22 Jun 2007
Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside County, IL
Originally published 1885 Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL
Transcribed by: Becky Jones
James Lynch, a farmer of Genesee Township, located on section 34, was born Dec. 10, 1837, in County Kilkenny, Province of Leinster, Ireland. His parents, James and Honora (Sullivan) Lynch, were Irish by birth and long descent, their ancestors having lived in Ireland as far back as the generations can be traced. Mr. Lynch’s father died some months before the son’s birth, and before the latter was five years of age he was in possession of a step-father. He had two step-sisters, one of whom died young, and the other is living in Clinton, Iowa. An elder sister of Mr. Lynch is still living in Ireland.
He remained in his native country until he was nearly of age, and came to the United States in 1857, landing in Boston on the 1st day of June. He came direct to Chicago, where he obtained employ in a shingle factory, working for a Mr. Oliver. He came to Lee Co., Ill., in the fall of the same year, and worked at Franklin Grove for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad corporation. In the spring following, he entered the employ of the Chicago & Rock Island Company, going to Minnesota in their interests. In 1859 he returned to the employ of the former corporation. A few months later he went to Arkansas, where he worked on the levees.
He came back to Whiteside County in the spring of 1860, and July 8, 1863, he was married, in that city, to Sarah A., daughter of Mark and Mary (Taylor) Harrison, pioneers of Whiteside County and represented in the personal account of James H. Harrison, the brother of Mrs. Lynch. She was born March 3, 1844, on the homestead of her father in Genesee Township. She was educated and grew to womanhood in the same township in which she was born, and where she has passed her entire life. She had the advantage of two years’ instruction by a private teacher in her father’s house. To Mr. and Mrs. Lynch six children have been born, all of whom are living but one. James M. was born Aug. 18, 1864; Joseph T., June 15, 1869; Olive A., born Sept. 19, 1870, died in 1873; Edward M., Aug. 6, 1872; Mary E., July 24, 1874; William H., April 8, 1877. After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Lynch resided for a time at Sterling, and the husband was there employed on the line of railroad then being built. A year later he entered the employ of S. T. Hosmer, a brewer, with whom he remained until 1866. In July of that year Mr. Lynch became a farmer in the township of Genesee and operated some years as a renter. They finally settled on 40 acres of land which became the property of Mrs. Lynch by inheritance from her father’s estate. It is in excellent condition with fine barn and residence, which have been erected by Mr. Lynch. He is a believer in the Catholic father; his wife is a member of the Christian Church. Mr. Lynch is an active and earnest Republican.