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Charles Peter Sweeney

SWEENEY, Charles Peter, a well-known and prosperous farmer living in Eldorado Township, McDonough County, Ill., was born in Fulton County, Ill., February 12, 1863, a son of James and Bridget (Green) Sweeney. Both parents were natives of Ireland, the father born in County Tyrone, and the mother in County Roscommon. Charles Sweeney, the paternal grandfather, was a native of County Tyrone. James Sweeney came to the United States and located in New York City, where he engaged in railroad work and followed the trade of a stone and brick mason. He also devoted attention to this trade in different parts of Pennsylvania, besides this working at times as a coal-miner. In 1863 he came to Fulton County, Ill., where, during the first winter, he was employed in a packing house by Joab Mershon. Subsequently, for six years, he lived in the vicinity of Vermont, Ill., engaged in digging coal. In 1871, he bought a farm of eighty acres on Section 24, in Eldorado Township, to which he moved with his family. Here he remained until his death, March 31, 1887. His widow passed away September 13, 1893.

Charles P. Sweeney is the youngest of a family of five children, the remainder of whom were girls. He attended the district schools and remained under the paternal roof until his father's death, and then purchased the interests of the other heirs. He now owns a farm of 126 acres, on which he is engaged in general farming and raising cattle, hogs and horses. Besides this occupation he has a coal bank with a thirty-four-inch vein, on which he generally keeps four men employed during the season, the mine being operated by a foreman. Mr. Sweeney was married January 17, 1894, to Ellen McGirr, who was born in Lewistown, Fulton County, Ill., and received her education in the public and high schools in her vicinity. Four children have resulted from this union, namely: James Leo, born January 4. 1895, died June 9, 1904; William, born June 14, 1896; Winifred, born September 1, 1898, and died in infancy; and Ellen Marie, born July 9, 1904. Mrs. Sweeney's parents were William and Winifred (McEvely) McGirr, both natives of Ireland — her father of County Tyrone and her mother, of County Mayo. Winifred McEvely came to the United States with her parents when she was two years of age, and died in Fulton County, Ill., June 17, 1896. William McGirr, her husband, emigrated to this county with an uncle when he was fifteen years of age, and after a short stay in New York, went to New Hampshire, where he was employed in a woolen factory. He located In Fulton County, Ill., in the '50s, where he engaged in the same line of work, and where he still resides, a faithful Catholic and a stanch Democrat. Mr. Sweeney is a thorough farmer, and his management of his agricultural and mining interests is characterized by marked energy and close attention to business.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, page 1014, extracted 30 Jul 2020 by Norma Hass.

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