Newark Bears Shareholder

by Jack Keegan


To tell this story I must let you know about my Uncle Pat. He was born in Ireland during the 1800's had no formal education, immigrated to the United States with his family. His Father despite "No Irish Need Apply" signs was able to obtain a job. At an early age Pat went to work to help support the family. Bouncing around the country he worked at many venues, including construction of the dam on the Wanaque Reservoir. He could neither read nor write English but he soon learned how to make money. I accompanied him to the bank one time, his withdrawals were authenticated with a finger print of his thumb. It was the first and last time that I ever saw a $1000 dollar bill.

In time he was able to buy a house on Mulberry Street adjacent to Fire Engine Company Number One at the corner of Mulberry and Lafayette Streets, and ran a rooming house there.

He also became an expert gemologist on precious stones, diamonds, and rubies.

He became well acquainted with the residents of the neighborhood Chinese enclave. One of his “Jobs” was to play chicky for the gamblers in the area. He would station himself on the street and when the Vice Squad appeared he quickly informed the players of their approach. They, the gambles, quickly dispersed and all the Vice Squad found was several old men drinking tea and smoking cigarettes.

He was in all types of schemes to make money, in that mode he purchased shares in the Newark Bears and presented 25 of them to me.

That how I became a Newark Bears Shareholder, in 1931 when Jacob Rupert bought the Bears, I was required to redeem them and received $27.50 for them. A munificent sum at the time.

Part of the Newark Bears History.


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