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Richard McQuillen
Born May 1, 1843


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.

Among the countless numbers who have answered the call of opportunity to the shores of the new world were the parents of Richard McQuillen. John McQuillen, his father, and Margaret Lang, his mother, grew to young manhood and womanhood among the green vales of Erin. When they came to America, both young people settled in Albany, New York, where they were soon united in marriage. The father was an engineer on the New York Central Railway, his route lying between Albany and Schenectady, New York. That was in the early '40s and the New York Central at that time could boast of only three engines. The one upon which John McQuillen plied the throttle lever was named the John Bull, but even this constant reminder of other days was unable to dampen the enthusiasm of the young Irishman for the country to which he bad come.
Richard McQuillen was born in Albany, New York, May 1, 1843, and in 1846 the family came west to Jones county, Iowa, arriving here on the 4th of July. Iowa was still a territory at that time and the father bought a claim in Richland township, his son John residing on this land at the present day. Sadly enough the head of the family lived but two months after acquiring his homestead, his death occurring on the 23d of August, 1846. In his family were five sons: Bernard deceased; George, deceased; John, who lives on the old homestead in Richland township; Richard, the subject of the sketch; and Thomas, who is now located in Dubuque county, where he holds the position of county supervisor. The mother of these boys kept the family together and reared its members to manhood. This brave and dauntless woman lived to the advanced age of eighty-two years, her death occurring in September, 1889.
Richard McQuillen enjoyed the experience so interesting to the younger generation, used as it is to a more advanced civilization, of growing up in an old pioneer log cabin with its open fireplace and puncheon floor. He also acquired his education in a log cabin schoolhouse. In his tenth year he attended the Farm Creek district school, but in 1857 a log schoolhouse was erected in the district in which he was living. The McQuillen boys assumed many of the burdens and responsibility which would naturally have fallen upon their father's shoulders and cooperated in the cultivation of the farm. They kept together until 1870, when George settled in Washington township, and in 1880 Thomas removed to Dubuque county, leaving Richard and John to their cooperative farming for another decade. In 1890 they divided the property and Richard took possession of a farm of his own, which consisted of three hundred and eighty acres, two hundred and sixty of which he had purchased two years previously. He also owns some three hundred acres in Washington township. He makes a specialty of pasturing and raising cattle and has extensive interests in that line.
Mr. McQuillen was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Winters, of Dubuque, March 31, 1801, and three sons have been born to them: John R., who is a student at St. Joseph's College in Dubuque; Charles T. and Francis J., who are at home.
Mr. McQuillen is a stanch member of the democratic party and for twelve years was actively identified with it as township trustee. Both he and his wife are members of the Catholic church. He is recognized as one of the sound and influential men of his community.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 257.

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