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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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HOGAN, JOHN (1831-1891)

HOGAN, JOHN, overseer of fisheries; b. North Esk parish, 7 Jan 1831, s/o Michael Hogan and Bridget Crowe; m. 1862, Mary Ann Hickey, sister of Eliza Hickey, d. Newcastle, 13 Aug 1891.

John Hogan was the overseer of fisheries for approximately twenty years in the Newcastle district and on the Northwest branch of the river between Newcastle and Red Bank, which was one of the main areas of illegal fishing activity. He made his home in Newcastle but also had a farm at South Esk with a "snug house" on it.

When the fish hatchery was being built at South Esk in the early 1870s, Hogan was lavishly praised by government officials for his assistance, and for the "fearless and zealous" manner in which he was protecting the Northwest fishery. Among local residents his zeal was often regarded as excessive. In 1875 he had a Mr Goodfellow of South Esk fined $40 for violating the fisheries act, and he threatened him that if he did not desist he would see to it that he was fined again and that a fine was also imposed on "every man jack" who fished "for him or with him." In 1877 Joseph Chaplin, a fisheries warden at Red Bank, resigned in protest over the "completely unreasonable demands" being made by Overseer Hogan (who, it should be noted, had recently accused Chaplin's sons of fishing illegally). In 1886 Hogan was keeping watch over the Intercolonial Railway line to ensure that illegally-caught fish were not being shipped out by train. He was continuously seizing fish and fishing gear, and it was said that the cry "Hogan" was often heard shouted from the river bank as he approached.

In 1888 a letter writer complained in the Union Advocate that Hogan was being paid a higher salary than other fisheries overseers, even though he was not a supporter of the government of the day. "I think the reason why he is kept in his position," the writer stated, "is simply that he has a large share of the Irish spy in him."

The year before he died Hogan was stricken with paralysis. He and his wife, Mary Ann Hickey, who survived him by only two months, had several children who died in childhood and a son, Raymond J. Hogan, who died in 1886 at age twenty.


[b] church records [m] official records [d] Advocate 19 Aug 1891 / Advance 22 Mar 1877; Advocate 9 May 1877, 14 Jul 1886, 29 Sep 1886, 3 Oct 1888; Arbuckle; NB Museum (John Little's diary)