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Patrick J. Fagan
Born November 13, 1846


Among the many men who have kept pace with the progress of Jones county and whose extraordinary success is representative of the prosperity of the agricultural community of Scotch Grove township, is Patrick J. Fagan, one of Ireland's native sons. He was born in County Meath, November 13, 1846, his parents being Thomas and Mary (O'Brien) Fagan, also children of the Emerald isle. In 1847 they came to the United States, settling first in Jersey City, New Jersey, where Thomas Fagan found employment in a starch factory. There strong traits of character, industry and the capacity to control men won for him rapid promotion, until he became foreman of the concern before he had been any years. In 1856, after nine years' sojourn in the east, he came west taking up his residence in Scotch Grove township, Jones county, where he first eighty acres of government land. A brother-in-law, Michael O'Brien, had received a warrant for that tract, paying a dollar and a quarter an acre. Upon that Thomas Fagan established himself and engaged in agriculture, winning such success from his cultivation of the fields that he was able to add extensively to his original farm until at his death he was in possession of five hundred and forty acres of valuable land in Jones county. He died November 13, 1898, when he was eighty-one years old, while his wife had passed away many years before, being only sixty-eight years of age when her life was brought to a close.
At home, under the wise guidance of his parents, Patrick J. Fagan received that substantial training for the practical affairs of life, which has made possible his latter-day success, while his training in the rudimentary branches of education, obtained at the public schools of his district, was supplemented by a course at the Monticello high school.
From his youth he was reared to agricultural pursuits and after reaching manhood he and his father operated the old homestead farm in conjunction. The partnership continued throughout the life of the older man, and upon his death his son acquired the place, which had been the scene of his labors for so long, for he bought the shares from the other heirs. He now owns five hundred and fifty acres in one expanse of fields, whose area, if nothing else, would entitle him to be numbered among the substantial men of his township, but there are other things besides his success that has given him an influential position in the community. The course of his life has contained nothing that was esoteric or should be hidden; all of his acts have been guided by high principles of honor and integrity and are worthy of imitation. Part of his fortune has been obtained through the cultivation of the fields but he has made a specialty of buying and feeding cattle and hogs, finding that his operations in that direction have been well requited.
On the 3d of February, 1885, Mr. Fagan was joined in wedlock to Miss Ellen Milan, of Clay township, this county. Of the seven children born to them five survive, namely: Thomas W., Margaret and Bernard M., who are at home; Rose, who is attending the parish school at Temple Hill; and Mary Frances, who is a pupil in the district school. The family are all members of the Catholic church, and besides being devout in their attention to their religious duties have put to practical application the teachings of the first day of the week. In political matters, Mr. Fagan has given his support unfailingly to the democratic party, under whose suffrage he has filled most efficiently the positions of road supervisor and member of the school board.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 335.

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