Paternal Family

Cleveland and Ashtabula, Ohio
​   One of the oldest photos we have is of our great-grandmother Catherine  (Nana) Kilfoyle Adams, born circa 1853.    
She was born in Canada while the family was enroute from Ireland. In 1887 they gathered at the photographic studio   of E.B. Nock,
148 and 150 Ontario St., Cleveland, for this photo. On Nana’s right, (our left as we look at the photo),   is our grandmother,
​Florence Adams Sullivan. Nana is holding Charles Adams. Standing next to Nana is John   F. dams and his sister, Catherine.


Our grandfather, Daniel Martin Sullivan, born 20 September 1874, married Florence Adams, born 15 January 1878. 

Their children were Francis D.,Florence (Sister Mary Patrick, SND),John E. (J.) and Catherine. (Kitty). 

 Francis worked as a Quality Control Supervisor at Republic Steel in Cleveland when he wasn’t in the Ohio State House of Representatives

(and later Ohio Senate). Kitty died in the flu epidemic that swept the nation and world during the World War I years.

She was beloved and her mother suffered with such great grief that she allegedly said to our father, “It should have been you that died.”

In Cleveland, our father was educated at St. Thomas Aquinas Grade School and Cathedral Latin High School..

At the time it was located in the University Circle area of Cleveland, on E. 107th St., just south of Euclid Avenue. Graduating in 1929

in the midst of the Great Depression, he and a friend “hopped” a train west and got as far as New Mexico, He attended school

at the University of New Mexico for a year before returning home. Many young men of the time joined the military service to gain a paycheck. 

Dad served two years in the US Army (see A Tradition of Military Service below). After his Army service he joined the Cleveland Police Department.

He was  appointed an undercover Detective by then-Safety Director Eliot Ness. Cleveland newspapers of the time carry many accounts and

photos of these exploits. By the time he retired in 1961, his experience included working in almost every department, including homicide.

He worked on such cases as the Kingsbury Run Torso Murders, Sheila Tully and Beverly Potts.