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Posted By: Jean Kramer (email)
Date: 1/3/2004 at 17:31:51

Biography reproduced from page 210 of Volume II of the History of Kossuth County written by Benjamin F. Reed and published in 1913:

J. James Maricle is a retired farmer living at Whittemore, Kossuth county, Iowa. He was born in Tompkins county, New York, March 14, 1835, and is a son of Elias and Ruth (Payne) Maricle. The ancestry of Elias Maricle goes back to the early days of the settlement of New York, and that of his wife, Mrs. Ruth Maricle, to the early pioneers of Rhode Island. Mr. Maricle, a mason by trade, owned and operated a farm in Tompkins county, New York, on which he lived until the day of his death in 1892 at the age of eighty-three, his wife having died in 1845.

J. James Maricle was reared at home and educated in the common schools of Tompkins county. He remained with his father on the farm until he was twenty years of age. At that time, bidding adieu to the old home and for a time to his father, he emigrated to Wisconsin, settling in Brown county, where he was employed at an annual salary as a farm hand and continued in this occupation for a period of seven years. At the age of twenty-seven he followed the bugle call to arms, and, being a true son of New York, the Empire state where the Revolutionary fire of ’76 kindled, he naturally came to the defense of the flag and enlisted in Company A, Thirty-second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, for three years or during the war. It was the good fortune of his company to follow the command of Sherman and he was one of the men who made that historic march to the sea. In 1865 he was wounded in battle and after a considerable period spent in the hospital he was again restored to health and to the ranks in his company. The injury from which he suffered was a knee wound of a most aggravated form but it rapidly healed after the bullet had been extracted, and our loyal soldier was once more ready to battle for the salvation of his country. The bullet which had temporarily disabled him is still in his possession and is a cherished memento—a relic of the days of conflict. At the close of the war he received an honorable discharge and was mustered out of the service. What could be more natural than thoughts of home at such a time? It was the memories of his boyhood, his long absence from his father and the sights and scenes of his early life which led him at the close of the war back to New York state on a visit to his father. Here he remained for some time and then returned to Wisconsin in 1866, where he was employed as a farm hand by Fred Wilson, now a resident of Algona, Iowa. In the latter part of 1866 he purchased a team and for one year was employed by one of the lumber companies of Wisconsin in their lumber camps. In 1867 he and Fred Wilson, each owning his own team, started to drive across the country, their objective point being Kossuth county, Iowa. On reaching Algona they found that only one horse of each team was of any further use for service, and these accordingly were used together, constituting one good team from two broken spans, and with them Mr. Wilson engaged in team work in and about Algona and Mr. Maricle again resorted to his reliable occupation as a farm hand. The period immediately following the war will ever be remembered in American history as one of poor crops and high prices, and among no class of our people was the burden of hard times felt more keenly than among our struggling pioneers. This period occurred at exactly the time when the subject of our biography, with his friend Wilson, made his initial start in this county. Flour was nine dollars were hundredweight and corn meal the same price. But in spite of the forbidding cost of the necessities of life, there was one open door always before the man who understood the secret of producing crops from the land. Our subject was trained and experienced in this occupation and, having faith in himself and the future, he rented a farm near Algona for a period of two years, at the end of which time he purchased land in Algona, on which he built his home, and for the two succeeding years he was engaged in breaking prairie, using three oxen which he purchased for this purpose. This county, as well as the entire state of Iowa, was then entering upon an unusual period of prosperity. Emigration had come at the close of the war and with the return of the old soldiers, everything began to indicate a time opportune for success in commercial as well as agricultural lines. In 1870 we find the Milwaukee & St. Paul road just being constructed and their extreme western limit for this part of the state was just entering Algona. Mr. Maricle found ready employment at a good wage for the service of himself and his team in the construction work of the railroad. He accordingly entered into a contract with the railroad company and for a period continued in that work to his financial advantage. He sold his home in Algona, made a government entry on a fractional forty under the homestead laws and moved upon this farm, on which he lived for a period of two years. Having greatly improved the place in the meantime, he was able to sell, and did so at a very handsome profit. He now returned to Wisconsin, where he worked in the pineries for the succeeding two years. Subsequently he spent a year in Minnesota and then returned to Algona, Iowa, where he rented a farm of his former associate, Fred Wilson, operating the same for a period of four years. On the expiration of that time he was elected superintendent of the poor farm of Kossuth county, in which position he remained for four years, when he purchased eighty acres in Whittemore township, for which he paid one thousand dollars, and on this farm he lived for twenty-two years. They were years of prosperity with which his frugality and industry kept even pace. The land under his hand increased in price rapidly and he was able to sell this property for the handsome sum of six thousand dollars cash. What was better than Iowa land for a man who knew what it was and how to improve it? On selling his eighty he immediately purchased another tract of similar size north of Whittemore, paying eight thousand dollars for the same. On this farm he lived for only the short period of eight months and then sold the place for nine thousand dollars, giving him the handsome profit of one thousand dollars above the purchase price. He then moved to Whittemore as a retired farmer, where he has established his home and still resides.

In March, 1867, Mr. Maricle was married to Miss Emily Thompson, of Brown county, Wisconsin, by whom he had six children, as follows: William Henry, who is proprietor of a hotel at Armstrong, Iowa; Alfred J., a barber at Woodburn, Oregon; Albert, of Woodburn, Oregon, who is also a barber by trade; Mary, who have her hand in marriage to A. F. Palmer, of Algona, and passed away on the 15th of April, 1903, when twenty-nine years of age; Edward, who resides at Woodburn, Oregon; and Jennie, whose demise occurred on the 8th of February, 1911. The last named was the wife of George Schumacher, an agriculturist of Whittemore township. After an illness of fourteen months Mrs. Emily Maricle, the mother of this family, died from the effects of an operation January 8, 1909. Her parents were William and Frances (Kinney) Thompson, the former a native of Scotland and the latter of France. They emigrated to this country when they were young people and settled on a farm near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Later Mr. Thompson filed on a government homestead in Brown county, Wisconsin, on which he moved and where he continued to live until his death, which occurred on the 22d of March, 1890. His wife also passed away on the home farm in Brown county, her demise occurring on the 31st of January, 1899. In politics Mr. Maricle is a stanch republican. He belongs to the G. A. R. post of Algona, Iowa, and is a devoted communicant of the Catholic church.


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