A HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
DECATUR COUNTY, IOWA
BY REV. EDWARD J. HARKIN, PASTOR
l956 (No Copyright)
DANIEL SULLIVAN, born in Ireland November 2l, l845. His father was
MICHAEL SULLIVAN and mother was MARY. He died March l0, l9l5. Buried
in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married JULIA MAHONEY who was
born in Ireland May l2, l845, died July 9, l898, buried in Catholic
Cemetery, Woodland Township. They were married at Ottumwa in l869 and
came to Decatur County in l87l or l872.
Previous to this marriage JULIA had married JOHN HUNT in l864 but he
died in May, l865, leaving her with a son, WALTER HUNT, who was born
November l2, l865, five months after the father's death. WALTER HUNT
died in February, l883, and had taken the name of SULLIVAN.
DANIEL SULLIVAN purchased land in High Point Township from A.C.
LOCKWOOD, December 7, l872. He had worked on the railroad. He sold
this land to his father-in-law, DENNIS MAHONEY, in November, l873.
l. WALTER HUNT SULLIVAN, born November l2, l865, died in February,
2. CATHERINE SULLIVAN, born August 25, l870, died in l870.
3. MARY SULLIVAN, born in Wapello County July 2, l87l, died in
Baltimore, Maryland, December 7, l943. Married a CHARLES
BOYLAN, January l0, l90l, who died at St. Paul, Minn. in l927
One son died as an infant. An adopted daughter, CATHERINE,
born in l9l2, died November l5, l936, in Baltimore. All are
buried at St. Paul, Minn.
4. MICHAEL SULLIVAN, born in Decatur County June 30, l873.
Baptismal record at Bauer July 23, l873. He died at Leon,
buried at Lineville, Iowa, January 4, l94l. Married FRANCES
SEARS, Leon school teacher, May 3l, l9l9. She was born in
l866, died July 20, l934, buried at Lineville.
5. PATRICK SULLIVAN, born in Decatur County, March 8, l875,
baptismal record at Bauer May 23, l875. Died March 5, l9l8,
at Grand River, buried in Catholic Cemetery Woodland
Township. Married DELLA SWOPE. Four children: JOHN,
HARRIETT, FRANCIS and ALICE.
6. JULIA SULLIVAN, born in Decatur County May 2l, l877, died
December 28, l908, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland
Township. Married TIMOTHY JAMES GRIFFIN on February 22,
l898. Four children: WINFORD, WALTER, MARGARET, TIMOTHY
7. CATHERINE SULLIVAN, born in Decatur County October l2, l879,
married MICHAEL (COL.) GROGAN May l0, l897, by Father J.A.
Cook. He died June l0, l9l0, buried in Catholic Cemetery,
Woodland Township. Two children: THOMAS and FELIX.
8. ALICE SULLIVAN, born in Decatur County September l2, l883,
died February 4, l9l5. Married her sister JULIA's husband,
TIMOTHY GRIFFIN, after JULIA died in l908. Buried in
Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
9. ELIZABETH SULLIVAN, born November ll, l886, died in February,
l908, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
Married JOSEPH WARD in February, l907. One son, PATRICIUS
WARD, born December 22, l907.
DENNIS MAHONEY, born in Ireland, l8l4, died in l894, buried in Catholic
Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married MARY REARDON, also
born in Ireland, l820. She died in l886, buried in Catholic Cemetery,
Woodland Township. DENNIS purchased land in l873 from his son-in-law,
l. JULIA MAHONEY, born in Ireland, May l2, l845 or l846. Married
JOHN HUNT. They had one son, WALTER HUNT, born November l2,
l865. He died in February, l883. Her husband, JOHN HUNT,
died year after marriage. JULIA then maried DANIEL SULLIVAN
at Ottumwa in l869 and later came to Decatur County, Iowa.
They had eight children. JULIA MAHONEY SULLIVAN died July 9,
l898, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
2. PATRICK MAHONEY, born in New York, l850, died February l3,
l94l, buried Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Married
CATHERINE MCGOVERN who died in l9l7. Children: MARY G.,
FRANK, CHARLES, WILLIAM E., and CECILIA SHULTZ.
3. DANIEL MAHONEY, born in New York, l856.
4. MARY MAHONEY, born in New York, l858, died June l, l940, buried
in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. Never married.
5. ELLEN MAHONEY, born in Wapello County, Iowa, l860. School
teacher in l884. Married RICKARD BARRETT. She died March
l6, l94l, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
Children: MARY BARRETT MASTERSON, HELEN BARRY, WILLIAM D.
BARRETT, GRACE BARRETT, JOHN died young. Ten grandchildren:
BERNIE MASTERSON, MARGARET GORE, CATHERINE HAY, JAMES BARRY,
PAULINE BARRY DAVIS, ROBERT BARRY, RICHARD BARRETT, DONALD
BARRETT, MARY AGNEW BARRETT, MARGARET ANN BARRETT.
JOSEPH PETERS, born in the United States in l847, died July l3, l879,
married LOUISA KETTERER. She was born in Lee County in February, l854
(according to l885 census). Purchased land in Decatur County, Woodland
Township March l7, l877. They came to Decatur County shortly after
l87l. I have been told they came from around Fairfield, Iowa, in
Jefferson County, in the southeast part of Iowa. KETTERERS also live
near Conception, Mo., Both are buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland
l. JOHN JOSEPH PETERS, born in Decatur County, Iowa, November 4,
l874, baptized November 30, l873, record at Bauer. He lives
in Oregon (Gervais).
2. KATHERINE ANN PETERS, born in Decatur County, January 7, l875,
baptized January 24, l875, record at Bauer. Died June ll,
l95l. Married CHARLES SMITH. Lived life in California and
3. MARY MAGDALEN PETERS, born October 8, l876, baptized October
25, l876, record at Bauer. Died May l2, l877, buried in
Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township.
4. FRANCIS J. PETERS, born May l4, l878, baptized June l5, l878,
record at Bauer. Died January 7, l879, buried in Catholic
Cemetery, Woodland Township.
5. MARGARET PETERS--SISTER MARY PHILOMENA, Sisters of Saint
Francis, Maryville, Mo.--born in Decatur County December 2l,
l879. She died April 20, l946.
MR. JOSEPH PETERS died July l3, l879, buried in Catholic Cemetery,
MRS. PETERS married JOHN BARRY March 30, l880, before Father E. Hayes at
Catholic Church, Woodland Township. MR. BARRY came from County Cork,
Ireland, in l874, born in Ireland January 6, l839, died November 26,
l9ll, buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. LOUISA BARRY died
November 7, l924. Buried in Catholic
Cemetery, Woodland Township.
6. ELIZABETH FLORENCE BARRY, born in Decatur County August ll,
l88l. She is living in Seattle, Washington.
7. BRIDGET CLARA BARRY, born in Decatur County July 29, l883. She
married PETER MCCARTHY, living in Los Angeles, California.
Children: Two girls, both nuns; three boys: One, CLEMENT R.
MCCARTHY, a priest. Oblate of Mary Immaculate, working as
missionary in Philippine Island.
8. STEPHEN WALTER BARRY, born in Decatur County September 7, l885,
married HELEN BARRETT May 23, l9l8, first marriage in St.
Brendan's Church building. STEPHEN died May 5, l955, in
Decatur City, buried in Catholic Plot, Leon City Cemetery.
Children: JAMES of California, PAULINE DAVIS of California,
ROBERT of Des Moines.
9. JAMES LEO BARRY, born in Decatur County November 5, l887.
Married HARRIETT SULLIVAN. They moved from Decatur County
about l939 to Conception, Mo., to original KETTERER farm.
She died March 6, l94l. JAMES and children are living near
Conception, Mo. Four children: EDWARD, CATHERINE, JOSEPH,
l0. AGNES THERESA BARRY (S.M. BARROMEO), born in Decatur County
April 4, l890. Entered Sisters of Humility, Ottumwa, Iowa,
April 30, l9l0. Died in religion at Ottumwa February ll,
ll. LAURENCE LEONARD BARRY, born May l2, l892, in Decatur County.
Married OLIVE COONTZ of Decatur County. Four children:
MAURICE, MARGARET, MARY, JOHN. All living in Joliet,
l2. ANDREW EDWARD BARRY, born in Decatur County August 28, l894.
ANDREW is living in Leon. Married MARGARET WALTON. Has one
daughter, VIRGENE BROWN, and two grandchildren, CONNIE and
BOBBIE BROWN, all of Leon.
13. PATRICK HENRY BARRY, born in Decatur County October l5, l897.
Married has three children living in California.
"Married in the Catholic Church in Woodland Township March 30 by Father
Hayes, JOHN BARRY to MRS. LOUISA PETERS."--Leon Journal,
Thursday, April 8, l880.
"JOHN BARRY visited the Journal office to renew his subscription. JOHN
came from County Cork, Ireland, 22 years ago and not long afterwards
settled in this county. He is a good Republican, industrious and
intelligent citizen."--Leon Journal, Thursday,
December 24, l896.
"Quite a number of the Catholics attended Mass at JOHN BARRY's
Friday."--Leon Journal, January l2, l905, Thursday edition, Ireland
"SISTER MARY BARROMEO and MOTHER MARY LIGOURI came last Thursday from
Ottumwa to visit at the home of MRS. LOUISA BARRY near Leon."
--Leon Journal, August 8, l9l8, Thursday edition.
(Note: MOTHER MARY LIGOURI of Sisters of Humility, Ottumwa, was a
KETTERER, a sister of MRS. LOUISA BARRY.)
There were other families who lived near Woodland Township or near the
Ireland Church in l875 or moved in later. Most of them soon moved away.
KRITZ - SYLVESTER KRITZ and MARY SCHIMIDT. They lived north of the
BARRYS but moved up north near Milo, Iowa.
BRENNAN - JOHN BRENNAN and MARY BROMINT lived near Lineville.
Several Baptismal records are at Bauer, Iowa, and at
STACK - MICHAEL STACK and ANN SUTHERAN. One baptismal record at
Georgetown states they lived in Decatur County in l869.
OGDEN - WILLIAM OGDEN and MARY BRADY came from Navoo, Illinois,
about l875 and lived northeast of Pleasanton, Iowa. They
are buried in Illinois. Children all married and moved
to Canada, Des Moines and California.
LEAHY - DANIEL PATRICK LEAHY and MARY FANDINA REBBE. Both are
buried back in Petersburg, Illinois. Contributed
generously to new St. Brendan's Church.
HURLEY - DANIEL HURLEY and ELIZABETH MCCLURE. Moved out west.
MURPHY - MURPHY family of Lineville, Iowa. Baptismal records at
DRAHAN - DRAHAN family of Lineville, Iowa. Baptismal records at
KEMPF - MARY, age 64, was buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland
Township, July 28, l879.
Other families came during the '80s or later--JOHN O'BOYLE family, now
live at Vail, Iowa. EDWARD COMERFORD of County Waterford, Ireland,
buried in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. A.W. BRYSON moved out
west. MRS. WILLIAM MCDANIEL and children. MRS. HARRY SPICER is the only
one living in Leon. ROSE RACHAIL FARRELL, MRS. LEWIS BRIGHT and
children. Several first communion records at Maloy of a KIRWIN family
of Leon, l895-l899. Moved to Des Moines.
Several PRITCHARD records are at Maloy. They moved away about l9l0.
The JOHN CAUFIELD family now lives in Des Moines.
PETER MARTIN, born Mullingar, Ireland, in l832, was a Civil War veteran
and had a stroke August, l894, and died three weeks later. He is buried
in Catholic Cemetery, Woodland Township. His wife and children returned
ELIZABETH CRANE, the widow of MARK CRANE, resides in Leon.
Some time ago I was visiting with JOHN (CAPPY) WALSH of Des Moines,
an old schoolmate of mine of Dowling High School. He told me that his
parents and family once lived at Van Wert many years ago when his
father, LARRY WALSH, worked for the old Keokuk and Western Railroad that
once ran through Van Wert.