Obituary. "JOHN ENNIS, STAMFORD'S GRAND OLD MAN, DIES AT HIS HOME ON WARREN ST. ---- Death Due to Pneumonia, Ill Since Last March --- Was One of America's Greatest Athletes --- Defeated Edward Payne Weston in Walk Across Continent and Held Skating Championship for Twenty Years --- To Be Buried From Church He Designed and Erected. ---- John Ennis, Stamford's grand old man, died at his home at 67 Warren Street at 2:30 a. m. today after being confined to his home since March 1. Death was due to pneumonia, but Mr. Ennis had never fully recovered from injuries received two years ago when struck by an automobile. He was know to Stamford people for his record in crossing the continent in 80 days and five hours in 1910, thereby breaking the record of Edward Payne Weston of 105 days. Mr. Ennis was an all-around athlete, taking delight in swimming, boxing, ice-skating and rifle shooting and excelling in all of these sports. At late as Feb. 14, last, he had skated on the Cove Pond, where in 1893 he lost the world's 100 mile ice-skating championship which he had held for 20 years. At that time Mr. Ennis was 52 years old. Joe Donahue, his conqueror in that race never recovered from the strain of the race, dying a year later with Mr. Ennis at his bedside. Mr. Ennis also engaged in swimming as late as last Summer and was able to excel men and youths 50 and 75 years his junior in these sports. When a baby in Ireland he was saved from drowning in the River Shannon, and in his life in this country saved 18 persons from a similar death. He was awarded a medal by the United States Volunteer Life Saving Corps for his rescue work and this was one of his most prized possessions. Born In Ireland. Mr. Ennis was born in Richmond Harbor, County Longford, Ireland, on June 4, 1842, and came to this country when six years old, settling with his parents in Chicago, then the western frontier of this country. He saw Chicago lay the foundation for the metropolitan city it is today, coming to Stamford about 1880. While in Chicago he engaged in the contracting business, building some of the first churches there. He drew the plans for and built St. John's R. C. Church on Atlantic Street here. With the late Rev. James C. O'Brien he loved the church and it is aptly regarded as a monument to those two sterling men. While Stamford people did not know him as a crack rifle shot in his life here, he was regarded as one of the country's best in Chicago. About 1870 he was a member of the rifle team of the Audubon Gun Club of Chicago which journeyed to England and competed against some of the crack shots there. Famous Walk. In 1910, Mr. Ennis set out from Coney Island on May 23 to walk across this continent to San Francisco, hoping to better the 105 day record of Edward Payne Weston, still living in Philadelphia on an annuity provided by Anne Nichols, author of "Abie's Irish Rose". He started the cross-county jaunt with a dive into the Atlantic Ocean off Luna Park at Coney Island. On August 23, he ended the trip in 80 days and five hours with a dive into the Pacific Ocean at the Cliff House, San Francisco. He averaged 50 miles (Continued on Page Six) a day on the hike. [Numbers don't quite add up.] Mr. Ennis is survived by five children and two grandchildren. His children are Frank J., William H., Katherine A., Annie E. and Eilly J. Ennis, all residents of Stamford. His grandchildren are the children of William H. Ennis. A solemn requiem Mass will be celebrated for Mr. Ennis at St. John's Church, Wednesday morning at 10, and interment will be in Springdale. He will be accorded military honors at the funeral."
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