Haverhill had its share of successful business and professional people, but it is doubtful that anyone was more widely known than Maggie Cline. Maggie was a Vaudeville star when that form of entertainment was in its Hay day. Her father, Patrick, was a peddler who is referred to by Haverhill diarist, Isaac Merrill as “the Irish doctor”. Merrill bought eyewash from Cline but he also bought a quire of paper. Therefore, it is not clear what Cline was peddling.
In 1860, Pat and his wife Ann had six children under the age of ten, including Maggie, who was born in 1859. Pat served in Co. F, 1st Mass. Heavy Artillery, during the Civil War. He died in 1894 of apoplexy and a concussion to the brain.
Maggie Cline ran away from home when she was sixteen, to try life upon the wicked stage and discovered that her booming voice would take her far. She was called “The Irish Queen” and the “Bowery Brunnhilde”. The latter may have
been as much a reference to her physique as to her voice. In 1890, she acquired her signature song, “Throw Him Down, McCloskey,” the sort of audience participation, top-of-your-lungs ditty that was always a hit in vaudeville. The vaudeville performer could make a career out of one song in the pre-television saturation times. Maggie performed for almost 50 years. She died in 1934 and is buried in Brooklyn.
Credit- the Irish in Haverhill by Dr. Patricia Trainor O’ Malley