Patrick Kearney was born on September 13, 1843, in either New York or in Monroe County, Michigan, the son of John and Catharine (Dougherty).
Patrick’s parents immigrated to the United States sometime before 1843, and the family eventually settled in eastern Michigan, probably Monroe County. By 1860 Patrick was an apprentice carpenter working for and/or living with Alonzo L. Horton, a master carpenter in Wyoming, Kent County.
Patrick stood 6’0” with blue eyes, dark hair and a light complexion and was 19 years old when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company D on May 13, 1861. He was reported absent sick from August of 1862 until he was discharged for hypertrophy of the heart on November 17, 1862, at Fort McHenry, Maryland.
After his discharge from the army Patrick returned to western Michigan and reentered the service in Company E, Tenth Michigan cavalry on March 10, 1865, for 1 year at Grand Rapids, crediting Wyoming, Kent County, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on June 28 at Lenoir, Tennessee, and served in the Quartermaster department until he was mustered out with the regiment on November 11, 1865, at Memphis, Tennessee.
After the war Patrick returned to Grand Rapids.
He married Irish-born Margaret Cantwell (1843-1925), on January 18, 1869, at St. Andrews church in Grand Rapids, and had at least four children: William H. (b. 1869) and Catharine A. (b. 1876).
By 1870 he was working in a sawmill and living with his wife and son in Wyoming, Kent County. For some years he worked as a mason. He probably lived in the Grand Rapids area the remainder of his life. By 1880 Patrick was working as a policeman and living in Grand Rapids’ First Ward. In fact, he was employed in a number of public capacities for the city: he worked as a Grand Rapids city policeman for five years, poundmaster for two years, and in 1887 he was appointed local agent for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. According to Charles Fluhrer, president of the local humane society in 1887, “Mr. Patrick Kearney has been duly appointed agent of the S.P.C.A. and is clothed with the authority of a Deputy Sheriff. He is a man of large experience and great discretion, and it is with complete confidence that we recommend him to all who are interested in the welfare of the brute operation.”
Patrick was residing in Grand Rapids December of 1879 when he became a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association; he was probably also a member of the Tenth Michigan Cavalry Association and he served as Quartermaster of Grand Army of the Republic Custer Post No. 5 in Grand Rapids (his wife was a member of the Custer post Women’s Relief Corps).
He was probably still living in Grand Rapids in 1880 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 242824).
He was living in Grand Rapids in 1885, boarding at the Commercial Hotel and working as a hostler in 1889 and in 1890 when he was a constable and living at 30 Miller Street, and attended the Tenth cavalry annual reunion in October of that year.
Patrick died of consumption on Wednesday afternoon, January 28, 1891, at his home, 30 Miller Street in Grand Rapids. The funeral was held on Friday, the 30th, at St. Andrew’s church in Grand Rapids, and Patrick was buried in St. Andrews cemetery, although there is presently no marker for him or his wife. He was originally buried in old 1, block 30, lot 8 and subsequently transferred to new 2, block 25 lot 3.
In March of 1891 Margaret applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 317136), drawing $30 per month by 1925. In 1917 she was declared “mentally incompetent” and placed under the guardianship of one Joseph Renihan of Grand Rapids. She remained under his guardianship for the rest of her life. She was residing at 444 Morris Street in Grand Rapids when she died in 1925; she too was buried in St. Andrews. And like her husband, her grave marker has long since vanished.