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A HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Decatur County, Iowa
BY REV. EDWARD J. HARKIN, PASTOR
1956 (No Copyright)


THE LAND

One hundred years ago it was the dream of many immigrants to buy a tract of land out West upon which to cast their lot for happiness and economic security. They worked on the railroad, in rock quarries, as a policeman, peddlers, laborers and just anything to save a few dollars from the labor of their hands. Some of those people purchased land in Decatur County, Iowa, in 1853 and 1854.


Of the Irish Catholic immigrants who remained faithful to the church and reared their children in the Catholic Faith, LUKE SHAY at this writing was the first to purchase land in Decatur County. He, December 9, 1853, entered land in Section 9 of Richland Township (North of Grand River) from the United States Land Office. There is no proof that he lived on it. He lived most of his life in Ringgold County. After Ringgold County was organized (1855) the first district court convened May 25, 1857. LUKE SHAY was naturalized a citizen of the United States at that term of court and that was its first business transacted. (Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Decatur Counties, Iowa, from the Lewis Publishing Company, 113 Adams Street, Chicago, Ill., Page 413.)

The next to enter land from the United States Government were two brothers, EDWARD CONWELL and STEPHEN CONWELL, who together purchased l60 acres at $1.25 per acre, in the north part of Richland Township (north of Grand River where LUKE CONWELL lives) in Section 4. The date was June 10, 1854.


The next land entries and purchases were in Woodland Township, ten miles southeast of Leon, which became a rural farming community known as Ireland. There was never a town at Ireland, only a church and cemetery. The town of Woodland was three and one-half miles northeast while Bracewell was a store, a mill and a couple of houses about three and one-half miles southeast of Ireland.

WILLIAM GROGAN on August 26, 1854, contracted with the State of Iowa to purchase through Decatur County land in Section 19 of Woodland Township.


PATRICK GROGAN contracted to purchase from Decatur County 80 acres in Section 19, Woodland Township, August 26, 1854.

JOHN BARRETT September 4, 1854, entered land in Section 17, Woodland Township, from the United States Government.

Previous to September 4, 1854, JOHN BARRETT also had contracted to buy 80 acres in Section 16, Woodland Township, August 26, 1854. He later assigned this same contract to his brothers, RICHARD BARRETT and wife, BRIDGET, and RICHARD BARRETT and wife, JULIA, jointly. They made their final payment April 12, 1864. The RICHARD and RICARD BARRETT families sold their land in 1866-67 and returned to Indiana.

MICHAEL GRIFFIN purchased land in Section 3 of Woodland Township, October 3, 1857, from WILLIAM H. BLAKESLEY and SARAH BLAKESLEY, Book 47, Page 70.

CORNELIUS HANNON bought land in Section 24 of Eden Township from JAMES W. GAMMON September 23, 1858.

On November 6, 1858, DENNIS MULLIN and PATRICK MULLIN, two brothers, and a brother-in-law, MAURICE DAUGHTON, acquired title jointly to land in Section 19, Woodland Township, from MR. ISAM T.W. KILGORE.

According to the Iowa Census, 1860, BARTHOLOMEW HOULIHAN (HALHAN) related that he owned $100.00 worth of land. At the Leon Abstract Office, however, he (BARTHOLOMEW WHOLIGAN) is shown as having recorded a deed to 40 acres in Section 29 dated June 8, 1861. It could be presumed that he purchased it from J.D. WASSON even before 1860 but failed to have the transaction recorded until a late date. This property later passed to MRS. DENNIS MULLIN who was the daughter of the above BARTHOLOMEW HOULIHAN.

Although the WALLACES were non-baptized Catholics in 1853, some of them were baptized later into the Catholic Church. JOHN W. WALLACE purchased land December 13, 1853, from his father, PETER B. WALLACE, SR., in Section 29, Woodland Township, who had previously purchased it from the United States Government November 4, 1853.

Including JOHN W. WALLACE, twelve Catholic Irish immigrants entered or purchased land in Woodland Township during the 1850's. THOMAS OWENS, who came to Decatur County with the BARRETTS in 1856 or 1857, purchased land in Woodland Township in the '60's. Following the Civil War more came such as THOMAS DILLON, JAMES DILLON, FRANCIS MCGOVERN, PATRICK FLYNN, JOSEPH PETERS, DENNIS MAHONEY, CORNILIUS HANNON, PATRICK MAHONEY, THOMAS GROGAN, and others such as SYLVESTER KRITZ, DANIEL SULLIVAN and WILLIAM OGDEN who purchased land in or near Woodland Township to cause that part of Decatur County to be called "Ireland," ten miles southeast of Leon. A fine young man by the name of ROGER SULLIVAN purchased property in Leon in 1868 and established a business but died from sunstroke in 1871 while helping in the hay field down in Ireland. In addition to these there were also the young ones contracting marriage and starting a new family, such as SAMUEL WALLACE who married BRIDGET DAUGHTON in 1861.

The total number of practical Catholic families by 1870 in or near Woodland Township was about twenty-five or thirty at the most with more to come during the late '70's and '80's, but many had already begun to move away. After JOSEPH PETERS died in 1879, MRS. PETERS married JOHN BARRY in 1880.

The Catholic Church in the name of the Right Reverent Clement Smyth, Bishop of Dubuque, September 22, 1863, acquired title to ten acres in Section 19, Woodland Township, for cemetery and church site for the sum of one dollar from WILLIAM GROGAN, PATRICK GROGAN, DENNIS MULLIN, MAURICE DAUGHTON and PATRIC MULLIN and their wives.1

For these above dates appreciation is extended to MRS. LENA VARGA and MR. LEE ELSON of the Leon Abstract and Title Company, Leon, Iowa.

THE PIONEERS

Although they contracted to purchase their land in 1854 they did not come to Iowa until later, some in 1855, others in 1856 and 1858. It is interesting to review the primitive type of life they had to live the first months and years on their unimproved land. Their only mode of transportation was an ox team and a covered wagon. Some walked. There was no house or buildings. The ground was covered with tall native grass, trees and brush. Wild honey, wild apples, berries and plums were plentiful with which to make sweets and relishes. Wild turkeys and other game were in abundance for meat. At first they had only a covered wagon for shelter until a log cabin was constructed. They helped one another, and soon after the passing of several years a log cabin stood on every eighty or forty. The air was clean and independence was enjoyed as never before. Hope of great accomplishments was seen on the horizon one hundred years ago.

The first Irish Catholic settlers in Decatur County who identified themselves with the Catholic Church were EDWARD CONWELL and his brother, STEPHEN CONWELL, who settled on their land north of Grand River not later than the spring of 1855. They were both bachelors, EDWARD was 24 and STEPHEN 26. During the autumn of 1855 they harvested 50 bushels of corn from the `0 acres they had improved. (See Iowa Census, Decatur County, Richland Township, taken before June 1, 1856, Vol. 42, Page 98.).

The first Irish Catholic settlers in Woodland Township it would seem according to this 1856 Iowa Census were the six members of the JOHN BARRETT family and a young man unmarried by the name of PATRICK GROGAN, age 25, who lived with the BARRETT family. This Census of 1856, taken between January l to June 1, lists only this one Catholic family. There were other families but not Catholic. The WALLACE family is listed in this Census as having come to Decatur County in 1852. Several members of the JOHN W. WALLACE family were converted to the Catholic Church in later years. JOHN WALLACE himself, and wife, MARY E. MONSON WALLACE, were among them.

The six members of the BARRETT family were JOHN BARRETT, age 39, and wife, ELLEN BARRETT, age 25, and their three children: HENRY, age 4; JOHN, age 3; and William, age 1; and the grandfather, JOHN BARRETT, age 70. In the 1860 Census, HENRY and JOHN, the children, are not listed. Apparently they died in childhood. JOHN BARRETT had l0 acres improved and 110 unimproved. PATRICK GROGAN, living in the BARRETT house, had 160 acres unimproved, according to this Census (Vol. 42, Page 270).

The name BARRETT was spelled in this Census as 'BARRIETT' which might seem unusual today. However, if you would pronounce it with a thick Irish brogue it would come out 'BARRIETT' for the census taker.

The DAUGHTON name in many early records is spelled: DARTIN and DALTON. Pronounce DAUGHTON with a thick Irish brogue and it would come out something like DARTIN.

In August of 1860 there was completed another Iowa Census in which eleven Catholic families are listed in Woodland Township including the JOHN W. WALLACE family. The total number of souls was 62.

They were:

  1. JOHN BARRETT, wife ELLEN, and three children.
  2. RICHARD (RICARD) BARRETT, wife JULIA, and four children.
  3. THOMAS OWENS, wife ELLEN, and three children.
  4. MAURICE DAUGHTON, wife ELLEN, and seven children.
  5. DENNIS MULLIN, wife MARGARET, and three children.
  6. PATRICK GROGAN, wife FRANCES, and one child.
  7. WILLIAM GROGAN, wife BRIDGET, and seven children.
  8. BARTHOLOMEW HOULIHAN, wife MARY.
  9. JOHN W. WALLACE, wife MARY E., and eight children.
  10. MICHAEL GRIFFIN, wife MARGARET, and five children.
  11. JOHN BARRETT, SR.

JOHN BARRETT, SR.

JOHN BARRETT, SR., born in County Cork about 1769, see his stone in cemetery, and died in Decatur County, Iowa, December 30, 1869, 100 years old and buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township, Decatur County. He came to Iowa in 1856. His children were JOHN BARRETT, ELLEN BARRETT OWENS, NANCY BARRETT REARDON, RICARD BARRETT and RICHARD BARRETT.

JOHN BARRETT, JR. and ELLEN BARRETT

JOHN BARRETT, born County Cork, Ireland, about 1824 (see stone at cemetery, 1820), died February 5, 1903, buried Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married at St. Paul, Indiana, 1850, to MISS ELLEN SULLIVAN, who also was born in County Cork, December 8, 1830, died March 19, 1902, buried at Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.

They came to Decatur County in the spring of 1856 and had ten children. Five died in childhood. He entered land in Decatur County, Woodland Township, Section l6, August 26, 1854, and also in Section 17, September 4, 1854.


Children:


  1. HENRY BARRETT, born 1851, Indiana, died in Iowa before 1860.
  2. JOHN BARRETT, born 1852, Indiana, died in Iowa before 1860.
  3. WILLIAM BARRETT, born St. Paul, Indiana, December 8, 1854, was married at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Woodland Township, southeast of Leon, to CATHERINE GROGAN (relative of WILLIAM and PATRICK GROGAN, and she had worked in Leon) September 27, 1880, by Father E. Hayes. They moved to Tobias, Nebraska, and both are buried near Friend, Nebraska. Five children. He brought first Priest to Milligan, Nebraska, and introduced him to people.
  4. RICHARD (RICARD) J. BARRETT, born in Decatur County July 4, 1857, married ELLEN MAHONEY. He died in 1936. Both are buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Five children. Four lived: MARY MASTERSON, HELEN BARRY, WILLIAM D. BARRETT, GRACE BARRETT, (JOHN) EDWARD BARRETT, born June 24, 1890, died August 14, 1902.

    On Sunday, October 4, 1885, in the Catholic Church in Woodland Township, Decatur County, Iowa, RICHARD J. BARRETT and ELLEN MAHONEY were united in marriage by Father William M. Williams (Leon Court House Book 3, page 3348, No. 1514)


  5. MARY BARRETT, born in Decatur County, Iowa, March 23, 1859, married ED MACY. She died in 1938 and was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Woodland Township. One child, FAY ALBERT MACY, of Osceola, Iowa. She was stepmother to ED MACY's children by his first wife who had died. They were non-Catholics.
  6. MARGARET BARRETT, born in Decatur County, Iowa, March, 1861, married JOSEPH WILLARD MULLIN August 3, 1885. She was confirmed by Rt. Rev. Henry Cosgrove, D.D. Bishop of Davenport, in Catholic Church, St. Patrick's, Woodland Township, June 5, 1885. Eight children. Both are buried at Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. She is the mother of MRS. WILLIAM (HAZEL) BUCKINGHAM.
  7. NANCY (NAN) BARRETT, born Decatur County, Iowa, May 10, 1863. Never married. She was Father J.C. Maher's housekeeper for many years in Leon and in Des Moines. She died February 8, 1948, at the home of her niece, MRS. BUCKINGHAM. Buried at the Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.

JOHN BARRETT (JR.)

Obituary, Leon Reporter, Thursday, February 12, 1903, Page 6.

"Obituary: JOHN BARRETT, one of the pioneers of Decatur County, died at his home in Woodland Township on Thursday morning, February 5, 1903, after an illness of several months at the advanced age of 79 years.

"The deceased was born in County Cork, Ireland, in the year 1824 and emigrated to America in 1848, landing at New Orleans during the terrible epidemic of cholera in that city but passed it without taking the disease. He went from New Orleans to Ohio, settling near Cincinnati, and lived for a few years in that state and in Indiana at St. Paul, Indiana. He was married to MISS ELLEN SULLIVAN at St. Paul, Indiana, in 1849, and their married life extended over a period of more than fifty years, being broken by the death of MRS. BARRETT last March. To their union were born ten children, five having passed to the great beyond and five living present during his illness, WILLIAM BARRETT of Tobias, Nebraska; R.J. BARRETT of High Point, MRS. MARY MACY of High Point, MRS. MARGARET MULLIN of Burrell and MISS NANCY BARRETT, who lives at the old BARRETT home.

"Uncle JOHN came to this country in 1854 (? The census of 1856 states that he had been in the State of Iowa "0" years), and located in Woodland Township where he entered Government land which he continued to occupy until his death. He was a typical Irishman, rugged and had always enjoyed exceptional good health. After the death of his wife last March, however, he commenced to fail and frequently expressed the wish that he might be called. He was a man highly respected by all who knew him and his death causes sorrow to a large circle of friends. The funeral services were held from the home on Saturday morning, February 7, 1903, conducted by Rev. John A. Condon of Maloy, interment being at the Catholic Grave Yard in Woodland Township."

The new church building was not finished, having been begun in October, 1902, hence the funeral had to be at home.

It is said that in early days JOHN BARRETT was the only one who had a Catholic newspaper coming to his home. It was the monthly edition of "The Boston Pilot."

It is related that MR. JOHN BARRETT served Mass for the Priest up until he was an old man.

ED OWENS says: "We lived about a quarter of a mile east of the church. The men took turns boing ten miles to Leon to meet the Priest when he arrived at Leon the day before. The Priest would stay the night with one of the families. Many times he would stay with the BARRETTS. They lived a mile or more north-northeast of us. I can remember seeing the Priest walking across the fields and pasture to the church from the BARRETTS up north of our place. The Priest was a tall man who stretched out when he walked fast. After him came MR. and MRS. BARRETT and their children. They would come onto the road in front of our place, then my mother would gather up us kids and we would follow the BARRETTS up the road to the church. That was during the late '70's or in the '80's.

"Sometime the Priest wouldn't arrive on the train and of course the people would not know it until they gathered at the church the next morning. MR. JOHN BARRETT would lead them in the Rosary and the Litany. The Protestants over at Woodland would say: 'Jack Barrett read the Mass for the Catholics last Sunday.'

"MARY BARRETT (MRS. ED MACY) was a school teacher in the very early days and taught Catechism at the Church."

OBITUARY
Leon Newspaper 1902

"ELLEN SULLIVAN BARRETT was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1822, and died at her home in Woodland Township on Wednesday, March 19, 1902, age 80 years.

"Leaving her native home in October, 1848, she landed at New Orleans November 27, 1848, and went to the state of Indiana where on November 22, 1849, she was married to JOHN BARRETT at St. Paul, Indiana. In 1854 (?) they came to Iowa and were among the early settlers of this county entering the home farm in Woodland Township as government land, where she continued to reside until her death.

"To their union were born ten children, five of whom, with the aged husband, survive her: WILLIAM BARRETT of Tobias, Nebraska; RICHARD BARRETT, MRS. ED MACY, MRS. JOE W. MULLIN and MISS NANNIE BARRETT, who reside in this county. All of her children were with her during her last illness.

"The funeral services were held on Friday, March 21, 1902. Interment being at the Catholic Cemetery in Woodland Township. MRS. BARRETT was a noble woman and we trust has gone to her reward in the unknown world. Many dear friends mourn her departure."

THOMAS OWENS

THOMAS OWENS, born County Meath, Ireland, August 15, 1827, died October 15, 1874, buried at Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township, married ELLEN BARRETT who was born County Cork, Ireland, February 11, 1828, died June 8, 1911, buried Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. They came to Decatur County before April 4, 1857, most likely in the summer of 1856. It has been said that they came with the BARRETTS but they are not listed in the Census of Spring, 1856.
They came from St. Paul, Indiana.


Children:

  1. JAMES OWENS, died as an infant in Indiana.
  2. PATRICK OWENS, died as infant in Indiana.
  3. JOHN (JACK) OWENS, born in Decatur, Iowa, April 4, 1857, baptized at St. Mary's, Ottumwa, by Father John Adam Kreckel, September 16, 1860, with ten other children of the Settlement of Woodland Township. He died in September, 1937, near Beaconsfield, Iowa, buried Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.


  4. He married KATHRYN DAUGHTON at the Catholic Church, Woodland Township, by Father T.J. Mullen, April 29, 1889. Aunt KATIE died in 1954 while residing at Westerville. She has two children: DENNIS OWENS and ALICE OWENS MCGRAW.

  5. JOSIE (JOHANNA) OWENS (twin), born in Decatur County, March 4, 1860. Never married. Died and buried in Catholic Cemetery Woodland Township, in August, 1949.
  6. MARY ANN (MOLL) OWENS (twin), born March 4, 1860, married JAKE BEARDSLEY. One son, WILLIAM BEARDSLEY, at Grand River, Iowa. Later married WILLIAM MULCHAHEY of Chicago. She died and is buried in Chicago. Two children: JOSEPHINE MULCHAHEY and FRANK MULCHAHEY.
  7. BRIDGET OWENS, born about 1863, married BOB MALONE. Died November 8, 1952, Lincoln, Nebraska and buried in Nebraska. Several children.
  8. MARGARET OWENS, born November 2, 1865, in Decatur County, married DOUGLAS GREEN, by Father William M. Williams, MR. GREEN died and she married KERRY A. WILSON. He is dead. She lives at 2114 Army Post Road, Des Moines, Iowa. (July 11, 1953) "Father Williams taught me catechism and married to MR. GREEN, in 1886." In August, 1953, a United States Army jet plane didn't make it taking off and crashed into her house while she was in the house. The house burned and her parakeet was killed. MARGARET suffered shock and is back at her house now.
  9. RICHARD OWENS, born February 28, 1867, died December 21, 1918, buried Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  10. EDWARD THOMAS OWENS, born November 6, 1868, in Decatur County. Never married. Living in Leon in December, 1955. Baptized by Father Louis Cornelis. Record at Georgetown.
  11. WILLIAM OWENS, born about 1872. Died in Lincoln, Nebraska, about 1922.
  12. ELIZABETH OWENS, born 1874, married DR. J. DURHAM. Lives at Mercer, Missouri.

RICKARD - RICARD BARRETT

RICKARD - RICARD BARRETT, born in County Cork, Ireland, about 1824, married JULIE SULLIVAN. They are listed in the 1860 census of Iowa and came to Iowa at least before 1858. He purchased land in Decatur County, Woodland Township, and lived in Woodland Township until about 1867 when they sold out and returned to Indiana. RICARD was a brother to JOHN BARRETT, JR., and ELLEN OWENS and A RICHARD BARRETT and a NANCY REARDON.

Children:

  1. JOHANNA BARRETT, born in Indiana, 1852.
  2. MARY A. BARRETT, born in Indiana, 1854.
  3. JOHN BARRETT, born in Iowa, May l0, 1857.
  4. ELLEN BARRETT, born in Iowa, September 3, 1859.
  5. RICKARD-RICARD BARRETT, born in Iowa, March 11, 1866. See Baptismal records at Ottumwa and Georgetown, and Iowa Census 1860.

RICHARD BARRETT

RICHARD BARRETT, a son of JOHN BARRETT, SR. It is said he was born in County Cork, Ireland, and came to Iowa about 1856 or 1857 and returned to Indiana. He married a woman by the name of BRIDGET. He bought land jointly in Decatur County, Woodland Township, with his brother, RICARD. He bought several other pieces of land in Woodland Township but sold them in 1866-1867 according to the abstract office at Leon. He is not listed in the Census of 1860.


NANCY REARDON

NANCY REARDON, daughter of JOHN BARRETT, SR., born in County Cork, Ireland. Married EDWARD REARDON. If they came to Decatur County, Woodland Township, Iowa, they did not remain long. There is no record of them. EDWARD OWENS says he heard about them from his mother and thinks he heard that they came but returned to Indiana immediately.

WILLIAM GROGAN

WILLIAM GROGAN, born in County Kerry, Ireland, January 2, 1809, died at Leon March 25, 1905. Married BRIDGET FOLEY, who was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in February, 1822. She died December 9, 1905. They came to Decatur County in the Summer of 1856.

He was one of the donors of church property in Woodland Township in 1863.


Children:


  1. JOHN GROGAN, born in County Kerry, Ireland, July 26, 1841. (1844 Iowa Census, 1860) Died September 25, 1887, buried Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married MARGARET QUILTY, born 1855, Terre Haute, Indiana. QUILTY family lived near Kellerton, Iowa. JOHN and MARGARET are the parents of CATHERINE GROGAN - MRS. J.A. MULLIN of Minneapolis Minnesota, who are parents of GERALD MULLIN and EDWARD MULLIN, etc., of Minneapolis.
  2. KATHERINE GROGAN (KATE), married a HARRIS. She died at the age of 88, near Fort Scott, Kansas. She was born in Ireland in 1847.
  3. TIMOTHY (TADE) GROGAN, born, 1850, in Ohio. Married MARGARET DAUGHTON, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. They had two children: JIMMIE GROGAN and NELLIE GROGAN who is MRS. JOHN FENNELL. MARGARET GROGAN died November 30, 1881, at the age of 25 years, 7 months. She is buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. TIMOTHY and MARGARET were married at St. Patrick's, Woodland Township, February 8, 1876, by Father Wieland. (Leon Court House, Book l, page 226.)
  4. MICHAEL (COLONEL) GROGAN, born in Indiana, 1852, died November 12, 1910. Married KATHRYN SULLIVAN at Grand River Catholic Church. Buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  5. THOMAS GROGAN, born 1853 or 1854, in Indiana, died 1896, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married EMMA DILLON.
  6. MARY GROGAN, born 1855, in Illinois. Married JOHN MCGRAW February 5, 1877, before Father S.F. Wieland at St. Patrick's Woodland Township. (Book l, page 335, Leon Court House) Moved to Filmore County, Nebraska. Had seven children. Buried at Exeter, Nebraska. Children are: HANNAH, KATHRYN, WILLIAM, THOMAS, EMMA, JAMES and HELEN.
  7. HANNAH GROGAN, also called BRIDGET, born Woodland Township, Decatur County, Iowa, August 22, 1857. Married PETER BRADLEY. She died August 6, 1942, and is buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. (Marriage record at Leon Court House, Book 3.) PETER BRADLEY and HANNAH GROGAN were married at Woodland December 31, 1883, by Father P. Feely. HANNAH BRIDGET was baptized September 16, 1860, one of eleven, at Ottumwa, Iowa.
  8. ROBERT WILLIAM GROGAN, born August 28, 1860, Decatur County. Died as a child July 18, 1863, buried Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Baptized at Ottumwa September 16, 1860.

OBITUARY - WILLIAM GROGAN
Leon Journal, Thursday, March 30, 1905

"WILLIAM GROGAN was born in Kerry County, Ireland, January 2, 1809 and died at his home in Leon, Iowa, March 25, 1905, aged 96 years, 2 months and 23 days. Funeral services were conducted at the residence by Rev. Richard Aid of the Catholic Church March 27, after which the remains were laid to rest in the Catholic Cemetery in Woodland Township.

"The subject of our sketch was the second of seven sons and spent his boyhood days on his father's farm and attended the parish school. February 3, 1843, he married BRIDGET FOLEY, who with five children: MRS. KATE HARRIS, TADE GROGAN, MICHAEL GROGAN, MARY MCGRAW and HANNAH BRADLEY, survive him. In 1848, on account of the oppression of the poor act in Ireland, he left his native land and came with his wife to the United States and landed at New Orleans after a voyage of five weeks and three days on the ocean. In the spring of 1849, on account of the outbreak of cholera in New Orleans, he moved to Indiana. In 1857 he moved to Decatur County and settled in Woodland Township being the pioneer Irish Colony in that township. He was the first to settle in the New Ireland in this county and was instrumental in bringing his brother, PATRICK GROGAN, CORNELIUS HANNON, PATRICK MULLIN, MAURICE DAUGHTON, JAMES DILLON and BARTHOLOMEW HALLAHAN from the old home in the new one in this county.

"Being trained in the Catholic Religion in his native land he was ever ready to defend his Faith in his new home and lived a zealous conscientious, Christian Catholic to the close of his life. As an upright public spirited citizen he was loved by all who knew him.

"In his death the community loses a useful citizen, the family a devoted husband and a kind and indulgent father and the Church an ardent supporter. Although dead he yet lives in memory."

OBITUARY - BRIDGET GROGAN
Leon Journal, Thursday, December 14, 1905

"BRIDGET GROGAN died Saturday morning, December 9, 1905, at the home of her daughter, MRS. P.F. BRADLEY, aged 83 years, 9 months and 17 days.

"The subject of our sketch was born in County Kerry, Ireland, February 22, 1822. In February, 1843, she married WILLIAM GROGAN and moved with him to the United States in 1848 and sometime afterwards moved to this County and lived on a farm in Woodland Township until a few years ago where advancing years admonished them to sell the farm and move to town where their daughter could the better look after their comfort and welfare. Her husband preceded her to the spirit world the 25th of March last. MR. and MRS. GROGAN were raised in the Catholic Faith and were firm supporters of its doctrines, faith and morals till the close of life. MOTHER GROGAN was an affectionate wife, devoted mother and a kind and attentive neighbor and friend. She leaves to mourn her demise five children: two sons, TADE and MICHAEL GROGAN; three daughters, MRS. KATE HARRIS, MARY MCGRAW and HANNAH BRADLEY.

"Funeral services were conducted by Father Aid at the Catholic Church and she was laid to rest by the side of her husband in the Catholic Cemetery in Woodland Township. Thus closes a long and well spent life. May her body rest in the tomb until the resurrection trumpet shall summon her to her final reward."

The Decatur County old settlers' picnic of 1902 was held at Leon and 101 persons signed the book stating that they came to Decatur County in the '50's . . .MRS. B. GROGAN signed that she came to Decatur County in 1856. -- Leon Journal, Thursday, August 21, 1902, edition.

PATRICK GROGAN

PATRICK GROGAN, born in County Kerry, Ireland, 1830, died on January 21, 1879, age 48 years, 2 months, 3 days, buried in the Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. One of the donors of church property, 1863, in Woodland Township. Married FRANCES BRIDGER, convert, of English descent of New York. She was born in 1832, died December 8, 1923, near Beaconsfield, age 91 years, 2 months, 13 days, buried Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.

PATRICK GROGAN, at age of 25, unmarried, came to Decatur County in 1856 and lived with the JOHN BARRETT family and had 160 acres of unimproved land, according to the 1856 Iowa Census, taken June 1, 1856.

Children:

  1. CATHERINE GROGAN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, April 11, 1859. She married MICHAEL O'GRADY June 7, 1880, by Father Eugene Phelan, O.S.B., at SAMUEL WALLACE's house.
  2. MARY GROGAN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, September 25, 1860, died at Shenandoah in January, 1937. She was married October l6, 1883, to HUGH TREANOR. Both are buried at Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. They had four daughters.
  3. JANE GROGAN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, November 10, 1863, married MICHAEL MCGRAW before Father B.J. Sheridan at Chariton, February 22, 1887. They had four children.
  4. MATTIE (MATILDA) GROGAN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, in 1864 and died in 1937. Buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. She married JAMES MCGRAW and they had three children, MARIE, RAYMOND and GLADYS.
  5. BRIDGET GROGAN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, March 11, 1867, died November 16, 1941, buried Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Never married. Baptismal record is at Georgetown (Staceyville), Monroe County, near Albia.
  6. ELIZABETH ANN GROGAN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, April 1, 1869. Buried at Afton.
  7. ELLA GROGAN, born Decatur County, Iowa, in 1871, died February 14, 1879, 7 years, 6 months, 26 days. Buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  8. DENNIS ROBERT GROGAN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, in October 1873. Buried in Afton. Married ALTA HAUNSTEIN.
  9. JOHN A. GROGAN (little JOHN), born April 29, 1876. Never married. Buried at Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township, 1916.

MICHAEL GRIFFIN

MICHAEL GRIFFIN, native of County Kerry, Ireland, born in 1820, died November 25, 1886, age 66. Married MARGARET FOLEY, native of County Kerry, Ireland, born February 15, 1825, and died February 15, 1903, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland township. They came to Decatur County, Iowa in 1857 from Ohio. Purchased land October 13, 1857, in Section 31, Woodland Township. (Book 47, Page 170.)

Children:

  1. PATRICK GRIFFIN was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1850. Married SARAH E. WASSON of Lineville, May 3, 1886, at Leon, by Father William M. Williams. (Book 3, Page 458, No. 1624.) He died in 1936 and she died in 1953. Both are buried at Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. There were three children: HOMER, HELENE and GUSSIE.
  2. HANNAH GRIFFIN was born in New Jersey about 1851, died in 1923. Married JAMES DAUGHTON (see Book 1, Page 296, No. 296). Nine children: EMMETT, WILLIAM, FRED, RALPH, EMMA BUELL, MARGARET TAPSCOTT, JAMES P. (TUG of Creston), LEO and WALTER. She and husband, JAMES, are buried at Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  3. DANIEL GRIFFIN, born in Ohio, in 1854, was married to CATHERINE FLYNN of Decatur County in Catholic Church, Woodland Township. No children. He died in 1933 and she died in 1911. Both are buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  4. TIMOTHY (TADE) JAMES GRIFFIN, born in Ohio, in 1856, died in 1932. Married JULIA SULLIVAN by Father Cook. Both are buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Four children: WINFORD, WALTER EDWARD, MARGARET and TIMOTHY JAMES. They are now living in Colorado and Sheridan, Wyoming. TADE's second wife was ALICE SULLIVAN.
  5. MICHAEL GRIFFIN, born in Decatur County September 1, 1857, died November 20, 1944. Buried in Leon City Cemetery, Catholic Plot. Married JENNIE GROGAN at Catholic Church, Woodland Township. Three children: BERNARD (dead); VIRGENE, school teacher; and RUSSELL of Leon.
  6. MARY GRIFFIN, born in Decatur County in 1860, died in 1951, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married JAMES R. CAIN. Two children. One lived, PAUL of Des Moines.
  7. ELLA GRIFFIN, born in Decatur County in 1862, died November 4, 1947. Married WAYNE GAMMON at Maloy Catholic Rectory. No children. Funeral at St. Brendan's in 1947, buried at Leon City Cemetery.
  8. DENNIS EDWARD GRIFFIN, born April 15, 1866, in Decatur County, Iowa. Married ANNA WARD of Beaconsfield in Catholic Church, Maloy. He died October 11, 1941. ANNA died May 7, 1954. Four children, two died young; EDWARD, another son, died April 10, 1934, survived by wife, MABLE, and two sons; and MADELYN GRIFFIN, who married LYNN LAFOLLETTE. She has five children and living at Leon.

In February, 1953, I visited and interviewed a MR. FRED PITTMAN of Leon who lived with the GRIFFIN family from his ninth year (1882) to about 1903. He said:

"The years that I lived with them as a hired man were happy years. I also enjoyed working with the other Irish families of Ireland. It was like a circus to be around them and in the group because they were the real old Irish with Irish wit and talk. It was better than a show to listen to them.

"MRS. (PEGGY) GRIFFIN was very thrifty. She would take walks into the pasture and around the barn yard picking pieces of wool from nails, fences or sharp points of boards and hazel brush bushes where the sheep had scraped some wool off. She would scower it, dry it, card it, spin it and knit it into socks. Many a pair of socks I bought and wore she made from wool picked up from hazel brush -- 25 cents a pair and they were good ones too.

"She also had the habit of picking up feathers and saving them to make pillows -- the nicest ones in the country."

Fred said: "Once I met PEGGY coming from the barn. Good morning, I said. She said: Good morning, my goslings have come. How many, I said. She said: An even forty, yes, and less one. She could raise geese and make soap too.

"Once while we were saying the rosary, FRED, a non-Catholic said: A funny thing happened . . . to which I said: You said the rosary with them? Oh, yes. The hired man was always a part of the family and before we went to bed in the evening we all knelt down and said the rosary together. Who led it? GRANDMA GRIFFIN did. Sometimes MARY led us.

"The first work I did as a boy was for the GRIFFINS about 1882, after my mother died when I was nine years old. I carried water to the men in the harvest field at five cents a day. And I got cash too. The men harvested oats with the dropper.

"I worked all the time for 24 or 25 years for the old MIKE GRIFFIN family. I could always come back to the GRIFFIN home and go to work anytime. There was always a room for me. MR. GRIFFIN died about 1886 and MRS. GRIFFIN kept things going until about 1903 when she died and DENNIS EDWARD married ANNA WARD and they took over the old home place."

FRED PITTMAN said: "There was a log house near the family house. I took it down and used the logs to fix fence. It was the original house they lived in when they came to Decatur County and it stood west of the new house."

"MICHAEL GRIFFIN of Woodland Township is building a fine residence."-- Leon Journal, July 5, 1883.

BAT HOULIHAN once hired young MIKE GRIFFIN and DENNIS DAUGHTON to cut rails for fence. They agreed to cut them 12 feet long and brought a yard stick (new invention) to measure them. After a while BAT went to the woods to see how they were doing. He stepped them off and found they were not keeping the agreement. He said: "I told you to cut them 12 feet long, they are only 11 feet, boot measure!

"Once I was doing work at the BILLY GROGAN farm. There were several of us at the table, talking and eating. BIDDIE (BRIDGET) - MRS. GROGAN) was silent and was thinking, she had nothing to say. Then all of a sudden she said: "BILLY, is Indiana in Iowa?

"It was like a circus, better than a show. I enjoyed all my years with them. They were the real old Irish."

"MRS. MARGARET GRIFFIN, one of the oldest and best respected citizens of the community, was buried at the Catholic Cemetery last Tuesday. A large number of sorrowing friends were in attendance." (Leon Reporter; February 26, 903, Thursday, Ireland News Item.)

MAURICE DAUGHTON

MAURICE DAUGHTON, born in County Kerry, Ireland, 1814, died August 2, 1890, buried Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. He married ELLEN MULLIN March 3, 1840. She was born in County Kerry, Ireland, June 22, 1826, died July 10, 1901. Eleven children. They came to Decatur County about September or October, 1858. Bought land in Decatur County November 6, 1858, jointly with brothers-in-law, DENNIS and PATRICK MULLIN. He came to the United States in 1849 and worked in a rock quarry in the east. When he came to Decatur County he had as his ox team, an ox and one old mule.

"MAURICE DAUGHTON of Woodland Township is building a new house." -- Leon Journal, September 27, 1883.

Children:

  1. BRIDGET DAUGHTON, born in County Kerry, Ireland, in December 1841, died at Creston December 7, 1928, married at Ottumwa by Father J. A. Kreckel to SAMUEL D. WALLACE November 9, 1861.
  2. JULIA DAUGHTON, born in County Kerry, Ireland, 1844, buried at Maloy, married EDWARD CONWELL at St. Patrick's Church, Woodland Township, by Father B.A. Cannon R.C. Priest, January 19, 1870, recorded at Georgetown. Eight children. She died about 1932.
  3. JOSEPH DAUGHTON, born County Kerry, Ireland, September 15, 1846 passed away as a young man. Buried at Catholic Cemetery,Woodland Township. Died February 28, 1887.
  4. JAMES DAUGHTON, born in County Kerry, Ireland, 1849, died 1938, buried in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married HANNAH GRIFFIN at Woodland Township Church in 1876. Nine children.
  5. MARGARET DAUGHTON, born April 1, 1856, at Lancaster, Fairfield County, Ohio. She was two and one-half years old when they came to Decatur County. Buried at Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married TIMOTHY (of WILLIAM) GROGAN. She had two children, NELLIE GROGAN (MRS. JOHN) FENNELL and JIMMIE GROGAN. . .Paton, Iowa - Denver, Colorado.
  6. JOHANNA DAUGHTON, born April 1, 1856, in Lancaster, Fairfield County, Ohio. (See stone). Married STEPHEN JOHN GROGAN (of THOMAS GROGAN). She died in 1927 near Beaconsfield, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Five children: MARGARET, MAURICE, DENNIS, MARIE SHEIL and MICHAEL.
  7. MICHAEL DAUGHTON, born in Decatur County, Iowa, October 15, 1858. Died July l4, 1866. Buried at Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  8. WILLIAM DAUGHTON, born in Decatur County, Iowa, January 9, 1861, died October 11, 1878. Buried at Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  9. DENNIS DAUGHTON, born in Decatur County, Iowa, 1863, died April 26, 1945. Married FLORENCE SHEIL. Five children: MARGARETTE SCHMIDT, ELIZABETH PLUDE, JULIA, MONICA and JAMES of Leon.
  10. KATHRYN DAUGHTON, born Decatur County, June 5, 1865, baptized by Father McMenomy, record is at Georgetown. Married JOHN OWENS April 29, 1889, at Woodland Township Catholic Church before Father T.J. Mullen of Maloy.
  11. ELIZABETH DAUGHTON, born June 22, 1868, in Decatur County. She was baptized August 6, 1868; record is at Georgetown.

DENNIS MULLIN

DENNIS MULLIN, born in County Kerry, Ireland, 1826, and died April 18, 1892, in Taylor County, Iowa, near Maloy. He married MARGARET HOULIHAN,also born in County Kerry, Ireland, 1832, and died January l3, 1920. They were married February 18, 1849. Purchased land in Decatur County, Iowa, in 1858 jointly with brother, PATRICK MULLIN, and brother-in-law, MAURICE DAUGHTON. Brother PATRICK did not come to Decatur County until 1866. DENNIS MULLIN and MAURICE DAUGHTON came to Decatur County with their families in 1858. DENNIS became a citizen of the United States in Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1856.

The DENNIS MULLIN family lived in Decatur County 18 years and moved from Woodland Township to Taylor County near Maloy in 1876. He died in 1892 and she died in 1920. Both are buried at Catholic Cemetery, Maloy. This information is from the DENNIS MULLIN Bible, now possessed by a great-granddaughter, MRS. HELEN MONAHAN, 216 South Peterson, Creston, Iowa. I also talked with CATHERINE SULLIVAN, MRS. DENNIS MULLIN, JR., February 24, 1953, at the home of her daughter, MRS. LOUIS MOORE, Kent, Iowa.

Children:

  1. JOSEPH MULLIN, born September 15, 1851, died in July, 1854, and twin
  2. MICHAEL MULLIN, born September 15, 185l, died in November, 1852.
  3. JULY MULLIN, born September 1, 1853, died in July, 1854.
  4. BARTHOLEMEW MULLIN, born in Ohio August 24, 1855, and died in Decatur County, October 9, 1862. First or oldest grave stone in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  5. MARY MULLIN, born in Ohio December 29, 1857, married JOHN HART. Nine children: MARGARET, MARY, ELIZABETH, DENNIS, JOHN, RICHARD, CAROLINE, EDWARD and HELEN.
  6. EDWARD (1860 Census names him JOHN MULLIN, age 4/12) MULLIN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, April 11, 1860, married ELLEN MALONEY. He died December 5, 1915, age 55 years, 7 months, 24 days. Six children: EDWARD, MARY, BERNARD, WILLIAM, LEO, JAMES, JOHN.
  7. ELLEN NELL MULLIN, born Decatur County, Iowa, July 20, 1862. Married CHANCEY SHAY. She died December 2, 1941. Two boys,EDDIE and DENNIS R.
  8. DENNIS MULLIN JR., born Decatur County, Iowa, January 6, 1865, married MARY CATHERINE SULLIVAN, who was born in Leon September 16, 1869, of ROGER SULLIVAN and HANNAH DILLON (SULLIVAN LAMBERT). MRS. DENNIS MULLIN is living now with one of her children, MRS. LOUIS MOORE, Kent, Iowa. DENNIS MULLIN JR. died January 29, 1948, at Maloy. Five children: ROGER, JAMES, CATHERINE, MAURICE and ROBERT.
  9. JOHN MARTIN MULLIN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, September 1, 1867. His baptismal record is at Georgetown. He married NANO - NORE O'CONNOR. He died May 14, 1947. Seven children: BRIAN, JAMES, TOM, MARGARET, MAY, EUGENE and HELEN.
  10. CATHERINE MULLIN, born Decatur County, Iowa, September 16, 1870, died February 5, 1896. Never married. Baptismal record is at Georgetown.
  11. JAMES MULLIN, born in Decatur County May 25, 1873, died May 4, 1881. Baptismal record is at Bauer.
  12. WILLIAM PATRICK MULLIN, born in Taylor County near Maloy March 3, 1878. Married ELLA LAMBERT. He died January 13, 1936. Buried at Maloy. Seven children: JOSEPH, MADGE, EDWARD, KATHLEEN, DONALD, REGINA and JULIA.

DENNIS MULLIN

Naturalization Certificate America our only Country

The State of Ohio, Fairfield County (ss) I, John Radebaugh, clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, within and for said County, certify that at the October term of said Court, A.D. 1856, (October), DENNIS MULLIN, a native of Ireland, was duly admitted to Citizenship of the United States of America and is therefore entitled to all the rights and privileges of a naturalized citizen.

Intestimony whereof, I, as Clerk of said Court, have hereunto fixed my seal this sixth day of October, 1856.

Signed: J. Radebaugh C.F.C.P.

BARTHOLOMEW HOULIHAN

BARTHOLOMEW HOULIHAN, born 1789, Parish of Killchana, County Kerry Ireland. Married MARY GALVIN who was born in 1803 in Ireland. He died December 6, 1884, age 95 years, buried at Maloy (see stone). She died December 12, 1893, age 90 years, buried at Catholic Cemetery, Maloy. They came to Decatur County, Iowa, before 1860, perhaps with their daughter, MRS. DENNIS MULLIN, in 1858. They moved to Taylor County [Iowa] about 1877 with the DENNIS MULLIN family.

ED OWENS says BARTHOLOMEW HOULIHAN rode a horse many times back to woodland Township to visit and stay for several days with old Irish families.

LEWIS BRIGHT told me (November 12, 1954) that MRS. HOULIHAN was always present when any of the women were having a baby (Protestant or Catholic) in the settlement around Ireland. She was the mid-wife, LEWIS said "When my brother, ROBERT, was born, MRS. HOULIHAN took care of things." (The BRIGHTS were non-Catholic.)

JOHN WALLACE

JOHN WALLACE, born in Belfast, Ireland, 1813, and came to Decatur County in 1852. Married MARY MONSEN, who was born in New York in 1818. They were both baptized as Catholics by Father Timothy Clifford, Pastor of Georgetown, April 27, 1864. JOHN WALLACE died December 12, 1893. MARY died June 22, 1872.

Children:

  1. MARGARET WALLACE, born in Ohio, 1840.
  2. SAMUEL WALLACE, born in Ohio in 1841, become a Catholic in 1861, baptized by Father John A. Kreckel at Ottumwa, married BRIDGET DAUGHTON at Ottumwa, three weeks after baptism, by Father J.A. Kreckel. He and she were outstanding Catholics.
  3. MARY A. WALLACE, born in Ohio, 1842 or 1843. She is grandmother of Father Frank Marlin, Diocese of Davenport. Married WILLIAM BARRETT and they had three sons and four daughters.
  4. ELIZABETH WALLACE, born in Ohio, 1843, married PATRICK FLYNN. She was baptized September 20, 1861, at Ottumwa by Father Kreckel. ELIZABETH and PATRICK are buried at Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  5. JOSEPH WALLACE, born in Ohio, 1850, died at Elks Home.
  6. CATHERINE WALLACE, born in Decatur County, 1853.
  7. GEORGE WALLACE, born in Decatur County, 1855.
  8. WILLIAM WALLACE.

SAMUEL WALLACE

SAMUEL DUNSMORE WALLACE, born in Ohio in 1841, baptized a Catholic October 20, 1861, and married November 9, 1861, to BRIDGET DAUGHTON at Ottumwa by Father Kreckel. He was first convert of Decatur County to Catholic Church (unless it would have been FRANCES BRIDGER - MRS. PAT GROGAN) according to records to be found. Both SAMUEL and BRIDGET are buried at Creston. He came to Decatur County in 1852 and moved to Creston in 1891.

Children:

  1. JOHN S.H. WALLACE, born in Decatur County August 22, 1862, died age 78, buried at Creston. Married MARY C. MCCANN.
  2. MARY ELLEN WALLACE, born in Decatur County February 17, 1864, married THOMAS MCGRAW. She died April 17, 1898, at Omaha and was buried at Creston.
  3. JULIA WALLACE, born January 24, 1866 in Decatur County, died age 24, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Died July 26, 1890.
  4. CHARLES FRANCIS WALLACE, born in Decatur County September 2, 1867. Died March 20, 1884, age 16 years, 6 months. Baptized at St. Ambrose, Des Moines, by Father B.A. Cannon. Buried Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  5. Baby, born March 4, 1869, died.
  6. JOHN D. WALLACE, born December 12, 1869, at Woodland Township, Decatur County, now living five miles north of Creston, Iowa. Baptismal record at Georgetown.
  7. MAURICE EDWARD WALLACE, born at Woodland Township, Decatur County, Iowa, in September, 1871. Never married.
  8. ELIZABETH WALLACE, born Woodland Township, Decatur, Iowa, August 12, 1873, married LARRY CUSACK. She is living with JAMES, her brother, north of Creston. Baptismal record at Bauer.
  9. GEORGE WALLACE, born north of Grand River in Decatur County, November 20, 1876, married MARY MADDEN. He died at Creston, in 1952. They had five boys and one girl. Baptismal record at Creston, Iowa.
  10. Infant, born north of Grand River and died August 7, 1878.

JAMES WALLACE and ELIZABETH CUSACK told me the following about the SAMUEL WALLACE family when I visited their home north of Creston in 1953:

"We were all born in Woodland Township except GEORGE and a baby that died who were born near Grand River. We lived in Woodlnd Township until 1875 when my dad chose to go out west of Omaha, Nebraska, and homestead some land. I (JAMES) was five or six years old and can remember we were all packed up and in a covered wagon early in the darkness of the morning. Many of the neighbors of around Ireland were there to say good-bye. I was enjoying the excitement. It was fun to me until I asked why all were crying. They told me we would never see these people again. Then I began to cry! "Finally we drove away on the road to Leon, next by Decatur and that evening we were north of Grand River passing by ED CONWELL's place where my Dad stopped. NEDDIE CONWELL came out and said: "Where are you going?" My Dad said: "We are going out west of Omaha and settle on some land the government has opened for homestead." NEDDIE said: "SAMUEL, do you know what you are doing? Taking those seven children out there where there is nothing but grass, no school, no church. They will grow up wild, uneducated and lose the faith." SAMUEL said: "Well, what should I do? I have sold out at Woodland Township." NEDDIE said: "MR. JOHN MORGAN, a couple of miles northwest of here, wants to sell out." My Dad and NEDDIE went to see him and that night they returned and my Dad had bought him out. That was in March, 1875."

(S.D. WALLACE, March 25, 1875, bought 40 acres in Section 6, also 40 acres in Section 5 in Richland Township from JOHN MORGAN. Paid $2,300 for the 80 acres. Leon Abstract and Title Co.)

The WALLACE family remained there in the northwest corner of Decatur County until 1890 when they sold out in 1891 and moved up north of Creston, Iowa. While living north of Grand River, SAMUEL hauled timbers to help build St. Malachy's Church at Creston. JAMES WALLACE said to me: "I, MAURICE and ELIZABETH were confirmed at Kellerton about 1888. Father Mullen was the priest. Father Williams was previous to him. Cosgrove was the Bishop. We had a team of mules and they ran away with a new wagon into a hedge fence."

SAMUEL and BRIDGET WALLACE are listed with the founders of Dowling High in Des Moines. The altar at Saint Patrick's Church, Grand River, Iowa, was given by their children in their memory.

PATRICK MULLIN

PATRICK MULLIN, brother to both DENNIS MULLIN and MRS. ELLEN (MAURICE) DAUGHTON, was born in County Kerry, Ireland, February 29, 1828, died February 3, 1905, buried in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. He married MARGARET C. HOFFINES who was born December 8, 1838. She was a convert to the Catholic Faith and faithful to her duties. She died April 29, 1929, age 90 plus.

PATRICK MULLIN purchased land together with his brother, DENNIS, and his brother-in-law, MAURICE DAUGHTON, in Section 19, Woodland Township, in 1858, but he did not come to Iowa with them from Pickaway County, Ohio, (Ashville) until in September, 1866, when he brought his wife and three children to Iowa. He purchased 200 acres in Eden Township of Decatur County in January, 1867, and it was unimproved.

Children:

  1. JOSEPH WILLARD MULLIN, born in Ohio, in May, 1860, died April 16, 1922, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married MARGARET ELLEN BARRETT. Eight children. MRS. BUCKINGHAM is one of them remaining as a member of Leon Parish.
  2. ROSE ALTHA, born January 1, 1863, died in April, 1865.
  3. MARY MARTHA JANE MULLIN (GROGAN), born Pickaway, Ohio, October 18, 1864, married MICHAEL GROGAN. Nine Children. She died October 24, 1953, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. MRS. ALICE (NATHAN) BOYCE is only one in Leon Parish.
  4. NANCY (NANNIE) ELIZABETH, born in Ohio, March 26, 1866. Never married. Died at Des Moines December 14, 1927, buried in Woodland Catholic Cemetery.
  5. SAMUEL MICHAEL MULLIN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, December 14, 1867. Never married. Died in October, 1914, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  6. JONAS ALBERT MULLIN, born in Decatur County February 24, 1870, died December 24, 1927, buried at Minneapolis, Minn. Married KATE GROGAN (daughter of JOHN GROGAN and MARGARET QUILTY). KATE lives in Minneapolis, 1955. Five children.
  7. JULIA ALICE MULLIN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, February 12, 1872, died December 1, 1911, married HENRY PERFIELD. Three children. State of Oregon. One daughter is a nun in Oregon.
  8. JAMES PATRICK MULLIN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, October 9, 1873, and died March 30, 1950. Buried at Minneapolis, Minn.
  9. CATHERINE ELLEN MULLIN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, February 26, 1875, married FRANK HICKMAN. Both are living in South Dakota.
  10. WILLIAM HENRY MULLIN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, October 17, 1876, died November 25, 1932, at Silverton, Colorado. He married KITTY ALWORD who died January 8, 1921. Five children He married KATE CONWAY and had one child. She died June 11, 1932.
  11. DENNIS EDWARD MULLIN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, May 28, 1878, died October 24, 1953 (same day as his sister, MARY GROGAN), in St. Louis, Mo., and was buried there. He married TERESA (TESS) PENNY and had two children.
  12. STEPHEN MAURICE MULLIN, born January 14, 1880, in Decatur County, Iowa, is living at Durango, Colorado. Married MARY COLE and had one child. Wife died. He remarried a LELAH and has one child.
  13. MARGARET ETNA, born in Decatur County, Iowa, December 17, 1881, married BERT STILES. Two daughters. She died and was buried from St. Brendan's December 1, 1955.
  14. GEORGE LAURENCE MULLIN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, April 17, 1883, married FLORENCE WEBSTER. Living at Long Beach, Calif. Retired Rock Island Railroad conductor, Des Moines to Davenport, Chicago run.
  15. CLEMENT THOMAS (GROVER CLEVELAND) MULLIN, born in Decatur County, Iowa, February 21, 1885, married MAE MCGINTY. Four children. He is living at Minneapolis, Minn.

MARGARET C. HOFFINES MULLIN, the mother, became a Catholic and was baptized in Ohio with the first three children.

All the children made a success of their lives by themselves.

PATRICK MULLIN was buried February 5, 1905, at Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township, (told by eye-witness). "PATRICK died at home 12 miles north of Leon. He was taken by bobsled 12 miles north of Leon to 10 miles southeast of Leon to the Catholic Cemetery. Snow was very high, so high that we had to cut the fences and go across fields, the roads were impassable. It was below zero. (It was 24 degrees below zero the day before he was buried according to The Leon Journal weather reports.) They had to borrow fresh teams of horses as they went along from farmers. When we arrived at the cemetery several men and women who lived near the new unfinished church were present. There was no priest available. The few who were present with the remains of PATRICK MULLIN went inside the church. There were pieces of boards, wood shavings and plaster on the floor. We had no heat but were glad to get inside out of the wind. It was getting late in the afternoon and the February sun was going down. We stood around the box and the only ceremony was SAMUEL WALLACE of Creston led us in saying the Rosary and the Litany. Then we took the casket out and buried PATRICK MULLIN. "MAGGIE MULLIN STILES says they came to Iowa in a covered wagon in September, 1866, from Pickaway County, Ohio.

The Leon Journal, February 9, 1905, says: "Sunday the burial of PATRICK MULLIN at the Catholic Cemetery, Ireland. Several people and the priest from Creston attended." (LEONARD MULLIN and others told me that it was not a priest but it was SAMUEL WALLACE who led them in the rosary.)

Temperature report from The Leon Journal: February 3, 1905, Friday, the day he died, 12 below.

February 4, 1905, Saturday, day before funeral, 24 below.

February 5, 1905, Sunday, day of burial, 9 above.

Also reported was an item that "snow was never so deep in Decatur County."

In 1896, PATRICK MULLIN and wife, MARGARET, deeded their interest to Bishop Smyth (Catholic Church) which they had in Section 19, Woodland Township, Decatur County, Iowa, upon which the church and cemetery had been erected and established. He had purchaed this in 1858 jointly with his brother, DENNIS and brother-in-law, MAURICE DAUGHTON, and his name appears an original purchase contract but he did not come to Iowa until 1866, eight years after his brother and brother-in-law came and therefore he was not present to sign the deed September 22, 1863, when ten acres were deeded to Bishop Smyth. So there was a flaw in the deed to the church. In 1896 when he and his wife, MARGARET, signed a deed, that cleared up the title.

JAMES DILLON

JAMES DILLON, born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1802, died August 4, 1867, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married CATHERINE GRIFFIN who was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1812. She died January 11, 1892, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. They came to Decatur County a year before he died, according to W.D. Frost, i.e. 1856, from Pickaway County, Ohio.

Children:

  1. THOMAS DILLON, born in County Kerry Ireland, June 24, 1838, died November 4, 1892, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married CATHERINE HOOVER (a convert) in Ohio. Four children.
  2. MARY DILLON, born 1843, died March 20, 1904, age 61, buried in the Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  3. HANNAH DILLON, born in 1847 or 1848 in Ireland, married to ROGER SULLIVAN at Catholic Church, Woodland Township, in 1868. Two children: MARY CATHERINE SULLIVAN (MRS. DENNIS MULLIN) born in Leon September 16, 1869, and CAROL ANN SULLIVAN (WARIN) born 1872 in Leon. HANNAH remarried after ROGER SULLIVAN died, to JOHN LAMBERT and moved to Maloy. Had a ROSE and WILLIAM LAMBERT. (See ROGER SULLIVAN families)

I talked to CATHERINE SULLIVAN (MRS. DENNIS MULLIN, JR.) February 24, 1953, at the home of her daughter, MRS. LOUIS MOORE, Kent, Iowa, and obtained much of the information regarding the DILLON and SULLIVAN families.

THOMAS DILLON

THOMAS DILLON, born in County Kerry, Ireland, June 24, 1838, died November 4, 1892, buried Woodland Township Catholic Cemetery. Married CATHERINE HOOVER, born January 21, 1838, died March 11, 1895. She is buried at Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. They came from (Circleville) Pickaway County, Ohio, to Decatur County in 1866. CATHERINE HOOVER became a Catholic baptized by Father Henry Malone of Maloy in 1893.1

A THOMAS DILLON bought 40 acres in Section 12, Eden Township, from WARREN HALL September 27, 1864.

Children:

  1. EMMA DILLON, born in 1864, died January 11, 1922, buried at Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Baptismal record at Georgetown by Father McMenomy January 24, 1867. Married THOMAS GROGAN (of WILLIAM). No children.
  2. MARY MELVINA -- MARY ANN DILLON, born April 23, 1865, baptismal record at Georgetown, died October 9, 1915, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. She married J. RECORD. One daughter, LUA RUBEN, Oklahoma City, baptized 1898.
  3. HANNAH E. DILLON, born in Decatur County June l5, 1867, died February 19, 1941, age 73, buried City Cemetery of Leon. Married WILLIAM FROST. Two sons: WILLIAM DILLON FROST of Leon, two daughters, Des Moines and Chicago. WALTER FROST of Leon has five children. HANNAH E. DILLON taught school at Ireland School, Woodland Township, from September 1896 to 1898.
  4. NANA DILLON, born December 17, 1870, married WILLIAM YOUNG. They lived in Ohio. She was baptized by Father B.A. Cannon of Georgetown by name ANN.

CORNELIUS HANNON

CORNELIUS HANNON, born in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1813, and died in 1891, married MARY GRIFFIN, born in County Kerry, 1817, died January 11, 1905. Both are buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. He bought land in Decatur County, Section 24 of Eden Township, from JAMES W. GAMMON, September 23, 1858. He sold to MICHAEL and TIMOTHY GRIFFIN, August 31, 1883, and moved to Taylor County.

Children:

  1. MICHAEL, married ELIZABETH DALE. They had six children: KATHERINE (KITT), MARGARET, EMMETT, NELLIE, WINIFRID and MICHAEL.
  2. HANNAH, born in 1852, died July 21, 1939, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  3. CORNELIUS, born in 1857, died September 21, 1939, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  4. MARY C., born April 1, 1861, died March 1, 1909, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.

ROGER SULLIVAN

ROGER SULLIVAN was born in New York in 1841 of CAREY and MARY SULLIVAN. The parents were originally from County Kerry, Ireland. ROGER was one of five girls and two boys. They were JOHANNA SULLIVAN, HONORA SULLIVAN DONNELLY, HENRIETTA SULLIVAN (married RICHARD SHEY), MARY SULLIVAN RICHARDSON, MAGGIE SULLIVAN MURPHY and JOHN SULLIVAN. ROGER came to Ottumwa and was the only one to come to Decatur County, Iowa. He came to Leon in 1866 or 1867 and became the brewer in Leon. In 1867 or 1868 he married HANNAH DILLON, a daughter of JAMES DILLON and CATHERINE GRIFFIN at the Catholic Church in Woodland Township, Decatur County, Iowa, according to his daughter, MRS. DENNIS MULLIN, JR., of Kent County, Iowa. He died July 9, 1871, of sunstroke while helping in the hayfield down in Ireland. HANNAH DILLON, his wife, was born in Ireland in 1847 or 1848.

Children:

  1. MARY CATHERINE, born in the town of Leon, September 16, 1869 married DENNIS MULLIN, JR. I visited her February 24, 1953, at the home of her daughter, MRS. LOUIS MOORE, of Kent, Iowa. Children are ROGER, JAMES, CATHERINE, MAURICE and ROBERT.
  2. CAROL ANN SULLIVAN was born in Leon in February, 1872, seven months after her father, ROGER SULLIVAN, died. She married GEORGE WARIN of Maloy, Iowa. She died February 26, 1945. They had several children.

After ROGER SULLIVAN died, HANNAH, his wife, married JOHN LAMBERT of Ringgold County about 1875 and had a ROSE LAMBERT and WILLIAM LAMBERT.

Decatur County Journal, July 13, 1871, Gen. and Misc. says: "MR. R. SULLIVAN, the brewer, died suddenly last Sunday, congestion of the brain was the cause."

Iowa Census of July 4, 1870, says ROGER SULLIVAN, age 29, male, white, occupation brewer, value of real estate $100.00. Value of personal property $100.00, born in New York State. Wife HANNAH, age 22, born in Ireland. One child, MARY C., 10 months, born in Iowa.

His daughter, MRS. MARY CATHERINE SULLIVAN MULLIN, said: "I went to school in Woodland Township and lived with my grandmother DILLON until I was 14 years old. Then I went to Ottumwa to school at Ottumwa Heights. I remember seeing Father Kreckel many times at the Ottumwa school. I don't think he ever came to Decatur County. I remember hearing the people of Woodland Township speak about having Mass in their homes before I was born, 1869. In 1883, when I was 14 years old I can remember the addition on the old church."

Census 1870, June 1. Vol. 112, Decatur County, Woodland Township:


 HorsesMules and AssesMilk CowsWorking OxenOther CowsSheepSwine
GROGAN, WILLIAM109892327
BARRETT, JOHN404102723
OWENS, THOMAS2020480
GROGAN, PAT304061911
WALLACE, JOHN3080203011
DAUGHTON, M.2071041516
GRIFFIN, M.9064144819
HOULIHAN, BATT606022122

Total Horses June 1, 1870 -- 30

Total Working Oxen June 1, 1870 -- 23

THOMAS GROGAN

THOMAS GROGAN, born September 9, 1830, in County Kerry, Ireland, died September 20, 1875, married CATHERINE HASSETT, also born in Ireland March 16, 1836, and died August 12, 1900. Both are buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. THOMAS was a cousin to WILLIAM and PATRICK GROGAN. He purchased 40 acres, 68-24-19, in Woodland Township, from his cousin, PATRICK, September 14, 1869. (Book 12, Page 109.)

Children:

  1. STEPHEN JOHN GROGAN, born in Missouri in 1859 and died August 14, 1930, at Beaconsfield, Iowa, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married HANNAH DAUGHTON. Five children: MARGARET WARD, MAURICE, DENNIS, MARIE SHEIL, MICHAEL.
  2. MICHAEL C. GROGAN, born in 1863 in New York, died in 1916, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married MARY MARTHA JANE MULLIN who died in 1953, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Nine children: MRS. ALICE (NATHAN) BOYCE is only one living in this parish. MRS. BOYCE has two daughters living in this parish and five grandchildren. MARGARET SPONSLER and MAURINE WILLIAMSON.
  3. JEANNIE GROGAN, born at Cooperstown, New York, January 9, 1865, married MICHAEL GRIFFIN. She died November 23, 1941. Three children: One died young, VIRGENE GRIFFIN, school teacher, and RUSSELL, of Leon. JEANNIE and MICHAEL are buried in Catholic Plot, Leon City Cemetery.
  4. WILLIAM GROGAN, born in New York in 1867 and died in 1919. Never married. Buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  5. KATE (KATHERINE) GROGAN, born in Decatur County June 24, 1870, never married, died May 28, 1946. Buried Leon Cemetery Catholic Plot. Baptismal record at Georgetown.
  6. ELLA GROGAN, born in Decatur County January 11, 1875, baptismal record at Bauer. Never married. ELLA taught school in Decatur County for 57 years. ELLA received a Pontifical Blessing in 1950. She was an excellent Catholic and citizen. Died January 31, 1952, buried in Catholic Plot, Leon City Cemetery.

PATRICK FLYNN

PATRICK FLYNN, born in 1831 in Ireland and came to the United States when nine years old with family and settled in Pennsylvania. Later following railroad work with mules building road beds. Worked on building North Western Railroad to Des Moines. Had many teams of mules. He married ELIZABETH WALLACE. Their marriage license was issued at Albia Court House January 10, 1864. PATRICK FLYNN died November 11, 1911, and she died January 31, 1913. Both are buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.

Children:

  1. MARTIN FLYNN, born in Monroe County November 17, 1864, and died May 31, 1890, and is buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  2. CATHERINE ANN FLYNN (MRS. DAN GRIFFIN), born Monroe County March 27, 1866, baptized at Georgetown April 1, 1866. Died in 1911, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. No children.
  3. MARY ELLEN FLYNN, born July 10, 1868, Monroe County, baptismal record August 7, 1868, at St. Ambrose Church, Des Moines, by Father John F. Brazill. She never married, lived at Leon and died at Leon October 18, 1944, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  4. MARGARET (MAGGIE) FLYNN, born November 2, 1873, in Decatur County, married FRED ATKINS in 1898, who was baptized the same day he was married. MAGGIE FLYNN ATKINS died in 1899 on February 8.
  5. JAMES PAT. FLYNN, born in Decatur County, February 24, 1875, baptized March 21, 1875, record at Bauer. Died in Colorado June 22, 1953, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  6. ALICE (BRIDGET) FLYNN, born in Decatur County, 1877, married FRANK D. DELANEY. He is dead. ALICE lives in Keokuk, Iowa. She has a daughter, MARY H. DELANEY, and son, FRANCIS DELANEY and several grandchildren.
  7. JOHN T. FLYNN, born in Decatur County, 1880. Married ELYDA ZIMMERMANN. MARY, HOWARD and PATRICIA are members of the parish.

FRANCIS MCGOVERN

FRANCIS MCGOVERN, born in Ireland, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married ANNA MARY MURPHY. They came to Decatur County perhaps sometime before 1870.

Children:

  1. CATHERINE MCGOVERN, born in Pennsylvania, 1850, married PATRICK MOHONEY. Children: MARY G., FRANK, CHARLES, WILLIAM E., and CECILIA.
  2. FRANCIS H.M. MCGOVERN, born in Decatur County. Baptismal record is at Georgetown, born July 15, 1868, baptized August 6, 1868. ROGER SULLIVAN and HANNAH GRIFFIN, sponsors, by Father B.P. McMemony.
  3. TRESSA MCGOVERN, born in Decatur County, 1873, died in 1949, buried in Leon City Cemetery.

DANIEL SULLIVAN

DANIEL SULLIVAN, born in Ireland November 21, 1845. His father was MICHAEL SULLIVAN and mother was MARY. He died March 10, 1915. Buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married JULIA MAHONEY who was born in Ireland May 12, 1845, died July 9, 1898, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. They were married at Ottumwa in 1869 and came to Decatur County in 1871 or 1872.

Previous to this marriage JULIA had married JOHN HUNT in 1864 but he died in May, 1865, leaving her with a son, WALTER HUNT, who was born November 12, 1865, five months after the father's death. WALTER HUNT died in February, 1883, and had taken the name of SULLIVAN.

DANIEL SULLIVAN purchased land in High Point Township from A.C. LOCKWOOD, December 7, 1872. He had worked on the railroad. He sold this land to his father-in-law, DENNIS MAHONEY, in November, 1873.

Children:

  1. WALTER HUNT SULLIVAN, born November 12, 1865, died in February, 1883.
  2. CATHERINE SULLIVAN, born August 25, 1870, died in 1870.
  3. MARY SULLIVAN, born in Wapello County July 2, 1871, died in Baltimore, Maryland, December 7, 1943. Married a CHARLES BOYLAN, January 10, 1901, who died at St. Paul, Minn. in 1927 One son died as an infant. An adopted daughter, CATHERINE, born in 1912, died November 15, 1936, in Baltimore. All are buried at St. Paul, Minn.
  4. MICHAEL SULLIVAN, born in Decatur County June 30, 1873. Baptismal record at Bauer July 23, 1873. He died at Leon, buried at Lineville, Iowa, January 4, 1941. Married FRANCES SEARS, Leon school teacher, May 31, 1919. She was born in 1866, died July 20, 1934, buried at Lineville.
  5. PATRICK SULLIVAN, born in Decatur County, March 8, 1875, baptismal record at Bauer May 23, 1875. Died March 5, 1918, at Grand River, buried in Catholic Cemetery Woodland Township. Married DELLA SWOPE. Four children: JOHN, HARRIETT, FRANCIS and ALICE.
  6. JULIA SULLIVAN, born in Decatur County May 21, 1877, died December 28, 1908, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married TIMOTHY JAMES GRIFFIN on February 22, 1898. Four children: WINFORD, WALTER, MARGARET, TIMOTHY JAMES.
  7. CATHERINE SULLIVAN, born in Decatur County October 12, 1879, married MICHAEL (COL.) GROGAN May 10, 1897, by Father J.A. Cook. He died June 10, 1910, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Two children: THOMAS and FELIX.
  8. ALICE SULLIVAN, born in Decatur County September 12, 1883, died February 4, 1915. Married her sister JULIA's husband, TIMOTHY GRIFFIN, after JULIA died in 1908. Buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  9. ELIZABETH SULLIVAN, born November 11, 1886, died in February, 1908, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married JOSEPH WARD in February, 1907. One son, PATRICIUS WARD, born December 22, 1907.

DENNIS MAHONEY

DENNIS MAHONEY, born in Ireland, 1814, died in 1894, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married MARY REARDON, also born in Ireland, 1820. She died in 1886, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. DENNIS purchased land in 1873 from his son-in-law, DANIEL SULLIVAN.

Children:

  1. JULIA MAHONEY, born in Ireland, May 12, 1845 or 1846. Married JOHN HUNT. They had one son, WALTER HUNT, born November 12, 1865. He died in February, 1883. Her husband, JOHN HUNT, died year after marriage. JULIA then maried DANIEL SULLIVAN at Ottumwa in 1869 and later came to Decatur County, Iowa. They had eight children. JULIA MAHONEY SULLIVAN died July 9, 1898, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  2. PATRICK MAHONEY, born in New York, 1850, died February 13, 1941, buried Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married CATHERINE MCGOVERN who died in 1917. Children: MARY G., FRANK, CHARLES, WILLIAM E., and CECILIA SHULTZ.
  3. DANIEL MAHONEY, born in New York, 1856.
  4. MARY MAHONEY, born in New York, 1858, died June 1, 1940, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Never married.
  5. ELLEN MAHONEY, born in Wapello County, Iowa, 1860. School teacher in 1884. Married RICKARD BARRETT. She died March 16, 1941, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Children: MARY BARRETT MASTERSON, HELEN BARRY, WILLIAM D. BARRETT, GRACE BARRETT, JOHN died young. Ten grandchildren: BERNIE MASTERSON, MARGARET GORE, CATHERINE HAY, JAMES BARRY, PAULINE BARRY DAVIS, ROBERT BARRY, RICHARD BARRETT, DONALD BARRETT, MARY AGNEW BARRETT, MARGARET ANN BARRETT.

JOSEPH PETERS
JOHN BARRY

JOSEPH PETERS, born in the United States in 1847, died July 13, 1879, married LOUISA KETTERER. She was born in Lee County in February, 1854 (according to 1885 census). Purchased land in Decatur County, Woodland Township March 17, 1877. They came to Decatur County shortly after 1871. I have been told they came from around Fairfield, Iowa, in Jefferson County, in the southeast part of Iowa. KETTERERS also live near Conception, Mo., Both are buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.

Children:

  1. JOHN JOSEPH PETERS, born in Decatur County, Iowa, November 4, 1874, baptized November 30, 1873, record at Bauer. He lives in Oregon (Gervais).
  2. KATHERINE ANN PETERS, born in Decatur County, January 7, 1875, baptized January 24, 1875, record at Bauer. Died June 11, 1951. Married CHARLES SMITH. Lived life in California and buried there.
  3. MARY MAGDALEN PETERS, born October 8, 1876, baptized October 25, 1876, record at Bauer. Died May 12, 1877, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  4. FRANCIS J. PETERS, born May 14, 1878, baptized June 15, 1878, record at Bauer. Died January 7, 1879, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
  5. MARGARET PETERS--SISTER MARY PHILOMENA, Sisters of Saint Francis, Maryville, Mo. -- born in Decatur County December 21, 1879. She died April 20, 1946.


  6. MR. JOSEPH PETERS died July 13, 1879, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township

    MRS. PETERS married JOHN BARRY March 30, 1880, before Father E. Hayes at Catholic Church, Woodland Township. MR. BARRY came from County Cork, Ireland, in 1874, born in Ireland January 6, 1839, died November 26, 1911, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. LOUISA BARRY died November 7, 1924. Buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
    Children:

  7. ELIZABETH FLORENCE BARRY, born in Decatur County August 11, 1881. She is living in Seattle, Washington.
  8. BRIDGET CLARA BARRY, born in Decatur County July 29, 1883. She married PETER MCCARTHY, living in Los Angeles, California. Children: Two girls, both nuns; three boys: One, CLEMENT R. MCCARTHY, a priest. Oblate of Mary Immaculate, working as missionary in Philippine Island.
  9. STEPHEN WALTER BARRY, born in Decatur County September 7, 1885, married HELEN BARRETT May 23, 1918, first marriage in St. Brendan's Church building. STEPHEN died May 5, 1955, in Decatur City, buried in Catholic Plot, Leon City Cemetery. Children: JAMES of California, PAULINE DAVIS of California, ROBERT of Des Moines.
  10. JAMES LEO BARRY, born in Decatur County November 5, 1887. Married HARRIETT SULLIVAN. They moved from Decatur County about 1939 to Conception, Mo., to original KETTERER farm. She died March 6, 1941. JAMES and children are living near Conception, Mo. Four children: EDWARD, CATHERINE, JOSEPH, MARY.
  11. AGNES THERESA BARRY (S.M. BARROMEO), born in Decatur County April 4, 1890. Entered Sisters of Humility, Ottumwa, Iowa, April 30, 1910. Died in religion at Ottumwa February 11, 1955.
  12. LAURENCE LEONARD BARRY, born May 12, 1892, in Decatur County. Married OLIVE COONTZ of Decatur County. Four children: MAURICE, MARGARET, MARY, JOHN. All living in Joliet, Illinois.
  13. ANDREW EDWARD BARRY, born in Decatur County August 28, 1894. ANDREW is living in Leon. Married MARGARET WALTON. Has one daughter, VIRGENE BROWN, and two grandchildren, CONNIE and BOBBIE BROWN, all of Leon.
  14. PATRICK HENRY BARRY, born in Decatur County October 15, 1897. Married has three children living in California.

"Married in the Catholic Church in Woodland Township March 30 by Father Hayes, JOHN BARRY to MRS. LOUISA PETERS." -- Leon Journal, Thursday, April 8, 1880.

"JOHN BARRY visited the Journal office to renew his subscription. JOHN came from County Cork, Ireland, 22 years ago and not long afterwards settled in this county. He is a good Republican, industrious and intelligent citizen." -- Leon Journal, Thursday, December 24, 1896.

"Quite a number of the Catholics attended Mass at JOHN BARRY's Friday." -- Leon Journal, January 12, 1905, Thursday edition, Ireland News item.

"SISTER MARY BARROMEO and MOTHER MARY LIGOURI came last Thursday from Ottumwa to visit at the home of MRS. LOUISA BARRY near Leon." -- Leon Journal, August 8, 1918, Thursday edition.

(Note: MOTHER MARY LIGOURI of Sisters of Humility, Ottumwa, was a KETTERER, a sister of MRS. LOUISA BARRY.)

There were other families who lived near Woodland Township or near the Ireland Church in 1875 or moved in later. Most of them soon moved away.

KRITZ - SYLVESTER KRITZ and MARY SCHIMIDT. They lived north of the BARRYS but moved up north near Milo, Iowa.

BRENNAN - JOHN BRENNAN and MARY BROMINT lived near Lineville. Several Baptismal records are at Bauer, Iowa, and at Trenton, Mo.

STACK - MICHAEL STACK and ANN SUTHERAN. One baptismal record at Georgetown states they lived in Decatur County in 1869.

OGDEN - WILLIAM OGDEN and MARY BRADY came from Navoo, Illinois, about 1875 and lived northeast of Pleasanton, Iowa. They are buried in Illinois. Children all married and moved to Canada, Des Moines and California.

LEAHY - DANIEL PATRICK LEAHY and MARY FANDINA REBBE. Both are buried back in Petersburg, Illinois. Contributed generously to new St. Brendan's Church.

HURLEY - DANIEL HURLEY and ELIZABETH MCCLURE. Moved out west.

MURPHY - MURPHY family of Lineville, Iowa. Baptismal records at Trenton, Mo.

DRAHAN - DRAHAN family of Lineville, Iowa. Baptismal records at Trenton, Mo.

KEMPF - MARY, age 64, was buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township, July 28, 1879.

Other families came during the '80s or later -- JOHN O'BOYLE family, now live at Vail, Iowa. EDWARD COMERFORD of County Waterford, Ireland, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. A.W. BRYSON moved out west. MRS. WILLIAM MCDANIEL and children. MRS. HARRY SPICER is the only one living in Leon. ROSE RACHAIL FARRELL, MRS. LEWIS BRIGHT and children. Several first communion records at Maloy of a KIRWIN family of Leon, 1895-1899. Moved to Des Moines. Several PRITCHARD records are at Maloy. They moved away about 1910. The JOHN CAUFIELD family now lives in Des Moines.

PETER MARTIN, born Mullingar, Ireland, in 1832, was a Civil War veteran and had a stroke August, 1894, and died three weeks later. He is buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. His wife and children returned to Omaha.

ELIZABETH CRANE, the widow of MARK CRANE, resides in Leon.

Some time ago I was visiting with JOHN (CAPPY) WALSH of Des Moines, an old schoolmate of mine of Dowling High School. He told me that his parents and family once lived at Van Wert many years ago when his father, LARRY WALSH, worked for the old Keokuk and Western Railroad that once ran through Van Wert.

GRAND RIVER FAMILIES

CONWELL FAMILY

PATRICK CONWELL

PATRICK CONWELL of Carrick, Donegal County, Ireland, and MARGARET BRADY had two sons: STEPHEN, born in 1828, and EDWARD, born in 1830. MARGARET, the wife of PATRICK, died leaving the two young sons. PATRICK married MARY MCBRARIETY and from that union four children were born; JANE CONWELL MCLAUGHLIN; SIMON CONWELL of Seneca, Kansas; GEORGE CONWELL of Grand River who was born July 16, 1848, in Carrick, County Donegal: ANN CONWELL SMITH of Iowa City.

As time passed, the children, STEPHEN and EDWARD, being the first, came to America. Later, after the death of MARY MCBRARIETY, PATRICK CONWELL also came to live in Decatur County, north of Grand River. However, PATRICK CONWELL, the former Post Master of Carrick, Ireland, soon died, in December, 1870, age 75, of paralysis, only a few months after coming to America and was buried in St. Ambrose Cemetery, Des Moines, with his son, STEPHEN, who had died September 20, 1867.

STEPHEN CONWELL

STEPHEN CONWELL, born in Ireland in 1828, bought land jointly with his brother, EDWARD in Richland Township from the United States Government, June 10, 1854. They lived on their land and harvested a crop during the summer of 1855. STEPHEN and EDWARD were both "Irish Peddlers." While on a trip during the summer of 1864, through Mondamin, Iowa, in Harrison County, STEPHEN met a Mr. Morrow whose home was a stage coach stop on the way to Sioux City. On April 19, 1866, STEPHEN married JANE MORROW, the inn keeper's daughter. A year later ANN ELIZABETH (MRS. WILLIAM KELLY) was born in Decatur County, Iowa, June 29, 1867. Her baptismal record is at Georgetown. Three months afterward STEPHEN took sick and died very suddenly in Decatur County and was buried in Des Moines at St. Ambrose Cemetery. His daughter, ANN ELIZABETH CONWELL, married WILLIAM KELLY of Mondamin. One of their children is MRS. F.H. (VIVIAN) LOGAN of Mondamin, Iowa.

EDWARD CONWELL

EDWARD CONWELL, born December 23, 1830, Carrick, County Donegal, Ireland, bought land in Decatur County, June 10, 1854, and harvested a crop of 50 bushels of corn from ten acres of improved land the summer of 1855. (See Iowa Census 1856, Vol. 42, Page. 98.)

His marriage record is as follows in his Bible possessed by MRS. J.J. MCGREEVY of Grand River:

"MR. EDWARD CONWELL and MISS JULIA DAUGHTON were united by me in Holy Matrimony at the Woodland Church the 19th day of January in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and seventy, in the presence of GEORGE CONWELL and MARY DILLON. B.A. Cannon R.C., Priest."

EDWARD CONWELL died March 18, 1915. JULIA died January 27, 1923. Both are buried at Maloy Catholic Cemetery.

Children: All were born north of Grand River.

  1. STEPHEN, born April 11, 1871, died October 25, 1931, married in Utah. Two children, DONNA and EDWARD.
  2. JAMES MAURICE, born August 21, 1872, living in California.
  3. MARGARET E., born January 14, 1874, married JOHN TREANOR, died at Creston in 1952. She was baptized by Father Placidus O.S.B. and is the first Grand River baptism in Creston register.
  4. JULIA ANN, born April 15, 1875, married JAMES J. MCGREEVY, April 10, 1899. He was born in County Down, Ireland, April 15, 1874, of JOHN MCGREEVY and MARY KINLEY. They are living north of Grand River and have two daughters, MARIE in California, and MONICA in Indiana.
  5. SIMON W., born October 16, 1876, died in California in December, 1955.
  6. EDWARD P., born March 27, 1878, married CALISTA SHAY of Maloy, have children; living at Red Lodge, Montana.
  7. CATHERINE, born April 10, 1881, died in California in 1948, married JOHN WARD, survived by four children.
  8. GEORGE L., born in 1883, died in 1885.
  9. LUKE, born April 19, 1885, married ALMA BARRETT. He has three children: EVELYN MAHRENHOLZ, ROBERT, NELLIE.
  10. FRANK D., born January 11, 1887, married THERESA LYONS. They had four children: CATHERINE, JULIA, TERESA and ANNA.
  11. Twins, died in infancy.

EDWARD CONWELL, one of many Irish Peddlers during the 1850's and 1860's took trips walking through Kentucky and Tennessee with a pack mule carrying linen, woolen and lace material or other things that were needed by people who lived in far away places.

He made several trips through southern Iowa west from Keokuk before he was married. That is how he met JULIA DAUGHTON of Ireland in Woodland Township. The peddler was generally welcomed at the log cabin of his customer. He knew most of the Irish from southern Iowa to Tennessee and even up into Ohio and Indiana.

One of his common expressions was "In troth never buy, til ya hev the mooney. If ya hev the mooney then buy and in troth it's a good deal."

EDWARD, or NEDDIE as he was known, was County Commissioner or member of the Board of Supervisors of Decatur County, January, 1880-1883.

GEORGE CONWELL

He was born in County Donegal, Ireland, July 16, 1848, of PATRICK CONWELL and MARY MCBRARIETY. He was a half brother to STEPHEN and EDWARD and came to America before October 5, 1869, and married MARY MORAN, born at Muscatine, Iowa, October 25, 1861, married at Creston, Iowa, January 27, 1878. Both are buried at Afton. They lived their married life north of Grand River. He died in 1931, she died in 1923.

Children:

  1. PATRICK, born November 16, 1878, married MARTHA EDWARDS. They had six children.
  2. JENNY, JANE E., born September 23, 1880, married STEPHEN B. O'GRADY. Both buried in O'GRADY Cemetery. They had three children: MARY MARGARET, EUGENE and DONALD.
  3. THOMAS, born in 1882, died in 1887.
  4. MARY ANN, born July 23, 1883, living in Osceola.
  5. AGNES, born June 28, 1887, married A.C. TEATSWORTH of Lenox. They have three children.
  6. ALICE, born March 2, 1896, married ALBERT FAY MACY. They have two sons at Osceola.

JOHN MAGUIRE

Among the first Catholic families of Decatur County must be named the JOHN MAGUIRE family who came to Richland Township in 1856. (See Iowa Census 1856, Vol. 42.)

EDWARD McMOINGLE

EDWARD McMOINGLE, also an early settler who died in the early 1860's was related to the MAGUIRE family. This family moved west to Utah about 1872-1875. A letter from a grandson is quoted:

Salt Lake City,
September 14, 1955

Rev. E.J. Harkin
St. Brendan's Church
Leon, Iowa

Dear Father Harkin:

In answer to your letter of September 8th, I will say that my father was DON MAGUIRE. He was born in 1852, in Vermont, the only one of his family that was not born in Ireland. He moved from Grand River with his family to Ogden, Utah. He had four brothers, MICHAEL, JOHN, CHARLES and DANIEL, and a sister, BRIDGET. His father's name was JOHN. He attended old Santa Barbara Mission School (I mean Dad).

He wrote a book of poems and I have misplaced my copy.

He visited Ireland after he had made a small stake. He was struck down by a Ford in front of the Catholic Church, January 8, 1933, in his 81st year. He was a grand character -- May God rest his soul.

I hope this information will be of some assistance to you. With all good wishes for you in your work. I know Dad would enjoy reading it.

Sincerely Yours,

CHARLES A. MAGUIRE
1860 South l6th E. St.
Salt Lake City, Utah

PATRICK O'GRADY

PATRICK O'GRADY, born in Ireland, February 14, 1820, died at Grand River, February 24, 1899, is buried in O'Grady Cemetery. He married MARGARET MCNAMARA, born in County Clare, Ireland, in 1836, died August 15, 1895. They lived in Chicago where several older children were born. He was a policeman there and it is related that while making an arrest, a man bit off one of MR. O'GRADY's fingers. He had a brother, EDWARD, who married a sister of MARGARET, who remained in Chicago. Another brother was MICHAEL, who married CATHERINE GROGAN of Woodland Township.

PATRICK O'GRADY bought land in Section 17, Richland Township, Decatur County, from CATHERINE CASSIDY, February 3, 1860, and came to Decatur County about 1869.

Children:

  1. JOHN, born in 1857, and went to Montana and was accidentally killed at Anaconda by a dynamite explosion July 20, 1896, a few days after O'GRADY Cemetery was established.
  2. MICHAEL, born in Illinois December 25, 1858, died August 3, 1912. Buried in O'GRADY Cemetery.
  3. EDWARAD, born in Illinois in 1862, married CELENA LA PORTE, who died in 1911, leaving three children: MARY, JOSEPH and EDWARD. He later married CATHERINE LYONS, the mother of TERESA CONWELL. EDWARD died December 31, 1947.
  4. WILLIAM, born in Illinois in 1867, died May 15, 1950.
  5. PATRICK HENRY, born in Decatur County in 1870, never married, died in 1950, buried at O'GRADY Cemetery.
  6. MARY ANN, born in Decatur County in 1875, married HARRY GILREATH. She passed away September 20, 1931. HAROLD GILREATH, a son, is only child residing in Decatur County.
  7. STEPHEN B., born in Decatur County in 1876, married JENNY E. CONWELL, died October 2, 1950. Both are buried in O'GRADY Cemetery. Children: MARY, MARGARET, EUGENE and DONALD.

TREANOR FAMILIES

JAMES TREANOR, Senior, was born in parish of Carlingford, County Louth, Ireland, in 1788, died May 3, 1872, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township, married BRIDGET ANNE KILLAN, born in 1788, in Ireland, died five miles south of Grand River, July 12, 1866, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. They came to Decatur County, Iowa, in March, 1866.

Their children were: HUGH, of Canada; JAMES, JR., of Decatur County; ANNE KEARNEY, of Canada; MARY CANNON, of Canada; BRIDGET DONNELLY, of Keokuk, Iowa.

JAMES TREANOR, JUNIOR

JAMES TREANOR was born August 7, 1834, County Louth, Ireland, died in 1906, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. He came to the United States in 1852 with his parents and settled in Belmont County, Ohio, where he worked as a bookkeeper. He married ELIZABETH JANE HOLLAND, born March 8, 1837, died August 12, 1884, and is buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.

JAMES TREANOR, JR., worked for the Burlington Railroad and because of this shortly after he came to Decatur County in 1866, the Burlington Railroad wrote and asked him to move to near Ottumwa to be in charge of the west section, which he did.

Later he and his family moved to Osceola and here his father, JAMES Senior, died May 3, 1872. "The body of a MR. TREANOR passed through town last Saturday for enterment in the Catholic Cemetery in the southeastern part of the county." -- Leon Journal, May 9, 1872.

The Iowa Census of 1885 says they were living in Grand River Township, Section 28.

Children:

  1. HUGH BURT, born in 1857 in Ohio, died May 28, 1933, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township, married MARY GROGAN. They had four daughters.
  2. JAMES W., born in 1857, died in 1907, buried Calvary Cemetery, Creston. Married AGNES MURPHY. They had two children. She died. He then married MARY BOYD.
  3. SIMON P., born in 1860 in Ohio, died in 1941, buried in Calvary Cemetery, Creston. Married MARGARET MURPHY. They had five children.
  4. MARY JANE, born in 1862, living in Missouri and married BURRELL STEPHENS. They have two sons.
  5. JOHN FRANCIS, born in 1863, died in 1953, married ELIZABETH QUINN. She died May 21, 1938. He married MARGARET CONWELL. All are buried at Calvary Cemetery, Creton.
  6. LOUISA ANN, born in 1865 in Ohio, married GEORGE VAN SWERINGEN. She died in 1955. Both are buried in Calvary Cemetery, Creston. One daughter, FLORENCE.
  7. BRIDGET, born in 1867, died as an infant.
  8. MATHEW, born in 1869, died as an infant.

JOHN HAGERTY

JOHN HAGERTY, born in Ireland in 1834, married ANN GALLAGHER, born in Ireland in 1844. Bought land in Decatur County, Richland Township, Section 4, in 1864.

Their family consisted of ANNIE, born in Illinois in 1867; MICHAEL, born in Decatur County in 1869; JOHN, born in Decatur County in 1872; MARY ELLEN, born in Decatur County in 1874; CHARLES, born in Decatur County in 1876; SIMON, born in Decatur County in 1879; MARGARET and NORA, born in Ringgold County, 1881. Their baptismal records are at Creston.

This family moved to Alliance, Nebraska, about 1890.

FREDRICK W. BACKUS

FREDRICK BACKUS, his wife, SUSANNA, and five children were living in Richland Township, north of Grand River, in 1887.

FREDRICK was born in Germany in 1841. SUSANNA was born in Illinois in 1858.

PETER P., born in Decatur County in 1875; FREDRICK, born in Decatur County in 1877; MARY A., born in Decatur County in 1879; JOSEPH K., both in Decatur County in 1882; HENRY ED., born in Decatur County in 1866.

WILLIAM (BILL) DUNN


It is reported that they came from Missouri and settled near Hopeville. Some of their children were HOMER, KATE, MARY and several others. After the death of MR. DUNN, the mother and children moved to Omaha, Nebraska.

THOMAS CURRAN

It is told that the CURRAN family was related to the DUNN family. They moved to Omaha, Nebraska, with their children. Baptismal records are at Maloy.

THOMAS KELLY

Living west of Grand River in 1895 was the KELLY family. THOMAS was born in Ireland in 1847, MARY was born in Ohio in 1857.

Children: JOHN, born in Decatur County in 1883; MARY, born in Ringgold County in 1888; CHARLES, born in Ringgold County in 1891; PATRICK, born in Ringgold County in 1892; FLORENCE, born in Ringgold County in 1895.

MICHAEL O'GRADY

MICHAEL O'GRADY was born in Ireland in 1837, died in October, 1913, buried at Afton. Married CATHERINE GROGAN in June, 1880, of Woodland Township. They had six children in Ringgold County.

Children:

  1. WILLIAM E., born June 24, 1881, married BERTHA GARLAND. They had five children who reside in Mitchell, South Dakota.
  2. JOHN S., born in 1883, near Leon, married SUSIE TAGGART and had six children. He died in December, 1950, and was buried at Sturgis, South Dakota.
  3. JAMES P., born in 1885, married JESSIE TAYLOR, died in September 1923, leaving one son, RAYMOND L.
  4. MARGARET E., born in 1887, married BERT WALTERS, live near Ellston. They have two children: FRANCIS and SISTER JOSEPH MARY of the Sisters of Humility of Ottumwa, Iowa.
  5. EDWARD SAMUEL, died as an infant.
  6. ROBERT M., born October 23, 1892, near Ellston, married LUCIE BALL. Five children. LUCIE died September 9, 1955, at Ellston.

JAMES P. DAUGHTON

JAMES DAUGHTON, born in Ireland in 1850, died in 1938, married HANNAH GRIFFIN, born in New Jersey in 1850, died in 1933. Lived in Woodland Township, moved to near Grand River about 1878. Both are buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.

Children: WILLIAM; AMY BUELL; JAMES P.; MARGARET TAPSCOTT; WALTER; EMMETT; FREDERICK; RALPH; LEO.

PATRICK MCGRAW

PATRICK MCGRAW and wife, JOHANNA, both born in County Clare, Ireland, came to the United States before 1855 and worked on the railroad in Pennsylvania until 1865, when he moved to Sangamon County, Illinois, where he farmed until he moved to Ringgold County, Iowa, north of Beaconsfield. Both are buried at Afton. He died February 25, 1888, age 80 years. She died September 17, 1901, age 82 years.

Children: JOHN; MICHAEL; PATRICK; BRIDGET, who became SISTER MARY AMELIA, Sisters of Charity of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; JAMES; THOMAS; MARTIN.

THE PATRICK WARD FAMILY

PATRIC WARD, born in Killybegs in County Donegal, Ireland, in 1843, married MARY ASKRIN, born in 1846. Moved to Ringgold County near Beaconsfield from Belvidere, Illinois, about 1884. Mary died in 1906. Both are buried at Maloy.

Children: DANIEL; PATRICK; MARY; HANNAH; CATHERINE; JOHN; ANNA; JOSEPH; EDWARD; CHARLES. ANNA married EDWARD DENNIS GRIFFIN of Leon. CATHERINE married PATRICK CARR. The grandchildren of ANNA GRIFFIN are EDWARD J. GRIFFIN and JAMES W. GRIFFIN and the LAFOLLETTE children: EDWARD L., RICHARD; JOYCE, JOSEPH and GENE C.

MICHAEL MCGRAW

MICHAEL MCGRAW, born in Ireland in 1853, married JANE GROGAN at Chariton, Iowa, by Father Sheridan, February 23, 1887. Children: EDWIN; JESSIE; CLIFFORD; NELLIE.

THOMAS MORAN

THOMAS MORAN and wife, ANNA, were both born in County Kerry, Ireland. They lived at Muscatine, Iowa, between 1857 and 1869. They moved to Ringgold County about 1884. He died August 12, 1887, age 65. She died February 4, 1902, age 74. Both are buried at Afton. Children: JOHN; MARY, married GEORGE CONWELL; DENNIS; ANNA; JERRY.

JAMES CASHEN

JAMES CASHEN, born in 1852, married SARAH FRANCES POISETT. They came from Avon, Illinois, to Maloy, Iowa, on March 1, 1890, to Osceola, Iowa, in 1904, and later moved to near Grand River, west of Beaconsfield, Iowa. Children: FREDERICK LEO; JAMES A.; MARY J.; LOUIS E.

WILLIAM M. CRONIN

WILLIAM CRONIN was born near Iowa City in 1867, married CATHERINE REILLY, born in 1870, near Iowa City. Moved to Kellerton in 1913. Children: ARTHUR WILLIAM; GENEVIEVE AGNES; CLARENCE; WILLIAM; RALPH; NAOMI; PAUL. WILLIAM died in 1951. MRS. CRONIN resides at Kellerton, Iowa. >{?

JAMES CONNELLY

JAMES CONNELLY, born in Ireland in April, 1848, married ANNA MCCARTHY, born in County Waterford-Lismore in 1855. They lived in Des Moines until 1896 when they moved to Ellston in Ringgold County. Both are buried at Afton.

Children: JAMES, JOHN; MARY; WILLIAM and MARTIN. MARY married JOHN BRESNAHAN and are the parents of Reverend WILLIAM BRESNAHAN O.S.B. Conception Abbey. MARY made her First Holy Communion at St. Mary's Church, Grand River, in 1900. WILLIAM CONNELLY of Afton, the father of Reverent PAUL CONNELLY, made his First Holy Communion also at the old St. Mary's Church, Grand River, in 1900. The pastor at that time was Father J.J. CONDON of Maloy.

JAMES MCGRAW

JAMES MCGRAW, son of PATRICK AND JOHANNA (GENAN) MCGRAW, was born in Ireland in 1854. He came with his parents when a small boy to this country, settling in Pittsburgh, Pa., for a short time. Later the family migrated west and settled on a farm near Beaconsfield in Ringgold County, Iowa.

September 10, 1889, he was married to MATTIE GROGAN before the Reverend Father T.J. MULLEN. They became the parents of three children: MARIE (MRS. L.E. O'HAIR), Osceola; RAYMOND, of Grand River, and GLADYS (MRS. DENNIS GROGAN), now deceased. MR. MCGRAW died June 16, 1928, and is buried in the Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. He has four granddaughters: KATHLEEN BURCHETT, RAMADEAN SHIELDS, MARILYN and FRANCES MCGRAW.

CORYDON, WAYNE COUNTY, IOWA

CHARLES SWEENEY of Maxwell, Iowa, January 25, 1953, sent me a letter through Doctor W.C. SCHOLTY, Vet., telling of some of the Catholic families near Corydon. CHARLES came to Wayne County in November, 1876, with his mother and two sisters, by train to Harvard, a country cross road south of Corydon. It was the first time a train stopped at Harvard.

His father and brother drove through from Des Moines County in a wagon and four horses. It took them a week to make the trip from Burlington. The weather was bad and there were no bridges over rivers in many places.

As time passed there were some ten Catholic families who settled around south of Corydon such as the SWEENEY family, the HENRY SCHOLTY family, JOHN and JAMES FENNELL, the ENRIGHTS, the BROWNS, the MURPHYS, the BOYLES, the MCCANNS and others.

The priest, Father O'BRIEN at first, was located at Moulton, Iowa. He came once a month to one of the Catholic homes to offer Mass. After Father O'BRIEN came Father KING and Father DAILY who came from Centerville. Another priest was Father LOFTUS. They seemed to come to the SWEENEY home more often. The priest would come Saturday night and stay until Monday as there was no train on Sunday.

"People would come from a long way in wagons even as far as Lewisburg, three miles east of the Decatur County line on Highway 2. They came fasting and many times there would be as many as forty people for my mother to get dinner for."

A church was built in Corydon about 1882, however, it was really never finished. A non-Catholic man by the name of J.A. HARPER donated to Bishop JOHN MCMULLEN of Davenport a lot in the northeast corner of town on which to build a church. After it was put up a wind storm did it serious damage. It set several years unused and the lot was sold back to MR. J.A. HARPER.

Many of the young people moved away from Wayne County after marriage and the Catholic population never grew.

Doctor WILLIAM C. SCHOLTY, son of HENRY B. SCHOLTY and BESSIE E. SWEENEY, was born July 30, 1880, in Wayne County.

Doctor WILL was graduated from Iowa State College as a Veterinarian in 1902 and resides at Leon, a member of St. Brendan's parish. He was a member of the 1898 football team of Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa.


Copied by Nancee (McMurtrey) Siefert, January & February 2002