Richard William Walsh
No farmer in Allamakee county has achieved greater success in
agricultural pursuits than Richard William Walsh, whose
attractive homestead lies on section 26, Fairview township, and
comprises three hundred and sixty acres. Through his own industry
and enterprise he has gained an enviable degree of success and he
stands today among the leading farmers and stock-raisers of this
locality. He was born on the farm which he now operates in a
pioneer log cabin, August 17, 1864, a son of William and Ellen
(Reed) Walsh, natives of Ireland, the former born in County
Galway, June 14, 1827, and the latter in County Mayo, December
25, 1834. The father's parents died in Ireland and when he was
about twenty-one years of age he emigrated to America, obtaining
employment at railroad work in Pennsylvania, where he remained
for a number of years. He later moved to Galena, Illinois, and
then to Allamakee county, Iowa, where he entered land and at the
same time engaged in steamboating on the Mississippi river.
During several seasons he engaged in this occupation and then
settled upon his own farm, which was at that time entirely
unimproved and covered with a dense growth of timber. With
characteristic energy and enterprise he began clearing and
developing this land and his well directed efforts were
eventually rewarded by success, the farm becoming one of the
finest and best equipped in this vicinity. He died upon his
holdings, which comprised three hundred and sixty acres, January
18, 1911. His wife survives him and is living happily under the
devoted care of her son, who places his mother's interests and
welfare above all other considerations, making her happiness the
main object of his life.
Richard W. Walsh was reared upon his father's farm in Fairview township and in his childhood learned the details of farm operation by assisting with the work of homestead. At the age of twenty he went to LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where for four months he was employed by the St. Paul railroad, after which he moved to northern Minnesota and worked at farming in the employ of others for the remainder of the year. Returning to Wisconsin at the end of that time, he spent a winter in the northern lumber camps and then returned to Iowa, settling upon the homestead, where he remained six years. Removing then to Independence, Iowa, he rented a farm and after four years went to Minneapolis, where he was for three years engaged as a brakeman and switchman. Eventually he again returned to the homestead in Fairview township and upon this property he has since resided. He has steadily carried forward the work of improvement and development and has now a valuable and productive farm equipped with substantial buildings and provided with modern, labor-saving machinery. Mr. Walsh devotes a great deal of time to his farming and stock-raising interests and has won that success which follows earnest and persistent labor.
Mr. Walsh is a member of the Roman Catholic church and he gives his political allegiance to the democratic party. However, he votes independently when he feels that the best interests of the community demand such action and he has always taken an intelligent interest in the welfare and growth of his township. For about eight years he held the office of township trustee but refused to serve longer, preferring to concentrate his attention upon his business interests. His sterling qualities of mind and character have gained him the friendship of many, while his business record commends him to the confidence of his fellowmen, for at all times he is reliable and straightforward.
-transcribed by Cathy Joynt-Labath