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John J. Houlihan (1850-1926)


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 4/6/2022 at 14:03:50

John Joseph Houlihan
(June 16, 1850 March 5, 1926)

Since the spring of 1881 this gentleman has been a resident of Calhoun County, Iowa, and now makes his home on section 33, Calhoun Township, where he is successfully engaged in general farming and the breeding of pure-blooded short horn cattle. He was born in LaSalle County, Illinois, on the 16th of June, 1850, a son of John and Margaret (Ferreter) Houlihan. He is the second in order of birth in a family of five children, the others being Michael, now a farmer of Boone County, Iowa; Patrick, who is engaged in farming near Lohrville, Calhoun County; Timothy, a resident of Denison,
Texas; and Mary, wife of Michael Begley of LaSalle County, Illinois.
The subject of this sketch lost his father when a lad of thirteen years, and since then has been dependent upon his own resources for a livelihood. He was reared upon a farm and given good common school advantages, which were supplemented by a few terms attendance at the LaSalle high school. For several years he and his three brothers rented a farm in his native county and operated it together. With a kind and loving mother who was always happy with her children around her and a good sister they spent some happy days, still seeking a livelihood. The mother died at the home of Mrs. Begley, her daughter, March 30, 1896, at the age of eighty years.
As previously stated Mr. Houlihan came to Calhoun County, Iowa, in the spring of 1881, and bought a partially improved farm of eighty acres near Lake City, and at once turned his attention to its further development and cultivation, making his home thereon for seventeen years. In the mean time he bought more land adjoining until he owned two hundred and eighty acres, but in 1888 sold that place and bought land in Carroll County, Iowa. He then rented a stock farm in Calhoun Township, this county, where he resided for three years. Selling his Carroll County property in 1890, he purchased his present farm of two hundred acres in Calhoun Township, this county, on which he located in the spring of 1901. His place
is conveniently located within four miles of Lake City, and is one of the most desirable farms of its size in Calhoun County. In connection with the operation of his land Mr. Houlihan is extensively engaged in breeding and dealing in short horn cattle. He began the business about 1887 with one pure-blooded cow, increasing his stock from year to year. He has raised and sold several valuable animals, and now has a fine herd of about fifty head of pure blooded registered stock with Bonnie Lancaster at the head. He is a fine animal, three years old and weighing about twenty hundred
pounds. Mr. Houlihan also has two younger animals old enough for breeding purposes, and about twenty-five breeding cows, as well as some fine heifers. As a breeder and dealer in pure blooded stock he has become widely known throughout Iowa and surrounding states. He has held sales, holding the third in April, 1902.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Houlihan were reared in the Catholic faith and now hold membership in the church at Lake City. Politically he was formerly a Democrat, but supported William McKinley for the presidency in 1896. He is now efficiently serving as township trustee, but has never sought political preferment, his time and attention being given wholly to his business interests. Beginning life as he did without capital Mr. Houlihan deserves great credit for the success that he has achieved. He has made the most of his opportunities, and by straightforward, honorable dealing, he has not only gained the confidence of all with whom he has been brought in contact, but has secured a handsome competence. His career illustrates what can be accomplished through industry, perseverance, good management and a determination to succeed. [Source Biographical Record of Calhoun County, Iowa, by S. J. Clarke, 1902, p.308]


Calhoun Biographies maintained by Karon S. Valeu.
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