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I knew Owney's brother, Marty, as a small child because my parents lived on the farm "Somerset" owned by Marty, where he raised and trained thoroughbred race horses. I like him and his wife, Kitty O'Brien Madden. They were very kind to us. I am currently writing as much as I know and remember about the history of Marty and "Somerset" and will include farm-related pictures from the 1940 era. I have never seen any comments about Owney's connections or involvements in activities in Cuba; at that time many gangsters were organizers and ensconced in activities that were legal in Cuba and not in the US. I have a letter from Marty written to my father, Oct. 7, 1953, where he says "they were looking to grab his brother, Owen, but I was the one who fell into the trap." Marty took a trip to Cuba--my guess is at the direction of his brother Owen, perhaps for reconnaissance, and when Marty tried to return to the US, he was charged with failing to register in 1951, '52, and '53, under the McCarran Act. The US tried to deport him, and he asked my father to be a witness, to his character and reputation, if necessary. On August 12, 1955, Congress and the attorney general discontinued any deportation proceedings and canceled orders, warrants, and arrests against Martin Aloysius Madden. Marty was not a notorious gangster like his brother. However, he says that "they were the leaders of pretty tough boys and he had a criminal record by the time he was 20." But "the last 30 years I led a real good clean life, never being arrested once."
Fay Davis Taylor
Alexandria, VA