The venerable agriculturist, Barney Loughran, of Great Bend township, Cottonwood county, was one of the earliest
pioneers of this locality which he has seen transformed into one of the choice farming sections of the state, and
he has performed well his part in the general upbuilding of the same. Although now eighty six years of age he is
hale and active, as a result of a well spent life. He was born in Ireland in 1830, and is a son of Patrick and
Alice (Quinn) Loughran, both of whom spent their lives in Ireland. The father was a carpenter by trade, also a
small farmer. His family consisted of nine children, five of whom grew to maturity, namely: Elizabeth, who came
to America and died at the home of the subject of this. sketch; Patrick, who died in New York; John, who was very
probably a Confederate soldier, was killed at the battle of Shilo; Michael, who died of cholera while on ship coming
to America, and Barney of this. sketch. The latter spent his boyhood in Ireland and attended school there. In April,
1857 he landed in New York City, having previously been employed three years in some iron works in England. He
worked for a lumberman in New York for one year after his arrival there, then came west to St. Louis, Missouri,
in 1858, where he remained until the spring of 1860, working as a freight weigher, for the city. From there he
came to St. Paul, Minnesota, and worked on steamboats on the Mississippi river during the Civil War, as fireman
on mail packets, which hauled soldiers back and forth. He spent one winter in the Wisconsin pine woods with a lumber
crew. In 1865 he came to Marquette county, on Lake Superior, where he worked for three years rurming a pump engine.
In 1868 he came to Cottonwood county and pre empted one hundred and sixtyseven acres, where he still lives, and
later added eighty acres more, which he homesteaded. He and Robert Miller were the first two settlers in this community,
and he has resided here ever since, a period of nearly half a century. He endured the usual hardships and privations
of the pioneer settler and, by hard work and persistence, developed a good farm and a comfortable home and became
one of the leading men of his township. He hauled lumber for Mankato with which to build his first dwelling. He
was here during the three memorial "grasshopper years," when these insects destroyed all crops. He owns
a valuable farm of two hundred fifty three and three fourths acres and has here carried on general farming and
stock raising successfully. He has the deed signed by President Grant for preemption, which was the first deeded
land in Cottonwood county; also has a deed signed by President Hayes for his homestead.
Mr. Loughran was married on December 16, 1872, to Mary Gallagher, who was born in Cook county, Illinois, and is
a daughter of Daniel and Catherine (Drugan) Gallagher, both natives of County Tyrone, Ireland. The father came
to America about 1850, when fourteen or fifteen years of age, making the voyage alone. The mother came with relatives
when a girl. These parents were married in Cook county, Illinois. Mr. Gallagher was quite a dairyman, but followed
various lines of endeavor. From Illinois he removed to Trempealeau county, Wisconsin, where he engaged in farming,
and in 1869 came to Cottonwood county, Minnesota, locating just across the lake from Mr. Loughran. He pre empted
and bought a homestead right, acquiring in all three hundred and fifty acres. Here the death of the mother occurred.
In 1903 a tornado devastated the farm, destroying the buildings and killing Mr. Gallagher and two daughters. To
Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher eight children were born, SIX Sons and two daughters, namely: Mary, Catherine, Elizabeth,
Rose Ann, Cahrles, Henry, Ellen and Jeanette.
To Mr. and Mrs. Loughran three children have been born, namely: John H., who is at home; Mary Alice, who is deceased;
and T. Francis, who is at home. The daughter was the wife of Nick Jeffery.
Politically, Mr. Loughran is a Democrat. He has never taken an active interest in politics or sought office; however,
he was at one time clerk of the local school board.
History of Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties
Their People, Industries and Institutions
John A. Brown, Editor in Chief
B. F. Bowen and Company, Inc.
Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties, MN Biographies
Also see Railway Officials in America 1906