Emmetsburg Democrat; Emmetsburg, Palo Alto, IA; 11 Apr 1909
Emmetsburg Has One of the Oldest Men in the World

Dennis Ricard, who has been an inmate of the County House for some time, is doubtless the oldest man in Iowa, if not in the United States. He was 111 on March 8. He is always ready for a good meal of victuals and says he never felt better in his life than he does at the present time. he worked regularly every day until last fall, though it was not at all necessary for him to do so. Of course he did not work all day long,but he seemed to enjoy being busy and accomplishing something. Mr. Martin who has charge of the County House, says Mr. Ricard is one of the most agreeable old gentlemen he has ever met and that he has never any trouble with him, except occasionally when he takes a notion to wander away from the place, and then he has to go after him. He is quite deaf, but his mind is fresh and he converses freely with  those who care to talk to him.

Saturday, April 3, W.W. Stone, our popular photographer, called on Mr. Ricard and asked him to be seated until he could get a snap shot of him. Dennis has always been opposed to having his picture appear in the newspapers, but he seemed to take a notion to Mr. Stone and he consented. However, he was not so particular as some of the Emmetsburg ladies, and he refused to dress of the occasion. He sat down on a chair, kept on his hat and told Mr. Stone to fire away. We are glad to have our readers see the picture.

Mr. Ricard is a robuts, jolly , typical son of the Emerald Isle. He was born at Howth's Head, in the county of Dublin, ireland, March 8, 1798. He often speaks of  Malahide, Swords Rush, Balbriggan, Skerries, Punchstown, Dunshaughlin, Tara, Kingston, and numerous neighboring places familiar to the Dublin gentleman, as the Irishmen of that part of old sod are styled. Howth's Head is on the east coast of Ireland some distance north of the city of Dublin. Hence Mr. Ricard, in boyhood days, naturally took to the water. He became a sailor and spent 46 years of his long career on the ocean, visiting nearly every country on the globe. At one time he was ship-wrecked on the northern coast of Russia and had to remain there for three months. He finally became tired of life on the briny deep and came to the United States. He worked at various places. He was once employed in Illinois by Abraham Lincoln. He was a great wood sawer and Mr. Lincoln consented to give him a job. They got along very well until it came to pay day when they disputed about the number of cords that had been sawed. Mr. Ricard says that the rail splitter settled with him for all the work he did for him except the cutting of one cord, and that he never received anything for it. However, he always speaks well of the martyred president, though he never voted for him, for he was a democrat who would never split his ticket. He has not changed his political convictions.

Mr. Ricard came to this county 27 years ago. He made his home with Patrick Nolan (in the Bush) for many years. He was a great worker and was steady, faithful, and upright. When Mr Nolan died he went to live with his son, M.J. Nolan. He seemed to enjoy sawing wood and when Mr Nolan tried to persuade him not to work he would take offense and threaten to leave. He never started a job without finishing it. He is quite a smoker, but he does not chew tobacco. he uses a little brandy occasionally, but very sparingly. He has, practically speaking, been a temperate man. He has never had the services of a physician. He says he does not know what they could do for him unless it would be to kill him. He is having a second growth of hair and he says his eyesight is improving. He shaves himself and handles the razor with skill and with ease. He was never married. He loves to walk and takes exercise regularly. His memory is good. He had eight brothers and sisters, all of whom are doubtless dead. The Democrat wishes Mr. Ricard continued health and strength and hopes to have the pleasure of publishing his picture ten years from today.


Biographical and Historical Record of Greene and Carroll Counties,
Iowa...Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1887.

Prof. John F. Curran, principal of the Angus schools, is a native of Dublin,
Ireland, born September 9, 1841, a son of Timothy Curran, who was born in
King's Co, Ireland. His father immigrated to the United States in 1850, and
died in New Orleans of yellow fever in 1853. The subject of this sketch was
educated in his native country, and graduated from the Dublin model schools.
August 2, 1860, he was appointed tutor of a special class, which position he
held from September 1860, until March, 1862, when he came to America and for
almost three years was employed as shipping clerk of the wholesale boot and
shoe house of Simpson & Co. August 2, 1867, he was married to Miss Jennie
Cook, who was born in Cookstown, now Fayette City, Pennsylvania, near the
birthplace of James G. Blaine, she being a daughter of George B. Cook and a
great-granddaughter of Colonel Cook, the founder of Cookstown, Pennsylvania.
Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Curran, whose names are Walter
and W.J. Tyndall. Professor Curran came to Iowa in the fall of 1869 and
accepted the principal ship of the schools at Moingona remaining there until
March, 1878. He then took charge of the Van Meter schools until 1880, and in
September of the same year he became principal of the schools at Dallas
Centre, which position he filled until 1883, when he came to Angus, where he
has since had charge of the schools, teaching the first school in the
independent district of Angus. Professor Curran is a popular instructor and
successful disciplinarian, and keeps abreast with the educational interests
of the day, using the best and most approved methods in his school and
wherever he has been called to teach has filled his position with entire
satisfaction. He is a noted etymologist, of which subject he makes a
specialty in the high school. The professor is also well known in conducting
normal institutes. He is a member of the Odd Fellows and Masonic Orders, and
holds the office of secretary in the Masonic lodge.


From the book "The History of Clinton County Iowa" by L. P. Allen (1879)

GEORGE FARRELL, farmer, Sec. 24; P.O. Charlotte; born in the city of Dublin in 1828; he came to the United States about 1849; purchased his present farm in 1853. His first wife was Jane Collin, a native of Ireland. His present wife was Catherine Lawler; Mr. Farrell has five children by his first marriage and seven by second. He has 160 acres of land.


From the book "The History of Clinton County Iowa" by L. P. Allen (1879)

REV. JOHN B. GAFFNEY, Pastor of St. Patrick's Church, Washington Township, and of St. Mary's Church, Hampshire Township; P.O. Charlotte; Father Gaffney was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1843; his parents, John and Margaret Gaffney, emigrated to the United States in 1848; they first settled in Pennsylvania; removed to Dubuque in 1851. Father Gaffney received his literary education at St. Francis' College, Cambria Co., Penn.; pursued his theological studies at Pittsburgh Seminary, completing the course in 1865; he was ordained in the fall of 1865, by Bishop Henni, of Milwaukee; his first charge was the pastorate of St. Paul's Church at Burlington; was transferred in 1866, to Otter Creek, Jackson Co., where he remained till 1878, when he assumed his present charge, succeeding the Rev. Father Brady; Father Gaffney is an earnest laborer in the cause of temperance, and has established a temperance society in connection with his church in Hampshire Township; one already existed in Washington Township when he assumed his present duties.


History of Dubuque County, Iowa; Weston A. Goodspeed, ed. by F. T. Oldt and P. J. Quigley; Chicago: Goodspeed Hist. Assoc. 1911

William B. Oneill , a veteran of the Civil war and a farmer and stockraiser of Cascade township, was born in New York city in 1840. His parents, William and Margaret (Byers) Oneill, were natives of County Dublin and County Cavan, Ireland respectively. They came to America separately and were married in New York city and there Mr. Oneill worked at his trade of blacksmith for a time. He then with his family moved West, going by canal from Albany to Buffalo, thence by boat to Milwaukee and Chicago, and from there by stage to Galena. After a short stay at the latter place in a tavern kept by a Mr. Burns they continued by stage to Dubuque, and finally, in June, 1843, located on a farm near Garry Owen in Jackson county, Iowa, where Mr. Oneill died in 1845, aged thirty-eight years. Mrs. Oneill married Nahum Green and bore him one daughter, Everetta, who married Henry Gill. In 1852 the family moved to the place in Cascade township, now owned by the subject of this sketch. Mr. Green died in 1853, and his widow, for her third husband, married James B. Kittler, who died in 1869. Mrs. Kittler was born in 1815 and died December 12, 1886, a Presbyterian in religious belief. William B. Oneill has passed the greater part of his life in Dubuque county, where he is universally respected. In 1861 he enlisted in Company H, Fourteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served until honorably discharged. He participated in the reduction of Fort Donelson and at the battle of Shiloh, on the first day's fight, was captured by the enemy and held a prisoner for fifty-two days. He was paroled and passed to the Union lines at Chattanooga and upon being exchanged rejoined his command July 12, 1862. He received a furlough to recuperate, and then was engaged in garrison duty and on detached service, mostly in Kentucky, until the beginning of 1864. He took part in the Red River expedition under General Banks, and was engaged in numerous encounters with the enemy in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, and on the 17th of November, 1864 was discharged after serving three years and one month. Returning to Dubuque county after his military service, Mr. Oneill resumed farming. He married Mary Jane Breakey, daughter of John and Martha (Robinson) Breakey, in 1872, and to them have been born these children: Eliza (Mrs. George Wall); George; Mabel (Mrs. Jesse Green); William, married Blanche Sparkes and resides in Washington, and Samuel, now in the Eighth United States Infantry. The parents of Mrs. Oneill were born and married in Ireland and came to the United States in 1846. They had these children: James; Mary; Andrew, a Civil war veteran; Sarah; Margaret; and Martha. James Breakey was a Civil war veteran; he enlisted in Company E, First Minnesota Infantry, in 1861. Mr. Breakey came to Dubuque at an early period in its history and here engaged in lead mining. In 1855 he moved to a farm in Cascade township and there died in 1886, and his wife in 1880. He was one of thirteen children born to Isaiah  and Jane (Hayden) Breakey. Martha (Robinson) Breakey was the daughter of James Robinson, who, with two brothers, Joseph and George, was engaged in tanning. William B. Oneill was engaged in farming near Fillmore twelve years, but after his marriage moved to his present place in 1885 and has here resided ever since. He is a Presbyterian in religion, a Republican in politics and a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the Grand Army of the Republic.


The History of Jackson County, Iowa...Chicago: Western Hist. Co., 1879.

Mrs. Elizabeth O'Neal, farmer, Sec. 14; P.O. Green Island; born near the city of Dublin, Ireland, in 1814; came to Jackson Co. in 1845; her husband came with her, and died in 1854; he and Mrs. O'Neal were married in 1834, in Dublin; they had seven children, six of whom are now living, named as follows-James, Patrick, Mary, Lizzie, Rosie and Sadie; the one that died was named John; died in New Orleans, aged 1 week; the four girls are all married, three of them living out West, and the fourth one in Green Island; her name is Wright;  of the two boys, one is in Minnesota and the other at home with his mother; James was in the war of the rebellion; enlisted in 1862; discharged at the close of the war in 1865; was a member of the 26th I.V.I.; participated in several battles while in the service but was sick a good share of the time, and has been suffering with pulmonary trouble since that time; he was a true and faithful soldier for his country, and stuck to the old flag until his services were no longer needed. Mrs. O'Neal and her entire family are Catholics; owns 200 acres, about ten acres under cultivation, the balance timber land.


Emmetsburg Democrat, Palo Alto Co, Iowa; Christmas Souvenir: 1895

J. Reade Clarke, one of the most honored citizens of Emmetsburg, is a native of Dublin, Ireland. Developing into manhood, he adopted the profession of naval architect, but owing to failing health, he was forced to abandon it. He graduated at one of the leading colleges in South Germany when but a young man and was with the German army in the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 and 1871. He was married to Miss Anna Bolton, of Yorkshire, at St. Mary Abbot's church, Kensington, London, England. He came to Emmetsburg at the wish of his uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. T.R. Crawford, in 1881 and except during temporary absence, has since resided here. He became a citizen in 1886 and has a warm interest in the development and progress of the country of his adoption. He built a handsome cottage in 1881 but sold it in 1883. Several years ago he built one of the finest houses in  the north part of this city. He has prospered and is quite contented with this country.
It is said that in polish, taste, and courtesy, the Dublin gentleman ranks the highest. Those who have so frequently appreciated a personal acquaintance of Mr. Clarke will not be surprised when they learn of the city in which he grew to manhood and in which he formed his ideals of personality and of integrity. Apart from this he has traveled extensively in Europe and America and he is a most interesting conversationalist. He can speak several languages fluently. He belongs to the Protestant Episcopal church and has been on the vestry for several years.


Biographical History of Pottawattamie County: Lewis Pub. Co., 1891.

     James Murray, one of the old soldier citizens of Pottawattamie County, was born in the city of Dublin, Ireland, March 1, 1883, a son of James Murray, who was a steward of the estate of William Howe, which was called Allendale. The father was a Catholic religiously, and died in Ireland in 1861. His wife's maiden name was Jane Flynn, and they were the parents of six children, who lived to maturity: Dennis, Patrick, Elizabeth, Catherine, James and Eliza. Mr. Murray was an active and industrious man, and remained with Mr. Howe for over forty years, being implicitly trusted,-in other words, he was an honest man, who, as Pope, says, "is the noblest work of God." Mr. William Howe was a public notary and stock-broker in Dublin, and a man of wealth.
     At the age of seventeen years James Murray, our subject, came to America, arriving in New York city in September, 1849. He went to Middletown, that State, and worked in a nursery, and the next spring went to Paterson, New Jersey, where he remained until 1854, when he came to Davenport, Iowa, and engaged in work on the Rock Island Railroad. He next removed to Iowa City and worked in a commission house until April 28, 1861, when he enlisted in Company B, First Iowa Regiment Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Mahan. Thus he numbers among the brave men who were the first to volunteer in defense of the Union, and to set the example which was followed by thousands of men who were willing to risk their lives that their country might be saved, and become one of the greatest nations on earth. Mr. Murray went with his regiment to Missouri, and was in service against the guerillas who infested the State, and was in several skirmishes with them. This service was very severe, and the guerillas or "bushwackers" would be in ambush in the heavy oak scrubs and fire upon the troops. At McCulloughtown a severe skirmish was fought, and August 10, 1861, at twenty minutes past two o'clock A.M., the first rifle shot was fired by the pickets at the famous battle of Wilson Creek, where the noted General Lyon fell; he was shot at fifteen minutes past 12 o'clock. Mr. Murray saw him ride out in front of the First Iowa Regiment on a dapple-gray horse, where he fell instantly, pierced with bullets. He was but a few rods from Mr. Murray when he fell, and within two minutes our subject was shot through the wrist, shattering the small bones. His regiment retreated directly after the death of General Lyon to Springfield, Missouri, in good order, which place they reached at 7 o'clock the same day. Mr. Murray received no medical attendance, and the next night slept on the ground; and the next day the regiment, with the remainder of the army, retreated to Raleigh, Missouri, 150 miles, and thence by rail to St. Louis, where our subject received medical attendance, his arm being badly swollen. He was not in a hospital. His time having expired he was honorably discharged at St. Louis, and returned to Iowa City, but was disabled one year from work on account of his wound.
     He remained in the warehouse of the Rock Island Railroad until 1871, when he bought his present farm, then consisting of 120 acres of wild prairie. In 1876 he came to live on this land, which he has since improved and made a comfortable home. He is well known as a faithful and honest citizen, and his course through life, either in the employ of others or working for himself, has been straightforward and manly. Politically he is a Republican, and religiously a devoted Catholic. He is a member of the G.A.R., John A. Dix Post, of Walnut, Iowa.
     He was married, in 1862, at Iowa City, to Mary Quinn, who was born in the State of Maine of Irish parentage. To Mr. and Mrs. Murray have been born seven children: Eliza J., James, William, Ellen, Catherine, John and Annie. Mrs. Murray's father, Johnson Quinn, was born in Ireland, and settled in Elkhart County, Indiana, on a farm. He lived to the age of eighty-three, and was a member of the Methodist Church. His first wife, Sarah Shelladay, was born in Ireland, and died at the age of thirty-six years. They had six children: Eliza, William, Samuel, John, Mary and Robert. Mr. Quinn was again married, this time to Eliza Spencer and they had two children: Daniel and Sarah. Mr. Murray is a pioneer of the township, having made his farm from a wild prairie by hard work and industry, assisted by his faithful wife. He stands deservedly high as a good, intelligent American citizen. Having shed his blood on the field of battle in defense of American principles, he has a great love for his country, and we have no more loyal men than those who fought for our flag.


Biographical History of Pottawattamie County: Lewis Pub. Co., 1891.

     Stephen Thomas Dunn, Jr., a farmer of Crescent Township, was born in Dubuque, Iowa, August 24, 1849, the son of Stephen and Mary Dunn, of Irish ancestry. The senior Dunn was born December 26, 1819, in Dublin, Ireland, where he was reared to manhood. About the age of twenty-one years he emigrated to America, landing at New York, where he served his apprenticeship as tailor. About two years after arriving in this country he married a French lady, who was born November 23, 1826, and died in 1865. They had three sons and one daughter, namely: William and Mary, deceased; John, now residing at Council Bluffs; and Stephen Thomas, the subject of this sketch. In 1857 the father came to Council Bluffs, where he married again, made his residence and followed his trade to within a few years of his death, which occurred December 26, 1888. Purchasing a farm eight miles north of Council Bluffs, he spent the remainder of his days there. The children by his second wife were two daughters: Allie and Winifred, now deceased.
     His son, the subject of this sketch, was reared to farm life, married in 1874, and purchased eighty acres of land on section 34, where he now lives. There he began life anew and made the many improvements essential to a complete and comfortable home. He now has a fine imported Clydesdale stallion five years old, weighing 1,700 pounds and being seventeen hands high, which he keeps in Council Bluffs in the season.
     He was married in March, 1874, to a lady who was born in Wisconsin, April 28, 1857, and since then has occupied his present farm. He is a steadfast and enthusiastic Democrat, has been Road Supervisor for the past five years, is as member of the Mutual Protective Association of Crescent City and he and his wife are devout members of the Catholic Church and exemplary citizens. They have had two daughters and five sons, namely: Joseph Earl, born March 1, 1875; Mary Winifred, October 2, 1877, died August 24, 1878; Ellen, born September 15, 1879; Albert Francis, January 15, 1882; John, August10, 1886; Stephen Thomas Jr., January 24, 1888; and Andrew, March 10, 1890.


History of Emmet County and Dickinson County, Iowa...2 vols. Chicago: Pioneer Pub. Co., 1917

     In the death of John Cunningham Emmet county lost a substantial, worthy and respected citizen, a man who had long been prominently and actively identified with its agricultural interests and who in every relation of life had conducted himself with such signal energy as to win the esteem of all with whom he came in contact. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, on the 10th of May, 1822, and on crossing the Atlantic to the United States when twenty-six years of age made his way to Tennessee. There he worked as a stone and brick mason for a number of years and afterward went to Wisconsin, where he was employed at railroad work and in lumber camps. He also worked to some extent at the stone mason's trade. Thinking to find still better business opportunities in the new and growing western country, he made his way to Emmet county and was one of the first to settled within its borders. He came with the Mahers just after the Indians drove out the original settlers and before the Ridleys came. Mr. Cunningham purchased the south half of section 36, High Lake township, a tract of raw land on which not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made. He at once began to develop and cultivate the property and lived thereon during the rest of the hard times when existence in Emmet county meant a continuous struggle. As the years advanced, however, times and conditions changed and Mr. Cunningham's efforts resulted in converting his tract of wild prairie into rich and productive fields from which he annually gathered good harvests that brought him a substantial financial return. He remained upon that place to the time of his death, which occurred September 22, 1904. His life was one of untiring industry, thrift, perseverance and his success was due to those qualities.
     Mr. Cunningham was married in Wisconsin to Miss Elizabeth Banks, a native of Dublin, Ireland, whose parents never came to the United States. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham: Michael, who has passed away; one who died in infancy; John, a resident of Emmet county; Thomas and William, both deceased; Adeline, living in Waterloo, Iowa; James, who is cultivating the old home farm; and Mary, the wife of Philbert John Lee Master, who is associated with her brother James in carrying on the old homestead.
     Mr. Cunningham was a Catholic in religious faith and in politics was a democrat. He held all the township offices and his loyalty in citizenship stood as an unquestioned fact in his career. His was an active and useful life and indicates what may be accomplished when there is determination and energy. In the face of obstacles and difficulties he worked his way upward and was thus able to leave to his family a very substantial competence as well as an honored name.


History of Clayton County, Iowa. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co.: 1882.

John Leonard, one of the enterprising farmers of Clayton County, was born in County Dublin, Ireland, in 1831, and was a son of Richard and Julie (Dunn) Leonard. In 1842 Richard Leonard emigrated to America with his family, and located in Fall River, Mass., where he embarked in the dairy business, remaining until 1855, when he removed to Clayton County, Ia., where he purchased a farm, remaining until his death, which occurred in 1858, his wife following two years later. The subject of this memoir when seventeen years of age learned the trade of machinist and went to New York, where he was employed in the Singer Sewing Machine Company's shops for twenty-five years. In 1875 he came to Clayton County, purchasing the farm, where he has resided since. In 1851 he married a Miss Holan, who was born in County Meath, Ireland, in 1836. Ten children blessed this union; seven are living, viz.: Willie H., born July 10, 1853; Richard, Jan. 28, 1857; Alice, July 22, 1860; Sarah, Dec. 26, 1862; Charles, Oct. 5,1868; Joseph, May 17, 1870; Freddie, Nov. Nov. 16, 1874. Mr. Leonard has a farm of 500 acres, valued at $40 per acre, a fine residence and home, and is one of the well-to-do farmers of the county.


Portrait and Biographical Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties
Chicago: Chapman Pub. Co., 1894

     HON. JAMES ROWAN, a capitalist of Dubuque, who in business circles has long occupied a leading position, was born on the Emerald Isle in 1835, and claims Dublin as his native city. He began his education in that country. When a youth of ten years he sailed for America, landed in New York City and thence went to Paterson, N. J., where he learned the trade of gardening. He there worked at $2 per month for a time. He received instructions in the classics from a Presbyterian minister, Rev, Mr. Honbloer, thus adding greatly to his education. For some time he was  employed by Rosswell Colt, then the owner of the waters of the Passaic River.  In 1846 he enlisted with the Columbia, N. Y. Volunteers for service
in California, under Colonel Stevenson. He was engaged in duty throughout the Mexican War, and was then honorably discharged. During his service gold was discovered in California and he engaged in gold mining on the American River, being thus employed until 1849, when he returned to New York City. He then sailed for Dublin to visit his parents and the friends of his youth. After his return to the United States, Mr. Rowan came to Dubuque and has been prominently connected with its business and leading enterprises. He purchased land in Dubuque County and began improving the same, devoting his time and attention to agricultural pursuits, but owing to wet seasons this venture did not prove profitable and he left the farm and returned to the city.  Here he engaged in the grain business, shipping to the eastern markets and to St. Louis, Mo.  In 1852 he embarked in merchandising in partnership with Christian Healey, a connection which was continued for two years. He then began dealing in real estate, handling both city and farm property. In 1856 he became interested in lead mining and struck a rich lead mine from which he gained a handsome yield. This he continued to operate until 1860. The following year he again embarked in the grain
business, in which he continued until the close of the war, but he lost quite heavily on account of there not being sufficient shelter for his grain along the route. When the war ended he began dealing and speculating in real estate, which has been his chief occupation up to the present time.  He is also interested in other industries in Dubuque. He has met with reverses, yet with renewed resolution and determination he has started anew, and as the result of his practical business methods, his enterprise and perseverance, he has become one of the substantial citizens of the community,
     Mr. Rowan was married in 1852 to Miss Christina Healey, a native of Ireland, who during her early girlhood was brought to America. They have four children, three daughters and a son, the latter, Joseph Rowan, being a prominent dry-goods merchant of Dubuque. The family are all members of St. Patrick's Catholic Church.
         In his political views Mr. Rowan is a Democrat. In the fall of 1887 he was elected to the Legislature as Representative from this district and served on several important committees. He takes an active part in political affairs and does all in his power to insure the success of his party.

--Contributed by Becky Teubner


Harlan, Edgar Rubey. A Narrative History of the People of Iowa. Vol III. Chicago: American Historical Society,  1931

p. 367

    JOHN T. MULVANEY. Recognized as one of the very able and learned of the attorneys practicing at the bar of Des Moines, John T. Mulvaney enjoys a large and valuable practice and the unquestioned respect of his fellow citizens. He was born at Elkhart, Iowa, April 16, 1870, a son of Bryan and Catherine (Markham) Mulvaney, he born in Dublin, Ireland and she in Kilrush, Ireland. When only eight years old she came to the United States on a sailing vessel and he came to this country at the age of fifteen years. They met each other at Des Moines, Iowa, and were married in this city, where he died in 1880 and she in 1885. For many years he was a buyer of live stock for large live stock companies. During the war between the states he traveled through Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri buying live stock, and was in danger all the time because of the fact that he had to carry with him large sums of money with which to pay for his purchases, but, owing to his foresight and well known courage, he came through the troublous period without losing any money. Later on in life he bought a farm in the vicinity of Elkhart, and there he continued to live until his death. He was an excellent example of the self-made man, for when he came to this country he was a poor boy and all that he had he made through his own exertions. Three children were born to him and his wife; John T., who is the first born; and twins, Michael J., who is an attorney practicing with his brother, and a graduate of Drake University, and Mary, who is unmarried.
    John T. Mulvaney went through the public schools of Elkhart and the law school of Drake University, being graduated from the latter in 1894, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. Immediately thereafter he entered upon the practice of the law at Des Moines, with office in the Polk Building, and here he has since remained, having never left this building, and has built up an ample income and prestige of high order. He is of a strong individualistic type. This is his characteristic, and the roots of it run far back in the sod of the Emerald Isle. As he is, so were his forebears. His parents were pioneers; the fiber of self reliance they gave him he strengthened. Nobel in impulse, just in counsel, kindly in controversy, there is a certain largeness in his convictions that clothe him with power among his colleagues.
    In 1905 Mr. Mulvaney was married to Miss Elenor Hostetter, who was born at Brodhead, Wisconsin. She was educated at Blair, Wisconsin, and took art in the Chicago, Illinois, Art School. For several years she taught art in the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Mulvaney has no church connections. He is a staunch Democrat and prominent in party affairs. At one time he was his party's unsuccessful candidate for Congress, being defeated because of a Republican landslide. His practice is a general one, and is carried on in all of the courts, as Mr. Mulvaney was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States in 1908, and a number of his cases are taken to both the state and national Supreme Courts. By reason of his long and unbroken period of practice at Des Moines, Mr. Mulvaney is numbered among the older lawyers of the city.


Burk/Burke & Martin in Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, & Ireland

Note: This article was originally written in one paragraph by the author. I have changed the format to read in sentence structure; otherwise, the article has been typed verbatim.

Source: Blair, Ed. (1915). History of Johnson County, Kansas, v. (1), (pp.358-360). Lawrence, Kansas: Standard Publishing Company.
     W. F. Burke, a successful fruit grower of Mission township, belongs to one of the representative pioneer families of Johnson county. He was born in Dubuque, Iowa, July 17, 1855, and was only two years old when his parents settled in Johnson county. He is the son of M. J. Burke and Catherine (Martin) Burke, both natives of Ireland, the former of the city of Dublin, and the latter of County Antrim.
M. J. Burke was a very highly educated man, being a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. He was born about 1810 and his wife was ten years his junior. M. J. Burke came to America in 1848 and located at Dubuque where he met and married Catherine Martin, about 1850. For the next eight years he was in the employ of the Government as a civil engineer in the vicinity of Dubuque, Iowa, and in the fall of 1858 came to Kansas City, Kan., with his family and spent the winter there. In the spring of 1859 he came to Johnson county and shortly afterwards bought a quarter section of school land in Shawnee township for which he paid $11 per acre, near where Elmhurst is now located. The Sante Fe Trail passed through the northern part of the place. The father built a log house which was the family residence for about twenty years.
     The location of the Burke home on the Sante Fe Trail was a convenient stopping place for m any travelers over that famous highway in the early days  and during the stormy days of the Civil war many soldiers, bushwhackers and others sought accommodation at the Burke home. They kept everybody who wanted to stay over night, regardless of which side of the conflict they were in sympathy with. Many interesting incidents took place during that period of tense excitement. Mrs. Burke, the mother, related that one night,
two men came along and, as was the custom, asked if they could get accommodations for the night. She told them they could if they would sleep on the floor. They said that was satisfactory and when bed time came she furnished them pillows upon which to rest their heads and when they proceeded to retire they unbuckled their belts and placed their revolvers under the pillows. At this juncture Mrs. Burke offered to take care of their revolvers, saying that she would place them in a bureau drawer where they would be safe. One of the visitors said, "No, thank you. We will keep them where they will be handy for we may need them before morning." The next morning at daylight a detail of about thirty men rode up to the door and leading with them two saddled horses. The two men mounted the horses and
they rode away. Mrs. Burke afterwards learned that one of the men was Quantrill, the famous guerilla chief. At another time some men were about to take their only team of horses and Mrs. Burke remonstrated with them and they finally went their way without taking the horses. 
     The Burke family endured many hardships during their first few years in Kansas but were never discouraged and always maintained their faith in the future of the new country. The father followed his profession a great deal and did much surveying. He surveyed for the Santa Fe railroad from Lawrence to Kansas City via Olathe and also surveyed a State road when the question of its exact location was in doubt. He was one of the pioneer surveyors of Johnson county and was elected county surveyor in 1868. W. F. Burke was one of a family of six children, as follows: W. F., the subject of this sketch; Mary Laura, born in Iowa, married J. W. Buckley, of Mission township, and is now deceased; Joseph, born in Shawnee township, died at the age of thirty-two, unmarried; Anna, born Shawnee township, married Albert Nelson in 1904 and now resides on the home place; Veronica, born in Shawnee township, married Robert Noll, of Mission township, and now resides in California; and Christina, born in Shawnee township, married Timothy Hare, and lives on a farm adjoining the home place. W. F. Burke attended the public school in district No. 38 at Pleasant Prairie. This was one of the first schools in Johnson county. The Doherty children, Shawnee Indians, attended the same school. Mr. Burke has made farming the principal occupation of his life and in recent years has devoted himself more particularly to fruit culture. He has a farm of forty acres, well adapted to fruit raising, located at Elmhurst and he is quite an extensive peach grower. In 1901 he sold 3,400 pecks of peaches which were
the product of 500 trees. He is one of the successful fruit men of Johnson county and has prospered in that venture. 
     Mr. Burke was married in 1889 at Quincy, Ill., to Miss Mary Hare, of that place. They have six children, as follows: Loretta, a successful Johnson county teacher, Catherine, Edmond, William, James and Mary, all residing at home.

Source: Blair, Ed. (1915). History of Johnson County, Kansas, v. (1), (p. 74). Lawrence, Kansas: Standard Publishing Company.
County Surveyors. --- 1861, R. Morgan; 1863, I. C. Stuck; 1865, M. J. Burke; 1867, Frank L. Weaver; 1869-71, I. C. Stuck; 1873, D. Hubbard; 1875, J. P. Hindman; 1877, A. G. Carpenter; 1879-81, T. A. Parker; 1883, David Hubbard; 1885-87, E. C. Owens; 1889-91, Jesse Pearson; 1897, Lewis Terrill; 1904, Ole Hibner; 1908, E. C. Owens; 1893-95, Fred Pickering; 1899-1901, A. G.
Carpenter; 1906, Fred S. Pickering; 1910-12, T. W. Nowland; 1914, George Pike.

--Contributed by Carol Veio