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Clinton County, Missouri

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CORNELIUS O'CONNER; section 22, post office Plattsburg, is a native of Ireland, and was born in 1833. At the age of eighteen years he emigrated to America, and settled in Kentucky, where he followed the occupation of farming. In 1863, he moved to Illinois, and settled in Coles County. After a residence there of thirteen years, he came to this state and settled where he now resides, being the possessor of 380 acres of average land, most of which is under cultivation. In 1853, Mr. O'Conner married Miss Ellen Murphy. They have six children: John W., Batty, Dennis, Thomas, Patrick, Cornelius, and have adopted one girl, Maggie. They are members of the Catholic Church.
(Source: The History of Clinton County Missouri; published 1881; O.P. Williams & Co.; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack)

Dents O'Connor. The name O'Connor in Clinton County has for many years stood for the best success and some of the most extensive activities in farming and stock raising. At the present time Denis O'Connor and sons own 1,800 acres of land in this county, feed and raise cattle and hogs by the hundreds, and their aggregate business is one of the very largest in this part of the state. Both father and sons are recognized among the stockmen of Northwest Missouri as men of almost infallible good judgment, have splendid financial standing and are honored and respected for what they represent as prosperous agriculturists and stockmen.
The career of Denis O'Connor has been one of unusual accomplishments. He came with his wife to Clinton County in the spring of 1869 from Ireland, and at that time was dependent upon a regular daily wage for the support of himself and his little household. By thrift and industry he passed several successful seasons and finally invested his moderate savings in land, and began the steady prosperity which has been undiminished through all the successive years. Clinton County has perhaps no better example of the truly self-made man than Denis O'Connor.
Like many successful Americans, he was born in Ireland, in County Limerick, in 1844. His parents, Daniel and Honora O'Connor, were honest and substantial people but possessed of small means, and spent all their days in Ireland. Denis grew up in the country, had a fair education according to the standards of the time, and when twenty-four years old married Ellen Sullivan. She was born and reared in the same part of Ireland as her husband, a daughter of Jeremiah and Honora Sullivan, both of whom spent their lives in Ireland. Soon after their marriage Denis O'Connor and wife left their native land and after seven days on the ocean landed in New York City, where they proceeded westward to Sandusky, Ohio, and after a year came on to Clinton County. Here they found a place at $20 a month as workers on a farm, and at the end of a year bought a mule and rented forty acres of land, which was planted in corn. A hailstorm destroyed a promising crop, and with all his prospects ruined for that year Denis O'Connor got work at $1.75 a day during the winter on the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad. By the time spring came he had enough capital to start farming again, put in another crop of corn, and by alternating between crop raising in the summer and working on the railroad in the winter gradually got ahead in the world until he was able to buy twenty acres of land.
It would be a long story to describe the successive stages in his prosperity from that time. After paying for one tract of land he would buy more, and by increasing his business as a cattle and hog raiser kept his career on a steady up grade and had very few years in which there was not a substantial amount to be placed on the credit side of his account. As a stockman Denis 0 'Connor has for a number of years been accustomed to handling some five hundred cattle a year and usually raises more than a thousand hogs. Between four and five hundred acres of land are planted in corn, and his pastures and meadows are a beautiful sight, while everything around his farms indicates the highest state of cultivation and efficiency in management. His farm lands lie between six and eight miles north of Plattsburg in Platte Township. One of the many features that might well call for notice is one fine stock well which furnishes sufficient water for 800 head of cattle. There are several windmills about his farm which supply the motor power for pumping. Three years ago Mr. O'Connor left his country place, turning over its direct management to his son, and moved into the City of Plattsburg, where he is the owner of one of the substantial homes of the county seat. However, he is still the mainspring of the O'Connor live stock industry and keeps in close touch with all the details of the business.
The children of Mr. O'Connor and wife are six in number, namely: Daniel, who is married and has a family of eight children; Denis, Jr., also married; Jerry, who is married and lives on one of the farms, all three sons being prosperous stockmen and worthy followers of their honored father; Mrs. John Sullivan, who lives three miles south of Plattsburg; Mrs. Margaret O'Neill; and Nora, who is at home. Mr. O'Connor and family worship in St. Ann's Catholic Church, and for many years have been liberal supporters of that congregation and contributed generously to the building of the present church home. While a man of seventy years, Mr. O'Connor, in spite of the hardships and difficulties of his early career, is still a comparatively young man, and goes about his business in a way that would tax the efforts of many younger men.
[A History of Northwest Missouri, Volume 2; edited by Walter Williams; Publ. 1918; Donated and Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack]

ALBERT J. OREM; druggist and Mayor of Lathrop. Among the many worthy citizens of this city, none are entitled to more respect than the subject of this sketch. He was born in Porter County, Indiana, March 2, 1851, and received his early training on a farm. He acquired a good education, mainly by his own exertions, and when only fifteen years old commenced teaching. He afterwards took a regular course at the State Normal School, which further qualified him for a successful instructor. He was afterward employed in teaching for ten years, always commanding the best schools and the largest compensation. His father, Joshua Orem, moved with his family to Caldwell County, Missouri, in 1858, and is now one of the old and respected citizens of that locality, where he is engaged in general merchandising. In 1875, Albert J. came to this place, then a small town, and in 1876, embarked in the drug business. He now carries a complete stock, and is in possession of a liberal patronage, which he justly merits. When the city was organized, in April, 1881, he was unanimously elected the first mayor. In politics he is a staunch Republican. As mayor he endeavors to do his whole duty, carefully noticing that just ordinances are enacted and that they are respected. Mr. O. married Miss Martha A. Lealer, of Ray County, Missouri, in July, 1872. By this union they have three sons: Walter C, Frank M. and Archie C. He is an active member of the Baptist Church.
(Source: The History of Clinton County Missouri; published 1881; O.P. Williams & Co.; Transcribed by Andrea Stawski Pack)


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