Patrick Nolan 1833-1904
Posted By: Cathy Joynt Labath
Date: 10/29/2006 at 18:05:34
Emmetsburg Democrat; Emmetsburg, Palo Alto, Iowa; Wednesday, May 25, 1904
The Passing of a Pioneer.
On Wednesday morning of last week our citizens were surprised to learn
of the sudden death of Patrick Nolan. He had been over town and at work in
his garden on Saturday, the day he was taken sick, and only a few had
learned of his illness until the news of his death reached them. The funeral
took place on Friday morning when a very large procession, including many of
the old settlers of the county, followed the remains from the house of the
deceased in the east part of town to the Catholic church, where the last
rites of the church were performed by Rev. M.J. Costello. The pall bearers
were E.P. McEvoy, J.T. Mulroney, M.H. Crowley, James Dunigan, Thos. Kirby
and M.F. Coonan.
Mr. Nolan was born in Dunmore, Kilkenny county Ireland, in 1833. He
came to America at the age of 21 and lived for one year at Brooklyn, New
York. He then moved west and spent a year at Elgin, Illinois. That year he
started for northwestern Iowa. In company with Thomas Maher, who took a
homestead on what is now a part of the town site of Emmetsburg, he went by
team from Elgin, Illinois to Iowa City, and from there they came to this
place on foot. He was one of the small party of pioneers from Kane county,
Ilinois, who came out in 1856. In the spring of that year a party of six
consisting of Ed and Miles Mahan, James and John Nolan, Lot Laughlin, and
John Neary reached here and settled along the river. Mr. Nolan and Mr. Maher
came later the same year. In the spring of 1857 Mr. Nolan was married at
Fort Dodge to Johanna Conway, a sister of Mrs. John Nolan, and for forty
years he lived on the old farm on the east side of the river, a short
distance north of the old town site. This homestead is one of the historic
spots of the county - always known to the early settlers and to travelers
for its open-hearted hospitalty. The old settlers and the young people of
thirty years ago can tell of many a pleasant evening spent at the home of
"Pat in the Bush".
Of the three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Nolan, two died of
diptheria - one boy and one girl. The surviving son, M. J. Nolan, lives in
the comfortable home on the east side where his father died.
Mr. Nolan was for many years one of the leading and most successful
farmers in the county. He purchased and fed a large number of cattle and
employed several laborers during the entire year. However, later he met with
some business reverses and retired several years ago and came to this city
to spend his remaining days. He was a frank, outspoken, open hearted old
gentleman and was when he had ample means a generous contributer to all
worthy public enterprises. He gave willingly a helping hand to many a needy
pioneer and furnished him food and shelter beneath his humble roof when
there was no Emmetsburg and when stopping places were few and far between.
His name and his praiseworthy deeds will often be recalled by those who knew
him as a friend, benefactor, and upright citizen.
Palo Alto Obituaries maintained by Cathy Joynt Labath.
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