EAGAN was well known in Camden for over 40 years, for no good reason. He was by
all accounts a drunk
and a serial wife-beater, and when the wife wasn't at hand Patrick would find
someone else to assault. Newspaper articles on-line, which represent a small
fraction of what newspaper accounts there were at the time, give account of his
escapades and imprisonments, and there were many if them, over a period
beginning in 1861 and ending in 1902. The 1902 article tells of his escape from
the Camden County Lunatic Asylum, which was located at the Lakeland complex in
Gloucester Township, and describe with the sentence "Eagan is known as a
dangerous man". Margaret Eagan, though reportedly much beloved by her son,
appears to have been something of a piece of work herself. When the 1880 Census
was taken, Patrick was locked up in the Camden County jail once again on one
Census sheet, while Margaret had a man named Samuel living with her under the
name of Eagan. While Patrick was serving a two-year sentence in a New Jersey
state prison for assault, she was beaten up in March of 1891 by a John Tom
McCann. The 1870 Census shows William Eagan with brothers John, Edward, and a
sister Mary. By 1880 John was no longer living at home, and both Edward and Mary
were dead. The 1880 Census shows three children in the household, William and
sisters Annie, 8 and Mary, 6.
The 1900 Census shows Patrick Eagan
as an inmate at the Camden County Insane Asylum,
and Margaret living alone, and that of her six children, 5 were no longer
alive. Patrick Eagan escaped from the Asylum in 1902, and as of this
writing what became of him is unknown. The 1908 City Directory refers to his
wife as a widow, living at 204 Mickle
Street. Patrick Eagan and his family were living at 204 Mickle
Street as early as 1867.
one child that was still alive in 1900 was William "Bad Bill"
who played professional baseball from 1887 through 1900. He turned professional in 1887, and played briefly for
three different major league teams. A superb defensive second baseman and no
slouch at the plate, Eagan had a terrible problem with alcohol which completely
derailed his career and for intents and purposes destroyed his life.