DENNIS WALSH is the oldest dairyman in Wyandotte county, as he has been in the business for thirty-two years, during which time he has steadily increased his business. He has not, however, been a dairyman all of his life, as when he first came to America from Ireland, he was a farmer; then he was employed by the railroad company, as a laborer. Then back he went to the farm again, later was employed by the city, but finally he returned to the farm and dairy life as one in which he would spend the rest of his days.
Dennis Walsh was born in county Kerry, Ireland, in 1844, and is the son of John Walsh and Mary (Enright) Walsh, likewise natives of the Emerald Isle, where they spent their entire lives, and where they are now buried. John Walsh was reared to manhood in county Kerry, where he was a farmer, and there he brought up his six children, of whom Dennis is the youngest in order of birth. Mr. Walsh, Sr., never succeeded in accumulating much of this world's goods, and his son, Dennis, felt that he should like to do more than make a mere living. He was educated in the schools of his native county, and when he reached the age of nineteen he broke away from family restraints and took passage for America in an old sailing vessel. The voyage was long and dreary, but with the enthusiasm of youth, the young man thought only of the glorious future of the new world for which he was bound. He landed in the United States in 1863, when the whole country was torn by the conflict of the Civil war which was then progressing. He located at Xenia, the county seat of Greene county, Ohio, where he worked on a farm for a period of two years, at the end of which time he went to work for the railroad company. He next came to Johnson county, Missouri, where he again went back to agricultural work, but after another year spent on the farm he came to Kansas City, Missouri, where he gained employment as a laborer, and afterward was hired by the city in the capacity of a policeman for several years. In 1878 he felt that he had had enough of working for others, and if he was ever to get ahead he must get into business for himself, and he, therefore, came to Rosedale and bought one cow, which was the beginning of his dairy business. He sold the milk, and with the profit he made, he bought another cow, and continued in this way until he became the owner of forty-eight milking cows. The dairy produces more than ten hundred quarts of milk a day, some of which he sells in bulk, and the rest he puts up in bottles. He has now retired from active connection with the business, which is carried on by his son.
In 1870 Mr. Walsh married Miss Catherine O'Shea, a bonny Irish girl, a daughter of Patrick and Bridget (Griffen) O'Shea, who haled from county Kerry, Ireland, like the Walsh family. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Walsh, none of whom have married. John is the eldest, named after his paternal grandfather; next is Edward; then Dennis, his father's namesake, who died when he had reached his twenty-fourth year, and is buried in Kansas City, Missouri; the next son, James, carries on the dairy business, and at the present time he has thirty head of cows, and is doing a flourishing business; Joseph comes next in order of age, and is followed by Mary, her paternal grandmother's namesake, then Catherine, named for her mother, and last Robert Emmet. The seven children all live at home with their father, where they are a very merry crowd.
In politics Mr. Walsh is a Democrat, and he held his office of city police under Chief Speare during the administration of Mayor McGee. He has lived in his present home during the last ten years, and he has reason to feel well satisfied with the result of his dairy business. He is a member of the Woodmen of the World, and formerly belonged to other fraternal orders, but he has dropped them. He was baptized and reared in the Catholic faith, and holds membership in the Holy Name church of Rosedale, where he has a large circle of friends, and is greatly respected.
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