IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1889 Bios Index



I & J

OWEN F. IDE, Postmaster at Brayton, Iowa, was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, May 7, 1864. He is the son of Ebenezer and Emeline (McKenna) Ide. His father was born in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, in 1794, and during the war of 1812 he was the Captain of a Massachusetts company. He emigrated to Ohio and settled in Cam bridge, in which place he was a Baptist min ister for many years. He died at Fairview, Ohio, in 1864. His wife survived him four years. After her death Owen F. made his home with his aunt, Mrs. Harriet Fowler. In October, 1874, he removed with his aunt to Audubon County, Iowa, and then went to live with Oliver Smith, with whom he made his home for fourteen years.During this time he took a course at the Agricultural College at Ames, Iowa, being a member of the class of 1885. On leaving college he re turned to Mr. Smith's, and engaged in farming for three years. In July, 1886, he formed a partnership with J. M. Reynolds in the general drygoods business, under the firm name of Reynolds & Ide. In October of the same year Mr. Ide was appointed postmaster at Brayton under Grover Cleveland's administration. He is an efficient and faithful officer, and in connection with the office is doing a profitable business. Mr. Ide was married December 24, 1885, to Miss Eliza beth Cotton, the oldest daughter of George and Mary Cotton, of Brayton, Iowa. They have one daughter -- Bessie. A nephew of Mr. Ide's was educated at Heidelberg, Germany, and is now Professor of Languages at Cornell University, New York. Mr. Ide taught two terms of school after coming to the county. He began his career without means, but a well disciplined mind has done him good service, and today he is one of the reliable and highly respected citizens of the county.
   From:  1889 Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon counties, pp. 739.

JOHN JARMAN was born in Sussex, England, November 25, 1827, and is a son of William and Sarah (Noaks) Jarman. He remained in his native country until he had attained his majority, being reared to the occupation of a farmer. He obtained a limited education in the common schools, but by the cultivation of his observa tion he has acquired a fund of information, enabling him to attend to any business that may devolve upon him. Mr. Jarman was married in the year 1849 to Mary Coomer, daughter of Stephen Coomer. She was born in 1825 and died in 1859. Four children were born of this marriage -- Sarah, residing in Illinois; Hannah and Eliza, both residing in Minnesota; and Mary, living in Dakota. Almost immediately after his marriage Mr. and Mrs. Jarman emigrated to America, and settled in Saint Clair County, Michigan, where Mrs. Jarman died. In 1860 Mr. Jarman removed to Minnesota, and settled in Winona County. There he made his home until 1878, when he came to Audubon County. He was married to his present wife, who was Miss Mattie Irvin, July 3, 1887. She is the daughter of John and Agnes (English) Irvin, natives of Kentucky, and was born in Rushville, Illinois. Novembe 8, 1845. When Mr. Jarman came to Audubon County he bought a tract of 200 acres in Greeley Town ship, which had very few improvements, and about fifteen acres of land broken; the remainder was raw prairie, but today it is one of the finest farms in that part of the county. There is a beautiful frame residence, and barns for stock and grain. Our subject de votes himself to farming and stockraising, and is striving to better the grade of livestock in the community. He is a man who has done much toward the development of the county, and is deserving of the esteem in which he is held. He affiliates with the Re publican party. He and his wife are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
   From:  1889 Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon counties, pp. 714.

GEORGE C. JEFFRIES, dealer in har ness, saddles, robes and whips, Exira, was born in Burlington, Iowa, May 13, 1852. He is a son of >George C. and Mary J. (Cady) Jeffries, natives of Kentucky and New York respectively, who were early settlers in Iowa. His father has been a shoe merchant in Des Moines for many years, removing from Burlington to that city when our subject was two years old. Here George C., Jr., passed his boyhood and attended the city schools. After leaving school he learned the harnessmaker's trade, and also worked at bricklaying for several years. He then fol lowed shoemaking for a time, and then en gaged in farming for two years. In 1887 he embarked in the harness business, opening a shop in Exira.He has since carried on a good business, and is building up a profitable trade. Mr. Jeffries was married in 1874 to Miss L. E. Fisher, of Carlisle, Warren County, Iowa. By this union three children have been born -- Fred B., Bertie W. and Mary E. Mr. Jeffries is a member of Exodus Lodge, No. 342, A. F. & A. M.; of the Knights of Pythias; of the A. O. U. W., No. 251, and of the Methodist Episcopal church. He casts his suffrage with the Republican party. His father died in 1881, in the sixty fifth year of his age.
   From:  1889 Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon counties, pp. 761.

ISAAC H. JENKINS, son of John S. and Malinda (Miller) Jenkins, was born in Meade County, Kentucky, June 5, 1845. His school days were passed in Wapello County, Iowa. At the age of nineteen years he crossed the plains with Charles Van Gorder, in charge of a provision train. Arriving at Central City, Colorado, and having disposed of a portion of their effects, they engaged in gulch mining. On returning to Audubon County Mr. Jenkins was occupied with farmwork for some time. At one time he took charge of a freight train to Denver, Colorado. In 1886 he was running a sawmill at Oakfield, Iowa, and met with a very serious accident by which he lost one of his fingers; he then abandoned this enterprise and spent some time in breaking out prairie. March 28, 1868, he married Miss Clarissa, daughter of Allen Chase; she died five years later, leaving no children. In 1874 he formed a copartnership with I. P. Hallock, J. H. Jerer and D. W. Powers, in a general store at Oakfield; this continued in operation for four years. Mr. Jenkins was united in marriage to Miss Mollie, daughter of Patrick and Mary Devine, of Madison, Wisconsin. They have two children -- Willis S. and Jennie Irene. When he retired from the mercantile trade he built his present hotel; this was in the winter of 1879, and it was the first hotel in Brayton. Mr. Jenkins also deals in real estate in partner ship with W. E. Statts. For a time he acted as deputy sheriff.
   From:  1889 Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon counties, pp. 763.

JOHN T. JENKINS, a prominent farmer and extensive landowner, is the second son of John S. and Malinda (Miller) Jenkins.He was horn inMeade County, Kentucky, November 14, 1838. Soon after his birth his parents removed to Perry County, Indiana, and settled near Rome, on a farm, and remained there between four and five years. In the fall of 1850 John S. Jenkins and family removed to Wapello County, Iowa, and remained there a few months. In the following May they removed to Audubon County, and settled on a tract of land which is now a part of the old town site of Oakfield. This land was preempted by Mr. Jenkins, and when it came into the mar ket he bought it of the government.Audu bon County was at that time a part of Cass County. This tract of land was skirted on the north by a fine grove of timber, while to the south lay a beautiful prairie which was as level as a table, and was well designed by nature for the home of apioneer.Mr. Jenkins broke out and put under cultivation a part of this new farm, which contained 160 acres of prairie and a small piece of timber. So attractive was the spot that Mr. Jenkins believed he had struck the garden spot of the world. However, after the lapse of four years he sold this place and bought another, two and a half miles east of the first one, the present site of the town of Oakfield. On this farm he lived several years, and then sold it and purchased a tract of land on the west side of the Nishnabotna River. By this time Mr. Jenkins had become quite an extensive landowner. He and his son, John T., owned the land on which the town of Brayton now stands. This place was platted by John T. Jenkins, in 1879. John S. Jenkins' next home farm was north and west of the town site of Brayton.He was an active citizen, well and favorably known, and when his death occurred, July 11, 1886, Audubon County lost one of her beloved pioneers and most honored citizens. Mrs. Jenkins passed to her eternal rest March 10, 1882. She was the mother of six children, all of whom lived to be grown, were married and had children -- Benjamin F. died December 24, 1887, leaving a wife and six children; John T., Sarah B., wife of L. L. Bartlett, of Shelby County; Isaac H., Harriet, wife of G. W. Cannon, and George W. John T. Jenkins, the subject of this notice, was reared on a farm and received the industrial and intellectual training common to his surroundings. On reaching his twentieth year he took a trip to Pike's Peak, in search of wealth, and returned the following winter. August 19, 1861, he enlisted in the defense of his country, being a member of the Second Iowa Battery, Nelson T. Spooner, Captain. He passed the first winter in northwestern Missouri, building breast works and guarding railroads. In February, 1862, he was sent south to Island No. 10, and took part in that engagement.Thence he came up the Tennessee River to Hamburg's Landing. For twenty-one days before reaching Corinth he was under fire. He took part in the first and second battles of Corinth, the siege of Vicksburg, the battle of Iuka, Mississippi, Tupelo, Mississippi, and was in the Sixteenth, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Army Corps, under Generals McPherson, Sherman and Pope. He was mustered out September 4, 1865, and returned to his old home in Audubon County. January 19, 1865, Mr. Jenkins was married to Darthula Rodg ers, of Audubon County, Iowa. She was born in Illinois, and was the second daughter of Thomas and Sarah Rodgers. After his marriage Mr. Jenkins settled on a farm and engaged in farming and stockraising.In 1879 he formed a partnership with C. H. Vail, embarking in the mercantile business under the firm name of Jenkins & Vail, at Brayton. This firm continued to transact business successfully for a period of nine years, whenMr. Vailwas elected county clerk.Mr. Jenkins bought Mr. Vail's interest, and the business was continued. In 1887 Mr. Jenkins retired from the business, and since that time he has been largely en gaged in dealing in livestock.Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins have had born to them three children -- Jeanette, Marion E. and Frank G. Mr. Jenkins's landed estate numbers 540 acres, which is in a high state of cultivation. He has served two terms as supervisor, as township clerk and as township trustee. He has been a member of the school board three terms. Politically he is a staunch Republican, and takes an active interest in the success of the party. He was elected an alternate to the National Convention in Chicago in 1888.He was appointed postmaster under General Grant's administration, and held the office until the election of Grover Cleveland as President. Mr. Jenkins is a member of Pymosa Lodge, No. 18, A. F. & A. M., at Atlantic, Iowa, and of Audubon Lodge, No. 217, I. O. O. F., at Brayton.
   From:  1889 Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon counties, pp. 718.

JESPER JENSEN, Supervisor of Audubon County. This highly respected and in fluential member of the present board of supervisors was born near Aalborg, Denmark, May 1, 1852, and is the elder of two children, the other being a daughter, Mary Ann, residing in the mother country. The parents were Jens and Metta K. (Jespersen) Mortensen. At the time of young Jensen's birth it was the custom in Denmark for the children to assume the given name of the father for their surname, hence his name is Jensen instead of Mortensen. His parents died in their native country, the father about three years ago, and the mother within three weeks of the writing of this biographical sketch. Mr. Jensen's father was quite a large farmer for that country, having about 200 acres of land.Young Jensen in addition to hard work on the farm had the advantage of good schools, and received a fair education, study ing the English language, and becoming con versant with its grammar and construction. He early imbibed an idea of coming to America, having a wellgrounded dislike to monarchial governments, and a strong desire to live where he could be a man. In futher ance of this plan, when he arrived at the age of eighteen years he resolved to emigrate, and make his home in the United States. Accordingly, in March, 1870, he embarked at Copenhagen and crossed the North Sea, and landed at Leith, Scotland; after a delay there of ten days he took passage at Glasgow on the steamer North America, the voyage requiring twentysix days. The vessel being delayed off the coast of New Foundland by ice sheets, the vessel was compelled to run into Halifax for coal and provisions, and then the journey was resumed, and May 16 they landed at Quebec.Mr. Jensen went directly to Chicago, which was his destination. It was just after the great fire in Chicago, and he remained theretwo years, finding ample opportunity to exercise his ability to work. At the end of two years he went to the iron mines of Lake Superior, where there was a boom, intending to work in the mines; but finding that many laborers were losing their lives in the mines by frequent accidents, he sought a less dangerous occupation, and succeeded in getting a position in a powder mill, preferring this perilous work to the more dangerous mines. There he worked six months, receiving $80 per month and board.The panic of 1873 coming on, the mill suspended, and he spent the next six months looking over the northern peninsula of Michigan, visiting among other institu tions the famous copper mines. Not find ing any suitable employment he returned to Chicago, bought a horse and wagon, and en gaged in the express delivery business; find ing it profitable, he decided to establish a home, and to that end secured a wife. Mr. Jensen was married March 9, 1874, to Miss Anna K. Larson, who was also a native of Denmark. Her parents were Lars and Kirsten Jensen; here again appears that old style of taking the father's name as a surname. At the end of two years Mr. Jensen entered the employ of the Chicago Street Car Company, and continued there for five years, filling the various positions in the street railway busi ness; his wages were $83 per month. In the spring of 1880 he decided to leave the city. Knowing that a large number of his country men had settled in Shelby and Audubon counties, Iowa, he came direct to Harlan, and after a short investigation he contracted for a part of his present farm on section 15, Sharon Township. He then returned to Chicago, and remained there one year longer with the same company, and in the spring of 1881 he removed his family to their new home. He has since added more land to his original purchase, and has made excellent improvements in the way of a house, barns, cribs and feedyards, so that he has one of the best improved farms in the southwest part of Audubon County; it is well stocked with good grades of cattle, horses and hogs. Mr. Jensen was soon called upon to manage public business, being elected township trustee the second year after coming to the county, a position to which he was reelected, and held until he resigned to accept the position he now holds, having been elected in 1886 a member of the county board of supervisors; his colleagues at that time wereSparks Baker and George McKain. Mr. Jensen has made an excellent record as a safe, prudent, farseeing business man, and his voice has ever been given to render lasting benefit to the county; an instance is his support of the aid given to the County Agricultural Society which has enabled it to be placed upon a substantial basis; another is his hearty co operation in securing the present county farm.A position of this kind is a difficult one to fill, as there are always many who stand ready to criticize every move where the public business is concerned; but Mr. Jensen has the satisfaction of knowing that his ideas have been sanctioned by the best men in the county. He has recently suffered the loss of his estimable wife, Mrs. Jensen dying of consumption after a lingering sickness, April 12, 1889, in her thirtysecond year. She was the mother of seven children Lawrence C., Waldemar, Louise, Alexander, Amanda, Victor, Anna K. Mr. Jensen is a member of the Lutheran church, of the Danish Brotherhood, and of the Knights of Pythias. He is a staunch Republican, and has always taken an active interest in conventions and general political work.
   From:  1889 Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon counties, pp. 825.

WILLIAM JOHNSTON, a successful farmer and stockraiser of Lincoln Township, was born in Morrow County, near Mount Gilead, Ohio, August 13, 1848. He is the third son of John and Mary Louisa (Loy) Johnston, also natives of Ohio. The father was descended from an Irish family, and the mother from a German family. In 1861 John Johnston removed with his family to Louisa County, and settled on a farm; he had formerly been a carpenter, but from the time he came to Iowa until his death, which occurred in 1874, he followed farming. His wife died the previous year, 1873, in her fifty-eighth year. William Johnston passed his youth in Louisa County, Iowa, attending the common schools;later hepursued his studies at Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois. After leaving school he entered the employof Cole Brothers,of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and engaged in selling pumps for six years; on account of failing health he was compelled to retire from the business. In the spring of 1876 he came to Audubon County, Iowa, and located on a farm in section 20, Lincoln Township, the first place opened up on the west side of the township. The land was wild, and there were only thirteen voters in the township; in 1888 248 votes were cast in Lincoln Town ship.Mr. Johnston broke out eighty acres of land, and erected a house for a dwelling; it was a truly pioneer life, which is rapidly becoming a circumstance impossible, as there will soon be no new land to settle. Mr. Johnston has added from time to time until his farm now contains 240 acres, most of which he has brought to a high state of cultivation. At the time of his coming to the county there was no church building in Lin coln Township, and no organized religious societies; at the present time there are five organizations, and two church buildings. Of the thirteen voters before mentioned, six were Democrats and seven Republicans. Mr. Johnston has been very successful in raising hogs; he feeds about 100 head annually, principally of the Poland China breed. In1868 be was married to Miss Emma Hardesty, a daughter of Meredith Hardesty; she was born in Ohio, but removed to Iowa with her parents when she was a child. Nine children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Johnston Blanche, James Owen, Maud L., Frank, Burt, Mamie, Arthur, Fred, and Ray, who died in infancy. Mr. Johnston has been the choice of the people for almost every office in the township, and is the present as sessor. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and of the I. O. R. M. Politically he is a staunch Democrat. He has done much toward the development of the county, fromevery point of view. At the time he came to time county there was not a grove in Lincoln Township; one of the first things he did was to plant a grove, which has grown to the proportions adequate for holding Fourth of July picnics and other outdoor festivities.
   From:  1889 Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon counties, pp. 811.

SAMUEL JORDAN, an enterprising farmer of Viola Township, was born in Fermanagh, Ireland, October 13, 1831, He is the twelfth of a family of fourteen children of John and Elizabeth Jordan. His father was a modest farmer in his native land, in which country both his parentsdied. Samuel was reared to the life of a farmer, and received his education in the common schools. Arriving at the age of twenty years, he made a voyage to Australia, and there worked in the gold fields, being quite suc cessful. He remained there nine years, dur ing the time making one visit to Ireland. In the fall of 1863 Mr. Jordan came to the United States, landing in the city of New York; thence he went to Nova Scotia, and visited a brother living there. He returned to New York, and thence proceeded to Rock Island County, Illinois. He remained there, engaged in farming until 1868; in November of that year he removed to Poweshiek County, Iowa, and settled on a farm which he im proved.in the fall of 1880 he sold this place, and in March, 1881, he came to Audubon County and settled on his present farm; there were then only eighty acres in the place, but Mr. Jordan has added to it, until there are now 200 acres. He devotes him self to farming and stockraising.In November, 1853, occurred the marriage of Mr. Jordan and Miss Alice Worrel, a native of Ireland, and a daughter of William Worrel, Esq. By this marriage eight children were born, seven of whom are living Joshua; Elizabeth, wife of Samuel Johnson; Ann J., wife of Robert Smith; William J., Thomas C., Samuel R. and Alice Beatrice.In National and State matters Mr. Jordan votes the Republican ticket; in local affairs he votes for the best man for the place. He has a good, comfortable home, barns and cribs, and is well fixed in this world's goods. He is energetic, honorable in his dealing, and is numbered among the best of Viola Township's farmers.
   From:  1889 Biographical History of Shelby and Audubon counties, pg. 733.

Contributed by Marthann Kohl-Fuhs, April, 2005.

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