LukeThomas Hannon

Father: Martin John Hannon

Mother: Beatrice

Born in Sligo, Ireland.

Emigrated to Bronx, New York.

Spouse: Catherine

Luke Hannon shared a small two room house with all the family. He slept in an alcove about the size of a bread oven in a brick wall to the right of the hearth. Luke remembered and told his children about leaving the house as a young boy with his father with a wagon filled with produce in the dark of some early mornings to go to a market at Bale Doreen to sell the produce. As Luke remembered, his father would wear a shirt, tie and jacket most of the time. His beard was so full that it would come down and cover his tie, so you would not know he was wearing a tie

Luke left home and his parents at age 11. The family was big and there was not enough food. His mother followed him for miles as he left, begging him to return. But he was striking out to find a new life and opportunity, and would not be dissuaded. (Mary Ann can’t tell this part of the story without getting tears in her eyes. Imagine, 11 years old and on your own.)

Luke often said he “walked the length and breadth of Ireland” in the years that followed leaving home. He worked at odd jobs for food. He travelled to England and joined the English army at a young age. With plans for travelling to America, Luke arranged for his brother to come to England to bring him money to book ship passage in steerage and buy some clothing.

In the course of the voyage across the Atlantic, Luke was given a medical exam and identified as an English army soldier because of a unique vaccination given to English army soldiers. The ship’s officials planned to keep him aboard ship and bring him back to England. .They marked the back of his coat with a broad painted X. With every opportunity he had on the days sailing across the Atlantic, Luke would rub his back against the side of the ship to rub off the X mark, until at last the coat was ragged and the mark was no longer prominent.

When the ship reached New York, Luke saw an opportunity with a wealthy family that had many porters helping with baggage. He grabbed two bags and joined the other porters. As the officials questioned him at the gangplank, he declared, “that’s my man, I’m with him”. And so this determined Irish immigrant stepped onto American soil to begin a new life.

Ashore in New York City, Luke walked to find his sisters Norah and Kate, who lived in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. He did not know their address so it’s a wonder that he found them. When his sisters answered the door they fell to their knees and cried, being so overwhelmed to see him. They had been praying for him for weeks.

Luke joined the U.S. Army, 105th Infantry. In the Army, he was named Louis Hannon. (They probably did not understand his thick Irish brogue when he said his name.) The 105th was sent to France to fight in World War I. In heavy battle against the German army, their food wagon, the “Gaffney” was captured by the enemy. The 105th soldiers were stranded in trenches without food for 3 days before they were able to get it back.

As the 105th Infantry were advancing against the enemy, Luke’s battalion was ordered to cross a river on foot and under enemy fire, which required them to swim across the deepest part. Luke Hannon had a big problem: he could not swim a stroke. He prayed to the blessed Mother Mary, “If you are ever going to help me, please help me now for if I try to swim this river I will surely drown.” As he began across the river, he was almost immediately hit by enemy machine gun fire resulting in bullet wounds from his knee to his hip in the back and side. Although the wounds were extensive, amazingly, no vital organs were hit. He was rescued by his fellow soldiers and brought to a field hospital in France and later transferred to a hospital in England where he stayed and recuperated for a year. (Clearly Our Lord had other plans in mind for Luke.) Among his service medals was a Purple Heart for his injuries in service to our country. He would proudly show off his scar for the rest of his life

Back home in the United States again, Luke and his brother Jack travelled from state to state looking for work. They had very little money. They learned to eat Chinese food because “you could get a lot of food for a little price”. Jack was the best looking of the Hannon family. Later, Luke returned to New York City and joined Con Edison where he went to work digging ditches in the streets in Manhattan. He married the beautiful 15-year-old Catherine Thomas, some 16 years younger, and they soon began to have a family together. After some time, the company offered the hard-working Irishman middle-management positions but he refused them. He was insecure because he didn’t have an education and had limited ability to read and write. Eventually, Luke and Catherine made their home in Bronx, New York at 1517 Hone Ave; a rich ethnic neighborhood of Irish, Italian, German and more. They were part of St. Raymond’s Catholic Parish and attended mass every Sunday


  1. Martin John Hannon (1926-2003)
  2. Mary Ann Hannon
  3. Theresa Hannon
  4. Luke Christopher Hannon
  5. Anthony Hannon (1932-)
  6. Kevin Joseph Hannon (1933-2001)
  7. Margaret Hannon

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Modified July 6, 2020