FITZGERALD, MAURICE (deceased). - It is a pleasure for the biographer to write of the life of a man whose work in any community was known and appreciated, and who had the entire confidence and esteem of his fellow townsmen. Such a man was the late Maurice Fitzgerald, of Springfield, Ill., who will be well remembered by many of the Capital City's older residents. Mr. Fitzgerald was born April 13, 1837, in County Limerick, Ireland, a son of Edmond and Mary (Scott) Fitzgerald, and a descendant of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, an Irish peer.
Maurice Fitzgerald was but eight years of age when the entire family of three sisters and four brothers came to America and settled in New York, where he secured his early education. He came to Springfield in April, 1854, and here completed his education, one of his fellow students at night school being Robert Lincoln. He took up the trade of blacksmith as a youth, and this work he followed during most of his life, although for a short period previous to his death he was engaged in agricultural ventures. In 1880 Mr. Fitzgerald purchased a tract of farming land in Clear Lake Township, half mile from camp Butler, which he managed up to the time of his death, on September 8th of that year. The family lived on this farm about nine years. Mr. Fitzgerald was enterprising and energetic, and was always active in connection with those movements which he thought would promote the prosperity of his city. His home, which he purchased in 1856, was the first brick residence built in Springfield; was also a lawyer's office for a time. He was a Democrat in his political views, and was also a member of the Pioneer Fire Company No. 1, a volunteer organization, his membership exempting him from military duty. He was a faithful member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
On July 10, 1859, Mr. Fitzgerald was united in marriage to Ellen Flynn, the daughter of Paul and Mary (Hayes) Flynn of County Limerick, Ireland. Mr. Flynn died in Ireland, and his daughter came to America in 1853, when she was but six years old. Mrs. Fitzgerald's mother died September 24, 1855, and was buried in Calvary Cemetery. She has a surviving brother, a retired farmer of Mt. Sterling, Ill. Five children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald, namely: Mary, died at the age of one year; Elizabeth, the wife of Sheriff Werner of Sangamon County; George, who is deceased; Catherine; and Richard James. The later was educated in the Catholic Schools of Springfield, and Notre Dame University, where he received a diploma June 20, 1889. He is now Deputy Sheriff of Sangamon County. Catherine and Richard are at home with their mother, the family still occupying the residence at No. 120 East Jefferson Street, which has been the family home since 1856.