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Biography of Patrick Molloy

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Patrick Molloy. Among the honored names of Champaign County none stands higher in the records of honesty, thrift and community esteem than that of the late Patrick Molloy.

He was a native of Ireland. He came to America in early life and while living in Ohio met and married Catherine Gleason. She was born in Parish Gilbairn, four miles from Bursycane and ten miles from Nenagh, Ireland, a daughter of Patrick and Catherine Gleason. When she was fourteen years of age her parents came to America and settled in Butler County, Ohio, where she grew up and married.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Molloy came to Champaign County, when much of this district was raw and new and located two and three-quarters miles northwest of Rantoul out on the open prairie. Much of the heavy development work had yet to be done and the country stretched around them for miles, affording an uninterrupted view clear to the Sangamon River, ten miles away. The future stretched equally before this energetic young Irish couple, rosy with bright promises. There they worked hard year in and year out, and in time had the satisfaction of ample possessions and sufficient for themselves and for their children.

Six children came into their home: Edward J., Daniel, Thomas, William, Mary and Alice Agnes. The children were educated in the Rantoul High School, while William finished a course in Quincy, Illinois.

William Molloy married Margaret Donovan, and their three children are Louise, Helen and William. Mary Molloy married Michael Walsh, now a retired farmer, and their children are Francis, Willie, Leo and Agnes, and one that died in infancy. Thomas married Jennie Cahagan of Bloomington, Illinois, and they live on the old home farm. Their one daughter is named Helena. The Molloy family experienced all the hard-ships of early life and the pleasures and incidents of increasing prosperity. Their home was noted for its kindness and hospitality and it is said that no person in need was ever turned away empty handed. The old people grew in the riches of esteem in their neighborhood and had many friends all over that section. Both were active members of St. Malachi’s Catholic Church and their children were reared in the same faith.

Patrick Molloy died in 1905. After his death his widow removed to Rantoul and lived with her son Edward J. Edward J. and William A. Molloy are among the active business men of Rantoul and conduct a large real estate office.

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