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Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


William J. Lancelot, the editor and publisher of the Audubon County Journal, has enjoyed a diverting and interesting career. He has been engaged in many enterprises, and the remarkable fact is that he has been conspicuously successful in everything to which he has turned his hand. The son of a well-known English sea captain, he has been a farmer, butcher, merchant, newspaper correspondent and, finally, the owner of a newspaper. The secret of Mr. Lancelot's success, perhaps, is the splendid education and training he received in his native land. Schooled in habits of industry and methodical, precise manners of doing work, Mr. Lancelot's career should serve as an example to young men of our day and generation, who are more or less inclined to be careless and indifferent to details.

William J. Lancelot, the editor and publisher of the Audubon County Journal, at Exira, Iowa, was born on December 4, 1849, in Falmouth, County of Cornwall, England. He is the son of William H. and Isabelle H. (Truscott) Lancelot, and was second in a family of six children. William H. Lancelot, the father, was for many years a sea captain in command of a ship which sailed on the waters of the Atlantic ocean, and for many years he was in the government service with headquarters at Falmouth, England.

William J. Lancelot, the subject of this sketch, having been educated in a select school in his native land, emigrated to America when eighteen years old, and landed in New York City, eventually came west and settled in Clayton county, Iowa, where for a time he engaged in farming. He had served an apprenticeship as a butcher in his native land, and followed this business after coming to Iowa. In 1876 he removed to Cameron Center, Audubon county, and' farmed there until 1885, when he engaged in the grocery business at Ross, Iowa, in partnership with Frank Gleason, of Audubon. After a time Mr. Lancelot sold out and in partnership with F. P. Rees purchased the stock of W. P. Johnson & Company, of Gray, Iowa. Mr. Lancelot and Mr. Rees established their business in 1886, and for many years were engaged in the mercantile business at Gray, under the firm name of Lancelot & Rees.

In the meantime Mr. Lancelot had served as the Audubon county correspondent of the Des Moines Register. In 1893 he sold out his interest in the store at Gray and subsequently purchased the Audubon County Journal.

On January i, 1905. the Lancelots came into possession of the Audubon County Journal, when the subject of this sketch became its editor, and for ten years has maintained a strictly independent and progressive paper, with one of the best equipped offices in the state.

Transcribed 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. 823-824.
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