IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


It is generally considered by those in the habit of superficial thinking, that the history of so-called great men only is worthy of preservation, and that little merit exists among the masses to call forth the praises of the historian, or the appreciation and plaudits of mankind. A greater mistake never was made. No man is great in all things. Many, by a lucky stroke, achieve lasting fame, who before that had no reputation beyond the limits of their immediate neighborhood. It is not a history of a lucky stroke which benefits humanity most, but the long, steady effort which made the lucky stroke possible. It is the preliminary work, the method, which serves as a guide to the success of others. One of the citizens of Audubon county, Iowa, who has achieved success by conscientious and persistent effort, is George W. Preston, the well-known merchant of Audubon.

George W. Preston was born on March 12, i860, at Atalissa. Muscatine county, Iowa, the son of Charles N. and Mary (Worrall) Preston, natives of New York and Iowa, respectively. Charles N. Preston, the father of George W., was an early settler in Iowa, emigrating to this state in 1854, and was a harness maker by trade. In 1870 he moved to Villisca, in Montgomery county, Iowa, where he operated a grocery store for some years, and died there in 1908. George W. Preston's mother died in 1865, when he was but five years of age. He was one of three children, the others being Willard, deceased, and William, a farmer in northern Iowa. Willard and William were twins. Charles M. Preston was a member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

George W. Preston was a resident of Villisca, Montgomery county, until thirty-one years of age. He was educated in the public schools of that place and assisted his father in his business for three years. Mr. Preston came to Audubon in March, 1891, and here established a grocery. In June, 1894, he moved to his present location, where he has a large room twenty-five by eighty-five feet, and a basement. He carries a complete stock of standard groceries and has a large trade in Audubon and vicinity; he employs three assistants in his store, which is one of the best of its kind in the county.

George W. Preston was married on September 13, 1883, to Lucinda C. Spargur, of Villisca, the daughter of Henry W. Spargur, and to this union ten children have been born: Donald J., who is assisting his father in the store; John A. and Edwin Lee. also assisting their father in the store; Mary E., the wife of D. C. Bell, of Anita, Iowa; Ruth, living at home with her parents, is a graduate of the Audubon high school; Henry, Helen and George, Jr., are students in the high school; Harold and Louwene are living at home.

Mr. Preston is a Republican, but his large business interests have prevented his taking a very active part in political matters. He and his family are earnest and devoted members of the Presbyterian church, in which they take an active interest, and to the support of which they are liberal contributors. George W. Preston is popular in Audubon among all classes of people. He is a man of genial manner, courteous, affable and sincere in his dealings with men, and naturally, he is a man who is well liked. Mr. Preston is a member of the blue lodge, chapter and commandery at Audubon; also of Amity chapter, Godfrey commandery, Za-ga-zig temple, Mystic Shrine, at Des Moines.

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. 427-429.
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