IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Michael Geraghty

Michael Geraghty passed virtually his entire life in Clayton county though it was his to claim the old Buckeye State as the place of his nativity. His parents came to Clayton county when he was an infant and became pioneer settlers in Giard township, where, earnest and upright, they passed the residue of their lives, secure in the high regard of the community in which they lived and labored to goodly ends. Michael Geraghty long held secure vantage place as one of the representative farmers and honored and influential citizens of Giard township, and on his fine homestead farm he continued to reside until his death, which occurred on the 14th of October, 1906.

He was born at Loveland, Clermont county, Ohio, on the 14th of March, 1855, and is a son of Patrick and Anna (Kelly) Geraghty, both natives of County Mayo, Ireland, where they were reared to maturity and where their marriage was solemnized. Soon after this important event in their lives the young couple severed the ties that bound them to the fair Emerald Isle and came to the United States. After passing about one year in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, they removed to Clermont county, Ohio, where Patrick Geraghty was employed at railroad work until 1855, when, shortly after the birth of the subject of this memoir, he came with his family to Iowa and became a pioneer settler of Giard township, Clayton county. He obtained a tract of eighty acres of land and was indefatigable in his well-ordered industry, which eventually resulted in his becoming the owner of a well-improved landed estate of more than two hundred acres. He was one of the substantial and highly esteemed pioneer citizens of the county at the time of his death, which occurred December 8 1892, and his devoted wife passed away on the 19th of March, 1897, both having been earnest communicants of the Catholic church. Of their children three sons and two daughters are still living, and of the family further mention is made on other pages of this work, in the sketch dedicated to the eldest son, John, who is one of the well known citizens of Clayton county.

Michael Geraghty was reared under the benignant influence of the home farm and was indebted to the pioneer schools of Giard township for his early educational training. He continued to assist his father in the activities of the old homestead farm until he had attained to his legal majority, when he began a virtual apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade as a skilled workman at which he thereafter applied himself until 1887, when he purchased a farm of sixty acres in Giard township, later adding to its area by the purchase of a contiguous tract of eighty acres. He made excellent improvements on the place, including the erection of substantial and modern buildings, and here he continued his activities as a thrifty and progressive agriculturist and stock-grower until the time of his death, his widow still maintaining her home on the fine farm that is endeared to her by many gracious memories and associations.

Mr. Geraghty commanded the unequivocal confidence and good will of all who knew him, was a man of alert mentality and of impregnable integrity in all of the relations of life, and he was influential in community affairs. His political allegiance was given to the Democratic party but the only public office in which he ever consented to serve was that of school director. He was a zealous communicant of the Catholic church at Monona, as is also his widow.

On the 3rd of May, 1886, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Geraghty to Miss Catherine O'Malley, who was born in Allamakee county, this State, on the 4th of May, 1863, a daughter of Charles and Anna (Burns) O'Malley, both natives of County Mayo, Ireland, where the former was born August 8, 1817, and the latter on the 7th of June, 1829, their marriage having been there solemnized on the 3d of May, 1849. In 1852 Mr. O'Malley immigrated with his family to the United States and established his home in Allamakee county, Iowa, where he became a substantial pioneer farmer and contributed his quota to the civic and industrial development of the county. A man of sterling character, he commanded unqualified popular respect and when venerable in years he and his wife came to the home of their daughter Catherine, wife of the subject of this memoir, where he received the utmost filial care and devotion until he was summoned to the life eternal, on the 23d of May, 1911, about three months prior to the eighty-second anniversary of his birth. His venerable widow remains a loved and revered member of the family circle at the home of Mrs. Geraghty, and, like him, she is a devoted communicant of the Catholic church. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. O'Malley, Mary and James are deceased; Bridget is the wife of Lewis Larson, of Lawler, Chickasaw county, this state; Edward, Sabina, Patrick and John are deceased; Mrs. Geraghty was the next in order of birth; ;and Hannah is deceased.

The three children of Mr. and Mrs. Geraghty remain with their widowed mother and their names and respective dates of birth are here noted: John, March 8, 1887; Mayme, May 23, 1889; and Michael, May 8, 1892.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; page 137-139
-transcribed by Mary Cameron


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