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Davis County >> 1882 Index

History of Davis County, Iowa
Des Moines: Iowa Historical Company, 1882


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.

Russel, John C., 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.

Russell, Samuel, 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.