LeRoy Pennysaver & News

LE ROY PENNYSAVER & NEWS - MARCH 18, 2018 Postcards from Home by Lynne Belluscio John Horgan, Jr. was born in Plugville, north of Le- Roy on June 18, 1859. His par- ents were Irish immigrants who were born in Kerry County, Ire- land. When John was nine, his mother died and he was sent to live with his aunt and uncle, Mary and John Coleman, an Irish farm family in LeRoy. In 1879, when he was 20, he left home to work as a traveling photographer with the Union View Company of Rochester. He worked in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. By 1885, he was in Johnstown, Pennsyl- vania, working for the Cambria Iron Works. His photographs were used to illustrate the com- pany’s catalogue. In 1887, he moved to Birmingham, Ala- bama and his photographs ap- peared in publications and en- gineering catalogues. In 1891, he worked in New Orleans “to take a series of views illustrat- ing the growth of cotton and its preparation for the market.” When he returned to LeRoy in 1894, he married Margaret Atchinson, the daughter of Irish immigrant, William Atchin- son. The wedding took place at St. Peter’s Church. Although John traveled extensively, he re- turned to LeRoy frequently and his photographs were used for a series of postcards. His post- cards can easily be identified by his name in red letters in the white margin. In 1901, Horgan traveled to Ecuador to serve as the official photographer for the Guayaquil and Quinto Rail- road Company. He moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1903 and became the Principal of the American School of Art of Photography, which was a cor- respondence school. Between 1904 and 1921, Horgan was the photographer for the Hudson Coal Company and during that time produced nearly 1700 neg- atives. In 1932, the company published a promotional book titled, “The Story of Anthracite” with many of Horgan’s photo- graphs. John died in 1926. In November 1992, the Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton opened an exhibit of Horgan’s photos in the anthracite mines. It is interesting to note that his photographs appeared in the National Geographic magazine, McGraw-Hill textbooks, and the Pan-American Union. John Horgan, Jr. died on July 8, 1926 at the age of 68. His grandson is Sid Horgan of LeRoy. An exhibit of his Le- Roy postcards as well as some other LeRoy views is being pre- pared for display at the LeRoy Municipal Building.