Those of you who are familiar with the Massillon-Jackson Township Area may remember the Curio Floral and Gift Shop in the Amherst Park Shopping Center on Amherst Road. There used to be a flagpole on the grounds of the shopping center showing our country’s patriotism and we have discovered who was responsible for this flag pole.
While digitizing the negatives Victory Chapman shot in the 1940’s and 1950’s I happened to find a bride giving the “side-eye.” Mr. Chapman became quite the wedding photographer and we are making many discoveries while we digitize these negatives. A side-eye is usually described as expressing a look of disapproval but this particular side-eye had nothing but sweet intentions.
In the Repository on May 2, 1952 a marriage license application was announced between Mr. Vincent Michael Corrigan, 24 of Massillon, Ohio and Miss Josephine Ann Ehret who lived on RD 8, Canton.
We are fortunate to have library volunteers who are familiar with just about every region in Stark County. I contacted Doris Wertz who was kind enough to research Mr. Corrigan, and Miss Ehret, and found they were married on May 3, 1952 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Canton. She also found that Mr. Corrigan unfortunately developed acute bronchial pneumonia and died of a heart attack at the age of thirty-seven on June 25, 1964.
He was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery in Perry Township. Mr. Corrigan is listed in Find-A-Grave, and my wife Alyson and I visited Calvary and searched all over the section, Stations of the Cross, with no luck. The Stations of the Cross section has rows of headstones going in every direction, north – south, east – west. Stations of the Cross is where Francis A. Onesto, the builder and owner of Hotel Onesto, is buried. Using the Stark County inscription books created in the early 1980’s by the Ohio Genealogical Society I was able the find out more information on the location of Vincent Corrigan’s grave. During a second visit my wife and I found Mr. Corrigan and paid our respects.
After contacting St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Canton, we were given information that Josephine Ann Ehret Corrigan was still alive and living in Stark County! I then contacted another library volunteer, Judy Pocock to see if she could find any information on Mrs. Corrigan. Judy found that Mrs. Josephine Corrigan was now Mrs. Jody McInnes. Judy also found a little piece of information that would help us contact Jody. Judy called me one evening and facetiously asked if I knew where Easy Street was. You see I live on Easy Street in Jackson Township, and my wife has lived on that street most of her life. Judy asked me to ask Alyson if she knew a certain family name. I walked down stairs to mouth the family name to her while still on the phone with Judy, and Alyson said I will tell you when you get off the phone, it is a complicated story. The story was a little complicated, and it revealed a mutual friend of ours whom Alyson knew from the neighborhood and her career, and who I knew from being a substitute teacher in the Perry Local School system. I messaged this person on Facebook, and asked if she knew Jody McInnes, and she replied, “of course”, and asked if I wanted Jody to get in contact with me. If you have ever helped people solve a mystery like this you are familiar with the feelings of joy I was experiencing.
Jody called me within an hour of messaging my friend, and we had a brief conversation. She told me two very poignant things about her wedding in which she married Mr. Vincent Corrigan. She shared how she played the organ at St. Mary Catholic Church in Canton, and how the priest at the time asked if she wanted to get married at the parish. The other thing she shared was the fact that out of the hand full of wedding photographs we have in our Chapman Collection and out of the wedding party that appear in these images she is the sole survivor. She made it a point to say that even the flower girl was gone.
On Saturday May 3rd 1952 at 8:30 am Fr. Thomas R. Heimann heard the exchange of vows for the double ring ceremony. The wedding of Miss Josephine Ann Ehret and Mr. Vincent Corrigan was solemnized at a nuptial high Mass. According to the Massillon Independent, the English custom of an open church was observed. The reception was held in Canton at the Harry J. Ehret residence in the afternoon from 2 to 4.
Vincent Corrigan owned the Curio Floral and Gift Shop in the Amherst Park Shopping Center on Amherst Road. Mr. Corrigan was a veteran of WWII, and had a flag pole erected on the grounds of the shopping center. Unfortunately in 1964 he passed away from a heart attack brought on by pneumonia.
We thank Mrs. Jody McInnes for allowing us to share a part of her life’s story.
Mark G. Holland
McKinley Presidential Library & Museum