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

Davenport, the commercial center of Iowa and the home of many extensive wholesale houses, finds one of its prominent representatives in Thomas F. Halligan, president of the Halligan Coffee Company, an enterprise of large and extensive proportions, in the development of which he has been a most important factor. In commercial affairs he displays marked ability in discriminating between the essential and non-essential and bringing into close harmony the varied forces that constitute the interests of the enterprise with which he has been associated. He is one of the city's native sons, born October 25, 1855. His father, Patrick Joseph Halligan, was a native of Ireland, born in Summerhill, County Meath, August 31, 1825. He came to the United States as a young man of twenty-four years, settling in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1849. He there resided for two years, during which time he was married, on the 27th of October, 1850 to Miss Ellen McNally, a native of Clonard, County Kildare, Ireland, who came to the United States in 1850 and died in 1897. In 1851 Patrick J. Halligan and his young wife removed from Paterson, New Jersey, to Peru, Illinois, where for two years he was connected with the gas business. On the 17th of August, 1853, he arrived in Davenport and was superintendent of the gas company here from 1858 until 1888, or for a period of thirty years, at the end of which time he retired. He enjoyed in unqualified measure the confidence and trust of those whom he represented and gave to them an efficient and valuable service, which was indicated in his long connection with the company. He enjoyed, moreover, the unwqualified good will and esteem of all with whom he came in contact outside of business relation. He had a strong love for the land of his birth and was a member of the Sarsfield Guards when in Ireland, but was ever a most loyal American, in full sympathy with the republican form of government and the liberal principles for which this country stands. He died in 1893.

Thomas F. Halligan was the third in a family of six children, all of whom were born in Davenport with the exception of the eldest son, John. In St. Marguerite's parochial school Thomas F. Halligan pursued his studies until fifteen years of age, when he accepted a position in a flour and feed store, where he continued for a year. He then became delivery clerk in the grocery store of Morrison & Glaspell and thus obtained his initial knowledge of the business, with which he has been more or less intimately associated since that time. He remained with the firm and their successors for five years and in June, 1875, accepted a position with Milton J. Gaspell. On the 1st of January, 1884, he entered into partnership with Mr. Glaspell in the grocery business at No. 16 East Third street under the firm name of Glaspell & Halligan. They were very successful, the firm enjoying a growing trade until 1887, when Mr. Halligan sold his interest and with G. J. Washburn organized the Washburn-Halligan Coffee Company, carrying a large line of teas, coffees and spices. This undertaking also proved profitable from its inception and after five years at their original location the firm in 1892 removed from Third street to larger quarters at No. 215 East Second street. On two occasions they suffered losses through fire but with resolute purpose they conducted their interests, the business continuing to prosper and grow until there was a pressing demand for still more commodious quarters. In 1907 the present magnificent building was erected and the business is now carried on extensively on East Fourth street. This is one of the most complete and attractive wholesale buildings in Davenport, where the wholesale trade of this section of the country largely centers. Mr. Washburn retired in 1896 and the business was then reorganized under the name of the Halligan Coffee Company, with Thomas F. Halligan as president, R. F. Miller, vice president, William Lillis, secretary, and Joseph E. Halligan, treasurer. The trade today extends largely over Iowa, Missouri, the Dakotas, Minnesota and Illinois. The house sustains an unassailable reputaion for the reliability of its business methods, and the spirit of enterprise and industry which dominates every department constitutes the basic element in the development of what is today one of the largest and most important wholesale concerns of the city.

On the 17th of August, 1886, Mr. Halligan was married to Miss Mary, a daughter of John and Bridget Lillis. Mrs. Halligan was born in Davenport and by her marriage has become the mother of six children: Gilbert L., Eugene J., Grace, Camilla, Thomas, Francis and Angela.

Mr. Halligan's social nature finds expression in his membership with the Commercial Club, the Woodmen of the World and the Knights of Columbus, and his standing in business circles is indicated in the fact that he has been elected to the presidency of the Jobbers & Manufacturers Association. He is active in every project concerning the welfare of the city and is a loyal son of Davenport, doing everything in his power to promote her welfare along the lines of substantial and permanent growth and improvement. He is recognized by friends and business associates as a man of high character and sterling qualities and his life record exemplifies many traits of character which are well worthy of emulation.

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

Patrick Joseph Halligan.
     Mr. Halligan is a native of Ireland, being the son of John Halligan and Mary (Young) Halligan, now deceased, both born in England, but at the time of Patrick's birth on August 31, 1825, residents of Summerhill, County Meath. Mr. Halligan made up his mind early in life to come to America, thinking that in this country he would find better opportunities for his advancement, and accordingly he took passage in the year 1849, reaching the United States on the fifteenth of July. He settled at Paterson, New Jersey, where he remained for a couple of years.
     He was married in Paterson on October 27, 1850, to Miss Ellen McNally, a native of Clonard, County Kildare, and who was born on June 20, 1823. Mrs. Halligan came to America in 1850, touching the soil for the first time on August 18. Mr. and Mrs. Halligan have six children, all of whom reside in the City of Davenport. They are: John, James, Thomas, William and Joseph, sketches of whom appear elsewhere, and Mary, born October 18, 1859, now residing with her parents.
     Mr. Halligan left Paterson in May, 1851, and came west to Peru, Illinois, where for about two years he was connected with the gas business. On August 17, 1853, he reached Davenport where he has resided ever since. He was superintendent of the gas company here for thirty years (from 1858 to 1888), after which he retired from active life to the enjoyment of a well earned rest.
     He has never held a public office in the community, but he has been one of the most successful men who ever resided here, simply because he made his business the foremost purpose of his life. This, however, should not be understood to mean that he was so much occupied with his business that he took no interest in public affairs, but simply that he perfected himself, as nearly as it was in his power to do, in the business he chose when a young man and made himself so proficient in it that his services to the company were very valuable. Politics had no charms for him. He preferred rather a peaceful, domestic life than an exciting political career. In religious belief Mr. Halligan is a Catholic and in politics he is a Democrat.


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

Brierton, Michael, farmer and merchant, post-office Windham; was born in the county of Meath Ireland, May 22, 1824, and followed farming until he was 26 years of age. He then came to America and lived in the State of New York about three years and a half, and then in 1853 went to California and followed mining and ranching for three years and a half. He came to Johnson County  in 1857, and bought property in Windham, and has since lived there, being engaged in the real estate business; also kept a general stock of merchandise. He is one of the most influential men in Hardin twp. He was married Aug 11, 1857, to Ellen Dowd, a native of Ireland, and who came to America in 1850.  They had but one child, Matthew, who died when small. Mr. Brierton is at present engaged in stock dealing, and owns 140 acres in this county, and 120 in Iowa county. He has served as township clerk for twelve years.


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

     There is no one in Allamakee county who has more truly earned the title of self-made man than Charles Cummings, a prosperous farmer owning one hundred and seventy-four acres in Franklin township and a carpenter by trade, which occupation he followed in earlier years for some time with gratifying success. He was born at Forest City, Iowa, May 1, 1879, and is a son of Thomas and Alice (Van Horn) Cummings, the father of a native of Ireland, where he was born in County Meath, September 10, 1832, and the mother of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where her birth occurred March 21, 1848. Both have passed away, the father's death occurring November 1, 1905, and that of the mother June 17, 1911. The father in early life followed the occupation of a sailor on the Great Lakes and on the Mississippi river. He had come to this country with his father when a boy of but ten years of age, their first location being New Jersey. Later they came to Allamakee county, where Thomas Cummings subsequently married and became a landholder. Still later he went to western Minnesota, there engaging successfully in farming for twenty years, at the end of which period he returned to Franklin township in 1889. Here he settled upon a farm upon which he continued until his death, the mother also remaining there until she passed away. The father was ever interested in the welfare of his locality and prominent and influential with his fellow citizens, although he never aspired to public office.
Charles Cummings was the sixth of a family of seven children. He attended school at Walnut Grove in Monona township, Clayton county, and remained with his mother until 1903, when he moved to Monona, having previously learned the carpenter's trade. He worked at that occupation there for three years and then rented his mother's farm for seven years. In 19?? he bought the farm upon which he now resides. It comprises one hundred and seventy-four acres of fertile land, devoted to general farming and stock-raising. His buildings are kept in good repair and his land brings him rich harvests. He is modern and progressive and follows the latest methods, having installed up-to-date machinery and equipment upon his place. Mr. Cummings is also a stockholder in the Farmers Cooperative Creamery at Monona and in the Farmers Commission Company of that place, both of which organizations were founded in order to facilitate a more profitable disposal of farm products.
     On March 26, 1903, Mr. Cummings was married to Miss Exa White, a native of Farmersburg, Clayton county, where she was born July 27, 1879, a daughter of Edward and Martha (Gast) White. The father was born in New Jersey, December 28, 1843, and died August 9, 1891, and the mother was a native of Indiana, her day of birth being August 2, 1841, and her death occurring April 30, 1913. The father came with his parents to Iowa, where they made settlement near Farmersburg, In Clayton county. There he grew to manhood, learning the carpenter's trade ,which he followed all his life. He died in that vicinity and the mother subsequently moved to Monona, where she made her home until her demise. Mrs. Cummings was the sixth in their family of seven children. Mr. and Mrs. Cummings have become the parents of two children: Evelyn Maxine, born May 15, 1904; and Thomas Edward, born February 7, 1906.
Politically Mr. Cummings is a democrat, taking an intelligent interest in all matters that affect the government. He has never aspired to official honors, however, preferring to give his support to worthy public measures as a private citizen. He is a member of the Modern Brotherhood of America but has no other fraternal associations. Such prosperity as has come to him is well merited, as it is but the outcome of intelligently applied efforts and what he has achieved is not only a source of satisfaction to him, but as part of the agricultural development which has taken place in Allamakee county, is a factor in the growth and progress that makes up this rich district in the middle west.


History of Delaware County, Iowa...Captain John F. Merry, supervising ed. 2
vols. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1914

     Charles J. Murray, township assessor of South Fork township through the past twelve years and proprietor of Cloverdale, one of the fine farm proprietors of his section of the state, was born on the old family homestead October 21, 1864, his parents being James and Mary A. (Ronan) Murray. The father was born in County Meath, Ireland, in 1826, and came to America in 1849. He settled in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he became foreman of a tannery, remaining there for five years. In 1854 he arrived in the middle west and took up his abode in South Fork township, Delaware county, Iowa, where he purchased eighty acres of government land at a dollar and a quarter per acre. To his original holdings he added from time to time until he was finally the owner of two hundred and forty acres of valuable land. In 1863 he wedded Miss Mary A. Ronan, whose parents were born in Ireland, although she was a native of New York, in which state her father and mother were married. James Murray died in 1900 and his widow is now living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In their family were eight children, three sons and five daughters, of whom Charles J. is the eldest. The second, Margaret, or Maggie, born in 1866, is the wife of B.H. Magirl, a contractor of Ryan, Delaware county, by whom she has four children. Mary, born in 1869, is the wife of P.P. Samels, a grocer of Minneapolis, and they have two daughters. Anna, born in 1871, is the wife of Henry Ersfeld, proprietor of a meat market of Lakeville, Minnesota and they have two sons. Katie, born in 1873, is the wife of Frank P. McDonough, a farmer of South Fork, and they have six children, four sons and two daughters. Lizzie, born in 1876, is the wife of C.J. Kramer, proprietor of a meat market of Farmington, Minnesota, and they have two sons, John S., born in 1879 and a car inspector at Farmington, Minnesota, married Miss Nellie Goodman and they have three daughters. James E., born January 1, 1882, conducts a restaurant at Farmington and owns a farm near by. He married Miss Mamie Hawkins and they have one child.
     Charles J. Murray was educated in the public schools and spent two years in the parochial school. Through vacation periods he worked upon his father's farm and has since been continually identified with general agricultural pursuits. In 1892 he purchased the farm from his parents and has since made a number of substantial and attractive improvements thereon and has also added to his land until his holdings now aggregate four hundred and seventy acres of farm land and twenty-one acres of timber land in Dubuque county. About ten years ago the old residence burned down, after which a small temporary house was built, in which the family was reared. In 1911, however, Mr. Murray erected a very modern and spacious residence which is indeed an ornament to the farm. It is of attractive style of architecture and is equipped in most modern style, with two bathrooms, electric lights, furnace heat and all other accessories which add to the comfort at the present day. Not only the house but the other buildings upon the place indicate his progressive spirit. He has splendid silos upon his farm and thus is enabled to care for food products for the stock. He buys western lambs which he fattens and ships to Chicago. He also engages in feeding and shipping hogs and he conducts a modernly equipped dairy. His place is called Cloverdale and is one of the finest farms in the county. He is also a director of the farmers' creamery board.
     On the 8th of January, 1896, Mr. Murray was united in marriage to Miss Mary Garrity, a daughter of William and Frances (Kenney) Garrity. Mrs. Murray was born October 22, 1869, near Cascade, Iowa, where her father was engaged in farming. He is still living, but the mother passed away in 1912. In their family were ten children, nine of whom survive. The maternal grandfather, Squire Kenney, was quite a character in his early life. He left his native land, Ireland, and became a resident of New England, where he married the daughter of a "genuine Yankee" with whom he returned to Ireland, and there Mrs. Murray's mother was born. Later the couple again came to the United States, where they reared their family, which in time numbered eight children. Mr. Garrity was born in Boston, of Irish parentage, and came to Iowa with his parents at an early day. He was one of the forty-niners who crossed the plains to California at the time of the gold excitement. He did not spend much time in searching for precious metal, however, but engaged in the dairy business and taught school and finally made the return trip by way of Cape Horn.
     To Mr. and Mrs. Murray have been born seven children: Minnie, whose natal day was October 16, 1896; Laura, whose birth occurred on the 16th of November 1897; Mary and James, twins, born October 28, 1900; Louis, December 25, 1903; Charles, September 5, 1907; and Alice, born January 18, 1909. All are yet at home. Minnie has completed a normal course in the Academy of the Visitation at Dubuque, where Laura is now a student. The former participated in 1913 in a great contest arranged by The Drovers Journal of Chicago, in which she won the first prize, a two-thousand dollar Mitchell-Six automobile, and as a consequence her name became known all over the country where that journal was circulated.
     Mr. Murray is a Democrat in his political views and had been township assessor for twelve years and also president of the school board five years. In this county the presidents of the school board elect the county school superintendent. Mr. Murray has also been a member of the Democrat County Central Committee for a number of years and a delegate to the state convention at Council Bluffs in 1914. However, he regards the pursuits of private life as in themselves abundantly worthy of his best efforts and is prominently a farmer- enterprising, alert and progressive, winning success through carefully directed effort, sound judgment and unfaltering diligence.


The Pioneer History of Pocahontas County, Robert E. Flickinger. Fonda: G. Sanborn, 1904.

Carey, John,(b. 1843) is a native of Made (Meath?) county, Ireland, and coming to America with his parents in 1846, located in Massachusetts and two years later near Rome, Oneida county, N.Y. In 1857 they came in wagons to the vicinity of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where they remained during the next twenty-seven years. John was the oldest member of a family of six children, of whom Matthew and Lawrence and their families came with him to Pocahontas county in 1884. Ann, his sister, married Thomas Lynch, Mary married Thomas Jones and Bridget married Garrett Mackey. All are members of the Catholic church.
John in 1873 married Maggie, a sister of John McCafferty, and she died in 1883 in Linn county, leaving a family of five children; Maggie, James, Lawrence, John and Mary. The next year he purchased and located on a farm of 320 acres on section 15, Dover township, which he improved and still owns. Soon after his arrival in this county in the spring of 1884, three of his children, James, Lawrence and John, died of scarlet fever. On May 2, 1887, he married Mary, a sister of Jerry S. Sullivan, and their family consists of one daughter, Annie. In 1898 he built a house and located in Fonda.
Maggie, his eldest daughter, in 1894 married James Webb, an express messenger on the C.M. & St. P. Ry., and lives in Chicago; Mary in 1899 married James, a son of Matthew Burns, and lives in Omaha.

Carey, Matthew, (b. Ireland, 1845; d. 1889) in 1867 married Bridget Lally and located on a farm in Linn county, Iowa. In 1884 he located on a farm of 160 acres on section 25, Dover township, which he improved and occupied until his death in 1889. It is still occupied by his family which consisted of five children.
William, (b. Iowa, 1871) in 1900 married Susan Marx, lives on his own farm on section 34, which he bought in 1896 and improved by the erection of a new house and barn since his marriage. He has a good orchard and vineyard, and a large plot planted in small fruits. He has one child, Margarite.
Mary married William T. Fitzgerald and lives at Varina. Maggie, John and Hazel are at home.

Carey, Lawrence, (b. 1847) is a native of Massachusetts. In 1874 he married Mary, sister of John McCafferty, and located on a farm in Linn county, Iowa, and in 1884 on 160 acres on section 16, Dover township, which he improved with good buildings, increased to 240 acres and still occupies. Three of his children died of scarlet fever in the spring of 1884, soon after his arrival in this county. Eight children are living: Annie, William, Frank, Joseph, Nellie, Raymond, Jennie and the baby.


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

Matthew Garrigan, who died August 22, 1899, was one of the foremost farmers of Taylor Township and was deserving of much credit for the success he made of life under adverse circumstances. He was a native of County Meath, Ireland, and in 1849 came with his widowed mother and sisters to America and established a home in the state of New York. In 1857 he married Julia O'Reilly, and in 1864, attracted by the glowing reports of the opportunities for getting ahead in the West, came to Dubuque county, Iowa. From the savings of himself and wife he bought 120 acres of unimproved prairie land in Taylor township and, locating on this farm, began improving it to the best of his ability. He was hard working and industrious, and was ably assisted by his wife and children until the property was brought to a high state of cultivation. He later bought an additional 80 acres and, at the time of his death, when eighty years old, was the owner of 200 acres of valuable land. Mrs. Garrigan was born November 18, 1830 in County West Meath, Ireland, the second in a family of seven children born to James and Ann (Brady) O'Reilly. She came with her parents to the United States in 1847, and resided with them at Lansingburg, New York, where she was married. Some time after the death of her husband she moved to Farley, where she now lives, honored and respected, at the age of nearly eighty-one years. To Mr. and Mrs. Garrigan the following named children were born: James, unmarried and living at home with his mother; Ann, the wife of Frank Cunningham, the mother of six children and residing in Omaha, Nebraska; Mary, now Mrs. Samuel Cotter, of St. Paul, Minnesota, and the mother of one child;  Catharine, the Mother Superior of the Academy of the Immaculate Conception, Dubuque; Matthew, who married Anna Gunn, by whom he has three children, and resides at Coney Island, New York; Theresa, died in infancy; and Julia, the wife of Robert Lockwood, now living at Chicago, Illinois, the mother of six children. Mr. Garrigan was a member of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church at Farley, as is also Mrs. Garrigan, and all their children were reared in the Catholic faith.


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

Thomas Dowling, farmer and horticulturist, Sec. 2; P.O. Garry Owen; was born in County Meath, Ireland, in 1830, where he received a liberal education. In 1848, he came to America, lived one year in New York and on the Hudson River one year; in 1850, went to Green Bay pineries, Michigan; in 1851 crossed the State of Illinois, from Chicago to Galena, most of the way on foot then to St. Paul, thence to Chippewa pineries, Wisconsin, where he remained about a year; in 1853, he traveled and worked his way through the Southern States, saw slavery in all its workings and thence became an Abolitionist. He married, in Galena, Miss Mary Seymour in 1854; she was a native of France; immediately after their marriage they moved to Dubuque, where they resided eighteen months, and in the fall of 1855, removed on the farm where they now reside; they have two children- Mary A. and Emily, who married Mr. Joseph Hart, and has town sons- Joseph and Thomas. In 1865 Mr. Dowling became restless for travel, and wanted to see the Pacific Coast, so went to California and thence to Oregon, through Washington Territory, from there to Idaho, through the Rocky Mountains in Montana, and to British Columbia; returned, satisfied that there was no better country than Iowa. Mr. Dowling owns over 100 acres of land; he devotes much of his time to horticulture, and is rearing over fifty varieties of the finest and most rare plants; he has several varieties of apple, plum, cherry and other fruit-bearing trees, all in fine condition; his lawn is full of fragrant flowers, spicy shrubs, and luxuriant trees; he has a good farm and snug home, pleasant and comfortable, and one in which, after years of toil and labor, he can peacefully and serenely spend his declining years.

Portrait and Biographical Album of Jackson County, Iowa. Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1889

     THOMAS C. DOWLING.  Thirty-four years ago, in the fall of 1855, the subject of this notice came to this county, and entered 120 acres of land on section 11, in Brandon Township. It was covered with timber, and Mr. Dowling made it his first business to put up a log cabin for the shelter of his family. He then began felling the trees, and preparing the soil for cultivation. He battled with the various elements of pioneer life for a series of years, and in due time met with the usual reward of industry and perseverance. He later added nine and one-half acres, on section 2; whereon is his residence and farm buildings, which are very neat and substantial structures. The dwelling, erected in 1885, is accounted one of the best in the township. In the building up of the homestead there has been exercised good taste and judgment, Mr. Dowling having planted shade and ornamental trees around the dwelling, together with an apple orchard and the smaller fruit trees. For the last few years he has given considerable attention to stock-raising, and is in the enjoyment of a comfortable income.
     Our subject was born on the other side of the Atlantic, in County Meath, Ireland, seven miles from the city of Dublin, Dec. 23, 1830, and is the son of John and Elizabeth (Dillon) Dowling. The father of our subject followed hotel-keeping and farming combined, in his native county of Meath until 1853. He then emigrated to the United States, settling in Galena, Ill.; but being homesick for his native land, and preferring it to America, he returned in 1854, and there spent the remainder of his life, dying in 1866. He had one brother, Thomas, who came to the United States, and died (unmarried) in Illinois.
     The mother of our subject accompanied her husband to the United States and remained here, making her home with her children. Her decease took place at the home of her son Anthony, in Butler Township, this county, in 1872. The parental family consisted of the following children: Mary died after her marriage; Thomas C., our subject, was the second child; Margaret is the widow of John Carr, resides in Dubuque, and is the owner of a fine property; John, a bachelor, is a resident of Dubuque, and is also well-to-do; James is an extensive farmer of Webster County, this State; Patrick resides in this county; Michael is Superintendent of a Western railroad and makes his headquarters in Salt Lake City; Anthony is farming in Webster County.
     Our subject received a liberal education in his native land, and emigrated to America in 1848. He lived one year in New York City, and spent a year in a brick-yard on the Hudson River. Thence he emigrated to the pineries of Michigan, and sojourned not far from the city of Green Bay. In 1851 he reached Galena, Ill., walking most of the way to that point from Chicago. Later we find him in St. Paul, Minn; and then in Chippewa Falls, Wis., where he remained one year. In 1853 he visited the South, and was a witness of the workings of slavery, to which he has always been bitterly opposed. In 1855 he came to this county, of which he has since been a resident.
     The marriage of our subject with Miss Mary V. Seymour took place at Galena, April 11, 1854. This lady was born in August, 1829, in France, and is the daughter of Joseph and Emma Seymour, who were natives of France and came to the United States about 1830, settling in St. Charles County, Mo. The parents only lived a short time afterward, both dying in 1832. They left four children; little Mary being then but three years old. She was taken into the home of a family, with whom she remained until thirteen years old, and was then placed with the Catholic Sisters of Charity in St. Louis. From there, in 1849, she went to Galena, Ill., and resided with the family of Mr. Bradley, now Judge Bradley, of Chicago, until 1852. Afterward she lived for a time in Davenport, this State, then returned to Galena, where she met and married our subject.
     Mr. and Mrs. Dowling became the parents of three children, only two of whom are living- Mary and Emily. The latter is the wife of E.J. Hart, and lives in Jones County, Iowa; she has seven children, viz: Joseph E., James T., Isadore M., Mary A., Emma J., John F., and Clement B. Mr. Dowling was one of the first Irish-born citizens to vote the Republican ticket in this county. In his journeyings throughout the South, whither he went in the interests of the underground railroad, he saw enough of the "peculiar institution" - slavery - to set his face resolutely against it and its workings, and he has the satisfaction of feeling that he assisted many a poor fugitive to freedom. He was reared in the doctrines of the Catholic Church, to which he still loyally adheres.  In 1856 he visited the Pacific Coast, traveling through California and Oregon, and up the Rocky Mountains as far as British Columbia. He returned to Iowa satisfied that there was no more desirable section of the country for a permanent residence than the Hawkeye State. He has one of the most attractive homes in this township, and is numbered among its most highly esteemed citizens.


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

     Among the lawyers of Davenport who have achieved distinction and won the esteem and confidence of their clients and the public is Emmett M. Sharon, who was born at Sterlingville, Jefferson County, New York, on the twenty-third of March, 1847. The home of Mr. Sharon's ancestors was near the "Hall of Tara" in County Meath, Ireland, famous in early Irish history as a royal residence. His grandfather emigrated from there when Thomas Sharon, the father of the subject of this sketch, was an infant, coming to New York. Thomas Sharon was a farmer and in his leisure moments an omnivorous reader and student. He was a leading man in the community where he lived an many looked to him for counsel. He filled many positions of private trust, and for fifteen years previous to his death filled the office of Justice of the Peace. His wife, Mary (Keon) Sharon, was also a native of Ireland, born at Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, and came to this country at an early age. She was a woman of domestic character and deep religious convictions. Emmett M. Sharon received his earlier education at  the public schools, Antwerp Academy and the Watertown High School, from which he graduated in the class of 1871. He subsequently entered Hamilton College, from which he graduated in the was graduated with the class of 1875. He won honors in writing and in extemporaneous debate. The year following the completion of his college course he was principal of the Lawrenceville Academy, St. Lawrence County, New York. In 1876 he came to Iowa and was principal of the high school at Laporte City in Black Hawk County for a year. He studied law in the office of George and C.A. Bishop, and was admitted to practice at Waterloo in June, 1878. After admission he began the practice of law at Laporte, where he remained until September, 1887, when he came to Davenport, which offered inducements and opportunities for business not to be found in a smaller or less wealthy town. During his residence at Laporte Mr. Sharon was successful as a lawyer and highly esteemed by his fellow-townsmen, who elected him a member of the school board in 1885, and mayor of the city in 1887. In the year 1891, after four years' residence in this city, he was elected city attorney of Davenport and reelected in 1892,1893 and 1894. Among the public enterprises he has been connected with are the two building and loan associations, the Hibernian Hall Association and the Davenport Club, all of which he helped organize. He has been associated with the following societies: Ancient Order of Knights of Pythias, Roman Catholic Mutual Protective Society and Ancient Order of Hibernians, in three of which he has been presiding officer; he has also been a member of the County and District Judicial and Congressional political committees, and is now secretary and treasurer of the Democratic County Committee of Scott County. He was one of the organizers of both the Horace Boies Club and the Scott County Democracy. His lifelong membership in the Democratic party, however, does not prevent him from taking unpartisan views of men and measures. On the tenth of October, 1878, Mr. Sharon married Miss Ida May Bishop, the daughter of George Bishop, one of the earliest lawyers of Northern Iowa, whose ancestors settled in Vermont generations ago. Mrs. Sharon is descended on the maternal side from the Spencer family of New York, whose ancestors came to America on the Mayflower.
     Conservative and slow to make acquaintances, Mr. Sharon has been successful in retaining friends, of whom he has a large circle. As a lawyer he has been a painstaking student and a hard worker. Knowing that work means success, he has not shrunk from the "drudgery of preparation" incident to law practice, and now finds himself, while comparatively a young man, esteemed as a lawyer of integrity and ability, who has won an honored position in the profession by industry and perseverance, and for whom the future holds yet other honors and successes in store.


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

p. 176
     JAMES P. STARR, attorney-at-law, now at Fairfield, grew up and had his early associations with the legal profession in Van Buren County, where his father was also an honored and respected lawyer.
     Mr. Starr has lived most of his life in Iowa, but was born in Missouri, November 3, 1869. The Starr family is of Quaker ancestry and were identified with the early settlement of Pennsylvania. The records of the family go back to the time of John Starr, who lived at Old Castle, County Meath, Ireland. All his sons and daughters came to America between the years 1674 and 1697 and located in Pennsylvania. Moses Starr was one of the first settlers in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and was the first representative from that county to the Provincial Assembly.
     Robert H. Starr, father of James P., was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, April 16, 1840. He was visiting his sister in Illinois when he enlisted in Company K of the Thirty-sixth Illinois Infantry for service as a Union soldier, and continued his military career until honorably discharged on January 6, 1865, in consequence of a gun shot wound in the right leg. His leg had to be amputated. On December 25, 1865, Robert H. Starr married Mary C. Smith, also a native of Berks County, Pennsylvania, where she was born April 4, 1846. Both the Starr and Smith families had moved out to northeastern Missouri before the Civil war. Robert H. Starr made his home in Clark County, Missouri, until 1874, when he moved to Iowa and settled at Keosauqua in Van Buren County. While living in Clark County, Missouri, he was elected county officer and while in that office took up the study of law and was admitted to the bar in 1874. He qualified for practice in Iowa in 1875, and gained a fine reputation as lawyer, particularly in the civil practice. He kept up his professional work until almost the time of his death in 1901. In 1906 his widow retuned to her old home in Clark County, Missouri. Robert H. Starr served two terms of mayor of Keosauqua. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
     James P. Starr was one of ten children. He was five years old when his parents came to Iowa, and he grew up in Van Buren County, attending public schools and the law department of the University of Iowa. He was admitted to the bar in 1892, and at once became associated with his father in practice at Keosauqua. For four years, 1893-97, he was deputy clerk of Van Buren County, but with that exception he was associated with his father until the latter's death and then formed a partnership with J.C. Calhoun. The firm of Starr & Calhoun constituted an able firm in Van Buren County until December, 1906, when Mr. Starr dissolved the partnership and moved to Fairfield. Here for over twenty years he has engaged in general law practice and has won the most substantial honors of his profession. He was appointed mayor of Fairfield on the resignation of Dr. J.F. Clark in October, 1910, and in March, 1911, was elected for the full term in that office. Mr. Starr is a member of the Christian Church and is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
     He married March 3, 1893, Miss Chloe Fellows, of Keosauqua, daughter of S.D. and Ann (Bowen) Fellows. Her people were among the pioneer families of Van Buren County. Mr. and Mrs. Starr have four children, Helen M., Keo. F., Io M and James Carlton.


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

     HON. THOMAS LEDWICH. - It is to such characters as the Hon. Thomas Ledwich that Americans are indebted for their knowledge of the typical descendants of the sons and daughters of the Emeralds Isle, and it is of this type that Ireland may well be proud. Thomas Ledwich was born in Serrington, Lower Canada, November 8, 1840. He is the son of Robert and Bridget (Louth) Ledwich, of County Meath, Ireland, who emigrated to America in 1829. In 1843 they moved to Shoreham, Vermont, and afterward to Moriah, Essex County, New York. The subject of our sketch was reared on a farm receiving his education in the public schools, and at the academy in the latter town. At the breaking out of the war in 1861 he answered the call for troops to defend the flag of his country, and enlisted at Albany, New York, May 7, 1861, in Company E, Twenty-second New York Volunteer Infantry. He participated in many hard-fought battles, and at the second battle of Bull Run was twice wounded, so that for a time he was disabled from active service. His term of enlistment expired in May, 1863, and he was honorably discharged June 19, 1863. Immediately re-enlisting in the Second New York Veteran Cavalry, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant of Company A, and in 1864 he was made First Lieutenant. He took part in most of the battles along the lower Mississippi River and was in the Red River campaign, commanded by General Banks; during most of this time he was acting Captain in command of the company. After the close of the war, having faithfully served his country for four and a half years, he was honorably discharged November 8, 1865, at Selma, Alabama. He engaged there for a time in cotton planting, but finding it unprofitable he removed to Louisville, Kentucky, and in 1868 to Victoria, Iowa County, Iowa, engaging there with his brother in the mercantile business. In 1869 he engaged in the lumber business at Avoca, Delta, the first newspaper published there. He was the first president of the Botna Valley Agricultural Society, and was the first with his voice and his money to advocate and assist all public enterprises. In 1878 Mr. Ledwich removed to Harlan, Iowa, and established a lumber business, which he continued with success Until his death. He became a leading spirit in every public enterprise that had for its object the upbuilding of the community; he was president of the Shelby Agricultural Society, and did much for its success. He was a member of the town council of Harlan, and served three terms as its mayor. The following story related of Mr. Ledwich gives the index of his character: One morning during his term as mayor, a citizen passing down the street noticed  a broken plank in a walk, and called the mayor's attention to it. Two hours later, going that way, he saw a new board in the walk which had been repaired by Mr. Ledwich's prompt order. Always ready to answer the call of duty, kind, sympathetic, generous, open-hearted, good to the poor, a true friend to all, he was beloved by all who value true manhood. At one time when Mr. Ledwich was a candidate for office it was urged against him that he was too enterprising, but fortunately for Harlan, the majority approved of this "fault," and it is due to this characteristic that Harlan has made the progress that has placed her among the prosperous towns of western Iowa. Mr. Ledwich was a member of Parian Lodge, No. 321, A.F. & A.M.; Olivet Chapter No. 107 and Ivanhoe Commandery at Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was also a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. March 9, 1869, he was married to Miss Eva G. Henderson, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Faucet) Henderson, of Livingston County, New York. The father was a native of Pennsylvania and the mother of Scotland. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Ledwich, four of whom survive- Demain, Evelyn, Day and Robert.  Elm was killed by the cars at Avoca; May, a twin of Day, died at the age of twenty-one months; Lake died at the age of two years and eight months, and Bessie, a twin of Robert, died in infancy. The family reside in their commodious residence in the east part of Harlan. Mrs. Ledwich is a member of the Episcopal church. Although not a member of any church Mr. Ledwich gave freely of his means to the support of religious work. July 8, 1885, Mr. Ledwich passed to his eternal home. A plain granite monument marks his resting place in the Harlan cemetery. In his death the country lost a patriot, his wife a faithful husband, his children a loving father, and society one of its most useful members.


Portrait and Biographical Album, Wapello County, Iowa, published by Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1887

     LAWRENCE GUGGERTY, a self-made man, successful farmer and stock-dealer, is pleasantly situated on his fine farm on section 31, Cass Township, where he is surrounded with all the luxuries of a home life, and is meeting with success in the prosecution of his chosen vocation. Mr. Guggerty was born April 17, 1831, in County Meath, Ireland, and is the son of Owen and Julia (Riley) Guggerty, who became the parents of nine children. The record is as follows: Owen, Jr., is a farmer and resides in Wisconsin; Patrick and Bartholomew resided with the subject of this notice; Hugh is deceased; Margaret has not been heard from for years, and her residence is consequently unknown; John is a railroad employee, and is engaged in his labors near Jacksonville, Ill., and Lawrence is the subject of this notice.
     When Lawrence Guggerty was but three months old his mother was left a widow, the father's death taking place in August, 1831. He was a member of the Catholic Church, and as successful stock-dealer in the old country, highly respected by all who knew him. The mother of our subject departed this life in May, 1863, having attained the age of seventy-four years. She was also a member of the Catholic Church and both husband and wife are buried side by side in County Meath, Ireland.
     In 1849, our subject, in company with his sister Margaret, came to this country, landing in New York May 1 of that year. From the metropolis he went to Utica, the same State, and in the neighborhood of that city engaged in working on the farm of John M. Crane. After laboring there for about eleven months he made up his mind to go further West, and we next hear of him in Jo Daviess County, Ill., where he worked on the Illinois Central Railroad. This vocation he continued until 1857, when he went to Batavia, Iowa, and in company with Luke O'Brien took a contract to grade a part of the railroad bed. Their first contract amounted to $3,500, after which they took another of six miles. The latter one was taken in 1860 and completed in 1861. The partners then engaged in buying horses for the army, and continued in that business until 1863, when they again embarked in contracting. This time they took a contract for the building of sixty miles of railroad bed.
     The firm continued in existence, meeting with success, until 1871, when Mr. O'Brien withdrew, and Mr. Guggerty then formed a partnership with Martin Flynn, and the new firm had at one time a contract for the building of about twenty miles of grading for the C., B. & Q.R.R. and forty-five miles on the Northwestern, also forty-one miles of grade south of Des Moines, and a forty-five miles contract between Rutland and Gilmore. All these contracts were fulfilled to the satisfaction of the companies, and thus we see that Mr. Guggerty has had considerable to do with the upbuilding of the great West, giving employment to thousands of men and teams.
     In 1859 Mr. Guggerty began to invest his surplus funds in land, buying at that time eighty acres. He has added thereto as the years rolled by until at the present time he is the proprietor of 1343 acres of land, all within the boundaries of Wapello and County and Cass Township. He also owns 320 acres in Palo Alto County, this State, making his landed possessions in the State 1663 acres. He is also extensively engaged in stock feeding and raising, and has about 145 head of cattle, and in this department of his vocation is meeting with signal success.
     On the 8th of January, 1861, Mr. Guggerty was united in marriage with Miss Bridget Gallespie. She was born March 17, 1840, and is a daughter of William and Bridget (McTye) Gallespie, who emigrated to this country in 1845. The father died in 1862, aged seventy years; the mother died while in her sixtieth year. Both were members of the Catholic Church. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Guggerty have been given ten children: Maggie A., was born Oct. 12, 1862; Julia, March 15, 1864; John T., Aug. 23, 1866; Mary A., Sept. 28, 1868; Patrick L., Dec. 2, 1870; Bartholomew E., Jan 7, 1872; Wiliam Eugene, Dec. 23, 1874; Bridget E., Jan 14, 1876; Agnes Amy, June 8, 1878, and the youngest died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Guggerty are members of the Catholic Church.
     In 1883 Mr. Guggerty held a lien on the Wabash Railroad for $35,000, and being unable to obtain his money was forced to advertise the road for sale. It was placed in a Receiver's hands, and our subject obtained his honest dues. In fact he has never lost any money in all his dealings with railroads. He has now withdrawn from contracting, and has erected himself a beautiful farm residence within a stone's throw of the C., B. & Q.R.R., where he can sit upon his front porch and see the iron horse as it pulls its thousands to some Eastern seashore or metropolis.


A Memorial and Biographical record of Iowa. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1896

     REV. WILLIAM JOSEPH HALPIN, pastor of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, of Eldora, Iowa, was born on the Emerald Isle, county Meath, March 12, 1852. His primary education was received in the public schools of Ireland, after which he spent four years in the diocesan seminary at Navan, Meath. Having cultivated a thirst for learning, he then went to England, where nine years was spent at Durhamshire, finishing with philosophy, rhetoric and theology. On his return to Ireland he continued his school for knowledge for one year and a half in Carlow College and in 1880 embarked for America with the intention of entering the priesthood. At Dubuque, Iowa, he was ordained by Bishop Hennessy, but instead of taking a pastorate he accepted a call to the chair of Latin, Greek, English and rhetoric in St. Joseph's College, Iowa. Following this, he became pastor of the Roman Catholic Church in Early, Sac county, Iowa, where he remained four years. During this time he erected three churches, and a parochial school.
     On the 1st of March, 1885, Father Halpin removed to Eldora, where he has been ever since. On his arrival here he assumed charge of five churches, namely: Iowa Falls, Eldora, St. Anthony and the Dunn settlement, all of which he served four years. This was a most arduous task and required constant daily labor. One point was twenty-three miles away, and all except Eldora and Iowa Falls were reached only by a team. In 1893 a priest was stationed at St. Anthony, who took charge of the churches at St. Anthony and the Dunn Settlement, thus relieving Father Halpin of a portion of his labors. The Church at Eldora comprised about forty-five families with a growing tendency toward the Church. The edifices in both places are spacious and comfortable. Father Halpin's home at Eldora is a fine parochial residence, where after his manifold cares of the day he can enjoy the comforts of seclusion and rest.
     The Rev. Thomas J. Halpin, the elder brother of our subject, was also educated for the ministry and spent seven years as pastor at East Brattleboro, Burlington, Vermont. His literary education was received at All Hallows College, Dublin, and completed at St. Hyacinth's College in Belgium. Coming to America in 1865, he was stationed for a short time at Dorset, Massachusetts. Illness compelled him to relinquish his pastoral labors and he returned to his native country. His health still continuing in a precarious condition, he journeyed to Nice and from there to the south of France, where death overtook him in 1871. In the brief years of usefulness that were allowed him he did much good. His sincerity of purpose and careful management accomplished far more than many another could have done in a given time. His parishioners were made to feel that he had a personal interest in each and all, and they mourned sincerely when he was obliged to take his departure.
     Father Halpin, our subject, ever alert to amuse as well as to edify his parishioners, organized for the young people the Rosary Society in Eldora and a Young Ladies' Sodality at Iowa Falls.
     He is a man of rare learning, and is deeply sympathetic with the poor and unfortunate. His influence is powerful and widespread and wherever he goes his people vie with each other in expressions of their devotion.