History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Dennis A. Mahoney
DENNIS A. MAHONEY was born in Ross County, Ireland, January 20. 1821. When he was nine years old his parents came to America, locating in Philadelphia where the son was educated. In 1843 he came to Dubuque, Iowa, and for five years was engaged in teaching. He was a frequent contributor to the journals of Dubuque and studying law was admitted to the bar. He removed to Jackson County where, in 1848, he was elected to the General Assembly. After his term expired he became editor of the Dubuque Miners' Express. A few years later he was one of a firm which established the Dubuque Herald, of which he became editor. He took a deep interest in the public schools and was a member of the first board of education of Dubuque. In 1858 he was again a member of the General Assembly. He remained editor of the Herald until 1862 and ranked with the ablest political writers of the State. Mr. Mahoney was a radical opponent of the war for suppression of the Rebellion and his writings on that subject aroused a storm of indignation among Union men which threatened personal violence. On the night of the 14th of August, 1862, he was arrested by H. M. Hoxie, United States Marshal, and taken to Washington where he was incarcerated in the old Capital prison. While in prison he was nominated by the Democrats of the Third Iowa District for Representative in Congress, and although defeated by William B. Allison carried Dubuque County by a majority of 1,457. He was released without trial after about three months' imprisonment and returned to Dubuque but the Herald had been sold during his absence. The following year he was elected sheriff, holding the office four years. In 1869 he became editor of the St. Louis Daily Times. In 1871 he returned to Dubuque and took editorial charge of the Daily Telegraph, a position he held to the time of his death. After his release from prison Mr. Mahoney wrote and published a book entitled “Prisoner of State,” in which he told the story of his arrest and experience in the old Capital prison. Ho died at Dubuque, November 5, 1879.