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James & Susan Nesbitt Currans

NESBITT, CURRANS, SCHADE, MCDEVITT

Posted By: Cathy Joynt Labath (email)
Date: 1/7/2007 at 09:28:32

RUTHVEN IOWA CENTENNIAL 1884-1984
p. 212-213

JAMES AND SUSAN NESBITT CURRANS.

James Currans was born December 25, 1838, in County Cavan, Ireland. His father died when James was two years old. He came to the United States with his aunt to Schenactady, New York, from there he moved to Wisconsin. March 7, 1865 he enlisted in the Civil War, he was discharged July 28, 1865.

Susan Nesbitt Currans was born May 4, 1850, in Leitrim, Ireland. She came to the United States at the age of 17, with an aunt to Brooklyn, New York. The following year, her parents, brothers and sisters came to the United States, and settled at Winnecome, Wisconsin. Susan was educated in the national schools in Ireland and by private tutors. On September 26, 1868 Susan Nesbitt and James Currans were married..

In 1869 James came to Iowa and filed a homestead claim three miles east and one mile north of Ruthven. In 1870 Susan and her two small sons, William and George, came to the homestead by train to Algona and stagecoach to Emmetsburg (Old Town), where she and the children stayed with the James White family for three weeks waiting for their home to be finished. After the home was built, Amos Miller brought them to their homestead by team and wagon. The frame house measured 12 x 16 with one room upstairs. The lumber had been transported from Fort Dodge, Iowa. In their home they had six chairs, table, stove, bed and trundle bed, which was pushed under the other bed by day. Their means of water was a well with a bucket and rope. They had a cow they picketed out. Later they bought two horses. James worked in Emmetsburg at the carpenter trade for $2.50 per day. He helped move the buildings from Old Town to where Emmetsburg now stands. One day Susan found a pumpkin seed in a trunk, she planted in a gopher mound and raised seven pumpkins. As soon as they could afford it, they built a barn on the homestead. Their means of transportation was walking or by horse and wagon. They were the parents of 11 children, George H., William F., Jane Anne (Mrs. Ben Schade), Susan A., James H., John A., Mary E. (Mrs. Tom McDevitt), Thomas P., Frances L., Ruth V. and Carne E.; George and Carne both died as small children.

In March of 1906, The family moved to Ruthven, as James’ health was poor, he passed away April 17, 1906. He was buried from Sacred Heart Church, where they were active members.

Susan was a great homemaker. She was active in church work, President of the Ladies Aid and worked faithfully to get the first Sacred Heart Church built. Before the church was built Mass was held in surrounding homes, and the skating rink. Susan passed away in May of 1934.

Susie lived with her mother. She was a dressmaker and did sewing and hand work for people. A big garden was raised and they had a horse and buggy in which they would visit the other members of the family. They also had a cow and chickens, Susie took care of these. Susie attended to her mother's needs as her mother's health failed. Susie passed away April 1938.

Frances was educated in the Ruthven schools. She worked in the elevator in Ruthven until her health failed and she passed away at the family home in July of 1913. Ruth attended Ruthven school and went to teachers College at Cedar Falls. She taught school near Ruthven. At one time she taught where the golf course is now. Her sister Jane also taught there before her. Later she went to business College at Marshalltown. Thomas and Ruth had the hardware store (where the Legion Hall is now on the west side). In 1919, it was sold to Sam Wigdahl. Ruth went to Sioux City as a bookkeeper. In 1931, she returned to Ruthven to help in the care of her mother. She went to work at the Farmer's Co-op Creamery where she worked for 17 years. In 1948 she was appointed acting postmistress in Ruthven, a position she held until her retirement in March of 1950. She was a very devout person to her work, her family and church. She was very active in the Catholic Daughters. She was always ready to help any family who needed care. In 1936 when her sister Mary McDevitt passed away, she took Mary’s two young daughters Ruth and Rosemary to raise. In November of 1955, Ruth passed away the last member of the Currans family.


 

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