In 1862 Michael Quillin bought his first tract of land in
Hanover township, Allamakee county, and this formed the nucleus
of the extensive tract which he now owns. He has become well and
favorably known in this part of Iowa, and the years have brought
him prominence and substantial fortune, so that he stands today
among the representative and able agriculturists of the section
where he has so long made his home. He was born in Ireland in
1842 and is a son of Philip and Nancy Quillin, who came to
America in 1848 and settled at Lambertsville, New Jersey, where
the father followed the stonemasons trade until 1854. In
that year he came west, and settling in Dubuque, Iowa, continued
in his former occupation for two years and a half. Removing from
that city to Lansing, in Allamakee county, in 1856, he preempted
eighty acres of government land in Iowa township and when he
disposed of that property bought two hundred and forty acres on
the Minnesota line. This also he afterward sold and removed to
South Dakota, where he proved up a homestead and a tree claim,
continuing to develop this property until his death in 1888. His
wife, surviving him some years, died in 1896. To their union were
born eight children, six of whom lived to maturity: Michael, of
this review; Mrs. Mary Fitzgerald; Thomas, of Minnesota; John, of
Kimball, South Dakota; Mrs. Bridget McGraw, who has passed away;
and Mrs. Ann Conklin, also deceased.
Michael Quillin acquired his education in the public schools of New Jersey and of Dubuque, Iowa, and remained with his parents until he was twenty-two years of age. Previous to that time he spent several summers as a river man on the Mississippi, but finally turned his attention to farming, buying in 1867 an eighty-acre tract on section 34, Hanover township. From time to time he added to this property, and although he has recently given eighty acres to his son still owns three hundred and twenty acres, which his skill, ability and industry have made one of the finest agricultural properties in this vicinity. One hundred and eighty acres are under a high state of cultivation and the farm is well managed and well equipped in every particular, evidencing the many years of care and labor which the owner has bestowed upon it.
Mr. Quillin married, in 1867, Miss Rosa A. McGinnis, a native of Pennsylvania, and a daughter of Michael McGinnis, who settled in Iowa in 1857 and followed farming in this state until his death. Mr. and Mrs. Quillin became the parents of fifteen children, twelve of whom survive: Phillip J., a farmer of Allamakee county, who engaged in teaching previous to his marriage; John J., of Harpers Ferry, Iowa; Mary, the wife of Albert Lilliard, of Union Prairie township, Allamakee county; Anna Laura, the wife of Ed Collins, of New Albin, Iowa; Thomas, of Allamakee county, Iowa; Celia, who is single and living at home; Ella, the wife of Fred Hancock, of Allamakee county, who taught school previous to her marriage; M. J., of La Crosse, Wisconsin, a traveling salesman for the Swift Packing Company; Edward, at home; William, attending the State Normal School at La Crosse; Rose Mary, a stenographer, at home; and Leonard, at home.
Mr. Quillin is a member of the Roman Catholic church and gives his political allegiance to the democratic party, taking an intelligent interest in community affairs without being active as an office seeker. Since 1867 he has resided upon his present farm, and his industry and well directed efforts through the years have been rewarded by prosperity, prominence and that true success which lies in the respect and esteem of his many friends.
-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by
Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich
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