County Galway, Ireland
|Death: ||Feb. 10, 1895|
Thomas Flaherty, one of the leading citizens of Webster County, was born in County Galway, Ireland, in 1829, the eldest son of Michael and Catherine (Higgins) Flaherty. He came to America when a small child and lived in Maryland until 1852, when he took a trip to California, going via the Isthmus of Panama. He remained on the Pacific coast two years, engaged in mining, and then returned east, and in the spring of 1855 came to Iowa and bought 160 acres of Government land in Webster County at $1.25 an acre. He has improved his land and added to his first purchase until he now has 330 acres of choice land all under cultivation with good building improvements and it is considered one of the best farms in the county. Mr. Flaherty was married in June, 1857, to Catherine Welch, a native of County Wexford, Ireland, daughter of James Welch, a pioneer of this county.
They have eleven children – Katie, Margaret, Mary, Edward, Agnes, Thomas, William, Anna, John, David, Walter. In politics Mr. Flaherty is a Democrat, and one of the leaders of his party in the county. He has served as township trustee fifteen years, as a member of the school board twelve years, and on the county board of supervisors four years. He declined the nomination as representative in the Legislature in 1887. He has always taken an interest in the cause of education and all other enterprises of benefit to the community. He is one of the influential citizens of Douglas Township, and stands high in the estimation of the people. His wife died February 6, 1883. She was an estimable woman, and her death was not only a loss to her family, but to the entire community.
February 13, 1895
Fort Dodge Evening Messenger
Thomas Flaherty, the old and respected resident who passed from earth on Sunday last at his home in this city, was born in the county Galway, Ireland, in 1827, and consequently lived 68 years. His parents came to America when he was five years old and located at Savage, Maryland. The America of that time was very different from the America of this. There were not a hundred miles of railroad in this country when the lad Thomas Flaherty, aged eight years, drove a team on the grade of the Baltimore & Ohio road.
In 1851, when the California gold fever was at its height, he went by steamer round Cape Horn to San Francisco, worked in the mines there a time, and returned by the same route .
In 1855 he came to Iowa, looking for a home in this new state. At Des Moines he fell in with three other men looking for a location and together they came to Fort Dodge. Those men were R. P. Furlong, James White and James Condon. Of the party only Mr. Condon lives, a respected citizen near Barnum. That fall his brothers came. Thomas, James and Edward Flaherty opened the first coal mine in Webster county, what was known afterward as the Colburn mine in west Fort Dodge.
In 1857 Mr. Flaherty was married to Miss Katherine Welch, who died in 1883. The difficulties of wedlock at that time to those who wished their wedding bonds consecrated by the service of the church, would be considered almost insurmountable at this time. They drove to Des Moines to have the ceremony performed, but were disappointed there by finding no priest and drove on to Iowa City, where they were gratified. Another young couple, Charles Woodbury and lady, accompanied them on the same errand.
Ten children survive their father, and one, Miss Mary, died last summer. Those living are Katie, wife of P. F. Condon, Barnum; Maggie, wife of John Hines, Manson; Edward, who lives on the farm; Thomas F., insurance agent in this city; William, who lives at Marcus; John, who is in school at Iowa City; and Agnes, Annie, David, and Walter, who live at home.
Mr. Flaherty pre-empted the Douglas township farm on which he lived so long in 1856. Abut four years ago he moved into town and his health has failed steadily since.
During his long residence in this county Mr. Flaherty enjoyed in an exceptional degree the respect and confidence of his neighbors. He served three terms on the board of supervisors and 29 years as trustee of Douglas township. He was nominated in 1887 for the legislature, but his tastes were not in that direction and he declined. He was a reading and thinking man, quiet in his life and manners, but of independent mind and strong, resolute, upright character. He was of those who are the bone and sinew of a people. Any trust in his hands was safe. His life was clean, his habits were correct, he was just and fair in his opinions, a good man. Peace to his ashes and may his memory and his example live long among us.
Michael Flaherty (1799 - 1880)
Catherine Higgins Flaherty (1803 - 1880)
Catherine Welch Flaherty (1833 - 1883)*
Mary E. Flaherty (1862 - 1950)*
Edward C. Flaherty (1864 - 1931)*
Thomas T. Flaherty (1868 - 1938)*
Anna Flaherty (1877 - ____)*
Corpus Christi Cemetery
Plot: lot 69
Created by: Burt
Record added: Dec 17, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 17058963
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