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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Thomas F. Heraty

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 580 - 582

Thomas F. Heraty, who resides on section 8, Mitchell Township, is one of the representative citizens of Sheboygan County. His father, Daniel Heraty, was born in County Mayo, Ireland, in 1800, a short time after the close of the Revolution of 1798, which forms an interesting page in Irish history. The grandfather, Peter Heraty, was an extensive landowner and linen manufacturer, and his son Daniel learned the trade of a weaver, which he followed for a considerable time. On attaining to man's estate, he married Bridget Flannery, and in 1846 emigrated with his family to America, going by way of Montreal to Oswego County, N. Y. In 1852, the family resumed its westward journey, and settled on section 8, Mitchell Township, Sheboygan County, where Mr. Heraty purchased eighty acres of land, a part of the farm now owned by our subject. He at once began its improvement, and there made his home until his death, in February, 1874. He was an industrious, worthy man, and ever had the respect of his neighbors and friends. Of medium size, he possessed a good constitution, and had never been ill until his last sickness. After suffering from lung fever one week, he passed away. His wife survived him about five years. They had quite a numerous family, but few grew to mature years. Six sons died in childhood, before the emigration to America. Two sons and two daughters came with their parents to the New World. One of the number, Martin, died in Montreal, soon after their arrival. Mary is now the wife of John O'Connell, of Mitchell Township; and Catherine is the wife of Miles Gallagher, of Greenbush Township.

Our subject is the only surviving male representative of the family. He was born in County Mayo, Ireland, December 10, 1836, and was in his tenth year when he crossed the Atlantic. In his native land he obtained a fair knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic, and in New York was for some time a student in Falley Seminary. For two years after coming to Wisconsin, he aided his father in clearing the farm, and then left home, returning to the Empire State, where he worked on the Oswego & Syracuse Railroad. For six or seven seasons he was thus employed, returning in the fall and teaching the winter term of school. His wages he applied to clearing the farm and extending its boundaries.

Mr. Heraty was married May 24, 1865, to Miss Mary A. Scanlon, a native of Connecticut, and a daughter of Patrick Scanlon, who was born in Ireland. The grandfather emigrated from the Emerald Isle to Vermont, and after a number of years spent in the East the family, including the grandparents, came to this county, settling in Sherman Township. The grandfather was a paper manufacturer in Ireland, and his sons all learned that trade. He and his wife spent their last days in Sherman Township. In 1865, the parents of Mrs. Heraty removed to Indianapolis, Ind., and there and elsewhere Mr. Scanlon, in company with his brother James, erected paper mills. They have made many improvements in the art of paper-making, and art the authors of a number of inventions of much practical utility. They were the first to invent and manufacture the paper sack now in such general use, and they also discovered a method of making paper boxes by machinery, thus adding largely to their production and reducing their cost to a mere trifle. Patrick now resides in Maumee, Ohio.

It was through the exertions of our subject that the old homestead farm was increased to two hundred and forty acres, and on the death of the parents he succeeded to its ownership. He now occupies a fine brick residence, but the log cabin still stands as a memento of pioneer days. Mr. and Mrs. Heraty have been blessed with thirteen children, seven of whom are still living and are at home, namely: John, Ellen, Daniel, Alice, James, Robert and Catherine.

Mr. Heraty is numbered among the most intelligent and progressive men of this county, and ever takes a leading part in promoting its welfare and upbuilding. Educational and church interests find in him a ready patron, and the moral and material growth of the community is aided by his efforts. The introduction into Mitchell Township of a number of things of general utility should be placed to his credit. In 1878, he purchased and brought to the town the first portable steam-mill, and in 1884 he superseded the old mill by a new one. Since 1860, or for thirty-three years, he has kept a journal of current events, and in that long period has never failed to record the more important facts of the day's occurrence, so that the journal forms a most rare and valuable work of reference. The establishment of the, two postoffices of Pius and Parnell in Mitchell Township in 1885 is due wholly to his efforts. Previous to that time the town had never had a postoffice within its limits. Of the former office he has been Postmaster since its establishment. By securing these offices it was made possible for the people of the town to receive mail three times a week.

In his political relations, Mr. Heraty has always been a Democrat. His loyalty to his adopted country has ever been unswerving, and during the war for the preservation of the Union he was strongly in favor of its vigorous prosecution. Mr. Heraty has been called upon to fill a number of official positions in his township, such as Assessor, Treasurer and Clerk. He is now serving as Notary Public, being the first and only person who has qualified for such an office from the town of Mitchell. For the past twenty years he has been agent for two or more insurance companies. He has also had some experience in railroad building. In their religious faith, he and his family are Catholics, being connected by blood relation with the most eminent and noted members of the Catholic hierarchy of Ireland, the late Archbishop McHale, of the diocese of Tuam, being a cousin of his mother, and his successor, the present Archbishop McEvilly, being a first cousin of his father.


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