Home | Index
Daniel Mack

Daniel Mack, son of John Mack and Bridget Conway, was born in County Clare, Ireland, May 10, 1842. His father died in the spring of 1849. Three sisters also died in Ireland. Bridget's mother, Mary Conway, Daniel, and brothers Thomas and John set sail for America on the sailing ship Mary Pleasant. They landed safely in Philadelphia June 9, 1853, a month after Daniel's eleventh birthday. They stayed in the East for a while where Bridget had already settled.

In the spring of 1855 Grandmother Mary Burke Conway and two of the children, undoubtedly Daniel and Thomas came to Rock Island to be nearer her nephew Joseph Conway, Jr. (Preemption) who had a land grant in 1854. The next year the mother Bridget Conway Mack and the youngest child, John joined them. Daniel spent four and a half years clerking in a hotel and did odd jobs at the same time. He made the best use he could of all his spare time in securing an education. Though he did not have the advantage of a college course of education, he was one of those practical self-made men occasionally found among the emigrants to this country who were by poverty thrown upon their own resources. He came to Preemption Township in 1859 and engaged in breaking prairie and became known as Daniel Mack, the prairie breaker. Their home was east of St. Joseph Church (which is now gone) and the farm consisted of forty acres.

In August 1862, Daniel enlisted in Co. H, 84th Illinois Volunteer Infantry and served his country until the close of the war. The 84th Infantry was organized at Quincy in August 1862. Daniel mustered into service September 1, 1862 with 939 men and officers. The regiment was authorized to inscribe upon its battle flag, the names of Perryville, Stone River, Woodbary, Chickamanga, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Ringgold, Dalton, Buzzard's Roost, Resala, Barnt Hickory, Franklin (Nov. 1864) and Nashville (Dec. 1864). A big battle at Chickamanga lasted for several days September 9-11. Daniel was wounded in the leg the first day, September 9, 1863. He was mustered out June 8, 1865.

On January 1, 1866 Daniel married Katherine O'Dea in Rock Island, Ill. at St. James Church, now St. Mary's. Father P.T. McElhernes was pastor at the time. To this union were born thirteen or fourteen children, nine of whom grew to maturity. Although Dan began as a poor boy he became independent owner of 510 acres of land in Preemption Township (Some of this land, part of the Michael Mack Estate, was sold at an average of 1300 dollars an acre) and he possessed land in Greene Township as well. He engaged in stock raising and shipping as well as farming. He was most helpful in building St. Joseph's Church. His home was always open to the clergy who had to travel great distances to say Mass at St. Joseph's. Dan's mother, Bridget Conway Mack died at the home of her son John in Greene Township and is buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery, Preemption Township. Her mother Mary Burke Conway is also buried there. Katherine O'Dea Mack died December 6, 1915 just a month before their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Katherine was preparing extra bedding for the event when she suffered a stroke. Daniel died March 17, 1921 and was buried on St. Joseph's Day March 19th. In his funeral sermon the celebrant said a monument would not be necessary for Dan's grave as he was leaving a living monument in his family there present, eight sons and one daughter. It was the first time in twenty-eight years that the family has been together. The children were John, Daniel, Thomas, Elizabeth, William, James, Joseph, Edward, and Michael.

James and Elizabeth lived at home with Daniel and Katherine. After the parent's deaths, they continued to live at the home place. James died in 1931 after a very short illness. A sale was held and the household articles not wanted by the family were sold. Elizabeth spent some time with her brothers Mike and Tom. She became ill and was taken to St. Anthony's Hospital. After her recovery, she remained there making her home. She was stricken with cancer and died in January 1946.

The old home was torn down and a new one erected. Some of Mike's family lived there at different times. In 1976 this property was sold to close the Michael Mack estate. This home place was located a mile North and almost a mile East of the original Dan Mack homestead.
(History of Mercer County, Illinois 1882, pp. 727-728)
(edited by Sister Janela Mack)

Home | Histories Index