Tama County Iowa Biographies

Peter Gannon

From A History of Tama County, Iowa Vol II; Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1910.

Peter Gannon, a prosperous farmer on section 19, Highland township, was born in McHenry county, Illinois, November 19, 1850, and is a son of Luke and Margaret (Fallon) Gannon, both natives of Ireland. The former died in 1870, aged fifty-five years, and the latter died in 1885, aged seventy years. Luke Gannon came to the United States at the age of seventeen, in 1832, and spent sixteen weeks on the ocean, besides being three times shipwrecked; Margaret Fallon spent thirteen weeks on the ocean, and was thought to have made a quick passage. Luke Gannon went to Illinois where he secured employment at Lockport, on the old Illinois canal. Later he entered land and settled in McHenry county, Illinois, and carried on a farm there until his death. Of the eight children, seven survive, namely: Catherine, wife of Peter Minnon, of Chicago; Mary A., unmarried, lives at Crystal Lake, Illinois; James, a resident of Illinois; Peter; Michael H., of Chicago; Thomas, of South Dakota; and Margaret Malone, living in Illinois.

Mr. Gannon spent his boyhood on his fathers' farm in McHenry county, Illinois, where he remained until twenty-four years of age. In 1874 he came to Tama county with a man for whom he had been working in Illinois, and there was put in charge of the farm he now occupies, which his employer had purchased. He conducted the farm on a partnership basis until 1901, when he bought it himself. At the time he began cultivating and clearing it, the farm consisted of wild land, unimproved, and Mr. Gannon now has stocked it and made modern improvements, so that his farm of two hundred and sixty-three acres is now in fine condition. At one time he owned eighty acres on the southern line of the county, in Highland township, which he sold. Though his early education was meager, Mr. Gannon has made the most of his opportunities, and is well posted on the affairs of the day; he is thoroughly enterprising and energetic, and is one of the leading citizens of his part of the county. He broke his land from the sod, and has worked hard all his life, but has lately turned over the farm work to his sons. He is a Democrat, and has always favored that party; he has served a number of years as trustee and school officer. He was one of the organizers of the Citizens' Savings Bank at Gilman, Iowa, in which he holds stock; also one of the organizers and stockholders of the Farmers' Elevator at Gilman; also part owner of the opera house at Gilman. He is affiliated with Cyrus Lodge, No. 338, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Gilman, and with the chapter at Marshalltown. He and his wife belong to the Knights of Pythias and is a member of the Mutual Benefit Association of Gilman; and he was a member of the Congregational church at Gilman. Though interested in public affairs, he is not an office-seeker, and though elected to the office of township clerk, he would not qualify.

Mr. Gannon married, October 17, 1888, Florence McClure, born near Legrand, Marshall county, Iowa, February 20, 1862, and a daughter of James A. and Mary (Crawford) McClure. Her father died July 4, 1905, aged seventy-five years, and her mother, who was born July 23, 1835, resides at Gilman, Iowa. They came West and located at Benton county, Iowa, in 1854; they came as far as Rock Island by train, and drove the remainder of the journey. In 1855 they came to Marshall county, and settled near Legrand, where they lived on a farm until 1899, and then removed to Gilman, where Mr. McClure died. Of their eight children, seven survive, namely: E.C., of Alliance, Nebraska; Mary, wife of W.H. Vosburg, of Gilman, Iowa; Byron B., of Marshalltown, Iowa; Lloyd; Frank S., of Gilman; Alice, wife of E.J. Robb, of Marshalltown, Iowa; and Florence, the fourth child. Mr. Gannon and his wife have three children, as follows: Fannie A., a school teacher, of Gilman, Iowa; Raymond H., living at home, and John C., also at home.

Submitted by: Cathy Joynt Labath
The Irish in Iowa

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