Tama County Iowa Biographies



Among the veteran members of the bar of Palo Alto county stands Thomas O'Connor, who through the forty-four years of his active practice here has always commanded the fullest measure of public confidence and esteem, not only for his eminent legal attainments and his success as a lawyer, but also for his splendid personal character and his qualities as a citizen. Mr. O'Connor was born at North Bay, Oneida county, New York, on the 9th of September, 1856, and is a son of Lawrence and Ann (Flanagan) O'Connor, the former born in County Mead, Ireland, while the latter was a native of Oneida county, New York. The father came to the United States at the age of seventeen years, locating in Oneida county, where he later engaged in the building of canal boats, but the financial depression immediately following the close of the Civil war caused him to fall in business and in 1866 he came to Tama county, Iowa, where he resided to the time of his death.

Thomas O'Connor attended the public schools of his native state and at Toledo, Iowa where he graduated from high school. He then took up the study of law in the office of Struble& Kenney, of Toledo, and in 1880 was admitted to the Iowa bar. In the fall of 1882 he moved to Emmetsburg, where he has been in continuous practice to the present time He has been identified with much of the important litigation heard in the courts of this county, his legal ability and acumen having early been recognized. He has always enjoyed the reputation of being a sound and safe counselor, while in the trial of cases he is determined and persistent in the prosecution of his cause. A forceful and effective speaker, he is a strong pleader and has been remarkable successful throughout the years of his connection with the bar.

On September 25, 1882, Mr. O'Connor was married to Miss Mary C. Whiteley, of Toledo, Iowa, and they became the parents of six children, of whom three survive: Charles F., a farmer in Moody county, South Dakota; Mary, who is the wife of Ed E. Hodgkins, of Quincy, Illinois; and Leo J, a farmer, who lives in Emmetsburg. Mr. O'Connor is a member of Estherville Lodge, No. 528, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Knights of Columbus. He is a communicant of the Roman Catholic church.

Debbie Clough Gerischer
Iowa History Site

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