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. 422-27.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  L. A. Clemons

L. A. Clemons has resided in Buena Vista county since the time of its earliest settlement, being numbered among its worthy pioneers.  He owns and operates a farm of eighty-five acres, situated on section 6, Hayes township, and also has one hundred and fifteen acres on section 5, which he rents.  Mr. Clemons was born in Licking county, Ohio, January 6, 1839, a son of William R. Clemons, who was likewise a native of Licking county, born in 1815, and was a son of William Clemons, whose birth occurred in Connecticut.  The latter removed to Ohio in 1806 with a colony that went from Connecticut.  William R. Clemons grew to manhood in Licking county, Ohio, and was married to Miss Jane Alexander, who was reared in the same neighborhood and was educated in the same school.  In 1859 they made their way to Mahaska county, Iowa, and, opening up a new farm, made their home there until 1880, when they removed to Alta, Buena Vista county.  But after spending a brief period in that village took up their abode on a farm adjoining that of their son, L. A.  The father died July 9, 1893, from injuries received in a cyclone which passed through this section of the state, and the mother passed away in 1906.


L. A. Clemons was reared and educated in the Buckeye state, his early education, acquired in the common schools, being supplemented by study in an academy.  In 1859 he removed with his parents to Mahaska county, this state, and later spent a time in Marion county.  In 1868 he came to Buena Vista county and purchased land, and in the following spring made a permanent location here.  He broke the sod with ox-teams, divided the land into fields of convenient size by fences, and built a sod house in which the family made their home for a year, or until Mr. Clemons could give his time to the building of a better residence.  He then replaced this pioneer home by a frame house, which was built in 1875.  Mr. Clemons improved his place with good and substantial outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock, planted twenty acres of land to fruit, putting out a large apple orchard and a variety of small fruit and made the place a model farm property.  He has been for ten years engaged in raising and breeding Poland China hogs.


Mr. Clemons was married in Licking county, Ohio, November 30, 1858, to Miss Chloe M. Graves, who was a native of that county.  She engaged in teaching when fifteen years of age and taught for four terms prior to her marriage.  Her father, Claudius L. Graves, was born in Massachusetts in 1790, and was a lad of fifteen years when he accompanied his parents to Ohio, a colony of people from the old Bay state making their way to the Buckeye state in 1805.  Mr. Graves was married to Miss Electa Rose, who was likewise a member of that colony and was reared in Licking comity.  The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Clemons has been blessed with four children:  Lewis F., who follows farming near Rush City, Minnesota; Rose, the wife of Fred J. Taylor, of Storm Lake; H. K., who is a commercial traveler, making his headquarters at St. Paul, Minnesota; and Nora E., the wife of Charles Schlieff, who operates Mr. Clemons' farm.  On the 30th of November, 1908, Mr. and Mrs. Clemons celebrated their golden wedding, and while now well advanced in years they still enjoy good health.


Mr. Clemons was formerly a supporter of the republican party, having cast his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln in 1860, but in later years he has supported the men and measures of democracy.  In 1870 he was elected to fill an unexpired term in the office of county treasurer and through reelection served in this position for five years.  While thus engaged he spent four years in Sioux Rapids but when his term of office had expired he returned to the farm.  Mrs. Clemons is a charter member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Storm Lake.  Mr. Clemons has in his possession a gold-headed ebony cane, which was presented to his father on his fiftieth wedding anniversary and which the son prizes very highly.  Coming to Buena Vista county during the history of its pioneer development, he has, through his patience, energy and wise foresight, made for himself a good home and has assisted in making this community one of general prosperity, and now in the evening of his days he can look back over a life well spent and enjoy the many advantages and conveniences which are found in this locality and which have been made possible largely through the efforts of such men as Mr. Clemons.