WALSH, MICHAEL, an enterprising and public-spirited citizen of Springfield, Ill., was born in Bethalto, Madison County, Ill., July 29, 1869, a son of John and Mary (Gards) Walsh, both natives of County Cork, Ireland. The father was a farmer, a coal miner and business man. John Walsh cast his first Presidential vote for Buchanan, having emigrated to America some years before. He was married at Alton, Ill., and later removed to Springfield, where he and his wife were for many years devout members of the Church of the Immaculate conception and active in church work. Mr. Walsh died October 14, 1897, and his widow now resides at 420 South Ninth Street, Springfield. They were parents of ten children, of whom three sons and three daughters now survive, and Michael is the third oldest.
In boyhood Michael Walsh attended St. Mary's Catholic School, of Springfield and at the age of eighteen years left school to go to work. He was employed for a time in the rolling mills, later worked for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, worked two years for the Citizens Street and Electric Light Company, and spent seven years in the employ of Patrick Giblin. About 1897 he bought the Jefferson Hotel in Springfield, and after conducting same about five years sold the property. He is a stanch Democrat in politics, although never desirous of holding public office. He is energetic and honest in business and enjoys the confidence of those who have dealings with him. He is an earnest worker in church affairs and belongs to the Church of the Immaculate conception and to the Catholic Order of Foresters. He is a member of the Order of Eagles and the Order of Owls, and is of a sociable disposition, being popular among his friends.
Mr. Walsh was married, in Springfield, November 15, 1893, to Miss Mary Wilson, who was born in Springfield, daughter of Thomas Wilson. Her father is dead and her mother resides in Chicago. They were parents of three daughters and one son, and the latter is deceased. The following five children were born to Mr. Walsh and his wife: one who died in childhood; Thomas, attending St. Francis College, at Quincy, Ill.; Michael, attending St. Mary's School, at Springfield; Mary and Elizabeth.