Biography of John Delaney

From the Emerald Isle, which has given so much of talent, vivacity, versatility and useful labor in various lines of productive effort to our country, came the prominent and progressive cattle and ranchman who is the subject of this article. He was born in Ireland on April 23, 1847, the son of John and Mary Delaney, also Irish by nativity, as their forefathers were for many generations before them. The family emigrated to the United States in 1854 and took up their residence in the state of New York. Here the father, who had been a wholesale grocer and liquor merchant at Dublin in his native land, and also a farmer in the vicinity of that city, became a manufacturer of paper, and was making steady progress to a successful business career in this country when in 1861 death cut short his life and usefulness, he having for five years survived his wife who died in 1856. Thus orphaned at the age of fourteen, their son John, the second born of their three living children, the other two being Mary A. and Theresa, was thrown on his own resources and, stimulated by the sharp spur of necessity, began to make his own way in the world with commendable industry and frugality. He had received a limited education at the common schools in the neighborhood of his home, and in starting out for himself found employment as a farm hand, an occupation to which he adhered for a number of years in New York and Pennsylvania. In 1880 he became a resident of Colorado, and during the next seven years devoted his time to mining at various places on the Western slope. In 1887, having determined to turn his attention to ranching and the stock industry, he took up a ranch of one hundred and sixty acres by preemption, the one on which he has since made his home. In addition to this he has purchased three hundred and twenty acres, and of the whole tract he cultivates three hundred acres in the ordinary farm products of the region in which he lives. His principal reliance in his business is, however, the cattle he raises and handles, and in this line of enterprise he is very successful, conducting his operations on a large scale and with excellent results. He is a leading citizen of his section of the county, an earnest Democrat in politics, a cordial supporter and helpful aid in all undertakings for the good of his community and a widely known and esteemed citizen. He was married in 1872 to Miss Sarah Durkin. They have had eight children. John B. died on December 13, 1900, and Mary, Sarah, James, Edward, Anna B., Frank and Joseph are living. All the family belong to the Catholic church. In his life in this state Mr. Delaney has seen some strenuous times. In 1887, when there was an Indian outbreak in the vicinity of his new home, and he happened to be at Glenwood Springs, although he had plenty of money for the purpose, he was unable to hire any one to take him home so that he could assist in putting down the savages; so he was obliged to make the trip on foot, but he reached the scene of action in time to be of material assistance in protecting the community and restoring peace.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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