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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1402~


John D. Dooley


This old and highly esteemed business man, also a veteran of the Civil war, was born on board the sailing vessel "Douglass," May 6, 1840, while his parents, John and Ellen Galway Dooley, were en route from Ireland to the United States. After spending two years in New York, the family removed to Wisconsin, thence at the end of eleven years to Fayette county, locating in the fall of 1853 about one and one-half miles northwest of the village of Fayette on a tract of land which John Dooley purchased from the government. Here young John D. was set to work; clearing, grubbing and fitting the land for cultivation and on this place he grew to young manhood, bearing his full share in the development and improvement of the farm and otherwise looking after the interests of his parents. With his father he did considerable teaming for several years to and from McGregor and later moved with the family to the village of Westfield, where his father's death subsequently occurred; his wife survived him a number of years, finally dying of old age.

From 1859 until 1861 inclusive John D. Dooley attended school in the old seminary at Fayette, devoting the summer seasons to farm labor in the vicinity. In September of the latter year he enlisted in Company F, Third Iowa Infantry, and during the ensuing three years shared with his comrades all of the terrible realities of warfare in the Southland, taking part in a number of campaigns and not a few battles, including Shiloh, siege of Vicksburg, Jackson, Mississippi, Hatchie River, and the various engagements which led to the fall of Atlanta, besides numerous skirmishes and minor actions. The loss of his command was especially heavy in the charge on the enemy's breastworks at Jackson, also at Atlanta, where the Third Iowa was in an exposed position and obliged to bear the brunt of the fighting. After three years of strenuous and faithful service, he was discharged at Eastport, Georgia, following the surrender of Atlanta, and, returning home, immediately thereafter turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, which he followed for a period of two years. Before entering the army he had taught several terms of school and in 1868, while in Greene county, Missouri, for a short time, taught a part of the year in that state, meeting with splendid success in a school from which his predecessor had been forcibly ejected from the building by unruly scholars.

Returning from the above state to Fayette County, Mr. Dooley located two and a half miles west of Randalia, Center township, where for a period of thirty-three years he lived the life of a tiller of the soil and at the expiration of that time removed to Hawkeye, his present place of residence. While in the above township he served six years on the board of supervisors and for twenty years was one of the best known and most successful public auctioneers in Fayette county, his services as such having been in great demand throughout a large area of territory. Since locating at Hawkeye Mr. Dooley has been engaged in the real estate business, in connection with which he also does a large and successful business as a collector, besides attending to such legal matters as may be referred to him, there being no regular attorney in the town. During the last ten years he has been justice of the peace, an office for which his practical intelligence and well balanced judgment, natural love of justice and knowledge of the law peculiarly fit him. Much important litigation comes before his court and such has been the fairness of his rulings and the justness of his decisions that but few of the latter have been appealed to higher tribunals. His services have been frequently in demand in the settlement of states, to act as trustee and to look after various interests, and it is needless to state that he has proven capable in all of his business relations and faithful to every trust reposed in him by his fellow citizens.

Mr. Dooley has been much in the pubic eye, takes an active part in all questions and issues of the times and is a politician of no little influence, being a stanch supporter of the Republican party and one of its recognized leaders in the county of Fayette. He belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic, in which he is a leading worker, and is also identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and in 1872 was initiated into Pleiades Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Fayette, and since that time has been a zealous worker in the order, being a charter member of the blue lodge at Hawkeye, and one of the few now living who went into the original organization.

Mr. Dooley was married March 27, 1865, to Jennie Wells, daughter of Joshua and Eliza Butler Wells, the father a pioneer of Fayette county, moving here in 1849 from Wisconsin and selling goods for several years prior to the Civil war. After a residence of about 30 years in this county, he moved to Oregon, where he spent the remainder of his days, dying at the age of eighty-two. Mr. and Mrs. Dooley are the parents of nine children, of whom five sons and daughters are living, namely: Lewis L., of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; John Edward, a manufacturer of various patent rights, near Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; Mary L., who married D. W. Hughes and lives on a farm near Hawkeye; Rutherford E., proprietor of a hotel in Hamilton, Missouri; Anson R., a musician in the United States Artillery Coast Band, now at Fort Warden, Washington, formerly in the Philippine Islands, and Lester, who took a special course in the Upper Iowa University, graduating in June, 1910, and is now principle of the high school at Canada, North Dakota. Before entering that institution he taught for several years and at one time was principle of the high school of Plymouth, this state. Mr. Dooley's sons are intelligent, wide-awake, progressive men and stand high in their respective places of residence. The name is respected wherever known and thus far the honor of the family is unsullied by a single unworthy act on the part of any of its members.

~transcribed for the Fayette County IAGenWeb Project by Marsha Hyman

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