Stephen Joseph McGroarty
STEPHEN JOSEPH McGROARTY was born
in Mount Charles, County of Donegal, Ireland, in 183o. His family immigrated to
the United States three years later, where his father Cornelius founded the
settlement of Fayetteville in Brown County, Ohio. Stephen J. McGroarty became a
Cincinnati lawyer and at the beginning of the Civil War was elected captain of a
company in the 10th Ohio Volunteers, the Irish regiment from Cincinnati.
During a campaign in western Virginia, he was shot through the right lung. Upon
his recovery he was made lieutenant-colonel of the 61st Ohio Volunteers.
McGroarty was wounded many times during the Civil War, perhaps as many as
twenty-three times, according to one source. He was wounded so severely in the
battle of Peachtree Creek in July 1 1864 that his left arm had to be amputated.
Later he was appointed colonel of the 82nd Ohio and at the end of the war was
named brevet brigadier general.
General McGroarty was one of the most respected men in Cincinnati because of his outstanding war service. It was then the custom to elect wounded war heroes to public office so they would have employment and income. Thus, in the August 1866 Hamilton County Republican caucus, General McGroarty sought the Republican nomination for county auditor, but was defeated by yet another wounded war hero, General August Willich. He then contended for the Democratic nomination for prosecuting attorney of Hamilton County and gained the nomination, but was defeated in the October election. Finally, in the fall elections of 1869, he was elected recorder of Hamilton County on the Democratic ticket but he died two months before he was to take office, on January 2,1870, at age thirty-nine. However, in later years his friends secured the job of postmistress of the College Hill station for his widow, Mary McGroarty, who held that position for many years.