GOREY, JOHN PATRICK. - The business instincts of some men are such as to insure their success in whatever line they undertake. They appear to know what is wanted by their customers and how to supply them with the best goods at satisfactory prices. Springfield is the home of a number of such men, among whom none is more worthy of special mention than John Patrick Gorey, proprietor of the largest retail store in Sangamon County, if not in this part of the State. He was born six miles southwest of Springfield in Sangamon County, August 26, 1864, a son of Patrick and Margaret (Casey) Gorey, natives of Ireland. In the 'fifties Patrick Gorey came to the United States, locating in boston, Mass., where he remained for two years. He then came to Sangamon County, engaging in farming until 1884, when he moved to Chatham, and until his death, in 1899, conducted a butchering business. In politics he was a Democrat but never entered public life, not aspiring to office. His widow survives, residing in Chatham. Both were born and reared in the Catholic Church, in which faith they reared their nine children, all of whom are now living.
John Patrick Gorey attended the district schools until about seventeen years of age, when he began working the farm in partnership with his father. He then worked for two years in a general store at Chatham, after which he was on the road as a commercial traveler for three wholesale shoe houses, in this way gaining an invaluable knowledge of the requirements of the trade. About 1894 he came to Springfield to enter the employ of Klayholt & Fogarty, shoe merchants, buying them out two years later. Since then he has been engaged in supplying a large retail territory, and has a handsome shoe emporium, that would do credit to any city in the country.
In politics Mr. Gorey is a Democrat, and served very ably and acceptably as Tax Collector for a year, but like his father, has never desired office. A strong Catholic, he belongs to St. Agnes' Church, and is one of its liberal supporters. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the M.W. of A., the Knights and Ladies of Honor, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
On February 28, 1890, Mr. Gorey was united in marriage, at Auburn, Ill., with Mary Jane Burns, daughter of James Burns and his wife Elizabeth. Mr. Burns was born in Scotland, while his wife was born in Ireland. They came to America in 1862, having been married at Glasgow, Scotland. Mrs. Gorey was one of a family of twelve children. Mr. and Mrs. Gorey have had an interesting family of children, as follows: Mary J., studying music at the Sacred Heart Academy, with the intention of developing her exceptional ability to the extent of fitting herself for teaching music; Margariette died at the age of three months; Jessie Veronica and Irene, attending the same school as Mary J.; Josephine, who died at the age of four years; John, Jr., who is attending St. Agnes school, and Leonarda Bernaine, the baby. Mr. Gorey belongs to the class of self made men, his success being the result of his own unaided efforts intelligently directed in legitimate channels. His pleasant, genial manner and unfailing courtesy aid in furthering his business and making friends, and no man is more highly regarded in Springfield than he.