Farm Horizons, Aug. 2015

O’Fallon and Heenan-O’Fallon farms gain Century Farm status

By Jennifer Kotila

The O’Fallon and Heenan-O’Fallon farms in Meeker County were designated Century Farms this year by the Minnesota Farm Bureau. The O’Fallon farm has been in the family since 1901, and the Heenan-O’Fallon farm since 1902. Current owners of the original farmsteads include Therese O’Fallon, and her brothers Dennis and Pete O’Fallon.

O’Fallon history

Patrick and Celia O’Fallon first settled in Acoma Township, McLeod County, just south of the Meeker/McLeod County line, in 1858, according to great-great-grandaughter Therese. Her great-grandfather Jimmie O. O’Fallon and his wife, Mary Ellen, settled on land just northeast of Patrick and Celia’a farmstead in 1897. This farmstead was located in Meeker County, and Therese owns 40 acres of that today.

Jimmie and Mary Ellen’s son, Jim O’Fallon, and his wife, Genevieve, bought a farmstead a little farther north in 1901, which is one of the Century Farms. This site is located on the southeast corner of the current intersection of Meeker County State Aid Highway 18 and Meeker County Road 14. It is where Patrick O’Fallon, Therese’s father, was raised.

Patrick eventually bought this farmstead (40 acres) from his parents, along with an additional 40 acres. After their mother, Josephine (Heenan) O’Fallon died in 2010, Dennis and Pete each inherited half. There are no longer any building on the property, just woods and fields.

Heenan history

Michael and Elizabeth Heenan settled east of the O’Fallons in McLeod County sometime in the late 1800s. However, Michael disappeared one day in 1887 while bringing a load of grain to Hutchinson. The family theory is that he was robbed and killed after selling the load of grain.

Elizabeth’s oldest son, John, Therese’s grandfather, was 15 at the time. Elizabeth had several other children, and was pregnant with another. The family lost the farm, but friends and neighbors helped the Heenans find a new farmstead north of the county line, east of the Jimmie O’Fallon family farmstead. Dennis is currently living on this farmstead.

In 1897, John and his brother Tom bought a farmstead on the northeast corner of the current intersection of Minnesota Highway 15 and CSAH 18. John bought Tom out in 1902, and married Agnes in 1903. John and Agnes had one daughter, Josephine, who was born in 1915.

The year 1915 is also when the old log barn on the property was replaced with a modern barn. In 1923, John built the house that still stands on the property, using lumber from an old Catholic church in Hutchinson that was being torn down at the time.

Josephine married Patrick R. O’Fallon in 1950, and moved away for a short time. However, John died, and Josephine and Patrick moved back to the area, buying the farm in 1953. They remodeled the house in 1962. Patrick passed away in 2004, and Therese, Dennis, and Pete, inherited the farm when Josephine passed away in 2010. Therese and Pete currently live in the house built by John in 1923. This is the Heenan-O’Fallon Century Farm.

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