IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Michael Regan

Michael Regan has been a resident of Clayton county since he was about two years of age, was reared under the conditions and influences that marked the pioneer epoch of the history of the county, and has gained prominence and distinctive success as one of the representative business men of Elkader, the county seat, where he is engaged in the furniture and undertaking business, as senior member of the well known firm of Regan & Witte. He became one of the founders of this enterprise nearly thirty years ago, and his careful and progressive policies, marked at all times by fair and honorable dealings, have been potent in the development and upbuilding of one of the leading business concerns of the capital city of the county, in addition to which he has proved altogether worthy of the unequivocal confidence reposed in him by the community.

Mr. Regan takes a due measure of pride in reverting to the old Buckeye State as the place of his nativity, and is appreciative of the genial paraphrase once made of a popular quotation when Hon. Chauncey M. Depew stated it this: "Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some are born in the State of Ohio." In Clermont county, that state, Mr. Regan was born on the 14th of March, 1852, and in 1854 his parents came to Clayton county, Iowa, which has since represented his home. He is a son of John and Margaret (McGrath) Regan, both of whom were born in Ireland.

John Regan was reared to manhood in his native land and came to the United States in 1836. He maintained his home in Clermont county, Ohio until 1854, when he came with his family to Iowa and numbered himself among the pioneer farmers of Clayton county. He obtained a tract of government land in what is now Boardman township, where he developed a good farm and became influential as a broad-minded and progressive citizen. He aided materially in furthering the development of the county and was a man who commanded the respect of all who knew him. While residing in Clermont county, Ohio he served as postmaster of the village of Loveland, and in Clayton county, Iowa, he filled township offices with characteristic discrimination and fidelity. He and his wife were honored pioneer citizens of this county at the time of their death.

John Regan's first wife bore the maiden name of Mary Dempsey and she died in Clermont county, Ohio. They became the parents of four children, James, Patrick, Mary and Jeremiah, all of whom are deceased except the last mentioned. Of the four children of the second marriage the subject of this review was the third in order of birth; William the eldest is now a resident of the city of Seattle, Wash.; and John and Daniel are deceased, so that Michael remains as the only representative of the immediate family in Clayton county.

He whose name initiates this article gained his early education in the pioneer schools of Clayton county and here continued his active association with agricultural pursuits until 1888, when he located at Elkader and engaged in the furniture and undertaking business, as a member of the firm of Kruse & Regan. Mr Kruse later sold his interest in the business to William E. Witte, and the enterprise has since been continued under the firm title of Regan & Witte, the establishment being large and well equipped, with the best of stock and incidental facilities in all departments, the while its high reputation constitutes its best business asset. Mr. Regan has devoted himself closely to his business affairs and though he has shown loyal interest in all things touching the communal welfare and is aligned as a staunch supporter of the cause of the Democratic party, he has had no ambition for political activity or for public office.

He and his wife are communicants of the Catholic church, as were also his parents, and he is affiliated with the Rights of Columbus and the Catholic Order of Foresters. October 17, 1894 marked the solemnization of the marriage of Mr Regan to Miss Katherine Uriell, who was born and reared in this county, and of their five children the second Mary Margaret, is deceased, the four surviving children being Ruey Rosalia, Katherine, Elizabeth, John, Joseph and Dorothy Dolores.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; pg. 339-341

-OCR scanned by S. Ferrall


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