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Thomas W. Heaney
Born March 2, 1840


Thomas W. Heaney, who for more than twenty years has been a member of the agricultural community of Richland township, was born in Onondaga county, New York, March 2, 1840. His parents were John and Mary (Hussey) Heaney, both natives of the town of Ballymore, Ireland, where they were married. In 1832, as their wedding trip, they embarked on their journey to the United States and after thirteen weeks and three days upon the water landed in New York. They went to Utica, that state, where they remained a short time going next to Onondaga county, where John Heaney obtained employment as foreman in a stone, quarry. In 1855, they came to Iowa, locating first in East Dubuque, where the father and a brother worked for a stone contractor, and then in 1857 coming to Jones county, for Mr. Heaney had bought eighty acres of land in Richland township upon coming to the state. On this he established his family and spent the few years of life that remained for him. He passed away March 21, 1865, but his wife lived until May 8, 1891, when she too died, having attained an advanced age.
Thomas W. Heaney was reared at home and acquired his practical training for the responsibilities of life in the common schools. He remained with Ills father on the farm until his twenty-second year, when he married and started to make his own way in the world. For one year he worked for his father-in-law and then renting a piece of land engaged in agricultural pursuits for himself. After one year's experience as a tenant lie bought a tract in Whitewater, Dubuque county, on which he lived but one year, when his father's death compelled his return to his old home. In 1866 he took up a different line of work, going west as one of the men who were employed upon the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. For three years he worked for that concern and the Central Pacific Railroad, and then went to Maryville, Missouri. where he remained but three months, when be came to Jones county and took up his residence in Monticello, living there from the fall of 1869 to July, 1871. At that latter date he removed to Cascade, where for ten years he was engaged in the grocery and liquor business. Then, again he took up agricultural pursuits, moving in 1882 to a farm in Richland township, which he and his brother John operated in conjunction for about five years. In 1887 Mr. Heaney purchased the Robert Reed place, his present home, to which he has since devoted his energies. It is a tract embracing one hundred and sixty acres, well unproved and cultivated, on which he pursues general farming.
On the 9th of February 1862, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Heaney to Miss Hannah O'Brien. She is a Slaughter of Dennis O'Brien, who came to this country from Ireland in 1847 and after residing in New Jersey for a time came in 1856 or 1857 to Jones county. He located in Richland township, where he followed farming throughout his active years. No children have been born to the couple, but they have reared three. Clarence was legally adopted. Nettie Hughes is now the wife of David Lahey, of Imogene, Fremont county, Iowa, Lizzie, the third child who shared their home and who was known by the name of her foster parents, married Archibald Farrell, of Ryan, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Heaney are consistent members of the Catholic church, while politically he has allied himself with the democratic party.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 318.

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