John Devlin.— One of the best known among the citizens of Jefferson Township, and one not unknown throughout the county, is John Devlin, who was born in Londonderry, Ireland, Dec. 20, 1821. His father was Patrick Devlin, by trade a shoemaker, but who generally worked a small farm under the tenant-laws of that country. His mother's maiden name was Bridget Henry. John remained at home and worked on the farm until twenty years of age, when he left the paternal roof and went to Scotland and spent one year, when he emigrated to the United States, landing at Baltimore, July 9, 1842. He was without means, and began at once looking about for something to do, and traveled ninety miles in the country on foot before he could obtain work. For a short time he worked on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, then being constructed. He then obtained employment for a time in Mt. Savage, and from there went to Pittsburg, Penn., where he engaged to work on a steamboat. He followed the river until 1852. On the 3d day of July, 1844, he united in marriage with Margaret Monaghan, a native of Scotland, by whom he had seven children, four of whom are now living— John, Mary Ann (now Mrs. Henry), Louis Francis and Willam. Henry James died at sixteen years of age; Charles C., at three years, and Frank, at nine months. Leaving his family in St. Louis, where he had located some years previous, Mr. Devlin, in 1852, went to California, where he spent two years, and from thence to Oregon, where he spent one year. Success attended his efforts for a time, but having the misfortune to be severely injured in the caving in of a mine in
which he was at work, he was laid up for months and had to spend all his savings for medical assistance. Returning to St. Louis in 1855 as poor as he went out, he determined to locate in Jefferson Township, Clayton County, on a farm, which he entered in 1849. Success has crowned his efforts here, and he now owns 440
acres of well-improved land, on section 33. Mr. Devlin has been an active man in his township, and although surrounded by those of other nationalities, especially Germans, he enjoys he confidence of all. For eight years he filled
the office of Justice of the Peace, but it was his endeavor to effect settlements of controversies, if possible, before bringing the case into court.
He is now Notary Public, and has a great deal of business to do in making out and certifying deeds and other duties pertaining to the office. Mr. and Mrs. Devlin are both members of the Catholic church. Politically Mr. Devlin is a Democrat.
source: History of Clayton
County, Iowa, 1882, p. 864-865
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