John O'Laughlin, of Lakin, Kan., was born in County Clare, Ireland, June 24, 1842, son of Peter and Margaret (Considine) O'Laughlin. Peter O'Laughlin died in Ireland about 1846. He and Mrs. O'Laughlin were the parents of four sons and one daughterMichael, Bridget, John, Peter and Thomas. Peter and Bridget died in Ireland. The other children came with their mother to America in 1850, locating at Dubuque, Iowa. In 1858 John went to Minnesota, where he drove a team for one year, and then removed to St. Joseph, Mo., and followed the same occupation until 1861, when he came to Jefferson county, Missouri. Here he worked on a farm and was also in the employ of the Government as teamster in the department of quartermaster at Fort Leavenworth, and was wagonmaster for eight years. He left the Government service at Fort Hays, Kan., December 1, 1869. While doing this work he was in many important frontier expeditions and had many interesting experiences as well as meeting with many hardships. He often lived on buffalo meat and killed a great many of these animals. In December, 1869, he opened a trading post on the military road between Fort Dodge and Fort Hays, doing business with soldiers, buffalo hunters and freighters. During the two years which he operated this store he handled a great deal of business, but closed out when the Santa Fe railroad was built through that part of the country, in 1872. He then went to Dodge City, where he opened a boarding house. The next year he removed to Lakin, just after the Santa Fe road had been completed to that point. In a dug-out he opened the first store in town. For six years he traded with buffalo hunters, freighters and plainsmen. The same business is now owned by his sons, W. D. and J. C. O'Laughlin. Mr. O'Laughlin owns much valuable city property in Lakin and a number of well improved alfalfa farms in the Arkansas valley. He is the pioneer citizen of Kearney county, wealthy, and prominent as a Catholic.
February 5, 1882, his marriage to Miss Mary Farrell, daughter of Dennis and Bridget (Gogerty) Farrell, took place. She is a cultured woman, born of Irish parents at Xenia, Ohio, May 14, 1860. Her father died January 5, 1910, at Wilson, Kan., where her mother still lives. Seven children were born of this union: Margaret B., born September 27, 1883, is single and lives at home; William D., born February 3, 1885, is a merchant at Lakin; Mary C., born 1886, lives at home; John C., born July 18, 1888, a merchant at Lakin; Jennie Rose, born November 4, 1892, a teacher; Helen G., born August 21, 1897, and Thomas J., born April 12, 1900. Mr. O'Laughlin has until recently been an extensive stock raiser. Although practically retired he is still interested in many local enterprises.Pages 55-56 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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