JOHN HOWLEY, merchant, Cairo. Among the pioneers of the city of Cairo may be mentioned the name of John Howley, a man who has witnessed the erection of every building now in the city. He was born in the County of Mayo, Ireland, on the 27th of June, 1819, and is the eighth of a family of ten children of Patrick and Eleanor (Hughes) Howley, of whom but two survive— John and James Howley, the latter of Pennsylvania. John Howley was reared and married in his native country, and came to the United States in 1840, and from that date until 1853 spent much of the time traveling in the Eastern States. In 1853, at a time when Kansas was being peopled so rapidly with Eastern and Southern people, Mr. Howley started to find for himself a home in the West, but being impressed with the beautiful location of the then infant city of Cairo, he determined to make it his future home; he therefore invested in property and the year following (1854) came and made a permanent residence at that place, which, with slight exceptions, has been his home since. He has been engaged in business of a mercantile nature through all these years, and in 1859, during the fire known as the "Taylor house fire" he sustained a loss of $2,500, partly covered by insurance. Mrs. Catherine Howley, whose maiden name was Connelly, was born in Ireland. They have traveled together along life's pathway for a period of forty-five years. Though they have never had any children born to them, they have reared several children who were left orphans and in need of homes. Family residence on corner of Third street and Commercial avenue. Members of Catholic Church.
Extracted 31 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, page 22.
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