Davis County, Iowa
Des Moines: Iowa Historical Company,
Unless noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.
Rayburn, A. D.
submitted by Jerry Nelson
Rayburn, A. D., farmer and stock-raiser, postoffice Bloomfield; was born in this county
June 20, 1854. He was reared a farmer and received a common school education, living at
home till he grew to manhood; he now owns a nice farm of 163 acres, located five miles
north of Bloomfield; mostly under cultivation, fenced with osage hedge and rails. In 1875
he began feeding stock which he has since made a specialty. He was married September 18,
1875, to Miss Sarah F. Beggs, a native of this county; they have two children, Stella A.
and Willie. He and his wife are members of the Baptist church.
farmer and stock-raiser, section 24, postoffice Milton; was born October
18, 1830, in Sussex county, Del. At the age of sixteen his parents located
in Van Buren county, Iowa, where they still live, at an advanced age.
His father, Hon. Robt. Russel, was a member of the legislature of Iowa,
in 1853. Mr. R. assisted his father on the farm till he was twenty-three
years old. He located where he now lives in 1854; his farm consists
of 200 acres, having a well kept appearance. He also owns another farm
of 113 acres. He was married October 28, 1852, to Miss Margaret Cravens,
a native of Indiana, born May 9, 1835, daughter of Bushrod Cravens,
the pioneer of this county. They have five children: Mary J., William
D., George L., Fanny C., and Hannah G. Mary is the wife of J. E. Spence,
of Milton. Mr. R. has been township taustee and secretary of the school
board, the latter for many years. He is a self- made man, having commenced
with nothing. He has travelled a great deal, having been clear to the
Pacific Ocean; but could never find a place that suited him as well
as Davis county.
Russell, H. L.,
farmer and stock-raiser, section 12, postoffice West Grove; was born
in Greene county, Pennsylvania, October 4, 1826. He was the oldest son
of William and Charlotte Russell, natives of Pennsylvania. Here Mr.
Russell lived fifteen years his early life being spent on a farm, and
going to school. In the spring of 1841, he and his father moved to Athens,
Ohio, where he lived till the spring of 1854, when he came to this county,
first settling near where he now lives, in West Grove township, and
in the fall of 1856 he moved on his present farm, where he has since
resided. He has a fine farm of 320 acres, under good cultivation, with
a good brick residence, large barn, and orchard of twelve acres. He
is also engaged in stock-raising, making a specialty of sheep, "Spanish
Merino." His sales of wool in the past year amount to $1,500. He
was married August 9, 1847, to Miss Rhoda Love, of Athens county, Ohio.
They had two children, James E., and John L., deceased. Mrs. R. died
December 9, 1851, and Mr. R. was married again May 24, 1853, to Mary
E. Kurtz, of Pittsburg, Pa. They have had eight children: Lotta, now
Mrs. C. E. Smith; Anna A., May Ida, Jenny L., now Mrs. W. D. Barnett;
Etta B., William, Harry L., and one deceased. Mr. R. is a member of
the Cumberland Presbyterian Church; he is also a Mason, and in politics
is a democrat. Mr. R. stands high in this community.
farmer, sheep-raiser, and dealer in Spanish Merinos, Fabius township,
postoffice West Grove; was born August 7, 1836, in Greene county, Pennsylvania.
At three years of age he moved with his parents, William and Charlotte,
to Athens county, Ohio, where he lived about fifteen years; then in
the spring of 1854 he came to this county, and settled on the farm he
still lives on. At that time it had only forty acres broken, with a
log cabin on it. He now owns 1,000 acres of the best land in the county
with a fine residence on the home farm, with good barns and orchards.
He is very extensively engaged in the sheep business, and his sales
of wool and sheep during the last year amount to about $4,000. He was
married March 5, 1857, to Miss Virginia Tucker, daughter of Ira and
Elizabeth Tucker, of Appanoose county, Iowa. They have been blessed
with five children: W. W., aged 23; Elizabeth, Cassie C., attending
school at Lincoln, Illinois; Ira T., aged fifteen; and James L., aged
twelve. Mr. Russell is a zealous and worthy member of the Cumberland
Presbyterian Church, and one of its most liberal supporters. He has
been county commissioner, and filled the office with credit. In politics
he is a democrat and is one of the most enlightened and progressive
men in Davis county. Mr. Russell's grandfather, James Russell, was of
Scotch-Irish parentage, and was married in 1796, to Rachael Frazier,
and died of yellow fever in New Orleans, leaving two sons, James and
William, the latter being the father of the subject of this sketch.
Russell, W. M.,
farmer, postoffice West Grove; was born in Jackson county, Indiana,
September 19, 1825; a son of William and Polly R., of Virginia. When
a year old he moved with his parents to Bartholomew county. Here he
grew to manhood on the farm, receiving a limited education. In the spring
of 1848 he came to this county and settled where he now resides, on
a fine farm of 240 acres, which he entered from the government. He now
owns 487 acres, with a good house and barn, and an orchard of 270 trees.
He is extensively engaged in stock-raising, amounting to over $2,000
in the last year. He was married January 6, 1848, to Miss Sarah Jane
Humphreys, of Bartholomew county, Indiana, and they have eleven children:
Sarah, Lucinda, John J., William H., Titus D., Alfrida, Florian A.,
Louis M., Aquilla W., Francis N., Laura E., and Mary S. Mr. R. is a
member of the M. E. Church; and with the exception of about $300, has
accumulated his wealth by his own industry and economy.
Ryan, L. H., farmer and
stock-raiser, postoffice Bloomfield; was born in New York State, May 15,
1849, and at two years of age went with his father, John Ryan, to
Syracuse, N. Y.; and at the age of seventeen, to Iroquois county, Ill. His
early life was spent mostly in town, where he received his education in
the common schools. In the fall of 1873 he came to this county, remained a
few months, then went to Kansas and remained about six years; then
returned to this county, where he has since resided. Mr. R. owns a fine
farm of 240 acres, under a good state of cultivation; one of the best
barns in the county, 44 x 80, and 24 feet high, with brick basement,
costing $3,000. He is extensively engaged in raising grain and stock, his
sales in eighteen months past amounting to $4,500. He was married in
August, 1875, to Mrs. Margretta Stokes, of this township. They have two
children, Flora Mand and Olive May.