IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

William J. Byrnes

William J. Byrnes is a popular bachelor, a progressive farmer and a substantial business man of his native county, and he is the owner of the fine old homestead farm on which he was born and reared; the gracious home circle includes also his venerable and revered mother and his sisters, Mary and Eunice.

After the death of his honored father Mr. Byrnes assumed the active management of the home place, which comprised two hundred and forty acres, and by his ability and enterprise he has since added to his landed estate until he is now the owner of a finely improved property of five hundred acres, in Sperry and Cox Creek townships. The old homestead is in Sperry township and here he was born on the 20th of February, 1860, a date that indicates conclusively that his parents were numbered among the pioneer settlers of that part of Cayton county.

He is a son of James and Margaret (McTaggart) Byrnes, both of whom were born in Ireland - members of fine old families of the fair Emerald Isle. As a young man James Byrnes came to the United States and established his residence in the city of Boston, where he found employment in a rolling mill, he having learned the trade of iron and steel rolling in his youth. About the year 1856 he numbered himself among the pioneers of Clayton county, Iowa, and here he achieved large and worthy success in connection with the basic industry of agriculture. He continued his residence on the old homestead until his death, which occurred July 20, 1896, and he was a man whose sterling character and worthy achievement gained and retained to him the confidence and good will of his fellow men. His political support was given to the Democratic party and he was an earnest communicant of the Catholic church, as are also his widow and their children. Of the children the eldest is Sarah, who is the wife of Daniel Thyne, of Doon, Lyon county; Mary remains with the family that now occupies a modern home in Strawberry Point; John passed to the life eternal on the 13th of January, 1895; the subject of this sketch was the next in order of birth; Eunice is a member of the old home circle; Catherine is the wife of Timothy C. Glennon, of Strawberry Point; and James died in the year 1880.

William J. Byrnes is indebted to the schools of his native county for the early educational discipline of which he made good use, and he gained in his boyhood and youth the fullest meed of experience in connection with the work of the farm, of which he assumed the management after the death of his father, as previously stated in this context.

In addition to his successful operations as an extensive agriculturist and stock-grower he now conducts a substantial and prosperous business as a buyer and shipper of live stock with Strawberry Point as his business headquarters. His political allegiance is given to the Democratic party and he has served as trustee of his native township. He is an active communicant of the Catholic church and is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus and the Modern W oodman of America.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; page 63-64
-submitted by S. Ferrall


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