LaSalle County Illinois  Biographies
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Henry A. O'Kelly

David Olmstead NEW!!

William Osman  NEW!!

Seth Otis NEW!!

Rev. Henry A. O’Kelly

The great work of the Catholic church appealed most strongly to the Rev. Father O’Kelly from the time that he was a young lad until he entered its service, thenceforth to devote his life solely to God and his fellow men. His labors of zeal and love have borne abundant fruits and no more revered and honored priest is often found in a community than the pastor of the church of the Immaculate Conception, in Streator.

A brief history of the Father’s life will prove of interest to his numerous friends and admirers outside the church as well as those of his flock. He is a native of the beautiful Emerald Isle, his birth having occurred in the city of Galway, on the western coast, in 1852. A son of a physician of high standing, Dr. P.F. O’Kelly, he received exceptionally fine training and educational advantages and was encouraged in his desire to enter the priesthood. The Doctor was a native of Dublin and his wife, whose maiden name was Mary Birmingham, a daughter of Thomas Birmingham, Esq., of Ashgrove, county Galway, belonged to one of the most ancient Anglo-Norman families in Ireland.

When a young man of eighteen years, the Rev. H. A. O’Kelly came to the United States, and at once entered a theological seminary in Troy, New York state, In research, study and preparation for the great work which was the goal of his ambition, he spent the subsequent eight years, being graduated and ordained a priest by Bishop Spalding, now of Peoria, Illinois. The young priest was then placed in charge of a congregation in Carthage, Hancock county, this state, and later was pastor of a church at El Paso, Illinois. In 1883 he came to Streator, where he ahs since officiated as the spiritual shepherd of the two hundred or more families included in the parish of the church of the Immaculate Conception. The house of worship was built by him an din connection with this there is a flourishing school and a hospital founded by Father O’Kelly, some four hundred children being in regular attendance at the day and Sunday schools. Untiring in his zeal for the welfare of his church and people, there is little cause for wonder that Father O’Kelly is greatly loved and looked to for sympathy, help and counsel, which he never fails to give.

[Source: Biographical and genealogical record of La Salle County, Illinois. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1900. Page 17-18, Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

David Olmstead

David Olmstead, and wife, Mary Linderman, from Tioga County, New York, 1833; settled on S. 10, T. 33, R. 5; died 1846. They had eleven children: Dea. Hiram, settled on a farm in Freedom, now in Ottawa, married the widow of Rev. Chas. Harding, had four children; Allen, married Mercy Baker, live in Marseilles; Lewis, married Lydia Ackley at Marseilles ; Edward A., in Grnndy County; Sally Ann, married Lewis Linderman in Boone County; Anson, married Phebe M. Jameson ; Wesley, is a Methodist Episcopal preacher in Minnesota ; Ann, Mary and William, with their mother, moved to Minnesota ; Curtis, is in McLean County.

[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, Manlius, Page 316-317 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

William Osman

Wm. Osman, from Dauphin County, Pennsylvania ; his wife was Mary Hine, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania ; has three children, Eaton Goodell, Mary E., Wm. H., all at home. He has been connected with the Ottawa Free Trader since 1840, and its principal editor and manager; is now the oldest editor in the county.

[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, Ottawa, Page 253 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

Seth Otis

Seth Otis, father in-law to A. D. Butterfield, from Water town, N. Y., resided here a short time. Geo. W. Brumback, now County Surveyer of La Salle County, says that Otis' family were well educated and intelligent; that Mr. Otis came to his father's, and finding their stock of book knowledge was contained in one Bible, one Methodist hymn book, one Pike's arithmetic, an old work on chemistry and Cobb's speller, very generously, and unsolicited, loaned them a portion of his library, of which they made good use. The next season the neighbors put up a small log school house, and Otis' daughter Mary, now Mrs. Mancell Talcott, of Chicago, kept school for them. Brumback thinks that without Otis' books, and Mary's teaching, some other person than Geo. W. Brumback would be County Surveyor of La Salle County today. Otis soon after moved to Chicago, and died there several years since.

[Source: History of LaSalle County, Illinois by Elmer Baldwin, Chicago, Rand, McNally & Co., Printers, 1877, SKETCH OF THE PIONEER SETTLERS OF EACH TOWN IN THE COUNTY, Manlius, Page 318 - Transcribed by Nancy Piper]

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