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NATHAN ANDA ROBERTSON

ROBERTSON, LESENEY, STREEPEY

Posted By: Mona Sarratt Knight (email)
Date: 8/1/2009 at 20:27:47

SOURCE: BIOGRAPHIES AND PORTRAITS OF PROGRESSIVE MEN OF IOWA, LEADERS IN BUSINESS, POLITICS AND THE PROFESSIONS, TOGETHER WITH AN ORIGINAL AND AUTHENTIC HISTORY OF THE STATE BY EX-LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR B. F. CUE; Des Moines, Conaway & Shaw Publishers, 1899.

ROBERTSON, Nathan Andra, a prominent banker and business man of Promise City, Iowa, and one whose name justly belongs among the progressive men of Iowa, was born on a farm one mile west of Cincinnati, Iowa, in 1855. His father was Moses C. Robertson, a farmer in comfortable circumstances, who emigrated to Iowa from Indiana in 1851, and settled in Appanoose county near Cincinnati, entering 600 acres of government land, which still belongs in the family. His mother's maiden name was Streepey, and her father, Edward Streepey, also came to Iowa from Indiana, in 1850, and located in Appanoose county. At this time Iowa was one vast prairie, only dotted here and there with a few log cabins. Mr. Robertson's education was received in the district school and in the Cincinnati high school. At the age of 19 he, like a great many other boys, got the gold fever and started west to make his fortune, landing in Colorado and Nevada among the mines; but he found that a boy or man with small means stood no better show there than elsewhere. He managed, however, to pick up a few dollars, and after one year came back home and concluded that Iowa was good enough for any one with good hands and brains, who was willing to use them. By this time the railroad had reached Cincinnati, and Mr. Robertson began buying and shipping stock and grain, following this business for two years until the M.I.&N. railroad pushed on west from Centerville. He then believed Wayne county to be one of the best grain and stock counties in the state and began to cast about for a new location and decided upon Promise City, locating there in August 1879, a few days ahead of the railroad. Time proved that his judgment was good. There was plenty of grain and stock to handle, and he located buyers at all of the stations west on this road to Humeston, and by careful management succeeded in accumulating considerable money. In 1885, the business of the town had so grown that he concluded to open a small bank as an experiment, scarcely expecting that it would pay. He opened it as the Exchange Bank of Promise City, with a capital of $15,000. This he soon found unable to do the business, and the capital was increased to $25,000, and later in 1895 the bank was reorganized and incorporated as the Farmers State Bank of Promise City, with a capital of $25,000 and a surplus of $10,000. In 1892 Cincinnati, his old home, had grown so that he concluded it would be a good place for a bank, and accordingly in July 1893, he opened the Farmers and Merchants bank at that place, with himself as president and J.V. Leseney as cashier, with a paid-up capital of $25,000. The secret of his success has been in his push and energy and in unhesitatingly taking advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves to him. In politics he has always been a republican. He married in 1875 to Emma Leseney at Cincinnati, Iowa. To them have been born nine children: Raleigh L., Guy C., James Blaine, Nathan Ray, Rex Wayne, Cecil M., Lela J., Addie Mabel and Pansy Independence.


 

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