Andrew J. Baylor, who was born near Richmond, Virginia, August 2, 1849, came to the Hawkeye state from the old home in Virginia with his parents when five years old. He has seen the country grow from year to year and develop from raw prairie land and a few ridge roads here and there, to the richest farming land to be found anywhere in the whole country. Mr. Baylor's career has been closely identified with the history of Audubon county's agricultural progress and prosperity. Descended from an old Virginia family, Andrew J. Baylor's ancestors very probably fought in the American Revolution. He himself was named after Andrew Jackson, who was a friend of his father's family.
Mr. Baylor's parents were Christian and Marguerite (Argerbright) Baylor, also natives of Virginia. In July, 1854, when Andrew J. was only five years old, the family left Virginia and came to Johnson county, Iowa, driving through in wagons. When the family reached the Mississippi river, the boatman refused to let a dog cross on the ferry boat and as the dog did not try to swim the river, the family supposed that he was lost. Subsequently, however, they heard that the dog had returned all the way to the old Virginia home.
Mr. Baylor's parents lived in Johnson county until their deaths. Mr. Baylor received such education as the schools of the pioneer times afforded and lived at home until about nineteen years old, when, in 1871, he came west to Audubon county. He worked in a brick-yard at Lewisville for three years and was then married and rented a farm for a few years. He had purchased five acres when he was married and built a house on it and here he lived for several years before selling the place. Mr. Baylor rented land for about nine years and then purchased eighty acres of land in section 9, of Audubon township. He has added to this farm until he now has two hundred acres of land in section 9 and forty acres in section 10 of Audubon township. He is today one of the most successful and extensive farmers of Audubon township.
On February 19, 1874, Andrew J. Baylor was married in Exira township, Audubon county, to Susan Connrardy, who was born on April 17, 1857, in Luxemburg, Germany, and who is the daughter of Nicholas and Susan (Noel) Connrardy. They came to the United States in January, 1858, after spending forty-four days on the voyage. They lived first at Dubuque, Iowa, but later moved to Cascade, where the mother died after about one year and one-half, leaving six children. The father kept the family together as best he could until 1869, when Mr. Baylor's wife came west to Audubon county with William Bintner, who had married her elder sister. One year later the father came to Audubon county and Mrs. Baylor then made her home with him until she was married.
Mr. and Mrs. Baylor have been the parents of fourteen children, twelve of whom are now living, six daughters and six sons; two sons are deceased. They are as follow: Ina B., born on May 22, 1875, who married Ed Guston and has six children, Marion, Andrew, Vivian, Nellie, George and Helen; Lottie A., November 6, 1877, who is the wife of Charles Parm and has six children, Nora, Elsie, John, Gretchen, Ina and Charles; Nellie Myrtle, November 1, 1878, who became the wife of Walter Schlotfieldt and has two children, Harold and Carl; Jennie May, July 13, 1880, who married Otis Boehme and has one son, Lowell; Anna E., January 6, 1882, who married Edward Wahlert; Edward E., December 4, 1883, who is unmarried and lives in Canada; John, September 14, 1885, and died on May 22, 1889; Clyde, born September 2, 1887, and died May 18, 1889, both he and his brother dying during an epidemic of diphtheria; Bernie, November 20, 1889, who lives at home; Walter H., February 13, 1892, who married Clara Klemmish and lives in Canada; Charles R., April 20, 1894; Andrew J., March 3, 1896; Everett, January 4, 1898; and Gretchen C., August 5, 1900. The four latter children are still at home.
Mr. Baylor is prominent in the Masonic lodge of this state. He is a member of the Exira blue lodge; a Knight Templar at Audubon, and a member of the Shrine at Des Moines. He was formerly a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Exira, but this lodge finally lost its charter.
Andrew J. Baylor is engaged in general farming and stock raising. Aside from his two hundred and forty acres of land in Audubon county, he also owns a half section of land in Alberta, Canada, and a half section in Saskatchewan, Canada. He is one of the well-to-do farmers and citizens of this township and county and one who is widely known and highly respected. He is a leader in all civic and political affairs and, although he has not held office, his advice and counsel are freely and widely sought.