Algeo, Sir Arthur (1903–67), businessman, was born in April or May 1903 in George's St., Sligo, elder son among two sons and four daughters of Thomas Algeo, railway employee and later mayor of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, and Anne Jane Algeo (née Stockdale). Arthur was educated in Sligo, at the Model School and at the Technical College. He joined a grocery firm in Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, and in 1929 married Maureen, daughter of its founder, Robert Holmes. He became managing director in 1933, aged 30. This led to an involvement in bacon production, and he was a director of the NI Farmers’ Bacon Company from 1958 and president from 1963. As president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (1946–7, 1951–2, 1954–5, 1963–4; a record number of terms) he directed the union, as well as the farming industry of the province, through important developments. Though the UFU was almost without funds, in October 1945, when he was deputy president, he bought for it at auction impressive new premises in Belfast. In a whistle-stop campaign round every branch of the organisation in the province, he convinced farmers of the need to improve the status of the union, and raised £23,000 to fund and furnish the new building, which opened 10 December 1946. His terms as president coincided with the passing of the 1947 agriculture act; with the end (1954) of food purchasing by the Ministry of Food; and with negotiations that led to Northern Ireland being treated as a remote area, with special arrangements for agriculture. His period as chairman of the Ulster Transport Authority (1963 till his death) similarly coincided with a critical period in the development of public transport, which resulted in an improved and modernised transport system in Ulster. He was for eighteen years on the Electricity Board of Northern Ireland, and was a member of Antrim county council and a JP; he was very well known in Northern Ireland, was awarded the CBE in 1949, and was knighted in 1966. His first wife died childless in 1946, and in 1947 he married Rosemary I. S. Palmer, daughter of Albert Palmer of Middlesex, England; they had two sons and two daughters. He died 5 November 1967 in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, and was buried in Ballymoney cemetery.
Belfast News Letter, 6 Nov. 1967; WWW; Thomas J. G. Bennett, North Antrim families (1974), 40; Alastair MacLurg, The Ulster Farmers’ Union: the history of its first seventy years 1917–1987 (1988); Robert Hanna and Eull Dunlop, McIlmoyle of Dervock: pastor of two flocks (Mid-Antrim Historical Group, 1991), 112; information and photo in Belfast newspaper cutting (n.d.) from Inge Algeo (family historian), in DIB file; personal knowledge