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James T. McNally
Born January 15, 1851


Practicing the virtues of thrift and industry with an energy that could not but be attended with a pronounced success, James T. McNally may well be numbered among the prominent farmers of Washington township. He was born upon the old homestead whose fields he now tills, January 15, 1851, a son of Thomas and Jane (Farrell) McNally. The parents were both natives of Ireland, but came to America in 1833, shortly after their marriage. For two years they lived in Brooklyn, New York, and then removed to Maryland, which remained their home for three years. It was in 1841 that they came to Washington township, Jones county, Iowa, where Mr. McNally "squatted." When this section of the state was opened by the government for colonization he conformed with the conditions required of the home seekers and secured the tract, living thereon for the rest of his life. When he came here, he had to cut the trees to make a rude shelter of logs, for the land had not known the plow or harrow and the woods had not heard the blow of an ax or hatchet. As the years passed and the soil returned abundant harvests for his labor, Mr. McNally erected a house more adequate for his needs. In 1885, when his death occurred, he was able to look back upon those early years with a sigh of satisfaction, for the present with its comforts, its large income and the knowledge that his sons were well established in their own vocations, presented a view very much changed from that of the untried country of half a century before. While Mr. McNally never aspired to public office, he enjoyed the distinction of being one of the first grand jury summoned in this county. His wife, who with so much courage had borne the hardships of the pioneering days, died one year before him, but she too was able to partake of the joys and pleasures that were added to their later years. They were the parents of eight children, namely: Robert, a farmer of Richland township, Jones county; one who died in infancy; Bernard and Frank, who have also passed away; Mary, who is the wife of James Linch, of Wright county, Iowa; Anna, who has not married; James T., the subject of this review; and Norbertus, who is deceased.
James T. McNally completed the course of instruction prescribed by the common schools of his district and then entered the high school at Temple Hill. He was always connected with agricultural pursuits, however, for from his earliest years he did his share toward assisting in the work that was carried on around the home place. Now he owns two hundred and eighty acres of some of the choicest land in Washington township, and since it has been his home through the many vicissitudes of youth and manhood, he feels attached to it as are few farmers to the fields they till. Annually he feeds about two carloads of steers and from fifty to seventy-five hogs, while he also raises several colts, deriving from all his interests an income that is very gratifying.
In 1888 Mr. McNally wedded Miss Margaret Supple, who was born in Clay township, this county, November 12, 1857. Her father, John Stipple, a farmer of this county, died in 1885, and her mother in 1883. One son, Francis J., has been granted to them. He was born October 8, 1889, and is now a promising young man who has made good use of the educational advantages afforded him.
Mr. McNally has steadfastly given his support in political matters to the democratic party and has himself played no small part in local affairs, for he has been a most capable township trustee through several terms and as a school director has done much to advance the cause of education in his locality. His allegiance in religion is given to the Catholic church of Temple Hill. Mindful of the precepts of his father, always to be up and doing, advancing not standing still, but at the same time to achieve success wholly through his own efforts and not through the calamities of those who were less amply endowed to brave the battle of life, Mr. McNally has steadily risen to an important position among the citizens of his township. As befits a man of such wide influence, he gives his support to those measures which are calculated to promote the well being of the commonwealth and of his county.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 497.

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