Against the Grain
The History of Buffalo's First Ward
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
Against the Grain tells the story of a group of mostly Irish immigrants who toiled in the hulls of grain ships and in other waterfront industries in an area called the First Ward of Buffalo, New York. This economically deprived area produced an abundance of historically important people including Fingy Conners, the largest private employer on the Great Lakes; Michael Shea, Buffalo’s greatest entertainment showman; “Wild Bill” Donovan, the founding father of what became the CIA; John Sheehan, one-time Tammany Hall boss; Jimmy Slattery, the Light Heavyweight Champion of the World; and Jimmy Griffin, the longest serving mayor in Buffalo history. The stories of other lesser-known but equally important Ward residents such as Mike Quinn, Jack White, Algie McGuire, Roggie Lavin, Father Thomas Conway, the McCarthy brothers, and even Rick James are also told.