Nellie Cashman 1845

Nellie Cashman 1845

Place of migration:
Migrated to/Born in USA

Nellie Cashman was born into the Irish Famine in Middleton, County Cork in 1845. When she was five years old, her family left in search of a better life in America. They first settled in Boston, later moving to Washington D.C. Nellie's early career was in the hotel industry. She worked as a bell hop and lift operator. 

In 1874, Nellie moved north to the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush. There she used her hotel experience and established a boarding house for miners. As she was a devout Catholic, Nellie requested that her lodgers make donations to charity in lieu of rent payments. These donations went to the construction of a hospital. During her time in the Yukon, a terrible snowstown resulted in as many as 77 miners becoming trapped in the mountains. Nellie ignored the advice of the Canadian Army and gathered a search party who set off to find the trapped men, armed with food and vitamin C. Her venture was successful and she managed to nurse then men back to health and bring them home safely. Her daring efforts earned her the name, 'The Angel of the Mining Camps'.

In 1877, Nellie relocated again, this time to Tombstone, Arizona. There she opened another boarding house as well as a restaurant. In 1884 her sister Fanny died of TB, leaving her children orphaned. Nellie took up the mantel of foster parent and raised her nieces and nephews as her own. 

Nellie spent a number of years following gold rushes across the United States and Canada, eventually settling in Nolan Creek, Alaska. 

In 1925, Nellie's health detiorated. She was admitted to hospital in Victoria, British Columbia where she died shortly after. 

A monument has been erected in her honour in her native Middleton. 

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1845 VIEW SOURCE
Date of Death 4th Jan 1925 VIEW SOURCE


Irish Central Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Alaska Mining Hall of Fame USA VIEW SOURCE


  • Some people lead the most incredible lives and Nellie from what I have just read is one of those people. 

    Neil McLean

    Sunday 29th March 2020, 09:12PM

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