Mr. Ratigan was born in Fermoyle, Lanesboro County Longbord, Ireland, Nov. 3, 1827, and was a son of John Ratigan, a native of Ireland and a farmer by occupation. Our subject was reared in his native country and when approaching manhood occupied himself as a farmer until coming to America, in 1851. He located first at Exeter, this County, and engaged in coal mining, prospecting for himself and shipping to different points, and accumulated a fortune. In 1863 he purchased eighty acres of land where in connection with mining he carried on farming and later added to his landed estate by the purchase of another eighty acres adjoining and which constitutes the present homestead. Much labor and time was involved in bring the land to a state of cultivation, but it responded generously to the hand of the husbandman and is now very fertile, being watered by Mauvaisterre Creek. Mr. Ratigan planted an abundance of fruit trees and a fine sketch of native timber adds to the value of the property. The commodious residence was erected by him, while the barn and other buildings are amply adapted to all the requirements of the modern agriculturist. Mr. Ratigan departed this life Oct. 29, 1887. Politically, he was a Greenbacker, and he exerted considerable influence in the councils of his party in this section.
Mrs. Ratigan since the death of her husband has managed the farm with rare good judgment and maintained its old-time reputation; she is the mother of eight children, the eldest of whom, Minnie, died at the age of two and half years. The survivors are Harry, George, Lucy, John F., William C., Daniel F., and Martha E., and they are all at home with their mother. Mrs. Ratigan has been a member of the I. O. G. T., and is a member of the Catholic Church at Bluffs. She has decided ideas concerning politics and is in favor of Democracy.
The parents of Mrs. Ratigan were Michael and Kate (Beecham) Deegan, natives of County Queens, Ireland. Her paternal grandfather, Richard Deegan, was a well-to-do farmer and sportsman, keeping his horses and hounds, and frequently hunting in the forest. He was a Lieutenant in the English army for six years and the family in those days had their coat-of-arms. The father of Mrs. Ratigan engaged in merchandising in County Queens during his younger years. After emigrating to America he established himself in the hardware trade at Rome, N. Y., but later came to Illinois and engaged in Hotel keeping near Exeter, Scott County. He died in Peoria. He was a Democrat, politically, and a member of the Catholic Church.
The mother of Mrs. Ratigan was also a native of County Queens, Ireland. She died in Rome, N. Y.; she was the daughter of Captain Henry B. Beecham, who, like his compeer, Grandfather Deegan, loved his horses and hounds and was a sportsman. To the parents of Mrs. Ratigan there born six children. Her sister, Eliza, Mrs. Sims, lives in Peoria, this State; Katie, Mrs. McLaughlin, is a resident of Pekin; Mary, Mrs. Eaves, lives in Milton, Pike County; Gretta, Mrs. Berkenmeyer, lives near Naples; Annie, Mrs. R., was the next youngest born.
Mrs. Ratigan was born near Drummond, in County Queens, Ireland, May 4, 1844, and was a mere child when she was brought by her parents to America. They made the voyage on a sailing vessel, embarking at Liverpool and landing in New York City. She grew to womanhood in Scott County, receiving a common school education and was married in Peoria, March 4, 1862 to Mr. Ratigan.