top shadow

Biography - JOHN M. COSTELLO

John M. Costello is the well-known blacksmith of Ottawa, whose fame as a horse-shoer of more than average ability has gained for him more than a local reputation. He is a native of this county, having entered this mundane sphere at the village of Marseilles on August 15, 1846. He is a son of Michael and Mary (Hogan) Costello, both parents having come from Ireland to this country in 1840. Michael Costello was a contractor on the Illinois and Michigan canal, but sold this contract later to Michael Killelea and moved upon a farm about three miles from Marseilles. He lived there until his death, in 1850, and became a successful farmer and stock-raiser. Five children were born to him, viz.: Ellen, wife of William Killelea; Mary Ann, wife of John W. Gaffaney, of Chicago; Margaret S., of Chicago; Bridget, widow of Mr. Lynch; and John W., our subject. The widow and five children survive his death.

John M. Costello was about four years old at the time of his father's death and made his home with the family of Michael Killelea until he was fourteen years old, attending school at the Grove school-house. He was then bound to Patrick McDermott, of Ottawa, to learn the trade of blacksmith. After serving his time he went to work for Thomas McDermott for a time, but later went to Morris, where he worked at his trade. Returning to Ottawa he was employed four years by Hahn & Shehan, buggy and wagon manufacturers. He then entered into a partnership with John Leonard for eighteen months, running a shop in this city. In 1876 he opened a shop at No. 108 East Main street, in an old frame building, formerly a part of the old Mansion house, kept by one Mr. Wade, but his business increased to such an extent that this building would not meet the requirements of his trade and he erected a two-story brick building. He now has three forges and has three men working for him the greater part of the time, and has all the work he can attend to, being especially in demand among the farmers.

November 26, 1874, he was married to Miss Eliza Fennerty, a native of Ottawa and the eldest daughter of James and Bridget (O'Brien) Fennerty, who were born in Ireland and emigrated to America in 1831, coming to Ottawa in 1834. Mr. Costello has erected a fine residence on Post street for his home, and owns besides other city property. He began life in a small way with but scant means, and by industry and frugality has laid by a competency which will allow him to pass his last days in comfort and ease if he be so disposed. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 133-134.

Templates in Time