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Richard F Jordan


Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/12/2009 at 13:45:12

Richard F Jordan, One of the citizens of this county, whose accidental death recently caused general regret, was Richard F Jordan, who died September 5, 1891, as the result of injuries received by fire of the 2nd day of the same month. His stable in the city of Boone burned down and in the effort to rescue his favorite driving mare, he received the fatal burns. His funeral, held in the church of the Sacred Heart on Sunday September 8 was attended by an unusual concourse of mourning friend and acquaintances, many being his former college class mates, gathered on this sad errand from distant parts of the state.
Richard F was the son of John and Anna (Connolly) Jordan, who came form Ireland in 1848 and settled in Glens Falls, New York, where Richard was born, March 19, 1856, being the eldest of five children: the others being Mrs Mary Deering, Maurice, Mrs Alice Welsh and Edward C. In the autumn of the same year he was taken by this parents to Dixon, Lee county, where the family tarried for some ten years, and in 1866 another removal was made to Boone county, Iowa, which has been the permanent residence of the family since. In the free life of the prairies, his nerves and muscles developing naturally under the quieting influences of the farm, Richard grew up to early manhood, His primary education was obtained int eh rural schools of the neighborhood and at the age of seventeen years he was articulated in the freshman class at the Iowa State College at Ames, only a few miles from his home. He was a devoted student, walking in pleasant and riding in rough weather to and from his home and the recitation rooms, and received his degree near the head of his class in 1877.
Evidently the young student had early made his contract for life with hard work, for immediately after completing his secondary course he entered the Law School at Des Moines, took up the intricacies of that profession and in two years had so well succeeded that he was admitted to the bar June 7, 1879, and was ready for the serious work of his life. He entered the practice of his profession as a partner of Judge M K Ramsey & Jordan. Afterwards his business associations were: Cook & Jordan, Jordan & Brockett, and Jordan & Goodykoontz. For some time prior to forming the last partnership, he was alone in practice.
While a student in the law school, Mr Jordan formed the acquaintance of is Martha H, a daughter of John and Helen (Sarsfield) Lynch, residents of the capital city, who were natives of Ireland and came to America about the year 1848. The father is now living in San Francisco, and the mother went to her final reward October 19, 1877. After his business was assured Mr Jordan married this lady, the ceremony occurring May 23, 1882, and they set up their household in Boone. Mrs Jordan is one of seven children: May resides in Elgin, Illinois, Catherine is the wife of J S McCormick of San Francisco, J C lives in Helena, Montana, Mrs Jordan is the fourth child, William is deceased> Frank served as a member of the Eleventh United States Infantry in the Philippines, and has returned in safety to this country, and John is deceased. To Mr and Mrs Jordan were born the following children: John May 24, 1883, now a student in the Iowa State College at Ames, from which his father was graduated, Fran February 28, 1886 a pupil in the Boone public schools, Helen July 24, 1889 also in the local schools, Clara August 5, 1899 at home. They all give good promise of growing up to be useful and honorable citizens.
Mr Jordan was a member of Boone Lodge No 563, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, which on Sunday, December 1, 1901 held appropriate memorial exercises in Grace Episcopal church in Boone, at which his eulogy was pronounced by Judge F R Whitaker. His funeral had been held Sunday September 8, 1901, in the Church of the Sacred Heart, (Catholic) of which he was a devout member, the services being conducted by Father B C Lenihan, whose tear stained voice paid warm tribute to the many lovable qualities of this deceased citizen. In politics Mr Jordan had generally acted with the Democratic party, but was not an unrelenting partisan, and during the campaign of 1900, affiliated with the opposition, following the dictates of his judgment on the financial issue. Had he lived his new affiliation would have permitted the dominant party to have honored him with official trusts, either judicial, legislative or executive, for which his rare judgment and sound discretion so eminently fitted him. His community was the gainer, however in the that it secured his services in non partisan positions which gave opportunity for placing his impress upon affairs of full as much moment to community as more conspicuous positions. As a member of the school board, city solicitor, president of the board of trustees of the public library, president of the Business Men’s Association, and in other similar positions, he had opportunity to direct to good results the forces influenced by such organizations. He was in frequent request for addresses on public occasions and when not was turned to as their presiding officer.
He was always busy his was “the strenuous life” His profession claimed his first and deepest energies, his cases were prepared with care and research which stopped at no labor, and he came into court armed at every known point in defense of his client’s cause. When the just remuneration for such devotion enables him to command the higher resources of mental equipment he turned with fondness to the books whose early acquaintance he had made in the college library, and added room day to day to his familiarity with the thought of the great minds of the past and the discoveries of the present age. In his social his was a singular mingling of frankness and reserve. His eye was opened and inviting, his address genial and refreshing, but where principle or the right as he interpreted the same were at stake he could be as unflinching as a prime minister. While in no sense a “society man” he enjoyed social relaxation with his fellows, the delights of the lecture, the drama and musical entertainments, But his greatest love was for his family and into the joys and little sorrows of his children the father entered with a sympathy and heartiness which must ling be cherished as a fond memory in their lives. His relations with women were chivalrous to a high degree. Honoring the memory of his mother and the devotion of his wife, he gave to other women that courtesy and respect which inspired feminine confidence and reliance in difficulty. His was the mind and heart to help, not hurt. His charities with purse, and of advice which often is more helpful than money, were many but bestowed with such discretion that the knowledge of them was not general until after is decease. In this he followed the injunction “let not they left hand know what they right hand doeth.” The sudden and tragically taking away of Richard F Jordan, at the zenith of his usefulness, at the early age of 45 yrs, caused widespread regret in the community which had known him intimately from the days of his boyish eagerness to the full maturity of his many powers.

1902 Boone County History Book


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