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. 273-74.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  George A. Dalziel

George A. Dalziel, a prominent and influential citizen of Buena Vista county, resides on his neat and well improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 35, Nokomis township, in the cultivation of which he is successfully engaged.  He likewise has a tract of eighty acres in Washington township and a highly improved farm of two hundred and forty acres in Cherokee county.  Moreover, he is numbered among the pioneer settlers of the county, the year of his arrival being 1875.  His birth occured [sic] in Penobscot county, Maine, January 13, 1850.  His educational advantages in early life were very limited but through reading, observation and experience he has become a well informed man.  When eighteen years of age he made the journey westward to Illinois, locating in Rutland, La Salle county, where he operated a farm until 1874.  In that year he removed to Buena Vista county with a mule team and purchased the farm on which he now resides.  The following year he located thereon and gradually converted the raw land into rich and productive fields, fenced the property and erected a small house.  Later, however, he built a commodious and substantial residence, four good barns, windpumps [sic], feedmills [sic] and all necessary outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock.  Subsequently he bought an eighty-acre farm in Washington township, and later was given a farm in Cherokee county by his father-in-law.  Mr. Dalziel was the principal promoter and organizer of the Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company of Buena Vista county in 1887, since which time he has continuously served as its secretary.  For the past fifteen years he has devoted his time and attention to the interests of the company, which carries risks amounting to three million dollars.  He is likewise a stockholder in the city heating plant and the opera house, having been interested in the erection of the latter.  Few men are more prominent or more widely known in Buena Vista county than Mr. Dalziel.  He has been an important factor in business circles and his prosperity is well deserved, as in him are embraced the characteristics of an unbending integrity, unabating energy and industry that never flags.  He is public-spirited, giving his cooperation to every movement which tends to promote the moral, intellectual and material welfare of the community.


On the 26th of February, 1880, occurred the marriage of Mr. Dalziel and Miss Mary E. Shaffer, a native of Macon county, Illinois, and a daughter of George Shaffer, who came to this county in 1875.  Mrs. Dalziel, who was at that time thirteen years of age, accompanied her parents on this removal.  Unto our subject and his wife has been born one son, Frank Ira Dalziel, who operates the home farm and also keeps about forty head of Hereford cattle.


In his political affiliation Mr. Dalziel is a supporter of the labor party, voting for the man whom he believes best qualified for office.  He is now past grand of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has served through the chairs, having joined the fraternity at Alta.  The Knights of Pythias lodge at Alta also numbers him among its worthy exemplars.


When he first arrived in this county Mr. Dalziel found Storm Lake but a crossroads village containing one store, and Alta also boasted but one mercantile establishment.  During the first year of his residence here he went to Storm Lake and purchased every pound of meat to be had in the town.  There was not a pound to be bought in Alta.  In the third of a century which has since elapsed he has been an interested witness of and also an active participant in the work of development that has transformed this part of the state from a pioneer region into a thickly populated district, in which all the evidences of our modern civilization abound.