Aquinas parish. They lived in the Austin section of Chicago at 1917 Park Avenue, which was renumbered to 4744 Park Avenue in 1909 and later renamed 4744 W. Maypole Avenue. St. Thomas Aquinas was an Irish Catholic parish located at 5112 West Washington Boulevard. It opened in 1909 and closed in 1988.
Sometime between 1920 and 1928, the family moved three blocks east to 4715 W. Maypole Avenue, still in St. Thomas Aquinas parish. Bunny went to St. Thomas Aquinas School for grammar school and graduated in 1921.
Bunny may have gone to the show at the West End Theatre around 1921. The theater was a couple blocks away at 121 N. Cicero Avenue. Daughter Mickey has a West End Theatre program that her mother gave her.
After grammar school, Bunny went to Austin High School, where she joined Pi Sigma Sorority. Bunny left high school after two years but continued to be active in her sorority. One of her sorority sisters was Mary Ann Pack, who married Harold E. Rainville.
Bunny worked for Frederick Wacker at Automotive Maintenance Machinery Company (AMMCO), an auto parts manufacturer, until the company moved to North Chicago. Fred Wacker was the son of the late Charles H. Wacker, Chicago capitalist and first chairman of the Chicago plan commission. The 1930 census shows Bunny working as a stenographer for AMMCO and living with her parents.
Ed and Bunny Marry in 1934, Have 2 Children
Chicago, Austin, 1934-1952. After their wedding, Edward and Bunny lived at 4955 W. Fulton Street, a few blocks west of Bunny's parents in St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in the Austin section of Chicago. Edward continued working as a plumbing fixture salesman in the Chicago branch office of the Kohler Company in Tribune Tower, and Bunny as an executive secretary for the Field Estate.
In his 1990 letter to Marilyn Carroll Biggins, Judge John J. Lyons tells Marilyn that her mother and father met sometime in the 1930s. "Your mother was a very attractive and good looking girl and they made a handsome couple."
Judge Lyons goes on to mention that Edward and he and nine others, most former St. Mel classmates, formed a social club called the "West Side Frolics Club." They met once a month at each other's houses for cocktails and bridge. The club continued for many years.
On June 13, 1937, Bunny's grandmother, Ellen Flannery McDonald Powell, died at Bunny's mother's home in Chicago. Ellen was age 83. Ellen was buried next to her Irish-born parents, James and Mary Murray Flannery, in Calvary Cemetery in Argyle, Lafayette County, Wisconsin.
In June 1938, Edward and Bunny toured the western United States by car with their friends Charles and Catherine Meroni, who then lived in Park Ridge. Chuck was a partner in a patent law firm. A written summary of the trip shows that they took the northern route out through Iowa, South Dakota (Badlands, Mt. Rushmore), Wyoming (Yellowstone Park), Montana, Idaho, Utah, and Nevada (Reno, Lake Tahoe). In Nevada on June 22, they and 60 million other Americans listened to the Louis-Schmeling fight on radio from Yankee Stadium. In California, they went to the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, MGM Studio, Universal Studio, Graumann's Chinese Theater, and the Brown Derby. They took the southern route on the way back, going through Nevada (Las Vegas), Arizona (Grand Canyon), New Mexico (Santa Fe), Colorado, Nebraska, and Iowa. "Were we glad to get home!! But what a trip!!!"
Their first child, Marilyn Kathryn, was born January 3, 1940, at West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park, Illinois. They had been married five years when Marilyn was born. Bunny quit her job as executive secretary for the Field Estate and became a full-time mother.
After Marilyn was born and before April 5 when the 1940 Census was taken, Edward and Bunny moved around the block to a 4-unit apartment building they purchased at 200 North Lamon Avenue, at the corner of Maypole Street.
Edward and Bunny's second child, Maureen Joan, was born on June 19, 1942, at Garfield Park Hospital in Chicago. Maureen was baptized at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. She was called Mickey.
Marilyn and Maureen went to kindergarten at Spencer School and then went to grammar school at St. Thomas Aquinas. Their mother had attended St. Thomas Aquinas and had the same first grade teacher.
During WWII, Bunny's mother Charlotte began working as an assembler for a manufacturing company as part of the war effort.
Bunny's father, James Kenny, died at Alexian Brothers Hospital on December 6, 1944, of cirrhosis of the liver. Following a funeral Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, and he was buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery.
On April 19, 1948, Bunny's mother. Charlotte Mae Kenny, fell down a flight of stairs at the neighbor's next door and died suddenly. The man next door was sick, and she was going to visit him. The hallway was dark. She opened the wrong door and fell down the stairs. The coroner certified that the cause of death was a "skull fracture" and that "the deceased fell down a flight of stairs striking her head on the basement floor." Following a funeral Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Lottie was buried alongside her husband at Mount Carmel Cemetery.
On January 15, 1950, Edward was promoted to plumbing fixture salesman at Kohler Co.
In 1952, the UAW organized the workers at the Kohler Co. In April 1954, the union struck Kohler in what was to be one of the longest and bitterest strikes in United States labor history. The company hired and trained replacement workers, but production slowed significantly and the inability to fill customer orders made Ed's life very stressful.
On December 5, 1953, at Recreation Hall in Kohler, Wisconsin, Edward joined the Quarter Century Club and received a gold watch in recognition of his 25 years of continuous service with the company.
In April 1955, Herbert Kohler Sr. traveled to Detroit and met with Ed at the Detroit branch. At night, he took Ed and Bunny to a fancy party in the area. Afterwards, he returned to their home and was introduced to their children, Marilyn and Mickey. Herbert, a graduate of Yale University, had been the chief executive of Kohler since 1940, when he took over upon the death of his half brother Walter Kohler Sr. Ruth Young Kohler, the wife of Herbert Kohler Sr., had died in 1953 at the age of 47. Walter Kohler Sr. had been governor of Wisconsin from 1929 to 1931, and his son Walter Kohler Jr. was governor of Wisconsin from 1951 to 1957. The Kohler Company was founded in 1873 by an Austrian American, John Michael Kohler (1844-1900), who was the father of Walter Sr. and Herbert Sr.
Ed Dies in 1955 at age 49
Chicago Tribune, May 18, 1955
PEOPLE, May 25, 1955
Kohler of Kohler News, May-June-July, 1955
Bunny Widowed at Age 47
Glenview, 1955-1962. Bunny was age 47 when Ed died. She had two teenage daughters to raise. There was life insurance, and Herbert Kohler gave her a gift of $10,000. Bunny thought about staying in Michigan, but decided to move back to Illinois. The house on Thurber Road was sold, and in August the family moved back to Illinois. Bunny bought a new house at 338 Nordica Avenue in Glenview. After 21 years as a housewife and mother, Bunny started working again as a secretary. First she worked at the research laboratories of Kraft Foods Company, 923 Waukegan Road, Glenview. In 1961, Bunny started work as a secretary at Milwaukee-Golf Development Co., owner of the Golf Mill Shopping Center at Golf Road and Milwaukee Avenue.
Marilyn finished high school at Niles Township High School (now Niles East). Maureen went to eighth grade at Our Lady of Perpetual Help school in Glenview, then went to Maine Township High School (two years ahead of Hilary Rodham Clinton).
Park Ridge, 1962-1964. In 1962, the family moved to an apartment at 1306 Carol Street in Park Ridge, and the house on Nordica was rented out and eventually sold. Marilyn continued to teach at Proviso West High School. Bunny continued working as a secretary at Milwaukee-Golf Development Co. From 1964 to 1965, Bunny worked as a secretary at Scam Instrument Corp. on Hamlin Avenue in Skokie.
Marilyn married Peter Biggins on August 22, 1964, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Glenview, Illinois. Peter was an analyst at Allstate Insurance Company, and Marilyn was teaching English and speech at Proviso West High School. Marilyn was given away by her uncle Robert Witherell, husband of her aunt Lorraine Carroll Witherell.
Miami, 1965-1967. In 1965, Bunny moved to Miami to be with her daughter, Mickey, who lived at the Biscayne Shores Apartments, at 700 NE 29th Terrace. From March 1965 to March 1967, Bunny worked in Miami Beach as a secretary at Eton Hall, a large apartment building at 5313 Collins Avenue, N.E. From March to September 1967, Bunny worked as a secretary in North Miami Beach at InterAmerican National Bank, 239 NE Sunny Isles Boulevard.
On September 8, 1965, Hurricane Betsy tore the roof off the apartment next to Bunny's. Flooding caused by the hurricane ruined her car.
At some point, Bunny moved to 1800 S. Glades Drive in North Miami Beach.
Evanston, 1967-1970. In 1967, Micki and Johnny toured the country with the Dukes of Dixieland. On October 1, 1967, Bunny moved to an apartment at 524 Michigan Avenue in Evanston to be near Marilyn and her family, who lived a block away in an apartment at 503 Sheridan Road. Bunny obtained a job as secretary to William McCanless, president of the National Bank of North Evanston, 2951 Central Street.
California, 1981-1983. In 1981, Bunny moved to North Hollywood, California, where Micki and Johnny had moved. In 1982, she moved to Villa Scalabrini Retirement Center, 10631 Vinedale Street in Sun Valley, California.
Dallas, 1983-1989. In 1983, Bunny moved to Dallas and lived for awhile with Marilyn and her family, In 1984, she moved to Doctors Nursing Center, 9009 White Rock Trail in Dallas.
Stamford, 1989. In 1989, Marilyn and Peter moved back to Darien. In June 1989, Bunny moved to Fairfield Manor Health Care Center in Norwalk. Three months later, she moved to St. Camillus Health Center, 494 Elm Street in Stamford.
Bunny Dies in 1989 at Age 81
Marilyn's mother, Henrietta Kenny Carroll, died November 1, 1989, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Stamford, Connecticut. She was 81 years old. The funeral was at Divine Infant Church, the parish church of Ralph and Gertrude Gust, in Westchester, Illinois. Bunny was buried at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, next to her husband Edward (Section 32, Block 14, Lot 37).
6 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren
Information on grandchildren and great grandchildren has been excluded. A version of this page without the exclusion is available upon request. Contact Peter or Marilyn Carroll Biggins:
Index Chicago Map 1940 Census Family Tree Top Letter from Judge Lyons Home Page