Jacksonville has never had as large foreign elements in its population as have many other places. But it has had a fair sprinkling of some of the people from across the seas. It would not have been a representative American place if it had not had citizens from the Green Isle to strengthen and enliven it.
One of these was John Buckley, who was born in Macromme, County Cork, Ireland, June 25, 1832. It was the same neighborhood from which came Mr. Davis, father of Mayor John R. and George P., present chief of police.
Mr. Buckley landed in New York City in 1851 and went to Massachusetts, living in Boston, Lowell, Lynn and Salem. Here he spent three years. Massachusetts was then, as now, a great shoe manufacturing section, and to be in the fashion Mr. Buckley learned that trade, and followed it in the Bay state.
In 1854 he came west, and to Jacksonville, which continued to be his home. Mr. Buckley here found Miss Charlotte MacEnRoe, born in Troy, N.Y., in about the year 1840, and they were married in 1857. Mrs. Buckley was of Scotch-Irish ancestry, her people having come from the north of Ireland, and her father's grandparents were Protestants. She with Mr. Buckley were members of the Roman Catholic church. She was a daughter of James MacEnRoe, who had come here before Mr. Buckley did. The priest here at the time the Buckleys were married was Michael O'Herion, and he joined them in wedlock.
Mr. and Mrs. Buckley lived first on North Main street, north of the Great Western Railway, as the Wabash was at that time called. They then had their residence on South East street, south of College street, about 1860. They then lived further south, near the Brook and, after about two years, came to dwell at the southeast corner of East street and College avenue, where they passed the rest of their days. This place had been some time before, it is said, the home of Col. Matt H. Starr's parents. It has belonged to three generations of the Buckley connection. First to James MacEnroe, then to John Buckley, and now to his son, John F. Buckley.
John Buckley first found employment here with David Hamilton, brother of Emanuel and Wm. Hamilton. Mr. Buckley then worked for a short time for Mr. Dodson in Lynnville, Returning to this place he was employed for a time by Talma Smith, and then by Wm. Buhre. After that he became his own boss, and had a shop in his home on College avenue.
He died June 6, 1907, Mrs. Buckley having preceded him in death July 10, 1891. Mr. Buckley was a man of quick mind, and capable of prompt use of his intellect and faculties. He was a man of happy disposition, and a great lover of young people and their society.
Mrs. Buckley was of a quieter disposition, but a motherly woman of much refinement of feeling and of manner, and having enjoyed considerable education.
Mr. and Mrs. Buckley were the parents of Hester J.; Margaret A.; John F.; James and Patrick Henry, who died in infancy.
Hester J. became the wife of Thos. Doyle, who died some years ago. Mr. Doyle, of whom the Irish would say, "a fine man was Thomas," was well known in connection with the Hook family and the street railway. Mr. and Mrs. Doyle were the parents of eight children. Two of their sons have become successful in their business, and "made good" as the saying is.
Margaret A. became the wife of Eugene Sweeney.John F. married Mary E. McBride, daughter of Jas. McBride, so well known as long an expressman on the Chicago, Peoria and St. Louis railroad.
James married Bridget Mehan, daughter of James Mehan.
James F. Buckley is Foreman Painter at the shops of the C.P. & St. L. railroad here. He has occupied this position for six years past, and has been in the employ of the railway company for twenty-eight years. Surely a record creditable alike to Mr. Buckley and to the company. He has apparently been successful in his own affairs, for he has recently built a handsome new house on the site of the old homestead, at the corner of East street and College Avenue.
James Buckley was a carpenter by trade, and was employed for some years at the car works. Latterly he was assistant to the General Car Foreman. Now he is employed as a salesman at the "Drexel."
John Buckley was a man interested in public affairs, and seeking to do his part as a good citizen, and his sons have followed in his footsteps. All of the Buckley men have been attentive to business, and sought in a quiet and unostentatious way to bear their part and do their duty in the community. They have been interested in what would be helpful and developing to Jacksonville, and have been ready to do what they could to push business and help the city in successful undertakings.