DR. JAMES JOSEPH MORONY
is one of the best known and liked medical men in Clinton county, Illinois. His Irish ancestry has bequeathed to him the tender heart and sympathetic nature of the sons of Erin, and these qualities have rendered him very popular throughout the district.
James J. Morony was born at Decatur, Illinois, on the 6th of September, 1865. He was the son of John Morony, who first saw the light of day in far-famed old County Clare, in Ireland, in 1819. John Morony studied engineering in Ireland, and then took up railroad contracting, following this occupation throughout his active life. In 1848 he came to America and located at Decatur, Illinois. In his work here as a railroad contractor he built part of the Illinois Central and Wabash railroads. In 1853 he was married in St. Louis to Helen Godfrey. At that time she was living in St. Louis, but, like her husband, she hailed from the Emerald Isle. Four of the children born to them grew to maturity: Hugh C., a fireman in the St. Louis fire department; Andrew C., an attorney in St. Louis; Joseph J.; and Patrick, who died in 1904, having reached the position of division freight agent for the Iron Mountain Railroad. Until within a few years of his death Mr. Morony followed a very active life, but as his health failed he retired and in 1898 he died at St. Louis. The death of his wife had occurred several years before, in 1893, at St. Louis. In politics Mr. Morony was a Republican, and the religious affiliations of both his wife and himself were with the Roman Catholic church.
Since the profession of his father forced him to often change his place of residence, the early life of the son was spent in a number of different places, among them being, Decatur, La Place, Arcola and St. Louis. His education was obtained in the public schools of the above places. After leaving school he went to work in the railroad offices. Having no experience, he began at the very bottom and worked up until finally he reached the position of traveling auditor for the Terminal Railroad Association. Until 1892 he followed railroading and then, thinking that his taste for medicine was stronger than that for the railroad business, he gave up his position and entered the Marion Sims school. He had been in business for a good many years and was older than the average student, so the work was unusually hard for him, but he stuck doggedly at it and in 1895 was graduated from the institution. At first he was located in St. Louis and then, in 1897, he came to Breese.
Here he has since remained, conducting a general practice and doing considerable work in the hospital of Breese. He has not cared for either politics or business, preferring to devote himself exclusively to his profession. He is interested in the civic life of the city, however, and since 1900 he has served as coroner of Clinton county. He votes the Democratic ticket, but is content to see others holding the offices. He is a member of the Roman Catholic church, and is associated fraternally with the Knights of Columbus. In his own profession he belongs to the State, County and American Medical Societies, and takes much interest in the work of these various organizations.
On the 17th of June, 1890, Mr. Morony was married to Katherine O 'Brien, of St. Louis. They have become the parents of two children, Mary and Frank.
Willing tribute should be given to men like Dr. Morony, who sacrifice themselves willingly on the altar of duty, and give themselves freely in the service of their fellow men. He has lived and worked in Breese for many years and its townspeople have learned to put a high valuation upon his services, for they are given not only as a professional man, but as a friend.