A HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
DECATUR COUNTY, IOWA
BY REV. EDWARD J. HARKIN, PASTOR
l956 (No Copyright)
GRAND RIVER FAMILIES
PATRICK CONWELL of Carrick, Donegal County, Ireland, and MARGARET BRADY
had two sons: STEPHEN, born in l828, and EDWARD, born in l830.
MARGARET, the wife of PATRICK, died leaving the two young sons. PATRICK
married MARY MCBRARIETY and from that union four children were born;
JANE CONWELL MCLAUGHLIN; SIMON CONWELL of Seneca, Kansas; GEORGE CONWELL
of Grand River who was born July l6, l848, in Carrick, County Donegal:
ANN CONWELL SMITH of Iowa City.
As time passed, the children, STEPHEN and EDWARD, being the first, came
to America. Later, after the death of MARY MCBRARIETY, PATRICK CONWELL
also came to live in Decatur County, north of Grand River. However,
PATRICK CONWELL, the former Post Master of Carrick, Ireland, soon died,
in December, l870, age 75, of paralysis, only a few months after coming
to America and was buried in St. Ambrose Cemetery, Des Moines, with his
son, STEPHEN, who had died September 20, l867.
STEPHEN CONWELL, born in Ireland in l828, bought land jointly with his
brother, EDWARD in Richland Township from the United States Government,
June l0, l854. They lived on their land and harvested a crop during the
summer of l855. STEPHEN and EDWARD were both "Irish Peddlers." While
on a trip during the summer of l864, through Mondamin, Iowa, in Harrison
County, STEPHEN met a Mr. Morrow whose home was a stage coach stop on
the way to Sioux City. On April l9, l866, STEPHEN married JANE MORROW,
the inn keeper's daughter. A year later ANN ELIZABETH (MRS. WILLIAM
KELLY) was born in Decatur County, Iowa, June 29, l867. Her baptismal
record is at Georgetown. Three months afterward STEPHEN took sick and
died very suddenly in Decatur County and was buried in Des Moines at St.
Ambrose Cemetery. His daughter, ANN ELIZABETH CONWELL, married WILLIAM
KELLY of Mondamin. One of their children is MRS. F.H. (VIVIAN) LOGAN of
EDWARD CONWELL, born December 23, l830, Carrick, County Donegal,
Ireland, bought land in Decatur County, June l0, l854, and harvested a
crop of 50 bushels of corn from ten acres of improved land the summer of
l855. See Iowa Census l856, Vol. 42, Page. 98.
His marriage record is as follows in his Bible possessed by MRS. J.J.
MCGREEVY of Grand River:
"MR. EDWARD CONWELL and MISS JULIA DAUGHTON were united by me in Holy
Matrimony at the Woodland Church the l9th day of January in the year of
our Lord One thousand eight hundred and seventy, in the presence of
GEORGE CONWELL and MARY DILLON. B.A. Cannon R.C., Priest."
EDWARD CONWELL died March l8, l9l5. JULIA died January 27, l923. Both
are buried at Maloy Catholic Cemetery.
Children: All were born north of Grand River.
l. STEPHEN, born April ll, l87l, died October 25, l93l, married in
Utah. Two children, DONNA and EDWARD.
2. JAMES MAURICE, born August 2l, l872, living in California.
3. MARGARET E., born January l4, l874, married JOHN TREANOR, died at
Creston in l952. She was baptized by Father Placidus O.S.B. and
is the first Grand River baptism in Creston register.
4. JULIA ANN, born April l5, l875, married JAMES J. MCGREEVY, April
l0, l899. He was born in County Down, Ireland, April l5, l874,
of JOHN MCGREEVY and MARY KINLEY. They are living north of
Grand River and have two daughters, MARIE in California, and
MONICA in Indiana.
5. SIMON W., born October l6, l876, died in California in December,
6. EDWARD P., born March 27, l878, married CALISTA SHAY of Maloy,
have children; living at Red Lodge, Montana.
7. CATHERINE, born April l0, l88l, died in California in l948,
married JOHN WARD, survived by four children.
8. GEORGE L., born in l883, died in l885.
9. LUKE, born April l9, l885, married ALMA BARRETT. He has three
children: EVELYN MAHRENHOLZ, ROBERT, NELLIE.
l0. FRANK D., born January ll, l887, married THERESA LYONS. They had
four children: CATHERINE, JULIA, TERESA and ANNA.
ll. Twins, died in infancy.
EDWARD CONWELL, one of many Irish Peddlers during the l850's and l860's
took trips walking through Kentucky and Tennessee with a pack mule
carrying linen, woolen and lace material or other things that were
needed by people who lived in far away places.
He made several trips through southern Iowa west from Keokuk before he
was married. That is how he met JULIA DAUGHTON of Ireland in Woodland
Township. The peddler was generally welcomed at the log cabin of his
customer. He knew most of the Irish from southern Iowa to Tennessee and
even up into Ohio and Indiana.
One of his common expressions was "In troth never buy, til ya hev the
mooney. If ya hev the mooney then buy and in troth it's a good deal."
EDWARD, or NEDDIE as he was known, was County Commissioner or member of
the Board of Supervisors of Decatur County, January, l880-l883.
He was born in County Donegal, Ireland, July l6, l848, of PATRICK
CONWELL and MARY MCBRARIETY. He was a half brother to STEPHEN and
EDWARD and came to America before October 5, l869, and married MARY
MORAN, born at Muscatine, Iowa, October 25, l86l, married at Creston,
Iowa, January 27, l878. Both are buried at Afton. They lived their
married life north of Grand River. He died in l93l, she died in l923.
l. PATRICK, born November l6, l878, married MARTHA EDWARDS. They had
2. JENNY, JANE E., born September 23, l880, married STEPHEN B.
O'GRADY. Both buried in O'GRADY Cemetery. They had three
children: MARY MARGARET, EUGENE and DONALD.
3. THOMAS, born in l882, died in l887.
4. MARY ANN, born July 23, l883, living in Osceola.
5. AGNES, born June 28, l887, married A.C. TEATSWORTH of Lenox.
They have three children.
6. ALICE, born March 2, l896, married ALBERT FAY MACY. They have
two sons at Osceola.