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Ingham, Harry


Posted By: mjv (email)
Date: 10/30/2020 at 12:58:08

Harry Ingham is a prosperous farmer residing on section 26, Clay Township. He was born in Onondaga County, N. Y., Oct. 31, 1821, and is the son of John and Sarah (Dresser) Ingham, both of whom were natives of Massachusetts. The genealogy of this family can be traced back to a period to the Revolutionary War, when there lived two brothers, John and Samuel Ingham. From these two brothers have sprung all the Inghams of the present day.

John Ingham, the father of our subject, married Miss Sarah Dresser, and reared a family of twelve children, of whom there are four brothers now living: Harry, the subject of this sketch; Joseph, a farmer in Grundy County, Iowa, and John and James, twins. John is now making his home with his son Marcus Ingham, in Brighton Township; James resides in Flushing, Mich., on the Flint River. The family resided in New York, and there engaged in farming until 1839. John Ingham was quite a mechanic. Having invented a rotary steam engine, a firm in Alton, Ill., wrote him in regard to it, and after some correspondence ordered one built for their use. Mr. Ingham had the engine built, and started with it to Alton, Ill., intending to give it his personal attention until the firm was satisfied. On arriving at Alton he found the firm had become bankrupt, and therefore had to make other disposal of the engine. Taking a steamer he came up the Mississippi River, and visited Washington County, Iowa, and being well pleased with the country purchased a claim of 240 acres of land on section 13, Clay Township. He then returned to New York, sold his farm, and came with his family and settled upon his claim in Clay Township. Upon this farm he remained until 1848. Mrs. Ingham having died, he sold that farm and went to Peoria, Ill., with the intention of making that his home. On his arrival there some of the family were taken sick, which made them somewhat dissatisfied, and after their recovery he again returned to Washington County, and purchased 160 acres of land, and there remained until his death, which occurred in 1860. John Ingham was a man of more than ordinary ability, and had great mechanical skill. In early life he learned the trade of a weaver, and for some years was engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods in New York. He and his estimable wife were both members of the Congregational Church.

Harry Ingham came to Washington County, Iowa, in 1839, in the company with his parents, and has since made this his home, and is therefore one of the oldest settlers now living in Washington County. He was united in marriage, Dec. 8, 1845, with Miss Elizabeth Russell, a native of Anderson County, Tenn., born Nov. 6, 1819, and a daughter of William and Mary (Galbraith) Russell, who were natives of Virginia. Her mother died when she was quite young, and her father some years after. Mr. and Mrs. Ingham have two children Baxter, born Sept. 4, 1848, and John Robert, born Nov. 2, 1854. The latter was united in marriage, Feb. 10, 1887, with Miss Mary Jones, of Des Moines County. She was born July, 13, 1856.

The life work of the subject of this sketch is but another illustration of what can be done by one who has a will and determination to do. Commencing life without a dollar, he has by industry and economy acquired a fine property, and is now numbered among the most prosperous men of Washington County. In 1848, after he had been married about two years, he purchased his first forty acres of land, going in debt for the same. It was but a little while before he had paid the debt, and from time to time he added to the original forty until now he is the owner of 280 acres of as fine land as can be found in Washington County. On the farm is a fine brick residence, a large and well-built barn, and such out-buildings as are necessary to carry on the business of general farming and stock-raising. For about twenty years he has been turning his attention to the grading of his stock, and has as fine a grade of horses as can be found in the county. He has now turned the active management of the farm over to his two sons, and is living what may be termed a retired life, although from his nature it is impossible for him to abstain from work. Mr. and Mrs. Ingham are members of the Congregational Church of Brighton, and in all Church work they show a willingness to do their part. Politically, he is a Republican of the true blue type. Among the men who are highly esteemed citizens of Washington County, none stand higher than Harry Ingham.

Source: Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington County, Iowa (1887). Excerpt from Biographical Sketch of Harry Ingham, pages 560-561.


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