many conflicting rumors. The certificate of the commissioners states that he has used liquor to excess for

thirty years, which will be news to many. It was generally known that Mr. Devine was a drinking man, and

rumors of attacks of tremens several times before this have been afloat, but it was not generally supposed

that he was what would be called a hard drinker. He was so still and discreet in his methods that he never

allowed liquor to show any effect on him. His health ordinarily was excellent, but he complained to several

of his friends the past fall, and talked of spending the winter in another climate if he could dispose of his

cattle and quit feeding.

Mr. Devine came to the county in the summer of 1856 and took the claim on the river where he now lives.

He lived three months in his wagon bed and endured all the hardships of pioneer life. He early engaged in

stock raising, and from that branched out into buying cattle and feeding. In this he was very successful, and

it is doubtful if a shrewder buyer has ever done business in Iowa. He accumulated money rapidly and is

now one of the wealthiest, if not the wealthiest man in this part of the state. Before coming to Kossuth Mr.

Devine spent six years in the gold mines of California, and before that was in Chicago five years. He was

born in Ireland, coming to Quebec at the age of 14. He has a wife and nine children.

The county commissioners at the request of Mrs. Devine and the family appointed John G. Smith to have

charge of his business affairs until some permanent disposal may be made. This insures a careful

administration of his affairs until he either recovers or is deemed hopelessly demented. His friends believe

he will rally and he himself [unable to read 3 lines due to poor image] may be right about it, and that he

will soon be back and clothed in his right mind.

--Algona Upper Des Moines, 11 January 1893, page 5

Barnet Devine, of Algona, aged seventy years, was declared insane and sent to the asylum. His insanity was

caused by excessive drinking, and attacks of delirium tremens.

--LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, 17 January 1893, page 2

Dr. Armstrong was in Monday and showed us a letter from Dr. Hill of the state asylum at Independence. In

it he says that Barnet Devine is sleeping well and eating quite well. Most of the time he is quiet, and seems

to think that his farm is only two or three miles away. Once in a while he becomes a little excited and seems

to want to get away. The doctor says that if he were younger he should have strong hopes of his getting

well, as it is he does not offer a promise either way. All that he has written, however, to either Dr.

Armstrong or Lewis H. and John G. Smith seems to indicate that the prospect is hopeful. He says they have

special facilities at Independence for such cases, and that it was lucky Mr. Devine was sent when he was.

--Algona Upper Des Moines, 18 January 1893, page 5

The court at this session appointed Mr. John G. Smith temporary guardian of Barney Devine. A more

suitable man would be hard to find. Mr. Smith and Mr. Devine are old friends and have been more or less

associated with each other in a business way during the past thirty-five years.

--Algona Republican, 18 January 1893, page 5

Barney Devine of Kossuth county has been adjudged insane. He is a prominent farmer and cattle owner.

--LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, 20 January 1893, page 1

--Alton Democrat, 21 January 1893, page 6

Barney Devine is back from Independence. His friends are much

pleased with his recovery.

--Algona Republican, 8 March 1893, page 5

It is reported that the management of the insane hospital at Independence is most disgraceful and brutal.

Stories are told concerning it that are equal in monstrosity to those current some years ago concerning the

Tewksbury Almshouse in Massachusetts. It is probable that all that is said is not true, but it is also probable

that where there is so much smoke there must be some fire. A committee has been appointed by the


Rachel (Scherf) Levine

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