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Obituaries-Lafayette Co


Daniel Sullivan
Pick and Gad
Shullsburg, Wisconsin
October 1886

Submitted by:  Rose RKKD123

Died at his home in the town of Seymour, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, October (??), 1886, Daniel Sullivan, in the(?) year of his age.

In the death of Daniel Sullivan our county has lost one of its oldest settlers and the community one of its most honest and upright men. He was a native of Wayne County, Illinois, having been born there on the 6th day of March, 1821, and was the oldest of eleven children of Patrick Sullivan, a well known citizen of this county, who died in 1858. In the spring of 1828 Patrick Sullivan and his family left their home in Illinois and with an ox team started for the then wild prairies of Lafayette county, attracted here by the glowing reports of the vast mineral wealth of this region. After a few weeks of toilsome travel they struck camp at Ryan's Grove a few miles northwest of this village and after looking over the prospects they located in the fall at what was then called 'Dublin' which was really the original settlement of Shullsburg. Dublin was located along the south side of the branch which has its rise in Judge Blackstone's farm adjoining this village and which runs through past Schulte's Brewery and back of the Deppie farm, entering Shullsburg Branch below Copeland's mill. The town then consisted of from fifteen to twenty miners cabins mostly constructed of logs and sods, many of them having a small garden patch adjoining. The family remained here about two years, the father being mostly engaged in teaming and at the end of that time they removed out about two miles to what was known as the Fawcett farm and afterwards settled on the Sullivan homestead. It was while the family were at the latter place in the summer of 1832 that the Black Hawk war broke out and in July of that year six horsemen came galloping in from East Fork; below Galena and startled the entire neighborhood with the report that the Indians were coming in large numbers to drive out the white settlers. The history of those days is well known to most of our readers.

(a couple lines were too faint to make out)

....families in the neighborhood were (hurredly?) taken to Galena for protection until a fort could be built for their safety ? homes, stout arms and courageous hearts soon engaged in the construction of a fort which was located on the westerly side of Shullsburg branch; a few rods to the left of the present bridge near the furnace adjoining this village. The fort was simply a large enclosure surrounded by a stockade about twelve feet high of heavy split timbers set upon end in the ground, in which were a number of tents. When the fort was completed the women and children returned from Galena and occupied the fort while the men who had not enlisted pursued their daily labor in the surrounding neighborhood, returning at night to sleep within the protection of the fort. Patrick Sullivan enlisted under Col. Hamilton and at the close of the war in the spring of 1833 he commenced improving the homestead farm, which he had pre-empted and upon which he resided until his death in 1858. Daniel remaining upon the farm until 1849 when he removed to the farm upon which he died. He was married in 1848 to Ellen Mead, who still survives him and by whom he had five children, three of still live, Mrs. Charles Boyle, Mrs. T. J. O'Neill, and Patrick C. Sullivan. No kinder hearted man than Dan Sullivan ever lived. Reared as he was amid the danger and privations of pioneer life in the lead mines he knew and appreciated all of its vicissitudes and no unfortunate miner ever vainly appealed to him for aid. His funeral on Thursday last was one of the largest which ever took place in this neighborhood, showing the esteem in which he was held by all who knew him. Thus the early settlers of our county have passed over to the great silent majority beyond, until but few are now left to relate the stories of pioneer life. Their memory will be cherished by future generations and the name of Daniel Sullivan will never be mentioned except in Kindness.

Ellen (Mead) Sullivan
Pick and Gad
Shullsburg, Wisconsin
December 1903

Submitted by:  Rose RKKD123

Mrs. Dan Sullivan/Ellen Mead

MRS. ELLEN SULLIVAN  Died, in the town of Seymour, Tuesday, December 29, 1933, Mrs. Ellen Sullivan, wife of the late Daniel Sullivan.

Deceased was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1820?, and came with her parents to Galena, Ill., in 1828, where her parents died and are buried in the old cemetery now covered by a part of the city. She was married to Daniel Sullivan in 1848, and the following year settled with her husband on the farm in Seymour where she resided up to the time of her death.

Her maiden name was Ellen Mead, and she was the last of a large family of brothers and sisters.

She was the mother of five children, two of whom, Mrs. Chas. Boyle of Seymour, and Patrick Sullivan of Calamine, survive her. Her husband died in 1886, since which time she made her home with her son-in-law, Chas. Boyle, where loving care smoothed the pathway of her declining years, and surrounded her with every comfort.

The deceased was a true type of the early pioneer people to whose self-sacrifice and sterling worth the developmentof the lead region and present prosperous community is a monument grander than marble. Her kindly presence will be sadly missed, and her charitable deeds will long be cherished by many. By her death one more old settler, a kind mother, neighbor and friend, is gone.

James Sullivan
Pick and Gad
Shullsburg, Wisconsin
January 1913

Submitted by:  Rose RKKD123

James Sullivan, an old and respected citizen of this county, died at his home in New Diggings Township Sunday morning, January 5, 1913 at an advanced age of paralysis.

Funeral services were held Tuesday forenoon from St. Matthew's church, Shullsburg, conducted by Rev. Father Croke and the remains were laid to rest in the cemetery north of the city. With the death of James Sullivan the last chapter in the history of one of the early pioneer families of Lafayette County has been written. His parents, Patrick and Julia, came to Shullsburg, or Dublin, as it was then called, in the spring of 1828, the settlement at that time consisted of about a dozen houses which were located on the ridge north of the Shullsburg branch. Here the family remained until 1832 when they moved to New Diggings Township, where the deceased was born on the 31st Day of March, 1835. He was one of a family of Eleven brothers and sisters, all of whom have preceded him to the great beyond where they are now once more reunited.

Mr. Sullivan grew to manhood on the old homestead in Seymour and during the greater part of his lifetime followed the occupation of farming until increasing infirmities incapacitated him for active work when he rented his farm, but continued to reside thereon amid the scenes and faces he knew and loved best. As a democrat he was elected chairman of New Diggings, a Republican stronghold, and always took an active interest in public affairs. Kindhearted, generous and honest, he will be greatly missed by the few remaining companions of his time, to whom he was attached by the ties of that genuine old-time friendship which seemed to increase as the years went by.

Deceased was united in marriage to Mary Hurley at New Diggings July 29, 1862 and their wedded life was a very happy one until the tie was broken by the death of Mrs. Sullivan which occurred July 14, 1884. He is survived by eight children as follows: Emma, Mrs. Alice Curren, Mrs. Julia McKenna, Charles, John, James, Daniel and Joseph (Gus).

A daughter, Mrs. Clara Wedige died in 1898, and other children died in infancy.

Another old settler is gone, a long and useful life is closed, the earthly pilgrimage is ended. Down into "the valley of the shadow of death" he has gone to meet the loved ones waiting beyond in the bright dawn of eternity's never ending day.

Joseph Sullivan
Pick and Gad,  Shullsburg, WI
April 30, 1908

Submitted by:  Rose RKKD123

(photo of deceased)

Joseph Sullivan, the subject of this sketch, was born at Shawneetown, Wayne County, Illinois, January 21, 1824, and died at his home in the town of Seymour Tuesday, April 21, 1908. The funeral took place Thursday forenoon with Requiem mass and funeral services by Rev. Father Morris at St. Matthew's church, and the remains were laid to rest in the cemetery adjoining the church.

Deceased was one of the early pioneers of the Lead Mines. He came with his parents to Wisconsin in 1828, the family locating at Dublin, as the first settlement at Shullsburg was then called, and which consisted of only a few scattered cabins on the north side of the ridge, north of the branch. Here the family remained until 1831, when they moved to what is called the Drybone, where they were living when the Blackhawk war began in 1832. The Sullivan family and others were forced to seek the protection of the Fort at Galena, returning to Shullsburg when the Fort there had been completed. In 1834 Mr. Sullivan's parents moved to what is now Seymour, and they were the first settlers and built the first house in the township.

On February 4, 1851, he was married at Shullsburg to Miss Anna Morgan, who with four children, Joseph O., Thomas J., Mrs. John L. O'Brien and Mrs. M. A. O'Brien survive him, all of whom reside in Seymour and were with him during his illness, which was a brief duration, although he had been in poor health for nearly two years. The deceased had a pleasant kind disposition, which saw only the bright side of things, and always made the most of any situation. He possessed a strong rugged constitution, which with an exemplary life and good habits prolonged his years far beyond the allotted time for man.

Mr. Sullivan was a carpenter by trade and at times engaged in mining, but most of his life was spent on the farm in the comfortable home which his labor and industry had created; and where in the midst of pleasant environments he delighted to meet and greet his friends. He was devoted to his wife and family with a devotion for which no sacrifice was too great, and was loved and honored by them in return. Reared and amid the hardships of pioneer life, he knew and appreciated its vicissitudes, and was always ready to encourage and assist others. He liked to talk of early times and cherished his early friendships with which differences of opinion never for a moment interfered, steadfast in his own faith and views he always conceded the same right to others. He was held in the highest esteem by his neighbors and the community and retained their respect and regard without a single exception to the last.

Mr. Sullivan was treasurer of Elk Grove when Seymour was part of that township, and in 1874 and 1875 and again in 1879 and 1880 was Chairman of the Town Board of Seymour.

He was a lifelong member of the Catholic church and died fortified by the full rites of that faith. By his death the community has lost one of its best citizens, one who in every capacity met every requirement of a man. Scrupulously honest in all things, he was a man of the strictest integrity and held every debt or trust as a sacred obligation. Thus has passed away another old settler, a true Christian, a good man, honored and respected in life. May he rest in peace.


Patrick Sullivan, Jr.
Pick and Gad
Shullsburg, WI
April 1907

Submitted by:  Rose RKKD123

Died, in Oaksville, Chehalis County, State of Washington, on April 4th, 1907, Patrick Sullivan, aged 76 years and 22(?) days. His remains were brought to Shullsburg at noon on Wednesday in care of his nephew, John Sullivan, and taken to the home of his brother James in the town of New Diggings, and waked Wednesday night. Thursday the remains were taken to St. Matthew's church in Shullsburg where requiem mass and funeral services were performed by Rev. Father McGinity. He was laid to rest by the side of his wife, who preceded him to the grave twenty-five years ago.

The subject of this notice was born in Old Dublin, 80 rods west of the old Shullsburg brewery, on the 12th day of March, 1831. In 1833 his parents removed to a farm in the town of Seymour, where he grew to manhood.

When the gold fever broke out in California he, John O'Neill, the late Thomas McComish and Ned Bulger in the spring of 1852 procured an ox team and took the overland route to California, where he remained thirteen years, spending most of that time in the lumber business, it being very profitable at that period. In 1865 he came back on a visit to his old home, and purchased a farm near New Diggings. After remaining some time among relatives and friends he went back to California and disposed of his interests there. He returned here soon after and on January 28, 1867, was married to Bridget Patten, daughter of the late William Patten, of Shullsburg, and the following spring moved on to his farm and followed farming until his wife died, April 17, 1879. In a short time thereafter he disposed of his personal property and passed the following two years with relatives and friends, chiefly with his wife's people.

In the fall of 1881, he started the first lumber yard ever in Shullsburg, remaining in the business until early in the spring of 1882. The business was too confining and he sold out to Dodge & Stone, of Monroe, and went to Nebraska, purchased a ranch and engaged in the stock business following it for twelve years. Getting well along in years he sold the ranch and bought a home in Meriman, in the same state. Every 4th of July for the past six years, he spent with relatives and friends in Wisconsin. The climate in Meriman being rather cold for him he would spend the winter in a warmer climate his career was quite a checkered one. He was not blessed with any family. He leaves two aged brothers Joseph of Seymour; and James of New Diggings and a number of nephews and neices and sisters-in-law, to mourn his death. He was honest and upright in all his dealings, and leaves not an enemy. So passed away one more of Lafayette County's early pioneers.

A Relative.

William Sullivan
Pick & Gad
Shullsburg, Wisconsin
August 1905

Submitted by:  Rose RKKD123

Died in North New Diggings, August 20th, 1905, after a lingering illness, William Sullivan, aged 73 years and 5 days.

The subject of this sketch was born in the Fort at Old Shullsburg, Wisconsin, during the Black Hawk War on the 15th day of August 1832 and has been a resident of this county during life with the exception of a year and a half which he spent in California, and has seen pioneer times in this county. He was a quiet and peaceable citizen respected by all who knew him. I don't think he had an enemy living. His occupation was farming mixed with mining. Five years ago he got a paralytic stroke from which he never fully recovered. Two years ago he got another stroke which badly affected his memory, from which he never got better but gradually kept getting worse until the final end came. He was married to Ann Downs on the 5th of November 1857 and from this union eight children were born, four boys and four girls survive him. He leaves an aged wife and three children, Agnes Hynes of Elk Grove, Owen of Cuba and Catherine Josephine Henny of New Diggings and 10 grandchildren to mourn their loss, and also three aged brothers, Joseph, Patrick and James. his funeral took place Tuesday the 22nd from St. Matthew's church, Rev. Father McGinnity officiating and he was laid to rest in the Catholic cemetery adjoining the city, followed by a large number of friends.

Ellen Swift
Obit., Benton Advocate, 3/10/1911

Submitted by: Mike Birkett

Mrs. Ellen Swift, one of the most prominent and life-long citizens of Benton, died at the family residence on Monday, Feb. 27 at 5 a.m. It was indeed a severe shock to husband, sons, daughters and neighbors when one by one they were notified of the sudden ending of the life of this good wife and indulgent mother.

Mrs. Swift, second youngest child of the eight children of Mr. and Mrs. F. Muligan, deceased, was born in Benton June 29, 1854, and was married Febuary 1873 to John P. Swift who survives her with ten children; S. T. Swift, Dubuque, Mrs. C. Sherwin, Mrs. H. Grotkin, Benton; J. J. Swift, Dubuque; Mrs. C. Birkett, Benton; Mrs. W. L. Kelly, Chicago; Mrs. N. Ginter, Dubuque, Elsie, Ellsworth and Clarence at home; one daughter Caroline, having died Oct. 13, 1902. Besides these, five sisters also survive her; Mrs. P. O. O'Brien, Mrs. D. Carr and Kate Muligan of Denver, Mrs. John Meloy of Bernard, Ia., and Mrs. Chas. McManus of Ossian, Iowa.

Since the death of her daughter, the deceased had been a patient sufferer from asthma, but ever anxious to gladden others and cause them no anxiety by mentioning personal ailments, she scarcely ever communicated to anyone the fact of her illness. She had a naturally vigorous constitution and no doubt thought she was able to overcome her illness.

Mrs. Swift was a faithful friend and affectionate mother. Her death removes one whose optomistic view of life cheered many a downcast life. Heaven, is no doubt, brighter for her going but earth is darker.

There is no word in the English language as sweet as "Mother." She sits unconsciously as queen of the household and rules with tenderness and love all the difficult and intricate problems of the daily duties of home life. Death has now entered and severed the tender ties; the children are now left with but the memory of standing over the open casket looking at the folded hands that will never more minister to wants of her children. The eyes that reflected the image of every member of the family are forever closed. Tears of heart felt grief freely flow when we come to a full realization that our companionship with our sainted mother is forever at an end. There is one thought, however, that sheds a halo of light to the members of the family and that was her implicit trust in God and her fidelity to the Catholic Church of which she was an exemplary member. The remaining members of the family may rest assured that if their lives are as pure as that of their mother, when as one by one they are called to lay down life's burdens, they will surely meet their loved one in the Great Beyond there to be reunited family throughout the countless ages of eternity.

Funeral obsequies were held from the family residence at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick's Catholic church on Wednesday, conducted by Rev. Father Bergen after which the remains were deposited in the adjoining cemetery. The funeral was attended by a larger number of relatives and friends than any funeral in this locality, coming to pay their last tribute of respect and love. The many floral offerings were a mute symbol of the high esteem in which the deceased was held.

The honary pall bearers were: F. McElroy, M. Daugherty, Thos. Farrey, A. C. Piquett, P. B. McMahon, P.H. Whaley. The active pall bearers were F. Swift, S. J. Kearns, Dr. J. F. Kenney, Jas. McCarty, B. McGuire, L. Swift.

Those who attended the funeral from abroad are: Mrs. Chas. McManus and daugther Ruth, sons Wm and J. H. and Miss Alice Finnegan, Ossian, Ia., Mrs. John Meloy and son, Louis of Bernard, Ia., Kate Swift, Mr. and Mrs Fink, Calamine, Wis.; Francis Rooney, Asbury, Ia.; Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Piquett, Platteville; Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Birkett, Hazel Green; Mrs. D. A. Callahan, Mayme Kelly, John Sproule, Galena; J. H. Weinier, R. P. Marshall, D. E. Maguire, M. B. Rooney, D. J. Kenneally, M. J. Grace, Jos. A. Connolley, T. L. Howe, and Misses Kathryn and Esther Flynn, and Mary Rooney, Mrs. S. T. Swift, N. Ginter, Dubuque and W. L. Kelly, Chicago.

John P. Swift
Obit., Benton Advocate, 11/28/1913

Submitted by:   Mike Birkett

John P. Swift was born in Benton, Wis., July 19, 1850 and died November 18, 1913, at the home of his daughter Mrs. C. Sherwin.

He was united in marriage to Ellen Mulligan of Benton Feb. 14, 1874, who preceded him to the grave Feb. 28, 1911. To this union eleven children were born, as follows: - S. T. Swift, J. J. Swift, Mrs. N. A. Ginter, Elzie and Clarence Swift, of Dubuque; Mrs. C. Sherwin, Mrs. H. Grotkin, Elsie Swift, Benton; Mrs. C. A. Birkett of St. Paul; Mrs. W. L. Kelly of Chicago, and a daughter Carrie who died Oct. 12, 1902. He also leaves one sister Kate, of Calamine, one brother Thomas, of Benton, and a half sister, Mrs. Eliza Smith, of Galena.

The funeral was held at 10 o'clock Nov. 20, 1913, from the Sherwin residence to St. Patrick's church where high mass was celebrated, Rev. J. C. Bergen officiating. Interment was made in the Catholic Cemetery.

Frank McElroy, P. H. Whaley, R. J. Sherwin, A. C. Piquett, Geo. Grotkin, and Ben McMahon acted as honorary pall bearers and Jas. McCarty, Dr. Kenney, Thomas Farrey, Owen Swift, John Carden, and Jas. Neenan were the active pall bearers.

The following people from out of town attended the funeral: - Mr. and Mrs. S. T. Swift, Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Swift, Mr. and Mrs. N. A. Ginter, Elzie Swift, Clarence Swift, Miss Mary Rooney, Mrs. Frank Rooney, Messrs. M. J. Grace, W. Weimer, J. Daley, R. Marshall and M. Rooney of Dubuque; Mrs. C. McManus and daughter Ruth of Ossian, Iowa; Elmer Meloy, Walter Meloy, Bernard, Ia.; Mr. and Mrs. Fink, F. McKeon, Kate Swift, Mr. and Mrs. Leo Leahy; Truman Wis.; Mr. and Mrs. Joe Callahan, Miss Nellie Callahan, Mrs. G. Yeamen, Galena; D. W. Swift, J. Kittoe, J. Sherwin, Hazel Green; R. J. Sherwin, Freeport; J. Morrisey, Shullsburg.

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