MICHAEL FOLEY DEAD (Steubenville Wkly Gazette, 10 Jan 1908) He was the oldest man in the County at the time of his death. Michael Foley one of the oldest residents of Jefferson County, died at the home of Patrick Foley, 525 Slack St, this city, at 11:15 Friday night, in his 99th year. For more than twenty years he had been a hermit and a recluse, and lived in seclusion in a lonely cabin in the vicinity of Coal Hill. His wife passed away many years ago.
Foley was born in Ireland in 1809. He grew to manhood in his native country and came to America in 1840. During his early years in America he worked as a railroad hand, and took part in some of the earliest railroad construction in the country…about twenty years ago he secluded himself in a cabin at Coal Hill, where he refrained almost altogether from intercourse with his fellows. Up until this time he had been a staunch Catholic, but for some reason he grew tired of the faith, and on his deathbed he refused to confess. Six weeks ago the old man became helpless in his cabin, because of his infirmities, and he was brought to the home of his son, Patrick, where every care was given him. His faculties remained remarkably active up until (line missing) conversed rationally on many subjects. His memory remained bright (line missing) Although he shunned society, he managed to secure newspapers and books, and it is said that he thus kept in touch with doings in the world of events. He was a descendant from the hardiest of hardy Irish stock, and had a great love for his adopted country, often declaring that America is the only country in which the working men are free. The deceased is survived by the following children; Patrick Foley, of this city; Richard of Empire, and Mary Foley and William Foley, of Peoria, Illinois. Seventeen grandchildren also survive, and the deceased has a brother living in Kansas, who is two years younger than him.
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