Farm of former Mormon bodyguard makes almost €750,000 at auction

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Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

Gordon Cobbe of GVM Tullamore had a successful day at the auction room recently when he sold an 83ac residential farm with unique Mormon connections at the Meelaghans on the outskirts of the Offaly town.

The place made €748,000, exceeding its guide by €148,000.

A cottage on the farm was home to Edward Egan, a poet and author who died in 1940.

It is also the ancestral home of Major Howard Egan, an Irish-American Mormon adventurer who lived the quintessential life of the frontiersman until his death in 1878.

He spent time as a body-guard to the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, and later years to Brigham Young, the leader who led the consolidation of the new church.

Extending to 83ac with a three-bedroom bungalow and a traditional yard, the farm with the Egan ancestral home was offered for sale in lots.

Located at a crossroads on the Portarlington road within 1km of Tullamore, the lands have extensive frontage on the main road and two by-roads. A 3ac portion is separated from the rest by the railway line.

The first lot was made up of the dwellings and yard on 21ac of fine dry grazing ground with frontage on to the main Portarlington road. The farmhouse is a three-bedroom pre-fabricated bungalow built in 1975.

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The yard is made up of a series of dated buildings including a three-column round-roofed shed with a two-column lean-to.

At auction this section opened at €200,000, and with four bidders vying for the place it went on the market at €350,000 and sold for €356,000

A 3ac field located 100 yards from the main homestead and accessed by a level crossing over the railway line opened at €20,000, and with three bidders in action, the hammer fell at €42,000.

At the far side of the main road, with frontage on two sides, a 43.2ac parcel of lower-lying summer grazing opened at €150,000.

With two bidders in contention it went on the market at €170,000 and sold for €174,000 to a local farmer specialising in beef finishing.

Further out the main road, a 15ac parcel of top-class ground laid out in three fields fronting the main road attracted lively interest. It went on the market at €176,000 and sold at that price to a neighbouring farmer.

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