Putnam County


Patrick Dore, deceased, was for many years a prominent business man of Putnam county, identified with both its commercial and agricultural interests, and his life record demonstrated what can be accomplished through firm and determined purpose and unfaltering energy. A native of County Kerry, Ireland, he was born on the 17th of March, 1831, and acquired his education in the schools of the Emerald isle, remaining in his native land until the fall of 1850, when he came to the United States to try his fortune in the new world, having heard favorable reports of the opportunities here extended to ambitious, energetic young men. He had no capital, but he possessed determination and enterprise, and upon those qualities as a foundation he builded the superstructure of his success. For a short period he was employed near Chicago, and on the 9th of December, 1850, arrived at Hennepin. It was his intention to go further south, but, spending the night at a hotel here, he entered upon arrangements to work for the landlord of the hotel, first receiving a salary of only eight dollars per month, but later the wage was increased to ten dollars and subsequently to thirteen and to fifteen dollars per month. Apparently trivial incidents often prove decisive factors in a life record, and such was the case of Mr. Dore, for, stopping for the night at Hennepin, he continued to make his home here throughout his remaining days.

On leaving the hotel he entered the employ of the firm of Minehan, Simpson & Company, dealers in lumber and grain, being employed in their warehouse, yards and office. The firm conducted an extensive business, making shipments to St. Louis and Chicago. Mr. Dore had a friend in St. Louis, a grain dealer, who often came to Hennepin, and finally an arrangement was made whereby Mr. Dore bought and shipped grain for this friend, Thomas Ryan. After working for some years in this way his friend, who was also a wholesale grocer, proposed that he should go into the grocery business, and furnished him with a stock of goods on long time. His trade gradually increased and became very profitable, and he remained a merchant of Hennepin up to the time of his death. A man of resourceful business ability, he also extended his efforts into other fields of activity by purchasing grain and hogs, which he shipped to Mr. Ryan, partially in payment for goods. His business increasing, in a few years he was enabled to pay cash for such goods as he purchased. All days were not equally bright. At times the storm clouds gathered and threatened disaster to the young merchant, but he persevered and turned seeming defeats into victories. At one time he lost heavily in the sinking of a steamer on which he had seven thousand bushels of potatoes, which were then worth seventy-five cents per bushel. This was a total loss, as he had no insurance on it. About five years ago, in company with a nephew, he established a store at Spring Valley, in which he lost three thousand dollars. He then put his son, Michael Dore, in charge, and the business from that time proved profitable.

As soon as he was enabled to do so Mr. Dore invested means in Iowa land, buying at three dollars and a half per acre at first and afterward paying as high as ten dollars per acre. As his financial resources increased he began purchasing land in Putnam county and other places, and eventually had extensive holdings in this state, in Iowa, Colorado, Omaha, Nebraska, and South Dakota. He gave his personal supervision to his Putnam county farms and thereon raised and fed horses and cattle quite extensively. For some years he bred many Norman horses, owning a fine stallion. He was also interested in race horses, and has been the owner of some fine specimens of the noble steed that have made excellent records on the track. In his cattle raising interests he made a specialty of the Herefords, and won success in this branch of his business.

In 1856 Mr. Dore was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Rooney, of Hennepin, and unto them were born six children: John, who is now manager of his father's estate and lives in Hennepin : James, who died at the age of nineteen years ; William, who died in infancy; Thomas, who is living retired in Hennepin and who married Jennie Simington, by whom he has three children Margery, John and Thomas; Michael, who is manager of the store in Spring Valley and who wedded Edith Smith, of Hennepin, by whom he has three children; and Cora Ellen, the wife of James G. Fay. They reside in a beautiful home in Hennepin, which was built a few years ago, and they have one daughter, Margaret, who was nine years of age on the 27th of June, 1906. They also lost a daughter, Eileen, at the age of eleven months. Mr. Fay is employed in the Patrick Dore store in Hennepin. The death of the father occurred in 1901, and the mother, who had been an invalid for many years, passed away at the old home in Hennepin in April, 1905.

Mr. Dore gave his political allegiance to the democracy where national questions were involved, but at local elections cast an independent ballot. He did not seek or desire office, preferring to devote bis entire time and attention to his business affairs. He was an honest, upright man and a public-spirited citizen, dealing fairly in his business relations and supporting many progressive measures that proved of benefit to his community. He had but twenty-five cents when he reached Chicago on his way from Ireland. His educational privileges were limited, but he was quick to learn, and he had more than ordinary ability as a business man. Gradually he worked his way upward, utilizing the means at hand to the best possible advantage, and his energy and enterprise proved the strong elements in a successful business career which was well worthy of emulation. Since his death his widow and children have built a new Catholic church in his honor, which is called St. Patrick's church, and thus is perpetuated the memory of one of Putnam county's prominent and prosperous business men.

Source: Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois authored by John Spencer Burt and W. E. Hawthorne in 1907, page 310.

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