||William McGovern, who has a large farm in Richland township and conducts a dairy in connection with his agricultural interests, was born in this county, and is a son of William and Jane (Heery) McGovern. The parents were natives of Ireland, where the father was born in 1825 and the mother in 1819, and came to America in 1837. In 1853, in New York state they were married and the following year came to Jones county, Iowa. Here they rented land for a few years and then bought the farm in Richland township on which their son Thomas lives today. It remained their home until their deaths, which occurred at the opening of the twentieth century, after they had witnessed some of the more important changes which had been wrought in the appearance and condition of the county since they had taken up their residence here. The father died in 1900, but the mother survived until 1906, when her life was also brought to its close. They were the parents of eight children, only two of whom are now living: William, the subject of this sketch, and Thomas, a farmer in Richland township.
William McGovern attended the common schools of this county, from which he derived a fair education in the rudimentary branches of English instruction. Home training supplemented whatever were the shortcomings of his formal schooling and through practical experience in the tilling of the soil, in which he assisted from his early boyhood, prepared him for the vocation to which he has given his attention. Until he was thirty-three years of age he remained with his parents and then, starting out in life for himself. bought the farm on which he is living today. It is a tract of two hundred and eighty acres, which is maintained under a high state of cultivation, besides being improved with substantial and commodious buildings of an excellent kind. In connection with his purely agricultural interests he conducts a dairy, which has proved a profitable undertaking financially, for the same care and diligence which has characterized his work as a farmer is noticeable here. A certain skill is of course necessary in obtaining the best results from the soil, but it is a skill that comes from experience born of industry and a determination to succeed, rather than from any esoteric maneuvers in a world foreign to his vocation, that has brought Mr. McGovern the good fortune he now enjoys.
In 1891 was celebrated the wedding of Mr. McGovern and Miss Nellie Hogan, who was born in Castle Grove township, Jones county, and is a daughter of D. M. and Catherine Hogan. The former is now deceased, but the latter is living in Castle Grove township. Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. McGovern: William L. G., who is at home; Mary J., who is attending the high school at Anamosa; Dennis M. and Agnes C., who are at home.
The parents are both members of the Catholic church and are rearing their family in that faith. In his political views Mr. McGovern finds himself in sympathy with the democratic party and invariably casts his vote for its candidate. For himself, however, he has never sought office, although he has served very efficiently as a school director, a position he is still holding.
Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 224.
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