"From History of Scott County, Iowa 1882 Chicago: Interstate Publishing Co."

Nicholas White, an enterprising farmer of Liberty Township, is a native of Kilkenny, Ireland, and was born in August, 1819. He came to New York State in 1848, remaining there until 1852; then to Columbus, Ohio, where he worked in Ridgeway & Kimball's car factory for two years. Mr. White is a wagon-maker by trade. He came to this county in 1855, and established a wagon shop in Dixon, which he ran for 10 years. He then located on a farm on section 10, Liberty Township, where he now resides. The land was then wild prairie. He has worked hard and has his land now well improved, of which he owns 200 acres, besides 80 acres in Louisa Co., Iowa. He was married in December, 1849, to Miss Alice McDonald, by whom he has had nine children; six of these are living - Julia, Thomas, Edward, Katie, Bridget and James. One son, Daniel, died at the age of 15 years. The family belong to the Catholic church at Big Rock


"From History of Scott County, Iowa 1882 Chicago: Interstate Publishing Co."

Daniel Riordan, superintendent of the Poor Farm, is an Irishman by birth, and emigrated to America in 1844. He was born in Kilkenny Co., Ireland, Dec. 24, 1821. He first landed in New York, and in the vicinity of that city worked as a common laborer for about 10 years. In 1854 he came to Scott County and engaged in farming. In 1858 he married Joanna Kelliher, who was born in Ireland, Jan. 12, 1833, and came to America in 1840. Two children were born unto them - Margaret, born in 1859; Mary, in 1865. After his marriage, Mr. Riordan bought a small farm, on which he resided until 1877, when he was appointed superintendent of the Poor Farm of the county, and has since resided on the farm in the discharge of the duties of the position. Politically Mr. Riordan is a Republican.


"From Vol. 2 History of Davenport and Scott County" by Harry E. Downer - S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910 Chicago

Since 1852, or for a period of fifty-seven years, M. J. Tobin has been closely identified with the agricultural interests of Scott county and his possessions, now embracing five hundred and sixty acres in Winfield township, make him one of the substantial citizens of eastern Iowa. He was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1835, a son of Richard and Mary (Cody) Tobin, who emigrated with their family to the new world in 1852, in which year they settled in Scott county. They made the journey from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, to this district by boat, and in Winfield township the father entered one hundred and sixty acres of raw land, which he broke with ox-teams, in due time making it a cultivable property, continuing his work as a farmer throughout his entire business career. He passed away in 1897, having reached a very advanced age. He was one of the influential and valued citizens of Scott county and at his death the community mourned the loss of one whom it had come to love and honor.

M. J. Tobin was a youth of seventeen years when he accompanied his parents to the new world. When they located on the farm in Winfield township the son rendered valuable assistance in the work of developng and improving the tract on which substantial buildings were erected. When starting out in life on his own account he chose the occupation to which he had been reared and the original farm is now in his possession, and the additional purchases he has made finds him today the owner of five hundred and sixty acres. All this is well improved land and the first buildings which were put upon the farm have been replaced with those of more modern type, so that the farm is now one of the valuable properties in eastern Iowa. In connection with general farming Mr. Tobin has also given much attention to the raising of stock, making a specialty of cattle, and through this means he has greatly augmented his financial resources.

Mr. Tobin has been married twice. He first wedded Miss Anna Moore, their marriage ceremony being performed in St. Ann's Catholic church at Long Grove. Four children were born of this union; Richard, Mary Ellen, Sarah and Margaret. For his second wife Mr. Tobin chose Mary Doyle, and there are four sons of this marriage: Martin, Thomas, John and Arthur. He has given all his children good educational advantages, the sons having attended St. Ambrose College, while the daughters were educated in a Catholic convent.

Mr. Tobin has been a life-long democrat and for six years served as trustee of Winfield township. He is a communicant of St. Ann's church. Public-spirited in an eminent degree, no pioneer of Scott county is deserving of more prominent mention in a history of this character than is Mr. Tobin. In him are embodied the virtues of the early pioneers - the steadfast purpose, rugged integrity and religious zeal - virtues to which the splendid civilization of this great state is indebted for its wonderful development and its glorious progress. He has led a busy, active and useful life and now, at the age of seventy-five years, he stands crowned with honors and years, one of the most respected pioneer citizens of Scott county and Winfield township.

Biographical History and Portrait Gallery of Scott County...1895; American Biog Publ.

     One of the representative and well-known citizens of Winfield Township is Matthew J. Tobin. He first saw the light of day, March 15, 1835, in County Kilkenny, Ireland. He received but a common school education in the country of his nativity, and in April, 1852, he emigrated to America with his parents, who landed in Philadelphia, and came over the mountains of Pittsburgh, and then down the Ohio river to Cairo, and up the Mississippi to Davenport. He came out into Winfield Township and took a Government claim of land, consisting of one hundred and sixty acres, for which he paid one dollar and twenty five cents an acre. Mr. Tobin has never been an office-seeker, though he has been persuaded to hold some school and other minor offices.
     By hard work he has accumulated about five hundred acres of land, and he is so situated that he can take the remainder of his life in comfort and ease. He is a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Catholic Church, and affiliates with the Democratic party. Mr. Tobin is one of the leading citizens of Winfield Township, and a gentleman well liked by all his neighbors.


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

John Nugent, section 11, Junction Twp, Greene County, is a native of
Ireland, born in county Kilkenny, April, 24, 1832, a son of Garrett Nugent,
deceased, who was a native of the same country. John Nugent came to the
United States in 1852, and after living one year in Dutchess County, New
York, he went to Orleans County, New York where he lived six years. In 1858
he located in Will County, Illinois ,where he resided till coming to Greene
County, Iowa, in 1876, when he settled on his present farm in Junction
township. April 9, 1861, he was united in marriage to Miss Hannah Barrett, a
daughter of John Barrett, a resident of Will County, Illinois. Eleven
children have been born to this union-Garrett, Julia, Margaret, Catherine,
John, Richard, Mary, Ellen, William, Edward, and one who is deceased. Mr.
Nugent is one of the self-made men of Greene county. He began life in
America entirely without means, and for eleven years worked by the month as
a farm laborer, part of the time receiving only his board for his services.
His highest wages during this time was $15 per month, receiving this amount
for two months during harvest time. By years of persevering industry, strict
economy and good management he has become one of the prosperous
agriculturists of Junction township, where he owns a fine farm of 320 acres.
He devotes his entire attention to farming and raising stock, making a
specialty of graded stock. He is a member of the Roman Catholic church.


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

BERNARD FLANNERY, farmer, Sec. 18; P.O. De Witt; born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, about 1820; he came to America, December, 1848; Mr. Flannery visited various parts of the country before he settled down; he landed in New York, then visited Connecticut; returned to New York; went to New Orleans, then to Memphis and other parts of Tennessee, and came to Clinton Co., December, 1850, and entered his present farm. He married Margaret Trimbull, daughter of Michael Trimbull; they have nine children -- Michael, Mary, John, Peter, William, Sarah, Bernard, James J. and Lawrence. Mr. Flannery's home farm contains 220 acres; he also has another farm of 200 acres.


History of Johnson County, Iowa...from 1836 to 1882; Iowa City, Iowa: 1883

Patrick Hennessy, a farmer and stock raiser, resides  on section 5, in Graham twp, post-office Morse. Was born 1830 in Kilkenny, Ireland; came to America in 1859 and lived in New York State until he settled in Graham township, in 1857. He was married in 1857 to Miss Ellen Lovett, of Ireland. This union is blessed with five children, one boy and four girls. The family are members of the Roman Catholic Church. A Democrat in politics.


Graettinger, [ Palo Alto Co] Iowa  Centennial 1893-1993; Graettinger Centennial Committee

Patrick and Anastasia (Knaresborough) Nolan
Patrick Charles Nolan was born August 2, 1841, at Dunmore, three miles north of Kilkenny County, Ireland. He grew to manhood in Ireland and married Anastasia Knaresborough there in 1865.
Patrick and Anastasia and their first child, Mary Ann, sailed from Liverpool on the ship Helvetia and arrived in New York on February 8, 1866. They came directly to Palo Alto County, where they started farming. Mary Ann died September 15, 1866 and is buried on a farm northwest of Emmetsburg. Patrick farmed the west shore of Medium Lake. Since there were two Patrick Nolans in the county, he was known as "Paddy Green."
Patrick was elected county sheriff in 1873. He also taught school in the county and on February 9, 1871, he became a naturalized citizen.
The following additional children were born to Patrick and Anastasia:
Charles M. was born June 8, 1867. He married Elizabeth Quinn and they had 13 children. Charles died June 20, 1945.
Richard J., was born September 29, 1869. He married Josie Jackman and they had an adopted son who died young. Richard died July 3, 1916.
Johanna was born April 15, 1872. She married Alex Cullen and they had no children. Johanna died October 25, 1918.
Edward J., was born December 29, 1874. He married Belle English and they had one son who died in infancy. Edward died October 19, 1943.
Robert P. was born August 10, 1877. He never married and he died August 20, 1901.
Martin F. (Frank) was born September 19, 1881. He married a widow who had a son, Kenneth. Frank died May 18, 1956.
Anna M., was born December 28, 1883. She married John Martin and they had two sons... Anna died April 28, 1984.
Patrick died August 12, 1926 and Anastasia died November 28, 1919. They are buried in St. John's Cemetery in Emmetsburg [Palo Alto County, Iowa].


History of Johnson County, Iowa...from 1836 to 1882; Iowa City, Iowa: 1883

Rev. James Quinn, the present pastor of the Catholic Church at Windham; was born in county Kilkenny, Ireland,  March 2, 1851. He first went to a county school, and at the age of sixteen to the Christian Brothers at Waterford. After being there two years, studying the lower branches, with some Latin, he went to St.  Kerranís College, Kilkenny, where he remained six years, studying the classics, logic and physics. At this time he made up his mind to go on a foreign mission, and returned to Waterford to complete his theological studies. He remained there three years at St. Johnís College, and was ordained priest in the cathedral of that place by the Right Rev.  Bishop Power, on the 20th of June, 1878. After his ordination he remained with his parents four months and then came to America in Oct 1878. He arrived in Dubuque in November and after a short stay there was appointed assistant priest at Des Moines, where he spent two years and five months and was appointed by Father Brazil, pastor of Windham, April  1, 1881.


Past and Present in Allamakee County, by Ellery M. Hancock. 2 vols. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1913.

Waukon numbered James Holahan among its capitalists. He became a factor in its business circles as a pioneer implement dealer and eventually developed his business to include the manufacture of wagons and carriages. His trade extended throughout northeastern Iowa and southwestern Minnesota and his well merited success made him one of the substantial and respected residents of the state.
Mr. Holahan was numbered among the worthy citizens that Ireland furnished to Allamakee county, his birth occurring in Kilkenny. He was but a child in years, however, when the family emigrated to America, making settlement at Naugatuck, Connecticut, where the years of his youth were passed. He made his initial step in the business world by learning the trade of a decorator and painter. He was employed in that capacity in a clock factory of Naugatuck for some time but eventually the family came to Iowa, settling at Decorah, so that from that point onward to the time of his death Mr. Holahan was a resident of this state. In 1863 he took up his abode in Waukon. The Holahan homestead consists of a magnificent forest park fifty acres in extent, planned and planted by Mr. Holahan, and surrounds a stately, old-fashioned mansion. It is one of the show spots of the city. After becoming a resident of Waukon Mr. Holahan opened one of the first implement establishments of the town, becoming a pioneer in that line of trade. He was not long in winning recognition for his business ability in a growing patronage. He also began the manufacture of wagons and carriages, conducting an extensive enterprise along that line. The trade not only covered Allamakee county but extended into adjoining counties until it had covered northeastern Iowa and southeastern Minnesota, and throughout the entire district his name was household word for more than a generation. He was known as a most enterprising and progressive business man, carefully formulating his plans and carrying them forward to successful completion. Obstacles and difficulties in his path seemed but an impetus for renewed effort that never faltered until his purpose was achieved.
Mr. Holahan was united in marriage to Miss Kate Fenelon, a native of Carlow, Ireland, and they became the parents of five sons and four daughters, namely: W.J., who is now living in Mason City, Iowa; John, who is located at Havana, Cuba; M.F., a resident of Atlanta, Georgia; L.J., living in Dixon, Illinois; James, who is located at Victoria, Illinois; Nellie M., the wife of the Hon. William S. Hart, a prominent lawyer and legislator of Allamakee county; Anna; Gretta, and Mamie, who is Sister M. Benoit in St. Xavier's Academy of Chicago.
Such in brief is the life history of James Holahan, one of the most worthy and highly esteemed pioneer citizens of Allamakee county. He early recognized the fact that there is no royal road to wealth and that there is no excellence without labor. He, therefore, put forth effective effort to secure his advancement and the methods which he followed and the course which he pursued commended him to the confidence, good-will, and honor of all with whom he came in contact.


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

Pat Laughlin, farmer, Sec. 9; P.O. Otter Creek; was born in 1820 in Co. Kilkenny, Ireland; emigrated to America in 1845; he lived in Waterstown, New York 3 years, then went to Syracuse; after remaining there about the same length of time, he returned to Watertown and married Miss Mary Quinn; they came to Iowa in 1851 and settled where they now reside; they have 7 children-John (married Miss Mary Prinz, live in Fremont Co, Iowa), James (also lives in Freemont Co.), Michael, Joseph, Catherine (married P. Maher, lives in Fremont Co), Mary, Maggie. Mr. Laughlin and wife are members of the Catholic church; in politics he is a Democrat. Owns 280 acres of finely improved land in this co and 220 acres in Fremont Co.


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

John M Byrne was born in the city of Dubuque on May 29, 1853, the second in a family of four children born to the union of Patrick and Theresa (Hart) Byrne. The father, a native of Kilkenny county, Ireland, came to America and Dubuque in 1850 and obtained employment as clerk in the O'Hallern grocery establishment. He was later elected city treasurer of Dubuque and died in 1858 while occupying that office. He was forty years of age when he passed away and was survived by his wife until 1878, she dying when fifty-one years old. To them four children were born, as follows: one, who died on passage across the Atlantic to the United States, unnamed; John M., subject of this review; Joseph T., and Francis J., John M. Byrne received his education in the local public schools, succeeding which he spent six years in the L.H. Jordan sash factory. After a short connection with Patch & Waite he then established himself in the grocery business at the southwest corner of Fifth and Main streets, continuing thus two and a half years and then selling to Dunn & Collins. He and brothers then purchased of the George Wilde estate the livery establishment where the Rider-Wallis building now stands, taking charge on September 26, 1876, and conducted that business some fourteen months under the firm name of O'Brien & Byrne Brothers. In November, 1877, the Byrne brothers disposed of their interests to Mr. O'Brien,and on May 12 of the following year established themselves at Seventh and Locust streets, which barn is still operated. On May 12, 1888, they acquired the large barn and transfer house at Ninth and Iowa streets, now their headquarters, and in 1901 also purchased the Dubuque Omnibus Company, which they have since successfully operated. John M. Byrne is a member of the Dubuque Club, the Commercial Club, St. Raphael's Cathedral and the Modern Woodmen of America.


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

The name of Martin Coonan, Sr., who has long since passed to his last reward, is inseparably associated with the foundation , growth and early history of Emmetsburg. He came to the county when the march of civilization was timid and when all undertakings were attended by the risks and painful trials of early pioneer life. He settled in this locality when there was no Emmetsburg, when there was little else but prairie and sky. He built a home on the east bank of the Des Moines, the present site of the Riverdale farm. This was in 1858. His house was the first stopping place for stages and travelers, and they were always welcome and given the best accommodations beneath the humble roof. Mr. Coonan was the first postmaster in this locality and he laid out the old town, naming it Emmetsburg, in honor of that immortal young patriot who shed his life's blood for the cause of his country. His residence was used for the first term of court held in Palo Alto county. He made the first improvements in Emmetsburg property.
Mr. Coonan was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1819. He was married to Miss Catherine O'Connell, at Boston, Mass., February 6, 1847. He died in this city, January 13, 1886. His aged companion still survives; is quite rugged and healthy, and frequently, in conversation, dwells with vivid interest on the scenes and conditions preceding the founding of our populous city.


History of Tama County, Iowa; Springfield, Ill.: Union Pub. Co., 1883.

     Edward Brennan was an early settler of Tama county, coming to Geneseo township in 1856. He first entered the east half of the southeast quarter of section 1; but was afterward notified that the railroad company had entered it previously; so he was obliged to purchase it, paying $5 per acre. He first erected a log cabin, in which he lived until 1868. During that year he built the frame house in which he now lives. Mr. Brennan is a native of county Kilkenny, Ireland, born in 1811. In 1849, he left his native land and came to the United States, landing at Boston. From there he went to Bolton where he engaged in farming for a few months, then made another change, going to Brunswick, Maine, where he followed railroading, thence he went to Vermont, where he followed the same line of business at Ludlow. In 1852, Mr. Brennan went to Quebec, where he served on the police force for four years, and in 1856, came to Tama county, as stated. Mr. Brennan was married in 1847, to Miss Margaret Casey. They have been blessed with seven children, four of whom are now living: Patrick, Edward, James and John. Thomas, born October 27, 1851, died January 27, 1875, of heart disease. He had gone into the timber for a load of wood, and a moment before his death, had been talking with his companions. When he was taken with the disease he fell over and expired instantly. Mary, a married daughter, was born March 24, 1848, died May 4, 1874, leaving two little children, one of whom soon followed her mother, the other is now living with her grandmother, Mrs. Brennan. Bridget, another daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brennan, was born in 1850, died in 1854.


History of Counties of Woodbury and Plymouth, Iowa; Will L. Clark, et al.;  Chicago: A. Warner & Co., 1890-91

     Rev. Timothy Meagher, who has faithfully served the Roman Catholic church in northwestern Iowa, has resided at Danbury since 1883, and is justly entitled to a notice in this connection. Regardless of religious beliefs and nationality, it is a common saying in the vicinity in which Father Meagher lives, that all are his personal friends. Like many other of his fellow countrymen, he not only possesses a large degree of good nature and kindheartedness, but he is also a thorough scholar, a devoted Christian and a strong factor in the church of his choice. America is proud of the many sons of Erin, who have come to our shores full of heart and intellect, with a determination to accomplish something, not for themselves alone, but for the good of mankind. In time of war, this country appreciated the skill, bravery and loyalty of the Irish people. It has not been forgotten that scores of union army officers, whose names and deeds of heroism adorn the pages of military history from 1861 to 1865, were sons of the Emerald Isle. What is true of military chieftains is true of the great leaders of the church- they are ever earnest, ever loyal to the best interests of all that is moral, religious and educational.
     The man of whom we write, Father Meagher- was born at Bramblestown, county Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1855. He lived in the place of his birth until he came to Danbury, Iowa, in 1883. He received his education at St. Kierans college, Ireland, Upon coming to Danbury, he took charge of a part of the seven northwestern counties of Iowa. At present, his work is confined chiefly to the parishes at Danbury and Oto. Of his parentage, it should be said that his father was Daniel Meagher, who was married to Ellen Delaney, both of whom were born, lived, and died in Ireland. The family they reared consisted of eight children, five daughters and three sons. His brother Patrick and sister Margaret came to America. The latter became the wife of James Walker, who now resides in Sioux City.
     Considering the short time our subject has lived and labored in this country, together with his age there are but few who have been instrumental in upbuilding the interests of the great church to the extent that he has. Future generations shall feel the effect of the corner stones placed by the hands of the truly good man, for whom nature and education have done much.


Biographical History and Portrait Gallery of Scott County...1895; American Biographical Publishing Co.

Walter Kelly

     When one visits the City of Davenport to-day, and stands a unit in the midst of thronging hundreds, and beholds its wealth and influence, it is difficult for him to realize that all before and around him, including two cities in the vicinity, is the growth of three-score years. Intimately associated with the early history and struggles of this enterprising city was the man whose name heads this sketch. Walter Kelly was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, June 29, 1814. He came to America in September, 1835, the same year that Antoine LeClaire, Colonel George Davenport and six others met and decided to lay out a town site for Davenport.
     Mr. Kelly had two brothers living in Detroit, Michigan, where he first settled and remained for four years with his brothers, one of whom was a Catholic priest, Rev. Patrick Kelly, and Michael, who was a merchant. While in that city he learned the trade of a moulder. After this he went to Chicago, where he worked at his trade two years. In 1841 he came to Davenport, where he had been preceded a couple of years by two other brothers, James and Thomas, whose presence in this city determined his coming here. Mr. Kelly then for a dozen years engaged in such operations as Davenport afforded in those early days, part of the time engaged as foreman in the packing-house of Burrows & Prettyman. In 1852 he entered into partnershhip with a namesake (though no relation), Bartholomew Kelly, under the firm name of B. & W. Kelly. The firm conducted a general business, handling various lines of goods, and their store was one of the most extensive and handsomely equipped in the State. It occupied what to old settlers was known as the Bazaar block, corner of Front and Brady Streets, directly south of the present wholesale house of J.F. Kelly & Co. In 1857 the firm of B. & W. Kelly was dissolved and Walter Kelly and James Roche entered into partnership, which lasted for only a short time, Mr. Kelly withdrawing from the firm and establishing himself at a new location at the corner of Second and Iowa streets, where he had bought a lot and erected a building, and continued in the same business. In 1881 he entered into partnership with his son, William. F.; the firm was then known as W. Kelly & Son, grocers at 123 Brady street. In 1884 the senior member of the firm retired from business, selling his interest to his son, J.F., the firm name now being J.F. Kelly & Co., who do an exclusive wholesale business at Nos. 102 Front, 103 and 107 Brady Streets.
     Walter Kelly had accumulated by his industry and energy an honorable competence and the last decade of his life was thus one of well-deserved leisure and contentment.
     February 5, 1845, Walter Kelly was united in marriage to Miss Mary McNamara, the ceremony being performed by the Rev. Father John A. Pelamourges, at St. Anthony's Church. Mrs. Kelly, the companion of his wedded life for nearly half a century, still survives. The children who also survive are John F., William F., Thomas E., and Mrs. E.T. Rohm, of Davenport, and Mrs. J.S. Stiles and Mrs. E.W. Gale of Chicago.
     Walter Kelly was a quiet and unassuming man, and though his long and useful career as a citizen of the community entitled him to political honors, he did not seek them. He consented only once to accept an office, being elected alderman from the Fifth Ward in 1862, serving two years during the mayoralty of Hon. George W. French. Mr. Kelly's ventures proved uniformly lucrative, so that from a financial standpoint his business career was crowned with success. Furthermore, in his sons and daughters he leaves behind him, as honored and influential members of society, a legacy to the community which he prized more highly than wealth.
     Mr. Kelly departed this life on November 23, 1893. The funeral services were held at St. Anthony's Church, and interment was in St. Marguerite's cemetery.


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

James Doren was born in Kilkenny County, Ireland, May 9, 1839, son of Patrick and Catherine (Keep) Doren, who were likewise natives of the Emerald Isle. His father emigrated to America in 1847, and enlisted in the Mexican war, serving until his death, which occurred at Fort Dodge, Texas, Aug. 12, 1850. His mother emigrated to America with her family in 1848, and to Clayton County in 1849. She is still residing here with her son James, aged seventy years. The subject of this sketch was ten years of age when he came to America, and was
married here in 1867 to Julia Dooley, who was born in New York in 1852. Their union has been blessed with seven children - Elizabeth, James P., William, Edward H., John C., Francis B. and Catherine (deceased). Mr. Doren owns ninety acres of land in Volga Township and three houses and lots in Elkport. He is a member of the Catholic church, and in his political views is a Democrat. 


Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Webster and Hamilton Counties, Iowa. Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1888.

James F. Brennan, priest of the Catholic Church, Webster City, was appointed to take charge of this parish in 1881. He was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1854, and educated in 1878 and ordained to the work of the ministry in Maynooth, Ireland. In 1880 he came to the United States, and for a year was assistant in the Cathedral at Dubuque, Iowa, and in 1881 came to Webster City. He is a cultured gentleman, and his cordial and courteous manners have won for him the respect of all who know him. The church in Webster City was built in 1872. It is a good brick building, located on a fine site in the eastern part of town. Father Peter O'Dowd had charge of the church from 1872 till 1875, and Father O'Keeffe from 1875 till 1881. The growth of the church has been slow but steady, and they are now in a prosperous condition. They have in addition to the church building a good residence property, which is now the home of Father Brennan.


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

     JAMES  MCGRATH,  Freight Agent for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad at Dubuque, is one of the oldest railroad employes in years of continued service west of Chicago, and is one of the most trusted and efficient as well.  With large corporations like railroad concerns, no leniency is exercised, and every duty must be promptly and faithfully
performed.  His fidelity to the trusts reposed in him has brought to Mr. McGrath long retention in the railway service, and his record is one of which he may well be proud.
     Although of Irish birth, our subject retains no recollection of the land of his birth, for he was only nine months old when brought to this country by his parents, John and Ellen (O'Connell) McGrath, He was born in County Kilkenney, August 16, 1835, and in 1836 the family came to America, settling at Tomkins Cove, on the Hudson River in Rockland County, N.Y.  There were fourteen children in the parental family, nine being daughters and four sons, of whom our subject is the eldest born. Thomas, the second son, was drowned in the Hudson River, July 4, 1848. During the cholera epidemic in 1854, a sister died, August 15, a brother August 16, and the mother August 18.
     In Rockland County, N. Y., our subject passed the years of early boyhood, and in the common schools laid the foundation of his education. In 1852 he removed with his family to Chicago, and in the spring of the following year entered the employ of the Chicago & Illinois, now the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company, Securing a clerical position in the office of that road, he continued in that capacity until 1864. During that year Mr. McGrath went to Winona, Minn., and for a short time filled the position of Cashier of the Winona & St. Peter's Railroad.  Somewhat later he went to Rochester, Minn., and was there employed as agent for four years. In 1870 ho became the agent for the Milwaukee & St. Paul at Austin, Minn. On the 1st of March, 1882, he was transferred to Dubuque, being placed in charge of the Freight and Passenger Departments of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. Two years were thus spent, since which time his work has been confined exclusively to the
Freight Department. His railroad service covers a period of forty-one years, and reflects the highest credit upon his honesty and uprightness. On the 14th of April, 1855, occurred the marriage of Mr. McGrath and Miss Ann A. Mathews, of Chicago, a sister of Thomas Mathews, a prominent real-estate dealer of that city. They have had ten children: Alice C., who
was born April 28,1856; Ellen, November 26,1857; Ann, December 16, 1859; Thomas, September 2, 1861; James Henry, November 28, 1868; John Joseph, September 80, 1865; Mary, December 31, 1867; Alice, February 19, 1870; Ann, April 12, 1872; and Thomas P., March 14, 1874. Six of the family are deceased, viz.: Ann, who died August 2, 1860; Alice C., January 15, 1861; Thomas, June 26, 1864; James Henry, March 25, 1887; Alice, January 4, 1898,
and Mary, August 19, 1894. The surviving members of the household are Ellen, John J.; Ann, wife of P. Gandolfo; and Thomas P. The example of the father may well be followed by the children, and is worthy of emulation by all who wish to live straightforward and honorable lives. In religious belief Mr. McGrath and his family are connected with the Catholic Church.
In matters pertaining to local advancement he takes a warm interest, and in politics advocates the Democratic principles.


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

        EDWARD BUTLER, an efficient and successful agriculturist of Dubuque County, is as fine a representative of that class of Irishmen who  have become thoroughly Americanized and are in full sympathy with the institutions of this country as can be found in eastern Iowa. He is the owner of a valuable farm in Dubuque Township, but having retired from active labor, his sons now have charge of the home place and superintend its cultivation. Without means when he began his life work, his present property has been gained through persevering and well directed efforts.
         The parents of our subject, James and Bridget (Gleeson) Butler, were natives of County Kilkenny, Ireland, where the mother died. In 1850 the father came to America and died at Shullsburg, Wis., aged sixty-three years. Edward, who is the only survivor of five children, was born in County Kilkenny in 1826, and in childhood had very few advantages, his time
being devoted to agricultural pursuits. Arriving at man's estate, he resolved to seek a home across the ocean, and accordingly sailed from Liverpool in 1847, arriving in New Orleans after a voyage of nine weeks.  From that city he took a river steamer up the Mississippi as far as St. Louis, where he stopped for three weeks.
         From St. Louis Mr, Butler proceeded to Dubuque, and in this county he hired out in the harvest field by the day and month. It was about that time that the country was thrown into the greatest excitement by the discovery of gold in California, and thousands were seeking the El Dorado of the New World. He was one of the number who in 1851 went overland to the
Pacific coast. The trip consumed several months, and was one long to be remembered for its hardships and suffering, After having spent eighteen months in California, Mr. Butler returned via the Isthmus of Panama and New Orleans to Dubuque.
         Shortly after his return from the west our subject bought an eighty-acre tract in Center Township, Dubuque County, which he sold one year later. He then rented a farm near his present home, and still later bought the valuable property on which he now lives. As before stated, he has practically retired from farm work and his land is tilled by his energetic and industrious sons. He is independent in politics, inasmuch as he always votes for the man whom he deems best qualified to represent the people.
         Previous to going to California Mr. Butler was united in marriage, July 2, 1850, with Miss Elizabeth Fisher, a native of Dubuque County and daughter of John and Susan Fisher.  There have been born unto them ten children, of whom seven are living, as follows: Edward, Jr., William, Mary, Henry, George, Dennis and Aggie. George and Mary are married, and the
former has three children, and the latter eight.

--Contributed by Becky Teubner


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

        REV. THOMAS ROWE, Rector of St. Mary's Catholic Church at Strawberry Point, was born at Castle Comer, County Kilkenny, Ireland, June 21, 1854, being the son of Nicholas Rowe, a wealthy farmer and stockman. On the family estate, in the parish of Clough, are located the most extensive coal fields in all Ireland. There were eight sons in the family, all of
whom had the advantages of a liberal education, and three are Catholic priests. Patrick, the eldest, is at Kimberly, South Africa, in the diamond fields. The second brother, Michael, a Catholic Curate, has charge of a Catholic Church near Kilkenny, Ireland. William, also a priest, emigrated to America about the year 1874, and is now connected with St. James'
parochial school in New York City. John is Justice of the Peace in Clough, Queen's County, Ireland, and owns a large estate. Edward is living on the old homestead at Castle Comer, where the father died in 1874. James is extensively engaged in the commission business at Dublin. Richard is a commercial traveler in England. Julia lives on the old homestead with her mother and brother. Lizzie is married and resides in Abbeyleix, Queen's
County, Ireland.
     In the parochial schools of Castle Comer our subject gained the rudiments of his education. In 1865 he entered St. Keiran's College, of which the late Very Rev. Edward McDonald, D. D., was President. He and his brother Michael were ordained November 11, 1877, by Cardinal Moran, now Archbishop of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Our subject being ordained for the diocese of Dubuque, he at once came to this country, and was made Rector of St. Aidens Church, in West Dubuque, where he remained until 1883.  His pastorate was an eminently successful one, and by his efforts the large debt hanging over the church was paid off.
         Coming to Strawberry Point in 1883, Father Rowe was made Rector of St. Mary's Church, which was established by Father John Hackett, of honored memory. Aside from this pastorate, he has charge of the church at Cox Creek, in Clayton County, and that at Greeley, Delaware County. During the years of his pastorate at this place, his superior ability has resulted in great benefit to the church. The congregation has increased in numbers, and
the interest has steadily grown from the first. A genial and agreeable gentleman, he is popular, not only with his parishioners, but also with all the citizens of Strawberry Point and the surrounding country. He is indefatigable in his efforts to advance the cause of his church, and is a tireless laborer for its welfare. His religious duties require the closest attention on his part, but he nevertheless finds time to keep himself posted upon current events pertaining to the local or national welfare, and is a law-abiding, patriotic citizen, cherishing an affection for, and allegiance to, the country of his adoption.

-Contributed by Becky Teubner


Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Webster and Hamilton Counties, Iowa. Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1888.

     James J. Ryan, the present efficient treasurer of Webster County, belongs to one of the early families of Cooper Township. His father, John Ryan, was a native of County Kilkenny, Ireland, where he grew to manhood and married Mary Phelan, a native of the same county. In 1847, they sailed for America from Liverpool, in the old passage ship, DeWitt Clinton, and after a tedious voyage of three months landed in New York. They first located at Rondout, a small town on the Hudson River, where Mr. Ryan was employed about a year as foreman in a cement mill. They then moved to McHenry County, Illinois, where they lived until 1856, when they moved to Webster County and bought 160 acres of land on section 9, Cooper Township, and thenceforth the father's time was spent in farming and stock-raising. His death occurred June 15, 1872, after a lingering illness of several years, the result of a sunstroke. The children were all too young to assume any responsibility and the care of her family and the estate devolved on Mrs. Ryan. Since the death of the father they have added 160 acres to the homestead, which now contains 320 acres, about half being under cultivation. Mr. Ryan was a representative man of his township. He was well educated, excelling in mathematics of which he was very fond. He began life a poor boy and by industry and good management secured for his family a fine farm. He was affable and genial in his disposition, and made friends wherever he was known. He was ever a strong opponent of the liquor traffic and a warm advocate of the temperance cause, and it might here be remarked that all his sons have inherited this virtue of their father, not one of them ever touched liquor. There was a family of eleven children, three of whom are deceased. Those living are Margaret, Anna, Mary, Catherine, James J., Elizabeth, Michael and Edward. Mary is the wife of Morris Welch of Badger Township; Catherine is the wife of Thomas B.___ of Fort Dodge. The rest with the exception of James, are on the homestead with the mother. The family are all members of the Catholic church. James J. Ryan was born in Cooper Township, June 8, 1861. He was educated in the public school at Fort Dodge, and for many years was engaged in buying stock. In politics he is a Democrat, and in 1887  was elected by his party county treasurer, succeeding D.A. Weller who was his opponent and had been an acceptable official. Mr. Ryan's election was due to his energy, ability, and popularity with the young men, and his administration of the affairs of the office fully confirms the confidence imposed in him, and has won for him the respect of the opposing party.


Biographical Record and Portrait Album of Webster and Hamilton Counties, Iowa. Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1888.

John Walsh, one of the well-known farmers of Johnson Township, is a native of Ireland, born in Kilkenny County, Waterford [Ireland?], in 1820, a son of Michael and Mary (Dempsey) Walsh. In 1844 he came to the United States and located in McHenry, Illinois, and a year later was joined by his brother Edward. They worked by the month as farm hands, until 1856 when John came to Fort Dodge, Iowa, Edward following him in 1857. He pre-empted 160 acres of land in 1855 but did not settle on it until 1858, the brothers working the farm of Thomas Flaherty in 1857. In 1858 he built a log cabin on the land and together the brothers have worked their farm, owning it in partnership with the exception of two homesteads of eighty acres each. They now own 470 acres and are numbered among the prosperous men of the township. Their homes are beautifully located, and their buildings are commodious and erected with a view to convenience and elegance. They have acquired their property by hard work and good management. John Walsh was married in 1885 to Margaret Kelly, and to them have been born two children- Mary and Michael. In politics they are Democratic in their affiliations and in religion are members of the Catholic church.


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

    Colonel John O'Keeffe of the firm of John O'Keeffe & Company, dealers in clothing and gents' furnishing goods; engaged in business at Creston in 1876, with H. Newman, in the clothing and merchant tailor business. This partnership continued about three months, when the present firm was established. The business house of John O'Keeffe & Company is located on Adams street, and is by far the most complete establishment of the kind to be found in Union County. Colonel O'Keeffe is a native of the Emerald Isle, having been born in the city of Kilkenny, Ireland, March 8, 1850. His parents, James and Ellen O'Keeffe, are still living in Ireland, and are the parents of five children, our subject being the only one residing in America. He is not, however, the first one that came. His father came when he was a young man, and married Ellen Doran, an American lady of Irish ancestry. They were married at Steubenville, Ohio, and their two eldest sons born in that State. About five years subsequent to their marriage the father returned to his native country with his family. The maternal grandmother of Mr. O'Keeffe was born in Ireland. Her maiden name was O'Connell. She was well educated, and a teacher in her native land, when the penal laws of Ireland punished with death those who were detected in teaching the people the simplest rudiments of the language. She afterward came to America where, as previously stated, the mother of Colonel O'Keeffe was born. The parents of our subject were well-educated, refined people, and gave their children opportunities for a liberal education. The two sons that were born in America are lawyers by profession, one of whom is located at Dublin and the other at Carlow. He was then only a youth, but had become possessed of a strong desire to come to this country, and resolved to make an effort to accomplish his wishes. He accordingly left college, unknown to his parents or the faculty, and, going to Liverpool, with the money furnished for his college expenses, purchased as ticket for New York, where he landed in November. In that city he found friends of his father, who rendered him what assistance he needed. In the spring of 1864, he engaged as correspondent for the Irish-American. He joined the famous Sixty-ninth Regiment, and continued with them for a time, when he was taken sick and sent to the hospital at Hagerstown, Maryland. He remained there two months, and in the meantime Lee had surrendered and the war had closed. He returned to New york City, and soon after engaged to learn the merchant tailoring business with Messrs. Calvert & Robinson on Broadway. In 1868 he enlisted for service in the United States Army, underwent a competitive examination, and was made Second Lieutenant in the Second United States Calvary. He remained in the army until 1872, and then resigned. His field of operations was in Montana, Wyoming, and Dakota. He was engaged in several battles with Indians, and at the battle with the Sioux at Powder River in 1869, received three wounds. He also received a gunshot wound at the battle of the Sweet Water in 1870. At the close of his military service he went to Omaha, Nebraska, and engaged in the merchant tailoring business, and remained there until he moved to Creston. Colonel O'Keeffe served on the staff of Governor Gear, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, for four years, or during the entire administration of that Governor. May 26, 1886, he was appointed a special aid-de-camp on the staff of Governor Larrabee. He has served five years on the city School Board, and two years of that time was its president. He was married in Omaha to Miss Ellen Murphy, a native of that city. They have two children- Clara and Frank R.


Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa...[?]: Hobart Pub. Co., 1905

     John O'Farrell, deceased, was a pioneer resident of Des Moines county. He was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in June, 1798, and was a son of Michael and Julia (O'Keefe) O'Farrell. In the year 1828 he came to the United States, being then a young man of thirty years. He first settled at Newport, R.I., and for ten years was in the employ of the government, being engaged on the construction of forts. On the expiration of that decade he came to the West, settling in Franklin township, Des Moines county, where his brother-in-law, Michael Naddy, had taken up a claim of three hundred and twenty acres, but he at once began clearing it and preparing it for cultivation. His pioneer home was a log cabin, but in 1841 he erected a substantial frame residence, which is still standing. He put all of the improvements upon the place, and continued to work the farm until a tract of ninety acres is now cleared and under a high state of cultivation.
     Before leaving his native country Mr. O'Farrell was married in 1824, to Miss Julia Naddy, a daughter of James and Margaret (Kyle) Naddy. Eight children were born to this union: Michael, who died at the age of thirteen years; Julia, deceased; Margaret, upon the home place; Bridget, the wife of P. Guerin, of California; James, deceased; Mary, who is living on the home place; and Michael and John, who have passed away.
     The father was a Democrat in his political views and a Catholic in his religious faith, being one of the original members of St. Paul's Catholic church at Burlington. His life was marked by industry and perseverance, and he continued actively and successfully to cultivate his farm until his death, which occurred in September, 1860. His widow long survived him and in 1862, accompanied by three daughters and one son, went to California, making her way first to New York City, where they embarked on a boat for Panama, crossed the isthmus, and again sailed for San Francisco. They left home on December 16, and arrived at their destination on January 6, following. Mrs. O'Farrell remained with her children on the Pacific Coast for seven years, during that time her farm being rented to Mr. Lutz for five years, and to John Colerane for two years. In 1870 she returned to Des Moines county with her children, John and Mary, while Margaret remained with her brothers, James and Michael on the Pacific Coast for twenty-six years. Again taking up her abode on the old home farm, Mrs. O'Farrell continued to reside there until her death which occurred Dec. 14, 1888, when she was eighty-six years of age. Her daughters Mary and Margaret, have since lived upon the old homestead, occupying the dwelling which was erected by their father about sixty-four years ago, while the land is rented.


Portrait and Biographical Album, Muscatine County, Iowa, 1889

     M HEALY, a prominent farmer and stock-raiser, residing on section 20, Bloomington Township, was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, in the month of September, 1822, and was the second of a family of five children born to Andrew and Bridget (Dunphy) Healy, who were also born in County Kilkenny. The father engaged in the occupation of farming throughout his life, his death occurring on the 4th of February, 1830, at the age of forty-two years. Mrs. Healy survived her husband for about eighteen years, dying in 1848, when forty-eight years of age. Their children were: Patrick, who is married, and engaged in farming in the old country; John, who came to this country with our subject, but returned to Ireland, where he was married, after which he again came to America, settling at Sag Harbor, N. Y., where he worked in a factory until his death, which occurred in 1884; his family still reside at Sag Harbor. Thomas came to America in 1850, settling in Pennsylvania, and was there married, after which he came to this county, in 1860, locating in Moscow Township, where he yet resides; James, who came to this country in 1852, took up his residence in Pittsburgh, Pa., and there worked on a steamer until his death, which was caused by drowning, in 1854.
     Our subject was reared to farm life, and received a liberal education in the National School of Ireland. In the month of January, 1842, on the Emerald Isle, he was united in marriage with Bridget Macacy, a native of County Kilkenny, and a daughter of James and Catherine (Finn) Macacy, who were also born in Ireland. The death of the father occurred in September, 1839, at the age of fifty-two years, he surviving his wife about five years, her death having occurred in 1834. The young couple began their domestic life in their native land, and there resided until the spring of 1847, when they resolved to make their home in the New World. Bidding good-by to friends and native land, on the 25th of March they set sail from Liverpool, and landed at New York in June. Settling in Pittsburgh, Mr. Healy there tended a furnace until 1859, when he came to this county, locating in Moscow Township, where he purchased 160 acres of raw prairie land, which he immediately began to improve and cultivate, and still owns 100 acres of his original purchase. In 1867 he removed to Bloomington Township, where he purchased land and developed a farm, but in 1875 he took up his residence on section 20, the same township, where he still makes his home. By subsequent purchase he has increased his possessions until he now owns 1,400 acres of fine arable land in this county, 100 of which is in Moscow Township, the remainder being located in Bloomington, Seventy-Six, and Lake Townships. In connection with the cultivation of his land he engages quite extensively in buying and shipping cattle, annually feeding from sixty to seventy head. Starting in life in limited circumstances, his success is all due to his own honest efforts, his industry, and his perseverance.
     In 1883 Mr. Healy was called upon to mourn the loss of his estimable wife, who was called to her final home in August of that year. They were the parents of twelve children, ten of whom are yet living; Anna, now Mrs. Spellman, resides in Adair County, Iowa; Catherine has devoted her life to religious interests, and is Sister of Charity; Thomas is married, and resides in Union County, Iowa; Andrew is married, and resides in Seventy-Six Township, this county; James is married, and resides in Union County, Iowa; John is married, and resides in Bloomington Township; William, Clara, Edward, and Francis are at home. Mrs. Healy was a devoted member of the Roman Catholic Church of Muscatine, and was beloved by all who knew her. Mr. Healy is also a member of the same church. Politically, he is a supporter of the Democratic party, and takes great interest in political affairs. In September, 1888, he revisited his native land, and again went to the old school in which he was educated, and was upon the old play-ground where so many joyous hours of his boyhood were passed. He ranks among Muscatine County's best citizens, and is one of the prominent men of the community in which he resides, being held in high regard by all who know him.


Clark, Will L, et al. History of the Counties of Woodbury and Plymouth, Iowa. Chicago: A. Warner & Co., 1890-91.

     WILLIAM STEPHEN FOLLIS, real estate dealer, Sioux City, was born in Dubuque, this state, on New Year's day, 1847, and is a son of Patrick and Margaret (Conway) Follis, natives of county Kilkenny, Ireland. When William was six weeks old the family moved to Prairie Spring township, Jackson county, where they settled on a farm. In 1868 they removed to Sioux City, where the mother now resides and where the father died March 6, 1888, aged seventy years. He had taken a homestead in Johnson township, Plymouth county, which is still held by the estate.
     Our subject is the eldest of their four living children. His only schooling was furnished by the district school in Jackson county, which has been well supplemented by the practical experiences of life. In 1868 Mr. Follis took a homestead in Johnson township, Plymouth county, which he still retains, and he is now the possessor of several city lots. For ten years he was clerk of the Sioux City house, conducted by his father, and since 1881 he has engaged successfully in the real estate business.
     He is secretary of the Lincoln Park association, now Lincoln Park company, and of Julia Mica Mining company, of Custer county, S.D. For the past five years he has been secretary of the Mechanics' Building association of this city, having previously served three years as director. He was one of the charter members of the Excelsior Hook and Ladder company, the first volunteer company, organized in 1870, and which was the nucleus of the present fire department, and he served as the secretary of the company several years, and also served the longest period of any active member of the company, having served fifteen years and is now on the honorary roll. He also served as secretary and treasurer of the Sioux City fire department, for the years 1883 and 1884.
     He is a member of the A.O.H. and of the Roman Catholic church, and in politics affiliates with the democratic party. In 1878 he was elected county recorder and served two years. He served as justice of the peace in 1883 and 1884, and made a satisfactory magistrate but refused to be again a candidate. In September, 1890, he formed a partnership with J.A. Bernard in the abstract of title business for Sioux City and Woodbury county.
     On June 2, 1885, Mr. Follis married  Mary A. Mulady, a native of Sun Prairie, Wis., of Irish descent. They have three sons, named respectively: William Joseph, Lawrence Gregory and Emmett Patrick.