IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


Among the successful self-made men of the present generation of farmers in Audubon county, Iowa, whose efforts and influence have contributed to the material upbuilding of the community, Ambrose F. Aikman occupies a conspicuous place. Being ambitious from the first, but surrounded with none too favorable environment, his early youth was not especially promising. Resolutely facing the future, however, he has gradually surmounted the difficulties in his way and in due course of time has risen to a prominent position in the commercial, agricultural and financial circles of his community. Besides all this he has won the confidence and esteem of those with whom he has come into contact, either in a business or social way, and for years he has stood as one of the representative farmers of this section of Audubon county. Mr. Aikman realized early in life that there is a purpose in life and that there is no honor not founded on worth and no respect not founded on accomplishment. His life and labors have been worthy because they have contributed to a proper understanding of life and its problems. The strongest characters in our national history have come from the ranks of self-made men to whom adversity acts as an impetus for unfaltering effort, and from this class has come Ambrose F. Aikman, a retired farmer of Gray, Iowa.

Ambrose F. Aikman was born on September 3, 1850, in Whiteside county, Illinois, on a farm. The Morrison court house now occupies the site upon which he was born. He is the son of Robert D. and Sarah Ann (Finch) Aikman, the former of whom was born in 1810, and who died in 1894, and the latter, born in 1820, and who died in 1904. Robert D. Aikman was a native of Columbia county, Pennsylvania, and his wife a native of Toronto, Canada. Robert D. Aikman was the son of James Alexander Aikman, who came from Scotland and who settled in Columbia county, Pennsylvania, before the Revolutionary War. He first settled on Cabin run, but was driven away by the Indians. He took part in the Revolutionary War. Robert D. was a pioneer in Whiteside, Illinois. He came from Pennsylvania to Lyons, Iowa, at a very early day, crossing the Mississippi river on a horse ferry. He located in Iowa and lived awhile here. He owned a great deal of land and very much town property and became extremely wealthy. The town of Morrison is built on the site of his farm. At the time of his death he owned land in both Iowa and Illinois. Robert D. and Sarah Ann (Finch) Aikman had eight children, names: James and Almeda are deceased; Ambrose F., is the subject of this sketch; Mrs. Mary Antoinette Forsbeck lives in Audubon county: Josephine, Irene and Helen are deceased; Frank lives south of Gray, in Lincoln township.

Ambrose F. Aikman came to Audubon county in 1873, and invested in one hundred and sixty acres of land in section 26, Lincoln township. He then went back to Illinois, but in 1879 returned to Audubon county and settled here permanently. For some time he had rented the land and had it partly improved. Mr. Aikman was married in Rock Island, Illinois, and brought his wife to Audubon county in 1882. They prospered and added one hundred and twenty acres to their holdings, making two hundred and eighty acres. The land is well improved and has excellent buildings. Mr. Aikman moved to Gray in the spring of 1913. He bought a fine home and a city block containing two sets of buildings. Mr. Aikman's one-hundred-and-twenty-acre farm is now occupied by his son.

Ambrose F. Aikman was married on February 22, 1882, to Mary Amelia Hunt, born on February 22, 1861, in England. She was a native of Yorkshire, and the daughter of George and Anna (Marston) Hunt. In 1865 she came to Whiteside county, Illinois. Her father was a brick manufacturer and owned the brick works at Morrison, Illinois. He was born in 1829, and died in 1905. His wife, Mrs. Anna (Marston) Hunt, was born in 1829, and died in 1904. George and Anna (Marston) Hunt were the parents of nine children, as follow: John lives at Morrison, Illinois; Mrs. Sarah Winsby lives at De Kalb, Illinois ; William died at Morrison, Illinois; Elizabeth is deceased; Helen lives at De Kalb, Illinois; Mrs. Ambrose F. Aikman is the wife of the subject of this sketch; Thomas is deceased; Arthur lives at Morrison, Illinois ; and Mrs. Etta Fox lives at De Kalb, Illinois.

To Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose F. Aikman two children have been born: George married Mary May Campbell and lives in Lincoln township; Helen Irene is a teacher in Lincoln township, and is a graduate of the Gray high school.

Mr. Aikman operated a merchandise store in Gray, in 1890 to 1891. His father built the third house in Lyons, Iowa.

Ambrose F. Aikman is a Republican. He has held various township offices, not because he wanted to hold office, but because he considered it his duty to serve when called upon. He and his wife and family are members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Aikman is identified with the Yeomen of America.

Contributed by Cheryl Siebrass, February 16, 2016, from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 788-790.