Michael S. Doran's Family History Blog

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Mary Jane Doran Dunlap 80th Birthday – 1909 Family Reunion

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Following is a copy of a news account of the eightieth birthday of Mary Jane Doran Dunlap. She was the grandmother of Ilo Irwin Schroeder. Ed Irwin mentioned in the article was Ilo’s father and a nephew of E.W. Irwin for whom Irwin was named.

TUESDAY, JULY 13, 1909”

Tuesday, July 13, Mrs. J.M. Dunlap celebrated her eightieth birthday, surrounded by over a hundred of her relatives and friends who had gathered at her home, one and one-half miles north of Irwin by invitation to assist in this, her “red letter” day. Among those present were three brothers, Thomas Doran of Oklahoma, Wm. Doran of Medicine Lodge, Kansas, and Robert Doran of Henry, Illinois, and one sister, Mrs. Wm. Monier of Sparling Illinois, and six daughters, Mrs. Alex Mitchell of Hartford, South Dakota, Mrs. Charlie Goodner of Anderson, Iowa, Mrs. A.L. Reed of Raymond, South Dakota, Mrs. Charles Barr of Manilla, Mrs. Frank Beymer of Avoca and one son, Roy Dunlap of Irwin. Also present were Mrs. Nellie Dunlap and three daughters of Smithland, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Mitchell and two children of Troy, South Dakota, Mr. and Mrs. James Mitchell and three children of Scotland, South Dakota, Mr. John Mitchell of Hartford, South Dakota, Mrs. Ray Rathburn of Hartford, South Dakota, Mrs. Margaret Thomson and son also of South Dakota, and Mr. and Mrs. Frank O’Dell of Dow City. There were about thirty grandchildren and five great-grandchildren and a large number of neighbors and friends.

A large tent had been secured for the occasion in which the tables were set – seating about sixty five people. The day was an ideal one for the reunion. All Monday afternoon until the wee small hours of the morning, the relatives began to arrive from a distance and were stored away in the many places prepared for them. Long before the chickens began to crow the men were awakened by the ladies of the party, calling them to get up – some to milk, others to turn the separator, bring water, take care of the children, hunt fresh eggs – for some who had not seen “fresh eggs” for many moons, while the ladies prepared a breakfast that seldom has its equal. How so many good eatables could be gathered together in so short a time puzzled the hungry men!

The home, which is situated on a hill a quarter of a mile from the mail road, surrounded by a large fine grove and beautiful lawn, was soon one of the happiest and busiest places on earth. Old friends who had not seen each other for forty years were renewing old acquaintances and were as happy as in their childhood days. It was one of the largest gatherings of relatives and friends held in that vicinity for years. Ed Irwin acted as chef and surely did a fine job – until he came to the chicken.

Mrs. Dunlap has lived in her present home near Irwin for over thirty years and is one of the oldest settlers in the area and is enjoying excellent health. Words cannot be found that will express the happiness and thanks to her relatives and friends who bestowed upon her, this happy gathering on her eightieth birthday, and may she live to see many more is the wish of her large circle of friends.”

Mrs. Dunlap was born in New Brunswick in 1829 and came to United States when she was fifteen. She and her husband came to Shelby County in 1880 and moved one and one-half miles north of Irwin in 1882. She lived to be over ninety years old. Her daughter, Louemma, married Ed Irwin who was born in Washington County, Iowa in 1862. He was the son of Ebeneezer Irwin. Eben Irwin, brother of E.W. Irwin, was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania January 28, 1822.

Ed and Louemma had seven children: Alice who died in infancy, Orval (died 1962), Mabel (Mrs. George Delaney) of Chicago, Ilo Schroeder of Irwin, Rea Grieder of Harlan, Rhoda Mitchell (died 1971) and Agnes O’Brien (died 1942).

Ilo Irwin married Carl Schroeder, son of Jochim and Elfrieda Frank Schroeder March 5, 1919. Their daughter Arlene married Jerry Gustafson of Stratford, Iowa. The have two daughters: Lee Ann (Mrs. Gary Leinen) and Gwen of Denison. The Leinens also live at Irwin and have two daughters: Cori born in 1975 and Wendy born in 1979.

Ebeneezer Irwin had eight children. A daughter, Cora, was the grandmother of Max Edwards of Irwin.


Written by Michael S. Doran

March 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm

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