John A. Conway, Portland, ca. 1890
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John A. Conway (1869- 1904) was raised on Plum Street in Portland, within a short walking distance from the highly concentrated Irish neighborhood referred to as "Gorham’s Corners." Conway spent much of his working life as a teamster, driving wagons along the prosperous Commercial Street railway corridor on the Portland waterfront. He died of consumption (tuberculosis) at age 35.
Conway appears here in the uniform of a Portland Montgomery Guard, a local militia group comprised of young men of Irish decent. Formed in 1872 and eventually absorbed into the Maine National Guard, the Montgomery Guards presented demonstrations of military drills and sponsored grand receptions throughout New England and Canada in the late nineteenth century.