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Ernest Justin Jarrold



    Ernest Justin Jarrold was born in August of 1848 in the small village of Brentwood, England.  He was the first child of George Jarrold, a carpenter, and Mary Ann "Jane" Highhaw.  When he was two years old, His mother took he and his brother Leonard aboard the Devonshire and crossed the Atlantic.  They arrived in New York on November 29, 1851.  They met up again with his father George, who went ahead to secure a home for the family.  


The Devonshire


  In 1860, the Jarrold's were living in Kingston, NY. Click here for photo tour of Kingston, NY.  By this time, brother Leonard, and sisters Eliza, Alice and Kate had come along.  Sister Ellen would come a year later. At the age of 18, Ernest became an apprentice at the Rondout Courier, a local paper, to learn the trade of printer. 

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Kings Road Brentwood, England

    On October 22, 1869 Ernest married Ella Adelaid Clark in Peekskill, Westchester, New York.  The two were living in the village of Rondout by 1870 and Ernest was working as a printer, or compositor.  Click here for a photo tour of Rondout, NY.  Ernest's parents and siblings also had moved to Rondout by this time.  Rondout, known by locals  as Cooney Island, would later become the setting for Ernest's short stories about his most famous character, Mickey Finn. A year later Ernest and Ella had their first child, Archie.

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Rondout Postcard and Rondout Light on the Hudson River


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Jarrold Street in Kingston was named after the Jarrold family in honor of the improvments the family made on the area. George was a carpenter and built many of the buildings in that area. Unfortunately most, if not all, of them were raised during the "Urban Renewal" of the 1960's.

    According to the 1880 US Census, Ernest, now age 31, had become a typesetter.  He was living in Rondout at 78 Spring St (pictured below as it stands today) with his wife Ella, son Archie, 9; son Rochester C, 6; daughter Hattie Lucille, 4; and daughter Eleanor "Nellie" A, 1.  (Nellie was my great grandmother.)  He was only earning $10.00 per week, and with a family of six to support, his financial situation was grim.  Ernest began writing occasional articles for the "Rondout Freeman" to earn extra income to support his family.  He had been bitten by the writing bug and began to desire a more lucrative position with a more notable paper.

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78 Spring St, Rondout NY. Home of Ernest Jarrold in 1880

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Former Home of the Kingston Freeman, as it stands today.


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Kingston, NY Church, Kingston Hotel, Kingston in Winter

    In 1881, Ernest returned home from work one evening, decided to pack up his family of six and follow his dream to New York City.  They lived in furnished single room apartments and he would write at night.  He wrote feverishly for a year, submitting all of his papers to the leading national newspapers, only to have them rejected.  According to an article written by Tom Marrow in May or 1891, he even followed Joseph Pulitzer to three "watering places" with a piece for the paper and came back rejected.  It came to Ernest that he should have a central character to write about, and little Michael "Mickey" Finn was born.

    The Mickey Finn stories were published regularly in the New York Evening Sun and eventually Ernest was given a job as staff writer by Amos Cummings, the managing editor of the paper.  

    In 1889, the paper was taken over by a man by the name of Arthur Brisbane.  He sent Ernest on a three month trip to Ireland, where he would write stories and send them back to be printed. Many of his short stories about Irish life originated from this experience and one would assume the trip was also the inspiration for his book "New Irish Yarns Containing Irish Wit and Humor" published in 1903 under the pseudonym Mickey Finn.

    The 1890's were an eventful time in Ernest's life.  By 1892, Ernest had fathered sixth child with his wife Ella.  He was an active Bohemian writer, involved in numerous clubs and literary societies with the most famous and influential literary talents of his time.  He was a founding member of the Pleiades Club with such notables as Amos Cummings, editor of the Sun, Clara Louise Kellogg, Famous Opera Soprano, Samuel Clemens, AKA Mark Twain, W.E.S. Fales, another writer, who's divorce made headlines (see article below), George Luks, famous painter of the Ashcan School style,  Sam Chamberlain, known for his paintings of the Mexican-American War,  Cleveland Moffett, another popular writer of his time, amongst others. (see below for more details)

    Ernest was a popular public speaker by this time and had been invited to speak at many different functions, society events, and banquets.  He was known to tell stories, sing songs, and kept the crowd laughing for hours at a time.  He seemed to travel a lot and was well known in most society circles.  (see articles below)

    In 1899, His daughter Hattie married Charles Barton Hayward, who would become mayor of Englewood, New Jersey.  The couple were married on a Wednesday Evening at the home of Ernest and Ella Jarrold, 138 Cambridge Place, Brooklyn, NY.  In the marriage announcement, Nellie Jarrold was listed as bridesmaid.  Under the list of guests, Lawrence Bunce can be found.  Lawrence married Nellie two years later. (They were the parents of my Grandfather Richard Bunce and his twin brother Daniel) 

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    Also in 1899, Ernest's book "Mickey Finn Idylls" was published by Double Day & McClure of New York.  It was a widely popular book and received great reviews, such as this one written in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on November 11, 1899

Mickey Finn

The New York Sun has discovered many bright writers-Julian Ralph, CC Adams, Agrret P Serviss, AC Wheeler and men of the like sort-and among them is Ernest Jarrold, as well known, or better by his pen name of Mickey Finn.  He antedated and possibly inspired the now familiar Mr. Dooley, but he writes yarns that are not exactly like any other.  They have the careless speed of newspaper work, sometimes, but they are consistent and characteristic, and although the chief purpose is humor, there are pretty touches of sentiment in them which can even descend to truth, on occasion.  Thirty of his stories have been collected by Doubleday & McClure into a book named the :Mickey Finn Idyls."  They are reprints from the Sun, the syndicates and Leslie's, where they were doubtless read and liked by hundreds or more.  For who could fail to see the historic fact in "The Bumble Bee," with its tale of the repentant truant, who is like nearly every other boy that ever played hookey?  And who could resist the humor of the wooden legged shanghai, the bird that was ignominiously pecked by his associates at first, but at the last had "twinty wives and thirty-five porcupines,"  One of the charms of the book is that the queer things it tells about happen in the country, and somehow, boys are more like boys, and are more forgivable for being boys, in the country than they are in town.


    In the year 1900, Ernest Jarrold was living at 103 Morely Avenue in Brooklyn with his wife Ella, daughters Beulah, 18; Jennie, 12; Son Reginald C., 7 as well as his son Archibald and his wife Grace.  Grace's mother was a border in the home.  By this time Ernest was an established reporter for the Sun, as well as an author.  His son Archibald was following in his footsteps and had become a compositor.  His daughter Nellie had moved in with her sister Hattie and her husband Charles Hayward in Richmond, New York.  Nellie married Lawrence Bunce in 1901 and by 1910 was living with him in Norwood, NJ along with their daughter Ruth 8, and sons Roger, 4 and Lawrence, 6 months.  Lawrence was a merchant in a hardware store.  

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Brooklyn 1906, Prospect Park Entrance, Prospect Park Bridge

    Here is were the story gets weird...In the 1910 census, Ella was listed as a widow living at 23 Wychoff Street in Brooklyn, New York with her 23 year old daughter Jennie F and 18 year old son Reginald.  No record of Ernest can be found in the 1910 Census.  However, the two obituaries found show Ernest's date of death as March 20, 1912.  It states he died after several years of a long illness in Amityville, NY.  I assume at this point he had succumb to an illness such as Consumption, or tuberculosis, and lived his last days at the Brunswick Home for the Incurables in Amityville, NY.  I am in the process of obtaining Ernest's death certificate which I hope will clear up this discrepancy.


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Huck and Mickey Finn

  As with most families, stories are past from generation to generation regarding ancestors and their achievements.  This is also true of my family.  I had been told stories by my Grandfather, Richard Bunce, about his famous grandfather Ernest Jarrold.  I was told of his writing for newspapers, and writing books, but the most famous (or infamous I should say) story is Ernest's relationship with Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens).  It has been said that Ernest was good friends with Mark Twain during his writing days.  They would go out traveling, join many social clubs, and have a rather grand time for themselves in New York City.  There was a bit of animosity between Ella Jarrold and Mr. Clemens.  She did not like her husband gone at all times of the night, not knowing where he was, what he was doing, or when he'd return.  She told my grandfather that Sam Clemens got the idea for Huckleberry Finn from Ernest Jarrold's stories.  She claimed he was a crook.  He stole many of Ernest's writings and claimed them as his own. Whether or not this is true, we may never know. 

  When reading the Mickey Finn Idylls, you can't help but notice the similarities between the two characters.  Both are young boys, around the age of 12, with freckled faces, causing trouble and skipping school.  While the stories are not exactly the same, it's obvious that the two authors shared similar thoughts.  

  I've recently learned through a Jarrold descendant that there was also a rumor of a letter of apology from Samuel Clemens written to the Jarrolds regarding this very subject.  I do not have all the details, but we'd all love to see the contents of the letter, if it should happen to surface.  If anyone out there has a copy of this letter in their possession, please contact me.  

  The only solid link between the two authors that I have discovered so far is their involvement in a social club called the Pleiades Club.  They, along with several other famous New Yorkers of the time, formed this club.  For more information on this club, please click here.  I will continue to research the link between Ernest and Mark Twain.  I will update with any more information I may obtain.

Written By Ernest Jarrold

Below is a collection of stories and articles written by Ernest Jarrold, AKA Mickey Finn.  Dates and publications listed where available.



Odds & Ends

I got the chance to view this book on loan from another library.  I was very excited when the librarian told me it was a non-circulating copy due to the fact that the author had signed it!  I rushed down to the library to check out the signature and found that it was not Ernest's signature, but his co-author John Ernest McCann.  The inscription was as follows:


Mrs. Irving Winslow

in remembrance of

"Nancy Goldfield"

From John Ernest McCann

June 19, 1892

I tried to photocopy the signature, but had no luck, as the contrast could not be adjusted for a darker setting.  John McCann's signature matched the gold leafed "signature" imprint on the front of the book, so I assume Ernest Jarrold's signature was the same as the gold leaf signature on the front as well. 


I photo-copied all of Ernest's stories in the book, and then scanned them at home, so that you too could enjoy them.  Some of the spelling may be off, as the program I use copies the paper as an image, and then transfers it to a word document.  I've tried to correct as many errors as possible.

To read the stories, click here:

If you would like me to email a copy to you in MS Word format, please email me or write a request in the discussion board section of this page, and I will respond as soon as possible.



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Yellow Journalism -

The word "yellow'"' has a new meaning ascribed to it by the New York dictionaries. It Is now, used to designate the flambouyant , meretricious , and rashly sensational newspapers. of the day. To such a hysterical stage have these newspapers arrived in their efforts to outdo each other in mendacity that decency Is -more than sacrificed. There was a time In the history of. New York Journalism' when the profession- 'held -a' position -"of honor and a journalist, was regarded as credit , to the community. Today however owing to ''the growth of "yellow" journals, a newspaper man is regarded In many cases as 'a meddling and prying interloper, no sanctity '.being considered 'In his rapacious search for sensation.  The leading '''yellow'" 'journals of New York city at the present time look more like circus bills than newspapers because of the huge type used... ..The war with the Spaniards is their latest excuse for hysteria of all Imaginable kinds, particularly black type of enormous proportions. It is not an uncommon sight to see one of these auction bills-appear with an announcement , In flaming type, something like this..


Under this statement of fact will be printed In small type, "This battle may occur tomorrow!" Such exhibitions as these show that metropolitan Journalism is rapidly degenerating into a sort of literary epilepsy and. is managers are speedily nearing the sanitarium stage of an editor's existence.  The death of a soldier from natural causes is sufficient excuse 'for the issuing of an extra, while it’s always possible to buy on the street a"6 '-o'clock extra at 3 o'clock. Not content with these evidences of insanity, the "yellow" journals are filled with lulsome Ulogies of themselves and childlike boasts of their superiority over their rivals. Driven to extremes by rivalry they have brass bands to play in front of their respective offices, blocking the streets with ignorant, gaping crowds.  With a lack, of business sense which is almost suicidal in its" stupidity they erect large 'scaffoldings in front of their buildings from which Bulletins can be read consisting of a digest of the latest news giving away facts which it has cost them thousands, of dollars to learn. Many of the devices resorted to In the maddening desire for notoriety are so painfully ludicrous that even the employees of the "papers' themselves consider their employers, legitimate objects of ridicule and it is frequently remarked., that the exchange editor is the man to be envied as he handles only out of town papers.  To the sane journalist in the suburban towns a visit to one of the offices of a representative "yellow" evening newspaper would be an instructive object lesson.  He would wonder why the editor in chief and his immediate assistants were allowed to be at large. A type of man, almost unknown elsewhere, is an absolute essential In a "yellow' newspaper office.  His slaves are on the jump from morning until night. They do not have time to eat, so strenuous is the rush.  Nearly all the local news is gathered by telephone, so greedy are they to "beat" their contemporaries.  The' "yellow" newspaper has not reached its present perfection in a month or even a year. It has been a growth, a succession of spasms. One of the first Indications of degeneracy was the employment of women to perform, all kinds of sensational feats, such as riding' on a fire engine, Jumping from a ferry boat and other insane and unwomanly performances.  This died out in a short time and the era of. crazy physiology ensued. One of the editorial geniuses, thought, be discovered that ears Indicated degeneracy or vice versa. And even today his favorite amusement is to examine, ears as 'Indications of mental unhealthfulness. Another indication of the silliness of The "yellow" newspaper is the frequent changing of employees in executive positions.  No man, no matter, what his ability is sure of a position for more than a few months. By that time his capacity for the creation of freakish literature has been exhausted and he is removed to make room for another victim.  Where it is all to end is a mystery. At the Present time the war absorbs, the attention of all the loonitics to such an extent that they have no time to display their insanity in other directions but there Is very little doubt that the "yellow" journalists who are now straining themselves black in the face to manufacture lies and becoming pop-eyed through gapping after sensation will all find their way into safe retreats where mendacity sensationalism and boastfulness will have no charms for them and where a pitying public may look at them through the bars. _______ ERNEST  JARROLD.

To learn more about Yellow Journalism, click here.   



HOW IRISH POOR EAT POTATOES. Saturday, December 06, 1890

A Pathetic Christmas Incident in Which a red Herring Was a Luxury.

The effort in this city to raise a fund for the relief of the Irish peasantry on account of the failure of the potato crop suggests a few facts which came under the notice of the writer while In the stricken district.  Potatoes are absolutely the only reliance of the people.  As a rule the peasants eat only two meals a day, one about 9 o'clock in the morning and the other at 6 o'clock night. From one-half to a bushel of potatoes are boiled. When done the potatoes are strained through what is called a "skib," which is made of small willows, and resembles somewhat the top of a champagne basket. Then the potatoes are poured out upon the middle of a rough table, and the family gather around standing, for there are seldom chairs enough in a cabin to seat them all.  If the family is comparatively well off a bowl containing two inches in depth of milk is used by the children to dip the fragments of potato into to make the vegetable more palatable. When the meal is finished the potatoes are all gone. The skins, to which cling a large part of the vegetable, for the Irish children are not at all economical, are then gathered up and fed to the cow. In the mountains of Ballycolman, a few miles from Youghal one Christmas a poor family were gathered around a table in the center of which was a cooked herring upon a plate. Warm water had been poured upon the fish and allowed to stand until it had been tinged by the juices of the fish. Into this "dip," as it is called, the children put their potatoes, in order to heighten the flavor with at least a suggestion of fish.  The herring had already been used at two meals and there was nothing left of it but skin and bones. Ten children stood around the table, each of them waiting greedily to get a small piece of the remainder of the herring. Overcome by hunger at last a bright eyed little boy could resist the temptation no longer. When he thought his mother was not Looking he reached over and stole the head of the fish, hiding it under the table. His mother caught the guilty movement, and in a tone which was at once pathetic and reproachful she said: "Jamesy, me lad, would ye take the best part o' the fish from your father?" Ernest Jarrold- New York Journal.

MICKEY PLAYS HOOKEY. Decatur Daily Despatch Wednesday, July 24, 1889 Decatur, Illinois

The air of Cooney Island palpitated with the fervent heat of a day in July.  The hot air radiated up from the meadows and the dusty road like heat from furnace. Even the chickens sought the shade of friendly trees, and the locust lazily chanted their midsummer threnody as Mickey Finn came down Murray street with a tattered geography, a worn spelling book and a thumbed first reader under his arm. The boy's face shone from its recent application of soft soap and water, so that the freckles stood out like spots of brick dust on either side of his nose.  He had a stone bruise on one of his big toes and was forced to walk on one heel. As he limped along the roadway, half a mile away in the hazy perspective he could see the little red school house in the hollow, with its monotonous suggestions of: "Can- the - dog- catch-the-cat? Yes-the-dog-can-catch-the-cat." In fancy he heard the dreary iteration of the school room, and saw the blank white walls speckled with paper "spitballs." He was hot and tired and dusty, and his toe hurt. The truth was, that he had listed his mother to permit him to stay away from school, and she refused to allow him to do so. Mrs. Finn's attention had been pathetically drawn to the sore toe, and she had said that the injured member would not hurt him any more at school than at home. And so the boy looked cross and felt ugly towards the distasteful "eddicashun," which his mother forced upon him.

As he limped along his discontented way, he looked off over the meadow, and saw the maples and pines in Lindsey's wood whispering to each other, as they waved in the breeze which blew fresh and cool from the Hudson river. These whispers Mickey interpreted as coaxing invitations, which sounded to him as follows: "Come, little Mike, and lie under our protecting branches! Here you will find the tender birch bark and the juicy sassafras root! Upon our shady hillocks, hidden by glossy green leaves, hide the red wintergreen berries awaiting your coming! The tree toad will sing his little song for you, the bubbling spring is distilling a sparkling liquor for your thirsty lips, and the shady coverts of our sylvan dells await you!"

With these enchanting voices in his ear the temptation to play hookey was a strong one. The tempter of men came to him with the liquid melody of birds, the soft wooing of fluttering leaves, the rustle of the pine's thin fingers, and the gurgle of brooks. And as he stood in the dusty road and looked down into the hollow at the sun beating fiercely upon the windows of the little red school house, and realized how stifling was the air inside, what wonder that he hesitated! Then the reproachful face of his mother rose before him. As little Mike loved his mother and feared her rebuke more than ho did her heavy hand, the thought of her grief impelled him onward toward the school. But he could not shut out of his mental sight the picture of the cool paradise in the wood where the little lake rippled in the sunlight, and where, far below ran the wide reaches of the Hudson river as it loitered to the sea. And in this entrancing picture his mother's face was blotted out as with a sponge from the slate of his mind; the school house was forgotten and he limped eagerly up the hillside toward the stone wall, to which clung the riotous wild raspberry bushes laden with fruit.  Forgotten was the sore too, lost sight of was the long, black strap hanging on the kitchen wall, and left behind was the dusty road and all the suggestions of work.

On arriving at the summit of the hill little Mike turned in his tracks and looked down upon the school house. He saw the master come to the door and Ring the bell, and his schoolmates scamper like corralled sheep into the building.  Then the door was shut and Mickey realized that his sin was irrevocable.  He trembled, too, when he thought that he would have to make confession of it to the priest. But it was too late to retrace his steps. He was now in the narrow path leading to the wood. He took off his tattered cap and the cool fingers of the breeze lifted the hair from his forehead. As he sat down on the grass a striped chipmunk stopped, palpitating, on the stone wall, and little Mike's fingers itched for his bow gun. After hiding his books in the stone wall and covering them with dead leaves he began picking and eating raspberries until his bronzed cheeks were covered with the juices of the fruit. The scent of clover rooms and fresh grasses made his nostrils dilate, and while the birds sang to him from the trees the nodding buttercup and daisies shook their heads at him and seemed to say: "Little boy, you're playing hookey!"

When Mickey entered the wood he lay down upon the brown needles at the foot of a pine tree and watched the butterflies flitting over him on yellow wings. And as he lay there the luxury of indolence stole in upon his senses and the gentle soughing of the pines fell with a soothing influence upon bin oar. Tim drowsy hum of bees and the inarticulate voices of the wood lulled him to sleep.  How long he lay there Mickey could not tell. He was rudely awakened by a big black ant, which had crawled up his trouser leg, and a great yellow hairy caterpillar crossing the bridge of his nose. As he sat up and brushed away these insects a cat bird in a tree near by began to jeer at him with what to Mickey's excited fancy were the words; "Playing hookey! Playing hookey!" In some mysterious manner gladness seemed to go out of the day for little Mike at this cruel taunt. The odors of the flowers were just as sweet as they had been before, the atom at the foot of the pine tree was as vivid a green, the swallows dipped gracefully over the field at billowy wheat, but the charm of all this beauteous panorama was gone.  His toe began to hurt again, with Drooping head and limping gait, Mickey Plunged deeper into the woods.

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put his lips down to the water and drank deep of the champagne of the woods. The reflection of his face in the spring grinned sardonically at him. And from the brown eyes shining from the cool depths came a reproachful glance which seemed to say: "The leather strap is waiting for you in the kitchen!"

All that afternoon he wandered through the wood seeking happiness, but finding none. He flew for refuge to the birch tree, but the bark had lost all old time sweetness. The sassafras root which often had tasted like honey in his mouth now took on the flavor of wormwood. As he retraced his steps to the stone wall where he had hidden his books the awful consciousness came to him that he would be obliged to tell a lie in order to escape a whipping. Like a thief the night he sneaked down the steep hill side up which he had climbed so cheerily in the morning, and five minutes later entered the shanty.  So downcast was and so furtive in manner that his mother's attention was attracted to him.  Just at this moment a big bumblebee wearing a black velvet vest with yellow stripes blundered into the room.

"Are ye sick, Mickey?" said his mother, solicitously.

"No; I'm not sick, mother," said littleMike," but me too is hurtin' me."

" Well, what makes ye act so quare?" This was uttered in such a tone of solicitude and with so kindly a look that like Mike's eyes began to overflow as his mother try to "shoo" the bumble bee out of the room.

"I'm glad you're not a wicked little b'y, Mickey, like thim Doolans," continued Mrs. Finn. "If ye wore I'd thinkin' that bumble bee 'ud be afther stingin' ye. Shure that's what bumble bees does be doin' stingin' little b'ys fur their sins!" Slap went the end of Mrs. Finn's tassel against the wall and away sailed the bee out of the window like an animated jewel of jet and amber. Little Mike was oppressed with fears.  The haunting consciousness of wrong doing weighed him down like the guilt of a murderer. He felt a great load taken off his conscience when the bumble bee flow out of the window, for he believed implicitly that the insect had flown into the shanty for the purpose of stinging him because he had played hookey.

He busied himself about the yard, milking the goat and chopping wood. He was so unusually zealous this work and so quiet that his mother's suspicions were awakened. "Faix," said she, "I'm afeerd me little b'ys been up to mischief, he's actin' that quare. Shure, he has berry stains on, his face, an' thare's no berries at school. Musha, I'm afther thinkin' he was playin' hookey!"

Just then Mickey came into the shanty with another armful of wood. His mother looked at him closely, unobserved by the boy, and saw that his knees wore stained with grass juice and that to the back of his jacket clung some tell-tale pine needles. But she kept her own counsel and awaited developments, satisfied that Mickey would confess his guilt. Another armful of wood had been thrown under the stove, and little Mike looked up to catch the expected approving glance of his mother, when Mrs. Finn cried in alarm: "Luk out, Mickey; here comes the bumble bee fur ye!"

Again the fears of the boy were awakened, and turning quickly he struck a frantic blow at the bee. This evidently angered the insect, for it avoided the blow, flew over the boy's head and stung him on the back of the neck. Having punished the truant and satisfied its vengeance the bumble bee flew out of the door. As Mrs. Finn bound a handful of mud upon the swelling wound little Mike looked up in his mother's face, and, with a trembling voice full of remorse and pain, he said in a hoarse whisper ' 'M-m-m-other!"

"Yis, Mickey," said Mrs. Finn, knowing that the time of confession had come. The boy continued with quivering lips: "I know why the bee s-s-tung me. Bekase I …bekase… mother …I…. I… I was playin'….play… play in’…hookey!" As he hid his face in his mother's dress she stooped over him and her lips touched the bronzed, berry stained face in the fond kiss of forgiveness. As her warm breath dried the brine upon his check the bumble bee was sucking honey from a blue and white morning glory which hung like an infant bell over the doorway.-Ernest Jarrold in New York Evening Sun.


His Last Half Dollar for a Hearty Laugh Bismarck Daily Tribune Thursday, November 13, 1890 Bismarck, North Dakota

"I remember once in my career that I spent my last half dollar to boy a good, round, hearty laugh." said Lew Dockstader, the minstrel, to me the other day. "I struck town boke, hungry, desperate. I was actually thinking of giving this Planet the shake, either with the help of morphine or the East river. You'd hardly believe it, but I kept a bench in Union square warm for seven-consecutive nights.. One night I felt something hard in the lining of my coat. I tore the lining and out rolled a fifty cent piece, I invested it in a gallery ticket to see a play called "French Flats." I had resolved to have one more broad grin before I cashed in and I did. I laughed until the lights were put out and it brought me good luck, for that very night I secured a good job.-Ernest Jarrold in New York Journal.

A CHRISTMAS EVE IN IRELAND. Bucks County Gazette Thursday, December 11, 1890 Bristol, Pennsylvania

Christmas even in the mountains of Ballycolman. in the County Cork Ireland, A blazing turf fire on the hearthstone. In the chimney corner sat Daniel Donovan, 70 years old, who could talk nothing but Gaelic. He was twisting a little wooden wheel which connected by a passage under the hearthstone with the middle of the fire, which flickered and flared as the current of air swept through. Next to the old man sat Biddy, aged 20. with her hair brushed smoothly back from her forehead and tied in a Roman knot at the back of her head. Close to Biddy sat Mary, who had never seen a black man or a Chinaman. Sandwiched between Mrs. Donovan and Mary sat the American visitor. The old woman was smoking and crooning, and a little grandchild with checks like ripe peaches stood with her golden head resting on her grandmother's knee. The firelight danced and gleamed over the little group as the December wind mine down the wide mouthed chimney. The scene was so suggestive of peace and rest that for fifteen minutes no one spoke. Then Mrs. Donovan said "And mebbe the Yankee gintleman 'll sing us a song?" He would indeed have been an ungreatful follow who should refuse such a request under circumstances at once so homely and so hospitable.  And in that grateful atmosphere he felt some of the old time sweetness come into his voice as he sang of the harp that once the soul of music shed in Tara's halls, and told in song the story of how two eyes of Irish blue looked up at Pat Malloy. And as he sang a look of rapt wonder and admiration came into the face of his homely listeners. He forgot that his audience was a few Irish peasants, and standing upright he clasped the back of his chair and poured out into the lowly thatched cottage that wonderful aria by Moligue, "Pour Out Thy Heart Before the Lord." He had sung it before in a massive cathedral accompanied by a great organ, and had heard the tones of his voice go ringing down the echoing nave, but never had he felt the sweetness and beauty of it as on that Christmas eve in the lowly little cabin in the mountains. And when he had finished the aria and resumed his seat, Mrs. Donovan suggested: "Mebbe the gintleman -will sing us a song about home!" Almost before he knew it the visitor had begun, "Do They Miss Me at Home?" [Song currently playing] He reached the third line, "To know at this moment some loved one were say- "How I wish he were here-" when he began to choke. The memory of his own home in far off America came to him. What was the baby doing? Did the children have the usual Christmas tree? Was everybody in good health? Was any one wishing for the absent one? And before the lines were out of his mouth he went all to pieces like a ship on the rocks. He was a strong man who prided himself on his cynicism mid materialism. He could not remember the time when his eyes had been wet before. But sitting there upon a chair with a seat made of straw rope, and surrounded by as simple and ingenuous people as the sun ever shone upon, he placed his hands over his face, and the tears ran through his fingers and fell upon the hearthstone. An awestruck silence fell upon the little group, broken by the moaning of the wind in the chimney. Mrs. Donovan, her face shining with sympathy, gently tapped the stranger on the shoulder and whispered in his ear: "If ye were to take a cup o' the Congo [tea] ye'd feel betther, sir" He took the "Congo" and felt better. Then he went outside, and looking up at the stars wondered why it was necessary for him to go 3,000 miles away from home in order to make a fool of himself. ERNESTJARROLD.


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Excerpts from the Jarrold Family History

As told by Reginald Jarrold, son of Ernest in 1962

My paternal grandfather, George Jarrold, was born in England - Sussex, I
think it was. He and his brother, I am told were carpenters on the clipper
ships which, at that time plied between Liverpool and U.S. Atlantic ports.
Eventually, they settled in the United States - George in Kingston, N.Y. and
his brother somewhere in New England. We still have some distant relations
in England. I don't know what the connection is but there is still a
prominent publishing firm in London, England, called Jarrold & Sons. The
famous Douglas Jarrold, literary critic, is said to be a relations of ours.
This I don't understand because Douglas spelled his name Jerrold. Anyhow, my
dear Aunt Ella (Winston? was dressmaker at one time) told me he is related.

My maternal grandmother was Amalie or Delia by name. [Susan Amanda Gregory]
She lived in Peekskill and her maiden name was Gregory. She was born and
brought up, I think, in a small village near Peekskill called Shrub Oak. She
married a man named Clark who, at one time ran a grocery store in Peekskill.
He died in a tragic accident when a runaway horse threw him out of his
carriage and onto a pile of rocks.

My sister Hattie, many years ago, did some research work on the origin
of the Gregory side of the family and it seems that the family originated
when a man named Leverich, a prominent British subject, was favored with a
land grant involving a considerable expanse of territory around Hempsted,
Long Island. Until recently, this branch of the family or some of their
descendents, lived in Brooklyn Heights. They operated a hotel there called
the "Leverich Arms." The hotel is long since torn down and replaced with
apartments, I think. But I still remember the place.

My paternal grandfather, in Kingston, married another Gregory. I don't
think there was any connection with the Peekskill Gregory's. But her name
was Eliza, as I recall it. They had five children; four girls and one boy. [George Jarrold married Mary Ann Jane Highhaw in England, and she mothered all children. Eliza may have been a second wife.  I have not found any information on her as of yet.
The boy was my father, Ernest Jarrold. The oldest girl was Alice Jarrold.
She worked for years in a shirtwaist factory in Kingston. The next was my
Aunt Ella who operated a successful dressmaking business during her
lifetime. I had a very high regard for the lady. She had a very keen sense
of humor and a cultivated intellect and intelligence, I thought.

Mother was a Methodist from a strict Methodist family, father a
Baptist; all of the Kingston group were. Incidentally, there was a street in
Kingston named for our family - still is: Jarrold Street.

My father, Ernest Jarrold, in his youth worked as a "printer's devil"
for a newspaper then called the "Roundout Courier." Roundout is on the
outskirts of Kingston - this was the original town name before it became
Kingston. He eventually rose to writing for this newspaper and eventually
migrated to New York City - Brooklyn. He worked for the New York "Sun",
during the time of a famous journalist named Charles Dana. My father was
sent abroad on trips, especially Ireland, to write feature stores on the
Irish troubles around that time with England. The "Black and Tan" era when
the English were exploiting their colonies to the utmost. He wrote
considerable fiction about the Irish, including a number of books. From this
came the nom de plume "Mickey Finn" which he carried to his dying day. He
died in 1911 [1912] at the age of 64. (He was born in 1847.)

After years at the "Sun" he went to various editorial positions. Once he
was the editor of the "Journalist", a trade paper, then editor of the "Rider
and Driver". After that he became a freelance writer and did some
entertaining and comedy work with various clubs. The "Edenia" Club was one
and also he entertained at a Greenwich Village place - what would now be
called a nightclub, known as "Maria's" owned by an Italian woman called
Maria Del Prato.

In the beginning of his freelancing activities, he seems to have been
fairly successful, articles and stories for "Harpers", the "World's Work",
the "Atlantic", et al., were not uncommon. But, during my early years it
tapered off to a point where what was left of the family was living in a
state of considerable privation; we never had enough to pay the rent, to buy
food and what all. And my mother and father were quarreling; she ranting at
him much of the time. He would get up late and go out to the city, returning
late at night. Now his career disintegrated to what extent, I will never
know. During the peak of his years in the profession he did some outstanding
work and was personally acquainted with such people as Mark Twain, "Buffalo
Bill." He was assigned by the "Sun" to the reporting of the activates of
John L. Sullivan, etc.

My Relation to Ernest

Ernest is my great-great grandfather.  




Another Jarrold Family Website that you may enjoy can be found here.