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. 324-25.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  E. J. Edwards

Examination into the life record of E. J. Edwards brings to light the fact that there has been no esoteric phase in his career, but that his methods have always been such as will bear the closest investigation and scrutiny.  He has wrought along modern business lines, his work characterized by unflagging industry and perseverance.  He has been a factor in mercantile life in Alta for fifteen years, and he dates his residence in this county from 1882.  A native of Livingston county, Illinois, he was born August 13, 1871, and is a son of Charles H. and Helen (Colver) Edwards, who were married in Bureau county, Illinois. The father was born in Ohio in 1844, but in early boyhood went to Bureau county, where he was reared.  His wife was a native of Princeton and a daughter of one of the first settlers of the county, who secured an old homestead claim at Arlington following his marriage.


Charles H. Edwards carried on farming in Livingston and Bureau counties, Illinois, for a number of years, and two children were born prior to the removal of the family from that state to Iowa in 1882.  Here Mr. Edwards purchased a farm in Nokomis township, Buena Vista county, where he carried on general agricultural pursuits, and reared his family.  He was for many years numbered among the substantial and valued citizens of this community but since 1903 has made his home in Los Angeles, California.  As the years went by he purchased more land from time to time until he became the owner of a half section, constituting a well improved farm.  This he cultivated until l891 when he put aside the work of the fields and removed to Alta, where he built a residence property, which he occupied until his removal to California.  He was of a mechanical turn of mind and invented a self-feeder for a threshing-machine, but later sold his patent.  He now owns property in Los Angeles, where he and his wife are comfortably situated.  They were active and prominent members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Alta, and they left behind them many warm friends in this community when they removed to the sunny south.


E. J. Edwards was reared in Buena Vista county and was educated in the public schools, being graduated from the high school of Alta, and later from the State Normal.  He was a teacher here for one winter, after which he purchased an interest in the implement and machinery business, while subsequently he extended the scope of his undertakings by adding a line of hardware.  He now carries both shelf and heavy hardware, and he was also at one time engaged in the coal business.  He likewise conducted a dry-goods and grocery store but although he has sold his interests in those lines, he still retains his hardware and machinery business.  What he undertakes he carries forward to successful completion and his energy enables him to overcome all the obstacles and difficulties in his path.


On the 19th of November, 1897, Mr. Edwards was married to Miss Lizzie H. Parker, a daughter of Samuel Parker, a prominent business man and farmer of Alta.  Mrs. Edwards was born and reared in this county and by her marriage has become the mother of two children, Fay Marguerite and Mildred Parker.


In his political views Mr. Edwards is a stalwart republican. He has always been a temperance man and his influence is given in behalf of that cause.  He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he is serving as a trustee, and his wife is fully in sympathy with him in this work, for she, too, is enrolled among the members of that church.  High and honorable principles have actuated his life and shaped his conduct in all his relations to his fellowmen.  During the quarter of a century in which he has lived in Buena Vista county he has enjoyed the esteem and friendship of the majority of those with whom he has been associated.