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Eckles, James


Posted By: mjv (email)
Date: 10/30/2020 at 11:24:16

James Eckles, tile manufacturer and farmer, resides upon section 2, township 75 north, or range 8, attachment to Washington. He came to this county in 1856, and located on his present farm. He is a native of Belmont County, Ohio, born Dec. 1, 1828, and is a son of John and Catherine (Shipman) Eckles. John Eckles was a native of Belmont County, Ohio, and was born in 1801. He was one of the best and most influential citizens of that county, and took great interest in its welfare. For many years he was Justice of the Peace in his native county. Religiously, he was connected with the United Presbyterian Church, and for some years was an Elder in that body. His death occurred Oct. 14, 1875; his wife preceded him eight years, dying in 1867. Johnís grandfather, the great-grandfather of James, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and Charles Eckles, the grandfather of James, was a pioneer of Belmont County, Ohio, and was very prominent in his day.

The boyhood and youth of James Eckles were spent on a farm and in a mill. He was educated in the common schools, but obtained a very liberal education. On the 7th of April, 1852, he was united in marriage with Miss Emma Ross, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., and daughter of James and Martha A. (Watson) Ross. She is well educated, and a lady of more than ordinary intelligence and refinement. James Ross was a native of New Jersey, born in 1796 and of Welsh descent. Mr. and Mrs. Eckles are the parents of twelve children, all of whom are still living: Martha E. is now the wife of Thomas Simpson, of this county; Annie C. is now the wife of J. C. Purvis, also of this county; prior to her marriage she was engaged as a teacher in the public schools of Washington County. William T. now resides near his father, and is engaged in operating the stone quarry; Mary B. resides at home; Elizabeth also makes her home with her parents, but is at present engaged in teaching in this county; Annette is now in Elk County, Kan., engaged in teaching in the public schools; she was partially educated at Columbus Junction, Iowa. Lillie May is now the wife of M. F. Young, a farmer in Elk County, Kan.; she was a teacher in Washington County. John W. resides at home, and is engaged as an engineer in the tile factory; Rena A., Leona J., Charles C. and Robert H. are at home. Mr. and Mrs. Eckles have also ten grandchildren.

In politics, Mr. Eckles is a Republican, and is now serving as Justice of the Peace. He has also held various other township offices. Religiously, he and his wife, with several of the children, are members of the United Presbyterian Church. Mr. Eckles, in connection with J. C. Purvis, established the present tile factory in the spring of 1877, and has since been actively engaged in the manufacture of tiling. He has a good trade, the factory having a capacity of 400,000 feet of 3 inch tiling, worth $3,600. During the season he employs seven men. He also has a stone quarry, employing two men, from which he gets out a fine quality of building stone. Mr. Eckles is the owner of 155 acres of valuable land in this township. Socially, he is pleasant and agreeable at all times, and while his stay in Washington County has not been numbered the same years as many others, but few men have more real true friends than James Eckles. His wife is equally as well respected, and has a host of friends in Washington County. To her husband she has been truly a helpmeet, and to her wise counsels Mr. Eckles ascribes much of his success in life. A view of the residence and tile factory of Mr. Eckles is presented on an accompanying page.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington County, Iowa (1887). Excerpt from Biographical Sketch of James Eckles, pages 319-320. A view of the residence and tile factory of Mr. Eckles is presented on page 318.


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