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P.F. Sturgis, 1830-1903


Posted By: Constance, IAGenWeb Volunteer
Date: 6/13/2021 at 18:12:15

The Argo
West Union, Fayette Co., Iowa
February 11, 1903
Page 4, column 2


P.F. Sturgis died at his rooms in this city Monday morning after and illness of two or three weeks. His death was due to blood poisoning as the result of boils or carbuncles. Funeral services will be held from his rooms this afternoon at one o'clock. The H.A.L. Club will have charge, and Rev. Rice, who is a member of the Club will make a few remarks. The pall bearers will be L. Dutton, Wm Heiserman, J.S. Sampson, Chas. Woodard, Jas. F. Smith and Wm. Colby all of whom are old residents here, coming to the county about the same time or before Mr. Sturgis did. Members of the H.A.L. acted as honorary pall bearers, also. Following the services the remains were laid at rest beside those of his wife in the city on the hill. Mr. Sturgis is survived by two sons, Henry Clay and Lew I., the latter of whom is postmaster at Oelwein.

Phineas F. Sturgis was born in Fayette county, Pa. on the year 1830. He received his education in the schools of his native state and attended Jefferson College at Cannonsburg, but did not complete the course of study in that institution.

After leaving college he engaged as a clerk in a dry goods store at Uniontown, his native state. In 1851 he came to Iowa, locating in West Union, then a village of haps seventy-five people, the county of Fayette having only been organized the previous year. Mr. Sturgis first secured employment as clerk in the dry goods store of Woodie and Brunson, but the next year formed a business partnership with Daniel Cook, which continued until the death of the latter in 1854. In 1857 he removed to Clear Lake, establishing general merchandising stores there and at Mason City. At the breaking out of the rebellion in 1861 he returned to this city and re-embarked in the general merchandising business, continuing until 1872, when he sold out. In 1873 he made extensive purchases of land in Kansas, and later on made handsome profits from an addition which he laid out adjacent to the village of Beloit.

On January 31st, 1856, Mr. Sturgis was married to Miss Rachel Irvine, of West Union. Besides the two sons mentioned above and other son and daughter were born to them but both died in infancy.

In politics Mr. Sturgis was in early life a Clay Whig, but after the breaking up of that party he assisted in organizing the Republican party of Iowa, and was active in both local an state politics for many years. Mr. Sturgis was elected a member of the Tenth General Assembly in 1863, and at the close of his term declined a re-election. In 1876 he was appointed by governor Kirkwood as a trustee of the College for the Blind at Vinton, which position hw filled for four years. He declined a re-appointment. In 1880 he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Chicago, where, after a memorable six days' struggle James A. Garfield was selected as a compromise candidate for President and James G. Blaine, the "Plumed Knight," went to defeat.

Mr. Sturgis was a wide reader, being especially fond of ancient and modern history and biography, in fact, locally he was considered authority on these subjects. His private library was a very fine one. Mr. Sturgis was a man of strong and positive convictions and was a firm friend and a cordial and uncompromising hater. His later years were embittered by financial reverses and other troubles, and bits of sunshine that drifted across his pathway in the last few years were none too many.


Fayette Obituaries maintained by Constance Diamond.
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