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Below is a family biography included in History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott, published by Iola Register, 1901.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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MICHAEL HEFFERN. The Emerald Isle — the land of beautiful lakes and verdant hills, the country of war, romance and history — was the birthplace of Michael Heffern, who on the 22d of September, 1835, first opened his eyes to the light of day in the parish of Dunhill, County Waterford, Ireland. His father, Patrick Heffern, married Bridget Carol, and both were natives of Ireland where they resided until 1850 when they crossed the broad Atlantic to America, locating first in New York. After a short time, however, they removed to Illinois, settling in LaSalle County, where they spent their remaining days, the father passing away at the age of sixty-five years, while the mother died at the age of sixty years.

Michael Heffern was a lad of fourteen years when he came with his parents to the New World. In Illinois he worked on the railroad as a teamster for three years and then rented a tract of land, after which he engaged in farming there for eight years. As a companion and helpmate on the journey of life he chose Miss Ellen Vaughn, a native of Ireland, the wedding being celebrated in St. Louis, Missouri, August 26, 1855. He continued his agricultural pursuits in Illinois until 1867 when he came to Kansas and purchased two hundred and forty acres of raw land in Owl Creek township, Woodson County, eight miles east of Yates Center on the north fork of Owl creek. There for the first time he began farming on land which was his own property. He has since made valuable improvements until he now has one of the best farms on the creek, and to his landed possessions he has added until he now has nine hundred and sixty acres, all improved, while three hundred acres is under cultivation, the other is in pasture and meadow land. For a short time after coming to Kansas Mr. Heffern worked on the railroad as a contractor but has since devoted his entire time to his farm work and has long since been recognized as one of the leading agriculturists of the county. He feeds all of his grain to his stock and each winter ships about two car loads of cattle to the city markets. Eight children have been born unto Mr. and Mrs. Heffern, of whom six are yet living, as follows: Mary, the wife of Tim Collins; Johanna, wife of Thomas McGanon, of Humboldt; Margaret, wife of Charley Feney; Lizzie, wife of Vincent Gallagher, now of Colorado; Josie, wife of Ven Lessen, of Woodson County, and Thomas, who resides upon the home farm with his father. He married Miss Minnie Cornell and has two children, Michael and Mary.

In his political affiliations Mr. Heffern is a Democrat and belongs to that substantial class of citizens who give an earnest support to measures for the public good but are not carried away by fads or unpractical schemes. He is a self-made man who without any extraordinary family or pecuniary advantages at the commencement of life has battled earnestly and energetically, and by indomitable courage and integrity has achieved both character and fortune, winning a victory in the business world which is as creditable as enviable.

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This family biography is one of 204 biographies included in History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott, published by Iola Register, 1901, Iola, Kansas.  For the complete description, click here: Woodson County, Kansas History and Genealogy

View additional Woodson County, Kansas family biographies here: Woodson County, Kansas

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