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John H. Grandfield


Posted By: Ruth Groesbeck McDowell (email)
Date: 3/5/2018 at 15:14:11

From "History of Union County, Iowa - From the Earliest Historic Times to 1908" by George A. Ide

John H. Grandfield is one of the leading agriculturists and stock-raisers of Union county, carrying on business along extensive lines and by capable management winning gratifying success. His farm is situated on sections 13, 23, 24 and 25, New Hope township, and comprises seven hundred and ninety acres of rich and valuable land. It is appropriately termed the Evergreen stock farm, because of the many fine pine and cedar trees which adorn it. Its well-kept appearance and the neatness and thrift which characterize every department make it one of the attractive features of the landscape and at once indicate to the passer-by the careful supervision and progressive methods of the owner. Mr. Grandfield has lived in Union county since 1870, arriving here when a young man of seventeen years. He was born in Somersetshire, England, March 10, 1853, was educated in the common schools and then, in his eighteenth year, attracted by the opportunities of the new world, made the long voyage across the Atlantic. Coming west to Iowa, he landed at Afton, joining an uncle who was living in Union county. His financial resources were limited and rendered immediate employment a necessity. He therefore began work as a farm hand by the month and was thus employed for six years. On the expiration of that period he devoted several summers to breaking prairie and brought over fifteen hundred acres of wild land under the plow. He has thus performed much of the arduous labor incident to the development of the frontier and his work has been a valuable and essential element in the improvement of the community. At different times he has also worked by the month as a farm hand and when his energy and economy had brought him sufficient capital he purchased eighty acres where he now resides, the nucleus of his present extensive holdings. As his financial resources have increased he has added to the property from time to time, and later erected a neat, substantial residence at a cost of four thousand dollars. He has built two large barns with ample shelter in sheds and cribs for stock and grain and has set out a large grove of evergreen, including some eleven hundred cedar and pine trees, the dark green making a beautiful contrast to the lighter green shades of the deciduous trees in the summer months and standing out as a most attractive feature in the winter time, when the countryside otherwise would be barren. He has today one of the best improved farms of Union county, all due to his untiring activity, strong determination and laudable ambition. He has cement walks all around his house, cement floors in the barn and hoghouse and none of the modern improvements of a model farm of the twentieth century are here lacking. His methods of farming and the way in which he improved his place may well serve as an example for others to follow. He cultivates the cereals best adapted to the soil and climate and also raises fine stock. For some years he has been a breeder of and dealer in pure blooded Hereford cattle and now has about one hundred and fifty head of fine cattle with a pure blooded male at the head of the herd. He also raises pure blooded Chester White hogs.

In 1884, in this county, Mr. Grandfield was married to Miss Mary Jane Orr, who was born in Ireland but was reared in Iowa. They now have three sons: Walter C., Clark C. and Roy J., all of whom are yet under the parental roof. The parents are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church and their many excellent traits of heart and mind have gained for them the esteem, confidence and warm friendship of many of those with whom they have been brought in contact. Politically Mr. Grandfield is a republican and has served as township trustee. He has been officially identified with the schools, and for years has served as president of the board and is now its treasurer. He belongs to Lorimor Lodge, I. O. O. F., in which he has filled all of the chairs and is a past grand. He is. also a member of the Modern Woodmen Camp. He has a wide acquaintance in Creston, in Afton and throughout the county and is recognized as a man of sterling character, whose life has been actuated by laudable ambition and high principles. He has made a splendid record since coming as a young man to the new world. He realized that in America labor is king and that while man is not handicapped by caste or class he must achieve his success by persistent, honorable effort. This Mr. Grandfield has done and his record is a most creditable one.

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