Jay County Indiana Biographies
James F. DAWLEY, proprietor of the picturesque "Poplar Grove Stock and Poultry Farm" in Penn township and one of the best known agricultural specialists and fanciers in this section of Indiana, was born in the neighboring county of Wells, but has been a resident of Jay county for forty-five years, or ever since he established his home in Penn township following his marriage in 1876. Mr. DAWLEY was born on September 22, 1853, and is a son of William and Malinda (PANNEL) DAWLEY, the latter of whom was born in Ohio and the former in the state of New York. William DAWLEY grew to manhood in New York state and then located in Ohio, where he was married. He remained in Ohio until he moved over into Indiana and bought a farm in Wells county, where he established his home and where he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives. They were the parents of five children, but two of whom are now living, the subject of this sketch and his sister Amanda. Reared on a farm in Wells county, James F. DAWLEY received his schooling in that county and remained there until his marriage in 1875, after which he came down into Jay county and located on the farm in Penn township on which he is now living, beautiful "Poplar Grove Farm," which he has converted into a veritable park. When Mr. DAWLEY took possession of that place it was uncleared and unimproved. As he cleared and developed the place he began to improve it along somewhat unusual lines, giving particular attention to landscape features, adding to the natural beauty of the place a couple of attractive groves, and he now has one of the real show places in the way of farms in all eastern Indiana. Believing in the efficacy of concentration of effort, Mr. DAWLEY has but sixty acres of land, having sold seventeen acres of his original tract. He gives particular attention to pure bred live stock and fine poultry, as well as choice fruit, and formerly and for eight years conducted .an annual "fair" oil his place, his exhibits of the products of his place attracting much attention. As a part of the park-like effect produced on "Poplar Grove Farm," Mr. DAWLEY maintains an extensive aviary and his collection of birds is regarded as probably the most extensive of any private collection in the state. He also has numerous other pets about the place, representative of most of the small animals found in Indiana, and the park is constantly visited by nature students attracted to the place by the variety of bird and animal life there available for study. The park is a favorite resort for picnic parties and family reunions and is thus a common meeting place for the people of a wide territory hereabout. For thirteen years Mr. DAWLEY has been making a specialty of the park-like feature of his farm and his reputation as a landscape artist and collector of birds and animals is widely and well established. On September 25, 1875, James F. DAWLEY was united in marriage to Mahalia SHINN, a daughter of Darius and Rachel ( TURNER ) SHINN. Mr. and Mrs. DAWLEY have a very pleasant home on rural mail route No. 3 out of Montpelier, [Blackford Co.] whose hospitable doors are ever open to their friends. Mrs. DAWLEY is a member of the Christian church. Mr. DAWLEY has for years taken an active interest in local political affairs, one of the community leaders in the ranks of the Republican party, and for four years served as superintendent of highways in his district.