Leo Charles Broderick was born in Winona, Minnesota on December 27, 1884 to Michael and Anna (Quinn) Broderick. He graduated from the Winona High School. However, upon his father's death in 1902, his mother moved the family to Minneapolis to a home just off University Avenue. The exposure to the city and the University area would resurface later in his life.
Leo taught himself shorthand and typing and searched for a clerk position. He initially came to Mandan in 1907 and found a job as a court reporter for district Judge Harry L. Berry who presided over most of the southwest part of the state.
The McDonald House boarders in 1907. Leo Broderick is second from the left on the first row.
Living arrangements were different in the early 1900's. Apartment buildings were rare and boarding houses were the norm. The McDonald boarding house, located at 207 St NW, seemed to attract the young professionals of the day Leo Broderick was among the many who would take meals there.
Recognizing a potential keen legal mind, local attorney John Sullivan encouraged the young Broderick to return to law school and get his law degree. Both Sullivan and Judge Berry were graduates of the University of Minnesota's law school and Leo was already familiar with that area of Minneapolis.
Leo Broderick received his law degree from the University of Minnesota. He was admitted to the Minnesota Bar in 1909. He returned to Mandan later that year and was admitted to the North Dakota State Bar in 1910. He joined the Hanley and Sullivan law firm for about ten years.
Genevieve O'Neal Stapleton McDonald Metcalf was originally from Argusville, ND. She had left home to find her way in the world in the western North Dakota boomtown of Medora working as part of the "courthouse gang." However a friend convinced her that ample opportunities also existed in the "more civilized" city of Mandan. So she moved, took up residence near the McCormick boarding house and worked as the bookkeeper for Bingenheimer Mercantile. Leo Broderick had resumed his practice to take his meals there upon his return from law school while awaiting marriage to a woman he had met in Minneapolis. Despite Leo's engagement, the two did see each other socially. But Broderick was completely faithful to his fiance.
Fate intervened. Leo had returned to Minneapolis at the appointed date and time for his pending nuptials. During the ceremony, the bride rejected Leo on the basis of their mixed religions. Devastated by the turn of events, fellow lawyer John Sullivan consoled his friend in true Irish fashion and convinced Broderick to return to Mandan. With the path clear to one of the most eligible bachelors in town, Genevieve scheduled evening after evening after evening with Leo, assuring he was never at the boarding house when his former-fiance attemped to call and recant her rejection of him. Eventually, Broderick proposed to her and they were married in June 28, 1915.
Upon the death of Judge Berry in July 1944, Leo Broderick was appointed Judge of the Sixth Judicial District the following month by Governor John Moses to serve out the remaining term. With the help of Gaylord Conrad (current US Senator Kent Conrad's grandfather), he won re-election to the post in his own right 3 months later. He served in that capacity until his death.
He and his wife Genevieve had six children: Jane (Budekke), William, John, Margorie (Brumbaugh), Mary (Harris) and Florence (Craychee). The family lived on the west side of historic home district in Mandan at 209 7th Ave NW. He died on February 18, 1953 at the age of 68. He and his wife are buried in Union Cemetery, Mandan.
The Society would like to thank MHSoc life member Mary Broderick-Harris for sharing this information on her father with us.
The MHSoc's museum and office is located at 411 W Main St, Mandan, ND 58554 Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave message at (701) 751-2983