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Butler County >> 1883 Index

History of Butler and Bremer Counties, Iowa
Springfield: Union Publishing Company, 1883.


Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

Jacob Ward was born March 1, 1833, in Licking county, Ohio. Three years after his birth, the family removed to De Kalb county, Illinois, where he passed his time until grown to manhood's estate, working on his father's farm and attending the district school. In the fall of 1864, he came to Bremer county, Iowa, settling on a farm in Franklin township, where he has since resided. On the 1st day of March, 1855, he was joined in wedlock with Miss Margaret C. Perry, a native of New York, and born in 1831. Three children have blessed this marriage - Leonard Adolph (deceased) Rosalia J. and Ambrose Perry. Mr. Ward is a republican, and has held political offices.

Dr. Jesse Ward came from Independence, Buchanan county, a short time prior to the war, and after remaining a few months - but long enough to be convinced that waiting for practice was not earning a living - returned to his former home, and his whereabouts at present are unknown. He was an alopath in his practice, but was not a regular graduate.

John Wile, one of the pioneers, was born in the Province of Bavaria, on the 4th day of June, 1828. In 1844 he left his native country for America, and, upon his arrival, located in Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, working as a laborer in the timber. During 1856 he removed to Bremer county, Iowa, and purchased land in Lafayette township, which he immediately began improving. There he continued to live until 1872, at which date he settled near Waverly, where he now has a beautiful home. In 1851 he was joined in wedlock with Judith Leas, a native of Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, born in 1830. Two children blessed the marriage - A. J. and Frederick. Mr. Wile came to this county a poor man, but since his residence here has, by hard work and close attention to business, accumulated a fine property. His land consists of 290 acres, valued at $40 per acre. In politics he is a republican. The family are members of the Evangelical Association.

William Willey

During the summer of 1854, Isaac Gard and family came from Illinois, and settled on section 36. Here he remained until fall, then removed to section 25, having sold his original claim to Robert Brodie. He remained on section 25 about two or three years, when he, with William Willey, who had settled also on section 25, were arrested and sent to the penitentiary, having been connected with a famous band of horse thieves, which gave much trouble in an early day through this part of Iowa. When arrested, these parties were taken to Independence, and, after the preliminary examination, they both broke jail, but did not succeed in making escape, but were captured in Winnesheik county, and again placed in jail. Mr. Gard died in the penitentiary, and Mr. Willey was released before his time expired, and died very soon afterward.