Date : 04 Dec 1893
Location : Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Davenport, IA
He Was Talking to James S. McGregor and Apparently Well and in Good Spirits When He Fell to the Floor and Immediately Expired - They Were In the Front Part of Mr. O'Meara's Store
-A Biographical Sketch-
The town was shocked last evening when, the news was spread about that T. J. O'Meara, who, as well as his place of business at 126 West Second street, was well known to Davenporters, had fallen dead at his store, without a moments intimation that the end of life was near. A LEADER representative was among the first to reach the shocking scene, where Mr. James S. McGregor, of the Fair. R. J. Waters and O. S. Oleson, two of Mr. O'Meara's salesmen, had carried the remains to a couch in the rear of the store and despatched a messenger for medical assistance. Dr. Cantwell was passing and was met by Mr. Oleson who called him in, but life was extinct and medical aid useless. Each of them shrank from the thought of carrying the sad news to the dead man's family and finally Rev. D. J. Flannery was called to perform that sad task.
From the almost overpowered gentlemen mentioned it was learned that Mr. O'Meara had been as well as usual until yesterday morning when he complained of not feeling well and said he believed he was going to have the grippe. He was in good spirits, however, and seemed not to mind his feelings. At 5 o'clock, his usual dinner time, he was detained by a customer and at 6 told Mr. Waters that he would go to Maehrs for lunch, which he did. He called for an oyster stew and some side dishes but only sipped the stew a moment and then went out, lighting a cigar as he left the place. At his store door Mr. McGregor joined him and just inside they stood conversing, when with no warning Mr. O'Meara fell to the floor. Subsequent happenings are stated above.
From neighbors and friends, the following points concerning Mr. O'Meara's life have been gathered. He was a native of Canada and came to Davenport twenty-five years ago. On Thanksgiving day about 1873 he was married to Miss Mary Killion, daughter of the late Daniel Killion. Seven children have been born to them, five of whom are living. Mrs. O'Meara's mother is also living with her daughter. Mr. O'Meara was for some years in the railroad shops and about ten years ago went into the shoe business with Patrick T. Walsh. Quite recently Mr. O'Meara bought out Mr. Walsh and continued the business. He had taken a prominent interest in public affairs, especially labor matters and ran for congress on an independent ticket against Judge Hayes when that gentleman was elected for the second time. He was a director of the Scott County Savings bank and treasurer of the Home Loan and Building association of Iowa. He was a member in good standing of the Catholic Knights of America, the Roman Catholic Mutual Protective society, the Woodmen of the World, the Davenport club, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, in which he was formerly president of Division No. 1. In the first two orders named he carried about $4,000 life insurance. Mr. O'Meara was about 48 years of age. He is survived by his wife and five children, Nellie, aged 13, May, aged 2, Lilly, aged 10. John, aged 9 and his namesake, a lad 3 years old. He leaves a comfortable estate.
Mr. O'Meara was a self-made man, whose worthy qualities of mind and heart made him generally esteemed by all who knew him. He was a well-read man and particularly devoted to the study of national financial problems, with which he was more than ordinarily conversant. Few Davenporters had seen more of the world than he had, for and in the course of his life he had been an extensive traveler. He was a consistent member of St. Anthony's church, and stood high in the estimation of its worthy pastor. Rev, D. J. Flannery. It is yet undecided whether the funeral will take place tomorrow or Tuesday. Friends of the family of the deceased advocate the earlier date, as the members of the family are all suffering from the grippe and it is not thought advisable to defer the obsequies. Definite announcement in this regard may be made in the churches this morning.
Davenport Daily Leader - Dec 3, 1893