LaSalle County

Biography - JOHN C. MADDEN

John C. Madden, deceased, was a pioneer citizen and highly respected business man of Mendota, Illinois. He was born in Bandon, County Cork, Ireland, June 17, 1830, and was a son of Stephen and Hannorah (Hurley) Madden. The father was a native of county Meath, Ireland, born in the last year of the eighteenth century, and his death occurred in Mendota about 1876. The subject of this review accompanied his parents on their emigration to America when about four years old, the family locating in Taunton, Massachusetts, where he passed his boyhood days, acquiring a good common-school education. He also served an apprenticeship to the trades of carpenter and pattern-maker, thus thoroughly equipping himself for a successful business career. He was reared under the parental roof and early taught the importance of industry and perseverance in the affairs of life. The surviving children of his father's family are: Mrs. Peter Donohue, of Mendota; and Mrs. Chester Stevens, of Wichita, Kansas.

Realizing that the broad prairies of Illinois would prove an advantageous field of labor for ambitious young men Mr. Madden came to LaSalle county in 1832 and for several months devoted himself to the work of carpentering and building. In the spring of 1853 he returned to Taunton, Massachusetts, and on the 4th of April of the same year was united in marriage, in St. Mary's Catholic church, of that city, to Miss Mary Sullivan, who shared with him the joys and sorrows of life until he was called to the home beyond. Immediately after their marriage the young couple, accompanied by his parents, came to Illinois, taking up their residence upon a farm about four miles north of Mendota.

There Mr. Madden remained until 1855, when he removed to the city and became associated with others in the organization of the Eagle Manufacturing Company formed for the purpose of manufacturing gang plows. The company was succeeded by another in which the leading stockholders were Mr. Madden, Peter Donohue, Warren Clark and William Rockford. In 1860 this company sold its interests to the firm of Donohue & Madden, the latter gentlemen establishing a foundry and machine shop, in which they engaged in the manufacture of wagons and agricultural implements. The partnership was continued uninterruptedly and most harmoniously up to the time of Mr. Madden's death, and the business was one of marked success, for years being numbered among the substantial enterprises of the city. The firm of Donohue & Madden underwent no change after Mr. Madden's death, save that his son Stephen J. succeeded to his interest in the business.

Unto our subject and his wife, who was a native of Ireland, nine children were born, one of whom, Charles T. Madden, died recently. He served as postmaster of Mendota, and was well and favorably known. The surviving children are: George H., of the Germania Bank of Mendota; Stephen J., his father's successor in business; John F., an attorney at law; Edward T., a bank cashier; Mary, wife of A. H. Eagan, of Evansville; and Emma. Mrs. Madden also survives her husband, and is one of the most estimable ladies in the city, having a large circle of warm friends in the community where she has so long resided.

Mr. Madden passed away March 16, 1897, and his death was the cause of much sorrow in Mendota, as he was universally respected and liked here. In the management of his financial affairs he was very enterprising and successful, and his course was marked by the highest integrity. His employes and associates in business had for him warm regard, and his genial and cheery manner and his strong and hearty sympathy with those in trouble won him lasting friends. He was a public-spirited citizen, always ready to assist in promoting laudable enterprises, and was a man of worth to the community. He served as alderman and as school trustee and in those official capacities sought to advance the welfare of the people whom he represented. His integrity was ever above question, and his memory will ever be cherished by those who enjoyed his friendship.

"His life was noble and the elements
So mixed in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world. 'This was a man.' "

Extracted 18 Aug 2017 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois, published in 1900, volume 2, pages 508-510.


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