Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon Counties, Iowa. Chicago: W. S. Dunbar, 1889.

THOMAS McDONALD- Foreign countries have bequeathed to America some of her best and most brilliant citizens, and the Emerald Isle has not been behind in the quality of her contributions to the strong and vigorous growth of this country. To her Shelby County is indebted for her greatest benefactor and most beloved citizen, Thomas McDonald, now at rest, the rest won by a life of tireless activity in the interests and welfare of those whose lives touched his; and these were not few, as will be attested by numbers of citizens of western Iowa. Thomas McDonald was a most remarkable man; to meet him was to be attracted to him; to know him was to be won as a fast friend and hearty admirer. He was kind and obliging and possessed the faculty of adapting himself to all sorts and conditions of men, who always found in him the satisfaction of their pressing needs. He had within him a strong public spirit, ever willing to sacrifice his own interests to those of the majority. In his home he was all that a wife and children could desire, and only those who have been blessed by the association of such a beautifully rounded and perfect character can know the loss of the family in his death. Thomas McDonald was born in Bandon, twenty miles southwest of the city of Cork, Ireland, July 20, 1843. His parents came to America when he was four years old. They settled in Massachusetts, but remained there only a year; they then went to LaSalle, Illinois, where Thomas resided with his parents until he was nineteen years old, when he enlisted in the army, pledged to defend the flag of his adopted country; he joined the Ninetieth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, of which he was a Sergeant-Major. He served through the entire war and was honorably discharged at its close. After the close of the war he joined the famous detective service of Allen Pinkerton, of Chicago; he spent most of his time when in Pinkerton's employ in eastern cities, and gave eminent satisfaction. He quit the service upon his marriage, April 24, 1867, in Chicago, to Miss Mary T. Corley, of Arlington, Bureau County, Illinois. He then came to Iowa and settled in Dunlap, Harrison County, where he resided six years; he then settled on his farm of 600 acres, six miles south of Harlan, and lived there until his death. During his residence in the country he filled various offices of honor and trust. He was elected county treasurer in 1875, and re-elected in 1877. It was due to his untiring energy and good management that the A.H. & N.R.R. was secured to Harlan; he was president of the company. He laid out the village of Corley, his wife's maiden name, in 1873. His death occurred at his residence in Corley, December 16, 1881. Mrs. McDonald was born in Rochester, New York, and educated in St. Vincent's Academy, LaSalle, Illinois. She is a daughter of Martin and Sarah (Bigelow) Corley. She and four children survive Mr. McDonald. The children are- Agnes D. Brewer, wife of George D. Brewer; Martin E.; Thomas C.; and Martina V.


Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon Counties, Iowa. Chicago: W. S. Dunbar, 1889.

DANIEL DALEY, conductor of the Harlan branch of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, has been a resident of Shelby County since 1878. He was born in West Stockbridge, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, January 3, 1840. He is a son of Michael and Mary (Morrison) Daley, natives of Cork, Ireland, who emigrated to America immediately after their marriage. The settled in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and in 1871 removed to Iowa, and settled in Atlantic. When Mr. Daley was seven years old his parents moved to Janesville, Wisconsin, where his father carried on farming, here he grew up and received his education in common schools. He remained with his parents until his majority, when he entered the employ of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, first working on the section at $1.15 per day. He occupied this position only a short time, and then went on the line as a brakeman; while coupling cars his hand was injured, so that he was disabled for six months. He then took the position of baggage-master at Atlantic, which he held for two years, and again took the position of brakeman. He was afterward promoted to the position of yard-master, which he held for five years. When the Harlan branch was constructed Mr. Daley was given the train, and is the only conductor this branch has ever had. Mr. Daley was united in marriage, august 8, 1878, to Miss Jennie Grant, a native of Michigan, and a daughter of Robert Grant, now a resident of Adair County. By this union three children have been born- Gracie, John and Roberta. In 1878 Mr. Daley removed to Harlan, where he has as comfortable and pretty a home as one need wish. Mr. and Mrs. Daley are members of the Roman Catholic church. He is a member of the R.W. Conductors, Des Moines Lodge; the Knights of Pythias, Lodge No. 65, Harlan; the A.F. & A.M., Parian Lodge, No. 321; Olivet Chapter, No. 107 and Mt. Zion Commandery, No. 49. Mr. Daley's political sympathies are with the Democratic party. No man in Shelby County is more highly esteemed or has a more enviable reputation than Daniel Daley, of Harlan.


The United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men. Iowa Volume. Chicago and New York: American Biographical Publishing, 1878.

p. 783-784

     Dennis Austin Mahony is a native of Ireland, and was born at Ross Carberry, county of Cork, on the 21st of January, 1821, and emigrated to this country with the family in 1831. His parents were Cornelius and Margaret Crolly Mahony.
     Dennis commenced going to school before he was five years old and soon after reaching this country, at the age of nine years, he attended a grammar school in Philadelphia, remaining in it about six years. Whatever additional studying he did, was done at home until he entered the law offices of Charles J. Ingersoll. He read law three years, and then came to Dubuque, Iowa, in June, 1843, continuing his law studies with Davis and Crawford. Not designing to remain in the legal profession, he did not then ask to be admitted to the bar.
     Mr. Mahony spent the spring and summer of 1844 in Butler township, Jackson county, returning to Dubuque late in the autumn to teach a winter school. In 1845 he established an academy in Jackson county in what is now called Garry Owen. While in that county he was part of the time postmaster and much of the time justice of the peace. In 1847, having concluded to make Iowa his permanent home, he applied to the supreme court at Iowa City and was admitted to the bar, and commenced practice in the United States district court.
     In 1848 he represented the district of Jackson and Jones counties in the general assembly; was chairman of the house committee on schools, and of the joint committee on schools of both houses, and drafted the bill which became the public school law of Iowa during that session.
     In the autumn of 1849 he became the editor of the "Miners' Express." Three years later, in connection with Messrs. H. Holt, A.A. White, and W. A. Adams, he established the Dubuque "Herald," weekly and tri-weekly. It became a daily on the 4th of July of the same year (1852), the first daily paper in Iowa. In 1854 Mr. Mahony was appointed state printer to fill a vacancy. During the following year, owing to ill health, he sold his interest in the "Herald."
     He was elected to the general assembly from Dubuque county in 1858. The next year he was elected treasurer of Dubuque county to fill a vacancy. In 1860 he resumed his journalistic labors, purchasing the "Herald" and conducting it, with associates, for four years. In 1863 he was elected sheriff of Dubuque county, and re-elected in 1865. In 1866 he aided in establishing the Saint Louis "Times," and was its chief editor about one year; he then returned to Dubuque, and is now editing the "Daily Telegraph."
     In politics, Mr. Mahony is a democrat.


The History of Delaware County, Iowa. Chicago: Western Historical Co., 1878

     SULLIVAN, CORNELIUS, Farmer; Sec. 20; P.O. Golden Prairie; owns 160 acres, valued at $4,000; born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1832; came to Boston in 1851, and to Cattaraugus Co., N.Y., in 1853, where he married Miss Margaret O. Hern Sept. 2d of the same year; she was born in Cork Co., Ireland, in 1834; they have eleven children- Timothy, born in Cattaraugus Co., N.Y., June 1854; Mary E., in Elmira, N.Y., April 29, 1856; Jeremiah, in Bradford Co., Penn., Oct. 23, 1859; Michael in same place, Dec. 23, 1861; Cornelius, born in Lycoming Co., Penn., Jan. 20, 1863; Hannah M., in the same place Feb. 28, 1865; Daniel, in Bradford Co, Penn, Aug. 14, 1867; John P., born in same place Feb. 2, 1869; Wm. H., June 20, 1871; Julia A.A. Sept 23, 1873, and Thomas, June 22, 1877; the last three were born in this township. Mr. S. has raised a nephew, Michael W., son of Daniel Sullivan; he was born in Lycoming Co, Penn., Aug. 17, 1864; his father died April 2, 1865, of small pox, aged 28 years; his mother died March 5, 1869.


History of Iowa County, James G. Dinwiddie. Volume 1. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1915

     Eugene J. Sullivan, who is now serving his third term as city attorney, has made a commendable record in that office and has gained a reputation for devotion to the interests of the municipality. He was born in County Cork, Ireland, on the 22nd of December, 1878, a son of John Sullivan, also a native of that county. In 1881 John Sullivan and a daughter came to the United States, but the mother, who bore the maiden name of Margaret Lynch, and the remainder of the family emigrated to the new world in 1883. The father is a retired railroad man living in Marengo and the mother is also living. They are the parents of five children, those other than our subject being: Mary, the wife of Dennis Sullivan, of Marengo; Annie; Margaret, the wife of John A. Pelzer; and Julia, the deceased wife of E.B. Sheridan.
     Eugene J. Sullivan was educated in the public schools of Marengo and in 1899 was graduated from the high school. He taught school for one year and then entered the State University of Iowa, taking a three years' course in law, from which he was graduated in 1903. He worked his way through college and displayed those qualities of determination and power of concentration that have been largely instrumental in securing his professional success. In the fall after his graduation he opened a law office at Victor, Iowa, and practiced there until May, 1905, when he returned to Marengo and has since been in general practice here. He was elected city attorney and proved so efficient that he has been twice appointed to that position and is now serving his third term. He is also a member of the commission on insanity. His thorough training in the principles of the law and his skill in applying them to the exigencies of a case have gained him high rank at the bar of Iowa county and he not only has the confidence of the general public but also the respect of his brother attorneys.
     Mr. Sullivan is a communicant of the Catholic church and is also identified with the Knights of Columbus and with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, in which he is a member of the grand lodge. He believes firmly in the prosperous future of Iowa and has invested in real estate, owing a third interest in a farm of three hundred and sixty acres located a mile and a half from Iowa City, and he also has property in Marengo.


History of Iowa County, James G. Dinwiddie. Volume 1. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1915

     John Francis Cronin, who has served as city solicitor, as mayor of Marengo and as county attorney of Iowa county and is now engaged in the private practice of law, is a native son of the city where he still resides, his birth occurring on the 14th of January, 1884. His father, Patrick J. Cronin, was born in Bantry, County Cork, Ireland, but his mother, who bore the maiden name of Anna Flanagan, was born in Redbank, New Jersey.
     John Francis Cronin received his elementary education in the public schools and prepared for college in the Marengo high school, from which he was graduated in June, 1903. Having decided upon the legal profession as a life work, he entered the college of law of the State University of Iowa and in June, 1907, received the degree of LL. B. on the completion of the required course. He was popular among the students and was honored by the highest gift within the power of his class to bestow, being elected its president. The first work in which Mr. Cronin engaged was that of timekeeper and foreman of construction gangs for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway, but on the 1st of January, 1908, a few months after his graduation, he opened a law office in Marengo and on the 1st of April, of that year, was appointed city solicitor, which office he held for two years, being elected mayor at the end of that time. For two years he served as chief executive of the city and then entered the primary contest for the nomination on the democratic ticket for county attorney. He won both the nomination and the election and served ably and conscientiously for two years, but in November, 1914, was defeated for reelection as the result of a campaign against Catholics holding office. For three or four years he has been local attorney of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific and Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroads and has ably represented their interests in Iowa county. He has the aggressiveness and courage of youth and has also benefited by the valuable experience that he has had in the seven years that he has engaged in the practice of law and he is an opponent worthy of the steel of the leading attorneys of this district. He is not only well versed in the fundamental principles of jurisprudence but is also familiar with statute law and precedent and is rarely at fault in the application of his knowledge to the point at issue. Although much of his time has been taken up with his official duties, he has built up a large and lucrative practice and his integrity, combined with his ability, has gained him the respect of his colleagues and of the general public.
     Mr. Cronin is a democrat and served on the congressional committee of the late Congressman I.S. Pepper in both of his campaigns for election to the national house of representatives. Mr .Cronin is at all times ready to aid in any way possible in securing victory for his party and is known as one of its most loyal and ablest workers. Fraternally he is associated with the Knights of Columbus and the Modern Woodmen of America, while his religious faith is that of the Roman Catholic church, of which he is a communicant. His entire life has been passed in Marengo and there is no better proof needed of his sterling worth as a man and his ability as an attorney than the fact that he has succeeded professionally and has also won the goodwill and esteem of his fellowmen in the city where he was born and reared.