John Francis Cronin, who has served as city solicitor, as mayor of Marengo and as county attorney of Iowa county
and is now engaged in the private practice of law, is a native son of the city where he still resides, his birth
occurring on the 14th of January, 1884. His father, Patrick J. Cronin, was born in Bantry, County Cork, Ireland,
but his mother, who bore the maiden name of Anna Flanagan, was born in Redbank, New Jersey.
John Francis Cronin received his elementary education in the public schools and prepared for college in the Marengo
high school, from which he was graduated in June, 1903. Having decided upon the legal profession as a life work,
he entered the college of law of the State University of Iowa and in June, 19o7, received the degree of LL. B.
on the completion of the required course. He was popular among the students and was honored by the highest gift
within the power of his class to bestow, being elected its president. The first work in which Mr. Cronin engaged
was that of timekeeper and foreman of construction gangs for the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway, but
on the 1st of January, 1908, a few months after his graduation, he opened a law office in Marengo and on the 1st
of April, of that year, was appointed city solicitor, which office he held for two years, being elected mayor at
the end of that time. For two years he served as chief executive of the city and then entered the primary contest
for the nomination on the democratic ticket for county attorney. He won both the nomination and the election and
served ably and conscientiously for two years, but in November, 1914, was defeated for reelection as the result
of a campaign against Catholics holding office. For three or four years he has been local attorney of the Chicago,
Rock Island & Pacific and Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroads and has ably represented their interests
in Iowa county. He has the aggressiveness and courage of youth and has also benefited by the valuable experience
that he has had in the seven years that he has engaged in the practice of law and he is an opponent worthy of the
steel of the leading attorneys of this district. He is not only well versed in the fundamental principles of jurisprudence
but is also familiar with statute law and precedent and is rarely at fault in the application of his knowledge
to the point at issue. Although much of his time has been taken up with his official duties, he has built up a
large and lucrative private practice and his integrity, combined with his ability, has gained him the respect of
his colleagues and of the general public.
Mr. Cronin is a democrat and served on the congressional committee of the late Congressman I. S. Pepper in both
of his campaigns for election to the national house of representatives. Mr. Cronin is at all times ready to aid
in any way possible in securing victory for his party and is known as one of its most loyal and ablest workers.
Fraternally he is associated with the Knights of Columbus and the Modern Woodmen of America, while his religious
faith is that of the Roman Catholic church, of which he is a communicant. His entire life has been passed in Marengo
and there is no better proof needed of his sterling worth as a man and his ability as an attorney than the fact
that he has succeeded professionally and has also won the goodwill and esteem of his fellowmen in the city where
he was born and reared.
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Iowa County, IA
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