Kane County Biographies

History of Kane County (Illinois) by Joslyn and Joslyn,

Published by Pioneer Press - Chicago 1908

©2001 Transcribed by Kimberly Torp


CHARLES H. DARLING was born in Aurora, March 4, 1872. His father, DUANE S. DARLING, was a native of Illinois and was one of the pioneer engineers in the employ of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. He served during the Civil war as a member of the Forty-second Illinois Volunteer Infantry, giving valuable aid to the country in its struggle to preserve the Union intact. While he never figured in public life, he was a man of industry whose sterling worth gave him the respect of his associates. He married CLARA SHIBLEY, who was born in Aurora and was a daughter of RALPH SHIBLEY, who came to this city during the formative period of its development. He was well known and held in the highest respect by those with whom business or social relations brought him in contact. His daughter, Mrs. DARLING, died in 1885, and DUANE S. DARLING, the father of our subject, passed away in 1908.

CHARLES H. DARLING, after acquiring his education in the public schools began preparation for the legal profession. He read alone for a time and afterward entered the office of CAPTAIN A.C. LITTLE, who directed his studies until he was qualified for admission to the bar in 1906. He then engaged in practice in his native city for a short time, but is now located in South Bend, Indiana, in order to fill the position of United States commissioner, to which he was appointed by President ROOSEVELT in May 1908. In the practice of law Mr. DARLING has been very successful, having charge of a number of important cases, is strong in argument and logical in his deductions and if earnest effort and devotion to his client's interests will win success, CHARLES H. DARLING will become a successful man.

In 1901 Mr. DARLING was married to Miss LOUISE HOTOPP, a native of Kendall county, Illinois, and they now have three children: CHARLES, IRENE and DUANE.


NH > LaSalle Co & Kane Co, IL

JONATHAN FOWLER, attorney-at-law, although he is not engaged actively in practice at the present time, was born in Mission Township; LaSalle County, Illinois, July 2, 1850, his birthplace being at Mission Point. He is one of five children of JONATHAN and SARAH E. (PHILLIPS) FOWLER and is of English lineage. The ancestry of the family in America is traced back to PHILIP FOWLER, an early resident of New England, who was probably born in Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, about 1590. He embarked with his family on the Mary and John, of London, ROBERT SAYERS, master, and arrived in New England in May 1634.

THOMAS FOWLER, grandfather of JONATHAN FOWLER, was a native of New Hampshire and became a farmer and Baptist minister, though not regularly ordained. Removing westward to Illinois about 1845, he settled in LaSalle county, where he purchased a tract of land and followed farming until old age prevented his further efforts in that direction. He died March 16, 1872, at the very venerable age of eighty-six years, having long survived his wife, Mrs. OLIVE (HALE) FOWLER, who was born July 14, 1790, and died April 19, 1850. They were the parents of three children: OLIVE B. born in 1812; THOMAS MILTON, in 1814, and JONATHAN, in 1817.
The last named was born and reared in New Hampshire and followed agricultural pursuits as a life work. He arrived in this state in the '40's and purchased government land in Mission township, LaSalle county. Not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made upon the place but with characteristic energy he began its development and transformed it into a productive farm. He wedded SARAH E. PHILLIPS, a native of New Hampshire, where also occurred the birth of her parents, EBENEZER and HANNAH (EAGER) PHILLIPS. Both of her parents died in the east, her father at the age of seventy-five years and her mother when eighty-one years of age. His birth occurring August 11, 1766, and his death on the 14th of April, 1851, while Mrs. PHILLIPS was born June 9, 1778, and died December 16, 1859. They were the parents of seven children, all now deceased. Mr. PHILLIPS devoted his life to farming and served his country as a soldier of the war of 1812. He too, was of English lineage.
The married life of JONATHAN FOWLER and SARAH E. PHILLIPS was of comparative short duration, for the former died in 1850 when about thirty-three years of age. He was a man of considerable local prominence and influence and held various township offices, including that of justice of the peace, in which position he served for several years. His decisions were strictly fair and impartial and he won the respect and honor of all with whom he came in contact. His widow survived him, remaining upon the old home, and later she became the wife of EDMUND S. FOWLER, who though of the same family name, was not a relative of her first husband. She died November 4, 1896, at the age of seventy-nine years and two months. Her second husband passed away in Florida. There were no children by that union, but by her first marriage she had five children, all son, of whom three are now living: CHASE N., a lawyer of Ottawa, Illinois; ALBERT J., a farmer residing near Sheridan; and JONATHAN of Aurora.

The last named was reared upon the old homestead farm in LaSalle county and after acquainted himself with the primary branches of learning he attended the Fowler Institute of Newark, Illinois, and subsequently was graduated from the old Battle Ground Collegiate Institute, of Battle Ground, Indiana. Later he engaged in teaching in various places for about eight years and in the meantime was devoting his leisure hours to the study of law, finishing his reading in Ottawa. He was then admitted to the bar there in 1880 and practice for a short time in that city, whence he removed to Nebraska, becoming a member of the bar of Dakota county. There he continued in active practice until 1899, when he returned to Illinois and made his home in Aurora, although he had no office here, for a few years. He afterward engaged in practice at Ottawa until 1906, when he returned to Aurora, but on account of ill health did not open an office.

On the 24th of March, 1891, Mr. FOWLER was married to Miss MARY E. BARNARD, a daughter of JOSEPH and MARIA (GERRISH) BARNARD and a native of Hopkinton, New Hampshire. Her parents were also natives of that state. Her paternal grandfather was born at Hopkinton, May 6, 1795, and always resided there. He became noted for his enterprise in the cultivation of improved cattle and sheep and was also an extensive owner of real estate. In community affairs he took an active and helpful part, serving as selectman of his town in 1837-38, while in 1839 and 1840 he was a representative to the general court. In June, 1816, he married Miss MARIAM JACKMAN, of Concord. Mr. and Mrs. BARNARD had five children. The father died March 15, 1870, while his wife passed away September 17, 1869.

In the maternal line Mrs. FOWLER traces her ancestry back to Hon. ABIEL FOSTER, who was her great-great-grandfather. He was a resident of Canterbury, New Hampshire, and represented his district in the first, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh congresses of the United States, being a member of the national law making body for the greater part of the time during twenty-one years. He died in 1806. ALBIEL FOSTER GERRISH, the grandfather of Mrs. FOWLER was born at Boscawen, New Hampshire, March 7, 1806 and died at West Creek, Indiana June 10, 1884. He was married January 18, 1830 to ELIZA DODGE, who was born in Boscawen, January 12, 1806, and passed away in Salina, Illinois, September 19, 1881. He lived at West Creek, Lake county, Indiana, from 1856 until the time of his death. Unto Mr. and Mrs. GERRISH were born five children, all of whom came to the West to live except Mrs. MARIA BARNARD, who remained in the East. She traced her ancestry back to JOHN ROGERS, the first Christian martyr, who was burned at the stake at Smithfield, England, February 14, 1555, in Queen Mary's reign.
JOSEPH BARNARD, the father of Mrs. FOWLER, was born at Hopkinton, New Hampshire, and always resided there with the exception of a period of three years spent in Massachusetts. He learned the stone cutter's trade there, after which he returned to his old home and engaged in clerking in a store for several years. He afterward turned his attention to the lumber business, which he followed in Hopkinton and also carried on farming for a number of years. For a considerable period he resided in Contoocook, where he was for a time associated in business with ABRAM BROWN and JOHN BURNHAM. After the death of his father he resided on the old BARNARD homestead, which he greatly improved. As an agriculturist he was much interested in raising cattle, keeping a herd of Guernsey cattle that had been bred upon the place for more than forty years. He was also building agent of the Contoocook Valley Railroad from Contocook to Hillsboro. During the opening year of the Civil war he served as enrolling officer of the twentieth district of New Hampshire and in 1870-71 was representative to the general court, in 1882 was appointed commissioner of forestry of Merrimack county court, in 1889 was elected a member of the constitutional convention of the state. On the 26th of October, 1849, he married MARIA GERRISH, of Boscawen, and unto them were born nine children. His death occurred upon a farm in Hopkinton. Both his father and his grandfather bore the name of JOSEPH BARNARD and the latter married the widow of Captain JOHN HALE, who fought throughout the Revolutionary War.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. FOWLER has been blessed with one daughter, MARION EDNA. The mother is a member of the First Congregational church, while Mr. Fowler believes more strongly in the Methodist faith. His political allegiance is given the democracy but he had never been a politician in the sense of office seeking. He is well known in Aurora, where he now makes his home and has an extensive circle of warm friends here.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

Elgin's First Catholic Parishioner

During the time James T. Gifford, the whole-souled, generous man who founded the town of Elgin (whose kindness and aid to early settlers was appreciated by them and will not soon be forgotten by their descendants), was building his log house, Elgin's first structure, GeorgeTyler, Elgin's first Catholic parishioner appeared on the scene. Mr. Tyler was born in Claremont, New Hampshire, November 28, 18oo. His parents were both Episcopalians and his uncle, the Rev. Daniel Barber, was a minister of high standing in that creed, and was widely known in New England.

At the age of 20, young Tyler left home for Georgia, where another maternal uncle was extensively engaged in the milling business. There he remained for some time teaching school, an occupation he enjoyed. He was a man of superior education, being a master of both the Latin and Greek languages. From Georgia, he traveled to the other states of the South, and lived for a time in Texas, always engaged in the same profession of educating the young.

In 1835 he returned to the North, stopping in Cincinnati, where his sister, who had become a member of a community of the Sisters of Charity, resided. There he learned with a shock that his mother and all his brothers and sisters had become Catholics, as had also his uncle, the Rev. Daniel Barber, and all of his family. He was shocked, because he had always hitherto entertained prejudiced notions of the Church of Rome. He began to investigate, however, and in a short time was baptized and received into the church by Archbishop Purcell.

Of the eight children born to his parents, Noah Tyler and Abigail Barber, five devoted earnest lives to the faith they professed. Their four daughters, Rosetta A., Sarah M., Martha L., and Catherine, became Sisters of Charity, known in religion as Sisters Genevieve, DeSales, Beatrice, and Mary James. Their son William became a priest, and was afterward elevated to the see of Hartford as its first Bishop. In Cincinnati, Mr. Tyler purchased a horse, and rode all the way to Chicago, thence he came to where Elgin is now located. He met Mr. James T. Gifford, as before mentioned, stopped with him for a short time and helped him in the construction of his log house.

Being pleased with the appearance of the place and its environments he determined to settle on land in the vicinity. Leaving Mr Gifford's place, he crossed the river, traveled about two miles northward, camped under a thorn-apple tree beside the creek which now bears his name, and in that neighborhood marked his claim and built a home. The following year, 1836, he was pleased to welcome to the West from their old home in New Hampshire, his aged parents and his brothers, Calvin I. and Israel B. J. Tyler, who took tracts of land adjoining his own.

To this place a number of Irish families came bearing letters of introduction from Bishop Tyler Many of these people took land to the westward, at the place long known as the "Barrens" or the "Irish Settlement." There the first Catholic church in the vicinity was built; and much of it was the handiwork of Israel Tyler. George and Calvin married young ladies of Rutland township, the Misses McCartney, who were sisters.

At the home of the former, in 1837, the first mass in what was later the Parish of Elgin, was said, the celebrant being Father De St. Palais.

Israel Tyler died in 1844. His father, Noah died in 1845, and the mother, Mrs. Abigail Tyler, died in 1857. Their remains quietly repose beneath the, sod in the old cemetery near Gilbert's, not far from where stood the old "Barrens' Church" A stone erected to the memory of Noah Tyler marks their resting place.

Calvin Tyler, with his family, became residents of the City of Elgin about 1865, and here remained until the 8o's. After the death of his wife he went to California, and died there in the, latter part of October, 1891. His remains rest at Santa Maria in that State. Two of his sons and a daughter, with their families, still reside in the community to which their father came in his youth. Four sons followed their father to California, and a younger daughter, after her marriage, went with her husband to Michigan.

In 1872 George Tyler, with his family, moved to Ellis county, Texas, where he remained about a year, and thence, went to Williamson county in that state, and located on a site about three miles from what is now known as the city of Taylor. He died there December 8, 1897. He was attended in his last moments by the Rev. John B. Murphy, the pastor of the parish.

His son, John Tyler, is the present owner of a large tract of land of the old Tyler estate in Texas. He is a prosperous man, a devout Catholic and a generou's contributor to the temporal success of every enterprise in his parish. The venerable Sister Mary DeSales was the last survivor of the family of Noah Tyler. Her death occurred at St. Joseph's Academy, Emitsburg, Md., Aug. 13, 1899, in the 96th year of her age. She was long a zealous worker at Detroit, Mich., where her memory is revered.



From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

Mr. Owen Burke was among the first settlers of Elgin. He was born in County Limerick, Ireland. He came to Elgin in 1837, finding employment with James T. Gifford, the founder of our city. Mr. Gifford at the time was giving a building lot to every machinist who would build upon it, also to every denomination that wished to build a church. Mr. Burke was offered a lot, but as he was going to take up land himself, he could not accept Mr. Gifford's offer, but informed him that he would accept one upon which to build a Catholic church. Mr. Gifford said that when he was ready to build a church, he would give the lot.

When Father Feeley assumed charge of the parish, he learned of Mr. Gifford's offer. At this time, however, the best lots were gone. The Catholics were given the choice of what was left. They selected the one on the southeast corner of Gifford and Fulton streets Owen Burke's bome was the first in which mass was celebrated in the village of Elgin. Mr. Burke at that time owned the farm now known as the Mink farm.

In 1849 he moved to Rutland township and lived there for over forty years. He was, a zealous church member and friend to priests and sisters his home always bore a warm welcome for them and for several years they came there and felt that his house was a home to them.
Mrs. Burke died October 22, 1891. Mr. Burke went to live with his daughter in Chicago and died there November 30, 1892. 'Three children still survive him, Daniel Burke of Elgin, Mrs. Thomas Adams and Mrs. Michael Murphy of Chicago.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

Timothy Lynch was born in December, 1807, in the city of Cork, Ireland, where his father was in business, and his early training was along the lines which he followed until his death. When thirty years of age he came to America, locating at Rochester, New York, where he engaged in business until he came to Elgin with his family, in 1845. The journey from Buffalo to Chicago was made by boat around the lakes, and then by emigrant wagon to Elgin, where the family arrived on the first of September. The next morning he went to work on the-west side mill race, and the same winter worked on the Waverly House. The following spring Mr. Lynch started a tannery on the west side, but shortly afterwards discontinued it, and engaged in general mer-chandising, which business in a few years he made one of the most successful in Elgin.
Mr. Lynch was a public-spirited citizen, always forward in any-progressive movement. When the civil war broke out in 1861, he contributed liberally to the Union cause.

Always a practical Catholic, in the church he was a zealous-worker and liberal giver. He was widely known among the Catholic clergy, many of whom made his home their headquarters when in the vicinity, and frequently celebrated mass there before the building of thechurch.
Honored and respected in the community, he died November 20, 1872, with all the blessings of the church.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

Eugene Lynch, the eldest son of Timothy Lynch, was born in Cork, Ireland, June 3, 1833. In 1838 with his parents he came to America and finally with them and the rest of their family to Elgin where all settled in 1845.

Sharing the responsibilities for the support of the family with his father, the aid rendered helped not a little to secure for the latter the firm business foothold he soon afterward obtained. In early manhood Mr. Lynch married a Miss Holland and began business for himself at Clintonville.

His young wife with her child died soon after he went to Clintonville, and he then returned to Elgin and continued in business with his father until the breaking out of the rebellion, when like his brothers he gave his services in defense of the Union.

On November 4, 1867, he was married at Torrington, Litchfield County, Conn., to Miss Margaret Batters, and again engaged in business in Elgin, which he conducted successfully and with satisfaction to his patrons until he retired with a competency in 1898 when he was succeeded by his son, Timothy J. Lynch.

During Mr. Lynch's long residence in Elgin he was well and favorably known, his original jokes and droll expressions were always a source of pleasure to his friends and companions who thought a group for pleasure was incomplete without the presence of "the deacon." Mr. Lynch served several terms as a mernber of the city council from the ward in which be resided.

ln the early spring of 1902, in the apartments of the veterans of the Grand Army, an organization Mr. Lynch felt proud to be a member of, he suffered a stroke of paralysis which ultimately resulted in his death, June 26, 1902. His funeral services were held at St. Mary's Church from whence his remains were conducted with military honors to the Bluff City cemetery, where, they repose in the family lot beside those of his son, Timothy J. Lynch.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

The late Bernard Healy may well be enumerated among the very old settlers of Elgin. Coming to the "village " of Elgin, as it was called, in 1842, he materially aided the old Catholic settlers of the "village and its vicinity in the establishment of a Catholic congregation in Elgin with a resident priest. Mr. Healy was born in the vicinity of Dublin, the capital of Ireland, and when a youth, went to reside in the city of Manchester, England, where he spent very many of his years. In Manchester he learned the trade of saddle and harness making, and he eventually became President of the Saddle and Harness Makers' Guild, or, as we would now call it, "union" of that great manufacturing city.

On coming to Elgin, Mr. Healy very soon entered the business of manufacturing harness in a frame building on Chicago street, and from the start did a thriving trade. He employed a 'number of workmen in his business, and was always spoken of as a model employer. During his residence in England he had been much interested in Sunday school teaching, and in lecture courses, debating societies, and kindred adjuncts to Catholic church, work by means of
which the Catholic movement in that country had attained vast pro-portions. He had also, during his residence in, England, become attached to the economic and political views of the Chartist organization, whose contention was based on the propriety and reasonableness of the recovery by the English people of many constitutional rights that had been filched from them by the governing classes of that country. His adhesion to this school of political thought in England made Mr. Healy an uncompromising advocate of the rights of man everywhere. In the advocacy of his belief in any subject, he used terse, plain and straightforward words, and in all matters of business, as well as of principle, he was open and consistent both in word and in act.
A self-made man, he prized education above everything else. He was a patron and friend of the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, and regarded that famous institution with the highest esteem.

Some years ago, Mr. Healy with a few others, made an earnest effort to secure for the Catholics of Elgin a cemetery of their own, but the effort failed owing to circumstances. Its failure is now to be much regretted, owing to the constantly increasing difficulty of obtaining suitable and accessible cemetery grounds in the vicinity of Elgin.

Bernard Healy died in Elgin in 1896, being perhaps at the time of his death the very last of the old business men of Elgin who were his associates when it was a little country mart. He had seen great changes from the time that he came to the little hamlet until he died in the vigorous and growing city; but to the end he remained the same straightforward, honest and truthful man, never varying from his path of duty as he saw it in life.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

In the year 1847 Mr. Thomas O'Connell came to Elgin, and as he had received an academic education in Ireland before coming to America, very soon found that the Elgin of that day was but a sorry place for a scholar, and a scholar of the academic order at that. Mr. O'Connell then settled at Gilbert's, and to him may with truth be awarded the distinction of teaching the first Catholic, school in this vicinity, and it is more than likely the first Catholic school in Kane and the counties adjoining, save Cook. After teaching the Gilbert's school for some time, Mr. O'Connell became connected with the Galena and Chicago Union railway, on its advent to Gilbert's, and after filling the office of station agent for some time, followed the road in its building and, in various capacities until it reached Galena. After filling the office of station agent at Galena, Mr. O'Connell returned to his old home in Gilbert's at which place he died in 1861. He was an educated man and a good man His demise, which was rather sudden, was very sincerely regretted by the people of Rutland. John O'Connell, the well known tobacconist of Elgin, is a son of the deceased.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

Stafford McOsker, during his lifetime one of the best known and best esteemed citizens and business men of Elgin for years, moved to the village of Elgin in 1848, from the vicinity of Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York. He left behind one of the loveliest parts of the ever lovely Hudson River country to settle in a land of promise, invit-ing in appearance, but of undeveloped beauty; but he lived to see and to take part in that development, and to behold the little village to which he came in the early forties become a thriving and prosperous city.
Stafford McOsker was a native of the County Derry, Ireland, and was born in 1821. At a very early age he came to the United States, and first lived for a time at Brooklyn, New York; from whence moving to near Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, in the same state, where he resided for a considerable period. He thence moved to the City of Paterson, New Jersey, in which, even then a lively city, he established a merchant tailoring business, there continuing until 1848, when, as stated, he came to Elgin, where he at once reentered the merchant tailoring trade. In this he prospered, and in this continued up to and until a very short time before his death.

Mr. McOsker was all his life a man of very extensive reading and a lover of literature. He was what may be well called a self-made scholar. His acquaintance with English literature was very extensive, and he exhibited a versitality of knowledge that showed him to have a mind well stored with the fruits of study and of research. He loved to quote in conversation from his favorite authors, and he had what one might call a personal fondness for writers who "hold the mirror up to nature," as for Shakepeare, and for those of deep analytical thought on philosophical, moral and religious subjects. He had also in his youth read medicine quite extensively as a student; and while it existed in Elgin, he was an active member of the Young Men's Association, the first literary society in the city, and one that in its, time had as its members the best talent in Elgin.

Mr. McOsker was a most energetic business man. His trade all over Kane County was very large, and his reputation as an honorable man made him a name well known all over this vicinity. He was a faithful and prominent member of St. Mary's congregation during his long residence in this city, and in every movement connected with its advancement he was an actor, and a generous and an earnest one at that. His death occurred in 1874, from paralysis. He had received a stroke of the dread warning the previous year, which had caused him to resign business, but he bore the visitation with Christian resignation and with sincere Christian patience. He died as he had lived, a Christian man at peace with all the world and with a firm reliance on the goodness and mercy of God.

Hundreds of friends followed him to his last resting place, and many to this day mention "Mac's" genial and friendly ways, as those of a true friend, and of a good neighbor and spirited citizen.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

Patrick Mann, who is now nearly eighty-eight years of age, came to Elgin from his native home, in County West Meath, Ireland, in April, 1850, and has ever since been a resident of Elgin. He came, as many have since come, with no money or other riches than a brave heart and a willing hand. He was always industrious and frugal, and in the years of his active business life, he acquired considerable property, and now lives in peace and comfort. For the first year after coming to Elgin, he worked at odd jobs. Then in April, 1851, he secured employment with Augustus Adams and Joseph Phelps, who were running a foundry and machine shop, at which employment he remained for five years. He then went into partnership with his brother, Michael Mann, in the grocery business, in the frame building which used to stand near the railroad on Chicagb Street, and which was torn down to make way for the present News Advocate Building.
He continued in partnership with Michael for a couple of years, when he became sole owner of the business. He continued at the same place until he retired from business in 1876.

In August, 1856, he married Ellen Donovan, who was a native of County of Cork, Ireland. She was a sister of Dennis Donovan, who for many years prior to his death was a well-to-do farmer of Rutland, in this county. Mrs. Mann died in August, 1869. Four children were born to them: John P., a practicing attorney of Elgin and a member of. the well-known law firm of Fisher & Mann; Jeremiah J, who was for several years in the furniture business and later in the express busi-ness in Eigin, dying January 23, 1895; Cecelia, now wife of Will C. Higgins, who resides with her father; and Edward F. Mann,, the well-known plumber of Elgin.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

Dr. James McElroy. was born in the parish of Rahue, County West Meath, Ireland, December 3, 1814, a son of Terrence and Elizabeth (Cody) McElroy.

Dr. McElroy, acquired a literary education in his native land, and studied pharmacy in Dublin and there graduated in 1836. After a successful practice of a few years as D. V. S., in Ireland, he came to America in 1840. Before leaving the land of his nativity he was fortunate in gaining the heart and hand of one of its daughters, Miss Elizabeth Smith, who ever afterward proved a loving companion, a willing helpmate, a fond wife and mother and a truly Christian woman.
After arrival in the United States, Dr. McElroy settled for a time in New York, but came West in 1844, since which time Elgin has been his home address, although he has spent some time in other places, being in the employ of Frink & Walker, and Moore & Davis of Milwaukee, who owned or controlled many of the stage lines in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin in early days.

Although nearly four score and ten years of age, Dr. McElroy is hale and hearty, and his ruddy, cheerful face can be seen as he passes on our streets among his host of friends, still attending to business.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

The likeness of the late John Meehan, which will be found among the photographs of the parishioners of St. Mary's parish, will recall to many the features of a well-known and highly respected citizen of Elgin. He had lived in Elgin from his early manhood to a ripe and honored old age, and it may with truth be asserted that none of the ____ single individual, for he looked over the faults or the follies of others and withal he was a man of a lively and joyous disposition, kind and true to his friends. In business his name stood for the strictest integrity, and he lived to a vigorous old age among people who had known him for decades of years as a good man, who during a long life was mindful of his duties as a Christian and as a citizen. His memory will not cease to be cherished by many in Elgin while they can call to mind the cheery ways and the true friendship of this long time friend and faithful attendant at St. Mary's Church.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

One of the few pioneers of St. Mary's parish yet with us, who is as interested in its welfare, if not so active as in other days, is Daniel Gahan. He is, perhaps, the last survivor of the many old parishioners, who when conveyances were not available, often on a Sunday walked to the "Barrens Church" to attend mass before there was a Catholic church in Elgin. Difficulties but sharpened the sense of duty of many of those early comers who lost no opportunity to evince and establish the faith they prized more than comfort or life, and to arrange for its maintenance and transmission.

Mr. Gahan was born March 5, 1824, in the parish of Bagnalstown, County Carlow, Ireland, and there lived on his father's farm until the early spring of 1848, when he came to America. He first stopped for a time in Westmoreland Co., Penn., and there acquire'd a knowledge of the tanning business.

In 1849 he came West, and after a short stay in Chicago moved to Elgin, which has since been his home. His first work in this vicinity was in the woods getting out material for the Galena & Chicago Union R. R., then in course of construction through the place. The venture was unprofitable as the contractor left for parts unknown about the time the work was completed, leaving his workmen only their experience for their efforts.

Soon Mr. Gahan found employment in the large tannery that was located where is now the main plant in Elgin of the Borden Milk Condensing Co. After working there a short time he was appointed foreman of the tanning department, a position he held until 1865, when with L. H. Delmarle, under the firm name of "Gahan & Delmarle, he established the Fox River Tannery at the west end of the Chicago St. bridge. From the first the firm did a large and profitable business, both wholesale and retail, in leather, hides, pelts, shoe-findings, etc.

After a few years Mr. Delmarle withdrew and his interest in the business was assumed by Mr. F. J. Hutchinson (a brother-in-law to the senior partner), the firm now becoming Gahan & Hutchinson. With increasing business the new firm soon were obliged to move their tannery to Clintonville The firm at this time also engaged in the manufacture of boots and shoe in the unoccupied portion of their store building in West Chicago St., where they continued in business until the late '70S, when they sold their business site to the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Co. for yard and depot purposes. The subject of this sketch then withdrew from the business. Since that time he has engaged in insurance and other agencies, and has served the public in the capacity of justice of the peace several terms.

Today, though much beyond the allotted time of human life, he is hale and hearty, and possesses the same genial disposition so charac-teristic of him earlier in life.

In 1851 Mr. Gahan was married at Blairsville, Penn., to Miss Mary Hutchinson, whose life as a devoted Christian, wife and mother terminated December 31, 1888.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

Mrs. Eugene O'Reilly was born in Castledooey, Raphoe, County Donegal, Ireland, in 1837. Her maiden name was Catherine Sweeney her parents being Thomas and Annie Sweeney. She came to this country when fourteen years old, and lived with her uncle, Father Gallagher, for seyeral years.

After her marriage to Mr. Eugene O'Reilly, she moved to Chicago, where she resided until her death, September 16, 1900. One who knew her well said of her: "She was always a devout Christian; a better mother never lived; her whole time was devoted to her family; her home was her paradise."


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

Mr. Jeremiah Ryan was born at Morroe Wood, Parish of Abington, County Limerick, Ireland, on May 28, 1820. Coming to America in 1847, he resided in New York for four years. There he married Miss Margaret Fitzgerald, a companion from childhood. In 1851 the family moved to Seymour, New Haven County, Connecticut, where they resided until 1855 when they moved to Elgin.

In his 18th year, in the City of Cork, Ireland, Mr Ryan took from Father Matthew the total abstinence pledge, a pledge which he kept inviolate until the day of his death. His charitable and benevolent disposition, his gentleness and affability won for him the respect and esteem of his neighbors and the community at large. He was a most devout and conscientious Catholic. He was a great lover of children, and he knew them all, always having a glad welcome for them; and they all knew "Jerry Ryan," and honored and respected hjm.

He was once elected town collector of the town of Elgin, an office which he filled with honor to himself and credit to the township.

Mr. Ryan was very methodical in his way and kept a daily record of local and parish events for over fifty years. Mr. Ryan died in Elgin on April 9, 1898, in the 78th year of his age, mourned by a host of friends.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Jones came to Elgin in 1857 from Burlington, Vt. Mr. Jones worked at his trade of tailor for two years, when he formed a partnership with Mr. Joseph Hemmens to carry on a merchant tailoring business under the firm name of Hemmens & Jones, which was only terminated by his death which occurred March 22, 1899, the firm being at that time the longest established of any in the city. Mrs. Jones survived her husband but about two years, dying January 6, 1901. Mr. and Mrs. Jones were members of St. Mary's congregation from their arrival in Eigin and were always active in church affairs. Mr. Jones was born in Montreal, Canada, and moved to Vermont in 1841. Mrs. Jones was born in the Vale of Aherlowe, County Tipperary, Ire-
land, and emigrated to this country with her parents when a small child, and settled at Burlington Vt. Of their eight children five survive them, Lawrence, Joseph and Margaret still belong to St. Mary's parish and Charles and Ellen live in Chicago.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

John Spillard enjoyed the distinction of being the first Catholic elected to any public office in this city. He was chosen alderman of the then Third ward (now the Seventh), in the year 1861, for two years, and re-elected in 1861.

Mr. Spillard was among the early business men of Elgin, coming here in 1854, and immediately erecting a small tannery on North State street. He was prosperous from the beginning, and after years of hard work and industry, he became one of the largest sheep-skin manu-facturers in the State. Besides manufacturing, he also dealt in wool, hides and furs. In 1865, J. H. Spillard, his second son, became his partner, and from that time on the business was conducted under the firm name and style of John Spillard & Son.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

Among the early parishioners who have since become prominent, mention must be made of the Hon. M. W. Hogan. Born in Ireland, he came to this country at an early age, and for a couple. of years lived here with Mr. John Meehan, Sr., who was then his guardian. In the summer or fall of 1854 he moved to Chicago. There, in union with John Meehan, Jr., son of the John Meehan above referred to, and William L. Linton, editor of a Catholic paper called "The Western Banner," he helped organize the "Young Men's Catholic Institute" the first society of the kind in Chicago.

He studied law under the guidance of the late Hon. S. S. Hayes, and in the old University of Chicago, now known as the Northwestern University. Shortly after being admitted to the bar, he married Miss Delia Walsh, daughter of the late Dr. John Walsh, of Buttevant., Ireland, who was then residing in Chicago.

In 1860 Mr. Hogan moved with his family to St. Louis. After the war of the rebellion broke out, he met many of his former friends and companions who had taken up arms and were moving to the front in defense of the flag. Among them was General Lynch of Elgin. One day as the two friends were sitting in the old "Planters' House" St. Louis, a dispatch from Governor Yates of Illinois was handed to General Lynch. The Governor had appointed General Lynch colonel of a regiment, and wished him to report at once for duty. General Lynch was very desirous of having Mr. Hogan appointed lieutenant colonel; but sickness in his family at that time prevented Mr. Hogan's acceptance of the generous offer. During the war, however, Mr. Hogan did military duty in and around St Louis as a member of the enrolled Missouri militia. He assisted the late Dr. Thomas O'Reilly to organize, equip and send to the field the Seventh Missouri Infantry,
U. S. Volunteers, afterwards known as "the St. Louis Fighting Irish Brigade."

During his long residence in St. Louis, Mr. Hogan filled many public offices. He served as city alderman; was a member of the school board; was prosecuting attorney for state and county for three successive terms.

Leaving St. Louis in 1886, he returned with his family to Chicago. There his wife died four years later, leaving with him six children, two sons and four daughters. His sons, Thomas S. and Frank J., are members of the Chicago bar, having offices in the Ashland Building. One of his daughters is married to Mr. John H. Burke of Baltimore, Md., and another to Mr. George J. Flannigan of Flannigan Brothers, book -publishers of Chicago. His youngest daughter, Stella, is well known in Elgin, being a frequent visitor here at the homes of her relatives.

The Judge's sister, Miss Kate Hogan, has for many years been a member of St. Mary's parish, residing with Mrs. Mary T. Hogan, widow of the Judge's brother, P. T. Hogan, who is buried here.

Having once been a resident, and always having relatives here, the Judge has been a regular visitor to our city, He has many friends among the older parishioners, and is always a most welcome guest in our midst.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

Among the young men of Elgin, and especially among the young men of St. Mary's parish in the years from 1866 to September 14, 1871, when he died at the early age of 26 years, none gave promise of a brighter and nobler future than Joseph Healy. Born in Elgin, after a rudimentary education here, he was sent by his father, the late Bernard Healy, to the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. There, his remarkable application to and success in study, won him high honor and marked him as an exceptionally talented young man. After graduating at this university with the highest success he returned to Elgin, and very soon after entered the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. There he entered the justly famed law department of that institution, and after the usual extensive course of law reading, practiced in that university, he graduated from it, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Law. On his return to Elgin he entered the law firm of Botsford & Barry, the firm's title becoming Botsford, Barry & Healy. He remained a member of this firm until his death, the same being then unquestionably the leading law firm of the county.

We have alluded to what promised to be the bright future of this departed friend, and truly such a future he had, if ability, honesty of word and deed and fidelity to high purposes and ideals can assure professional success. But his early death ended what seemed destined to be a distinguished life at its very beginning, professionally considered.

He had all the characteristics of an able lawyer, especially of a very able office lawyer, and better yet, of an honest man. Among his friends and intimates he was absolutely a beloved friend and companion, and among such of them as are yet living, his memory will be fondly cherished until the hour of death.

Joseph Healy was a man of intense public spirit, and devoted a large part of his spare time to the formation and perfecting in Elgin of a good fire department. His work in this respect will never be forgotten by the old guard of the fire department. His early death was widely and sincerely mourned, and his funeral services held at old St. Mary's Church, and his interment in the old Elgin cemetery was made the occasion of a sympathetic demonstration participated in by people of all circles, perhaps larger than has attended the funeral rites of any citizen of Elgin before or since that sorrowful occasion.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

The subject of this sketch is Hugh Murphy, born at Elgin, Ill., April 14, 1852, attended public school at Elgin in 1861-2. In 1863, '64 and '65 did about everything in the way of odd jobs that one of his age was capable of and the necessities of those severe war times required in order to exist. From 1865 to 1870 he served an apprenticeship with E. F. Reeves at the trade of stone cutting, stone mason work, plastering and brick laying. During the five years of his apprenticeship, he attended school at the Elgin Academy during the winter season. From September 1871 to June 1872 he took a private commercial course from the professors at Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind., and worked on the Cathedral at his, trade to pay for same. From 1873 until 1878 he worked as journeyman and contractor in the various states of the Union and settled in 1878 at Omaha, Neb., where he was employed as Assistant City Engineer in charge of sewer work. In 188o he had charge of the mechanical construction of the Omaha Water Works. In 1882 he entered the business of contracting of public works, including grading, sewer construction and paving with wood, stone, brick and asphalt. In 1888 he opened the stone quarries at Lyons,Colo., and operates in the line of his business in Nebraska, Colorado, Utah and Iowa. He has been successful in all his undertakings.

In 1882 he was married to Miss Helen McGraw of Chicago. They have four children living, Hugh, Mary, Richard and Helen.

Solely by his own efforts and ability he has accumulated a com-petent fortune, and has a loving family and a happy home, although he started in life with as little of this world's goods as it was possible for one to possess.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

One of the prosperous and well-known members of St. Mary's parish is Mr. John Nolan, whose fine dairy farm of about 200 acres is located in the south-western corner of Elgin township. Mr. Nolan was born in County Carlow, Ireland, May 1, 1832. He came to Elgin in 1857 with no possessions, but an honest heart and willing hands. For eight years he worked with farmers in the vicinity of Elgin, and then bought the land on which he has since made his home.

In 1865 he was married to Miss Helen Dunn, who was born in county West Meathe, Ireland. Their union was blessed with three sons and a daughter, who are a source of pride and comfort to their parents in their declining years.

Visits to the home of these hospitable people are always enjoyed by their many friends. Their comfortable farm-house, surrounded by shade, ornamental and fruit trees, the modern horse and stock barns, dairy house and out-buildings, all well kept, are the result of their own efforts, and are eloquent testimonials to their industry, good judgment and taste. Mr. Nolan and his family are regular attendants at and liberal contributors to the support of St. Mary's Church.


From "St Mary's Golden Jubilee 1851 - 1901"

Contributed by Ruth Keating at tecasst@aol.com

A sketch of the old time folk of Elgin would be indeed very incomplete did it not contain some allusion to the late Patrick Daly. Our whole people, young and old, well knew the good, cheery, whole-souled man, ever with a smile on his honest, humorous face, that for generations, we may say, performed in the Elgin cemetery "man's last duty to man," the return of dust to dust.
What a work our old friend did in that old cemetery of ours, now, as we look back at it with its forty years of labor. How many sorrowful groups and breaking hearts has he faced in that time. Surely, no other man in Elgin, as he, has faced such a ceaseless panorama of sorrow moving constantly before his honest and sympathetic Irish eyes and heart. Indeed, Patrick was near to the people of Elgin, for he had been with them in their most supreme hours of sorrow; and had laid to rest their best beloved with the strong arm of his youth, and with the feeble but ever faithful arm of his old age.

Patrick Daly was born in the County of West Meathe, Ireland, on the 17th of March (St. Patrick's Day), 1810. He emigrated to America, and came direct, to Elgin in 1850. - very soon after coming
to Elgin, or to be precise, as soon as the old St. Mary's Church was roofed, the then pastor, Rev. Father Feely, appointed Mr. Daly to look after the church as a sort of sexton, and from this by some natural transition he soon graduated into the performance of the duties of the village cemetery sextonship. Afterward, when the city government was instituted in Elgin, and the cemetery came under corporate control, he yet continued in it his duties, as sexton, and so continued until a short time before his death, when age and illness prevented him from -longer performing the duties of his old work. The City of Elgin, however, remembering his old-time faithfulness, kept him in its employ up to and until his death. He reposes in the sweet old cemetery that he loved in life more than any spot on earth.*

Patrick Daly died on the 13th of December, 1893, regretted by all our people of every sort and character. In his life he addressed all who came to visit the cemetery as "my son," thus to the little child and to the old man alike. Maybe that their sorrows which he every day saw
endeared them to him and made his kind heart pity then who can tell? Mark how Shakespeare puts the words of philosophy into the mouths of the grave diggers at Ophelia's grave. Patrick, too, lived and philosophized among our tombs, and who can say but that he, too, realized the awful fact that all is vanity save love of God and of truth, and love for one's fellowmen, and these characteristics he had and he practiced for forty years in the old Elgin cemetery, in storm and in sunshine, young and aged, rich and poor, "he gathered them in."

*Since the above was written Mr. Daly's remains, together with those of the deceased of his family, have been transferred to the Bluff City Cemetery, Elgin.

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