Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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WHEELER, J.H. Vol. II. Pp. 734-35. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910


Standing high among the keen, progressive and business like agriculturists who have so ably assisted in advancing the farming interests of Cerro Gordo county is Frank S. Babcock, who until within a very short time ago owned and operated a finely improved farm of two hundred and sixty acres in sections twenty-three and twenty-six, Mason township. This estate he has recently sold, intending to become a permanent resident of Mason City. He was born in 1853 in Cortland county, New York, which was likewise the birthplace of his father, Ira J. Babcock.

When about eighteen years old Ira J. Babcock, zealous to try life in a newer country, drove across the intervening states from Cortland county, New York, to Chicago, Illinois, where he remained a short time, although he did not then decide to locate in the west. Making another trip to Illinois in 1856, he located in Freeport, Stephenson, county, where he was most successfully engaged in building and contracting until 1884. Being then well advanced in years, he retired from active pursuits and continued his residence in that city until 1884, when he came to this county, where his death occurred at the age of eighty-four, in 1902. His wife, who girlhood name was Abigail Curtiss, was born in New York state, where they were married, and she died in January, 1909, in Cerro Gordo county, aged eighty-seven years. They reared four children, as follows: Edward O., a dry goods merchant in New York city; Mrs. Alice Bigelow, of Chicago , Illinois; Mrs. Mary V. Goodhue, of Chicago; and Frank S.

Brought up and educated in Freeport, Illinois, Frank S. Babcock learned the carpenter's trade when young, and subsequently was associated with his father as a carpenter and builder. Coming to Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, in 1884, he bought land in sections thirty-five and thirty-six, in the southern part of Mason township, and after making many improvements on the farm sold it at an advantage. He subsequently bought the farm of two hundred and sixty acres referred to above, and in its management was especially successful, carrying on general farming and stock raising with most satisfactory pecuniary results.

On May 28, 1888, Mr. Babcock married, in Cerro Gordo county, Mattie B. Milligan, who was born in Winnebago county, Illinois, June 27, 1864.

Her father, James Milligan, a native of Hunterdon county, New Jersey, spent several years of his earlier life in Winnebago county, Illinois, from there coming in 1877 to Iowa. Buying land in Cerro Gordo county, he carried on farming for a while. Subsequently selling his farm, he removed to Mason City, and here lived retired until his death, March 11, 1905, at the age of seventy-eight years. He married Jane Bull, who was born in Perry county, Pennsylvania, and died in Mason City, Iowa, January 12, 1903 , aged sixty-eight years. Of the eleven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Milligan, Mrs. Babcock is the only one now residing in Cerro Gordo county, although nine of them are living, six sons being engaged in railroad work in various parts of the Union.

Mr. and Mrs. Babcock have two children, namely; Mabel, wife of George McLaury, of Mason City and who has one child, Ella McLaury; and Edward O. Politically Mr. Babcock is a steadfast supporter of the principles of the Republican party. He has been secretary of the local school board for the past fifteen years, and a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Although his parents were strict Baptists and brought him up in the same religious faith, he belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, of which Mrs. Babcock is also a member.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, January of 2014



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