[ Drawing by W.A. Winter of Mob at the Donnelly Homestead , This drawing appears in the opening segment of this website., W.A. Winter, Maclean's Magazine  ]

When thirteen year-old Johnny O’Connor went to the Donnelly homestead on February 3, 1880, his life would be forever changed. He was supposed to spend the night so that the next day he could “feed the pigs and things” when the Donnellys went to the nearby town of Granton. At first, the night was uneventful--he helped feed the animals and then he came inside and ate “some apples.” He retired for the night in James Donnelly’s bedroom, as Mrs. Donnelly was spending the night in the other bedroom with Bridget, a niece who was visiting the Donnellys. Later that evening, however, on what was then the morning of February 4, Johnny was awakened by the sounds of a mob outside. He witnessed the vicious mob attack James Sr., his wife Johannah, son Tom and niece Bridget. After the mob set fire to the cabin, they continued on to the home of William Donnelly.