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Robert Healy
Died 21 June 1889
He Broke His Vows and Married
Anamosa, Iowa, Aug. 9—Robert Healy, an old and well-known citizen with a romanttic history, died this morning at his home here, aged eighty years. The deceased was a native of County Waterford, Ireland. He received a classical education in the old country, entered the Catholic priesthood on obtaining his majority, and soon after joined the Order of Trappists. In 1845, he came to America in company with the monks who established the famous monastery of New-Mellary, Iowa.
Healy was one of the leaders of this sturdy band, and maintained his connection with it until 1859, when he fell violently in love with a beautiful young woman who lived near the monastery, and whom he was in the habit of meeting clandestinely from time to time.
The two became so deeply enamored with each other that Healy finally broke the vows of lifelong celibacy he had taken by marrying the young woman, for which act he was expelled from the order and excommunicated from the Catholic Church.
Disowned by his brother monks and denied the benefits of his Church, he became morose and hypochondriacal, which resulted in partial dementia before his death.
During the civil war he entered the service of the Union side and was one of the bravest soldiers in the heroic Thirty-first Iowa Infantry, receiving several wounds for which he drew a pension from the Government.
A few years ago his wife and two daughters removed to California, where they are now living.

Submitted by: Sharon Oltmanns
Source: New York Times, August 10, 1889


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Last updated on Thursday, 12-Apr-2018 07:03:48 MST