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Lewis Greenleaf Hersey 1828-1903


Posted By: cheryl moonen (email)
Date: 10/23/2017 at 21:19:44

Lewis Greenleaf Hersey
Oneida Twp.
Delaware County, Iowa, USA

Lewis Greenleaf Hersey was for many years a stockman of Oneida township and the cattle king of Delaware county and was as well prominent in political circles, serving as a representative in the lower house of the state legislature and also as state senator.

He was born in Maine on the 1st of October, 1828, a son of James and Olive Hersey, both likewise natives of the Pine Tree state, where their entire lives were spent.

The subject of this review was the youngest in a family of seven children.
He was reared and educated in Maine but in 1851 he started for California, thinking, as did many others, to find there great wealth.
He remained for two years in the Golden state, after which he returned to Maine, where he lived with his parents for eight years.
There he engaged in the manufacture of shoes until 1863, when he came west and located in Oneida township, this county, devoting his time to general farming for a year.
After that he went into the stock business and so continued during the greater part of his life.
He was an authority upon everything pertaining to the raising of stock for the market and his judgment rarely failed him in buying or selling, so that he gained a gratifying income.

He was also connected for a time with a general store at Earlville and was a man of much practical wisdom and strong common sense, these qualities making him a valuable state representative and state senator.
He was elected to the former position from Delaware county in 1882; and the latter in 1875.
His fellow citizens never had occasion to regret calling him to these offices of trust and honor, as he used his influence to secure the passage of measures that proved beneficial to the state at large.

Mr. Lewis Greenleaf Hersey married Miss Mary Ann Crafts, a native of Maine, and to their union were born three children:
Lewis T. Hersey, deceased;
Nellie L. Hersey, the wife of Herbert Bush, of DeKalb, Illinois;
and James E. Hersey, a resident of Texas.

Mrs. Hersey died in 1862 and was laid to rest in her native state.

The following year Mr. Lewis Greenleaf Hersey was again married, Miss Flora O. A. Bolster becoming his wife.
She was born in Maine on the 12th of July, 1834,
a daughter of Jacob and Ruth (Daggett) Bolster, both natives of the same state, Maine.
Her parents spent their entire lives in Maine and to their union were born eight children, of whom Mrs. Hersey is the third in order of birth.
Those of the family who still survive are: Mrs. Hersey; Mrs. Hattie Sturtevant, of Maine; and Mrs. Delia Eaton, a resident of Montana.

To Mr. Lewis Greenleaf Hersey's second marriage four children were born, as follows:
Samuel Freeman Hersey, a resident of Cedar Falls and a teacher in the State Normal school at that place;
Gertrude Hersey, the wife of Albert Knowles, a business man of Chicago;
Hattie Grace Hersey, at home, who graduated from the Earlville high school and attended Iowa College at Grinnell, Iowa;
and Ruth May Hersey, the wife of W. E. Cattron, of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Mr. Lewis Greenleaf Hersey was a republican and his advice was often sought in the local councils of that party. Fraternally he be longed to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America, and his religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Congregational church.
His wife belongs to the same church and is much interested in all movements that seek the moral uplift of the community.

Mr. Lewis Greenleaf Hersey passed away on the 8th of May, 1903, and was laid to rest in the Fairview cemetery. Although his demise occurred more than a decade ago his good works live after him and his memory is held in the highest esteem.

~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 37-38.


Delaware Obituaries maintained by Constance Diamond.
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