Biographical and Genealogical History of Appanoose and Monroe Counties, Iowa.
Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Polly Eckles.
A.J.G. Bailey, proprietor of the Lookout farm in Mantua township, is one of the most successful and skillful farmers of the locality and has been an important factor in the moral, intellectual and material welfare of Monroe county since 1864. He was born in Lewis county, Virginia, January 25, 1842, which was also the birthplace of his father, James R. Bailey, and his grandfather, Carr Bailey, was born in the same state, of English parents, who were early settlers of the Old Dominion. The family had its representatives in both the Revolutionary war and the war of 1812.
On reaching manhood James R. Bailey married Miss Christie Ann Tharp, a daughter of Hezekiah Tharp. Throughout life Mr. Bailey followed farming and by his ballot supported the men and measures of the Democratic party. For many years he was a deacon in the Baptist church, and died in that faith at the ripe old age of eighty-seven years. His wife was seventy-eight years of age at the time of her death. They were the parents of thirteen children: A.J.G., H.D., C.B., J.W. and John E., who are still living; Mrs. Minnie Reed, who died in Virginia; Cynthia Ann, who died at the age of twenty years; Elzire Bird, who died in Virginia; Nancy, who died in Baltimore, Maryland; Paschal B., deceased; and three who died young.
During his boyhood and youth, A.J.G. Bailey pursued his education in the schools of his native county, and having acquired a good education he successfully engaged in teaching for three terms. On the 18 th of October, 1863, he was united in marriage to Miss Matilda Ann Woofter, who was also born, reared and educated in Lewis county, Virginia, of which state her parents, Amos and Catherine ( Shannan ) Woofter, were life-long residents, being of German descent. Her father died at the age of eighty and the mother at the age of sixty years. Their children were Marion; Albert, deceased, who was a soldier of the Civil war and was confined in Libby prison for a time; Matilda Ann, wife of our subject; Mrs. Sarah Williams; Mrs. Mary A. Moneypenny, deceased; and Lydia, deceased. The parents were members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and the father was a Republican in politics.
The children to Mr. and Mrs. Bailey are as follows: Mrs. Sarah Morgan, now deceased; Mrs. Amanda C. Monroe, a resident of Albia, Iowa; Thomas, of Mantua township; A. Grant, of Troy township; Amos, who died at the age of twenty-four years, a most promising young man, honored and respected by all who knew him; Lizzie, at home; Charles, a resident of Appanoose county; Eva Iona and Lulu, both at home; Eve and Noah died in infancy. The family is one of prominence in the community where they reside.
Mr. Bailey remained in Virginia until 1864, when he came to Monroe county, Iowa, and here followed carpentering as well as farming for some time. In 1868 he purchased his present farm in Mantua township, and today has one of the best improved places of the locality. His house is commodious, well furnished and comfortable, his barns and outbuildings are good and substantial; there is a good orchard upon the place, and all the conveniences and accessories of a model farm are here found. His house was erected in 1894 at a cost of eighteen hundred dollars. He keeps a good grade of horses and cattle, and has met with success both as a general farmer and stock raiser.
Politically Mr. Bailey is identified with Republican party; has served as a delegate to its conventions, has filled the office of justice of the peace in a most acceptable manner, was assessor in 1871 and is now serving as trustee of his township. He is officially connected with the German Baptist church, and is a man of kindly, genial disposition, who makes friends wherever he goes, and has the entire confidence and respect of those with whom he comes in contact either in business or social life.
Nature certainly intended that man should rest in his declining years. His whole history proves this. In youth he is strong, vigorous and ambitions, and in mature years he has learned to so direct his labors that as a result of his sound judgment, experience and industry, he may acquire a good competence. As the evening of life draws on, his physical powers are somewhat diminished and it is just that the long years of business activity should be followed by a period in which, to enjoy the fruits of his former toil. This has been vouchsafed to Mr. Bain, who is now living retired in Albia, but for many years carried on agricultural pursuits in Monroe county.
A native of North Carolina, his birth occurred on the 26 th of January, 1820. His parents were Robert and Mary ( Irwin ) Bain, and the former was a native of Scotland, while the mother was of Dutch extraction. In early life Robert Bain came to the United States and for some time resided in North Carolina, but the latter part of 1820 witnessed his emigration to what was then the wild westóJefferson county, Indiana, where he spent his remaining days. The family experienced all the hardships and trials of pioneer life there, but as the years passed the fruits of the father's labor brought to them a comfortable living. In addition to agricultural pursuits he engaged in work as a teamster. His study of the political questions led him at first to give his support to the Jacksonian Democracy, and his religious faith was that of the Presbyterian church. His life was upright and honorable and to his children he furnished an example well worthy of emulation. He passed away April 12, 1845, at his home in Jefferson county, Indiana, and his wife died in the same locality on the 15 th of July, 1849. Their children were: Samuel, William, Robert, James, Sarah, John, Jane, Mary, Margaret, Alexander, Thomas, Nancy, and one daughter that died in infancy, and all are now deceased with the exception of Alexander and his sister Margaret. The parents were laid to rest in the cemetery of the United Brethren church in Jefferson county, Indiana.
Before he had reached his first birthday Alexander Bain was taken by his parents to Jefferson county and resided there continuously until October, 1855, when he came to Monroe county, Iowa, where he has since lived. His educational privileges were limited because of the primitive character of the frontier schools. Throughout his entire life he has carried on farming and though he has met with some difficulties and obstacles in his path he has steadily persevered and has eventually become a well-to-do citizen. In early life he suffered heavy losses, but with strong resolution and determined purpose he started again, working hard and living economically and in six years had made fifty-five hundred dollars.
In Lakewood county, Indiana, in 1840, Mr. Bain, was united in marriage to Miss Mary Gulic, a daughter of William Gulic, a miller of that part of the country. Six children were born to our subject and his wife while they were residents of the Hoosier state, these being: James, who was born in 1841; Henry and Sarah, both deceased; Ellen, Hattie, and Annie. After the arrival of the family in this state other children were added to the household, including Robbie and Mary Louisa, the latter now deceased.
Mr. Bain secured a tract of land in Mantua township, Monroe county, and with characteristic energy began its cultivation, making the fields so productive that he annually gathered good harvests and thus materially increased his income. At length, on account of the ill health of his wife, he removed to Albia, where he lived for seven years, and in 1898 he was called upon to mourn the loss of his loved companion, with whom he had traveled life's journey for fifty-eight years. She was called to her final rest on the 12 th of October of that year, at the age of eighty-two years, having been born in 1816. Mr. Bain sold his farm to his son-in-law, W. C. Scorck, just prior to his wife's death, and since that time he has lived a retired life. Mrs. Bain was a devoted member of the Presbyterian church, to which Mr. Bain also belongs, having joined the organization when eighteen years of age. For a long period he served as an elder in the church, but later resigned. His interest in the church, however, and in the advancement of the cause of Christianity has never abated, and his influence has ever been cast on the side of right and truth. He has now reached the age of eighty-three years, and his has been a career in which industry, straightforward dealing, loyalty in citizenship and kindliness to his fellow men have been the salient characteristics.
Asa Baird, the owner of the Elm Park Farm, on section 3, Urbana township, Monroe county, was born on the old homestead, September 5, 1859. His father, Asa S. Baird, was a prominent and influential early settler of the county, who located in Urbana, later moving to Mantua township. He married Sarah Tharp and they became the parents of nine children, of whom the subject of this review is the fifth. Upon his father's farm Asa Baird spent the days of his childhood and youth, and as his age and strength increased he became more and more actively engaged in the work of the fields. His education was obtained in the district schools, and throughout his entire life he has followed farming, finding it a profitable source of income because of the methods he has followed and the thrift and enterprise which characterize his work.
In 1892, in Troy township, Monroe county, Mr. Baird was united in marriage to Miss Eva Barnhill, a lady of intelligence and good family, who has been a faithful companion and helpmate to her husband during the ten years of their married life. She was born, reared and educated in this county, a daughter of William Harvey Barnhill, who died June 26, 1899, his wife having preceded him on the 4 th of April, 1889. About fifteen years ago they became residents of Iowa. Both were natives of Kentucky and the father was a gallant soldier of the Civil war, serving in Company C, Thirtieth Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry. During an engagement he was wounded in the left hand. In politics he was an earnest Republican and both he and his wife enjoyed the warm regard of many friends. In their family were nine children: Mary Alice, Josephine, Virginia, Anna, William, Rosa, Charles W., Ralph and Mrs. Baird. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Baird has been blessed with four children: Charles Edgar, Harvey S., Clara Grace and Frank Orville.
The Elm Park Farm comprises two hundred and thirty-three acres of valuable land, rich and productive. In addition to waving fields of grain there are rich meadow lands of bluegrass, large barns and feed lots, and an orchard of fine fruits. The house is a pleasant one, and neatness and thrift characterize the place and indicate to the passer-by the enterprising and progressive spirit of the owner. Mr. Baird gives his political allegiance to the Republican party, believing firmly in its principles and doing all in his power to secure its success and the election of his friends who become candidates for office. He has frequently served as a delegate to county conventions. His wife is a member of the Christian church, and he contributes to its support, for he is found as a friend of temperance, morality and education, and he believes in progress along all lines that will add to the welfare of the county.
Among the representative citizens and prominent farmers of Monroe county none is more deserving of mention in this volume than Asa S. Baird, who owns and operates a fine farm of two hundred and forty acres on section 34, Mantua township, and on section 3, Urbana township. He is one of the honored veterans of the Civil war and an early settler of this county, having located here in 1854, when most of the land was still in its primitive condition and the work of improvement and cultivation had scarcely begun.
Mr. Baird was born in Harrison county, West Virginia, on the 6 th of April, 1824, and is a son of Adam Baird, a native of Maryland and a representative of a good old Scotch family from the highlands. By trade the father was a cabinet maker and carpenter, and being a good mechanic he always found plenty to do in his line. He was married near Little York, Pennsylvania, to Miss Barbara Wilhelm, who was born and reared in that state, belonging to a Pennsylvania Dutch family. Her father, Frederick Wilhelm, was a soldier of the war of 1812. Leaving the east in 1856, Adam Baird and his wife came to Iowa and spent their last days in Monroe county, where he died at the age of seventy-five years, and his wife passed away at the age of eighty-three. Both were devout members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and he was a Whig in his political views. Three daughters and one son of their family died in Lewis county, West Virginia, and the others were as follows: John, Susan, Elijah, Mary, Adam, who died in Iowa; William, and Asa S.
Asa S. Baird spent his boyhood and youth in Lewis county, West Virginia, and is indebted to its schools for his educational advantages. With his father he learned the cabinet maker's and carpenter's trade, which he followed for some time while in the east. At the age of twenty-four years he was married in Lewis county, the lady of his choice being Miss Sarah Tharp, who has now been to him a faithful companion and helpmate for over half a century. She was born, reared and educated in that county, and is a daughter of Hezekiah and Huldah ( Cox ) Tharp, natives of Harrison county, West Virginia, who spent their last days in Van Buren county, Iowa. The father, who was a farmer by occupation, died at the age of seventy years. His political support was given the Democratic party. In religious faith he was first a Baptist, but later joined the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he held the offices of class leader and steward, always taking an active and prominent part in church work. Of his ten children only two are now living: Sarah, the wife of our subject, and William, a resident of Van Buren county, Iowa. Those deceased are Emily, Christiann, Nancy, Huldah, Almira, Smith, a son who died in infancy, and Mrs. Zadok Chidester, who died February 15, 1903.
It was in 1854 that Mr. Baird, accompanied by his wife and three children, removed from West Virginia to Iowa, the journey consuming six weeks, as it was made by horse and wagon, the family spending the nights in the public houses along the road. Reaching Monroe county, Mr. Baird located in Urbana township about a mile and a half from his present home, where he erected a log house and where he continued to reside until his removal to his present farm in Mantua township fourteen years ago. He erected a fine house upon a natural building site, surrounded with shade and ornamental trees; has planted an orchard; built barns and other outbuildings, and today has one of the best improved and most valuable farms in the township. In his farming operations he has been very successful and well merits the prosperity that has come to him.
To Mr. and Mrs. Baird were born the following children: Thomas, who is now engaged in the lumber business in Albia; Mrs. Victoria Jenkins, a resident of Van Buren county; Adam, at home with his father; Mrs. Barbara Berry, who was formerly a teacher and is now living in Wapello county, Iowa; Hezekiah, who died at the age of twenty-six years, leaving a widow; Mrs. Mary Heald, a resident of Schuyler county, Missouri; Jennie, at home; and Schuyler C., who assists his father in the operation of the home farm and is now serving as township assessor. The children were all provided with good educational privileges and the family is one of which any parents might well be proud.
During the Rebellion Mr. Baird manifested his patriotism and loyalty by enlisting, in 1862, in the Thirty-sixth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, under Colonel Kittridge. His company was first commanded by Captain Varner and later by Captain Porter. He participated in the engagements at Camden and Prairie De Han, besides other battles and skirmishes, and was taken prisoner at Marks Mills, being incarcerated in the rebel prison at Tyler, Texas, for ten months. After his exchange he returned home on a furlough and later rejoined his regiment at White River, Arkansas. At the close of the war he was honorably discharged at Davenport, Iowa, and returned to Monroe county to resume the more quiet pursuits of farm life. During his absence his wife had bravely carried on the work of the farm and provided for their seven children, being a noble woman, of patriotic spirit and kindly impulses.
Mr. Baird affiliates with the Republican party and has filled offices in Urbana township, being trustee for several years. For years he was a member of the school board. His religious faith is manifest by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, and he has ever taken a very active part in its work, serving as class leader, steward and superintendent of the Sunday school. His life has been in harmony with his professions and he is justly entitled to the respect and confidence so freely accorded him.
Among the physicians of Albia who command the confidence of the people to a high degree and enjoy a large clientage because of their skill in the treatment of the ills that flesh is heir to, is Dr. Bartram, who is recognized not only as an expert in his profession but also as a man of high character and one who through his own efforts has gained the place which he now occupies, in other words, a man who is the architect of his own fortunes.
Doctor Bartram is the son of English parents, Robert and Mary ( Stokes ) Bartram being born, reared and married in that country, and while there two sons and two daughters were born to them. The family came to the United States in 1852 and settled on a farm in Kendall county, Illinois; from here they removed to Iowa about 1874 and located in Warren county, where both passed away, Mrs. Bartram dying in 1884 at the age of fifty-six, and her husband in 1894 at the age of seventy-four. Four sons and four daughters were born to them in America, and thus they were the parents of twelve children.
Robert Thomas was born while his parents resided in Kendall county, Illinois, the date of his birth being January 25, 1853. He was reared on a farm and received his education in the country schools, after which he taught for two terms. Having been attracted to the medical profession he began his study when twenty-five years old and in 1886 graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Keokuk, Iowa; he then came to Albia, where he has become one of the successful practitioners. He owns a well equipped office, a good medical library, and he has always been a hard student, having taken post graduate courses in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Keokuk.
Dr. Bartram was twice married; his first wife, whom he married in 1881, was Miss Henrietta J. Stare, who died in 1891, leaving two children, Fern and Ida. In 1893 he became the husband of Emma S. Snodgrass, and their children are Margarette and Lois. He and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church and stand high in the social circles of the city.
When the hey-day of life has been spent and old age comes on, it is a blessed privilege to be able to look back upon a life of fruitful effort and to know that not all the opportunities thrown in one's way have been passed by; and certainly in a country of opportunity, this great United States, no man can offer any excuse for not enjoying this privilege, and it is a pleasure to here record the life of one who has passed a successful career and now reaps the contentment coming to the retired farmer.
Malechia Bernard, who was born in Maryland, came from there to Seneca county, Ohio, when that state was still young, and he remained there till his death. He married Sarah Rayner, a native of Maryland, and she died in Michigan. These were the parents of the subject of this sketch and they had nine children in all, six sons and three daughters: John, deceased; Susan, deceased; Edwin, deceased; Aaron; William; George; Washington, deceased; Ellen, deceased; and Mary. Malechia Bernard was a member of the old Whig party and his religious belief was that of the Methodist Protestant church.
William Bernard is able to claim the beautiful old state of Maryland for his birthplace, being born there in Frederick county, December 17, 1823, and he was reared and educated in that place. At the age of seventeen he came to Ohio, where he remained for eleven years. His arrival in Monroe county is dated in 1855, and he first located in Pleasant township, but afterward bought a farm in Jackson township, which he still owns, although he is now retired from active farming. He belongs to the Republican party and for a number of years was a successful attorney, but he has never aspired to any of the honors that come with political office. His has been a well-rounded and full life, and he is a representative and worthy citizen of the county.
While residing in Seneca county, Ohio, Mr. Bernard was married to Elizabeth Egbert, who was a native of that county. Eight children now make up the happy family, seven sons and one daughter, as follows: Charles W., George M., Warren, Rolla, Jesse, Alta, William Jr., and one who died in infancy. Mrs. Bernard died December 31, 1890, and on October 15, 1902, Mr. Bernard married Miss Sarah Albert, who is a native of Indiana.
Levi Billings is proprietor of the Springhill dairy farm of Mantua township, Monroe county, and is one of the popular, intelligent and prosperous citizens of this locality, where he has made his home since 1851. He is also entitled to representation in this volume because he was a loyal soldier of the Union army during the Civil war. His birth occurred in Cleveland, Cuyahoga county, Ohio, August 30, 1845, and the family moved to Williams county in the northwestern part of the state when he was an infant.
His father, Ed Billings, was born in Vermont and was a son of Elias Billings, whose birth occurred in Connecticut, and who represented one of the old families of that state. His death occurred in the Green Mountain state. It was in Vermont that Ed Billings was reared, and when a young man he emigrated westward, settling in Cleveland, Ohio. He was married in Cuyahoga county to Amelia Gildersleeve, a native of that county and a daughter of Joseph Gildersleeve, who was of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry, and whose wife died during the infancy of Mrs. Billings, who was then reared by her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Beebe.
In 1851 the parents of our subject arrived in Iowa, having made the journey westward by team and wagon. They settled on Miller's Ridge, but the father was not long permitted to enjoy his new home, for his death occurred in 1855, when he was but thirty-five years of age. He left a widow and six children, of whom four are now living, namely: Mrs. Dorcas Soles, of Illinois; Levi; William, of Kansas; and Orlando, of Missouri. Those who have passed away were Mrs. Ellen Dodge, of Appanoose county; and Anson, who died at the age of forty-nine years. The mother long survived her husband and passed away at the age of seventy-three years.
Levi Billings was a little lad of six summers when the family came to Monroe county, and he can remember in those days when two to five yoke of oxen were driven to the breaking plow. He was early taught to work, and the habit of industry thus inculcated has been one of his salient characteristics in later life. He obtained his education in a subscription school, and in 1862 he offered his services to the government, enlisting as a member of Company B, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, under Captain Wilcox and Colonel Summers. He served for three years, one month and twelve days as a loyal defender of the Union, and in addition to his long experience in the war, he also cast his first vote and was married before he was twenty-one years of age. He joined the army on the 17 th of August, and his regiment formed a part of the rough rider command of the western army. He marched 4,888 miles over the plains of the west in 1864, and was at Fort Kearney, at Julesburg, Colorado, in Utah and at Yankton, South Dakota, participating in a number of engagements with the hostile Siouxs and Cherokees and other warlike tribes. He had also crossed the plains to Pike's Peak, Colorado, in 1862, driving an ox team. At Omaha, Nebraska, he was honorably discharged and at once returned to his home.
It was on the 12 th of August, 1866, that Mr. Billings was united in marriage to Miss Mary Tyrrell, a daughter of Oliver Tyrrell, who came to the west in 1845 from Lorain county, Ohio, with a team and wagon. Her mother bore the maiden name of Melvina Johnson and was born in Virginia. The father carried on agricultural pursuits in Iowa until his life's labors were ended in death at seventy-five years of age. His political support was given the Republican party and he was a member of the Christian church. His wife, who was an earnest Christian woman, passed away at the age of seventy-four years. In their family were ten children: Mrs. Ellen Hoskins, Mrs. Billings, Mrs. Hulda Wilson, who is deceased; Mrs. Lora Elder, who died at the age of thirty-five years; Eliphalet, who resides in Mantua township; William, who is living upon the old homestead in Mantua township, Monroe county, where the little log cabin still stands; Mrs. Eliza Gabb, of the same township; Mrs. Ann Miller and Mrs. Catharine Wignall, both of Mantua township; and Mrs. Leona Cook, of Wapello county.
Since his marriage Mr. Billings has devoted his energies untiringly to agricultural pursuits, and his farm property now comprises two hundred and thirty-three acres of rich land, on which are found unfailing springs of pure water. His place is appropriately named the Springhill dairy farm, for he is extensively engaged in the dairy business, keeping twenty-three cows for this purpose. Every equipment known for a model farm is found upon his place, and neatness and thrift characterize every department of the farm work. The sale of his dairy products brings to him an excellent financial return and he also realizes a comfortable competence from his harvests.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Billings has been blessed with nine children: Mrs. Ida Beebe, of Nebraska; Clinton, who is living upon a farm adjoining the home place; Willard, of Monroe county; Mrs. Minnie Lesenger, of Avery, Iowa; Mrs. Ella Porter, of Albia; George, Albert, Harrison and Daisy. Mr. Billings is a stalwart Republican, unfaltering in his advocacy of the party principles, and on questions of the day he keeps well informed. He has held a number of township offices and is a member of James R. Castle Post No. 313, G.A.R., of Avery, in which he has twice served as commander. He has also been an officer in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His wife is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and both are people of genial manner and social disposition, and are popular with a large circle of friends.
Clendennen Boggs is now living a retired life in Albia. He has passed the seventy-sixth milestone on life's journey, and his has been an upright and honorable career, worthy of the respect and veneration which are shown him. He was born in Braxton county, West Virginia, June 18, 1826, his parents L. M. and Nancy Boggs, who were also natives of West Virginia. The father followed farming throughout his entire life, thus providing for his family. With his wife and children he started for the west in the year 1837 and took up his abode in Lee county, Iowa, nine years before the admission of the state into the Union. He secured a tract of land upon which he carried on agricultural pursuits, and in 1843, when the district now comprised within Monroe county was opened for settlement by the white man, he came with his family to this portion of the state and was among the honored pioneers who laid broad and deep the foundation for the present development and progress of the county. He gave his political support to the Whig party in early life and when the Republican party was organized he joined its ranks. In the early fifties he was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died in the faith of the Methodist church, of which she was a devout and earnest member. Mr. Boggs long survived her, reaching the advanced age of ninety-three years, his death occurring in 1899. Their children were Clendennen; Henderson; Nathan; Mary Jane, deceased; Louisa; Smith; George M., who has also passed away; Martha Ann; Malissa; and Martin.
Clendennen Boggs spent the first thirteen years of his life in the state of his nativity and then became a resident of Iowa, where he has lived continuously since, and the history of the state from early pioneer times is familiar to him. His educational privileges were limited, but he made the most of his opportunities and as the years have passed he has prospered, gaining a comfortable competence as the result of this earnest and indefatigable labor.
When twenty-three years of age he was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Ramsey, a daughter of John Ramsey, their wedding being celebrated in Monroe county, where he had located about three years previous. Previous to his marriage he had entered one hundred and twenty acres of land from the government, for which he paid the price of one dollar and a quarter per acre. It was as it came from the hands of nature, covered with the native prairie grasses, not a furrow having been turned or an improvement made thereon, but he at once began to break the prairie and in course of time the fields were planted and good harvest followed. Through his energetic efforts and the assistance of his estimable wife he prospered as the years passed by and throughout his active business career continued to engage in farming, but he eventually put aside business cares, and disposing of his land removed to Albia. He there purchased property and has since made his home in this place.
To Mr. and Mrs. Boggs have been born the following children: Henry Clay; William E., deceased; and Newton E. For almost fifty-seven years the subject of this review has resided in Monroe county and for more than a half century he and his wife have traveled life's journey together. While there have been no exciting chapters in his career, his life history proves how valuable are enterprise and industry in the active affairs of life, for it has been along these lines that Mr. Boggs has acquired the comfortable competence that now enable him to live retired in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former toil.
Many are the natives of the green land of Ireland who have come to America and carved for themselves a niche in the great western republic and have found the position and the opportunities for accumulating property which would never have been afforded them in the old country, and in this number we must reckon one of the old citizens of Monroe county, who has been a resident of the county for over half a century and well deserves mention among the prominent men of the county.
Michael Brothers, the father of the subject of this sketch, was a native of Tipperary county, Ireland, and his wife, Mary Bryan, was of the same county. They lived and died in the land of their birth and became the parents of seven children, five sons and two daughters: Catherine, John, Michael, Daniel, Patrick, William and Mary.
William Brothers was born over three-quarters of a century ago, about the year 1825, in county Tipperary, and spent the early years of his life in his native land. When about twenty-six old he emigrated to America, and coming west to Iowa bought eighty acres of improved land in Monroe county. A few years later he was married and then removed to Keokuk, Iowa, where for about three years he worked at blacksmithing, and then came to Monroe county and located on the farm where he now lives. He owns about two hundred and forty acres of land, all under a good state of improvement, and Mr. Brothers has the name of being one of the successful farmers of the county.
In 1857 Mr. Brothers was united in marriage to Miss Catherine Conroy, who was born in Queens county, Ireland, and was the daughter of James Conroy, who died soon after his arrival at St. Louis, Missouri; she spent her childhood in Ireland and came to this country with her parents. There were eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Brothers, three sons and five daughters: Mike and James, twins; Mary, Catherine, Annie, Elizabeth, Julia and John. Mr. Brothers has been prominent in the local affairs of the township; he has been township trustee and a member of the school board for several terms; in politics he adheres to the Democratic party. He is now about seventy-seven years old and his estimable wife is eighty-two, both having passed the allotted span of life. They are zealous members of the St. Patrick's church at Georgetown and they gave liberally of their means and influence to build it.