‘Big John’ – Wisconsin


John O’Laughlin was born in 1856 in the Village of St. Peter, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, USA

John’s parents, Andrew O’Laughlin and Ellen O’Gorman, departed County Clare in 1846 and settled in St. Peter near Andrew’s four brothers in 1850. The family remained in Wisconsin until 1866, after which they moved to a farm near Evanston, Illinois.

Andrew was one of nine sons to Bridget Talty and Michael O’Loghlin, Glandine, Kilfarboy, West Clare, and the first son to leave Ireland in 1846. A number of their other sons would later immigrate to Wisconsin from 1846 to 1851. The journeys of three of these sons were recorded on the Clare Library website, to coincide with the Milwaukee Clan reunion of August 2014. Complete transcriptions of the travel journals of these brothers are held at the Wisconsin State Historical Society.

see Link to Clare Library: –http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/genealogy/don_


Clare Genealogy: Emigration Records – Donated …


Donogh, Terence and Bryan Fergus O’Loghlin left Cullaun, in Rathborney Parish for Limerick, early in September 1849.They were sons of Michael O’Loghlin and Bridget Talty who also had a farm at Glendine South, Kilfarboy Parish where Griffith’s Valuation shows Laurence O’Loghlin as the owner. Three other sons of Bridget and Michael – Andrew, Peter and Charles – also emigrated to the USA.

Waukesha Lime & Stone Company, Wisconsin


After moving to Chicago in 1880 John married Mary Casey, and he went to work for a number of stone businesses. As the city grew, John earned a living through street and sewer construction, being the only one to whom a license was issued to blast rock in the streets of Chicago. By 1887 he owned his first company, the Artesian Stone & Lime Works, which he sold in 1894.

After spending some time abroad, John moved back to Chicago and eventually bought land north of the city in Racine County, Wisconsin. This land would be one of three quarries that would become Waukesha Lime & Stone Company.


Known locally as ‘Big John’ to many of the people he employed at Waukesha Lime & Stone, John remained president of the company until his death in 1913. The company was then entrusted to his son, John Joseph (1884-1925), who had joined him in the business during 1905. The company would remain in the O’Laughlin family until 1949.


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