Patrick Shannon

Patrick and Julia (Lucey) Shannon Family
Patrick and Julia (Lucey) Shannon Family

born: 13 Feb 1830, Killeinagh,near Ennistymon,Co. Clare,Ireland
died: 6 May 1903, De Witt,Clinton Co.,Iowa
bur.: 8 May 1903, Villa Nova,Clinton Co.,Iowa, at St. Patrick's
occu: farmer
Will: 2 Dec 1902, De Witt,Clinton Co.,Iowa
Probated: 5 Jun 1903, De Witt,Clinton Co.,Iowa
spouse: Julia LUCEY
marr: 11 Feb 1857, Clinton Co.,Iowa
born: 15 Dec 1836, New York,New York
died: 31 May 1910, De Witt,Clinton Co.,Iowa
bur.: 3 Jun 1910, Villa Nova,Clinton Co.,Iowa, at St. Patrick's
John Edward SHANNON
Michael Norbert SHANNON
Thomas Lucien SHANNON
Jeremiah Vincent SHANNON
Bridget De Sales SHANNON
William Joseph SHANNON
Julia Leonardo SHANNON
Frances Catherine SHANNON
Father: Michael SHANNON (1800-1860)
Mother: Mary NEYLON (1808-)

Patrick came to America in 1850 and settled in Washington township, Clinton county, Iowa, near De Witt. The obituary of his sister, Mary Lane, states that Mary immigrated with Patrick in 1850.

Given his humble beginnings on a small farm in Ireland, leaving at the height of the famine, Patrick did very well in America. In 1852, only two years after arriving, he was already buying 80 acres in Clinton County. By 1854, he was selling a 210 acre parcel worth $500. Patrick had a lot of land dealings with his brother-in-law Patrick Lane. Shortly after his 1857 marriage, he also bought some land from his father-in-law.

Patrick owned 400 acres at his death. One of the first pieces of land which he acquired and held until his death was 120 acres in Section 25 of Washington Twp. He bought this 120 acres in 1856--57 and it was his principal holding in 1874. \footnote{The Clinton County deed books have two entries for this land. 80 acres of it (SW 1/4 of NE 1/4 and NW 1/4 SE 1/4) was bought from Morgan Reno and wife on Jan 15, 1856 (Deed Book I, p. 63). On Nov. 13, 1857 (deed book O, p. 573), 80 acres were deeded from Jeremiah Lucey to Patrick Shannon and wife, which included the NW 1/4 SE 1/4 and SE 1/4 NE 1/4 (the former 40 is the same as in the Reno purchase), as well as 10 acres in Section 14 or 17.}

However, apparently that Section 25 land is not where the family lived, at least not later on. The following passage is from an early 1970s Shannon family history written by one of Patrick's grandchildren:

The Shannon family farmed at Villa Nova, south of St. Patricks to road east, 1st farm on left, children were all educated at White School, just east of the farm. (White School, about 100 years old, still stands, was used as a school till about 1955.)

While living in Villa Nova Parish, the Shannon family helped build the new church, a large brick church built in 1879. This was the second church, which burned in 1940. The present church is built on the site of the big church. The original church was built in the present cemetery, towards the south edge, and was of frame construction.

Patrick and Julia are buried in Villa Nova, second lot on the left as you drive in the gate. This was at one time the first lot, but in later years additional lots were provided toward the front of the cemetery.

The White School was in the southeast of Section 23, Washington Twp. It is no longer standing. If you drive towards Villa Nova from DeWitt and Highway 30, heading north, White School was right where the north-south road comes to a Y (turning left takes you to Villa Nova), right across from the Y (it used to be a T on maps, but now is a Y). Section 23 also contains St. Patrick's church of Villa Nova. Patrick's estate probate records, show he did own 240 acres in Section 23 which include the Shannon home as described above and also White School. (all of the east half of Section 23 except the East half of the NE Quarter).

An 1874 plat map shows those farms owned by a John Stone, Sr., so I don't know when the Shannons acquired it. That Section 23 location is about 1 mile northwest of the 120 acres in Section 25. In 1925, Patrick's son Michael N. Shannon still owns that home farm 240 acres in the east half of Section 23 (as well as the 120 acres in Section 25).

You can view a 1983 satellite photo of this neighborhood from the Microsoft Terraserver Imagery site. In that photo, the N-S road in roughly the center comes to a Y, which is the Y discussed above with the White School lying across from it. Take the left branch of the Y, then the right branch of the next Y, and the Villa Nova church is the first set of buildings on the left. (It's pretty neat, you can almost resolve gravestones in this image.)

In the 1880 census (Washington Twp, Clinton Co.) they lived on adjacent farms to the George Farrell family (so I think the Shannon's have moved to Section 23 by then). They must have had a good relationship as three Farrells married Shannons.

By November 1894, Patrick and Julia retired from farming and moved to Clinton. They lived at 643 6th Ave. in Clinton when their daughter Bridget was married.

In 1895 Patrick was living in Ward 2 of the city of Clinton with his wife Julia and their children William, Julia, Frances and Jerry.

Patrick's will was very unusual to say the least. He wanted his 400 acre farm held in trust for his widow, Julia. He wanted the farm held in trust for an additional 21 tears after Julia died. He also left instructions about his burial and monument. He wanted a 20x25 lot with a three foot wall around it and a large monument on the west side of the lot. The whole family petitioned the court to have the will set aside on the grounds of incompetence. According to the family's statements in the probate records, Patrick was no longer of a sound mind when he wrote his will. They said that Patrick had been successful in business throughout his life until about 10 years prior to his death. At that time, Patrick had purchased several properties in which he lost nearly all his investment, many thousands of dollars. ``Excessive and extreme worry'' over these losses left him ``incapable of transacting business affairs in in any way whatsoever'' and that he ``did not understand the consequences of [the will] and its effect upon his relatives and estate.'' At his death, Patrick's estate consisted of 400 acres of land, which were eventually sold for a total of $16,600 (but claims against the estate, including a mortgage, totaled over $8200.)

I think it says something about his high standing in the community and the church, that, according to his obituary, 4 priests celebrated the requiem mass at his funeral at St. Joseph's in De Witt.

One family history written in the 1970s says that Patrick ``came to America with his brother John, his sister Rose and 1st cousin John. Rose died on the ship and was buried at sea. Cousin John settled in Chicago and was the father of Annie, Isabelle and William, all deceased.'' I only bring this up to point out that I really don't believe it. I don't think Patrick had a brother John, and that's the only mention I've seen of Rose, and believe the author might have confused her with Patrick's sister Mary, who did accompany him, and lived. Patrick did have a cousin John who came to Chicago and had children as described, however records show that John came several years later (and he would have only been age 7 in 1850).

More information: OBITUARY | WILL | PROBATE | LAND

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