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. 441-43.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  John W. Wart

Buena Vista county has few settlers whose residence here antedates that of John W. Wart, who arrived in 1869.  Almost forty years have since come and gone and no longer does one see broad tracts of unbroken and uncultivated prairie for the visitor here looks out across richly cultivated fields from which are annually garnered extensive crops of corn and other cereals.  Stock-raising, too, has become an important industry here, while the thriving cities and villages have a due proportion of commercial and industrial interests.  Mr. Wart has always borne his share in the work of agricultural development and still follows farming on section 24, Newell township.


He was born in Oswego county, New York, June 17, 1854, his parents being William and Grace (Ash) Wart, who were natives of New York.  They have but two children, the younger son, Frank, being now deceased.  The father was a son of Adam Wart, who was likewise born in the Empire state but was of Holland Dutch descent.  He devoted his life to general agricultural pursuits.

Both he and his wife lived to an advanced age and reared a family of two sons and two daughters:  Mary Ann, who was the wife of John W. Daggett; Warner; William; and Catherine, who became the wife of Hiram Fox.


Of this family William Wart was a native of New York and in early life followed the occupation of farming while later he became a merchant of Phoenix, New York.  He afterward followed boat building and boating and in 1869 he removed westward to Iowa, where he secured a homestead claim of eighty acres, which served as the nucleus round which he gathered his extensive farm, becoming eventually the owner of six hundred and forty acres of valuable and productive land.  He resided on this farm on section 24, Newell township, Buena Vista county, for nearly thirty years and, while thus connected with agricultural pursuits, he also engaged in the practice of law, and for three years engaged in general merchandising.  At the time of the Civil war he became a member of the Home Guards.  He was always interested and active in matters of public progress and cooperated in many movements that were of essential benefit in the county's development and upbuilding, serving as supervisor for a time.


William Wart married Miss Grace Ash, a daughter of John Ash, a native of England, who came to America and settled in the state of New York, where he followed the occupation of farming until his life's labors were ended in death when he had reached an advanced age.  Unto him and his wife, Mrs. Mary Ash, were born the following children:  Ambrose; John; Mary, who was the wife of John Lawton; Elizabeth, who became the wife of Peter Lawton; Grace; Susan, the deceased wife of John R. Hamill; Harriet, who became the wife of John R. Hamill after her sister's death; Jennie, the wife of Henry Redfield, of Nevada, Iowa; and William.  Of this family Grace Ash became the wife of William Wart and still survives her husband, making her home in Newell.  Mr. Wart was formerly married and had three children by the first union.  Unto his second marriage were born but two children.  At his death he was laid to rest in the Newell cemetery.


John W. Wart was reared in Oswego, New York, to the age of fourteen years and acquired his education in the schools there.  He then came to Iowa with his parents and was reared to manhood on his father's farm here so that he had broad practical experience when he started out in life on his own account.  After attaining his majority he operated his father's farm on shares and eventually purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 24, Newell township, where he has since made his home.  This is today a splendidly improved tract of land and he uses the best machinery to facilitate the work of the fields, while everything about his place is indicative of his careful supervision and practical, energetic methods.


Mr. Wart has been married twice.  He first wedded Miss Marilla Moore, a daughter of Solomon and Harriet (Perrin) Moore.  They became parents of two children:  Jennie, who died at the age of fourteen years; and Maude, living at home.  The wife and mother died in 1888 and Mr. Wart has since married Miss Annie Bishop, a daughter of Charles Bishop.  There is one child of this union, Myrtle.


Mr. Wart belongs to Royal Lodge, No. 428, A. F. & A. M., also to Newell Lodge, No. 232, I. O. O. F., the Rebekah degree of that order and the Knights of Pythias.  Politically he is a republican and for eight years has served as school director.  The cause of education has found in him a warm and stalwart friend and all matters of progressive citizenship received his endorsement and cooperation.  He desires the best interests of the community and his aid is given to many measures for the public good.  Wherever known he is held in high esteem. His good qualities always insure him high regard, confidence and good will.