IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

William Keleher

William Keleher is another of the native sons of Clayton township who can legitimately claim to be a representative of a pioneer family of this section of the Hawkeye State and who has proved himself possessed of those elements of character that conserve in dividual success as well as prompt objective confidence and good will. In his native county he has found scope and opportunity for the achieving of a secure vantage-ground as an exponent of the all-important industries of agriculture and stock-raising, his present attractive homestead comprising one hundred and sixty acres in Section 28, Boardman township, and the same giving patent evidence of the owner’s policies of thrift and progressiveness.

On the old pioneer homestead farm of his father, in Section 34, Boardman township, Mr. Keleher was born on the 5th of March, 1861, and the high estimation in which he is held in the community sets at naught in his case any application of the scriptural aphorism that “a prophet is not without honor save in his own country.” He is a son of Thomas and Mary (Dureen) Keleher, both natives of the fair Emerald Isle and representatives of staunch old families of Erin. Thomas Keleher was a lad of nine years at the time when he accompanied his parents on their immigration from Ireland to the United States, and he was reared to maturity in the State of New York. About the time of attaining to his legal majority he came to Iowa and constituted himself one of the pioneers of Clayton county. Here he purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in the present township of Boardman, and not only did he reclaim this tract to effective cultivation but he also evinced his cumulative prosperity by adding to his original purchase until he became the owner of a valuable landed estate of three hundred and twenty acres. He continued to hold this property until his death, which occurred in June, 1906, and his name shall be long honored as that of a sterling pioneer who did well his part in furthering the social and industrial development and upbuilding of Clayton county. He was influential in public affairs of a local nature and was called upon to serve in various township offices.

His first wife, mother of the subject of this review, was summoned to eternal rest in 1878, and of their seven children William, to whom this article is dedicated, was the first born; Jerry owns and resides upon the old homestead farm of the father; James is a resident of Clermont, Fayette county; Catherine died when young; Anna remains with her brother Jerry on the old homestead; Frank is another of the prosperous farmers of Boardman township; and Edward is a resi dent of Marcus, Cherokee county. For his second wife the father wedded Miss Hannah Roach, and she too is now deceased, as is also John, the eldest of their children; May and Stell maintain their home in the city of Chicago; and Chloe remains at the old home stead farm. Availing himself duly of the advantages afforded in the common schools of the locality and period, William Keleher was reared to manhood under the conditions and influences of the pioneer farm, in the work and management of which he continued to be associated with his father until he had attained to the age of twenty-five years. For three years thereafter he was engaged in farming on a tract of two hundred and twenty acres which he rented, on Turkey river, and he then removed to the Hyde farm, in Boardman township, which he later purchased. To this place of fifty acres he subsequently added by the purchase of an adjoining tract of one hundred and ten acres. He brought his farm up to a high state of productiveness, made excellent improvements of a permanent order, and there continued to reside for the long period of twenty-two years, at the expiration of which he sold the property to his brother Frank and purchased his present fine homestead, in Section 28 of his native township, upon which he established himself in the spring of 1913 and upon which he has since continued his successful enterprise as a general farmer and stock-grower.

Mr. Keleher has taken a lively interest in community affairs and has never wavered in his loyalty to and appreciation of his native county. He has served as township trustee and road supervisor, as well as a director of the school board of his district, and he accords a stalwart allegience to the cause of the Democratic party. His home is known for its generous hospitality and good cheer, is modern in its equipment and appointments, and receives mail service on rural route No. 2 from Elkader. Both he and his wife are communicants of the Catholic church.

On the 24th of November, 1891, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Keleher to Miss Mary Hoover, who was born and reared in Clayton county and who is a daughter of Julius and Margaret (Stence) Hoover, now residents of San Angelo, Texas. Her father was born in Pennsylvania and her mother is a native of Ireland. Mr. and Mrs. Keleher have three children — Florence M., who is a successful and popular teacher in the public schools of her native county; and Grace M. and Thomas Leo, who remain at the parental home.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; page 208-209
-OCR scanned by Sharyl Ferrall for Clayton co. IAGenWeb


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