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Posted By: Sharon R Becker (email)
Date: 4/19/2021 at 17:03:39

James H. McConlogue, Mason City

James H. McConlogue, an enterprising and prominent attorney who has practiced his profession at Mason City, Iowa, for over a quarter of a century, is a self-made man, having acquired his legal education by his own efforts and after long struggle. He has achieved professional and financial success and is recognized as one of the leading members of the bar in the county. Mr. McConlogue was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 5, 1856, son of Charles and Ann (Harrity) McConlogue, both natives of Ireland, who emigrated to the United States as children. They were married at Philadelphia and in 1859 the family moved to Beloit, Wisconsin, thence in a few years to Illinois, and a few years later to Cerro Gordo county, Iowa. On this last trip James walked most of the way and drove the cattle. They settled on a farm, where the mother died three months later, and the father lived there until his decease, in 1882.

The boyhood of James H. McConlogue was spent on his father's farm and he attended district school winters, helping with the farm work during the summer months. As soon as he was old enough he began working for neighboring farmers, and after leaving home he became employed as a section hand for a railroad company, walking over the track nights and attending school days for two winters. He was at that time very desirous of acquiring a good education and managed to save enough to take a course at Notre Dame University. He taught school and engaged in various other work, reading law during his spare time, and when he had saved enough entered the Iowa State University, from which he graduated with the law class of 1882. He taught school the following winter. He began the practice of his profession at Mason City in the fall of 1883, and soon had established himself in the confidence and esteem of the community. After practicing on his own account for a time he entered into partnership with R. J. Miller, under the firm name of McConlogue & Miller, which lasted two years, and in 1890 he entered into partnership with John D. Glass, under the firm name of Glass & McConlogue, which in 1898 became Glass, McConlogue & Witwer. Mr. Witwer retired from the firm and Remley J. Glass, son of the senior member of the firm, was taken in, the name becoming Glass, McConlogue & Glass.

Mr. McConlogue is recognized as one of the leading members of his profession in his part of the state and has been called upon at times to assist in the trial of cases in other states. Mr. McConlogue has a commanding personnel and is very energetic and possibly naturally aggressive, which characteristics, coupled with his elementary education and his thorough law reading, enabled him to reach the front rank of the profession in his county and district, and to attain a prominence in all social and public affairs interesting in his locality. He is very industrious and careful in the preparation of his cases, and is sought for in important cases and has added to his reputation in the defense of some important criminal cases. One of the most noteworthy cases in which has appeared as counsel is that of the state of Iowa vs. Lottie Hughes, in which was secured the acquittal of the wife, who had been charged with murder. This trial lasted for a period of seven weeks. Mr. McConlogue is prominent in the State and American National Bar Association, of which he is a member. Although a stanch Democrat he did not support his ticket with regard to the presidential nominee in 1896. He served several times as chairman of the Democratic Central Committee, a member of the library board, mayor of Mason City member of the State Tax Commission, member of Board of Control which borought about more humane methods in prison reform. He was a member of the state militia.

Mr. McConlogue married, in 1885, at Rockwell, Iowa, Miss Mary C. Barragy, who died in September, 1896. Of five children born to them, two sons and two daughters are still living, namely: Mrs. Anna Mae Gram, M. Irene, Raymond B. and James H. McConlogue Jr. In religious belief Mr. McConlogue is a most devout Catholic and has always taken great interest in the history of the church. He has also taken a most active part in supporting its good work. He is a man of broad opinions, having many warm personal friends among all denominations, and is able to attract and hold the affection of those who become acquainted with his high character and kindly spirit. He has the highest esteem of all who have had dealings with him and is identified with many good causes and movements in the community.

NOTE: James H. McConlogue was born December 5, 1856, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and died February 26, 1917, Des Moines, Iowa. His wife, Mary C. "Mae" Barragy, was born January 16, 1863, the daughter of John (1835-1890) and Ann Jane (Brady) Barragy (1837-1910). She died September 28, 1896. They were interred in Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Iowa.

SOURCE: Wheeler, J.H., ed. History of Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Vol. I. Lewis Publ Co. Chicago. 1910.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, November of 2017


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