and David (m. Annette Bigier); step-mother to 6 children: Aria Musser (m. Paul Green), Sandra Musser (m. Sylvan Steward), Jim Musser, Frank Herald (m. Chris O'Brien), Gerald Herald (deceased) and Karen Herald (m. Robert Lawson). She is also foster mother to 10 children. They operated the Standard Station and U-Haul's in Decorah. Loretta married Donald Orris 4 May 1953 and have 7 children: Kathy (m. Walt Hepker), Gary (m. Jeannine Killion), Bruce (m. Sharyn Del Ray), Terry (m. Kristy Kindle) Randall (m. April Smith), Joann (m. David Brooks) and Cynthia (m. Jeff Wilson). Rose was married 17 Apr 1956 to Steven Frana (b. 23 Jul 1925 - d. 13 May 1974) and has 8 children: Michael (m. Ramona Lael Wesselman), John (m. Jane Collins), Beth, Chris (m. Gary Shimek), Paul (m. Jean Dessel), Sharon (m. Larry Phillips) and Timothy. Rose has been employed at the A & J Agency and lives in rural Calmar.

Frank was a genial smiling Irishman who was always whistling a tune. He attended school in rural Bluffton, Valdres Business College and Loras Academy. He was a teacher in the rural schools, a rural mail carrier in the Bluffton area using his motorcycle to get around the bluffs to deliver mail. He spent most of his life in the grocery business including the Bluffton Store, Diamond Brothers, By-Rite, Ditto Food Market and Jack and Jill until his death. He was the leader of the O’Brien Harmonizers that played for dances and weddings in the 1930’s. He also played for Nordic Fest and for a number of years was a contender in the Old-Time-Fiddler contests. He could play all the Irish jigs, reels, waltzes as well as many of the Norwegian favorites. He enjoyed writing poetry, some of which was published in the Decorah Newspapers following World War I. He served in the Army during WWI and was proud of the fact that his 4 sons served in the forces in WWI I for the country he loved so much. He never spoke ill of any one and died at the age of 80 on 28 Aug 1974.

Bessie has lived and worked in Winneshiek Co. all her life. She attended rural schools, Immaculate Conception Academy Boarding School (now St. Benedict's), and took a business course at Valdres College. She helped Frank run the Bluffton store and clerked in various stores in downtown Decorah. Bessie worked at Winneshiek Co. Hospital for many years and is still a volunteer there at the age of 100. She supervised the making of mattresses in cooperation with the National Youth Administration. She cooked for the priests and sisters of St. Benedict’s for 17 years.

Bessie celebrated her 100th birthday 23 Oct 1994 and is still driving her car to church and the grocery store as well as maintaining her home. She spends her time praying, doing fancy work, as well as working on scrap books. She is truly a remarkable woman with concern for all and a smile and a “cup of coffee” for everyone who enters her home.

O’Brien, Patrick and Ann (Farrell)

(Marcella A. Rooney)

Patrick O’Brien was born 28 Jan 1839 in County Cavan, Ireland. He came to America with his family when he was 14 years old. His father, Andrew O’Brien was born 2 Aug 1803 in County Cavan, Ireland and died 20 Mar 1895 in Bluffton, IA at age 92. His mother was Ann (Nancy) Riley born 14 Jun 1809 in Ireland and died 11 Dec 1895 in Bluffton, They are buried in St. Bridget’s Cemetery. Patrick had 2 brothers and 3 sisters: Owen (d. 11 Mar 1919) married 22 Dec 1868 to Mary Farrell (b. 1848 - d. 13 Apr 1921). They had 11 children: Andrew, Mary, Owen, Luke, Catherin, Patrick, Francis, Ann, Elizabeth, James and Thomas. Luke (b. 7 Feb 1836 - d.15 Jan 1918) married Ellen McConnell (b. 1 Aug 1851 - 26 Jul 1913). They had 12 children: Terrence, Patrick, Fred, Molly, Alice, Bess, Ellen, William, James, Bridget, Ann and Luke. Mary married Michael Skelly and they had 5 children. John, James, Katherine, Nelly and Gertrude. Susan was married to Thomas McCormick and they had 10 children: Thomas, James, John, Agnes, Patrick, Phillip, Andrew, Susan, Mary Ann, and Bridget. Bridget (b. 1834 - d. 10 Apr 1909) married Terrance Carolan (b. 1831 - d. 17 Jan 1921).

Patrick married Ann Farrell 17 Mar 1872 in Bluffton, IA. Ann was born in LeRoy, New York on 11 Apr 1854. Her parents were Patrick Farrell (b.15 Aug 1798 in Ireland - d. 12 Nov 1887 in Bluffton) and Catherine Matthews (b. 12 Apr 1897 in Ireland - d. 31 Aug 1883 in Bluffton). Ann had 5 brothers and 2 sisters: Mary (b. 1848 - d. 13 Apr 1921 m. Owen O'brien) Patrick’s brother. They had 11 children listed above. Patrick (b. 1851 - d. 12 Nov 1887) never married and was killed by a falling tree in Minnesota. Eugene (b. 22 Oct 1859 - d. 25 Sep 1933) married Charlotte Zeller. They had no children and are buried at McAllen, TX. Frank (b. 16 May 1861 - d. 23 Oct 1947) was not married. He died from a brain injury resulting from a fall from a barn at the T A. McConnell farm. Joseph (b. 1863 died as a small child); John (b. 1867 died as a child); Catherine (b. 1865 died as a child).

Ann and Patrick had 12 children: Andrew (b. 26 Dec 1874 - d. 15 May 1940) never married and lived in Winneshiek Co; Patrick (b. 29 Jun 1876 - d. 13 Sep 1922) married Amelia Molly Bergman (b. 7 Jul 1885 - d. 28 Oct 1971) and had 5 children: Eileen, John, Margaret, Charlotte (m. McCabe), Ruth (m. Webb); Luke (b. 16 Sep 1877 - d. 1944) married Margaret Lynch (b. 15 Mar 1878- d. 20 Jan 1960) and had 4 children: Raymond (m. Vernie Malone), Agnes (m. Walters), Rose Marie (d. as a child) and Annette (m. Olson); Owen (b. 14 Jun 1879- d. 7 Feb 1963) never married; John (b. 16 Nov 1882 - d. 8 Jun 1904) never married; Joseph (b. 8 Feb 1881 - d. 26 May 1953) married Catherine Drew (b. 17 May 1889 - d. 11 Dec 1960) no children; Mary Ann (b. 28 Oct 1884 - d. 29 Nov 1955) married Ed Fuchs (b. 19 Oct 1871 - d. 5 Dec 1950) and had 12 children: Paul, Marie, Lillian, Mildred, Raymond, William, James, Lawrence, George, John, Thomas and Robert. Thomas (b. 7 Sep 1886 - d. 23 Jan 1965) married Sarah Jennie McConnell (b. 11 May 1893 - d. 2 Aug 1981) had no children and lived on the homestead in Bluffton; Catherine (b. 15 Jun 1888 - d. 2 Jun 1967) married Terry McConnell (b. 27 Sep 1885-d. 13 Oct 1975) and had 7 children: Terrance, Paul, Leo, Anna Marie, Agnes, Marvin and Lucille; Nell (b. 25 Mar 1890) married Harry Cosgrove (b. 15 Jun 1888 - d. 27 Feb 1976) and


Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth
dates of people that maybe living is not included.

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