MCGOVERN, John James (deceased), who was prominent in labor circles in Springfield, Ill., had the best interests of his community at heart and was recognized as a public-spirited, useful citizen. He was born at Newcastle, Del., February 2, 1855, a son of Patrick and Elizabeth (Sheridan) McGovern. The father was a native of Ireland and came to America as a young man. After living several years in Delaware, he went to Weir City, Kan., locating on a farm nearby. The mother was also a native of Ireland and they had five children, as follows: Edward, Eugene, Henry, Owen, and John J.
Mr. McGovern attended school at Farmingdale, Ill., and his first active work was performed on his father's farm. Later he engaged in mining operations, first as a laborer and eventually as a foreman. He took great interest in the welfare of his fellow-workmen and in labor conditions and was popular with his associates. He became connected with the Workman's Legal Insurance Company, of Chicago. He retired from active life in 1897 and spent his last days in ease and quiet in his home in Springfield.
Mr. McGovern's marriage occurred at Petersburg, Ill., April 20, 1881, when he was united with Ellen Brazle, the ceremony being performed by Father O'Hara and taking place in the Catholic Church of that place. Miss Brazle was born at LaSalle, Ill., July 20, 1862, daughter of Thomas and Anna (Farrell) Brazle, both natives of Ireland, the father born in December, 1834 and the mother, May 15, 1837. The Brazle family came to America and located on a farm near Ashland, Ill., where the father's death occurred February 23, 1906. Mrs. Brazle still resides at Ashland. They were parents of nine children, as follows: Edward, Ellen (Mrs. McGovern), Mary (wife of John Sehy); Bridget, James, Michael and Anna, all deceased; Alice, wife of Simon Whallen.
Mr. McGovern and wife became parents of ten children: Elizabeth, born February 18, 1881, wife of Charles Gallagar; Edward, born October 20, 1883; Mary L., born October 18, 1885, wife of William Galgannon of Ohio; Thomas P., born February 28, 1887, a florist at the Bell-Miller Green House Co. and living at home; Eugene P. a minor born December 12, 1889, lives at home; Frances, born January 6, 1897, died September 5, 1896; Frank, born October 21, 1893, at home; Robert, born March 9, 1895, lives at home and is a florist in the employ of A. C. Brown Company; Alice, born January 16, 1898; Stella, born April 28, 1900. There are ten grandchildren in the family.
Mr. McGovern belonged to the Royal Circle, which is now known as the Royal Americans, and was a member of St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church. He was active and prominent in political affairs and cast his influence with the Democratic party. His death was keenly felt in many circles and was sincerely mourned by a wide circle of friends. He passed away at his Springfield home February 2, 1904, and his widow still resides there, surrounded by her children and many friends.