Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
MAHER, WILLIAM JAMES (deceased) - Illinois for years has been regarded as the Mecca for those who long to wrest from its fertile soil the wealth lying dormant there. People flock there from all over the country and from foreign lands, and if they but exert themselves, the Prairie States does not fail them. One of the stalwart, reliable, substantial farmers of this Commonwealth, now passed to his last reward, was the late William James Maher, for years a farmer of La Salle County. He was born in Ireland, April 10, 1826, and was there reared to manhood. There his parents made their home, passing away firm in the faith of the Roman Catholic church. The ambitious young Irishman, however, was not contented with conditions in his native land, and in young manhood emigrated to the land beyond the sea, where he found a temporary home at Searsmont, Maine. There he found employment as a tanner and lived until he came to La Salle County where he bought a farm. This was his home until the time of his death on July 21, 1888. At this time he was recognized as one of the most prosperous farmers of his township, and although he did not care for public office, he was an influential Democrat. Reared in the Catholic church, he gave to it his service and support, and died in its faith, being buried in the Catholic Cemetery in Ottawa, his widow being laid by his side after her death in 1910.
On September 20, 1860, Mr. Maher was married in Searsmont, Maine, to Catherine Kyle, born in Silgo County, Ireland, September 12, 1836, daughter of Patrick Brown and Mary O. (Donall) Kyle. The following children were born to William Maher and wife: Agnes, born May 15, 1864; Dora, born June 15, 1868; Catherine, born May 4, 1868, and William, born April 26, 1870. Mrs. Maher died April 16, 1910, at the home of her daughter Miss Agnes Maher, No. 312 East North Grand Avenue, Springfield. During his long life Mr. Maher showed forth in his daily actions the effect of honest living and religious training, and exerted a powerful influence for good in his community. While not himself a resident of Springfield, for years his widow lived there and won warm personal friends for her kindly Christian disposition and kindly manner. Miss Agnes Maher is a most estimable lady, whose standing in the community is well known.