Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
FAGAN, James K., a retired farmer of Sangamon County, now living on North Jefferson Street, just outside the City of Springfield, was born in Germantown, N. J., June 8, 1842, son of Thomas and Bridget (Murray) Fagan, both natives of Dublin, Ireland, the father born in 1812 and the mother in 1811. Thomas Fagan was a stone-cutter by trade. He and his wife located in New Jersey in 1822 and there she died in 1863, and is buried in Mendham, N. J. In 1868, having lived a few years in Sangamon County, Ill., Mr. Fagan went East and remained a year and a half then returned to Sangamon County, where he owned a farm and followed his trade. He died July 2, 1899, and is buried in Calvary Cemetery.
The education of James K. Fagan was acquired in the public schools of his native State and he worked on his father's farm until he was twenty-four years old, then worked in a brick yard in Springfield for Mr. H. Westlake. Later he became employed in the same business by Mr. Fairchild, and helped make brick for the State House. He worked three years for Mr. Fairchild, then was seriously hurt by being accidentally buried in a pit at the yards and was some time recovering. Upon becoming able to resume work, he purchased a team and for two years hauled brick and coal for Mr. Fairchild. Following this he located on a farm at Bissell, Ill., where he carried on agricultural pursuits with success for thirty-five years. About 1903 he left his farm and located in his present comfortable residence in the outskirts of Springfield, but still owns seventy-two acres of good farming land at Bissell. He has always been industrious and although not always enjoying good health has accomplished a great deal of work, by reason of his energy and ambition. At the time of the Civil War he applied for admission to the army, but as he could not pass the required physical examination, was rejected. He is a man of honesty and reliability and has a large number of friends.
Mr. Fagan was married, in New Jersey, October 24, 1864, to Margaret Havey, daughter of Michael and Eliza Havey, who was born August 19, 1840. Her parents came to America at an early date, and both died in Mendham, N. J., he in 1897 and she in 1907. One child was born to Mr. and Mrs. Fagan, Mary, wife of Mathis Dilley, a telegraph operator at Shelbyville, Ill. Mr. Fagan married (second), in 1868, Margaret Lamb, and they became parents of five children, namely: Thomas, a coal miner; James, engaged in mining; Peter, a farmer living at Bissell; Charles, a coal miner, and one daughter, deceased, was the wife of James Merrill. Mr. Fagan has ten grandchildren. He is a member of the Catholic Church and in politics is a Democrat.