Thomas E. Byrnes


Thomas E. Byrnes owns a fine farm on three hundred and seventy acres on sections 11 and 14, Hanover township, and in its cultivation is meeting with that success which rewards earnest, intelligent and persistent labor. He is one of Allamakee county’s most progressive and successful native sons, and the farm which he now owns constitues the homestad upon which he was born in 1875. He is a son of Thomas and Catherine Byrnes, natives of Ireland, who previous to their marriage came to Iowa. They settled first in Winneshiek county, where the father purchased land, and they afterward moved to Allamakee county, where they continuted to reside until their deaths. The fathers purchased a farm in Hanover township and was successful in its operation, dying upon his holdings in 1895. His wife survived him for many years, passing away in 1909. To their union were born nine children: Eugene, who resides in North Dakota; Annie, the wife of Thomas Collins, of Allamakee county,; Catherine, the wife of Michael Bresingham, of Allamakee county; Lawrence, who is operating part of the old homestead; Thomas E., of this review; Mary, the deceased wife of William Gavel, of Allamakee county; Stacia, who married Pat Delaney; Ellen, who became of the wife of Michael Burke, also of Allamakee county; and Margaret, who resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Thomas E. Byrnes was reared under the parental roof and acquired his education in the district schools, learning farming by practical experience upon his father’s property. He has never left the homestead, in the operation of which he continued to assist until his father’s death, when he succeeded to the property, which he has since improved and developed. The farm is located on sections 11 and 14, Hanover township, and two hundred and twenty-five acres are in a high state of cultivation, the entire property reflecting the owner’s personal supervision and careful management. Mr. Byrnes engages in general farming and stock-raising and in addition operates a threshing outfit, all branches of his activity being profitable and umportant.

In 1906 Mr. Byrnes was united in marriage to Miss Bridget McKenna, a native of Allamakee county and a daughter of Patrick and Margaret McKenna, the former born in Ireland and the latter in Iowa. For many years they resided in Allamakee county on a farm, and upon this property the father’s death occurred in 1892. His wife survives him and makes her home in Minnesota. To Mr. and Mrs. McKenna were born six children: Mary,, the wife of John Blake, of Allamakee county; Margaret, who married Dennis O’Malley, also of Allamakee county; Bridget, the wife of the subject of this review; Elizabeth, who is now Mrs. James Delaney, of Allamakee county,; Martin, deceased; and Patrick, a farmer in this county. Mr. and Mrs. Byrnes have three children: Cyril P., born in 1907; Margaret, born in 1909; and Catherine M., born in 1912.

Mr. Byrnes belongs to the Roman Catholic church and politically affiliates with the democratic party. He is, however, not active in public affairs, as he prefers to devote his entire attention to his farming interests, which are capably managed, bringing him a creditable position among Allamakee county’s representative and substantial agriculturists.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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