George Washington Bidlack
George Washington Bidlack, the owner of two hundred acres of valuable land in Crawford county, is widely recognized as one of the substantial and representative agriculturists of East Boyer township.
His birth occurred in Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, on the 15th of March, 1844, his parents being Samuel Jimpson and Hannah (Thompson) Bidlack, while his paternal grandparents were John J. and Martha (Hicks) Bidlack. The grandfather, a native of Connecticut, was bound out as a boy. He participated in the war of 1812 and was starved to death on a British prison ship.·
Samuel J. Bidlack, the father of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania. He removed to Illinois in 1864, locating in Carroll county, where he made his home until called to his final rest in 1872. Unto him and his wife were born ten children, as follows: George W., of this review; Alice, who is a resident of Manilla, Iowa; Evan T., who is deceased; Mary, the wife of W. S. Roderick; Maria, who has also passed away; Benjamin H., living in Nishnabotny township, Crawford county; Joseph, who makes his home at Rockford, Iowa; Sarah and William, who are likewise deceased; and one who died in infancy.
George Washington Bidlack attended the common schools in the acquirement of an education and remained with his parents until 1870, when he was married and established a home of his own. He came to Crawford county; Iowa, in that year and with the exception of a few years spent in McLean county, North Dakota, has resided within its borders continuously since. His home farm, a productive tract of land comprising two hundred acres, was entirely unimproved when it came into his possession but he set resolutely to work and eventually brought the fields under a high state of cultivation. He also has property holdings in North Dakota, to which state he removed with his family in order to take up a homestead claim. Although sixty-five years of age at the time, he hauled lumber for a distance of fifty miles, erected five shanties on as many different homesteads and made such other improvements as the government required.
In 1870 Mr. Bidlack was united in marriage to Miss Frances M. Campbell, a native of Illinois, by whom he has four children, namely: Grace, a school teacher of Sac City, Iowa; Martha, at home; Laura, the wife of W. G. Merriam, of Garrison, North Dakota; and Ellen, the wife of J. A. McCutcheon, of Garrison, North Dakota.
Since age conferred upon him the right of franchise Mr. Bidlack has supported the men and measures of the republican party, believing that its principles are most conducive to good government although he voted for Bryan every time he was a candidate. While serving as justice of the peace his decisions were characterized by the utmost fairness and impartiality. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist church, while fraternally he is identified with the Masons, belonging to the lodge at Manilla, Iowa. He has always been a man of exemplary habits and strict integrity and in the course of a long life has performed his part in advancing the true welfare of the community.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.