Morris O'Daily. One of the well improved farms of Clayton County is that owned and occupied by Mr. O'Daily and situated on section 1, of Wagner Township. It contains all the improvements of a first-class estate, including a neat residence and substantial barn. The soil, through careful tillage, has been brought under excellent cultivation, and the land is subdivided by good fences into fields of convenient size. This place has been the home of the present owner since the year 1861, when, coming hither, he purchased eighty acres comprising a portion of the property now owned by him.
The success which has come to Mr. O'Daily is due entirely to his own exertions, as he was but four years of age when orphaned by the death of his parents, John and Hanorah O'Daily, natives of the Emerald Isle. He was also a native of that country, born in County Carry, April 16, 1823. The family having been poor, he had no educational advantages in youth, and from early boyhood was obliged to earn his own livelihood. Believing that in the United States he would find better opportunities than the Old World afforded, he crossed the Atlantic in 1846, and arriving in New York, was there variously employed for five years.
While living in New York Mr. O'Daily was united in marriage, in 1852, with Miss Julia Sullivan, like himself a native of Ireland, her birth having there occurred in 1822. She is the daughter of Daniel and Helena (Prenderville) Sullivan who died when she was an infant, and therefore she has little information concerning the genealogy of the family. She was reared in the home of an uncle, and came to the United States about the same time as did Mr. O'Daily. The latter was for some years after his marriage employed at railroading, being thus engaged in Covington, Ky., for one year, later in Ohio for the same length of time, and afterward in Pennsylvania for six months. Going thence to Chicago, after a short sojourn in that city he removed to Boscobel, Wis., where he remained until 1857.
In the latter year Mr. O'Daily came to Iowa and after residing for three years in McGregor located upon his present estate in the spring of 1861. His first purchase consisted of eighty acres for which he paid $2.50 per acre. Afterward he added a forty-acre tract, paying $15 an acre for it, and twenty years later he bought a similar amount, so that he is now the owner of a quarter-section of improved land. While his attention has been given principally to farm pursuits, he also takes a commendable interest in local matters, and in politics gives his support to the Democratic party. In religious belief he is a Catholic, and with his wife holds membership in that church at Monona.
Six children came to bless the union of Mr. and Mrs. O'Daily, of whom two are deceased. The eldest, Hanorah, who was born in Detroit, Mich., December 11, 1852, was married in 1879 to Michael Allen, and they reside in Topeka, Kan. Mr. Allen is an engineer on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, running from Kansas City to St. Joseph, Mo. They have had five children, one of whom died at our subject's home, and was buried in Monona. The eldest son of our subject, John, was born in Detroit, Mich., December 29, 1856, and is now a railroad conductor with headquarters at Tacoma, Wash. Dandy, whose birth occurred December 14, 1858, was killed at Brainerd, Minn., December 2, 1887, having fallen off a car while braking on a train. Cornelius was born at North McGregor, Iowa, October 6, 1859, and assists his father in the management of the home farm, Jeremiah, who was born in North McGregor, Iowa, May 6, 1861, is now in the employ of the Western Union Telegraph Company at St. Paul, Minn. Morris was born on the home farm in Wagner Township, August 25, 1863, and died of scarlet fever when eight years of age. None of the surviving sons are married. The family is highly esteemed throughout this community, and the children, having been trained in early life for positions of usefulness in the business world, are now known in their various communities as honorable and energetic citizens.