Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa

Left to Right: Miss Margaret DOUGHERTY,John DOUGHERTY ~ first white child born in Dougherty Township ~ Mary (DOUGHERTY) WADE, Theresa DOUGHERTY, Bernard DOUGHERTY.
Not pictured is Joe DOUGHERTY, the youngest, of Butte, Mont. Monsignor Edward J. DOUGHERTY'S portrait hangs on the wall.

Town Built on Land Bought
by DOUGHERTY in 1856

The town of Dougherty is built on land bought from the United States in 1856 by Daniel DOUGHERTY, the first permanent settler in that part of the county even though he did not actually make his home there in 1863. When he bought hte land there was less of Mason City than of the smallest town in the county today. It was only 3-years-old as a town, in fact.

Shown in the picture above are 5 of the 6 surviving children of Daniel and Mary DOUGHERTY. From left to right they are Miss Margaret DOUGHERTY, 82, who calls herself as many others do, "Aunt Meg;" John DOUGHERTY, 84, born July 1, 1863, the first white child born in the community; Mrs. Mary WADE, 86; Miss Theresa DOUGHERTY, 78, twin sister of Monsignor Edward J. DOUGHERTY, Waterloo, whose picture hangs on the wall, and Bernard DOUGHERTY, 80, whom everyone knows as "Barney."

The 6th remaining member of the generation is Joe DOUGHERTY, Butte, Mont., youngest of the children. He is a messenger for the Great Northern railway, his sister Theresa said.

. . . portion of article missing purchased for $1.25 an acre, he said. The home he lives in was built in 1869 and undoubtedly is one of the oldest buildings standing in Cerro Gordo county today. it took the place of the log house in which they had lived since their arrival here. The barn was built in 1872 and is 49 by 60 feet.

The History of Cerro Gordo County compiled and edited by J. H. WHEELER gives considerable attention to the biography of Daniel DOUGHERTY, as follows, in part:

"The subject of the biography was reared on a farm in the Emerald Isle and received only a meager education. Although circumstances were adverse the spark of ambition burned in his breast and in 1851 he servered home ties and came to the United States, landing at Philadelphia after a voyage which had been of 6 weeks and 3 days duration.

"For a short time after arriving, Mr. DOUGHERTY made his livelihood by working in a foundry and in 1853 he moved to Montgomery county, Pa., and found employment in the iron works at that place.

". . . portion missing from article came to Decorah, Iowa, where the United States land office was located and surveyed the northern tier of counties to Hancock and southeast to Cerro Gordo county and located 160 acres in section 36 in what is now Dougherty township. He returned to Decorah and entered it and then went back to Montgomery, Pa., where he resumed his old work. In the fall of 1858 he returned to Clayton county, Iowa, where he farmed and while there he was elected county supervisor and served 2 terms.

"In the spring of 1863 Mr. DOUGHERTY took up his residence upon his own farm in Cerro Gordo county. He began at once upon the work of improving the wild land and put up a log house in which he lived until 1869. In the latter year he erected a frame house, hauling the lumber from Charles City. He prospered steadily and before he partially divided with his sons he owned all of section 36.

"Although he had been warned that apples could not be raised in Iowa, in 1872 he set out an orchard of 1,000 trees and has demonstrated that this lucious fruit can be raised here, for he has sold from $1,200 to $1,300 worth of apples in a season. (His was the largest orchard in North Iowa at the turn of the century.)

"Mr. DOUGHERTY brought all his influence to bear to have a railroad built through the township. When the Chicago and North Western came through he sold the company the town site for a mere song. The first school house built in 1864 near Mr. DOUGHERTY'S old homestead and in 1869 was moved to its present location.

"Mr. DOUGHERTY was married in Ireland may 9, 1848, to Miss Mary GALLAGHER, born March 29, 1929, as her husband put it, 'just across the fence from him.' About three years later they came to America. They have outdone even the usuaal pioneer record in the matter of large families, their union having been blessed by the birth of 16 children. (Three died in infancy.)

"In 1898 Mr. DOUGHERTY purchased 80 acres of land near Rockwell and here built a home and moved to it, this step being made for the benefit of the younger children that they might be nearer the Rockwell schools. In 1902, he moved his home to Dougherty."

The last mentioned home was the one in which the picture of his children was taken which appears here. It is just across the road from the big parochial school which is now attended by so many of his descendant.

Miss Theresa mentioned a number of those descendant who live near her and several who have moved away including Judge Charles S. DOUGHERTY, son of the late Patrick DOUGHERTY, Mason City attorney. Judge DOUGHERTY lives in Chicago.

Dougherty, 1908

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2011



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