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, p. 496-99.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Ira E. Canon

Ira E. Canon is a progressive and enterprising agriculturist, owning and operating three hundred and twenty acres of land situated on sections 27 and 28, Hayes township, on which he has made his home since 1887.  He is a native of Illinois, born in Jo Daviess county, September 12, 1855, a son of James Canon, a native of the Keystone state, born in 1828.  He ran away from home in 1844, when a youth of sixteen years, and made his way to Galena, Illinois.  He was married in Jo Daviess county to Miss Catherine Deeds, who was a native of Iowa.  He followed farming in that county for one year after his marriage and in the fall of 1855 removed to Sauk county, Wisconsin, and preempted eighty acres of land from the government.  The place was covered with timber and Mr. Cannon cleared and developed the land, later adding to his original possessions until he became the owner of two hundred and forty acres.  His business interests, however, were interrupted during the Civil war, for in 1863 he joined Company A, Thirty-sixth Wisconsin Infantry, of which he became sergeant.  He was taken prisoner at the Weldon Railroad engagement and spent some time in Libby, Salisbury and Belle Isle prisons.  After eight month's confinement he was paroled and sent to Washington, receiving his discharge papers at .Madison, Wisconsin. He then resumed farming pursuits in Wisconsin and spent his remaining days in that state, passing away in February, 1906, when he had reached the advanced age of seventy-eight years.  His widow still survives.


Ira E. Canon was taken from his native state of Illinois to Wisconsin in his infancy.  As soon as old enough to handle the plow he was put to work in the fields and from that time until he was twenty-four years of age he assisted his father in the operation of the home place.  His educational advantages were somewhat limited, for his services were needed on the farm, so that his education has been largely acquired through experience, reading and observation since he reached mature years.  It was while residing in Sauk county, Wisconsin, that Mr. Canon was married to Miss Clara Kester, their wedding being celebrated in 1879.  The mother and an infant son died in 1883 and she left one daughter, Ruby, who was reared by an aunt, and who now makes her home in Ladysmith. Wisconsin.


In 1887 Mr. Canon made the overland journey to Buena Vista county, bringing with him some cattle.  He located on land which his father had purchased and which was but partially improved.  He also purchased an eighty acre tract and gave his time to the development and improvement of the two farms, living for several years on the one belonging to his father.  He eventually located on his own farm to which he has added from time to time until the place now embraces three hundred and twenty acres, located on sections 27 and 28, Hayes township.  He has built a modern dwelling supplied with hot and cold water, heated by furnace, and containing all modern conveniences such as are found in the city home.  He has also erected substantial outbuildings, has laid ten thousand tile, built substantial fences and made the place a valuable property, unexcelled by any tract in this locality.  Mr. Canon gives much of his time to stock-raising, feeding from one to four carloads of hogs and cattle each year.  He has ever followed the most practical methods in carrying on his work and is meeting with a gratifying measure of success.


After coming to Iowa Mr. Canon was married a second time, this union being with Barbara Fultz, their wedding being celebrated in August, 1892.  Mrs. Canon was born in Allamakee county, this state, and engaged in teaching prior to her marriage.  She is the mother of two children, Essel and Cassie.


Politically Mr. Canon is a republican, casting his first presidential ballot for Rutherford B. Hayes, and he has supported every candidate of the party since that time, 1876.  He has served as township trustee and as a member of the school board, of which he has been treasurer the past two years.  He is a Mason, belonging to the blue lodge and chapter at Storm Lake and he is also identified with the Modern Woodmen of America.  Progress is the keynote of Mr. Canon's success. He has not been slow to adopt methods which he believes will achieve results in his farm work and today he is numbered among the substantial citizens of Buena Vista county.  In his relations with his fellowmen and in his treatment of his neighbor he never loses sight of the golden rule and all with whom he comes in contact have for him high regard.