J.F. Corrigan


J.F. Corrigan is one of the influential and prosperous residents of Taylor township, Allamakee county, owing five hundred and forty acres of land, which constitutes one of the model farms of this section of Iowa. He was born on the farm of which he is now the owner, February 7, 1860, a son of James and Bridget (Fagan) Corrigan, both of whom were natives of Ireland, the latter born in County Kildare. The father acquired his education in his native land and there remained to the age of seventeen years, when, believing that he might enjoy better business opportunities in the new world, he accordingly set sail for America. Landing in New York, he there sought work and for eight years was employed by the proprietor of a hotel and livery barn. At the end of that time he worked his way farther west and for two years was employed at farm work in Ohio. In the meantime he had married and in 1851 he came with his family to Allamakee county, Iowa, locating on eighty acres of wild land on section 21, Taylor township. On this he built a log house, which is still standing, and he at once set about to clear his land and prepare it for the plow. He lived here in true pioneer style and endured all the hardships incident to the establishment of a home in a new country. As time passed and he prospered in his undertakings he purchased an additional tract of eighty acres, one hundred and sixty acres then being included within the boundaries of his place. Mr. and Mrs Corrigan reared two sons and two daughters: Thomas, who died in 1873; Mary, the widow of J.J. Fitzgerald, of Harper's Ferry; Katie, who was a Catholic nun, but is now deceased; and J.F. of this review. The father was a democrat and held the offices of township trustee and justice of the peace, while for twenty-seven years he served as secretary of the school board. J.F. Corrigan was educated in the district school near his father's home. He was early trained to habits of industry and economy, which have proved of great benefit to him in his later life. It was on the home farm that he acquired his knowledge of agricultural pursuits, for he assisted his father in the work of the fields throughout the period of his youth and early manhood, and at his father's death he inherited the old homestead, to which he has since added, until his possessions now comprise five hundred and forty acres of finely improved land. His land is fertile and each year yields abundant harvests as a reward for the care and labor that Mr. Corrigan has bestowed upon it. He has erected a good house and outbuildings for the shelter of his grain and stock and altogether it is one of the model farms of Taylor township, for he takes a just pride in keeping everything about the place in good repair. Mr. Corrigan established a home of his own by his marriage in 1891 to Miss Mary Hart, who was born in County Caven, Ireland. They have become the parents of nine children but only seven survive. They are James, Katie, Glenn, Mary, William, Donald and Dorothea. The eldest, Thomas, died in infancy; and John, the eighth in order of birth, is also deceased. Mr. Corrigan has supported the candidates of the republican party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. He has served on the school board for twelve years, but otherwise has not held public office. He is a communicant of the Catholic church. He has always been a hard-working man and has enjoyed the best of health, never having been ill a day in his life. He truly deserves the success that is today his, for it has come to him through honest dealing coupled with sound judgment and good business sense.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Cathy Joynt-Labath

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