IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


Practical industry, wisely and vigorously applied, never fails to bring success. It carries a man onward and upward and brings out his individual character and acts as a powerful stimulant to the efforts of others. The greatest results in life are often attained by simple means, by the exercise of the ordinary qualities of common sense and perseverance. The every-day life, with its cares, necessities and duties, affords ample opportunity for acquiring experience of the best kind and its most beaten paths provide a true worker with abundant scope for effort and self-improvement. John F. Liken, the subject of this sketch, is a well-known farmer of Gray, Iowa. He is one of the largest farmers in this section of the state and is well known throughout Audubon county.

John F. Liken was born on February 6, 1857, in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania. He is the son of Thomas and Sarah Ann (Sands) Liken, natives of Pennsylvania, and of Irish parentage. The parents of both Thomas and Sarah Ann Liken came from Ireland. Thomas Liken was born in 1815 and died in June, 1891. His wife, the mother of John F. Liken, was born in 1818 and died in 1892. Some time after their marriage, they settled in Henry county, Illinois, where they farmed from 1865 until their death. They were the parents of the following children: Mrs. Florence Huffman, of Los Angeles, California; Thomas Porter and Samuel, of Geneseo, Illinois, and John F., the subject of this sketch.

John F. Liken farmed in Henry county until 1900, residing in Geneseo, Illinois, during this period. He was the owner of five hundred acres in Henry county. He began life on his own account when he had reached his majority and was operating a great body of land. On one of his trips to Kansas, Mr. Liken was married and in 1900 came to Gray, Audubon county, where he invested in fourteen hundred and thirty acres of land in Cameron and Lincoln townships. The land was all in one tract and contained five sets of buildings. In 1910 Mr. Liken moved to Gray from his farm home in Cameron township. He has sold two hundred acres recently, but still has twelve hundred and forty acres.

Mr. Liken is one of the most extensive breeders and raisers of cattle and hogs in this section of Iowa. His annual output of cattle numbers approximately one hundred and fifty and he raises and sells each year more than three hundred head of hogs. Mr. Liken has a nice home in Gray and is one of the most highly-respected citizens of Audubon county.

John F. Liken was married on December 9, 1880, in Kansas, to Mary Brush, who was born in Johnson county, Iowa, November 27, 1856. She is the daughter of Baptist and Mary (Spratley) Brush, natives of Pennsylvania, who were early settlers in Johnson county, Iowa. They were married in Burlington, Iowa, in 1874 and, subsequently, moved to Harvey county, Kansas. Baptist Brush was born in 1828 and died on March 2, 1912. His wife, Mary Brush, the mother of Mrs. Liken, was born in 1828 and died in 1898.

John F. Liken has always been identified with the Republican party but he has never been active as a partisan and has never cared to hold political office. Mr. and Mrs. Liken and their family attend the Presbyterian church. Mr. Liken is a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons at Geneseo, Illinois. He is a member of the Knights Templar at Rock Island, Illinois, and also of the Kaaba Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Davenport, Iowa. Mr. Liken is vice-president of the Farmers Savings Bank at Gray and has been very prominent in this business since moving to this place.

Mr. and Mrs. Liken have two sons. Thomas Franklin, born on August 5, 1883, who married Iva King and has two children, Gladys and Llovd; and John Marvin, born on March 15, 1894.

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. 422-424.
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