Biographies of Those Who Came From Ireland


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

REV. JOHN McCORMICK, Rector of the Church of the Sacred Heart at Monticello, is a man of superior education and attainments, highly respected and esteemed, not only by his own congregation, but by all who enjoy the pleasure of his acquaintance. Though not of American birth, he is loyal to the institutions of our country, and is a progressive, liberal-spirited citizen, favoring all measures tending toward the advancement of the people. Since coming to Monticello he has labored with devotion and unwearied fidelity in the interests of the cause at this place, and his efforts have been rewarded, for the congregation has increased numerically, and its spiritual growth has also been quite gratifying. The subject of this sketch is a young man, having been born in 1860. In Ireland, the land of his birth, he grew to manhood, meantime carrying on his studies in the parochial schools, and afterward entered Mt. Milleran Seminary, where he remained a short time. His education was completed at
Carlow College. Thus well equipped for a successful career in whatever profession he might enter, he decided to give his life to the holy order of the priesthood. There was need of Workers in the growing towns in the western and middle states of our country, so, in 1883, he crossed the ocean, and on arriving in America, made his way directly to Dubuque, Iowa, where he was placed in charge of St. Raphael's Church. For two years he labored in that capacity, and afterward for a few years he held the pastorate of the church at Britt, Hancock County, Iowa, at the same time having charge of adjoining missions. His next location was in Harper's
Ferry, Allamakee County, where he preached to large congregations.
         In December of 1886 Father McCormick was appointed pastor of the Church of the Sacred Heart at Monticello, where he now has a congregation consisting of forty families. The church is in a flourishing condition, and its harmonious working proves the skillful oversight of the pastor. He also has charge of the church at Sand Springs, Delaware County, in which are to
be found representatives of several different nationalities, but, notwithstanding this fact, they all work harmoniously together. Ever uppermost in his heart is the welfare and progress of the work in which he is engaged. Since accepting this position he has made many improvements in the church, which indicates a praiseworthy spirit among the people and
earnest effort on the part of the Rector.

Contributed by Becky Teubner-


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

     MRS. MARY E. LOWRY, one of the best known residents of Jones County, is the lady whose name opens this sketch. She is the widow of Joseph Lowry, and makes her home at the present time in Olin. Our subject was born in Genesee County, N. Y., August 26, 1814, and is the daughter of Jeduthun Seeley, whose birth also occurred in the Empire State, whence he removed to Illinois in an early day in the history of that state, and departed this life in Whiteside County. He was married to Miss Sarah Gibbs, who was also born in New York. Mrs. Seeley survived her husband many years, dying after her removal to Olin.
T     he original of this sketch spent the early years of her life in her native state, and received her education in the schools near her home. She accompanied her parents on their removal to Illinois in 1835, and three years later was married to Richard J. Cleveland, a native of Boston, Mass., and a graduate of Harvard University. Mr. Cleveland was the son of Richard
J. Cleveland, Sr., a man of much learning, and his mother bore the maiden name of Dorcas Hiller. She was likewise born in the Bay State and was finely educated for that period.
Mr. Cleveland was prominent in the early settlement of Whiteside County, Ill.; he was very public-spirited and took great interest in school matters. He was a stanch supporter of the Republican party after its organization, and he was very popular as a man of wide reading and general research. He departed this life in Jones County, December 7, 1877, greatly
mourned by many relatives and a host of warm friends. To Mr. and Mrs. Cleveland there were born four children, all deceased.
         In 1878 our subject was married to the Rev. Joseph Lowry, a minister in the Presbyterian Church, and a native of Ireland. He was educated in the University of Dublin and the College at Belfast, and took an active interest in all the affairs of his native land. Mr. Lowry emigrated to the United States in 1854, and taking  up his abode in Jones County, this state, in 1878, did much toward furthering religious work in this locality. He organized the first Sunday-school in the county, and as a minister of the Gospel manifested a deep interest in the noble work in which he was engaged. He was a man of education and refinement, highly
respected and esteemed, not only by his own congregation, but by all who knew him. He departed this life in January, 1891, and many were the expressions of condolence which Mrs. Lowry received.  After the first shock she rallied and set an example of self-sacrifice which we can only regard as heroic. She owns valuable property in Olin, and at present occupies a
beautiful residence in the place. She is a lady of great refinement and intelligence, and enjoys the friendship of the best people of the county.


Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Union Counties...Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1887.

     Barnard Sheridan, farmer and stock-raiser, resides on section 14, Spaulding Township, where he is the owner of 240 acres of land, in a high state of cultivation. He was born in Will County, Illinois, October 11, 1851, and is a son of Barnard and Anna (Lynch) Sheridan, both natives of Ireland, and at present residing at Creston. Mr. Sheridan, the subject of our sketch, grew to manhood in his native county, trained to agricultural pursuits, which he has ever since successfully followed; has had a fair education, and taught school several terms; has held the office of commissioner of highways, and assessor of his township, and is at present the clerk of his township. Commencing in life with no means but his inherited abilities, he has succeeded in establishing a comfortable home. Of his wages as teacher he saved $1200, which he invested in land that has risen in value. He was married in 1879, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Miss Anna, daughter of Patrick and Anna (Martin) McMenomy, natives of Ireland, who immigrated to America in 1852. Mr. and Mrs. Sheridan have one child- Michael by name. They are both members of the Catholic church. Postoffice, Creston.


Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Union Counties...Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1887.

     Raymond C. Delmege, a successful and enterprising farmer and stock-raiser of New Hope Township, was born in the north of Ireland, June 11, 1843. Soon after the birth of our subject, his parents, Christopher and Rebecca (Holmes) Delmege, immigrated to America, and first settled in Bristol, Illinois, whence they removed to Kewanee, Illinois. They came to Union County, Iowa, in 1869, and are still living in Creston, the father being now seventy-four years of age, and the mother aged seventy-six years. Raymond C. Delmege grew to manhood in Illinois, where he received a common school education. He enlisted in the war in Company H, Ninth Illinois Cavalry, and was in the service almost three years. He was in a number of engagements including the battles of Nashville and Duck River, and was under fire around Nashville about sixty days. He came to this county in August, 1865, and spent three years in Union Township, and at the same time owned a farm in New Hope Township. In 1868 he settled on section 16, New Hope Township, where he has since followed agricultural pursuits and is now the owner of 380 acres of choice land. He was married September 28, 1869, to Miss Mary M. White, and they have a family of four children- Frank, William, Sherman and Alfretta. Mr. Delmege makes a specialty of thorough-bred short-horns, and he and his brother, Richard H. owns eighteen head of cattle, all registered. Mr. Delmege has served as justice of the peace for eight years, and was township trustee one term. He is at present serving as county supervisor with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constitutents. He is a member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows orders, belonging to the Masonic lodge at Murray, and the Odd Fellows lodge at Afton. He is also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. In politics he affiliates with the Republican party.


Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Union Counties...Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1887.

John Ryan, farmer and stock-raiser, section 27, Union Township, was born in Troy, New York, March 5, 1846, a son of John and Mary (Purcell) Ryan, natives of Ireland. In 1856 his parents moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where they lived four years, and from there went to Flint, Michigan, where they both died, in 1865. When seventeen years of age our subject started out on his own account, and went to Logansport, Indiana and thence to different points in the South and Ohio, and finally, while at Dayton, enlisted in Company H, One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Ohio Infantry. In August, 1862, he was transferred to the Twenty-first Army Corps, commanded by Crittenden, and took part in the battle at Chickamauga, and then was transferred to the Fourth Corps, and participated in the battle of Mission Ridge, Blain's Cross-Roads, Rocky Face Ridge, Tunnel Hill, Dandridge, Resaca. He was wounded twice, once at Chickamauga, and again at Resaca, where he lost a middle finger. He served a little over three years, and after his discharge returned to St. Mary's, Ohio, where he married Miss Ellen Christy, a native of Auglaize County, Ohio. He lived at St. Mary's until the fall of 1875, when he moved to Ringgold County, Iowa, and settled on the line of Decatur County, where he lived until 1884 when he moved to his present farm on section 27, where he owns 120 acres of improved land. He has accumulated his property by thrift and enterprise, as when he started in life for himself he had no means and no one to assist him, but he has prospered and now has a good home, and can look back with pleasure over a well-spent life, and forward to days of peace and plenty. He has had a family of thirteen children- William T., John H., Michael C., Edward A., Rachel M., Amos W., Mattie L., George F., Alfred L., Andrew H., Dennis Martin, died August 8, 1883; Gussie E., and Cora C. died July 15, 1886.


Biographical History of Cherokee County, Iowa. Chicago: W. S. Dunbar, 1889.

Robert Perry, deceased, was among the first men to brave the hardships and privations of pioneer life in Cherokee County, Iowa. He was born in the North of Ireland in August, 1832, and was a son of Robert and Mary (Banks) Perry; his youth was passed in his native land, and in England. Desirous of seeing the New World, and discovering what fortune it held for him, he emigrated to the United States at the age of twenty-three years, and settled in Massachusetts. He was married in Connecticut to Miss Catherine McDermott, a native of the Country of Donegal, Ireland; she was born in February, 1838, and is a daughter of John and Sarah (Barr) McDermott. At the age of fifteen years she emigrated to America and settled at St. John's, New Brunswick, where she remained for two years, removing at the end of that time to Massachusetts; there she lived until her marriage to Mr. Perry. Having seen only a small portion of this country, Mr. and Mrs. Perry resolved to push farther to the west, so in 1856 they removed to Cherokee County, Iowa, arriving at the Sioux River in June of that year. It was indeed a wild outlook, and hearts less stout would have been discouraged; there were few white people in this county, and Indians were numerous. Mr. Perry took a homestead of eighty acres in section 28 and built a log house, which he made his home for several years; later he removed some distance west in the same township, locating in section 29, where he improved one of the best farms in the neighborhood; he resided there until 1882 when he went to Cherokee, making his home there until death, which occurred in August, 1888. Robert and Catherine Perry had born to them nine children, six of whom are living: Caroline Pearson, of Pilot Township; Sarah Messer, of Wakefield, Nebraska; Agnes Matilda, at home; Robert Banks, of Pilot Township; John and Frank, at home. The two older children were born in Massachusetts, and the others in Cherokee County. Jennie died at the age of five years and five days. Politically Mr. Perry was a strong adherent to the principles of the Democratic party. He served as sheriff of the county with much credit to himself, and to the best interests of the public. He was a man frank in manner, strictly honest, and had many friends. Mrs. Catherine Perry is one of the few women now living in the county who have witnessed the wonderful improvement and growth of the county and towns, the erection of numerous comfortable homes with which the surrounding country is thickly dotted, the building of railroads and numberless other changes for the better. Mrs. Perry is a worthy and consistent member of the Roman Catholic Church, in which faith she was reared. She has brought up her children in a way that reflects credit upon her teaching and example.


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

p. 32

    HON. MAURICE F. CONDON, of New Hampton has his first claim to distinction as an Iowa citizen in the capacity of a very able and successful lawyer. He has had numerous other important relationships with his home locality, having a political office several times, is a former county attorney and has also been active in banking and is vice president of the new First National Bank of New Hampton.
    Mr. Condon was born in Chickasaw County, Iowa, September 4, 1873. His parents, Maurice and Elizabeth (Dorsey) Condon, were natives of Ireland. His father came to America when a young man, bringing with him his mother. After living four years at Hartford, Connecticut, he moved west to Racine, Wisconsin, where he married Elizabeth Dorsey. She had come to this country at the age of eleven years, in company with a brother and sister. Maurice and Elizabeth Condon were married about 1880 and not long afterward they sought a home in the new region of Chickasaw County, Iowa, settling on a farm in Washington Township. There the father became an industrious and respected farmer and lived in that community until his death in 1894, his wife passed away in 1913.
     Maurice F. Condon grew up on a farm and had the advantages of the district schools. During 1891-92 he was a student in the Decorah Institute and during the next four years employed his time and talents as a teacher in rural districts in Chickasaw and Howard counties. He secured some additional equipment for a business career by attending New Hampton Business College and then became a stenographer in the law office of Springer & Clary. During the two and a half years he was with this firm he read law, and completed his professional preparation in the University of Iowa, where he took his LL. B. degree in 1899. Having qualified for the bar he was admitted as a new member of the firm for whom he had worked as a stenographer. The partnership of Springer, Clary & Condon was subsequently dissolved as the result of one member and the election to political office of another.
     Mr. Condon in 1906 was elected county attorney and served four years. During that time he acted as cashier of the Darrow Trust & Savings Bank, of which he was one of the organizers. Later he became identified with the new First National Bank.
     Mr. Condon for a time served as mayor of New Hampton and was on the city council ten years. It was during this time that the city undertook a general paving program. He has been a leader in the Democratic party of Chickasaw County, serving as chairman of the county committee, and has been a delegate to many county, district, and state conventions. He is a former grand knight of the Knights of Columbus, member of the B.P.O. Elks and Country Club.
    Mr. Condon married in 1914, Miss Ida Kelson, daughter of Ole and Belle Kelson, of New Hampton. She was educated in Decorah and in the Conservatory of Music at Minneapolis and was a teacher of music.


Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Union Counties...Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1887.

     David Carlton, a successful farmer and stock-raiser of Lincoln Township, residing on section 21, is a native of Ireland, born September 15, 1841. At the age of seven years he, in company with his parents, Daniel and Nancy (McArvy) Carlton, sailed from Belfast for America, landing at New Orleans, January 1, 1848, and after remaining there a short time went to Connecticut and from that State removed to Indiana, where he grew to manhood. He was reared to the life of a farmer which he has always followed. He left Indiana for Illinois in 1863, remaining in the latter State until coming to Ringgold County, Iowa, in 1871, when he settled on the farm where he has since made his home. By his persevering energy and good management he has been successful in his agricultural pursuits and has now a fine farm containing 160 acres of cultivated land with good residence and farm buildings. He is one of the public-spirited citizens of Lincoln Township, taking an active interest in all enterprises for the advancement of the same, and during his residence here has gained the confidence and respect of all who know him, by his honorable and upright dealings. For his wife Mr. Carlton married Miss Florence Jackson, a daughter of William and Phoebe (Myers) Jackson, who were natives of Indiana. Mrs. Carlton was born May 4, 1858. Mr. and Mrs. Carlton have two children-G.A., born August 2, 1872 and J.R., born August 7, 1884. In politics Mr. Carlton is identified with the Democratic party. Mrs. Carlton is a member of the Christian church. Their postoffice is Clearfield.


Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Union Counties...Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1887.

John Beaty, residing at Goshen, Ringgold County, is a native of Ireland, born May 5, 1835, a son of John Sr., and Sarah (Jenkins) Beaty, who were also natives of the same country. They immigrated to America when our subject was fifteen years old, sailing from Liverpool in 1850 and landing at New York. They at once proceeded to Ohio and there our subject lived until 1862 when he enlisted in Company F, One Hundred and Twenty-second Ohio Infantry. He was in the battle of Gettysburg, and several other engagements of minor importance during the two years he was in the service. He was honorably discharged at Washington, when he returned to his old home in Ohio. He remained there but a short time, when he went to the State of Illinois, where he was married August 11, 1864 to Sarah A Nelson, a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Jacob and Susan N. (Reed) Nelson. They are the parents of five children- Adam N., born June 13, 1865; Steven E., born September 11, 1867; Anna B., born November 2, 1870; William J., born July 17, 1876, and Clyda J., born August 18, 1878. Since coming to Ringgold County, Iowa, Mr. Beaty has prospered in all his undertakings and is now the owner of 480 acres of valuable land located on section 27 of Lincoln Township. He is now engaged in dealing in fine horses, two of his horses being imported and quite celebrated. Since coming he has served as school director, and held the office of postmaster. In politics he affiliates with the Democratic party. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and are respected members of society.


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

p. 336.

     HON. CHARLES A. KENNEDY, who represented the First Iowa District in Congress from 1907 to 1921, including the World war period, is a resident of Montrose, Lee County and in that community has long enjoyed the trust and confidence of the people in his relations as a business man and in public affairs.
     Mr. Kennedy was born at Montrose, March 24, 1869. His father, William Kennedy, was born in Ireland, in 1833, attended the National schools of Ireland, had several years of service in the British army and came to America before the Civil war. He was a pioneer settler of Lee County, Iowa and for many years followed the trade of shoemaker at Montrose. He had learned this trade in Ireland. William Kennedy died in 1885. He married Myna Dunn, of Dublin, Ireland, who survived him many years, passing away in 1915. Of their nine children three daughters and five sons are living: Timothy, of Montrose; John P., of Montrose; W.A., of South Bend, Washington; Mrs. Jennie Butzer, of Los Angeles; C.A.; George W., of Montrose; Mrs. Anna Kerr, of Montrose; and Miss Lilly, of Montrose.
    Charles A. Kennedy acquired his education at Montrose, graduating from high school in 1885. Soon after leaving high school he and his brother, John P. Kennedy, became associated in the nursery business. The Kennedy brothers developed a fine establishment, made a reputation for reliability and service, and extended their trade over a wide territory. They were in the nursery business over forty years. Mr. Kennedy has never married, and is one of the few men who have sat in Congress as bachelors.
     He has been a leader in the Republican party of Lee County since early manhood. His first important public office was mayor of Montrose, an office he filled from 1890 to 1894. In 1902 he was elected a member of the Iowa House of Representatives, serving in the Thirtieth and Thirty-first General Assemblies, 1903-07. It was in 1906 that he was nominated in the district convention for Congress, and was elected that year. He was reelected when William H. Taft was chosen president in 1908, serving all through the Taft administration and the First Iowa District returned him in 1912, the year of the great split in the Republican party. Altogether he spent fourteen years as representative of the First Iowa District, his last election being in 1918. He voluntarily retired after the conclusion of his seventh term. During his last term in Congress he was chairman of the very important river and harbors committee. His entire record in Congress is one of which the people of the First District are proud.
     Since his retirement from Washington, Mr. Kennedy has been for eight years vice president of the Montrose Savings Bank. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and B.P.O. Elks.


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

p. 155

 WALTER I. WOLFE. One of the brilliant attorneys practicing at the bar of Harrison County, Walter I. Wolfe, of Logan, has won his present high standing through his own ability and strong personality, and is held in high regard in his community. He was born at Lost Nation, Clinton County, Iowa, September 1, 1886, a son of James B. and Anna O'Connor Wolfe, both of whom are deceased.
    James B. Wolfe was born in Ireland, but was brought to the United States in 1844,when he was one year old, by his parents, John R. and Nora Wolfe, also natives of Ireland. For ten years after their arrival in this country they lived in Chicago, Illinois, but in 1854 located permanently in Clinton County, buying government land that is till in possession of the Wolfe family. Anna O'Connor Wolfe was born in Jackson County, Iowa, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah O'Connor, both natives of Ireland, who came to the United States and settled in Jackson county in 1837. All of the grandparents are also deceased, but they, as did the parents, lived long enough in their new community to leave an impress upon it of right living and vital Christianity.
     Growing up on a farm, Walter I. Wolfe first went to the country schools of Clinton County and later to the high school at Lost Nation, from which he was graduated in 1906. In 1907 he took preparatory work in the Iowa City Academy, after which he entered the liberal arts department of the Iowa State University, and was graduated therefrom in 1911,with he degree of Bachelor of Arts. In 1914 he was graduated from the law department with the degree of Bachelor of Laws, and located at Dunlap, Harrison County, where he was engaged in practice until 1917, when he came to Logan, and formed a partnership with Sanford H. Cochran, which association was maintained until 1927, although for several years Mr. Cochran was not active in practice. In the latter year Mr. Wolfe and Harry L. Robertson organized the firm of Robertson & Wolfe, now one of the strongest legal combinations in the county, both partners being able men, thoroughly versed in the law, and enjoying a fair share of the important litigation of this part of Iowa. Mr. Wolfe is a veteran of the World war, having entered the service in 1917, and was stationed at Camp Humphreys, Virginia, the greater portion of the time. After the armistice he was honorably discharged and returned to civilian life, at which time he resumed his practice.
    Mr. Wolfe and Miss Helen Machemer were married at Des Moines, Iowa, and they have three children: Thomas W., Mary Patricia and Dorothy Anne. Mrs. Wolfe is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Machemer, prominent people of Cedar Rapids. In politics Mr. Wolfe is a Democrat, but he has never been active in public affairs. He is a Catholic, as were all of his people, and a faithful son of the church. Mr. Wolfe is a man in love with his profession and he pursues it upon the same methods as the scholar in science-quietly, enthusiastically, and industriously, bringing to it the highest intellectual qualities and tributes of character, which give him an enviable reputation, and a large and valuable practice.


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

p. 208

     REV. THOMAS P. MURPHY. There is greater need in the world today perhaps than ever before for men of high purpose, unselfish aims, high scholarship and true Christian zeal. In every land humanity is appealing for help, often blindly because of ignorance and it is upon the shoulders of the enlightened clergy that the responsibility rests of pointing the way that will lead the discouraged and weary to spiritual peace and happiness. In every section are found great teachers who give gladly of themselves that others may profit, and no Christian body is better represented in this field than is the Roman Catholic Church. Among those who have won appreciation for their ability, fidelity, Christian zeal, none stands any higher than does Rev. Thomas P. Murphy, pastor of Saint Peter's Roman Catholic Church of Des Moines.
    Father Murphy was born at Walnut, Iowa, February 11, 1877, a son of Patrick and Nora (Lanigan) Murphy, he born in Ireland and she at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and both are now deceased. In the early seventies Patrick Murphy came to Iowa settling in Council Bluffs, where he was employed in the construction work of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. This was not unfamiliar employment, for he had been engaged in it while living in the East. Four sons were born to him and his wife, namely: Michael, who is a farmer residing in Iowa; William, who is also a farmer; Daniel, who is in the employ of the Armour Packing Company at Sioux City, Iowa; and Father Murphy, who is the next to the youngest in the family. The parents were devout members of the Catholic Church. The grandparents on each side were natives of Ireland, and all of them were also Catholics.
    His early educational training obtained  in the schools of Walnut, Iowa, Father Murphy later had six years in Saint Andrew's Academy, of Davenport, Iowa; four years in Kenrick Seminary, of St. Louis, and he was ordained to the ministry in 1904. For three years thereafter he taught in Saint Ambrose, Davenport, Iowa, and then entered upon his ministerial duties. At Guthrie Center and Panora, Iowa, he built churches, and remained in these two places seventeen years in all, and then, in 1924, he came to Des Moines to take charge of Saint Peter's Catholic Church and the school conducted in connection with it. He has a membership of 1200 in his church and 230 pupils in his school, and under his energetic control much progress is being made. This church was established in 1915, and has grown rapidly. Father Murphy is a member of the Knights of Columbus of Davenport and is a fourth degree of that chapter. Not only is Father Murphy highly esteemed in his church, but by the people of Des Moines generally, for he is recognized as a man whose influence is of great value in the community and whose broad-minded charity leads him to render assistance to all who are in need of it.


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

p. 329

    CHARLES S. KENNEDY, M.D. The medical profession of Harrison County has a very able and highly respected representative in Dr. Charles S. Kennedy, of Logan, a member of one of the old families of the county, and a man whose personal character is beyond reproach. He was born in Jefferson Township, Harrison County, Iowa, December 23, 1868, a son of David W. Kennedy and grandson of Charles Kennedy.
    The birth of Charles Kennedy occurred in Ireland, in April, 1800, and about 1821 he came to the United States, locating in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he became a maker of hair trunks, for which work he had prepared by learning the weaver's trade in his native land. In 1829 he was married to Miss Elizabeth Marshall, a daughter of William and Jennie (Armstrong) Marshall, natives of Ireland. Mrs. Kennedy was the oldest of the seven children of her parents and was born in Ireland, February 8, 1795, and came to America with her parents in 1821, at which time they located in Philadelphia. Her father soon thereafter returned to Ireland on business, and there he died, leaving the children full orphans, as the mother had died soon after the family's arrival in this country. Charles Kennedy and his wife came to Iowa in 1854, first settling in Crawford County, where they arrived November 15 of that year. In 1868 they moved to Harrison County, and there they rounded out their useful lives with their children, he passing away February 27, 1873, and she, March 19, 1883. The parents of Charles Kennedy were Patrick and Esther (Butler) Kennedy, natives of Ireland. Patrick Kennedy, under the leadership of Henry Gratton, took sides with the "patriots" in the Rebellion of 1798, and was not seen or heard of afterward.
    David W. Kennedy, father of Doctor Kennedy, was born in Athens County, Ohio, April 11, 1838, and came with his parents to Iowa in 1854. He became a farmer of Jefferson Township, near Logan and he died May 27, 1900. On January 1, 1868, he married Miss Nellie J. Newman, who was born in New York State, August 10, 1841, and died in Harrison County, Iowa, April 21, 1929. She was a daughter of Stephen F. and Lovinia (Klock) Newman, also natives of the Empire State. Nellie J. Newman came to Illinois in 1861 and four years later arrived in Crawford County, Iowa, where she met and subsequently married Mr. Kennedy. Her father was born in New York State, November 1, 1809, a son of Nathaniel and Esther (Frost) Newman, and was of English descent. David W. Kennedy and his wife became the parents of the following children: Doctor Kennedy; George M., who was born August 9, 1870, lives at Culver City, California, and is connected with the moving picture industry; Merritt, who was born December 15, 1871, died February 2, 1900; David E., who was born may 13, 1874, died September 2, 1874; Lewis M., who was born February 17, 1876, died January 22, 1882; Minnie L., who was born November 22, 1878, is the widow of J.E. Massie and resides in Kansas City, Missouri; Mark B., who was born August 31, 1881, is in the drug business at Logan; and Nellie May, who was born February 28, 1886, is the wife of John Hanneman, a farmer of Harrison County.
    Doctor Kennedy was educated in the common and high schools of Logan and had a commercial course at Omaha, Nebraska, being graduated in the latter July 16, 1890. He then entered the drug business and became a registered pharmacist March 3, 1896. In the years that followed he studied medicine and in 1902 was graduated from the John A. Creighton Medical College, of Omaha, and then located at Logan, where he has since been engaged in a general practice, and has built up wide and valuable connections all over the county. During the World war he enlisted in June, 1918, and was commissioned a captain in the Medical Corps, being assigned to the Medical Officers Training Camp at Fort Riley, Kansas, where he was later actively engaged in the influenza hospital wards during the epidemic  in 1918. He was at Hoboken, New Jersey, ready to embark for overseas duty when the armistice was signed. He was then ordered back and received his honorable discharge at Camp Crane, Allentown, Pennsylvania.
    On September 12, 1900, Doctor Charles S. Kennedy married Miss Esther Hansen, a daughter of Ingvert and Kate (Sorensen) Hansen, natives of Denmark, and early settlers in Crawford County. Doctor and Mrs. Kennedy have an adopted daughter, Louise Grace, wife of Glenn McKain of Logan.
    Doctor Kennedy has held all of the offices of Harrison County Medical Society. Very high in Masonry, he belongs to the Commandery, K.T., of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Abu Bekr Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. of Sioux City, Iowa, and he holds his Blue Lodge membership at Missouri Valley, and both he and his wife belong to the Easter Star.
    He has billed all of the chairs in the Grand Chapter, O.E.S., of Iowa. In 1914-15 he was grand worthy patron of the Eastern Star of Iowa. His wife was grand treasurer of the Grand Chapter of the Eastern Star for six years, declining further services at the expiration of her last term. She was grand chaplain in 1907, served four years as district instructor of the Grand Chapter, and held various committee appointments. Both are Republicans in politics, and have been very active and zealous in behalf of their party. In religion they are Latter Day Saints.


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

p. 291

     GEORGE J. DUGAN has the personality and the technical ability that make for success in the legal profession, of which he is a prominent representative in the City of Perry, Dallas County, where he has been engaged in the successful practice of law during a period of twenty years.
     Mr. Dugan has the distinction of being one of the representative members of the bar of his native county, for he was born on the parental home farm in Dallas County, June 10, 1886, and is a scion of a family that was here established in the pioneer days- sixty years ago. His father, James Dugan, was born in Ireland and was a child when he accompanied his parents to the United States, where he was reared to manhood and where his alert and receptive mind enabled him to profit by the educational advantages that were afforded him. He resided a number of years in Wisconsin, and in 1870 he came to Dallas County, Iowa, and engaged in farm enterprise, in which the passing years brought to him substantial success. He passed the closing period of his life at Rippey, Greene County, where his death occurred May 6, 1914. His wife, whose maiden name was Margaret Markey, was born at Sullivan, Wisconsin, and there their marriage was solemnized. In death they were not long separated for the death of Mrs. Dugan occurred May 8, 1914, only two days after that of her husband, their mortal remains being laid to rest at the cemetery at Rippey.
     After completing his studies in the high school at Rippey, George J. Dugan was for a time a student in the academic or liberal arts department of Drake University, Des Moines, and in the law department of that institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1910, his admission to the bar of his native state having been virtually coincident with his reception of the degree of Bachelor of Laws. In initiating the practice of his profession at Perry Mr. Dugan became associated with his brother, Judge Harry S. Dugan, and their partnership alliance continued until the latter was elected to the bench of the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District, in 1919, though in the meantime, in 1912, George J. Dugan removed to Woodbine, Harrison County, where he was established in practice until 1915, when he returned to Perry and resumed his law partnership with his brother, this alliance, as before noted, having been terminated by the election of his brother to the office of judge of the District Court. Mr. Dugan now controls a substantial and important general law practice of individual order and maintains his offices in the Brice & McLaughlin Building.
     That Mr. Dugan has had much of influence and leadership in the Iowa councils and campaign activities of the Democratic party is evidenced in that he was, in 1929, chairman of the Seventh Congressional District. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention of 1928, at Houston, Texas, and his professional activities at Perry have included his service as city solicitor and assistant county attorney. He is affiliated with both York and Scottish rite bodies of the Masonic fraternity, besides being a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, and is a past exalted ruler of Perry Lodge, B.P.O. Elks. He and his wife have membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church.
     September 9, 1908, recorded the marriage of Mr. Dugan to Miss Emma Harned, of Grand Junction, Greene County, where she was graduated in the high school, she having thereafter pursued a thorough course in the musical department of Drake University, Des Moines. Doris, only child of Mr. and Mrs. Dugan, was born at Woodbine, this state, May 10, 1914, and is a student in the high school in her home City of Perry.
     Mr. Dugan is an influential and popular member of the Dallas County Bar Association and has membership also in the Iowa State Bar Association and the American Bar Association.


History of Henry Co, Iowa. Containing a History of the County, its Cities, Towns, and Census. Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1879.

O'LOGHLIN, PETER, merchant, Rome; was born in Ireland in 1839; he came to this country in 1857; remained a short time in New Jersey; came to Tippecanoe Tp. in August of the same year. He married Margarette Quinn, a native of Ireland; they have six children- Michael T., James J., Peter, Patrick W., Margaret and Mary. Mr. O'Loghlin has been engaged in business in Rome since 1858; he began with no capital but has been very successful; he built the store he now occupies in 1877; it is of brick, and cost about $9,000; has a fine brick residence, built in 1870; he has a large stock and fine assortment of goods, consisting of dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, clothing and everything necessary to constitute a first-class store.


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

p. 10

     FRANK MAHER, who represents the third generation of a pioneer family of Iowa, has for over twenty years been a busy lawyer at Fort Dodge, Iowa. He was born on a farm seven miles north of the city, in 1884.
    His grandfather, Stephen Maher, was a native of Ireland, and after coming to America lived for a time at Kingston, Ontario. He was engaged in assisting in the construction of the Erie Canal. Upon the completion of that canal he moved with his family to Ottawa, Illinois. Charles Maher, the father of Frank Maher, came with his father to Ottawa as a young boy. Stephen Maher, the grandfather, assisted in the construction of the old Illinois Canal, and after its completion, removed with his family to Fort Dodge, where they arrived in 1856. He homesteaded a farm seven miles north of the city, the land still being in the family.
     Charles Maher prior to the Civil war returned to Ottawa, and learned a trade as a blacksmith and wagon maker. When the Civil war broke out he enlisted the first day, and went with the Ottawa boys to Chicago. They were transferred to Cairo the next morning. They arrived at Cairo without any guns or war equipment. The commanding officer called for volunteers. Mr. Maher told them of a man who was in charge of the wagon and machine shop in Ottawa, and the officers gave him a team of horses and sent him back after that man. Mr Maher brought the man to Cairo, where a large machine shop and gun foundry was erected. The man from Ottawa was put in charge, and Mr. Maher assisted that man during the period of the war. He came back to Iowa immediately after the war and became a very successful business man. He accumulated about sixteen hundred acres of land, all of which is still owned by his heirs. Charles W. Maher and Mary E. Calligan, who was born at Elizabeth, New Jersey, was the first couple married in the Corpus Christi Catholic church at Fort Dodge. Her father, Thomas Calligan, was born in Ireland, and settled at Fort Dodge, Iowa, before the Civil war. He went to California in 1849 and had considerable success in the gold fields. The Calligan home was on the site of the present post office at Fort Dodge. He died in that city in 1923 and his wife in 1928. Of their nine children eight are living, Frank being the sixth child. Both parents were devout members of the Corpus Christi church.
    Frank Maher attended high school at Fort Dodge, was in a school at Morgan Park, near Chicago, Illinois, one year and spent two years in Notre Dame University at South Bend, Indiana. In 1907 he was graduated from the law school of the University of Iowa and since that date has been steadily engaged in a general law practice in Fort Dodge. He also gives much time to the supervising of his private business interests. Mr. Maher is a Republican in politics, is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association and is affiliated with the B.P.O. Elks and Ancient Order of the United Workmen.
    He married in 1914, Miss Gertrude Early, who was born at Fort Dodge, where her father, J. G. Early, was an early settler. He now lives in Los Angeles. Mrs. Maher attended the Fort Dodge High School and finished her education in the Castle School at Tarrytown, New York. They have two children: Janice, born in 1915, in high school; and Charles, born in 1917, in the seventh grade. Mr. Maher is a member of Corpus Christi Catholic church.


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

p. 436

    GLEN F. REDFERN, clerk of the District Court of Keokuk County, was born and reared in that county, where his people have lived for three generations.
    The Redfern family came to Iowa from Zanesville, Ohio. They are of Irish ancestry. Mr. Redfern's parents, James William, and Laura (Schultz) Redfern, are honored residents of Martinsburg in Keokuk County. His father was born in this county, was educated in local schools and for twenty-five years has been employed in the duties of township offices. He and his wife have four children: Glen F; Mrs. Audrey B. Halferty, of Des Moines; Mrs. Beatrice I. Craig, of Chicago; and Mrs. Almeda A. Perkins, of Churdan, Iowa.
    Glen F. Redfern, was born near Martinsburg, February 7, 1893, and lived on the home farm with his parents while attending the common schools and the Martinsburg High School, from which he was graduated in 1910. While in high school he played baseball and a part of every day in school he assisted around the home farm and after graduating remained a factor on the home place until 1913. He then completed a course in the Cedar Rapids Business College, receiving his diploma in 1914, was employed by several firms in that city and in the fall of 1914 returned to Keokuk County and engaged in farming and in work as an auctioneer.
    Mr. Redfern in 1918 enlisted and joined the colors for training at Camp Mabry at College Station, Texas, where he was trained for work in the motor transportation corps and was advanced to the grade of truck master. Later he was transferred to the Infantry Officers Training School, and received his honorable discharge at College Station, Texas, in December, 1918.
    After his military service he returned to Keokuk County, and gave his industrious attention to his farming interests. Mr. Redfern in 1924 was elected district clerk, beginning his duties in that office on January 1, 1925, and he has been twice reelected. Prior to that he had served as tax assessor and township clerk of Steady Run Township.
    Mr. Redfern is a member of the American Legion Post at Sigourney, is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, is a Republican and a Methodist. He married, May 21, 1919, Miss Mildred A. Williams, of Sigourney. They have one child, Don W., born June 7, 1925.


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

p. 318

    J.J. MEEHAN, M.D., has been a resident of Denison for a quarter of a century, and that community has come to know him not only as a capable physician and surgeon but a business man and a citizen whose generosity and sympathy are easily aroused and whose acts of kindness and public spirit are generally appreciated though definitely known only to their recipients.
    Doctor Meehan was born in Rock Island County, Illinois, December 25, 1874. His parents, John and Catherine (Garvey) Meehan, were born in Ireland and came to America when young people. After their marriage they lived in Rock Island County until 1882, when they moved to Iowa and settled on a farm south of Vail in Crawford County. In 1883 they moved to a farm near Denison, and on this farm they lived until retiring and moving to Denison, where they spent the remaining years of their lives. The father passed away at the age of seventy-nine, in 1912, and the mother at seventy-six in 1915. Both were devout Catholics, and the political tendency of the family has always been Democratic.
    Doctor Meehan grew up on the home farm, attended the district school nearby and in continuing his education went through the old Denison Normal and Business College, the University of Iowa and from there entered Northwestern School of Medicine at Chicago, where he took his M.D. degree in 1903. He first practiced at Missouri Valley, and in 1905 located at Denison.
    In order to provide better facilities for his extensive private practice and also for the benefit of the community at large Doctor Meehan in 1916 established the Meehan Hospital, at 315 East Walnut Street. He has been local physician and surgeon  for the Chicago & Northwestern since 1916, and for the Illinois Central since 1912. He is a member of the Crawford County, Iowa State and American Medical Associations and the Association of Railway Surgeons. Over a period of years he has been active in the Crawford County Medical Society, being a past president and served as secretary a number of years. Since 1928 he has served as city health physician of Denison.
     Doctor Meehan has never married. He is a member of the Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus, Denison Council. He has made rather extensive investments in farm lands and is also a director of the Crawford County Trust & Savings Bank at Denison. His offices are in the Opera House Block.


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

p. 70

     HARRY F. CARLON is manager of the Carlon Construction Company, a business that was established by his father, the late George H. Carlon, at Oskaloosa nearly half a century  ago. This is one of the largest firms of its kind in the Middle West, and was a pioneer in the use of cement in the building industry.
     The Carlon family came to America from the North of Ireland. There were four brothers of the name who crossed the Atlantic to America in Colonial times. One of these brothers was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. The ancestor of the Oskaloosa family was Robert Carlon. Little is known of his brothers and their descendants. Robert Carlon settled in Pennsylvania. His son, B.F. Carlon, was born in that state and married Zenebia White, a native of Pennyslvania and of Scotch ancestry. She died when her son, George H. Carlon, was four years of age, and B.F. Carlon subsequently moved with his family to Monmouth in Western Illinois, where he married Elizabeth Stubbs. B.F. Carlon was a mechanic and builder, and that has been a traditional occupation of members of the family for three generations or more. B.F. Carlon died in 1902, at the age of seventy years.
     George H. Carlon was born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, July 20, 1850, and was reared in Monmouth, Illinois, where he attended public schools. He learned the trades of machinist and engineer, and did some building work at Monmouth and later at Bloomington, Nebraska. It was in 1881 that he established his home at Oskaloosa and entered upon the business of a building contractor. In 1884 he began the manufacture of paving and building cement, at a time when comparatively little use was made of the material, which his now so universally a factor on all kinds of building construction. It was the enterprise of George H. Carlon, started in Oskaloosa in 1881, that proved the foundation of the present Carlon Construction Company, which for many years has been more than a local organization, its activities extending well over the West.
     The first work in his line of business which George H. Carlon did at Oskaloosa was assisting in the construction of the present county courthouse. He remained a figure in the commercial and civic life of Oskaloosa for nearly half a century, always willing to exert himself in behalf of some movement for the general welfare of his home city. For a period of fifteen years he was a member of the Oskaloosa school board and he gave freely of his time and money to social, civic, educational and church matters. He was from 1887 an active member of the Oskaloosa Methodist Episcopal Church and served on the building committee when the new Central Church was erected. He was a member of the Masonic bodies, including the Lodge, Knights Templar Commandery, Shrine and Eastern Star, and the Knights of Pythias.
     George H. Carlon died April 8, 1927, at the age of seventy-seven years. He married, March 17, 1874, Miss Arrah Margaret Sweger, daughter of Samuel Sweger. Her father was a contractor and builder at Kirkwood, Illinois, and sided January 30, 1906, at the age of eighty-two years. George H. Carlon and wife had a family of six children; Charles H., who is married and lives at Saint Louis, where he is a manager of the branch office of the Carlon Construction Company; Harry F.; Minnie, who died at the age of thirteen; Trixie, who died when four years old; Bessie F., the wife of Arthur E. Smith, of a pioneer family of Oskaloosa, and they reside in Canada; and Nina R.; wife of Blair Haun, a druggist of Des Moines.
     Harry F. Carlon was born at Oskaloosa January 2, 1880, and since early manhood has been regarded as one of the most progressive business men of his native city, exemplifying his father's worthy characteristics in his generous support of civic, educational and religious movements. He attended public schools at Oskaloosa, graduate from high school in 1897, and has given thirty years to the business founded by his father. When he entered the firm the name was changed from George H. Carlon & Son to the Carlon Construction Company. He is now manager of the home office at Oskaloosa, and gives a general supervision to the work of the firm in many cities and other localities throughout the Middle West.
     Mr. Carlon is a veteran of the Spanish-American war. He enlisted in Company F of the Fifty-first Regiment of Iowa Infantry, which was mustered into the Federal service as the Fifty-first Iowa Volunteers. In October, 1898, he accompanied his regiment to the Philippines, and returned home in November, 1899. He spent ten months in the Philippines, and altogether was with the colors for twenty-two months.
     Mr. Carlon at the present time is president of the Oskaloosa school board. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, is affiliated with Tri-Luminar Lodge No. 18, A.F. and A.M., and other Masonic bodies, including the Shrine, and is a member of the Knights of Pythias. He is a member of the Iowa State Historical Society and is a trustee of the First Congregational Church, of which his family are members. He is also serving on the Board of Trustees of the Y.M.C.A. Mrs. Carlon shares with him his interest in church and educational affairs.
     Mr. Carlon married Lulu May Evans, daughter of Benjamin and Delilah (Cox) Evans. Her people were early settlers of Oskaloosa, where her father was a coal operator. Mr. and Mrs. Carlon have two sons, George Benjamin, born in 1910, a graduate of the Oskaloosa High School, now attending Grinnell College; and Robert Franklin, born in 1912, attending high school.


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

p. 48

     REV. WILLIAM COUGHLAN is the well beloved and highly respected pastor of the Holy Families Church in Council Bluffs. He is a native of Ireland, and all his work as a priest has been done in Iowa.
    He was born in Ireland in 1885, son of James and Mary (Whelan) Coughlan. His parents lived all their lives in Ireland as farmers, and of their nine children seven are now living. The three in America are Miss Mary A., at Council Bluffs; Patrick, a Chicago detective, and William.
    Father William Coughlan attended school in Ireland and completed his training for the priesthood in the great seminary and college at Waterford. He was ordained in Maynooth College, Ireland, in August, 1910, coming to America in September, 1910. For three years he was assistant priest at Saint Ambrose Church in Des Moines. This was followed by a prosperous pastorate for five years at Saint Patrick's Church in Bayard, Iowa, and from there in 1918 he came to Council Bluffs to become pastor of the Holy Families Church. He has a fine congregation of about a thousand, hasdone much to develop the parochial school, which enrolls 175 pupils, with a staff of five teachers. Father Coughlan has been a member ofthe Knights of Columbus since 1916 and is a fourth degree knight. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club, belongs to the Council Bluffs Country and Golf Club, and has made himself a very practical friend and adviser of his people.



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

p. 205

     REV. JOSEPH M. HANSON. In the life and work of Rev. Joseph M. Hanson, pastor of the Church of the Visitation in Des Moines, is exemplified the high standards in spirituality and scholarship of the Catholic clergy, and probably no man of hsi sacred calling stands any higher in popular esteem. He was born in Iowa County, Iowa, August 13, 1866, a son of Joseph and Bridget (Morrin) Hanson, natives of Ireland. Both came to Iowa, he about 1850, and she about 1852. They are now deceased, but for many years were farmers of Iowa County. Nine children were born to them, of whom seven are living, and Father Hanson was the second child in order of birth. One sister became a nun, and was known as Sister Presentation, but she is now deceased. The parents were Catholics and the father was a Democrat. A man of liberal education, Joseph Hanson attended the country schools in Ireland and the schools of Iowa City, after his arrival in Iowa, and later taught country schools for a time. He also learned the carpenter trade, and worked at it as well as farming. His father, Michael Hanson, was also an early settler of Iowa County, where he died, and his remains were laid to rest in the Catholic Cemetery at Iowa City. The maternal grandfather, Peter Morrin, was one of the pioneer farmers of Iowa County, to which locality he came from Ireland, and where he spent the remainder of his life.
    Rev. Joseph M. Hanson attended the country schools of Iowa County, and later Saint Ambrose College, Davenport, Iowa, from which he was graduated in 1892, after which he entered Kenrick Seminary, Saint Louis, and completed his studies at Saint Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, Maryland, where he was ordained to the priesthood in June, 1897, by Cardinal Gibbons, after which he taught for one year in Saint Ambrose College at Davenport, Iowa. His first parish was at Avoca, Iowa, and he remained there for six years. While at Avoca he built the rectory and remodeled the church. He was then transferred to Dunlap, Iowa, which position he held for sixteen years. During the period he was at Dunlap, Father Hanson erected a beautiful school and Sisters' home. From there he went to Stuart, Iowa, and during the four years he was there he purchased additional property for the church and erected the parish school. With this excellent record behind him as an executive, he came to Des Moines January 10, 1924, and took charge of the Church of the Visitation at East Ninth and Garfield.
    The parish was established in 1882 and was then located at East Ninth and Walnut streets. This property was purchased by the state in 1914 in order to establish a park surrounding the capital. At the same time the parish had grown to such large proportions that the Right Reverend Austin Dowling, then bishop of Des Moines, divided the parish in 1915, the east half being given to the new Saint Peter's parish, while the remaining portion constituted the new Visitation, ground was purchased and the new parish school, rectory and basement church were erected at the present location. In 1926 the church and Sisters' home were built. There is an excellent school, with 240 pupils enrolled. The church has a membership of about 1400 souls. Father Hanson is a fourth degree Knight of Colombus, and in the smaller towns in which he has lived he has served his order as chaplain. A man of energy, enthusiasm, devoted to his work, and determined to advance his people, Father Hanson is never weary in doing well. He does not confine his work to hose of his own creed, but is ever willing to assist in promoting all worthy measures for the advancement of his city, and is one of the leading citizens of Des Moines.


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

p. 158

    HON. MAXWELL A. O'BRIEN. A man whose ability as a lawyer has been proved beyond any question, Hon. Maxwell A. O'Brien as first assistant attorney general of the State of Iowa, and attorney for the Iowa State Highway Commission, is rendering a very important service to its people and justifying his appointment to responsible positions. He was born at Chicago, Illinois, November 21, 1890, a son of Daniel and Alice (Abraham) O'Brien, he born in Ireland and she in Oskaloosa, Iowa. They were married in the latter city, February 10, 1886. First a contractor and later a realtor, he was a prominent citizen of Oskaloosa, and was connected with the building of the Union Pacific Railroad across the plains. In religious faith an Episcopalian, he was a member of the church at Oskaloosa, to which his widow also belongs. In political belief he was a Republican, but he did not seek office, preferring to work as a private citizen in behalf of his party. He is now deceased, but she survives and still resides at Oskaloosa. They had but the one child. he paternal grandfather, Daniel O'Brien, also a native of Ireland, came to the United States and settled at Ottumwa, Iowa, where he died. The maternal grandfather, Absolam Maxwell Abraham, came to Iowa, in 1856, in a covered wagon, from Ohio, and, settling at Oskaloosa, became one of the leading merchants of that city. He married Miss Laurana Greenough, a member of one of the old families of Massachusetts.
    Maxwell A. O'Brien attended the public schools of Oskaloosa and Penn College, and he took his professional training in the law school of the University of Iowa, form which he was graduated in 1914. Entering upon the practice of law at Oskaloosa, he continued in it until 1922, when he was appointed assistant attorney general of Iowa, and came to Des Moines to assume the duties of his office. He had already served as county attorney of Mahaska County, Iowa, for six years, so that he was not new to public office. During the World war he did his duty as a patriot, entering the army in 1918, and he was trained at Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky, for the field artillery branch of the service, and was still there when the armistice was declared. From there he was honorably discharged as a second lieutenant, and returned to Oskaloosa.
    In March, 1915, Mr. O'Brien married Miss Virginia Slade, born at Oskaloosa, a daughter of S.T. and Mary (Eldridge) Slade, the former of whom was a coal operator with mines at Des Moines, but now deceased; the later surviving and making her home at Des Moines. Mr. and Mrs. O'Brien have three children: Maxwell Slade, Samuel and Mary Alice. An Episcopalian, Mr. O'Brien is a member of Saint Paul's Episcopal Church of Des Moines. He is a York Rite and Shriner Mason. As a Republican he has always taken a very active part in politics, and is regarded as one of the leader s of the local party. He belongs to the Iowa National Guard, utilizing in its behalf the practical knowledge he possesses of military matters. While in college he made Phi Delta Theta Greek letter fraternity, and he belongs to the Polk County, State and American Bar Associations. As a lawyer Mr. O'Brien is logical in thought, great in high aims and lofty purposes, and he is courageous in following his convictions. Responsive to the popular will, he is nevertheless honest with himself, and true to his settled conception of his duty, and it would be difficult to find a man better fitted for the office he holds.


The History of Henry County, Iowa. Containing a History of the County, its Cities, Towns and Census. Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1879.

BEATTIE, WRAY, Professor of Natural Sciences in the Iowa Wesleyan University; born in Ireland Jan. 6, 1831; he came with his parents to America when only 3 years of age; they located in Eastern Ohio, where he received his education at the Ohio Wesleyan University, of Delaware; graduated from that institution; he came to Iowa in 1855; became connected with the University and has been connected with that institution longer than any of his Professors; has also studied medicine and is a graduate of the St. Louis Medical College. On the 1st day of January, 1856, upon the occasion of a leap year party, he married Miss Phebe J. Jenkins, of Hillsboro, Montgomery Co., Ill.; their wedding was a complete surprise to their friends. Prof. Hull, of Agency City, was married at the same time and at the same place. Mrs. Beattie was engaged in teaching in the University when Senator Harlan was its President. Prof. and Mrs. Beattie have two children- Charles, born May 5, 1859, and Helen La Rue, born Feb. 15, 1864; lost one daughter- Jessie Irene.



G. W. Downs

Among the residents of Palo Alto county who have gained enviable reputations because of their progressive and enterprising methods, and whose efforts have been rewarded with a goodly measure of success, stands George W. Downs, secretary of the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Palo Alto county and special agent for a number of other mutual insurance companies.  Mr. Downs was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, on the 19th of July, 1853, and is a son of John and Mary S. (Kuhn) Downs, the father a native of Ireland and the mother of Westmoreland county.  John Downs came to this country in young manhood and for a number of years was employed on the construction of the York & Erie Railroad.  In 1854 he came west, locating in Allamakee county, Iowa, where he bought a tract of government land, on which in later years he engaged in farming.  He lived in his seventy-fifth year, long surviving his wife who died at the comparatively  early age of thirty-two years.

George W. Downs attended at the Upper Iowa University.  He then engaged in teaching school for a number of years, after which he began farming.  In 1878, with twelve or fifteen companions, he came to Palo Alto county, walking from Algona to Emmetsburg, the railroad not having yet been constructed through this locality.  Their object was to secure work on the building of the railroad and Mr. Downs was so employed for one summer.  During the period, he and his brother, James P., bought a quarter section of land near the town of Emmetsburg on the south, and they farmed this land in partnership for eighteen or twenty years.  He then sold his interest to his brother and bought two hundred acres, located two miles west of his first farm.  Later he added eighty acres to this tract and cultivated that place until 1915, when he moved into Emmetsburg, where he has since lived, though he still owns the farm.  For a number of years before leaving the farm he had been actively interested in the Farmers mutual Insurance Company of Palo Alto County and in 1916 was made secretary of this company, for which reason he moved into the town in order to keep in closer touch with his office.  From that time he has been a conspicuous figure in insurance circles of this locality, also representing other mutual insurance companies in this field.  he is a man of sound and reliable judgment and is energetic and progressive in his methods, his record in the insurance business being one that reflects very creditably on him.

In 1879 Mr. Downs was united in marriage to Miss Sarah J. Dungan, of Allamakee county, Iowa, and to them were born nine children, of which number eight survive, namely:  Mary Irene, James F., Margaret C., Charles J., Leo A., Ruth Estella, Blanche I. and Harold D.  Mr. Downs is a member of Palo Alto Lodge, No. 252, Knights of Pythias, and the Modern Woodman of America.  His religious faith is that of the Roman Catholic church.  He is a man of sterling character, takes a commendable interest in everything pertaining to the progress or the welfare of his locality and by his life and achievements he has merited the high place which he holds in the estimation of the public.



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