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. 454-57.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  J. E. Negus

At a time when a large portion of Iowa's rich land was being developed from a wild region into good farms, J. E. Negus came to Buena Vista county and undertook the task of transforming raw prairie into richly cultivated fields, owning here two hundred acres on section 12, Nokomis township.  True, this seemed an arduous task but his attractive and well kept farm today shows that his efforts were not in vain.  Mr. Negus is a native of the state of New York, born in Onondaga county, February 2, 1843, a son of Edwin and Hannah (Effingham) Negus, both of whom were natives of the Empire state, the former of Onondaga county.  The father was a farmer by occupation and also operated a sawmill in the east until I860, in which year he removed with his family to La Salle county, Illinois.


J. E. Negus was educated in the schools of his native county and was there reared to the age of seventeen years, when he accompanied the family on their removal to Illinois.  He remained under the parental roof until the time of his marriage, which occurred on the 23d of January, 1867, when he led to the altar Miss Eliza S. Sherman, who was born near Sandwich, La Salle county, Illinois.


Following his marriage Mr. Negus made his way to Kankakee county, Illinois, and purchased one hundred and twenty acres of wild land, which he improved and on which he made his home during the succeeding ten years.  On the expiration of that period he continued his journey into Iowa and purchased his present farm of two hundred acres situated on section 12, Nokomis township.  He at once began to clear the land and prepare it for the plow and also erected a good country residence, barn and other outbuildings for the shelter of grain and stock and in due time had made it a valuable property.  Each year he gathers good crops as a result of the care and labor which he bestows upon the fields and he also gives much of his time to raising good grades of stock.  He feeds from one to two carloads of Duroc Jersey hogs each year and also a similar amount of Polled Angus cattle.  He also raises Percheron horses and finds this branch of his business not only congenial, but profitable as well.  Mr. Negus owns property in Alta and is also a stockholder in the creamery at this place.


The home of Mr. and Mrs. Negus has been blessed with four sons and two daughters, but they lost one son at the age of two years.  Those living are:  William, who married a Miss Broadstreet, and is engaged in farming in O'Brien county, Iowa; Scott, who wedded Miss Lulu Bruner, and also follows farming in Cherokee county, Iowa; Walden, who is engaged in farming in South Dakota; Hattie, the wife of Charles Warren, a farmer of Cherokee county, Iowa; and Ruth L., the wife of George Lockwood, of Larrabee, Iowa.


Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Negus has supported the candidates of the republican party, casting his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln.  He has never sought public office, preferring to devote his time to his private affairs.  He was interested in the early development and progress of Buena Vista county, reclaiming it for the uses of civilization, and this interest has never waned.  A residence of twenty-six years in the county has gained him a very wide acquaintance and no man of this section of the state is held in higher regard than is Mr. Negus.