Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


John Joseph McDermott

For twelve years past editor and publisher of The Manilla Times, John Joseph McDermott has acquired a reputation not only as a clear and convincing writer but also as one of the substantial and progressive citizens of Crawford county.

He was born at Clinton, Iowa, December 11, 1878, a son of Anthony and Mary Agnes (Hook) McDermott, the former of whom was a native of County Mayo, Ireland, and the latter of Liverpool, England. The father, who was born July 16, 1852, left home at fourteen years of age and became a sailor but after arriving at manhood decided to try his fortune in America and came to Clinton county, Iowa.

He was married at Toronto, Iowa, to Mary Agnes Hook and took up his residence in Clinton, where he continued until May, 1893, then locating on a farm two and one-half miles northwest of Manilla in Nishnabotny township, Crawford county. He removed to Manilla in 1908, and died there August 12, 1910. His beloved wife passed away February 3, 1897. Mr. McDermott gave his support to the democratic party, and being a stanch friend of education served most acceptably for a number of years as member of the school board. He and his wife were devoutly attached to the Catholic church and in their lives indicated a profound desire to follow the teachings of the Great Master. The last words of Mr. McDermott were expressive of his deep sense of the presence of God and his desire to meet once more with his companion, whose death he had sincerely mourned.

Our subject's grandfather McDermott was a native of Ireland and engaged in farming. He eame to America and died at Clinton, Iowa, at the advanced age of ninety-seven years. There were eight children in his family, namely: Michael, Anthony, Patrick, John, Mrs. Owen Kingsley, Mrs. James Sheridan, Bridget and Mrs. Thomas Rimmer. This branch of the family is of Scotch-Irish ancestry.

James Hook, the maternal grandfather, married Kate Sibbons in England. They came to America and after living for a short time in Clinton county, Iowa, removed to Crawford county, settling in Nishnabotny township. They both died at Manilla well advanced in years, having reared a family of seven children, namely: James, Mary Agnes, Patrick, Mrs. Kate Haley, Mrs. James Norkett, William and Francis. There were ten children in the family of Anthony and Mary Agnes McDermott, six of whom grew to maturity: John Joseph; Kathryn, now of Omaha, Nebraska; George, Anthony, Theresa, and Lillian, all of Manilla, Iowa.

John Joseph McDermott was reared at Clinton until eighteen years of age and received his education in the parochial and public schools, also attending the Clinton Business College. After laying his books aside he learned the printer's trade and has since devoted his attention principally to that business. In 1896 he came to Crawford county and for the past. twelve years has been publisher of The Manilla Times, an independent weekly newspaper, which has many readers in this part of the state. He maintains a well equipped general job printing establishment for general catalogue and other lines of work in connection with his paper.

On the 5th of November, 1903, Mr. McDermott was united in marriage to Miss Marguerite Brockelsby, a native of Crawford county and a daughter of W. H. and Malinda Brockelsby. The father was born in England and the mother in Pennsylvania. They came west and settled in Crawford county and are now living in Hayes township. There were five children in their family: Richard, Edward, Winifred, Marguerite and Elsie. Mr. and Mrs. McDermott have two children, Joseph Muril and Francis Clyde.

Mr. McDermott's success in the management of his paper has been due to his unswerving loyalty to the section in which he lives and the fairness and impartiality with which he has treated all subjects of public interest. A man of good judgment and fair discrimination, he has proven a safe adviser, and his aim at all times has been to promote the general welfare .rather than to advocate any special interest. In religious belief he adheres to the Catholic church, and socially he is a valued member of the Modern Woodmen of America and the Commercial Club of Manilla.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.