Gravestone of Ann Wolfe Collison, Saint Joseph's Cemetery, Carroll, Iowa (Geo. Clinton / Find a Grave)

Gravestone of Ann Wolfe Collison, Saint Joseph's Cemetery, Carroll, Iowa (Geo. Clinton / Find a Grave)


Ann Wolfe was born in May 1845 in Listowel, County Kerry. She was the daughter of John Wolfe and his second wife, Bridget Foley Wolfe. She had six full siblings: Katherine Marie (b. 1832), Maurice (b. 1837), Daniel, Johanna (b. ca. 1841), Bridget (b. ca. 1846), and Julia (b. ca. 1848). She also had four half siblings by her father’s first wife, Julia Stack Wolfe: Margaret (b. ca. 1821), Eleanor (b. ca. 1821), Mary (b. 1826), and Ellen (b. 1827).

In 1849, Wolfe, her parents, and her siblings, immigrated to the United States, sailing aboard the Mary Ann Henry and arriving in New York on July 9. Numerous members of the Wolfe family immigrated around the same time, nearly all of them settling in LaSalle County, Illinois. A few moved on from there to Clinton County, Iowa.

Ann Wolfe and her parents were living in Deer Park Township, LaSalle County, by 1850. In February 1874 she married Joseph Collison, a native of Leeds, England, in Ottawa, Illinois. He farmed in Ottawa with his father. The couple had nine children: William (b. 1875); John R. (b. 1877); Joseph B. (b. 1878); Daniel A. (b. 1880); Frederick Paul (b. 1882); Mary (b. 1885); twins, Maurice L. "Mort" and Frank L. (b. 1887); and Arthur (b 1890).

The next year, the family moved west to Iowa. Many Wolfes settled in Clinton County, but Carroll is 220 miles to the west. Joseph Collison’s obituary described the journey he took with his wife and infant son William as being “a long and tedious one made by oxen.” They had about $1,000 in savings, having heard “there was a good opportunity in Carroll County for an ambitious man with a small amount of money.”

Joseph and Ann Collison farmed the rest of their lives on land four miles west of Carroll. At the time of his death, Joseph Collison owned 720 acres.

Ann Collison died on February 10, 1912, at Saint Anthony Hospital in Carroll. Her husband died on April 23, 1928, and they are buried together at Saint Joseph’s Cemetery in Carroll.