James  Fenlon1926

James Fenlon 1926

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Place of migration
Migrated to/Born in USA

James FENLON was born in Wexford, Ireland on October 3, 1826.

He moved to Canada with his parents at the age of 7. They later moved to the United States.

At one point James became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. 

Starting at the age of 17 he began traveling and selling merchandise to customers. 

On November 6, 1850, In Durand, Illinois he married Mary Stapleton who was born in Pennsylvania.

He also found time to serve in the Mexican War of 1848 and the US Civil War of 1861-1865.

The Fenlon's moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1869.

Described as "hale and genial" Mr. Fenlon claimed to have " never tasted liquor nor smoked tobacco." 

At the end of his life, he earned the title of the "Oldest Traveling [Sales]Man in America." Though his home was then in Des Moines, Iowa, for seventy years he was "on the road." In the last 32 years of his life, he was selling "windmills and pumps" for the Woodmansee Manufacturing Company of Freeport, Illinois.

His wife died on December 25, 1912, and was buried in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in  Council Bluffs, Iowa.  

 As of 1915, Mr. Fenlon had five living children, [Jennie, Agnes, Ellen, James and Anna], 20 grandchildren, and  8 great-grandchildren. 

On August 7, 1916, Mr. Fenton died at his home in Des Moines, Iowa at the age of 89. He was buried at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cemetery in Council Bluffs, Pottawatomi County, Iowa.--



"Oldest Traveling Man in America Lives in DesMoines," Des Moines, Iowa, August 29,1915, p. 46

[Death Notice for Mr. Fenton], DesMoines Evening Tribune, August 7, 1916, p. 

[Death notice for Mr. Fenton], Omaha Daily Bee, Omaha, Nebraska, August 9, 1916, p.5.


Note: This is not my ancestor--J.S.

Additional Information
Date of Birth 23rd Oct 1926
Date of Death 7th Aug 1916

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