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Posted By: Volunteer (email)
Date: 9/21/2004 at 13:53:54

Biography reproduced from page 457 of the History of Kossuth and Humboldt Counties, Iowa published in 1884:

Michael Rourke is a native of Ireland. In 1840 he came to America in the sailing vessel, Virginia; the voyage lasting ten weeks and three days. He landed at New York city, went directly to Poughkeepsie, where he remained one winter. He was engaged in railroading in New York State until 1852, when he moved to Manchester, Iowa, where he remained five years. In 1862 he enlisted in company H, 21st Iowa Infantry, being mustered in at Dubuque. He participated in the battles of Hartsville, Mo., Grand Gulf, Vicksburg and Mobile. He served three years and three days, and was mustered out at Clinton, Iowa. Out of 900 in his regiment, he was one of 330 who returned from the war. Mr. Rourke was married Feb. 10, 1866, in Fort Dodge, Webster Co., Iowa, by Father Butler, to Ellen, daughter of David and Ellen O’Brien. They have seven children—Lizzie, Bartholomew, James, Michael, Mary, Edward and Ellen, all living at home. Mr. Rourke’s present farm, of 900 acres, is located on sections 2 and 11, township 94, range 29, Cresco township. He has 500 acres under cultivation, the remainder being timber and grass. In 1883 he erected his present beautiful residence at a cost of $7,000. It has all the modern improvements, and is one of the best houses in the county. Mr. Rourke has 35 mules, 300 head of cattle, 125 hogs and 35 cows. The Des Moines river bounds his entire farm on the west. His entire family are Catholics. In politics he is a republican.


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