Dr. John Lawrence McGrath has been engaged in the practice of veterinary surgery at Jesup since 1912 and is
widely recognized as an able and successful young representative of the profession. His birth occurred in Westburg
township, Buchanan county, Iowa, on the 26th of June, 1881, his parents being William and Elizabeth Ann (O'Donnell)
McGrath, both of whom were natives of Ireland, the latter born in County Clare.
William McGrath crossed the Atlantic to the United States as a youth of sixteen but at the end of a year returned
to the Emerald isle. In 1861, when a young man of twenty one, he again came to America and for a period of fourteen
years was engaged in mining in Michigan and in Duluth, Minnesota. The year 1875 witnessed his arrival in Buchanan
county, Iowa, and here he purchased a tract of land in Westburg township, where he followed farming throughout
the remainder of his life, passing away in 1904 His demise was the occasion of deep and widespread regret, for
he had won an extensive circle of friends in the community which had been his home for almost three decades. He
gave his political allegiance to the democracy and was a devout communicant of the Catholic church. His widow,
who still resides on the home farm in Testburg township and has now reached the age of sixty one years, came to
this country in young girlhood. To them were born ten children, as follows: John Lawrence, Eugene N., Martin Leo,
Peter R., William C., Lewis A., James L., Bridget Mary, Hanora and Johanna.
John L. McGrath spent the period of his boyhood and youth on the home farm and attended the public schools in the
acquirement of an education. When twenty five years of age he left the parental roof and made his way to McKenzie
county, North Dakota, where he took up a homestead. At the end of eight months, however, he gave up his preemption
and acquired the property by paying a dollar and a half per acre. He entered the Chicago Veterinary College in
the fall of 1908 and was graduated therefrom with honors in 1912. In that year he opened an office at Jesup and
has since built up and maintained an extensive and profitable practice as a veterinary surgeon.
On June 19, 1912, Dr. McGrath was united in marriage to Miss Florence Anna Collins, a native of Liberty township,
this county, and a daughter of Patrick and Bridget (Stafford) Collins, who were born in Ireland and survive, making
their home in Westburg township, Buchanan county. Our subject and his wife are the parents of one child. Mrs. McGrath
has always lived in Buchanan county and is well known and highly esteemed here. In his political views the Doctor
is a democrat, while his religious faith is that of the Catholic church, to which his wife also belongs.
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Bachanan County, IA
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