IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

John E. Stalnaker

When it is stated that this well-known and highly esteemed citizen was born in Lodomillo township on the 2d of April, 1853, the incidental information that transpires is that he is assuredly a representative of one of the pioneer families of Clayton county. This is a distinction in which he may well take pride, but through his own volition and ability he has done much to confer new honors on the name which he bears and the county that has ever been his home. In this section of the state of Iowa it is safe to say that no member of the pedagogic profession has labored more earnestly and effectively or gained more secure vantage-place in popular confidence and esteem. Further than this there are few teachers in the Hawkeye commonwealth who can claim a record of so prolonged service as can Mr. Stalnaker, who in a period of forty-three years has missed but one term of teaching consecutively in the public schools, his native county having been the stage of his successful endeavors during all these years, and his angle of benignant influence being one that continues to broaden in value through the lives and services of those upon whom it has been impressed. Mr. Stalnaker has at the present time, in the summer of 1916, the remarkable record of having taught one hundred and twenty-two terms of school, and continuously since 1908 he has been the executive and academic head of the school in district No.5, Lodomillo township, where his continued tenure of the position virtually is contingent only upon his personal willingness to serve. In addition to his work as a teacher, Mr. Stalnaker is likewise an effective exponent of agricultural and livestock industry in his native county, and he resides upon his well improved farmstead of one hundred and twenty-five acres, in section 17, Lodomillo township, this property having been purchased by him in 1894. He has been an honored and influential figure in the directing of popular sentiment and action, is a staunch and effective advocate of the principles of the Republican party and he has served in various public offices of local trust, in which connection it may be noted that he held for twelve years the office of justice ot the peace and for an equal- period that of township assessor. He is affiliated with the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Modern Woodmen of America, and his wife is a member of the Christian church. The attractive family home, known alike for its atmosphere of culture and refinement and for its gracious hospitality, is about 5 miles distant from Strawberry Point, from which village it receives service on rural mail route No. 1. James M. and Elizabeth (McLane) Stalnaker, parents of him whose name introduces this review, were both born in the historic old state of West Virginia, and the father became one of the earliest settlers of Clayton county, as he here established his home in 1851. In 1851 he became the owner of a pioneer farm in Lodomillo township, and there he continued his activities as an agriculturist until his death, which occurred September 7, 1875, his wife passed to eternal rest in 1877. Of their children the eldest is Hiram P., who is now a resident of Arlington, Fayette county; William A. and Silas M. reside at Littleport, Clayton county; Emma is the wife of William M. Rounds and their home is in the state of Oklahoma; John E. of this review, was the next in order of birth; Solomon died in infancy; Millard F. is a resident of Marshalltown, Marshall county, and Virginia is deceased. John E. Stalnaker found the period of his childhood and youth compassed by the conditions and influences of the pioneer days and he early began to contribute his quota to the work of the home farm. He continued his studies in the schools of his home township until he had attained to the age of seventeen years, and for two years thereafter he attended the village schools of Strawberry Point. His broader and more liberal education has been that gained in the staunch college of his own experience, and he has been a successful and popular representative of the pedagogic profession since he was a youth of twenty years. On the 6th of December, 1874, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Stalnaker to Miss Sarah E. McKinnis, who was born in the state of Indiana, a daughter of Robert and Susan (Burnsides) McKinnis, the former of Scotch and the latter of German lineage. Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. McKinnis the first four, Charles, John, Jane and Mary, are deceased; Genevra is the widow of Jay Young and resides in San Francisco, California; Robert maintains his home at Santa Cruz, California; Mary (second of the name) is deceased; Sarah E., wife of the subject of this review, was the eighth child; and the youngest, Frank is now a resident of the state of Oklahoma. Mrs. Stalnaker was a child of two years at the time when the family home was established in Clayton county. In 1864 her father removed to California, where he remained two years. He then returned to Clayton county, but in 1878 he again went to California, whence, six months later, he removed to Seward county, Nebraska, where he died in the year 1885, his widow having passed the closing period of her life in Seward county, Nebraska, where she died in 1895. In conclusion is given brief record concerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. Stalnaker: Ella is the wife of Charles L. Sauerby, of Lodomillo township; Raymond E. has practical supervision of the home farm of his father; Eva died in infancy; and Frank H., who was graduated in the veterinary college at St. Joseph, Missouri, as a member of the class of 1916, is now established in the practice of his profession in his native county, with residence and headquarters in the village of Edgewood. All of the children were given good educational advantages and were further favored in being reared in a home of distinctive culture and high ideals.

source: History of Clayton County, Iowa; From The Earliest Historical Times Down to the Present; by Realto E. Price, Vol. II; page 391-393
-submitted by S. Ferrall


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