Fredonia Opera House To Host Local History Series

MICHELLE HENRY

FREDONIA — The 1891 Fredonia Opera House will be the site of the next Local History Series presentation at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 19.

Michelle Henry, Chautauqua County historian, will present a program detailing local and national research on Patrick Tyrrell, a Dunkirk resident who later was hailed as a national hero. Tyrrell was an appointed deputy sheriff in Chautauqua County and later became an agent for the Secret Service. His investigations and arrests of several notorious counterfeiting rings lead to his involvement in disrupting a plot to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body in 1876. He is credited with preventing the theft, and histories published in the Chicago area depict him as a shining character. However, records held in the Chautauqua County Archives in Mayville suggest that Tyrrell’s personal and professional life was marred by accusations of corruption and abuse.

In her presentation, Henry will discuss the records held in the Chautauqua County Archives that provided useful information to piece together the story of Tyrrell and his family.