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John McQuillen
Born September 23, 1841


JOHN, RICHARD & THOMAS H. McQUILLEN, farmers, Richland Twp., Sec. 23; P.O. Cascade; sons of John McQuillen, who was born in Ireland, and came to the United States in 1830; lived in Albany, N.Y., till he came to Jones Co. in the spring of 1846; he settled where his sons now live. He died in the fall of the year he came to the county. Besides the three brothers mentioned above, is George, who resides in Washington Township; another, Bernard, died in 1865; the homestead, now owned by John, Richard and Thomas, contains 500 acres, 300 of which is improved; they are engaged principally in stock-raising. Thomas, born in 1846, is the only one of the brothers born in Jones Co.; he has held several township offices; has been Township Clerk and Collector for four years; was a Justice of the Peace from 1871 to 1875; he was one of the first Directors of the Cascade, Bellevue & Western Railroad. The brothers are Democrats in politics. Their mother, Margarette McQuillen, lives with them. They are Catholics in religion.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Western Historical Company, Chicago, 1879, page 690.

John McQuillen, one of the wealthy farmers of Richland township, was born in Albany, New York, September 23, 1841, and is a son of John and Margaret (Lang) McQuillen, of whom extended mention is made in the sketch of Richard McQuillen on another page of this volume. He was but five years of age when his parents came to Jones county, and can well remember the early years of their life here, where their first shelter from the elements was a rude log cabin. The school in which he was a pupil was also housed in a building of logs, but he maintains that even more valuable lessons were learned there than in the more commodious and handsomely fitted schoolhouses of the present. For two terms he was also a student at Mt. Vernon, Iowa. Naturally he early assumed some of the responsibilities of the operation of the farm, and united with his brothers in lifting the heavy burden from the shoulders of their mother, whose lot would have been severe enough under the best of circumstances, but was especially difficult at that early date.
The brothers remained together until 1870, when the family circle was broken through George's removal to another township, and then in 1890 the property was divided, John McQuillen acquiring the homestead. He has added to it in the last twenty years, so that it now embraces four hundred and forty-four acres, a tract of land that is excellently well adapted to general farming, which he pursues. In addition to his purely agricultural interests, Mr. McQuillen has engaged to some extent in the breeding of registered shorthorn cattle and has found this branch of his business very lucrative. Indeed, as the result of his earnest toil, his application and the habits of economy and foresight which he learned early in his youth he has become one of the most substantial and widely respected representatives of his calling in Richland township.
In 1891, Mr. McQuillen married Miss Elizabeth Lawler, of Monticello, Iowa. Six children have been born to the couple, and four survive. They are: Margaret Ann, Henry Albert, William Satolli and Mary Josephine, all at home. The family are devout members of the Catholic church, while Mr. McQuillen is a member of the Knights of Columbus. Politically he has ever given his support to the democratic party, and as trustee and one of the school board he has rendered efficient service to the township. The former office he held through three or four terms, and his administration was distinguished by those qualities of integrity and high principles which have marked the course of his private life.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 273.

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