IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.


Thomas Keleher, who is now living a retired life in the enjoyment of a well earned competency and is a resident of Elkader, is a son of the Emerald Isle, coming of one of those enterprising Irish families who have accomplished so much in the development and upbuilding of Clayton County.

He is one of the honored pioneers of these parts, having settled within the limits of the county in 1855.

The birth of our subject occurred in Waterford County, Ireland, in 1833, and of that country his father, Tobias, was also a native. The family removed to America in 1848, when Thomas Keleher was a lad of fifteen years, and their first location was in New York City. The father's death occurred in Clayton County, His wife bore the maiden name of Catherine Mulvey, and both parents were adherents of the Catholic Church, Mrs. Keleher died in Clayton County.

Thomas Keleher came to Clayton County in 1855 and soon after settled on a farm in Boardman Township, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits, improving and greatly increasing the value of his property. For about thirty-five years he continued to operate his farm, which is one of the most desirable in the township and which is still in the possession of our subject. The place comprises two hundred and forty acres of good land, which is improved with fences, desirable residence, barns and outbuildings.

In 1891 Mr. Keleher retired from the active and arduous duties pertaining to running a farm and since that time has been a resident of the city.

In 1860 our subject was united in marriage with Miss Mary Direen, who departed this life on January 19, 1878, leaving four sons and one daughter, who in order of birth are as follows: William, Jeremiah, Frank, Edward and Anna. Thomas Keleher married his present wife in 1881. Prior to this her name was Anna Roach, and by this union one son and three daughters have been born, namely: John, Mary, Stella and Chloe. The parents are zealous workers in the Catholic Church, in the faith of which they are rearing their children and they are also giving them the benefits of a good education. Thomas Keleher, who is favorably known in Clayton County, has actively participated in its improvement; he has also been industrious and enterprising, attending strictly to his own affairs, By these means he has succeeded in acquiring ample means for providing himself and family with the necessities of life. Commencing at the bottom round of the ladder he worked upward step by step, and by persevering energy and well directed efforts acquired his large and valuable property. In regard to his polities he is a Democrat, using his influence and voting for the support of that party.

source: Portrait andBiographical Record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton Counties;Chicago: Chapman Pub. Co., 1894; pg. 175
-transcribed by Becky Teubner

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