Frances Schaffer Holmes' notes indicate that Mary was born in Richland rather than Talleyrand. Richland and Talleyrand are a short distance apart in eastern Keokuk County.
The following is a transcription of Mary's obituary from the Sioux Rapids newspaper. Notice that Mary's last name is spelled Fagan throughout. They got it right in John Fagen's obituary a few months later.
Mrs. John Fagan, resident of Clay county for more than twenty years and sister of Mrs. T. J. Brink of Spencer, died at her home in Souix Rapids Saturday, November 23, 1929, after a lingering illness. At the time of her death she was 76 years, 10 months and 8 days old.
Funeral services were held at the Methodist church Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock conducted by the pastor and assisted by the Rev. Joseph Jeffery, an old time friend. Burial was made in Lone Tree Cemetery.
Mary Ellen Holmes was born at Talleyrand, Keokuk county, Iowa, January 22, 1853. She received her education in the public schools of Talleyrand where she also grew to womanhood. She was united in marriage to John Fagan September 8, 1879, and following their marriage, Mr. And Mrs. Fagan made their home in Talleyrand. To them were born six sons and four daughters. Two sons died in early childhood and one son, Anton L., died in 1910.
In 1886 Mr. And Mrs. Fagan moved to Keota, Washington county, Iowa, where they lived until 1905 when they moved to Clay county and settled on a farm northwest of Sioux Rapids, where they lived until moving to Sioux Rapids in 1913. Since that time they resided in Sioux Rapids with the exception of a brief stay two winters in Florida.
Mrs. Fagan joined the Methodist church in girlhood and on moving to this community in 1906 she transferred her membership to the Sioux Rapids Methodist church in which she remained a faithful and untiring worker, respected and loved by all who knew her. When health permitted she was always found at the prayer service and the other services of worship. She found it a real joy to serve and associate with the women in the aid society. In her passing the church has lost a beloved and faithful member. She was a kind and loving mother, a good neighbor and a sincere friend.
She leaves to mourn her death, her husband and three sons and four daughters, Walter L. Fagan of Keota, Iowa, Frank L. Fagan of Maynard, Minnesota, Howard L. Fagan, of Linn Grove, Mrs. Ressa Cady of Des Moines, Iowa, K. Lila Dubois of Sioux Rapids, Mable L. Chalstrom of Gaza, Iowa and Blanche L. Buckingham of Humboldt. She is also survived by two brothers and two sisters, George W. Holmes of Deep River, Iowa, Clark E. Holmes of Sigourney, Iowa, Mrs. Eliza Horning of Richland, Iowa, and Mrs. T. J. Brinks of Spencer in addition to twenty-two grandchildren, three great grandchildren and a host of neighbors and friends.
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