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University Honors

Grocery and Real Estate

Honorary Doctor of Laws



Background information on John and Michael Dinan is from correspondence and newspaper articles in University archive files. The article written by G.W.Stark, News, March 11, 1941 is presented in whole. John P. Dinan, 1870-1936, on old Abbott Street (born) his father, Michael, native of County Clare, Ireland; his mother a Danahey, old Detroit settlers. "John and Mike, Grocery Clerks" partnership began in 1885 when two boys opened grocery business, at 10th and Abbott, in old Corktown. Even after they made a fortune in groceries and real estate they continued as the sole clerks in their grocery. Fr. McNichols called John "my chief advisor." "I recall the day in 1922 when Fr. Mac needed $120,000 in cash to pay a farmer who owned most of the property (at McN and Livernois) that the University wanted to buy," said recorders court judge John Scallen. "John scoured every bank in Detroit to gather the cash. The three of us, guarded by two detectives, stuffed the money into our pockets and carried a Gladstone bag filled with newspapers when we went to the farmer's house accompanied by two detectives. John knew how to foil the possible holdup." John is an alumnus of Detroit College. Besides their financial backing for purchase of the McN-L campus, gave Dinan Hall, St. Catherine's Chapel, a memorial to his mother. Although the task of financing the U of D stadium was carried on entirely by alumni assn the other gifts to the univ. by the brothers caused the stadium to be known for years as Dinan Field. 1928, hon degree of LL.D to both brothers. Other Dinan bequests to Sacred Heart Seminary and Bertha M. Fisher Home for the Aged. Father a railroad man. Bachelors. "Heart and mind they stood together, their affections, their viewpoints, their activities, their reactions to society identical. Old Corktowners used to say they were twins in everything except birth. Michael: 1872. In all their life it was said they never had an argument. Both had blue eyes as bright as china plates, and a veritable network of wrinkles played at the corners of them. That, of course, would come from their laughter. At middle life the hair of both began grey, John 5'11


Michael 5'10'. Knew customers by first names

University of Detroit

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