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Harlan, Edgar Rubey.
A Narrative History of the People of Iowa.
 Vol III. Chicago: American Historical Society,  1931

p. 188

   WILLIAM D. MEEK. Prominent among the well established and substantial business houses of Des Moines devoted to the craft of printing is the Success Composition and Printing Company, of which the president and treasurer is William D. Meek. Mr. Meek during a long and active career has traveled the difficult self-made road to success, having started upon his independent life when he was a child of only thirteen years. With but a limited public school education and determination to make the most of his opportunities, he faced the world courageously, and since then has met and overcome obstacles with persistence until he has reached a prominent place in the business world, and has obtained the confidence and respect of those with whom he has been associated.
    Mr. Meek was born at Peoria, Illinois, January 25, 1875, and is a son of John and Lou (Bell) Meek. His father, a native of Belfast, Ireland, came to the United States as an immigrant lad at the age of fifteen years, and secured employment in a commission office at Chicago, where he was working at the time of the great Chicago fire of 1871. Following this great disaster Mr. Meek made his way to Peoria, where he was employed as an expert accountant, and died at that place about 1887 or 1888. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, while Mrs. Meek, also now deceased, who was born on a farm near Farmington, Illinois, was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Of their three children two are now living; William D., of this review; and Mrs. H. M. Davis, of Des Moines.
    William D. Meek attended public schools but when he was about thirteen years of age his father died and it was necessary for him to give up his studies and seek employment in order to contribute to a family income. He first secured work in a cracker factory, but at the age of fourteen years received his introduction to the printing business, of which he has since been a devotee. For several years after his arrival at Des Moines, in 1889, he was employed on newspapers in various  capacities, and at one period in his career owned a half interest in the Shelby County Republican, which he held for two years. Eventually he entered the Success Composition and Printing Company, in which he has since worked his way upward, step by step, until he is now president and treasurer of the concern, one of the substantial enterprises of the Des Moines. This concern specializes in catalogue and book work, and has a modern and fully equipped plant at 607 Third Street. Mr. Meek is thoroughly familiar with every detail of the business, and gives his personal attention to every order, with the result that the company's patronage is constantly growing and the business is enlarging its scope and taking in new territory. Mr. Meek is a member of the Central Church of Christ, in which he belongs to the Board of Deacons. He is a Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Knights of the Macabees, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Homesteaders. He has belonged to the Kiwanis Club for some years and for two years has been a member of the Board of Directors of that body, which he has accomplished much in a civic and commercial way for the city. He was elected to the presidency of the club in 1930.
    On September 18, 1901, Mr. Meek was united in marriage with Miss Carolyn Shank, who was born and educated at Red Oak, Iowa, daughter of William Shank, and to this union has come one son: John W., born January 3, 1910, who is now a student at Grinnell College.

p. 361

    SISTERS of MERCY For sixty-four years the Sisters of Mercy in Iowa have given practical humanitarian and altruistic service to their fellow men in the school, in the hospital, in the sanitarium, in the home for the aged, in the home for the working girl,- the expansion of their work during these years being proof beyond question of its value.
     Origin of the Sisters of Mercy: In the early part of the nineteenth century there lived in Dublin, Ireland, Catherine McAuley, a cultured young woman of an old and distinguished family who, possessed of a large fortune and impelled by the distress and need of the poor of her native country, decided to devote this entire fortune to the relief and care of orphans, destitute women and poor schools. The first building erected for this cause was dedicated September 24, 1827. Soon many young women joined Miss McAuley to assist in her noble work, that in a few short years her house was changed from a secular to a religious institution. On December 12, 1831, the new institute was confirmed as the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy. Following this mark of stability, members rapidly increased, similar institutions multiplied, not only in Ireland, but expanded in less than fifteen years to England and the United States.
     Sisters of Mercy in the United States: The first foundation of the Sisters of Mercy in the United States was made at Pittsburgh, in 1843, through the appeal made by the Rt. Rev. M. O'Connor to the Sisters while visiting at their convent in Carlow, Ireland. He explained the great need for carrying out the works of mercy in his diocese of Pittsburgh, and in response to this appeal seven Sisters volunteered to return with him.
     It is recorded in the annals of the Order that when they arrived in New York, the first person to meet them was the Rt. Rev. William Quarter, bishop-elect of Chicago. He, too, needed Sisters to work in the far West, but the most he could obtain at that time was a promise that the Sisters would come as soon as possible, which promise was fulfilled when five Sisters arrived in Chicago, in 1846. This was the beginning of St. Xavier's, Chicago.
     Civil War Volunteers: Although the Chicago community was only in its early development at the outbreak of the Civil war, yet the patriotic zeal of its constituents enabled it to spare eight members to serve their country's cause by ministering to the sick and wounded. It is of interest to note that two of this band of nurses were Mother Mary Borromeo Johnson and Mother Mary Francis Monholland, who later came as charity workers to Iowa.
     The annals record that in September, 1861, these eight Sisters left Chicago in company with the military officer who had been sent to conduct them. They set out by way of St. Louis for Lexington, Missouri, a place they failed to reach. After many delays and thrilling incidents they arrived at Jefferson City. Immediately on their arrival they were requested to take charge of the City Hospital, which was crowded with sick and wounded soldiers. They remained there until April, 1862, when, the division being ordered elsewhere, their services were no longer needed. At Saint Louis, on their way home, they were met by a sanitary commissioner who asked them to take charge of the hospital department on the steamboat Empress, which was carrying wounded soldiers from the battlefield of Shiloh. One one of its trips up the Mississippi the Empress reached Keokuk, Iowa, April 16, 1862. It required two days to remove the sick and wounded soldiers to the hospital. The Sisters did everything possible to relieve the suffering of their patients during the five weeks they spent on their floating hospital.

     Sisters of Mercy come to Iowa: Following the close of the Civil war, in 1867 Mother Mary Borromeo Johnson and four Sister companions from Saint Xavier Academy, Chicago, opened a school in the little town of DeWitt. Shortly afterwards doctors from Davenport asked for Sisters to open a hospital. In response to this invitation Mercy Hospital was opened in 1868. In 1869 a school and academy were opened in Independence by Mother Mary Francis Monholland and her cultured and experienced Sisters. Davenport having the most desirable location, Mercy Hospital was made the first Motherhouse of the Sisters of Mercy in Iowa, and Mother Mary Borromeo Johnson was chosen Mother Superior. From this house as a center, all the other houses in Iowa, with one exception, (Council Bluffs), have been either directly or indirectly founded.
     Development in Iowa: Mercy Hospital, Davenport, filled an urgent need in the pioneer community and its growth was rapid. From the first day to the present the work has gone ahead; addition after addition has been erected; the latest is the new $500,000 building now under construction. Today Mercy Hospital, together with its departments for nervous and mentally afflicted men and women, ranks s one of the best equipped institutions in the country.
     From this institution foundations have been sent to Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Des Moines, and Marshalltown. In later years the labors of the Davenport Sisters of Mercy have been extended to a Young Women's Home in Davenport and schools in Davenport, Burlington, West Burlington, Mount Pleasant, Manilla and Rockwell City.
     In 1875 seven Sisters from the Motherhouse in Davenport opened the Convent of Our Lady of Mercy and Saint Joseph's School in Cedar Rapids. After some years this Motherhouse was transferred to Sacred Heart Academy, located in the outskirts of the city. This community has been devoted almost entirely to the work of education. At present these Sisters conduct three hospitals, a junior college, an academy, numerous schools throughout the state and at Marion a seminary for boys, a model of its kind.
     In 1879, at the urgent solicitation of the Rt. Rev. John Hennessy, five Sisters from Davenport arrived in Dubuque on January 13 to found a hospital. This was the beginning of Saint Joseph's Mercy Hospital. Notwithstanding hardships and limited funds, the Sisters, with the cooperation of citizens interested in a great work of mercy, made the establishment a notable success. It became a Motherhouse in 1882.
     The needs of the time made expansion along other lines necessary. As a result Saint Anthony's Home for the Aged was opened in 1887, and also Saint Joseph's Sanitarium. This latter institution is today one of the best equipped and most popular of its kind in the state.
     Besides institutions conducted in Dubuque by the Sisters of Mercy, they have hospitals in Sioux City, Clinton, Mason City, Fort Dodge, Waverly and Cresco; schools at Eagle Center, Bankston, Ackley and Independence.
     In 1887 the Sisters of Mercy from Minnesota opened Saint Bernard's as a Motherhouse and hospital in Council Bluffs. In 1902 Mercy Hospital was erected. Other institutions conducted by these Sisters include an academy, a seminary for boys, several schools, a home for working girls, a home for the aged and three hospitals in Iowa.

    Summary of Institutions Developed and Conducted by the Sisters of Mercy in Iowa from 1867-1931: The period from 1867 to 1931 has been an era of rapid and unprecedented growth in schools, hospitals, sanitariums, homes for the aged, homes for working girls, and training schools for nurses. The first school record of the Sisters of Mercy in Iowa in 1867 shows an attendance of forty pupils. In 1930 the grand total of all pupils in thirty parochial schools, two academies, two seminaries for boys and a junior college exceeded 5,000. The first hospital record shows that during the first year of hospital service in 1868, seventy-six patients received care and treatment. The 1930 records show that 30,580 patients were cared for. The total number of patients treated in their sanitariums for 1930 reached 3290; total number of homes for aged, 225; total number of Young Women's Boarding Homes, 200; and total number in training schools for nurses, 750. The original band of Sisters who came to Iowa in 1867 numbered only five; today there are 550 Sisters of Mercy in Iowa. Their great mission of mercy has extended beyond the borders of the state to Michigan and Montana.
     A New Era: On August 25, 1928, the Sisters of Mercy from all parts of the United States, having realized the advantages of united effort, held a general chapter, or convention, at Cincinnati, Ohio, for the purpose of forming a strong, well-organized, unified body. As a result, a union of the majority of the communities, with a total membership exceeding 5,000 which had heretofore been working independently, was effected. The vast territory which is covered by this great united body was divided into provinces, each under a Mother Provincial and all subject to a Mother General, who, with her council, is located at the General Motherhouse, Washington, D.C.
     Mount St. Agnes: One outcome of this reorganization of communities of interest to Iowa is that of Mount Saint Agnes, Dubuque, became the Novitiate for the Province of Cincinnati, Ohio. In this imposing structure, with its beautiful Romanesque chapel, its extensive grounds, and location of great natural beauty, more than eighty-three Novices at the present time are receiving preparation that will fit them to continue efficiently and successfully the work inaugurated by their foundress and carried on so magnificently by their predecessors for the space of a hundred years.

p. 314

    THOMAS A. MORAN, physician and surgeon, is practicing his profession in his native town of Melrose, Monroe County, and that community recognizes its debt to him not only as a professional man, a skilled and earnest worker, but as a citizen with a wholesome interest in the community as a whole and every family group therein.
    Doctor Moran was born at Melrose October 18, 1876, son of Anthony and Bridget (McCaffery) Moran. His parents were born in County Mayo, Ireland, and were married in Pennsylvania, and in the early 1870s came to Monroe County, Iowa, living on a farm. His father died in January, 1909, and his mother in December, 1916. Doctor Moran was a country boy in Iowa, attended country schools, but looked beyond the horizon of farm life to a professional career. As one step in his progress he attended what was then a very fine educational institution, the old Stanberry Normal School at Stanberry, Missouri. Later he entered the School of Pharmacy of Highland Park College of Des Moines, where he was graduated in 1902. His knowledge of pharmacy was valuable to him in different ways while completing his medical education. In 1907 he was graduated from Barnes Medical School in Saint Louis, and had one year of interne experience and training in the woman's department of the City Hospital of Saint Louis.
    With this training completed Doctor Moran returned to Melrose and entered into association with his life long friend, Dr. Michael F. Riordan, in June, 1908. Some of his first readings in medicine had been under the direction of Dr. Riordan, and he has always felt deeply indebted to him for his loyal encouragement and help. For a number of years Doctor Moran has had more than a local reputation as a specialist in eye, nose and throat diseases. He has kept himself up-to-date by post-graduate work in the Chicago Poly-clinic, Chicago Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital, and Chicago Post Graduate School. He is secretary of the Monroe County Medical Society, member of the Iowa State Medical Association and a fellow of the American Medical Association.
    Doctor Moran has for twenty years been a member of the Melrose Board of Education, and during seventeen years of this time has been president. He is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus. During the World war he volunteered but being the only doctor at Melrose the Government kept him there, where he was able to serve his country to a greater advantage than in the field. He prizes the badge of voluntary war service bestowed upon him by the Government. He enrolled in the Volunteer Medical Service Corps October 14, 1918.
    Doctor Moran married in June, 1909, Miss Margaret Cummins, of Lucas County, Iowa, daughter of James and Johanna (Geary) Cummins. Her father was born near Dublin, Ireland and died in Iowa in 1915, and her mother passed away in 1925. The four children of Doctor and Mrs. Moran are: Walter, now a student in the Junior College at Albia; Mary, who graduated from the Melrose High School in 1929; and Thomas Jr., and John A. Doctor and Mrs. Moran have a splendid home among the hills of Melrose, overlooking magnificent scenery in the country round about.

p. 367

    JOHN T. MULVANEY. Recognized as one of the very able and learned of the attorneys practicing at the bar of Des Moines, John T. Mulvaney enjoys a large and valuable practice and the unquestioned respect of his fellow citizens. He was born at Elkhart, Iowa, April 16, 1870, a son of Bryan and Catherine (Markham) Mulvaney, he born in Dublin, Ireland and she in Kilrush, Ireland. When only eight years old she came to the United States on a sailing vessel and he came to this country at the age of fifteen years. They met each other at Des Moines, Iowa, and were married in this city, where he died in 1880 and she in 1885. For many years he was a buyer of live stock for large live stock companies. During the war between the states he traveled through Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri buying live stock, and was in danger all the time because of the fact that he had to carry with him large sums of money with which to pay for his purchases, but, owing to his foresight and well known courage, he came through the troublous period without losing any money. Later on in life he bought a farm in the vicinity of Elkhart, and there he continued to live until his death. He was an excellent example of the self-made man, for when he came to this country he was a poor boy and all that he had he made through his own exertions. Three children were born to him and his wife; John T., who is the first born; and twins, Michael J., who is an attorney practicing with his brother, and a graduate of Drake University, and Mary, who is unmarried.
    John T. Mulvaney went through the public schools of Elkhart and the law school of Drake University, being graduated from the latter in 1894, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. Immediately thereafter he entered upon the practice of the law at Des Moines, with office in the Polk Building, and here he has since remained, having never left this building, and has built up an ample income and prestige of high order. He is of a strong individualistic type. This is his characteristic, and the roots of it run far back in the sod of the Emerald Isle. As he is, so were his forebears. His parents were pioneers; the fiber of self reliance they gave him he strengthened. Nobel in impulse, just in counsel, kindly in controversy, there is a certain largeness in his convictions that clothe him with power among his colleagues.
    In 1905 Mr. Mulvaney was married to Miss Eleanor Hostetter, who was born at Brodhead, Wisconsin. She was educated at Blair, Wisconsin, and took art in the Chicago, Illinois, Art School. For several years she taught art in the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Mulvaney has no church connections. He is a staunch Democrat and prominent in party affairs. At one time he was his party's unsuccessful candidate for Congress, being defeated because of a Republican landslide. His practice is a general one, and is carried on in all of the courts, as Mr. Mulvaney was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States in 1908, and a number of his cases are taken to both the state and national Supreme Courts. By reason of his long and unbroken period of practice at Des Moines, Mr. Mulvaney is numbered among the older lawyers of the city.

p. 110

     JOHN E. MULRONEY. The career of John E. Mulroney, of Fort Dodge, is strongly entrenched in the history of the jurisprudence of this section of Iowa where he has won prestige and esteem both as a private practitioner and public official. A veteran of the World war, in which he was a member of the immortal Rainbow Division, he commenced practice in 1922 at Fort Dodge, and in 1928 was elected to the office of county attorney of Webster County, a capacity in which he is now serving with energy and ability.
     Mr. Mulroney was born at Ruthven, Iowa, February 15, 1896, and is a son of John E. and Anna (Foley) Mulroney. His paternal grandfather, John M. Mulroney, was born in County Cork, Ireland, whence he was brought as a boy to the United States, the family settling in Iowa. When the news of the discovery of gold in California swept the country Mr. Mulroney made the long and perilous trip overland to the gold fields, where, probably because of his fighting spirit and perseverance, he was one of the comparatively few who gained success. Subsequently he worked his way back via the Isthmus and took up his residence in Palo Alto County, Iowa, whence he removed to Fort Dodge and established himself in a mercantile business, of which he also made a success. He was the founder of the First National Bank of Fort Dodge, of which he was a vice president at the time of his death in 1916, at the age of eighty-six years and had numerous other business and financial interests. Mr. Mulroney likewise took an active part in public affairs and was one of the first county treasurers of Palo Alto County. His son, John E. Mulroney, the elder, was born at Fort Dodge, where he was reared and educated, and for many years was a prominent business man of the city, at the time of his death being largely interested in real estate. He passed away in November, 1902, at which time his community lost one of its progressive citizens, and a leading member of the Democratic party who had been a delegate to the national convention that in 1896 nominated William Jennings Bryan for the presidency. He was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, as is Mrs. Mulroney, an native of Fort Dodge, who still survives him. She is a daughter of Michael Foley, who was born in Ireland and came to the United States in young manhood, settling at Fort Dodge, where he was a railroad conductor in his early days. Mr. and Mrs. Mulroney were the parents of two children: Ellen, the wife of Willard Peterson, a high school teacher of San Diego, California; and John E.
     John E. Mulroney attended the public schools at Fort Dodge and spent one year at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, and when the United States entered the World war enlisted in the army and went overseas in 1917 as a member of Headquarters Company, One Hundred and Sixty-eighth Infantry, attached to the Rainbow Division. He took part in all of the engagements of that hard-fighting organization, won a corporal's stripes, and returned to the United States, receiving his honorable discharge in May, 1919. He then resumed his studies as a student in the law school of the University of Iowa, from which he was graduated in June, 1922, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. He immediately engaged in practice, and took care of the interests of a large and important clientele, until his election, on the Republican ticket, in November, 1928, to the office of county attorney of Webster County, in which he has since served with great ability. He has shown the possession of splendid legal qualities, both as a private practitioner and a public servant, and has won and retained general public esteem and confidence. Mr. Mulroney is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association, the Sigma Chi fraternity and the Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity, the American Legion and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is a Republican in his political convictions and activities and his religious affiliation is with Corpus Christi Catholic Church.
    On June 4, 1929, Mr. Mulroney was united in marriage with Miss Martha O'Conner, daughter of Morris O'Conner, a leading attorney of Fort Dodge, and a former law partner of Judge W. S. Kenyon.

p. 208

     REV. THOMAS P. MURPHY. There is greater need in the world today perhaps than ever before for men of high purpose, unselfish aims, high scholarship and true Christian zeal. In every land humanity is appealing for help, often blindly because of ignorance and it is upon the shoulders of the enlightened clergy that the responsibility rests of pointing the way that will lead the discouraged and weary to spiritual peace and happiness. In every section are found great teachers who give gladly of themselves that others may profit, and no Christian body is better represented in this field than is the Roman Catholic Church. Among those who have won appreciation for their ability, fidelity, Christian zeal, none stands any higher than does Rev. Thomas P. Murphy, pastor of Saint Peter's Roman Catholic Church of Des Moines.
    Father Murphy was born at Walnut, Iowa, February 11, 1877, a son of Patrick and Nora (Lanigan) Murphy, he born in Ireland and she at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and both are now deceased. In the early seventies Patrick Murphy came to Iowa settling in Council Bluffs, where he was employed in the construction work of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. This was not unfamiliar employment, for he had been engaged in it while living in the East. Four sons were born to him and his wife, namely: Michael, who is a farmer residing in Iowa; William, who is also a farmer; Daniel, who is in the employ of the Armour Packing Company at Sioux City, Iowa; and Father Murphy, who is the next to the youngest in the family. The parents were devout members of the Catholic Church. The grandparents on each side were natives of Ireland, and all of them were also Catholics.
    His early educational training obtained  in the schools of Walnut, Iowa, Father Murphy later had six years in Saint Andrew's Academy, of Davenport, Iowa; four years in Kenrick Seminary, of St. Louis, and he was ordained to the ministry in 1904. For three years thereafter he taught in Saint Ambrose, Davenport, Iowa, and then entered upon his ministerial duties. At Guthrie Center and Panora, Iowa, he built churches, and remained in these two places seventeen years in all, and then, in 1924, he came to Des Moines to take charge of Saint Peter's Catholic Church and the school conducted in connection with it. He has a membership of 1200 in his church and 230 pupils in his school, and under his energetic control much progress is being made. This church was established in 1915, and has grown rapidly. Father Murphy is a member of the Knights of Columbus of Davenport and is a fourth degree of that chapter. Not only is Father Murphy highly esteemed in his church, but by the people of Des Moines generally, for he is recognized as a man whose influence is of great value in the community and whose broad-minded charity leads him to render assistance to all who are in need of it.

p. 318

    J. J. MEEHAN, M.D., has been a resident of Denison for a quarter of a century, and that community has come to know him not only as a capable physician and surgeon but a business man and a citizen whose generosity and sympathy are easily aroused and whose acts of kindness and public spirit are generally appreciated though definitely known only to their recipients.
    Doctor Meehan was born in Rock Island County, Illinois, December 25, 1874. His parents, John and Catherine (Garvey) Meehan, were born in Ireland and came to America when young people. After their marriage they lived in Rock Island County until 1882, when they moved to Iowa and settled on a farm south of Vail in Crawford County. In 1883 they moved to a farm near Denison, and on this farm they lived until retiring and moving to Denison, where they spent the remaining years of their lives. The father passed away at the age of seventy-nine, in 1912, and the mother at seventy-six in 1915. Both were devout Catholics, and the political tendency of the family has always been Democratic.
    Doctor Meehan grew up on the home farm, attended the district school nearby and in continuing his education went through the old Denison Normal and Business College, the University of Iowa and from there entered Northwestern School of Medicine at Chicago, where he took his M.D. degree in 1903. He first practiced at Missouri Valley, and in 1905 located at Denison.
    In order to provide better facilities for his extensive private practice and also for the benefit of the community at large Doctor Meehan in 1916 established the Meehan Hospital, at 315 East Walnut Street. He has been local physician and surgeon  for the Chicago & Northwestern since 1916, and for the Illinois Central since 1912. He is a member of the Crawford County, Iowa State and American Medical Associations and the Association of Railway Surgeons. Over a period of years he has been active in the Crawford County Medical Society, being a past president and served as secretary a number of years. Since 1928 he has served as city health physician of Denison.
     Doctor Meehan has never married. He is a member of the Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus, Denison Council. He has made rather extensive investments in farm lands and is also a director of the Crawford County Trust & Savings Bank at Denison. His offices are in the Opera House Block.


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