In the spring of 1898 James T. Walsh was elected to the office of alderman, representing the fifth ward in the city council of Ottawa, county-seat of LaSalle county. In the ranks of the Democratic party in this section he is regarded as an influential man, one of the foremost in local campaigns.
Like many of the well-known citizens of Ottawa, James T. Walsh is a native of the Emerald Isle, whose beauties are renowned in song and story. He reached the half-century mark on the 8th of March, 1899. He is one of the nine children of Thomas and Catherine Walsh, the others being as follows: William, Jerry, Cornelius, John, Thomas, Patrick, Hanora and Mary. The four sons first mentioned are residents of Chicago, Illinois. Thomas is the collector of Wallace township, LaSalle county. Patrick, Hannah and Mary are still living in Ireland. Though the parents were not wealthy nor influential, they taught their children the lessons of industry and good citizenship, and were themselves respected in the community in which they dwelt.
When twenty years of age, in 1869, James Walsh crossed the Atlantic ocean, with the intention of making a permanent home in the New World. After spending some time in New York he came to LaSalle county, and at present he is the owner of a well-stocked grocery, finely located and commanding an extensive trade. By strict attention to the needs of his customers and by uniformly treating them with courtesy and fairness he has built up a profitable business, and stands well in the estimation of all who have had dealings with him. A few years ago it was his esteemed privilege to make a visit to the land of his birth, where he renewed the friendships of "auld lang syne," and spent some time in journeying to places with which he was familiar. Fraternally Mr. Walsh is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen.
In Syracuse, New York, the marriage of our subject and Miss Catherine Walsh, an old schoolmate, was solemnized in 1873. Four children have been born to this worthy couple, three sons and a daughter, namely: Thomas P., William, Michael and Catherine.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 107-108.