Fred R. Shirtcliff
Of the various states that have contributed to the growth and development of Iowa it is probable that Illinois occupies the most prominent position. Thousands of bright young men and women from Illinois have sought homes west of the Mississippi and are to be met with today in every county of Iowa.
Among this number should be named Fred R. Shirtcliff, of Crawford county, who was born near Lynnville, in Morgan county, Illinois, April 12, 1856, a son of Henry Shirtcliff, a record of whom appears elsewhere in this work.
Mr. Shirtcliff removed with his parents from Illinois to Minnesota in 1865 and came to Iowa in 1873, being then seventeen years of age. He received his education in the common schools and continued upon the home farm until after reaching his majority. He then began earning money on his own account by breaking prairie and also engaged in the threshing business for four or five years. Having decided to devote his attention to agriculture and stock-raising, he engaged in farming in Otter Creek township and two years later removed to Goodrich township, where he made his home for six years. In 1890 he established himself on his present place in Willow township and after breaking the land he planted it in flax with very satisfactory results. He has made all the improvements upon his farm and is now the manager of two hundred acres of good land, which is owned by his father. He engages in general farming and stock-raising and being a good judge of stock he handles nothing but high grades.
In 1880 Mr. Shirtcliff was united in marriage to Miss Hattie A. Cady, and they have two children: Frances Almira, born in 1881, who married B. F. Coleman, of Paradise township, and has three children, Alice, Percy and Frederick Roy; and Frederick Samuel, who was born in 1894 and is now living at home.
Mr. Shirtcliff is a man of large practical experience, genial in disposition, pleasing in address and the possessor of excellent judgment and discretion in business affairs. In politics he supports the republican party and is an earnest advocate of it platforms. He has been prominent in the councils of the party in his part of the county and has held several offices of trust and responsibility. He was road superintendent of Milford township white living in Goodrich township and was the first officer in the county under the one township plan to hold that position for three years. He has served as township clerk for nine years and justice of the peace for two years and also as a member of the school board, and he has filled very acceptably the office of sexton of the township cemetery. He is an intelligent man of genial manner who has the faculty of making friends and retaining them. Religiously he is not affiliated with any denomination, but attends all the local churches.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.