All of the older citizens of Shelby County have pleasant memories of "Jerry" McNamara,
the big-hearted, jovial disposition Irishman, who delighted every crowd he came into with his humor and was a favorite
with all classes of people. All the children loved "Jerry" because he was fond of the young people
and always had a kind work for the ambitious boy or girl. Mr. McNamara was generous and always ready to open his
purse to worthy men or worthy causes. He was welcomed in all gatherings, for his very presence had a tendency
to infuse energy. A life-long Democrat, he was always heard from during campaigns, upholding the principles and
candidates of his party. He was a hustler and vote getter that every candidate was anxious to have on his
side. Charm of the social circle, a warm fiend, an accommodating neighbor, kindness itself in all that concerned
his family, many sincere regrets were expressed and real sorrow felt among thousands of people when it was announced
that his genial-heart had ceased to beat. Jeremiah McNamara was born in Ireland, near the city of Limerick, March
17, 1840. Thirteen years later, he came to New York with his sister, Mary, arriving at the great metropolis
after a tempestuous voyage of seven weeks. After spending two years in New York, Mary and her fifteen-year-old
brother started West, and eventually reached Indianapolis on their way to Hancock County, near Palestine, where
their parents lived. The Irish lad grew to manhood in this place and during the process learned all about hard
work, which was the inseparable condition of farm boys in Indiana at that time. He became a farmer on his
own account, and though he had the usual hardships, misfortunes and accidents to the business, he finally won out
and long before the final summons reached him he was in comfortable circumstances.
Beginning in a small way,he
added to his holdings until he had one hundred and twenty acres of excellent farming land, possessing all the modern
improvements and kept in a high state of cultivation. He died in 1907, in the presence of as sincere a band of
mourners as ever followed a man to his grave.
In 1863 Mr. McNamara married
Melvina, daughter of Peter and Martha (Henderson) Waggoner, the former a Pennsylvanian, who was reared and married
in Rush county. The children of Mr. and Mrs. McNamara were as follows: Mary died
in infancy; John J. married Emma Valentine and lives in Moral township;
Calvin married Minnie McNamara
and resides in Van Buren township; Nellie is the wife of Lewis Miller
of Moral township; Martha is the wife of Stephen
Karr, of Moral township; Oliver, who married
Golding, is a resident of Van Buren
township; Ira, who married Lena Bell
of Van Buren township, resides on the home place of his mother;
Lulu is the
wife of Hayden Noe, Moral township; Pearl is at
the home of her mother.
Mr. McNamara, during his whole life, was a devoted
member of the Roman Catholic Church, and he is one of that type of men who make the world better from his having
lived in it.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County,
Indiana, by Edward H. Chadwick,
B.A., assisted by well known local talent, B.F. Bowen & Co, Publishers: Indianapolis, IN, 1909.