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. 327-28.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  Ira J. Frownfelter

Ira J. Frownfelter, successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits on section 85, Washington township, was born in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, March 25, 1855.  His father, Solomon Frownfelter, also a native of Pennsylvania, was there reared and married, the maiden name of his wife being Martha Shoman, who was likewise born in the Keystone state.  Solomon Frownfelter was a tailor by trade but later became a stonemason, which occupation he followed during his active business career.  His entire life was spent in the state of his nativity and there he reared his family of four sons and two daughters, the record of whom is as follows:  John; Ira J., of this review; Leonard, a resident of North Dakota; Luther, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Mrs. Ellen Broker, who is a widow; and Jane, the wfe [sic] of John Harlan.


Ira J. Frownfelter was reared in his native county and early became familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist, being only eight years of age when he commenced work as a farm hand by the month.  In early manhood he removed westward to Illinois, locating in Piatt county, where he was employed as a farm hand until the time of his marriage.  Subsequently he was engaged in the operation of a rented farm in Piatt county for five years and on the expiration of that period, in 1893, he came to Buena Vista county, Iowa.  After cultivating rented land for several years he purchased his present farm of eighty acres on section 35, Washington township, which under his management has become a well improved and valuable property.  He has fenced the fields, put in more than eleven thousand feet of tile and has equipped his place with all the modern accessories and conveniences that go to make up a model farming property of the twentieth century.  Moreover the success which has crowned his labors is entirely the result of his own industry and perseverance and represents the fit utilization of his business ability and sound judgment.


On the 2d of March, 1888, Mr. Frownfelter was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Armsworth, a native of Piatt county, Illinois, who was called to her final rest in September, 1900.  The two children of this union were as follows:  Harry E., who is at home with his father; and Marion, who passed away when but four months old.