Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


JOHN HEGARTY. It was nearly sixty years ago when John Hegarty first saw what was then the insignificant village of Springfield, a mere crossroads trading point, a general store or two, blacksmith shop or so, a post office and a small cluster of rude dwelling houses. Not all the time since then has he spent here, but during the major portion of it he has witnessed with satisfaction and interest the substantial growth of the place until it is now the capital of the Ozark region in importance commercially. He was for many years a well-known grocer here, and now being well past his eighty-third birthday, he is living quietly in his little cottage in the heart of the city, still preferring to remain near his old place of business. He is Irish in blood, and having many of the traits of that energetic and quick-witted race, has succeeded well in his life work.

Mr. Hegarty was born in Ireland, in June, 1830. He is a son of John and Anna (Galaspy) Hegarty, both of whom were born, reared, married and spent their lives in the Emerald Isle, dying there many years ago, the father passing away when our subject was a small boy, in about the year 1846. He was a tailor by trade and he and his wife both received good educations for that time. Their family consisted of ten children, two of the sons still living, namely: John of this sketch, and James, who lives in St. Louis.

John Hegarty grew to manhood in Ireland and there received a common school education. He emigrated to the United States in 1847 and settled in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he remained eighteen or twenty years, at different times, during which period he was a commercial traveler, selling dry goods for a Terre Haute house, then spent a year in different parts of Illinois. He first came to Springfield, Missouri, in 1855, but not long thereafter returned East, but took up his permanent residence here in 1870, following farming near Springfield a short time, then moved into the city and for a period of twenty years engaged in the grocery business at Boonville street and Phelps avenue, having been in partnership with his brother James, under the firm name of Hegarty Bros. They enjoyed an extensive trade, and theirs was one of the oldest established grocery stores on Boonville street, one of the principal streets of the city since its beginning. Having accumulated a comfortable competency for his declining years, our subject quit business in 1894, since which time he has lived retired. At one time he was owner of a valuable farm, containing one hundred sixteen and one-half acres at Valley Mills, Greene county. He sold this place three years ago.

Mr. Hegarty has never married. Politically he is a Democrat, and is a member of the Catholic church.

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