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Fayette County, Iowa
Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910
Author: G. Blessin
B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana
Vol. I, Biographical Sketches
The subject of this sketch is descended from sterling Irish ancestry and in him are found those stanch qualities of character which have made the Irish people so desirable a class of citizens in this cosmopolitan land. During a course of years in Fayette county he has so ordered his life as to earn and retain the confidence and esteem of the people with whom he has been associated and today is numbered among the representative citizens of Clermont township.
Mr. Rafferty was born in Ireland on November 17, 1844, and is a son of Nicholas and Bridget (Halpin) Rafferty, both also natives of the Emerald isle. The family emigrated to the United States in 1851, locating first in New Jersey and later removing to Cincinnati, Ohio. Subsequently they made their home at Newport, Kentucky. The father's death occurred in Cincinnati in 1852. In 1866 the mother and her four sons came to Iowa, locating in Clayton county, where they made their future home and where the mother's death occurred in 1890. Prior to leaving Ohio, a daughter had married and moved to New York.
John Rafferty was reared on a farm and received his education mainly in the schools of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Newport, Kentucky. As soon as old enough, he went to work in factories in an effort to help care for his mother and other members of the family, his first employment being in a hemp weaving factory. Eventually he learned the trade of a carpenter and prior to the war of the Rebellion he was employed at his trade by the government at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Subsequently he came to Clayton county, Iowa, and entered upon an agricultural career, becoming the owner of four hundred and eighty-seven acres of fine land, to which he has devoted his attention and in the operation of which he has met with well deserved success. He is thoroughly practical in his work and progressive in his ideas, keeping in touch with advanced ideas relating to the science of agriculture, so that he has been enabled to realize satisfactory returns for the lab9or he has expended. His farm is well improved, containing an attractive and comfortable residence, substantial and well arranged barn and other necessary buildings, while the general appearance of the place indicates him to be a man of good judgment and excellent taste. Though his farm lies in Clayton county, Mr. Rafferty maintains his residence in Clermont, having during the past ten years been practically retired from active labor, enjoying that rest which his past efforts have entitled him to. He is a stockholder in the Clermont State Bank.
Politically, Mr. Rafferty has always been aligned with the Democratic party and has rendered efficient and satisfactory service as a justice of the peace in both Clayton and Fayette counties. In religion the family are identified with the Catholic church, to which they render a faithful and generous support.
On September 6, 1906, Mr. Rafferty was united in marriage with Fay Wells, a native of Clermont village, this county, and the daughter of Joseph and Josephine (Mathews) Wells. Her father is a native of Wisconsin and her mother of Clayton county, their home now being in Clermont. They became the parents of eight children, all of whom are living. They are numbered among the leading and most highly respected families of the community.
Though quiet and unostentatious in his personal
bearing, Mr. Rafferty is possessed of qualities which have commended him
to the esteem of all who know him and he is enjoying an enviable
standing in the community in which so many useful years of his life have
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