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              Edward Joseph Paul  

Forgotten Hero age 20

Eddie was born in Greenwich Village in New York City on 11 February 1897,  the middle child of the 7 surviving children of Henry Paul and Sarah Skeggs. On Eddie’s paternal side (Paul), he was  2nd generation German descent. On his maternal side (*Skeggs and Dugan), he  was 8th generation *English and 2nd generation Irish descent.

In 1906 when Eddie was nine-years old he was sent out by his mother to panhandle on the streets of New York City.  At the time, his father was dying of tuberculosis and his mother was pregnant for the 11th time. His two teenage brothers were holding down jobs, however the pittance they made was hardly enough to pay the rent or put food on the table.  After his father’s death, life continued to be a struggle for the Paul family, yet somehow Eddie managed to grow up on the rough streets of the village to be a stand-up guy. Eddie loved his mother and country in that order and he was the only son in his family who served in World War I. When asked his nationality, Eddie never failed to say, “I’m an American, and proud of it!”  When he returned home from Europe in the spring of 1919 he met Ethel Morris at his “Coming Home Party.” Ethel the uptown, friend of  Gracie Paul  was invited to her brother’s party, and the rest as they say, is history!  Ethel liked to tell the story, “Eddie and I fell in love sitting on top of Mrs. Lucey’s wash basket!” They married in the fall of that same year when Eddie was twenty-two and Ethel was nineteen.  For the next thirty years of their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Paul lived in three different apartments on the upper west side of Manhattan.




Mom age 17

Ethel was 2nd generation of Irish descent on both her parents sides of the family.  She was born in Staten Island, New York on 27 January 1900, the third of Bernard Morris and Bridget Barry’s four daughters. In 1902 after Ethel’s parents lost her baby sister, Catherine in childbirth, they moved from Staten Island to live in the lower west side of Manhattan. Ethel’s parents took their children back to live in the same Irish neighborhood where they had grown up and met. In 1904 when Ethel was four-years-old her mother suddenly died and left her father to raise three little girls by himself. At that time her sister Helen was 9 and her sister Lillie was 6.

In the “Roaring Twenties,” Eddie worked as a independent warehouseman, and rented a downtown storage space on Houston Street in Greenwich Village. The warehouse was located between the East and Hudson Rivers and was a convenient dropping off point for goods coming into the city. Eddie made his money by charging his customers a fee for storing their merchandise, until arrangements could be made for the goods to be to picked up and distrubuted to different parts of the city.  The 1920’s was a mostly a happy time for Mr. and Mrs. Edward Paul. for one thing, Eddie made a descent living. For a second, they lived in a fully furnished apartment on the upper west side, that they took over when Ethel’s father remarried. And third, the beautiful playground of Central Park was located right up the block from where they lived.  In the first five years of their marriage, they had four children. However in 1923 on Ethel’s twenty third birthday after laboring for many days she delivered a 12 pound breech birth *baby boy. The delivery was so difficult for the petite Ethel’s  4′ 11″ frame  that it left her in a comatose state, and she was given the last rites. Miraculously, Ethel survived the ordeal, but the mother of two was strongly warned, “DO NOT HAVE ANYMORE CHILDREN!”

Walter Bernard Paul B-16 May 1920 on W65th Street.

Edward Joseph Paul Jr. B-13 January 1922 on W65th Street.

*George Dewey Paul – B-27 January 1923 on W65th Street.

Thomas Vincent Paul – B-13 June 1925 on W65th Street.


The good times for most New Yorkers and the rest of the country came to a sudden halt in 1929 when the stock market crashed  and companies began folding left and right. Mr. and Mrs. Paul lost their life’s sayings ($10,000.00) when the stock market crashed, but luckily for them Mr. Paul’s warehouse business provided a service that was still very much  needed to keep the city running. Therefore, Eddie was able to keep his family above the poverty level throughout the 10 year depression era.  This was when Ethel’s altruistic qualities emerged and with her husband’s blessings, she began helping anyone she deemed down and out.  The Thirties was also the time when Eddie and Ethel after a seven-year dry spell, began having daughters:

Edna Mae Paul B-16 May 1932 on W65th St.

Marion Theresa Paul B-29 May 1934 on W62nd Street..

Mary Louise Paul B-28 Aug 1937 on W62nd Street.

The 1940’s turned out to be a turbulent time for America when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the Germans declared war on the United States. Eddie had proudly served his country in what he thought was the war to end all wars, and now his sons were being called upon to defend their country. Amongst all the worry over his boys going to war, an astonished, Eddie found out from his very embarrassed, wife that he was about to become a father for the 8th time.  He was forty-six and she was forty-three-years old when the blessed event occurred, and Ethel gave birth to their 4th daughter:

Kathleen Ann Paul B-21 May 1943 on W66th Street.        



              Bernard Morris

Bernard Morris age 36 - Artist rendering Age 37 (photo likeness)

Ethel Morris’ father Barney was born in New York City on 1 March 1867 and his parents were Patrick Morris and Elizabeth O’Brien.  He married Bridget Barry on 2 June 1895 and they had four daughters:  

Helen Morris B-25 Aug 1895

Elizabeth (Lillie) Morris B-21 Dec 1897

Ethel Morris B-27 Jan 1900

Catherine Morris B-14 Jan 1902 – D-14 Jan 1902

After Bridget’s untimely death in 1904 Barney was left to raise his three daughters on his own.  At that time, with a carpet bag of plumbing tools he made a name for himself as a reliable plumber so therefore he was able to provide his daughters with a nice place to live. However child care presented a problem, and he felt pangs of guilt whenever he had to leave the children and go to work. Barney was a widower for four years in 1908 when he married Nora McGrath, a thirty-six year old spinster. His youngest daughter, Ethel idolized her stepmother and Helen and Lillie liked her too. They were a happy family for ten years and in this time Barney worked him self up to become a Master Plumber and owned a successful plumbing business.  In 1918 the Spanish Influenza hit New York City and took his wife Nora.

Bernard Morris Age 52

Bernard Morris was a very distinguished looking man whose height was 6’2″,  however his tallest daughter (Helen) was only 5″2″ tall, and his other two daughters (Lillie & Ethel) were under 5′ tall at full growth. Barney’s daughters were grown and married, when he wed for a 3rd time in 1920 at age 52. Mary Elizabeth (Ella) Loughlin was a widow with a young daughter, who Barney may or may not have legally adopted. However after her mother’s marriage to Bernard Morris, Betty Breithaupt did take the last name of Morris.  Barney was married to Ella for 18 years when he died on 3 February 1938 at age 71.  His last will and Testament  was made out on 18 August 1927, directing”

First, “the expenses of my funeral and all lawful debts be paid.”

Second, “to Mary E. Morris my wife,  all my property of every kind.”

Third, “should Mary E. Morris my said wife, die before me, then in that event, I give, devise and bequeath all my property of every kind, unto my children and Mary Elizabeth Breithaupt, also known as Mary Elizabeth Morris, daughter of Mary E. Morris, my wife to be divided between them, share and share alike.”

Barney’s daughters, Helen, Lillie and Ethel tried to contest their father’s will however they were unsuccessful. Their stepmother, Ella who they were never very fond of died in 1940, just two years after their father. It’s presumed that all the assets Bernard Morris accumulated in his life time, Ella left to her daughter,  Mary Elizabeth Morris O’Connor.

Tyndall Avenue, Bronx, New York 6046 Tyndall Avenue, Riverdale, Bronx, New York – Built and bought by Bernard Morris about 1930.

At the time of Bernard Morris’ death he owned this home in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and a summer home in Keansburg, New Jersey. In his life time, Bernard Morris was a Master Plumber and owned several businesses and building lofts in Manhattan.


Irish Flag

Patrick Morris and Elizabeth O’Brien

Bernard Morris’ parents Patrick Morris born on 29 August 1877 and Elizabeth O’Brien born 23 January 1833, independently migrated from Ireland. Patrick in 1849 at the age of 19 and Elizabeth in 1853 at age 19. They were just two of the 800,000 starving Irish that came to America because of the devastating Irish Potato Famine (1845-1850).  After arriving in New York City Patrick worked as a stagecoach driver with the Madison Avenue run, and Elizabeth worked as a maid in a private home.  They may have known each other in Ireland because on the 1853 passenger list traveling with Elizabeth O’Brien was a Margaret Morris. More then likely this was Patrick’s sister. They met up aagain and married in New York City shortly thereafter and had six children:

John Morris B-1856 – D-1899 – age 43

Thomas Morris B-1858 – D-1951 – age 93  (Ethel Morris Paul’s, Uncle Tommy lived with her from 1904 until he died in 1951. 47 years.)

Mary A. Morris B-1863 – D-1903 – age 40

Bernard Morris B-1867 – D-1938 – age 71

Patrick Morris B-1869 – D-1913 – age 44

Patrick Morris a stagecoach driver with the Madison Avenue run, fell from the stage on Broadway and Bleeker Streets on 22 August 1877. At the time of the fall he fractured 4 ribs on his left side. At age 47, he died one week later from meningitis and pneumonia which were complications due to the accident. There was an inquest pending at the time of his death. Elizabeth O’Brien died in 1898 at age 65.


          Bridget Frances Barry

Bridget Barry age 23

Ethel Morris’ mother Bridget  Barry was born in New York City in 1872 and died on 20 April 1904 at age 32. She was the fourth child of James Barry and Ellen Rowan


James Barry and Ellen Rowan

Bridget Barry’s parents James Barry  born in 1833  and Ellen Rowan born 1835 were survivors of the “Irish Potato Famine.”  They were married in Ireland about 1862 but soon after, looking for a better life they migrated to America.  James and Ellen had six children all born in New York City:

John Barry B-1863  –  D-1930 at age 64

Mary Barry B-1867 –  D-1870 at age 3

Catherine Barry B-1871  – D-1953 at age 82

Bridget Barry B-1872 – D-1904 at age 32

James Barry B-1876 – D-1878 at age 2

Patrick Urban Barry B-1878 –  D-1951 at age 73




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