John Thomas McGrath, son of Philip and Catherine McGrath, was born in Woosung, July 21, 1867, and passed away at his home in this city, Saturday afternoon, January 11, at 4:30 o’clock. An illness of exactly two weeks exactly preceded his death.

Educated in the Woosung schools, Mr. McGrath grew to young manhood in that community. He conducted a lumber office there, engaging in business in 1882. A few years later he moved to this city where he and his brother-in-law, J. M. Attely, formed a partnership in the lumber and coal business. On January 1, 1929, the company was merged with that of A. J. Hersch and since that time has been conducted under the firm name of the McGrath-Hersch Lumber Company. Mr. McGrath was in his forty-eighth year of business life at the time of his death.

On November 11, 1890, Mr. McGrath and Miss Ansiebel Curran were united in marriage. To this union were born three daughters, Mrs. Catherine Phalen of Sparat, Wisconsin, Miss Aileen and Miss Annabel John of Polo, all of whom survive. Besides the widow and the three daughters, he is survived by a sister, Mrs. J. M. Attley of Chicago, a brother, E. J. McGrath of Chicago and two grandsons, John and Charles Phalen of Sparta, Wisconsin.

Active in the business life of this community for many years, Mr. McGrath formed many friendships. He took a prominent part of the many movements for the betterment of the community. At the time of his death he was serving the city in the capacity of the city engineer. He served at various times as Democratic precinct committeeman.

In February of 1901, Mr. McGrath was elected president of the Illinois Lumber Dealer’s Association and served in that office for one term.

Always prominent in St. Mary’s Church of this city, Mr. McGrath had served for years as a church trustee, holding that office at the time of his death. He planned and superintended the construction of the present church in 1899. Later he superintended the construction of the rectory.

During the World War, Mr. McGrath was active in war work. He was a member of the County Council of Defense and served on the Fuel Conservation Committee.

Funeral services were held Wednesday morning at St. Mary’s Church. Rev. Fr. J. J. Hackett as celebrant was assisted by Rev. Fr. John S. Finn of Chicago, a former Polo pastor. Mrs. M. Ward, daughter Celeste and son Jack of Sterling were the singers. Mrs. Ward was assisted at the organ by Mrs. Chas. B. Sisson of this city. Interment was in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Polo.

Contributed by Julie Bartimus (source unknown)

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