Lack School - 1863 to 1975

A History of the School and its Pupils
by James Hehir


18. Personalities

(b) The Dutchman

The Dutchman's House

The Dutchman's House - Current owner Sean Kelly

The area's only contact with the European mainland occurred when a Dutch watchmaker and sea man, Larry Williams, and his wife, Mariah Hehir, came from the USA to live in Lack in 1906. Mariah had inherited the family farm from her brother Pat James Hehir and was returning with her Dutch husband to take up residence and live the remainder of their lives in the peace and tranquility of the hills of Lack. She had emigrated to Oklahoma to her brother Jack many years earlier but later moved to Kansas.

Larry's background is of particular interest. Both of his parents were Jews, born in Palestine, now Israel. His father, Mr. Nohron, served his time as a watchmaker while his mother was a very talented tailoress. Her family had a tailoring business with their own patterns and designs of lace which were much sought after in Europe. The parents emigrated to Holland and established a watch making business.
Larry had an uncle who had emigrated to Kansus in the USA and set up a watchmaking business there having changed his name to Williams. He had no family so he offered the business to Larry's father for one of his sons. Larry, the youngest son was chosen. He emigrated to America, worked in partnership with his uncle and changed his name to Williams. Later he became a seaman.

On returning to Ireland, Larry and Mariah erected a new house and farmed the land for the next 30 years or so. Larry settled in well and became very popular. He was noted, in particular, for his broken English and his great strength. He died in 1939 having lived in three countries, Holland, USA and Ireland and having pursued three professions, watchmaker, seaman and farmer. His wife Mariah died in 1942. They had no family.

He was known locally as the Dutchman. To this day the house he built and occupied is known as the Dutchman's House while the adjoining field, owned by John Hehir, is known as the Dutchman's field.