Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909.

Transcribed by Mary Alice Schwanke and Cyndi Vertrees

Biography of  Frank N. Buckingham

Hon. Frank N. Buckingham, who in 1904 represented Buena Vista county in the state legislature, is a public-spirited man, doing all in his power for the betterment of his community and the country at large. He is also one of the successful farmers and stock-raisers of Elk township, owning three hundred acres of land on section 34 and sections 2 and 3, Nokomis township. He was born in De Kalb county, Illinois, March 26, 1857, a son of A. W. Buckingham, who was born in Essex, Connecticut, whence he accompanied his father, Nathan Buckingham, on his removal from that state to De Kalb county. He located on a farm near Somonauk and there the son grew to mature years. He was married to Miss Mary Zerlina Cheever, a native of Hartwick, New York. A. W. Buckingham spent the remainder of his life in De Kalb county, Illinois, and passed away October 9, 1900. His wife still survives and now makes her home with her children.

Frank N. Buckingham is the only son of the family, his sister being Jennie E., the wife of Watts A. Johnson, an attorney of Princeton, Illinois. The son was reared in his native county and when starting out in life on his own account he clerked in a store for three years at Somonauk and the last year acted as manager of the enterprise. He was married there December 28, 1880, to Miss Olive Philpott, who was likewise a native of that county.

Following their marriage the young couple began their domestic life upon a farm which Mr. Buckingham rented for two years. While in Illinois he bought ninety acres in Iowa county, Iowa, which he later sold, and then came to Buena Vista county, where he has since lived. His first purchase consisted of two hundred and forty acres. There was not a fence on the place and only a crude dwelling when he took possession but in due course of time he transformed this into a cultivated tract, improved with good buildings. He has built a fine country residence, has one of the largest barns in the county and also has many substantial outbuildings upon the place, while a wind pump forces an ample supply of water to various parts of the place for the stock and for household use. He has since added to his original purchase until the place now embraces three hundred acres, all in one body, on section 34, Elk township and sections 2 and 3, Nokomis township. With its many buildings and appointments the place presents quite the appearance of a little village. Mr. Buckingham gives his time to general farming and to stock-raising, feeding about four carloads of cattle and the same amount of hogs for the market each year. Mr. Buckingham also finds time for outside interests and assisted in organizing the Fair Association, of which he is a director, and he is also a stockholder and director in the opera house at Alta.

A stanch supporter of the republican party, he was in 1904 elected a member of the legislature in which he served two sessions, being on the committees of ways and means, pharmacy, municipal corporations, fish and game, mines and mining, and in this connection he gained distinction and honor not only for himself but for the state whose interests he was serving. He considers his greatest work in the legislature was as a member of the drainage committee in connection with R. M. Wright, of Fort Dodge, and O. B. Courtwright, of Waterloo. Up to this time the state had no drainage laws, and Mr. Buckingham was sent to Illinois to investigate the subject, it being largely through his labors and efforts that the law passed both houses. He has also filled the offices of township clerk and assessor and for a number of years has been president of the school board. His entire political service has been in the interest of the people and he has won their confidence and high regard. He has served them faithfully in the past in every capacity and this is the best recommendation any man can have for future claims.

Mr. Buckingham's family numbers three children: Cora, a young lady at home; Jay A., who is married and operates one of his father's farms; and Almus W., at home. Mr. Buckingham belongs to the Knights of Pythias at Alta and is also an Odd Fellow and a Mason.