IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Matthew Fitzpatrick

Matthew Fitzpatrick was an infant at the time when his parents came to Clayton county and settled on a pioneer farm in Cox Creek township. Here he passed the residue of his life and here it was given him to so assert his vital, loyal and noble personality as to achieve prominence and influence, a large place in community affairs and the inviolable confidence and esteem of his fellow men. Mr. Fitzpatrick was a representative member of the Clayton county bar, and in addition to gaining prestige and success in the legal profession he served with marked ability and credit in various public offices of local trust. He was one of the prominent and honored citizens of Elkader, the county seat, at the time of his death, which occurred on the 8th of March, 1916. This publication exercised a consistent function when it entered a tribute to the memory of this valued citizen.

Matthew Fitzpatrick was born in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, on the 11th of May, 1853, and thus he was barely 63 years of age at the time when he was summoned to the life eternal. He was a son of Patrick and Catherine Fitzpatrick, and was about two years old at the time when his parents came to Clayton county, in 1855, his father obtaining a tract of wild land in Cox Creek township and there reclaiming a farm. On this homestead the parents passed the remainder of their lives and both were earnest communicants of the Catholic church.

Matthew Fitzpatrick early began to assist in the work of the home farm and after profiting bt the advantages afforded in the rural schools of that pioneer period in the history of the county, he later made good use of the advantages afforded in the high school at Elkader. He became a successful and popular teacher in the schools of this county but his ambition led him into another field of professional endeavor. He studied law under the effective preceptorship of William A. Preston, at Elkader, and in 1883 he was admitted to practice. Mr. Fitzpatrick proved a resourceful trial lawyer and well fortified counselor, and he developed a substantial and representative law practice, to which he gave his attention with characteristic zeal and earnestness. For a time he served as deputy county treasurer under the administration of Charles E. Flowete, and in the autumn of 1884 he was elected to the office of county recorder, of which he continued the incumbent six years and in which he made a splendid record as an executive of the county government. Mr. Fitzpatrick was a man of strong convictions and broad intellectual ken. His political allegiance was given to the Democratic party and he was an effective advocate of its principles and policies. He was a zealous and devout communicant of the Catholic church, and he and his family held membership in the parish of St. Joseph’s church at Elkader, in which his funeral services were held. He was actively affiliated with the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Order of Foresters. At the time of his death an Elkader paper, in an appreciative tribute, spoke as follows: “He will be missed and mourned not only by his kindred but also by neighbors and many friends who have known him intimately and admired him for his upright, clean, Christian life, and for the interest he manifested in public affairs, especially political and educational matters.”

On the 11th of April, 1882, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Fitzpatrick to Miss Elizabeth Connell, and of their seven children all survive them except one daughter, Caroline D., who died in 1898. The devoted wife and mother was summoned to eternal rest on the 28th of May, 1913, and the surviving child are as noted: Mary E. is the wife of John T. Foley, of Salt Lake City, Utah; Michael J., M. D., is engaged in the practice of his profession at Mason City, this state; and Edward C., Ellen C., James F., and Catherine R. still maintain their home at Elkader.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; page 125-126
-transcribed by Mary Cameron


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