Agnes Cashman Brogan




standing: Gene Cashman, Phil & Frank Brogan

seated: Agnes Brogan, Minnie Cashman, Eugene Casman & Patricia Brogan




Agnes Mary Cashman was born in San Francisco on December 12, 1892.

She married James Patrick Brogan on Sep 30, 1912 at St. Paul's Church, San Francisco.


James brogan was born in Dublin, Ireland on December 8,1889. He was the son of William Brogan and Margaret Haggerty. He came to San Francisco around 1900. He worked as a customs inspector:


James and Agnes had 5 sons and one daughter (two sons died in infancy):


Frank T. Brogan - Born Feb. 24, 1915. He joined the army March 5, 1941, before WWII broke out. He was stationed at Fort Ord and was seriously injured in an auto accident in San Jose in October, 1941. He died from his injuries on December 19, 1941 at the Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Denver, Colorado. He was never married.


Howard James (Philip Howard) was born on November 30, 1917. He legally changed his name from Howard Brogan (he didn’t like it). He married Ann Spacher. They had two sons and a daughter.


Howard Howard & Patricia


Patricia Agnes was born on February 14, 1922. She went to St. Peter’s school and Balboa High School in San Francisco as well as school in Santa Cruz. She married twice, the second marriage to Robert Arthur Durdell. They met and married in Guam in 1948. Robert lost his sight during the Korean War. They had no children; Patricia could not carry to full term.

Gene Cashman, Patricia, Eugene Robert Arthur Durdell
Robert & Patricia Durdell Patricia Durdell


Joseph L. was born in Santa Cruz, where the family had temporarily moved, on June 2, 1930. He married Catherine Walsh in 1961 and had a girl and a boy. He died in Alameda County on June 25, 1974.

Joseph (left) Pat (Right)

James Brogan died in San Francisco on May 21, 1940. Agnes died in Sonoma, California on Oct 5, 1958.

Brogans in Santa Cruz - 1930

James Brogan WWI Draft Card



Recollections of Patricia Brogan Durdell

August 8, 2000

   We were mostly all Irish on upper Prospect [street].
When my mom and dad were married, they moved up to Highland Avenue
    “Minnie Cashman [Nana] came from Queenstown, Ireland. She had an uncle in San Francisco; I guess his name was Leahy, he wrote to his brother, her dad, to send a boy over. My grandmother decided “I’m the boy” and she wrote a letter and signed it ‘Mike’. Her parents let her go. She had read about everything she could get a hold of. She was very intelligent. But there she was [in San Francisco] and they took her in. She had money. She had 50 dollars in gold; that was a lot of money back then. Her grandmother was Grandma Collins.
  My grandmother [Minnie] read everything she could get her hands on. She sailed from Ireland, of course that was ahead of the Titanic, but I don’t think that would have fazed her! She had a deep belief in God and she would have said, “If God wanted to take me, I would be taken. She landed in New York at Ellis Island. She came [to San Francisco] by train. While on the train, they stopped down in Arizona and my grandmother had beautiful long black hair. An Indian woman felt her hair. She thrilled my grandmother because she knew all about Indians. It didn’t bother her none an Indian was touching her so she made a friend with an Indian. Then they landed in San Francisco. That’s when her uncle got the full impact.
  I think she had three brothers.
  She met my grandfather [Denis] because her uncle and Denis worked together. I think Denis came from a little north of County Cork. He was in the English Navy and he jumped ship when he got here.
  I [Patricia] was married twice, but it didn’t last long [the first marriage]. My second husband was Robert Arthur Durdell. He came from Appleton, Wisconsin. I met him on Guam. I went to work for Beavis Bank Company in Guam after the war. You know there was still some Japs hiding out in there. I married Bob in 1948 over there.
   My grandparents weren’t drinkers. My grandfather might have had a beer once in a while but that would have been it. My own father, who was a very intelligent man, unfortunately, took to drink. He was one of those periodic drinkers; every six months he’d get drunk. [Her mother was thought to be unsociable but it was really because she thought she never had anything decent to wear.] They started out well, they had an interest in an apartment on High Street. Then we went to Santa Cruz, and my dad drank too much. Joseph [her brother] was born in Santa Cruz.
  My brother Frank never got married. He was the most self-sacrificing man. He never had anything. He was the oldest one and would never turn my mother down for anything.
  Phil [her youngest brother], he really was Howard, he had it legally changed to Phil, he didn’t like his name. He was named after a man his dad had met at sea. He married Ann Spacher.
  Joseph married, not sure of the name and had a boy and a girl that I remember.
  I [Patricia] [didn’t have children because] I couldn’t carry. I would get pregnant and then when it was approaching the end of the second month it would abort. I had two boys. My grandmother [Minnie] told me, “Now you listen to me. God has his reasons for not giving you children.” So when Bob lost his sight she said to me, “Now you know why God didn’t give you children.” He lost his sight in the service in Korea.
  Frank went into WWII, and that was a terrible thing. When he promised something he kept his promise. I think he was the greatest of my grandparent’s grandchildren; he really was; he was a beautiful human being. He was stationed at Fort Ord in the Army. They had some kind of a ball game somewhere near San Mateo and they were going back. Now there were three other fellows who were in the front and Frank and two others in the back. And the way we got it from the truck driver was he only saw one light and crashed, throwing my brother 65 feet. He was out on the pavement and some woman said she almost ran over him. They put him into the hospital. Mama and I and Joe saw my brother in the hospital. My poor mother got a big, red streak on the side of her face; I thought she was going to die. Anyway, they moved him from the hospital in San Mateo to San Francisco Letterman General. The army officer in charge of his group came to see him; my mother said that boy just cried. That made the San Jose paper. Only one boy lived out of that. My mother was so upset and Nana said, “Trust in God.” And, of course, if he had lived he would have been blind and not normal.
  I don’t remember my aunts and uncles too well. My Aunt Aileen didn’t like me. They didn’t have any children. 
  Minnie also had another Uncle Leahy who was a professor in Ireland at the University.
  My dad named me for Princess Pat Richmond from Canada. My mother had given him three sons, Vincent, the first, died at birth. He was so excited to finally have a girl.
  Irene was a very sweet person.
  I went to school at Immaculate Conception in San Francisco, then Our Lady of Angels school in Santa Cruz, then St. Peter’s in San Francisco. My mother didn’t have the money so I went to Balboa High School in SF.
  The house at Boyes Springs was still there three years ago. You come up Highway 12 to the center of Boyes Springs. There’s a Post Office and if you walked across Highway 12 and went straight one block and there was this house, they had acreage there, a couple of acres. It’s a clapboard house [wooden siding]. I have a picture of my grandmother feeding the turkeys for Thanksgiving.



"I remember Pat vividly. Daddy would always help out Agnes. James Brogan was a brilliant man but gambled and drank too much. He was quite a scholar. Agnes was rather rough hune. She was more manipulative, and kind of cold in ways. Mama was going to adopt Joseph when he was three years old because they something happen. But that never happened. He grew into a nice young guy. He was so blonde and cute as a boy, and when you asked him how old he was he’d say, “three in June”. And don’t remind me of Howard. He was manipulative, shrewd, articulate, crooked as they come. He used to drive daddy nuts because daddy fished him out of so many things and then finally, no more. I remember one we were at Nana’s house and he called me over to the chicken shed and showed me his hands full of bloody chicken necks and wanting me to put them out. Oh, was he a mean son of a gun. And he was older, then. Frank was gorgeous, big blue eyes. He was killed tragically in Fort Ord. Pat was adorable, lonely. Mom used to feel sorry for her. When she grew up we went to a couple of dances together. She was a beautiful woman and her first marriage didn’t work out. She was pretty restless then, almost neurotic. Then I saw her again when she was old and with 5287169485378018her second husband. I brought her a ring and she gave me a necklace. I had a nice time with her. She used to write once in a while. She had a tough life."

-Aileen Cashman, 2002


Aileen Blanchard, Pat and Howard and Agnes Brogan