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Benton County, Iowa Obituaries
Vinton Eagle; June 5, 1906
Patrick Kelly One of the Early Pioneers in the Irish Settlement in Union Township has Passed Away
Patrick Kelly

Van Horne Record: Patrick Kelly, Sr., was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, on December 26th, 1818, and died in Van Horne, Iowa, May 17th, 1906.

On February 25th, 1840, he married Miss Mary Ryan. To them were born twelve children, nine of whom are living. In 1852 the family immigrated to the United States, landing at New Orleans. From there they went to Vicksburg, Miss., where they remained about three months, then moved to Kane county, Illinois. In 1855 they came to Iowa and located on a farm in Union township. At that time there were no railroads and but one house between here and Cedar Rapids. Grain had to be hauled to Iowa City to market. The Kelly family was the first family to settle in Union township, but soon after some of their relatives with their families located near them and formed quite a settlement in South Union. Those were trying days and a history of their adventures, trials, and tribulations would no doubt make a large and interesting book. Mr. Kelly acquired more land from time to time which as the country became more thickly settled, increased in value. Thus by diligent toil, with the help of his sturdy sons, he acquired quite a competence. When the yoke of age began to tell upon the pioneer couple they retired from farming and moved to town to spend the rest of their days, dividing their possessions among their children who are now all well-to-do. The good wife and mother died in February, 1904.

Mr. Kelly leaves to mourn his death a sister, Mrs. Farrell, of Cedar Rapids; six sons Michael, Thomas, James, Patrick, Charles, and John, all of this vicinity, and three daughters, Mrs. Hickey, Mrs. Jas. Lawler, of Cedar Rapids and Mrs. L.G. Brian of Albion, Nebr.

The funeral was held on Saturday, May 19th, with deserved honors of the Catholic church. The remains were laid to rest in the cemetery near his old home south of town.

The following eulogy was written by an old friend of the deceased, Mr. P.H. Lynch of Blairstown:.

"He was a man of sterling worth, one of the earliest settlers of the south slope. No man asked for aid and went away empty handed from his door. He was the father of the community in which he lived for many years, and aiding those less fortunate than himself, assisting the weak and struggling new settler by his advice and substance.

"Leaving behind him a family of sterling sons and daughters who are an honor to the county in which they reside. Having received the principles of true manhood and womanhood from their noble father.

"At the age of nearly 90 years he lay down to rest. His spirit returned to the God who gave it. The world is better by his sojourn. May his soul rest in peace. It was well with him - as we mourn his departure".

Submitted on 29-Sep-2013 by
Pam Farrell,

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