Biography - Mrs. W. T. Dwyer

MRS. W. T. DWYER. The city of Vienna suffered the loss of one of its most valued and highly respected citizens when, on May 20, 1904, there passed into the land beyond Mr. William T. Dwyer. Mr. Dwyer, although a native of Ohio, where he was born January 19, 1856, lived the greater part of his life in Vienna, having been brought here by his parents, Dennis and Eliza (King) Dwyer, when he was but a young child.

Dennis Dwyer came to Southern Illinois from Columbus, Ohio, in the early fifties and purchased a large piece of land, which included the site upon which Vienna is now built. His wife, Eliza King in maidenhood, was born in Ireland, but came to Vienna before the village was of any consequence in size, and although now seventy-eight years of age her faculties are remarkably clear and she recalls many interesting events of the early pioneer days. She is at the present time residing with her daughter, Mrs. F. M. Pruett, at Harrisburg.

William T. Dwyer for many years followed in his father's footsteps and was a successful agriculturist until the year 1899, when he decided to make a change and went into the livery business in Vienna. A1-though he was a man of only average school education, he possessed more than average business ability and succeeded in accumulating much valuable property during his lifetime. Among his most valuable holdings were some rich coal lands near Harrisburg, and stock in the Drovers State Bank, with which financial institution he was connected from the time of its establishment until his death. Mr. Dwyer was throughout his life a devout member of St. Pauls Catholic church, a man of sterling character, liberal in his ideas and methods and possessed of many personal qualities that endeared him to all with whom he came in contact. His remains lie buried in the cemetery at New Burnside, Illinois.

Mrs. Minnie Dwyer, widow of W. T. Dwyer, is now a leading resident of Vienna. She was before her marriage Miss Minnie Kiley, the daughter of Timothy and Hannah (Cahille) Kiley, of Cairo, in which city Mrs. Dwyer was born and reared. Her father was a native of Ireland, as was also her mother. Mr. Kiley was a miller by trade and when twenty years of age came to Cairo from his native land, to gain for himself opportunities for advancement which America so generously affords her adopted sons. His marriage to Hannah Cahille took place after his arrival at Cairo, where he engaged in the milling business. Besides Mrs. Dwyer, Mr. and Mrs. Kiley were the parents of one other child, M. J. Kiley, of Cairo.

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Dwyer occurred in 1894 and to them were born five children. Williamette died in August, 1910, at the age of sixteen years. The others reside at home with their mother, John William being sixteen years of age, E. Kiley, fourteen years; Julia Dorothy, twelve years; and Bessie ten years old.

Mrs. Dwyer is a woman of culture and superior intelligence and possesses executive ability to a marked degree. She is a member of the Vienna Library Board, and secretary of the Board of Education. She discharges the duties these positions entail in a most creditable manner and her advice is highly esteemed by her colleagues. Mrs. Dwyer is also an active club woman, is one of the most influential members of the Vienna Woman's Club and has held the office of president in that organization during 1909 and 1910. A leader in social and educational life, a woman of charm and pleasing personality, she leads a life of activity and usefulness and holds the respect and admiration of a legion 'of friends throughout the community.

Extracted 14 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 716-717.

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