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History of Adair
County, Iowa, 1915.

Biographical.  Volume 2.


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Marcus Hennessy.

Marcus Hennessy, whose grain office was the first building in Orient and who also erected the first dwelling in the village, came to the west from New England.  He was born in Massachusetts, on the 22d of November, 1845, a son of Michael and Mary (Lynch) Hennessey, both of whom were natives of Ireland.  They came to America in the '30s and first settled in Massachusetts, remaining in that state until the early '50s, when they became residents of Ohio, living there for three years.  On the expiration of that period they removed to Albia, Iowa, and took up their abode upon a farm, upon which both the father and mother spent their remaining days.

Marcus Hennessy is the only surviving member in his father's family of three children.  He accompanied his parents on their various removals until they reached Iowa, acquired a common school education and remained at home until his marriage, which was celebrated in 1869, Miss Elizabeth Geary becoming his wife.  She was born in Pennsylvania, a daughter of Edward and Margaret (Reynolds) Geary, who were natives of Ireland but came to America in early life and established their home in the Keystone state.  About the year 1849 they became residents of Lee county, Iowa, and afterward removed to Monroe county but the father died in Keokuk, Iowa.  Later the mother and her family took up their abode in Monroe county and settled upon a farm, where the mother died.  She had six children but only two are now living.

Following his marriage Mr. Hennessy occupied his father's old homestead until after the death of his parents and industriously and successfully gave his attention to general agricultural pursuits.  Later he removed to Creston, where he lived for two years and in 1878 he established his home at Orient, where he was engaged in the grain business for thirty-five years.  His grain office was the first building erected in the town and he also built the first dwelling house there.  Subsequently he bought two lots and erected thereon a fine residence, around which he planted a grove, the trees being now of large size, rendering the place most attractive.  With the development of Orient he has been closely and helpfully associated from the beginning and there is no phase of the public life of the village that has tended to advance its welfare with which he has not been connected.

Mr. and Mrs. Hennessy have become parents of three children:  Edward M., who died at the age of six years;  Mary Margaret, who was a teacher in the public schools and a teacher of music following her graduation from the musical school prior to marriage to F. A. Strong, of Orient;  and Sarah Ellen, who is a graduate of the high school of Orient.  She took up the study of nursing and followed that profession for three years.  There are also three grandchildren, Mark W., Mary Eileen and Frederick Aloysius Strong.

Mr. and Mrs. Hennessy are members of the Catholic church.  He still owns seven acres of land in the village of Orient.  He was mayor of the town for a number of years and is now city treasurer, a position which he has occupied for seventeen years.  He has also served on the school board and he drew up the first ordinance for the village, which thirty years later his daughter Nellie rewrote.  He has ever belonged to that class of men who, while advancing individual success, contribute to the public prosperity.  His life has never been self-centered but has reached out along helpful lines for the benefit of his fellowmen and for the community, and the town of Orient largely owes its existence and its advancement to his efforts.



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